We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Hummingbird

Wednesday July 11th....

              ...my boy turned 9.


              ...I know that I cannot slow down the rushing stream of time.

              BUT, I've also learned to not to watch it go by, helplessly lamenting its passage.  I've come to embrace it and carefully observe every moment, cherishing them while being there.
              Uh, guess who I learned that from?

We made sure that we decorated with streamers, banners and dangly thingies, like Kim loved to do...
Antonio, so appreciative, squealed with delight after opening each gift.  He also opens gifts much slower than his brother and sister. Savoring each.  Really looking at it, studying it..."Who gave me this?" he would ask.  He likes to remember who gave him what - it makes each gift even more special, in his mind.  It amazes me, sometimes, how he'll pull out a toy from years ago and say "Aunt Lauren sent me this."...Or "Remember the time Angie went to Alaska and brought me this shirt?  That was so nice of her."  So each toy, each shirt, each game - everytime he plays with it or wears it, bears a memory for Tonio.
As a parent, I love it - as no gift goes unappreciated, or gets stuffed in the closet, under the bed.  Yes, he still enjoys playing with the empty boxes, too!  I also love to hear his memories of who he got what from and how much it means to him.

Again, you might have guessed who he got this...habit?...from.  Kim had so many items, cached away, and could recite where it had come from, who gave it to her and why it was special. 

Autumn provided a 'Where the Wild Things' crown for Tonio, to commemorate the day (a left over relic from some long ago story time at Barnes & Noble).  And Bella was on hand to assist with the unwrapping process, a bit more impatient to 'get to the good stuff', like the rest of us!

We went to the Civano Nursery after he opened presents.  They have a rabbit, goats and chickens.  I picked up some 'hearts and flowers' while Autumn and Antonio roamed the beautiful grounds.  I asked Tonio where he would like to eat breakfast...he ended up deciding on Ihop!  Then, he asked if we could drive out to the San Xavier Mission.  To light a candle, on his birthday, for his Mama.  He thoughtfully chose a St. Jude candle to light that day for Kim.  I asked if he wanted to light it in the church, or in Mary's Chapel.  "Mary's Chapel.  It's so beautiful and I want to light it by Mama's picture."  In the chapel, we met Floyd, an 85 year old custodian, who let me know that his wife's colon cancer had recently reared it's ugly head.  We promised to pray for her and did so on the spot.  Floyd let us rearrange the altar, to place a new photo of Kim on the altar.  Floyd had us retell our story and told us that he is finally going 'part time'...when he turns 86.

Tonio wanted to go swimming with the family and we headed to Clemens Center.  He loves the big, twirly slide that they have there.  Cody took some time to work on Tonio's free style stroke.

Tonio loved the Nike t-shirt that our neighbors, Amy, Tom and Alex got for him!  "Ball Hog"!

                                 On to Peter Piper Pizza!  We surprised Antonio.  When our friends would ask Tonio what he was doing to celebrate his birthday, he would tell them what he had already done that day.  When we pulled up, his face lit up so brightly....
                                  In the above shot, Tonio is building his own person pizza.  Lots of pineapple!!

Lexy and Autumn won the 500 ticket jackpot!!!

Tonio and his best friend, Monsi, ride the roller coaster! (incidentally, this location used to be a Linens 'N Things, where I used to be the store manager.  The roller coaster is situated exactly where the sheet department used to be!!  Loved working at this location, next to Janene's hair salon, Unique Identity - she'd hook me up with coffee and biscotti for breakfast and I could zip in for a quick haircut!)

Great to see Brendon, David and Cody enjoying the roller coaster too!!

Pizza for everyone!  Monsi and Tonio enjoy a slice!

