Wednesday, May 30, 2007

alert


Cate is becoming more alert every day. Here she is enjoying her mobile.

(Jodi, yes, there are butterflies -- and dragonflies -- on the bedding, but not everything she owns has butterflies on it. She has plenty of pink and stripes too. But, for the record, there are lots of butterflies on lots of baby girl things, so it's not just my obsession.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

another May baby!

Meet Megan Elizabeth Gorrell. Congratulations Katy and Chad!

another mother/writer

Meet Cathy. (Long-time blog readers may remember me mentioning her in this post.) She's a mother and writer, and she's about the same place in adopting Charlotte as we are Cate. Charlotte was born six days before Cate, and even though they live in Alabama, I'm hoping the girls can play together one day.

a summer weekend


I really love Memorial Day because it feels like the opening of summer. (Yes, I know summer officially begins in June, but I think 90 degree temperatures make calling this summer a fair assessment.)

So, here's a run down of our summer weekend.

Our college friends Laura and Dave and their two children -- Gillian (2 1/2) and Phillip (6 months) were in town to visit. Laura and I let the guys keep the kids while we yard saling Saturday morning. And then we spent the afternoon catching up while the kids napped and the guys played golf. That evening we all went out to dinner when our Lexington friends Rod and Corbitt also stopped by to visit.


As you can see, Gillian was quite fond of Cate.

Sunday was a shower for Cate. Jaclyn did a beautiful job planning it and I, of course, loved showing Cate off. We got lots of nice (and many practical!) gifts. That night we had a cookout with some other friends from college who were in town for the shower.

Monday included another cookout and some time by the pool at Greg's aunt and uncle's house. It's become a tradition -- and a great one to ring in summer. That picture at the top of my blog (for those of you who actually read this far down ...) is Cate with Nana. Nana loves rocking and holding babies, but she and Cate have a special bond because Cate's middle name Anna is Nana's first name. (I just realize this week that the letters in Nana can be changed around to make Anna. I wonder if someone planned that ...)

Then last night Greg and I settled in on the couch to watch a few (maybe one more than a few ...) episodes of "Lost." We're not quite half way through the first season and I'm addicted. It's a really intriguing show and I love how the characters' stories are told through flashbacks while they're stranded on the island.

Another update: My car isn't totaled! This makes me happy because my list of why I don't like driving Greg's car was growing. (Manual locks, manual windows, a truck that barely holds the stroller, an uncomfortable seat position in relation to the steering wheel ...) You see, we were getting ready to sell his car when I wrecked mine. So we postponed selling his (or at least committing it to someone who may buy it later this summer) until we learned what the situation was with mine. So I'm happy to say that I can drive mine once its front bumper and surrounding area is repaired and new airbags are put in.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

sleeping while wrecking

I wrecked my car today. And Cate slept through the entire thing.

I was taking Greg back to his office after we had lunch with his parents and brother today. For those of you familiar with Murray, I was trying to left onto Chestnut Street out of the BB&T parking lot. Well, meanwhile, another lady was trying to turn left from Wendy's across the street. Greg was watching to the right, which I was watching to the left. I saw a break in traffic; Greg say a break in traffic. So I pulled out after a pickup truck passed. Apparently she pulled in behind the truck. I didn't see her ... until I was looking over the deployed air bag at her smashed Neon.

I've never had a wreck. I mean, I barely backed into a concrete wall once at a gas station. But it only left a minor scratch on my back bumper. And then one time a car bumped me from behind while I was stopped at a red light on Brownsboro Road in Louisville, causing me to gently bump another car in front of me. Seriously, those don't count.

Today's counted.

So Greg and I were looking into the air bags. Then we looked at each other. Then I jumped out of the car and looked at Cate in the back seat. She was still asleep. I got her out and Greg took her inside the bank while I talked to the police officer, who was on the scene basically immediately because he heard the crashing sound while getting in his car at the bank. Everybody was OK, but, man, I was shaken. (The other driver seemed about the same.)

My nose feels like it's slightly sunburned (not really sunburned, but that's how it feels ...) from the airbag and I have some tender carpet-burn-like spots on my arm. Greg's nose is a little swollen and has a little mark from the air bag. I never questioned why baby car seats go in the back because I'm a play-by-the-rules kind of girl, but I understand now. And that car seat was so steady and kept Cate safe.

I'm just thankful everybody is OK and the only hassles are going to be dealing with the repairs and insurance. A few marks and burns sure don't matter in the big picture.

