Friday, August 31, 2012

Project 52 - Week 14

 
 
It's official, Bimmer has someplace to go. I mentioned last week that on a few fluke instances, she had gotten so mad she managed to move herself on the bed. I have now seen it in full effect, both mad and happy. But usually mad. She is pretty quick about it too. Within a matter of about two minutes, she can get from one end of the crib to the other. I came out of the shower one day to find her all the way in the far corner of the crib, where she had managed to move two of her stuffed animals out of the way as well. Being pissed off is apparently really good motivation for a 3 month old!

On the flip side, one day I put her on the bed, so I could go to the bathroom. She wasn't angry, so I figured it was safe. Turns out, she'll move when she's happy too. She moved herself back about two or three good scoots so she was face to face with her stuffed pig. And she was just happily laying there... licking his nose. Bonus pic time...
 
 
 

 

When I texted the photo to Puff, he was like, "She's a lover, not a fighter." I'm not totally sure about that. She loves her piggie, but she will fight Mommy tooth and nail if she gets put down when she doesn't want to be! She also has decided that she likes to try to put her ball in her mouth, but she can't quite get it there, so she just ends up sticking her tongue through the holes on it. It's pretty cute. (Not that I'm biased or anything.)
 
Another new favorite activity is to talk to the baby in the mirror. She had always been sorta indifferent, but this past week, she has decided it's fun to wiggle and giggle and talk to the baby in the mirror. She even reaches for her reflection. I love to watch her wheels turning!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have Baby, Will Travel

An old friend once told me everything they were packing for a week at the beach with their baby. Besides the diapers, bottles, burp cloths, and blankets you would expect to need, they were also taking: a pack-n-play, a Boppy, a high chair, 2 strollers, a baby bathtub, a travel swing, bags of toys, and other things I can't even remember. The kid was only 4 months old! They were only going to be gone for a week!
 

As I've mentioned several times (like HERE), Puff and I are trying to be as minimalist as possible when it comes to baby gear. It can rapidly multiply, and The Bungalow is small. I don't want to be tripping over stuff that Bimmer doesn't really need. This mentality also extends to travel, and always has for us. I can be gone for two plus weeks to Europe and take one rolling suitcase and a backpack as a carry-on. (No, I haven't mastered not checking luggage for a long trip. But then again, I don't want to be the douche-canoe taking up the entire overhead bin either. But that's another topic for another day.)
 
 
(This is where I would insert a photo of our pile of loot, but the internet hates me this morning)
 

When Bimmer was just 5 weeks old, Puff and I took that trip to Florida. (HERE) Puff likes to point out it was the first time it really hit him that he was taking a "family" vacation, since it was the first time I had packed everything for everyone. (Yes, there were lists involved.) But I was determined to not take anything more than we absolutely needed. And since it worked out pretty well for us (and again on a trip to The Fort when she was 8 weeks old, HERE) I thought I'd share how we did it.
 

First off, there was just one suitcase for the 3 of us. All our clothes, toiletries, hair dryer, and even laptop went in there. For Bimmer's clothes, I packed an outfit, a onesie, and a sleeper for each day we were gone. It was the most over-packing of clothes I have ever done in my life. We came home with a lot of it clean. But it was good to have it there, just in case!
 
We had our pack-n-play (The Phil & Ted's one that is tiny) and the Boppy. The only reason we took the Boppy was for the purpose of my mom being able to hold the baby on her lap. (Although, in The Fort, she ended up sleeping in it on the bed, and thus started her habit of sleeping 6+ hours per night!) Plus our frame stroller that folds up pretty flat. (Can't wait til we can use an umbrella stroller that's even smaller!) And her diaper bag too. These were the only pieces of "baby gear" we took with us. Everything listed above fit nicely into the trunk of The Batmobile or the back of my SUV.
 

The only other thing we had was an old diaper box (which was upgraded to a large tote bag for our trip to The Fort) that held all the baby necessities. We took one sleeve of diapers (from a value jumbo box) and two new containers of wipes. We took 8 bottles and 1 tub of formula. We took a spare pacifier and 5 burp cloths. We took 1 extra blanket, to go with the blanket that lives in her car seat. For Florida, I took a travel sized dish detergent. We also took one jug of Nursery Water and a few small bottled waters (to throw in her diaper bag for when we were out and about). Her diaper rash cream and gas drops went to Florida, but not The Fort, since we never used them. Baby Tylenol made The Fort trip though. And both trips had a spare outfit in that bag/box, since it was in the backseat of the car and easily accessible. A rattle topped it off.
 
It all fit easily and, for the most part, we didn't feel like we missed anything. The only thing I wish we would have had was a travel sized Woolite, for that incident where I smeared poop all over her. (Don't worry, there's a blog entry about that!) The only thing we bought on either trip was a small pack of diapers in Florida. I was ONE diaper short for the trip! So close!
 
