Monday, April 30, 2012

The Home Stretch



36 weeks.
 
Yes... we are definitely in the home stretch now.
 
It's funny how my feelings have shifted from "I can't wait until she's here so I can snuggle her" to "I can't wait until she's here so I can feel like a normal person again." Yes, I am utterly convinced I will get more rest once she is outside my body. The waking up every single hour to pee is ridiculous. Babies sleep longer than one hour increments, I'm sure. (OK, so maybe not always!) The back pain and the calf cramps have pretty much subsided, which is awesome. It's still difficult to put on my pants standing up, but at least I can walk without pain. Puff is excited this means I can unload the dishwasher again. (Although I do occasionally get the back and hip pain after laying around for too long. Must mean I need to be up and active!)
 
Rolling out of bed or getting up from the couch is still horribly awkward. Finding a comfortable way to sleep is impossible. Oh yeah, and I've developed a nice case of carpal tunnel in my right hand. I have almost dropped my laptop, a gallon of milk, and some dishes due to the pain in my wrist. Apparently lots of women get it. Just gotta be thankful mine held off until sometime between weeks 34 and 35, right? I hear it goes away usually not long after giving birth. It's like my body read a list of symptoms that can come along with pregnancy and it wanted to try out most of them, at least for a few days. On the bright side, the doc gave me a wrist brace to wear and it helps at night from getting into any odd positions and having to cry out in pain when my wrist gets turned incorrectly.

Oh, and the dreams! I've always had crazy intricate and strange dreams. It's no wonder I'm a part-time insomniac and never really feel rested. Apparently pregnancy can enhance these puppies. I have been waking up almost every hour the past few weeks, mostly cued by a strange dream. (Of course, then I have to get up to pee. And then I realize I'm hungry as soon as I get back into bed. It's a vicious cycle.) But some of the dreams are downright horrifying. One included a creature that was half-leprechaun on top and half-dinosaur on the bottom. And he was basically holding me captive and forced me to kidnap someone who looked a lot like Halle Berry and made me take her to a campground that was also a cemetery. I hid under the covers the rest of the night after that doozy!
 
But you're probably looking for the follow-up to what I had promised last week about the ultrasound and the induction???? Well, there's not much to tell. I had been measuring at 37 weeks when I was only 33 weeks. But then when I went back at 35 weeks, I was still measuring at just 37 weeks. So the bump didn't grow. Which meant they didn't want to do an ultrasound. Which means they are not inducing me at 37 weeks. Which all means that I felt like a horrible, terrible, wife for making Puff leave work early during one of his busiest times of the year to go to the doc with me to not get any new information. We do have an official ultrasound scheduled for next week though, so we can get a better idea of Bimmer's weight. And then we will probably discuss induction at 39 weeks. So, we're on hold. And yes, I'm totally bummed. Such a total tease!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shower x2


Back on April 14th, I headed to my old college stomping ground to meet up with some of the 420 girls for our first group baby shower. Kimhead and Rach were the perfect hosts, even if Kimhead always goes a little overboard. (But I love her for it anyway!)




We were all invited to a New England style clam bake. There's a story behind a Clam Bake vs. Biker Rally from back in our sophomore year of college that still rings pretty true to this day. But, I digress. I almost didn't get the clearance from the doc, since I was 34 weeks at the time and she was hesitant to have me wander too far from home. Puff volunteered to go with me, but the doc said that since that wouldn't prevent me from going into early labor, I left him at home to cut the grass and eat at a cajun restaurant I keep denying him.


While I had told them to go light on decor, since it was just a few of us, they still busted out with some cute beachy themed decorations. I was especially in love with the twine and lifesavers wrapped around the silverware. We ate, we caught up, we gossiped, and then we opened some gifts.




Bimmer is so blessed to have even more people that care and love her already! And thanks to Kimhead always planning ahead, she even got her first Halloween bib. LOL. And some USC Gamecocks gear to wear this fall for football season. Not to mention Rach who whipped up a dress for the baby with the leftover seersucker from her bedskirt. Oh yeah, in an hour the morning of the shower. That girl's got it going on!




We didn't play any games, but we did have an arts and crafts project. We all gathered on the patio and decorated a onesie. I loved Biner's that read "Back Seat Driver" on it. So perfect for Puff and his car obsession. We also wrote "messages in a bottle" to the baby, which will no doubt end up in her scrapbook very soon!

