28 December 2006

Christmas Bellas are Ringing

We had a wonderful Christmas here in the Baker household. Bella was as excited about ripping paper as I had hoped and only slightly less excited about the new toys that resulted from the paper ripping. She is especially proud of her new sled.

Sled Girl

This picture, with its shadowed eyesockets and bushy eyebrows, looks a little sinister. "I will use this sled to take over the world!" After opening the sled, she wouldn't get out of it and we had to deliver all remaining presents to her in the sled to open. See Bella Bunny.

I had a great time with my new camera, I took almost 300 pictures and a few of them are even worth posting to flickr. How exciting! Still a lot of stuff to figure out on it. I especially have trouble getting it to focus on the right thing. I have a lot of pictures with the wrapping paper or someone's elbow in focus.

Christmas Dinner went well--It wasn't quite Rachel Ray's 60-minute holiday special (although I did get to do my Rachel Ray impression, which is HI-larious) but seeing as my dad pretty much cooked the whole thing, it was equally easy. We had prime rib, cheesy potatoes, carrots, snap peas, home-made rolls, salad with oranges and pomegranate, and key lime pie for dessert. Our first Christmas dinner, on Friday with Brent's family, included the traditional and much anticipated German ribs and spaetzle.

And now, as usual, I haven't accomplished much on my post-Christmas to do list, but we have at least vacuumed up the bits of paper and food so it is safe to have Bella crawl around without fishing things out of her mouth every 11 seconds. I also mailed my Christmas cards yesterday. (a remnant of my pre-Christmas to do list.) Yay! I had fun designing and crafting them as always, but with free time so limited I think next year we'll need to do the mass produced kind. That will open up my free time for watching romantic Christmas movies (I did get to see The Holiday. And now I will be moving to England.) and playing more World of Warcraft.

Remaining items on the list include undecorating, writing thank you notes, and reassembling my (destroyed) craftrooom. All fairly enjoyable things, so no complaints here. Enjoy your post holiday lists!

05 December 2006

o christmas tree

This weekend saw much merrymaking, including a trip to the tree lot to bring home the Best Christmas Tree Ever. He is so cute and just the right size, with no gappy places or wonky branches. He looks so cheery and festive with his ornaments.

Christmas gnome

Bella participated in the tree decorating, in an aloof kind of way. First she was excited to discover stuff piled onto her coffee table, which is normally bare. But she showed no interest in the tree himself, just acting like there was no big green thing in the corner taking attention away from herself. Nothing to see here, because I AM alpha baby, Mr. pokey needle pants, and don't you forget it. After a while she settled down with daddy to watch Baby Dance. Which is fairly unfestive while there is tree decorating, but she seemed satisfied.

I also FINALLY got to watch the new Pride and Prejudice this weekend! It was so good. Thank you Margaret for putting up with all of my commentary. Even Bella liked watching it (technically she should have been sleeping). She was in her jump up during the first romantic confession scene and decided to do squeals through the whole thing. That's ok, we have Tivo, I said. (rewind rewind) And she squealed louder the second time. PROVING that she loves the movie! Because don't we all want to squeal when Mr. Darcy says, "All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony." !!

Not much else is new, except Brent and I have rediscovered the delight of putting alcohol into hot chocolate, and now our evenings are top notch. We are currently using 'dutch cream,' but we've used Bailey's in past years. Any suggestions?

28 November 2006

Bella Bunny

Here she is, Bella Bunny, posing prettily for the camera.

Bella Bunny

She is very excited for Christmas, when, she heard, there will be breakfast pastries--her favorite! But for now I told her she had to hide in the basement so the real Bella doesn't see her. She's not happy about it but at least she has some other Christmas toys to keep her company.

The real Bella isn't feeling too good today. Which so far means a lot of sleeping. Poor Bella!

I think my next toy project should be Wicket the Ewok. What do you think?

25 November 2006

getting in the spirit

A day of shopping downtown is the best way to get in the holiday spirit, I think. Here is Bella entranced by Macy's Mary Poppins show.

Waiting for Mary Poppins to appear

It was a great show this year, provoking Bella to point and clap--a combination never before witnessed despite all the amusing antics she is audience to at home. I guess it takes someone sliding up a bannister to get that kind of reaction. Well!

