On October 1st, 2003, Kim made this entry in her journal:
"Just shy of 3 months old, Antonio rolled over today! He pulled his leg as high as he could, crossed it over his body and he began to turn! He was so proud, he smiled! What a proud moment. I'm so glad he started my day that way :)."
And her little ones continued to make her so proud, with whatever they did...I remember, she would call me at work, so excited that one of the bambini had smiled, or crawled, or walked a few steps. Later, it would be tied their shoe, pedaled their bike,etc. We were blessed to be able to have Kim be a stay at home mom for twelve, wonderful years. She got to be there and experience every moment of her children's accomplishments and cherished each one. I know that I'd often tell her, that she had a much harder job than any that I've ever had. There were no breaks. No lunches. No vacations. And no paycheck. But, I'd always let her know, that you could not put a monetary value on the work she did. Kimmy truly nurtured and shaped Cody, Autumn and Antonio into the remarkable children that they are today. She would not have traded that for the world. There would be moms that told her 'I don't know how you do it, I need my 'career''. Or, 'you need to get a babysitter for yourself or put them in pre-school'. Kim would just smile and nod, knowing that she got such satisfaction over what she was able to do and would not have passed that responsibility on to anyone, let alone a stranger at a daycare. She'd also point out, that, any earnings she made would go right to paying for that childcare anyway...
And they have been so resilient...we got to go to Mass as a family today, at Our Mother of Sorrows. Monsignor Tom held a special Mass for the religious education classes in the church's hall, so he could explain the different parts and their importance. Afterwards, we took Lexy with us to Viro's (to quote the immortal Brian Duffy 'what a surprise!') and all of the kids ate incredible amounts of food - where do they put it? Rosa and Vito had a huge breakfast crowd today, but, as always, took time to visit with us all.
Then, it was back to Fantasy Island! We took Cody's buddy Ryan, our neighbor, Alex and Mario and David, while Andrea stayed back to watch Lexy, Breanna, Autumn and Tonio at our house. Cody set a scorching pace for everyone...it was a fantastic afternoon in the mid-70's as we took our ride. Mario, David and I did the 7 mile course and Cody, Ryan and Alex did the 10 mile ride...I opted not to go through the Elbow Jammer this week...It was a great ride! Meanwhile, Andrea worked on Valentine prep with the bambini, read the St. Valentine's story by Robert Sabuda to them and cleaned!!!
Cody ended up going to Alex's to play video games and Amy made them spaghetti!
For dinner, I made chicken with rice, a recipe that Andrea had given to Kim many years ago and I know the kids will always eat. Can't remember if I've shared it or not, but just in case, here it is:
Then, make some white rice.
While that is cooking, put some olive oil in a pan, heat it up.
Once heated, add a clove of garlic, minced and a 1/2 cup of chopped onion.
Allow this to begin to brown, and scramble two eggs in.
Once the eggs have cooked, add 1/2 bag of frozen peas/carrot mix.
Allow that to heat up and stir in some green onion, to taste and then the chicken.
Mix that all up good and when everything is warm, stir in rice and add soy sauce to taste.
I like to add a healthy amount of pepper, too!
And Bella, she had a fun weekend, too! Andrea's son, David, cleaned out his room and generously gave Tonio some of his Nerf guns...a few of which have lasers. Well, the kids quickly figured out that Bella will chase the lasers for hours...they had her turning on and off lights, by pointing the laser at the light switch and jumping high off the ground as she would try to chase the light up the wall!
We ended our day with yet another movie night (our friends, Kirk, Annette and Alyssa, brought us over a huge basket of movie snacks - thanks guys!), watching 'The Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole'. Autumn is a huge owl fan and this was an early Valentine's Day present...yep, I remembered that Kimmy always got the kids a card and a little something special...I will write their cards out once Cody gets to bed! Although, Autumn pointed out to me, as she sleepily marched off to bed tonight, that I had forgotten to get out the Valentine's decorations this year...
"Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all"