Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Baking

As I mentioned before, I did a little baking for Thanksgiving at the Bakers'! It was hard for me to decide what to bake, but ended up going with two of our favorites: pumpkin cheesecake & Nutella gooey cookies! As always, they did not disappoint!

Here are the recipes for your holiday baking...

Nutella Gooey Cookies (from one of my FAVORITE blogs,

1 box chocolate cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella (add more if you like)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the egg. Then beat in the Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls (I used a medium cookie scoop) and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake 12-14 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and gooey.

Pumpkin Cheesecake (from another favorite,

1 8 oz. pkg Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

BEAT cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 2-1/2 cups of the whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate remaining whipped topping for later use.

SPOON cream cheese mixture into crust.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or overnight. Serve topped with remaining whipped topping. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

27 Week Update

Another week down in the countdown to Baby Baker! Last week was a little crazy with Thanksgiving - as I mentioned before, JD & I spent this Thanksgiving in Mobile with the Bakers, a first for both of us (growing up, JD usually spent Thanksgiving in Birmingham with his grandparents). It was lovely - we relaxed, watched the Macy's parade, looked through all of the "black Friday" ads, & then got to cookin'! JD & his dad fried a turkey (another first for me), while his mom & I tended to the side dishes. Our spread included cornbread dressing, butter beans, sweet potato casserole, macaroni & cheese, rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, & pecan pie! I polled the table during our meal to see what everybody's favorite was - it was a tie between the turkey & sweet potato casserole (both were super yummy!).
Friday afternoon JD hosted a few of his friends at the house to watch the LSU / Arkansas game & have an unofficial beer tasting of all of the different homebrews that JD has made since last Christmas! Saturday we headed over to the Modling house to watch the Iron Bowl game. A sad loss for Auburn, but a good game to watch! JD & the Man played Saturday night at O'Daly's! There was a great crowd at the show, either out celebrating the Alabama win, or drinking their sorrows away for the Auburn loss... either way, it was great to catch up with some of JD's hometown friends & hear the guys play! It also occurred to me today that this past weekend was the very last time that JD & I would travel to Mobile as a family of 2 (CRAZY!!)!

**For the folks in the B'ham area who may have missed the show (or who can't get enough of JD & the Man), you're in LUCK!! They are playing again this Wednesday night at Big Blue Bagel in Crestline!! Hope to see you there!**

So on to Baby Baker... I don't know if it's the pregnancy or the time change, but I have been so exhausted lately!! I get upset with myself when I'm not as productive in the evenings as I'd like to be (still haven't decorated for Christmas yet...), but then I remind myself that I am on the verge of my third trimester & it is silly to think that I should be able to do all of the things that I used to be able to do pre-pregnancy. Any other moms out there remember feeling this way during the late 20 weeks? After reading this week's update, it made me feel better about being so tired - Baby Baker has been a busy bee, & is getting bigger & bigger all the time!

Here's what's happening this week...

Your Pregnancy: Week 27!! (
The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter for both you and your baby. With only 13 weeks left (give or take a couple of days), it's time to enjoy the ride because it's getting shorter. (This is the point on the roller coaster where you throw your arms in the air and wail like there's no tomorrow. Weeeee!)

Your Baby
Baby's lungs and immune system are maturing this week as baby prepares for his grand entrance. If he were born today he would have an 85 percent chance of surviving as his lungs are capable of breathing air (with medical assistance, of course). Other exciting developments:

Baby's done a lot of growing over the past few months. His length has more than doubled in the past 15 weeks! And that's not the only thing growing—baby's brain tissue and neurons are all developing at a rapid pace. His brain waves are now firing away just like those of a newborn baby. If baby is a he, his testes will have completely descended at this point.

Your baby now weighs in at approximately 14½ inches and just over 2 pounds, or about the size of that roast you made last time your in-laws were in town. (OK, the baby is the size of that roast you meant to cook before you decided that ordering Chinese was a much better idea.)

I go back to the doctor on Wednesday of this week for another check up. I don't think there is anything worth noting happening at this appointment, just checking to see that Baby Baker is still growing. I was told that after this appointment, I would start to go see him every 2 weeks (instead of 4) until we get closer to my due date (CRAZY!).
This week we are busy getting the house all decorated for Christmas & to welcome our families to town for a baby shower this weekend!! JD's sweet sister was nice enough to volunteer to host a shower for Baby Baker for all of our aunts, cousins, & grandmothers! Can't wait to see everybody on Saturday!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week 26 Update & THANKSgiving!!

Time for another weekly update on Baby Baker! Hope that everybody is ready to get their turkey on for Thanksgiving tomorrow!! I know that we sure are - We have *so much* to be thankful for in the 2011 year! We are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in Mobile with the Baker / Modling families for the first time! I even baked some of JD's holiday favorites last night to kick off the season (I'll post on that later)! Lots going on over the next few days: Thanksgiving dinner celebration, family time, Christmas decorating, IRON BOWL, & we'll end our trip with a JD & the Man show at O'Daly's Saturday night! Hope all of our Mob-town readers will be able to make it out!

