Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy TWELVE Years

July 29, 2000.  Quite possibly the best day of my life.  My wedding day.  I can not believe it's been twelve years . . . 

ONE: My dearest Seth, you are the one for me, my one and only.  I'm so glad you asked, and I said yes.

TWO: Our journey together is quite possibly a tale of two states.  I never would've thought I would travel from the red clay hills and peach trees of Georgia to the bayous of Louisiana to meet my husband.  And then, during the past twelve years, our journey together spanned two states, Louisiana and Mississippi.  We also bought our first house during our second year of marriage.

THREE: The greatest blessings of our marriage are our three children.  I love watching you as a daddy to Mason, Hannah Kate and Ellie.  They love you so.

FOUR: During our fourth year of marriage, we opened a new chapter together as parents.  We welcomed our bright-eyed, blond-haired full of life and energy Mason into our world.  I remember those early days when he was an infant.  You would come home from work each night, and after supper, you would lay on the couch with Mason on your tummy.  And you and he would stay that way for hours.  Mason's favorite time of day is still the hour that you come home.

FIVE: Our fifth year of marriage was filled with parenting Mason.  We were a family of three.

SIX: Our sixth year of marriage was quite an adventure.  Yet another new chapter began, this time in Mississippi.  We sold our house, packed our bags and moved north of Jackson.  My favorite thing about living there was our church and the friends we made.  It was during that year that I finally realized it didn't matter WHERE I lived.  I only wanted to be with you, needed to be with you.

SEVEN: After seven years of marriage, we welcomed our surprise baby, Hannah Kate.  She turned our world upside down during those first few months, but she has brought so much joy and laughter to our family.  She is a daddy's girl.  One of my favorite memories of the two of you was just this year at her dance recital when you took the stage to dance with her.

EIGHT: And then, during our eighth year of marriage, we moved again, this time back to Louisiana, to Grosse Tete.

NINE: During our ninth year of marriage, we began yet another adventure together.  We built a house.  So many people tried to discourage us from doing that, told us that it would really test our marriage.  Yes, it was a lot of work and even stressful at times, but it really was a great experience for us.  I can't remember even one disagreement.  Everything just came together, and we were finally able to move in. 

TEN: After ten years of marriage, we were just living life, living family.  We continued to settle into our new house.  Mason and Hannah Kate were growing up.  Mason even started kindergarten this year.

ELEVEN: I never would've imagined that after eleven years of marriage, we would welcome yet another blessing, a child, a daughter at that!  Our sweet Ellie will be two weeks old tomorrow.  She has been a dream come true for our family.

TWELVE: And today, we celebrate twelve years of marriage.  And while I have no idea what this year holds, I do know that I look forward to it, that I'm so glad I get to spend it with you, that there is no one else I'd rather live my life with!

Happy 12 years, my love!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ellie's Birth Day

Elizabeth Susanne was born on Monday, July 16 at 12:47PM.  This is our sweet Ellie girl.
So that Monday began just like any other day with our usual morning routine.  But there was a lot of excitement and anticipation for the hours to pass quickly until we could hold our baby and, of course, find out if baby was a he or a she.  We dropped Mason and Hannah Kate off at Aunt Ashley's house, and Seth and I headed to the hospital.  We checked in, and I was prepared for surgery.  We got to listen to Baby's heartbeat for a good while.  Baby was very active, and the heartbeat was anywhere from 158-181 during those final minutes.  We got to see Mason and Hannah Kate one last time before going to the operating room.

I'd forgotten how many doctors and nurses are present for a c-section.  I had three (yes, three!) nurses assigned to me, there was a nurse for the baby, the anesthesiologist, an anesthesiology student, my doctor and another doctor and nurse assisting my doctor.  I was ready a few minutes early so they went ahead and started the surgery just before 12:30.  Honestly, it seemed like it was taking forever!  I don't know if it really was taking longer than the other two c-sections I had or if it was just the anticipation of finally seeing our baby.  During those minutes, I was thinking about the day Mason was born and the first time I saw him and held him.  And then I remembered the day Hannah Kate was born, the first time I saw her and held her.  I wanted to remember every single detail, every single feeling about this baby's birth, too.

