Thursday, December 14, 2006

A day of firsts...

Yaaaaay Jack and Mallory!!!
Tuesday, Mallory cut her first tooth; and Jack said "DaDa."

Jack is also very mobile. He now crawls from room to room. He has this facination with doors and cords right now. Biscuit remains his favorite thing to look at, though. He is amazed by him.

Were your children captivated by your pets?

Visiting Santa Claus

This a picture from Jack and Cousin Mallory's first visit to see Santa. I have one of him by himself, but wanted to include Mallory. :) It's hard to tell that she's actually older than him, isn't it?

Family Pics~October

I am so blessed!

I love his little vest with the dark background and blocks. It looks "old-timey." None of his shoes fit that day. Now I always keep a pair in the next size up.

6 Month Pics~October

With his favorite sleeping buddy

He had just started standing. You can't tell...but I was just inches away, terrified he'd fall.

What a sweet baby!

These were all taken right after his second haircut. I didn't like the straight bangs.

Seasons Greetings!

Life gets so busy during the holidays, doesn't it? I'm glad that Kevin and I don't sweat the money deal. We celebrate advent each evening and reflect on Jesus's birth. We enjoy the Christmas lights, Santa Claus, social events, too; but we choose to enjoy the cheer of the season...and not rely on credit cards. :) Kevin and I haven't really been shopping together, but we have discussed all the details. We've pretty much tag-teamed with Jack.

One tradition Kevin and I have is to give to charities. His whole family does it. We take the money we would spend on each other and donate to a charity of choice. Kevin and I like to send out a letter or email explaining the gifts we purchased with the rest of the family's sacrifice. Last year, we got a thank you card from one of Kev's teenage nephews thanking us for the gift. What a message! I never really gave from the heart in that way before Kevin, besides a shoebox gift or something. He has taught me so much about giving. He is one of the most selfless givers I know. We adopt a family from the community who is truly in need or give to the Care Center. There is such a need. I can't wait for the day Jack will be old enough to pick out gifts for another child his age...maybe in a year or two.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


This house is FOR SALE in Prattville. If you know anyone who is interested...let me know. I'll help you get in touch with the owner.

Beautiful, 4 bedroom-2 bath home in friendly, new, & fast-growing family neighborhood. Spacious master bedroom with cathedral ceiling and large living room with gas fireplace. Tiled kitchen with dining area and separate utility room. Foyer with wood flooring. Fully landscaped backyard complete with six-foot privacy fence and storage building. Recreational features including basketball goal and horseshoe pit in backyard. Carport area that opens to backyard.
Here's a link to our family photo session slideshow and Jack's six month pics. We waited until after the adoption was officially complete to have the family pic taken. I was just afraid to jinx anything. Jack was such fun. Kim is always so good at capturing his little giggles. Notice...he has no shoes on...I think they turned out cuter with his fat little toes showing anyway. heckling the mommy pics!

This is my little buddy in his new "big boy" shoes. They're called Gotcha, but they look Sketchers. I've decided that it's in our best interest to have at least one pair of shoes in the next size up. About a month ago, we went to have family/6 month photos taken and Jack had no shoes that would go on his feet. It was like he had magic beans the night before!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Jack was a purple dragon for Halloween. My niece, Mallory, was a little chick. My family came over to eat hotdogs and help give out candy. Rene and Scary Skyler and some other friends also came. We had a great time. Thanks for helping us celebrate guys! Here are some pics of the purple dragon and the chick. Jack also ate his first lolleypop. The cow is Aunt BJ.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ok...I'm sorry!!! I have very little time left in my life. It's been difficult getting to the blog lately, but I've missed you all.

Today is a perfect example of my chaos...I went to the grocery store around 7 am before Kevin left bright and early for a business trip . He was kind enough to take Biscuit to the vet on his way out of town. Incidently, the vet called for my doggie about 10 minutes before Kevin left. We had to call a neighbor to see if she could help watch Jack while I pick Biscuit up this afternoon. He was going to be sedated and I didn't think it safe to drive with a scared dog and a 7 month old. Poor Biscuit has a torn ACL. He has to have surgery next week, but they had to sedate him today to be absolutely sure that's what he needed. Jack was very active playing while I was leading conference calls, calling my students, and returning a weekend's worth of emails. He was very happy as long as I stayed in his direct line of vision. He's so much fun, but he's also at that stage where mommy must be present at all times. He's teething again,, fun. He was dressed in a very cute, warm, and fuzzy sweatsuit until he puked all over himself at lunch. Not sure why that happened. He's not usually a puker. Maybe I fed him too fast. I spent lunch tending to frustrating "lazy student who doesn't understand why she's failing" issues. My 9 year old nephew went missing after school today because he all of a sudden decided he was old enough to hoof it with his cool friends. Of course both parents call his teacher aunt who's no longer a teacher. I spend 15 minutes trying to locate him at school, until we learn where he is and 10 minutes talking to everyone who kindly calls me back to report it. By this time I'm about 30 minutes late on phone call appointments with students. The vet calls for me to come get Biscuit, who it turns out DOES need surgery. It also turns out that he was afraid at the vet and needs to be crate trained in a week to prepare for his surgery and the recovery time he's going to spend in a crate while we travel for Thanksgiving. My little neighbor comes to watch Jack while I get Biscuit. By the time we get back, I'm 1 1/2 hours late on my calls. I finally feed Jack who's also wiped out. Then I spend the evening catching up on emails that should have been received during the chaos.

We're also selling our house, which I love, because we need more space. I know, you'd think 3 people could function in a 4 bedroom-2 bath house. Not so. I have a home office. Kevin has a home office. We have a bedroom. Jack has a bedroom. We hope to adopt again in a couple years and will need a bedroom for baby #2, we'll use for a guestroom until then. We love to entertain and need a dining room. We've been looking at houses for about 6 months now and have fallen in love with two in the same neighborhood. All we have to do is sell our house. So, if you know where I live and know someone interested. Have them contact me. The house is for sell at a great price. We want to move ASAP!

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's official!

It's official! We no longer have to worry about "them" taking our little boy away. Them is anyone who would ever consider it. Even though the birthmom had 48 hours to change her mind from the time of birth, we had to wait 6 months for the courts to approve it and make it official. Today was the big day. We had to travel back to Texas, not the birth location, to appear in court. I was nervous about it all weekend, but it wasn't bad at all. It was actually very pleasant, almost like a wedding. Our family was married today...I like the sound of that. We were officially united as one. Seriously, there were lots of "yes" and "I do" replies made by my sweet hubby. Lucky for me, I only had one "yes" at the end to imply that "I agree with everything he just said." The whole experience reminded me of Night Court. The judge was very friendly, excited, and happy for us. The bailiff took photos for us during the entire process. Afterward, the Judge asked if he could come around to the front of his bench to be in photos with us. He wanted to hold Jack for the pics. Since we were in a "family court" setting, there were other folks we didn't know in the courtroom. They were all behind the bailiff smiling and waiving at Jack, trying to get him to smile for the camera. Complete strangers were so excited for us. The judge and attorney said that Jack was one of the biggest HAMS they've ever seen in front of the camera. We were able to read some information about the law firm that represented us today, too. WOW! Very powerful! Extremely impressive backgrounds. What a relief! Kevin said that today had better be Jack's one and only time in front of a judge, except of course when he gets a little brother or sister. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

5 1/2 months

I just love these pictures of my little man! I promise this is his personality about 95% of the time. He has become very active, though. As soon as he's up on those knees I'm going to need more help while I work. It's kind of hard to run with a lap top. :) If you look closely at the middle picture you'll see his new pearly whites! The bottom picture is the Jack we met this past week. He's becoming bashful around strangers. When someone he is unfamiliar with tries to talk to him he hides his face, doesn't cry, just hides. He also hides his face when he laughs some now. We were actually playing "peek-a-boo" when I took this photo. Notice how his hair is in his eyes?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ok, I know...I'm way behind! Wow! There is so much to share.

