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Sunday, September 30, 2012


Kate's right ear had a teeny-tiny little crease in the top part of it, so the pediatrician recommended that we see a pediatric plastic surgeon.  After taking photographs and an assessment by the plastic surgeon, he said there was also a piece of cartilage across the outer ear of both ears (outside of the ear canal). While it wasn't a malformation per se, the doc did say it could lead to her ears sticking out when she got older.

This doctor co-invented the Earwell system, which for Kate basically meant an ear cuff (think the 80s ear cuff things) and a small "button" on the right ear and a button on the left ear. Then these "cages" are placed over the ears to prevent the babies from removing the plastic things under them. You can see some pics on the website. The Earwells don't look that bad and don't bother her at all. Kate will wear them for 4-6 weeks as the cartilage in her ears firms and then she'll be good to go.

Here you can see Princess Leia's Lobot ears:

Kate's face in this pic cracks me up.
Either way, she is absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't be prouder to be her Mommy. It's still SO surreal.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

To Kate

I found myself in a puddle of tears this morning when Kate received a package in the mail from her birth mother, J.  It is a precious puppy lovie with satin and soft fabrics.  I just covered Kate in it and wrapped the puppy's arms around her and cried over her (again!).  We are so blessed in so many ways, and I'm so proud of my daughter and her story.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kate's Story - Part I

Sit back, get comfy, and grab a snack and drink if you like.  This is probably going to be long (and recorded in parts) because I am going to recall and record EVERY single moment that I can.  The story of Kate is one of the best ones I'll ever write, and every single word of it is true.

I knew I wanted to record every moment of the day Kate was born and the day following, but I also wanted to be respectful and insure the privacy of our birth mother, J.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write it down because it isn't only J's story . . . this is KATE'S story.  I want my daughter to know what an amazing, special, heartwarming, and beautiful day it was when she entered this world.  Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - and consequently Wednesday September 12, 2012 - were two of the most beautiful days of my life.  All because of Kate and the amazing woman who gave her life and then gave her life to us.

In the few days preceding Kate's birth, I was in preparation mode.  Knowing that J was already dilated to 4 cm meant our baby could arrive any day.  I was getting baby items ready, packing hospital bags, and making lists less than 12 hours before Kate was born.  Thank goodness I did!

Rewind:  Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I left a little early for work that morning in hopes that I could start working on my sub plans for whenever I started maternity leave.  Arriving a bit before 7:00 am, I organized a few things before heading to the gym for our morning assembly at 7:25.  I met a new student, introduced myself to him, went through the assembly, and told my students I would pick them up from PE in a little while.  Trying to stay focused, I went straight to my classroom to get some work done.  Ready to pull up some files to save for my sub, I looked down and saw that my phone was vibrating with a text.  It was A from the agency.  "This is from J just now . . . FYI!!  May be today.  'Good morning. Strong contractions here this morning and they are constant.' "

I jumped from my chair and headed down the hall to the office at the other end of the building.  It was all I could do not to sprint but (1) I don't run, (2) I was in flip flops, and (3) We don't run in the halls of an elementary school!

I went straight to the secretary's desk and said, "I need your help.  Can you call my sub?  I think I need to leave."

A shriek comes from the principal's office, and she runs out with tears in her eyes and gives me a huge hug.  "Go, go, go!" she says, "We'll take care of everything!"

At that point, I decide to call my sub, who says she'll head up to the building.  I walk quickly back down the hall to gather my things, not knowing what to do with myself!  About halfway down the hall, I hear someone yelling my name (we don't yell in the halls either!).  She said, "You have a call.  It's the agency!"  ACK!  I forgot to even respond to A's text.  She was calling to see if I had gotten it.  :)  So, now it's time to run - flip flops and all.  It wasn't pretty, and I remembered apologizing for running to a little first grade girl as I ran by her.  I told A that I was leaving in five minutes, to tell J that I was on the way, and that I would see her soon.

Tears filled my eyes.  I walked back down the hall towards my classroom.  "I might be a Mommy the next time I come back here," I thought. "Breathe.  Don't forget to breathe."  I saw my friend Ms. S in the distance down the hall, gave her a big smile and two thumbs up, and waved goodbye to her.  I think she may have screamed when she figured out what I meant, but I don't remember.  I walked into my class room, and I think someone was with me because I remember saying that nothing was ready but telling them where things were.  I don't remember that either.  I slapped a few items together on my desk, went in to say goodbye to my teammates, and stepped across the hall.

