Tuesday, April 28, 2009

new developments

Yep - that's right. Max is holding the rattle.
It's the first time he's done that and I got it on film. and yes. I'm proud of myself. But more importantly - I'm proud of MAX!
I noticed yesterday when I put a little tiny stuft animal near his face he would grab it and of course it would go into his mouth for further investigation. So today I tried other things he might be able to hold on to.
The rattle seems a good fit.

And yes - he's still rolling over. Just from tummy to back - not the other way around yet. But he is definitely working on that.

On another note - I never mentioned Sign language class. We started 2 weeks ago and it's a class designed for parents who have kids with Down Syndrome. It's a highlight of our week. The instructor is the gal who started Club 21 where I take Max every Friday for playgroup. We love the class and plan to take it again to review what we are learning now. It's a 5 week class every Saturday. The instructor told us that if you treat your kids with Down syndrome as if they are deaf it will help them to learn to communicate earlier. For those of you out there that don't know - kids with Ds usually have a speech delay. This can really help them get up to speed and not be so frustrated.

Today - on another note - is a sick day for me. yep - I'm not feeling so great. Jerry is here working from home and helping with baby duty. YAY for Jerry and for a Mac computer that can link him up with what's happening at work.

And no I do not have the swine flu. I just feel like someone threw a pile of bricks on me. Wiped out, and tummy is upset.

I'm going to head back to bed after Jerry makes me some lunch.
Did I mention that Jerry is the best husband and papa ever?
Max and I are pretty much smitten with the guy.

Right now Jerry is working on his computer with Max in a sling who is sleeping peacefully on his papa.
Now this is a happy family.

and yes - Pretty girl ( my cat ) has been sleeping with me in the bed and I think she not so secretly loves that I'm in bed and she's got me all to herself.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Max's First BBQ

Loren meets Max.
Loren is an acting coach for kids, a writer, and a loving warm human being!
Her husband Kerry and their son trevor came over and it was so great to see how much Trevor has grown since last we saw him.

Kerry and Trevor
Kerry is married to Loren and there is their cute baby trevor who is 10 months old. So so CUTE.
Kerry is a Consultant Arborist. We were so excited to talk with him about which trees to plant on our backyard to hide the giant ugly apartment buildings behind us. Looks like we will be calling to set up an appointment with him soon!

Nancy!~ what a great friend.
Nancy works at Otis College of Design teaching printmaking. she's a fantastic artist, and a wonderful friend.
Here is a link to her website.
Pretty Girl is fond of her as well - and I was SO excited for her to not only meet Max but to give Pretty Girl some much needed attention. Nancy screen printed Max some onsies that are out of this world! I'll have to showcase him in them in a fashion show soon. Plus - she made us cupcakes with fresh strawberries from the farmer's market in the frosting. Oh my god. So much for being sugar and wheat free. I just HAD to try them out. DELICIOUS.

The creative and oh so talented Fashion Designer
brought Max some designer onsies! SO adorable.
It was great to re-connect with him and see him hold our baby!

Chris and Loren giving Max some lovin
Chris is a filmmaker, and THE guy you want to hire to be on your next project. He really works his butt off to make sure things happen on set. I know - I've worked with him, and he blew my mind. I just adore him. He's so down to earth, funny, chatty, loving - etc...what's not to love...

A living room of men holding babies...

Jerry, Nancy and Chris - and a sleeping Max.

Beth ( I took this of the two of us by holding the camera out in front of us. A little thing I adore doing...)
Beth is one of my friends who kept in touch with me during the entire pregnancy. She called, e-mailed and checked in to make sure I was ok. I loved that she cared enough to call when I wasn't so on the ball with that. Everyone needs someone to call and e-mail when they can hardly deal with anything other then picking up the remote to change the channel. Yay for Beth!

Chris ( yes - I took this one too )

Jerry is busy at the grill

love these little flowers

Enjoying a meal in the perfect weather! Man was it perfect out and cozy eating together.
Hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled fish, baked beans, wasabi crackers, loaf of bread, salad with avocado and grapefruit, kidney bean salad, sushi rolls, cupcakes. thank god for Pot Lucks! I felt Lucky - the food was outta sight!