I know it will always be adjusting as the baby gets older and needs other things. But I was really happy and proud of us that we managed to get by on so little and that it all fit in the cars. I can never envision us being the people to lug beach chairs or baby bathtubs with us. Please remind me of that next summer when we take a more "real" and "relaxing" family vacation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He's Such a Boy


A random exchange one weekend morning after Puff got out of the shower…

 

Me: What is this? (Pointing to something white on Puff’s stomach)

Puff: Um, probably boogers.

Me: Why do you have boogers in your belly button?

Puff: Because I wiped them on my towel.

Me: Why did you wipe boogers on your towel?

Puff: Don’t you get swimmer’s nose in the shower?

Me: Um, I wash my face off in the shower.

Puff: Well, mine starts to run when the water turns off. So it gets on the towel when I go like this. (Insert demo of wiping face)
 

On this particular occasion, it was merely lint. Not boogers.

Wow… I am so happy I had a little girl.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho


Yeah, yeah. You know the rest.


The past 8 months, I was just another person in the unemployment line. I baked Bimmer til the bitter end and I have spent every second since 4:53am on May 24th doting on her every need.  The job hunt was ridiculous. I was blatantly denied jobs because of my pregnancy. On the flip side, I turned down several requests for second interviews, plus one job offer, because of laughably low salaries. $10 an hour for part-time work is not a valid reason to put Bimmer in daycare.


Imagine my surprise when I got a request for an interview for a job I didn’t even remember applying for! It probably happened like this… the week was ending and I needed to get in my 4 required inquiries. Puff had Bimmer in the other room, probably screaming. So I just did a quick online search, and sent off my saved Careerbuilder resume to the first few legitimate looking jobs. No cover letter. No references.


It took a week from the first contact until I had a written offer in hand. It was a week spent  battling a wide array of emotions, sleepless nights, discussions and tiffs with Puff, and countless tears falling on Bimmer’s head as I cried nearly every time she fell asleep in my arms.

 
 I wanted to do what was best for Bimmer. And I had no idea the answer.


At Puff’s urging, the decision was made that it was time to go back to work. Who knew when another decent offer would land on my plate. This job is in the same industry I had been working the past 5 plus years, only without those big December/January projects. (No boats! Yay!) The location is less than 15 minutes from the house, comes with all the standard perks, and the money was spot on what I was asking. There are still potentially some nights and weekends, but it was presented to me in a way that leads us to believe it won’t be as frequent as with my previous job. Also, my boss is very family oriented and even played “Mr. Mom” for awhile, so he understands that there will be sick days and doctor’s appointments reserved for Bimmer.


For those of you who knew me before I had Bimmer, it is sure to come to you as a surprise that I was even considering wanting to stay home. The reality is that we would have to sacrifice in a lot of ways in order for that to happen. And for right now, we aren’t willing to do that. We want Bimmer to have the most amazing life we can give her, and financially, we need that second income to do that. We may change our minds in a few months, but we had always planned for me to work. So I need to get back to it.


Now comes the daunting task of finding a nanny within the next 2 to 3 weeks. We will eventually be getting Bimmer into a church daycare at the top of our street, but we are still waitlisted awhile longer. After a lot of thought, Puff and I decided that having a nanny come to the house was the best temporary option for us. Especially since there aren’t any other legitimate daycares in a convenient area. I refused to drive a half hour out of my way to the suburbs. That just meant more time away from her.


And I have a feeling I am going to need as much cuddle time as possible.


This adjustment is going to be rough. It’s going to be way harder than I ever thought it would be. At the end of the day, I know I am doing it for Bimmer. I am doing it because I love her. I am doing it because I have to. My mom did it. My aunts did it. My friends all are doing it too. When Bimmer is 16 weeks old, I will become a working mother.


Here’s hoping I have the strength to make it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Project 52 - Week 13

I must've been really funny that morning!
 
Well, we made it to three months! I know they tell you that time will fly the older you get, but seriously, it's ridiculous when you compare Bimmer today to the Bimmer of 3 months ago!

For whatever reason, I was really determined to get her to stay in her 0-3 month sized clothes until she was actually 3 months old. I know it made me feel like we were getting our monies worth and it made Puff feel like we didn't have a fat baby. But this week, I had to give in. She's just too long for some of her sleepers. (But she still fits fine in her 3 month onesies!) We had to upgrade to some 3-6 month sleepers. It made me so sad to pack away the little ones she wore the first week she was home with us!

