Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Sandman Cometh

Max slept through the night. MAX SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!

My life is st-st-st-stressful right now. Mostly because we don’t know where we’re living in 13 days. But this morning, I am happy as can be. I want to shout from the rooftops: my 7 1/2 week old slept 8 1/2 hours straight last night! YES.

This is where I found Max, still sleeping, at 7:30AM.


Yes, my baby’s bedroom is the hallway. Sad. Sad, but hopefully changing in two weeks when we have more space.


Bless the SwaddleMe. It’s ALL ABOUT the SwaddleMe.


He’s still breathing. Phew! You always wonder that first time…

Of course, I didn’t fall asleep right when Max did, so I didn’t get that much sleep.

Of course, Anderson woke up at 3AM with a single, loud cry. He went right back to sleep. This morning I determined the sleeve of diapers that crashed to the closet floor around that time is to blame.

Of course, gun shots fired a few blocks away around 4AM.

Of course, I had crazy, CRAZY nightmares about our upcoming move.

Of course, Max spent half the night in the swing. Not sure if that contributed or not. At 3AM, when Harley got up to see if Anderson was dying, he moved Max to the bassinet. I put Max in the swing initially because he seemed a little uncomfortable after the 11PM feeding and didn’t quite settle down like he usually does. The swing is part of the reason I didn’t fall right to sleep. I worried the soft, fluffy blanket I’d put under him might smother him. Then I worried he’d slip out of the swing, since he was securely wrapped in the SwaddleMe and could possibly worm his way down. Then the loud crank of our ghetto swing started driving me insane. Then I remembered the perfect picture of Max I intended to use in yesterday’s name post that I’d totally forgotten about. Argh! Hate that. Oh well, I will use it now.

DSC_0098 Yep, our amazing (truly, he is) friend Brooks made this for Max. So great!

So, yeah, I had a hard time falling asleep.

Then, of course, I woke up at 6:30AM, shocked that it was 6:30AM and I hadn’t heard from Max. Then I was too busy being shocked and grateful to fall back asleep.

So, for me, it wasn’t the greatest, longest, deepest night sleep ever…

But yay for Max! I’ve decided this is my favorite sticker on the baby calendar.


As long as we’re talking sleep, remember when I thought Anderson might need to give up his nap? Remember that one time he woke up at 3AM and never went back to sleep? Remember when I wanted TO DIE?! I found THE solution, which is nothing short of a miracle because everything else WAS NOT working for us. One day we tried skipping the nap altogether. At 5PM I found him like this:


DSC_0004-1 So I moved him to a more comfortable position and let him nap for 45 minutes.

DSC_0005-1That was a bad idea. When I woke him up he was drive-me-crazy CRANKY and then unbelievable-clingy NEEDY. Yeah, we can’t do that again. Besides, if I somehow did manage to keep him awake until 7PM, then let him crash for bedtime, he’d never see Harley. More evidence we need our naps? Twice in one week he fell asleep in the car around his usual naptime, 1PM. Oh and the whole quiet time solution… we kind of have that already every morning. We had to keep the naps but maintain a reasonable nighttime schedule. How? My genius friend Kara suggested I wake him up early from his naps. I know it sounds crazy to wake a happily sleeping toddler, but I did it and it’s working fantastically! I don’t let him sleep for more than 2 1/2 hours… 2 3/4 hours max. I go in, raise the blinds, scratch his back and he slowly wakes up. Usually giggling. It. is. great. The best part? He takes about 20 minutes to come to, collect his stuff and decide he’s ready to get out, so I still get 3 hours of precious me time. Aaaand he’s falling asleep faster at night. Miracle, people. MIRACLE!

Anderson is back on a great schedule. Max had one amazing night. Will both continue?

Let us pray.

As long as we’re praying, please bless we have a decent place to live -- that won’t cost more per month than an entire semester’s tuition at BYU (!!!) -- on September 1st.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hey, where’d you get those cute genes?


We STRUGgled coming up with a name for Max. I had my short list. Harley had his short list. We weren’t wild about anything on them. We waited and waited for inspiration to strike (Anderson’s name came to me in a dream) and, well, it never did.

Our frontrunner was Maxwell. We had a few reservations about the name, but overall, we liked Maxwell. We loved Max. My sister Lisa convinced me to test drive Max during my last weeks of pregnancy. The more we tested it, the more it grew on us. It grew on Anderson too. I’m not sure he would have tolerated calling our newborn anything but “Baby Max.”

