Monday, December 31, 2012

See Ya Next Year

Just as I did last year HERE, I am going to share with you the wonderful life recap from 2012 in the world of Gail, Puff, and Bimmer!
January: Best way to start off a new year? Have an ultrasound and find out that Bimmer has girl parts! It also doesn't hurt if you go to see Dennis Miller's live stand-up either. Oh yeah, and no more boats!
February: Traveled to Columbia to celebrate Rach's birthday and otherwise, stuck around the house, shopped for baby gear, and enjoyed the unseasonably warm year. In fact, Puff has repeatedly mentioned he liked having me home and bored because I raked most of the yard!
March: Traveled home to The Fort to have maternity photos done with our favorite photog and had Bimmer's first baby shower with all my besties in the world!
April: Met the BIL and nieces & nephews in Atlanta around Easter, celebrated with another shower for Bimmer with my college girls in Columbia, and lugged my pregnant ass around several festivals and car shows.
May: Forget anything else that happened that month... Bimmer was born. BEST. MONTH. EVER.
June: Doted on Bimmer and kissed her every chance I got. I loved being a mom. Kimhead came to visit for a few days to help me get in the groove. Puff got to celebrate his first father's day. More festivals and car shows... this time with a stroller.
July: Bimmer picked up 7 states by 7 weeks old and got to dip her toes in the Gulf of Mexico. We visited my mom in Florida and the rest of my family in The Fort. Bimmer got to meet her extended family and was loved by all!
August: Puff and I had a fabulous date night to the Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival. It was also the month I got my new job! We started interviewing nannies as I tried to hold back tears about leaving Bimmer.
September: I packed in all the last minute lunches, shopping excursions, and naps with Bimmer on my chest that I could, since I started back to work full-time. After a few days of getting the groove, I loved it!
October: Our whirlwind month of taking in just about every car show, festival, and fair there is in the state. My favorite time of the year!
November: I typically hate November. There's always work chaos and MIL ridiculousness. While that was still the case, we pushed it aside and enjoyed ourselves. We celebrated Puff's birthday and spent Thanksgiving with our family in The Fort.
December: The month started out rough with an insane client at work and then Grandma passing away. It improved through the holidays though. Having Bimmer to pull me through was my saving grace. Seeing her in awe at light displays and giggling while ripping open paper (and then trying to eat it) made this the best Christmas ever. I just know it will get even better from here!
With Bimmer, NYE is going to be non-existent. But as my avid readers and friends know, that's not really a big deal. I look forward to a long weekend with my family. And Bimmer gets to look forward to Operation Cry it Out: Round 2.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project 52 - Week 31

Wow, if I thought hitting 30 weeks felt like a milestone, then I had NO idea what was in store for us this week!
Besides it being Bimmer's first Christmas and another trip back up north to The Fort, she started crawling. Yup... we are officially mobile!
As you know, she has been trying for over a month to get the right momentum to get going forward. She was playing on the floor right before Christmas and I sat my laptop on the floor. That was the last bit of motivation she needed and she scooted herself across the room to it. Since then, she hasn't mastered the speed and still gets caught up on her feet sometimes, but for the most part, she's got it!
I am choosing to ignore the few times she has pulled herself up on boxes or up at the coffee table. Nope... she is not old enough to stand yet. I will push her down!
We also went through a round of RSV. After her ear infection when visiting The Fort, I got her into see her doc when we got back and she had a mild case of RSV, so we are still monitoring her slight cough. But she definitely seems to be feeling a lot better!
It was also the first week where I noticed that if I took something from her, she cried, and when I gave it back, she stopped. I probably took it away from her about 8 times just to make sure I was actually witnessing that. Oh, we are so in trouble!
Lastly, we have started trying some more "real people" food, I guess. She is now taking the little puffs pretty regularly, although she sometimes tries to swallow them hold, so we have to break them in half. Same with the little yogurt melts. She has tried tiny little bites of some bread, waffles, a croissant, plain spaghetti, and a few spoonfuls of hummus. We have officially nixed any food with carrots, since she has decided she doesn't like them. But her new favorite food seems to be mangos. Weighing in at almost 19 1/2 pounds, she definitely likes to eat!
Here's hoping next week's update isn't as long and eventful. Mommy needs her to slow down for a little while to let all this soak in!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Kimhead Christmas

Bimmer got to have her first glimpse of Christmas! Kimhead came to town at the start of December and Bimmer got to open some awesome presents from her Auntie! She did even master ripping the paper. Well, after she had a good go at licking it and trying to eat the small pieces. So... a photo dump of her first taste (literally) of the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Celebrate the Life

As you read HERE, my grandma passed away recently. It wasn't sudden. We knew it was coming sooner, rather than later. But just because you know it's coming doesn't make it any less difficult.

I flew home early Friday morning and spent the day with my dad cleaning out her house. Although we didn't even make a dent. I gathered up things that were mine she was storing (like VHS tapes from my childhood and my high school letter jacket) and I packed away a few mementos of things that were hers I wanted to keep. I snagged some pieces of local pottery, some awesome old tin photos, and her teddy bear from the 1930s.

(This is where I would insert the photo I found of her as a toddler with her teddy bear, but my scanner/printer has been down for a few months and we just haven't had time to fix it.)

The funeral was Saturday morning and it's just the creepiest feeling in the world to walk into a room and see your dead grandma laid out in front of you. I seriously hate open caskets. It does nothing but give me goosebumps. I don't want that to be the last image I have in my brain of Grandma. I want to remember her alive. So I chose to stay out of the line of sight as best as possible.

It was a morning full of awkward hugs and handshakes from people I didn't know. There was small talk about Bimmer and my job and how much Grandma meant to other people. My dad did a sweet eulogy and I didn't cry until he started talking about the bond Grandma had with Bimmer. The graveside service was quick and to the point. It was then I discussed with a family friend that I want a Viking funeral... push me out on a lake on a wooden raft and set me on fire. That would be a badass way to go.

