Thursday, December 6, 2007

And for some BIG NEWS...

We are expecting as most of you probably know or have gathered. We are in our 15th week and are due June 14th. I am feeling fine and have gained back some energy with the passing of Trimester #1. We have another five weeks or so until we find out if the Baker name will carry on or if we'll be having another little princess. We can't wait!

View some photos here!



Fall Fun and Christmas anticipation

Lorelei is having a blast being outside with Daddy in the cool Fall weather. She loves the leaves and wants to be literally by his side while he does everything!

She is saying more and more every day and after counting, we have realized that she has a vocabulary of over 30 words that she uses without prompting! This kid amazes us daily. She is still a peanut and weighs a little under 20 lbs at 15 months. Lorelei is also working on some more hair so that Mommy can put some tiny little pig tails in that she has been waiting for!

With the house decorated for Christmas a whole new batch of words have emerged in Lorelei's vocabulary: tree, pretty, Santa etc! We put up our tree last weekend and she has been very well behaved around it. She touches it and then says "no-no"! We are excited to see her face when she sees Santa for the first time. But we are prepared for some tears and the fact that I will most likely have to sit on Santa too if I want to get a photo of her without tears! (Stranger anxiety).

Here are some photos:

Fall fun


Thanksgiving weekend...

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a blast and were ping-ponging all around seeing family. Lorelei LOVED the turkey and mashed potatoes. We split the day between Grandpa and Grandma Barrow's celebration and the Baker gathering at Matt's Grandmother's house with his Mom's side of the family. The day after Thanksgiving, the three of us and the Barrows (my parents and brother) headed down to Oakdale where my cousin April and her fabulous guy Larry live. My Aunt, Uncle and April's brother had come up from San Diego and so we all had a big feast together! It was so much fun seeing everyone and Lorelei loved getting to know her Great Aunt and Uncle (whom she calls "Buddy-Buddy" now because of a game he played with her) better. The following day we hosted a reunion on the Baker's side at our home which happens to be the old family farm house. It was a blast getting extended relatives together from near and far and all of the kids had a blast playing together.

What a weekend! We had so much fun but felt like we needed a holiday to recover from the holiday! We hope everyone found as much happiness as we did in the celebration.

Photos from our weekend:

Thanksgiving weekend


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lorelei's Halloween fun!

Halloween Party with the Harbins:

On Saturday the 27th of October, we threw a fun little Halloween party with the Harbins (Laurie, Brandon and Brenden) at their home. The babies were adorable. Brenden was a little devil (as were his parents) and Lorelei was a ladybug. Matt and I went as patient and nurse! Everyone had a great time and it was a blast to have our parents and close friends there! Happy Halloween!

Here are some photos:

Halloween party

Lorelei's first time to Phillip's Farm Pumpkin Patch!

On Tuesday, October 30th my Mom and I took Lorelei to Phillip's Farm to see some animals and to pick out a pumpkin to carve! She had never seen farm animals in person although she LOVES them in her books! She knew all of their sounds and she had a blast repeating all of the noises they made! What a great time for her and for me! I have so many childhood memories of Phillip's Farm! A lot has changed but a lot is still the same.

Some photos of our day:

Phillip's Farm

Pumpkin Carving!

The night before Halloween Lorelei had her first chance to carve a pumpkin! She was not very interested in reaching into the pumpkin but she loved stirring the pumpkin "guts" with the big spoon in the discard bowl! It turned out pretty cute and I think she got a kick out of seeing it light up!

Here are some photos:

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween Day and Night:

In the morning we headed over to Matt's Grandma's house to show her Lorelei's costume and to see Uncle John who was in town. Amanda and Ethan were there too! In the evening we headed out to Bradford Circle (the neighborhood where I grew up) for the annual Halloween Parade that my Mom and a neighbor started over 25 years ago! The kids of the original Bradford families now have kids of their own and so some of us met there to participate in an old tradition with our own children. On the first lap around the circle Lorelei tripped and landed on her forehead...a goose egg quickly formed. After a few minutes of wailing, some ice from a nice neighbor and some kisses she was on her way. Poor thing! She will have a bruise for quite a while! We saw Grandma and Grandpa Barrow there and then headed over to Uncle Kyle's apartment to show him Lola's costume. After that we went back to Matt's Grandma's house to meet up with his Mom (Grandma Baker) and the Elrods for some trick-or-treating. Lorelei walked up to two doors with Grandma and thought that being handed candy was a kick! She had fun playing with Ethan, Brosnan, Xander and Uncle John after we made our way back to Great-Grandma's house. By then she was pretty tired and we called it a night.