Jack got his first tooth the day before he turned 5 months. He now has two of the most beautiful pearly whites I've ever seen. It wasn't as bad as I had expected. He was grumpy one Friday afternoon, and I couldn't make him happy. Usually he is very easy to pacify. Saturday was perfect. We had a great time playing all day. Sunday afternoon, I saw his first tooth barely peeking through his gums on the bottom of his mouth. It melts my heart when he smiles.

Jack can sit up all by himself...well, as long as I sit him up. The point is he no longer falls over. It makes playing with him so much more fun.

Jack is already in dire need of his second haircut. The hair over his forehead is already in his eyes. I am not sure who I'll get to cut it. My own beautician is nervous about it, but willing.

I think I've heard him say "Daddy" a few times when he was upset. I'm not sure, but I think so.

Jack loves to pet the doggies. He loves Biscuit and Birdie. He watches them all day long.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Updates coming soon... I promise!!! I have a very busy life these days. ;) I hope to have them up by Friday and Saturday. They'll be worth the wait.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First Haircut

Sorry for the hiatus. Life's been busy, and I didn't want to write an entry until I had photos to include.

Jack got his very first haircut a couple weeks ago. Thanks, Granny! He was such a good boy! He and his daddy had a big time talking and laughing. It only took a few minutes. Mainly, he just needed some shaping around his ears. It was more like a trim. We got the whole thing on video, but here are some cute photos.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back to School

It occurred to me this afternoon that tomorrow is the first day I haven't gone "back to school" since I started kindergarten in 1979. Wow! I wonder how I'll feel. I think I'll miss all the kids with their hugs and high fives and summer stories. I won't miss the 25 mothers outside my door waiting one by one to tell me about their children's "special needs" as if I'll remember each of them. I hope I don't do this to Jack's teachers. I promise to try not to do this when he begins school.

I'm enjoying my job with WGU. I'm still in education. I make more mulah than I did with National Boards stipends in the classroom. I get to have lunch with girlfriends, work from any city with internet access and telephones, talk to students all over the country, and roll out of bed and stumble into my office without brushing my hair. I don't have to defrost my windows in the winter or do bus duty. How cool is that? I also don't collect hugs from ten-year-olds. I miss that the most. Leaving the classroom made me realize that I truly am a teacher at heart. I hope to return someday, but if I were teaching right now, I'd miss my precious Jack even more than someone else's ten-year-old. What a blessing. With WGU I'll be able to walk Jack to his own classroom and grit my teeth when I want to share his "special needs" with his very capable teacher.

***As a side note for all you teachers out there...I actually received an email from a student's mother the other day trying to excuse her daughter's unprofessional disposition. Yes, the student is already married and has a child. I wonder if she also explained her child's "special needs" in 4th grade. Probably...I'm sure that's why she finds it necessary to do it today. In case you're wondering...NO, I didn't reply. GET A LIFE!

Jack Hits the Road

Jack spent his first night away from home last night. All of my family had dinner at Mom and Dad's house for my brother's birthday. Jack spent the night while Kevin and I went to the movies afterward. It was really strange waking up this morning. There wasn't near as much to do. Kevin didn't know what to do with his hands while I was getting dressed. When we entered the church for mass, everyone looked at us funny. They were trying to figure out where he was. Some even worried that he had been "taken back." No, he's still ours. We just decided that 4 months was old enough for him to spend the night with grandparents.

How old were your children when they first spent the night without both parents in another house?

Unnoticed Decorating

Kevin brings Jack and me small teddy bears from every state he travels through. We've collected quite a few. When KJ was out of town for a few days last week, I finally found the time to put many o f them in a corner net above the chest of drawers in Jack's room. The following is a conversation Kevin and I had a couple days after he returned:

Me: (standing in the nursery) Kevin, you didn't even notice Jack's room.

Kevin: (alone in the office) Sure I did, baby.

Me: No, you didn't. You would have said something.

Kevin: (sneaking down the hall to peek in the nursery, unaware that I'm already in there) Well, there are lot's of interesting things in Jack's room.

When he entered the room we both were laughing so hard at Kevin's incognito attempt to discover what I'd done to the nursery. He was so caught! It's feels good to have a big belly laugh like that sometimes. Life can become so busy that we don't take time to enjoy the simple things.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Jack update...

Today, Jack found his feet. Actually, I think it possibly started Sunday. He's worn flip-flops and sandals, but usually goes barefeet. He wore white baby shoes (you know, the traditional leather kind your mother put on your feet) to church Sunday. He never complained, but I noticed him just staring wide-eyed at his shoes. I could imagine him thinking..."What in the world are THOSE big things?" When Kevin put him in bed with me bright and early this morning (yes, Kev was up bright and early and had already fed him) he was only wearing one sock. When I inquired about the status of the missing sock, Kevin just said, "Yeah, that's how he woke up." Figures, only Kevin would worry about Jack spending his whole day with one sock on and the other missing. Throughout the rest of the day I noticed Jack holding his toes. I think the big white shoes in church brought his attention to his feet. It appears he's pretty happy with them. He hasn't tasted them yet, but he's been playing with them all day.

I weighed Jack today. I couldn't stand it any longer. He's getting so heavy I just had to know the latest total. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I weighed him twice just to be sure there wasn't any mistake. He weighed a whopping........16 1/2 pounds! He goes to the doctore for his next check up next week. So, we'll find out for sure then.

Other Jack facts:

  • He kissed me on each cheek the other day. It was more like an open mouthed lick, but that's what he was trying to do. He was giving me love before going to sleep. Jack loves kisses.
  • He sings back to me now.
  • He can roll over both ways. Tummy to back. Back to tummy.
  • He's eating cereal at night now. Loves it!
  • He still needs a haircut.

Bloggin' Mamas~ Stacy said it best.

Jack and I met a few of my other "blogger friends" and their children for lunch at Chik-fil-a Saturday. We had a great time chattin' it up about blogs among other things. It was nice to get together with others who have interests similar to me. I know...I'm such a nerd. My personal observation is that blogs are becoming a new sort of virtual soap opera. You get kind of caught up in the stories people write about. You wonder what happens next in the saga. It's really weird to see how many folks from all over the world check out my blog. My favorite part of our excursion, though, was the hulk immitation (for those of you there). It was also nice to get out with Jack. It was the first time I think he's been around so many children at once. He was so quiet, checking everything out. Notice the wide eyes above. ;) Of course, I'm sure one dayI'll have a difficult time keeping him out of the air-conditioned play area. Geez..with all the babes we're holdin' you have to wonder who has time to type! It was a lot of fun, ladies. We should make it a quarterly thing.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Daddy of the Year

BACKGROUND: You have to understand, first of all, that Kevin truly is a wonderful father. He really is. He takes Jack to Lowes, to town with him, all kinds of errands. Yesterday, Jack became a member of the "breakfast club" when Kevin arranged to meet a friend at Waffle House. He absolutely can't wait for the day when the two of them can play golf.