Oh - and did I mention they played Robbie Williams during her service? Yup... his "Swing While You're Winning" album of his covers of old standards. I loved it!

Puff and I turned right back around and drove back to The Fort a few days later, but it was a good decision for me to make the trip solo. I was able to focus on getting things done and not having to worry about inappropriate timing of Bimmer's squeals during the funeral. However, I was ready to get back to her and snuggle her and squeeze her. She was the light of Grandma's life, and she is my world. I know we will all see Grandma again in Heaven one day. Knowing that and seeing Bimmer, who reminds me so much of my Grandma, keeps me at peace. I know it helped her go peacefully as well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Project 52 - Week 30

For some reason, hitting 30 weeks just seems like a major milestone. I have fewer weekly photos ahead of us than behind us. That makes Mommy a little sad. I love doing these weekly photos! (Don't worry... even after Project 52 is over, I still plan to do monthly photos through until she's 2!)
With Grandma passing away, lots of travel, crazy work schedules, and car repairs, Bimmer hasn't probably gotten all the attention this week she deserves. She has become very clingy (to both me and Puff) and cries immediately when we leave the room. Breaks my heart! However, when we are playing with her, she is SOOOOOO close to crawling! I know I've said that for a few weeks, but now I really mean it. She has made a few forward movements and now easily goes from sitting to her hands/knees, and back again.
We visited her "classroom" at "school" this week too. She is going to be the youngest in her room (the oldest is 13 months) so I am having a lot of anxiety about it. She did want to get down to play with the toys and smiled at the teacher, so hopefully that means she will adjust OK. They already had her crib ready and her name and birthday on the wall. Her little hook for her spare clothes was labeled too. We dropped off her diapers and wipes, so she's ready to go on January 2nd when we officially start. It looks like we are going to have to start some snack foods and work on her holding her bottle though. I am hoping that since she's the youngest, she will get MORE attention than the getting left behind I fear.
She'll probably see the other kids walking and decide she needs to just skip crawling all together! I also won't put it past her to become the trouble maker/instigator in the class. I just have a feeling. Mommy's instinct.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Light it Up

Everyone on Facebook seemed to be posting photos of their gorgeous Christmas trees. I also work in a building that has immaculate professionally decorated trees all over. My poor little tree at home is in serious need of an upgrade.
Perhaps I'll stalk some after Christmas sales in a year or two (because gosh darnit, I just don't have the energy to worry about it this year) and buy us a new, fuller, pre-lit tree. In the meantime, the one we have will just have to work. And it does work. Because it's not what the tree looks like, it's the ornaments on it that mean something and the time spent in front of it with Puff and Bimmer.
I am such an ornament hoarder. I actually have boxes somewhere in storage of ornaments that belonged to my great-grandmother. I just can't resist them! I inherited all the ornaments from my childhood, but I'm slowly weeding out the ones with no sentimental value. Now, Puff and I do our best to get ones from our travels and one each year with our names on it. Bimmer got a very fancy-pants Lenox ornament from my mom for her first Christmas.
So after all that babble... some photos of our trees from recent years. Yeah, they pretty much all look the same, don't they? Oh, and that little light-up elf? I've had that since I was a baby. There are photos of me with it on my first Christmas. It belonged to my great-grandma, and now Bimmer can enjoy it too!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Looks like I am being forced to take an unplanned leave of blogging absence. At least for a few days.

When I was back in The Fort on Friday, Puff somehow ended up getting a virus on my computer. It has basically frozen my laptop and you can't get past it on the front screen to get to anything else.

Yes, my laptop with all my photos since Bimmer was born. Some of which are not backed up yet.

I am trying my best to not have a panic attack and/or not murder Puff over this.

Here is hoping we can get it resolved quickly and that nothing will get lost or damaged.

If it does, expect many (manymanymanymanymany) tears.

And no matter how it all goes, expect my photo saving process to become even more intense!

I will be back as soon as I can!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Project 52 - Week 29

Love her First Christmas jammies. They have a reindeer butt! :)
Will someone please tell Bimmer to stop growing up on me?!?!

It was a hard week for Mommy this past week, with losing my grandmother. She was the person Bimmer was named after. It's so surreal that she's not here anymore and that I will never be able to call her up to fill her in on Bimmer's latest accomplishment. But I know she's looking down and smiling and cheering her on as she grows and thrives.

Speaking of growing... this week, Bimmer decided she's big enough to hold her own bottle. She's always had her hands on it, but this week, she actually had a few instances where she would get mad if the nanny would try to help her! She pushed the nanny's hand away and then held the bottle on her own until she fell asleep. And on more than one occasion, she has also taken two (yes, TWO) full jars of baby food in one sitting. She likes her veggies AND her fruits as a whole meal, apparently. She now enjoys squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas, pears, and rice cereal. Since she hated green beans so much, I'm scared to even bother wasting the $1 to buy her some peas. I've been throwing around the idea of making my own baby food starting in the new year. We shall see. (That may go the way of the cloth diapers!) But we did have some success with organic spinach, cranberries, and Greek yogurt. So at least some green veggies finally made their way into her tummy!

