Weekend update

Another rousing weekend for the family. I am really impressed by how I can get up on Monday morning and take a run with as tired as I am on Sunday night (that double dip UDF ice cream at 10 pm must rev up my cells through the night).

Patty and Alana and Gio attended Mario’s football game on Saturday morning. It was nothing less than pure chaos an hour prior to kick-off with Jon trying to get the dog to poop and Mario dressed and me trying to find cupcakes for after-game snacks that had football rings on them. When I got home at 10:10 am, Jon had left with Mario to get him to the game by a 10:30 kickoff. Except he forgot Mario’s mouthpiece. I got the “Are you on your way?!” frantic call at 10:15 and I rushed Patty, the kids, and the dog out of the house to get to the game. Nothing like doing 80 on the highway with your mom-in-law next to you.
Mario played the entire game because a lot of kids were absent. He kept reversing the ball and running backwards away from kids to try to move forwards but he never made it far, which frustrated the heck out of him. But he hung in there for the entire game; it’s amazing to see the difference in his attitude and playing style this year versus last year. And he loves being the life of the party amongst his team mates.


Maria and Alana kept Rocco busy at the playground. Alana loved helping with the pup (she adores dogs) and they both were very good about watching him around kids (Ri acts like a mother hen shooing kids back when Rocco acts up). Rocco did surprisingly well with people coming up to him. Knock on wood, let’s hope he’s learning not to bite quite as much.

After the game, Patty and I walked the crew up to Panera for lunch. Mario and Gio rode in the stroller so they could play on the iPads while the girls rode scooters (and Jon wants to get rid of the stroller – no way!). Lunch was hilarious: the boys were in the bathroom for fifteen minutes doing their business and messing around; the girls wanted to eat alone and ride their scooters by themselves up and down Grandview Ave. Luckily, Patty goes with the flow as well as I do so we just ate our salads and took it all in.
We took the pup to the woods by our house when we got home and he loved it. I think I have found the perfect spot for him to run without a leash that only takes us 8 minutes to walk to back and forth. I told Mario a story about a troll living in the woods a while ago and he still asks about the troll when we head to the woods. If he sees a bunch of sticks piled up, he will excitedly say “the troll may hide out there” or if he sees tracks he will point at them and yell “troll prints!” So sweet.




Patty and Meg joined me for evening fun – we ate chips and watched the game. The girls played Quirkle (such a great game) and the boys reunited with their iPads. Patty left around 9:30 (what a machine she is to drive an hour home with Alana and Gio at that time of night); we all hit the sack as soon as they hopped in Patty’s car.
We enjoyed Stauf’s on Sunday morning. Rocco walked some of the way with us but then decided he wanted to stroll with Mario. He leaned over the edge after a few blocks and stumbled out of the seat so he decided to walk again. The stroller wheels freak him out though and he just kept whining and trying to bite them (note: ignore my last comment about the wonders of the stroller: Mario needs to stop riding in that thing and bike to Stauf’s).

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I took a wonderful 7 mile run after Stauf’s through UA and then got treated to an amazing delicioso brunch at The Kitchen</a. These women know how to cook – I had a yummy combo of mushrooms, kale, cabbage and tomatoes over grits with a fried egg and fluffy French toast with caramel sauce. My sis and Meg had sweet potato and onion hash that had to be sent down from heaven. Everything tasted so so so good.



We walked off the amazing meals in the woods with Rocco. Jorge loved the tree with the climbing spikes and scared us all to death with how high he climbed. Rocco would whine loudly and try to climb the tree when any of us climbed up.
We came home and played HORSE in the backyard. Maria made everyone coffee while Mario kicked our butts making nearly all of his b-ball shots. Because we still hadn’t done enough through the day, we made a trip to Petland to look at the dwarf hamsters and pups. Rocco scored new toys and treats because I can’t resist buying him something anytime I am near a dog aisle. We hit Party City after Petland and I’m happy to report that we have a zombie ninja and a valley girl in the house for Halloween.
We ended the day with more food – gyros from the new Greek Express. They were mighty fine as you could tell from the way we slouched in the booths – or maybe that was just sheer exhaustion….Us Menkedicks work hard but play harder!

