Weekend busy

Ri and Mario spent the entire weekend in sleepovers with their friends. Friday night, Ri and Mario headed up to the football game tailgate with Jon. They arrive an hour early to party it up with the rest of the parents parked in the lot by the field. Ri chatted it up with Jon’s friends and ate the unending line of dips while Mario threw the football with his buddies. 

I made it up in the second half (after letting go of the week’s work and taking my pup for a walk in the woods). When I arrived, Ri and Evelyn were already asking for a sleepover. Mario and Zach had already gotten approval from their dads for one at Zach’s house. I agreed and we decided to leave the game to head to Choclate Cafe for a late night snack. As I cleaned up the kitchen, the girls primped up for the Cafe. I had no clue that’s what they were doing and when they came down, I was caught by surprise. They really need to not dress up because they look like high schoolers and it makes me cringe! 

We enjoyed caramel truffles and milkshakes at 10 pm. Meanwhile, the boys played some serious x box at Zach’s house. 

On Saturday, the girls humored me and walked to Stauf’s for breakfast. We sat outside with Rocco and played cards while eating our yummy muffins. Then we hit Target for dress shopping – the girls’ favorite activity. The boys went, too, in order to sucker me into buying them face masks for their Nerf battles. Mario brought up his previous two eye scratches and that’s all it took. I bought them. Ri found a dress after trying on three of them. Ev wanted her to get one with polka dots but RI’s style is much more subdued – plain black. 

After Target, I took Ri to get her hair conditioned. A week ago, she mixed coconut oil and baking powder in her hair and it felt like hay. It looked awful and you couldn’t get a brush through it. She didn’t seem to care but it drove me nuts. It took two washes to get it clean but it finally looked normal again.

The girls had a b-day party on Saturday afternoon, and the boys wanted to hang out our house since we’ve got all the “bad food.” I agreed to take them for the night and our friends would take the girls. The boys begged me to take them to Get Air like I took the girls one evening a while back. But Zach is still recovering from a concussion so we couldn’t do trampolines. They decided on Galaxy Games and Golf for a round of putt-putt and some gym play. Little did they know that I am quite the putt-putter. I amazed them with my hole-in-one. Actually, I heard Mario whisper to Zach “my mom is really good.” Precious. 

We walked inside after their crushing defeat and right in front of us was a claw machine – Mario’s addiction! He begged for coins to play. Again, sucker mom. It doesn’t help that I love those dang claw machines, too. Mario, of course, immediately won a stuffed animal and a ball. It took Zach a few more tries but he nabbed an animal and a ball, too. In trying to get an animal, he nearly got a stuffed animal chicken. Mario was set on winning it because I was dumb enough to whisper “oh, I would have loved that chicken!” He’s gonna spend all his money on his dates trying to win them stuffed animals. He kept trying and trying but the chicken kept winning. I finally stepped in and asked if I could try it. I clawed the chicken and a random teddy bear – won two in one try! Can you sense my excitement still?! The boys were amazed again….

I had to put a stop on the claw games much to their dismay. They would have spent a fortune there if they could. We moved on to the gym, which was full of kids. I read my book and ate my snacks while looking up at Mario here and there when he shouted at me. 

We stopped at McDonald’s on the way home for some delicious dinner and then turned on the Buckeyes game when we got home. They made their way to the reclining sofa and commented on every play of the game. Jon got home shortly after us and we all watched the game together. Mario fell asleep around 10 but Zach hung in with us until the end. 

The next morning the boys and I walked to Stauf’s (two days in a row!). We ate bagels while playing cards and watching the marathoners. Heaven. Then we topped off the sleepover by heading to the woods for a Nerf gun battle. Rocco refused to leave Mario’s side. Alana and Patty were at the house when we returned. 

Alana and Ri loved working the concession stand at Mario’s football game. They each made some cash from it. 

Meanwhile, Mario and his teammates suffered their first loss of the season. They played hard with two of their stars out with injuries. I’ve never seen so many crying boys after the game. But they have next week to recover. 

So there you have it – another non-stop weekend with friends and parties galore. It’s a new kind of busy from the days of toddler-hood but I love it all the same.


“Mom,I want to buy this hat so bad.”
Mario holds up a white cap with zig-zag designs on it and the word “CHILL” written across the front.
Hilarious and perfect for the Mario-man.
He pouts his rapper pout and I want to scrunch his gum ball cheeks with my hands and kiss his face.
Ri grabs a fuzzy white and black hat to throw on and pushes the lid down so you can’t see her eyes.
Humble and cool, she is.
I grab the sole one left and push my lips out like I’m gonna kiss the air.
Ri looks at me and shakes her head.
Crazy mom.
Then she yells “get a picture!”
We move together and make faces at the camera phone.

Carrying a load

My girl and I rushed to Target after work and school to buy Mario his birthday presents. Maria loves buying things for her little bro.

We ended up with eight bags of things – food, sign for Ri’s room (“Girls Rock”), Mario’s presents, gift wrap….My pack horse refused to let me stack the bags in the cart. She grabbed all of them while in a daze across the store at a young woman in stilettos and a mini skirt.


She made it out the door…


But then she was done. She handed every single bag my way and asked to be held, too. God love her. At least she acknowledged her mom by commenting “Mom, I see why you lift weights now; those bags are heavy and you are strong!”


A little appreciation at the end of the day – priceless!

Icees and Madagascar


Maria has come back from the dead. Four days after becoming inflicted with a nasty flu bug, she was finally able to walk around the house, eat solid food, and joke with her brother. Thank you world!