See some photos here:

Halloween Day and Evening


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lorelei and cousin Ethan...13 months old

Lorelei and Ethan are so fun to watch together! They get along pretty well unless favorite toys are in the mix and then things can get interesting! Lorelei loves to follow Ethan around! It will be fun watching them grow up together!

Some photos of Ethan and Lorelei recently:

Lorelei and Ethan 13 months


Lorelei and her dogs...

Lorelei thinks that Bailey and Baxter have hung the moon. She adores them and thankfully they adore her too! They are very tolerant and she is very hands-on! What a funny trio!

Lorelei and her dogs:

Lorelei and her dogs October 2007


South Lake Tahoe Fun with Barrows

Over October 12th -14th we headed up to South Lake Tahoe to spend the weekend with my parents (Grandma and Grandpa Barrow) who were at a condo. We had a blast with Lorelei. It was a nice, relaxing time for the three of us to bond again since Matt had been working in Salinas for the past 5 weeks and had only been home for short weekends. Lorelei spent lots of time with her Grandparents and the weather was beautiful! We love Tahoe and I think Lorelei liked her first trip there too!

Here are some photos from our weekend:

South Shore Tahoe Trip with Barrows Oct 2007


More from her 13th month...

Well, Miss Lorelei is a ball of energy. She loves to run through the house and her new favorite activity is shutting every door she can find which can sometimes be a problem when she runs into a dark room and shuts herself inside! Lorelei has been enjoying the fall leaves and loves to step on them to hear the crunch. She says "Mama" and "Dada" constantly and points to us when saying it. She says something that sounds like "Lie-lie" when patting her own chest. She says "no-no" before she does something she is not supposed to do and so we always have a bit of a warning that something naughty is coming. She's still learning the concept. She just recently discovered that she has some hair and she loves to take her brush and "brush" it. When asked where her hair is, she reaches up to the top of her head and pulls a few strands straight up. She can now say "Elmo" and "up" and "down". It seems that every day brings a new word. She is still a peanut weighing in at just barely 19lbs. Her bumps and bruises from a rough and tumble first part of the month are pretty much gone and it looks like we have a forehead clear of bruises for the moment! It cleared up just in time for her "1 year photos" which were actually like her "almost 14 month photos". We bought an adorable little dress for her, moved nap times around so that she would be in a good mood and made Daddy come along to help elicit smiles...but it was a disaster! She was an angel while waiting for her photo, but stranger anxiety got the best of her once set down for her picture. She could not be consoled. We ended up with one shot of her sitting and screaming with huge tears streaming down her face and one close-up photo of her that was actually taken while she was in my arms! Oh well. We tried. There are some fun photos of Lorelei with her cousins on the Baker side of the family as well as with Grandma and Grandpa Baker below. She has a blast playing with the boys! She still LOVES her dogs and I am so thankful that they entertain her as much as they do! It has been a fun month and we are looking forward to Halloween next week. Lorelei will be a ladybug!

Some photos from this month can be seen here:

Lorelei 13.5 months


Monday, October 8, 2007

Lorelei's 13th month so far...

Well, Miss Lorelei is now 13 months old and we think the theme for this month should be "crash and burn". The poor little thing has a new bruise every day it seems (the perils of learning to walk) and she is quite independent and so she often does not want any help when walking. But the combined factors of two dogs that run around the house, slippery wood floors and wobbly steps make for a very bumped up little girl! She seems to be LOVING the walking adventure and can get from one end of the house to the other quickly! She is saying more and more every day and has a great sense of humor already. She points to me, says "Dada" and then laughs! She loves pointing out people's toes and shoes and she says both words quite clearly! She has sprouted 4 new molars in the past month (three in on day) and although they are not all totally in, I think the worst of the molar-teething stage is behind us (THANK GOD!) and I am sure she is happy about that too. September was a challenging month for me because I took on the roll of "single parent" for five weeks while Matt was working in Salinas with his Dad on a project. He would come home late on Friday nights and head out by 3:30am on Monday mornings. Lorelei and I missed him terribly and I was exhausted! She loved to greet Matt with an excited "Daddy!" when he walked through the doors on Friday nights. He tried to soak up as much Daddy-daughter time with her as he could on the weekends but the days just flew by too quickly. But, we are all back together now and are having fun with all of the new things that Lorelei shows us every day.

Here are some photos from the second half of September until now:

Lorelei 13 months


Great Grandma Searcy comes to visit!

