Play Ball!

The start of baseball/softball season has arrived with the Memrial Day weekend. Ri played on Friday night, which was strange since we have always played on Saturday after the parade. We are hurting for pitchers this year so I’ve been working with Ri on the mechanics of fast-pitch. She’s got the strong body to swing that ball over her head and swivel those hips and whip it over the plate. During practices, she just wasn’t consistent and didn’t have her groove. She also doesn’t have the desire to go out and practice for hours to improve. But the times I’d get her out with me, we’d continue to work on it. And then one day, I had her concentrate on turning her hips so they pointed to the side and then return them center towards the catcher. She did it and pitched it perfectly. And again. Something clicked in her. And so it was – she started our first game as pitcher. 

And she pitched awesome for her first time. She only walked one batter and struck out a few! I was so excited for her. And it made the game go so much faster watching her pitch two innings because she was the main attraction. It made Jon and I nervous as heck but it was cool. And it’s even more fun for me because I was a fast-pitch pitcher; so to see Ri going at it makes me smile. 

  
The girls lost the game but held their own throughout. They had one bad inning that doomed them but I was much happier about their play than I thought I’d be. They were bummed for three seconds about the loss but then quickly recovered when they found out they got a free treat from the concession stand .

  
Mario got to be in his first parade this year since he’s finally in baseball and not tee-ball. He was excited to be able to ride in a truck with his buddies. I made him promise over and over that he would not pelt anyone with candy. I should have made Ri promise it, too, because her and her teammates were winging candy at kids. 

   
   

By about half way down 1st Avenue, the girls started to get tired and thirsty. They began to peter out. Surprisingly, they still had candy (in years past 25 pounds was gone in three blocks). But Ri got them pepped up again by cheering “we’re number one not two not three not four….” We arrived at the field and participated in the Opening ceremony. Grandview feels like Mayberry on this day. Everyone is lined up for the parade and everyone comes to the field afterwards to watch the ceremony and running the bases. 

   
 

Mario played his game later in the day at 3:45. We went home after the parade and wrestled a while to get him ready (he is my child – he’d rather stay active than rest before a game). Ri got invited to the pool with Henley – her first pool trip of the year.

 
Mario looked like a bad mo’ fo’ out on the field with his shades and his snug baseball pants. 

  
He refused to go out on the field without his shades. He didn’t have a chance to catch a pop up fly but he did get a grounder hit to him… and he missed it. But he did decent hitting – went 2 for 3. Of course, he struck out once which really irked him. He stomped out of the box and whipped off his helmet. “My coach can’t pitch” he told Jon. He was accurate in his statement – his coach threw some horrible ones to him. But, he needed to brush it off. I’m sure he likes Jon being in the dugout with him even if he acts like he doesn’t. 

The game finished an hour and a half later. It was rather long but much better than tee-ball. I can’t wait to see him snag a pop-up next game; he gets a DQ gift card if he does! 

  

Halloween 2014: don’t stop til you drop!

Two Halloween costumes – $65
Accessories for costumes – $24
Candy to pass out for Halloween – $20
Trick-or-Treating with my babes –
Priceless.
Ri’s school party was Thursday and Mario’s on Friday. What a blessing – I could hit them both. It was strange going to Ri’s 4th grade party. She kinda wanted me there and kinda didn’t. She asked me to come – I did not just show up like some parents (whose kids were oh, so embarrassed!)). I helped her with her outfit and took pictures with her friends but as soon as we walked out the door for the parade, she was on her own.
“Do you want me to walk with you?”
“No, mom, stay with the parents! ”
And so I chatted with the other moms and watched the 4th and 5th graders walk by laughing and smiling together. We got a few class shots when they returned and they were off to their class party.
In grade school, I would have been sitting at Ri’s desk helping her with the game or craft on tap. She would have dragged me all over the room with her. In 4th grade, all the parents stood at the back of the room and watched as the 4th graders awkwardly stood around eating and waiting for the games. I left a bit melancholy knowing this would likely be the last year Ri asked me to come to school.

