Finally! A no travel weekend


We had no plans to travel this weekend. I don’t believe that has happened for three months. Ms. Elena has a lot to do with that predicament. Ri and I can barely go a week without heading to the farm to see her.

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We’ve also had Cincy pool parties, Big Mario’s pig roast, farm family reunions, vacation. You name it, we did it this Summer. So it was heavenly to stay put this weekend.
Maria had a Strings picnic on Saturday afternoon. I thought it was just a gathering outside the middle school to play on the swings and jungle gym and get to know fellow String players. I had Joanne pick up Ri so I could finish cleaning and told Ri I’d meet up with her at 1 (the picnic was 12-2). Mario and I walked up at 1. I should say that Mario started out in the stroller but then walked as soon as we spotted his football coach. He had not wanted the stroller to begin with but we were in a hurry and he wanted to eat lunch so he couldn’t bike. He even told me as he hopped in “I can’t let anyone see me in this because it’s embarrassing.” So when we spotted Coach Jim and his family a block ahead of us, he leaped out of his seat and walked ahead of me. What a trip.
We arrived at Edison to find no one outside. We learned the picnic was inside and all the kids, including Ri, were sitting in rows with their instruments. I guess this is a musician’s idea of a picnic… The 4th graders plucked away as they tried to follow the notes on the page. The 5-7 graders played with their bows. They actually sounded pretty good. Ri and her two girlfriends looked a bit overwhelmed but they hung in with the rest of them.
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Afterwards, I asked Ri what she thought. She confirmed she was overwhelmed and that her fingers were sore from plucking. I began to feel the “I want to give up” cloud moving in and promptly blew it away. “You are just starting. You will only get better. You need to hang in there.” She nodded and continued walking.
When we got home, she immediately placed her violin case on the table and took it out. She began to pluck after she wrote down a line of D’s, A’s and G’s. She did this off and on all weekend, and loved playing a “concert” for Jon and Mario and me. Hopefully, this enthusiasm will remain.
Mario enjoyed hanging with his boy, Quinn over the weekend and swimming with his friends Zachary and Owen. He always wants to be with his friends or on his iPad so when we say no to iPad, we know he will ask to play with a friend. Quinn is always first on the list. But Saturday, Quinn was busy so Mario met Zachary and Owen to swim and play at Zachary’s house. Dressing up and drinking lots of juice was involved.
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Ri and Sophie and I took Rocco for a walk to Grandview Ave. around dinner time. Why is it that we always and up with Jeni’s ice cream for dinner when we do that?!
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Mario and I played Yahtzee when we got home while Ri played violin. He and I had an epic battle – two competitive souls fighting for a Yahtzee. Neither of us got one but he made it up top so he beat me by 35 points. He loved that.
On Sunday, Jon and I were treated to an anniversary breakfast in bed by M&M. Mario kept running into our room to see if we were sleeping until finally he pleaded for us to get up at 8 am (yea, they were up before 7). He brought us two coffees and me a Powerade. He knows his mama. Ri brought up two plates holding two over easy eggs and a waffle. They made us eat all the food as they watched us (the eggs may have needed cooked a bit longer). We told them that the best things to came from our marriage were them munchballs.

After breakfast, we cleaned Ri’s room – I swear we had two garbage bags of stuff to either throw away or give away and yet her room was still cluttered as can be. Mario would not allow his room to be clawed over for old toys and trash. He neatly piled all his junk in his drawers or bins and called it a day.
I did get the kids to take Rocco to the woods with me. Rocco has finally come to terms with the kids climbing up the tree. He used to bark and jump up on the tree to get them.
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Mario got his wish come true the rest of Sunday. He got to play with Quinn all day. Ri got to play with Sophie, too. It’s been such a long time since we had an entire day to spend just relaxing with friends. Jon and I spent the day gazing into each others’ eyes still mesmerized by each other 12 years after we said our vows to one another. Actually I got a massage and he got palettes for Ri’s broken bed frame but we did swipe smiles at one another as we walked out the door. >

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