EVENT: This morning, I was getting ready for church. I stayed up late Saturday night. So, early bird Daddy had showered dressed himself, fed Jack and was changing him as I was adding the finishing touches to my make-up. I love having the baby monitor in Jack's room, because when one of us is in the nursery with him, we can hear the other talk. I'm seriously considering hiding it under his bed when he's sixteen. Kevin and Jack are having their "father/son conversation" of the day when I hear Kevin say in his enthusiastic baby talk voice, "Daddy got it backwards bud! We're going to have to start all over!" Jack, acting as if he understood, laughed and giggled. Kevin had put Jack's jumper on backward. I laughed out loud. I thought it was so funny...good thing Jack loves to be changed.

For all you mothers...

How old was your child when he/she got his/her first haircut?

Kevin and I are really thinking that Jack should have his hair-do shaped up a little. Only, we're not sure what kind of shape to give it....

Any thoughts?

Binky or Pacifier?

Cast your vote...share your thoughts..then I'll share mine!

Ok lurkers...this is a risk-free opportunity to come out of the blog closet!

9 week photo

3 1/2 months...already

Wow! Our little Jack is growing so quickly! He loves to walk in his little walker. I say walk...actually, he scoots backward in short bursts when he's excited. He loves it, though. I think he enjoys the independence of it, so does Mommy when she's in the kitchen. ;) He continues to talk more and more. We get really excited when we hear a new turn or sound in his voice. He prefers his thumb to the pacifier. I don't blame him. He enjoys looking at himself in the mirror, now. He's pretty much sleeping through the night. He's going to bed earlier, around 8 or 9, and sleeping until about 4am. The one thing that really melts our heart is that he has really begun to recognize Kevin and me as his parents. He is pretty happy with anyone; but when he sees one of us, he gets the biggest, wide-eyed, open-mouthed grin. He continues to be a delight to everyone he meets. I think he is going to be pretty active. He is constantly kicking and moving. When lying on his stomach, he moves like he's swimming or holds his head up. He has begun to pull his knees underneath him, too. I wonder how long it will be before he crawls. When he's on his back, he tries to roll to his tummy. Sometimes he can, other times he's just too exhausted from all the playing. The funniest thing he does on his back is hold his left leg stiff, completely rigid, and raise it up and down over and over really quickly. We're thinking he may be a really great soccer player or football kicker. Either way, it's pretty fun to watch! He's had a big time watching the British Open with his daddy this weekend. Much to our dismay, he seems to be a Tiger fan. I think it's the bright orange and red shirts he's been wearing. Oh well, at least he knows a winner when he sees one.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


We had graduation this morning. After lunch I finally found a little time to sit outside in a sun chair and get some fresh air. The temperature was very high, but no humidity. The air is so dry that you WANT to drink water all the time. It started to rain. Rain here equals sprinkle. The weird thing is that I could feel the drops land on me, but it was so dry that they immediately vanished. So I had cool tingles while lying out in the sun. Isn't that so strange?
I'm in SLC right now. It is such a beautiful area! The temperature here was 102 degrees today, but it felt like 78 degrees does at home. There is just no humidy. Here is a photo of Salt Lake from the 8th floor of my office building. Of course right now there is no snow in the mountains. There will be when I return in February, though.

Leaving the boys behind...

I haven't posted recently, because I've been out of town on university business. I'm still out of town and won't be home until Sunday afternoon.

Yes, I cried when I left Jack for the first time overnight. I'm a big girl and was much better once I was on the road to the airport, but I was pitiful for a little while. Daddy is taking care of him this week. Kevin is fantastic with him. So, I'm not worried about that. I'm sure he'll have grown so much by the time I get home. We've had regular phone calls, and Kev says that Jack smiles and laughs when he holds the phone up to Jack's ear for me to talk to him. I believe it because I know he does it when Kev's away from home.

They are having a big time together. Kevin even took him to a business meeting. I know, I'm shaking my head as I type this. He's such a proud daddy. He wanted to show him off to the guys.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jack and Jill...I mean Mallory

Jack is growing so quickly! I'm not sure how much he weighs right now. He hasn't been back for a wellness checkup since the beginning of June. He'll go back in early August. I figure he's at least 14 lbs right now. He's still so much fun. We took him for another swim yesterday afternoon. He loves swimming forward, not so much about the whole floating on your back thing. He's eating 6-8 oz. of formula at each feeding now. We're planning to start him on cereal by the end of June, but probably not until I get back from Salt Lake City. His new favorite tricke is bouncing on the knee. He loves it. When you stop, it takes him a second to realize it. Then, he starts kicking his legs trying to go at it again. He also started kicking himself back when his head is on the red play gym (in the previous entry). He's so funny...he scoots back and doesn't have the strength to reverse the whole act. He can't pick his head up and move back down. So, then he gets mad.

On the Cousin Mallory front, she's playing and talking, running all over the place in her walker, and eating big girl food. Jack has already officially passed her in the weight catagory. She's going to be a tiny little girl. She is having a lot of fun playing and went on her first big trip this week. Granny and Amanda took her to Oklahoma to visit Aunt Linda's family. She had a big time playing with cousins Braxton, Kylie, and Lindsey.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jack has really begun to use his hands. He is lying on our bed playing with his little gym. He likes it here in the mornings when I'm getting dressed because we can see each other. The bathroom door is where his feet are pointing. We have great conversations! He has just begun to enjoy the little animals and toys that hang overhead. They used to either annoy or frighten him...I'm not sure which. He loves this little thing now. His legs are usually kicking the whole time he's playing with it. He likes the purple elephant on his right the best, another one of those I'm not sure why things. He played so hard Friday that he fell asleep. He was so cute, I had to take a picture.

Man's Best Friend...or Is it Biscuit's?

Jack was having a big time playing with something when Biscuit decided to snuggle. It was a Kodak moment I couldn't refuse.

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, Off to Grandma's House We Go...

Kevin, Jack, and I decided it was time to pay Grandma (KJs mom) another visit. So, Friday we packed up everything but the kitchen sink and headed northwest. We took clothes, bottles, formula, diaper stuff, a pack-and-play, baby gym, portable swing...You name it, we probably took it! Thank God for Trailblazers! Jack is such a good little travelin' man. He pretty much slept the whole way (3 1/2 hours). He didn't get hungry until about 20 minutes from Grandma's, which was about an hour overdue.

Grandma had a great time getting reacquainted with her newest little man. He was well behaved as always. He's getting so big it's difficult for her to walk with him. He was even on his best behavior during our trip to the "Club-Club." The local country club/golf course. Everyone at church had to get a good look and hold him. We were all so proud to show him off!

