Hormones. And lots of them.

You hear a lot about hormones. Especially when pregnant. So I’d like to take a moment and put things in perspective.

What are hormones? A hormone is a chemical substance that is secreted by one tissue and travels by way of body fluids to affect another tissue in your body. In essence, hormones are “chemical messengers.” The average range of hormones for a woman who is not pregnant is 30 to 400. For a woman who is pregnant the HCG levels, a type of hormone, can go up to 165,000! That means there are 400% more chemical messengers triggering my brain to feel WAY too many emotions. It’s hard enough to keep yourself in check when you’ve got a hormone level at 30. *sigh*

To give you an example of what my hormone level of 165,000 is doing, let me share with you a story. A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I were snuggled in bed cuddling as we watched TV. I mentioned to him that I was hungry and asked if he could go downstairs and get a laughing cow cheese. These things are like, 35 calories each. Scott turns to me and says they are bad for you. I shot back that they are not – they are low calorie. He wasn’t budging (likely because i was still laying on top of him cuddling) so I say, “Fine, I’ll just starve.” To which Scott snickers and says, “Trust me, you aren’t going to starve.”

I shot up in bed, offended. My reaction started off chuckling asking him what did he just say? And just like that, without any warning, I quickly turned to sobbing. Uncontrollably. You would have thought something horrible had just happened to Nilla. Scott was stunned. He wasn’t sure how to react. And can you blame him? He asked what was wrong. I then responded (between sobs) that he called me fat! That’s right. By saying I wasn’t going to starve, that meant he was calling me fat…….. Being the good husband he is, Scott smiled and said, “I didn’t call you fat. I meant you won’t starve because you just had cereal before you went to bed.” Sheesh…. What is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I have 165,000 chemical messengers firing off and you just never know what you are going to get :)

Aside from that episode, the pregnancy has been going well. I am 18 weeks along and the bump is growing. Baby Baker #2 is the size of a bell pepper and is moving around! I can feel him/her giving me soft reminders that he/she is there. It will be interesting to see if I feel movement In the second trimester, I’m not as nauseous and my energy level is back. As much energy as I can muster chasing around a 9 month old. A very active 9 month old. Jack is wonderful. He has such a personality now and is crawling and standing up. Check out the photos of him and the one where he makes an appearance in the bump photo.

Hope you are all doing well!

Baby Baker 2.0

Well, I can’t believe it but we are doing it all over again! Scott and I are thrilled to welcome Baby Baker 2.0 on March 24th 2014. I know, you all are saying, “Again! so soon!” Yes, we do understand how babies are made :) We want two kids and want them close together, so here we go! The kids will be roughly 14 months apart. I can’t wait to find out if Jack will have a baby brother or break the Baker boy streak and have a baby sister!

Right now I am 15 1/2 weeks along. I think. It’s funny, with Jack I knew exactly how far along I was, researched my heart out and tracked everything. With this pregnancy, I’m lucky to remember not to drink coffee. I’ve heard this is pretty normal. Our lives are so consumed with an active 9 month old, that it’s hard to put the same socks on each day. We aren’t any less excited about this second baby. In fact, we are even more excited for Jack to have a little buddy to run around with. I guess I feel like I just did this and really, I’m along for the ride regardless of how much I research things.

Pregnant blogging was so much fun with Jack and I treasure the memories those stories have given us. I knew when I started blogging about Jack that I couldn’t just do it for him – I would need to blog with the second. So, here we are. This time around it will be fun to post updates about baby baker #2 and slip in cute photos or videos of Jack. The dogs will make an appearance as well. Little do they know what is about to hit them……I think they are just now getting used to Jack crawling around on them. Just as they get comfortable….BAM! Another kid. Poor puppies….

We hope you all enjoy our adventures as we gear up to grow our family even more!

Jack Lewis Baker

Hi everyone!

By now you all know of Jack’s arrival and I must say it has been busy since he made his debut a month ago. Here is what has been going on with us….

The Labor
On January 4th, I woke up having small contractions that were irregular. I carried on with my day, went to work and continued monitoring the contractions. They started getting a little stronger but were still irregular. I had a scheduled doctor’s appointment that afternoon and went in to check things out. Meanwhile in Nashville, Mom and Dad grabbed their bags, drove to the airport, checked in for the Seattle flight and awaited my doctor’s assessment to decide on whether or not to get on the plane. Our doctor said that I was 4 cm dilated and could have contractions for a couple more days and that it was hard to say that tonight was the night. So, my parents left the airport and drove home. Three hours later I was admitted to the hospital. As soon as Jenna heard I was admitted she hopped on a plane from San Francisco and was at the hospital as I was still in labor.

