Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving: Part II

Some of my family came to visit this weekend for Thanksgiving in our new house. Well, really, probably to meet Ben. Regardless, we were glad they were here.

That's Ben with his 5-year-old cousin, Milla. She was really good with him. Cate was glad she was here too ...

Meanwhile, Jax was really into the balloon and the food, which apparently wasn't fast enough for him ...

Ben's middle name is after my grandpa, John Lucas McAdam, better known as Poppy. We were glad he made the trip down too so he could meet Ben.

There are more photos from their visit here.

bath time

Cate helped me give Ben his first bath at home on Saturday morning. He didn't mind it, but, as you can see, he was ready to be dressed again. Cate doesn't like him to cry, so she was telling me to take him. Everybody was more content once Ben was clothed ...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cate's room

This ...

... became this ...

Wallpaper was removed. New carpet was laid. Walls were painted. If you haven't been here, her room is the first place Cate will take you when you do come. I like that she likes it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our little family of four went to celebrate with some other Taylors at my in-laws' house. It was a low-key day, which made it perfect for our first outing with Ben.

As you can see, we had plenty to eat. That turkey happened to be 2.75 times the size of Ben, who was born just four days earlier. Yes, Cate had plenty to eat too ...

Actually, that's Cate's first time licking the beaters. And it was mashed potatoes, not cookies. Imagine how happy she will be when she discovers eating cookie batter!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wonderfully Made

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. --Psalm 139:14

A friend asked me if I saw a physical resemblance between Cate and Ben as newborns. I definitely noticed pretty much immediately the similarity of their hair. Then later their skin and fingers. I realized today they were both 20 inches long.

For any new blog readers, they do not have the same birth parents. Still, it's interesting to notice the similarities. Regardless of physical appearance, we know these sweet children belong in our family. God has showed us this in so many ways.

Cate, born May 6, 2007

Ben, born Nov. 23, 2009

Coming home

We were glad to come home when Ben was about 25 hours old. I asked the pediatrician if we could leave "early," although I had already mentioned my idea to a couple of nurses, so this question was not news by the time the pediatrician came to our room to talk to me about Ben. I think the combination of this being our second child, having a toddler at home, Ben weighing enough and eating enough, and having Thanksgiving later in the week worked to our advantage.

The biggest snafu came when we learned the court wanted a different type of paperwork before we could get the necessary order to leave the hospital. Our attorney originally filed for us to have guardianship when apparently temporary custody was the preferred route. Regardless, after Greg spent most of the day on the phone and with the attorney who works for our attorney who was unavailable, re-visiting the birth mom with different papers to sign and a trip to see the courthouse in Benton, where the family court judge was working, we got what we needed and were able to come home.

It was a good night to have our family of four under the same roof. And Ben seemed satisfied when we introduced him to his crib.

Big Sister Cate

I'm going to answer the popular question: How does Cate like being a big sister?

Well, she's 2 1/2 and Ben is [barely] two days old, so the verdict is probably should still be out. But so far so good.

She likes to hold him. In fact, the first time she met him, she wasn't sure she wanted to give him up, even to Gran-Gran. We convinced her by saying she could sit right next to them. And she likes to know where he is and what he's doing. Although the options for either are fairly limited, she asks anyway. She has already gotten me things [a blanket and burp cloth] and has helped feed him a couple of times.

Moving to a new house and bringing a baby home seemingly have combined to produce this strange phase of hording her toys in a purse, bin and/or gift bag. I think she's worried people are going to start re-arranging her stuff without telling her about it. Regardless, she's had a big last few months -- well, really, so have Greg and I -- so a little hording is a minimal side effect.

Here's to hoping she continues to like holding and helping her brother, even if she's clinching a bag of My Little Ponies and plastic bracelets in the other hand.

There are more pictures here.

his BIRTH day

I suppose you all want to hear the story of Ben arriving in this world. And if my assumption is wrong, I apologize and advise you to stop reading.

I should tell you that on Saturday my sister-in-law Angela asked what my perfect timing would be for Ben to be born. I told her Sunday or Monday. Well, Monday started with me going with the birth mom to a check-up appointment. We learned at that appointment that she was 5-6 centimeters dilated. [She was just short of 39 weeks, for those of you keeping count.] Really, given that initially dilated two months ago, we were happy to be just eight days from his due date.

The doctor, who also happens to be a family friend, said he was worried that if he sent her home, then she wouldn't have enough time to get to the hospital if her water broke. The doctor sounded confident that we would meet sooner than later.

Turns out, he was right.

After we each gathered things from our houses and made childcare arrangements, we met at the hospital. That was about 11 a.m. A couple hours later, the doctor broke her water. Then a couple hours after that, Ben was born.

The birth mom was a champ. She was holding my hand during delivery, but rarely really squeezed it. I could tell a couple times leading up to delivery she was really hurting, but she grinned and bared it. She never complained and told me thank you a couple of times. Um, no, really, I kept thinking, THANK YOU. Really, thank you doesn't even begin to express how I my appreciation for her.