Our day started out with Mary Poppins, then some (attempted) naptime, then some excellent pumpkin soup for lunch, then some downtown shopping (including spontaneous naptime), and happy hour back in the hotel room--complete with warm Candyland Caramel Corn. MMMMmmmm. It was so nice. Usually the evening would have ended with some bundled up parade watching, but unfortunately, parades overlap with little one's bedtimes.

Last night we also bought my Christmas present! A new camera! I am so excited. I turned on the power-shop bargain hunting overdrive and found a (hopefully) good deal. But Brent definitely wins for best Black Friday deal--he ended up getting paid $10.00 for taking home a 1GB compact flash card. Yeah, that's hard to top.

23 November 2006

When Cartman froze himself for a Wii, it was just a joke

Here I am waiting in line for the Wii.

In Line for the Wii

It was 19 degrees (way too cold) and I had to drive to Target at 4:30 am (way too early). But I wasn't way too early, it turned out, I was actually uncomfortably close to way too late, being number 51 in line and knowing that Target only had 60. All it would have taken was one minor riot, a little pushing and shoving, just a few people to have friends secretly slip into line... and I would have slept outside in a frost-covered sleeping bag for nothing! So I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I had that Wii ticket in my hot (make that cold, very cold) little hands. And I just thought to myself, if this were a limited edition Pride and Prejudice console, Brent would be doing exactly the same thing. Except he would have been doing it with a big thermos full of hot chocolate lovingly prepared by his excellent wife.

After receiving my ticket, I had an hour or so to practice lying to Brent. I couldn't exactly breeze in on a Sunday morning in Will Steger arctic explorer garb and act like I'd just run out to check the mail. So I thought of various lies and settled on telling him that I was number 61. How heartbreaking! Except that when I walked in the door, I didn't look heart broken. I was giddy and overall delighted with myself. 61! Can you believe I was 61! I went up to the bedroom to change and got busted jumping on the bed. And I quickly crumbled under his inquiries.

Oh well. It sure is fun playing 'tennis' in the living room! AND I believe this means I get my present early too!

15 November 2006


And isn't she even sweeter in an awesomely handknit sweater (and booties!) from her favorite aunt Amy??

picot edge set

Bella bunny is proceeding nicely. She now has whiskers! And they're curly! (don't ask me, I have no idea). I made huge progress last night at StitchnBitch, probably partly because I was all knit, no chat (exact opposite of usual). Kind of defeats the purpose of getting together with the gals. I was concentrating quite hard on getting all the little facial parts securely on so that Bella "I am Entropy" Baker can't accidentally swallow a nose pad.

Bella (non-bunny version) had cheesy scrambled eggs and half an avocado for dinner. Which looked so delicious as she happily crammed it into her mouth that I made myself the same thing. Yum! Last Saturday she ate 3/4 of a full-size, waffle iron waffle, and I was so proud of her waffley preferences that I got all choked up. I haven't given her pancakes yet. I'm a little afraid of the loveometer falling a few degrees if they end up chucked onto the floor. "uh oh."

I am very excited to take Bella (again, non-bunny) to Baby Loves Disco this weekend. Not that I'm a big disco fan. But I am a big fan of pillows and bubble machines and snacks and admiring other babies and, of course, getting a little boogie woogie on. Bella's going to dig it. She especially likes to dance to George Michael "Faith." She knows it's cheesy but she just can't help herself.

Last week Brent and I decided Bella needed her own Amazon wishlist. Because kids these days, they know what they want. So we set up a comcast email account for her, used that to get her a (more lasting) gmail account (much gmail id agony). Then used that to get her an Amazon account and then created her wishlist. And yesterday I noticed a little button on MY wishlist, "Create a Wishlist for your Child!" Um, yeah. That would have been easier.

And I find it interesting that www.peppercam.com is no longer a pepper plant watching site or a computer programming conference in Iowa site, it's now a Dental consulting site! Because that makes perfect sense!