So finally my doctor leaned over to where I could see her to be sure I was okay.  And, of course, I was.  She then asked if I'd had any infection from my last c-section.  That's never a good question.  I told her I did not.  She then explained that there was a lot of scar tissue she was having to work through, some of which was very close to my bladder. She said she was having to move very slowly and carefully so it was taking longer than usual.  But we finally got there.

One of my nurses was taking pictures for us (Seth learned the hard way the first time around not to "look" during the surgery).  When I later saw this picture, the very first thing that came to mind was that baby came out praising Jesus!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  I'm outta there!
Dr. W had already asked if I wanted her to announce the baby's gender as soon as she knew or if I wanted Seth to look first and then tell me.  Of course I told her to tell me as soon as she knew!  I'd already told everyone I thought I was having a boy so we were all anxious to find out.  Obviously I couldn't see anything so Dr. W was telling me what was happening once she finally got to the baby.  Her first comment was, "Oh, this is a little one."  In other words, not a 10 pounder!  So the baby is out, but I still can't see anything, and Dr. W forgot momentarily to tell us what the baby was so the nurses and I at the same time were nearly yelling, "What is it?!?"  A girl.  A girl?  A girl!  I guess this time the mother's intuition was wrong!  And then she brought her around for me to see.
When Seth and I first saw her, we both said she looks like Hannah Kate.  And then the tears came.  I couldn't help it.  Dr. W gave Ellie to the nurse, and she brought her even closer so I could see her.  I reached out to her, and Ellie grabbed my finger for a moment.
So the next question became that of Ellie's weight.  Prior to Dr. W arriving in the operation room, two of my nurses were laughing and commenting how the baby was positioned on the left side of my belly, thus make it lop-sided.  I then said something about having a 10 pounder (based on that sonogram at 35 weeks that indicated baby already weighed 6 lbs 9 oz).  They both said there was no way that baby weighed 10 pounds or even close.  They were shocked when I told them about the sonogram.  Ellie was, indeed, smaller than we thought.  As a matter of fact, she was the smallest of all three of my children!  She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz.  She was 21 inches long.  Mason weighed 8 lbs 1 oz, Hannah Kate weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and they were also both 21 inches long.
Ellie's nurse then cleaned her up, took her footprints and swaddled her.
Because of the extent of the scar tissue, it took Dr. W awhile to "put me back together again."  I was so intent at keeping my eyes on Ellie and everything going on around me.  But then I got really hot and light headed and really thought I was going to pass out.  I wasn't sure what was happening, and I was fighting to stay awake so I wouldn't miss anything.  One of my nurses quickly noticed that I was obviously not feeling good so I was given additional antibiotics and cold compresses.  I suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired, but I also felt better.  And then I got to "hold" Ellie for the first time.

After the surgery was finished, I got to really hold Ellie.  And then it was time to introduce her to Mason, Hannah Kate, PawPaw, MawMaw, Aunt Ashley and Abbie.  We were wheeled to a conference room area where they were already waiting.  I was still overwhelmed with so much emotion and feelings I can't really describe.  I didn't even know what to say.  I couldn't see Seth at that point, but I knew he had to be there somewhere.  So the first thing I said when we saw everyone was not, "It's a girl!" but "Where's Seth?"  I needed him to tell them because I couldn't get the words out.  We hadn't really talked about this part.  I had a great idea, or so I thought, earlier in the morning.  I told Seth to take a blue shirt and his pink polo shirt with us and to change into the shirt according to the baby's gender before going to tell everyone.  He didn't think it was a great idea.

I'm not sure how long we were there before I finally said something, but I know especially Abbie was so anxious and asking.  She then commented that she guessed it was a boy.  So I think I remember saying, "No, it's a girl."  Everyone was surprised.  And then the kids came around to the side of my bed so they could see her better.  Mason just stared at her.  I told him it was okay to touch her, and he didn't stop caressing her cheek the whole time we were there.  And then we were taken to recovery.
Once in recovery, Ellie and I each had a nurse.  Ellie was given her first bath.
After recovery we went to our room.  Everyone was already there waiting on us.  Several days earlier, we'd gone shopping for big brother and big sister gifts for Mason and Hannah Kate.  So we let Ellie give her big brother and big sister their gifts.