Of course there were lots of "Now where is he from?" questions. The funny thing is that since we were out of state, I almost said our home state. I guess I didn't realize what they meant at first. The latest where is Jack from question was..."Is he from Guatemala?" It doesn't bother me really. I just don't recall ever asking someone that. I guess inquiring minds just want to know.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My Space

Here is the link to my My Space for those who would like to see more cool stuff. The blogs are basically the same. I just copy and paste.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Jack Facts

  1. He's 10 1/2 weeks old now.
  2. He talks, coos, and gurgles all the time! The doctor said he was doing this much more than other children his age. He's so polite. He waits for you to stop talking before he speaks.
  3. He hasn't lost any hair.
  4. He likes to shake his arm rattle and play peek-a-boo with his stuffed frog rattle.
  5. He LOVES to swim.
  6. He still wakes up for his middle of the night feeding, but it IS getting later.
  7. He is most happy when you take his clothes off and let him lie around nude.
  8. He's eating about 6-8 oz of food at every meal now, except the midnight one.
  9. He can control his head well, but it's still too big for him to hold it up by himself when sitting.
  10. He is trying very hard to roll over. He's done it a few times, but not since he's grown so much.

2 month check-up

Jack went to the doctor for a wellness visit last week. He passed! His doctor just loves him. He was in the 70th percentile for weight at 12 lbs 5 oz and in the 90th percentile for length at 24 1/2 inches. I think his percents are so high because he was actually 9 1/2 weeks old at the visit. He had to get two shots and was a real trooper. I'm glad Kevin was there. It broke my heart to see him so hurt like that. My favorite part of the visit was when Jack was lying on the little patient bench in his diaper. I don't guess he's ever been that active at the doctor before. He kicked and played. He just loved the sound the sanitary paper made underneath him. He had so much fun, I had to go to the store to get some of the gift wrap paper for him to lie down on at home. He loves it! Cheap thrills! After the visit, our little family went to the amphitheater in the garden beside the Shakespeare Festival for Jack's lunch. It was shaded and the temperature was nice outside.

Dressed for Success

I just love this little outfit Kevin picked out for Jack the other day. You can't really tell from the picture, but the shorts and Bermuda shirt have a coordinating t-shirt underneath. How cute! Mommy added the little hat. Without the hat, Jack looks Hawaiian!

Dear Jen...

This entry is for you. Jack just wanted to show you how proud he is of the flip-flops he got from you, Luke, and Mrs. Barb. He wears them to the pool all the time. Pretty soon, either they'll be worn out or too small.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

Jack had a big time this weekend...Kevin and I took him for his first swim. Don't worry, it was after the heat of the day. He had sunscreen on, and he was only out for about 35 minutes. I thought for sure that we'd at least have to coax him into the water, but that was a big negatory! He laughed and played and cooed. I'm not sure who had more fun, Jack or his parents. One thing is for sure...the hot sun wore all of us out!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Questions Strangers Ask

Jack is almost 8 weeks old; he will be Tuesday. He continues to amaze us as he grows and changes daily. He is such a happy baby. We're so proud to be his parents.

My girlfriend, Carolyn, took me to lunch for my birthday today. Being a proud mommy, I brought the latest batch of photos of my little angel along to show her (since Jack was home bonding with Daddy learning about the pork business). Our server noticed the baby pictures and wanted to know who just had a baby. Carolyn told her it was me. The lady, not realizing how she sounded and genuinely being interested, looked at me and asked, "Is he mixed?" I smiled and replied, "He's Hispanic." When she saw Kevin in one of the pictures she still didn't get it and commented on Jack's dark skin. She said she'd never seen a baby that was "part Hispanic still be so dark." I smiled and explained that Jack is "full Hispanic" and that we adopted him. I knew that would springboard us into the next famous round of "Jack questions."

She wanted to know where he was from. I said the United States. I knew what she meant, but couldn't help making it harder for her to get her answers. I don't think I'd ever be as tenacious with personal questions, myself. She asked again, "Well, yeah, but where's he from?" I told her Texas.

My point is that we live in America, the melting pot, salad bowl, or whatever you want to call it of the world. All kinds of folks live in the USA. If you've ever visited large cities like New York, Las Vegas, Las Angeles, Chicago, or Baltimore you'll understand. Just because a person's skin has a particular tint doesn't mean they just got off a ship or crossed a border. In America, it's quite possible to live within communities where there are many others with your same ethnicity. Your own culture can thrive in a community beside another different community. It doesn't matter whether your relatives/ancestors are German, Irish, Nigerian, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese. That's the beauty of America. Jack's ancestors have lived in Texas for generations, just as my Irish ones have and Kevin's Dutch and Irish ones have. We're proud of our heritage, but we're American. Jack is American. His birthmother speaks less Spanish than I do. She doesn't listen to Salsa music for pleasure; she listens to Enya and Sade. She doesn't eat tacos at every meal; she loves Italian food, same as me. I'm sure she has habits that stem from her Hispanic roots, but we all do things just because our families have always done them a certain way.

Jack's of Hispanic descent, but his nationality is American. There are all different colors of Americans. When Jack is older and questions why his skin is different from mine, I'll point to all the other people around us with a variety of skin tones and tell him in the great words of author Karen Kingsbury, "God gave everyone a special color, a color he loved for that person." You see, God knows exactly what color is the most beautiful one for each of us.

It doesn't bother me that people ask. It reminds me that we have a different kind of family. I wonder how Jack will receive it as he matures and tries to understand. I guess I'm just now becoming more aware of it than I ever have as a "white person." People seem to forget that were really all different, unique on the inside and outside.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Prayer Request

Please pray for Benny, a very dear friend of Kevin's. He is undergoing very intense treatment for stage 4 cancer at the best hospital for cancer patients in the country. If you came to our wedding, then you probably saw Benny and his wife there. We are all very torn up about his diagnosis, spots in several organs including his brain and liver. This is not his first battle with cancer.

Benny is a very active person who takes excellent care of his body, striving to stay in great physical condition. Remember the commercial from the 80s where the little boy was in the walker speeding all of the house on the clean floor? That's Benny! He talks fast, moves fast, truly enjoys life. He lights up a room when he enters it. When he found out Kevin was getting married, he called me right off the bat. He said, "I wanna talk to this woman who has finally turned Kevin's head! You're the luckiest woman in the world!" I agree, except Benny's wife is also very lucky. He truly loves her and dotes on her and his three beautiful, young daughters endlessly. I went to a business meeting at his office once. He took me on a tour of every photo of every daughter he has...and there were many!

Benny is a very strong Christian man. He has a strong faith in God. If anything can pull him through this tough road he now has to travel, prayer can. Please pray for him and his family. Benny has especially requested for everyone to have their children pray for him. He said that "God answers the prayer of children first." If you've ever fought cancer with a loved one, you know how draining and difficult it can be.

Big Events

What a busy weekend!

I went to the PHS graduation last night to see my first "official" class graduate. It was very touching to receive invitations from students I taught way back in 1997. The stadium was jam packed! Jack was a very good sport through all of the cheering and fog horns. We left before it was over, though. As soon as I saw all the kids I wanted to see. I was rude...but I had Jack to think about, and 400 kids is a lot! We are going to Virginia in June to see Kevin's nephew, Ben, graduate. Congratulations Class of 2006!