We celebrated with a trip to Target for icees and a small present in celebration of Maria’s revival back into society. They both have their icee making down to a science adding a lot of the initial flavor (usually cherry) and a squirt of every other flavor creating a perfect rainbow of sweet sippy goodness. They hop in the double shopping cart and sip away while we walk the aisles.

Maria was torn between a Barbie or a doll baby. She has a ton of each but I like the thought of her caring for a doll more than the thought of her dressing up a Barbie to go out with Ken. Maybe I am wrong – I do automatically shy away from barbie but what do I know? Maria could be acting like Barbie was going out with Ken to a charity event to help the community. Nevertheless, she went with my inclination and chose the baby doll because it came with two bottles to feed her, which she loved. And a binky. Mario was torn between Incredible Hulk gloves or Ben Ten figures. He would have went for the gloves if they fit him. But the holes for the hands were not snug enough so he ditched them.


After Target, we headed to Madagascar 3 in 3D at the movie theatre. The kids told me I was the best mom ever (I held it to them later when they hated me for making them take a bath). We pulled out our M&Ms and Milk Duds from Target and got our movie theatre popcorn and we were set! The movie was less than stellar for me but the kids loved it. I did fall in love with the circus bear, however. And the music added some life. Mario danced in the aisle at one point and Maria hit my arm and begged me to make him stop. She gets so embarrassed nowadays even though there was no one else in the theatre!


When we got home from the movie, the kids helped me pick up leaves in the back. Mario called over to me after a few minutes and asked if I would get him a drink of water. I told him that he was almost five and he could get his own water.

Maria dropped her rake and her jaw dropped. Mario walked inside. I stood twenty feet from her wondering why she was so amazed.

“Mom! You just made Mario get a drink on his own and you didn’t automatically say ‘yes’ to him! Don’t you feel good about that? Great job, mom!” and she went about her business.

Yes, there is no doubt that she was my mom in a past life.

A Wicked Hat and We’re Ready for the Beach

“Guess what, mom? We have four more days until summer vacation!” 

Mario stood in the kitchen on Wednesday morning and gleefully informed me of this fact as he drank his gatorade.  He doesn’t quite get the whole “spring break” deal.  After we counted down the days again together, he proceeded to talk about what he was expecting to do in Florida.

“I am going to put my goggles on and swim in the ocean and pet a dolphin and a shark and an alligator. I am going to make sure that the shark moves far away so Ria is not scared.”

Always protecting his sis.  Maria chimed in on her expectations for Florida:

“I am going to put on my bikini, lay on my beach towel, and get a tan.” 

Remind me again that she is 6 and not 16?!

Mario in his beach hatWe headed to Target last night to pick up some necessities and a few “fun” items like hats and sunglasses and coloring books.  Mario picked out a west-side ball cap with a skull and bones on it at first.  I cringed when he picked it up.  It was two times too big for him even though it was in the little boys’ section, and thank go for that fact.  Remember, Mario hates anything that is big on him – he likes things tight.  He quickly discarded the skull cap when he saw it swimming on his head.  There was a beach straw hat I had my eye on for him, and I was excited to see him pick it up and try it on.  He modeled that hat in the mirror for five whole minutes.  Turning from side to side and adjusting the hat in numerous ways.  What a ham.  He finally turned to Maria and me and commented “This hat is wicked!”  Yeah, that is his new term he loves to use.

Maria picked out a princess ball cap at first.  I asked her why she would pick a princess cap when she was not into princesses anymore and she just shrugged her shoulders.  I know the reason she picked it.  It was right by her side on the shelf and she was tired from a long day at school.  If she is tired, my girl could care less what she gets.  I had to help her pick another hat because I couldn’t bear to see her revert to her princess days.  She ended up with a pink ball cap.  We grabbed some sunglasses and beach wear.  The kids kept pointing to beach towels and sunscreen but I told them we’d stop at a store on our drive to Naples.  They were amazed that there would be stores like Target in Florida!

Showing off their hats and shades to dadMario walked around the store with his straw hat on, flipping it off his head when girls approached him and saying “Howdy partner!”  When we got to the checkout line, Maria marveled at the woman in front of us with three-inch red heels on her feet.  “Mom, you should get a pair of those for Naples.”  I asked her “when would I wear them, Ri?”  Her response: “to breakfast, of course!”

Icees are a godsend

Maria and I are hosting five girlfriends and their kids from Cincinnati tomorrow afternoon.  We spent the first half of the day cleaning the house (why will the kids clean any other room in the house but their own?!); hosting Jon’s parents (Patty bought a new mini COoper!)l hitting the library in the afternoon; and baking cookies in the late afternoon.  Right around 6:15 pm, I was finally ready to hit Target and the grocery.  I had finished cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and preparing the gifts (which Maria helped me with as always).  I worried about taking them to Target since every time we go there, they beg to see the toys and they stand in the aisles yelling “mom, look at this!  Will you get it for me?” 

Since we had not had dinner, I enticed them to go with me by offering them icees.  We rarely get icees anywhere but if we get one, it is at Target.  They agreed to go on the condition that I get them icees (and Maria added in a pretzel).  We went straight to the Target food center and got two small icees.  The kids filled each of their cups up with a mixture of red, blue and purple.  I gave them a straw, and we were on our way around the store looking for random items for the party. 

They sat in their seats the entire ride slurping down those icees.  We went past the toy aisles twice and they did not say a word about getting out and looking!  A miracle on Target Street!  I have a new-found friend in the Icee, and will make sure I have $1.39 on me every time we head there in the future.  Money well spent!