Mrs. P, a long time colleague & friend who has been with me this whole journey, was in her classroom getting her students lined up.  I walked in to her with a huge smile on my face and said, "I just came to tell you that I'm leaving and to say goodbye."  More tears filled my eyes but the smile on my face prevented them from falling down my face.  We hugged and I headed to my car, stopping by one more room (Mrs. S.) to say goodbye.  It felt amazing as I left because so many people that have walked beside me, supported me, and prayed for me so many years were seeing me leave as the sad and barren woman I'd been for so long.  I prayed that would change soon - very soon.  This was so surreal.

Trying to calm myself, I got in my car, started the engine and headed north to meet the woman who would hopefully be delivering a baby that I could call my own.

Head on over to Part II if you're ready!

Indiana Jones & the Temple of Tears

It was a rough afternoon for our baby girl who was gassy and NOT happy.  I felt so sorry for her and helped the best I could.  Between the gas and her being royally pissed off (Miss Thang has a temper!), she wailed and clawed and screamed and cried in between few minute moments of rest.  We worked through it for a few hours before Daddy got home from work.

Once Daddy Rambler walked in the door and saw our screaming baby & my exasperated face, I let him take over for a bit so I could get a short break.  Kate & Dad walked around the house, him bouncing and humming.  They went back to our bedroom while I washed bottles and poured a glass of wine for myself.

A few minutes later, I went back to check on them, only to find Mr. Rambler continuing to bounce and hum . . . while wearing an Indiana Jones hat.  WTF?!  I nearly pissed my pants, and I'm not the one wearing diapers around here.  I had to leave the room because I was laughing so hard.

Later on - after I took over & got a few minutes of silence out of our little screamer - I went into the den to DH.  Laughing so hard I could barely breathe (and about to piss myself), I told him that he needs to let me have a potty break before the next time he goes Indiana Jones on me.  His response?

"Well, she was looking at me and I thought she might like the hat."

Our daughter is only 17 days old.  This is only the beginning folks . . .

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Princess . . . Princess Leia, that is.

Kate had her 2 week pedi appointment yesterday and gained a whole pound in only 11 days.  Dr. D, her pediatrician, said, "Do you realize your daughter has gained an entire pound?"  Whoa!  Guess whatever I’m doing is working so far (whew!).  I think she's gained most of that in her cheeks.  :)

Birth weight = 7 lbs. 2 oz.
3-day weight = 6 lbs. 9 oz.
14 day weight = 7 lbs. 9 oz.

 Miss Chunkers went to Dr. B (the plastic surgeon)  on Monday for her brow lift to have Earwells placed that she’ll wear for about four weeks. They help form the cartilage of the ears and will insure that her ears don’t stick out when she gets older. The Earwells don’t seem to bother Kate & it looks like she’s wearing headphones. I’m calling her Princess Leia now while Daddy Rambler calls her Lobot.

And for the record, Dr. B is not offering free Mommy Botox with the purchase of baby's Earwells.  :/

Friday, September 21, 2012

So in LOVE

Oh, my baby girl is amazing.  Kate is so relaxed, so chill, so sweet.  Not much fazes her.  She only cries when she's really hungry or mad because I suck at dressing tiny babies.  She is patient with me.  I'm surprised she has any skin left on her head and face because I kiss her all.the.time.

I cherish every single tiny moment spent with her regardless of the time, circumstances, or surroundings.  I told Kate the other night that she was formed from the many, many tears that fell from Mommy's eyes.  I stare at this miracle through tired, blurred eyes and tears fall.  But this time, the tears are different.  Finally.  They are tears of thanks, gratitude, and humbleness.

She is my daughter.  I am her mother.  She always has been.  She always will be.
My dreams have come true in an instant.  I am so blessed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Our little blessing . . . Miss Katherine Leigh!   "Kate" was born September 11, 2012 at 11:08am weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 inches long. We are proud, humbled, blessed, and already a little tired. ;)  Kate is more beautiful than we could have ever imagined!

Worry not, amazing readers.  There are many details to come.  I've been back-dating my ramblings, so read when you can, but I already have a lot to ramble from the last few days!

The Ramblers

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Busy Day!

I spent most of the day preparing for our little lady.  Started with a doctor's appointment to get rid of this nasty cough/bronchial infection and also wound up getting a tetanus + pertussis shot upon the doc's recommendation.  Afterwards, I headed to the grocery store to pick up some food and came home with diapers, wipes, hangers, and bath stuff.  Then I got home, unloaded groceries, grabbed a bite to eat, and Mr. Rambler and I headed to the baby store.