We also should probably upgrade to size 2 diapers, since she's been in that size range for awhile now. But I don't like how they fit her. Yes, the size 1 diapers are a smidge too small. But when she poops in the size 2 diapers, it goes all the way up her back, since the diaper goes halfway up her back. So I'm squeezing her tiny hiney into those size 1 dipes as long as I can!

Since there is no three month well-baby visit with Doc Hottie, I had to do the ghetto weigh-in of me standing on the scale without holding her and then again holding her. If my math is correct, she weighs in at about 15 pounds. No wonder my arms are getting such a workout these days! Her hair is also really starting to grow in more these days. It's coming in lighter, so her tips are darker than her roots. It's like she has the worst dye job ever. Not to mention it's getting long in the back, so she really has a baby mullet. But it gets pushed up when she lays on her back, so it is just really a mess. But a cute mess. The cutest mess ever.
 
Oh... and I also learned yesterday that I can no longer leave her alone on the bed in her room. Especially when she's angry. I had to take a phone call, so I put her in the middle of the bed, as I have done several times before. I could hear her crying, but didn't think much of it. When I got back into the room, she had managed to move herself about 3 body lengths up the bed and over to the side, so her head was against the wall. Thank God the wall was there to stop her from going any farther! I guess she was just getting so mad that she was digging her heels into the mattress and that was pushing her on her back. She did the same thing later that day in her crib as well. But at least she's confined there! I swear, this girl has got someplace to go!
 
Lastly, an update on her sleeping habits. She did really awesome from week 8 to week 11 with stretches of 6+ hours each night. Then we decided it was time to force her into her crib. She has been gradually moving her bedtime up earlier and earlier, which is fine with me. I'd rather go to bed at 9pm than 10pm myself! And she will typically sleep about 5 hours before needing a bottle and then will sleep another 3 1/2 hours, which puts us around 6am. If it's during the week and I get her in the mornings, I try really really hard to get her to go back to sleep til 8am, which I usually can. It just requires some cuddle time in bed with her on my chest. But I'm totally OK with that. I will take that as long as she will let me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Watching Baby Weight

When I first found out I was pregnant and due in May, I vowed to myself and Puff that I would be back into single digit pants by September. That gave me 3+ months to accomplish that goal. Totally doable, right?

Wrong.

This was me last August, during our romantic getaway weekend to Charlotte. (HERE)
 
 
 

What a difference a year makes! My boobs are still 2 cup sizes too big to fit back into that bikini top. Yes, I've tried.

Here's me in Florida at about 6 weeks post-partum...
 

 

I was down a whopping 29 pounds (from the 48 I accumulated during the pregnancy) and felt like I was on track to reach my goal. The weight had just sorta fallen off, without much effort. (You can read about my progress to that point HERE.)

But where am I after 12 weeks? Eh... not anywhere close to where I need to be.
 

 

I never realized how hard it would be to fit in time to exercise and eat right with a little one. Bimmer and I take daily walks around the neighborhood for 20 to 30 minutes, unless it's raining or we have a morning appointment. I have a Slim Fast shake for breakfast and a sensible dinner. But it's all those lost minutes of NOT being on the elliptical or doing crunches. It's all those times I have to eat handfuls of Frito's for lunch, since eating fruit or a sandwich requires two hands and I just sometimes don't have that option. It's all that lost will power when I'm at a restaurant and can't resist ordering a Coke. Or eating all the breadsticks they bring to the table.

So, at 10 weeks post-partum, I set a goal. I was stuck at 29 pounds down, stuck at 1X4 pounds. (Yeah, I'm not divulging my actual weight. Sorry!) I aimed to be down those random 4 pounds by the end of week 12. I was going to try to eat better and have Puff watch the baby at night so I could get on the elliptical. I figured it was a reachable goal. I was determined.
 
And I met my goal.
 
And exceeded it. By a pound.
 
 
 
So, now down to 1X9 pounds, I am setting a goal of being down 4 more pounds by the end of week 14. I am tired of wearing maternity shorts that give me camel-toe. I want to actually wear something with a button. (I did, in fact, try on a pair of size 8 shorts yesterday that I did manage to button. Never mind there was a ridiculously noticable, and socially unacceptable, muffin-top happening. I did not wear them out in public. I have some dignity.)
 
Please remind me of this when I am back to work and bitching about having to wear dress clothes. Remind me that I once got tired of wearing my PJs all day. And remind me how stupid I was to say that out loud.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Fort Family

Toward the end of July, Puff and I packed the car up again (but with a little bit less stuff... we learned after Florida HERE) and headed back to The Fort. It was time to introduce Bimmer to her great grandmothers and my aunts and cousins. And my lifelong friends too. There are just so many people that love our little girl. She's so blessed! And spoiled!
 

