Archive for October, 2012


Saturday, October 27th, 2012


Maria lost a friend this week. Last week actually, but we just found out about it this week. He was a sweet, special 13-year old boy who was fascinated by Maria. They played soccer together on Sundays. Many days he just stood or sat and stared at her–but in a sweet way, not a creepy way. I don’t know if he was verbal, but somehow they had a connection. He had a seizure and died. Not sure of more details than that. We went to his funeral yesterday and oh, my, that was rough, on so many levels… Thank goodness Jill, one of the soccer coaches was there. She helped me through it. Manolis and I think Maria knew what was going on. She seemed sad. I am very sad that we didn’t get to know him better. I was just beginning to try and make a connection with him. I thought we had plenty of time.

Grandpa is 80!

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Maria and her cousin Amelia

Last weekend, Maria’s grandpa turned 80 and we had a little party for him. His oldest brother, Uncle George, was there with his girlfriend or significant other or whatever the kids are calling it these days. His other 2 living brothers weren’t able to make it. Cousins Theresa and Craig (Uncle Craig’s) and Mary Ann and Mike (Uncle George’s) were there. Mary Ann’s daughter, Michelle was there with her brand new baby, John Paul. Maria’s parents and Uncle Andy and Auntie Rose were there with her Uncle Paul and cousin Amelia. Ida’s son and daughter-in-law (David and Karen) were there to represent Dad’s step children. And various spouses or signficant others were there, too, to round things out.

We ate at Dad’s favorite place, Papa Felipe’s. Nice food, huge chocolate cake, scattered margaritas, and lots of visiting (although not enough time over the weekend to fully visit with everyone). Most of us stayed at the Homewood Suites, which was very nice. All-in-all, a good break from everyday nonsense. As usual, Maria enjoyed sleeping with her mom and dad, so she was up most of the 3 nights playing and frolicking about. Super fun.

Grandpa Dick with Grandma Ida looking on

Go Cardinals!!

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

We found Maria’s new favorite thing to do. A couple weeks ago (yes, I’m a slow blogger…), Manolis and I took Maria to the Cardinals-Dolphins game (pro football). It’s a beautiful, bright, new stadium. We had lovely seats–mid field, nice views, accessible seating, so it’s kind of like our own suite–a fenced off area with 8 seats in it. The guy sitting next to us was super nice, Maria sure liked him. She quite enjoyed the bars of the fence in front of us, it’s like the bars on her bed. She stood a lot, hung over the bars, watched the game, and ate popcorn that the guy next to us bought for her. Amazingly, she didn’t choke even once on the popcorn!

That’s all fantastic in itself, but what amazed me the most, is at the end of the game, it got really exciting and the crowd went wild, and Maria got so excited! The louder the crowd got, the bigger her smile. I’ve never seen such a thing! Then the game went into overtime and it was just crazy until the Cardinals won (woo hoo!). This game was more than 3 hours, we got there about 90 minutes early, and she was still just totally into it. It was just the coolest thing. I wish we could afford to go to more games, but holy moly the NFL = big bucks!!

If only I could figure out how Maria could meet some of the Cardinals–she would love them (and they would love her!) She seems to love big black dudes, maybe she thinks they’re a big chocolate bar. Anyway, I had no idea she’d like this so much.

There’s a pro hockey team here too, also only 20-30 minutes from our house, so maybe we’ll go to a hockey game. I’ve heard they’re fun…so long as you don’t get hit by a puck.

And so, now the Cardinals have taken over the Wiggles (and Cirque de Soleil) as Maria’s favorite live event to attend!!