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But it was also nice to see Ri so independent – not crying her eyes out when I left her classroom. I want her to feel comfortable being on her own and she’s certainly moving in that direction.
Mario’s party was what I am used to. Lots of frantic kids running all over the place, throwing things, and giggling. His parade was indoors because it rained on Friday. He paraded through the gym: his eyes grew large and his mouth opened to a smile when he spotted me. Makes me glow every time. I stayed for his entire party – watched him try and eat a donut off a hanging string without using his hands (hilarious game); draw a picture of his teacher in a Halloween costume (he chose a clown); and devour mini M&Ms.
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He certainly seems to be the class clown.
Halloween night was a blast. The most fun one I’ve had with the kids. I got home at 5 pm – Halloween started at 6. We ran around and got dressed; Bethany helped with Ri’s pirate make-up while I tried ten shirts on with Mario to wear under his costume. That boy is picky!
We were finally ready at 5:45 and I couldn’t wait any longer. Yea, that’s right. Me. Not the kids. Well, they couldn’t wait either but I was the major proponent.
I love Halloween. It has always been one of my favorite days. And it’s solely because of the CANDY! Yea, I like the cute costumes and seeing friends out but I LOVE the candy. My sweet tooth is alive and well just like it was at age 7. All week long I’d been teasing the kids they better not even think about coming home until 8 pm, when trick-or-treat ends because I won’t let them in the house without a pillowcase full of candy.
We left ten minutes early knowing our neighbors would take care of us even if it wasn’t officially start time. Ri came running down the 1st driveway mouthing “I got three candy bars!” Mario did the same and added “and I got a Reese cup for you!” They know how to please their mama. We had to make a stop at Stephanie’s house to get pictures with the kiddos. But we made Steph rush with the pictures because we had a charge before us – get candy!
We were serious.
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Mario was a trooper. He usually peters out after 45 minutes or so but we met up with Rowan and Henley around 6:45 and he cranked it out until 7:25. >

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At 7:25, Henley, Rowan and Mario wanted to go home. They were cold and tired. I turned to Ri and asked if she wanted to go, too.
“Nope, let’s keep going, mom.”
“”Are you sure?”
“Yep.”
So we trucked on after Jon came to pick up everyone else. We hit the funeral home on 1st and then crossed over to a few houses. It was about 7:50 by this time and Ri started limping.
“Are you hurt?”
“My foot has been hurting a bit but I didn’t want to tell you.”
“Why?”
“Because I wanted to make it until 8 since I know it means a lot to you.”
I didn’t know whether to feel like a heel for driving my daughter to pain -all for a KitKat – or to be overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness. I gave her a hug and told her we were done…except for the one other house up ahead!
And so she went up to one last house and then we visited her friend, Kathryn who lived three houses down. She soothed her painful leg by eating a s’more and we called Jon to pick us up.
Ten minutes later we were sitting at the kitchen table salivating over Mario’s pile of candy and Ri’s pile.
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Ri counted out 26 Twix bars – her new favorite candy bar.
“I got three of these when you and I continued on, mom.”
That made me feel a bit better…. In turn, I massaged her aching leg as she and Mario laid in Ri’s bed thinking through what candy they’d eat in the morning.>

Whirlwind

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  I signed up to coach Ri’s softball team and had to participate in “the draft” and practices for the last two weeks.  The kids had their last week of school prior to the Memorial Day weekend (yes, they get out way too early), which consisted of school parties and fretting about presents for teachers.  Oh yea, and Jon was out of town all week.  But we persevered with just a few rough spots (really rough).  The kids biked (Mario) and scootered (Maria) to school every day during the last week of school, which was a god-send since it allowed me to start my day with some fresh air.
The last week of school was nuts.  Maria had an end-of-the-year party at McKinley Park all day on Thursday.  They wore bathing suits and took down tennis rackets and water guns.  Ri was not happy about the fact that they had to walk to the park from school – she begged to take her scooter.  By the time I made it down at noon, she was playing “family” with Riley and Anna and hanging close to Mrs. Pharion in the shade (she likes hanging with adults and listening to the conversation).

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They all looked so tired – teachers and kids – and I knew softball practice would be dreadful that evening.
I got to Mario’s room at 1:45. The moms told me he had been looking for me the last ten minutes. He glanced over as they told me and ran over to give me a big hug. We worked on postcards and decorating frames. The boys ran around like nuts while the girls sat in place. Why is that?! Mrs. Page passed out “candy” awards to each kid. Mario got a peppermint patty award because “he is a burst of energy every day!” Who does that sound like?!