All told, it was a great day. And while we missed everyone else who couldn't come (due to the fact that some live as far away as Louisiana!!!) it was just a nice relaxing and fun girl's day. Those won't happen the same way anymore from here on out. Sure, Bimmer can come and hang with my friends. But, as I was thinking on the drive into Columbia, how easy is it going to be to stop and pee with a baby in tow and no one to watch her at the rest stop?

Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nursery: Step 5


Before we get into the real meat of today's entry, I just wanted to remind you that today is our big important doctor's visit. I am 35 1/2 weeks along and they are going to check this afternoon to see if they still think Bimmer is huge. If so, we may end up with an ultrasound (bonus photos of baby are always nice!) and then we may be faced with a decision: induction or c-section. Or we may find out she's normal sized and everything will progress naturally as planned. Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers today that regardless of how she gets here, she gets here healthy.


OK... so before the big nursery reveal (which should be the next time I post about the room) I thought I would post some of the small details that I love so much!


 


A big shout out to Bimmer's future friends, Gabe & Alyssa, for their spare Boppy. The perfect nursery coordinating cover? A happy coincidence.


 


Yeah, so Bimmer won't actually need shoes, but Puff couldn't resist these puppies.

 

The room's accessories are still not all decided upon, nor are they in place. But these are a few things that will definitely be at home in her room. First, the handmade wooden horse that Puff and I bought the baby when I was 8 weeks pregnant... at the Angola Prison Rodeo. The Precious Moments night light was mine from when I was a child. Except, somewhere over time, I decided I didn't need to keep the light and the cord. Thank goodness for Amazon to find a replacement! Lastly, the money clip is from the FIL. It had been his father's and we are happy to have a family heirloom in Bimmer's room that means something to us and can be passed along to another generation.


 


The pink and white seersucker fabric I scored on sale at Hobby Lobby, coupled with Rach's sewing expertise, gave us the most adorable and perfect crib skirt. I couldn't have found a better one pre-made in a bedding package if I tried! It will be even cuter once we get to lower her down a notch and it hangs to the floor. And see that gorgeous white sparkly blanket draped over the crib? My step-mom MADE that when she was recovering from surgery. It's almost too pretty to ever let Bimmer touch it!


 


At my shower in The Fort, my aunt gifted us this adorable little suitcase filled with some goodies. (Yes, technically it's just a fancy gift box.) But it was too cute to throw away, so I repurposed it for the time being with all of Bimmer's baby toys. It fits perfectly under the crib (which is good, since my under bed boxes are too big) and we can stash those teethers and animals until she's a bit bigger.



 


Somewhere on Pinterest, I had found a suggestion of using these drawer organizer boxes from Ikea. When we went to Atlanta back in March, we snagged a 6 pack of different sized boxes and I wish I had bought a few more! They are the perfect size to contain bibs, hats, socks, and onesies. I'm sure her drawers will get rearranged a ton, but the top is for diapers and accessories, plus lotions, swaddlers, receiving blankets, and white onesies. The real deal is the next drawer down with her clothes divided by type. There's not a picture of the bottom drawer, but it's for her more plush blankets, towels and wash cloths, sheets, and other extra goodies.


 


Yes, this child has a fabulous wardrobe. I never thought I would even want baby hangers, since I sorta thought they were a waste, but once you hang up these adorable little dresses and rompers, how could you resist?!?!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ode to Moms



This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.


It's amazing what a year's difference can do. Last year when I was lucky enough to write for this cause, I wrote about my Granny. My thoughts on mothers and mother figures were strictly and solely pointed toward those women who had influenced me as a child. Now? Well, I'm 35 weeks pregnant and about to become a mother myself. I have a new found appreciate and adoration for all of my friends who have come before me.


I've always been a strong-willed and hard-headed individual. I approached pregnancy the same way I did anything else in my life... with an "I can do this and won't need any help" attitude. I learned very quickly that wasn't the case. I also learned very quickly that it is such a blessing to have such good friends who have paved the way before me. (Perhaps I waited til they had kids on purpose? LOL.) I have infinite resources at my finger tips with the internet and my own mom and grandmothers and aunts. But there's something to be said to being able to shoot a text to my best friend to ask her if a second head support in the car seat is necessary. Or if the menstrual-like cramping I'm having is normal.


