Tuesday, June 30, 2009

happy 30th danny boy

Grandpa Wally with his great-grandson Phoenix

Auntie Missie and Danny and Shannon's little girl Grey

Danny and his wife Shannon visiting from Colorado.

auntie awesome (jenny) and i with the babies

"hey kid beat it...i called aunnie mannie's lap first!"

me hogging the baby.

Grandma June and Bodie, which is funny because every time she holds him he attacks her...or her blouse...or necklace...she is amused as well - can you tell?

we celebrated my cousin Danny's 30th bday last friday. here are some pics. sadly i can not take credit for them...i put my niece Hope up to taking pictures... This was the first time i met their little Phoenix, who is now 4 mo old - so precious...he was so soft too...i dont know if i have ever felt a baby so soft! anyway - it was so good to see him and his now *complete* family. it was so nice to see all our friends and family too. there were a lot of life-long church friends there that started out going to our birthday parties when we were little and really neat to see them now still gathering at celebrations. i hope to foster friendships like that as well since i believe it was an instrumental piece of my childhood. His invitations were super cute too - it had a picture of a hamburger and "Just the meat, cheese and the bun" around it...danny is like his dad...sensitive taste buds. one time my brother made him eat 1/2 tsp of salsa and he almost puked.

Monday, June 29, 2009

from baby bjorn to ergo

please let me explain a little (and also offer an apology for the longest blog post ever)...this is not a rip on baby bjorns...we have one...bryan still uses it with bodie - i can't stand it for more than 10 minutes because of my lordosis, but it is more the whole connotation i guess i have with bjorns and ergos...bjorns were the hip trendy baby carriers when i was pregnant with bryson...ergos are not just a baby carrier, but convey a baby-wearing, attachment parenting lifestyle that is evident in the accompaning instructional DVD. the ergo allows my ill back to carry my big bodie and keep my hands free, which is a necessity with child #2. anyway...this is the backdrop to the journey i have been on since being pregnant with bryson in 2005.

when people find out that bodie was born at home they usually ask, "is that how you had your first?" ... "NOOOOOO" i say... "i asked for an epidural when i was 30 weeks"... "So..." they ask, "what changed?" to this my reply changes with the person, how much time i have, who else is around...one of my more simpler non-political answers is "my due date was christmas and i couldnt stomach the thought of being in a hospital on christmas" which is true. or i might say, "one of my good friends passed away due to cancer and hospitals became a place for sick people for me" which is also true...or i might say, "the only positive labor stories i have heard have been from women with home births and i wanted a different experience. i wanted to be in control." whis is also true...but the story is a lot more long-winded than that...

i was the first of my friends to be pregnant. i was the first to get married, so i suppose it follows that i was the first to have kids...but my nature wanted to wait for others to be ready - for community and fellowship and people who know better than i to hold my hand along the ride. our good friends, the marcus' had their son Wells 2 years before bodie was born and were a huge resource to me, but that was about it. my only pregnant comrades at that time were a high school friend who lived in san diego and a cousin who lived in seattle. i knew no one in long beach that could tell me how to be a mom - what kind of diapers were best - what breastfeeding is all about - when a rash warranted a doctor visit - if my baby was gaining enough weight.

i suppose i should have trusted myself more. i should have really believed in my upbringing and the amazing example i had in my mom. this is tangential, but my girlfriend Becky met Dr. Sears at a wedding when she was pregnant and asked him for any advice and he told her to trust in herself and "if you were stuck on a deserted island you would know how to raise that child because of your instincts" oh i wish someone could have instilled that confidence in me then!

at any rate...i felt alone, but ready. i had planned an epidural delivery and my only fears about labor was that the anesthesiologist would not make it in time or that it would wear off when i needed it the most. she did make it in time and it didnt wear off - in fact the doctor turned it off because i pushed horribly for 1 and a half hours. the whole labor and delivery was not what i expected - i felt confused most of the time and not in control and a little nervous that i couldnt feel my legs and wondering if it was normal that i didnt know if i was pushing right, but terrified to say anything for fear they would turn it off...after the last push the doctor told me to bend over and get my baby and i felt myself pulling him out and i gazed into his sweet eyes and just cried hysterically. my life had changed. instantly.