Weekend round-up

We got treated to a visit from Aunt Jane, Uncle Steve, Robert and Laura on Saturday morning. They came up to see Mario’s football game. We took Rocco to the vet at 9 am to hear that he was looking good and then rushed to Tim Horton’s to get lucky timbits for Mario to eat pre-game. The line inside and out was ridiculously long so Jon took me and the kids home and drove to another Tim Horton’s while we changed. The ovens at that Tim Horton’s were down so there were no donuts. You would have thought Mario was just told he would never be able to walk again. He lost it. Flailing everywhere. Bawling.

Once he calmed down, I told him we could get some magical donuts at BP and a cereal bar. Maybe they would work even better to allow him to score touchdowns. We stopped for them and got on the highway at 10:15 – his game started at 10:30. The highway we needed was closed. We spent the next 20 minutes trying to find an alternate route that wasn’t busy. I was irked because Jane and Steve had come to see the game and we were late. Jon was irked because I was irked. The kids, luckily, were oblivious listening to Radio Disney on their headphones. I was telling myself the whole way that I cannot control the situation; stay calm; breathe. I eventually convinced myself when we were two minutes away.

It was great having Jane and Steve and Robert and Laura at the game – they completely got into it jumping up and down and yelling for Mario as he ran for a touchdown.
I had ice cream with them later and reminisced about the good ol’ days when I rode in the trunk of the station wagon with no seat belts and played in the deep water with no life vest!

When we got home, Jon swept Mario away to Big Mario’s and Aunt Vickie’s house to fish and go four-wheeling. Mario’s dream come true. He got treated like royalty between cookies and pasta and a coyote skin that Big Mario had treated just for him. He couldn’t wait to show it off when he got home Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Ri and I got her present ready for her sleepover at the Hyatt. Yeah, a hotel sleepover. The birthday party detail continues to be raised up notches. Pretty soon you will be expected to rent out a ballroom and boy band for an eighth birthday party.

After I dropped Ri off at 4:00, I had the night to myself. I got a massage at 4:30 and then spent the rest of the night with little dude.

I was like this with Cy, too. I would make big plans in my head to go to the movies or the coffee shop to read but then Cy would look out the window at me and I’d turn around and spend the evening with him. So Rocco and I enjoyed the evening together with a walk to Pet People that took two hours with all the stops we had to make (between sniffing, laying down, and people petting) and watched a Sarah Polley documentary (which was quite good). We hit the sack at 10:15 pm and started all over at 6:30 am.
Maria texted me from her friend’s mom’s phone at 9:30 am asking me to pick her up. One of her friends had called her “heavy” and not let her participate in a game. Ugh, girls. But Ri is such an old soul and was able to process that her friend was probably mad about something else that had happened at the party and took it out on Ri. Pretty impressive intuition for an 8 year old.

She wanted time with her mama anyway – we took Rocco for a walk, bought a pooper scooper and a toaster at Target (she loved that I combined these two things in one sentence), and got a pedicure!


As the night wore on, and Rocco got in his chew stage (Maria’s friend came over to apologize and Rocco accidentally caught her little brother with those sharp puppy teeth while chasing him), I started to get testy. I made Ri get on Xtra Math and she complained. Then, once on, she did poorly. She was not answering simple subtraction quick enough and I let my end of day fatigue take over.
“Come on Ri, you have to get these more quickly. This is why you have to do Xtra Math everyday. You aren’t getting simple problems right.”
She started crying as I peered over her shoulder and watched her every move. I let out a sigh when she missed another and she jolted up and ran upstairs crying and yelling “you are the worst mom ever!”
I sat on the kitchen chair staring at the computer. I definitely could have handled this better. I know how much Ri hates pressure and stress so why did I stand over her shoulder? Yea, I know why….

I called her back down to finish Xtra Math, which she did. Then I swung her legs around to meet mine, looked her straight in the eyes (those beautiful blue eyes) and told her I loved her more than anything. I also apologized for putting undue pressure on her. She reached out and hugged me and apologized, too. We both decided that the fight warranted an ice cream cone so we headed off to UDF for double dip peanut butter ‘n’ chip.

And we both concurred that ice cream solves all problems.