Once Ben was born, the nurse took him to a neighboring room to clean him up. After hugging the birth mom multiple times, we followed the nurse, who was carrying our son. She tended to him, and then we got to hold him. This great nurse even was good with the camera and took the picture at the top of the post, which is one of my favorites from the day.

The nursing staff arranged for us to have a room, so we went there while the nursery staff did the things they do to newborns. They brought him to us and then Gran-Gran and Granddaddy [that's Greg's parents, if you're wondering ...] brought Cate to meet her brother.

That's our first family picture. A family of four. How blessed we really are.

There are more pictures here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome, Ben!

Welcome, Benjamin Lucas Taylor! He born yesterday at 2:56 p.m. He weighs 7 lbs. 10 oz. and is 20 inches long.

This is the first photo taken, and it is with my iPhone so I could easily share our good news. More photos and stories to come when we are at home and I grab a few minutes at the computer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yes, I went camping this weekend. I know, it's November, and camping isn't listed under my usual list of hobbies, but my husband had been wanting to, my in-laws were going were and said we could use their camper, and I assumed my daughter would like it. I was right. Cate loved the experience. Greg satisfied the urge the camp. The weather was beautiful. And I didn't have to sleep outside. My iPhone even sometimes picked up the wi-fi signal from the nearby campground office.

We stayed close to Murray in case our birth mom called to inform us her water broke, or she was having frequent contractions, or anything else that would signify our son would arrive soon. But she didn't. The disadvantage of staying close was we couldn't see the lake, or any lake.

The kids, especially the girls [meaning Cate and her cousin Ethne, who she calls "Epney,"], loved playing together. Greg and Charles fall into the "kids" category, at least for the afternoon.

It was a bright, sun-shiny day, thankfully.

But, really, I've decided, evening is the best time of camping, mostly because it involves sitting around the campfire and eating s'mores. But, really, there is something nice about being around the fire because it feels good and just talking and laughing with everyone, or, in our case, playing the Name Game.

[There are more pictures here in my Facebook album.]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday's Thought:
Funny Friends

Putting stickers on their faces was their idea. [That's Cate with her friends Noah and Emma.] Kids are funny when they choose their entertainment.

Kitchen [another view]

More before-and-after fun from the kitchen ...



Yes, that's my laundry room off the kitchen. I love it there!

Living Room


We aren't really formal living room type people, so this is what we went with ...

New flooring. New paint. New purpose.

And, yes, one day we'll have a more adult dining room table. This kid table hasn't really found a home, although it's likely to end up in Cate's room.


Through the door and across the hall, you can see into Ben's room. Works out well for the nursery. Below is what it looked like before we had wallpaper stripped, yellow paint added and new carpet laid ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

Worship, in essence, is declaring what we value most. As a result, worship fuels our actions, becoming the driving force of all we do. ... In the end, our worship is more about what we do than what we say.

--Louie Giglio in "The Air I Breathe"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fish are friends

While Greg went to the UK-Vanderbilt football game with some guys, we took advantage the Nashville road trip for some girl time. We went to Opry Mills to shop and eat at the Aquarium Restaurant. I knew Cate would love looking at all those fish. Plus she loved the company of two fun 5-year-old girls while I enjoyed catching up with their moms, who are college friends of ours.

She's 2. She can't read "Please keep hands off glass." I told her, but she was really into the fish. In fact, 5-year-old Libby told her too and was rather disappointed when Cate didn't listen.

The mall was crowded, like mid-December-Christmas-shopping crowded. Someone told me there were pre-Black Friday sales going on. Um, why is there the need to label a sale? Just have a sale. I did enjoy finding Ben some shorts for $2.99 at Gymboree.




Just traded the wallpaper [which wasn't a bad color/pattern as far as wallpaper goes ...] for yellow paint and the aged once-white vinyl floor for laminate. One day I will get a new counter top.

Play Room

And when I say play, I mean for me too.

The previous owners used the bonus room upstairs for storage, but as soon as I saw it [before we decided to buy the house] I knew I'd want a play room, partially for kids and partially for me. The hope is if I want to scrap, Cate [and sooner than later Ben] can play. Plus it's nice not to have all those toys out in her room or wherever else in the house.

[You can't see it, but my scrap table is perpendicular to the computer along the portion of the wall not shown.]


To make it suitable for playing, we had to have new flooring installed, walls painted and a couple electrical outlets added. Conveniently, the heating and air duct work was already close, so we [not we actually, but you know, we had it done ...] were able to having heating and air conditioning vents added.

The one other thing I know I want to do in here is add a magnetic chalkboard on part of one of the walls for the kids. I have both the magnetic primer and chalkboard paint. I just need to decide where I want it. [Any suggestions?]