June 20, 2011

Just like Jake

Aidan has a new hero, besides daddy of course. Lately he has been obsessed with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He wants to be just like Jake! He has been asking me for a treasure chest the past few days and so finally, today I emptied my little jewelry box and gave it to him. I wish I would have gotten his reaction on video because it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He was beaming and was soooo excited to have his very own treasure chest! I pulled out his pirate halloween costume from last year and he was the happiest kid on earth.


I whipped up a red “pirate bandana” just like Jakes and I’m pretty sure it was the quickest, easiest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever made. Seriously, he LOVES it!


The very 1st thing he asked me was, “Mommy can I have gold doubloon’s?” Of course! How could I forget? Now, Jake doesn’t just get gold doubloon’s for nothing, he has to earn them. I gave him a job, he did it and so I gave him a gold doubloon (quarter) to put in his treasure chest. He was so helpful this morning, cleaning up all of his toys to earn more gold doubloon’s. This is gonna get expensive.


I guess there is an episode where Jake has a necklace in his treasure chest? I haven’t seen it but Aidan kept asking me for a necklace to put in his treasure chest. Yay! Finally, my dream came true! I don’t know why I’ve always wanted my kids to love stringing stuff like cheerios, fruit loops, beads…they’ve just never really been interested. Instead they would eat the goodies and they’ve never been interested in beading:( This time was different. Both Aidan & Maya were so excited to make a necklace to put in their treasure chest. They didn’t want to wear it, they just wanted to put it in their treasure chest.



I think this is my favorite obsession of theirs to date because there is so much we can do with it! Love my little pirates!

Mini Me

Last week my friend, Chelsey came over to finish up her crochet headband that I was teaching her how to make (which by the way are super cute). I walked away from my ball of yarn and crochet hook for 1 second and look what I found! 


My little mini me trying to crochet:) The cutest part was when I tried to take it away from her because she was destroying my ball of yarn, she freaked out! She was really lovin’ it! So, I got her some yarn that I didn’t care about and she was in heaven.


Don’t you love that she is wearing her ear warmers? She wouldn’t wear them in December but come summer time and she’s all about it…stinker;)

Here is a picture of the headband:


The flower is on a clip, so it comes off. I just love how cute it looks on my girls! It’s been my most recent addiction. Pretty sure I’ve made at least 10 of them!

June 18, 2011

Dear Tiffany,

A woman named Tiffany left a comment on the previous post. She happened upon my blog by googling “g-tube removal” and my blog post about Aidan’s g-tube removal popped up. I’ve actually noticed that a lot of people are led to my blog via that post. I’m grateful to know that it has been helpful to somebody. I don’t know how to contact Tiffany so here’s a post for her, in hopes that she’ll swing by once again and see it:)

Dear Tiffany,

First of all, thank you so much for your kind comment. Like you I feel “not so alone” when I meet people that are going through or have gone through the struggle of g-tubes and trachs. Until you go through it, you just can’t understand the stress and worry that comes with the territory, right? Just want you to know, I understand! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it. My heart goes out to you.fff I can’t imagine having 2 with a g-tube at the same time + the trach. Talk about H A R D!!! You are superwoman! I would love to give you more info on the trach removal process but I don’t know how to contact you:( This blog post is for you and I sure hope you wander onto my blog again and read this. E-mail me at jessbaker321@gmail.com so that I can get in contact with you.

Here are a few links to blog posts I made about Aidan’s trach removal process and also a couple to Arabella’s trach removal. Aidan's 2nd pH probe, Aidan's trach removal, Arabella's pH probe, and last but not least (I hope this doesn’t happen to you) Arabella's trach removal...yikes!

Tiffany, I wish you the very best. I know it’s hard but keep it up and yes, you are definitely right, it is all worth it to wake up to their sweet little faces every day. What little miracles and blessings we have!

June 15, 2011

What’s working for me

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I’ve been struggling with “depression” the past few months. I put quotation marks because it doesn’t always feel like depression. I think that is a common misconception. Most days I’m fine and dandy, just crazy tired! Other days I have little motivation to do much of anything and every once in a while I’ve felt down right depressed. I did decide that I was going to try everything in my control to dig myself out of this hole without taking prescription meds and I even spoke to my doctor about my game plan of which he is very supportive of. Want to hear it? Here it is:

*1st and foremost, I’ve accepted that it is depression. I was in denial for a little while because I didn’t like the image of self pity and ingratitude that I though the word would cast on me. Lesson I’ve learned? It’s ok. It happens to A LOT of people and it doesn’t mean we are wimps, it just means we have a lot on our plates and that’s how our body is handling the stress.

*2nd my AMAZING husband has become super dad/husband. He is stepping it up and making it possible for me to have a little more me time and even spoiling me a bit:)

*3rd I’m joining 24 hour fitness!! I am SO excited about this one! I’ve been doing a 14 day trial and taking the Zumba class at night…LOVE IT! We are gonna fork out the money because it is so worth it for me to get plenty of exercise. Also, they have a kids club there where I can drop my kids off and they can play and color and have a great time while I work out! Can’t wait!