I progressed faster than anyone thought. Our labor nurse told me that with the next child, we should come in as soon as the contractions are strong since I almost didn’t make it for the epidural. From start to finish it took just under 8 hours for Jack to arrive. I was pushing for two hours. During the first hour Jack was moving right along. However, the second hour he wasn’t progressing any further. So, we had a vacuum delivery. For those that aren’t familiar with what that is, it is essentially a suction that they put on top of the baby’s head peeking out to assist in the delivery of the baby. I only had to push three times and Jack Lewis Baker entered into the world at 1:32am at 8lbs 3oz and 21.26 inches long. Click here to see photos Scott took at the hospital. You should be able to click “View Album” below to see the photos.

Coming home
Mom and Dad arrived soon after Jack was born. They, along with Jenna, helped Scott and I come home and get settled in. After Dad and Jenna left, Mom stayed with us for a week and was a tremendous help. It was such a special time for us as we both got to know Jack and helped to get him situated while Scott was away at school. The number of times Mom got peed on made it extra special, I’m sure :)

Jack has been busy eating, sleeping and filling his diapers. We knew he would go through a lot of diapers, but……..wow. In his down time, he has been smiling and posing for photographers. We had photos done at the hospital (Click here) and also had photos done at our house by our friend Lee Robinson (click here). I am so thrilled with both sets of photos and happy that we chose to take the time to get these done. He has already grown so much.

I go back to work on February 19th with mixed feelings. Time has flown by and I’ve so enjoyed getting to spend each day with Jack. It will be sad to drop him off at day care however, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of working. Just wish I didn’t have to be gone from him for 9 hours.

Thank you all for your support during our pregnancy. I went back and read all of the blog posts and loved reliving the memories – especially the quesadilla story. We will keep this site up for now and start writing again when Bambino Baker #2 comes along. Jack will need a sister :)

Check out some additional photos and videos. A special thank you to George Rue for the amazing artwork he created for Jack’s room. It is so special to have a piece in his room that a family member made. Thank you!!

Mary Kate

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – a gift to you!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and have fun plans ahead for the New Year. Our family had a fabulous Christmas in Seattle. Scott and I are so lucky to have had all the family and significant others out to our house to spend time with us this year. All total we had nine people staying here and it was so much fun! I was treated like a queen with so many helpers around to make sure dishes were clean and food was on the table. Thank you to you all for your help.

Our visit started with a Christmas Ship Cruise around Lake Washington where we got to listen to Christmas carolers and view the Christmas lights from the water. We then spent the next day finishing up some last minute shopping and heading to the Seattle Seahawks and SF 49ers football game. Christmas Eve was busy with everyone parting off to their own corners of the house wrapping presents while Christmas music was on throughout the house and delicious smells of holiday baking filled the kitchen. We all went to Christmas Mass and then over to Bev and Carson’s house for delicious gumbo!

Christmas Day was perfect. The tree looked beautiful with all the presents under it. There was something special for everyone including Mom and Dad’s gift of Royal Dalton dolls that used to be our late Grandmother’s and were passed on to us. It was such a touching gift – we all cried. Miss you Big Sue! The second part of Mom and Dad’s gift was a trip to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel for high tea! It was so beautiful and the food was delicious. Other special moments of note was SB’s gift from the family. Sara has wanted a French Bulldog for a LONG time. Seriously. A long time. We all decided it was time to put her out of her misery, thinking she wasn’t going to get one, and so we found a fawn colored French Bulldog that SB has named Mr. Smith (a.k.a Smitty)! He will be the latest addition to the four-legged Feistritzer/Baker family and we can’t wait to meet him!

One last gift to the family was a surprise from Scott and me. Everyone has been dying to know the name of Bambino Baker. There have been great guesses. My favorite include Butch, Bubba, Thor – you name it. So, for Christmas, we decided to reveal the name for our families on Christmas Day and for you here – reading this blog post. Bambino Baker’s name is:

Jack Lewis Baker

Jack is a family name on both sides of Scott’s family. And Lewis is my father’s middle name. We couldn’t be happier with it. Now all we need is a baby :)

Speaking of the baby – Jack (so cute) is on his way! I am 3 cm dilated now and 80% effaced. His heart beat is slowing down, which is normal as he prepares to come into the world. My doctor said she wouldn’t be surprised to see me back in there in a couple of days. I’m still taking it day by day and not trying to get my hopes up. But boy would it be fabulous to have him come soon.

