Sunday, October 31, 2010

The birth of June Bug...

So lets start about a week and a half ago when I went to my midwife for my 38 week check-up. I was 2 to 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced that day. I knew it was coming soon and I thought maybe even last weekend it was going to happen, but nope not then. I though for sure I wouldn't make it to my appointment of this past week for my 39 week check-up, but I did. I had my midwife appointment at 9:30 am on Wednesday, October 27th. I took Elyse with me and Paul headed out for school. When my midwife checked me I was about 5 cm dilated and she said I was probably going to have this baby today. I was feeling more contractions, but not really consistent or in active labor. I called Paul and told him the news and told him to still go to school and I would call him when I feeling more consistent contractions. He called his mom to be on call and she told him to turn around to come back to be with me that I was going to go fast and she would head home to come get Elyse (great advice Sandy!). I still decided to go to the Library with Elyse for her storytime and then I would head home around 11:00. So I did that still feeling good and we got home around 11:30 after Paul told me to get home :) So we got our bag and food ready for the birthing center and headed out around 12;00 to walk around and get things going (side note, I decided I wanted to use a midwife this time around and heard great things about a birthing center here in Allen. I went to check it out when we first moved here and felt really good about going there especially since Elyse's birth went really smooth). So we decided to go walk around at the outlet mall since it was only a mile away from the birthing center. After walking and shopping, I started to feel the contractions more and they started to be consistent so I started to time them. They went from 8 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart pretty quick, so I called my midwife around 1:45 and she told me to wait to come in after I had been having contractions 5 minutes apart for an hour. So we went to Target, did some shopping, and then went to go grab some Golden Chick for Paul to eat (needed to make sure my coach was fed and ready to go). We got to the birthing center around 2:45 and sat in the backyard for Paul to eat. At 3:00 my contractions were getting more painful, so I went in to tell the lady that I was ready to go upstairs and get comfy. So we got up to our room and they started coming really strong. My midwife was downstairs finishing up her appointment and I kept asking for her to come check how far along I was. They thought I wasn't as far along as I was because I was pretty causal about everything, we laughed about it after the fact. So she checked me and I was 8 cm dilated. They immediately called the birthing assistant (she was getting groceries when she got the call and headed out as quick as she could and got there around 3:30). I got into the bath tub for just a bit to work through some contractions, but decided to get out to finish the labor on the bed. Things progressed fast and next thing I know I was told I could start pushing. I think I probably pushed through a few contractions and out came June at 3:52 pm! Yay! I was so glad to be done and finally meet our little girl. She was pretty blue when she came out which worried Paul and I, but our midwife said since she came down really quick her face would be a little bruised. Oh and Paul got to catch her and cut the umbilical cord! I just remember thinking right after that the labor wasn't as bad as I remember (of course it was alot shorter), but the pushing and delivery was much worse then I remember. Paul and I got to spend some great time with June before we let Elyse come up and meet her which was great. And of course Elyse did amazing with June and was so excited to meet her and hold her. We had such a great experience at the birthing center and loved our midwife and birthing assistant. We are so thankful for a beautiful and healthy baby girl!

Allen Birthing Center

Midwife on the left and Birthing assistant on the right, love them!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here We Go.....!

So today Kristin went to the doctor for her weekly checkup as the due date is getting so close. She was having pretty regular contractions yesterday which were about 9-10 minutes apart. Signs of pre-labor for those moms out there. Well after her appointment today she was already at 4-5 cm and progressing quickly. So what did she do? She meandered over to the library for story time with Elyse. As I write she is making her way back to the house to pick up the stuff to go to the birthing center. I'm now thinking we will have this baby in the car! Well probably not but I'm sure it will come quick. I write this as my last post with an single child because we are all pretty sure this baby is coming out today. Yeh!!!!! Thanks to everyone who voted on the names. It made this fun. Thanks for the continued support and prayers through our many decisions and transitions this year. Please continue as we go through one more in 2010. We'll post on the other side of this.....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are you Hungry?

I was thinking tonight what I wanted to write about and it was obvious I wanted to share some moments of our weekend. It has been such a fun weekend and a great start to my birthday week. As mentioned in my previous post, I finished my last midterm this past Wednesday and had a cancelled class on Friday so I did minimal work this weekend and spent much time with my family. I thought about the events of our weekend I realized that the memories created were captured while sharing a meal. It is interesting that if you think about past moments that are meaningful and positive memories they almost always involve food of some kind. Obviously not all of them but many of them. This means one of two things. The Mason's love food and/or the breaking of bread with people leads to meaningful moments. i would like to think both are very true. The Mason's do love food but more importantly, the Lord gave us food to enjoy and share while sharing meaningful time with others. This weekend Kristin and I created some fun new memories over a few meals.