the next couple of days were also less than what i expected. the hospital we delivered at was less than kind to bryan...although i had a private room, he slept on the tile floor with no blankets the first night - i had intended on staying 2 nights, but found myself trying to check myself out the next day.

dont get me wrong - i think compared to a lot of stories i have heard i got off pretty easy and had a relatively "normal" and "easy" delivery. i produced a healthy baby and i got away with no stitches and no need for a vacuum or forceps or anything like that. but i think because the hospital would only let one other person beside bryan witness the birth and that they didnt ask me permission for anything i felt completely out of control of the situation.

i took our baby home and loved on that baby and for the next 2 years i made sense of the whole experience. i was able to hear a lot more labor stories from girlfriends...not from a book. i was able to hear the same story over and over and over again...."i wasn't dilating fast enough so they started me on pitocin and it was so painful i got an epidural...blah blah blah" my story over and over again. i heard a much different labor story from rashelle however - her experience sounded so peaceful. i also heard about our friend cybil who gave birth to a footling breech in her living room. i also heard about several other at home and natural births that sounded more like a joyous experience rather than...well...a confusing stay at a hospital...

then...devon got sick. devon first went into the hospital for what we all thought was a cyst in march of 2007 - right about the time we were thinking about #2. i did not want to visit her. in fact, i put it off. ruthie would call me and tell me i should go and yes i should, but a hospital is for sick people and devon just has a cyst and she will be fine so why are we making this a deal...i did visit her...i brought her a Bible at her request and we shared a wordless interchange and she started welling up and i squeezed her hand and whispered in her ear that i was praying for her and she was going to be fine. i tried to make the visit quick because visiting one of your good friends in the hospital before they enter into brain surgery for the first time is not fun. not fun at all.

fast forward through 2007 - more trips with devon to the hospital...bad news after bad news...plus mis-diagnosing after mis-diagnosing. hospitals quickly becoming a place for very sick people.

that year also we had been trying all year for #2. in late august i had finally become pregnant. we were so excited...and then so heartbroken when we lost the baby the next month. the miscarriage really shook me up. by that i mean it changed my whole perspective on being pregnant...on being a mom...on wanting something so bad and God not allowing it to happen. or so i blamed.

with bryson i complained about being pregnant a lot. maybe not around people, but definitely bryan and close friends. after the miscarriage i felt instant guilt for all of which i took for granted - the stretch marks and peeing constantly and baby kicks keeping me up...i longed for that discomfort.

we continued to try and each month would track my stuff and do the ovulation thing to no avail. i started going to my OB for fertility testing. it was at the last one (by which i mean if my results came back normal he would send me to fertility clinic) that i found out i was pregnant with Bodie. this was April of 2008.

i decided then to have a home birth and from first meeting with Sue (who had at that point delivered several girlfriends' babies and came with the utmost recommendation) i felt completely confident that i was making the right choice for me.

meanwhile, devon was still in treatment. she was broken up about radiation because it meant that she may not be able to have kids of her own...which she wanted so badly. she kept a good attitude and told everyone it was okay because her husband (who is from morrocco) said, "thats okay we can always buy one" she fought and fought - not just the cancer, but her insurance and the doctors and finally rested in peace in sept of 2008. i was 5 months pregnant. she was there for me when i was pregnant with bryson. she helped plan my baby shower and after he was born she organized all my friends to give gift cards to different restaurants with the take out menus instead of coming over with meals. she also helped babysit bryson and always treated him like a nephew.