And then it was time for them to hold the baby.  Abbie was only a little bit excited.  Can't you tell?  I know she would love the baby either way, but I also know she really wanted a girl cousin.
And then Mason and Hannah Kate gave Ellie the gifts they'd picked out and wrapped for her.
Hannah Kate was excited to hold Ellie for the first time.
I just love Hannah Kate's big smile in this picture.  She was so proud.
And Mason couldn't wait to hold her either.
I can honestly say Mason was absolutely SMITTEN.  He sat in that chair and held Ellie for the better part of 20 minutes.  She was a little fussy by this point, but she quickly calmed down after she landed in Mason's arms.
And here she is, our beautiful Ellie girl.
Those next couple of days in the hospital were just priceless.  Even though I was in a fair amount of pain and very uncomfortable, I enjoyed every minute of it (not the pain, the time).  All of our nurses were so wonderful to us.  One of my most favorite things was the time I got to spend with Seth.  Even if we weren't saying anything, I just enjoyed having him there, enjoyed his presence.  Many times his work schedule does not allow us to spend the time together that I would like.  So this uninterrupted time was priceless.  And we both spent a lot of time holding our baby.
We had visits from Mason and Hannah Kate each day, friends, family.  We received flowers and gifts.
And the hospital food really wasn't that bad.  It was actually, for the most part, pretty good.  But not near as good as these yummy cupcakes my bestie had delivered to us!
And, of course, I couldn't keep my eyes (or my arms) off of our Ellie girl.  The first night, my nurse walked in around 4:00AM and said, "You're still holding that baby?!"  Why, yes I am!  

I still think she looks like Hannah Kate from the nose up.  And I see Mason in her, too.  But her mouth is different from theirs.  She loves to suck her bottom lip under her top lip, and she has a little button chin.  She has the longest fingers.  They might play the piano one day!  And she has long toes, too, which she gets from her Daddy.  She has a very little bit of hair.

It took awhile, but Ellie finally started nursing well.  She also slept and rested so well during the nights we were in the hospital.  She really was so easy.  Too easy, it seemed.

Most c-section patients stay three nights in the hospital, but I'd already asked my doctor if we could go home after two nights.  And we did.  We were dismissed late Wednesday afternoon to go home.

Elizabeth Susanne.  Elizabeth is a name that I came to love about four years ago.  I can't really explain why or how it began.  I think it's very southern and even vintage and romantic.  And I love the story in the Bible when Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth after she found out she was expecting.  And then we found out that Seth's great grandmother, who had a special relationship with his mom, was named Elizabeth.  My mom's name is Susan so that's where Susanne came from.  We've known for the past couple of years that if we had another girl, her name would be Elizabeth Susanne.  One more thing.  Remember how Hannah Kate wanted to name a girl baby Lily?  Well, Susanne means lily!

And our boy name?  Elijah Lee.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we decided on the boy name only two weeks ago.  I have a cousin name Elijah so that's why we'd never considered that name before.  I've always loved that name.  During the past month, that name seemed to come up a lot.  We've been reading through the Bible with Mason and Hannah Kate this year, and we recently read about Elijah.  It was soon after that when I mentioned it to Seth to see what he thought.  He really liked it, but I still wasn't sure.  The Sunday after that, we sang Days of Elijah at church.  So that's when I knew.  That was it.  We would call him Eli.  And my dad's middle name is Lee so that's where that came from.  I then monogrammed a onesie and hat for Eli, which I will now save as another memory from this pregnancy.
As for me . . . well . . . I'd prepared myself for an easy recovery and a difficult baby.  But it has, in fact, been the exact opposite.  I can't explain it.  All I can say is that Ellie is a dream baby.  She sleeps a lot, hardly ever fusses.  She nurses around 10:30PM and then I put her down in the cradle.  She sleeps until usually 3:00AM or so before waking up for another feeding.  Once we're done with that, she goes right back down until 6:30AM or so.  I don't have to coax her back to sleep.  She just falls asleep on her own.  I've definitely gotten more sleep at night during the past week than I did the two months prior to her birth!  Mason was a rather good baby, but it took a lot to get him back to sleep after night feedings during the first six weeks or so of his life.  And Hannah Kate?  Well, we had many months of sleepless nights with her.  I don't think she slept through the night until she was 18 months old.  And she was just, overall, a fussy baby.  I keep waiting on Ellie to "wake up," the dream to end.  But eight days later, she's still the easiest, quietest baby ever!

