Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hang in There

It's an insane week at work this week.

In fact, it's the most insane week I've had since I started there. And I had a diva of a client back in November.

I'm working a few 12 hour days and that is sooooooo hard to be away from Bimmer like that. But alas, I've chosen this profession and I know the pitfalls.

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled program next week. Right after my Monday afternoon massage.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Travel Dreamin'

Puff and I have been a lot of different places in the relatively short time we've been together. We've spent the holidays in NYC, slept in B&Bs across Ireland, and bought handmade goods from a prison rodeo in Louisiana. We've hiked, we've cruised, we've even taken the train. Like our motto says... we don't rush through life, we rush toward it!

And what better way to rush toward it than to get out there and see the world?!?!
Sure, Bimmer has put a bit of a damper on our travel plans, but not by much. In her first 7 weeks of life, she had been to 7 states. And by the end of 2013, she will have been on trips to the mountains, the beach, and the exciting (ha ha ha) midwest. I'm not quite ready to put her on a plane yet, but it's coming. What will be the destination? We're still working on that.
Whenever I mention my dream locations, people sometimes cringe. I will make no apologies for Orlando and Paris not being on my radar. Been there, done that, not all that interesting. So... since I know you've all been wondering, "Where would Gail go?" here's my list of my top 5 destinations that Puff and I have been throwing around...
#1 - Iceland
This is the top destination when I mention it that people look at me like I've lost my marbles. Yet, how can you argue with this?

#2 - Slovenia & Croatia
Sure, lots of people are jumping on the Dubrovnik train these days, but there's more to the area than most people realize. We also don't want to be day-trippers off a cruise ship. Nope, these are two countries we are bound and determine to conquer on our own.

#3 - New Zealand
Yes, I realize I've already been there and I talk a lot about it, but dammit... cut me some slack. It's seriously the most amazing place in the entire world. Go. Now. For realz. Puff and I will be heading there in 2020. Yup. Already on the calendar for our 10 year anniversary. It may, in fact, be the best promise he ever made. Now he's guaranteed I'll stay married to him at least that long. :)

#4 - Costa Rica
In all my attempts to be the hardcore outdoorsy type, the reality is I have a strict 2 hour limit because I have the inability to pee without a toilet. Yet, I will probably just have to suck it up and practice in the backyard before we hit up Costa Rica. Because c'mon... how could you not be tempted by its beauty? I know it's become a pretty mainstream destination, but there's still some allure there for us. Anyplace with ziplining is OK in my book!

#5 - Norway
I originally had Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania in this spot. Then Puff kept saying I should have picked an African safari or the California coast or Nova Scotia. So, after a few days of contemplation, I settled back on Norway. There's not too much in Oslo that necessarily interests me, but the Flam Railway, the city of Bergen, and all those insane fjords.... well, those would be worth the trip. The fact that they speak near perfect English there too makes it appealing as a do-it-yourself type of foreign excursion.

What tops your dream list? I suppose we need to decide whether or not Bimmer will be getting a baby brother or sister before we start stamping her passport!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Project 52 - Week 39

Little Miss Clingy persists, but we'll cut her some slack this week since she's teething again. Yup... my little almost 9 month old is going to have SIX teeth! They're two more upper teeth which just makes her bites much more powerful. Yeah, about the biting. One night while we were playing around on the bed, she bit me three times in the arms and chest. And they hurt! We are trying to enforce "NO" much more with her, but it's still not quite registering. Persistance, right?