As far as Baby Baker is concerned, things are starting to feel a bit more uncomfortable as baby continues to grow & grow! Baby Baker continues to move & swing around a good bit - & his / her foot even found my ribcage in the last few days :) I'm starting to feel a bit more tired in the evenings than I have been, but I can't decide if that's from pregnancy or if it's due to the time change? I have another doctor appointment next week, so we'll see if Baby Baker is continuing to grow, grow, grow! It's hard to believe that in a few short weeks (MAX of 13!!) we will have a sweet little baby!

Here's this week's update...

Your Pregnancy: Week 26 (

{YIKES!! Look how big that baby looks already!!}

Deep breath! Air sacks are developing in your baby's lungs, which means it just might be possible for your baby to take a breath at the end of this week. The air sacks (technically called alveoli) will continue to grow for the next nine years. The membrane that keeps the alveoli separate from the blood vessels is now thin enough to allow for that oxygen–carbon dioxide exchange we call breathing. Other highlights this week:

The retina completes the development of its normal layers this week—all the better to see you with. Well not you, per se, because her eyes are still sealed shut and it's really dark in there, but your baby's eyes are now fully developed.

Brainwaves for the auditory and visual systems are detectable in baby's noggin this week. That means baby's brain is registering things like sound and light. She can't understand what any of it means yet, but she's on track to comprehend an entire episode of Blue's Clues in no time!

As hearing continues to develop, your baby will start to recognize your voice. One hint that your karaoke rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is not the best would be when the baby starts banging on your gut. Your bambino will also start to recognize your partner's voice. He may feel silly talking to your stomach, but assure him that somebody other than you is definitely listening. Research has shown that newborns actually recognize familiar sounds after birth. Proof that your baby has been paying attention all along.

Break out the sparkling apple juice—baby has now completed two-thirds of her stay in Hotel Womb. Your baby is about 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long head-to-heel, or about the length of a burp cloth (otherwise known as your primary wardrobe accessory for the next several months).

Hope that everybody has a safe & happy Thanksgiving weekend!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

4 Years of Wedded Bliss...

it's hard to believe that it has already been 4 years since JD & i were married. i think about our wedding day often & how it was absolutely the most perfect day. i love JD more than words can say & I am thankful everyday that the Lord brought us together. who would have known that in the summer of 2005, when i decided to stay in auburn & take a job serving tables at a local pizzeria, that it would mean finding the love of my life? the last 4 years have brought us so many memories - and now, as we await the arrival of our sweet baby, I look forward to what our future together holds...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 25 - Moving Right Along...

Hi All - BIG news in this week's update... I PASSED my glucose test at last week's appointment & we've reached the point of viability!! I was also measured for the first time at my appointment & doc said that I'm measuring at 27 weeks!! Either I'm giving birth to a monster baby, or Baby Baker is going to make his / her grand entrance before Feb 26! My doctor said that baby is taking all of my iron, which was leaving me feeling like poo, so I've started taking an iron supplement every other day. Appointments will start happening every 2 weeks now instead of 4!!

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary shout out to two of our besties, the Florys!! I know I said this on her FB page earlier today, but I really can't believe it's already been a year since we were all together in Las Vegas celebrating the nuptials of Sarah & Daron!! We love you guys - here's wishing you many, many more!!

Speaking of wedding celebrations, JD & I celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary this week!!! Every day has been a blessing spent as Mrs. JD Baker & I look forward to sharing many more years together!! :)

Here's what's going on with our sweet baby this week...

Your Pregnancy: Week 25 (
What You're Thinking:
"Why don't my shoes fit anymore? Am I pregnant in my feet, too?"
**side note - I have still been able to wear some of my favorite boots this season, which makes for one happy momma-to-be :)

Your Baby
Get ready for pat-a-cake! Baby's hands are now fully developed and he spends most of his awake time groping around in the darkness of your uterus. Brain and nerve endings are developed enough now so that your baby can feel the sensation of touch. That doesn't mean he can feel it when his father pokes your stomach, however, so tell him to knock it off. Other highlights include:

Your baby's arms and legs have grown to almost the proportions they will be at birth, which is still sort of short. So don't be alarmed when your newborn's arms barely clear his waist. Baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, clear out (like he's taken a super-dose of Sudafed) and he can practice breathing through the nose. The structures of your baby's spine are now made up of 150 joints, 33 rings and some 1,000 ligaments. Can you believe you're growing something that complicated inside of you?

The capillaries, the teeniest blood vessels, are now forming in your baby's body, giving his formerly translucent skin a pink glow. The blood vessels in the lungs also develop this week. You'll see how well that worked out when your baby gives those lungs a workout while you're on line at the bank in a few months.