Kevin's mother and brother come into town today for Jack's Christening tomorrow. It's a very big deal. We are excited. I called her yesterday to tell her Jack is so excited about her visit that he pooped in his pants 3 times. She's excited, too. We'll have the ceremony during the 8 o'clock mass. Jack will wear a white baptism gown smocked and sewed by his Granny (my mother) and be wrapped in a white crocheted blanket made by his Grandma (Kevin's mother). I think that is very special. Tim, Kevin's big bro, is Jack's Godfather; and Joannie, my lifelong friend, is his Godmother. They are both very strong Christians who Kevin and I feel would make wonderful mentors and role models for our son. I would trust either of them to give him advice in confidence. Both of them have been through very trying times in their lives and have maintained, even increased, their faith in God. Afterwards, we're bringing some friends and family to the house for photos and a champagne toast, then off to a local restaurant for brunch.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Birthday

Well, I'm officially 32 now. I don't feel older, just busier. Kevin and Jack gave me a beautiful gold necklace with 3 diamonds. I love it. Jack stayed with his first "real sitter" while his daddy took me out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants...Garretts. It was fabulous! We really had a great time. We talked about all kinds of things, but it struck me as funny when the conversation always turned back to our perfect son...Yes, I said perfect. ;) I wondered how many times I sat next to very happily married couples in restaurants who were merrily discussing their children. I had a great time. I love the fact that Kevin continues to indulge me in our "private time." I think that is so important in a marriage. I also received a beautiful bracelet and plaque from my little sister, a devotional from Jack's godmother, and gorgeous flowers from Kevin's mother. All in all it was a special birthday. Nothing exotic, but special. In fact, I was more excited to celebrate my first Mother's Day.

6 Weeks Old

I know you're dying for an update, but Kevin's out of town for several days. It's just me and the little man...So, things have been more hectic than usual. Hmmm...Let's see...

  1. Jack pulled his own hair again yesterday. This time it was much more difficult to loosen his tight little grip without hurting him worse. It took at least a full minute (come on...It would seem like forever to you too if someone were pulling your hair unmercifully). I almost cried. I felt so sorry for the little dude.
  2. He is smiling, cooing, and gurgling more and more. That curled little smile melts my heart like no other. It's like Elvis, you know. The right side of his tip lip raises higher than the other.
  3. He can hold a rattle and shake it now if you put it in his hand for him. He loves the sound.
  4. He was a "one man band" in church Sunday. The stench! Kevin was holding him and thought he needed changing. So, after communion I went to the "crying room" (it's a glassed in part of the sanctuary with a speaker to hear the service, rocking chairs, restroom, and changing table) to change him. He only had gas. By the time I got back there he was burping, pooting, and hiccuping all at the same time. I decided it would be better for the congregation if we just stay back there until the little spell passed.
  5. He is taking 5 oz of formula (occasionally 6) consistently at every feeding now. I'm considering adding cereal at his last feeding, but am afraid to without talking to the doc. Any advisors?
  6. He is rapidly outgrowing his clothes. The flip-flops fit, Jen!
  7. He smiles when he hears his daddy's voice on the phone.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

I love this movie! The old one and the new one, especially the new one. In the movie Willie Wonka says, "You know what happened to the little boy whose dreams all came true...He lived happily ever after!"

Well, Saturday is my 32 birthday. I've had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but I can honestly say that all my dreams have come true and my happily ever after has begun. I am happier than I ever dreamed I'd be. I am very happily married to my best friend in the whole wide world and have been given the most beautiful and precious son. I have a wonderful job and a beautiful home. I have two furry mongrels who love to be petted regularly and more friends than I deserve. God is so good. I can't wait to see what wonderful blessings the next 32 years hold.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

HAIRY situations

  1. Kevin and I took our little man out for some fresh air Saturday afternoon. We went to the soccer playoffs for PHS. While there the 4th grade son of one of Kevin's friends asked a lady who was holding Jack, "Why is his skin so dark?" She very sweetly responded by saying, "He's Hispanic." This led the little boy to his next question..."So, is he going to have an afro?" {Later that evening the boy asked his mother how Mrs. Riley could have a Hispanic baby. }
  2. Jack has been learning how to manipulate his hands and fingers. He's grabbed my necklace numerous times. Well, this afternoon while lying on his back, he began to scream in a way I've never heard before. He was hurt! It didn't take long to realize that he was pulling his own hair without realizing it. The harder he pulled, the madder he got and the tighter his grip became on his own hair. He had a fist full! It was difficult to loosen his grip. I guess most babies his age don't have enough hair to grab a handful.
You know, I was very worried about how Biscuit and Birdie would handle a new baby in the house. It didn't take very long to find out. They love Jack. Birdie usually licks his head, and Biscuit licks his feet. It's all very sweet. When I come in the back door with him in the carrier, I usually go ahead and set him down in the kitchen floor so they can say "Hi" and go about their business. (Believe me, it's much easier than the energy-filled alternative.) Yesterday was filled with two very cute Jack with Biscuit, one with Daddy.

1. Biscuit is usually afraid of the vacuum. I don't know if it's the sound or the fact that he knows it isn't a person, but he usually runs out of the room when it's in use. Yesterday, instead of leaving the room, he jumped between Jack's swing and the vacuum and began barking ferociously to protect Jack. How sweet! I wonder how he'll do when Jack pulls his tail...

2. I was just finishing a student call when I felt a presence behind me. I turned around to find Kevin wearing a ballcap holding Jack (who was also wearing a ballcap) in his carrier with his left hand and a "very cute" diaper bag in his right hand. Very seriously, he said..."We're going to town." I love my boys!

A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to my little brother, Darrell, and BJ. They are officially engaged. I've never seen Darrell so happy. They make a great team. I'm glad he's finally found someone he deserves, who will treat him right and wants to make him happy. She loves his children and treats them like her own. Best wishes to you both!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Jack and I had a big weekend. Daddy was playing in a golf tournament (which he won), so we decided to take a road trip to meet Grandma. It was a 3/12 hour road trip one way. So, we had to stop off for some trading (I like to call it "importing" and "exporting.") With a clean diaper and full tummy Jack was able to complete the trip as peacefully as it began. I was really glad that we got to go; it's a long ways for Kevin's mother to drive alone. I didn't want him to get any bigger before she had a chance to meet him. Needless to say, Jack was spoiled rotten. Grandma, Uncle Tim, Aunt Bonnie and several other sweet gift-bearing visitors took turns passing him around. I was relieved to have two arms again, ever how temporary it was; but I found myself watching him the whole time anyway. Though tired, I was excited to do the midnight feedings because I hadn't spent much time with my precious little boy. True to form, he commanded everyone's attention in church this morning, too.

At this point, I am truly exhausted. Taking care of Jack alone is very difficult. He's not bad, just so dependent. I can't begin to imagine how single mothers do it all alone. What dedication! Kevin will be out of town a couple of days this week, and I'm really dreading it. I know he'll really miss us, but I think I'll just be too tired to think about how much I miss him.