She continues to jabber and has started to say "ra" and "bob" repeatedly. She still says "dada" all the time, but rarely "mama." I guess she just has to be in the mood for that one. (Breaks my heart!) I just love her little voice. I cannot wait until she can start saying real words!
We have been working with an actual sleep/eat schedule that is going pretty well now for a few weeks. Or at least on the weekend. She's on a totally different nap schedule at school, which I just roll with. On the weekends, she usually wakes up about 7:30am and has a bottle and nurses that on and off for about an hour. (She's not a big breakfast eater, apparently.) About 9:30am, she wants a bottle and an hour long nap. She has lunch then between 11am and noon and another bottle for a snack about 3pm. She takes another hour long nap then (sometimes longer, which I totally love) and she snacks on either some fruit or bread or whatever about 5pm. She has dinner about 7pm and another big 8 ounce bottle right before bed about 8:30pm or so. It may not work for everyone, but it works for us. And that's all that matters!
We would like to get that occasional middle of the night bottle out of the mix though! (But we did have 3 nights in a row of sleeping through the night!)
This week too, she has been a little dancer. She bounces up and down and waves her hands to music. Or when she wants something, apparently. Because she was busting out all the moves when Puff had a biscuit from KFC that he was feeding her. It was like it was crack! She was dancing and clawing at him to get more, She ate the entire thing!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm THIS Mom

Since I was super young, I knew I wanted to be a mom.

But I never wanted to be THAT mom.

You know... the whip-a-boob-out-anywhere-fanatic mom. Or the I-only-serve-homemade-baby-food mom.
Yet, Bimmer almost exclusively gets organic baby food and we have, out of necessity, become a co-sleeping household.

I never wanted to be the Pinterest-is-my-hero mom. Or the Let's-have-cupcake-tags-and-homemade-banners mom.

Yet, I've already bought pieces for her first birthday favors... four months in advance.

I never wanted to be the mom who thought her child could do no wrong and do everything for them.

Yet, she gets carried from room to room with us in the house and if she whines for something, she gets it. (Although this will change with age.)

No, I just want to be an awesome mom. I want to care for Bimmer and nurture her. I want to encourage her to grow and be her own person.

I have decided if I want to "tag" myself as a certain type of mom, I want to be the kind of mom who makes memories.

She won't die if she eats processed food sometimes. She will ultimately sleep in her own bed. She will eventually learn right from wrong and that when we say "No" that's not a cue for her to stop and look at us with her big blue eyes and smile. (Damn that kid for being so cute!)

I want to expose her to lots of things so she can experience the world. I want to take lots of photos for her to remember by. I want to make scrapbooks full of her first coloring from school and her bracelet from the hospital. I want to write birthday cards to her with long, meaningful letters inside, so she can read them as an adult and know how much I love her.

I don't want to compare myself to other moms. I just want to be the best mom I can be. I want to be Bimmer's mom. And I know she wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Favorites

Since we all know I sorta think I have the same impact on society as Oprah, I thought I would start giving you a few of my favorite things each month.

Let's get this party started...


#1 February Fave: Plum Organics Baby Food

Why: Because I sometimes feel guilty about not having time to make my own baby food, so giving her something that is USDA approved organic makes me feel a heck of a lot better about it. Plus, their ingredits are always things I can pronounce! They have awesome combos that include foods you never see in baby food: spinach, zucchini, quinoa! It's the only way she will eat anything green, so that makes for a happy Mommy!
#2 February Fave: Victoria's Secret Cotton Lace Trim Cheekies
Why: Because I have no ass. Yup... that's right. It's small and it's flat and it just doesn't work with a thong. It's not tall enough. Does that make any sense? Thongs just don't sit right when you have a small butt, no matter the size. Or at least they don't on my butt. So, enter Cheekies! They are my absolute fave. I have lots of kinds, some just lacy, some with more material than others, but when they run a 5 for $XX deal, I can't help but snatch them up. Especially when they have cute green and white polka dot ones or pink animal print ones! Makes me feel sexy even when I'm covered in baby snot.
#3 February Fave: Instagram
Why: Because I'm a photo taking fool anyway. Might as well have an easy way to share them, right? I decided to do a "Photo A Day February" and it's been fun. Most of the pics are of Bimmer... or of food, but hey... people like to see photos of my kid, right? Eh... I definitely won't be keeping that up after the month is over, but I do like it. I like the quick edits you can do to phone photos, which had been sorely missing in my life.
What are your favorite things this month?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Project 52 - Week 38