I will update you all on the progress. Who knows, maybe my next blog post will be from the hospital as I’m distracting myself from contractions :) It’s getting so real!!

Hope you all had a wonderful time with your families!

Love you!

Lots of baking happened in our kitchen!

Lots of baking happened in our kitchen!

Dad feeling for one of Jack's kicks

Dad feeling for one of Jack’s kicks



Nilla watching over the commotion

Nilla watching over the commotion

Porter coping with 9 people to watch over

Porter coping with 9 people to watch over

Sara Beth discovering her gift of Smitty!!

Sara Beth discovering her gift of Smitty!!

The Baker Boys and Grandma Gwen

The Baker Boys and Grandma Gwen

Scott making me feel better - 37 1/2 weeks!

Scott making me feel better – 37 1/2 weeks!

Update on Bambino Baker – 35 1/2 weeks

Hi everyone – it’s me again! Sorry for the hiatus from blogging. Lots and lots has been happening. Where to start?!

Since my last post, we have had two wonderful baby showers. One was in Nashville and the other in Seattle. A special thank you to Aunt Becky and Aunt Linda for hosting the shower in Nashville and Anne and Bev for hosting a shower in Seattle!! Both were great and we got so many wonderful things for Baby Baker.

Speaking of Baby Baker, his room is almost complete!! I still need to hang things on the wall and the rocker is being delivered (yay!) but here are photos of the room as it stands now. My parents came out to help with the nursery and my oh my did they help! I’m in love with the grey color that is on the walls. The bedding, crib, curtains, everything is just so precious. Seeing it all come together makes me want to meet our bundle of joy that much more. He and I are going to have a wonderful, calm place to get to know one another in the wee hours of the morning.

One special addition to the nursery is Big Sue. For those that weren’t at the shower in Nashville, Big Sue is a giraffe that Mom found at the Vanderbilt Children’s gift shop. My late grandmother was nicknamed “Big Sue” and as we were trying to name this new friend for Baby Baker, Big Sue seemed so fitting. Since the shower in Nashville, Big Sue has traveled to Seattle in a a box top and box bottom taped together to fit her tall figure. Who was waiting to meet Big Sue at the door?? Porter!! I had been telling him all about Bambino Baker’s new friend. Little did he know what he was about to encounter. Check out the video we took of their introduction. Big Sue is now in her spot in the nursery and Porter has gotten somewhat used to her. Slowly. I think there is just a mutual understanding of existence…..until Scott sneaks in the room and moves Big Sue to another corner and Porter is on alert once again :)

I can’t believe we are only 4 1/2 weeks away from Bambino Baker’s delivery date! Wow. Scott and I had an appointment today with our OB and it was very positive. She said I am 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. For those that are wondering what these numbers mean…..2cm dilated is how much my cervix has opened to allow Baby Baker to travel through. 75% effacement means that my cervix has thinned out 75% out of 100%. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis he drops closer to the cervix. The cervix softens, shortens and becomes thin (effaced). When the cervix is 100% effaced, that means it’s completely thinned out, leaving just the opening at the bottom of the uterus for the baby to come out. It took our OB by surprise how low the baby is sitting. She actually moved me up to start with my weekly appointments now so she can monitor me. This isn’t necessarily a sign that he will be early but it does show that things are progressing!

I will now start blogging weekly (promise!) as we get closer to keep everyone up to date.

Check out pictures of the nursery and the bump at 35 1/2 weeks!

Somersaults, fasting and ratios

Our bambino is a mover and shaker. I honestly think he is constantly doing the Macarena dance inside my belly (watch the first 15 seconds of this video for the full effect). He is past the little kicks and small bumps we used to feel. Now I get full-on elbows across the stomach and multiple jabs which I’m sure are head bunts. I’ve also started to feel the rhythmic flutters that happen when he has the hiccups (so cute!) It’s just surprising to me that we have 2 1/2 months to go and I feel like this baby already could be a cabbage patch kid.

They say, “An active baby is a healthy baby”…… However, I still had to go through the gestational diabetes test. For those of you not lucky enough [insert sarcasm here] to know or experience what this is, they make pregnant women fast for 12 hours then go in and have their blood taken, drink a nasty, sugary drink they claim tastes like “fruit punch” and then take your blood 3 more times every hour. Whoever thought making pregnant women fast was a good idea is beyond me. It was probably the same man who invented pantyhose. Anyways, they are testing for Gestational diabetes which is a specific type of diabetes that can develop in some women late in pregnancy (usually after the 24th week). Women who develop this complication do not have diabetes before becoming pregnant. Those crazy hormones running through my body can can have a blocking effect on insulin and cause diabetes. Thankfully, my test came back negative and I went and ate a huge piece of chocolate cake (not really, but I wanted to). I also was told I’m not anemic and everything else checked out as it should.