*4th I’ve developed an early bedtime routine. I try to be sure to be in bed by 10:30 or earlier if I get sleepy, preferably after taking a shower and drinking my herbal sleepytime tea:)

*Last but definitely NOT LEAST~ I’ve been taking this:


Let me just tell you, this has made ALL of the difference! I would absolutely recommend it to anybody who is suffering from depression. Now I’m not naive enough to think that this is the magical cure for everybody. If you are struggling with exhaustion and the occasional mood swing I think it could work but for those who have a life long battle that they are fighting, I really don’t know, but I think it’s worth a shot.

Doing all of these things has made me feel “normal” again and I’m just so grateful every day to feel good.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t still had bad days. I was quite the grouch yesterday, but then again I guess that is normal, right? Anyway, I just wanted to share all of this incase there is somebody else that could use what I’ve learned in the past few weeks:)

June 11, 2011

Random Happenings

DSC_3311      DSC_3313
Did you know that you can give your kids a cup and a pile of rocks and they’ll be entertained for a really long time?
It’s true. Try it!
We initially went out to release a baby lizard that had been starved. I saw it in one of the kids toy bins a few days ago and just ignored it because that’s what you do when you live in Florida. They are harmless and don’t bother me as long as they are little. Anyway, I saw it again in the same bin days later. It was so skinny so I put it in a cup and released it into the wild in front of my house.
Can you see it? It’s to the left of the raisin I also put out there for it to attract ants for it to eat. Clever, I know ;) Poor little guy.
In other news, we got another table for the kids from Ikea. Their table only seats 2 and Arabella was feeling left out. They were so excited. They just HAD to eat breakfast there.
I couldn’t handle how cute it was that Maya’s feet didn’t reach the ground.
Can she stay little forever? Please!

Beach Day!

Since we’ve lived in Florida we’ve only been to the beach a hand-full of times. Sad, I know:( It just wasn’t something I’ve been interested in doing since Arabella had the trach and I’d have to stress about the sand. We’ll guess what, trach is gone so to the beach we went!

Please be warned, half a million pictures to follow:

Lunch on the beach.


You might ask, “What did Arabella think about the beach?” Allow me to show you:)



Slowly but surely she started to warm up to the sand a bit, after she realized that we brought along some toys.


Before long she was all about the sand & water.




After Rich took her out in the ocean, I spent the rest of the time trying to keep her from drowning herself. She LOVED it!

Maya also loved the water…a little too much. This girl is fearless which makes me a very tense and nervous momma. She was all about standing in the water and then running from the waves.



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Aidan was such a crack up! I think he laughed more than any of us. He would run to the water and throw his bucket in the shallow end and when a wave came up and filled it he would grab it and run, laughing like crazy, trying to beat the next wave. This is gonna make me look so mean but I thought this was so hilarious! He would freak out when a wave would get too close and this time he fumbled a bit:)





He was crawling so fast because he knew a wave was coming! hahaha!

So very happy with his bucket full of water.


Then he would fill up Arabella’s bucket of sand, which made her happy.


It was a lot of work but it was SO MUCH FUN!


One of my favorite moments: Watching the kids sitting on daddy’s lap, waiting for waves to wash up on them. They would all crack up every time. It was priceless.


We will be back again…soon!

June 7, 2011

I have an 18 month old

Today, I officially have an 18 month old.
She is cute, fun & feisty.
She loves fresh fruit, rice & chicken, oatmeal, gummy vitamins and milk.
I have an 18 month old that is sweet and affectionate. She gives kisses and hugs and bright, beautiful smiles.
She is an excellent walker and an even better dancer.
I have an 18 month old that loves, loves, loves her big brother and sister.
She loves to pester and annoy them by hitting them and taking their crayons.
She loves it when they give her attention.
I have an 18 month old that just graduated to the closet. She no longer has to sleep right next to my bed and gets my walk in closet all to herself:)
She has such a strong personality and knows what she wants and makes her demands very clear. So much spunk for such a tiny little thing!
I have an 18 month old that is a total momma’s girl. She loves her daddy but mommy is her world.
Does that make me the luckiest mom in the world? I think so.

June 6, 2011

Granddad McKinley

It has been a rough couple of months for the Baker side of our family. I can’t even describe how badly I wish I could be there for them during all of these trials that they have had to face. Recently, Rich’s parents house burned down, dad's mom passed away and just a few days ago Granddad McKinley, mom’s dad, passed away. He was such an amazing person. Not only do I know I will miss him, I already do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him but he was a big part of our lives.