End of the Night - Max past out after the big day with all the excitement

Max was a trouper. He really is such a soft spoken - quiet baby. Not much bugs him unless he is hungry or over tired. Other then that he was just fine being past around the room from person to person, all the noise and laughter didn't bother him when he was sleeping and he was fine taking his bottle outside in the crowd. I put him in a sling in when he got tired and he slept there while I ate with my friends. It was perfect.

The neighbors decided to have a BBQ tonight as well. There version included very loud thumping music and letting off bottle rockets. Luckily they didn't get really rowdy until our party was done. I can still hear them. the fuuny part is I have a monitor on so I can hear Max in the other room in his crib in case he wakes up - but instead of hearing him - I can actually hear the loud conversations of the people next door through the monitor. THAT is how loud they are being. and guess who is sleeping through it....and guess who wants to call the cops? But I won't. Jerry REALLY doesn't want me to. If it's midnight and the party is still going on I might sneak a call....
Or maybe after the party ends and everyone has gone to sleep I'll tip toe over there with a whistle and blow it over and over at the bedroom windows and then run like hell back over here and pretend to be asleep. Think anyone will notice?
Ok - I won't do that - but I do enjoy coming up with plans.

anyhow - back to reality - glad we had the day to meet with friends and eat and re-connect - and introduce Max. It was really fun and we look forward to a summer filled with BBQ's.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Max with Grandpa Rich

this was taken last Friday.
Sorry for the shaky camera. Still getting the hang of it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This just in!

just took this today about 10 minutes ago.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Max rolled over...oh yes he did!

yesterday while doing our daily "tummy time" Max flipped himself over from his tummy over to his back.
It was so impressive really. It's a milestone and I hear it's necessary for him to learn to walk - so that's good news that he is learning this new trick.

on to some photos from the last week:

this one is just showing off a onsie that was painted by someone at my baby shower. We had each person there paint one for Max. It took him a while to fit into them because he was so small when he was born...but now - he's rockin it.
And those cute leggings were knitted by my friend Amy. they are SO dang cute!!!

Here is a photo Jerry took that's one of my favorites. Both of my kids near me.
Pretty girl has been sleeping like that for YEARS and I'm so glad she hasn't stopped since her "baby brother" came home.

this was taken 2 days ago at a park in Pasadena. It was 101 degrees out and we were a bit crabby because of the heat.

Every other Friday Max's grandparents - Dee Dee and Richie come over to visit him.
Here are two photos of them - one of Grandma Dee Dee feeding Max and the other was an epic moment of Grandpa Richie sweeping. um...I've actually never seen him sweep in my life - so I HAD to take a photo of it.
He swept the entire house for me. It was so sweet of him.

The other day a friend of mine said " his Down syndrome characteristics are showing more these days"
um...ok. So I didn't realize it at the time - but I didn't like that. He son is sick all the time and it would be like me saying " your son looks more sickly now then he did a month ago ". I mean really? Do you want to really say that to someone who has a baby who has Ds?? I'm certain she didn't mean to do harm. But it gave me another F***ing opportunity for growth. And offers me another situation to express to others what works and what doesn't for parents of a child.
In general - I don't think any parent wants any friend of there's to point out things that may seem different.

And as far as Max goes I just think/ know he is beautiful.
I think hearing this from others just makes me feel bad. And there's more to life then pointing out what it is that makes Max different. How about noticing what is wonderful about him???

I know I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life and Max's life so I figure I might as well start to be his Advocate now - when he is young and get that muscle flexing in his honor!

GO MAX GO!!!!!

We love you and think you are perfect just the way you are and we think you are beautiful. You are following your own markers, growth charts, milestone markers, etc and I love that about you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Max is ten weeks old....or 2.5 MONTHS

this one was taken this morning by yours truly with our iphone - just before Max woke up for breakfast.

This one Jerry took of the two of us sleeping - and we have been sleeping like this every night. Not all night mind you. It started out being something we did after the early morning (4am) feeding. Max loves to nuzzle in my neck and passes out within literally 1 minute when I put him here. I'm all for making him comfy and I just LOVE the feeling of his face against mine like that. I don't sleep well in this position. I prefer to lay on my "good" ear so I can avoid hearing my dear husband snoring with the "bad" ear - I'm pretty much deaf in one ear which comes in handy let me tell you...
anyhow - sleeping with a baby on me is dreamy - I highly recommend it. As long as you are not really going to deep sleep.
at least at this young age - it's too early to have him just loose in the bed.
( in my opinion! )

This one was taken the morning of Max's 10 week b-day by - yes - you guess it - me - and I look a bit sinister in this photo but really all I was thinking was how ADORABLE Max is and loving him.