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you had a wonderful one. Bimmer didn't do anything too special. Just made the craft project from the last post and gave Mommy and Daddy lots of kisses! Yes, she actually does still give kisses sometimes. (She did more when she was smaller.) But she opens her mouth real wide and plants it on your cheek and then pulls away and then smacks it down again. Repeat kisses are the best!
Her only real new milestone this week was headbutting. I'm not really sure where she picked it up, but my only assumption can be school. If we are holding her up near our face she'll just put her head in to knock it into ours. Sometimes it's soft and sweet. Sometimes it's pretty hard. I don't see the appeal for her to continue doing it, but yet, she does. We definitely try to pull her away and tell her "No." Although I'm pretty sure she's starting to understand what "No" means and she doesn't like it.
She continues to be super clingy and we are hoping it's just a stage. She is cool with Puff most of the time, but sometimes she just wants her Mommy. One night Puff was standing next to her in the living room and I left the room to go to the kitchen and then doubled back through the dining room, past her, and into the bedroom. She kept crawling after me, crying. When I was finally in the bedroom, she turned around and crawled back to Puff. Except she got about two feet from him and I walked back into the room and she stopped and turned around and came toward me. I won't lie. I totally love it. I love that she's a mommy's girl. I just wish that didn't mean having to let her sit by my feet while I pee or sitting cross-legged on the floor to dry my hair. Because her sitting at my feet while I am standing is just not an option.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Hearts

If you are a long time reader, then you probably remember this craft project debacle from Valentine's Day back in 2011... HERE. So there were definitely not going to be any homemade valentine's day cards happening around here. In fact, I got suckered into a "free" $20 from Shutterfly and ordered $35 worth of Valentine's Day cards to mail out to friends and family with Bimmer's adorable mug on them...

But then I got to trolling Pinterest. And that's a dangerous thing sometimes.

I became adamant that we needed to do some type of craft project with the baby to commemorate the holiday. At least something small to put in her first year scrapbook. I found an easy suggestion of putting her two footprints, overlapping at the heel, and then cutting the paper around them in the shape of a heart.
We covered the sunroom floor with newspaper, just in case. And I came equipped with washable finger paint, a brush to stir it around (or paint on her feet if I discovered that was easier) and a few large pieces of pink scrapbook paper I had laying around.

Bimmer did AWESOME. The first try went a bit wonky, but we were able to make three other "hearts" in a matter of probably less than five minutes. She didn't gripe or complain. She didn't even try to reach down to touch the paint or anything. Awww... it was so easy and I loved it!

The FIL and my mom will be getting the extras we made, while the best one will land in Bimmer's "First Year" scrapbook. It definitely gets me excited for more projects to come!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Outing

I had started this as a guest post to submit to a friend's "call for bloggers," but I ended up going with something else. So, figured I might as well not let it go to waste!
Puff and I are full-on, 100%, all the time. Or so it seems. Since we've been together, we have traveled the globe, hiked mountains, and hit up just about every fair and festival in the Southeast. So when Bimmer came along, we were hell-bent on not letting her "get in the way." Lots of people looked at us like we were crazy when we talked about our future plans to get out and see the world. "A baby changes everything!" Acquaintances were screaming from the rooftops.
We don't care for screaming.
We took Bimmer to the mall when she was 9 days old.
We've been rushing ever since. She was at her first restaurant when she was 3 weeks old. And in the months since then, she has been out to eat more times than we care to count, been shopping everwhere you can imagine (minus Walmart, we avoid Walmart) and she had even been to 7 states by the time she was 8 weeks old.
And those big public events? She's been to farmer's markets and art fairs. She's been to car shows and parades and pumpkin festivals. There was that meltdown at the South Carolina State Fair, but other than that... Bimmer's a trooper. I can't fathom being like these other families where I hear that they never go anywhere because they don't want to have to take the baby out.
So what do we do differently from all those naysayers that told us it couldn't be done?
Well... we didn't listen.
Sure, we have to adjust our game-plan sometimes. A bottle at home is easier than a bottle on the sidewalk hidden behind a funnel cake vendor. We try to not invite a bunch of people with us, just so we don't ruin anyone's fun if we have to duck out early. We pack lots of extra bottles and diapers and plan on beefing up our arms at some point during the day by carrying her when the stroller's novelty wears off.
Yet, we've done it. We are doing it. And we will keep doing it.
Bimmer doesn't hold us back or hinder our lifestyle. She adds to it. And she was the best addition we could ever imagine!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Small Town SC

It had been since early December since Kimhead had seen Bimmer, so it was high time we made that happen.

