Six years ago today, I was checking into the hospital for the 2nd time that week. Earlier in the week (Tuesday), I had been having contractions and was hopeful that the baby was coming. Of his own accord. Otherwise, I was scheduled for induction on Thursday. I was not looking forward to being induced. What was the urgency, you ask? Was it significantly past his due date? Concerns about health? Nope. It was insurance. Brad had been laid off from his teaching job and our insurance was ending 8/31.

On Tuesday, we got to the hospital and I was admitted. My contractions weren’t getting any stronger. We walked. And walked. Nothing. I was started on pitocin. The contractions stalled out completely. (Hmmm, that wasn’t supposed to happen.) Lather, rinse, repeat. We tried again on Wednesday. No luck. This baby was comfy and not going to budge. We called it a day and rescheduled the induction for Friday.

I went home and slept for 13 hours. I was exhausted from the ordeal and depressed at the thought that I would have to face it again. Even more depressed that I was subjecting myself and my child to this because of money, or lack thereof. (Go ahead, ask me my opinions on health insurance reform.)

Friday morning we went back to the hospital. I was so certain the baby was NOT coming that day, that I left my bags in the car. Once again, I was hooked up to monitors and pumped full of pitocin.

I guess he was ready to meet the world that day. Seven hours after checking in, we had:

Joshua Rivers Neuhauser

He quickly picked up the nickname Happy Buddha.

Since then he’s added the monikers Mr. Mayor and Mr. Personality.

On the one hand, I live my life confounded and frustrated by his behavior (all action, no impulse control). On the other, I can’t help but smile and acknowledge he is clever, funny, outgoing and creative.

Although he lost the chance to have a birthday party (he hit his sisters a few too many times), he doesn’t seem to be missing it. In addition to multiple Lego sets he received from grandparents, we brought down the mother load of Legos from the attic. Brad spent time sorting them by color into drawers of a CD-turned-Lego storage unit.

Although not as exciting as thousands of Legos, I couldn’t resist buying this print for him from Paul Chung‘s Etsy site.

For a child who claims “rice and tofu” as his #1 favorite meal of all-time and is currently obsessed with super heroes, how could I not buy it?

Happy Birthday, Buddy! Hope you enjoy your Lego-induced birthday high. Olive Juice!