Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mateo's Nebraska Adoption Day

Today, September 28, 2010, Mateo's adoption was made official in the state of Nebraska! This was our final step in finalizing the adoption process. Although Mateo has been officially ours by all international and national standards, today made him official in Nebraska and created a Nebraska birth certificate for him.

Our court appointment was at 11:00 am at the Douglas County Courthouse on 17th & Farnam. Evelyn Babcock, a friend of the family, was our attorney, and the Honorable Judge McDermott presided over our case. Mateo, Francesca and Mommy arrived first, then came Daddy, and shortly after Aunt Nelly. Aunt Nelly got the best reception with Mateo yelling through the lobby, "Aunt Nelly!" and running toward her. Once we were all there, we took the "alligator" (a.k.a. evelvator) up to the 3rd floor.

Evelyn met us on the 3rd floor and showed us to the courtroom. After walking into Courtroom 30, we sat at the front table and Evelyn completed some paperwork. While we waited, Mateo and Francesca made themselves at home running around and exploring the courtroom (attorney approved). When the Judge first came in, he explained that he had bandages on his fingers from working in the yard of his home (remember this for later). The actual proceedings were quite simple and consisted of a series of questions asked first to Jose and then to me. Of course, Mateo and Francesca had a very hard time being quiet throughout the proceedings. I'm sure it was quite comical from the onlooker's perspective. Waiting ...
Daddy's here!

Outside County Court No. 30

All smiles


Aunt Nelly!

Awaiting Judge McDermott

We were so glad Aunt Nelly could be with us!

Handsome pair

Evelyn Babcock

Cesca, Cesca, Cesca la exploradora!

What do you see!?
Court Proceedings

All went well! Judge McDermott approved our adoption and signed the papers. Mateo told him "Thank you!" and even shook his hand. Judge McDermott suggested that Mateo ask his parents to take him to lunch to celebrate. As we were leaving, Mateo said quite matter-of-factly to the judge, "You should pray for Jesus to heal your fingers." When the judge didn't really respond, Mateo told him again, "You should pray for Jesus to heal your fingers!"
Signing the papers


Thank you!

Outside the courthouse

We were originally going to eat at Jason's Deli (because they have ice cream), but ended up at Pitch in Dundee instead. It was a very nice lunch and Mateo and Francesca pulled out all the show-stoppers. Mateo used his black linen napkin as a cape and kept saying, "Have no fear, Mateo is here!" Francesca was very polite, and only tried standing up in her highchair a few times (yikes!). Pizza, pasta, soup and sandwich ... Mateo got raspberry sorbet to finish his meal. By the way, James Dobson knows what he's talking about when it comes to getting your child to sit at the table!

Lunch at Pitch

After lunch, we came home for afternoon naps (Francesca and Mommy took one; Mateo did not.) And then we went shopping at Village Point where Mommy took advantage of a super sale at Baby GAP. Mateo sported his newest shirt 'Rhythm & Beats" to his preschool 'Back to School Bash' at St. Andrew's. It was a carnival and dinner to celebrate the beginning of the year, and a spectacular way to end our celebratory day. Mateo won trinket prizes at every game station - his favorite a mini whistle that makes a huge sound! Of course, Ms. Mary was there, but the real highlight for Mateo and Francesca was Clifford!
Back to School Bash
Hi Clifford!

Fishing - go figure

Pick a duck


Sucker Pull with Ms. Mary

When we got home, a special surprise was waiting for Mateo at the neighbor's house - an Edible Arrangement from Tia Jas and Tio Jose, complete with Spiderman vase. Mateo loved it and started enjoying his gift right away!
Gracias Tia Jas y Tio Jose!

Hey there, Spiderman!

There are three songs that come to mind that express the joy of our day: "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it," and "Strawberry Swing" (Coldplay).
They were sitting
They were sitting on a strawberry swing
Every moment was so precious ...
It's such a perfect day. It's such a perfect day.

Lord, thank you for our son, Mateo - our gift of God. Although he has been our son since the first day we saw his picture, today was so special. May he grow into a young man who loves you with all his heart, Jesus. It was such a perfect day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Buddy Walk 2010 Invite

We want to invite you all to participate in this year's Buddy Walk with the Omaha Down Syndrome Parents Network!