Our first order of business was to try out Mamaw and Papaw's pool and go swimming for the first time! It was sad that Puff had continued on to the Great White North and missed it. But we texted him lots of pictures!
 
 

 
 

My dad also insisted on taking the baby to a nearby aquarium, which was pretty hilarious. A two month old doesn't really get the concept, but she was good and looked around a little bit in the tunnels. Of course her Papaw had to buy her some souvenirs too. So she has a cute little stuffed seahorse in her crib now and a t-shirt she can wear next summer!

 

 

One of the sweetest things was when she smiled at my grandma, her Grams...
 
 


 

And we had a playdate with some of my friends and their babies. When I was going back and looking through these photos, I had to laugh when I noticed that Bimmer was passed out on the floor during the party. Definitely reminiscent of her mommy, HERE.
 

 
But probably the funniest thing was when my extended family tried to re-enact this old photo of me as a baby...
 
 
 
By putting Bimmer in a cooler.
 
 
As you can see, we obviously had a much larger cooler back in 1982!
 
All told, it was an awesome trip home and it really (reallyreallyreallyreally) made me anxious to move back to The Fort. I just wish the absolute best for Bimmer and want her to be surrounded by her family. The decision is on the backburner for right now, but trust me when I say I am constantly dropping not-so-subtle hints to Puff about the possibility of a move. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Project 52 - Week 12

It looks like she's doing the hula!

I seriously could just sit at home and kiss that little Sugar Butt all day long!

Oh wait... I kinda do. And I am so happy that I am not working, because if I were, I would be going back to work on Monday. And that would suck some serious donkey balls. (Although it's about time to get serious about finding a job. Boo!)

Bimmer has decided recently that she wants to be a total sweetie when she wakes up after a nap. She just smiles and smiles and coos. And first thing in the morning, she always stretches with her whole body and rubs her hands in her face like life is just so rough. Oh, she is going to be a joy to wake up as a teenager. I can feel it already.
 
Bimmer is also starting to really interact with a few of her toys. Two in particular that she loves are the frog that hangs from her car seat and the stuffed pig that jingles that her Aunt Biner got her. She finally figured out how to grab the feet on the frog and pull it down the other day in the car. And she tries to pick up her pig when we put it in front of her and she knocks it around to make it jingle. I think the pig is her favorite. (Of course it's my least favorite animal! But Mr. Piggie is so cute, I'll let it slide!) Also, when she's in her car seat or stroller, she likes to have a blanket that she can grab with both hands. She pulls it up over her face and then back down again. She entertained herself at my doctor's appointment like that for over a half hour!
 
The coolest thing that happened this week was that Bimmer rolled over from her stomach to her back! Twice! She was pushing herself up on her stomach with her arms and was kinda leaning one direction and before I knew it, she was over on her back. The third time I got her on video, but she didn't make it over. I'm just so proud of my little one!
 
(Here's where I would have inserted the video, but the internet is acting goofy. Sorry!)
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hunting Houses

I am pretty positive that everyone is a snob about something.
 
There are food and wine snobs, fashion snobs, and car snobs. Myself? I will proudly proclaim to be a travel snob. That's no secret. However, today, I am announcing something else I am a snob about... houses.
 
Now, don't go getting your "I live in a subdivision with no trees where all the houses look exactly the same" panties in a wad. If that is your preference or what you can afford, and you're happy, then so be it. I'm not saying "house snob" in that I think everyone should live in cool old mansions. Um... how easily you forget that The Bungalow is maybe 1300 square feet of one toilet goodness. What I really mean is that I don't get all warm and fuzzy over a white-walled beige-carpeted box. Therefore, I don't watch House Hunters. (C'mon... you know every McMansion they visit looks just like the next one!)
 
However... I am totally on board with the wide-spread phenomenon of the national guilty pleasure that is House Hunters International.
 
At one point we had so many episodes on our DVR that I had to start being a bit more selective of the episodes I taped. I'll now skip Paris or back-to-back episodes of Cairns, Australia. I love the show because I love seeing the different types of properties that are out there in the world. Puff loves the show because he loves how violent it makes me. Yes, there is running commentary through almost every episode. Why? I'll tell you why...
 
First, why would you move to another country and not do any research ahead of time about how they live? Are you serious that you thought you'd get a Texas-sized kitchen in an apartment in downtown Amsterdam? Quit your bitching about the small refrigerator and the lack of walk-in closets. And please stop pointing out the bidet and asking if the bathroom has "his and her toilets." If you are going to be living abroad for a short amount of time, doesn't getting a place in the midst of the action make infinitely more sense than moving to an Americanized suburb way outside of town where your husband has to triple his commute just so you can have a giant yard that you forget must be maintained?
 