We also had big news in our child care this week. Starting in the new year, Bimmer will be going to daycare full time. I am soooo scared! I hate to start her and then the next week, Mommy be gone on business for 4 days, but we didn't have any other choice. We have been on a wait list since last February and if we didn't take the spot, there were a ton of other babies behind us waiting to jump right in! Breaking the news to the nanny was so hard. I felt so horrible. We knew it was coming, but the timing with the holidays sucks so bad. I definitely think that Bimmer has been ahead of the game on so many things since she has had that one-on-one attention for so long. I just have to remember I was excited when I visited the nursery and will be excited again. Just another time of adjustment... for Bimmer and for Mommy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rock of Love

As I mentioned HERE last year, it's good to have connections.
While I was back in The Fort for Thanksgiving, it was a mere coincidence that there was a concert in town I wanted to attend. (Although the MIL insists it was the actual reason we went home. ::insert exaggerated eye roll::)
Who was it?
Bret Michaels. Yup... from Poison.
And from "Rock of Love."
Imagine my giddy excitement when I found out Miss and I were going to be able to get a pass for a meet & greet! We used to drive around in high school blasting Poison songs.
"C.C., pick up that guitar and talk to me!"
We had seen Poison together a handful of times over the years, even driving over an hour to see them. One concert, we were beside two guys in their thirties (we were probably 19) and when we were singing along with (my fave) "Fallen Angel," they pointed to us and screamed, "YOU KNOW ALL THE WORDS?!?!?"
Just a random memory for the books, people.
So... after the opening act was on, the promoter came and got us and a handful of other people (some sluttier than others) and we headed out back to the tour bus. Yup... we got to go on Bret Michaels' tour bus. It was like our own little "Rock of Love Bus" experience!
It was a super quick interaction... only 4 people allowed on the bus at once, big hug from Bret himself (who is a tiny, skinny man) and a quick photo taken by a professional photog. I did manage to get a signed poster, which is ginormous and ridiculous, but funny enough I hung it in my office at work.
Our seats were awesome too... first row above the pit, which kept us only about 15-20 feet from the stage and elevated over the skanks below. It was such a fun show. I don't get to as many concerts these days as I would like, so it was awesome to get to share that with my best friend.
It was also pretty awesome that Bret Michaels called her "baby." I'm pretty sure that made her day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Remember You Always

My grandma passed away last Friday.

I think I'm still in such a state of shock that I haven't really begun to grieve properly.

My dad called me at work about 8:30am to tell me the news. I knew when he called that early, it wasn't for anything good. I sat in a corner of the lobby at my job and listened intently as he told me what happened. I only shed a few tears. I didn't want everyone in my personal business.

Apparently, the rehab place where she was called my dad about 4am saying she was having trouble breathing. They took an x-ray and saw that she had some pneumonia. At 7am, my dad got another call that they had called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. By the time he got there a half hour later, she had already passed. Her COPD had caught up with her and caused heart failure. We were told it was peaceful.

The one thing that brings me to tears every time I mention it, is the fact that we got to take Bimmer to visit with her at Thanksgiving. Even though it caused some drama with the MIL (who can suck my big toe) and those 8 hours in the car were hard on us all, it was the best decision I've made in a long, long time. Bimmer got to spend a lot of quality time with her great-grandmother. It was amazing. I will always remember that Thanksgiving day. It was definitely a day to be thankful for.
I had a relationship with my grandmother that most people would bawk at. She knew all my dirty secrets. She even once put lotion on a "rug burn" on my back after a sexcapade in college. I would call her at least twice a month to just shoot the shit, update her on life and gossip, and get her advice on everything. She never judged. She only loved. She laughed with me. She cried with me. She encouraged me. She gave me her unwavering support. I'm not sure I could ever do anything wrong in her eyes.
Bimmer is named after her. I made that decision when I was 12 years old. When I was pregnant, Grandma kept hoping for a girl (even though the rest of us wanted a boy) so that I could use that name. When she first met Bimmer, she said they had a "heaven connection" and that Bimmer brought word from heaven from MY great-grandmother to Grandma that everything was OK and that she would see her soon. Bimmer always talked to Grandma on the phone... always. She would always get phone-shy with everyone else, but not Grandma. She was always chatting it up... airing her grievances and telling her all about her awesome life.
It will be crazy hard to go home for the funeral this weekend. I am not a crier. I am not a hugger. I try my best to be stoic and strong. It's going to be really difficult, but I know I don't have to be that way. Going through her house to get my stuff and anything from her that I want is going to be doubly hard. To know I may never go back there again, after spending so many afternoons after school hanging out on her couch, or nights as a child running around in the yard chasing fireflies.
I know she's in a better place. I am blessed and so thankful for all the time I had with her. She was 82 years old and lived a great life. She touched a lot of people, even though she didn't like people. (Sound familiar?) We were the same in a lot of ways. And I am going to make sure those things live on through Bimmer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Project 52 - Week 28

It's getting harder and harder to take photos each week of this little mover & shaker!!!
After last week's sickness, I thought I'd update on some better moments with Bimmer.
One night, when she was up in the middle of the night, she just laid beside me in bed and kept reaching for my nose. She would then rub my face and run her fingers through my hair. It was so sweet. She also has been very keen on rubbing her hand along my arm when I give her a bottle. And she's even started sometimes laying her head on my shoulder when I hold her.
She has also become a reacher... with her whole body... when we are holding her and she sees something (or someone) she wants. That squirmy little butt is hard to hold on to sometimes!
Bimmer loves pillows. It's been that way for awhile, but lately it's gotten insane. She will make it her mission to get to them on the bed. If she's laying on her back, she just scoots herself up to them and then puts one over her face. She kicks her legs and when you pull it off, she just giggles. Silly girl.
I've also noticed her staring at her hands a lot. And holding things up above her head to inspect them. I guess she's just narrowing her focus and paying attention to the fine details. Ah, my growing baby. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Miss Daisy Needs a Driver