Jack is sleeping well at night. He only wakes for feedings, and right on time,'s amazing how his little tummy knows it's time. I laugh when I think about how I actually went to the trouble to set a timer to know when to feed him for the first few nights after we left the hospital. During the daytime, though, he doesn't really sleep very much. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he knows the difference between night and day. It just makes it difficult for me to get anything else done. He has had gas really bad today. I think it's because other people have been doing the feeding and burping. I hate it for the little fella. Maybe we can get him back into a routine Monday and Tuesday.

I'll try to post more pics soon!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

2 Weeks Old

Jack is learning and doing new things everyday already. I can't tell you how many times a day Kevin and I say, "Come here! Watch him!"

Sunday night, Jack rolled over (once) from his tummy to his back. Boy is he strong! He was so angry when he couldn't do it a second time. He's really good at slinging his legs and arms across his front and rolling to his side, too. He can't go to his tummy yet.

He likes to copy you and make faces. He's really funny when he decides to do it on his own. He's so funny!

We got a swing for him yesterday. If you have had a baby in the last few years you've seen the kind with the fish that can swing two different ways. He absolutely loves it. So far, it's the only toy he has that captures his attention from above. He isn't really interactive with the bouncers yet. He loves his little swing, though!

The funniest thing today was watching his daddy train him with "baby calisthetics" tonight. A neighbor told Kevin yesterday that she used to be a nurse in a hospital nursery. She said that it was good to work their little arms and legs out. Kevin stretched and played with his legs for almost an hour tonight. Jack loved it! He smiled and laughed. They had a great time. I love to watch him interact with his daddy.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We were surprised to receive word last Wednesday that the Interstate Compact for Adoption had been completed and we were free to take OUR son home. We got a good night's sleep and left for home at 5am on Holy Thursday. The 12-hour ride went well. We only had to stop to feed and change Jack and gas-up.

Jack is such a good baby. He is playful and alert when he is awake and sleeps well during the night. He only cries a little every 3-4 hours when he's hungry. He's an absolute angel! Here are more photos of our little bundle of joy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jack is officially 8 days old, now. We got the official word this afternoon that we can take him home now. We leave Houston bright (actually before bright) and early tomorrow. He is growing and changing everyday. Today, he began sticking his tongue out at me, when I do it first. We've been working on that since yesterday. He is the most precious, handsome child I've ever seen, even if I am his momma.

Over the past week, I have learned that my hands and chin can do things I never dreamed possible.
  • You know how your hand gets tired when you burp someone else's child? It doesn't happen with your own. Burp on, little dude!
  • I can hold a bottle with my chin.
  • I can wrap my left arm behind Jack's head and hold his bottle in the same hand while typing with my right hand.
  • I can change a squirming baby faster than Jimmy Johnson's pit crew can change his tire.

I have so much to learn and many more talents to develop , I'll keep you posted. Have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Here's the post you've all been waiting for.
Jack was born April 4th, 7lbs 15oz, 19in

He's healthy and happy. We are all so proud!

We haven't officially signed all the papers yet, so please continue to pray for us. I know it will be very difficult for his birthmother (who he looks exactly like), but she seems very committed. Things have gone better than expected with the hospital. I have been staying there overnight and taking care of Jack in his birthmother's room.

You can visit his nusery page at the following link:
Please use the following password to access the page: Riley

Monday, April 03, 2006


Kevin and I had lunch with Jack's birthmother today. It was very nice. We actually met her mother. She is actually younger than Kevin, and a BEAUTIFUL woman! She was very nice and friendly and asked if we were excited. We have to be at the hospital very early in the morning...5:30am. So, I have to crawl out of bed by 4am so I can be dressed by 5am to leave. Don't forget that time just changed on Sunday. This means it's going to feel like 3am when I get out of bed!

We are so very excited...sitting on pins and needles...but I cannot begin to share with you how absolutely terrified I am that she is going to change her mind. I know she doesn't plan to, but there is no telling how she is going to feel when she holds him and spends three days in a hospital room with him. Please pray for all of us.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Kevin began the 14 hour drive to Corpus Christ at 4am this morning. While he made his way west, I was sleeping in. This is something I rarely do anymore. I finally awoke around 9:30. Of course, I didn't actually go to bed until 3:30 am. So, if I had gone to bed at 10pm like Kev, I would have been up at 4am...theoretically. Needless to say, housekeeping knocked at the door twice before I ever vacated the suite. I digress...

As Kevin continued his long, straight, boring trip on I-10, I decided to head to the mall. As I wandered from shop to shop, from one end of the mall to the other; I noticed just how many Latino people live in the area. I mean, I knew it already, but I really looked at the faces of the passersby. I noticed their skin colors, all different shades, their hair, their personalities. I was looking for Jack. I tried to guess what he would be like. Which little boy might resemble him?

As I strolled along, I realized that there were so many families out and about, teens with parents, mothers with several young children, a few pregnant teens with boyfriends/husbands, old couples. What I really saw were families. Families are such an important part of the culture here...More than at home. Everyone was so happy, smiling, chatting in English and Spanish, truly enjoying the company they were in. They were also polite. They acknowledged me, really greeted me, not just because they felt obligated, but because it's what they do, a part of their lives. There was such spirit in that mall today. You could see it in the bounce in their step. These people truly appreciate the simple things in life. They are happy. These people the Hispanic community of Corpus Christi, TX, are visual symbols of Jack's heritage. He'll have two heritages, one from his adopted parents, and one from his biological parents. I was so proud, today, to see where our son is coming from. Jack's birthmother is a hero to me. She's very special, but she's also like so many other people in her world. I hope some of this will live on in my son.

In case you're wondering, we didn't see Jack's birthmother today. Yes, she was spending time with her family.


I cannot wait to see this! What an awesome way to remember Christopher Reeve!

Four More Days!

Today was a beautiful day in Corpus Christi,warm and breezy. I had lunch with our birthmother at little buffet place called Souper!Salad. I thought it was a pretty cute name. The buffet wasn't too bad, either. We had pleasant conversation as if we saw one another on a daily basis. Then, I took her to JC Penny's for some nice gowns to wear in the hospital. It's always neat for me to see how much we have have in the things we wear, like, eat, etc... She was dressed very cute and looked really good. She gained quite a bit of water weight last week, 6 pounds she said. It wasn't really noticeable. She's carrying Jack fairly high. He hasn't "dropped" or anything, but that's why she had a c-section with her first child. She isn't very tall and the baby has nowhere to go. She said she can feel him when he moves from side to side, but I haven't felt it. She hasn't offered, and I always feel bad for pregnant women when everyone assumes they have the right to touch their belly. I'll wait for an invitation. Only 4 more days! We have to be at the hospital at 5am on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sittin', Waitin', Wishin'...

Well, here I sit...I don't even know how I feel...numb, worried, excited, afraid, grateful, amazed...For so long, we've hoped and prayed this week would come. Now that it's here, I don't know what to say or do. It's just overwhelming.

