Monday, September 29, 2008

no sibling jealousy here...

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
~Desmond Tutu
ella and bennett absolutely love having a baby brother. ella wants him in the same room as her, and she is always asking if she can hold him, give him a bottle, put in his pacifier. she talks very sweetly to him and is very understanding when he is fussy and takes up all of mommy's time. she even provides some entertainment and dances for him.

bennett... well, i'm not sure if he realizes mason is his little brother or if he just thinks he is a little toy. but judging from the way he squeals in excitement and does his little dance every time mason enters the room, he is happy to have him in our family. and he certainly isn't stingy with kisses. he's very eager to give them at every opportunity, even if it means climbing across mommy while he is eating, or leaning his entire weight onto mason in the swing or bouncy seat, and even in spite of some adamant "no's!" and "not right now, buddy's" from mommy and daddy.

he loves his brother and loves to hold him. "thirsty, buddy?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i love my mommy

home cooked meals, doing the dishes, cleaning, putting my kids down for naps, lifting bennett out of his crib... the list goes on. what would i do without my mom? well, i'll find out soon enough, but for now, i very much enjoy her company and her servant's heart.

yesterday, she bathed the kids for me. she had ella out of the tub, and bennett announces that he has to go to the bathroom. automatically, i reach to get him out of the tub, forgetting that i can't lift him. not to worry, because he remembered. "no! grammy! mommy, owie." oh yeah... nothing like needing your 2 year old to remind you of your limitations.

ella has an abc book of bible verses. Q is one of her favorites that she memorized right away. "be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." so as i was trying to talk with my mom about something and ella was desperately trying to ask me something about going with her to get her necklace, i was kinda ignoring her and kept saying, "just a minute." and when her pleading didn't work, she realized maybe getting spiritual would. "but mommy, God says we should be quick to listen." maybe not exactly the application the verse is intending, but she got some major points (and laughter) for her persistence and effort.

and poor mason had his circumcision today. he was not happy (can't say i blame him) and there was lots of drama at the doctor's office. sure am grateful grammy was there to help. i'm going to miss her!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

fun at the zoo

ella and bennett have thoroughly enjoyed having daddy home the past week and half. (and so have i!) the fun never ends with daddy. on wednesday, he took the kids to the zoo, where there is a new splash area. they had the time of their lives, daddy too... so on thursday, they went back again!

i am sad the week is coming to an end and he heads back to work on monday (although i am thrilled to welcome my mom and her help this next week). so i had this conversation with ella:

me: "aren't you sad that daddy has to go back to work on monday?"
ella: "no."
me: "really? i am sad."
ella: "but mommy, he still comes home at the end of the day."
me: "i know, but i miss him during the day."
anthony: "what do you like about daddy going to work?"
ella: "because i like it when its just mommy and we can talk all day and hang out. i really love my mommy so much."

awwww... that just warms a mother's heart.

zoo pictures

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

who does he look like?

mason looks very much like bennett. which also means he looks like daddy. but he looks so much like bennett that i kept calling him bennett in the hospital and even filled out the hearing screening paper work for bennett. that could have been the result of drugs and sleep deprivation, but regardless, mason looks like bennett did as a baby.
well, mostly like bennett and a little like a wrinkly old man.

for those who like to hear the details...

Every child born into this world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.
-Kate Douglas Wiggin

one of my big fears with pregnancy number 3 was that labor would go super fast and i wouldn't make it to the hospital in time. well, God heard my prayers. i had sorta started labor last tuesday, but it wasn't until midnight that i woke up with painful contractions. i woke anthony up at 1 am, we called a good friend... no, make that great friend... that drove over to stay with our kids and we were off the hospital.

once we got to the hospital, my contractions lessened and i was absolutely convinced they were going to send me home, embarrassed and exhausted. however, mason's heart rate kept dropping with the contractions. not to an alarming point, but enough so that the doctor decided to admit me and get things moving. bless him. so at 5 am, i headed upstairs for some pitocin (induces labor) and the glorious epidural.

it wasn't until probably around 10 am or so that we had our first scare. although i knew they were watching his heart rate on the monitor, i had no idea the entire staff was ready to rush my room at a moments notice. i could hear mason's heartbeat on the monitor and noticed that it started to slow... and wasn't picking back up. then the door burst open and in came my 2 nurses, my doctor, the anesthesiologist, more nurses, nursery staff, and even more people. they were all amazing and their calm voices didn't match the frantic pace at which they worked to roll me over, roll me back, change my IV, pump me full of terbutaline (stops contractions), insert internal monitors to mason's head... and whatever else was going on that i wasn't able to process in the 10 seconds it took. in the midst of this, about the time the terbutaline took effect, everything sorta caught up with me and that is when the emotions started overflowing. my doctor held my hand and explained everything while my nurse kept her hand on my shoulder. they were really fantastic. basically, the contractions were constricting mason's umbilical cord, which limits the amount of oxygen he is getting, which in turn decreases his heart rate. this was happening in a minor way at first, but was beginning to escalate.