Puff and I go back and forth all the time on this one particular issue. We both have our sides on the group we choose to prefer to support, hang out with, etc. The debate? The elderly versus children. Puff grew up hanging out with the old ladies at church, while I worked in child care for years. The truth of the matter behind my insane preference for children?
Old people creep me out.
Yup... I flat out don't like them. (Unless they're my grandmothers.)
And now I have another reason why I don't like them...
::sigh:: Because all I wanted two weeks before traveling for Christmas was for my car to be jacked up!
Let's recap...
Monday afternoon, it was 70+ degrees here in SC, and I had worked all weekend, so I needed a break. I got in my car, headed out to my fave local burger joint, and got a to-go order. I drove to a nice neighborhood not far from the office, found a spot on the street by a park, and ate. The windows were down. The radio was off. The houses around me were gorgeous. It was a refreshing and relaxing life moment.
When I left, I realized the street I was on was one block off where I would need to be to get into the parking garage. So I turned down a side street I had never been on before and thankfully, there was an on-ramp (for lack of a better description) onto the busy street I needed. I got to the top of the hill and the mini-van in front of me stopped. Why? Because the light was red and the traffic was backed up to us. So I stopped behind them. On the one-car-wide street.
I never even saw her coming.
Little old Geraldine in her 1990s silver Buick somehow thought she could squeeze past me into traffic. Ya know, like I was just sitting there for no reason. I pulled off to the side, put on my hazards, and got out to check the damage. I waited patiently as she backed up to pull over as well, backing over the curb she had to run over in the first place. Yup... she had run up on the curb on one side while scratching up my car on the other. ::bangs head on steering wheel::
Her side mirror was dangling by a thread and I didn't inspect her car any farther. Nope, I was too worried about my broken tail-light and the nice scratches she had left that were about 2 feet long. And not just surface scratches either.
I did my best to be calm and nice. She stated she hadn't had an accident in over 25 years. I got all her insurance information and gave her my contact information and went on ahead to work.
I know it's just a car. I was assured by her insurance agent (whom I called about 5 minutes after it happened) that they would cover all the damages and a rental car for the days it's in the shop. I'm still waiting on final word from claims on where and when to take it to get fixed, but at least the ball is rolling.
But we leave for The Fort for Christmas in a few short weeks. And we need our SUV to haul back all the goodies Bimmer will rack up while we're there. It's just a huge inconvenience and frustration.
So yeah... the elderly? I am a firm advocate for taking away licenses once you reach a certain age or, at the very least, having them re-test every year or two. There's a reason children aren't allowed behind the wheel. And to me, a lot of old folks act worse than children. Just not as cute.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Tunes

It's been awhile since I did an album review.
Yup... I just called it an "album." The sad thing is, Bimmer will never even probably see an album. Or a cassette for that matter. And will probably only ever know what a CD is because her mom is so behind the times.
I digress. One of my latest (and favorite) CD purchases is the new Matchbox Twenty album, "North."
I have been a fan since the very beginning and even suffered through some of Rob Thomas' solo stuff (and a shitty concert experience in Charlotte, NC) to support him and the band. My step-mom is a die-hard fan and has traveled around the country stalking them. So it sorta runs in the family. My friends are fans too. The last time I saw them was back in 2003 in Indianapolis (of all places) with The Ex. He didn't love it, but I did. And we got to eat at a Hard Rock Cafe where the waiter made fun of us for our musical selection. Oh well. I got Tupelo chicken tenders, so all was right with the world.
So... when I heard they had a new album coming out, I was over the moon excited. Dare I say I was overjoyed? Yeah, yeah... cheesy, I know. But anyway, "Overjoyed" is by far my favorite song on the album. I knew right away it would end up being a single, and I did hear it not too long ago on Sirius radio. (Not sure if it's getting regular air play yet on Top 40, but I'm sure it will!) In fact, the entire album (well, maybe not "Like Sugar") is pretty frickin' awesome. It's classic Matchbox Twenty. No need to reinvent the wheel if it's already turning, right?
"Put Your Hands Up" is probably my second fave on the disc. Overall, it's just fun, pop-rock with a sexy Rob Thomas twist.
Kimhead and I were also crazy pumped that a new album meant a new tour. On a whim around Thanksgiving (after striking out a few weeks earlier when looking for tour dates) I found that they were going to be in Greenville, SC. The band's website didn't have any ticket info, so I went straight to the venue. And for whatever reason, it let me go ahead and buy tickets! I even scared Kimhead calling her in the middle of the day to make sure she was OK with the price tag! We got lower level tickets in a small venue and I am just so ready. Even if I have to wait until March!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Project 52 - Week 27

Note to Self: Bimmer now loves to play with dresses. Especially if they come with strings.

First and foremost, I've got to give Bimmer a rockstar shout-out for her awesome travels for Thanksgiving. She spent 8 hours in the car each way and only cried maybe 20 minutes each time. I hope she sticks with that for all our future travels ahead!
Beyond that, she had her 6 month well-baby check-up. She is 18 lbs, 11 oz. and is 27 inches long. That puts her in the 89th percentile for both height and weight. She does have a bit of eczema on her arms and legs, due to winter, but Puff busted out the humidfier for her to help clear that up in a jiffy! The doc also gave us the go-ahead to start Stage 2 foods. We introduced pears this week, which she loved. Time to start looking at some carrots and peas and bananas though first before we go up a stage.
When we were in The Fort for Thanksgiving, Bimmer was able to get up on her hands and knees better (since they have carpet) and started rocking back and forth! Forward motion can't be too far away! She also does "baby yoga" and gets up on her toes into a downward facing dog position. It's too cute. It frustrates her that she's not moving forward, but she'll get it eventually. She's my super smart over-achiever! She has also started to go from a seated position into a belly-almost hands & knees position when she wants to reach something.
Oh yeah... and after that well-baby visit? My well baby got sick. I came home from work Tuesday night and she had the start of a runny nose. By bedtime, she was coughing and Puff and I had to hold her down to suck the snot out of her nose. She didn't sleep well and was wheezing when she was breathing. Lots of mouth breathing also kept Mommy awake! We got her into the doctor the next day... didn't want to risk anything with all that drainage into her chest! She ended up being diagnosed with a cold (which they do nothing for) and an ear infection. They ran a test and she didn't have the flu... thank goodness! I just hated to see my baby sick.
Here's hoping next week's update will be much healthier!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pilgrim Pride

As I previously mentioned (HERE) Puff, Bimmer, and I strapped into the car and headed off to The Fort for Thanksgiving. It was the first time in 9 years I had seen my family for the holiday. While the MIL can suck my big toe for her temper tantrum (although that's nothing new from her), my family was over the moon to see us!
Bimmer got to spend quality time with her grandparents and both of her great-grandmothers. It makes my heart swell to see them interact with each other.
Bimmer was a rockstar for the drive (which took 8 hours!!!) and only cried maybe 20 minutes each way. Outside of all the family fun, we took in a holiday window display that was revamped from my youth (and my parent's youth) and I took in a rock concert with Miss. (More on that in another post!)
I had been dreading the drive, but it was worth every second. Bimmer got to see her family and get loved on by everyone. I cannot wait to pack up again in a few weeks to head back for Christmas!
Holidays are officially much more fun with a baby!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Project 52 - Week 26

These past 6 months have been the most amazing of my life.