Earlier in the week I attempted to plan a camping trip with Elyse, my nephew Cade, and my dad. Someone forgot to tell me that going camping when your wife is going to give birth to your child any day is a bad idea. So we changed our plans and decided to camp in the backyard. A great alternative. The night was complete with a fire, roasting hot dogs, and of course s'mores. Yes, food was involved. Nothing better than a Hebrew National over the open fire with some good company. Cade and Elyse loved helping get the fire started. My dad, Cade and I spent the night in the tent after watch the Rangers win the series against the Yankees of course. The first memory of the weekend.

Elyse with cousins Cohen and Cade

The second came as a celebratory meal with one of my colleagues at school and his wife. I have become pretty good friends with my Korean colleague and we often talk of food, culture, and differences in our two countries. I love this time and so we decided after our hardest midterm we would go celebrate with authentic Korean BBQ. Much different that the sloppy smoked brisket and baked beans us southerners are used to. This was a real treat. We walked in and my friend and his wife handled everything. Talking in there native tongue and ordering everything for us. So awesome. The idea of an authentic Korean BBQ is hot coals are placed under a grill in the middle of a 4 person table in which you cook your own meat. There are about a dozen side dishes that you eat as you grill your meat complete with fresh garlic and jalapenos as well as a couple of dipping sauces. Once the meat is done grilling you take it and wrap it lettuce with any sides or sauces you want. If you aren't licking your lips yet let me just say it was amazing. For my birthday coming up my friend ordered us some rice wine to share which is similar to sake. It was amazing and rather pricey and was so generous for him to treat. This couple made the night so much fun and will be such a great memory. It is neat to see how our friendship with this couple has grown over just the past couple of months. Again great conversation shared over a meal, in this case a cultural experience.

Heading out the door.

No forks for us that night.

Our friends Jong Min Oh and his wife Heehyun or Heeny.

To top this great weekend was yet another event with family sharing a meal. Yes, I'm sure i've gained five pounds this weekend to those of you Colorado readers that are wondering but that is what you do in Texas I guess. I suppose you need to hold us accountable. Well, tonight we drove to visit with Grand Martha, my dad's mom. This is the third time I've seen her since I've been back and every time is so much fun. Tonight we went to Twisted Root and enjoyed some fried food and burgers. Yes another amazing meal and another great time shared over a meal. It was neat to see my grandmother and her great-grandchild interact. What a huge gap in age and so many memories in between. I pray these experiences continue as we share food with friends and family in the future.

At Twisted Root. Turkey Burger and fried pickles. Can't go wrong.

So, eat well. Converse well. Be intentional in sharing these moments.

A little side note since we are on the food theme, check out the amazing birthday cake that Kristin made for me. A no-bake cheesecake with an oreo chocolate crust.

Given the Halloween birthday there is a spider web on the top of the cake. Festive huh.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Work Hard, Play Hard!

So cliche but so true for the Mason family the past month. As you may have noticed we haven't written in well over two weeks now. So sad but we have had quite a bit of going on. Fun things and challenges. I have had the hardest past couple of weeks at school between two midterm exams, presentations and papers. It is amazing to see how much time this stuff takes. I'm learning that I don't remember how to study anymore and hence the challenges are abundant. I have had repetitive late nights (into the early morning) with tea or coffee and Elyse about the only thing that can get me going in the morning. As you can imagine this presents a substantial amount of burden on my pregnant, tired, lonely wife. What an amazing woman she is! She has cleaned, taken care of Elyse, carried our second little girl and served me so well. I've been so blessed to have a supportive wife as we walk through these challenges.

Well, in the midst of the long nights, we have been creative with my time constraints and made some great memories along the way. We had the opportunity to go camping a few weeks ago with another couple and their son. She is due about the same time as Kristin so we had two pregnant ladies being troopers and camping for a night. We drove to unknown wildlife refuge where there were plenty of signs saying no camping and pitched a tent on a back road next to a gas well. For those Colorado readers, we have exchanged the beauty of a mountain or the sound of a rushing river while camping for the sound and view of gas fields and oil derricks. It was ironic, fun, and beautiful though!