Ho ho ho!


I've been off work 2 1/2 weeks now. And I have to admit, I don't miss it.

Confession: I really expected to miss work -- especially the covering news and writing stories part. A friend asked me the other day if I was surprised how little I cared about the news. Definitely surprised. But perfectly content.

And, thing is, we're busy. I really don't know how I'll manage to fit my job back in, but I guess I'll figure that out in 3 1/2 weeks. I am going to work from home more in the afternoons and evenings, so surely I can make the morning office time fit in.

So, I know you must be asking yourself: What does this have to do with Santa? Well, nothing, really. But this Santa and that sign were in our front yard just like that when we got home last Monday.

Random? Yes. But here's the brief story. Last year when Luke was born, our friend Brandon put this inflatable Santa in the Tompkins' yard as a welcome-home greeting. Then the Tompkins repaid Brandon the favor in March on his birthday ... in front of the church. So, no, I wasn't surprised to see Santa greeting us when we pulled in the driveway. Jaclyn made a new sign -- "Santa says it's a girl" -- for our ocassion.

Storms came a couple days later and we temporarily had to deflate Santa so he wouldn't blow down Sycamore Street. (I mean, it wouldn't have been a secret from where he came! No, not the North Pole, but from our yard!) Anyway, we resurrected him this weekend and Michael kindly took our family portrait.

So, we're home, as Santa announced to all the passers-by. For now, Santa is stored away from the next appropriate (rather, really, out-of-season) event. But, let me tell you, Cate is better than any Christmas present.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Perfection


I've gotten to show her off a little bit this weekend. I mean, what do you expect at Wal-mart in a small town? Taking her to church was also nice today. (The trip to church also marked the first time she was dressed in something other than a onsie, gown or sleeper!)

During the worship songs, I was thinking about how many times over the past couple of years I asked God about his timing for a baby. And today I remembered how his timing is perfect, and the baby girl I was holding in my arms is perfect for us. I've said before, this adoption process was filled with more peace than I've ever had. I finally can begin to grasp "... the peace of God, which transcends all understanding." And I see God's blessing alive in Cate when I look into her dark eyes, hold her tiny but long finger, or feel her rest her soft head on my shoulder.

If I'm not holding Cate, the next best thing is watching Greg with her. She's enjoying his company too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stylin' ...


Not only is all that hair soft, but it's great to mess with after a bath, as shown here.

Wide-eyed for the finales


Cate has been keeping her eyes open more the last couple of days. She's more alert while eating and then for some time afterward.

Some of this alertness came while we were watching finale-filled Thursday night television. Hooray for Jim leaving Karen in New York and asking Pam out on a date.

Then Grey's didn't disappoint either ... Surely Meredith is just having her usual doubts about life and not really Derek. His speech there toward the end about her being the love of his life was emotional. Izzie's speech to George didn't inspire me as much. Burke's vows were beautiful, but he has a point about trying so hard to help Cristina be someone she isn't. And Alex ... man, he breaks my heart sometimes. I wanted to learn more about him this season. Perhaps there's more to come on him in Season 4. And Callie is chief resident? Hmm ... And chief is still chief, even though his wife realized she may have slightly misunderstood him recently. I figured one of the interns would fail their test. Man, George is left to much soul-searching while Izzie sat in the church perhaps trying to let go of her love for him. And we all know Addison is off to her spin-off show.

And then there was CSI. The miniature killer was revealed at the beginning of the episode but the story still wasn't tied together. Those writers really had the nerve to end with a "To be continued ..." line on the screen. I mean, sure, season finales are often cliff hangers but to leave enough open that "To be continued ..." comes on the screen. Man ...

So, while I was flipping through channels at 5 this morning while feeding Cate, I noticed something strange: MTV was playing music videos. It was some rap song that I've never heard of and didn't care to know, but I was impressed with the fact MTV returned -- at least momentarily -- to its roots and away from reality television. Then I noticed on the TV Guide channel that MTV and VH-1 were playing music videos for at least a couple hours.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Look Pretty

A little girl walked to and from school daily. The weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school.

As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky.

Full of concern, the mother quickly Got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile.

Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her, "What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?"

The child answered, "I am trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Whew ...


Our first full day back in Kentucky was a good but tiring one. The morning started with a trip to the pediatrician. That visit was followed by one to the insurance agent and then the attorney. The attorney's office is next to the judicial building, so, of course, I had to show off Cate to some of my buddies there. We also broke in the new stroller with a walk with Jaclyn and Luke. I also tried to take care of some bills and balance the checkbook while some laundry was tumbling. There were a few visitors and some phone calls throughout the day.