On Max’s second day of life, we agreed that Maxwell he was. Now, of course, I can’t imagine calling him anything else. I love his name. It fits. Ironically, our new struggle was his middle name, which, up until just before his birth, we were set on. From the minute we found out we were having another boy I wanted his middle name to be Harlan, after Harley. Harley didn’t care about passing on his name, but I sure did and he was happy to make me happy by committing to it. But then my Grandpa Robert “Bud” Barnes died. Two nights after he died, which turned out to be the night I went into labor, I mentioned the possibility of Robert, after my Grandpa, to Harley. We talked about it a little, but made no decision, figuring we had some time to think on it. Of course we were wrong. The next day we were in the hospital not only debating the first name but now the middle name as well. I hated the idea of not naming Max after Harley, but I loved the idea of paying tribute to my Grandpa. Max’s life began only three days after my Grandpa’s life ended. It seemed appropriate to honor my Grandpa’s great life with my baby’s new life.

I was really close to going with Robert. I really wanted to. But I wasn’t 100% convinced to ditch Harlan. Then I looked at Max. Max with a full head of dark, thick, gotta-be-Barnes hair. No denying, Max looked like that side of the family.

But I was still torn. Harley needs a namesake and this was our last chance. (Oh, in case you missed the memo: I’m only having girls now.) Then my Dad pointed out someone else, Anderson or Max, for example, could honor Harley with their kids. Just because we don’t use Harlan doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

Then Harley pointed out with the initials MRK we could call him Mr. K.…


So Maxwell Robert King he was.

No more debate on the name. However, there is still quite the discussion over his looks. Chunky, dark eyes, tons of dark hair…. Who does Max look like?

I’d like to believe he looks at least a little like his brother:

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Anderson (3 days), Max (12 days)

As much as I “dye” to cover it, my roots are dark, so maybe it’s me:

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Me (3.5 months), Max (7.5 weeks)

Some suggest Harley’s dad:

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Ed (seasoned), Max (7.5 weeks)

Our friend Garrett points to Harley’s brother Jim:


Jim (24 years), Max (24 hours)

And then there is my brother Tom, who physically, is 100% Barnes:

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Tom (4 weeks), Max (3 weeks)

What do you think?

Meanwhile, my long time Piggity Pimp peep, Clark, thinks Anderson looks like this guy:


Friday, August 13, 2010

AB & Mr. K

*Explanation of nicknames:  AB=Anders Bug.  It used to stand for Anders Babe, but then he graduated from Babe to Bug status.  Mr. K=Maxwell Robert King.

Nothing melts my heart more than watching my 2-year-old and my newborn interact.   Anderson loves Baby Max and has handled the transition impressively well.

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They met, as most siblings do, in the hospital.  Anderson was interested in Max right away.  He walked into my room with a big smile and said “Hi Baby Max!,” then climbed on my bed for a closer look.


DSC_0133He also had a big hug for me, which I appreciated.


Not so sure about holding Max at first. (I love this face.)



A little adjusting…


Much better.



Anderson’s interest in Max didn’t last long.  There were more exciting things  to play with, like my IV.  Ouch.


On day 2, it was a quick hello, then on to watching television from a moving bed.  Now that’s fun stuff.



Since we’ve been home (6 1/2 weeks), I’m happy to report we’ve only had two incidents where Max has taken an Anderson beating.  The first was an accidental head bonk.  The second was a less than accidental (I’m assuming… I didn’t actually see it happen) whack with a backpack.  The second was a little scary and resulted in a time out for Anderson and major comforting for Max.  Other than that, my only fear is Anderson will smother Max with his love.


Several times a day Anderson peaks over the (2x hand me down) bassinette and informs me whether or not Max is sleeping.  90% of the time the report comes back, “Baby Max is nigh-nights.”  Bless you, Max.


One of the best things we did to smooth the transition was throw Max a birthday party.  I totally admit I stole this idea from a friend.  We had the party on Max’s due date.   It wasn’t anything big or fancy.  We had cake (funfetti, of course).  We sang.  We danced to this song.  Anderson gave Max the perfect gift:  a book all about a Max, who becomes a King.   Anderson loved helping with the cake (thank you Mom for keeping him busy with this!), singing to Max and the excuse to party.  My mom, Harley and I loved celebrating Max and welcoming him to our family.  I want to continue this tradition with future children.

