Hangin’ with the Cousins


Baby Grace

Liz and Baby Grace came to visit us today. Maggie and I were hoping she would come up and spend the day with us! Baby Grace has been my biggest fan lately running up to me when she sees me and begging to be held. I love the way that she chirps “Aunt Mary.” Mario showed her all around the house and played with her in Maria’s room. He tried to find books that she would enjoy, barbies she would like, and toys that were “baby toys.”

Maria taking Zach over!

Soon after they arrived, Maria came home from a sleepover with her friend, Zach (when are girls too old to sleep over at boys’ houses?!). Zach and her are the best of friends and the worst of friends. They play really well for an hour or two, and then they scream at each other non-stop. They both are passionate, loud people and neither will back down when they believe they are right (and they always believe they are right). Zach’s mom reported that they woke up by 8 am and by 11 am, it was time to split them up. Maria was bummed about coming home until she realized Gracie was here. She grabbed her up and gave her the “Maria Bear-Hug” smothering Gracie in pure love.

The kids danced to  Wii Dance Party 3. Mario and Maria both figured out that the number of stars you get relates to how well you followed the moves. They both get upset when they doesn’t dance perfectly. They should add stars if you sing along to the song – Mario would have the max. He tries to sing to every song. After we danced for a while and I carried Gracie to every room, we decided to get some lunch at Champps. Thank god for electronics. Maria and Grace played with my Iphone and Mario played his leapster allowing for Liz, Maggie and me to talk. A wonderful gift! How did Maggie and Liz turn from little babes to smart, funny, endearing women? I swear it was yesterday that I was changing their diapers and playing peek-a-boo with them!

The crew at Champps

After lunch, Maria opted to hang with Liz and Mag and Grace at Target and Mario and I went home. We got out the stroller (it hit 52 degrees today) and headed to Giant Eagle to find discount Christmas toys and candy. I supply M&Ms at work and getting the big bags for $1.00 is too good of a deal to pass. We also scored a baby doll for Gracie. On the way home, Mario asked me to tell him a story. Mario loves stories about him in different situations. Typically, he is in the forest saving animals or on a boat catching big fish. After my fourth one, I looked down and he was fast asleep (yeah, I have quite enticing stories)! It reminded me of when Mario was one-year-old and I used to stroll him around the neighborhood to get him to sleep. I miss those days… somewhat.

Making "grass" angels

When we got home, the girls were waiting for us. Maggie and Liz were on the couch watching football and Maria and Graice were playing in the basement. Maria loves to watch Grace and try to teach her things. But Grace is an independent little soul, too, so she often wants to do things on her own. This leads to frustration on Maria’s part and a bit of crying. We decided that we would take a walk with Gracie to see if she would close to Maria on the playground. Sure enough, Gracie started to take to Maria as we walked along and maria continued to play peek-a-boo behind the trees. When Maria made a “grass” angel at the park, Gracie was hooked.

When we got home, we sat around watching football, eating ribs and ice cream, and taking turns playing with the kids. Liz and Mag left around 7:30 and the house felt empty. Messy, but empty. When I took the kids upstairs to bed, Maria asked if Gracie could come over again soon. In a heartbeat, I told her. I miss the chirping of “Aunt Mary.”

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