10 November 2006

star light star bright

Life was getting a little hectic. I forgot picture day at Bella's daycare (she looked super cute that day anyway, coincidentally), the house was a pit, we were officially out of all types of food, even the kind you would feed a baby (especially that kind, since Papa John's doesn't deliver it), the bunnies were, let me say, a complete disaster, and I hadn't gotten a chance to work on any projects since 2 hours at Stich n Bitch on Tuesday.

Then I hung up this. And now I feel so much better.

star light star bright

So pretty. It's actually not a Christmas decoration (although I was listening to Christmas music at the time, since Brent was safely three cities away). It's just a light for Bella's playroom. The room is wired without an overhead light, but all the bottoms of the plugs are on a wall switch. So you can flip a switch and voila! Come to think of it, maybe I should have made it the breakfast room instead of the playroom. Coffee, toast, bottle warmer, we could have everything at the flip of a switch!

At Slob's request, here are Bella Bunny's ears:

Bella Bunny can hear you now

I think they turned out ok, although I probably could have done a nicer job. We'll see how they look all stuffed up.

I talked to my mom today and Rochester got 9" of snow. I first heard it on voicemail and my intial reaction was, "POOP! They always get the good weather!" Which, come to think of it, is still my reaction. Poop.

08 November 2006

peppercam, now with beady eyes!

Actually, I think they are more Strong Sad-y than beady. Hey, we can’t all be Edward Gorey. Although I'm not ashamed to admit I’ve tried in more than one graphic design class. Some of us think we’re being all spooky and disturbing and it just comes out all orange and curly. Kind of like when Butters on South Park tries to become a super-villain but only comes up with “Professor Chaos” and wears a tin foil super suit.

Well, I was needing a little art project and am actually pretty happy with it. I can’t imagine being original and artistic every month, dooce style. Although maybe if I had a chopstick-balancing, wig-wearing, retractable-fanged dog, I would be more inspired. Or maybe then I would have even less time because I would be taking care of a stupid dog.

Now I can get back to my previous art project, Bella Bunny—-cutest knitting project ever. Last night at Stitch n Bitch I finished her ear. This was unfortunate for Bella Bunny, because last night Dunn Brothers was indistinguishable from Como Zoo monkey island. Not only was crazy cabaret guy there singing (thankfully, NOT about John Kerry killing babies) while banging on the piano, but crazy bean roaster employee was also there doing her spring cleaning on the roaster, complete with shop vac (shop vacs are for This Old House SHOPS, crazy bean roaster lady, NOT coffee shops during peak coffee shop time) and oven-cleaning-cycle-like smoky haze. Add to that my favorite part, the frosting on the vacuum-cabaret cake, the woman at the adjacent table who had just FOUND HER BOYFRIEND on the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions website. I know this because she was heatedly describing his criminal record in detail to someone over her cell phone and I could just (nosily, I admit) pick up phrases like, “identity theft” and “his alias is Lamont” (incredulous) and “once a felon, always a felon.” I wonder if Lamont voted for Amy Klobuchar.

07 November 2006

because it's fun to watch stuff blow up

State Record Pumpkin goes boom! (featuring Bella the non-exploding pumpkin)

29 August 2006

Bella: Fair Veteran

I can confidently say that Bella has enjoyed her two days so far at the State Fair. This is her watching the parade. She was unphased by the incredibly loud marching band drum section that stopped right in front of her. She was highly entertained by those girls I always make fun of who twirl the flags around.

For more pics, you can look at our new Flickr site:

There is also a new movie for your viewing pleasure! This one, Bella July (14M), documents her camping trip and her trip to the cabin. I took a bunch of video today at the fair, so hopefully we'll have a good one coming on that topic.

The fair is incredibly awesome, as usual. I feel like I was born to take Bella to the fair. To shop with her, look at giant pumpkins with her, watch pitch men with her, and to feed her lefse in a little mesh teether bag. And in that little Heritage Square bonnet, isn't she such a cute fair goer? Her onesie says Minnesota State Fair, but you can't see it.

Also, for the many saddened bloggers who wrote about the closing of the Penny Arcade... I don't know how to break this to you, but it's still there. So that was a big waste of emotion. It is just slimmed down to make room for a giant butterfly extravaganza.