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Friday was clearly going to be a free-for-all day for both teachers and students after Thursday’s insanity. Ri got to watch a movie and Mario got playground time most of the day. I picked them up with Patty at 2:50 and they were charged up. School was officially out! Grandma took them to get DQ and they played with Sophie and Quinn. Mario declared “It’s summer, we don’t have to do anything!” So he wishes….
Friday was a much better ride-to-school day than Thursday. The kids goofed around together and gave me a sweet picture to remember their last day of third grade and kindergarten.

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Thursday was not quite as sweet. Mario woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was pissy the entire ride. I asked for a picture of him and Ri and he refused to look at me. After the third time asking, I said “fine, be that way, Mario.” The inflection in my voice told him I was disappointed. This creates quite a conflict in him. He wants to stay pissy but he doesn’t want to disappoint me. He stopped his bike and told me I could take a picture. When I went to take it though, he wouldn’t smile. So I said “forget it” and kept walking. He started crying and telling me he was just about to smile. He then flew past me on his bike mad as heck. We got to the school and he waited for me. I knew he wanted me to ask for another picture. He plays these games when he’s mad. Instead, we dropped Ri off at her classroom and went to his room. I said goodbye. He ran out as I left and said sorry and begged for a picture with Ri. This kid. Of course I did it (even though he still didn’t smile big) even though I probably should have told him too late to teach him a lesson that he couldn’t get his way all the time.
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And just like that, no more bike rides to school for two and a half more months. Now the bike rides are to Stauf’s for Black Russian bagels – yum.

On Saturday, Ri and I walked in the Memorial Day parade for our Reds softball team. I love this parade in Grandview. It has such a small town feel with everyone lining the streets and waving at you. We bought bags and bags of candy for the girls to throw and we still managed to run out blocks before the end. The girls chanted “We are the Reds” throughout the parade. It was a blast.
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Patty and Jon took Mario, Gio and Alana to watch the parade and scream for Ri. They got three full Kroger’s bags of candy. They were very happy campers. It was insanity when we got to the field. The kids were all hoarse from screaming the entire parade route. I was exhausted from working out at 7 am and then sheparding the girls for two hours. Parents were everywhere looking for their kids. Kids were begging for water. Craziness! But opening ceremony was awesome with the Star-Spangled Banner and old plane overhead and Ri by my side and all the kids ready to play ball. I’m a sucker for that stuff. We headed directly into our game at noon. There was confusion about who was home team so Jon jumped in to do the concession stand. Mario loved helping him. When the game ended, Jon pronounced he never wanted to see a hot dog again.
The girls were a little shell-shocked their first game. They didn’t look comfortable on the field and the pitchers were nervous. The girls didn’t bat as strong as I would have liked either. But I think it was first game nerves. The good news is that we came back from a 6-1 deficit to make it 6-5 in the end.
We were all popped afterwards. Jon’s feet hurt, my back ached, Ri was hot. So Jon and Patty and I sat on the deck and chilled (after I mowed the grass!). The kids played on the computer and ate parade candy.
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On Sunday, we found out the pool was open so we flung on our suits and headed down.

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And guess who jumped off the high dive without flinching?


Last year, he’d climb up a few steps and stand there terrified, and I would have to help him down. Amazing what a year will do. Ri continued her high dive jumps – this year doing mid-air splits. She was so proud of her little bro after he jumped off and told everyone we ran into afterwards.
On Monday, we traveled down to Cincinnati for the long-awaited pool party at Aunt Susie’s and Uncle Kenny’s house. Oh, how the kids were dying for this party. They love having a private pool to play around in with Jon and me and the cousins. We brought Rocco down with us after Susie invited him (she is the consummate dog lover). The kids and I threw on our suits and jumped in without five minutes passing from stepping into the yard. Guess who joined us? Yep, Mr. Rocco. He loved the pool, and refused to get out. I tried to pull him out to take a breather after 20 minutes and he hopped right back in when I turned my back.

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Mario and I suffered serious cuts from Rocco’s nails as he swam by us but it was a joy to see him in his element. We had to pull him out for the spectacular pool volleyball game. The Heiles against the Non-Heiles! The Heiles dominated, and Jon joined me for some post-game fun.
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And it remained all fun-n-games until one of the many dogs playing at Susie’s house decided to let loose on Rocco. Rocco was engaging in his friendly antics, sniffing butts, when one of the dogs attacked him. His ear was sliced and face gashed and blood was everywhere. It seriously was like a murder scene. Jon and I had specks everywhere on us. Mario was mesmerized with all the blood and Ri was scared too death about Rocco. My mom and Rod and Mario and I jumped in the car and headed to the emergency vet at 5 pm. We ended up there until 9 (par for the course on a Memorial Day). Luckily, they were able to glue Rocco’s ear. He also got to leave with a cone.
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Yep, it’s not a party until someone leaves in a cone. At least mom and I got some quality time together. And Mario learned how to make some killer Keurig coffee and tea.
Rocco keeps us laughing with his inability to maneuver around objects with his cone head. Ya gotta laugh at this crazy life or else you’re screw–, no I mean, you’re coned.