Second, if one more person mentions they need a spare bedroom for "guests" or a large open living space for "entertaining," I might just throw the remote through the screen. In 95% of the cases, these requests seem utterly stupid to me. If you are moving to Istanbul from San Francisco, how often are you really going to have guests coming to visit? You're willing to spend $30,000 over your budget for a spare bedroom in that ugly golf-course condo on the off chance that someone might come to visit from the other side of the world? Now, I'm even friends with Rowdy, who likes to entertain and be entertained more than any person in this world, I'm certain. But she doesn't need a dining room to fit 30 people at a sit down meal. Especially not in a brand new town where she doesn't know anyone and can't even speak the language! (Ever notice how the realtor usually ends up at the staged soirees they have at the end of the show sometimes? Here, let me prove to you I needed the most impractical house I could find so I could force this douche-bag realtor to hang out with me!)
 
Third, this gripe is more for HGTV than for the people on the show. I get that you have a ratings juggernaut on your hands right now and want to capitalize with 5 new episodes a week. But it's not helpful to me at all for you to tease me with Greg and Tina's adventures in Colombia, tell me they picked this ramshackle house that needs to be totally gutted, and then visit them only TWO MONTHS later for the recap. You know full well they haven't done shit in two months. So then I'm stuck feeling defeated and used as I watch them walk through the empty house with Gonzalo in his hard hat talking about what they want to do the place. There should be a minimum 6 month gap before they go back to visit. That way, renovations can at least be started. And they can have time to put in all the ugly furniture they want. (Have you noticed how lots of them are so stuck on a big gorgeous house, but their furniture looks like it came straight out of a frat house?)
 
All of this makes me about as violent as when the Travel Channel only played shows about poker and Las Vegas. Wait... did I ever tell you that Puff wrote them a letter demanding better programming? Even though he was stealing his cable? Yeah... we are a match made in heaven. A match that would never go on House Hunters because we'd be the only practical people they ever featured. We just would not make good television.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Get Your Act Together


Ever hear something that is just so outlandishly false, yet flattering at the same time? I’ve had several people mention recently how impressed they are that I have my shit together, with being the mom of a newbie. Well, here’s some news for you… it’s crazy easy to portray that you have your shit together when those people aren’t involved in your everyday lives. Posting status updates to Facebook or blogs are all carefully controlled. I know you’re reading and watching. So why would I post anything but the best?



Don’t get me wrong. I greatly appreciate the compliment. And I do, honestly, strive to have things in place and going according to plan. I don’t want Puff coming home to a chaotic mess every night. I don’t want my life to feel like it’s spiraling out of control. On the flip side, as my Granny said, on my death bed, I won’t be worried about dirty dishes. I will be happy I spent all the time I could with Bimmer.



So, here ya go. Here’s the shit NOT together…







Yup… that’s mildew on the ceiling in my bathroom. I have no idea how to get rid of it. I also have no time to research how to get rid of it. But I still shower in there every day. (Yes, getting a shower is mandatory!)



What does Bimmer do when I am showering?







Sometimes, you just gotta put them down and let them cry. I know she’s not hurt or in danger. I make sure she goes down with a clean diaper and a full stomach. I hate it and I feel bad. Which is why I’m not always necessarily as put together as I would like to be. I rarely wear makeup or put on a bra. I lounge around in Puff’s t-shirts and some elastic waist running shorts. I only ever put shoes on to go get the mail or to carry poopy diapers to the trash. My hair dryer has forgotten what it feels like to be plugged in. I usually only get to shave my legs every other day. And my feet? Forget it.







Sorry, Puff. I know you hate feet. Especially unpainted and uncut toenails. And is that a hair on my big toe? Yeah… really got my shit together, right?







I do make a point to go through the house at least once a day to collect things and put them back where they belong. I straighten couch cushions and put the baby’s toys away. But there are times of the day when it just looks like this. Unpaid bills, paperwork to be filed, baby announcements to mail that are two months late, and thank you cards for gifts I don’t even remember receiving.






This is that chaotic mess I don’t want Puff to come home to at night. In fact, I don’t even like to see it at noon either. Clean dishes in the dishwasher that can’t be unloaded when the baby is asleep, yet can’t be unloaded one-handed while holding her either. So the dirty dishes pile up. The dirty bottles are in half of the sink while the clean ones dry on the counter. The formula wasn’t put away in the cabinet and a medicine bottle was left out in the rush for Puff to get out the door to work. It’ll stay that way most of the day. Yet, at some point, it will get on my nerves enough to make it disappear. And then I will present it that way to my husband, my friends, and the interGoogle. I will make it look as if I have all my ducks in a row. The perfect little Stepford Wife.



And what will Bimmer be doing while I am washing bottles, doing laundry, and taking out the trash?