Today I took Ellie to the pediatrician for her first check-up.  She weighed 6 lbs 14 oz when we left the hospital last Wednesday.  Today she weighed 7 lbs 5.5 oz.  She's almost back up to her birth weight, and that's huge for me.  Hannah Kate lost nearly a pound after she was born, and it took nearly a month for her to gain it back.  We spent the first three weeks of her life going to the doctor every three days or so for weight checks.  I'm so thankful we are having a better nursing experience this time around because I wasn't even sure I could nurse again after all of that.

I'm also so thankful that (for now, at least) Ellie is such an easy baby and is sleeping so well at night.  My recovery this time around has been slow, difficult and painful.  Part of that is due to all of the scar tissue.  And I am older this time around.  I went today to have my staples removed and saw one of Dr. W's partners since I'm still having a lot of soreness.  He very gently told me that I was supposed to be on bed rest for two weeks and that he could tell from the swelling in my stomach that I've been on my feet too much.  He told me I needed to go home and not sit down but lay down and stay off my feet.  There's really nothing a mother of three can say to that.  I just smiled and nodded my head in agreement.  If I'm being honest, I definitely stretched the limits yesterday (but I had a very good reason to do so . . . a photographer came and took pictures of the children . . . said photo session took four hours).  So I'm trying to follow doctor's orders now.

I can't say enough about my biggies.  Mason and Hannah Kate just dote over Ellie all day long.  I think I might have to create a chart to keep up with whose turn it is to hand me a diaper, pick out her clothes, hold her.  And even though it has been hard at times, they have been so patient with me.  Seth went back to work yesterday so it's been the four of us, and I can't do for them yet like they are used to.  I can't walk up the stairs to their rooms or the playroom yet.  Ellie usually nurses every two hours during the day, and those nursing sessions last 20-30 minutes.  They have been so sweet to play together, to get along so well together.  They really are like best friends.  They compromise well when deciding what to do.  And as much as I ache to get down on the floor with them or take them swimming, I'm definitely not there yet.  So I have to be content to enjoy the laughter and fun I hear spilling over from upstairs.  I can't wait until I can join them again.  I've tried my best to make them feel special and remind them how much I love them and how proud I am of them.  My feelings about that has also, I think, made this recovery more difficult.  I guess I forgot that having a c-section really is major surgery.  And I need to be patient and give everything a little more time to heal.

Time.  I am savoring every minute of it.  Ellie is already eight days old.  Hannah Kate now seems so big.  She'll start kindergarten next year.  And Mason?  I was shocked yesterday when I realized that the top of his head reaches my chest now.  He'll start 2nd grade in just two and a half weeks.  It just doesn't seem possible.  I think, instead of wishing that time would slow down, I need to make the most of the time we have, the most of each minute of every day.  That's my plan.  And that's all the plan I need as the now mother of three!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Only A Day Away

Tomorrow.  TOMORROW!  You're only a day away.

I think it's going to be a long night!  I'm certain sleep will elude me.  My mind is filled with thoughts of our new baby . . .

Will you be a boy or a girl?  The excitement, the anticipation is unparalleled, like nothing I've ever experienced before!  I was so excited when your big brother was born, so excited when your big sister was born.  But this is different.  I guess it must be because I don't know if you are a he or a she!

What will you look like?  If you are a boy, will you favor Mason?  If you are a girl, will you favor Hannah Kate?  Will you have hair?

How much will you weigh?  And, by the way, I'm hoping for a 10-pounder!  Because that's what you feel like in my tummy!

I can't wait to see the reaction of your big brother and big sister when we introduce you to them for the first time!  I've tried to imagine what that moment will be like, but I know I don't even come close!  I can only tell you that they are (we all are!) over-the-moon excited to welcome you into our world, our family.  You are loved so much!  We have been waiting on you for such a long time.  Once I have you in my arms, I do believe I am not going to want to put you down!  I could hold you for forever!