after trying everything to get him to come out on his own, and after numerous sprints back to my room for more dramatic heart rate dips, it was off to surgery for an emergency c-section. we had slowly prepared for this, and had even gotten to the point where we were anxiously ready for it for the sake of our baby. however, there is no way to fully prepare for this adventure into the icebox that is surgery... the drapes, the lights, having my arms strapped down, getting pumped full of even more drugs, watching everyone practically sprinting around me... all while this man in the corner is counting off surgical utensils. he must have been at about 30 when i got a little panicky wondering if every one of those scissors and scalpels was going to be needed on my body.

anthony soon joined me and held my hand during the "tugging and pressure" they warned me about, which really felt more like they must be ripping every single organ out of my body. no pain, but they should certainly add the word "violent" to "tugging and pressure". (and at this point, i must add for those of you that didn't know, i really wanted a girl. my philosophy was if i were to have an ultrasound that indicated boy, i may have been slightly disappointed for a few minutes, but then happy. but when i envisioned birth, i figured that when i saw my baby come out and they laid him on my tummy, it wouldn't matter what gender.) so, i found out "it's a boy!" when i heard my doctor say, "good, he doesn't have the cord wrapped around his neck." not exactly the bonding moment i had anticipated. then i heard him cry, then i heard anthony's excitement, then i saw half his bloody face as they lifted him over the blue drape for me to see. and of course i was happy to have a boy. just not quite the scenario i expected.

come to find out, he had the cord wrapped around his arm, his chest, and his leg... and he was holding onto it. basically there was no way he would have come out on his own without some serious trauma. recovering from a c-section has not been easy, especially since this is child number 3, but we have a beautiful, healthy son and that is really all that matters.

for months, we had been praying for all the details of pregnancy, labor, delivery, doctor on call, nurses, etc... while at first i was very disappointed about a c-section and even had the thought as to why God didn't take care of things in order to prevent it, i have come to my senses and realized God has taken care of everything way beyond what i could have imagined. sometimes i get hung up on the way i think things should be and i miss the fact that the God of the universe actually knows better and cares about all the details in my life. and as if this post wasn't long enough already, allow me to share some of the ways i have recognized God's hand through this adventure:

1. time of labor... a 2 am journey to the hospital means no traffic, no red lights, and no construction. and no having a baby on the side of the road!

2. the lessening of contractions. they were intense enough to get me to the hospital where i could be monitored, but then tapered off so that i wasn't completely miserable while waiting for the epidural.

3. the length of the contractions. at home, and at the hospital, i kept thinking the contractions needed to be getting longer to be more effective. the longest ones were 30 seconds. knowing now that his little heartbeat was dipping with every contraction, long contractions would have been a bad thing for the little guy.

4. modern medicine. always a fan of the epidural, of course, but even the monitor for mason's heart rate, the terbutaline (even though i thought they may have injected me with crack by the way i was shaking), and all the other things that kept us safe. i'm thankful i live somewhere these things are easily accessible.

5. my nurse. she goes to the same church as us and i even worked with both of her parents. wonderful people. she was fantastic... thorough, compassionate, and by our side the entire time.

6. the doctor. every nurse i encountered had told me that she was the favorite to work with and most of them chose her as their personal doctor. i really feel that we got the best care possible.

7. one of the post-partum charge nurses knew anthony and when she saw my name on the patient list she said, "make sure she gets a good nurse." and i did. my first nurse told me that they had picked the best nurses on each shift for us. and they really were great. we felt like VIP.

8. my parents were able to head down immediately and watch our kids while we were at the hospital. my dad had the day off and my mom had a half day at school. the timing for them was perfect and it is such a relief to not have to worry about your kids at home when you are worried enough about the one inside you.

9. mason is here, and he is healthy and perfect. God took care of him. he had his hand upon him and didn't let any harm near him. he heard our prayers.