Please refer to her photo above.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Project 52 - Week 11



Hi, my name is Bimmer.

I am 11 weeks old.

I fart when I get really mad.

I absolutely refuse to sleep in my crib.

I am a spoiled brat who insists on being held virtually all the time.

I want to nap on Mommy's chest versus anywhere else. This ensures you can't get anything else done.

I have decided I like to watch the rain and will want you to sit on the hardwood floor in front of the door holding me to let me accomplish this.

I like Elmo videos on YouTube. This is now a fact of your life, Mommy. So, suck it up and put on "I'm Elmo & I Know It" for the 400th time today. You know it's the only time of the day I will actually sit still. "Criminal Minds" just doesn't do it for me, no matter how hard you try to make me like it.
 
I prefer to poop twice a day. You must do whatever is in your power to make this happen. Otherwise, I vow to be very cranky.
 
I learned how to blow spit bubbles, so I plan to keep doing so until I have it mastered. Please have clean onesies and a burp cloth on hand at all times.
 
 
I love you, Mommy and Daddy, super much. Thanks for taking such good care of me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hippie Shopping

As you read HERE, Puff and I (and now Bimmer) are all about taking in some awesome festivals in the south. I tend to think it's a really big reason why Puff and I lasted so long to start off our relationship. I kinda maybe have dating ADD, so it was pretty awesome that he was able to dig up all these cool places to go see and things to do so I wouldn't wander away in boredom.
 

A few years back, I actually found a festival in Asheville, NC, called Bele Chere. It was just a huge street festival with booths and food and music. But on a hot weekend in July, there wasn't much else happening. So we decided to check it out. Asheville is a reasonable drive to about half the state of SC, and it's a town we really enjoy. That first trip, we scored our kitchen rug from a shop that had a booth in the festival. It had been featured on Oprah, so you know it's gotta be good.
 
 

 
 

This time, we had Bimmer in tow. She had been a rock star at the Coon Dog Festival a few weeks earlier, so we had high hopes. We scored free street parking thanks to my lazer-eye-parking-lot-stalking abilities. And Puff had some entertainment while we fed Bimmer in the car before heading out... two lesbians checking out some corsets in a store window and the store clerk wearing a see-thru black dress proudly displaying her thong panties. I'm pretty sure he texted at least 3 people about the situation.
 

None of that even mattered to me, since I knew what was waiting past a few small stores and some vendor booths. The Chocolate Fetish. I'm insanely sure if I lived in Asheville that I would be 300 pounds because it would be impossible to resist their key lime truffles and their sea salt milk chocolate covered caramels. Oh, heaven.
 



 

Um... why did I not know they have giant boxes of just these caramels before I looked at their website? Hmmm... next time, we must shop their pre-made box area instead of just the counter!
 

Before our next shopping stop, we came across a band in the middle of the street. This pretty much epitomizes Asheville for me.
 
 

 
 

Puff was making a bee line toward the Urban Outfitters (since their home section is pretty kickass) but a booth on the corner caught my eye instead. They had baby onesies hanging on a rack, so of course I had to stop to look. Unfortunately, they were all the wrong size or boy-themed. But then I realized it was for the store that was right behind me. Yup... away we went.
 

The store was called Spiritex and they make organic t-shirts for adults and then some baby onesies as well. They all had cute and creative sayings or photos on them. (Like one that said "The Beetles" in the iconic Beatles type-face but then had pictures of actual bugs under it. Or a hand-drawn picture of the Asheville skyline.) But we ended up getting two, since I couldn't resist. One has a picture of a hot pink big wheel on it. Yeah, I totally had one of those as a kid, so it's nostalgic. And the other says "Off Spring" on it and has a big spring, like from a mattress, on it. We got that one in long sleeves in a bigger size for winter, so I can't wait to put it on her with some baby jeans. (This dressing a daughter thing is dangerous!)
 
 
 

Mark one more notch on our belts for festivals for this summer. Bimmer did really well and we had TONS of people stopping us to comment on how cute she was and how they liked her hair. I think it had something to do with the "lesbian plaid" jumper I put her in. Hey... I wanted her to fit in!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Ex Factor

Mr. Smith is engaged.

I found out via his woman's tagged Facebook photo of the ring.

Finding out that way? Yeah... very disappointing.
 

Let's back up for a second. Let's recap our relationship. Mr. Smith and I met in the summer of 2001 and dated off and on for two years. There was lots of love and lots of tears, broken hearts and bruised egos. Following a friendship hiatus, we made our amends in 2005 and realized our lives were much fuller with each other around. Sure, there were attempts to rekindle something romantic, but they always seemed to fall short. After my advances failed in 2008, I met Puff and Mr. Smith gave his blessing. He attended our wedding, wrote guest blogs (HERE and HERE), and we saw each other for the last time in September 2011. I was 6 weeks pregnant and desperately wanted to tell him, but Puff and I had agreed not to tell anyone until our first ultrasound. It was the hardest thing to not be able to tell Mr. Smith in person about the baby.
 