My core group of friends has been around since middle and high school. We've grown up together and have supported each other through graduations and boys and new jobs and weddings. Now we're in (what I consider to be) the best part of our lives. We are finding our stride and we are bringing up a new generation. We are transitioning into a stage in our life where we need different things from each other now... like hand-me-down clothes and Boppys. And suggestions on what to do if we find ourselves in tears and overwhelmed during the first few weeks of our children's lives. Because not only have they showered Bimmer with stuff (HERE) they have also showered me with love and encouragement. They have assured me I am doing this right. And I know that once Bimmer arrives, I will be calling them more than ever with new questions and concerns.


As I am about to embark on the most amazing journey of my life, I can only smile at the fact that we are now grown-ups. We are now becoming the mothers we always dreamt of being. We are learning from those before us and will put our own spin on parenthood. I can only hope that one day, my daughter will be lucky enough to have friends as awesome as mine. And that one day, she too, can become a great mother. I suppose I just need to make sure I'm a great mom first.
 
 
Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the

  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dress Me Up

One thing I wish I had been more prepared for pre-pregnancy was maternity clothes. I hate to shop and I had no idea where to start with what I would and would not need. I heard so many varying opinions, from not needing anything until the third trimester, to needing to stock up on a ton of outfits from the start. So, just in case anyone was interested in my maternity clothes story, here ya go!


I managed to get through the first trimester without having to waver from my normal wardrobe. Thankfully, shirts like these were in style so I wore a lot of them to work as I started to sport a tiny pooch...


 


Toward the end of the first trimester, I did have to invest in a Belly Band in order to prolong the use of my work pants. I was down to one pair of jeans that fit by about 16 weeks, but thanks to a friend's Goodwill pile, I was able to score a few size 12 dress pants and a cute black dress that worked great for awhile. Also, a few size Large shirts from her got me well into the third trimester.


Around week 16, I did stock up on a few maternity items...


 


This wardrobe included:


* 2 pairs of jeans (one from Gap, one from Pea in the Pod)

* 2 pairs of dress pants (one from Target, one from Pea in the Pod)

* 5 sweaters (from Gap, Destination Maternity, Target, and Pea in the Pod)

* 3 camisoles (from Target)

* 3 long-sleeve t-shirts (from Destination Maternity, Target, and Gap)

* 2 plain t-shirts (from Target)

* 2 graphic t-shirts (from a local maternity boutique and Spencers)

* 1 blouse (from Gap)


Now, had I continued working after week 16, I probably would've needed to invest in some additional winter items. Also, thankfully, our winter was crazy mild. So my regular winter coat got me through January and we were able to return the $80 coat we had gotten from Destination Maternity. A friend also let me borrow one of her big ol' winter jackets that was even way too big on her, but I never needed it. I did find that the Pea in the Pod dressier clothes fit much better than those from elsewhere. Although the band on their jeans started really irking me after 24 weeks, while the Gap band stayed in place a bit better, since it sat more under my stomach.


While I wasn't working, my wardrobe consisted of my pre-pregnancy pajama pants, lounge pants, and yoga pants. Some were size small, some were medium. And up through about week 26, I was able to wear my size medium t-shirts I had. (Not the girly fit ones, but just normal t-shirts.) Then I had to upgrade to Puff's size large t-shirts, since they were roomier and much more comfortable. I did luck out with underwear too that my ass didn't grow, so I never needed to buy anything new there. I did, however, have to upgrade my bras. I went up 2 cup sizes very early on, so I hit up Victoria's Secret for their t-shirt bras that were like $25 each... one nude, one white, and one black. But at week 29, I had had enough of the underwire, so I hit up Kohl's for a Vanity Fair bra (on sale for $20) that was wireless. And was another size bigger.


At 30 weeks, I did have to invest in some spring clothes, since the weather had already been warm enough some days for me to rock some elastic-band pre-pregnancy work-out shorts. I wanted to find a cute dress, but was having lots of trouble doing so. I finally ended up in the normal woman's section at Target and scored a cute striped jersey kimono-sleeved, empire-waist dress (size medium) that worked and I can still wear post-pregnancy. In addition to that find, I picked up these few things...


 


So, my spring wardrobe included:


* 1 new camisole (from Kohl's)

* 1 striped t-shirt (from Kohl's)

* 2 ribbed tank tops (from Old Navy BOGO sale)

* 2 v-neck t-shirts (from Old Navy BOGO sale)

* 1 pair of shorts (from Destination Maternity)


I also lucked out that a few pre-pregnancy dresses still fit, like this one...