Lorelei's Great Grandma Searcy (GG-ma) came out from Kansas City for Kyle's graduation from the police academy in late September. Lorelei only took a little bit to warm back up to GG-ma after not seeing her for three months. The two of them became buddies and Lorelei loved reading with her! Hope to see her again soon!

Photos from GG-ma's visit:

Great Grandma Searcy's late september visit 07


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uncle Kyle is now "Officer Barrow"!

We are so excited! Lorelei's Uncle Kyle (Dana's brother) is now an official member of Lodi's Police Department! After over 3 years as a "cadet" with the department, countless hours of volunteering, hundreds of hours of ride-alongs and an intensive 9-month police academy, he was sworn in to the department this past Tuesday morning by the city judge, mayor and Chief of Police. Great job Kyle! We are so proud of you!

Here are a few photos:

Uncle Kyle being sworn in


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, Lorelei is now "1"! Wow! It is hard to believe that a year has gone by. We are having so much fun! I took some cute photos of her out on our lawn on her Birthday and you can see them below. On her Birthday night we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Barrow's house to see Great Grandma Barrow (Granny) and Great Grandpa Barrow (Poppy) who just moved into town from Mesa, Az. She had her first taste of ice cream and loved it. She also left her birthday hat on her head! She really LOVED the attention of the singing and cameras! A week later, we celebrated a co-first-birthday-party with her cousin Ethan who was born 12 days after her. Ethan's parents, Amanda and Robert Elrod (Matt's sister and Brother-in-law) hosted it at their home in their beautiful new back yard. Even though Lorelei was getting over a week of being sick and had a bad rash, I think she enjoyed her party. She even had her first taste of cheese-cake! (Grandma Baker decorated them!) We were lucky to have so many family members present from near and far and Lorelei's Godparents, Christina and Mando Moreno and their boys helped us celebrate as well! What a wonderful time!

Here are some photos from Lorele's Birthday:

Lorelei's first birthday


Lorelei's 11th month

What a fun time this is! Lorelei is talking more and more each day and has taken her first steps. She still LOVES the dogs and is a huge book lover like her Daddy. She loves playing with her piano and especially the big one at Grandma and Grandpa Barrow's house where Grandpa lets her walk on the keys and play it with her feet! She is a real cuddle bug and is very attached to a certain pink blankie. She is getting more and more hair but it seems to be coming in mostly in the back! Lorelei sleeps SO WELL! Usually from 8pm to 7:30am! WOW. She naps like a champ too. We really cannot complain. Eating is always a bit of a challenge because she never wants to slow down to eat! She loves refried beans, chicken noodle soup, peas, yogurt, cheerios, and popsicles to name a few favorites. She quite liberal with her kisses and loves to point out people's toes. What a sweet baby we have!

Here are a few photos from this month:

Lorelei 11 months


Tricia's baby shower!

On August 19th, Christina Moreno threw a baby shower for her sister (and my good friend) Tricia. I hosted it at my house! We all had a blast! Tricia is due on October 15th and is keeping the sex of her baby a surprise! She made out with some great baby-supplies and is so excited! Estrogen was truly dripping from the walls at this gathering and Matt was happy to get out of the house and take Lorelei for the day! The running joke was that there must have been a dress-code since over half of the ladies in attendance were wearing black and white print...including Chrissy, me and Trish! We are so excited to meet baby Robertson!

See photos here:

Trish shower


"Hot August Nights" Reno 2007!

Over the weekend of August 10th-12th the three of us made our way up to Reno, Nevada for "Hot August Nights" (a fun car show with parades and festivities). We went with our good friends Brandon and Laurie Harbin and their adorable little 4 month old baby boy, Brenden. We all stayed at "The Nugget" casino in Sparks, NV and shared a hotel room! Our room was busting at the seems: 4 adults, 2 babies, 2 pack 'n plays, 2 strollers, baby food, bottles, baby bath tubs, coolers full of refreshments and a partridge in a pear tree! What a great weekend. The babies did wonderfully together and Lorelei LOVED the loud cars. She waved at all of the drivers in the parade! She also took her first steps while we were there. So much fun and we're going again next year!

See photos from our weekend here:



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lodi Lake on Grandpa Barrow's Birthday!