Memorial Weekend Round-up

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Ri and I were short-term celebrities Memorial Day weekend when we got to walk in the Grandview parade. It took mad running around to find a truck for my girls to ride in Saturday morning but I found one and the girls had a blast throwing candy to folks lining the street. I had them whooping up “Go Reds” at every turn. And, we got a surprise visit from Grandma Lolo. She came up for Ri’s first game and joined in the parade with us.

Once we got to the field, the girls lined up and ran around the bases as their names were called. Half were charged up and the other half were scared too death (Ri was in the former, of course). Then mom and daughter got photographed by paparazzi.

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Maria went three for three in our first game. I was so excited for her! Jon and I were worried that she’d strike out and get all melancholy about softball (like she did in practice) but she cranked it (and then started to get cocky saying “the other team doesn’t hit that well…”). It was a blast watching the girls hit and go around the bases so elated to have actually hit the ball.

Mario rooted on his sis and when I asked what his favorite part of the day was he said “seeing Ria in the parade.” Darling.

Mom blessed us with gorgeous ceramic mushrooms for our yard when we got home from the game. I love walking out to them every morning. It was so nice having her experience the chaos of the game with us!

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Mom left in the afternoon and Jon’s kin drove up. We had his parents and brothers and niece over for a cookout. Ri is all about family – always has been. When I told the neighbor kids they could stop over in the evening, she scolded me “Mom, we have family over in the evening – we can’t have friends over, too!” She likes her family time. Patty made her potato salad and her chocolate truffle for the cookout. Double trouble. I will be wearing sweatpants for the next month.

By the time the family left at 9:45, I was dead to the world. My body was exhausted in so many ways and I could barely make it upstairs to bed. So what did we do on Sunday? Headed to the zoo with the neighbors! Why not just make it a completely insane weekend?!
However, I got to talk with Stephanie, another adult, while the kids played and that was a welcome activity.

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I think we saw a total of eight animals during the time we were there because we had to stop at each statute and play on it. But it wore them out so we dealt with it just fine. It is so wonderful to have kids three houses down the street that get along so great with Ri and Mario. They will be spending a large chunk of the Summer together, Zi am sure.

By Monday evening, Jon and I were spent. Ri had another game on Monday afternoon and Jon got just as involved as I did as coach. We left the game, had two of Ri’s friends over and hosted the neighbor kids for Mario. I told Ri and Mario that dad and I better be sainted for all we do for them.

They both rolled their eyes … but then jumped on us with big hugs. They know.

Twice-baked goodness

We ended the four-day holiday with twice-baked potatoes; Jon’s and his brother, Chris’s favorite and one of Patty’s signature dishes. I am not a velveeta cheese fan and was hesitant to try one but I had put so much effort into helping Patty make them that I felt compelled. It was not a mistake. Pure yumminess.

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I need to buy some stock in Nike elastic sweatpants because that’s all I will be wearing for the next two months between all of the holiday goodies.

Maria and Mario called me from the road on their way back from the farm to see when Grandma and Grandpa Ionno would be over. They had a good time at the farm with Sarah and Jorge and Mama Meg and Peepaw. Maria got in a hike with Sarah and the pups and Mario got to go hunting with Peepaw.

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They also got treated to a holiday parade in Marietta. Peepaw piled ’em up in the car on Saturday and drove to Marietta to see what was happening; he had no idea that a parade was in order! Mario scored some plastic army men and a tank and Maria nabbed a ladybug pillow. Maria got to bathe Taz and love on him, too. Mandatory horse fixes when she’s out on that farm.

I got some monstrous hugs upon their return, which I soaked up like bubbles in a bubble bath. The farm (or maybe Aunt Sarah or Mama Meg) had quite the effect on Maria. She went upstairs without any prodding and took a shower, got dressed, and brought down both hers and Mario’s dirty clothes bins. She dragged them right over to the washer and threw them inside. She went back upstairs and got a hamper for the clean clothes in the dryer. All without any peep from me or Jon. Alleluia! She did ask for help with the detergent though and I walked over to get it down for her. She pointed at the Downy and said “I need that, too.” I told her she didn’t need to use that with detergent and she promptly channeled her dad directing me to get it. “We need both – Downy makes the clothes smell better.” I could practically hear Jon in her voice.

