Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekends for the Baker Bunch & 18 Week Update

Hi All - realizing that it's getting harder for me to keep up with my weekly blog updates! A lot has been going on for the Bakers -- here's a quick recap of what we've been doing...

We finally got the house projects complete {with the help of our amazing families!!!} & the Baker abode is getting closer to being ready for the arrival of Baby Baker!!! All of JD's music & home-brewing equipment is tucked away in its new home, thanks to JD's dad's incredible carpentry skills!! {I promise to post pictures soon of the beautiful cabinets he built for us!!} We now have new hanging cabinets in our screen porch for JD's homebrew equipment & we have two GORGEOUS cabinets in the guest room for JD's music equipment!! We also installed a kitty-sized pet door so that Aja is free to travel between house & screen porch. It took some time for her to get compfortable with the new set up, but she has finally come around & seems to be a much happier kitty overall! (For those of you who know Aja, I think she's really started to come out of her shell - a few mornings this week, I've gotten up in the morning & spotted her sitting in a window sill out on the porch just watching the yard & flicking her tail!! JD & I joke that she is out there enjoying her morning coffee, watching the world go by...)

We hit a couple of bumps in the road during work week, but we *could not* be happier with how everything has turned out!! AND - with JD's stuff out of the third bedroom, we were able to start making progress on the NURSERY!!

No pictures of the nursery-in-progress yet, but here's what we've done so far:
>painted the room (walls, trim, closet, etc...)
>put in new crown molding
>purchased new blinds for both windows
>picked up dresser & crib from furniture store - dresser was already assembled
>bedding arrived & is ready to go in the crib, once assembled

It's got a long way to go before the baby comes, but it's definitely coming along!! We ended up going with a nice, neutral color for the walls (Martha Stewart's 'Alpaca Brown') with white trim - it's amazing what a difference a couple of gallons of paint can make!!

JD & I find ourselves stopping by the *nursery* most nights just to look around & think about what it will be like when Baby Baker arrives & is living in his / her new space! It seems like so far from now, but at the same time, I know it will be here before we know it!! I get so excited thinking about it!!

Last weekend we spent some MUCH NEEDED R&R time at Smith Lake with some great friends! We enjoyed the sun, games, good food, football, & baby Caleb! Here is a quick picture I snapped of the view of the lake from our room at the GORGEOUS house:

(Sadly, this is the only picture I took all weekend... must have been having too much fun??)

Other big news for the Bakers this week is that we met with our mortgage broker & are going to be able to refinance our home loan & save 3 points off our current interest rate!!! We couldn't be more excited about this - it's going to save us over $200/month, which will definitely come in handy when we have to start paying for daycare next year!

Although this week is nearly over, here's an update on our baby's progress...

Your Pregnancy: Week 18 (

Now that you're in the full throes of the second trimester, you're feeling—and looking—fabulous. So don't waste it! See friends (they've missed you since you moved your bedtime up to 7:00 p.m.), plan romantic dinners with your partner (you will miss those when junior arrives) and get active. Waterskiing might be a little too much but swimming and taking long walks are great for you and your bambino.

Your Body
At about 18 weeks, you might begin to feel a suspicious flutter in your belly. The professionals call it "quickening," we call it "baby's makin' waves!" Within the next few weeks, those tiny bubbly feelings will become more obvious. And soon enough they'll be unmistakably identifiable—especially when you (and anyone within 10 feet of you) can see tiny feet, elbows and knees moving across your belly.

>>>SIDE NOTE: I felt this for the first time on Sept 20!!!

Your Baby
Your baby's ears are now facing forward and are completely formed so she can actually hear you talking now. You don't need to abandon your potty mouth just yet, but you might want to start thinking about it! Other highlights this week:

This week is also the beginning of ossification. And while that sounds like some long and involved paperwork you'll have to fill out, it's really a fancy medical term for the hardening of your baby's miniature bones. And that's a good thing.

Your baby's nerves are making more and more complex connections. Her sense of smell, taste, sight and hearing are all developing. A substance called myelin, which makes nerve connections travel faster, is now coating your baby's nerves.

Your baby now weighs between 5 and 7 ounces and is about 5½ inches long—about the size of a pickle from the corner deli. (You're familiar with pickles, right? Your regular accompaniment to a big bowl of ice cream?)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

17 weeks & counting...

Sorry for the late (& short) post this week... Things have been really busy for the Bakers! I have lots to update you on, but it will have to wait until I have more time to post :(

In the meantime, here's what's going on with Baby Baker this week:

Your Pregnancy: Week 17 (

What You're Thinking:
"OMG! Is something crawling on my stomach? Oh, wait! That was the baby!"