On the evening of August 6th (Grandpa Barrow's Birthday), Matt, Lorelei and I as well as Kyle and Aimee surprised my Dad out at the Lake as he and my Mom were getting ready for a kayaking excursion. He had been blindfolded on the way and had no idea of the plans for the evening. He just assumed they were renting kayaks, but my Mom had something better in mind. As we all watched them get into their kayaks my Mom asked him if he liked the one he was in and then told him "you better like these because they are yours!" Just at that moment, the guide shoved his kayak off into the water and he was left speechless! So fun. We took advantage of the beautiful sunset and captured some fun photos of us with Lorelei. Happy 54th Birthday Grandpa Barrow!

View the photos here:

Lola at Lodi Lake for Gpas bday


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fun at the Hofstadt home!

The Baker side of the family spent a great day at Eileen and John Hofstadt's home in Brentwood, CA (no, not in southern the delta region) on Saturday August 4th. Eileen is an old friend of Loretta's (Matt's Mom). We had a blast in thier beautiful backyard and the babies LOVED the pool which had a wading area and hot tub that was cool enough for them to enjoy! It was a wonderful time of great company and fabulous food: ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon and hand cranked ice cream to name a few! Oh yeah, Lorelei learned to clap in the car on the way there!

Here are some photos from the day:

Bakers at the Hofstadt home, Aug 4


Friday, August 3, 2007

Our 2nd anniversary weekend!

Matt and I escaped up to North Shore Tahoe over our second anniversary weekend...just the two of us! Lorelei stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Baker and did wonderfully. Meanwhile, Mommy and Daddy enjoyed some freedom that included sleeping in, uninterrupted dinners and a few drinks too! We had a blast visiting our favorite "haunts" in Kings Beach and we had some fun on the beach too. We even took a "tunnel" tour under Cal Neva casino. It was a wonderful weekend. We missed Lorelei but it was nice to have some time together...just the two of us.

Here are some photos:

Tahoe anniversary


One month shy of "1" for Lorelei!

Well, Lorelei is now 11 months old! It is so hard to believe. A lot has happened in the last month...she has learned to say more words and her vocabulary now includes: mama, daddy, ball, dog, baxter, bay(Bailey), hi, uh-oh, yeah and she imitates "ouch" when we say it. She also can answer the question "what does a ____ say?" with either "woof" or "meow" appropriately! She has imitated my "vroom" sound when I roll a matchbox car! She has quite a bit of receptive language now too. When asked if she wants to "row her boat" she sits in front of us and outsretches her hands ready to row! She also brings us books when we ask her to! She can point out our nose when asked and responds with "yeah" when told no! Oh my. What fun she is! And she is SO close to walking. She often stands alone while holding a toy and cruises the furniture so fast! She did a 360 degree pirouette unsupported in front of Daddy the other day. She loves to play chase games and craws at warp-speed when you say "I'm gonna get you!". Lorelei also loves to pretend to feed Mommy during her meals. She is still a wonderful sleeper (12 hours at night and two 2 hour naps during the day! She is about 17.5 lbs and growing fast! She now has 8 teeth (4 top, 4 bottom) and likes to grind them which drives us nuts! Swimming is a favorite pass-time as is time spent in the evenings on a blanket on the lawn with Mommy and Daddy. The dogs are still her number one form of entertainment. Lorelei also had her first sleep-over weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Bakers for Mommy and Daddy's anniversay weekend in Tahoe. It was a success all around! All in all, Lorelei is a total HAM and a very happy, busy baby and we are tired but never tired of her! Love to you all!

View photos from this past month here:

Lorelei 11 months old

and here:

Lola 10 months


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sad and Unfortunate...

When I lived in Sacramento I worked for a great little engineering firm, German Engineering. It was owned and operated by the most amazing couple I have ever known, John and Lois German. John and Lois are two of the most generous and giving people a person could know. Over the course of nearly four years while I worked at German Engineering, John and Lois helped out many different people, giving them jobs, teaching them skills and compassion, and as a surrogate family for as long as they could. Often times the employees were not skilled enough to operate a stapler, but John and Lois still worked with them to at least give them enough to get by. They are just amazing people.

Anyhow, while I was working there they hired a guy who had graduated from CSU, Sacramento, which is where John teaches surveying. The employee's name was (Juan) Peyton Menendez. Peyton was a problematic employee from pretty much the day he was hired. He was never quite able to arrive at work on time, he had a difficult time with the surveying and wasn't quite able to master the drafting portion of the job. Several times he came to John and Lois and asked for some favors that would have really bothered some people, but they were always there to help him in any way they could. Following the examples set for me by John and Lois I too invited Peyton into my life and tried to help him out. In order to help him get to work on time I invited him to stay on my couch several nights a week. He would come over after work and my roommates and I would feed him, give him beer, company and pretty much anything else he needed. This enabled me to physically wake him and drag him to work each morning. In a house of 5 permanent roommates Peyton was always welcome and accepted. It seemed to help for a while, especially since he never seemed to get along with his own roommates wherever he was living at the time. During this period all of us roommates had noticed how odd Peyton was and how scary some of his "daydreams" were at times, but hey, who were we to judge, we were all a little weird.