This week has and continues to be a big week for Max.
Starting with the Family Easter get together
then Monday we went to the Mom's Club playgroup at a park under the trees. It was wonderful. He was pretty much sleeping the entire time in my sling but I just love that we will be meeting weekly and he will grow up with these babies.

Today he went with me out to lunch at my favorite health food store where everyone loves him and has known him since he was born. I call them his aunts.

Then I met a friend and her baby at the South Pasadena Farmer's market.

Tomorrow Grandma and Grandpa Just are coming over after I get back from the Friday morning Play group at Club21.
Saturday We all start sign language class. we are looking forward to that. And I have heard that most of the mom's say it is one of the top things they did that made a huge impact on their kids with Ds.

Lots of different adventures.
The one thing I'm not liking is when Max is crying in the car. My entire body tenses up because I want to soothe him and make it better but I am driving and he is facing the other direction - I cannot see him ( the mirrors for that do not work ) and I don't like that he is uncomfortable. It's usually because he is over tired - or it's his feeding time and I'm on my way home for that.
But either way - that's been hard. Of course right when we arrive at the destination - he is conked out.
I'm used to Jerry being the back seat with him and it's all new to me to hear him be so upset. He never cries like that at home because we are right here to help!

I reach my hand back and through the car seat so I can put my hand on his cheek or hold his hand and I talk with him.
Just so he knows I'm here - and I love him. It breaks my heart to hear him so upset and I feel so far away. Not liking that at all.

We are midway to his 3 month mark. Can you believe that one?
Next weekend Max will be meeting a bunch of friends that are coming by and I look forward to that as well. I'm also going to try out this thing called Stroller Strides. Yep - exercise with the baby in a stroller.

an update on the vaccination issue - I ordered Jenny McCarthy's new book about how to prevent autism and I plan to read the entire thing as fast as I can in the next couple of days so I can hear her point of view on it.

and to BP: love the self portraits with baby! Thanks for the shout out for helping you along the path of photography and documentation. You are rocking it over there. And Max wants to date Vivian...

Max is longer - not fitting into his preemie clothing and barely in the newborn stuff anymore. Crazy how tight it is all of a sudden.
His hands look HUGE to me. He is much more present - and looking and tracking you then ever before. and he gets a little grin when you pick him up which is adorable. He is so so so sweet and quiet and easy compared to the stories I've heard of other babies. I'm drinking that all in because I have no idea if one day that might change!

I'm hearing a lot that this time goes by really quickly and I really don't want him to grow up! Is that so wrong.
I mean - I do...But - He is JUST SO DANG PRECIOUS RIGHT NOW. I am learning to be present in every moment. And really be with him. doing this blog and taking photos and video helps me to document it because I already have forgotten how small he was 2 months ago and I am so glad I can just scroll back and find the dates and see the evidence.

Jerry and I are loving this new adventure.

p.s. if you would care to read this - it's more on vaccines:
read comment #11....amazing

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh Max....

ok Max picking my nose in his sleep is pretty dang funny.

and the fact that all three of us are in close proximity is pretty incredible.

This morning Pretty Girl ( aka: my 15 year old cat )
got up in the bed and curled up right next to max.
Jerry took photos and I will post them soon.
She was purring too - which was incredible.

I had a talk with her last night which seems to have helped her out.
She was basically staying away and seemed a bit depressed from a lack of attention.

Happy Monday!
we are heading to a Mom's Club Gathering at a park today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Max's first Easter

Yes - that is Max there in the green sling around me - I'm trying to show his face. he is past out from all the excitement of meeting his family!

Yesterday we went to Aunt Mary Jo's house for our Annual Easter Family gathering. It was the first Road trip Max has been on - about an hour drive - and his first introduction to the Harbaugh Clan. Lots of Cousins!
Jerry's dad flew in from Utah so it was nice to see him as well.