i think i channelled a little of her spirit during labor. i also was grateful to be carrying a baby to term because of the miscarriage. i was also prepared - not just from reading books (this one i highly recommend) but from the psychological training of running - to deal with the pain. and it was painful and i wasn't the serene picture of a woman in labor i had hoped to be...BUT i had the support of my amazing husband and my best friend rashelle (filling in for my sister who spent christmas with her husband on the east coast) and my mother and mother in law and of course Sue and her assistant. i recall at one point in my mind thinking if i were at the hospital i would be asking for a C-section the contractions were so bad...but i did it...or rather my body knew how to do it and did it amazingly. i am still in awe of my body. i still don't mind all my extra squishy parts that much because i am so in awe of my body.

so this isnt a labor story...although that is a beautiful story itself...but rather a story of how i completely reprogrammed my thinking about childbirth and mommy-hood because of some heartbreaking and amazing circumstances. i know that home birth is not an option for a lot of mommies...i am not trying to make a case, but wanted to share my story because i feel like its time to be open with it...and because my hope is that this story encourages someone - perhaps someone that thinks they couldn't possibly do it (like i had thought) or someone who yearns for a better experience but perhaps is too nervous to do it. my hope is that more women trust in their bodies before modern medicine and listen to their maternal instincts rather than someone they heard on TV and encourage other women rather than make them feel incompetant...

this is silly...i need to go to bed...good night....all the love!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

sunday lazing


ever seen an artichoke bloom? its magical!

we planted this artichoke plant in march of 2007 and it didn't produce actual artichokes until the next year (which is normal i guess, but the seeds said 90 days to harvest so we were confused but kept it anyway)- we were able to get 2 artichokes from it last year and 5 this year...we would have had 6, but we were out of town and i totally missed out, but sometimes it is worth keeping around so you can see this...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6 Months Old

Bodie you are 6 months old! i can't believe it...so much has happened this month - you've been quite busy! in the past month you have started/learned to:
1. scootch/crawl - you have figured out how to get where you want to go - the other day you scooted out of the office down the hall and into brother's room!
2. sit up - you will sit by yourself for a few seconds and usually fall to the side, but you are putting those abs to work!
3. TOOTH! you are cutting your first teeth right now...you are the most drooly baby ever...your right one has cut through and you can feel the little nub and the left one is about to poke out any day now!
4. FOOD! this month you started really showing an interest in solids - you have eaten the following: rice cereal, pears, bananas, carrots, peaches, apricots, avocados, mango, strawberries...you aren't too sure about any of it but you for sure are partial to bananas and carrots :)

5. TALK! you are saying/making sounds more directly. you like to say maaaa maaaa for me and da da for daddy. you also like to make rasberries as often as you can.

sad to say your sleeping has not gotten much better, but that could be because you have been fighting a cold for so long only to get better than get a cold again! now you are teething, so mommy is preparing for a strain of sleepless nights!

you also went on your first camping trip to Table Mountain for our TMAFI fishing trip. you did so well! you slept with us in our sleeping bag and camped like a pro! you were NOT a fan of the boat or your lifevest or fishing that day, but little did i know you were working on that tooth cutting! poor baby!

you still love your brother and he and daddy both have the knack to make you crack up...i just wish they wouldn't do it right before your bedtime :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

i love my sister

this sooo reminds me of my childhood...awww...poor sara...love you now though...hopefully delia and charlotte get on better :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the way home

bryan snapped this lovely shot of bryson on a stop in mojave on our way home. i love the drive - the 395 is a fond freeway of mine...spanning back to our childhood and sibling fights the whole way - listening to B.A.D. - sticking sara-britt in the way back of the van with the moth infested oatmeal...good times!

driving over 5 hours with 2 kids is not my idea of fun, but a DVD player helped and stopping helped too...bryan and i always play a game along the desolate highway where we pick out abandoned buildings and ramshackle trailers for the other person to live...i dont know why, but it never gets old...we've been doing it for almost 8 years :) i always wonder at the small towns and who lives there and how one would end up there and more curious - how one gets out! the boys did great by the way on both trips...it is making bryson's screaming for 2 hours the last TMAFI trip almost a distant memory...almost...