 


That would be why I needed that new camisole! ::insert grin::


And much to Kimhead's chagrin, my feet did not grow out of my shoes. Not like I had a badass shoe collection to begin with! All told, it wasn't the massive investment I had expected, but that definitely had a lot to do with the fact that from week 16 on, I was a housewife. Now we'll just have to plan for baby #2 to come in the same season so I won't have to start all over again next time!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday



July 2007 - Riverboat on the Ohio River
 
Happy 420 everyone! (To reminiss about my junior year of college, where we lived in room 420. Not pot. There wasn't any pot. Just lots of rum.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Haunting Photos

At the height of my nesting, I decided to tackle the paperwork abyss that is our office desk. Puff's "filing system" seems to be to just toss in any paper he thinks he might ever need again, plus business cards, postcards, photos, CDs, and travel brochures, into random drawers. Even though I never open them, I know it's there. And it hurts my head just thinking about such nonsense.
 
So, one day, I started digging. I found more than I bargained for. Yup... I found his stash of photos of his ex-girlfriends.
 
And at 8 months pregnant, I was feeling like this...
 
 
 
And the photos I was holding in my hand seemed to look like this...
 
 
 
I'd be hypocritical if I told him to get rid of them, seeing as I have lots of photos of Mr. Smith and a handful of The Ex. (Mostly just because they were from travels and I look super cute in them.) There may be one or two of guys from before them too. And I won't get rid of them. So, I don't expect Puff to toss his. I guess I just hate knowing that he has them. I don't know why... we've been married about 2 years, together for 4, and are welcoming a baby practically any day. I have no more need to worry about these women than he has to worry about me running off with Jason Statham.
 
Although, if that were an option....
 
Is it OK to be an emotional hoarder and keep photos and letters, etc. from your ex? Should there be a time limit on it? Or should there just be an unwritten rule to stash those items where your current honey won't find them? I don't want to be the wife who refuses to acknowledge Puff had a life before we met. I've known too many women like that and they irk me. I have a past and so does he. I just wonder, sometimes, how much of that past we need to cling to and when is it best to just let go?
 
I think the photo that upset me the most was one of him and the Slutasian one Halloween. (We all know my distaste for her to begin with!) But in this photo, she was wearing a costume that Puff has repeatedly mentioned that he would want ME to wear for him.,The minute I saw it, my heart just sank. I'm not into that sorta thing anyway, but to know he has already had one woman in that costume just completely killed his chances for me to ever wear it for him in the future. I would be constantly thinking about her. And whether or not Puff was comparing us. And feeling unspecial, since it wasn't something new for us to enjoy together.
 
I don't care if we go to restaurants they used to frequent or take hikes they once took. I hope that he feels the same way. But sometimes you just can't recreate something with someone else. Here's hoping he will drop the whole costume thing. And here's hoping I can get that image out of my mind. We have better things to focus on right now... like creating our own memories and our own happiness. It's time to put the past, in the past.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3 to 6 To Go


 
Oy vay! Is this pregnancy over yet? People had told me the last 10 weeks would be the slowest and they weren't kidding. Although, really, I'm not sure if it seems like it's going all that much slower. All I know is that I'm definitely feeling WAY more pregnant!!!

I've finally started the pregnancy waddle. It took me until I hit 32 weeks, but it's definitely here. The culprit? The lower back pain that extends down into my butt and upper leg. Apparently it's normal and the doc's don't really have much insight on how to make it feel any better. Just lots of rounds with the heating pad, which doesn't ever really help. All those things I had been doing that made me feel so productive and useful are about out the window. Grocery shopping is near impossible since it hurts to be on my feet that long and bending and stooping for things is painful too. Not to mention carrying the bags inside the house! Forget Dustbustering the house like I used to do, or any type of yard work. I've even had to nix my daily walks. (Update: In the past three days or so, I've only had the pain in the mornings and have felt pretty good if I get up and going. Here's hoping that trend continues!)
 
Another fun thing has been the cramps in my calves. I've had two or three in the past two weeks and they are SOOOOO not fun! Now I understand why professional athletes writhe around in pain on the field for "just a cramp." I literally moan out loud they hurt so bad. And they linger too for a few days, which is odd. It makes shaving my legs in the shower a real doosy of a chore. If it were just a smidge colder, I wouldn't even bother trying! My poor feet are neglected too, since I've been hesitant to spend money on a pedicure. But Puff has an unhealthy fear of feet, so he wouldn't touch them if his life depended on it!

