Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Mason Family Newsletter

Our lives have been turned upside down now that we have four kids. There is so much to do in a day and sadly, blogging has been put at the bottom of the list. I'll admit, life with four has been hard. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. I'm in survival mode and just take one day at a time. I can't get anything done around here. Taking care of the kids, especially the baby, is all I get done. Everything else has just had to wait. My house is a disaster, I keep forgetting things (I hate being forgetful and flaky), laundry piles up faster than I can get it washed and put away, Bryan is busy with work, and my church calling is overwhelming right now. Trying to run primary with a baby is a whole new experience! My friend sent me a funny video of Jim Gaffigan (hope that's his name, I can't remember for sure!) and he puts it perfectly- "Just imagine you're drowning and then someone hands you a baby." That about sums it up for me.
At the end of the day, I know taking care of the kids is the most important and other things will just have to wait. Most of the time I feel frustrated and overwhelmed with life, but there have been many moments when I have felt so grateful and blessed to be a mother and wife. Those moments are the ones I hang on to and they get me through.
I thought that since it's Christmas time and I didn't get a newsletter out with our Christmas cards, I would write an update here so that friends and family can know what we are up to.
Bryan is halfway done with his third year of residency. He has been busy, to put it nicely. It seems that the hospital always gets slammed when he's working. The nurses and other residents have even teased him about it. He started moonlighting at a nearby ER in August. This past summer he was called to be a temple worker in Chicago so he goes on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. It's almost a three hour drive so it makes for a long day. He enjoys it though and we have been blessed because of his sacrifice. He is also serving as 1st counselor in the Young Mens. He's a busy guy. He accepted a job in Twin Falls, ID. We will be moving there in July.
Niah will be turning eight in January and she is so excited to get baptized. She is in 2nd grade and is a wonderful student. She enjoys reading, breakdancing, being with friends, and helping with the baby. I can't believe how grown up she is.
Chloe will be six in February. She is our spunky kid. She has lots of personality and keeps us laughing. She is in Kindergarten and is a bit of a teacher's pet. She is very good at following rules and she gets very worried about getting in trouble- which has never happened nor do I think it ever will! She enjoys getting fancy, practicing her reading, doing crafts and helping around the house. She loves to work!
Bennett is three now. He is all boy and is such a funny kid. He is always dressed up as something- astronaut, knight, prince, superhero, power ranger, cowboy, spy- you name it. He is always wearing some kind of accessory. He loves playing with Mabel, watching movies, playing dress up and being with mom. He is a happy kid who just goes with the flow.
Bridger is the newest addition. He is seven weeks old now. He is finally sleeping better at night ( by that I mean waking up once or twice a night to eat), which I love. He loves to eat and during the day he loves to be held while sleeping, which I don't love so much. His smile makes me so happy. His eyes twinkle and it takes his whole body to get a big smile out! He is a good baby and is adored by his big siblings. We love our little boy.

As for me, I think I said it all above. I am busy, busy, busy. I love it though. I am excited for Christmas at home with my cute family. There is nothing better than spending Christmas with my kids and hubby. I am also looking forward to celebrating our big ten year anniversary on Thursday. I can't believe it's been that long. We have accomplished so much and grown a lot in those ten years. I can honestly say that I love Bryan even more than the day I married him. He has made me a better person.

We have had a wonderful year full of memories and good times. It will be exciting to see what 2013 brings and what adventures await us! We are grateful for this Christmas season and for the joy and peace it brings with it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Christmas

Stationery card
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bridger Duke

