Monday, May 31, 2010

2 Years Ago Today...

Daddy Diaries, May 31, 2010
(Click on the link above.)
2 years ago tonight, we were anxiously awaiting Evan's arrival. Above is a link to an early Daddy Diaries entry from the night before our first son was born. Tomorrow, Evan celebrates his 2nd Bithday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Evan Made the Fan Page on Leslie Patricelli's Site.

Evan Leslie Patricelli

I sent a photo to Leslie Patricelli, she writes a line of children's books that's one of Evan's favorites. She posted on her website in the "Fan Gallery." In this photo Evan was reading "Quiet Loud."

He's Sick I Swear! -post by Mommy

I tried to put Evan to sleep tonight, and he did fall into a deep sleep but only to be woken over and over again by his terrible cough.  So I brought him downstairs since he started asking for "Daddy, Nana, PopPop".  We watched the movie "Up" and had some popcorn with Daddy.  Daddy pointed out that at only 2 years old Evan has already mastered the perfect reach into the popcorn bowl without taking his eyes off the tv.  I thought maybe just sitting up and relaxing with his Daddy would make him relax and maybe help him feel better but an hour into the movie Evan lost interest.  If anyone saw him about 2 hours later they would have thought he was really really sick.  His little head was drenched with sweat and his cheeks were bright red and he looked completely exhausted.  It wasn't because he was so sick.  It was because he spent the last 2 hours jumping off of the couch onto the mountain of pillows on the floor.  You should have seen his face.  He would climb up over the pillows onto the couch, stand on the very edge, holding on with only his toes, his tongue would curl up on the side of his mouth, and just when you didn't think his eyes could get any bigger he would JUMP!  and land in the pillows in a fit of giggles.  Then he'd start all over again and say "Mommy! Watch my Evan!"  And after a few hours of this he fell asleep, without coughing, on that very same couch.  And then it began to rain.  It was a nice way to end a nice day with "my Evan".

Little Birdie Video

Evan and the Lost Birdie from Pete Burke on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Little Birdie -post by Mommy

For the first time, I think a little birdie was the last one to hear that Evan's birthday had been pushed back till Evan was feeling better.  He showed up right at our doorstep, right in time for dinner.  Unfortunately there was no birthday party today so the little birdie went home to his mommy who was carrying on in the tree behind us.  I guess a little birdie had told her that there was no party today but she forgot to tell her little birdie.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday Party Postponed...

You'd never know it looking at this photo of Evan, but he's sick. He has some sort of viral infection and an ear infection in both ears, so Saturday's (So far I've been able to type 3 sentences in 3 hours. Baby keeps waking up. I'm going to have to cancel this blog entry. Enjoy the picture.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What a Night...

Tonight I was at a bar in Brooklyn called Zabloski's. It's a favorite place of mine to go after work because they have cheap beers and free wi-fi. I stepped away from my table to get a beer and when I came back, a couple was sitting at my table. So I let them know it was perfectly fine for them to join me, I had no problem sharing the table, and even bought a round of drinks for the table. I put my computer away in my backpack as to not be rude, and the three of us talked about sports, politics, history, etc. I let my guard down and went to the bathroom leaving them with an "I'll be right back." I was in the bathroom for all of 2 minutes and came out to find the two of them gone and the table we were sitting at completely empty. My heart dropped. I went into complete shock. I thought "this can't be happening," I had been robbed, again. It was the perfect scam, a foreign couple posing as innocent tourists disarm me by engaging me in casual conversation, quickly earn my trust, all the while knowing that I have a PowerBook in my backpack and in their minds, who knows what else. They both wait for the moment I excuse myself to go to the bathroom, grab my backpack and cell phone, and casually walk out and make off with nearly $10K worth of equipment.