If you've ever been to a baby store on Saturday, then you owe me a drink for not warning me ahead of time.  It was one crazyass place.  DH said, "I don't crave drinks, but I am now." and "They really need scotch at the end of every aisle."  Of course, he found a couple of things he thought we should register for, so we added them.  We also picked our glider/rocker and the fabric for it.  We finally bought baby's PNP w/ bassinet, some hair bows, a boppy cover, a going home outfit (so cute!), and a few other things.  Instead of going home so I could take my meds and nest, I went for a nail appointment.

Not long after I got home,  my bff since 8th grade came by and brought our travel system!  It was such a generous gift & I'm so excited about it.  Our evening ended with dinner.

My order from Carter's arrived so our baby doesn't have to go nekkid.  When we got home from dinner, I assembled our stroller, car seat, & PNP, washed my first load of baby stuff, folded it all, washed bottles, packed our diaper back, and got ready for bed.

Tomorrow I'll go through the five boxes of clothes from a friend and the two boxes of clothes from my sisters. My car has a date at the car spa, the dogs MUST be bathed, install the carseat base, go by the fire dept to have it checked, and take my dad to dinner for his bday.  I also need to write lesson plans for next week and the weeks that follow.

Still waiting to hear from J and meet our dream girl.  I'm really excited now that we're ready!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Daddy's Book

A friend of Mr. Rambler's gave him this book and told him to start reading it, so he'll be ready whenever our baby finds us.  :)  After I got home from work tonight (at 7:30 pm - ugh), DH showed it to me.  He said, "I'm sure you probably know everything in it, but it would be good for me to read some."  Boy, I must have him fooled!!

Check out the 411 to avoid the 911.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect?

Rewind -- Wednesday, September 5, 2012
J went to the doctor yesterday and is doing well. We were VERY surprised to learn that she is already dialated to 4cm (10cm = delivery). So . . . baby girl will be here much sooner than later. J is schedule for an induction on the 21st if for some reason she hasn't delivered by then - which would be surprising.

Last night, J was having back pain. Being worried about being dialated so much & living so far from the hospital (about 45-60 mins from home), she went in to get checked. I drove there & met her there while Mr. Rambler waited to see if this was "it." She didn't even go to the hospital to deliver her son until she was 8cm dialated (ack!), so she appears to have a strong tolerance for pain which is another reason she went.

Baby looked great --- still very active, solid heartrate (I got to hear it!), etc. --- contractions were about every 4 to 8 minutes but sporadic. J was discharged about midnight and given instructions on when to return, so we all headed home at that point.

Anyway . . . we are now in a holding pattern but getting hospital bags ready, and gathering/scavenging/buying/preparing necessities, etc.   We will keep you posted when the real time comes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

A New Look

If you are viewing this in a reader, you need to click through and check it out!  I couldn't take looking at the old design, so I used this one from The Cutest Blog on the Block.  I did some other updating as well.

It's not perfect, but it's better!  If you notice anything weird or wonky, let me know so I can fix it.

Mark My Word

Whenever we get to adopt our baby, he/she will wear this asap.
You can guarantee it.
Mark my word.
Not just any baby can wear this!  :)
Available from CafePress.


Sunday, September 2, 2012


The Fearlessly Infertile Christa, another IF blogger in the IF world, shared this poem on her blog and I wanted to share it as well.  The title is "Wait."  (appropriate, huh?)  We are told that God's plan is always the best, but it is so difficult to follow that when your plans don't coincide with His.  Here's to hoping all of our plans collide with God's plans for us very soon.


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

©Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.

Let us all Wait.  Let us all stay patient, my friends.  His plan will be revealed and it must be amazing.  It has to be, right?!

Irony? I think not.

Rewind -- Sunday, September 2, 2012

I was commenting on a blog this morning and this was the "captcha" I had to enter before my post would appear.  Our daughter's first name (well, +di) and my favorite number.  Yes, God.  I hear you!  I see you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Rewind -- Saturday, September 1, 2012

I received an email tonight from A, the agency co-owner.  She had spoken to J (our BM) after her appointment on Friday and sent me this:  "It went great! She was excited to hear about your reaction to the news (about the sono) . . . anyway, she is very excited for you all!!!"

SHE is excited for US???  What an amazing woman has been brought into our lives!  J is making our dreams come true through her sacrifice and she is excited for us.

So amazing.  So humbling.  So excited.  So scary.

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