We are now a family of six! Bridger Duke joined our family on November 4th at 1:31 a.m. He was 7 lbs. 4 ozs. and 20 inches long. His labor and birth went so fast! Saturday was a normal day. We did chores, played, and just had a day at home. Bryan had been at a life support class all day so when he got home the girls and I decided to run to Sam's Club and then go get pedicures and manicures. During my pedicure I turned on the massage chair and joked with the girls that i was going to shake the baby out! Well, on the way home at about 6:50 pm, I had my first contraction. They kept coming and they were pretty painful already. After timing them for a couple of hours and trying to get the kids down to bed, I decided it was time to head to the hospital. Thankfully, our friends, the Beck's, helped us with the kids and I knew they were in good hands. We got to the hospital at 10:15. at 10:30 they checked me and I was still only a 2 and 50 % effaced. (I had been that for a couple of weeks now.) I was so sad. I felt like crying. I was sure they were going to send me home and I would have to fight them and say, "NO, I really am in labor. This is too painful to be a false alarm!" The baby's heart rate dropped a couple of times during some contractions, so they decided to keep me instead of make me walk the halls. Phew! That was a relief. An hour later the doctor checked me again and I was a 4 and 90% effaced. I was so happy to be progressing. They admitted me and I told them before I even got to the room that yes, I would like an epidural and ASAP. The anesthesiologist got in the room and was done with my epidural by 12:45. Luckily, he was quick and got it on the first try. Sitting up holding still during a contraction for the epidural is really the worst part of labor! The doctor checked me again and I was a 7 and 100% effaced. She then broke my water. I was able to enjoy the epidural for about twenty minutes then it started to wear off. By this point I was feeling pressure and like I was ready to push. I'm not sure, but I think it was around 1:15 or 1:20. Sure enough, I was complete and ready to go! I pushed through two contractions, feeling quite a bit of pain, and then Bridger was born. He had meconium in the water, but he came out crying and screaming so the pediatric team didn't even have to take him. I got to hold him right away. Here are the first few minutes after his birth.

It is all kind of a blur because he came so fast. When he came out, the cord was wrapped around his neck twice and once around his arm. I'm glad he came out safe and sound and that he is healthy!
The kids came the next morning with Bryan to meet their new brother. I think they are all in love! They are so sweet with him. After being in the hospital room for a while, I looked at Benny and he was all teary eyed and wiping his eyes with the saddest face on. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I don't want to name him Bridger! I want him to be named Prince Caspian!" I tried so hard to hold in my laughter, but it was not possible. We talked for a minute and Benny came to the conclusion that when he gets older we can call him Prince Caspian! :)

Bridger's first bath. The girls were fascinated.

All ready to go home from the hospital. He looks so little in his carseat.
Benny chillin' on the bed watching Disney Channel while we get ready to load up and head out. It was election day the day I went home so we made a quick stop at the polls so I could vote!
The four kids. When and how did I get four kids?! Where have the last ten years gone?! Crazy.
Family of six. That's a lot of people. I am so proud to be a mom to the most beautiful children there are! Every time I have a baby I am overwhelmed at how precious they are and that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with his sweet children. I am truly so blessed. I am also very thankful for my mom who is here for two weeks to help us out. I would be dying without her and in Bryan's words, "we would all be very cranky!" So true.
Welcome to the family little Bridger! We love you very much and are so happy you're here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend with Friends

We were lucky enough to see some of our best friends this past weekend! The Mickelsens and the Randalls came to our house so the boys could go to the BYU vs. Notre Dame game. It was so great to see them and for the kids to hang out with their friends and get reaquainted.

Group hug! Saying goodbye was hard for my girls, especially Niah.

Having twelve kids and six adults in our house sounds crazy, right?! Well, it actually wasn't! The kids all got along great and just played and played. There wasn't one fight. I was pleasantly surprised. Here they are all tucked in watching a movie before bed.

Thanks Randalls and Mickelsens for a great weekend! I wish it could have been longer!! We need to do it again- sooner rather than later.
Here's Benny today playing outside while the girls were at school. He loves to go out there with Mabel and just swing and play by himself. What a good boy.

Benny Bolt and his sidekick, Mabel! (the girls gave Benny that nickname when he wears that cape!)
And here I am at 37 weeks and five days prego. I am ready to be done- not because I'm terribly uncomfortable- just because I can't wait any longer to meet this little boy. The anticipation is killing me! I can't wait to see what he looks like and how the other kids  interact with him. They are getting really excited too.
I have felt so grateful the past few days for all of my blessings! Healthy kids, for all of Bryan's hard work and him finding a great job (more on that later), a healthy and fairly easy pregnancy, and so many other things. I am truly blessed!

Friday, September 28, 2012


September has flown by. I'm actually a little glad, because it's been such a busy month and it just means that we're closer to when this little man will come! I have been busy getting our ward's primary program put together and we are also doing an activity for the primary kids with our practice. That has taken up most of my time this month! I'm sure Bryan and the kids will be glad to have the dining room table back this weekend- it's covered with projects! I'll have to post some pictures of the activity. We have lots of fun things planned!
Benny and I are getting used to being alone during the days. We play pirates, knights, superheroes, power rangers, and lots of other things. Benny loves to wear new costume accessories. He always has something on and changes his outfit numerous times a day. He cracks me up. I really love hanging out with him. We are best buds!

