Week in review

We have been busy the last couple of weeks so I thought I’d wrap it up in one concise post! Here we go:

1. Ms. Elena visits! I guess I should mention Satah and Jorge came, too, but all we cared about was Elena. Actually, not true. Mario loved shooting hoops in his bedroom and out back with Jorge and Ri loved talking about anything with Sarah. I loved eating Elena’s cheeks. 



2. Meg and dad visit! They came in to take the kids to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see the butterfly exhibit. They loved it and Meg and Dad got some great photos (but I’m still waiting on them to send them my way…). Then we met up at the park for some ultimate frisbee – that was ultimately pretty pathetic – but fun. I know where my active genes come from: I love that we have an hour to spare and we run around like mad. 



3. Tether ball tournament. Ri mentioned that her school had tether ball and Jon made a pit stop on our way home. The man has some mean tether ball skills. He whooped on all of us. Ri and I escaped without injury but poor Mario got a ball in the face, which had to sting since Jon has quite the swift hand. He eventually forgave Jon and wanted another shot on him. But no one can beat the king. 




4. Playground gymnastics. Mario and Ri and I showed off our flips and splits; I hung in for a while but then they showed me up.






5. China night at Mario’s school. Mario had been talking about this night for a few weeks. He talked about the dragons he was making and the play he was going to put on with his class. He did not disappoint. We had to get there 15 minutes early because Mario “had to meet Blake” before the show began. All the two of them did was wrestle around the school yard. When we finally went inside, it was adorable. They had a panda picture stand and a passport for the kids to fill out at each room they went to in the school. Grandmq even got a picture with the Panda!




Mario taught us Chinese art, that dragons are good luck, and that red and orange are lucky colors in China. He also put on a heckuva performance waving a flag and singing and drumming a Chinese melody. It was hilarious to see all these boys hyper as heck all night and then get on stage and be somber and calm as they waved their drumsticks slowly and chanted Chinese lyrics. 





I love these school events. Mario was charged his Grandma came to be with him, too. We picked up Ri from soccer and let Mario pick the restaurant for dinner. We thought Chinese would be appropriate but he opted for Bob Evans. I couldn’t blame him – pancakes sounded really good after fried rice and tea. 

6. We saw an owl! I’ve been trying to spot an owl for weeks – ever since a friend posted a picture of one on Facebook. She said she found it two blocks from our house. After three weeks, I finally spotted one a street over in an evergreen. I can’t believe I spotted him – he was a tiny little guy. I ran home and told Jon. We made the kids shorten their shower and get in their nighties and we all drove over to see the owl. I couldn’t get a good picture of it and was getting frustrated. Maria took my arm and consoled me. “Mom, we will have the memory and that’s better than a picture.” 


7. Ri and her Girl Scout troop went to the YWCA to make crafts with the kids staying there. The girls did great with the kids. There was a girl making crafts who was in their same grade and afterwards we talked about how easy it is to find yourself in a situation where you need help. I think the girls really got it and talked about going again and helping out. Afterwards, we treated them to DQ. I had Kathryn, Ri, Lucia, and Gwen in the car on the way home and they sang top-40 songs and yelled hi to random folks walking down the street. Ahh, to be young and carefree!



8. An Ionno family visit at Rooster’s! We ate fried mac-n-cheese. Yes, it sounds wrong but oh, it is so right! Maria knows what to order!


Patty and Uncle Chris and Patrick and Carrie and Connie were there watching the Ohio State game. Tony was in town, too. when we walked in, he announced that he had just won $100 playing Keno, which is some gambling game you can play at the restaurant. Mario’s eyes lit up. He was hooked the rest of the time we were there. Meanwhile, Ri and Alana did up Tony’s hair. 



9. And finally, Ri got braces! She was a rock star through it – never crying once. I can’t believe how wide that tiny mouth of hers opened!


She chose red and orange rubber bands. She wanted a before and after shot of her teeth so she could send it to her grandmas.



Darling girl!

Weekend Round up

We took Rocco for an evening walk on Thursday or Friday night. The moon was glorious – as full as it could be and casting a muted yellow light onto the earth. I stopped the kids and made them absorb it. Then I shouted “make a wish!”
Mario pleaded for lots of toys at Christmas and a new Skylander. Sophie begged for new Legos. Maria pleaded for her mom to have the best birthday ever. That’s it. All she wanted from the moon. My sweet baby. She has got every caring gene in her body (Mario has them too but the toy gene trumps quite often).
On Saturday, Jon took the kids to Marion to visit their cousins at Patty’s and Joe’s house. I got in a killer 11 mile run in and lifted weights. It was superb. And then to top it off, Rocco took a walk with me and didn’t stop every second and make me beg him to move. It was delightful. I love taking him to the woods by our house and letting him off the leash; he rips through the leaves and dashes from log to log smelling the remnants of other animals.

Saturday evening, Jon and I drove up to Marion to pick up the kids and visit Patty and Joe and Jon’s brothers and their families. The boys spent most of the time watching each other play Minecraft on the iPad while the girls played make believe in the basement. It’s so freeing to have them all play together alone while the adults chatted upstairs.
Ri woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. She’s such a machine, though. She washed down some Tylenol and just went back to bed without complaining at all. When she woke Sunday morning, I knew she didn’t feel the best but she kept a straight face and went with me to the YWCA to do crafts with the homeless kids. She has such a big heart. Within about twenty minutes, I could tell she felt horrible and I made her sit down. But soon I saw her up helping a little girl with her Halloween mask. We left the Y and went home for a day of relaxation. She slept on the couch while I raked leaves with Rocco. It was so gorgeous outside I didn’t mind the manual labor at all. She mosied outside after a while and recited recipes from one of her kids’ books.while I made a leaf pile. Then she began to take pictures of all the glorious flowers in the yard. She’s got a bit of an eye on her….


She slipped in this one (Rocco’s poop bag) and thought it was hilarious!

Meanwhile, Jon took Mario to his swim birthday party. Jon talked it up with the moms at the party keeping them laughing with his jokes. He reported that Mario had a great time with his dudes splashing around the pool and being silly. When Mario came home, he reported to me that one of the boys swam in “panties.” I looked at him quizzically and Jon chimed in “they were speedos, Mario.” Mario had never seen such things since he has been wearing boxers for the last two years to be like his dad. Indeed, anything he can do to be more like his dad makes him happy. He watched football with Jon in the evening jumping off the couch every few minutes to act like he was catching a pass (Jon does not do that).
Ri and I read Janes and the Giant Peach for 45 minutes, which made me oh so happy. I love reading with her and dreamt about it since she was a baby. I tucked her in bed at 8:30 with the hope that she would be better in the morning. Mario stayed up until 10 with his dad watching football and making us watch his pretend touchdowns (and touchdown dances). I think he’s ready for the NFL at age 6.
Oh, and we got Boo’d last night, which means we have to “Boo” two houses in Grandview tonight. I’m not sure if I like this “Booing” idea – seems to be yet another way to commercialize a holiday (I now have to go our and buy candy and bags to put at the two houses we “Boo.”) But the kids were so excited to be the “Boo” recipients so I will play the game like a good citizen and go buy candy and bags after work. I will make them walk to the houses we “boo” tonight though – it’s too nice outside to drive anywhere today. Winter will sneak up on us way too soon….