Bimmer is my world. She is my heart. She is my soul. She is my everything.

I never knew what I was missing until I met her and held her for the first time.

Yup... I am a total sap. A mushy pile of goo when it comes to this amazing little girl.
This week, she got to see Santa (she did so well) AND she gets to go see her family in The Fort. I packed some baby sweet potatoes for her to eat while the rest of us chow down.
I cannot believe how fast these past 26 weeks have flown by. I just know the next 6 months will go just as fast. So we better hang on to every moment as best we can!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

For the most part, I couldn't care less about Thanksgiving. I'd pretty much rather be forced to watch reruns of "Friends."

But this year? Well, this year, I am excited. I have lots to be thankful for. I hope we are turning a corner on my thoughts on the holiday.

Typically, I consider it a paid day off to watch Dallas Cowboys football. Except, well, we suck donkey balls this year, so there's not much to be thankful about in that sense.

So instead, I am so insanely thankful that I get to spend the holiday with my family. The long drive, traffic, and cold temps (threats of 20 degree nights!!!) are all on my list of things that I am not thankful for, but the fact that I get to see my family for the first time on this holiday in NINE years? Yeah, that's pretty awesome.

I'm also pretty thankful the drama of the past 2 or 3 years isn't rearing its ugly head this year. (Ahem... see Monday's post.)

I am thankful for my amazingly beautiful, smart, healthy daughter. I am thankful for my understanding, sweet, and helpful husband. I am thankful for my supportive parents, grandmothers, and father-in-law. I am thankful for my true friends who are there for me through thick and thin. I am thankful for my health and my job and my house and my opportunities. I am thankful I got a second chance after a rough start to this year.

Here's hoping Bimmer realizes how lucky she is. I know Puff and I are realizing that every single day. We are full of thanks to Bimmer for picking us to be her parents.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crazy Bitch... And Not the Good Kind

It's no secret that I don't get along with my mother-in-law. I mean, it's like less secret than Patreus and his mistress. We were all fine and dandy until Puff proposed in New York. Then the MIL turned colder than the 18 degree temps the night I got my ring!

I've tried. I really have. I have tried harder than anyone ever should have to try to get along with someone. I've proposed compromises that I would never offer up to anyone else. We schedule trips to see her every few months and we invite her up to see us, even though I hate house guests. Literally. I mean, like, I'd rather make out with Brett Favre than have her spend a weekend at our house.
But whatever we do, it's not enough for her.
She sees us more than we see any other family members. She has seen Bimmer more than any other relative, yet, she's the relative that cares the least. Yup... from where I'm sitting, she doesn't even deserve to see Bimmer.
May we never forget that when Puff told the MIL that we were pregnant, her exact reaction was "I wish I could be happy for you."
Throughout my pregnancy, she had no sympathy for my constant nausea, would change the subject if we brought up the baby, failed to inform anyone at her church that we were expecting, and then never bought anything for Bimmer before she was born. She said she was mad because I had posted a blog about her leaving a washcloth in our tub. Right... because that's a totally legitimate reason to hate your unborn granddaughter.
When she visited the hospital, she never asked how I was doing, wouldn't leave the room when the nurses needed to get me out of bed, told Puff and I what we were doing wrong as parents, and completely ignored my parents when they came in to see the baby. She doesn't call and ask about Bimmer. She even posts Facebook photos of my nieces and comments that they are her "youngest granddaugthers" even when they are at least 6 years older than Bimmer. When she visited for Puff's birthday a few weeks back, she got T-Rex arms at the table and Puff had to pay for his own birthday dinner. Then she spent the rest of the weekend telling us what we were still doing wrong with the baby.
Yeah, definitely the type of person we want to spend time with, right?
With my grandma being very ill (probably haven't mentioned that on here though) Puff and I made the decision to go back to The Fort for Thanksgiving. I haven't been back for the holiday in 9 years. Yup... I haven't seen my family on Thanksgiving in almost a decade. We normally spend Thanksgiving with the MIL, but not this year. Not when my grandma might not live until Christmas. I knew from the second we made that decision that the MIL would be pissed.
I was right.
Apparently she can't depend on us. She insists we are only going to see my family because of a concert I may attend during the trip. And that whole completely logical and legitimate reason we're going back to The Fort, to see my dying grandma? Yeah, that's not good enough for her. Apparently she changed the subject back to her (surprise, surprise) and said if she were dying, we wouldn't even come to see her.
Ya know what? At this rate, I wouldn't be racing down the highway for her. She doesn't deserve it. Not when my mom and Puff's dad love Bimmer with all their heart, but are so far away and so sick they can't even see Bimmer in person. That fact brought me to tears after the MIL's most recent round of selfish behavior.
I know she's Puff's mom. I know I can't revoke her "grandmother" title. But I am done beating around the bush. I would be completely content to never have to see her or deal with her ever again. I've bitten my tongue so hard it's bleeding. We are grown adults and it shouldn't be this difficult.
She is the most selfish person I have ever met.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Project 52 - Week 25

We've moved up from rice cereal this week. We are now on to sweet potatoes. And they are super yummy! Squash is just OK, but green beans? Nope. They're so bad she won't even open her mouth when you airplane in the spoon!

