Geese, Brownies and Grandma time

Mario rather enjoyed the geese out front of his day care last Friday. At first he tried to pet them but when they moved away he decided to chase after them. They were not amused.


Mario continued to have a word with one goose as he crossed the lot. The poor fellow was all the way across the lot just watching for big bad Mario when I left.

Mario was happy to go to school that day because he knew that Grandma and Grandpa Ionno were picking him up before lunch. He got an entire weekend with them since Jon was at a conference and Ri and I had her Girl Scout Campout. Patty also picked up Giovanni and kept both boys at her house. She is, as I always say, a machine. A full weekend with those two boys would be considered a major punishment to most but to her, it’s delightful. She is so good with them and stands her ground when they go off course. I was talking to her and she had to tell them to settle down and her voice got fierce. All of a sudden I didn’t hear boys’ screaming anymore.

She described to me Mario’s negotiation, or rather, swindling techniques when it came to money. He told Patty he had money to buy a web shooter if she’d take him but when they got there he said “oops, I forgot it.” Then he proceeded to finagle her into buying that and something else. The boy loves money and loves to spend it. When a commercial comes on that deals with saving money (“buy this insurance and save!”) or getting money (“we’ll give you $2000 for your old car…”), his ears perk up and he’s glued to the tv.

The boys built a “tent city” throughout Patty’s and Joe’s condo and begged not to have to leave one another on Sunday. It’s so wonderful that they are at an age where they enjoy one another’s company.


Meanwhile, Ri and I were freezing our tails off in 35 degree weather at the Girl Scout Campout. Ri was so excited about the camp out and literally hopped in my arms when I met her at school to take her out to it. It was a little rough at first but ended well. Ri does not play with a lot of the girls in scouts, probably for numerous reasons. They have stay-at-home moms who arrange after-school play dates. Some of the moms hang out together a lot so their kids do, too. It could also be that Ri does not have the typical silly, antic-oriented playful style that most 8 year-old girls have. I look at her and Alana and there is such a difference in style. Alana would have been running around loony with those girls. Maria is more contemplative and seems to work better when she’s one-on-one with people. At one point, I could tell she felt awkward and she admitted that she was disappointed that no one was really including her. So of course I jumped in the girl mix with her and got her playing with the girls. She had her moments of just sitting back (the girls put on a talent show and each little clique did a different act; Maria held the flashlight because she didn’t want to perform) and I told myself to let her be. I sat back and bit my lip, and all was fine in the end. She did have a blast staying up until 11 pm with one of her girlfriends. They kept flashing lights on us and running around the lodge. She also loved making s’mores (as did I)!




As we drove home on Saturday, she told me she had a good time. Looking back, I did too. I’ve got to let my crap go in those situations and just let her work through it. If she needs me, she’ll get me. She and I had a blast at my work and getting hot cocoa and coffee at Stauf’s that afternoon. We laughed together and had her friend Ceylone over. We both crashed that night by 8:30 and slept until 7:30 the next morning we were so tired from the cot sleeping the night before.

On Sunday we took a run/bike ride, hit hot yoga, and ate bagels at Stauf’s while I read the Times and Ri wrote poems. Here is one to Sarah for graduation:

So much depend
You getting there
So much depend

Not only a budding environmentalist but a budding poet? I just want to eat her up.

While we were camping out and building tents, Jon was getting legs wrapped around him on the dance floor and jammin’ to Gangum Style with his buds. I told him he owes me a night out on the town like that (something about Barthel and Loeshner brings out the tiger in him).

When Mario got home from Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, Jon bought KFC and we got out our tray tables and turned on Duck Dynasty for some quality family time. The immediate family is back together again!

A night with the cousins


Thank god for cousins. Laura works 50+ hours a week, 2nd shift, and has a good social life but still finds the time to come up to Columbus and spend time with M&M. She called this week to tell me that her and Robert would be coming up on Friday to see the kids around 3:30 and taking them out to my folks’ farm to have a camp out. Maria was beside herself at the thought of Laura and her sleeping in a tent together. Mario was charged at the thought of spending time with his idol, Robert.

Maria called me no less than 5 times at my work Friday afternoon asking when they would arrive. When they finally arrived, I heard nothing more from Ri – she was glued to Laura’s side. It’s so funny to watch Ri when Laura talks. She is mesmerized with Laura between Laura’s tips on washing hair or her advice on boys – Maria looks up to her and will surely confide in her as she grows older (hopefully Laura will keep me in the loop!).


Robert took Mario to the library. Mario worked to impress Robert by biking the entire way. They came home and played basketball and soccer. Mario surely believed he had died and gone to heaven. Robert will be up in Columbus within a week to start his first year of college at OSU. He has promised us that he will come over and chill with us during the week – we’ll see…. If he doesn’t, we may just have to crash his dorm room, which would provide him with an incentive to come over to our house more often.

Laura and Robert left after dinner for the farm with M&M in tow in the backseat grinning from ear to ear at the thought of an entire night with their cousins.