Your baby weighs about a pound and a half and is about 13½ inches long—roughly the length of one of those recorders you played in elementary school music class. Who's up for a round of "Hot Cross Buns?"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

24 Week Update

Hi All - nothing much to report this week... continue to feel Baby Baker movin' & shakin' all over the place! JD was even able to *see* baby kicking in my tummy over the weekend!!! I've been able to feel baby moving for over a month now, & it still catches me off guard. If I'm sitting still, I always look down at my tummy to try & catch a glimpse of *proof* that there is a baby in there! I also read in one of the pregnancy books that Baby can not only hear & recognize my voice, but can also hear & start to recognize JD's voice starting this week!
I have another appointment on Thursday - one that I'm not really looking forward to, the glucose test for gestational diabetes. I don't know what it is lately, but I have started to have unwarranted worry about things going badly during the rest of my pregnancy. For example, I'm worried that I may not "pass" my glucose test which may lead to complications later during delivery; I also worry that for some reason I will be put on bed rest & have to go out on maternity leave earlier than planned.

I wonder if this is a normal part of pregnancy, or am I being overly anxious?

Oh well, one thing at a time, right? Wish me luck for Thursday!

Here's what's going on with Baby Baker this week...

Your Pregnancy: Week 24 (

What You're Thinking:
"OK, seriously, where are my toes?"

Your Baby
Your baby isn't just sitting around (on your bladder) doing nothing, he's working hard preparing for life outside the womb—perfecting his lungs and packing on the pounds. He'll gain ½ pound this week alone. Other highlights this week:

Things are starting to get a little crowded inside the old womb as baby grows bigger and bigger. Your ribs are probably pining away for the good old days when they didn't have a foot permanently lodged between them. Hate to break it to you, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Your baby's ears are fully functional now. And since they are, you may notice that loud noises and sudden movements can startle the little bugger. He's getting used to the everyday sounds inside the womb: the sound of your heart beating, your lungs inhaling and exhaling air, the growling of your stomach because your partner promised he'd be right back with that double cheeseburger and he's taking forever! He'll even be able to hear your voice when your partner finally arrives and you ask him where the bleep he's been! So talk nice!

Baby's got a fully developed inner ear now. This means his sense of balance is working and he can tell whether he's hanging upside down or right side up. He can also feel you moving, so go ahead, pop in your favorite tunes and boogie.

Your little Wiener schnitzel is about the length of a foot-long Chicago hot dog and weighs about 1 1/3 pounds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 23 & Getting Ready for Baby

Hi all - another week is behind us already! Time seems to be going by much more quickly these days - and will only get worse as the holidays approach! Hope that everybody had a great Halloween! JD & I enjoyed greeting all of the neighborhood kids in costume & seeing our neighbors' *precious* baby girl (9+ months old), who was dressed as a duck!

Last weekend my sweet parents came over to help us finish up the "big stuff" in the nursery!! JD & my dad were able to assemble the crib & install the new hardware & blinds in the windows; Mom & I steamed the curtains, washed the bedding, & focused more on the "details". We are SO PLEASED with the finished product!!! Everything looks better than we even imagined!! Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Walls are still a blank canvas, & I haven't decided what I want to do just yet. Here are some ideas I've found on *pinterest*...

**over the crib, something with the initial & various "baby" items on small floating shelves**

**on the wall over the dresser / changing table - some form of assorted pictures (family? baby prints?) & I MUST find this huge safety pin!! anybody have a clue??**

**this idea is still in the works, but I like the idea of storage for books without taking up a lot of space in the room (like you would with a bookshelf)... thinking about these on the small wall immediately on the right when you walk in the nursery**

(another image of book storage - right side of the picture only)

I know that this stuff will come together in the next few weeks - it's such a HUGE relief to have all of the big stuff done in the nursery!! MANY THANKS to my terrific hubs for making sure that we got a jump start on the house projects & nursery early enough in our pregnancy so that I wouldn't stress too much, & to our families for all the help you've provided as we prepare for Baby Baker's arrival!!

This weekend we are looking forward to RELAXING & enjoying time at home! Our Supper Club group is coming over on Sunday evening for dinner - hoping that the weather cooperates because we were imagining doing a fire outside & making smores!!

Here's what's new with Baby Baker this week - no "new" pregnancy symptoms to report, but JD was able to feel & see the baby kick / move around this week! Baby continues to be very active, & I am starting to learn his / her schedule - I know to expect to feel movement at certain times in the day! Next week I am scheduled to go back to the doc & will have the dreaded glucose test. Wish me luck!!

Your Pregnancy: Week 23 (

Your Baby
Your baby's got a while to go before her lungs will be ready for air and is practicing her "breathing" on the amniotic fluid—sucking it in and out of her lungs. Other highlights this week:

Fat production is in overdrive at this point (for the baby, not you! Well, OK, maybe for the baby and you). Your baby will basically double in weight over the next four weeks! You'll be happy to know the same won't apply to you.

Your Mini is starting to look more like a newborn as her skin becomes less see-through. Her body is looking more proportional now, although her head is still kinda big compared to her cute little body.

Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book.