All is well with the world again. My babies were home all weekend with me and Jon. We played Quirkle (Jon won one and Ri won one) and hung out around the house. Mario is still fighting some virus so we needed to lay low. 

The kids biked up to Stauf’s on Saturday afternoon to get bagels and write a piece about Jorge on my computer. They did not want me to come with them. Ri packed the computer in her book bag and they set off together. It is the sweetest sight ever to watch them when they are getting along. I take joyful refuge in watching them bike side by side up the street as they smile and and talk to one another. 

They called me after 45 minutes and asked if I wanted to come up and play cards with them. Why, of course, I told them. I opened the coffee shoppe door and there they were with their drinks and half-eaten bagels with cream cheese. Mario reading a magazine and Ri on my computer. I marveled at their independence. We played crazy eights and go fish and I didn’t win a game. But I loved hanging with them all the same.


We went school clothes shopping after Stauf’s – heaven help me. I have too much testosterone or something because I detest shopping. We only went to one store and I was ready to rip my head off after an hour. I am my mother’s child. I recall my mom and I going to Shapely Outlet Mall when I was a pre-teen. I was trying on dress after dress oblivious to my mom. All of a sudden, I hear a crash and a yelp. Mom had walked right into a mirror. She was done, shot, ready to go. So maybe it’s not too much testosterone – maybe it’s hereditary. 

On Sunday, we had our breakfast at Stauf’s – one of my single most favorite Sunday activities. Jon joined us for a game of Go Fish. Mr. “I don’t play those childish games” certainly became Mr. Competitive as we started playing. He almost beat out Mario but Mario pulled away with 14 pairs to Jon’s 11. A bit later, the kids got their lemonade stand together. Ri worked for an hour on the sign while Mario prepared the lemonade. They didn’t get to many hits, unfortunately. But I can’t believe how long they sat out there together with no computer or tv to watch. Just staring out at the street and chatting together. 

I’m holding on tight to these days: I know the time will come sooner than I like when the kids are more interested in friends’ houses and any where else other than home.


I think we are on our way to a family routine. The past four nights the kids have asked to play Quirkle after dinner.
Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jorge bought the game for the kids for Christmas. They played off and on through the year but have recently got addicted. And it’s one of the few games that Mario can play without getting completely pissed off if he loses. I’m not sure why but he had yet to throw a fit after any game – and he has not won one.

This has me thinking that he is like his mama and dad – very left brained. Concrete thinking. Hard to visualize objects but easy to answer what’s 5×5. Quirkle is all about the ability to visualize and pick up quickly where matching pieces could fit. Very right-brain biased.
Maria is ridiculously good at the game. I think she got 10 quirkles last match. And she places pieces in places where she will double her points versus just next to a color that matches her. She is strategic. She plays almost as well as the two artists in the family – Uncle Jack and Jorge. When they come back to visit, we will have to get a game on.

And this is a game where she is competitive – she’s typically not. I guess the children both know where their strengths and weaknesses lie and they have accepted them. Such geniuses at this young age…


Cake Walk 2014

Cake Walk 2014 kicked my butt. I don’t know if it was the opening and closing of the festivities or the loud band music and even louder kids, or the chocolate cake we devoured once home.
Maria went with her friend, Kathryn since she had a play date with her after school. This year she continued to step one foot closer to teenage-hood. She came to see Mario and me only a few times and it was only to ask for money and water. She hung out with one group of girls for a minute and then others the next. I likes seeing that.

Then she found our next door neighbor who is Grandview’s baton twirler and stood with her to try to learn how to twirl. She must have stood up there for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, I should have left at 8:30 to head up to the event with Mario because he would have never known what time it started. I gotta take advantage of his youth while I am able. And all he wanted to do was play the kids games and all I wanted to do was try to win a cake. Guess who won?



He played the golf game again and again. Then he moved onto the football game where the volunteer was absent. All the kindergarten boys were loving the freedom of that. Soon a volunteer showed up so we moved to the lollipop game. Such anxiety each time he pulled a sucker out to see if it had a blue tip or not. He moved to the treasure chest and scored these dandies.

Then we hit the baseball pitch. He was allowed to stand on the line closest to the catcher but refused. He wanted to stand where the older kids had to stand. And don’t you know he got a strike on his first pitch.

Ri kept trying to win a cake but to no avail. I finally got Mario to head down with me and try to win. After three more hole-in-one attempts, he finally followed.
There was Ri standing in line with Kathryn and Evie. She smiled when she saw me and waved (at least I still get that). Mario and I went to another line and danced to the music as the band played. The music stopped, we sat in our chairs and hoped. Unfortunately, our numbers weren’t called. Mario got livid last year when this happened but this year he brushed it off. We stayed for the band’s last tune and although we didn’t win a cake, we bought a sweet blue one in the form if a mustache that Kathryn and her mom had made. And we dug in at 10 pm when we finally got home.


Female Domination

The girls dominated the Ionno Family Fun Night on Friday night. We took the boys in Yahtzee and Wii bowling.


Jon had a leg up on all of us with his wall penny toss game that he played as a kid. It’s a lot tougher than it sounds. Besides, we had to let the guys win something or else they would have cried all night and not agreed to another Family Fun Night next Friday. They better be getting their Yahtzee rolls down all week because Ri and I are a force to be reckoned with!