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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Attempting to take a picture of a 2 year old and a 1 week old for a Christmas card was a little easier said than done. The best picture of Mason was the worst picture of Hannah Kate, and the best picture of Hannah Kate was the worst picture of Mason. But I think we still managed to get a cute picture none-the-less.
The day after we brought Hannah Kate home, we decorated our Christmas tree. It got off to a slow start though. I thought Mason would be excited to put his new Mickey Mouse ornament on the tree, but he was not excited at all. He wanted to play with it instead and had no intention of putting it on the tree. So we had to put it up for awhile and begin with some generic ornaments before he was ready to put his special ornaments on the tree.
Mason loves his baby sister so much! He often asks to hold her. They are both wearing their Christmas PJs in this picture. You can't see it, but Hannah Kate's pajamas say, "Baby's First Christmas," and they have a little bear holding a Christmas ornament on them.

I wanted to get a picture of Mason in his Christmas outfit, but he kept acting silly so this was the best we could do.Hannah Kate, on the other hand, was more than willing to pose for a picture in her Christmas gown. It has been a lot of fun dressing Hannah Kate in her cute girl outfits. This one is compliments of her Aunt Barbara.

Merry Christmas!

Seth, Julie, Mason and Hannah Kate



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perspective

This is too cute not to share . . .

A couple of nights ago, Mason walked into the bathroom as I was getting out of the shower. He stopped and just looked at me for a minute. Then he said, "Mama, where's tummy at? I can't find it!" At first I didn't realize what he was talking about, but then I figured out he was basically asking why my stomach wasn't so big anymore. The same thing happened again last night. This time I told him that Mommy's tummy was sitting in Hannah Kate's swing. He gave me a really funny look in response.

Keep in mind that this episode came a few days after Seth asked me when I was going to stop looking pregnant!

I guess it's all just a matter of perspective!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hannah Kate's Story

Hannah Katherine Bayham
December 4, 2007
11:02am
8 lbs 5 oz
20 1/2 inches long

We arrived at the hospital on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:00am for the scheduled c-section. My doctor anticipated her arrival no later than 9:00. We expected things to progress quickly once I was admitted and checked into my room, but it just so happened that the four ladies in labor who arrived around the same time I did received all of the attention in those first few hours. We finally headed to the operating room around 10:00, and Hannah Kate arrived at 11:02.

The first thing my doctor said was, "She has a big head." Funny . . . that's the first thing the doctor said when Mason was born, too! Then he said, "She's a big girl." My response was, "I told you I was having a 20 pounder!" I got to see only a glimpse of her before the nurse took her to clean her up, weigh her, etc. And then the nurse said, "She has red hair." I looked at Seth and asked him if she really had red hair or if it was just blood. He said he wasn't sure. While we have red heads in our family, I never even considered having a red headed little girl. I was so anxious to see her. And I was still waiting on them to tell me how much she weighed. The first number I heard was 14. I almost paniced thinking, "I can not believe my child weighs 14 pounds!" But then they said that was her head measurement. She finally weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz. And she was born a week early! Mason weighed 8 lbs 1 oz. She was 20 1/2 inches long.The nurse wrapped her up and brought her to Seth. I got to see a glimpse of her (still questioning that red hair) before he took her down the hall to meet Mason. I wasn't able to see Mason's first reaction to her . . . I was finally whisked away to recovery, and my nurse brought Seth and Hannah Kate in to spend some time with me. I asked about Mason, and Seth told me I "didn't want to know." He said he showed Hannah Kate to Mason and said, "This is your little sister, Hannah Kate." To that Mason screamed, "Nooooooo."

After Hannah Kate was fed, my nurse prayed for us! And then they took Hannah Kate to the nursery for a 4-hour "transition" period. I was in recovery a little over an hour before I got to go to my room. Once in there, Mason, Seth, MawMaw and PawPaw came in. It seemed like forever before Hannah Kate got to come in. So Seth tried again to introduce Mason to his little sister. Again, a resounding, "Noooooo." And then he proceeded to throw himself on the floor in somewhat of a tantrum. So I finally convinced him to sit beside me and touch Hannah Kate's cheek. At this point, he did stop crying, but I really wasn't sure how it was going to go. He was pretty disappointed because he truly thought Hannah Kate was going to arrive ready to play on the playground and ride his scooter (he had told me this the night before when I was tucking him into bed). During the next few days, Mason, MawMaw and PawPaw came to visit us everyday. Mason didn't have too much to do with Hannah Kate, but he did seem to be warming up to her a bit. He even kissed her every evening before he left. I really enjoyed our time in the hospital. My nurses were so wonderful. Everytime I looked at Hannah Kate, I just couldn't believe she was really ours! Yes, it certainly was worth it . . . all-day sickness, bladder infections, sleepless nights, endless trips to the bathroom and everything else in between! We celebrated Seth's 31st birthday on December 6. And we were able to go home the next day. When we got home, we were greeted by a big stork in our front yard, compliments of the Great Expectations ministry at our church.