After my test I met with my OB. She and I had a nice visit and discussed preferences for when I go in to labor, what role Scott wants to have in the delivery, etc. She and I are on the same page as far as a birthing plan goes. The birthing plan is a way to get us thinking about what our preferences are but once we go in to labor, things may change and likely will not go according to plan. So, Scott and I will have our preferences and go with the flow as things progress. Typically ultrasounds are done and over with at 20 weeks unless there is a valid reason to do another. Scott and I will get to see our bambino one more time before he is delivered. Nothing to be alarmed about, at 32 weeks our doctor wants to do an ultrasound and measure him again. At our 20 week ultrasound, bambino measured in the 96th percentile. 96th percentile! However, on the outside when they measure my belly, I am measuring about a week behind where I should be. She is almost positive that the size of bambino to the size of my belly ratio is off because I’m tall and tucking him in nicely. So, as a precaution we get to see him again! I promise to report back after we have the ultrasound and let you know if he is in fact doing the Macarena.

This weekend I travel to Nashvegas for a baby shower. I can’t wait to see everyone and hang with the family for a few days. This will be my last flight until after bambino arrives. Pictures to come.

Check out my 29 week bump (that’s 7 1/2 months pregnant people!)

29 weeks

Pregnancy Brain

As most of you know, I’m usually on top of my game. I’m organized, detail-oriented, timely and all around put together (if I don’t say so myself). But, for whatever reason, pregnancy is diminishing those qualities. Some examples of this unfortunate diagnosis are: cracking an egg in the sink instead of the bowl to make mom and Jeanne scrambled eggs, turning my car off without putting it in park (sorry Sccott, it only happened once…maybe twice), switching up the dogs and their food until they stare at me to fix it before they eat, putting salt in the banana bread instead of sugar, walking out of the house with two different shoes on….you get the idea. What, might you ask, is causing this decline in attentiveness? Well, I asked the same question and came across “pregnancy brain.” Yes, this is a real term for when women don’t feel as sharp as usual when they’re pregnant. However, it is important to note that pregnancy does not change a woman’s brain – read on for what some of the professionals are saying:

“If you read pregnancy manuals and listen to pregnant mothers – yes, there is such a thing as pregnancy brain or momnesia, and there is also evidence from research showing deficits in memory,” says Helen Christensen, PhD, of The Australian National University.

But “the evidence from our study shows that the capacity of the brain is unaltered in pregnancy,” Christensen says.

During my research I also found that surging hormone levels and new priorities may explain why pregnancy brain is happening to me.

“There are 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen marinating the brain during pregnancy, and these hormones affect all kinds of neurons in the brain,” says Louann Brizendine, MD, director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco.

“By the time the woman delivers, there are huge surges of oxytocin that cause the uterus to contract and the body to produce milk — and they also affect the brain circuits. You only have so many shelves in your brain so the top three are filled with baby stuff,” Brizendine says.

Thankfully, my IQ doesn’t change with “pregnancy brain”….however, as expected, my priorities have. I’m spending a lot of my time thinking about the changes our bambino will bring and how to take care of him. As a result, my short-term memory is suffering and, I’m going to go with the theory that, this memory impairment may be helpful so that I will forget about other stuff and focus on caring for our child. To combat pregnancy brain, I have begun to really rely on Siri. What did moms do without Siri? So, if you find me brushing my teeth with hair gel instead of toothpaste just gently nudge me and I will come back around – I promise.

Check out the photos from our baby shower in Ste. Genevieve, MO. Scott and I traveled there for his cousins wedding last weekend and his family hosted a nice shower to celebrate Baby Baker! The baby clothes line was adorable. In keeping with our German heritage, it is a German tradition when a family is having a baby for friends and family to hang clothes on a clothesline outside their home.

The nursery comes together

Mom and Jeanne came to visit us in Seattle this weekend and boy were we busy!

The “Baby Baker nursery team’s” adventure started out with a trip to University Village, an outdoor mall. We stopped first at Pottery Barn Kids and commandeered the nursery section. I had found the bedding set “Organic Safari” online but couldn’t find it in stores until this weekend. Seeing it up close sealed the deal. I was hooked. The animals on the quilt are just adorable and the color palette  was exactly what I was drawn to. We moved on from the quilt to the bedskirt to the bumper pad and stopped. The sheets were a little too busy so we put that in our back pocket, for a future purchase, and started looking at paint colors. Pottery Barn, of course, has paint colors and we flipped through the samples trying to find something in the grays/blues/toupees palette. Finally, the team came to the end of the sample book and found our color!

