Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tonight Francesca said clear as day, "MAMA"!!! Words cannot express the sweet emotion that welled up inside my heart to hear her say those two syllables. We were at the Murray's home sitting in the family room after a delicious dinner of arroz atollado. Francesca was sitting on my lap facing me and had just finished eating a coconut popsicle when she leaned over and said, "mama." We all immediately repeated her and cheered her on. I'm not even sure she made the connection to that sound being equivalent to my name, but it really doesn't matter. What matters is that she said it ... Mama! Yea! I am a proud mama.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Francesca's a talkin'

Francesca is babbling like crazy these days. Could it be the arrival of her abuelitos has the language receptors in her brain in overdrive? She is imitating sounds and exploring different ways to move her mouth and created new sounds and gestures. Francesca still gets a kick out of signing and has over a dozen signs she uses regularly. Her current favorites: kiss, grandpa/abuelito, more. My little girl is also turning out to be quite the reader, just like her older brother. When given the choice between a book and a toy, she will always choose the book! She'll sit and read by herself, but she mostly prefers to listen while her big brother reads one of his favorite books. We have also regularly instituted reading into her bedtime routines, and Cesca loves books with simple pictures and just a few key words - Baby's ABC, Peek-a-boo, Moo, Baa, Lalala. are her top favorites. As an educator, this makes me very proud and optimistic for my little girl as a reader.
Abuelito makes me laugh!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


We have made a fair amount of progress since our first soccer game. Slowly but surely we have worked our way from Mateo coming out of the game every 3 minutes for animal crackers to now only coming out for water when Coach Jess says it's time for a water break. Although still prone to pick dandelions or collapse onto the field for no reason or tickle his teammates instead of run steadfastly after the soccer ball, Mateo shows great promise in his ability to dribble the ball and run FAST! What really matters to us is that he tries his best, so we encourage him to keep playing. "Kick the ball again, Mateo! More, more, more!" (complete with signing "more"). This weekend Los abuelos and Tia Jas will be on the sidelines cheering our little Teo on. Go Tigers!

Look at that form!

Game over!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

What a sweet Mother's Day I had this year. With my three babies by my side (counting Chester) and my adoring husband, I couldn't have asked for more. There was no big fanfare this year - just finishing up our huge project of painting the family room and kitchen and spending time at my Mom's house - and it was just what I wanted. I love being a Mom.

I love to hear Mateo say, "Mom, mom, mom, mom..." and to see Francesca sign "Mom" and give me her big toothless grin. I love the smooshy hugs from Francesca where she holds on to me so tight and just melts into my chest. Each time she hugs me I get a rush of warmth from my head to my toes that relaxes my entire body and makes me know everything in life is going to be alright. And I love the warm sweaty hugs from Mateo right after he wakes up from his afternoon nap. He is the best snuggler then and I could rock him back and forth for hours.

My family is my greatest gift. Without them I would not be me. I am my kids' mom and my husband's girlfriend. I love you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Francesca is getting her first tooth! Francesca smiled down at me today and I spotted a suspicious white point protruding from her upper left gum... it was nothing less than a precious tooth peeking it's way out into her mouth. No wonder she has been so crabby the past couple of days!

Children with Down syndrome do not often get their first tooth until way beyond their first birthday, and their teeth come in a different order that a typical baby. Francesca is 16 months and no exception to the norm. The tooth she is getting might even be an incisor. How funny. I guess she's ready to really tear into her food!

Yesterday at Mateo's soccer game, Francesca gobbled up a grape - complete with a hunk of stems. Luckily I was able to fish out the stems and mashed grape before she attempted to choke it down. Of course now that we know she has a tooth, we might let her venture into bigger chunks of fruit! ha.

Way to go, Francesca! It won't be long before that gummy smile of yours shows off a set of (pointy) pearly whites. :)