When Dana and I were living in Eureka I got a call one morning from Lois telling me that "Peyton had done some very bad things" and that I had better read the Sacramento Bee newspaper online. After being fired from German Engineering, Peyton worked for a large engineering firm in Sacramento, Carter and Burgess. He was fired after working there for only 3 months or so. About one month after being fired, Peyton went to their office early one morning and killed a former coworker.

I cannot even imagine the impact this event has had on either of the families of this tragedy. I consider both Peyton's family and the victim's (Mr. Topor) family to be deserving of all of my sympathy. I can only share the pain and sorrow that an outsider can feel while looking back in. Peyton was a good friend while we spent time together. He never did anything to purposely hurt or negatively affect anyone I knew, and he always tried to be overly-conscious of whether he was imposing on someone. It is because of these things that I cannot grasp how he could commit such a horrendous act. It can be very tough being the disassociated past-friend. There is no appropriate place for me to discuss my feelings regarding this event since I am not family and was not an active part of his life in the year or two leading up to this terrible event. Nonetheless this has weighed heavily on my mind and heart since the moment I first heard what had happened.

On Friday, May 18, 2007 Peyton was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of parole. I only hope for Peyton that he can come to accept what he has done and know true sorrow and regret. I hope that the families are able to find closure and solace in his incarceration. I am relieved that justice can be found without needlessly taking another's life in exchange.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Which Lebowski Character Are You....?

This one is for all of you Lebowski lovers out there... Take this quiz to find out which Lebowski character you are.

According to the "Which Big Lebowski character are you?" quiz:

Why don't you check it out? Or we'll cut off your Johnson!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lorelei Growth Stats Revised! Lorelei had another doctor appointment today and either she has shrunk in length almost two inches or there was some serious mis-measuring going on at her checkup a week ago! The last measurement was 28" for her length, but the doc measured twice today (to be sure) and she is most definitely only 26.25" long! are her revised stats (along with her new weight from today's appointment).

9.5 months old:
length: 26.25", percentile: 9th
weight: 16.5 lbs, percentile: 5th

So, now she is no longer our string-bean, but our little itty bitty "beanut"!


Monday, June 18, 2007

June fun for Lorelei

Well, Lorelei is now 9 and a half months old and is as busy as ever. It seems as if every day she shows us a new "trick" that almost always involves us keeping an even CLOSER eye on our little mover and shaker! She LOVES to help us hang laundry (it is too hot here to run our dryer during the day).

Actually she "helps" us to unload the basket of wet clothes onto the grass as we are trying to get the clothing on the line. But she thinks it is a kick! Pretty much every activity that she chooses involves standing and she is starting to really enjoy pushing her walker. Lorelei can now point out my nose when asked "where is mommy's nose?" but I believe that she thinks that only Mommy has a nose- no generalization yet. She loves pointing to everything now! She's been making a silly fish face lately and seems to always be experimenting with new ways to contort her face and make us laugh. Her smile has changed quite a bit now that her two top teeth are coming in! She is looking less and less like a baby! Lola has also started to imitate the "woof" sounds a dog makes and as always, LOVES Bailey and Baxter. She spent a nice Father's day with her Daddy (since I was in bed with the flu!) and made Matt really work for the title of "Dad"! What a fun time this is!

Check out some photos here:

9 month fun


Monday, June 11, 2007


So, Lorelei had her 9 month well-baby checkup today and here are her stats:

Weight: 16lbs 4oz
Height: 28 inches
Head circ: 44.5 cm

Height for age percentile: 61%
Weight for height percentile: 5%
Weight for age percentile: 5%
Head for age percentile: 55% sum it up, our little "Lola-Bean" is our little "String-Bean"! Healthy, but lean! Probably due to the fact that she is so darn busy all of the time that she burns off all of the calories that she takes in!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Lorelei is 9 months old!