There are so many things I want to tell you, but I can not put them into words right now. All I know is that I can not wait to see you, to hold you, to kiss you, to love you forever!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

His name is not Samuel.

Two more days.  Two days.  Sigh.

This past week was busy busy.  But we are ready to welcome Baby B home!  We are more than ready!

People always ask about the baby's nursery.  The answer is we don't have one.  We have several options depending on whether the baby is a boy or a girl so we decided to wait and make that decision later.  In the meantime, Baby will sleep in the baby cradle in our bedroom.  Seth's dad made this cradle for us before Mason was born.  It's where Mason slept during his first two months of life.  And Hannah Kate . . . well . . . she didn't sleep a whole lot during her first few months of life unless someone was holding her so her time in the cradle was very short.
And this little fella was the very first gift we were given for Baby.  He was given to us by a very special young lady who came into our lives this year.  We spent a lot of time with her; she was like a big sister to Mason and Hannah Kate.  But she has since moved back to her beloved home state of Texas.  We miss her and think of her every time we see our bunny.
As soon as I found out I was expecting, I began collecting coupons for diapers and wipes and scoured sales papers for the best diaper deals.  So I stocked up.  I'm really glad I purchased only two small packages of newborn-sized diapers since this baby is projected to surpass the weight recommendation of said diapers!  I should've counted how many diapers I've purchased thus far, but I haven't.  And it'll be interesting to see how long my stock lasts.  I have up to size 3.
And I just love seeing the baskets on the changing table stocked with diapers and wipes and power and lotion and baby bath.
Baby B isn't here yet and already has some competition.  Hannah Kate's babies have found their way into the swing, bouncer, stroller and infant carrier.  Every time I turn around, there's a baby.
The other day I caught her digging into my bottle stash to "feed" her baby.
One of my big projects this week was preparing meals that I could put in the freezer and pull out during those first weeks after we come home with Baby.  I guess you could say it's the C's of Cooking - casseroles and crockpot meals!  Those are not my favorites for this time of year, but I know I will appreciate having them available to pull out and prepare quickly.  Of course, I'm having to borrow some of my mother-in-law's freezer space because I don't have enough, but I probably have enough meals for a month or so.  I also made a huge grocery store trip to stock the pantry.  And I purchased toiletries, paper goods and cleaning supplies in bulk supply so I won't soon run out of those either.  My goal was to prepare as much as I possibly could ahead of time.  In addition to bringing home Baby B, school will soon be starting, as will Hannah Kate's dance lessons.  So things will get really busy really quickly.
I had the best time making burp cloths for baby.  And since we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl, I made boy burp cloths and girl burp cloths.  I really wanted to go ahead and monogram them, but that would've been rather silly since there's a set I won't end up using.  So that will be one of my first projects after we get home.  In the meantime, here are a few of the ones I made:

I also have a pink newborn hat and a blue newborn hat.  I've already monogrammed each hat with our respective boy and girl name.  The names are on the other side.  I monogrammed both because I want to take these to the hospital.  And the one we don't use . . . well, I'll just keep it as a special memory of this pregnancy.
And so, yes, as of this past Monday, we have a boy name!  The only thing I can tell you is that his name is not Samuel.  I told Seth that I really wanted Samuel . . . even though there were two other names on the list, they just weren't right for this baby, should we have a boy.  But he was having none of it.  Sam Bayham.  It's really not that bad.  Is it?  So I threw out another name that the Lord had laid on my heart a few days earlier, a name that wasn't on the list, never had been on the list, a name that just seemingly came out of nowhere.  And, believe it or not, Seth liked it!  We waited a couple of days just to be sure.  And then it was monogram-able!  I absolutely LOVE both of our names!  