In important doctor news, I went in last week at 33 1/2 weeks and they mentioned again that Bimmer seems BIG. When they feel around for her, there's not much fluid in there... mostly baby. So, we go back April 25th to feel and measure again and will most likely do an ultrasound to get a better idea of her size. If she's pushing 8 pounds (or more) as they suspect she might be (really?!? already?!?) then we will have to make a decision about inducing so we could avoid an emergency c-section later. On the bright side? She's head down, right in position!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stereotype A

I recently stumbled upon a new mommy-blog that I enjoy. She's a photographer and a mother of two little ones. She cloth diapers. And I'm insanely jealous of how quickly she lost all her baby weight. Anyhoo... in scanning her archives, I found an entry about how she is a Type A personality. And how being a mother has affected that.
 
Um... just to clarify... you all know I'm super Type A, right?
 
 
 
My living room always looks this way. Except for maybe a pair of socks that Puff has thrown off under the coffee table after I've gone to bed. But they were always picked up in the morning. I live and thrive on a plan and a routine and a schedule. I like to be in control and having a plan allows me to do so. Plus, everything has a place and a purpose. In the mommy-blog, she referenced that there was nothing that could have gotten her to stray from her Type A persona quite like parenthood. (Granted, she still keeps a pretty strict schedule - that I hope to emulate as much as possible.) She gave up things like keeping the floors lickably clean or the baby's books arranged on a shelf by color.
 
It made me step back and realize something... I'm already becoming LESS of a Type A fiend. I blame unemployment.
 
 
 
Since the start of January, the table in our office has looked like this every day. Sometimes the papers are stacked neatly. Sometimes they aren't. The pen is always laying there, instead of in its correct spot in the pen holder on the desk. That's just my little pile of unemployment paperwork. And, if I'm lucky, I'm adding new jobs to the list every day that I have applied for. Just wish I would've been a little more lucky in getting in for more interviews!
 
 
 
And then our guest room/nursery looked like this. For days, weeks, maybe. Sometimes I'd make the bed. Usually half-ass though, since making the bed has never been one of my anal retentive attention-getters.
 
All of this is just prepping me for those days when I don't feel like folding laundry or straightening the blanket on the back of Puff's recliner. I am quite certain I won't spiral out of control into mass chaos. But I think more things will just be added to that list with making the beds. Heck, dusting the baseboards has already gone on there too. And since my big ol' belly is now in the way, Dustbustering the floors on a crazy regular basis has fallen behind as well.
 
Who knows... maybe in some of my slacking, Puff will see what needs to be done and jump in and help out.
 
I'll give you a second to stop laughing and pick yourself up from the floor.
 
I did also find this blog entry that pretty much sums up my Type A organizational thought process. That pretty much sums up my life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Name That Kid

I grew up in a sea of girls named Sarah and Jessica and Katie. The boys were Matt and Noah and Michael. I'd be hard-pressed to pick someone out with a really unique, interesting name from my childhood. Bimmer will end up surrounded by girls named Isabella and Sophia and boys named Jacob and Ethan.


Kimhead shared this link with me earlier this week and asked me to post about baby names. A lot of the names he is referencing seem to fall into the "urban legend" category for me... along with names like Lemonjello and Orangejello. (Pronounced la-mon-ja-lo and or-on-ja-lo, of course). The older I get, the more I even question my memory if I heard correctly when a family member told me they knew of a little boy named Nosmoking. (Nah-sma-king, of course). Kinda like that time I heard my uncle telling a story about a guy driving after a fight with his wife, where she refused to get in the car, and a rod fell off a truck in front of him and came through the front windshield and into the passenger seat.


Ever since I was little, I've been obsessed with baby names. I begged my grandma to buy me an old baby name book once at a yard sale, and was probably the only 6th grader in town with a book shelf full of different variations. I bought a cool new name book in college and was congratulated by the store clerk on my pending arrival! I've wavered greatly over the years in my favorites for my future children, but Puff and I came to a decision fairly quickly when we got together. Bimmer's first name is a tribute to my paternal grandmother (that I settled on when I was 12), while her middle name includes part of my maternal grandmother's name. Her initials are that of Bimmer's paternal grandfather and uncle, plus, by sheer coincidence, her actual middle name is that of her paternal great-great-great grandmother! I've never been a stickler for having to use family names, but this time, it worked out.