How is it that our little girl is 9 months old already? This past month has been a BUSY one...she has sprouted three more teeth (with another about to pop through), she has learned how to crawl (and FAST!), she has gone for her first swim in a pool and liked it, and she has had a lot of fun outdoors too! The dogs are still her favorite form of entertainment and she loves them to pieces and they can't seem to stop licking her so I assume the feelings are mutual (or she just has left over carrots stuck to her face). She has also started baby foods with meat and LOVES cheerios, pieces of banana and rice cakes. She is a busy, busy little girl and loves her new found independence with crawling but is not quite sure that she wants Mommy and Daddy to get too far away. What a fun time this is!

P.S. Babyproofing an 80 year old home is no piece of cake.

Check out some of Lola's 9 month photos here:

lola 9 months


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fun with extended family!

We had Great Grandma Searcy (Dana's maternal grandmother) in town from Kansas City for a week and had a great time with her! Lola took a bit of time to warm up to her and she kept staring at her white hair, but eventually Lorelei found a buddy in GG-Ma. We also got together with Dana's cousin April and her boyfriend Larry for a BBQ with GG-ma. It was such a blast to be with family and Lola loves to entertain!

View these photos here:

Fun with extended family!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Baker family time!

On Memorial Day we spent time with the Baker clan BBQing and swimming! It was great to get Matt's family together and we captured some great photos too!

Click here to see the photos:

Memorial Day 07


Monday, May 28, 2007

Fun with the Millers

Over Memorial Day weekend we were so happy to have our dear friends Darcy, Luke and Sasha (same age as Lola) Miller visit us from Orange County on their way up to a family wedding in Washington. We met Darcy and Luke in the Birth Preparation class that we took at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, CA. Darcy and I had our girls within a week and a half of one another and we spent many, many hours together in the days and weeks following their births offering moral support and sanity to each other! It was sad when we left Orange County to move away from them as well as our other dear friends the Bluniers (Karen Blunier was my nurse during my labor and delivery at Saddleback Hospital).

These two couples were our entire social circle down in Southern CA. It took us a while to meet them, but once our lives crossed paths they were an integral part of our happiness in the time we remained in Orange County...and continue to be now! It was so wonderful to see Darcy and Luke again and we had not seen Sash since we had all spent Halloween together last October, just before we left for Lodi. Sasha was only 7 weeks old at the time and Lorelei was 9 weeks old. They have changed a ton since then. It was adorable to watch them interact and climb all over each other. We had a blast swimming with the babies, walking around downtown Lodi, and having a bonfire with s'mores! We were sad to see them leave, but they'll be staying with us one more night on the way back so the goodbye wasn't too difficult for now!

Check out photos of our visit with the millers here:

Fun with the Millers


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunset Cuddles

We had an hour to kill before Lola-bean would hit the instead of staying indoors with a cranky baby crawling all over us, we headed out to enjoy an hour spent in the cool breeze and beautiful light of a Curry Avenue sunset. We snapped a few great shots in the process!

Here are some of our shots:

Sunset Cuddles


Micke Grove Picnic

We decided to get together with some old friends of mine (Dana's) for a picnic with our families on Sunday. We had our 8 month old there (Lola), a 15 month old (Ashley) and a 21 month old (Caden). This rounded out the baby group. The three of them played very well on the picnic blanket together! The two "older boys", Adam and Cameron checked in with the babies in between runs down the slides! The adults had a blast laughing and cookin' up some hot dogs for the gang. The weather was beautiful and we had a great day. Lorelei even went on her first ride on the swings with Mommy!

Here are a couple of photos from the picnic:

Micke Grove Picnic


Friday, May 18, 2007

The Curry House...No Not Indian Food

Here are a few photos of our current residence on Curry Avenue. The home was built by Matt's great-great-uncle, Lawrence Hosmer, and his wife, Francis Hosmer (who designed it). The inside of the house is beautiful lath and plaster and was constructed between the mid 1920's and the mid 1930's. We have the original hardwood floors throughout as well as a large basement, high ceilings and about a half of an acre of yards (lots of work but fun too!). Behind us are vineyards that used to belong to Matt's family. Our dogs LOVE running through them, but so too do the coyotes and jack-rabbits. We have cool old windows that swing out (and leak like nobody's business) and two great fireplaces. Our kitchen is cute but lacking a dishwasher and disposal that Dana would really appreciate. Matt and I use what used to be his uncle's painting gallery (Lawrence Hosmer was a famous western painter) as our bedroom. The vaulted ceilings and fireplace in there beckoned us although there is no closet. We have another room on the first floor that is Lola's nursery and two more bedrooms upstairs as well as a huge playroom. Here is where we hang our hats for now! Feel free to visit anytime, we have room!

Curry House


Eureka, we found you!