Satisfied with our progress, we smugly left Pottery Barn Kids and walked to The Land of Nod in set of crib sheets. We were not disappointed. We found two sets of bedsheets and an adorable Aardvark. By now we were hungry so we stopped for dinner and finished up the evening with a trip to Fireworks where we found a cute giraffe, books and a onsie that matches the bedding!

The next day, we found ourselves in Babies “r” us. For three hours. Yes, three hours. What took so long you ask? Well, Scott and I somehow roped Mom and Jeanne in to walking around with us while we registered. I’m sure if there weren’t 50 different kinds of pacifiers to choose from along with all of the other choices you find yourself overwhelmed with – it would have gone much faster. Having said that, we got a lot accomplished. The crib and bedroom furniture is decided and we picked out several other bigger items that Baby Baker will need…….along with tons of cute clothes, toys and adorable items that might not be a necessity but sure are darn cute.

I am so excited at the progress that was made and thank the “Baby Baker nursery team” for their assistance. Before this weekend, I had lots of  ideas and to-dos on my list and it was very satisfying to check them off. Seeing everything slowly come together makes me even more anxious to meet our bundle of joy. I can’t wait for him to hug the Aardvark and Giraffe for the first time and dress him in his first outfit that Mom bought him to wear home from the hospital. He is going to be welcomed into a lovely home with a very loving family.

Check out the sneak peak photo of the nursery items (including the paint color at the top and our inspirational pillow) as well as some of the cute clothes he is starting to accumulate in his wardrobe.

Sanders, saws and nail guns – oh my!

We have been in the thick of our “nesting renovation.” It started out by getting kicked out of our house for a week while the hardwood crew came to sand and stain our floors. So, our growing family moved to Carson and Bev’s and we thank them for having us!

After the floors were stained and the fumes disappeared, it was time for the Baker men to move in and lay down the cork flooring. This took several days since there were three rooms of flooring and lots of math and cutting boards involved. The cork flooring looks divine. It is soft underfoot and absorbs sound. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and the best part………THE CARPET IS GONE.

Now that the floors are installed, it’s time for the trim. Before we started this project, I don’t think I realized all of the thousands of options you have for baseboards and door trim. You can add decorative blocks, shoe molding and so much more! Finally, after several trips to molding stores, we settled on our pattern. The downstairs bathroom and pantry are installed and we are working on the rest of the downstairs. It is amazing what new baseboards do to the look of a room. Those pictures are to come!

On the baby front I am 24 weeks today! Our bambino is squirming every which way and he is getting stronger each week. Other developments include:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance and you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. The sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze him when he hears them outside the womb. Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Scott and I went to Dispatch Friday night. It was a great concert and we enjoyed the downtime away from renovation work to enjoy great music. This week Scott is at Skamania Lodge to start classes for his MBA. Then on Friday, Mom and Jeanne are coming to Seattle!! I can’t wait to see them and hopefully the nice weather we have been having holds for their visit.

Hope everyone is enjoying the first signs of fall. I love this season……

It’s a………….BOY!

Wow! It’s been a while since we have written a post. Sorry, it’s been busy around here!

I’m sure most of you know already but in case you don’t – the Baker streak continues, our little bambino is a boy! We are thrilled and excited to meet HIM. Now we can really start planning and it feels even more real to know whether our bambino is a boy or a girl. I’m in love with our little man…..

Last weekend we traveled to KY for a wedding and then we drove to Nashville to hang out with my parents. It was great to see our friends and wonderful to spend time with family. I’m glad we got to visit and share the developments of our bambino.

As I mentioned before, we have been busy! We are in the middle of doing a slight renovation to the downstairs of our house. The floors are getting redone, the carpet ripped up and replaced, new baseboards and doors installed and redoing the half bath. The demolition started this weekend and the hardwood guys are coming next week. We should be laying new cork floors, to replace the carpet, next weekend and wrap up before Scott has his first day of school for his MBA program. Oh, let the nesting begin!

Our baby boy is growing and growing! The bump has continued to expand and it seems like he grows bigger each day. I will be 22 weeks tomorrow and it’s so cool how most things are already developed. Check out the video that shows what’s happening between weeks 21 and 27.

I promise it won’t be another 2 weeks for another post as I’m sure there will be stories to share of pregnancy hormones and a remodel! Give Scott your support :)

Love you all!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers