Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fathers' Day

Well, it is quite a bit belated, but a Happy Fathers' Day to all you fathers out there. Last year, the day didn't really resonate with me, because I was only about three weeks into fatherhood. This year, really, really meant something. I have gone through over a year of feeding, changing diapers, taking pictures, going to the doctor, sleeping in the boys' room, not sleeping while in the boys' room, and on and on.
Alie had to take a visit to Willits this past weekend, so I had the boys. We watered trees, took a trip to the grocery store (yikes), and played a lot. I got a really cool Father's Day present from Joseph. We were playing on Sunday evening, and I picked him up by the hands, and told him, "Walk!". The past couple weeks, the boys would start walking while having their hands held when we said, "Walk,". I left go of Joseph's hands. He fell on his butt. We tried again, and Joseph stood for a moment, then took THREE BIG STEPS, and flopped into my lap!!! Leo took a single step last Thursday, but three whole steps!!! I was so happy; Joesph was pretty thrilled too, of course, my cheering kind of scared Leo for a second. So, I had a pretty good Fathers' Day.
Below is a picture of my irrigation crew after a good long bit of telling me where to put the hose. Directing Daddy is hard work.
On another note, I simply pass up the past weekend without mentioning the passing of Tim Russert. Mr. Russert passed away last Friday of a sudden heart attack at age 58 (three years older than my folks). For my part, I usually watched his political coverage from NBC's Washington DC bureau, and Meet the Press as often as I could. I appreciated his ability to simplify complex issues without condescending. His style of questioning was tough, thorough, and quite fair. I watched the tribute show on Friday night. I did not know that he had written a book in tribute to his father, and men like him: post-WWII lower middle class, Irish-Catholic, hard-working men who gave their all, and I mean their all, for their kids. I didn't realize that Russert was a very strong Catholic, educated by the Jesuits, and was a very generous man. One of the best stories I heard was from Wolf Blitzer. After Pope Benedict's visit and address to Catholic University of America students in April, both Blitzer and Russert were part of a private audience with the Pope. The tough journalist Russert was not there, but instead was an excited schoolboy. He said, "Can you believe it Wolf? Two guys from Buffalo are going to meet the pope!". After listening to different journalists and politicians talk about Russert, these were not two distinct personalities, but rather the whole Russert package. This is why so many of his colleagues and admirers mourn his loss. Go with God, Mr. Russert.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The party!

The boys had their first ever birthday party Saturday before last. We had it at Bolado Park, the local fairgrounds. About 20 of the the boys' friends and family showed up. I even barbequed (tri-tip, hot dogs, and VeggieBurgers), Of course, there was a camera.
Look at the cakes that Mommy made. Daddy did not have anything to do with making these.

Leo (in green shirt): "Dad made tri-tip, and he gives us melon salad? What's going on around here?"
Joseph: "Relax, I've seen the cakes, and I think the two little ones have our names on them! Why hasn't Daddy got the Baby speed reading dvd yet?"
Preparing for the carnage.
Money shot. Leo pulled the unlit candle out of the frosting, and shoved the frosted end in his mouth. Joseph just went for it. Perfect.
Daddy, Leo, Sofia, Natalie (Sophia's mom/Joseph's godmother), Joseph, and Nana. The hat didn't agree with Leo...
Joseph: "Nana said its my party and I can open whichever present I want, right Nana?"
Come back next year!