As I stared the completely empty table we were all sitting at just moments ago, adrenaline surged through my veins, and my heart was pounding though my chest. How stupid of me. I'm always so careful with my gear, how could I be stupid enough to let this happen? Again? My mind raced through the inventory of all the contents of the now missing backpack. Everything I use for work: my computer; a Mac PowerBook that I spent an awful lot of money on, twice. Not to mention the hard drive inside filled with thousands of priceless photos of my children that I put a lot of effort into taking. My camera; the coveted Canon 5D Mark II that I worked extraordinarily hard to save up for. I went into a complete and utter state of all consuming panic. I ran over to the bartender and asked if he'd seen them leave in a hurry. He hadn't seen anything. It takes him nearly 5 minutes to even acknowledge you to get a $2 beer, how the heck is he going to notice a couple leaving hurriedly? Useless, I tell you. I ran outside and asked the smokers gathered on the sidewalk in front of the bar if they had seen a couple leave in a hurry with a backpack. No one saw anything. I knew I'd been beat. I knew they were probably long gone. It was the perfect crime. I had unwittingly given them all the time they needed to get away. I imagined all the possible scenarios that could be unfolding at that very moment: They could have been several blocks away now, disappearing into the Subway, never to be seen again. They could have hopped in a cab and been several blocks away by now. Not only did I not remember their names, even if did, what's to say they didn't like about that?

A wave of devastation washed over me. My hands were shaking. This can't be happening, not now. It's already been a difficult year for Genevieve more than anyone knows or could imagine. We've been struggling to get on our feet for some time and this is a setback that we simply cannot absorb. With both of us suffering from 'bad news fatigue,' I couldn't even imagine having to call Genevieve with this news.
It was now starting to sink in that I had been robbed. Not at gun or knife point, but by a well planned, systematic breakdown of my guardedness, earning my trust just enough to allow me to feel confident enough to leave my gear behind while I dismissed myself to the bathroom. I reached into my pocket for my phone. Gone. They had taken that too. I'm powerless. I can't even call 911. Even if I called from the bar phone, NYPD might not show up for half an hour and all they'd do is fill out a report. The robbers even wiped the table clean of the hardly sipped $2 PBR cans I had just bought. Did they take that with them too?

At least I still had the car keys. I sprinted down the block and hopped into the car, figuring that if the two of them were only a few blocks away, hunkered down by the weight of my backpack, that I could catch up with them and fight them to get it back. I hoped that I'd catch up with them a few blocks away, and be able to confront them. I raced up North 7th Street towards the intersection at Bedford. No sign of them. I cautiously ran the red light and make a loop around the block, carefully scanning each group of people that I saw walking by. I imagined the two them laughing about how easy it was to rip me off. As I raced down the street I imagined them opening the backpack and discovering the camera. Even if they sold it for half price, they'd make a windfall. I raced back to the bar. The only thing left for me to do was to run back to the bar and call 911.

As I ran back up to the bar entrance, standing there on the sidewalk casually smoking a cigarette was James. Now that I saw his face, I remembered his name. "James" I said, out of breath. "My bag's inside, right?" James gave me a quizzical look. "Yeah, mate! We just moved over to the next seats, so I brought all your things over, " Still out of breath, I said, "James, you have no idea the scenario that just played out in my head." I gave the man a big hug. I explained to him the horror that had just seemingly unfolded. He could see the look of panic on my face. "Where did ya go mate?" I told him exactly what had just happened, (in my mind,) and he couldn't believe it. He explained to me that the Irish don't rip people off like that. I was so relieved, but a bit embarrassed that I had automatically assumed that the two of them were thieves. I finally felt as though God was smiling on me for once, and yes, I thanked him as well as James. He offered a cigarette, and without hesitation, I obliged. James explained how after I left, he just moved everything over to the next table, and couldn't figure out where I had disappeared to.
I couldn't see my backpack, because it was UNDER the next table. His lady friend was sitting at the new table, but I couldn't see her either, because I was so busy freaking out about the fact that our table as empty, and thought I had been robbed. I can't even begin to describe the sense of relief I'm feeling tonight. But I'm also rattled to the core. Because, What if? It really would have been the final blow for me in terms of location scouting and photography. I can't even imagine how I would have coped with such a loss.

Did I overreact in this situation? It may appear that way to most, but you have to understand the back story of the last 12 years of my life. I have a very dysfunctional relationship with New York. I keep getting abused and beaten, but keep coming back. New York has never been kind to me.  The past 12 years have been a veritable minefield of catastrophic disasters and devastating setbacks. What did I learn from tonight? NEVER WALK AWAY FROM ANYTHING YOU WISH TO KEEP. PERIOD. I got lucky tonight. Yes, I may have misread the situation, but to be honest, I'm still suffering from shell shock from all the horrible things that have happened to me in New York over the years. I really hope that this is a sign that my (BAD) luck is about to change.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

You're Doing a Great Job, Mommy.

