We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


               Eight.  I always like to equate how old you are, to famous athletes who wear that number.  Kim always got a kick out of that.  Not too many I can think of that wear # 46, but #8...that's a fine number!  And we are blessed to have Tonio turn 8 today!!
             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!!
                                                       Yes!  A Juventus soccer ball!!

              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.

          We took all of Tonio's friends to Skate Country!  He's getting pretty good and had a fantastic time!
                                                 Mitchell negotiates the corner like a champ!
              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!!
              Talk about saving the day!  I never had to let Antonio know that there was no pinata this year!! Whew.  Bullet dodged.  She swung by Party City on her way our to our house and found this awesome Buzz Lightyear pinata with retractable wings!

                         Tonio gets in some good swings as Bella shouts advice and encouragement!  Brian perches on the ladder to hold one side of the rope.
Breanna and Tonio give direction to Tanner, who burst the pinata!

                                                The resulting mayhem was wonderful to watch!  I cannot imagine Tonio's bday without a pinata...he had so much fun, as did all of the kids who got a swing at it!
                     Everyone was so thoughtful and generous to Tonio.  He got at least 10 Lego sets!!  And no duplicates!  Amy and Tom went to the Lego store and picked out a set you cannot find at Target or Toys R Us.  He set to work building as soon as he was done with his cake.  He loved the Sponge Bob Lego sets that Andrea gave him - the pineapple house and the Krusty Krab!  I didn't even know they made Sponge Bob Legos!  His favorite was the cobra given to him by his buddy, Monsi and Lupe and Manny. 

                                           Here's Tonio, making a wish!  Everyone was kind and said the cake tasted good (but it sure was ugly!!).  I told them it was a boxed mix.  For years, I'd tell Kim to use a boxed mix, that nobody would know..."I'd know."  she'd tell me.  End of discussion. 

                Janene had the honors of cutting the cake!  Here she is with Kim containing the kids after we pumped them full of sugar!

               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.


  1. Happy Birthday Antonio! And good job on doing what you do, cuz you know Kim would've! :)Looks like a great day!