DSC_0126 DSC_0138  Max was 12 days old, so we lit 12 candles.  Max tried to blow them out.  When he couldn’t, Anderson happily stepped in.

I still can’t believe I have two boys.  One so big.  One so little.


Speaking of little, Anderson loves to tell us about all the things he can do because he’s a big boy and Max  can’t do because “he too yittle” (little).  According to Anderson, Max cannot go swimming, go to church  (Max and I took a nice, healthy church maternity leave ;)), go on the slide,  jump on the bed, eat candy or get baptized.  Good thing we all agree Max is big enough for baths, kisses and cuddles.


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Oh how I love my boys.




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Max: The Birth Story

NOTE: This post is long, long, long. You may want to skip it. Or you may want to read it (I promise some humor), but grab a snack first. Maybe Funyuns.


Due Date: July 8th

Scheduled Induction: July 2nd

Birth Date: June 27th

Max arrived 12 days earlier than due and 6 days earlier than planned. Here’s a look at what my life looks like when I have a baby WAY. EARLIER. THAN. EXPECTED:

Fridge=empty. House=dirty. Bags=unpacked. Care for Anderson=loosely arranged (but only for the induction, not for a middle of the night emergency). To Do List=1/2 conquered. Mom=not here yet. Sisters=in Utah for the funeral. And most unsightly: Toes=unpainted and Hair=bad roots. Even as the ultimate planner, I was reminded: you just can’t plan these things.

Here’s how it all went down.

SATURDAY (The day before) We dig out, wash and assemble the car seat, bassinette, swing and activity mat. I clean and organize bottles while Harley and Anderson watch the World Cup. We run errands. We enjoy the fountains in downtown Silver Spring, then dine at Macaroni Grill. With Friday’s induction in mind, we talk and talk about how this is our last weekend as a family of 3. How tomorrow will be our last time in church as a family of 3. Little did we know it was our last meal as a family of 3.

We get home late. We put Anderson to bed. I organize home videos on our external hard drive, a project I wanted to finish pre-Max. (Didn’t happen.) I go to bed around midnight. Harley, who’d taken a long afternoon nap, is full of energy and stays up until 2:00AM. He got about 30 minutes of sleep that night.

2:30 AM SUNDAY MORNING My water breaks. I wake up. My water broke with Anderson (in the bathroom… convenient, right?), but it still takes me a bit to process what has happened. I consult The Book, then wake up Harley.

3:00 AM I call my doctor. Fortunately the doctor I love, Dr. Glass, is on-call. Unfortunately, by the time we get to the hospital, the doctor I don’t love is on-duty. Dr. Glass tells me to go to the hospital.

3:45 AM First contraction. We’re still at home. I’m taking my sweet time showering and getting ready. I was in labor 22 hours with Anderson, so I figure I have plenty of time. Plus, we are NOT ready. My bag isn’t packed. Harley’s bag isn’t packed. Baby’s bag isn’t packed. Anderson’s bag isn’t packed. Oh yeah, and what are we going to DO with Anderson?

4:40 AM Harley calls a couple in our ward (which, of course, wakes them up) and asks them to come over, crash in our bed until Anderson wakes up, then take him to their home. They, Chris & Becky Renberg, were the perfect solution! They have a 3-year-old who’s visiting grandparents, so they have all the kid stuff (car seat, bed, toys, etc.) and no kid using it.

5:10 AM Renbergs arrive. They couldn’t be nicer or more accommodating. They both (we expected only one of them) are at our apartment within 30 minutes. I give them a few Anderson tips, which apparently work because Becky later reports Anderson was not scared to see them when he woke up (5 minutes after we left… I think he heard us getting ready. Whoops!) and was “very easy” the rest of the day. (Phew!) They take him to their home, put him back to sleep, take him to church and keep him until he is passed to the McQueens (our sitters planned for the induction) for two days. Thanks Renbergs and McQueens!

5:20 AM We leave for Holy Cross Hospital. My contractions are coming about every five minutes. They aren’t bad.

5:35 AM We arrive at the hospital and check in. We kill time taking pictures.



What do you wear when it’s 95 degrees the day you give birth? A stretchy skirt & flip flops.

6:01 AM We’re admitted to triage. Little did we know we would spend a miserable FOUR HOURS there. The nurses say they were suddenly swamped with laboring women due to the full moon. I say Holy Cross Hospital just sucks.