In the days since we arrived home, I've experienced life's greatest joy. I've also experienced life's greatest point of exhaustion. I'm afraid Hannah Kate is a little spoiled. She has been held so much that she tends to cry - scream! - when she isn't being held. And she especially loves to cry at night time. The first night we were home, I think she cried pretty much the entire night. Seth and I took turns staying up with her, although I had to feed her every 2 hours. Because she had lost some weight and is a breastfed baby, we had to take her back to the hospital on Saturday for a weight check. So I finally got her settled down around 7:30 that morning, and I was rushing to take a shower before Mason woke up. I went to our bedroom and noticed Seth wasn't in our bed. I just assumed he had gone down the hall and was sleeping in the daybed in Hannah Kate's room. I went through the doors to our bathroom and then into our closet, but I couldn't open the closet door. I finally nudged it enough to get my head through and realized why I couldn't open it . . . Seth was in there with his pillow and blanket alseep on the floor! So that's how our first night at home went.

Hannah Kate did quite well at her weight check. Although she had not gained anything, she maintained her weight from the day before. They wanted us to go back on Monday for another weight check though.

My parents arrived on Sunday afternoon. Hence began the spoiling, not only of Hannah Kate but Mason, too. He had such a big time with his Pop and Mimi. And no one could keep their hands off of precious Hannah Kate. My mom and I went to the hospital on Monday morning for her weight check. Unfortunately, she had lost 4 oz. So the nurse and I talked through everything regarding Hannah Kate's feedings, and she gave me some advice on what to do for the next 24 hours. She wanted to see Hannah Kate back again the next morning. So we loaded up on Tuesday for yet another trip to the hospital. To my relief, Hannah Kate had gained 4 oz since the day before! I was so relieved. The nurse said she didn't need to see her back and released us.

We had some pretty rough nights this week. My mom was such a blessing. She would come and take Hannah Kate in the early morning hours so I could get some sleep. She also cleaned my house and made sure everything happened like it should. My dad helped us with several projects around the house, including hanging ceiling fans in Mason's and Hannah Kate's rooms. Our small group has also been such a blessing to us. They have been providing meals for us and will continue to do so through next week.

My parents left this morning to go back to Georgia. Seth was working so it was my first time at home by myself with both of the children. It wasn't that bad - just non-stop! I fell asleep at one point though, but thank goodness the phone rang and woke me up before too much damage could be done. Of course, I doubt Mason would've let me sleep long anyway!

Mason has been such a good big brother. He has been so patient during Hannah Kate's feedings when I can't get to him immediately. Her crying doesn't bother him. He has slept through everything, which is so amazing. Sometimes he even tries to help by giving her a bear or her pacifier. I hope the sleepless nights will soon come to an end, but I think we still have some work to do to get Miss Hannah Kate used to sleeping in her bed by herself without someone holding her. In the meantime, I am so thankful for these nights and trying to enjoy them as best I can because I know from experience that they pass all too quickly. I mean, I can't believe she's already a week and a half old! And I also can't imagine life without her!

And about that red hair . . . it depends on the light, on what she's wearing. Sometimes it really does look strawberry blonde, especially yesterday when she was wearing a red Christmas outfit. But only time will tell. Her eyes are dark blue. She looks like Mason around her mouth. Seth thinks she looks like my mom, but I see more Bayham than Connell in her at this point. But she'll grow and change everyday so I'm sure it's a little too early to tell at this point. All I know is that it doesn't really matter . . . she is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hannah Kate's Nursery

Well, I guess for the most part, Hannah Kate's room looks like I envisioned it to be. Although there are still a few things left to do, they won't get done before her arrival next week so I thought I'd go ahead and share pictures of her nursery.This is Hannah Kate's room. I don't have any decor on the walls yet so that will come later. I also want to incorporate a table and lamp somewhere. But for the most part, this is it. The rocking chair in the corner was actually my mom's when I was born, and she gave it to me several years ago. The wall color is Cupid Arrow.We have a three bedroom house so that means we no longer have a guest room. Because we still wanted a place for our friends and family to sleep when they visit and because the bedroom is quite large, we decided to leave the daybed and trundle in Hannah Kate's room. It was mine in college. It used to be a mahogany color, but it didn't match the rest of the furniture, which is cherry, so I refinished it using some of the left over wall paint and then I distressed it a little (you can't really tell in this picture). I had never done that before so I was quite pleased with how it turned out.The crib skirt matches the skirt on the daybed. The bumper pad and baby quilt match the quilt on the daybed as well. The crib sheet is a variation of the design on the duvet cover.Because of the way the crib is made, we were never able to secure Mason's mobile to it. When we thought we had it figured out, he would grab it, and it would fall off. So I knew better than to even try this time around. Instead we hung a mobile of sorts from the ceiling. When Hannah Kate looks up, she will see these butterflies floating above her.

