Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Pictures....**edited**

.... coming soon! I know... booh!

My laptop has a virus, that hopefully will go away tomorrow. A friend of mine is going to take a look and I am confident he will be able to get her back to health!

So be on the lookout for pictures. Once he got the hang of it, we couldn't get him to stop ripping paper. It was indeed a very Merry Christmas for our sweet Nicholas


--- Nick's Grandpa send some shots. I still have to download mine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goofy Guy

Noticed the Spiderman attire? Someone has become a little obsessed with "Spidey" since his feet got big enough for the slippers that his godparents got for him.

Yes, he now poses for me and is starting to like the camera, and I like this crazy hair of his. A little on the long side (no, I am not letting it grow on purpose, just busy and he is getting it cut on Saturday), and not combed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nicholas & Saint Nicholas

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Target Shopper in Training

Nick may not know Santa from a pork chop, but Target's toy catalog keeps him entertained!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Hat Picture

Yes, sooner or later I will get over the "my kid looks so cute on a hat" obsession. In the meantime, here's another one I snapped yesterday as Nick and daddy made a mad dash to get sour cream. You know, 'cause I had been to the store twice already and both times forgot the sour cream.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Or in Nick's case..."Hi". He didn't have the whole ToT thing down, so he would just say hi, "tata" (thank you), and wave bye. By the end of the night we were getting closer to "Trick or Treat". I must say I was impressed by the generosity of our neighbors. Given that we had been givers and not receivers in the past, we never realized how people really get into Halloween in our neighborhood. I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, as this is a very young neighborhood that averages a couple of kids per household. We probably went to a dozen or so houses, and Nick's pail came home almost full. The older kids who hit every house must have enough candy to last them a year!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tapioca and Cabernet -- edited

I am officially in the minority, Nick does not like tapioca pudding, neither does Bill. But I hate to waste food, so intead of throwing it out, I just ate it, as I was finishing up my glass of cab from dinner. Yep, I am the mom of a 2 year old!

On a different subject, the crib tent did not work. We don't have the right crib for it. So we have removed the rail and our boy is now sleeping in a daybed. It's gonna be a long night, good thing there's still a half bottle of that cabernet downstairs.

Tomorrow we will drive our sleepy selves to Babies R Us and get this. For now, we have the floor next to the bed lined with pillows.

Monday update - he didn't like the idea of sleeping on a daybed, so the rails are back up, and the floor lined with pillows, should he choose to attempt another escape.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well... he did it.

.... rumble... rumble.... ***THUD*** and he was out of the crib, twice, today. For now, we have turned the crib around so that the lower side is against the wall. Just for now, till our UPS man delivers this:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Meeting Nicholas ~ One Year Later

We met our sweet boy exactly one year ago. Where did the time go? I remember leaving Novokuznetsk, wondering how long it would be before we could get back for court and to bring him home. Those had to be the 4 longest months. The time after that, has simply vanished in front of our eyes and it feels as though Nick has been here since day one.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Absolute Blast

We hit the Pumpkin Patch this weekend with another Novokuznetsk family that lives very close to us. Nick and his little buddy J had a great time at the patch, which included a petting zoo, hayride, visit to the pumpkin patch and climbing up a haystack about 10 feet high.

Nick continues to surprise us. They had pony rides and considering how much he likes animals we figured he would want to see them. He wanted to get closer, and closer, and closer... and next thing you know he was riding the pony and took to it like he had been doing this for years!

Here are some pics of the weekend. As I spend more time with these guys I get better at getting pics of them together. Can't post proof of that though as I didn't ask J's parents for permission. Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

27 months old today...

and 100% adorable.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tumbling - the aftermath

This is what happens when your child starts tumbling classes, the mattress suddenly becomes a trampoline and your child a jumping bean. We are **this close** from turning the bed around so that taller rail faces the outside.

On another subject, Nick was just tested by First Steps, Indiana's Early Intervention Program. He didn't qualify. I knew the gross motor, fine motor, social and cognitive skills were on target but wondered about the speech. They told us they had no concerns, especially with him learning two languages. This re-iterated what my speech-pathologist friend in Chicago had already told me.

We also had the opportunity to speak at our agency's (FTIA) informational meeting this past Saturday and share our experience. Lots of families considering adopting from Russia... yaaay!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Year Ago Today

We got "the call". It was approximately 5:15 PM and I was walking out of my downtown office. I remember looking at the caller ID and wondering what FTIA could want. In the time it took me to press the green button on my phone to take the
call, I had run through what the next couple of days looked like, and wondered whether or not I could get one more document ready before we left for Europe two days later -- surely this call was about more paperwork, not a referral, we had submitted our dossier a mere 32 days before!

"We have a baby" - those were Inessa's first words after our "hi, how are you's?" were exchanged. I remember sitting right here during the most beautiful September afternoon and wondering how I was going to make the drive home. More importantly, how I was going to get up and walk to the car, my entire body weight had dropped to my legs.

I had to rush home to the pictures that I had been reluctant about. Bill and I had talked about not wanting to see pictures before meeting our referral. We didn't want to get attached to a baby before we knew he was going to be ours; after all, we didn't have any medical history on him. I told Inessa this and in her cute Russian accent she quickly responded "but you have to see him, he has the cutest cheeks!". After pelting her with 1000 questions, I hung up and called my friend Katie to tell her I wouldn't be going to tennis that night. The next call was of course to Bill and the grandparents.

During the next 48 hours I/we managed to:
- pack all of our adoption paperwork to take to Europe so we could make travel arrangements from there - good thing for the time difference, telephone in the apartment in Florence, and cheap calling cards!
- travel out of town to see a client two hours away - thanks Karla for driving so I could make 10,000 phone calls.
- arrange for Dr. Staat to review the limited information we had on Nicholas.
- get Visa applications ready to go so we could send for our Visas the day after we got back from Europe, 5 days before our departure for Russia.
- get our house somewhat picked up as we would only be home for 5 days after getting back from vacation.
- pack for two weeks in Europe.

On September 21 we took off for our 15 day European adventure.

On October 6 we returned home.

On October 13 we left for Novokuznestk, Russia

On October 15 we landed in Novokuznetsk, Russia and met the love of our lives....

The rest is history.

One Year Ago


Monday, September 8, 2008

Rare sighting...

He never keeps a hat on, which kills me, because
I think he looks so flippin' cute with one on...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Goats and cows and horses.... oh my!

Yes people, I took Nicholas to the State Fair. I have told several of you over the phone and in person, and I know you are still picking up your jaw from the floor. The things motherhood makes you do ***sigh***. It was a spur of the moment decision, hence the lack of pictures from the fair. Nick had an ENT appt a week ago Friday, and right after that, we trekked down to the Fairgrounds. Nick was in looooove with the goats at the fair. Don't get me wrong, he liked all the animals in the barns, but the goats were his favorite. He even got to pet a baby goat.

In keeping with the farm theme, last Sunday we took Nick to the Traders Point Creamery. This place is a real gem, and just a 10 minute drive to our house. They milk their cows daily at 4:00 PM, so we went to see that, and to enjoy some fresh ice cream. The grounds at The Creamery are absolutely gorgeous. If you have a Whole Foods, you should be able to get their products. Their yogurts, milk (especially the chocolate milk) and cheeses are to die for.

And to round up our farming days, we spent some time picking apples at Stuckey Farms in Sheridan. We have been going to Stuckeys to get our produce for the past three or four years. Now that our time is more limited, we stick to our local Farmers Market. However, we wanted to let Nick roam around the farm and ride the tractor. Needless to say, he had a great time, despite the heat.