Genevieve doesn't realize it, but she's a natural mother. She's been doing such a great job being a Mommy to our two children, I don't know how she finds the strength to do it. I'm very proud of her, and I honestly don't know if I possess the inner strength to do what she does on a daily basis. She has a way with both of our babies that only mothers possess. She can get them to stop crying instantly. I'm very impressed (and envious) of this. She has so much patience with them. I wish I was that patient. The day to day grind is at home pretty tough. When I'm home, we usually go to bed really late, (2am or later,) because by the time Evan and Eliana are finally settled in for the night, it's usually 11pm, and we both want a little bit of time for ourselves. So in those precious few hours, we try to get things done, and more often than not, we try to use that time to relax. We get a couple of hours of (not enough) sleep, then in the morning, we start the whole process over again. 

On a good night, Evan sleeps through the night, but most of the time, he wakes up because of what seems to be nightmares or night terrors. This happens several times a night, almost every night. We hear him crying on the baby monitor, and one of us, (usually Genevieve,) has to run up there and try and comfort him and get him to go back to sleep. Evan usually gets up around 9am, and that usually wakes up Eliana. We all go downstairs, make Evan a 'milkshake,' (Doctor recommended Organic DHA Milk & Organic Yogurt,) and he watches TV, (not Doctor recommended,) while we take the dogs out to do their business, and change and feed Eliana. Eliana likes to be held, so Genevieve spends a good part of the day holding her. The rest of the time she is either napping or feeding. Lately, she's been doing a lot of smiling and cooing, which is great. Some mornings, Evan will go outside with his Nana or Poppop and help them in the garden while we try to get breakfast ready or talk about what to do for lunch. Every day things like laundry, bills, and cleaning up bedrooms are difficult, if not impossible to get to because of the immediate needs of the kids. We'll try to get them both to take a nap during the afternoon, which gives Genevieve a chance to 'catch up' on sleep, and me a chance to, well, disappear. It sounds terrible, but sometimes the stress of not having work and our living and financial situation is to much for me, and I need to get out of the house for a bit to think about things, make work calls, and try and come up with some sort of plan. I'm probably guilty of dilly-dallying a bit when I'm out, but I don't know how else to handle the stress of not being able to provide the way I'd like to. By the time I get back home, it's close to dinner time, and soon after dinner, it's time to start getting Evan ready for bed. 

We never expected parenting to be easy, and it's not.

But what makes it all worthwhile are those little moments. Eliana's smile, and the way she kicks and flails her arms because she's so excited and happy to see you. When Evan comes up and hugs you and kisses you for no reason. There's too many of these moments to count, and all of them, even the smallest moments make it all worthwhile. 

New Things

A lot of great things have been happening lately. Eliana recently cut her first tooth recently, and has been drooling like crazy. She's also been rolling over on her own and can keep her head steady while sitting up. Evan's been saying more and more words, everyday. Putting sentences together, and surprising us with the things he says. I found out today, that Evan knows how to snap his fingers. I was all excited to tell Genevieve about it, but she told me he's been doing it for months! Evan also has his first freckle. He noticed it near his ankle recently and informed us yesterday that he wants to go to the "doctor." 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Eliana at 3 Months!

This is Daddy's Little Princess at 3 months old. It doesn't seem that long ago that Eliana was sleeping nearly 20 hours a day. She no longer looks and feels like a newborn. You pick her up and she's got weight to her. She smiles like this at us all the time. When she sees you she gets so excited that she starts to kick and flail her arms. She's happy all of the time. She's wonderful, and Daddy loves her.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Evan Meets DJ Lance
Sensory overload: Evan with DJ Lance Rock

Plex with Daddy and Evan.

Foofa with Evan and Mommy.

Evan and Toodie waving.

Muno! (OMG, I just noticed you can see the guys face in the Muno costume.)