We just returned from a wonderful time visiting friends in Eureka, CA over Mother's Day weekend.

Humboldt rocks!

Lorelei had a blast meeting the gang and checking out the cool weather that was a welcome escape from the heat of the central valley. We took her to all of our favorite places and even showed her the J Street apartment (her Mommy and Daddy's first place together) and the County Lane house where she resided in-utero! We were able to visit the Catalino Family (the family I nannied for while living up there) and introduce Lorelei to them. Lucy, who is now 4, had her birthday party on the Saturday we were visiting and so we were even able to show up for that! Those kids have gotten so big!

We also went by and saw Ryan and Tessa's brand new baby boy, Ruger! Tessa and I laughed to see how our husbands who had not even spoken on the phone in over a year picked right back up where they left off while working at LACO together. We sure do miss them! We loved staying with Kristen, Shawn and Otis! Thank you guys so much! Lorelei quickly generalized that Otis (though not jet-black like Bailey and Baxter) was a doggy like her own and started panting and saying "Dah" to him. Otis was a great sport and allowed her to pull his fur and eyelids and chew on his ears without so much as a flinch. Lorelei also loved seeing Mike and Sara's baby Sasha once again. The last time was when Sasha was 3 weeks old! It was so adorable to see them hold hands and squeal at one another! Zeke and Marina's 4 year old son Owen was also wonderful entertainment for Lorelei. She especially loved how Owen shard his toy snakes and played Peek-a-boo with her. We all had a blast and Lorelei LOVED all of the attention. She was (as we say in Humboldt), "passed around like a little joint!" Towards the end of the weekend she was showing off her skills at walking while holding our hands and crawling a bit too! Spending time with "the gang" once again made us realize how blessed we are to know true friendship, welcoming embraces despite time spent apart and genuine, unconditional love. How lucky Lorelei is to have this extended family. We love you all!

Here are some photos of the weekend. Enjoy!

May 2007 Humboldt Trip


Monday, May 7, 2007

Lola Update

Hello all,

The Baker household is doing well. We are keeping ourselves quite busy but we are finding time for fun too! Lola is such a kick. Sometimes it is hard to believe that so much personality can fit inside one little tiny body like hers! I am guessing that in one of the next e-mail updates I will have to add "cruising on furniture" or perhaps even "walking" to her list of tricks. Oh boy. I am not quite ready for that (and neither are the dogs!). We are looking forward to a relaxing Mother's Day weekend spent among our "family of friends" in Humboldt. It will be so nice to go back to Eureka...the place where Matt and I started our married life together. It is even more special to take our daughter there for the first time. She was only a 5 month old fetus when we left! It really is such a cool place. It reminds us of simpler times (although we wouldn't trade our busier life now for ANYTHING). Happy Mother's Day to all of our friend and family "mommies". Blessings and love to you all.

The Bakers3

Lola Update


Monday, April 30, 2007

Birds of a Feather...Flock to the Bakers'


So, yesterday was Sunday. A good day. Beautiful, clear-blue skies. A day of rest and relaxation. Sunday is a good day in so many ways....except when you find a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest and EVERY PLACE THAT CAN DEAL WITH IT IS CLOSED! Here is how the story unfolds:

I was getting out of my car, about to get Lola's seat from the back when something caught my eye. I saw what appeared to be a fuzzy mound of cream-colored mold at the base of our tree. The little ball of "mold" was sitting on top of a large root coming out from the base of the tree. I thought, "how strange". I looked a bit harder and the mound of mold raised its head! AHHHHHHH. Holy crap, what kind of mutant fungi is this? But oh no, it was a baby bird that must have either been a bit too eager to try to "fly the coop" or perhaps it was the unfortunate loser of a WWF-style nest squabble with its siblings. Whatever the reason, this pitiful little creature was sprawled out on the ground a good 15 feet below where its nest most likely was. I freaked out. Our dogs were running around the yard while Matt was working outside and I had instant visions of our dogs thinking, "wooof, woof, this squeaky toy is cool!". I assumed the wide-leg sumo wrestling position around the baby bird, warding off any incoming pounces from our dogs and SCREAMED for Matt. He left his work in the flower beds, quite annoyed and came to my rescue. We wrangled the dogs and I made Matt scoop it up with his garden gloves. It was so young and helpless and UGLY! Poor thing. It looked like it just wasn't quite "done yet" and needed a bit more time either in its egg or in a warm nest that could have perhaps transformed this hideous little creature into a beautiful swan...or, errrr....a HAWK? Yes. We had found a baby hawk (after identifying it online). Long-legged, long necked, dark beaked and scrawny. It had just enough cream fuzz on its body to make it resemble what grows in a petri dish in most highschool biology classes.

