Friday, July 31, 2009

2 Months

So, we've made it - 2 months :-) It is a short period of time, but it seems like a big milestone. I am so amazed by how much this little guy has grown in such a short period of time. It really is a miracle. His personality is starting to come through and he smiles more and more every day.

Today we went in for Braeden's 2 month check up. I was excited to see how much he had grown, but nervous about the 3 immunization shots he would be receiving. They say it is harder on the parent than the little one, but I was still sad for my poor little guy.

The appointment went well. His growth was great, he is now 12 lbs, 13 oz (75th percentile) and 25 inches long (97th percentile). I dont' think anyone is surprised that I have a long baby. Chad and I are already making bets on his final height, I am guessing 6'7" :-) He is heatlthy and happy, and he did great with his shots. He cried when he got poked, but I nursed him right after and he was fast asleep as we left the doctors office. While I am not looking forward to future shots, I am encouraged that he handled them ok. I'm sure 4 months (the next appointment) will be here before I know it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gone Fishing

Every year Chad's family takes a fishing trip in Northwestern Colorado on the White River near a little town called Buford. We stay in a nice cabin (with electricity and plumbing :-), go fishing, play cards and hang out. It is a beautiful part of the state and I have always looked forward to the refreshing weekend away.

This year, Braeden was 8 weeks old on the scheduled fishing weekend. This would be our first "big" driving trip with the little guy (5 hours in the car). While we would only be gone 2 nights, there was an amazing amount of stuff that we needed to bring to accommodate this little person. We were leaving on Saturday morning and I started making a mental list of everything I needed almost a week before. This trip always requires more thought because we bring all of our food and drink as well (the nearest store is about 30 mins outside of town.) We started getting ready to go on Friday and by Saturday around 9 am, we were on the road. I think that is the most packed our Volvo has ever been. We brought the pack and play with the bassinet so he had somewhere to sleep, the shade tent in case he needed shade outside, the gymini in case he wanted to play... can you tell this is our first :-) We may need to buy a trailer to accommodate future kids :-) Braeden was fed and changed and fell asleep quickly as we headed up the mountain. Lucky for us, he slept most of the way there (with one stop to eat.) Our ride back wasn't so lucky :-) We arrived around 3 pm, and everyone was anxiously awaiting our arrival, or should I say Braeden's arrival!

It was a great weekend. Chad's entire family was there, along with Dena's mom and Chad's Grandma Baker. I didn't get to fish as much as normal, but I did sneak away with Chad for a couple of hours to go fish by the bridge while Chad's sister and mom watched Braeden. This was the first time Chad and I had been alone since Braeden's birth. It was so refreshing and relaxing to just hang out in the beautiful mountain air and know that Braeden was in good hands. They took him on a walk and he quicky fell asleep for most of the time we were gone (he almost always falls asleep on his walks, even on the bumpy mountain dirt roads.)

While I was hanging with Braeden at the cabin, many of the others were out catching fish. Dan, Chad's dad, brought home a couple of big ones. In fact, they were almost as long as our little guy, and that means it's a long fish :-)

Our trip was spent eating, relaxing, and playing with Braeden. It was really a great time. I am definitely looking forward to the year when Braeden is old enough to cast his first line into the river. As fast as the first 8 weeks have gone, I'm sure they will be here before I know it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

He Smiles!

I think one of the best parts of parenthood (so far) is seeing Breaeden smile his big toothless grin. I will never forget the first time he smiled, it was on the 4th of July, just as we were getting ready to go to Tama and Alex's house. I had just put him in his car seat and both Chad and I were leaning over looking at him, when he gives us this giant grin. My heart melted. It amazes me how much I love this little guy, and that love grows more and more everyday.

I was quickly telling everyone how Braeden smiled. While he does smile more and more everyday, he is definitely not smiling on command. In fact, it is usually when I am trying to get him to smile the most, that he looks at me with a stern grumpy face. His smiles are definitely spontaneous and unpredictable, but when they come, they are priceless.
I decided to make it my mission to catch one of these grins on film. This proved much more difficult than I originally anticipated. Braeden would be smiling from ear to ear, and as soon as the flash went off, he looked more confused than happy. I think I took about 50 shots, before I got "the one". Finally, on July 20th I caught the grin! It was after a bath and I nearly fell over trying to grab the camera and take the picture while he was on the changing table. So, this is my one picture of proof, he smiles!
Everyday he smiles more and more. I can't wait to hear the little chuckle to go along with that grin!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I love the USA!