We have been kicking back the past couple of weekends, well, kicking back is a relative term. Nick got some more pool time with daddy and continues to do well overall. His six month checkup at Cincinnati Children's Hospital was on the 11th of this month, and we had a great evaluation. He is now on the charts for both weight and height, and right on target developmentally. We are going forward with speech therapy, just to give him some additional help as he learns two languages, so that's our next project. Can't wait to get him talking, considering how much he babbles and jibbers, this should be fun!

Looking forward to cooler temperatures and fall weather, definitely my favorite season! And, the one year mark from meeting our sweet Nicholas.

I am trying a Bubbleshare slide show in lieu of pictures, just too lazy to load them all up. Hope you like it!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Create and Share Crafts

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gotcha Day ~ 6 months later & first post placement visit

The pictures in this post speak 1000 words! It was 6 months ago on Friday that we became the Brockmann Trio. Today, the child with the empty look, hesitation, and unwilling to trust; who walked out of Baby Home #1 with us, is no longer there. Nick is vibrant, happy, loving, and full of energy. We certainly had our bumps along the road as we molded together, but I must say, it has not been nearly as tough as I thought.

We took these yesterday after dinner. Nick was clearly not interested in going to bed yet. I spotted an empty laundry basket in the laundry room, and the light bulb went off! We used to pull full laundry baskets using a belt back in the day, when we had to haul our laundry to the basement, living at the Purdue dorms.... so I figured this could also work as a "special car" and be fun with a toddler. He enjoyed it and then the next problem was getting him to go to bed. Yep, no good deed goes unpunished.

All along we thought we were making progress with attachment, and we were re-assured last week by our social worker that have indeed come a long way! We had our first post placement visit last weekend. Wasn't it just yesterday that the three of us (J, Bill and I) were sitting down to coffee getting ready to start our home study? Nope, that was March of 2007, but it sure feels like yesterday.

Our social worker assured us that Nick is doing great with attachment and is on par developmentally. She also noticed some personality traits that we had also noticed, and that funny enough, Bill and I also exhibit. He is very determined and independent. He will be the kid who will try to do everything on his own first before he asks for help... we can deal with that! We definitely have fun years ahead of us with 4 Type-A personalities under one roof... I say 4 because even the dog is stubborn... I mean... determined.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nick's birthday weekend (2 weeks, 2 days ago)

(yes I wrote this a while back and I finally getting around to downloading the pics from the camera...)

Oddly enough, Nick does not care for cake of frosting, he just wanted to kiss Elmo!

Enjoying his new sandbox

All equiped to hit the course

It was a good good weekend for the Brockmann trio. We finally had time to kick back and relax. Nick didn't get to see fireworks this year, after running around all day, he was ready to call it a day at 8:00, and with DST, fireworks don't start till 9:00 around here. Will try again next year.

On Saturday, Nick and I spent our morning at the Farmer's Market. He, of course, enjoyed being outdoors and called every dog he met by our dog's name. I have been wanting to get out to the market to pick up some seasonal vegetables for Nick.

Then it was on to Classic Cakes to pick up his birthday cake. Judging by his reaction when he saw it, I say I made a good choice by picking out an Elmo cake. To put it simply, Nick squealed at the sight of Elmo. After Costco and Target, it was back to the house for nap time. While we trekked around town all morning, Bill hit the golf course and according to him "hit pretty well". Now he just needs to get out there again soon! See, this is the benefit of tennis, you get a couple of sets done in an hour. Well, at least I do, now those guys at Wimbledon playing the longest match in Wimbledon's history on Sunday, that's a different story.

On Sunday, Nick's paternal grandparents came to visit and bring Nick his big birthday present - a sandbox! This sandbox is set to provide hours of entertainment. It was a good thing we had everyone (mom, Bill's sister and her fiance) come up in the afternoon and wait till after nap to start the festivities, I am pretty sure Nick would not have napped if he had seen the sandbox in the morning.

After spending a couple hours outside, it was back in the house for cake. While the cake was delicious, Nick showed no interest in it, and even turned his nose when we tried to feed him some. I am sure that will change someday, no rush to get him to like cake.