We penciled ourselves on each other's calendars months in advance for the second weekend in February, since that was the first time we were both free. I thought she was coming to us. She thought we were going to her. Over time, plans changed, life happened (her apartment got broken into) and so we decided it was best to try to come up with another option. So... enter, Newberry, SC.

It's one of those non-descript exits off the highway that you pass all the time, but never think much of. But it was a reasonable middle point for us to meet up for lunch. So we packed up the baby, hit the road, and ended up at a little pizza place called The Flying Pie. It took us over an hour and a half to eat lunch. Yeah... backwoods South Carolina moves at a much slower pace! On the bright side, lunch included "Cake in a Cup."


We meandered downtown for awhile, took some photos of the famed Opera House (above) and bought Bimmer a zebra for the tooth fairy. Yeah, it was a little premature, but it was adorable and she liked it.


We are going to start looking at other options for meet-in-the-middle locales for the future, since it was about a 5 hour round-trip scenario, and that was a good way to kill a Saturday afternoon. I foresee much more random adventures to come!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Project 52 - Week 37

Showing off her clapping skills and some bedhead this morning!
After mentioning that I felt like I wasn't giving her enough "people" food, I have been sneaking her more bread, some pasta (although she has trouble chewing that), and even some bites of a burger (which she loved). Now we just need to get Mommy & Daddy eating healthier so when she does eat "people" food it's something good for her!

Her biggest thing this week was that she has perfected clapping. I didn't have any clue when babies did that, but after mastering the high-five two weeks ago, she realized she can clap with her own two hands. Sometimes I think she does it to take her to a "happy place" when she's getting a diaper changed or waiting for me to make a bottle. Yes, she does it when she's happy too and loves when we clap along with her.

She is also doing really well with standing and then bending down to pick up a toy that's on the floor, while holding on to the table/chair/couch without sitting down to pick up the toy. When she finally gets it, she always looks to us with a big grin and we clap in approval. Sometimes she still gets stuck though standing and doesn't know how to get herself back down to the ground.
Her word this week has been "Dada" and she says it over and over and over and over. It was near constant on Sunday! I think she's only said "Mama" once this whole week. I can't let myself get upset about it. She knows who her Mommy is and she still loves me. I also realized that she is just about to outgrown her 6 month sized onesies. She has been in sized 9 month pants and sleepers since just after Christmas, but is just now finally outgrowing her shirts. I feel like the rate at which she is growing has slowed significantly. I will be anxious to see how tall she is at her 9 month check-up in a few weeks.
Lastly, the little girl is sooooo sweet and cute when she's sleeping. She still is only a stomach sleeper, which has always been her preference from day one. But she spreads out and sleeps with her arms stretched out sometimes. She's not as adamant most nights anymore about having to be all curled up next to me or Puff when she sleeps, although if she stirs in the middle of the night, putting a hand on her back calms her pretty much immediately. She does like to sleep now with her legs tucked up under her and her butt in the air. I have no idea how that's comfortable, but hey... if she's sleeping, we don't really care what position she's in! (Says the insomniac mom who is writing this at 4am!)
Make that second to last... On Thursday afternoon, I got the call from school that she had thrown up twice and I had to come get her. Poor girl! She was fine when I picked her up, but when we got home, she was very whiny. She took a little bit of a bottle and then we had a bath. After that, she finished a whole bottle and took a 2 hour nap. When she woke up, she just kept switching positions laying next to me on the bed moaning. But she ultimately ate dinner, played for awhile, and took a 7 oz. bottle to go to sleep. She only woke up once in the middle of the night. Poor girl, can't catch a break!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dining Room Review