We found out Grandpa Jerry and his wife Shari and Jerry's half brother Jimmy bought a house here and will be moving here very soon!!

We are really happy about this - and Max is so lucky! More grandparents around to spoil him! I grew up around no one ( ok that was dramatic ) - I mean - no extended family so I just LOVE going to Easter and being surrounded by family and having more family near by will be just great.

I can't wait for the Bass lake trip in July with all of them, and the Bundukie ( spelling ) party in June over at Mike and Amy's. It inspires me to see family put such effort into gathering and making it fun for everyone.

anyhow - I got distracted
Back to the Easter

The annual Easter Egg Crack off.

I'm going to ask Mike to send me photos from the event
But I just want to say - I'M SORRY BARB!!
I wanted you to win already!

I got all the way up to runner up.
It was Max - he was my good luck charm.

Rene was the winner - and he took the stained glass egg trophy home for the year.
Lucky !

I'll try to explain the crack off when I have photos up.

until then - here is the family portrait from yesterday.
I bring my camera every year to take this one photo.
I think it will be so interesting years from now to take a look back at all the years at the Harbaugh's Easter Event.

I'm so glad to be a part of this family now. And I can't wait to share all of this with Max as he grows up near them all.
It was so great to hand him off to each cousin and have them hold Max yesterday. One by one Max got to meet and stare at his family - and they got to see the new member of the clan.

YAY for Max - he is loved by a thousand Harbaughs.



Friday, April 10, 2009


I read a blog entry yesterday that was so well written I wanted to post it here for you as well. It's from Dooce.

Vaccinations freak me out. And then to have a baby who was born a month early and is small for his age and has Down Syndrome - it freaks me out even more. How do I know that my little guy can handle all that crap being shot into him. How do we know that Autism won't be the outcome? How do we know the effects of all the vaccinations with each other in a little body? How do we know my little boy's immunity can handle all of this? Every person is different - so why make them one size fits all?
There are alternative schedules, Dr. Sears being our favorite. And another I read about suggests waiting until he is 2 years old. My gut tells me to at least wait until he is 3 months old so he can be what the regional center thinks of him - 2 months old because he's a preemie they don't count that first month out! So why should we when it comes to these shots? Our pediatrician told us she wanted to wait until he was 4 months old but then at our last visit she didn't remember ever saying that. Annoying.
This is the biggest decision to make up to this point in his life. Heather over at Dooce ( who made the video above ) makes great points in her post below about how if we don't vaccinate - then we are hoping that we don't catch anything - because if we do there is the potential that my little guy could give it to another little person and that person could die from it. It's better said below. But it puts it into a whole different perspective for me.
Potential Autism - Or potentially harming someone else's child.
Depending on where you stand on this issue
ie: Autism isn't caused by vaccinations
it might not be caused but if the baby already has a low immune system it can help to push it to autism

also heard that there is a higher rate of kids with Down Syndrome also having Autism.
I can't deal

i can't imagine him retreating inward - not looking at us anymore and not being able to be in the world as much as he is now. It would crush me....But I still believe that vaccinations are important - but I want to spread them out and do single doses.
but I am still terrified, paralyzed by it, and hate hate hate that we really don't know how it will effect him until after we do it. There isn't a way to reverse this.....So then I flip flop..

click below...



Wednesday, April 8, 2009


My friends Katye and Brandon welcomed their new baby girl today:

Welcome Vivian [to be determined] Maxson-Landis, Born April 8th, 2:45 PM.

She's a big girl, 9lbs. 15 oz. and 21" long.

She had the baby at home in a tub of water without medication.

I haven't spoken to them yet - just getting updates on their blog at


We got a text message at 1:30am this morning that she was in labor.

And Brandon kept all of us informed through out the day on the blog.

I felt pretty emotional when I read some of the posts

It took me back to 9 weeks ago TODAY when Baby Max was born.

It's all still fresh in my mind so I could imagine the emotions going on over at the Landis household....and the lack of sleep.

I love that family so much.
I'm just so excited for them and this new chapter in their lives.

Max has a new girlfriend named Vivian Maxon-Landis!