TMAFI 2009

we got back from our annual fishing trip on sunday. this was the first year we brought kids...besides hope and buddy and katlyn of course! and by we i mean a lot of us! 10 kids in all on this trip and over 20 adults! it was the best TMAFI turn-out and one of the most fun trips - albeit exhausting!

bryson hadn't been to TMAFI since he was 6 months old - my in-laws flew down to watch him the previous 2 years. this was bodie's first camping trip and both boys did great! bryson kept telling me every day, "mom this is great" and "can we go camping all the days?" when probed he will tell you his favorite part was roasting marshmallows. i think he also enjoyed everything else - skipping rocks in the creek with eric and asher, finding air soft pellets in the dirt, the campfire, fishing, sleeping in the tent. i was semi-shocked that he slept so well, especially considering friday night there were heavy rains and thunderstorms. he woke up only once each night and usually to go to the bathroom. he also talked in his sleep. one night he said, "NO! i picked the elephant one!" and one night he kept saying "Ice Age" after watching the movie in the johnson trailer! Bodie woke up after the first night with very wide eyes and his expression was one of "where the hay are we?" it was pretty funny i must say.

all the other kids were pros too - the parents i suppose more so. this campsite is hard without kids (no running water or flushable toilets) and you throw 7 kids under 4 years old in the mix and well...each parent should get a medal! speaking of medals - 2 newbies won this year - Scott Muckey and Tom Mason...i can't say i am not a little dissapointed...especially since the winning fish were not even over a pound! but bryan caught this 3.5 pound beauty! now beating my TMAFI record and slowly getting his fishing cred back!

having two kids there meant a different kind of experience. i did not take a single picture - which i regret in this case because i really wanted to get a shot of all the kids and babies! i also wanted a shot of all the TMAFI vests...most of all i missed being able to sit at the lakes and have nothing to do and worry only about my line and if i am using the right bait. i never really got a chance to do that, but it was worth having the kids there - even though it was frustrating at times i truly believe that if we start them out young they will just sort of expect it and not try to fight it...right? that's my theory anyway!

Bryan gave me a hard time because the first time we went out fishing i caught a fish and bryan told me to let bryson reel it in - "no way" i said..."he needs to learn to catch his own fish!" okay - maybe that was harsh...but bryan let him reel in his fish and people asked him if he caught it and he told them, "no - daddy did" - see! the kid knows...and i can't help but bring up a biblical lesson..."you teach the boy to fish...he eats for life" and speaking of which - he did eat trout! i asked him if he like the fish and he told me it wasn't fish, it was trout...whatever! he ate it!

the only time i had to sit and reflect and meditate was on sunday while tearing down camp - bodie fell asleep and bryan and i took turns holding him and sitting down looking out at the creek and meadow and mountains enjoying the beautiful weather and fresh air and God's handiwork. i already miss it...that area is so special to me - lake sabrina is especially one of my favorite places. speaking of which...i need to remember to book the site for next year! if you didnt make it this year - please join us for next!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

baby hats

the car is packed...the kids are asleep...the parents are exhausted and in need of some serious sierra goodness! we are about to embark on our annual fishing trip, but wanted to share these darling pics bryan took.

this hat is just my favorite- my dearest friend jena gave it to him when we visited her last september before he was born. i remember getting so happy that soon a little baby head would fill it and now here it is! it is a great baby hat because it is stretchy and soft (cashmere it feels like) and stays on his head...for now - he is not big enough yet to tear everything off his head that you attempt to put on...

i always get stopped and asked about this hat - jena told me the creator is faith hats and she has an etsy shop here, but i didnt see any kid hats on her etsy shop, but found a darling one here.

