The kids and I went to Cincinnati last night for a family wedding. Grandma Meg and Peepaw joined us for the festivities along with Meg’s sisters and their kids. Meg’s sister, Mindy and her husband Danny hosted the gala for their daughter Amy. Amy is a down-to-earth, sporty, happy gal who seems utterly smitten with her new husband, Todd. Todd seems like a carbon copy of Amy (minus the “gal” and add “guy!”). They smiled throughout the wedding ceremony and had a blast at the reception (Todd did a dirty dance in front of Amy before taking off the garter and Mario and Maria were completely entranced).
Mario played around with four or five boys who all knew each other from Todd’s side of the family. They did not invite him in but Mr. Mario asked his Aunt Kathy if she would introduce him to the boys, which she did, and it was over from there. He fit right in when he wanted to play with them (the only bit of crying came when he collided with an 80 pound kid and got knocked into the side of the door). Maria was perfectly happy not conversing with any kids, but rather, hanging out with the adults. She sat with Meg’s cousin, Suzanne and her husband. She enjoyed ribbing Suzanne’s husband about anything she could, and sitting close to Suzanne to talk about video games. After Suzanne, she moved onto Kathy’s stepson, Miles and his fiancée, dragging Miles on the dance floor and out to the pond. They were all wonderful with her, and very patient.
After the wedding, we headed to my mom’s house to spend the night. We petted Lou for a while since we had never been with him in his house. He loved the kids. We woke up at the break of dawn (6:45 am) and played with Lou and his tennis ball for an hour before getting ready to hit the road. We had to go to Target first since Mario’s flip flops rubbed his feet wrong. Next came McDonald’s for some quick breakfast. Then, French Park.
My old childhood park that I used to frequent with my best friend, Beth. I love walking through that park. My mom was quite impressed with it, too (as was Lou). The trails are magnificent – patches of shade with huge fairy tale trees covering you, patches of bright sunlight with wildflowers, and patches of dark with troll bridges and ferns everywhere. We walked the creek for a long time, too. It had just enough walks to jump from to not get soaked but high enough standing water for the kids to get good splashes. At the end of the trail, Maria took a good fall trying to climb onto a boulder and got a good chunk of skin off of her elbow and knee. Nonetheless, as I always report, she is a machine and once the initial shock and cry hit, she was a trooper heading back to the car and into Grandma’s bathtub.
On the way home, neither mom nor I was coherent. We were exhausted from what felt like a “long day.” So how was it only 10:30 am? Ridiculous. There should be some rule that when kids get up so early and your day starts while most people are in REM sleep, you get to fast forward the clock 4 hours. When we got home, the kids took and bath and played around. Then we had to head up to Marx Bagels for some bagels and cream cheese (my favorite!).
After bagels, we hung outside with Lou while the kids “spied” on us. Julie got home in the meantime, and the kids begged to stay to see Baby Gracie. She arrived a bit later and walked in the door exclaiming “Mary!” How could I leave before hearing that punker-wunker call my name!? The kids played downstairs while I cleaned and talked to Liz and Julie and helped Julie move coffee tables and tvs all around. We left CIncy around 3:30 and within ten minutes, both Maria and Mario were sawing logs. Out cold. So I debated stopping at Pottery Barn outlet at Washington Courthouse but I could not resist. When I stopped the car, and wiggled their legs to get up, they both bellowed “No!” They cried and hit the seats with their feet. They were pissed (now they get a taste of their medicine when they wake me up everyday at 6:30 am)! We finally made it into Pottery Barn (Mario on my right hip and Maria dragging beside me) only to find no good selection of rugs. Ugh!
So, I treated them to McDonald’s Playland. The Washington CH Playland just got renovated and it is actually quite nice. Mario, again, made friends immediately with two other boys who were brothers. Maria decided to stay by her mom because her side hurt from her fall. After letting Mario play for a half hour we took off for Columbus. Maria begged me from the back seat to let her give Mario the horn I bought him. I bought it for him a week ago and told him if was good all week, he would get it. Maria convinced me he had been good since he did not scream in the middle of the wedding, and he said “thank you” when Grandma Lolo gave him food. Pretty high standards, heh?!
As soon as we stepped in the door, Maria grabbed the horn and gave it to Mario. The whole neighborhood knew about the present because he honked it incessantly for ten minutes straight. We hooked it on his bike (with training wheels) and took a two-mile bike ride to our old house and back. When we got home, the kids rested to a tv show while I mowed the grass (which looked like the grasslands). When I finished the lawn, Maria and I played baseball. Mario watched his last Ben Ten. We wrapped the night up with mac-n-cheese and chicken and two books about telling the truth and a pig going to camp. Does it get any better than that?
When I headed outside to take out the lawn clippings, my neighbor commented about how she couldn’t believe that I could mow the grass and water the lawn in such a speedy time. I told her about our entire day and she laughed hysterically. “Do you ever stop,” I believe she asked, but I was already at the top of the driveway grabbing the last lawn bag to put out front.