I've been busy calling students, preparing to be off work for two weeks, cleaning, packing, and answering all the sweet calls of friends and family offering positive thoughts and prayers. I've been all alone ever since Kevin dropped me off at the airport this morning...waiting for my flight, sitting on the plane, eating lunch, waiting for the next flight, sitting on the plane, riding to the hotel, wandering around Wal-mart purchasing goodies for the kitchen in my humble little abode at the hotel, riding around in the rental car, eating get the picture, just me and my neverending thoughts. For the first time since my senior English class, I thought about stream of consciousness poetry. I always wondered why someone would want to write it, or even think that others would want to read it. Today, I think I realized it's because the author really feels the need to share it. I didn't have Kevin at my side today to calm my fears and reaffirm my doubts.

When I turned out the light in Jack's room last night, I thought, "This is the last time I'll be in here alone." When my plane landed in Corpus this afternoon, I thought, "When I leave this place, I'll be a mommy." I almost cried. When I ate dinner beside a couple with a one-year-old, I thought, "We'll look like that. Kevin will pick Jack up like that. Jack will want to play like that." The only thing I can really compare it to, and I still don't think it's close, is your senior year in high school. There are so many highs and lows. You're so excited to FINALLY be graduating, but you're so scared of the unknown. You have no idea how much your life is about to change, but you know everything is going to be different...filled with new responsibilities and experiences.

Things I worry about:
  • Will she change her mind?
  • Will I be a good mother?
  • How will I know what to do?
  • How will I manage work and an infant?
  • Will Christian and Katelyn understand I still love them as much as I always have?
  • How will I manage when Kevin is out of town?
  • Will Jack know, truly know, he is loved by two mothers?
  • Will the birthmother understand that we still care about her very much even when Jack is at home with us?
  • How will Biscuit and Birdie behave with a baby in the house?
  • If they don't behave, what will we do?

Things I am excited about:

  • Kevin is going to be a daddy.
  • Jack will have cousins his age to play with.
  • Jack's new family is just as excited about his birth as they are biological children in the family.
  • Being able to work from home and spend time with our son
  • Being blessed enough to love and teach and raise this child
  • Baseball, golf, football, and bicycles
  • Bedtime stories, playing in the park, children's songs in the car
  • Swimming lessons
  • Family vacations
  • Hearing his laughter

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you'd rather I didn't.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baby Shower

A big thank-you goes out to all of you who came out to Amanda's house last Saturday to shower Jack with love. We got some really nice gifts that we can't wait to share with our little bundle of joy...clothes, bath items, a car seat, bouncers, a pack and play from Grandma, money for a travel system, bouncers, the cutest little red and blue flip-flops, a Notre Dame footstool~handpainted by Beth, pampers, clothes, cash for a travel system, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, and did I say bouncers?

The menu was delicious, and the games were case you're wondering there are no longer 87 jelly beans in the bottle! It was no surprise that Jen was a definite winner for the baby parts word game. She's such a literary genius! It's always fun to get together with friends.

If I appeared nervous (I know, it's rare, but it does happen), it's because I'm scared to death something is going to fall through with this adoption. I'm hanging in there, and Kevin is keeping me grounded. :)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Spring is in the air!!!

If you hate flowers or spring, you'll probably want to skip this entry...

Kevin and I ended the week with some private time today. We had a great time working in the yard together. We made a new flower bed at the top of the driveway. We planted red azaleas, tea rose trees, and juniper in it. We covered the bed with red lava rocks, and completed the the little garden with a hanging flower box (overhead on the privacy fence) of pink and yellow rose moss. I'll have to post a picture soon. I love planting flowers; it's so therapeutic! We also planted yellow and pink lantana on the side of the house. I can't wait for it to fill in.

The marigolds, petunias, begonias, and geraniums from last year have come back and the crepe myrtle we cut back is budding. I've added some new ferns to the back porch to replace the ones that died during the winter. They're just to messy to bring in during the cold. I added two planters of mixed impatiens and other annuals by the back door. I planted some new purple petunias in a couple of places in the front beds and added light and dark pink geraniums to the window boxes. Mexican Heather is coming back in, and I hung three baskets of mini purple petunias (I think...) in the front beds. All in all, I'm pretty proud. I just hope we can keep them alive while we're out of town in April.

The Final Countdown

This entry should not be quite as depressing as the last one. I am trying to get over the whole inconsiderate hospital thing. There is really nothing I can do about it. I have never met anyone who doesn't absolutely adore I'm hoping his charming personality will improve our chances to get into the nursery.

We talked on the phone with Jack's birthmother tonight. She was doing well...went to the doctor and to meet with her future college advisor this week. She was very excited about finally beginning college. Her younger sister was about to take her oldest son for a walk on the beach (right outside her back door). He was excited and chattering up an indecipherable storm. Her family had a barbecue tonight, so she was nice and full. You could tell the apartment was full of activity.

I can't believe I'm flying out there in about a week and a half! Kevin told her on the phone that I was so excited I already had my bags packed and waiting by the door. She thought it was funny and laughed. (Those of you who truly know Kevin know he has a tendency to spin a tale or two.) I was glad she was comfortable knowing that we are excited about coming out. She said she would like to spend some time together when we come out. I have a couple of ideas of what I'd like to do the weekend before the baby comes, but I'm open for suggestions. I'm sure she'll get tired easily, but she likes to get out and about too. I'd like to pamper her a little. I thought about taking her for a facial or something to pamper her. Former pregnant women and lurkers voice your opinions on this one!

Only 17 more days to motherhood...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Well, as I've said before...each time I start to feel like I have a little peace in the whole adoption arena, someone comes and pulls the rug out from under me. Since my adoption agency hasn't bothered to find out or even explain the hospital's policy regarding adoptive parents to us, Kevin said it was ok for me to call the hospital this afternoon and inquire. Well, that was many tears ago. I don't know what I expected, but I can tell you that if I had been given stricter restraints about 4 or 5 months ago, I wouldn't be so disappointed today. For starters, the lady who answered my questions was about the 6th person I was transferred to, and she showed absolutely NO kindness, consideration, or empathy for the situation. In fact, she acted like I was trying to steal a child, which I have no intentions of doing! The only way we can see our child AT ALL is in the birthmother's room, under her supervision, even if she gives the hospital her consent for us to feed the baby in the nursery. The lady offered two consolations...we can look at the baby through the window and request that our birthmother sign papers requesting circumcision. I had at least hoped that with our birthmother's consent we could feed our own child in the nursery. NOPE! They won't even let us take the child out of the hospital when the relinquishment papers are processed after his is officially our son. The birthmother has to take him down to the PARKING LOT of the hospital and hand him over to us. I think this is the MOST INHUMANE policy for all involved. I can't imagine how difficult it will be for the mother to see us with the baby (which is the only way we can hold him for the first three days of his life) if she doesn't change her mind. Our baby won't have any real contact with family for 3 WHOLE DAYS! We get to be present for the birth and twiddle our thumbs for the next 3 days while the nurses go about their day discussing what their own kids said or did the night before while changing the diaper of the baby I pray I get to take home. Our birthmother wants our family to be present for the birth and everything. Where are they going to go? I'm not going to parade them in front of her. We can't even celebrate this joyous occasion. I'd like to know how I got to be the bad guy here. All I want is a family. I'm dying to take care of my child and no one will let me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Our birthmom called with an update today...

