Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitols (shout out to my niece, Natalie, a huge Caps fan!), Steve Young, 49er's, Yogi Berra, New York Yankees (tipping my cap to Mario, a Yanks fan), Dale Earnhart, Jr (and one for Brad), Gennaro Gatutso (Italian soccer player tragically head butted by Zidane silly frenchman), and my all time favorite baseball player...Cal Ripken Jr! Should be a good year for Tonio!!
It has been a blessed 8 years...I thank God everyday for little Antonio. And how sweet he is, and caring and big hearted. Even this morning, as I was in a full sweat, baking my 2nd cake (and first ever carrot cake) - he stopped playing with his toys to come in and ask me if I could use any help. He's always looking to help others. Just like his Mama...By around 11:00 a.m., I had things under control (cake done, couscous made, veggie tray and salad ready to go)...so we went up to Brueggers for breakfast. Tonio enjoys the sausage and egg bagel there.
While we were skating, I was reviewing what I had prepped at our house for dinner and activities...and realized, I'd forgotten Tonio's pinata!! He's had one every year. Usually, I'd go over to the south side on 12th or 6th avenue, where they have the largest pinatas and the best design selection, not to mention prices! I couldn't believe I'd forgotten this piece of Tonio's birthday tradition...
So, we went back to our house and Papa John's delivered pizzas, that I was able to pre-order online at 8 this morning - how convenient is that?? And I broke out the salad, veggies, sliced water melon, couscous, chips, pretzels, etc...and in walked Andrea, carrying a pinata full of candy!!
Breanna and Tonio give direction to Tanner, who burst the pinata!
Tonio did have a special day. So many people joined in to help me make it a great one for him. It was one of those last 'big holidays' that I was facing - and, as it seems happens with 'big ones', I am able to immerse myself in the preparation and details of the event and those who attend help me out and it goes smooth...I've found it's actually the smaller holidays/events that turn out to sneak up on you and kick the legs out from under you (like my birthday and Father's Day - by far the hardest days of the year for me so far) - the big holidays, you see them coming from so far away, that you have plenty of time to prepare and surround yourself with postive people. That was my goal for Tonio today - and it worked out. You know, I worked hard on the detail for Tonio today, but, mostly did it for Kim - having watched her, over so many years, put special, personal touches on every birthday 'because it's your special day!' she'd say, from the heart.
Cody made out good today, too, having Andrea's oldest, David and Janene's son, Brendon sleep over....the boys built a fort and are watching classic movies - first Scream 2 and now Crank 2...good times.
I'm surprised he's actually tired and wanting to go to bed right now, asking me to stop writing to go out back to say goodnight to Mama. He told me she sent him two happy birthday signs today - he found dove feathers in our back yard this morning and we had a light rain this afternoon, and he likes this time of year when the monsoon brings us some beautiful rain. The weather left an incredible array of swirling clouds above our heads, illuminated by the moon...I strained to make sense of them, looking for meaning, but could not...the rain smells so beautiful, though and the bambini commented on it.
Happy 8th Birthday Antonio! We love you!!
PS Oh, yeh, I'm Andy Pettitte - #46.