So other than Federer's defeat in Wimbledon it was a great weekend. While it was the best tennis match I have ever seen, I really wanted to see Roger take Wimbledon for the sixth year in a row.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Nicholas!

My baby turned 2 today! I can't believe I have to start buying T-lettered clothes, no more month-sized clothing. We celebrated with a cupcake, the big cake is coming Sunday when we celebrate with Nick's grandparents, aunt and soon to be uncle.

While you see Nick enjoying his cake here, I should tell you that after one bite, he was done. Maybe he is not a fan of chocolate cake. Grandpa Brockmann, should we claim an early victory here!?!?!?!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Move over Nemo!

We took Nick to our community pool today for the first time. Bill started out with him at the kiddie pool, but Nick had little interest in playing in water that came just to his calf... so off to the big pool they went.

Our Niko is a natural, a few minutes in the water and he was kicking his legs and wanting his dad to put him down on the water and just glide him as he kicked away. I stayed long enough to get som pics. Yes, I am a mom and I get paranoid!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The many faces of Nicholas - yes two posts in one day!

I have been meaning to post these for a while. They crack me up!

Happy Father's Day!

Our first Father's Day celebration was a low key, yet fun one.

Bill's parents were here for the day and we all met up at the Children's Museum. After much enjoyment of the many amenities and play areas the museum offers, we grabbed lunch and headed home for nap time and some down time.

We wrapped up the day with dinner at one of Nick's favorite places, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. He gets handed a balloon the moment he walks in and the fries are tasty!

The Brockmann men

Like father, like son. We may have another Simpson's fan in the house.
Nick decided to try on daddy's slippers and style his hair while we got ready this morning. Did I mention he is also fond of blonds and bobbs his head and claps when we play Jimmy Buffet?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

One month till cake!!!

... hmm better call Classic Cakes soon and order it. These people make the best cakes and book weeks ahead. I have ordered cakes from them on several occasions and have made it my mission to order a different flavor each time. Plan is to keep on doing this till Nick has a preference on cake flavors. With my luck it will be chocolate, like his dad, and I will be SOL. Not a chocolate cake fan here, unless it is the Stout Chocolate Cake from the September 2002 issue of Bob Appetit! All that said, a lemon cake with raspberry filling sounds like a good birthday cake for Nick's 2nd birthday next month.

Now that I have written an entire paragraph about cake, let's talk about Nick....

* He is getting acquainted with his other grandfather this week, dad is up here visiting from Puerto Rico and in complete shock about how much energy Nick has. I think he now understands why he gets the standard "busy as always" when he asks how I am doing over the phone. He has also witnessed a temper tantrum or two. Either I skipped the terrible two's stage as a toddler, or he doesn't remember, because he sure looks shocked at his grandson's reaction to not getting his way.

* We will be taking advantage of Celebrating Adoption and have scheduled a professional photo session for Nick on June 14th. I am really excited about this. We will be doing outdoor shots near the White River State Park, downtown Indy.

* And the sole purpose of this post, today, my baby turned 23 months. Saturday marked our fourth Gotcha Day and Friday will mark our fourth month at home.

Here are a couple pictures of the family comedian who likes to empty one of his toy boxes and climb inside them... and the future football player. He even has the look in this picture!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baptism Pictures

Father Rodas, Bill, Monica, Nick & Grandma Lucy

Monica, Bill, Grandma Lucy & Nick, Godfather Israel, Godmother Maribel

Grandma Ellen, Grandpa Bill, Monica & Nick, Bill

On Sunday we celebrated Nick's baptism. We had our close family in attendance at the church and then we got together at our house for good food and conversation. Nick did great, both at the church and at home, despite missing his nap. By the end of the day he was running on adrenaline and slept very well!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

22 month old for hire - the sequel

Today, he went on strike. He insisted on participating in the spreading task, but wanted to be carried instead of pushing or walking along.