We wait. And wait. And wait. And contract. And wait.

8:15 AM A nurse FINALLY checks me. I’m dilated to a 3. I am THRILLED! Last time it took hours and loads of drugs to get me to dilate. My body dilated on it’s own! In less than five hours! I am amazing!


My contractions continue every four minutes, lasting about a minute each. I’m happy with my progress, and I want a room. The nurse alternates between ignoring me and making excuses. I ask for my epidural. The nurse says I can’t have it until I get a room. I ask for a room. She says something about the full moon and disappears.

8:29 AM A new nurse appears to draw my blood and give me my IV. I HATE THE IV!!! And apparently the IV hates me. The nurse tries and fails, but not before leaving a big bruise, on my left hand. She succeeds, but not before stabbing and missing three times, on my right hand.

8:50 AM Enter Dr. Doom & Gloom. Okay, his real name is Dr. Askin, but we call him Dr. Doom & Gloom because that’s what he is. I recognize him from my first appointment 9 months ago. I wasn’t impressed with him then so I never scheduled with him again. Lucky me, he is the doctor de jour. He asks if I’ve had any complications with the pregnancy. I say the only concern is over the baby’s size. He immediately starts talking C-section. He strips me of all my confidence and optimism for a successful birth the old-fashioned way and slams me right back in the face of those dreaded words: TRAUMATIC VAGINAL DELIVERY. He freaks me out further suggesting if we don’t do a C-section the baby could be at risk. I remind him I’ve pushed out a big baby before. He tells me he doesn’t want anyone to try to “be a hero.” He doesn’t want to “be a hero” by using forceps or a vacuum, and I shouldn’t “be a hero” by making things more difficult. He then lectures, “You got pregnant. 1 in 4 births are C-sections. You knew this was a possibility and… well, you got pregnant.” Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I’m 9 months pregnant, contracting in a hospital bed, sitting in… well… and you’re informing ME that I GOT PREGNANT?!!!

Thanks. Cause that wasn’t clear.

I mean, can I at least be officially admitted and get a room before we make this huge decision?

Harley calmly asks him: “When is your shift up?”

I plead with him to give me a room, let me try and we’ll see how it goes.

He grumbles, agrees and leaves.

Harley assures me no one is getting near me with a knife that easily.

9:00 AM Contractions are now 3 minutes apart They hurt. Really, really hurt. I’m hating triage. In this hospital triage means a tiny room with a curtain. We're not allowed to bring in our bags. We're not even officially staying yet. I hear women all around me moaning in pain. I begin to wonder if getting a room is simply a screaming contest. I start to loudly give my feelings a voice. Partly because I want to get someone’s attention, but mostly because I can’t help myself. I don’t really remember this part, but Harley tells me I yell things like, “EPIDURAAAAAL!!!!” and “WHYYYYYY do people do this without DRUUUUUGGGGSSS???!!”

**I believe it was about now when Harley starts complaining about his canker sore. I don’t really remember exactly when all that whining took place, but I do remember it was highly obnoxious. He distracts his poor self by making phone calls to excuse us from our various church responsibilities: 2 lessons, 2 meetings and sacrament coordination. (Thanks again ward friends for subbing and ALL your help the first week!) I call my mom to distract my poor self, but I quickly realize I can’t talk through the contractions.


Who looks more in pain? Oh and in case you’re wondering, this is lovely me, swollen and make-up free. I thought I’d have time to do make-up in my room. Not so much.

9:40 AM A nurse FINALLY moves me to Room #15, which happens to be next to the room where I delivered Anderson. I pretty much want to die to escape the pain at this point, so I swallow my pride and yell to everyone in earshot as I wheel by: “EPIDRAUL STAT!” I don’t mean to say it that way, but that’s what comes out. I want there to be NO misunderstanding WHAT I want and WHEN I want it.

Lucky for me, one of the doctors we pass is the anesthesiologist, who is now known as My New Best Friend. He is in my room within fifteen minutes. Before that we are pretty much alone, and I pass the time shouting, “Helllooo! Is anyone there? Epi PLEEEEEEEASE!!!”

10:01 AM Dr. Shimm gives me the epidural. I tell him I’m nervous because it didn’t take on both sides last time. He confidently tells me, “not MY epidurals!” Thank goodness he is right. His works. On both sides. At first I feel it on my left side only, which has me panicked, but within an hour my legs are equally, happily numb. I announce to the entire room that there will, in fact, be more children.