its repurposed and handmade and sewn by hand...not like my "hand" but a true hand...i think i remember jena telling me that the lady who makes them doesn't even own a sewing machine. which is pretty amazing if you can see the overlock on the inside seams! (and then i go and post my cheesy kindergarten style embroidered shirt and congratulate myself...someday when i am retired and a grandma that is what i will do - work on sewing by hand...hmmmm....)

anyway - hope you have a fabulous weekend! i hear the fish calling and will now go to sleep dreaming of pulling a 5 pounder out of lake sabrina! wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

diaper excitement

can diapers be exciting? i suppose if one is consumed with a diapered child finding that *perfect* diaper can be...oh how my life has changed since college days! anyway - i wanted to share since my post before on cloth diapering 101 - that now fuzzi bunz has come out with a one-size diaper! they come with 2 inserts - a baby size and toddler size...which is great because you can double up on them when your babe starts to sleep longer (which i look forward to...it will come...it will...it will...it will right?). i love my fuzzi bunz - i think their inserts are the BEST - its like they hold one more pee than the rest...that should be their slogan i think. anyway - if you are looking for a one-size or need more diapers for your collection - this is a great investment as they fit a babe 7-35lbs! i haven't ordered one yet...once bodie gets too big for his med. fuzzi bunz i will surely be in need of more...i think the apple green color is adorable!

camping readying

someone is ready for camping. bryson is so beyond excited to go to the mountains and do some fishin' and hikin' and smore's roastin'. he only asks me about 100 times a day when we are going. i suspect he will do the same thing when we are in the car as well...*sigh*

i was packing for bryson and happened upon a fishing vest that i believe someone gave him when he was 5 months old! now - at 3.5 he is going to wear it...random! he is pretty stoked on it since he was in the room with me the whole time i embroidered all the fishing vests for this year's trip. if i have time i just may embroider his too!

i ordered some more shirts and wanted to make bryson a camping shirt. i was inspired by linz and solera and picked up my hoop and embroidery thread again after swearing it off...and probably swearing a little in the process as well...detail is not my thing...but i liked the simplicity of how this shirt turned out i don't mind my lines being super neat or stitches matching on this little number...in fact...it may add to its charm - at least to bryson! and that is who matters since he will be wearing it! so - here we go! about to take bryson's first *real* camping trip and bodie's first *semi-real* trip as well! what i mean by real is the memory factor...and that bryson is now mobile and therefore more of a camping challenge. i can't wait to show him one of our favorite places in this world and hopefully impart some love for camping...because lets face it - he is going to be going whether he likes it or not...so hopefully he does! wish us luck!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seafood Broil and Weekend Musings

we had a packed weekend...which was funny because last weekend i told bryan how crazy it was that next weekend we dont have anything planned! that is so rare for us to have an unplanned weekend in the summer - i was looking forward to pool time and garden time and cleaning time and nowhere to be chilling time....then we got invited to a dear friend's bday party in SB - of course we wouldn't miss it! then we decided to have an early father's day for my dad in temecula since we will be camping next weekend...needless to say we are all exhausted! i think especially bryson since he spent 5 hours in the pool yesterday...5 hours - no break - threw a fit when i told him he needed to get out.

these are pictures from the bday party - it was a seafood broil - so delish! eric did it all (as his bday tradition ensues) and we feasted! even bryson ate "clawbster" - we told him the shrimp were mini clawbsters. good times with good friends and not to mention good margaritas!

the only pictures i have of our early father's day sadly were taken by my wonderful nephew, but so wonderful photographer - Buddy. the day consisted of the usual spa and golf and trail run and delicious food and laughter and conversation and good times!

