First baby of 2014

Keller Mason arrives early, as expected

KELLER Everett Mason arrived on New Year’s Day at 5:55 a.m. With him are his sisters Sadee and Lilly, and parents Tamme and Erin Mason.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
KELLER Everett Mason arrived on New Year’s Day at 5:55 a.m. With him are his sisters Sadee and Lilly, and parents Tamme and Erin Mason.

Not every newborn baby gets ceremonial spotlights from Hood River Police, but Keller Everett Mason did.

Keller, son of Tamme and Erin Mason of Hood River, has the honor of being the first baby born in 2014 in Hood River.

Keller weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20¼ inches long when he arrived at 5:55 a.m. at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital with two nurses doing the delivery, one week before his due date.

“He’s a happy, hungry baby,” Tamme said.


Sadee Mason, 2, does her “ballerina dance” to welcome her new baby brother, Keller, along with her sister Lilly and parents Tamme and Erin.

Erin and Tamme’s co-workers enjoyed early opportunities to congratulate the new parents: Erin is a longtime police officer with Hood River Police, and his fellow officers found a way to salute the new arrival.

“A lot of them have been by; a few of them have shone their spotlights through the window because they knew which room we were in,” Erin said.

Tamme, a nurse in the Providence ER, passed through to say hello, on her way up the Family Birthing Center at 4:45 a.m.

She woke up at about 4 a.m., knowing her new baby would be like her first two children, and come early. Keller joins two sisters, Lilly, 13, and Sadee, 2, and grandparents Ellie Pearson, visiting from New Hampshire, and Sue and Phil Mason of Hood River.

“We just said, ‘It’s time, the fire drill has started,’ Erin joked. “I let Ellie know, and we got Sadee situated. Ironically, Lilly wasn’t even home; she was at a sleepover, which is where she was when (Sadee) was born. So we said, ‘No more sleepovers for her.’”

“I got a call around 6 in the morning and I didn’t really think anything of it so I just ignored it because me and my friends were all sleeping,” Lilly said. “So I just ignored it, and then at about 7, Dad called and told me, and then I saw the picture on Facebook.”

Keller is one of the earliest Hood River first babies in recent memory, at less than six hours into the new year, and he was born before the attending ER physician, Dr. Karen O’Neal, could get there.

So nurses Cameron Teems and Bev Smethers did the honors. Tamme said it was the first “unattended delivery” for Teems, a veteran nurse.

“It’s called ‘catching the baby.’ I’ve done it a few times,” said Ellie, a retired nurse who still works per diem.

“Dr. O’Neal came up and (Keller) was already out and she was like, ‘Tamme —’” she joked.

“It was not a surprise; I was prepared. All three of them were fast,” Tamme said.

The Masons arrived at the hospital at 4:45 a.m. and the birth happened a little over an hour later.

“We’re very excited. It was great having all the family in town and everyone here to enjoy it with us,” Erin said.

“This will be my last one so I said ‘I’m going to be there, that’s for sure.’”

Ellie has another grandson, but for Sue and Phil Mason, this is the first.

“My brother Eric has three daughters, and we have two, and I told my dad, ‘This is your last chance,’” Erin said. (Eric and his wife, Anne, of Walla Walla, Wash., have daughters aged 18, 16 and 11.)


With Keller’s arrival, the Masons will enjoy a list of goods and services courtesy of the Hood River First Baby contest, sponsored by Hood River News and Providence Health Services.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


YellowjuanaCake says...

This is the most adorable mistaken headline, this *year* ;) Congrats to the happy family.

Posted 4 January 2014, 9:22 a.m. Suggest removal

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