God answers prayer. and we are so blessed...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

its a boy!

mason andrew

welcomed into our family on wednesday, september 10th at 12:52 pm.

more to come after a little more sleep :)

Monday, September 8, 2008


today i am thankful for:
1. air conditioning
2. 2 air conditioning units for our house
3. the fact that when one air conditioning unit quits, the other one is still going strong
4. comfortable couches to sleep on when our bedrooms heat up like ovens
5. a wonderful husband who deals with the repair so i don't have to
6. the reminder that its almost fall here... only a few more months and maybe we won't even need our air conditioning at all!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

hammers and hearing

today was home depot workshop day. the excitement was summed up as we pulled into the parking lot and bennett shouts, "hammer!"
i must say, the kids did quite well with their craft. ella has even learned to stop hammering when she looks around to see what everyone else is doing. i no longer fear that my fingers will be broken.
and bennett has learned to read instructions. ok, not really, but he must have learned from watching daddy and pretends. and he is quite good with the screwdriver and hammer.
and throwing the football through the uprights was fun for all...

on a completely different note, i will also add that i thoroughly enjoyed the insight of dr. dobson in Bringing Up Boys. yes, it did take me over a year to read it, but i definitely learned a lot and highly recommend it. some would say that boys and girls are the same and their environment shapes their tendencies and personalities. these people have not raised a boy and a girl. i learned from dobson the actual differences in a male and female brain, something that happens early in the womb. God has created each gender unique. and you know, its a good thing. we have completely different roles to fill in life.

so... i have noticed that bennett has a much more difficult time listening to me. or maybe i should say hearing me. ella has a difficult time listening to me when i'm saying something she doesn't want to hear and she is having an emotional breakdown so severe she can't hear me over her hysterics. bennett has a hard time listening to me because boys have a one-track, compartmentalized mind and he just doesn't even hear me. he isn't (usually) trying to be defiant or disobedient. he's just usually too focused, having too much fun to stop and absorb what it is i am saying. life is quite exciting to this happy little 2 year old and mom's voice is an easy one to tune out. this is not an excuse, but it does help me to remember that we deal with our children based on motive, not strictly behavior. intentional vs. unintentional. deliberate disobedience vs. irresponsibility...

so why am i rambling about this? at 6 am, with baby einstein playing in the background (thanks to bennett who doesn't understand that saturday mornings are for sleeping in) i was doing a bible study on obeying God. i read how in both the old and new testaments, the words translated obey are related to the idea of hearing. hmmm... i thought. how interesting to think of this in connection with bennett and the idea that he doesn't hear me. then the strangest thing happened... God showed me how it actually applies to me. i thought about how life can be so fun, or so distracting, that i just don't take the time to listen to him. its not so much about me being deliberately disobedient to God, but not being intentional in hearing his voice and leading in my life. hmmm... gotta love lessons like that.

Friday, September 5, 2008

some big brother practice

i found bennett in his room with nina, ella's doll, very intent on getting her diaper changed and getting her ready to swim. it didn't even faze him when i came in with the camera.
i think my favorite part was when it came time to actually "wipe" her, he put on the oven mitt, scooped up the invisible poop, and then took the mitt off. it was all very natural, like that is how we do it over here or something.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

my housekeepers

i really think that anthony would be happy if we had 10 kids. in his words, "they are so great." i do agree they are so great, but i told anthony of some requirements that would have to be met if this were actually a possibility (don't worry, it isn't.) first, (after, of course, adding a concubine to the equation) we would have to move out of this city, maybe to a farm somewhere so our children could run free, explore God's creation, enjoy the outdoors... you know, not be cooped up for months on end watching the world melt around them. the second requirement would be a housekeeper. this was actually on the list before we were going to have baby number 3. but, surprise! God had other plans (and we are glad he did.)

well, the housekeeping factor may have a solution. it seems my children have developed a love for cleaning. wednesdays are floor days and they literally fight over whose turn it is to vacuum and mop. where does this tendency come from, i wonder? most certainly not from me.
we have years to go before the work they expend equals the productivity we need to actually have a clean floor, but i believe it is important to encourage the effort. so i let bennett vacuum the same spot 45 times and bite my tongue as ella pours half the water into the floor steamer and the other half all over the floor. and i let them enjoy it. i'm most certainly not in the business of raising perfectionists.

so... anyone interested in trading their farm in the mountains for our house in the suburbs?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

labor day

while my ideal labor day would have actually consisted of going into labor... no such luck. instead, we spent our labor day weekend the next best way. with lots of great people. i had a special girl's day with my mom and sister, which is just another reminder to me of how blessed i am to have been born into the best family ever. we also had a great labor day bbq with good friends that leave us refreshed and encouraged and are great examples of how big families mean big love. we love the stimers and the whiteheads :)

and now, for a belly picture...