Monday, July 30, 2012

Elliott's Baptism

This is going to be a long post. There are two flashbacks, a flashback within a flashback (say what?) as well as current events.  Remember when I used to do Flashback Friday almost every Friday?  I should start doing that again.  It means a lot of scanning though, and I hate scanning old photos.  Bleh. 

I hope you'll stick around until the end.  There are lots of pictures, but I'll try to keep my narration to a bare minimum.  For me that means you'll be done reading on August 3rd, but, whatever.

We had Elliott baptised in the hospital when he was sick with sepsis.  It was Wednesday, January 4, 2012.  He was 19 days old and had been in the PICU for about 40 hours.  We still didn't have a diagnosis and we were afraid he might die.  It was a real emergency situation.  I had also found out that morning that a close friend had died on Christmas Eve and her family had been unable to contact me (they didn't have my phone number) until that day.  She hadn't been feeling well, but I talked to her right before Elliott was born and nobody had ANY idea that she had terminal cancer.  I never, in a million years, expected her to die.  So, I was a mess that day.  When I think about that day I almost always cry.  I hate that day and the memories I have of it.  There was nothing happy or joyful about Elliott's baptism.

These are the only pictures we took. 

He was so, so sick.

Now that Elliott is recovered from sepsis and recovered from neonatal cholestasis we wanted to have a completion ceremony for his baptism.  The Catholic church does not re-baptise people, but they will let you have a ceremony in the church where you are able to say prayers, have the godparents participate and do the baptism candle.

I wanted it to be everything that his baptism in the hospital was not.

This was the invitation I sent:

We're going to sidetrack here for Flashback #2.

Spencer's baptism.

He was 10 weeks old. 

We got to the church and took some family pictures.

Time for a flashback within a flashback.
We got married in the same church and our wedding pictures are on the same altar. We got married at night in December, so the stained glass wasn't as bright and pretty.

(We now return to the original flashback)

And then, after our family pictures, Spencer started crying.

He cried, loudly, for the entire ceremony.  Every. Single. Second. Of the entire thing. 
Screaming, really.

This is the actual moment of the baptism.  In case you don't get the full effect of just how pissed he was...... 

let's crop and flip the image.
Yeah.  He was not happy.  We have his entire ceremony recorded, but we've never been able to bring ourselves to watch it because it was so awful.

Then, the second it was over he fell asleep on my shoulder.

Back to present day.

We had much higher hopes for Elliott.  #1, he's much, much older than Spencer was.  #2, he's never been a big crier.  Of course he cries when he is hungry, tired, scared or strapped in his car seat, but he has never wailed for hours like Spencer used to.  He is also easy to calm, whereas Spencer sometimes took like 2 weeks to calm down after we did something  to rock his world (like have the audacity to take him to a party).

We were a little late getting to the baptism because Elliott actually slept like a rock star the night before and then wasn't tired until it was too late for a decent nap and we had to wake him up after he slept for like 20 minutes.

My friend Megan is Elliott's godmother and my brother Nick is his godfather.  Megan's daughter, Hadley, kept coming to say hi during the ceremony.

Elliott did so good the whole time.  He was intrigued with Nick and kept looking at him and grabbing his arm (and trying to rip his hair out- tee hee hee).

Side note.  My friend Elisa is sitting behind me here.  She is wearing a black dress.  She is Spencer's godmother and can be seen in the pictures from Spencer's baptism.  Nick, who is also in those pictures, is not Spencer's godfather.  He was standing in for Michael's brother who was living in Germany at the time.

Parents and godparents

Father Bill did both Spencer's and Elliott's ceremonies.  He would have married us too, but he was out of town when we got married.
I love that I now have a picture of our complete family (well, minus Ginger, but I think God frowns upon dogs on the altar) on the same altar where we got married.
After the ceremony Nick and Megan hosted a luncheon at Nick's house.

This is where things fell apart a little bit.  Since Elliott was on lockdown until he was 5 months old he doesn't have a lot of experience being around crowds of people.  Except for my grandmother's funeral (and he was only 3 months old and we kept him away from everyone), this was the largest group of people he's ever been around.  Plus he was super tired and pretty hungry.  That all combined into one gigantic meltdown. Everyone wanted to hold him, it was loud, people were making silly faces at him and it was too much.  He just lost it.  And he freaked out.  So, I missed a chunk of the party because I was nursing him and then trying to calm him down. 

Megan actually took him into Nick's room and got him to go to sleep but couldn't put him down without him waking up, so Michael and I went in there and used our super ninja parent moves to get him to take a mini nap.  It was just enough to get him through.

