Happy First Birthday Enzo!

I can’t believe today is our baby boy’s first birthday! Time must be moving faster as I get older, because it really doesn’t feel like it’s been a year since he was born. Enzo has taken everyone by surprise (including his doctor) at just how fast he continues to develop. Standing at 6 months, walking at 9 months, now he’s even talking! As I’ve said many times before, I think we should give most of the credit to his sisters, whom are his constant motivation. He’ll probably spend his entire childhood trying to keep up with them, but that’s a good thing. He’s already turned into such an amazing little boy, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a bit of a change in his relationship with his sisters. When he was first born Elise always wanted to be around him. She was also very protective of him. At the same time, Ava didn’t have much use for him. It wasn’t that she didn’t like him, she was just indifferent towards him. These days things are much different. Elise seems to have figured out that it is because of him that she is no longer the baby of the family, and there appears to be a little resentment there. Consequently she’s a bit hard on him. For example, if Elise is sitting on my lap and Enzo comes over to me, she will push him away from us, which always upsets him. She does the same thing with Ava for that matter. I’m okay with it though because she’s toughening him up in ways that I never experienced as a child. He will definitely be a lot tougher than I was as a kid, which is a good thing. Ava, on the other hand, absolutely loves her little brother. She usually refers to him as “my baby” and she loves playing with him. He loves it as well. When he starts getting fussy Ava will run and find his binky or a bottle to help soothe him. I’m not worried about Elise though, she’s just going through the terrible two’s in her own way. These kids are going to be close whether they like it or not; it’s simply a byproduct of growing up together so close in age.

Although today is Enzo’s actual birthday, we won’t have his party until Saturday the 30th, which coincidentally was my Nana’s birthday, as well as my half-birthday. Speaking of half-birthdays, today is my sister Lora’s half birthday, meaning Enzo and Lora are exactly 6 months apart, just as Nana and I are. Anyway we’re meeting family and a few friends at a bowling alley in Kirkland for his birthday party, then we’ll probably go out for dinner after. Grandma Amy flew in on Tuesday evening to visit us, and my Mom will be coming up from Vegas tomorrow afternoon for the weekend. It’s going to be a full house but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.

Jessica was supposed to work tonight but ended up getting called off, so we thought it might be fun to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. The girls love going there and Mommy and Grandma always enjoy a nice house margarita. We told the server about Enzo’s birthday, so at the end of dinner he brought out the sombrero with desert and everyone sang to him. At first he was into it but eventually it kinda freaked him out and he started screaming. We realized on our way home that we also had Mexican food the night he was born. I remember getting take-out from the restaurant across the street from the birth center. I guess at this point we have the makings of an Enzo birthday tradition. Didn’t take long. Enzo (the little eater) was quick to eat more than his fair share of the sopapilla they brought out.

In other family news, Ava recently started going to a new pre-school and seems to be doing well. She quickly made a couple friends, but I guess she had a tough time with the teacher one day. She didn’t want to listen when she was told to stop playing with some toy, so the teacher spoke to Jessica about it. Apparently Ava is the youngest kid in the class, but we think that’s good for her. Obviously she’s the oldest one at home, and she has already proven to be advanced for her age, so it’s good for her to be around older kids. We made sure she apologized to her teacher, and that seems to have been the end of it. She had school today and the teacher made a point to tell us that she did really well, so it looks like there’s nothing to worry about.

Elise is also doing well, and I think she really enjoys having a little more time with Mommy when Ava is at school. It’s funny because Elise’s version of the terrible two’s is very different than Ava’s was. With Ava, she was very defiant, and sometimes downright mean, but Elise tends to internalize things much more than Ava. Consequently she gets upset and talks about being sad. I don’t think it’s anything to be overly concerned about, it’s just her way of dealing with all the changes she’s experiencing. The good news is that it’s not very difficult to make her laugh and shake it off. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve when Elise gets sad, and they almost always work. It’s not uncommon for me to get her laughing, then she’ll say “Daddy I’m not sad anymore.” I’m always happy to hear that. No matter what she’s still the sweetest little thing ever.

I heard on the news this morning that today is the 30th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion. I was only 5 when that happened, but I vaguely remember it. I definitely remember my Mom saying she cried when it happened. It’s crazy to think that exactly 29 years later I would be having my son.

I’m going to keep this post brief, which is abnormal for me, but don’t worry. Jessica has decided to start writing monthly posts again, so you can keep an eye out for that over the next few days. One thing that’s kinda sad is that today we took the final monthly photo of our kids. For those that don’t know, Jessica took a monthly photo of each child throughout their first year. Since we’re done having kids, that makes this the 36th (and final) monthly photo. There’s been a few other things that we’ve now moved on from as a family, such as baby formula. Overall these changes can be seen as progress, but as their father, it makes me a bit sad. I’m so much more aware of time now than I ever was before having kids. The fact is that you can’t get any of these moments or experiences back, so I try not to take them for granted. Before I know it they’ll be all grown up and I’ll be a crusty old man. It’s all good though, getting to see these kids grow up, and getting to share all these experiences with Jessica, is the greatest present I could have ever asked for.

Happy first birthday buddy. Ti amo tantissimo! (I love you with all my heart!)

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