We found out that the Yo Gabba Gabba gang was having a private event at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and managed to get tickets through our wonderful friend Patrick. So we saddled up, and made the 2 and a half hour trip up from Philly to go and meet Muno, Toodie, Foofa, Plex, Brobee, and DJ Lance. Eliana stayed home with Nana and Poppop. She was a little too little to be there. When we got there the scene was chaotic. Kids, (feral kids,) were popping balloons on the dancefloor, and the balloon popping was quite loud, even for me. It was making the younger ones cry, including Evan. He was already on sensory overload from all the people there, the constant balloon popping was too much. But then DJ Lance climbed up into the DJ booth for his set, and Evan's tears turned to smiles again. The characters began to mingle with the crowd and the rush to take pictures with them was on. It was nuts. It was a feeding frenzy. We managed to get some photos with the characters, but it wasn't easy. We had to muscle our way in and I felt like a paparazzi at a Red Carpet Event. Evan had fun though. We went over to meet DJ Lance, and Evan exchanged high fives with him, but when DJ Lance picked Evan up, Evan SCREAMED, which I wasn't expecting. Evan LOVES DJ Lance, but, I guess the whole thing was a bit overwhelming. Evan had a great time and talked about it all the way home. Yo Gabba Gabba is going on a 60 city tour this year.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me (Mommy)!

Today was my birthday. It was a great birthday. One of my favorites even though it was dark, cold and rainy. Very unusual weather for May 18th I have to say. But it didn't matter how dark it was outside because all of the candles on my cake and love in the living room lightened up the whole house. It was bright, warm, and sunny in our home.

My day started off with two boxes of Dunkin Donuts! Pete brought me a box and a few minutes later my parents came in with a box of donuts!! Score!! I guess it's pretty clear that I love Dunkin Donuts. And so does Evan. Can you guess what kind of donut is my favorite?
Evan is Mr. Birthday. His cousin Ava used to be the same way, so I guess it runs in the family. She still can't resist sticking her finger in a birthday cake. Luckily for Evan he was born into a family that will re-light the birthday candles over and over again till they are melted all the way down to the icing of the cake. It started way back when, Mom would always proclaim after the birthday person would blow out the candles "I missed the photo! Do it again!" and we would until she got the photo she wanted, sometimes we wouldn't even relight the candles we would just pretend to blow them out so that she would get a good photo. I do the same thing. It drives everyone crazy but it's fun. And now we have Evan. And now we must light the candles over and over again and sing at least a dozen times just so he can blow them out again and again. Tonight even after the candles were taken out and the cake was cut and everyone settled into the family room, Evan climbed back onto the dining room chair, squished all of the candles back into the cake and politely pleaded for one more time. And we did, Evan, Daddy, Eliana and I, till we drove Daddy crazy.

Last night while putting Evan to sleep he jumped up and started to tell me all about my birthday present.  He was so super excited about it, he told me about Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and described everything he saw in the store, he went on and on.  He was so excited about it that he couldn't wait to give me my present and he wanted to go downstairs that instant and give it to me.  Pete said that he let him pick out my present all by himself and the first thing he picked out was a princess dress.  But Pete didn't think it would fit-ha! He picked out a present all by himself from him and he also picked out a present from Baby Sister.  I loved them both.  They were perfect.  He was so proud to give them to me.   
Yes, it was a good birthday.
And I can't forget, my most favorite birthday present ever, my angel princess Eliana.
She was just what I wished for.

By the way I share my birthday with my cousin Scott's beautiful daughter Stephanie, my friend and fellow blogger Ben and Pope John Paul II who my Mom swears we are related to somehow. I have to admit he kind of does look he could be related to my Dziadzia (pronounced JAH-jah for all of those non-Polish types). Happy Birthday Stephanie, Ben and Uncle Pope John Paul II!

**Ben just reminded me that we also share a birthday with Reggie Jackson and Tina Fey. Thanks Ben!!

***After Ben's reminder I looked up May 18 1975 and found that I celebrate the same exact birthday as Jack Johnson

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fun Weekend

Took Evan to the FDR Skate Park in Philadelphia. Evan enjoyed watching the skaters, but I think it was a little overwhelming for him. It tends to be a little like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome down there. After about half an hour he told me "All done." 