I am scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:00am next Tuesday. I was hoping for a bit later, but I really can't complain. I had to be there at 3:00am when Mason was born! It will take awhile for them to prep me for the c-section so I anticipate her arrival to be around 7:30 or 8:00 CST. I expect to come home on Friday, and I will post pictures of our beautiful baby girl as soon as I can.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mason's Big Boy Room

Finally . . . pictures of Mason's big boy room!
Mason has been sleeping in his big boy bed since August, and he loves it. The transition from the crib to the twin bed was so easy! And even after all this time, he stays in his bed and calls me when he wakes up in the mornings and after naps and waits on me to come get him. I highly recommend training your child to do the same if you are getting ready to make the bed transition. It just makes things much easier. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, which is extremely rare, he doesn't get up either and wander into Mommy and Daddy's room.We decided to use the sailboat theme again with Mason's big boy bedding. It made everything much easier because the wall color remained the same, and we used a lot of the same decorations and such.Mason's PawPaw made the fisherman's oar hanging on the wall above his bed. Mason's name is painted on the paddle part.
Mason's PawPaw also made the changing table/dresser before he was born. The knobs have sailboats painted on them.
I made this super easy valance using left over fabric from the pillow sham. My friend monogrammed it for me.Every night before going to bed, we read a Bible story, say our prayers and sing "Jesus Loves Me." Right now Mason's favorite story is Jonah and the Big Fish. We've been stuck on that one for about a month now. But last night he asked to read about David and Goliath. And, yes, Mason sleeps with all of his "friends" - bear, rabbit, Goofy and Mickey Mouse. Oh, and we can't forget blanket!
The past couple of weeks I've been trying to be sure I have as much as possible done and ready before Hannah Kate arrives - enough toiletry and paper goods items to last a month or so, stamps for Christmas cards, diapers and wipes, and the list goes on and on and on. Yesterday I took Mason to get a haircut. I told the girl that it would probably be awhile before we would come in again and asked her to really "shape it up." Well, she did what I asked, resulting in the shortest haircut Mason has ever had. It's not a bad haircut. It just makes him look a lot older. I keep looking at him and thinking he just shouldn't be that big already!

Mason is really into firetrucks. Everyday he asks me if he can have a firetruck for Christmas. He is also asking for a choo-choo train. This past weekend he asked for a kitty cat for Christmas. I'm afraid he's going to be sorely disappointed about that one. Yesterday he asked for a 4-wheeler for Christmas. He'll be even more disappointed!

Mason's new thing these days is flying. He keeps telling me he wants to fly! At first I couldn't figure out where in the world this was coming from. I thought perhaps it had something to do with Rocket on Little Einsteins. But the other day I noticed he was flying his Buzz Lightyear figure through the air, and I realized he had recently seen "Toy Story." So I guess that's where it's coming from. Needless to say, I have to keep a close eye on him. The other day I was in Hannah Kate's nursery getting the bedding arranged. I had a bunch of pillows and some quilts on the floor in the corner. When my back was turned, Mason took a dive right onto the pile and then proceeded to slam into the wall chin first. Blood went everywhere. To this day, I have no idea how there isn't a hole in the wall where he hit it.

A few days ago, we were riding home after running some errands. Out of the blue, Mason said, "Mama, I share with Hannah Kate." I was finally able to convince him that we will not get Hannah Kate at Wal-Mart. He used to ask every time we went if we were getting her.

And suckers . . . he loves suckers. A few weeks ago, we sat in the waiting room at my doctor's office for nearly 3 hours. Since Mason was such a good boy, Dr. Crews gave him a sucker. The next time we went, we were on our way out the door, and Mason looked at Dr. Crews and said, "I want sucker." Let's just say Mason doesn't have to ask anymore. He gets a sucker every time we go. I also took him for a flu shot. It didn't phase him in the least. As soon as the nurse stuck him, he sat up, looked at her and said, "Sucker please."

Miss Hannah Kate is still scheduled to arrive on December 4 . . . 1 week and 6 days! Yes, I'm counting! I went to the doctor today, and he told me she is actually breeched. He said at this point she isn't likely to turn. So I guess it's a good thing I have to have a c-section anyway.

