Archive for April, 2010

The Best Years

Four years ago, I got up early on a Saturday morning.  I went to a salon with some of my closest girlfriends and had my hair done in a classy bun.  I went to Panera with the girls to eat a little brunch and then went to a beautiful outdoor garden.  I carefully applied my make-up, put on a sparkling white dress and had some pictures taken.  I got a rose and a sweet note from a cute guy.  I anxiously looked out the window at my friends and family arriving.  I made to sure to hide from the cute guy.

My dad came and said it was time.  We looked at each other nervously and waited for our cue.  I put my arm in his, reminded him of his line and we stepped out for all our friends and family to see.  But really, all the preparations were for the cute guy.

I had eyes for only him.  And I smiled, and I walked toward my future. 

Toward the one I would come to spend my days and nights with.

Toward the one I would take road trips with.

Toward the one I would watch LOST and theorize with.

Toward the one I would “quit” Mountain Dew with. At least 20 times.

Toward the one I would wake up in the middle of the night to pray for me when I had a bad dream.

Toward the one I would buy Fruity Pebbles for at the risk of the judgement of the cashier.

Toward the one I would cry with when our grandparents died.

Toward the one I would split dinner chores with—he to cook the meat.  I, the sides.

Toward the one I would go on walks with and one day get a puppy with.

Toward the one I would get annoyed with because of his(imagined?) ailments.

Toward the one I would ask every week, “If you were on American Idol, what song would you sing?”

Toward the one I would discover Yagoot and Zip’s Café and Boi Na Braza with.

Toward the one I would weep with over the loss our first baby.

Toward the one I would run half marathons with.

Toward the one I would compete with over who would get to use the bathroom first.

Toward the one I would have cheering me on to PUSH so we could meet our little girl.

Toward the one I would climb mountains with (and run from thunderstorms above treeline with).

Toward the one I would spend my life with.

The mundane, the fun, the beautiful, the heartbreaking, the exciting.


The rest of that day four years ago was a blur.  Vows and kissing and cake and dancing and mingling.  Driving away in an overly decorated car as Mr. and Mrs. Royce Baker. 

 Toward the best years of our lives…


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Before there was Annelise, the Baker family expanded when we brought home a 2 pound ball of fluff who we named Sunny.

Royce and I always knew we wanted a dog.  My mom and dad have two papillons named Radar and Stormy.  One night, I had a dream that we had a brown and white papillon named Sunny.  It was destiny.  We always kept our eyes peeled for a little pup that would fit the description. 

Sunny (in the middle) with Stormy and Radar

At the end of June 2008, we found the perfect little guy for us.  We went to see 3 papillon pups near where we lived at the time—one girl and two boys.  We decided ahead of time that we would get one of the boy pups because the girl cost $100 more than the boys.  We met all three dogs, and they were so funny.  The girl dog and one of the boys just ran around in circles chasing each other.  The other boy was a bit timid.  He backed away when we tried to pick him up.  We wanted a dog that was confident and liked to be around people so we picked out the dog playing.  The one with “personality”.  Our family of two became three…

And boy were we right about him.  Sunny has enough personality for a whole litter of dogs.  He is a total extrovert and loves people.  If he took a personality test, he would be all choleric (with maybe a little sanguine thrown in there).  He is dominant, opinionated, confident, a tad overbearing and the most persistent dog I’ve ever known.  He prances like a little pony when he walks, but plays like a Rottweiler.  When we go to the dog park, he spends all his time getting huge dogs to chase him around. 

With his best buddy Scooby

When people come over, he just about loses his mind.  He jumps up and down and runs the length of our apartment.  If someone is sitting on the couch, he has to be sitting behind them, using the back of their head as leverage for his giant chewie.  Every night he tries to sleep as close to our heads as possible.  If anything is out of place in our apartment, he barks at it.

The word I use most to describe him is scrappy.

One of the most common questions we’ve been asked since Annelise was born has been “How is Sunny doing?”  I’d say he’s pretty good. 

Very interested in being near her…

Enjoys snuggling with her…

Perhaps a bit intrusive.

Happy Birthday Sunny!  We love you very much.  So does Annelise, even if she’ll grow up thinking your name is “Sunny-down” or “Sunny-no”.  Thanks for being a member of the Baker family!