She has been schedule for a c-section on April 4th. We are so excited. She wants me to come a week early to be with her, and of course, I told her I'd be glad to. We are counting the days. Just a little over a month until our little bundle of joy arrives. Although I still have moments of anxiety, overall I am beginning to have a real peace that this will happen. Please pray for our birthmother as she has really begun to feel the effects of late-term pregnancy. Pray also that she'll have peace from knowing that she is giving Jack, Kevin, and me the ultimate gift. I never, ever, dreamed I'd be this happy in my life. I mean there were flickers of happiness, very brief moments of happiness, before Kevin; but nothing even close to the joy I feel with him. He's going to be a wonderful father. I just can't wait...


Lil Sis finally had her baby this week, on Fat Tuesday, February 28th. Mallory is very healthy at 7 lbs 4 oz and 18 1/2 inches long. She looks a lot like Amanda. Amanda and Tony are both very proud and can't wait to bring their little angel home tomorrow. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another Big Check...

Kevin and I have been anxiously waiting for about the last 2 1/2 weeks for the birthfather of our baby to be located and waive his rights. Of course, he didn't have to...that was the big worry. We had a series of hoops and hurdles to consider as responses to each possible outcome. What if he refuses to sign? What if they can't find him? Court? Fathers' Registry? So, those of you who know how much I worry and how little Kevin me...we've both worried! People are always so impressed by how calm we seem about the whole thing. I try to keep a positive front and faithfully trust in God's will, but usually, I am shaking inside!

Well, today, the birthfather signed away his rights. It's hard for me to hold back the tears as I type this entry. This was an amazing relief to us. He said he wanted to do whatever our birthmother needed for him to do. The man who served him with the papers was very complimentary of his personality. He said he was very nice, calm, welcoming...friendly. It was a relief for me to hear that he didn't say anything negative or attacking of our birthmother. I already know how calm and peaceful or birthmother is...I'm glad to hear that the father was understanding.

Our birthmother to her caseworker that she is still resolved to go through with the adoption. She said that she feels a close bond with me especially. Our agency was also very complimentary of how protective and considerate we are of our birthmother. This was nice to hear.

Jack's father has two little boys and his mother has one little boy. I wonder if they'll ever meet. You know, I don't even know how I feel about it. I think about it, but I don't worry about it. I trust it will all work out fine. We'll teach him he's adopted and answer his questions as best we can, one question at a time. I can tell you one thing for sure...this little boy is going to win the lottery to have Kevin for a father. I can't wait to see the two of them hanging out together.

We are down to 48 days or less until the birth....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Just when you think you've heard it all...

Ok...this really makes me angry!!!

Weekend in Tupelo

Kevin and I went to Tupelo to visit his mother last weekend. We took Biscuit with us. Birdie, who gets car sick, stayed with some friends. As usual, we had a great time.

When we arrived arrived lunchtime Friday, we had lunch at one of my favorite little places there...The Two-Tone...It's owned by a black lady and a white lady who are partners. A quaint little place with yummy pasta, sandwich, and seafood dishes just down the street from where Elvis first performed at the Fair and where he bought his first guitar. The city is revitalizing the downtown area, and it's way cool. Jen, you'd love the Gumtree Festival in May and all the thrift shops.

Friday night, we went to the big social event of the year, the Mardi Gras Charity Ball. Everyone wore formals. It was kind of fun to do that. I haven't bought a formal since high school. We enjoyed good food, great drinks, fun music and laughing at the drunk socialites. Joyce is always so excited when we come to town that she tells everyone. They all made a special point to come by our table and greet us. You'd think we were royalty. They have this thing call "Living Ads" for the Junior League. Businesses buy pretty young teenage girls to advertise for them for the upcoming year. They all dress up and are presented to the community.

I was really hoping for some snow, since Tupelo is in North Mississippi. They were forecasted to get a couple of inches. What they really got was a couple of flakes. It snowed for about 5 minutes in the middle of the day while the sun was accumulation of course. Kevin's nephew, Sean the college senior, called to tell us that they got about six inches. They were only an hour to the north of us. I'm so SAD!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

57 Days and Counting...

Our beautiful birthmother is due to deliver our son in 57 days. Kevin reminded me today that 57 days is the same amount of time it's been since our anniversary in December. It seems like that was only yesterday. Hopefully, our 57 days until Jack's birthday will go by quickly.

The nursery is ready. We added the rocking chair last week. Jen, you'll be proud...found it at an antique flea market in downtown P'ville for $40.00! What a bargain! I wasn't necessarily looking for an old one, just won that was "calling out to me" and matched the other furniture. Kevin and I found it while looking around before lunch at the Pasta Mill the other day.

We have found a place to stay for the two weeks or so after the birth with our little Jack while we're waiting for the Interstate Compact to be satisfied. The adoption will be irrevocable after 48 hours, but we'll have to wait for the ICPC to be complete before we can leave Texas with our son.

Monday, January 30, 2006

2 more months

I wish I had a dollar for each time I've told Kevin that "if this was their adoption they'd care." I have had many a moment of frustration since this adoption process began when I didn't feel like my calls were being returned fast enough, or my concerns were being addressed well enough, or someone just didn't care enough. Some of them valid; some of them unfound. The most frustrating part was that we didn't get our homestudy, which was supposed to be complete before Thanksgiving, until the end of January; and I had to call to get it then. The truth is that it's all very scary. One of my friends asked me how we knew what to do to adopt. I told her, "Trust me, people will tell you." See, the problem is everyone has their own agenda. I felt like no one could see the big picture. Most of the people you have to deal with to complete an adoption have never adopted. They mean well and want to help, but they don't understand.

Well today someone heard all those complaints...I received calls from my adoption advertising network, attorney, agency, social worker, and ICPC representative all within about 2 hours of each other. Whew!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, apparently, our birthmother had really strong Braxton Hicks for several hours last night. They were bad enough that she finally had to spend the night in the hospital being monitored. She was given something to rest and sent home around lunch today. They sounded pretty bad. I called right in the middle of them. She sounded like she was in labor. I talked to her twice today. She is back home and in bed resting with a heating pad. I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to be in Alabama. It's too early for her to have the baby, but I think she's ok. They told her the contractions would come frequently and worsen from now until the time she delivers. Poor thing! I feel terrible for her. You know, I really can't begin to describe our relationship. It's unlike I've ever experienced. I care about her like a sister, but she's not my sister. I don't even know her like a friend. She will always be important to Kevin and me.

On a lighter note...Amanda's baby has dropped. She's due March 9th, but the doctor says that if Amanda can make it 3 more weeks and has begun to dilate, he'll induce the last week of February. Wouldn't you know it? That's when Kevin and I will be in Vancouver. I'm so excited for her. I hope it happens before we're gone.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mallory in 4-D

Here's Mallory! Tony's sister, Christy, gave Amanda and Tony the gift of a 4-D ultrasound. Before I saw the pictures I thought it was kind of scary. Now it's pretty amazing. No lie...Mallory already looks like Amanda did in the face as an infant. Same nose, cheeks, and mouth. She's got long legs like her mommy and short toes like her daddy. It was very comforting to Tony and Amanda to see how healthy she is. Right now, Mallory weighs about 4 pounds. She's giving her daddy high fives all the time.