So I would like to thank everyone for your name suggestions . . . but we've got it!  I mentioned a few weeks ago that Hannah Kate really wants a girl and really wants her name to be Lily.  Well, I'm not sure what happened, but Hannah Kate has changed her mind.  About three weeks ago, she told me she had a "new" name for the baby.  So I asked her what it was.  Linda.  Linda?  Yes, Linda.  Linda Lily.  I have no idea where in the world that came from.  All I can say is that her, should we have a girl, name is not Linda!  And then two weeks ago, Hannah Kate started saying she wanted a boy baby.  This morning she told her MawMaw that she really wants a girl baby, but it'll probably be a boy baby.  Sweet girl she is!  I guess she's saying this because she's heard me tell everyone I think we're having a boy.  But she did have the perfect solution . . . she told me the other day that she wants me to have a boy AND a girl.  Again, she's going to be disappointed!

A friend of mine asked this afternoon what I'm going to do tomorrow.  Well, more of the same, I guess.  We'll go to church in the morning.  My big project tomorrow afternoon will be to finish cleaning the house.  There were a couple of things I was waiting until tomorrow to do because I want to come home to as clean of a house as possible next week.  My bags are already packed, but I still have to pack suitcases for Mason and Hannah Kate.  I know you're thinking I should rest or take a nap or do nothing . . . but I can't.  Really, I can't.  I was up at 3:00am this morning trying to figure out what I could do because I certainly couldn't sleep.  The excitement, the anticipation is getting the best of me.  Besides, I'm super uncomfortable now anyway so that also makes any kind of sleep and rest nearly impossible.  It seems like the minutes are just d r a g g i n g by as we anticipate Baby's birth on Monday.

Two more days.  Two. more. days. too. many!

Friday, July 13, 2012

And now you are SEVEN.

Dear Mason:

July 13, 2005.  5:49PM.  You were born.  
There are really no words that describe that moment for me.  I was in awe.  I could not believe that you were mine.  Ours.  And so our journey began, mine as your mommy.
During the first year of your life, I really had no idea what I was doing!  But day by day, I think we got the hang of it.  I loved (and still do!) you a whole lot so that made all the difference in the world.  It was you and me.  Everyday.  You were the best baby ever!  You were sleeping through the night by the time you were nine weeks old.  Your favorite time of day was when Daddy came home from work.  He would lay on the couch, and you would lay on his stomach.  Y'all would stay that way for hours.  You were so content.  You had the biggest blue eyes.  And then, before I knew it, you were ONE.
The following year was my absolute favorite with you!  We had so much fun together!  I just loved watching you explore your world and learn new things.  Your favorite activity was stickers.  I would buy you these big sticker books, and we would sit on the floor in your room while you stuck them to the pages and to yourself.  You also loved big picture books, especially ones about animals or vehicles.  It was also during this time that some really big changes came into our life.  We moved to Mississippi.  But you never knew the difference.  And we also prepared to welcome your baby sister into the world.  And then, before I knew it, you were TWO.
By this time, you were a spunky monkey!  You loved to play, especially outside.  You loved the pool.  You loved to swing.  You also loved firetrucks and garbage trucks.  And then came Hannah Kate.
At first you were a little disappointed.  You didn't realize that she would be born a baby and take awhile to "grow up" so you could play with her.  But you were immediately the very best big brother a girl could have!  You loved Hannah Kate, and you always have.  You have always been so gentle and kind with her.  You help her.  And you play so well together.  The next few months were a bit of a blur.  And then, before I knew it, you were THREE.
You were quite the cowboy.  We spent our days with more of the same.  Playing.  Learning.  Growing.  And then another big change.  We moved back to Louisiana.  We had to live with PawPaw and MawMaw for awhile, which you loved.  You were growing up so quickly.  I wanted time to slow down just a bit.  And then, before I knew it, you were FOUR.
It was during this time that we built our new house and finally moved in.  It was also during this time that I realized I was not ready for what was coming next.  It came all too quickly.  And then, before I knew it, you were FIVE.
And when you are five, that means it's time to go to kindergarten.  I was not ready for kindergarten.  But you were.  It made you feel like such a big boy to go to school.  You loved riding the bus.  You loved your teacher.  You had so much fun in kindergarten.  I, on the other hand, waited anxiously each day for you to get home.  I didn't like you being away from me.  I mean, you'd been with me everyday for over five years.  As much as I didn't want you to, you were growing up.  And then, before I knew it, you were SIX.  
There's no denying it.  You are my firstborn.  You will always be my baby.  But you are a big boy now.  You learned how to read this year.  Your favorite subject in 1st grade was math.  You absolutely love the water . . . the pool, the water park and especially the ocean.  The beach is your favorite place to go.  And you have a great fascination with sharks.  You have always been, and continue to be, such a wonderful big brother.  Hannah Kate is so blessed to have you as her brother.  You are still the pickiest eater ever in the whole entire world!  If I could change one thing about you, that's what I would change.  But then I guess you wouldn't really be Mason.  You love going to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  You also love to go fishing.  You've had several new adventures this year with salt water fishing.  And you also love to go hunting with Daddy.  You still have those big blue eyes.  You are full of life and energy.  You are also really silly at times.  You love to dance.  You still want to be a dentist when you grow up.  Your favorite color is, and always has been, blue.  You are such a sweet boy.  So many days I find myself wishing we could go back to those earlier days when it was just the two of us . . . just so I could experience one of those days just one more time.  But that isn't possible.