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3 Months

Dear Annelise,

Mommy can hardly believe that you’ve been in our lives for three months already.  Although part of me can’t remember what life was like before you.  What did we do with our time?  What did we talk about?  We took so much sleep for granted.

 You are such a joy to have around.  You have started smiling like crazy this month.  You smile in response to other people now, not just at the joy of passing gas.  You have such a little flirty smile.  You grin really big and turn your head down and to one side.  It melts my heart in a pile on the floor Every. Single. Time. 

You also really like to talk to us now.  You will just lie on the floor chattering.  I wish I could imitate your noises for you on here, but suffice it to say, they are the sweetest sounds Mommy has ever heard.

You don’t really enjoy being on your belly, even though you’re getting so good at holding up your head.  You solved this little problem though by learning to roll over from your belly to your back.  You did it for the first time on April 1st.  I thought maybe you’d fooled us and that it was just an accident, but we flipped you back over, and you did it again (this time, Mommy got it on film!).  You’ve done it several times since then, but sometimes you just get frustrated and forget how to roll.

You definitely recognize Mommy and Daddy.  You lock eyes with us and flap your arms around to get our attention and can watch us even from afar.  Which makes me feel terrible every time I leave a room.  Because you just watch me with your huge, gorgeous blue eyes.  And I feel so guilty leaving you.  And I explain that “Mommy just needs to go to the bathroom”, but you don’t understand that quite yet.

You got some of your first vaccines this month.  The first one was oral, and you *loved* it.  You smiled and smacked your lips…yum yum yum.  Then, came the shots.  These you were not so crazy about.  You cried and cried and broke Mommy’s heart into a million pieces.  You were kind of fussy for the rest of the day, but you really enjoyed the baby Tylenol so that made up for it a bit.

You had to go get more vaccines today.  Mommy wasn’t able to go with you this time because of a fever.  I cried this morning because I couldn’t go, and I knew you would experience pain and that I wouldn’t be able to comfort you.  Even though your Daddy is perfectly capable of taking care of you and comforting you, I just wanted to be there with you.  But Daddy said you were so brave and barely cried at all this time.  I was so proud of you.

Another exciting milestone in your life this month is that you got to see the ocean for the first time.  Well, the Gulf of Mexico.  But I think it counts.  Daddy and I took you to Panama City Beach, Florida for a week with college students.  It was sooo fun, and you were unbelievably good.  I think the whole trip there and back, you maybe cried for 2 minutes total.  It was such a breeze.  I loved seeing you interact with the college students.  I pray you understand how uniquely loved you are by so many people.

You have a lot of nicknames.  We call you Annie, Snugglebug, Cuddlebug, Smiley Cyrus, Annelise-y, Girlie, Pretty Girlie, Gorgeous. And Fartface and Stinky…those might not be quite as endearing I suppose, but trust me, they definitely fit.

Your sleeping through the night has been up and down.  Recently, you have been getting up once sometime between 4:00 and 6:30 in the morning.  I’ve tried to explain to you that there is a vast difference between 4:00 and 5:30, but you don’t seem to understand yet.  As hard as it is to drag myself out of bed, as soon as I see you, I feel so good.  Your face just brings life to me.

I’m going to be honest, little girl.  I had no idea how much I would love being your mommy.  I thought I would like it okay, but I feel like I’ve never been so made to do anything in my life.  I love nursing you.  I love dressing you up.  I love giving you baths. I love praying for you.  I love singing to you and reading with you.  I miss you when we’re apart, even for just a couple hours.

Motherhood is full of paradoxes.  On one hand, I can’t wait for you to get to the next stage (laughing, talking, etc), and on the other, I beg you to not grow up and to just stay my cuddly little girl.  I want you to be independent and not need me to be around, but when I watch someone else feed you, it sort of breaks my heart.  I want you to be used to other people holding you and taking care of you, but then I watch and want to yell, “You’re doing it wrong.  She doesn’t like to be held like THAT.  She wants to be held like THIS.  Just let me do it.”  But I don’t.  I sit back and watch because that is what is good for you.  And for me.

I hope you know how much we love you. (Although in all honesty, you probably won’t understand until you have a little one of your own someday)  Seriously, our life was incomplete without you, and we didn’t even know it.  Thanks for all the joy Annelise.


Your mommy

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