We have also mastered riding in a shopping cart (or "buggy") and even sat in a restaurant high chair for the first time this week!
Yup... we also got up on our hands and knees a few times. She scoots herself backward pretty well, but crawling is just a matter of time. Good thing we're in the process this week and next of getting all those chipping baseboards and doors finished! Don't want her eating paint flakes.
But the other accomplishments this week were pretty scary... like, take away my parent of the year nomination scary.
First, she fell off the bed.
Yup... like BONK, on the floor. Thank God it was the lower bed and not our very high master. I sat her in the middle (as I often do) and turned my back to take the three steps to the closet to get out some new diapers. Then I heard it... the crash. And I turned around and she was laying on her back on the floor. She only screamed for about 20 seconds and then was chipper and giggly. We kept a close eye on her for the next two days to make sure she didn't show any signs of broken bones or a concussion or anything. She seemed fine. My confidence, however, was pretty shattered.
A few days later? She was in her Bumbo on the kitchen counter (where she is often) and she was drinking from her sippy cup. (Yup, add that to things she is now trying to master.) I was making dinner and prepping steaks to marinade about 3 feet from her when I heard another BONK... Bimmer was on her stomach on top of the stove. Thank God it wasn't on and thank God she had figured out how to escape from it over the side and not forward. Needless to say, she's no longer allowed to be in the Bumbo on any raised surfaces.
All this mobility is awesome in one sense, but scary as shit in another. We shall see what Thanksgiving week brings next week... as my baby turns 26 weeks... 6 months... half a year old!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Call Me What?

On a recent episode of Kelly & Michael, (although I still always refer to that show as something to do with Regis) they were talking about a study regarding nicknames. Apparently women are a little particular about what they are OK with their significant other calling them. What does Puff call me? Eh... to be honest, most of the time he calls me "Caucasian." Sometimes he throws "sexy" in front of it. Or "favorite."

I deal.

Now, it's funny that I have all these nicknames for people on this blog, yet I never call my husband "Puff" in real life, nor do we ever call the baby "Bimmer." Although we did when we were pregnant and didn't know the gender yet. But as soon as we did, we began calling her by her name. Oh wait... I do actually call "Kimhead" that sometimes. Usually while we're on adjoining aisles at Target where people can hear me and look at me like I'm nuts. I usually give them back the, "I know. Can you believe her mom gave her such a stupid name?" look.

I sometimes call my husband, "Sexypants." That was on the list as one of the names women do NOT want to be called. Have you ever actually heard someone call a woman that? ::shrug::

Over the years, I have dated a guy we affectionately called "Dipshit" and I tried really hard for "Kimfoot" to catch on, although it didn't. Only Kimhead calls me "Gail" but that was actually a nickname a few boys gave me in elementary school. Somehow, it just stuck. I used to nickname kids I worked with at day camps... "Topher" and "Squirtle" come to mind. And growing up my dad always called me "Pumpkin."
I will be interested to see how Bimmer's nicknames change as she grows. Puff usually calls her "Girlfriend" and I tend to call her "Sugar Butt" or a mash up of the first part of her first name coupled with the second part of her middle name. I figure that will be less embarassing to her in the future than hearing her mom call her "Sugar Butt" in public. (Although, trust me, what comes out of that butt is nothing close to sugar!)
Did you have any funny or crazy nicknames growing up? Did you use code names when you passed notes in middle school like "Yankee" and "Scooter?" Do you call your kids anything that will embarass them when they're older?
My dad recently got me a sign that says "Pumpkin" on it. Perhaps I need to get one that reads "Sexypants" for Puff to put on his side of the bed. Ya know, so there is balance in our bedroom decor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Project 52 - Week 24

My big girl! She looks like a toddler to me in this photo! :(
I love being a working mom.

And I refuse to feel guilty about it.

Ever since I have been back to work, I've actually felt better about myself, lost weight, felt like I have more purpose, and have enjoyed my time with Bimmer much more than before. I'm less tired and feel like I am a better mom because of it. I cherish the seconds we spend together and know that my job is helping us to have a better life.

Bimmer is becoming a screamer. Not in a bad way, just in a LOUD way. I've had to leave several restaurants with her lately, since she gets so excited and squirmy and just squeals with delight in a way that probably disturbs other patrons. May be a time to start limiting our restaurant outings for awhile... or at least until she learns the meaning of the word "No."

Speaking of which... we have started to having to tell her that quite frequently with the screaming. And with the raspberries. (Is that what they call it when she just puts her lips together and blows spit?) She's so darn cute, so it's really hard to get frustrated with her when she does it, but it's so not cool when she's eating and thinks it's funny. Being covered in spit rice cereal is not my idea of a good time!

She also ascoots on her butt now when she is sitting and can get a few feet, so I'm certain that her being mobile is not too far away.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Birthday Boy!

I am married to an old man.

Puff just turned 35. THIRTY-FIVE!!!!


Bimmer gave her daddy a very sweet card, and we even had her hold a pen to sign it. (Yes, I realize I am ridiculous!)


On top of the BMW car club membership we gifted him, Bimmer also gifted him with a book about a truck that he had been wanting so he could read it to Bimmer. With having the baby, we didn't want to go over the top and waste money on crazy gifts he didn't need or wouldn't appreciate. Plus, we didn't want to spend $30+ on a babysitter plus the cost of a fancy dinner. So we just grilled some steaks at home and had awesome family time. Puff said it was exactly the way he would have wanted to spend his birthday.


The MIL came to town then that weekend and we headed to the mountains for a quick nature walk with the baby to check out some of the trees. I always say the first weekend in November is the best time for leaves in the SC/NC mountains, but we found that it was almost a little past peak. I blame the lack of rain, but what do I know? I failed out of meteorology school. (Ya know, like I ever went to meteorology school.)