30 May 2006

How cute are we--all dressed up for a funeral

Hey, any excuse to put on a cute outfit and be admired. This photo was taken right after our trip to New Ulm. Bella slept the whole way there and almost the whole way back--pooping herself awake about 2/3 of the way home, forcing us to stop at Emma Krumbee's Restaurant and Apple Orchard. Sounds family-friendly, right? It's called "Emma Krumbee's" for gosh's sake. It has a bakery and a gift shop and a pumpkin patch. How much warmer, fuzzier, full of family-values can you get? You would THINK they would have a CHANGING TABLE. But no, apparently Emma's babies never soiled themselves.

Now I know why my mom still hates a restaurant they went to in 1975 that didn't have highchairs.

The funeral was for Brent's uncle. Brent's family funerals are nice because afterwards you get to console yourself with German potato salad. mmmm.... consiliatory potato salad.... Bella sat through about half of the service before expressing her restlessness with loud AHHHH noises. Then we went out into the entry way where we bounced and reviewed a helpful pamphlet, "A Catholic Response to the Da Vinci Code." Which was interesting and fired me up to see the movie (probably not the intended response). So Sunday we got a sitter and went to see it. Which makes for three movies in one weekend, since Friday was our first drive-in adventure of the season.

Speaking of Movies!

Here is the latest installment in the Bella film festival. I call this one, Bella: 4 months (22M) and it features her rolling over as well as many special effects. Her first two roll-overs weren't caught on film--first roll-over ever was while I turned around to get a burp cloth (d'oh!) and the second took about 20 minutes. We actually have the end of that one on tape but it didn't make for very exciting movie watching.

"Solid" food not as big of a hit as expected

I was so excited to have Bella try some cereal. Who doesn't like cereal? and a spoon! Who doesn't like to eat off of a rubber spoon? You'd think we were feeding her horseradish.

13 May 2006

You may commence admiring the sweater

One of the tricks that Bella does that I am most amused by is that she will stick out her tongue if I stick out my tongue. It only works about 10% of the time so I was quite impressed that I managed to capture it on film. And when I say FILM, I actually mean film. I took this with an actual film camera in an attempt to be arty. The sweater is the last one that I finished and damn if it isn't uber cute. It has ribbon and ties in the back.

On to admiring the baby

I have composed a video, Cute as a Bug (14MB), which you may count as the first of many since I just got A BRAND NEW VIDEO CAMERA! (in my head it's Bob Barker saying that). Brent gave it to me for my birthday and it was quite the surprise. I have never really used a video camera before so it is very exciting. Brent and I have found that we are highly amused by any videos of Bella--to the point where we will park her in the bouncy chair in the office so that we can watch videos of her in peace. Hmm, ignoring the real baby in favor of videos of the baby. Why am I not surprised.

Enjoy! Posted by Picasa

17 April 2006

First Day at Daycare!

Bella had a fun first day at daycare. They had a bouncy seat which she was very excited about! And they had muffins and juice and an Easter basket for "Bella" (that she wants to share with her mom), which I was very excited about.

The first day back at work wasn't too traumatic. Just a matter of forcing everyone who stops by the cube to examine and admire pictures of my adorable baby. And I was quite excited to leave work at 4:30, something I never do since I never get in very early. But then there's this thing called TRAFFIC which I haven't experienced in a while and threw a bit of a snag in my 'home at 4:45' fantasy--quickly (or slowly, painfully, inchingly slowly) turning it into a 'home at 6' fantasy. Which rapidly became a leftover ham and sweet potato fantasy. Which turned out just fine.

Easter Rousing Success Despite Extra Juicyness

We had the best Easter this year. Sure there was a ham juice explosion that might have doused a couple of us in extra hammy goodness, but who can complain when you still smell like applewood smoked maple glaze at 9 pm? And I made a startling discovery that I have access to a hot tub in the family with minimal sucking up required. Here I was plotting to get all buddy buddy with the neighbors who just installed one. What a waste of effort that would have been!

I have a hilarious picture of my mom drinking champagne while she holds Bella wearing tiny watermelon sunglasses. But for some reason blogger isn't letting me put it up. Maybe blogger doesn't find it as hilarious as myself and instead sees it as boozing grandma exploits baby. Shame on you blogger for being so judgemental.