I've always been a big fan of the 4th of July. I have fond memories as a child running around with sparklers and watching my dad set off fireworks that I am now certain were illegal :-) As an adult, it has always a fun weekend to hang out with friends, enjoy a few barbecues and take an extra day off work. This 4th of July, Braeden was about 5 weeks old, so our normal running all around town was a little more reserved. We are just starting to get into a groove with Braeden. I (generally) know when he might be sleeping, eating, etc. So, on Friday,the 3rd, we made sure he had a full stomach and decided to venture down to the Cherry Creek Arts festival. We picked up my mom on the way and met Chad's parents, our friends, The Woods, and Liz, Angus and Declan. Needless to say, it wasn't a leisurely stroll through the art exhibits. Don't get me wrong, Braeden did great. He woke once to eat, but otherwise slept the entire time. However, trying to navigate through narrow streets lined with tents full of art with a somewhat large group of people (including kids and strollers) was much more difficult than checking out the art on my own. It was a great day though, and it felt good just to get outside and walk around.

On Saturday the 4th, we went over to our friends Tama and Alex's house for a BBQ. They live in our neighborhood, so we put Braeden in the stroller and walked over. Chad's parents also stopped by, and it was a good night overall. We didn't stay at their house too late. We wanted to get back to on our dogs (they hate fireworks, especially Wiglaf.) Luckily, they weren't freaking out too bad (usually Wiglaf is siting on top of one of us drooling and panting as if the loud crack of a firecracker may be the actual end of him.) Although the dogs were a little on edge, they were fairly good overall. All in all, it was a great holiday weekend. I am definitely looking forward to the years when Braeden is running around with a sparkler. I am sure they will be here before we know it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

JJ's Wedding

On June 27th, one of my best friends got married. JJ and I have known each other since first grade. We have had sooo many fun times together, and I felt so honored to share this amazing time in her life.
The event started on Friday night with the rehearsal dinner at La Fogata, one of JJ & Chad's favorite restaurants (her husband's name is also Chad :-) It was great food, drink and company. It was also Breaden's first times out to dinner with a big group and he did so great as he was passed around from person to person. I wasn't sure Candy, JJ's mom, was going to give him back after she started holding him. It was obvious she will be hoping for her own grandchildren soon.

On Saturday morning, Braeden and I made our way down to the Parkside Mansion,by City Park, where JJ was getting married. It was such a great morning. JJ arranged for hair and makeup to be done on site. This was such a treat for me, as I had spent most of my mornings during the previous month racing to get ready while Braeden slept. I can't tell you how many days my hair looks a little ragged and I wear no make up at all (especially during those first few weeks.) All of the women there had a great time, and again Braeden was a hit. He spent the morning being passed around and eventually fell asleep on Allison's chest (one of the other bridesmaids.)

Chad showed up around 9:30 to take over the baby watching duties. Again, I have to say how lucky I am to have such an awesome husband. I never hesitate to have Chad watch Braeden, he is a great father. I finished getting ready and it was off to take pictures with the girls for the wedding. It was a morning wedding (11 am) so everything happened early. The bridesmaids were ready and we all waited anxiously as JJ put on her dress. She looked so beautiful. The wedding was on the patio on the top level of the Mansion and it was really a beautiful ceremony. A lunch reception in the ballroom followed. The reception was especially fun for me, as I got to catch up with a lot of volleyball friends that I hadn't seen since Breaden's birth.

Since this was Braeden's first wedding, I had to make sure he was dressed for the occasion. A few weeks earlier I scoured the Internet for Tuxedo onesies. I found one, ordered it, and waited to see how the little guy would fill it out (the smallest size was 3-6 months). He will be able to use it again at a wedding at the beginning of August. I have to say, he was one of the best looking guys there! He was also one of the best behaved. Lucky for his parents, Breaden slept through most of the reception, leaving Chad and I a little more at east to enjoy the festivities. Many of our friends at the wedding already have kids and I soon realized that there are really perks of every age for children. As Braeden slept soundly next to our chairs at the table, our friend Danielle said, "I remember when we could put our baby under the table." They are the proud parents of a 2 year old little girl who would have been running all over the reception. I try to take some time each day and really appreciate Braeden for the age he is now. They grow so quickly and each moment is so precious.
The reception ended at about 3 in the afternoon and most of the attendees were making their way over to the Candelight (one of JJ & and Chad's favorite bars) for a wedding after party. Again, because of my great husband (and Braeden's acceptance of bottles), I was able to continue to celebrate with JJ on her special day. Chad made a quick appearance with Braeden at the Candlelight before taking him home, and I stayed an extra hour or so. It was really a great day. JJ looked amazing and more importantly, she looked so happy to be marrying her Chad. I look forward to all of the fun times ahead for the Baker and Bomgaars families!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Meeting Declan