Your Baby
Packing on the pounds is what it's all about for baby this week. He's adding fat stores that will keep him warm and cozy after he's born. Your baby's weight will increase approximately six times over the next four weeks. Good to know you're not the only one tipping the scale. Also this week:

Your baby is hard at work honing his sucking and swallowing reflexes—all the better for eating that 2 AM (and 5 AM, and 8 AM ...) meal in a few months! The finger- and toenails are beginning to grow from their nail beds, which would explain why he'll need them trimmed almost as soon as he's born!

Your baby weighs nearly 5 ounces and is a little over 5 inches long—about the size of a baked potato (load on the butter and sour cream, please).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

16 Week Update & Making Room for Baby!

Hi All - we are still trying to catch up after our first BIG work weekend!! We got sooo much done this past weekend, both inside & out! The tree that fell in our yard earlier this summer (did I ever mention that before now??) is finally gone & while we had the chainsaws, the guys (JD, his dad, & Katie's BF Dwain) went ahead & cut back a LOT of overgrowth from both in our yard & along the outside of our fence. The backyard, in particular, looks like a whole new yard! So nice! While the guys were busy outdoors, the ladies were busy inside cleaning out every closet & under the bed and doing some serious REORGANIZING! Several trips to the trash & GoodWill later, I'm finally starting to feel like we'll have some space to bring this new baby into our home, ha!

We also made some serious headway on the nursery!! Just about everything is cleared out of that room & the closet -- just waiting on JD & his dad to finish building the cabinets to store his homebrew & music equipment!! We ordered baby furniture this weekend & it should arrive no later than Sept 24! The pieces we ended up ordering are a convertible crib & what they call a "combo dresser" - I think they call it a combo piece because it is supposed to function as a changing table while the baby is in diapers (which it will at our house). Here are pictures of the furniture we ordered:

We are excited to be able to re-purpose two pieces we already have at the house to use in the nursery - a tall chest of drawers that belonged to JD's grandfather & a wicker rocker that my parents painted & recovered a couple of years ago that we have been using in the guest room.

We also ordered some baby bedding online this weekend as well - waiting for it to arrive to see if it's exactly what we want for Baby Baker! If so, then I can {finally} decide on a paint color & we can get the nursery painted!

Some other things on the "to-do" list for this week:
*finish painting / staining the cabinet pieces & get those in their correct spots
*replace screens on porch
*install pet door in backdoor
*get rid of remaining furniture in nursery that we aren't keeping
*paint nursery?

We are sooo thankful for our sweet families who have been such a HUGE help as we prepare for Baby Baker's arrival!! We absolutely could NOT have done it without their help!!!

I have another doctor's appointment this week - no ultrasound, just a check to see that our sweet baby is progressing as expected! I believe that our next big appointment with an ultrasound (what would be the anatomy reveal, were we finding out) is in two weeks - & I can't wait to see how big he / she has gotten since last time I saw him / her! I have been feeling pretty good, just finding myself getting tired more quickly than I did pre-pregnancy. I haven't felt any movement from the baby yet, but I read that I could feel hiccups starting last week & should start to feel kicking / movement starting next week!! We have a long weekend planned at Smith Lake next weekend with lots of friends who we don't get to see very often - I'm really hoping that Baby Baker decides to do some kicking / moving while we are together so that hopefully they can feel too :)

Speaking of, here's what's going on this week...

Your Pregnancy: Week 16 (

What You're Thinking:

"I. Only. Have. Five. More. Months. Until. Everything. Changes."

Your Body
No, you don't have a new superpower, although it'll feel like it because you're able to smell pizza, burnt toast or a pulled-pork sandwich from miles away. Your heightened sense of smell isn't the only new trick your nose is doing. You're probably noticing some extra nasal congestion and maybe even some nosebleeds to go along with it.

Clearly your sense of smell is in overdrive, so try to avoid walking past the BBQ Pit or Curry Emporium.

While pregnancy-related nasal congestion is annoying, it shouldn't cause any problems and will go away after the baby is born. If you're getting a lot of nosebleeds, it could be because your partner keeps cheaping out on theater tickets, buying seats located in the top row of the balcony. Either that or it could be an indication of high blood pressure, so check with your medical provider.

Your Baby
Your baby is already mugging for the camera as she practices all sorts of facial expressions, such as squinting, yawning and grimacing, which will come in handy when you introduce her to pureed spinach. Check out what else is happening in utero:

You're just getting comfortable with being a new mom, but you're actually on the road to being a grandma. If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed and the ovaries already hold primitive egg cells. Did that just make you feel a thousand years old, or what?