My pregnancy just keeps moving along! Besides, the constant heartburn I feel pretty good. I have been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I'm hoping that's a good sign that this boy will come early. I'm trying not to get my hopes up though! I tried to take some pictures of my belly the other day so I can have some of this pregnancy. Setting the timer and jumping on and off the bed too many times was painful. I gave up after about thirty attempts so this is the best I got.

Benny decided to join me after watching for a while. He was so cute. I didn't even tell him to kiss my belly in this one, he just did it at the perfect time! He is really excited for his brother to be 'borned'. The past week or so Bennett thinks the baby's name will be Nephi Edmund. Hmmmm. Not sold on that one yet. 

Bennett thinks hanging out in his underwear is the greatest thing! He will ask me if he can hang out in them after he goes potty. If I say yes he answers with a big, "YES! Thanks Mom!"

The girls are enjoying school. They are so afraid of getting in trouble and they stress a lot about following the rules. I'm not sure where they get that from. Probably me, I think I was that way when I was young. I grew out of that once middle school came along!
 Niah and Chloe got a hold of the camera the other day and this is what I found on it.

Bryan went to Ukraine too this month. He went to be a doc for the U.S. weight lifting team. He had a good time and even said he would go back to Europe with me someday. YES! I was hoping he would say that. I've been trying to convince him for years that Europe is a great place to go visit. I told him he needs to do a blog post about his trip. He might eventually get around to it.
Life is a whirlwind right now, but I'm trying to enjoy it and take it all in. I am trying to soak up these last few weeks of being pregnant. I love being pregnant, but I have been so busy I haven't really been able to enjoy it! It's going too fast. October will be focused on getting ready for the baby to make his appearance. We are all very excited around here!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Day of School

Well, it came. The first day of school is here!
 The girls were so excited, especially Chloe. She has been waiting and waiting to go to Kindergarten! The morning went well, for the most part. Niah gets so nervous for new things. She was sick to her stomach and couldn't eat breakfast. She cried from the minute we left the house (including her whole bus ride) to the minute I said goodbye to her at the school. I felt so bad for her. I wish I could take her anxieties away for her. I know she'll do great though and she will be excited to go back tomorrow. She looks so big in her collared shirt and curly hair. What happened to my baby?!

Chloe was so hyper this morning. She was ready in about 20 minutes with her backpack on and everything. She knew Niah was nervous so she told me, "Mom, don't worry, I'll keep Niah brave." She hopped right on the bus and went right into her classroom. I think she was bugged that I hung around for a bit to make sure she was okay! She was so happy to be at school. I can't believe she is in Kindergarten. Crazy.

Here's Niah getting ready to go into her classroom. She's putting on a smile for the camera, but you can tell she had red, puffy eyes from crying. As we walked down the hall, teachers could tell she was upset and nervous. So many of them came up to her and gave her a hug and told her they were happy to see her. I was so impressed! That's a huge reason that I love their school. I know Niah will be well taken care of today. 

I guarantee Chloe is thinking inside, "Geez Mom, could you put the camera away and leave already?!" She's too cute.
Benny misses his sisters today. I asked him what he wanted to do today while the girls were at school and his answer was, "go to Target and play cars together!" So, that's what we did and he's been loving the one on one time. It's really weird to have only one kid at home. I'm going to spoil Benny until the baby comes while I have him all to myself! I'm so proud of my girls for being brave and being such good students. I know they will rock 2nd grade and Kindergarten! 

Here we are at the top of Niah's castle!

Here's Niah and her best friend Addi playing in the dirt!

Bryan's favorite things:

  • BYU Football
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Mountain Biking
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Kayaking

Natalie's Favorite Things

  • Naps
  • Blogging
  • Cooking
  • Going on dates with Bryan
  • Reading good books
  • Being a mom

Niah's Favorite Things

  • Hannah Montana
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • High School Musical
  • Reading books with her dad
  • Singing
  • Disney Princesses
  • Playing outside with her friends

Chloe's Favorite Things

  • Being outside
  • Her binki
  • Bananas
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Playing with Niah
  • Taking a bath