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!