I consider myself very lucky to have gone through pregnancy, and now motherhood, with my best friend Liz. I have known Liz since 4th grade and we have gone through many of lifes challenges together. When Liz and I found out we were both pregnant and due within weeks of each other, we were both so excited.

Liz had her little boy, Declan, on May 8th, 2009. He was so cute and I could hardly wait to meet my own little baby (at this point we still didn't know if it was a boy or girl).

When Braeden was about 3 weeks old, we mad the trip over to Liz's house so the boys could meet. While they had no idea the other existed at this point, it was still exciting for me and Liz to get them together (and for us to catch up as friends.) As most moms will tell you, play dates are as much for the moms as they are for the kids, if not more.
Hopefully, Declan and Braeden will grow to be as good as friends as Liz and I. One things for sure, they will be spending lots of time together in the years to come :-)

First Time Mom

As a first time mom you do everything you can to prepare for this new addition to your life. I read books, went to classes, talked to other moms, but when they say you have no idea what is coming, they aren't lying. I now have a new appreciation for all of my friends who already have kids. I always thought I had an idea of what their lives were like, but I was truly clueless. Being a mom has been the most rewarding and the most challenging thing I have ever done. I will never forget one specific moment right after Braeden was born. Chad and I were alone in the hospital room. I had just finished feeding Braeden for the first time and Chad offered to burp him. After he gave a couple of good burps Chad looked and me and said, "Now what we do we do?" First time parenthood is full of these moments. You think you're prepared, but it's definitely a learn on the job type of adventure.

When we brought Braeden home, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. I don't think Chad has ever driven as slow as he did on that first ride with the baby. After safely arriving at our door, we took the new little one inside and gave him a tour of his home. He also got to meet the 2 dogs for the first time. The older dog, Wiglaf, gave him a little sniff and layed his snout on my leg. Our puppy, Stella was much more interested in checking him out. She sniffed and gave a little lick. I think she is still trying to figure him out...if we let her, she would give him a full lick over :-) The first 2 weeks were pretty much a blur. We took our first trip to the pediatrician on the Tuesday after we got home. Braeden's weight was down slightly (7 lbs 7 ounces) which is normal right after birth. They wanted me to bring him in 2 days later to check his weight again. Braeden spent the next 2 days permanently attached to my boob, his food source. I couldn't seem to feed this kid enough...2 days later it paid off, he had gained 8 oz in 2 days (they look for 1-2 oz per day, so this kid was definitely packing on the pounds.) Little Braeden has continued to eat vigorously. At his 2 week appointment, he was 9 lbs and who knows where he'll be at his 2 month check up.

Another fun memory was our first lunch out with Braeden. After the 2 week appointment, Braeden fell asleep in the car. Chad and I decided to go to Red Robin for lunch. It seemed like a good idea, as Chad and I had spent most of the last 2 weeks at the house. Braeden was relaxed, he slept through the entire lunch. However, Chad and I spent the entire lunch staring at him and praying he wouldn't wake up. I remember a moment when he started to stir and I started eating my sandwich as quickly as possible in anticipation of his scream (that never came.) Let's just say that we have progressed from this first outing, and while we still spend most of our time looking at the baby, I am not fearful of his waking (or crying) at this point.

As I move ahead in this new world of motherhood, I am trying to enjoy every moment (the good and seemingly bad).
Little Braeden is already growing so quickly and while we have learned a lot about each other in these short few weeks, I know he will teach me so much more in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Introducing the Baker Bunch

Welcome to the Baker Blog.
First off, I have to thank my good friend Lisa Swendsen for convincing me to get this blog started. I have read Lisa's blog over the past few years and have found it very entertaining to follow her family as they grow. Having recently started my own family, I think it will be a great way to document the many adventures ahead. Hopefully, you will find our adventures as entertaining as I do.

I want to start by rehashing the last year of my life, in other words, how did I get here...

My wedding day!