Minus some drama with the MIL's visit (she casually ignored the fact that she was only invited for one night and stayed for two), it was a pretty good 35th birthday for my hubby. Sure, we had originally thought about going to Hilton Head for a fancy car show, but sometimes, plans change. And spending a birthday at home with our little family was just right. We'll have plenty of years to travel. But not many to snuggle our baby in the comfort of The Bungalow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Fair Lady

The day after our adventure to the European Auto Show (HERE) we took our festival-train into Columbia to visit Kimhead and Rach and hit up the SC State Fair!


Bimmer was NOT in a good mood though. The car show the day before, plus the drive, plus teething, plus an upset tummy, plus not sleeping well... recipe for disaster! All that being said, Bimmer was better than she could have been. She was intrigued by the animals and those kept her attention for quite awhile. But in general, I think she was just overwhelmed by everything new to check out and all the people.

And she was probably just as perplexed as I was when Puff decided to chow down on this...


A burger on a donut? Yeah, not my thing. I saved my calorie intake for the week for the best fair food ever...


Awwww.... I could pee myself with excitement over deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough! And the state fair is the only place I've ever seen it. Oh, it's heaven on a plate.


Looks like Bimmer agrees :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Project 52 - Week 23

It was time to start sitting up for our weekly photos!
Since Bimmer is now a big girl at 5 months old, I thought I'd jot down some of her favorites...
Toy: Her green Oball Rattle. When Puff first picked it out, I thought it was kinda goofy, but it's by far her favorite toy. Although her inflatable globe (seen here) is a big hit too. Oh, and her stuffed piggie.

Food: She still prefers her bottle over rice cereal, but she does get excited to eat and has just started leaning forward for bites. She'll be starting on some sweet potatoes or such here pretty soon!
Outfit: Mommy loves her jeggings. Bimmer doesn't get much of a choice in the matter.
Diapers: Yes, I know we talked several times about cloth diapers. But once we started using Pampers Swaddlers (with the tells-you-when-she's-wet-green-line) Puff was hooked. I got hooked once I realized that all that talk about doing tons of laundry with a baby (which is why I figured cloth diapers wouldn't be that big of a deal) was totally false. We do one load of baby laundry a week, unless there's an accident. Which is pretty rare.
Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider, the ABCs, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are totally her jam. As far as modern music goes, she LOVES her some "Gangnum Style" and giggles whenever they say "Hey, Sexy Lady." She also will smile for us if we sing "Call Me Maybe" or "Party in the USA" to her. We gotta expand her musical horizons. Stat.
Activity: This is a toss up between trying to eat her toes or being carried around to check everything out. She's definitely from The Fort at heart... she's a nosy neighbor!
Person: She only regularly sees 3 people (me, Puff, and Nanny) but she definitely loves both her mommy and daddy. Some days, she's a Mommy's girl. Other days, she gives me the stink-eye and only wants Puff to hold her. I don't care. I'm happy she loves us both. Because we certainly both love her with all our hearts!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zoom, Zoom

After the Okra Strut and Pumpkintown Festival, we were ready for a festival of a different type...


Bring on the fancy European cars! As I am sure I've mentioned before, Puff is super into cars. He can barely keep his ADD in check when we're out for a drive if something cool drives past. So we were definitely anxious to take Bimmer to well, the place where her nickname came from... the BMW factory.


See... she even picked out a Bimmer of her own! In fact, she was pretty calm and cool the entire time, but when we got to the BMW section, she started chatting and squealing. She knows what she wants. (Good thing she likes the BMWs though, since our hope is to score a 3-series convertible in a few years!)

The show was better this year than last and the weather was so perfect. I was actually a bit sad, since I had picked out a cute sweater for her to wear, but she didn't need it. Although the highlight of the day for Bimmer was grass.

Yup. She's a simple girl.

It was the first time she had ever sat in grass, so she was loving the novelty. Most of my photos are of the top of her head!


And of course, we had to try eating it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

I may have gotten a little snap-happy with Bimmer in her Halloween costume. But c'mon, she's totally the cutest baby ever, right? So... just a photo dump of our little cutie!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The King & I

(I wrote this months ago and just found it! Woops!)
Before I had Bimmer, I thought people were exaggerating when they said they spent a lot of time talking about their baby's bowel movements.
They were not.
At the start of July, Puff and I loaded Bimmer into the car and set out toward Florida. We had a long way to go (since my mom is down near Sarasota, which might as well be in frickin' Jamaica) so we split the trip into two parts. Our first night, our aim was to get a few hours past Atlanta. Bimmer did awesome on the drive, especially as we sat through rush hour downtown traffic in the ATL. She finally woke up, right on schedule, when it was time for her to eat.
Thankfully, there was an exit a few miles up and we were able to stop at a Burger King to get her out to feed her. I sat in a booth and fed her a bottle while Puff ordered our meal. We rotated who held her while the other adult ate, and when it was time for Puff to feed her, the baby pooped. No big deal. Restaurants have baby changing tables in their bathrooms, right?
Wrong. Not in fast food joints!
No problem. We can just change her on the back seat of the car. I'd read about other bloggers preferring that actually. It can't be that hard, right?
Were you aware that seats slope? And 5 week old babies who are super wiggly and have a very runny poopy diaper don't mix well with sloping seats?
So... I must point out that this entire disaster was of no fault of Bimmer's. The poor girl didn't know what hit her. One second she was just needing a diaper change and the next minute, she was being held up butt-ass naked in the middle of the Burger King parking lot.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I put down her changing pad on the seat and was doing my best to hold her in place with one hand, to keep from sliding, and changing the diaper with the other. Except somewhere in that scenario, I managed to get some poop up farther on her back than I realized, and it subsequently got on her onesie, which got it on the changing pad, which got it on my hand. And lead to me trying to hold my baby from slipping and getting even dirtier and trying to fight to pull wipes out of the damn container. What was Puff doing? Laughing hysterically and trying to take pictures with his phone.
Needless to say, I was not amused.
(I have no idea why this is sideways and I am too lazy to try to fix it)
Eventually, the scene was a dirty diaper and lots of dirty wipes on the ground in the parking lot with me holding the baby totally naked in the air trying to wipe off her back and the changing pad, with Puff still trying to take more photos. (And for all of that effort, he still only ended up with one picture!) Thankfully, I had the foresight to pack a spare outfit in the back seat of the car, so we didn't have to go digging through our suitcase to find her something. And we had plastic bags in her diaper bag, so the poopy outfit was able to go into the trunk, so we didn't have to smell it for another 2 hours. (I had to wash it in the hotel sink with Dawn dish detergent later that night!)
Lesson learned? You bet! The next morning when we got her out of the car seat at Wendy's and she had a dirty diaper, I figured I would try the front seat instead. When I noticed that would clearly not work, the baby got changed on the floor of the front passenger side of the car. I'm sure the people in the drive-thru line thought I was nuts. But hey, it was the best I could come up with at the time. If you have any better baby-changing-in-the-car suggestions, please let me know.
If nothing else, we got a good chuckle of the entire thing. Bimmer didn't seem to be scarred for life because of it. And I'm sure the family eating in the window at Burger King enjoyed their dinner entertainment.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Project 52 - Week 22