Your baby's skin is still translucent and wrinkly, not unlike an old man's, but more fat will soon accumulate under the dermas to plump her out. If you could peer inside right now, you'd be able to see all of her veins under her skin. And speaking of veins, your baby's heart now pumps about 25 quarts of blood per day, and she hasn't even seen Orlando Bloom yet! Also, her eyes are now locked and loaded at their final destination, facing forward rather than to the sides. (Whew!)

This is the week women get an amniocentesis, if their doc recommends it. In addition to supplying doctors with a boatload of info about the baby's health, amnios are also more than 99 percent accurate in determining what version of baby you'll be having. So if you want to know and you're getting an amnio, now's a great time to find out for sure.

Your baby weighs about 3 ounces this week and measures between 4 and 5 inches, about the length of your mascara.

Friday, September 9, 2011

15 week update & OTW

Greetings! Sorry for the late-week post this time! Short work weeks always seem to throw me for a loop...

I hope that everybody had a great Labor Day weekend! We were just productive enough to not feel guilty about relaxing on Labor Day :) Saturday was filled with FOOTBALL as the new season begun. Our Auburn Tigers left much to be desired, but they were able to pull off a W! JD's "hetero-life mate", Jason, paid us a surprise visit on Saturday & spent the weekend with us! Jason is currently doing Marine Reserve Officer training up in Virginia, so we don't get to see him as much as we'd like! Sunday JD & I continued our search for nursery furniture for Baby Baker. I think that we finally found what we are looking for - now we just need to get the rest of the nursery / house ready before we can bring it home!

This weekend, JD's mom & dad are coming up to kick off "work week" - we are hoping to get a number of things done before next Sunday, including cleaning out & painting the nursery! BUT - we have lots to do before we can get that started, so we'll have to see!

Speaking of baby, we hit the 15 week mark last weekend!! Here is this week's update:

Your Pregnancy: Week 15 (
What You're Thinking:

"Why does this feel like it's going so fast and yet so slow all at the same time?" (A-men!!)
Your energy may have returned but that doesn't mean you should be hitting the clubs until 4:00 AM every night. With a baby growing inside you, sleep is one thing that you can't go without. Try these tricks to ensure you beat up the sheets.

If your growing belly is getting in the way of a good night's sleep, surround yourself with pillows to make for an extra-comfy nest effect. Sometimes room temperature can affect sleep, so make sure that your air conditioner is cranked up if you're feeling too hot.

Some sleeping positions are more comfortable than others for pregnant woman, like the "I'm just going to pass out on the La-Z-Boy" position. And get comfy sleeping on your left side while you're preggers: It's what the docs recommend to keep the blood flowing full steam ahead between you and the tadpole.

Your Baby
Although many women don't start feeling the baby move until the 17th week (or later), your baby has been having his own party in the amniotic sac he calls home. If you feel a little flutter in your belly this week, don't discount it as gas or hunger. It could be your babe banging around. Here's more to look forward to:

Baby's head is now resting on his well-formed neck instead of directly on his shoulders like Igor. He's beginning to grow eyebrows and eyelashes this week. (All the better to give you that "Mom, you're crazy" look when he's a teenager.) The hair on the head also begins to grow and, with some creative styling, you'll be able to turn those locks into a Maddox Jolie-Pitt faux-hawk some day.

Although baby's eyes are sealed shut, he's now able to sense light. His eyes and ears finally look like real baby features now. As your baby practices sucking and swallowing actions, he may actually hiccup. You'll know he's had one too many shots of amniotic fluid by the steady thump-thump you feel.

Over the next month, baby will grow faster than ever, so make sure you load up on enough nutritious food and fluids to support his growth. Your baby now measures nearly 4 inches, about the size of a Kit Kat "finger" (regular-size, not the Big one you get at the movies), and weighs almost 2 ounces.

Tomorrow is our sweet puppy Luna's 4th birthday! To celebrate, her *thoughtful* brother Benny planned a small family birthday party. People in attendance will be: Luna, Benny, Aja, me, JD, Katie, Dwain, Tanner, Sadie, Johnny, Pam, & Wilson. Benny was in charge of sending out the "e-vite" invitations, so I promised I would help by making a dog-friendly birthday cake for all of the pups to enjoy! I'll let you dog lovers out there know how it turns out :)

Hope that everybody has a great weekend & enjoys this autumn-like weather!!

War Eagle!