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow . . . it will be just the 3 of us. I started cooking on Monday. I'm doing the whole traditional Thanksgiving feast for us. It's actually kind of nice because I'm freezing half of all my recipes so we'll have some food in the freezer. It will be a different Thanksgiving this year as we are not with either of our families, but different can be good. We have so much to be thankful for regardless.



Friday, November 16, 2007

Great Expectations

Our church has a ministry for expectant mothers called Great Expectations. They partner the mom-to-be with a mentor mom, someone who has already "been there done that." The mentor mom then follows you through your pregnancy, keeps in touch with you on a regular basis, brings you a gift from the church when you're in the hospital and arranges meals to be provided for you and your family for several weeks after you come home with the baby. My mentor mom's name is Wendy, and she has been a blessing! Last weekend she kept Mason so Seth and I could have a date night. We have not been able to do that since we moved to Mississippi in March. And not only that, but she contacted the girls in our small group (There are seven couples in our small group, and we meet once a week for food, fellowship and Bible study.) and planned a baby shower for Hannah Kate. It was really a fun time with the new friends I've made since we moved here.So check out this centerpiece! Is it not gorgeous?!? Jenni, our small group leader's wife, hosted the shower at her house, and her mom made this arrangement! The carriage actually belongs to her little niece, and her mom filled it with the beautiful hot pink roses. Wendy made the cake. It was strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and so yummy!We received several really cute outfits for Hannah Kate. This one is a pink sleeper with little monkeys all over it. It came with a matching bib.One of the girls in my small group does monogramming (I know - how awesome is that?!? And if that isn't enough, Jenni is also a photographer!). She monogrammed a couple of bibs for Hannah Kate, along with this cute little onesie. You can't tell from this picture, but Hannah Kate's initials are monogrammed in the middle of the flower.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Showering Hannah Kate

A couple of weeks ago, Mason and I took a trip to Georgia to spend some time with my family. We hadn't been since March and aren't sure when we'll be able to go again once Hannah Kate arrives. We didn't do as much as we usually do, mainly because I was so tired. But Mason spent some good play time with Pop and Mimi. He also got to play with his cousins, Carter, Maggie Grace and Jada. We went to their house one afternoon, and he jumped on their trampoline. At first, he couldn't quite figure it out. Actually, I'm not sure that he ever really did. He would jump about three times and then make himself fall on purpose. He would then look at me and say, "I fall, Mama, I fall!" Of course, he loves to fall. He likes to make himself fall on purpose around the house. It makes me nervous, but he gets a kick out of it.
While we were there, my sister-in-law Kristi hosted a baby shower for Hannah Kate. Okay, so now you know why only two or three pictures exist of me during this pregnancy. I'm not sure if I look like a pink cow or an Easter egg!Kristi did such a beautiful job with the decorations. Everything was so pretty and pink. My favorite flowers are tulips . . . as a matter of fact, the theme in Hannah Kate's room (if you even call it a theme) is tulip garden. So Kristi had a vase of gorgeous tulips on the table with the shower invitation. They are unlike any I've ever seen in person. The edges of the flowers were "ruffled."

All of the food was really yummy! Chicken salad sandwiches, pasta salad, mini ham melts, Mexican 7-layer dip/chips, spinach dip, cheese ball . . .

And the cake was really yummy, too! It was precious. It was designed to match the plates and napkins.
Hannah Kate received so many beautiful gifts, including a personalized Christmas ornament from her Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi, along with this big basket of goodies.

It was nice to receive some "practical" gifts. After all, Hannah Kate needs pink bibs, not blue! And she also received several toys so she'll have some of her very own in addition to Mason's hand-me-downs.

Barbara and Caroline even made the trip all the way to Zebulon for the shower. One of their gifts to Hannah Kate was several monogrammed burp cloths, which Barbara made herself!
MeMama crocheted a beautiful pink and white blanket for Hannah Kate.

Pop and Mimi gave Hannah Kate a PINK rubber duckie. I'd never seen a pink one before. They also gave her a monogrammed Christmas stocking and double stroller.
Hannah Kate received her first little pair of blue jeans, complete with a little ruffle at the bottom. How cute!

Of course, Mason got in on the action, too. They call it "big brother gifts," but I call it spoiled! He got several presents from his Pop, Mimi, MeMama and cousins.

Having said all of that, we are exactly 4 weeks away from the scheduled c-section. It seems so close, yet so far away. I mean, Thanksgiving has to happen, first! We are almost finished with the nursery. Hopefully, this weekend we will be able to arrange the furniture, assemble the changing table and put the bedding on. I still haven't made the window treatments yet, but I plan to get to that next week. This week I'm refinishing the day bed that will stay in her room. I also have to wash all of her cute little clothes. Other than that, I think we are ready for Miss Hannah Kate's arrival . . . I know I sure am!