Monday, April 6, 2009

a beautiful weekend

I have a half an hour before the next feeding and figured I'd post these two photos while I can.
They were taken yesterday on the front porch by our lovely in house staff photographer Jerry Seiner Jr.
For more of his stunning work click HERE

Today was the feedings assessment at the Pasadena Child Development Associates.
It was a Terrific appointment.
EXACTLY what we were looking for in care for Max and not quite finding...until now!
ie: Warm, kind, interested, paying attention, nice, available, listening, great attention to detail, etc etc.
I cannot rave enough about the people we saw there and the feedback we got from them.
SO glad the Regional Center referred us to them.
Looks like Max is doing great and can use just a little help with Oral Motor Development so we get the opportunity to see them a few more times to make sure he is on the right track.

I'm so glad Jerry went with me - he was so great in sharing our observations, concerns, and thoughts on his over all development and feeding issues. I just basically sat there and lost my head as what usually happens when I need to share important information with doctors...I stare blankly at them. Luckily Jerry and I do write down notes on our iphones before we go to the doctor so if I'm ever stuck there alone ( which will be the case more and more because of Jerry have that thing called a J.O.B. ) I will at least have the notes as a reference. This visit however - Jerry was filled with info and was also charming and entertaining as his usual M.O. God I love that man!

Anyhow - I'm going to run and eat a lara bar, sip some water, read a blog post from another mama blogger, and then
back to business with Max and his feeding schedule.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Max Harrison is 2 Months old today!

more bonding with Max and his Papa

Grandpa Rich is feeding Max for the first time. I think they work well together!

This is a nightly ritual. Max is in the sling around Jerry - he is fast asleep and Jerry is making the 7 bottles of formula for the next day. He shakes them before they go in the fridge and I think Max likes it. It's become some sort of dance with Jerry. It's hilarious to watch. And even more funny is that he is entertained by it as well.

another smile from Max


a few moments from this past week.

Today we may try to get Max on Video and post that later or tomorrow.

His birthday follows his 2 month check up which was yesterday.
His current stats are:
weight 8 pounds 12 ounces
height 21 3/4 inches
his neck strength is exactly where a "normal" baby should be - and Max showed off his head lifting skills at the doctor's office. we were all so impressed with him.
Strong as bull.

As far as we can see he is doing great. Tracking us with his eyes, pulling his hand into his mouth, starting to smile and laugh
( in his sleep ), eating enough, pooping and peeing enough, and looking cute in all the onsies my friends painted for him although he is slowly moving up in size so just barely into the newborn onsies right now....

Today for his birthday we are relaxing!
This morning I did his usual 5am feeding and then went back to sleep. I usually just stay up. Jerry got the 8 am one so I could get even more sleep - and is currently doing the 11am feeding time so I can post this and rest even more - so I guess Max's birthday is all about ME! HA!
I was with Max for 15 hours yesterday because Jerry had to go to a show with his boss to do some research on a project they are doing so Jerry is giving me a break to get caught up a bit.
My parents came up for a few hours in the afternoon and that was nice too.

Max - you are growing and learning and so fun to watch every day! I love that I can be at home with you and take care of you every day while Papa is at work. I feel really lucky. And I'm glad your papa is so involved in the process.
Hands on Dad! YAY!

just so you know the first 2 months of your life we spent a lot of time on the couch in the living room doing your feeding time every 3 hours so we had the movie channels on almost non stop.

here is the list of movies we've watched since your birth:

1. Rock Star
2. Forrest Gump
3. A Bee Story
4. Jerry McGuire
5. Good Will Hunting
6. Me Myself I
7. I think I Love my wife
8. Bobby
9. Erin Brockovich
10. Grosse Point Blank
11. Martian Boy
12. Across the Universe
13. Say Anything
14. That thing you do
15. A love story for Bobby Long
16. Juno
17. Knocked up.
18. Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium
19. Cotton Club
20. Ocean's 13
21. High Fidelity
22. Midnight in the garden of good and evil
23. Dangerous Liasons
24. Vantage Point.
25. Empire Strikes Back
26. LA Confidential
27. How to make an American Quilt
28. The other Bolyen Girl
29. Sex in the City
30. Selena
31. Coming to America

some of these we've seen more then once because it was on rotation on that channel. and others we only saw 3/4 of - but enough to call it a viewing.

Yes I wrote them down.
I started to be pretty impressed with all the movies we were watching and well - I love to make a list.