Check out our Firstgiving page:

Sign up to walk with us on Saturday, October 9 or donate online!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mateo's First Day of Preschool

Today was Mateo's first day of preschool at St. Andrew's Child Development Center. He seemed so grown up walking into the building and to his classroom with his backpack - he didn't even want to hold our hands, just walk like a big boy by himself. I was so proud of how confident he was. Once in his classroom, he asked, "Mommy, are you going to stay here with me?" When I answered no, that he got to be at school with his teacher Ms. Mary, he was totally calm. "OK," he said.

After school, I asked Mateo what he learned. He wasn't quite sure how to answer that question. But this he did share - that he had played in the kitchen. "And Mommy, the kitchen is for boys, not for girls." I also asked him if they had read any books. "YES! But they didn't have Handy Manny, just Bob the Builder." Ok....? "And did your teacher ask you any questions? "Yes. Stay in the line! Stay in the line!" Ha! Classic.

So, all in all, Mateo had a great first day at preschool. We are so proud of him. Our little baby boy is growing up!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Last of the summer fun

Since I went back to work August 10, there has been little time to blog or post pictures. My apologies to those of you who have been following along and have been left with the same post since July! We have all been making a slow adjustment to the new routine of Mommy working full-time. Many have asked how I like being full-time. My response: "I LOVE my job ... I just don't like working!" Meaning balancing work and home is difficult. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is more than willing to jump in and help out wherever needed, and my babies are very adaptable. They have been doing very well at Blanca's during the days where they eat and play and rest well.

Here are some belated pictures marking the last of our summer outings. These don't include this Labor Day weekend's cabin adventures because I was short a camera (technology is not my friend when it doesn't work right). And to accompany the pictures, here are some highlights of things Francesca is doing and that Mateo has said over the past month.
Grandma: Francesca is on the loose!
Mateo: Grandma, speak English. You say, "Francesca is in the light."
Translation: Mateo heard "luz" not "loose" and didn't want grandma speaking Spanglish.

On the way home one afternoon...
Mateo: Mommy, we speak two languages - English and Spanish. Like this: Hola, como estas?
Mommy: That's right. We're bilingual. We're blessed to be able to speak to languages. How would you like to speak another language someday, maybe Chinese?
Mateo: Yeah. Ninhao!
Where did he learn that?!
One evening our neighbor asked if he could give Mateo a gift. "Sure!" I responded after previewing what was in the green Cabela's bag. Out pops a brown fuzzy teddy bear dressed in Green Bay Packers gear (no, we are not Packers fans). Mateo says with the most sincere voice...
Oh my gosh! It's beautiful! I love it. I have been looking for this ever since I was a baby! Thank you! Wow!
I think our neighbor just about died. Instead he said, "Oh, he is so cute!"
Mateo's favorite color is blue.
Francesca is signing in 3 word sentences, singing her ABC's and singing along with several other of her favorite songs, crawling solidly on all fours, beginning the cruise along furniture, going to physical therapy and speech/language therapy once a week, and tickling just about anyone who looks like they'll return her a good chuckle. She also loves reading a set of Kindermusik colors books Grandma found for her at a garage sale - we sign the color as we read along. She loves to read. One day I caught her reading a book to herself out loud - pausing as she turned the pages.

Brady breaking the news: "Hey guys, guess what? I'm a big brother! AND it's my birthday today!
Watch at the beginning to see Cesca tickling her friend Vollen - he's no Tickle Me Elmo, but she still thinks it's hilarious.
Splish, splash!

A rare sit down moment

Water baby

Whatcha' got in your mouth, Vollen?

Cesca loved the picnic best of all
Mateo's rendition of "Hammertime"



LUNCH at the BLUE PLANET on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON (after hitting the Farmer's Market at Aksarben and playing in the water fountain and with the giant bubbles).

Clearly the food is more interesting than posing for a picture


Cesca and Janessa

Violet and her mom - Violet was born in China and adopted... Two things in common with the Cogua's!