It was amazing to see how much stuff we packed for only a single night of camping. I guess that is the beauty of car camping. The air mattress was a must for a 9 month pregnant lady.

Two weekends ago we were invited to a neighborhood fall festival where a bunch of families got their kids together for halloween. We dressed up Elyse in her new costume. Kristin, found a ladybug outfit for Elyse complete with wings and antennas. She loved it and was so cute as you can see from the picture below. I have missed my girls so much in these past weeks and ask myself how can I love this new baby as much as I love Elyse. Somehow I think I will manage.

Last weekend we extended our fun for a night away from Elyse thanks to my parents. It was one of my best friends 30th birthday party. It was a surprise party at the lake with a 1920's theme and a sleepover after. So Kristin and I dressed up in the most 20's type outfit we had and enjoyed the evening. There was catered food from On the Border, birthday cake and beverages. The craziest part of the night was the fact that 3 dealers were hired to bring in a craps, roulette, and 21 table. After dinner we spent roughly 2-3 hours gambling with house money. Kristin and I spent the whole night at the craps table. We had never played before but by the end of the night we were jumping around with the others and high-fiving because the table was hot! It was so much fun hanging out with long-time friends. They also hired a photo booth for the evening, what a great way to capture the moments. This was an amazing party (thanks Kristin B.) and we had a great time!

The last fun event that we want to share with everyone took place on Thursday. After my test and finishing up on a homework assignment I came early to carve pumpkins with Elyse while Kristin made some amazing cookies. It was so great to finally be done with my crazy month and be able to enjoy some much needed time with my family. It has been so hard to say bye to them in the morning and I can tell that they miss me. These little moments of spending an hour or two with them is much needed and hopefully more recurring in the near future. Here are some fun pictures and we hope you enjoy. Sorry for the long post.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Picture time
So Paul has been writing some great posts lately (he is so talented at writing) and it has been really fun for me to read. I thought I would contribute with some pictures.

Elyse finding mommy's shoes and coming to show us, so cute!

Shelby throwing a Baby shower for me, so fun, thanks Shelby! And a family pic, we have been teaching her say cheese so she is trying, doesn't get the smile part though.

Hanging out with Alissa, Elyse loved sitting on her dog, such a great dog with kids.

Mommy and Me Day at the Dallas Arboretum with the playgroup. Elyse LOVED the petting zoo! We had a great time!

Friday, October 08, 2010

One More Thing-

A friend posted this on facebook. So sweet! Great entertainment!

Cutest Thing Ever -

I had the privilege of getting home to have dinner with my family tonight. School has been pretty time consuming so every chance I get to spend with my girls is precious. So today Kristin put on the baker's hat and made banana bread. One of my favorites and now Elyse's. After Elyse and I enjoyed a tasty banana bread slice, we did the nightly routine. A food-colored bubble bath in Grand Sansy's bathtub, brush the teeth and hair, and then read some books. Elyse chose to read Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. We say she is advanced for her age. We read about pasta mixed with fresh arugula and when I stopped reading Elyse said, "With cheese on?" as we looked at the photo of the dish. Not only does she love cheese but apparently shares my passion for cooking and has some great ideas.
Well after that we put the books away and I asked her if she wanted to pray. She usually says yes but tonight I asked her what she wanted to pray for. She didn't say much so I offered a couple of suggestions. I said, "Do you want to thank Jesus for a fun day today....and for mommy?" She said yes. Then I asked her again if there was anything else she wanted to thank Jesus for. She looked at me and smiled and said, "Daddy." Talk about the best thing a dad can hear after a long week of studying. I love that little girl and can't wait to see her tomorrow.
So Elyse was full of fun today. Below is a pic of her kissing and talking to her new baby sister. Don't tell Kristin because she didn't want me to post the photo. It's cute though!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Double the Fun!

It is crazy to think that in about 3 weeks Kristin and I will meet our second daughter (the daughter part to be confirmed tomorrow as Kristin was having dreams it was a boy). We are so excited to meet this new little one but we have had so much fun with Elyse as the only child for close to two years now. 3 weeks will go by in a heartbeat. I simply write to inform my one reader, my wife, that this is crazy! I'm nervous, excited and anxious about the new addition, school, and the impact and have been encouraged by Philippians 4 this week thanks to my readers. He is so faithful even in the midst of our futile thoughts. Please keep praying for a safe and on time arrival (imperative for school and sanity) for this new addition.