... I think Cate has the right idea!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day


As cliche as it may sound, holding this week-old baby girl really is the best Mother's Day present.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

enjoying Cate


The thing about still being in a hotel room is we have time to enjoy our daughter and ease into parenthood with minimal commitments. You know, I haven't had to do laundry or wash dishes (other than the bottles!). And there's plenty of time for visitors. Looks like we'll be in southern Indiana through the weekend. We're hoping our adoption paperwork is received and approved in Frankfort on Monday. But the key word there is hoping. (Our attorney told me that we could look at the river but not cross it. So here we are at Rocky's Italian Grill on the river, aka the state line, for lunch yesterday.)

Of course, others joined us ...


That's Bryan holding Luke, Jaclyn, us, and Kent. Peggy took the picture.


Yesterday several friends and family came to visit (including a total of four kids with a combined age of 10). They got glimpses of Cate's eyes, and then, not long after everyone left, she was wide awake. It was fun for us to enjoy as we caught our breath and caught up with "Grey's Anatomy" (whoever thought of re-running the show the day after its regular air date was a genius!).


That's Milla meeting (and feeding) her new cousin. She was entertaining while curious.


And here's a tired Luke trying to re-energize while sharing a pillow with Cate momentarily. And, trust me, it was very momentary.

Friday, May 11, 2007

'She looks just like you ...'


The following is a scenario I suspect will be played again. The characters this time are Olive Garden Waitress, Baby Cate, New Mama, New Papa, Grandpa and Grandma.

Cate is sleeping in the carrier at the end of the booth near a high-traffic area. She assembled quite a fan club in a matter of minutes.

Olive Garden Waitress: Oh, she's so cute. How old is she?

New Mama: Four days old.

OG Waitress: She looks just like you.

New Mama just nods and smiles, thinking there is no need to clarify the situation.

OG Waitress: Noticing the head full of dark hair. Did you have a lot of heartburn?

New Papa, Grandpa and Grandma laugh. New Mama maintains her composure.

New Mama: Well, actually, we're in the process of adopting her.

OG Waitress: Oh, well, I think she looks like you.

New Mama: I think it's the hair.

OG Waitress: Looks at New Papa. Actually, she looks like both of you.

Grandpa: Points at Greg. Does he look like me?

OG Waitress: No. He looks like her. Points to Grandma.

New Mama, New Papa, Grandma and Grandpa go on eating breadsticks, salad and pasta while New Mama kindly thanks people who compliment Baby Cate.

Then as they're leaving ...

OG Waitress: She's really beautiful. And I still think she looks like you all.

New Mama: Thank you.

New Mama walks out while New Papa follows carrying Baby Cate. They listen to the conversation continue.

OG Waitress: Looks at Grandpa. So your son is really adopted too?

Grandpa: Giggles. Oh, no. I was just asking.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

sleeping

This is the evening time. She's ready for bed, but daddy is staying up for awhile so he can feed her before he goes to sleep. This is them watching SportsCenter. Sort of.


This is us this morning. I had just fed her at 8:15 a.m., but I wanted to sleep a bit longer before really getting going this morning.


And then this is how she sleeps overnight and when we let her out of our arms or off our chests during the day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Holding, loving

We weren't alone in hoping for our family, and now our daughter has quite a fan club. Having people love her (and us) is such a blessing.

The day started with my high school friend Bekah, who is a labor and delivery nurse at nearby Clark Memorial Hospital, helping us navigate through the lack of paperwork and direction to the newborn screen Cate needed after 48 hours from birth. Along for the ride were Bekah's daughter, Ila, who was celebrating her first birthday today, and Bekah's mom, who chauffeured Bekah and me to many swim team practices in high school.

So, anyway, here is Greg encouraging Ila to make entertaining sounds with her lips while we finish up our lunch at McAllister's Deli.


Oh, you came here to see Cate. Silly me. :) Here she is. Being held. It was definitely a popular occurrence today. Hey, love is love, and it's easy to love this baby girl.

Here's Laura holding Cate with her daughter, Gillian, wanting to be part of the moment.

Proud Papa (and Mama)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. --Psalm 139:4


I realize the cliche that a picture is worth 1,000 words holds completely true. But here's some more details from our first days of parenthood.