But just as when Puff had proposed, there was a short list of people we wanted to make sure heard the news directly from us versus social media. Mr. Smith was on that list for both occasions. I felt it was the least I could do for a man I considered one of my best friends in the entire world.
 
He didn't return the favor.
 
Yet, does he owe me that? No. Is it wrong to think that he would have run it by me before it happened or right after? Of course. He doesn't owe me anything. While I still consider us friends, we are ex's and there's no obligation there. He lives his own life and I live mine. We've burnt the bridge of us ever being together. We tried and it didn't work. He is happy for me and Puff and Bimmer. Just as I am happy for him and his fiance' and his future step-daughter.
 
I'm being selfish.
 
I would have liked to have gotten a text from him about it. It stung and it stunned me that didn't happen. After all we've been through together and everything we have confided in each other, I just never expected to be blindsided by this news.
 
That's not to say it isn't happy news. I am thrilled he has found the woman he wants to be with forever. I wish them absolutely nothing but the best.
 
Just as long as they don't run away to Greece to elope...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Project 52 - Week 10

Making a face like her daddy

I’ve mentioned recently that writing is a top priority for me. And I came to a great realization during Week 9 to Week 10 as to why… I am documenting all the amazing and adorable things my gorgeous daughter is doing at each age and milestone. I will be able to remember and cherish these things forever. And she can look back some day too and see what she was doing at this age.

One of her biggest accomplishments this week was that she started to sleep in longer hunks at night. Prior to our trip to The Fort, the longest she had ever slept was about 4 hours. But then magically, a switch was flipped and we were getting anywhere from 5 hours to 8 hours in a row. (6 ½ hours seems to be the magic number most nights.) Never mind that I have to be the one to put her to bed, instead of Puff, and that she’s sleeping in bed with me in her Boppy instead of her crib. Baby steps. Don’t judge.

A few other things I’ve noticed this week… she’s really keen on putting her hands on her bottle when we feed her. It’s like she wants to hold it herself. That, or she’s tired of us taking it out of her mouth to burp her before she’s ready for a break. When we were back in The Fort, we also found out that she can hold her head up really great and likes to be in a sitting position. Her Mamaw handed down a Bumbo seat (yay for saving $45) so we’ve been trying her in that daily for a few minutes. She has some teething beads and a ball that she can get her hands in that she’s been holding pretty well. And immediately trying to take them up to her mouth. She’s gotten them in there a few times.

Speaking of things in her mouth, those hands are ALWAYS in her mouth these days. And she does her “hungry face” of sticking out her tongue almost constantly, which throws me because it’s obviously no longer just for hunger. It’s like she discovered her tongue! One time recently, she was doing that face (because she was actually hungry) but then started to laugh while her tongue was out. Cutest. Thing. Ever. She’s been really smiley with us lately too and last Saturday night, her and Puff had a dance party. She was laying on her changing pad and he was singing to her and she was giggling and kicking her legs and arms around. Then she was making different noises that she doesn’t normally make. It’s so cool to watch her discover stuff that she can do herself. Like the day she was mimicking me pouting out her bottom lip. Precious!

And we broke down and bought some 3 to 6 months sized clothes for her. Most of her 0 to 3 months onesies are still OK, but she’s really almost too long for most of her sleepers. Except I hate that the next size up is so much longer that she’s got too much extra fabric. Although after we bought her the new stuff (which includes an owl onesie, an owl sleeper, a hedgehog sleeper, and a onesie with a pink big wheel on it) I did the math and realized she already has about 10 sleepers in that size and about 15 onesies. Whoopsies! This girl has too many darn clothes!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Never on Sunday

When my friend, Anna, is traveling abroad, one of the things she always says she misses most is a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit. It's one of her first stops when she gets back to the states. When I was a freshmen in college, I ate more chicken nuggets than I care to admit, since I was freaked out by the dark and dingy cafeteria at the student union. I even knew friends in high school who dilligently worked at the location in the mall.

But lately, there's been a lot of Chick-Fil-A in the news. And it's a big ol' deal here in the Bible Belt. In fact, some have referenced the area near where we live as the "buckle."

Needless to say, I don't necessarily fit in with that crowd. And I've already made it pretty clear that I think people who call themselves good Christians but then outwardly discriminate are pretty dumb. (Dumb is such a nice word for me to use there.)

Anyhoo... just as with politics, I think the solution is pretty cut and dry. If your church doesn't want to perform gay marriages, then don't perform them. People who don't agree with Chick-Fil-A don't have to eat there. It's really that simple.