Puff and I have both noticed something about Bimmer recently... how expressive she has become.

She gives serious looks and funny ones. She laughs and giggles. She pouts and frowns. She looks inquisitively at everything. She gets frustrated.

One morning, when it was still dark outside, I sat her in her Bumbo on the kitchen table (since that's where it was) and I turned into the kitchen, just out of view. And she shrieked. And she cried like I had never heard her before, nor since. She was scared.

A new emotion.

She has also started to reach more for things, which includes laying down and stretching and rolling over if necessary to grab something. She has actually reached for Mommy a few times too. And the nanny says sometimes Bimmer will reach to be let out of her exersaucer.

When Puff holds her, she'll stroke his shoulder sometimes and hold on tighter to him. She has started to sometimes reach up and put her hands on my cheeks, which is too adorable for words. And on a few occasions, when I've been trying to calm her down during teething by laying next to her and singing softly, she'll hear me start to sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and if I'm not doing the hand motions (which include me crawling my fingers up her to represent the spider's ascent) then she has reached over and run her fingers up my cheek. Now, I'm not saying she knows what she's doing, but I'm not dismissing the possibility either.

We all know she's a bit of an overachiever!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Caught Red Handed

It has been a long while since I did a "Top Ten" list. And honestly, I wrote this back in January while I was racking my brain and stockpiling lots of blog topics for future use. And now that I'm back to work and don't get to indulge as often, join me in admitting my (somewhat embarassing) faults.
My Top 10 Guilty Pleasures...
1) Baby Names... which you already knew about if you're an avid reader.
2) Reality Shows... not all of them, but "Top Chef" and "Project Runway" are high on the list. As are "Khloe & Lamar" and "19 Kids & Counting."
3) Brownies... ever since my birthday, I've been craving them. Probably because I got red velvet cupcakes and a cake instead. Go figure.
4) Pop Music... ya know, like cheesy boy band pop music. Just don't tell anyone. I don't want to lose all my street cred.
5) Scrapbooking... it doesn't fit my persona, but I love it and wish I had time to do more of it.
6) DIY blogs... I will probably never DIY anything at The Bungalow, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy reading about other people's conquests.
7) E! News... because if it wasn't there, I'd never get any news at all.
8) Real Estate... I am obsessed at looking at other people's houses. And criticizing their decor.
9) Romantic comedies... I rarely watch movies anyway, but the older I get, the more I like them. Don't worry, I still prefer movies with serial killers. I doubt that will ever change.
10) Cute boys... on TV, in person, it doesn't matter. I like me some man candy. But I lucked out, since I've got the sexiest of man candy in Puff and he comes home to me every single night!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkintown USA

Our seemingly never-ending epic saga of fall festivals in South Carolina continues!

I had heard through the grapevine a few years back that the Pumpkintown Pumpkin Festival was well worth the trip to the rural mountains. Yes, there's actually a town called Pumpkintown. Puff and I had driven through "town" several times before, and I was at a loss at where it would be since I only remembered a church, maybe a gas station, and a general store that would scare me to enter.

We headed out late morning, since we didn't have much interest in their parade. But a few miles from where we thought it would be, the two-lane road came to a complete and dead stop. Yup... a traffic jam in the middle of no where! It took us about a half hour (and one crying baby, whom Puff ended up feeding in her car seat) to get to the parking lot. Let's just say, I was less than impressed with the organizers of the festival.

Not only was the traffic a ridiculous, unorganized mess, but we also had an impossible time finding any information on the festival. We never could find a good schedule or list of vendors. Oh yeah, and a serious lack of pumpkins. I imagined a huge display and sale, but nope... there were probably 30 pumpkins in front of the community center building and that was it. (Although, Bimmer looks pretty darn cute there, doesn't she???)

The vendor selection was good, except the only thing we ended up buying were a few hair bows for Bimmer, since we didn't want to lug around anything big through a festival that was literally set amongst the trees on a hill behind a random building. Not to mention the half mile we probably walked to the parking. But Bimmer did awesome in her Bjorn and was checking everything out. And we ran into an old friend from college as well, with her adorable little boy. So random!
Since you all come here for recommendations, I would recommend it, at least once. I *think* it's always the second Saturday in October. Just be prepared for a bit of a chaotic mess in the parking situation, but after you get past that, you'll have a good time. The music was good and the vendors were varied. I don't think we'll be rushing back though... not when there are much better festivals in the fall! Stay tuned for the European Auto Show and the State Fair!!!