Washing Machine Broken: Basement filling up fast

You know that Maytag guy that looks kind of flea-bitten and Hitchcock-y on those commercials? I guess he's coming over tomorrow. Our washing machine started washing at its own leisure. A little aggitate here, a little spin there, maybe I'll finish this load today, maybe I'll finish it in a week, maybe I'll smell like something's melting... Brent's fairly sure a piece of strawberry shortcake clothing got sucked in somewhere and is causing problems. Which, seeing as I washed a whole load of strawberry shortcake clothing, is entirely possible. I put it all in lingerie bags so I thought I was in the clear. But I'm still pretty nervous that grizzled Maytag guy is going to lever out a tiny pair of green and white striped tights from the pump and I'm going to have some explaining to do.

I Still think Soccer is Boring

But I'm ready for my mini-van! We test drove a Toyota Sienna and that was pretty darn nice. The salesman takes us for a "riding experience" first (in other words--no driving for you) where he shows us the turning radius, whipping around in this little cul de sac. It zipped around like a little (ok, big) race car! We did get to drive it eventually and it had all the Canyonero features I was looking for--purse hook, sunglasses holder, little bubble mirror to watch the kid in the back, seats even a wussy girl can stow-away, grocery cubby (good for stabilizing the rotisserie chickens). Here's where everyone who told me that a Mini Cooper wasn't a good family car gets to say I Told You So. Hey, at least I didn't get a Vespa like I wanted! Although a Vespa would be such a dream to park at work. I just have to figure out a way to make it baby compatible. All ideas welcome.

23 March 2006

At least it's not a porn site

So, much to my disappointment, www.bellacam.com is already taken. And, as usual with all my awesome web address ideas, it's taken by someone totally undeserving. This guy, "Mark," is just using it as a redirect. That is so lame. So my next idea was www.bellabaker.com, which is being squatted on by Netster, who it turns out obtained the domain by "utilizing proprietary algorithms developed specifically for our business needs." It took Brent and I 7 months to come up with a name and they just stumble on it using proprietary algorithms? Now I feel so unoriginal.*

Incidentally, Peppercam is now NURSERYcam! (requires IE) I think all the interference on there is from the baby monitor. Poor Pepper. No longer the star of her own web site! At least she has a domain name.

*actually we felt unoriginal right from the get-go, when we parked Bella in the hospital nursery and glanced at the baby parked next to her: Anna Bella. Good thing we're not hung up on being too original.

News Flash: Don't Wake a Sleeping Baby

So I managed to resist reading any scary pregnancy books while I was pregnant, right up until the end when I panicked and decided I had to study up on labor. I think this worked out for the best, since in order to write 200 page books about pregnancy, publishers can't get around including rare scary conditions that all start out with the symptom "abdominal discomfort," otherwise known as the main symptom of "pregnancy."

But I didn't use such good judgement when it came to baby. My neighbor gave me the book, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer." I was at a point where I was a little desperate for any advice that would make Bella a less fussy and more sleepy baby. So I zipped through the book and it all made such sense: put her on a routine! feed her every three hours! don't let her sleep too much during the day! EXCEPT that if you do any of these things, it involves waking a sleeping baby. "Ok," I think, "What's the big deal about waking her up? She'll get used to the routine." Enter the age-old adage, Never Wake a Sleeping Baby. Which, as is usually the case with these type of things, is age-old for a reason. Sleeping babies who have been woken up are 1) crabby 2) not in the mood to eat 3) crabby and 4) really hard to put back to sleep. What's that you say, you already knew that? Well zippity doo dah to you. Maybe you could drop the Baby Whisperer a line.

Pancake meter dangerously low

If only Al's had baby stools! Posted by Picasa

16 February 2006

Just look at that face!

So one month has already gone by. And when I say "already," what I really mean is that some lifetime ago there was this time where we didn't have a baby--when we slept and knitted and made dinner and played World of Warcraft late into the night. Being pregnant seems like it was about a year ago.

It's been an adventure! She doesn't do much new since she was born except hold her head up and keep her eyes open. But she outgrew her first outfit, so we know she's making progress! She's at a whopping 7.5 lbs now. Posted by Picasa

21 January 2006

Baby Bella!

6:09 pm
6 lbs 4.8 oz
19" long