I have a testimony of epidurals.


11:10 AM I party-line with my family. Me, Cheryl, Ali, Lisa, my Mom and Dad all on the same call. Most of us are in different locations. I love this chat! I fill them in. They are all shocked I am in labor so early. My mom asks me to call regularly with “The Dilation Situation.” We are both sad she isn’t with us this time around.

11:35 AM Harley and I talk about taking a nap. I feel that great. A nap during labor… what a concept! I also consider applying my make-up. Neither happens.

11:41 AM Dr. Doom & Gloom comes in, seems bugged that I’ve progressed enough to earn a room, but decides to check me. I’m dilated to a 7! Four centimeters in 3 1/2 hours. No wonder I was in pain. I was SO proud my body was doing this on it’s own. I was SO proud to be proving Dr. Doom & Gloom wrong.

11:50 AM I’m back on the phone with my mom. I start feeling pressure. Painful pressure. I worry the epidural is wearing off. Harley goes to find Dr. Doom & Gloom.

12:05 PM Dr. Doom & Gloom is back. He’s clearly annoyed with us. He asks me when the pressure started and I tell him a few minutes after he last checked me. He takes this personally and says, “Oh, so it’s my fault.” (Maybe he was making a joke, but we certainly weren’t getting it.) He checks me again and BAM, I’m a 10! The final 3 centimeters in less than 30 minutes. It's go time! Dr. Doom & Gloom shrugs and says, “I guess we’ll try this vaginally.” Ha! You bet we will! (Dear Doc: If you hate vaginal births, why did you pick this specialty? Sincerely, The Woman Who is Rocking It.) I hit the epidural button to alleviate some of the new pain. It works! The nurse preps me to push. She says the baby's head is "right there" and tells me this will be really easy. I love her. Dr. Doom & Gloom mysteriously disappears for 15 minutes.

12:20 PM He’s back. About five pushes and four minutes later…


Big. Healthy. Puffy. TONS of dark hair. We are pretty shocked by his appearance. Harley may or may not have joked about needing a paternity test.



DSC_0042 9 lb. 6 oz., 21 in. I’m so glad he didn’t cook 12 more days!



DSC_0235Looooong toes



What followed in the next few minutes, hours and even days is kind of a blur, but I clearly remember the following:

*Announcing to everyone, within seconds after the birth, that I am SO HAPPY to not be pregnant anymore.

*Hating Dr. Doom & Gloom even more as he stampeded all over my first moment holding Max. I’m trying to bond. He WOULD. NOT. SHUT. UP. about cord blood buying options.

DSC_0047Harley, Max, Me & Dr. Doom & Gloom. Don’t you just want to punch his face?

*Calling Max, “Buddy,” which felt so wrong, for a day because we weren’t ready to commit to a name. (Note: I never want to go into a delivery undecided on a name again.)


*Profusely thanking every nurse, doctor, tech, etc. in the room. I was so happy with the way things went (with the exception of Dr. Doom & Gloom’s attitude problem and the 4-hours-too-long-in-triage-sans-drugs bit). It was in every way different from Anderson’s delivery, which means it was, in every way, awesome! (Everyone was right: 2nd deliveries are so much easier!) I even gushed praise over Dr. Doom & Gloom. I was that thankful. Plus I didn’t want him hating me. He was the one who would circumcise our child the next day, so I didn’t want any grudges or him deciding “not to be a hero” with that procedure too. Pretty pathetic I felt the need to kiss up to my doctor moments after giving birth.

*Thinking I’ve never been so impressed with and grateful for my body. I was expecting a long, hard, potentially complicated, Pitocin-laden delivery. Instead it was short, smooth, uncomplicated and without one drop of Pitocin. I did it on my own! With the blessed epidural, of course. And it was NOT TRAUMATIC! I'm SO glad I didn't immediately fold to Dr. Doom & Gloom's C-section!

*Holding Max in my arms and realizing I was, in fact, completely in love. All over again.



How great is technology? It was so fun to blog and Facebook while in the hospital, take a nap, then wake up to feed Max and read comments. Apologies for not being quicker with our good news. The hospital’s internet connection struggled and we were tired and still name debating. As for not texting our news… well, maybe by our last child we’ll be proficient texters. :)




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