This new phase started early Sunday morning -- at 5:47 a.m. (central), to be exact -- when the birth mother called to tell us that her water broke. We were up and throwing our clothes in a bag and left the house by 6:30 a.m. (The jury is still out on whether we brought enough for ourselves, but Cate is the important one here, and her bags were packed for weeks!) We ran by Greg's office (Hey, we had to have this lap top so you could see those beautiful newborn pictures!) before we hit the road to Bloomington. We were at the hospital by 12:10 p.m. (now on eastern time ...) and awaited Cate's arrival, which came about 14 hours after the birth mother arrived there.

The birth mother was amazing, even during her back pains and labor. Throughout the whole process, she's been generous, gracious and strong, and her delivery of our daughter was no different. We were in the room when Cate was born, and I'm so thankful for that experience.

Cate had some trouble breathing on her own at first, so they put on her the smallest oxygen mask I've ever seen. We were there while they cleaned her up and tended to her. She griped our fingers. Then they took her the nursery and kept her on oxygen for an hour or two. She also was breathing kind of fast, so they wanted to make sure everything checked out.

Then at 4 a.m. Monday, the nurse brought our daughter to us. I fed her, and then I held her for three straight hours. Those were the moments for which I've been waiting. And, man, were they worth it.

Monday we just spent some time with her and then took care of some paperwork when the attorney came to the hospital. Then we were surprised when the pediatrician said we could leave as long as got the required newborn screen done in a couple of days. So, the hospital got the legal order that terminated the birth parents' right and gave us temporary guardianship, and we were off for Jeffersonville, Indiana, about 8:30 p.m. -- a couple dozen minutes shy of Cate's first 24 hours in this world. We took a pit stop in Columbus, Indiana, to feed Cate and feed ourselves, and then we took up temporary residence in this hotel that is pretty close to the Ohio River. Exit 2 on the Hoosier side. In fact, we can see the buildings in Louisville. It feels pretty close to familiarity.

Even with this 4-day-old baby in our arms, the newness seems comfortable. We hold her and realize God planned her for us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Clean Cate


She wasn't wild about the bath itself, but she loved the towel afterward. (Those aren't ears on top of the towel, but rather butterflies that go with the "Cute as a bug" message.)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Meet Cate!


Catherine Anna Taylor was born on Sunday, May 6 at 8:54 p.m. (Eastern). She weighs 8 pounds and is 20 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair and long fingers. In fact, she's quite beautiful.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Yes. I am indeed excited.

It's amazing how many people are going to love this child ...

Yes. I am indeed excited.

No. I don't really have any news.

Yes. The nursery is ready.

I am ready too. Or at least ready to learn I'm probably not really ready.

No. Please don't call her Catie. I adore the name Katie. Well, even more so, I adore my dear friend Katie, and my friend Katy (even though she's really terrible about returning phone calls ... I wonder if she has any news about her baby?!) and my other friends Katie. But she's going to be Catherine Anna. You can call her Cate. Or Cate Anna. Or Catherine. No Catie. Or Caty.

I have no idea if I have everything I need. But I know I have family and friends who will help me get anything I realize I don't have.

No. I don't have a Diaper Genie or Wipe Warmer and I don't intend to get either.

No. She hasn't gone into labor. If she had, I wouldn't be answering my phone at work.

Sure. We can have lunch. We can get together. Obviously we're hoping to cancel.

Did I mention that I am excited? I don't do excited expressions well.

Yes. We are going to let you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you ... know when she arrives. Expect a mass e-mail and then probably a phone call. Maybe a text message. And if you're in the area (meaning southern Indiana at first, then Murray) please come visit.

...

So, here's the thing, I am so thankful for all the people who love us and will in turn love our baby. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what I would do without my family and friends. The anticipation of Cate is fun for Greg and me. We're dreaming and hoping and thinking and praying. Like kids waiting for Christmas or a couple planning their wedding or people waiting to go on the trip of their lives, we're waiting with great anticipation. You know how excited you are? Yeah, I bet we have you beat. But we're just working and living our lives waiting for the phone call. Then we can drop what we're doing for this baby girl.

But until then, you can refer to the answers above. We really do hope we have new (good) news to share soon. But the lesson in this whole thing (the trying-to-get-pregnant-turning-to-adoption phase) has been God's timing. And I know controlling the timing of her birth is completely out of our hands. (Just so you know, were I in control, she would have been here yesterday. Yep, would have been the best birthday present yet!)