i love/hate summer - love the camping and outings and holidays and get-togethers and bike ridings - HATE the workload that comes with our very seasonal business and also don't care for overpacked months...it can all be very hectic...very off-putting for babies' schedules and for trying to get a certain almost 6 month old to sleep longer than 2 hour increments. but in the middle of this weekend i had some very peaceful moments. somehow i am starting this week refreshed - AMAZINGLY! i think it has something to do with the fact that i have been praying a lot. every time i start to worry or feel anxious i have been going to God and seeking peace. it has done a number on my outlook and attitude. i tend to underestimate the power of prayer and realized how horrible my prayer life has been. anyway - i am lucky to have prayer warriors in my mother and mother-in-law and that has helped too - i can feel it! so keep those prayers coming - specifically we need prayer for our business and that sickness subsides and for guidance in being Bryson's parents...a very constant prayer of mine :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

how i know my son is a Barnes...

1. he never sleeps
2. he has boundless energy (that isn't caffeine induced)
3. he plays EVERY sport...
4. he is GOOD at EVERY sport...
5. his good looks
6. he LOVES sports
7. he would live outdoors if he could
8. did i say how much he loves and is good at every sport?
9. his love for donuts
10. SPORTS!!!! (period)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

weekend madness

we had such a plentiful and wonderful weekend - filled with parties and friends and also bike rides and parks and watching my boys play catch and baseball and golf and craft fairs and church and lakers and farmers markets and dear friends popping in - what a nice break from our crazy work-filled summer weeks!

i dont have many...or any really...pictures. i have a lot of memories, which is fine with me - sometimes it is better that way...but i wanted to share some of the wonderful things i found and people i met while at the 2 craft fairs i visited.

on saturday we went to the Homemade Brigade at the Tall Mouse parking lot in Cerritos. we met some lovely people and found some adorable handmade goodness! i bought the boys some shirts from Tiny Whales - their stuff is adorable! i bought bryson a cute robot shirt (he is way into robots right now) and bodie a whale shirt (of course). i also found this awesome booth - Keep Preserves - i don't think her site is up yet, but she had an etsy site here. i bought some kumquat orange margarita mix, which we made today and yumm! i also tried her pomegranate rosemary jam - super delish and her kumquat jam - sweet and would be perfect on scones! i also got a print at Retro Whales. i was so inspired by the things people are making and the whole crafting/art/handmade culture/movement - it is such a community and it is exciting to me to be a part of it.

on sunday we went to our farmers market and to the craft fair in the adjacent parking lot and talked to the lovely owner/creator of Baby Blooms (i also dont think their site will be up for a week or so) but she takes old t-shirts and turns them into appliques - cute flower designs and others like "clawbsters" and skulls and then embroiders on them - darling!

also on saturday we installed the new kid's bike seat on my bike - i intended this for Bodie, but he will have to sit up better before he can ride in it - so i took bryson and it worked great! other than being forced to sit in my seat and crank up hills that is...but i love having them in front of me rather than in the back - makes so much sense i think! we rode down to the park and enjoyed a lovely session of golf and baseball while Bodie and i watched and he explored the grass and leaves. it feels nice to be able to bike again - i havent ridden my bike since i was about 4 months pregnant with Bodie...then after that my knees would hit my big belly and it got really uncomfortable...but now - we are bike-able again! i picture lots of summer bike rides and saturday morning breakfast runs!

i hope your weekend was as relaxing and filled with good people as mine!

for the love of eggs...

after being up in santa ynez and helping collect fresh eggs and remembering our chickens (God rest henny, penny and jenny) i was nostalgic and hopeful at the same time. today at the farmers market we picked up some fresh eggs that can be stored outside of the fridge for 2 weeks and 1 month inside the fridge! convincing bryan is going to be a different story, but i think if i had one of these it may convice him...maybe not our neighbors though...hmmm...

(photo from www.omelet.us)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pseudo Sneak Peak

so...you are going to have to wait a bit longer to see the "album" and the "music videos" but they put out this little remix to whet your appetite - they have been working hard!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


i heard elmo today and couldn''t help but think of seeing the voice behind elmo on oprah...this is the voice behind elmo...disturbing or fitting? you decide...