So. It was Sunday (as I previously stated). A day of rest for so many: wildlife rehabilitation experts, the Lodi animal shelter, vet offices, and the Micke Grove Zoo. But NOT a day of rest for me. I was totally stressing about this little bird's role in the food chain and about my responsibility to keep it alive (so it can eat the mice and other pesky rodents that roam the country, terrorizing the likes of city girls like me). We placed it in a shoe box with holes and tried to make a nest for it out of rags. With no expert advice on how to keep a baby hawk alive for 24 hours without a mamma bird, food or nest, I went to the Internet. Everything I found said, "if you find a baby bird on the ground, LEAVE IT". They must be nuts. This poor little thing would not have survived 10 more minutes in our yard of insane dogs. The online experts said, "if it has tail feathers, try to run it off into some bushes or a more sheltered area....or try to make a nest out of a margarine tub, place the bird inside and nail the tub up in a tree as a temporary nest where its mother can then find it. YEAH RIGHT! This bird was first of all not much more developed than what I crack into my frying skillet in the morning and in NO WAY could be made to "run off" into a sheltered area. And I would not even consider shimmying up a tree to try to put the bird back. Back where???? I understand the idea of the "survival of the fittest", but allowing that to happen with this little creature just seemed cruel.

And so began our evening of twiddling our thumbs and nervously checking to see if the bird was still alive hour after hour. At around 8pm, I decided to try to hydrate the poor little thing. We had a medicine dropper and filled it with water. As soon as we tapped its tiny beak with it, the little ball of mold came alive, stretching out its ugly little neck and cracking open its beady little eyes, desperate for a bit of food. It is a hard task dropper-feeding a baby hawk. Just let me tell you. Despite the fact that I refused to touch it (due to thoughts of bird flu dancing through my head), it is REALLY hard not to drown the poor thing while trying to introduce just a drop of water at a time. At one point I thought we had killed it. It just sat there, gurgling water- motionless. That was it. I was done playing mamma bird. At least it wasn't thirsty any more. But it must be hungry, right? What the heck do I feed a "bird of prey"? If it was a baby sparrow or blue jay, I could have chopped up a garden worm and tried to squeeze some into its mouth. But how the heck do you feed a baby carnivore? Do I hunt down a mouse and put it in the blender? Or do I chew up some raw steak and spit it down its throat? Good God. After these contemplations, I figured he was fine with just water.

We brought the shoe box inside and placed it on our coffee table where we heard "cheep, cheep" ALL NIGHT LONG! When I woke up it was quiet. I figured that the poor thing had died during the night and I would just have to burry it. But upon lifting the lid he came alive! He stretched out his long fuzzy neck and screamed for food. I was not going to try to figure that one out again. So I started with the phone calls. Thank God the Lodi animal shelter agreed to take him and pass him off to a lady that rehabilitates these little guys. So, I loaded him up and put the box on the front seat. I tried to ignore the other baby bird that lay dead in the same spot that I found the first. I couldn't do anything for that little hawk, but I was trying my darnedest to save this one. I arrived at the shelter and was met by an Animal Protection Officer with the Lodi PD. She opened the box, scooped the bird up with her BARE HANDS and said, "cool...its a hawk!" Glad she thought it was so cool because at this point I just wanted it off my hands. She opened up her breast pocket and plunked him inside saying, "he needs to get warm". After seeing the mess he left in the bottom of his box overnight, I couldn't help but cringe. I am, and always will be an animal lover. Perhaps this is why God always puts them in my path. Good ol' Catholic guilt does not allow me to just pass by. I didn't know if this little hawk would make it, but at least he made it through the 24 hours in my house without dying and making me feel horrible for not saving it. I am so grateful for that. So now he is poopy-pocket-officer's responsibility and I am happy about that. Good luck little buddy. Live long...prosper...and hopefully, become more attractive in the process!


P.S. 2 images attached


Lorelei's New Trick

Hello all!

I know I just sent out an update, but Lola has a new trick worthy to note! She has (twice), pulled herself to a standing position in her crib...and can do it very easily with a bit of help. Thought I'd send a few photos of her. She looks so proud of herself in these! Little stinker. I cannot believe she will be 8 months old on the 2nd. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun (and changing diapers/making bottles constantly!). Love to you all.

Here are some pictures

New Trick