Grandma and Grandpa Ionno arrived at 2 pm and Mario promptly laid his body across Grandma and played his iPad game. When she tried to move, he cried “No, grandma!” Finally, she got to move but only to help Ri with her homework. Ri got lucky because Grandma is the master of word puzzles. They cranked the puzzle out with the help of Alana and me at the end. As soon as that was over, Ri and Alana dashed upstairs to Ri’s room never to be seen again until dinner. Mario and Gio watched tv in our room and then went outside to play frisbee and bounce on the trampoline. They referred to each other as “dude” continuously. I picture them on a cross country road trip in ten years with feet hanging out the window and music blaring.

We all watched the Browns game (Patrick was lucky the Bengals weren’t playing) and caught up on the latest. Chris and Connie arrived with pictures from their wedding. Dinner was fabulous with the twice baked potatoes quite the hit. Ri ate two and begged for a third. We talked about Jon and Patrick as kids – Patrick slapping his cheeks outside in order to stay awake on New Years Eve and win 50 cents. Jon had no trouble staying awake. It was a superb time especially with the kids eating in the other room.

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After dinner, the kids helped Alana and Grandma open birthday presents. Grandma scored an iPad for her birthday – I can’t wait to see her on Facebook! I am also going to urge her to write her and Joe’s story on it because it would be an amazing memoir.

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We had to end the holiday on a pumpkin pie note so we sat down at 7 pm for one (or two) last pieces of pie with lots of whipped cream. Maria showed us her “trick” which entails putting the tip of the can of whipped cream in her mouth and pressing down to fill her entire throat and mouth with whipped cream. About as impressive as her dad swallowing a whole deviled egg.

We sang happy birthday to Patty and Alana and wrapped up the night. I kept wanting to extend the days longer so that the reality of work and school could be quashed. But I woke up this morning (after falling asleep with the kids at 8:30) happy as a clam – my body filled with tenderness and appreciation for a most incredible family and a most fantastic holiday weekend.

Homecoming

Maria complained last night when I picked her up from school. She did not want to leave. The reason: she did not want to march in the homecoming parade.
“Mom, I don’t want to walk all that way!” (The parade is about a half mile long).
She then took it a step further.
“I hate cheer leading. Just hate it. I just do it for you and dad.”
Lovely.
Little did she know that I was not backing down on this one; she had to finish out the season and then we’d stop next year if she wanted. But i was a taken aback because she seemed to be enjoying it the last few weeks.
Jon asked what was the matter when she stormed in the house and stomped up the stairs. I told him. He walked up and got her laughing (he can get her laughing anytime). A few minutes later, he asked her if she really hated cheer leading. She said “no.”
I looked at her quizzically and asked why she kept telling me she hated it but told dad she liked it.
“Dad understands me, mom. That’s all.”
Oh, ok.
We laughed together on our walk to the middle school – she was in much better spirits explaining that sometimes it’s hard being a cheer leader because her team loses a lot and she wants to win. A little competitive spirit coming out in her….
We got to the school and she played with her friends while the band got in order. She wanted nothing to do with me as can be seen by this picture…

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Classic “Maria to mom” look.
But then one of her friends udged her and told her to smile and I got this picture of the Maria I know and love…

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Much better.
Meanwhile, Mario stood across from the high school cheerleaders and showed off his moves. They giggled and stared at him saying “he’s so cute!” He acted like he didn’t hear them but as soon as they stopped he danced harder and revved up his show so that they’d pay attention to him again.

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It worked.
Luckily, Maria did not witness this behavior. She would have been totally embarrassed and certainly would have tried to put a stop to it.
In the end, it all worked out. Maria walked in the parade and had fun. Mario got attention from the high school cheer leaders and ate it up.
A win for everyone.

The life of a pinball

Mario and I met up with Maria and her friend and friend’s mom at 9:30 am at Stauf’s.  The rest of the day is a blur.  Thank god for iced coffees.