He flew all the way out from California to come to our wedding in Illinois. I remember the night before the wedding was the 1st time I met him. Rich was so excited for me to meet his Grandpa and I knew why just seconds after I met him. He gave me the biggest hug and after talking and getting to know him a bit he went on to tell Rich all about the research he had done on Nauvoo, Illinois. He was excited to learn about Nauvoo’s rich history and even showed us some pamplets he had picked up. He loved to learn. That is such an admirable characteristic that I hope to instill in my children. What better example to follow than that of their Great Grandpa McKinley.


He was a man of many accomplishments but I think he would agree that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He LOVED his family. It was so very apparent to me how much he loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Even from a distance he made sure that he was ever so present in each and every family members life. He never missed any of my little families birthday’s, always making sure to send a card that would arrive in time. How did he keep track of the dozens of birthdays you ask? A spread sheet! Seriously, Grandpa McKinley, you are AWESOME!

He never forgot about the individual. When Aidan and Arabella were born and were in the NICU, he called. It really meant so much to me. Often people call during the 1st week but few are there letting you know that they have not forgotten you after 6 weeks. He was such a special, caring man.


I am going to miss his Christmas presents. I know that must sound so self centered and worldly but if you knew Grandpa McKinley, it’s not. What an honorable, selfless, giving and CHARITABLE man he was. Every Christmas he would give every single family member a card that explained that he made a donation in their name to Heifer International that would provide those that are less fortunate, around the world, with the opportunity to become self-reliant. THAT is what I will remember most about him. When I think of him I will remember what a big heart he had for the less fortunate.

Matthew 25:40

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

How could I know so much about somebody that I hardly spent any time with? His actions. He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk! We love you Granddad. We already miss you but know that we will see you again. Thank you for the lessons. Lots of love from our little clan.

June 3, 2011


It is naptime. I love naptime. It is the first time of the day that I have a moment to *insert deep breath* relax:) Today I’m not feeling so relaxed though. I’m feeling panic! Why? Because Arabella is in her bed screaming. Does this mean that I don’t get a break today? I soooo need my naptime break!
Oh, how I long for a 3 bedroom house! We’ve had to get a bit creative with naptime in our little 2 bedroom condo. Aidan gets his room, Maya get’s our walk-in closet, which I’ve partially turned into a nursery of sorts and Arabella gets her bed in my bedroom. Only problem is that when Arabella decides to boycott naptime, she screams and wakes up Maya. Must haves for our next place: 3 bedrooms, fenced in yard, craft room/office. Is that too much to ask? Well I’m asking for it anyway.
It just got quiet………nope, just kidding:(
So, I came across some pics that Rich took on Mother’s Day. I really wanted to get some good shots of me and my monkeys, but as usual it didn’t go quite as planned.
We went from trying really hard to get the kids to look happy…
to monkey tickling cuz it just wasn’t working out…
to just giving up.
Think I’m giving up this naptime fight with Arabella.
Ok Arabella, you win. No naptime break for me.

June 1, 2011

You should probably know

I’m glad I opened up about what is going on with me physically but I do think there is something you should know. I hope that nobody read my last post and felt sorry for me and pictured me curled up on the couch all day with a carton of ice-cream and a blanket while my kids run around in their diapers scrounging for food and something to do. I AM NOT A DEPRESSED PERSON. That is what you should know. The doctor diagnosed me with depression but I’m not sad or down by any means. I’m actually the opposite. I’m a happy person with lots of desire to do waaaay to many things.  I wake up feeling on top of the world and then after about an hour my eyes start feeling heavy and I just want to NEED to take a nap. If I do get a nap while the kids are napping, when I wake up I’m good for a bit and then again, I’m tired! I know there is something chemically/hormonally wrong. Yeah, after a few days of being so tired I start to get frustrated and down that I’m always tired but I think the occasional feeling of depression is a result of feeling sleepy.

Now that, that is all said and done I’m gonna move on.

Rich started his last year of Pharmacy school which is all rotations. He doesn’t have class anymore and I’m a little bummed about that because he had the most awesome schedule. Now he won’t be getting home until around 5:00 which is quite the adjustment from having him home at noon! But the great thing about rotations is that when he is home he is actually present and doesn’t have to study. In the end I think it might even be better. No more studying for weeks at a time until midnight! YAY!

His 1st rotation is at the Joe DiMaggio hospital in Hollywood, the same hospital where Arabella was in the NICU for 5 weeks. He said eating in the cafeteria brought back a lot of memories. He will have the entire month of July off so we plan on going out to Missouri AFTER we go to the MANA concert on the 7th!!!!!!!! I am so excited! July is going to be an awesome month. I just can’t wait! Then, when we get back home, Rich’s next rotation is at the pharmacy right by our house! I walk past it all of the time when the kids and I go to Publix to get a cookie. It is going to be so cool to go visit daddy at work on our way to Publix:)

So many great things to look forward to. I’m feeling less depressed already! HAHAHAHA!

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