So I thought I would share some of my all-time (some ridiculous) favorites that I once thought I would consider using...


* Crew Donovan (I still sorta love Crew as a guilty pleasure)


* Breighlyn Destiny


* Lochlyn Desirae


* Roland


* Haelyn (Like Van Halen, only cooler)


* Declan Patrick (This is on our list, but unless we have twin boys next pregnancy, I sadly won't get to use it)


I also worked with kids for years and regret not keeping a list of some of the more awesome names I came across. The only two that were sorta "out there" that I can remember are Chaz and Aries.


Puff, however, keeps a list of names he sees in business. My all-time fave? Reinhard Assman. (I may have spelled that incorrectly.) But basically, it sounds to me like "rain-hard ass-man." And that is beyond cool.


So, while Bimmer probably won't be in a sea of other girls with her same name, it has gained in popularity in the 18 years since I picked it out. But I don't think it's cracked the top 50, so that's "unique" enough for me. I definitely have a feeling, however, I will be keeping track of some of the kids she goes to school with over the years. Check back in 2017 when she's enrolled in kindergarten and I get to scope out (re: criticize) the names of her classmates. Oh... this is going to be so much fun!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Internet's White Panel Van

When I asked for blog topics (HERE) back in March, Mr. Smith was quick to chime in asking me to write about my search for a convent for the year 2030.
 
On a similar note, Puff has probably already begun shopping for shotguns. If Bimmer is half as cute as Puff and I are, we're going to have our hands full. ::insert proud Mama grin::
 
Which is why I already have the distinct urge to protect her from all the lunatics out there in this world. And the internet just makes it that much easier to access those crazies. Perhaps I spend too much time watching Criminal Minds-CSI-Law & Order-Snapped, but I don't think you can ever be too careful. So, here's hoping I raise a daughter who makes a few wiser decisions than I did in my misspent youth.
 
The internet was a pretty new thing when I was in high school. I got my first email account when I was a freshman and that was via AOL, so there wasn't the mass availability like there is today. There weren't social networking sites. There weren't blogs. If you wanted to "meet" someone online, you found them in chatrooms or via profile searches, where there was only as much information as you chose to fill into the few categories available. Of course, I did "meet" some people... Jester and JHoppy and TRMPT... something like that. (It amazes me what I remember!) They were all (supposedly) boys roughly my age from around the country whom I would email and talk to via AIM every so often. It was actually a good lesson for me in building confidence in talking to someone of the opposite sex. Especially since I wasn't getting that attention I so desperately craved from the boys in my everyday life. But we didn't have pictures to share and all they knew about my whereabouts was the name of the closest big city.
 
Sure, over the following years, I would meet several men through AOL and kept in touch with some of them for years. I met some in person, dated some, befriended others. And we may or may not have lured one to our dorm junior year and watched him through the window in the courtyard. (Poor guy!) Was it wise of me to do that? Probably not. But hey... had I not taken that leap of faith, I never would've met Puff either! So, sometimes it does turn out OK. However... that was OK since I was in my late twenties and had some experience under my belt.
 
Nowadays, kids can meet people anywhere online. And they're not all smart about it. I'm not saying my way was the best way, but since the technology wasn't as good as it is now, it was harder to access specific information about others. To be quite honest, Facebook scares me. Case and point... a high-school aged female relative. She has a Facebook page, of course. I am not friends with her and neither is Puff. (Don't really need her reading stuff our crew of friends might post!) More than a year ago, I expressed my concern to a relative about this. It was shrugged off, saying that she's a good kid. Well, of course she's a good kid. But that doesn't mean that some creepy male stalker out there isn't prowling for innocent young girls.
 
So... what worries me about her Facebook page? First of all, it's not set as private. No one should have an open page these days, unless you're a business. I'm sorry, but that's just plain stupid. And using very rudimentary internet search skills, I can find her first and last name, the town she lives in, where she goes to school, what sport she plays, what activities she's in, her birthday, photos of her, and links to all of her friends. In a matter of seconds. It doesn't matter if you are the most innocent, sweet, smart, well-rounded kid in the world. If you are a teenage girl giving out that much free information to anyone who has a Facebook account, you're just not being safe. And as a former teenage girl in the dawning of the internet, I know that men will find you... whether you want them to or not. And that was even without freely offering up any of that type of information in a public profile.
 