As most of you know, I met Chad on Cinco De Mayo in 2006. I knew very quickly that I would be spending the rest of my life with this amazing man. We were engaged exactly a year later and we made it official on August 2nd, 2008. The day went perfectly! I feel so lucky to have had such a perfect day. We got married at a beautiful old church in downtown Denver, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and we had our reception at Invesco Field at Mile High on the club level. If you are reading this, you probably already know what a big Bronco fan I am, so this was my dream location for a wedding reception. My favorite part of the actual wedding was having all four of our Grandma's come up to the alter to offer words of wisdom. These women are so inspirational and Chad and I feel so fortunate to have all 4 of them in our lives at this point. It was a moment I will remember and cherish forever. The reception was the greatest party I have ever attended. Some of my favorite parts included taking pictures on the field, being introduced to the "Hey"song, Chad getting dancing started with Baby Got Back, the speeches given by my sister and dad, sitting in the stadium seats with a glass of wine and a cigar and enjoying all of this with my closest friends and all of my family. It was truly an amazing day in my life. To top it all off, I left with the most amazing husband in the world. I feel so lucky to have found my best friend and man of my dreams all in one.
The Honeymoon!

Chad and I went on a cruise at the end of August to celebrate our new life together as a married couple. We spent one night in Miami before cruising to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We were supposed to go to Haiti, but a hurricane caused us to miss this port. In fact, we spent our entire trip dodging hurricanes Gustav, Hannah and Ike, but luckily the weather was amazing throughout the trip. We spent our days hanging out in the sun, enjoying everything on the boat (basically a floating city), eating great food, drinking lots of tropical concoctions and enjoying each other. It was a trip I will always remember, especially since within a week of our return, I found out some life changing news, I was pregnant!!!

The next nine months!
Chad and I were both very excited to start a family right away, and luckily for us, our plans became a reality. I will never forget the moment I found out I was pregnant. It seemed like the longest minute of my life as I sat and waited for the digital tester to flash Pregnant or Not Pregnant. When it came up Pregnant I started screaming with joy and Chad quickly joined in my celebration. It was very late at night when I took the test, but that didn't stop Chad and I from calling our friends and family to share the news, we were soo excited.

Our first doctors visit was such an a cool experience. I can't describe how thrilling it is to see and hear this little heart beat that would grow to be our baby. I still can't believe how small the baby is in that first ultrasound and how that little heartbeat grows to be an amazing baby, it truly is a miracle.

My pregnancy was uneventful (which is always a good thing.) Looking back on it, the time went by fairly quickly. Before I knew it, my due date (May 25th) was here and gone....I started to wonder if this baby would ever come.

Finally, contractions started on the night of May 29th. They started out fairly slow and I spent that night watching movies, sitting in a warm bathtub and counting the time between my contractions. At 5 am, the contractions were 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart...time to go to the hospital. I arrived in my hospital room about 7 am, they hooked me up to some monitors and checked for dilation...I was only dilated 1 cm. This wasn't completely unreasonable because I had no dilation the day before at my doctors appointment. However, if I failed to progress, they would send me home to progress there. Luckily, when they checked me 2 hours later, I had dilated to 3 centimeters and they officially checked me in. I was having my baby that day. Originally, I was hoping to make it through my labor and delivery unmedicated, my mom gave birth to 4 kids without any drugs and I was hoping I could do the same. However, when 2 pm I had only dilated to 4 1/2 centimeters and my contractions were getting further apart. After being up all night and enduring 14 hours of contractions, I was officially exhausted. I decided to go ahead with the epidural...a great decision. I was able to sleep, yes sleep, through the next 3 hours of labor. When the nurse woke me up at 5 pm I was 9 centimeters dilated and ready to push. It all happened pretty quickly from there. This was an exceptionally exciting time, since Chad and I had decided not to find out the sex of the little one. We waited anxiously to meet this new member of our family...would it be a girl (Payton) or a boy (Braeden). After 10 pushes, Braeden was born!! Words can not describe that moment. He was perfect. Chad and I felt like the luckiest people alive to meet this new little man that would be the new focus of our world. Because our family all lives here, they were able to share in our big moment. Chad joyfully announced our new arrival to everyone in the waiting room - IT'S A BOY!! He was only minutes old and already soo loved.

Chad and I are so excited to be parents! We can't wait for the years ahead.

The Baker Bunch is sure to have some amazing adventures!!