I didn't get a picture of the food buffet, but I did get one of the awesome cake that Megan ordered.
Jeannette, who used to be my blog stalker, but is now just my super cool friend, was there.
You HAVE to go to her blog so you can read all about how she used to stand outside of my window watching me with binoculars and steal stuff from my garbage.  Of course I'm kidding.  Go to her blog to read about how we met.  You can find her post about the baptism, with some more wonderful pictures, HERE
I was absolutely shocked to discover that everybody had brought Elliott a gift.  I really wasn't expecting anything.  It was such a fun surprise.

My dad didn't have enough to eat and tried to munch on Elliott's face.

Then they watched women's volleyball.  Elliott was way too into the ladies.

Jerry (who is my aunt's brother, but not my uncle- got it?) became part of our family because he matched us perfectly.

Towards the end of the party Elliott started to lose it again.  We knew we just needed to get back to my parents.  We got home, he nursed, he fell asleep within .2 seconds and slept for 2 hours straight without a peep.

During that time Megan and Hadley came over to my parents house because we didn't really get to talk at all during the party.  While we chatted, and I had an emotional breakdown about Sandy (my friend who died on Christmas Eve), our children went to play in the dirt.

I don't think they have ever had so much fun together.

Hadley was so dirty she even had pebbles in her hair.  There was no way they could leave like that, so Megan stuck them in the tub together.

They were so filthy the water looked like tea.

We came back home today and I unpacked and laid out all of the baptism gifts so I can make a detailed list of what Elliott got from everyone.  I'm sure you're shocked.

Can you believe our friends and family.  Elliott is so lucky to be so loved by everyone!

I'm so glad that we decided to go ahead with the completion ceremony and not just leave his baptism "as is" from the hospital.  I have some wonderful new memories that will hopefully push out the old ones.

Oh, and no Ginger in this post.  That's her punishment for pooping and peeing on my parents floor while we were at church and the luncheon.   

You see, Ginger.  This is why God won't allow you in church.  You have bowel and bladder control issues (although, strangely, only when you are mad or scared, otherwise you can hold it for, like, 14 hours).  It doesn't help that you also ate an ENTIRE loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread on Saturday night.  God doesn't approve of gluttony, even in plump, adorable beagles.
Update: Comments have been closed on this post due to excessive spam.


Cat said...

Love the pictures! And got a kick out of your "stalker's" blog post too. :)

Jeannette said...

Haha, I'm so glad you have created even more blog stalkers in this world by linking to my post. ;) Who knows, maybe one of your readers will become my super cool friend one day and write a post about it.

Seriously though, it was an honor to be there. :)

Megan said...

What a wonderful day! I am honored to be part of Elliott's life in such a great way. :-)

Sherry said...

Blog stalker...haha! I feel that I am your new one! :-) What can I say, I am just addicted to Natalie! Perhaps one day we'll get to meet in person...after all, it isn't every day one meets their "life twin." Ha!

You know I have so much to say to this. I am so glad you decided to do another "real" baptism and made some happy memories. I love baby baptisms/dedications and love those little white christening gowns (although I didn't technically use them because of the ages of my children but their outfits were white). Evan was actually over a year old when we did his because we had moved to a new city right after he was born and wanted to get used to a new church before doing the ceremony. Brody was a younger six months of age (our church has a very busy baptism/dedication schedule so you have to go on a list as soon as baby is born), and he slept through his...not sure if that is better than the screaming or not.

Similarily #401 (or something like that): Brody and Elliott could be twins since Brody also has the monkey outfit. It was actually Evan's so I suspect that one may have been Spencer's too.

Similarity #402: I also love family pictures at baby baptisms and you might see a few back in my earlier posts. ;-) You looked so pretty at your babies' ceremonies.

I love Spencer's expression in the family picture on the altar. I wonder who he was looking at.

Oh my, that bath water is enough to make me gag. Haha! Oh my, they were so dirty! It looks like you all had a wonderful day giving thanks and enjoying the beauty and miracle of little Elliott! Give the little man some kisses from that crazy NC stranger! ;-)

k and j said...

ok spencers face in all of his baptism pictures ohhh myyyy. i was sweating just LOOKING at them hahaha :) best post ever!

Karen said...

Yay!! I'm so glad you got to do this! And, ugh, that bath water! Amazing, I have never seen anything like it!

Valerie said...

God bless Elliott. He's just starting to look so grown up now! Okay, I literally guffawed when you flipped that picture of Spencer over. Oliver was whiney at his baptism but he never cried. He was, however, too chunky and busted out of his gown. Whatever.

Seriously, are you REALLY surprised that you have a blogger stalker? I mean, you are kind of awesome but whatever. He he he.

Pretty sure their tea bath may be one of the yuckiest things I've ever seen. Can't wait for those days in my household.