Baker's Partial Dozen

Baker's Partial Dozen

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where do I begin?

It's now 3:30 am and I am not asleep because of so many epiphanies/thoughts/emotions going through my head. Today (I guess technically, yesterday) I had so many little things happen that led to some massive self-reflection, that now my brain is completely jumbled with it all. I'm hoping that by typing, I'm able to make some sense of it.

It all started with a voice lesson. I have a student singing a very depressing song, which contains a lot of rests. Well, during the rests, she would completely tune out. She's a very expressive singer, so it was very noticeable that she was tuning out. I started to explain to her that the very best performers are those that can communicate well, especially during the silence. In fact, the silence is what leaves room for both the performer and the audience member to soak in and feel what has just been sung.

After saying this to her (something I had heard many times from my mentor teacher, and decided to embellish on), it took me back to a performance I was in, in 2002. This performance was the world premiere of a song called O Jerusalem, written by Robert Kyr. This performance had a huge impact on my life for one reason... silence. Kyr had written this piece in response to the 9/11 attacks. Before we sang it we had a minute of silence for what had happened... this was not the moment of silence that made the impact. After the 12 minute song (incredibly written, by the way), there was a complete hush over the crowd for about 3 seconds (even quieter than the minute of silence before). After that 3 seconds, there was an immediate standing ovation and not a dry eye in the cathedral. I feel that the standing ovation was due to what was felt in those 3 seconds more than it was about the performance or the piece.

The reason I bring this all up, is for a number of reasons:

  • I realized after a week of complete lack of motivation (not only for weight-loss and exercise, but for life in general), that I have stopped feeling. I think this is due to all the many trials that I feel have bombarded my little family's life the last year and a half. Rather than dealing with them the healthy way, I chose to turn off reactions, vulnerability, and sense of feeling.
  • Every performance I've gone to has seemed mediocre, even though other's have raved about the same performances. 
  • I've not been able to find anything that satisfies me.
  • Most of all, because I realize that I have created a lack of silence in my life.
I know this sounds like a classic case of depression, but please save your comments and hear me out. Last week in church, there was a talk about 'why we attend church'. I thought it was a very strange topic, and honestly only heard about half of the talk because I was distracted by my child (or rather I distracted myself with my child). However, after today, I really thought about it and realized I was only going because I'd always gone, and that's just what I do. Why have I lost my zest for church? Because I've lost feeling, Heavenly Father's most powerful source of communication.

Scott and I had a long conversation about how we no longer feel anything just before he (emphasis on he) went to sleep (which really got this jumble rolling), and all I've been able to think to myself is that Satan has us exactly where he wants us. In our conversation I remember saying, "It's funny that we are supposedly more powerful than Satan, but somehow he seems to have gotten the better of us."

In that same conversation, we talked about how we're both the kind of people that hate down time, so we always fill it with something. Why do we hate "down time" so much? Is it because we think too much (for us, this could be a large part of it)? Though I realize too much downtime is a bad thing, I realize that we are making a bad choice to block out silence, the prime time for Heavenly Father to communicate with us.

It all came to an emotional point tonight, when I had an incredible 'tender mercy'. At one point, while all these thoughts were swimming through my head, and I was tossing and turning, Jayna woke up screaming. I went in, somewhat annoyed, to pick her up and console her. As I was sitting in silence, rocking my beautiful gift from Heavenly Father, she looked up at me and stared deep into my eyes for a while and then smiled the most loving smile I have ever felt. I never knew I could feel such a deep connection of love! Then, I realized, in this incredible moment of silence, that it was Heavenly Father communicating His love for me. He loves me so much that he trusts me with this incredible spirit that seems so much more advanced than me. He trusts that I will raise her to be a strong, faithful woman in a world with so many issues.

Heavenly Father knew that this was exactly what I needed and he was just waiting for the right moment of silence to communicate it to me. I'm going to try to remember that I need to cherish these moments of silence and keep myself open to feeling so that I don't get dragged down by all of the trials of this life. I'm going to do my best to be a good mother, wife, daughter, sibling, and friend. I'm going to remember that Satan is the one who wants me to fill the silence with clutter and to not feel anything. Why am I letting the being that doesn't love me win me over? No more!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This post is mainly going to be about my "eating right" woes, so if you're not interested, quit reading ;).