The Cake

In this new life of mine, I still have difficulty planning ahead...and Tonio's cake was no exception.  We had been to Viro's Thursday, prior to Tonio's birthday, for wedding soup and I forgot to ask Rosa for a cake.  Friday, we took Tonio's 3rd grade teacher, Jenny, there for her birthday (she went to school with Vito and Rosa's son, Joe)...and I forgot to ask...
So, Saturday, I texted Vito.  "Tonio's bday Wednesday!  Can Rosa make him same cake she made for Aut's bday?"  "No problem"  Vito said...
I told V I'd pick up the cake Wednesday on our way to Peter Piper.  It was all ready for us.  For some reason, I wanted to see how beautiful a cake Rosa had made....It was decorated with pink roses and said "Happy Birthday Autumn"...
...I told Vito.  He told me to go in the back and tell Rosa...I did not want to do that!  These people take such good care of us, feeding us...taking care of the bambini when we need them to...
I should have known it would not have been a problem for an artist like Rosa!! She took a scalpel looking device and...whisk, whisk, whisk, lopped off all of the pink and turned it into Antonio's cake!

Manny told me "you know, I only came for Rosa's cake!".  White cake.  Real strawberry filling..and whipped cream icing!  So good!

                                       Tonio executed the birthday wish portion of his day flawlessly!!  And, I remembered to bring the candles!!

                                  BUT - WHO WOULD CUT TONIO'S CAKE?!??

                                   As you may have read, a million blogs ago, I cannot cut cakes...scarred from my childhood, it's become a phobia of mine....

                                      No worries, Janene made it over after a long day of cutting hair to once again cut one of our cakes!!  My sister, Cheri, would be so proud of the perfectly concentric slices she produced!

                                    David holds his cousin Maleah, who is already 9th months old!! 

                                       Proud Papa, Roshan, dances with Maleah

More presents!

An Angry Birds messenger bag filled with Angry Bird (his fav) school supplies!  (Thanks Andrea, Mario and kids!)!

"Best birthday ever"  Tonio told me before he drifted off to sleep that night...

And, what a blessing these 9 years with Tonio have been!!

Couple other images of the bambini summer:

4th of July Fireworks!

Swimming at Jenny's - her little one, Nathan, getting big!

Hangin' on 4th Ave at the Chocolate Iguana

Dodgers V Dbacks!

Lexy and Breanna's 'Academia De Baile' performance!

Their kindergarten teacher, Mary Montes, took them to Breakers Water Park!

                  Ahhhhh....and the circus!!  23 of us went together, spread out over 3 rows (Mariah and Angie right behind Tonio and I)...Good show!

                  Today, the morning came earlier than usual...our summer routine of 'sleeping in' until 8:00 shattered by the alarm going off at 6:15 a.m.  Although, shattered may be the wrong word, as, we use my phone, loaded with tunes, as our wake up call.  So, we ease into our day with Flypside's "Someday", as opposed to the Big Ben alarm that I had as a student, that literally clanged you into your day -I'd fly out of bed so fast to stop that ringing cacophony from hell!

                  The bambini got ready flawlessly this morning...we got out of the house 5 minutes early, which Autumn proudly pointed out.

                  First day of school was always such an important day for Kimmy.  She'd get up and make the bambini a big breakfast...we don't eat so much breakfast these days, Autumn preferring fruit, so I cut up a peach for her and Tonio liking his breakfast sausage (precooked) and a waffle (Fry's Homestyle).
                 She'd have them get ready and take some photos in the house and just outside of the house.  More photos at school and one with their teacher.  And then, just for good measure, one when they came home...
                 I almost forgot to take any pictures.  Lil Kim saved me.  Autumn spoke up as we hit campus - "Dad.  We didn't take any pictures!".  Whew.  Good save, that was close!!

And here they are!!  Autumn, heading to 7th grade at Desert Sky Middle School and Tonio, to 4th grade at Cottonwood with Ms. Irwin as his wonderful teacher!!! Note Tonio sporting the Angry Bird bag Andrea and Fam got him and new polo from Janene and Fam - he couldn't wait!

"Dad?  Do we have time to look at Mama's garden?"  Tonio asked me after the photo.  We were early for once!  So I told him OK.  We had spent some time trimming Kim's "Smile Grown Here" garden just after school ended and we were pleasantly surprised to find it still looking great!!

As we enjoyed the society garlic, rosemary, salvia, etc...a hummingbird gently floated down to have a morning snack...right in front of us, on a red salvia flower!!

"DAD!  Do you think that's Mama telling me to have a great first day of school????"  Tonio, his little face upturned to mine, making eye contact, searching, hoping....

"No Antonio.  I don't 'think'....I KNOW!"