For all of those who have listened to me gripe about the garnet-monstrosity that is my dining room, I appreciate your patience.
We finally have made some progress. Or well, there was progress, but the chandelier I ordered from Crate & Barrel turned out to be too gigantic for our little room. Alas, I am $52 poorer since I had to pay to ship it. Bastards.
Photo from West Elm
Although... perhaps this is a sneak peak of what's to come????
Fingers crossed the color is what I envision.
It may be another few months before I am back with before/after photos. But hey... nothing like a little teaser to keep you on your toes, right?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Go For Two

One recent night, I was curled up in bed with a stomach ache. Puff was coughing and hacking and blowing his nose in the other room. Bimmer was curled up on his chest with a fever. We were a pitiful bunch. My mind was wandering, as usual, but kept coming back to land on one thing...

How in the world could we ever do this with a SECOND child?

Before I was pregnant with Bimmer, we were very adamant that we were going to try for Irish Twins. We wanted two and we wanted them close in age. I wanted to let my body go through it all at once and then be able to focus on getting back into bikini shape after all was said and done. Puff was worried he was getting too old and wanted to have the babies before he felt like a grandpa. I hated being an only child growing up, so we wanted Bimmer to have a sibling.

Then reality sunk in.

I hated being pregnant. I felt like crap and was tired and sick most of the 9 months. I had a scary delivery and it took 5 weeks to feel like my insides weren't going to fall out after my c-section. With Bimmer being in daycare, she has been sick off and on the entire time. She also doesn't sleep in her crib. She is active and chatty and demanding. She wants and requires constant attention and interaction. She has never once been "chill." Puff and I have had 4 dates since she was born. We haven't routinely slept in the same bed in nearly a year and a half. When Bimmer goes to bed, so does Mommy. Who could even think about finding the energy to work on making a second baby?

Then Puff decided to start talking about the finances of a second child.

Twice the daycare. Twice the diapers. Twice the carseats and clothes and sick days. That was when panic started to set in. And I honestly, for the first time ever, started to contemplate being the mother of an only child. We would be able to provide for her and never worry. We would be able to travel the world much easier. I wouldn't have to go through another pregnancy. We would be able to stay in our current house much longer than if we had a second. But....

Yeah... But.

The only thing Puff and I have officially decided is that we aren't making a final decision. Not right now. We have a lot to think about in the next year or so. I agree that I don't want to wait a long time to have a second, if that's the choice we make. But I'm also not ready to rush into getting pregnant right now either. Not when I spend every waking second at home chasing the little over-achiever who is already pulling herself up to stand!!!

So for all of those bump-watchers, you can stand down for the time being. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop when the time comes.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Project 52 - Week 36

It's the battle of the illnesses in our family this week. Puff has had a cold and cough for almost two weeks now. Bimmer wrapped up antibiotics at the start of the week from her double ear infection. Although by Friday, her runny nose was persisting and she had a bad cough. To the doc we went... to find out she still had her double infection! They gave her an injection of antibiotics, so let's hope it's the miracle cure we've been needing!
Bimmer is still pulling herself up on the coffee table and the couch and her music table. I've caught her a few times moving from the table to the couch with her hands, but not so much with her feet. Although on Friday, she was definitely moving along her music table by taking a few steps. She loves to bang on our glass coffee table (and we let her since it's a cheap one from Ikea). She does have no fear when she goes from standing to sitting. Just plops her butt down and goes along her way.
We have successfully eaten a graham cracker (and then didn't want to eat dinner afterwards) and Mommy may have snuck some pieces of the crusty part of the Poptart this week, in an effort to keep her quiet while I was snacking before feeding her. I feel like I am behind in giving her "real people" food. We attempted an avacado, but cut into it when it was still too hard. If any moms have any good suggestions for an 8 month old for "finger foods" let me know! I think she's ready to start trying some stuff... as long as it doesn't require too much chewing.
I am starting to think this is my favorite age so far. She is just so expressive and interested in everything. (Well, that's always been the case, but now she can go investigate!) And she's been much more affectionate and sweet and cuddly lately. That's totally why I'm loving it. Gotta eat it up while I can!