Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby's First Passport

We will be going to Costa Rica in December to visit Lucas' family. His mother, older sister and younger brother live there. Since it's Gaby's first international trip, she never had a need for a passport until now. Saturday we finally went to apply for it, considering the fact that we fly in 5 weeks, we are cutting it close. According to the US Department of State, it is now taking about 3 weeks for the application to be processed. I sure hope they are right. The applying part was easy enough. I took Gaby to the CVS pharmacy to take her pictures and downloaded the application from the website. Our local post office is an acceptance site, so we didn't have to go far. Since Gabs is an infant both parents had to present. The ID's needed were, her certified birth certificate and our driver's license. We got there and the clerk had us sign the application which needs to be signed on site. She made copies of our license but the original certificate was to be mailed with the application (will be mailed back to us). We paid by check, $60 application fee (made out to US Department of State) and $25 processing fee (made to post office). I found out that I could have taken the pictures there for a $15 fee ($7.99 at CVS). Next year I will have to go through a similar process for myself, my passport will be expiring in July. I can't wait because the one I have has a terrible, now 10 year old, picture. I hope that the passport will be used to go to Brazil (if I don't get to go before it expires!). Can't believe I haven't been there in almost 10 years!!!

Daddy's Birthday

Tuesday was Lucas' birthday. Between voting, work and a doctor's appointment it was not possible to truly celebrate the occasion. That night had baked salmon (his favorite) for dinner and bought a peice of cake at Shoprite. I also called his two best friends to schedule a lunch for Sunday. Unfortunately Wilson could not make it but Jose came with his wife and two children. I made lasagna and tres leches (Lucas' favorite cake). We had lunch and sang happy birthday. First we sang in English and Spanish. Finally I sang it in Portuguese. It was interesting that the minute I started "parabens" Gaby started clapping but she had not done that with the other languages. That is because when teaching her to clap I always sang happy birthday to her in Portuguese. Now, everytime she hears it, she claps on cue...hehe That afternoon, Carolina (Jose's wife) and I took the kids to the playground a couple of blocks from our place. I went down the slide and on the swing with Gabs. The kids had a great time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we can...and we did!

I placed my vote at 6am yesterday morning. I have never been as proud to be an American as I am today. I am grateful for the privilege of being part of this historical election. Despite the fact that the need for change is so apparent, I was still afraid that once again the polls would be wrong and that we would have to suffer another four years of ill administration. I thank God that this was not the case! It was a beautiful acceptance speech. Obama showed composure, dignity and humility. He confirmed what many of us have known but others have doubted...that he is ready to be the president of the United States. I see in him a leader with a heart as well as a conscious. His election marks the beginning of a new era in American politics. The election of Barack Obama proves that dreams do come true.

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

That day has come!