Busy but bountiful

This is how we rolled on Sunday morning.


Boys stuck together and girls stuck together. Ri wanted to roller skate and I wanted to walk to Stauf’s. Jon wanted his coffee and Mario wanted to hang with his dad (and score a cinnamon roll).  We ended up meeting each other on the Avenue. The boys were grooving to music as Ri and I talked about her school project – making bath balls. They ended up following us to Stauf’s because who can pass up Stauf’s?!

After Stauf’s, we hung together through one of Mario’s basketball games and then took Ri home so she could get to her soccer scrimmage. Jon and I watched Mario’s second game and then I drove back to watch the end of RI’s scrimmage. I made sure she got started on homework and then headed backwards up north to Mario’s championship game. He almost won it (and played so hard). 

We headed back home for some evening b-ball outside. Jon and I commented how we couldn’t wait for Spring while the kids played one-on-one and poked at each other. 


These days are busy yet bountiful. I want to ensure that they are not forgotten because I’m confident they will bring us comfort and joy when the kids have moved out, and Jon and I are playing our fifth round of Yahtzee on the back porch. 

Sunday Woods Day

Ri and Mario held me hostage Sunday morning. They would not let me go to yoga or run Rocco. They forced me to make a plate full of chocolate chip pancakes while they both cooked me some delicious over easy and sunny side up eggs.

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Being held hostage ended up being a delight. Eggs and pancakes and hilarity out of the hostage-takers’ mouths. Mario cracked me up when he got out the crossword puzzle to work on while eating his breakfast. “Grandma Ionno does the crossword everyday so I will, too,” he told me.

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After breakfast, Ri did my hair while I tried to tickle Mario as he rolled all over me (one of his favorite games with me). Rocco started to get wild by this time and began jumping on me and the couch and Mario and anything else he could as a way to tell us he wanted to go outside. I informed the hostage-takers that they needed to take Rocco on a walk to the woods with me before he tore up the couch or broke a bone in one of us by all his mad hopping. With a little pushing from dad, they agreed. We bundled up and headed off to the woods, which turned out to be a delightful hour of exploring and creating.
There is nothing better than watching your children use their imaginations while in nature. They found a few makeshift tents made with sticks and fallen branches. Mario thought the trolls had made them. Maria winked at me while she agreed with him. Maria found a stick with a rock tied to to it. She proceeded to tell me that it had to have been made years ago. She let Mario use it to cut wood (when asked why he was cutting wood, he had no purpose – just the sheer thrill of cutting into something). They found a half-enclosed area with a log in it and decided they wanted to work on fixing it up. Ri and I rolled a second log down the path so they’d have two to rest on as they worked on their fire pit. I was complaining about how heavy the log was to roll and Ri chirped “you’re getting a workout in, be happy!”

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Mario worked on his firepit and positioned the sticks along the border of the shelter while Ri gathered more materials. I made sure Rocco didn’t destroy their creation. He can’t stay away from a good stick.
I had to drag the kids out of the woods at 11:30 so Mario could make his b-ball game. I told them to remember how much fun they just had so that next time I asked them to come with me, they wouldn’t whine about going out in the cold. They rolled their eyes at me and I yanked them both close to me for a hug. Rocco was up at the end of the trail gnawing on a huge branch he found. I looked up at the blue sky and knew the day was gonna be great.

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Getting it in

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It was 60 degrees when I got home from work last night. There was no way these kids were getting out of going for a walk with me. The whining about it being too cold to go outside began a couple of weeks ago right alongside the daylight savings’ time change. I feel their pain. It’s hard for me to push myself back out the door when I get home and it’s pitch black outside. My heart tells me to throw on my pjs and be done. But my mind tells me to take the dog out, get some cold air, enjoy the darkness and calm.
But this tug-o-war of the body and mind did not have to occur last night because it was warm outside. Like the beginning of Spring after a Winter frost. Delightful.
I offered to take two friends with us but everyone they called was being responsible and doing homework. So it was just us. I compromised and agreed to Jeni’s if they ate a good dinner.
I love walking with my two babes. They are hysterical and darling and observant. Mario acted like he was running into the telephone posts to make Ri laugh. Ri pointed out all the Christmas decor in the windows and how strange that was when we haven’t even had Thanksgiving.
“Get used to it, girlie.” I told her.
We were the only ones in Jeni’s and we had a sample fest. Mario cracks me up with his staple choice – wild berry lavender. I wish he’d choose chocolate because he never finishes his and I am not a fan of lavender. Ri, on the other hand, always goes for the chocolate and peanut butter scoops – my favorites…but she eats all of hers! Mario got his first and sat at the bar. When we went to sit by him, he shooed us away.
“I want to sit by myself, guys.”
He’s been starting this new independent phase where he wants to order on his own, sit on his own, do everything on his own. I won’t complain.
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After Jeni’s, they begged to go to the park. It was 7:15 and a responsible mom would have denied such a request. They still needed to read and take a bath and get to bed at a reasonable time with school in the morning. But I’m not a responsible mom when it comes to the last few gorgeous 60 degree nights of the season. We need to slurp it up while we can. And so the park we went. I chased them around, they slid down slides and I gave them some wild, twisted underdogs. Mario was scared to twist his swing chains around and then be pushed high in the air to untangle; but after watching Ri do it over and over, he tried it. Pure glee.
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They did a good job enjoying the evening with me. When we got home I asked them “wasn’t I right? Wasn’t it awesome getting outside?”
They both looked at each other and then back at me and shrugged their shoulders. They artfully dodged the question by wrestling around on the floor for the next five minutes.
Yea, they were not going to admit that mom was right. But I know….>

Immersion

I’m so in love with these munchos of mine I can hardly stand it. My heart expands to the size of a hot-air balloon when they show me a math problem they did or tell me a story they read in class. Those minds expanding and growing and full of questions and ideas. I just want to eat them up and tell them how special they are, over and over and over again.

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We took a walk last night after dinner. We talked about random things – school, getting Rocco, how many babies they would have when they were older (Mario five and Ri six – heaven help is). These are some of my happiest moments during the week. No cell phones to answer. No friends to interrupt us. No homework to fight about. Just us talking about anything that pops up and laughing together. And laugh we do – a lot.
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I don’t know that I appreciated this time with the kids as much five years ago. It seems as the years float by, my awareness of the preciousness of this time with them deepens. I am immersed in the moment. I remember with preciseness the smile on Mario’s face as he gets pulled down the street by Rocco and the raucous laughter coming from Maria as Mario rolls around with her in the grass. Whoa, does that feel good and rich and grounding.
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