Wait. You don't know what I'm talking about? Is that because your local news station didn't feel compelled to have the lead story be the lines at the local Chick-Fil-A location? Complete with live helicopter coverage? They were pumping it up that it was "Appreciation Day" while Puff informed me it was supposed to be a "Boycott Day" by gays and supporters. No surprise in our community that people were basically showing up at the restaurant with "We hate gays" painted on their car!
 
Still confused? Yeah... apparently the owner (or his son) made a statement that they disagree with gay marriage.
 

Oh, here we go.
 
I don't want to go into the same rant as I did in the previously mentioned post, so I'm going to explain to you why I choose to not eat Chick-Fil-A. And quite frankly, these are probably just as good of reasons as not liking their political stance.
 
Reason #1 - They totally cheap out on the fries. Sure, they're nice and tasty, but they're ginormous waffle fries and I always feel cheated. I pay the same price there to get what feels like 5 frickin' fries, when McDonalds gives me a gazillion more than that. And McDonalds' taste better!
 
Reason #2 - Their honey mustard has the consistency of mucus. I don't really think I need to elaborate any more on that point.
 
Reason #3 - Housewives love it a little too much. Trust me... once you live someplace where you have to battle past women in their tennis outfits driving gigantic SUVs they can't even see over the steering wheel, who are all trying to get their damn chicken biscuit in the morning... then you'll understand.

Reason #4 - I always feel like I am being preached to by their staff when I am there. I never quite understood why, but I'm crystal clear on that now. On the flip side, I suppose I'd rather have that than some dickwad spitting in my food.

Reason #5 - They have the stupidest traffic pattern for their drive-thrus. Seriously, what dude skipped "Traffic Logistics 101" at chicken college?

Reason #6 - They're closed on Sundays. Is that not the ONLY DAY EVER that you crave something from there? Of course it is. And the only thing I ever crave from there? An Oreo milkshake.

So... let's recap. I have an issue with people saying they are following the Lord when they hate on others. I also have an issue with people not using common sense and for letting a small situation escalate into something way bigger than it really needs to be. Don't like what Chick-Fil-A stands for? Then don't eat there. I personally didn't go there all that often, and probably will avoid going there from now on. But do I think others need to boycott and protest? Nah. Just let them do their thing. It's their opinion and they're allowed to have it. Go find a restaurant that doesn't care who you sleep with. And if you support their cause, then fine. I respect your choice. Just please don't block the intersection while waiting in the drive-thru line.

Oh yeah, and Reason #7 (the real reason I don't like to eat there) - Their chicken is way too "chickeny."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Once We Went to Florida...

Back at the start of July, Puff and I loaded up the car with everything but the kitchen sink (more to come in a separate blog entry about traveling with a baby) and headed to Florida to show off Bimmer to my mom.
 

 
 
 

As I mentioned HERE, my mom is sick and she lives in an assisted living facility. Therefore, it was impossible for her to travel for the birth of the baby, so we had to take Bimmer down there. It was no big deal - we just decided that was our summer vacation. Although the thought of 12 hours (or more) in a car with a then 5 week old didn't sound like my idea of a vacation. (I normally have a strict 8 hour max for car trips!) So we did split it up into two days, which ended up being a great idea because 6 hours in a car seat turned Bimmer into one massively cranky wigglebutt!
 
 

 
 

 
We realized during the trip that stopping at a rest stop to feed Bimmer was our preference. It gave us some fresh air and changing her on a picnic table was much easier and cleaner to me than dirty bathrooms. Once we finally got to Florida, we spent hours each day hanging out with my mom. But we were determined to make the most of our vacation as well.
 
We took Bimmer to her first (but certainly not last) classic car museum...
 

 
We also checked out the Ringling mansion and art museum...
 
 
 
We took Bimmer to eat dinner at a shack on a rickety pier that Puff had read about in the NY Times...
 
 
 
We spent a few quick minutes on Anna Maria Island so both Puff and Bimmer could see the Gulf of Mexico for the first time...
 
 
 
But no trip to Florida is complete without some time at the pool. And while our hotel pool was closed the night we were going to take her swimming for the first time, that didn't take away from her totally looking the part of an adorable beach babe...
 
 
 
Our family loves to travel and we were stoked that Bimmer did so well on the entire trip. We already can't wait to start planning our next big adventure! We are contemplating St. Simons, Georgia, or maybe the Outer Banks for next summer. Let us know if you have any suggestions! Bimmer will be big enough to play in the sand. And even though her mommy has a serious sand phobia, I'll suck it up for her. I can't let her be like Puff and never get to play on the beach as a child. It's pretty much a right of passage.