It's funny to me how different it is trying to lose weight with a skinny-mini husband and baby in the house. Don't get me wrong, the first time I lost all my weight it was really difficult. I never allowed sugar in my house, I would only allow myself to eat out about once every 3 months (and even then I tried to make it healthy), and I exercised practically every single day. Not only did I exercise, but I walked a minimum of about 5 miles a day. Keeping meticulous track of what I burned and ate, it still took me 6 years to lose 116 lbs. That's right, no miracle story of losing over 100 lbs in a year. My body has always seemed to be reluctant to lose weight. Sadly, even though I tried to convince myself and others that my main motivation for weight loss wasn't to draw in men, deep down inside it was. I was lonely, knew I had a lot to offer, but could never get a date because I didn't find myself beautiful enough (and men didn't either).

Now that I've got an incredible husband that still loves me even though I've gained back 70 lbs, I'm having a very hard time finding my motivation. Though I want to be healthy and a good example for Jayna, I just can't get jump started! There are many factors that make it much more difficult now:

  • I have a husband who can't gain weight, and to say he's addicted to sugar is an understatement. Needless to say, there's always sugar in the house... Something I have a very hard time combating, though I'm getting better at it. (I make him keep all of his stuff in his cupboard, which I'm not allowed to open.) He also loves to eat fast food... something that never used to tempt me. Sadly, if someone else is eating something, I feel left out if I'm not eating it too. Stupid, I know, but this is something I have to overcome somehow.
  • It's negative degrees outside. Walking has always been my way to get fresh air and exercise all at the same time... something I need to feel better and more energized. Before, I would go out in the cold anyways (if you know me, you know I love the cold). However, I can't take little miss Jayna out in this weather and by the time Scott gets home it's dark outside.
  • I've forgotten how much less energy I have when I'm heavier. Some days, it feels like I'm lifting 1,000 lb legs... no joke. I know that the only way to combat this is to make myself move so I can start losing weight and gain my energy back.
  • Every time I go to set a meal plan and schedule, Jayna has something else in mind. Many days, I don't get around to eating until about 2 pm because my cute little munchkin can be a bit high maintenance. I'm trying to come up with quick fixes that can be eaten with one hand.
I know it seems as though I'm dwelling on the negative, but these are legitimate concerns/problems. I've tried many things to try to motivate myself:
  • Looked up motivational quotes and ideas on pinterest.
  • Wrote my own motivations down and read one every day.
  • Forced myself to exercise when I absolutely didn't want to.
  • Tried to get creative with healthy recipes.
  • Renewed my BodyBugg subscription so I'm motivated to move more.
  • Set a schedule for laundry and housework.
  • I'm trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Am trying to be a better wife and mother.
I think that when spring hits and I can get out of the house a little more often, I will feel better and more motivated. Until then, I will continue trying to find indoor motivational tools :s. Yay for the lifelong battle of weight management. If you have a high metabolism, be grateful!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Here and There

There's no specific reason for this post. From now on, rather than calling it "Ramblings", which I stole from my sis-in-law anyways, I'm going to call it "Here and There".

  • We finished the lighting in the kitchen and it looks soooo much better! It's amazing how just changing out some old, ugly, big lights makes such a huge difference!
Again, here's the before
 and here's the after.
I like it so much better! 
  • Since I've married Scott, he's often joked about me gaining a child rather than a husband. Hilariously enough, I feel like I now have 3 children instead of one. That's right... Scott being my first child, Jayna being my second, and Scott's friend Cory being my third. Think I'm joking? This is what I see just about every Saturday...
I just laugh because they remind me of a couple of 8 year old boys all excited about their football game. Usually Jayna just stares at them, but was actually playing when I took the picture.
  • Jayna rolled over for the first time this week (actually second time, but the first time was just an outburst of rage)! Once she got onto her belly, she was so mad that she cried herself to sleep almost instantly... She abhors being on her stomach. It was so funny! I was super excited and was congratulating her and shouting hooray, but she definitely didn't join in on the enthusiasm. She hasn't done it again, I think because she really doesn't want to end up on her tummy. I need to force her to do more tummy time so she can roll over onto her back, but her little stomach is so sensitive that she throws up almost every time I put her on her tummy.
  • Jayna must be hitting yet another growth spurt... she has been sleeping all the dang time. I'm not complaining because I can get a lot done, but I must say I miss playing with her while she's asleep. She is so fun right now... she giggles all the time and is so responsive! I just love her to death!
  • We got her this adorable little hat to wear out in the cold... well, I think it's adorable. Scott apologizes to her every time we put it on for putting her through public humiliation. You can judge for yourself, but I think there's nothing cuter!