I know that just because I am about to become a parent doesn't make me a connoisseur of parental decisions. But sometimes you don't need to be a parent to see something so blatantly scary and potentially harmful. I share a lot in this blog... but I have never shared my name, my specific town, my job, Puff's job, photos of us or the outside of our home, our cars, etc. The internet is a great and wonderful tool. But maybe we need to start monitoring it a little better when the safety of our youth is involved. For sure, Bimmer will know the pitfalls. And there will be consequences if she doesn't abide.
 
I'm doing it because I love her.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stripped

Last month, Puff and I took advantage of a free weekend (that never would've happened had I been working) and hopped over to Atlanta to visit with some good friends and the MIL. All told, it was a really nice visit. No drama... woo hoo! And on top of getting to spend quality time with friends we haven't seen in ages, we made some awesome scores. (Thank you, Ikea.)


But, hands down, the score that made me stupid giddy was the bag o' cloth diaper hand-me-downs from our friend, Liz.


 


I had mentioned HERE about our preference to cloth diaper, and when Liz found out, she gladly passed along the ones that her littlest had outgrown. This makes me happy for several reasons, but the biggest being that we can have a guilt-free, cost-free, test drive of cloth without any major investment. No, they're not the brand/style/color we would've bought for ourselves, but who cares?!? And if we try them out and it's a bust, then we can at least say we gave it the ol' college try. And if we love it? We'll gladly hop on down to our local hippie baby store and stock up on cute pink and purple ones in the brand/style we think we will like best.


Liz informed me that it was time for the diapers to be stripped, and since I know a thing or two about stripping (or do I? ::wink::wink::) I told her I would take care of it. So, on a warm Saturday while Puff mowed the grass, I hunkered down and pressed forward on my Quest for Cloth.


 


Basically, all I had to do was wash them and then run it through another time with some Dawn dish detergent. I rinsed them again until all the suds were gone from the water. And put them out on a new rack on the deck to dry in the sunshine! Thankfully, this process doesn't have to be done very often, and with the right care, you don't even need to strip them at all.So, now Bimmer has a handful of cloth dipes in her new dresser in her room. And we will be trying out those small sized ones not long after we bring her home from the hospita. I figure we better go ahead and try it out sooner rather than later!


We'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shower Time



Back on March 31st, my amazingly awesome high school girlfriends threw me and Bimmer our first baby shower!


About 15 family and friends (plus 4 adorable children) gathered at Meg's house to celebrate the pending arrival of our little wiggly-butt. We snacked and chatted and played games. My favorite was the match the celebrity to their baby name. Not to brag or anything, but I was the only one who got them all right. ::insert proud grin::


And of course, it's not a shower without a proper cake...


 


Rowdy came up with the political themed ribbon for the cake (so totally her!) and it was so cute. (Of course, I've omitted her real name and replaced it with Bimmer in the photo.)


 


Puff, Bimmer, and I totally raked in the gifts and we are beyond grateful. The fact that everyone took some time from their busy schedule to come to the shower, let alone buy us something, is so humbling. And it is so helpful right now with me being out of work! We stocked up on more adorable clothes (this girl has a serious wardrobe) and some awesome necessities like our high chair and our fancy-pants pack-n-play. Besides coming back to SC with a car-load of goodies, it was good for my heart to be overwhelmed with so much love for our baby girl!


You guys are so awesome and I can never repay you for throwing me such a wonderful shower. I can't wait to see you again later this summer... baby Bimmer in tow!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday



Flash Bulb Fridays are going to be moderately adjusted for the foreseeable future. With Bimmer's arrival set next month, there's just a ton of stuff to get accomplished before then. Plus, I've been pretty diligent about writing 4-5 times a week anyway, so you probably won't notice the change much! I am going to start posting just twice a month through the summer on Fridays. I will also probably not write as detailed a description of the photo either.

I also may ultimately have a project up my sleeve to be forthcoming after Bimmer is here as well. We just will have to wait and see.

So, for now... enjoy some early March azalea buds on the bush in front of our house. If we ever do move from here, not having a line of azaleas around the house would be so sad!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

One Last Time

Way back on St. Patty's Day (see... I told you I was ahead of myself on these pre-written posts!) Puff and I took advantage of the gorgeous 80 degree non-humid day and took the convertible to the mountains. Yes, I know that seems to be a running theme with us. But hey... we're trying to get as much use out of that thing as we can before we have to strap Bimmer to the hood!
 