And now . . . you are SEVEN!  I so look forward to what this next year brings with you!
Happy 7th Birthday to my Mason!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I mentioned in my last post that Mason was attending Vacation Bible School at a "ginormous" church in Baton Rouge this week with some friends.  Tonight was Celebration Night, and the kids and their families were invited to a special kids' worship service and experience a little of what went on this week.  I, of course, couldn't wait to go.  But I almost didn't.

When I went to the doctor yesterday, my doctor and I both decided that Baby B would definitely make it until Monday.  It seems this baby is perfectly comfortable where he/she is, no matter how uncomfortable I am.  I didn't feel good when I woke up this morning and felt worse as the day progressed.  I began having contractions - the real ones! - shortly after lunch.  They started out fairly regular and close together for nearly two hours.  I wasn't really sure what was going to happen, but they finally started getting farther apart and eventually subsided altogether.  I was super uncomfortable, but I was determined that we were going to church.

As we entered the auditorium, Mason and Hannah Kate both were given a ticket for door prizes.  We later found out that the door prizes were a NOOK, Nintendo 3DS and Apple I-Pod Touch (or maybe it was an I-Phone . . . I don't remember).  Mason and Hannah Kate held tight to their tickets until finally the drawing occurred at the end of the service.  Now.  I never win anything.  NEVER.  And I don't know how many kids were there tonight . . . several hundred . . . so I was sure Mason nor Hannah Kate would win anything.  I mean, you do the math.  THREE prizes.  HUNDREDS of kids.

What can I say . . . we had a winning ticket!  And Mason came home with this:
So I have to be honest.  The winning ticket actually belonged to Hannah Kate!  As Pastor Dino was reading out the six-digit number, Seth and I were watching the kids' tickets.  After the first five digits matched Hannah Kate's ticket, we both looked at each other, and our eyes got really big.  We snatched the ticket out of her hand and gave it to Mason just in time to hear the sixth number match the sixth number on our ticket.  Mason didn't really realize what was going on, but the people around us did.  Our friends started hollering and clapping, and an usher quickly appeared to escort Mason to the stage.  They lifted him up, and Pastor Dino presented him with the Nintendo 3DS.  The conversation went a little something like this:

Pastor Dino: What's your name?
Mason: Mason.
Pastor Dino: Mason, what's your last name?
Mason: Bayham.
Pastor Dino (obviously misunderstanding): Mason MAYHEM!  Now that's got to be the coolest name I've ever heard!

At this point, I am laughing so hard that I'm really about to have this baby in the middle of church.

So then Pastor Dino asked Mason to show him a dance move.  Of course, he wouldn't.  So then he asked Mason to make a funny face.  Well, Mason couldn't pass that up.  So he cocked his head to the side, crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue.  Everyone laughed and clapped for him.  He returned to his seat, very much in shock.  I think we're all still in shock.
And as for me . . . well . . . I've decided this baby must weigh at least 10 pounds or more!  At least that's what it feels like.  I really want to make it until Monday.  I have an appointment in the morning to get a haircut, of which I am in desperate need.  So I don't want to miss that!  And Friday is Mason's birthday.  And my doctor isn't on call this weekend.  And I still have a few things left to do before baby arrives.  But, at the same time, I was ready to have this baby YESTERDAY.

Five more days . . . or less.