You can't tell me that's not adorable!!!
  • I just can't believe how much she's grown recently! I see newborns at church and can't remember when she was that little, and they're almost twice the size she was at birth. Crazy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On the Charts!

Jayna had her check-up today and she's finally on the charts!!! Yay! She has absolutely hit a growth spurt physically and mentally this last couple of weeks. She's now just one week shy of 5 months... here are her stats:

  • Weighs 11 lb 15 oz (7th percentile) - I no longer see her rib cage :)
  • Is 23.75" tall (15th percentile... wow!)
  • Head circumference is 40 cm (12th percentile)
Way to go little girl! She handled her immunizations like a pro again... Screamed the second they happened and calmed down the second I picked her up. She's been sleeping ever since :)

Little developments she's made over the last month are:
  • Giggles, coos, and squeals all the time - we love having "conversations" with her!
  • Watches her daddy everywhere he goes (even while feeding, it's quite irritating... haha! It doesn't help that he never sits still!)
  • Has discovered herself in mirrors
  • Takes in everything around her
  • Is so close to rolling over, it kills us... Get past that dang arm!
  • Uses all ranges of her voice - her deep angry growl makes me laugh every time!
  • Loves to play with rattles and blankets
  • Will "walk" when one of us is holding her up. (When I figure out how to upload videos, we've got a great one of her doing this.)
  • Goes to sleep on her own and sleeps for 10-12 hrs at night. Ahhhh! It's so wonderful!
  • Is now drinking 6 oz bottles every 3-4 hrs during the day. Her doc told us to try starting her on some solids... we'll see how that goes :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Little home improvements

I took down all of our Christmas decorations yesterday, which is always hard for me because they make me so happy! I guess they make me happy because so many fond memories are tied to Christmas :).

The other reason it was hard for me is because our house is in complete shambles right now, but for good reason! Since I've moved into this house, the kitchen lights have always bothered me... they're just plain ugly. This weekend, Scott replaced the nasty fixtures with spotlights! It makes our kitchen look so much better! We're taking some Christmas money and getting new ceiling fans for our living room and kitchen, so it'll look even better in the future. Here are the old ugly fixtures:

And here are the new fixtures :)

It's amazing how much less cluttered it looks! I'm so lucky to have a handy-man! I'm so amazed at Scott's knowledge in all areas! Here's the problem: Now, in addition to a new ceiling fan, I want to paint the walls (can you believe they put gloss paint on the walls? Such a pain to paint over), stain the cupboards and add handles, get new counter tops, build an island, and get all new appliances. No problem, right? Haha! We also really want to get our basement done... a project we've been trying to start since we got married. Stupid medical bills! One of these days, our desires and Scott's abilities to get these projects done will come to fruition!

We still have yet to transfer everything back into the kitchen because we have yet to get all the dust from the drywall cleaned up, but I'll get that done tomorrow. Nothing like deep cleaning on a Monday morning :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ramblings and New Year's Resolutions