 
For as often as we venture to this particular part of the state, we have never actually gone into Table Rock State Park. After some research, I found out it was a $2 entry fee and there were some hikes that seemed doable at less than 2 miles round-trip. Yes, even though I was 30 weeks pregnant at the time. I envisioned walking around the lake, taking some snapshots of the mountain itself (since we certainly weren't hiking all the way to the top of it), and doing the Carrick Creek Nature Trail.
 
 
 
We stopped at a few look-out spots and eventually made it to the trail head. We weren't on the path but a few minutes before we came to this waterfall. We snapped some photos and hiked a bit further up the trail for Puff to off-road it to get some close-up shots of the water. There were lots of people out, so we were taking our time and stepping to the side as much as possible. However, not long after that, the trail started to veer up-hill. There were steps and a metal slanted bridge. There were wet rocks to navigate. When we got to a trail split, we opted to go only a little farther, as there was a large hill looming ahead. Eventually, we got to the point where I would have had to cross a large creek balancing on wet, unstable rocks. So, we turned around. No use risking me breaking an ankle! It will ultimately be a very nice trip to take with the baby strapped to Puff's chest this fall!
 
 
The day wasn't all lost though. On the way back to the house, the sky overhead was amazingly perfect. Just another quiet reminder of why we love living in this state. And why I love being married to Puff. He's always got something up his sleeve!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The 8th Month



Ack! Only 8 more weeks til baby. Or less! ::insert look of terror::
 
As you read yesterday (HERE) the nursery is taking shape. We went back to The Fort this past weekend and had a wonderful baby shower. (More details on that next week!) I'm starting to feel huge, but I suppose that's normal. It's definitely hard to breathe sometimes and I have really itchy feet at night. And I've started to get lower back pain most days, which had been held off until now. Oh, the joys of pregnancy.

Yet, for as much as I bitched about it from time to time, these past 10 or 12 few weeks have been relatively smooth sailing, and I am so excited for Bimmer to get here, that I am also super excited to start working on her younger sibling ASAP! (Please, smack me now!) The Braxton Hicks contractions have kept going and sometimes in the middle of the night, it's super uncomfortable to lay the side of my hard stomach on the bed. It's like there's a tennis ball that pops out of my side. It's super weird.
 
And for the first time in my life, I'm experiencing "chub rub." I had an old boss, years ago, throw out that term. It's about the tops of your thighs rubbing together. I've never had it before in my life and I am so not a fan! Even though the bulk of my weight is in my stomach (and boobs) there are little pockets of fat popping up elsewhere. Although, funny enough, my ass is still as small as always! Can't win 'em all.
 
Puff and I also took a childcare class last week, since he had never changed a diaper and had probably never even held a newborn. I think it was good sanity for both of us. We learned a little about a lot of things and it put us to rest about some of it. I know Puff is nervous about Bimmer when she's so little, but I have the utmost faith in him being the best father ever. I can't wait to see him snuggle up with her. It's just going to absolutely melt my heart!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nursery: Step 4

 

Just a gratuitous butt shot of my own personal sexy man candy, Puff! ::insert grin::


The hardest thing for us to find for the nursery was a dresser. As I've mentioned before, that room has to serve several purposes, and room is tight. Plus, since The Bungalow is small, the rooms aren't exactly suburb-sized. We plan to ultimately put the dresser on the wall where the crib is (see here) so we were very limited to the width.


Bring on Ikea!


 


Yes, we thought a bag full of random nuts & bolts and instructions with no words were our best option. We scoured antique stores, but never came up with something that jumped out at us. We contemplated an un-matching dresser from Babies R Us, but at almost $400, I just couldn't pull the trigger.


 


Plus, this Hemnes dresser from Ikea matches the temporary nightstands Puff and I are using in our room. So when Bimmer grows into her big bed, she can have a matching dresser and nightstands. Plus, the $200 price tag, perfect width, and white color made it a painless purchase. Now we just need to get a little bit closer in so we can rearrange all that furniture! I'm excited for the final product... which we will be needing here soon!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Man Candy Monday


I feel like I'm cheating these days doing Man Candy Monday! But Puff and I just got back into town from a long weekend in The Fort visiting family and friends. (More on that soon!)
 
So, I am taking a day to recoup and gather my thoughts. I'm also stock-piling entries that I've previously written, since we all know I'll be hard up for time here soon.
 
In the meantime, enjoy some yummy JFK Jr. Still such a shame about his death. I would've loved to have seen what he became.