We walked down to the parade on First Avenue – the same place we go every year – nearly parallel to our old house but two streets over.  We sat with Amy and Gracie and Joe and made a sign saying “Go Mets” in honor of Zach.  Zach is on the Mets baseball team this year; Amy was so excited to see him in the baseball truck with the other soon-to-be second graders.  All I could do was think of Mario in that truck three years from now, and the only visions of him were ones of him pelting people with tootsie rolls.  There is always one or two little squirts that engage in such activity each year; last year, Mario got pelted in the eye by someone.  So hopefully that horrific experience forever scarred him and he won’t engage in such behavior.

The parade was fun this year because we knew so many kids in it (and they limited the politicians)!  After an hour parade, we gathered our two hefty bags of candy and walked a mile back home.  Maria walked the entire way with me holding Mario.  She is a machine (she did it in sandals; even I would have complained).  We made a pit stop at the library to take a computer break.  Maria played Go Girls Games and Mario played Ben Ten.  I got a little reading time in, which was just the break I needed.  Middle-school kids were signing up younger kids for the reading program.  Maria asked to sign up.  I was excited about her initiative.  She asked to do it last year, too, but she could not read on her own and she wasn’t that into it.  I am hoping that her ability to read better will lead to her reading more this Summer.  She picked out a Junie B. Jones book and a couple more random ones.  Let’s cross our fingers….

We plodded our way home from the library in the 88 degree heat.  We immediately threw on our bathing suits, grabbed our goggles and towels, and jumped in the car.  We had to drop the stroller off at the bike store because Mario and I bust a tire on our stroller ride earlier that morning (there was a loud firecracker-like bang and Mario yelled “Cool!”).  Once at the bike store, Mario spotted a sweet red and black bike with training wheels.  He jumped on it and flew around the store.  I looked at the tag and it was expensive.  How can a kid’s bike be over $100?  Really?  But I have had such bad luck with used bikes for him – none of them are steady or ride well – and it has caused him to get scared about riding.  I do not want that with as much as Maria likes riding.  So, I decided to bite the bullet and get it reasoning that he will have it for the next few years. 

We left the store for the pool, which was absolutely packed since it was opening day.  Mario and Ri went off the low dive and high dive, respectively.  Mario tried the high dive but second guessed it after getting on top (I don’t blame him).  He will jump off by the end of the Summer, I am sure.  We only lasted at the pool for about 45 minutes; I was exhausted and luckily, the kids probably were, too.   

Once home, we made bowls of cereal and rested in front of a Ben Ten on tv.  Within ten minutes, Maria was snoozing on the couch.  I tried to move her but she was solid dead weight – there was nothing waking her up.  Mario, meanwhile, was wide awake and insane, jumping all around the room and acting like random aliens.  I let him play on my computer while I went out and mowed the grass and watered the flowers.  Then I came in and cleaned out the Study a bit in order to move our new desk in it.  I was in cleaning mode.  You’d think that it may have been wise to put my feet up and nap a bit with Ri, but that would have been too easy.  Gotta keep the momentum going – once I sit down, I am useless for the rest of the day.

Maria finally woke up – two hours later –  and she was a piece of work.  Pissed off at the world.  She stomped across the kitchen moping and pouting and crying.  I left her alone and she finally buried her head in my chest and rested for a few minutes.  Then she finally morphed into the Maria we know and love ready to ride her bike and play.  We got Mario off the computer (not an easy task) and headed off on his new bike.  He rocked it out on his bike almost keeping up with Maria.  We had hoped that the Art Hop would offer a bouncey house or kids’ music but it only offered a couple of vendors selling necklaces.  We dealt with our disappointment by going to the church park.  I played tag with Mario and Maria climbed up the top of the slides (her favorite thing to do at the park).  Amy and Joe met us up at the park with the kids and they all played for a bit.  We all looked like zombies.  It was comical.  The day felt like three days.  We finished the night off with Orange Leaf and a bike ride back home. 

When we pulled in the driveway, there was a spectacular slice of moon looking down at us.  We all stopped and gave reverence.  Then, Maria shouted “Mario’s old bike is still at the library!”  So, what else to do but jump in the truck and head to the library to pick up his bike.  We finally got into the house at 10 pm.  Maria wanted to read Junie B. Jones, and Mario was listening to music on my phone so I didn’t fight it.  I just let them be and relaxed over a bag of Cheez-Its, and Maria later joined me. 

What a whirlwind of a holiday Saturday.  I swear to myself as I sit here tonight that tomorrow will be low-key day but I know myself better than that.  We will be off and running – but not until 7:30 am.