  • After our scare with Jayna, my awesome sister, Stephanie, purchased us a video and movement monitor. It is awesome! It detects Jayna's breathing and if there's no movement within 20 seconds an alarm goes off. We sleep ssssssoooooo much better now! I'm not constantly waking up to go check on her anymore and I feel like a new woman because my sleep isn't constantly being interrupted with worry. Thanks Steph and Conrad!
  • Christmas was great this year. We spent a lot of time with family and were beyond blessed in the gift department! We're particularly excited about the video camera from Nick and Lydia... Can't wait to get lots of good videos of Jayna :) We got some great gift cards, money, electronics, clothing, kitchen items, disposable items (which I hate buying, so we love them as gifts), etc. We're blessed to have very giving parents and siblings! They all helped out tremendously with Jayna, who got crankier and crankier as time went on. She missed her daddy a lot (he couldn't make the trip to Twin Falls) and was probably over stimulated considering she went from 2-3 people to 7-21 people... Kind of a big switch for her.
  • We're continuing to battle our hospital bills and on top of it, had to get Scott's car fixed (about $1200). We know that everyone has to battle these kind of expenses, so we're just taking it as it comes... I get a little dramatic about it whenever my hormones flare up, but such is life. Haha!
  • I'm absolutely loving this cold weather, unlike everybody else in the world! Ever since getting pregnant, I've not been able to cool down. My last day in Twin Falls, the weatherman said it was 2 degrees outside. As I loaded my car, I kept intentionally walking in deep piles of snow in my flats with no socks because it felt so dang good to me! I think my internal temp is way too high! Hopefully it regulates sooner rather than later.
  • I get really excited at the New Year. I'm a huge fan of New Year's resulotions! Though I rarely keep them to the end of the year, I feel it provides me a great start and I'm a better person, even if I only keep them a few short weeks. Here are my resolutions:
  1. To only watch 1-2 hours of TV a day. I started watching quite a bit of TV when I was on bed rest and continued whenever I fed Jayna. Then I started just leaving the TV on. Boo! There is soooo much crap on TV and I used to not watch it at all... I didn't even have an antenna! I realized recently that though I'm not watching the TV a lot of the time it's on, Jayna is soaking up everything that she hears. Bad mother of the year! No more of that!
  2. To update my blog once a week. I've been much better about journaling since starting my blog, but I want to make sure that I continue to capture moments as they happen, no matter how seemingly mundane.
  3. To exercise the equivalent of walking 1 mile a day. This seems so lazy seeing as I used to walk a minimum of 5 miles a day, but I'm learning how much more difficult it is to get exercise in with a child... especially since I can't take her out in this cold weather. Not to mention, I'm way out of shape now. I'll probably increase this goal as I go. If I can't walk my 1 mile, 30 minutes of indoor exercise can replace it. This also means that I can skip a day and do 2 miles the next day. I've made a chart with 365 boxes that have to be checked off by the end of the year.
  4. To take my vitamins every day. I feel so much better and more energized when I take them!
  5. To try to get to my pre-marriage weight by the end of the year... that's 43 lbs away. Just less than a pound a week. Totally achievable, but I'll have to work hard.
  6. To be prepared for my Join Our Journey meetings by researching, preparing, and creating valuable and motivational ideas.

Christmas letter 2012

Hey all!

This is the first ever Baker Christmas letter! 2012 has definitely been a year to remember! We’ve experienced many changes and have had many ups and downs, but the biggest change was the addition of our adorable Jayna Lynn to the family. Here’s a bit of what we’ve experienced this year:

Scott has been on his journey to find a career after graduating with his Political Science degree. Unfortunately, because of the economy it’s been a bit rough. He became a PSR (psycho social rehabilitation) worker in May, which is working for right now, but he’s still on his quest… Hopefully 2013 will look up for him J. Scott is an incredible father and Jayna absolutely loves him. I love the way she looks deep into his eyes, as if to say, “You’re the best daddy ever!” whenever he bathes her. There’s nothing more precious to me than watching Scott with Jayna!

 Not wanting to get out of her bath

I have definitely had a memorable year. I actually lucked out and didn’t have any morning sickness during my pregnancy… but I think that was to prep me for the aftermath. Haha! After a month of bed rest because of pre-eclampsia, I was hospitalized for 2 weeks and induced 4 weeks early. After 3 days of uneventful labor, they took Jayna by c-section. Luckily, there were no major complications and Jayna and I were both able to go home 4 days later. Since then, I’ve had gall bladder surgery (after an ER visit for the stones) and had to go back to the ER for kidney stones! That’s right… C-section, gallbladder surgery, and kidney stones all within 3 months! Boy, has it been fun! Though it has been trying, I must say that quitting my job at Boise State to become a mommy has been the biggest adjustment of all. I absolutely love being a mommy, but definitely miss my job at times. I am still teaching voice at home, which helps fulfill that a bit.

Little Miss Jayna is just as adorable as she can possibly be! She is a spitting image of Scott and I just can’t kiss her cute little cheeks enough. After 3 months of being colicky, she’s finally a happy baby and sleeps for about 10 hrs at night (lucky mom and dad J). She has a condition called laryngomalacia, which basically means she has a hard time breathing because she’s underdeveloped. Luckily, she should start improving in the next few months and will outgrow this condition by the time she’s 2 yrs old. At the appointment I did get to see her cute little vocal folds… She’s definitely my little soprano in the making ;). She just reached 10 lbs 8 oz at 4 months… She’s a little thing, but the best things come in small packages! A few weeks ago she had a chemical reaction to some room spray and gave us a huge scare! I can honestly say that I cannot imagine my life without her! She is such a blessing!

 Bless you!

Though we’ve been tried and tested more than we could possibly imagine this year, we are so incredibly grateful that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed us in many ways. Scott and I have grown really close through our trials and are so grateful to have found each other! We are so madly in love with Jayna and can’t imagine life without her!

We hope you find joy through this Christmas Season!

Lots of Love,
                                                                        Jerusha, Scott, and Jayna Baker