Daddy When He Was Evan's Age

Pete 1975

Pete 1975

Sunday, May 16, 2010

3 Months Old Today! -post by mommy


Eliana is 3 months old today. She must have been so excited about turning three months old that she couldn't sleep last night. She woke up in time to hear the birds chirping and to see the sun rise. And she didn't cry, she wasn't upset, she just wanted to be up. So I sat her up on the bed and she was happy just be awake and looking at everything. She ended waking Evan up around 9 with her little hollars. And once Evan is awake, everyone is awake. He likes to start the day off by cuddling with his baby sister then moving on to the drums. It was a beautiful day so Daddy took Evan out to FDR skate park and then to the airport to watch the airplanes take off. And Eliana stayed at home to celebrate her birthday by enjoying some warm bottles, taking a nice long cuddly nap and trying out her new bathtub with a nice warm bath. Later on in the day everyone started to make their way back home. She hung out with Nana for a bit excitingly chatting with her. She gets so excited sometimes, waving her arms and then her feet kick before she gets the "words" out. Daddy made his way back home with Evan and spent the rest of the evening with his little princess while Evan helped Nana and PopPop in the garden. Eliana wanted to take another nap so Daddy took Eliana to cuddle while Mommy and Evan had dinner together, went for a walk to see the tree-man and also had a warm bath before bedtime. It was a nice day to turn three months old.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Nan & Nana!

We love you more than you will ever realize and don't know where we'd be without you both!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Evan at 23 Months




We had a fun photo shoot today. Evan wasn't into having his photo taken at first. Thank God Genevieve was there to entertain him and get him to smile.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Late Nite With Evan.

Evan's been having trouble sleeping through the night lately. I don't know if it's overstimulation, having a new baby around, or a combination of the two, but Evan has these 'night terrors' where he wakes up screaming even though he's still asleep. Sometimes just to break him out of a bad episode we have to bring him downstairs. Tonight was one of those nights. Evan loves playing on my computer. We had some fun tonight with Photobooth. It's 2:30am now, and he seems to be sleeping alright. Let's hope he sleeps through the night...

Monday, May 3, 2010

1st Tooth!!

Eliana has been drooling like crazy and just the last few days she's been sticking her tongue out at us all day long. Well, yesterday we found out why. She has a baby tooth peeking out! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. So of course I had to feel it and yes indeed, that is a tooth.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Evan's First Ever Baseball Game!

I think that for most guys, even before you become a father, you think about the day you get to take your son to his first baseball game. For Evan and I, today was the day. Evan's really been getting into baseball lately. Since the weather's been nice, he wants to go outside and play "catch." What I've been most impressed with, is his ability to make contact with the bat (He's not even 2.) Our neighbors, the Fitzpatrick's bought him a T-ball set. Evan doesn't want to hit the ball off the T, he wants daddy to pitch to him. Evan grabbed the bat, and lined up to bat left handed like he's been doing it all his life. There was never that moment where I had to stand behind him and awkwardly show him how to hold the bat. Since the Phillies were home for 10 games, I wanted to take him to his first game this week. He was a little overwhelmed at first. When we got inside the ballpark he got real quiet, just watching all the people walking around, but he seemed pretty comfortable once we got to our seats. He was pointing at the field and saying "baseball!" Our seats were on the third base line, just past the Mets dugout, 8 rows deep. Evan was doing great until the 4th inning, when the Phillies scored 9 runs. Between the Grand Slam and 2 Run Homer that occurred that inning, it was a little too loud for Evan. He covered his ears and wouldn't remove his hands. I think the noise scared him a bit, and at that point he was done. We left in the 5th inning, with Evan covering his ears until we were outside of the ballpark. Evan's first game featured 6 home runs, one them a grand slam, which all happened before the 5th inning.

The gentleman in the photo to our right, (in the photo,) upon finding out that it was Evan's first game, promised Evan $1 for every run the Phillies scored. Evan went home with $11 in his pocket tonight.

Shane Victorino at bat on Sunday night against the New York Mets. The Phillies won 11-5.
Home Runs:
David Wright (Mets) 3 run HR in the 1st inning.
Placido Polanco (Phillies) Solo HR in the 1st inning.
Ryan Howard (Phillies) Solo HR in the 1st inning.
Rod Barajas (Mets) 2 run HR in the 4th inning.
Shane Victorino (Phillies) Grand Slam, 4th inning.
Chase Utley (Phillies) 2 run HR in the 4th inning.