Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project 52 - Week 44

With Operation People Food fully under way, I was ecstatic to introduce Bimmer this week to the grilled cheese. Yes, I realize it's still bread and cheese (plus butter!!!) but for some reason I feel OK giving her one. And she ate every last bite. She also is eating fresh bananas now. Yay!
I've caught Bimmer a few times lately standing without support and not realizing it. The usual culprit is when she goes to get her beach ball out of her book basket, since it lives on top. She will grab it with both hands and straighten up holding it, not realizing it's not attached to anything to help her keep her balance. It's pretty cute. She's going to be toddling around before we know it!
We have officially started to migrate into some size 12 month pajamas. They don't make too many sleepers with feet in them at that age (which is a bit sad, since they're so cute, but nice at the same time, because the ones with snaps make me violent.) But in our mass shopping spree at the outlet mall a few weeks ago, we stocked up on pajama sets and she looks so darn cute in them! (See her 43 week photo!) But it also makes her seem so grown up!
I won't elaborate in this post about her ear tubes, but that happened this week. And we all survived to tell about it! Stay tuned for a post about that!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Heart Organizing

Recently, a friend of mine posted about participating in a 31 day organizing challenge. I got super excited. That's something I can get behind. I love me some organizing.

But then it dawned on me.

There's not a room in my house that needs a 31 day organizational overhaul.


So, instead I thought I might share some of my top tips for how I stay organized and keep Puff, Bimmer, and The Bungalow in check.

#1 - If you don't need it or won't use it, DON'T BUY IT

This is soooo hard sometimes, but it is really the key. It helps that I'm not a shopper though. I don't make a habit of shopping for the sake of shopping. I make lists for the grocery, Target, outlet malls, etc. Sure, I deviate from it sometimes, but only for things I may have forgotten or things I know we will use. The hardest for me is decorating. Thank God we don't live near a West Elm.
#2 - Don't be afraid to PURGE
We make at least 4 or 5 big trips to Goodwill each year. It amazes me we can even come up with that much stuff to donate. If we don't wear it for a year (minus the time I was pregnant) then it's gone. If it doesn't fit right, gets stretched out, gets a stain... it's gone. I'm also not afraid to get rid of gifts. There is no guilt here. (Sorry to anyone who has ever gotten me a crappy gift!) I try to return things when I can, then I look at options to regift, and then I finally donate if there's just no other option. There's no point in keeping two of the same toy when I can return one of them and use that money to go toward formula!
# 3 - Be realistic, you can't organize EVERYTHING
Trust me, I wish I could organize everything in perfect color-coded, size order. But it's just not gonna happen. My toy storage is a great example. I just have a few baskets and the toys are just thrown in there... pieces may not even be in the same basket that go together. But you know what? They're put away and not all over the floor, so that's a win for me. Yet, my photos are an example in the opposite direction. I don't print them anymore, but I have boxes and albums that take up 2 bookshelves. They're overly anal in their organization.
#4 - Find an plan that works for YOU
My clothes aren't color coded, but they're arranged by type (dresses, pants, sweaters, etc.). The baby's clothes are in drawers, not on hangers with their coordinating pieces. Yet, we have drawer dividers to keep like items together. Our Tupperware is haphazardly strewn, but it's in a dedicated cabinet. Essentially, everything has a place. That way when it's out of place, we know where to put it back! Putting things back isn't necessarily a daily priority for some things (ex: mail may stay on the counter for a few days) but it is a priority elsewhere (ex: baby toys are put away before bed every night). Be smart with what you buy (ex: our master bed has drawers under it for additional storage) and know your strengths & weaknesses and what level of chaos you can tolerate.
Happy organizing!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project 52 - Week 43

I don't really know how or why it happened, but all of a sudden this week, Bimmer decided she hates taking baths. And it sucks. She used to LOVE them... she would crawl around in the tub, splashing, playing with all her toys, and would whine when we got her out. But now she protests, pitches a fit, and screams when you try to wash her. Puff is normally on bath duty, so I'm not sure if something happened (slipped, too hot water, etc.) that I missed, but hopefully we can ease her back into loving it again.

Daycare pissed me off to no end this week by putting up a note reminding the parents to practice eating finger foods at home with the kids. I know it was directed at me. It's not like I haven't already been giving myself a ration of shit lately since she still doesn't want to eat anything healthy on her own that's not in baby food form. Apparently when she moves up to the next room, they don't feed the kids. I'm not even sure she will move up or not. (She's 1 at the end of May, they promote on June 1st... if she's walking. Part of me actually hopes she isn't walking!) Anyway... so we are now on a mission to make "real food" happen. Other than carbs and cheese.
Our first attempt was with some canned peaches (thanks to Landon's mommy's suggestion) and they were a hit. They're super hard for her to pick up on her own, but it's a step in the right direction. She actually ate something that wasn't puree! Our second attempt was blueberries. I wasn't sure she would eat them, since the baby food we had tried previously that had blueberries was not a hit. But she ate them. Puff was sure to eat some with her to show her how to chew them up. And we cheered every time she ate one. It's giving me a little bit of confidence that maybe she's finally ready to start some other things. We did give her toast for the first time this week too, and she was in bread euphoria. Just wait til we put some hummus or jelly on it for her! She's going to die!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Go Green

I don't drink green beer.

OK, so I don't drink ANY beer, so that's not really saying much. But anyway, Puff and I always sorta kinda celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but not really. We typically throw on some green and head to a local festival or parade. With Bimmer in tow this year, and an itchy finger once I was on Etsy, I had to order the kid a personalized St. Patty's shirt. Since, ya know, that's practical.

Anyway... just a little photo dump of us enjoying the gorgeous weather (Puff introduced Bimmer to bubbles for the first time!!!) and Bimmer sporting her adorable onesie... name blocked out of course :)


Monday, March 18, 2013

March Faves

I'm back again with a few of my favorite things this month. What are you loving/ craving/ freaking over these days???
#1 March Fave: Cook Out
Why: Hi. My name is Gail. And I am an addict. Yup - I honestly cannot drive past a Cook Out and NOT buy something. They have the best fast food burgers I have ever had. They taste just like something you threw on the grill in your own back yard. Not to mention they have hush puppies! Oh yeah, and an insane variety of delicious shakes. Strawberry Oreo anyone? Mmmm... my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!!

#2 March Fave: "The Following"
Why: I was really unsure about getting behind this show, even though it's about a serial killer. My main reason? I hate... like HATE... Kevin Bacon. (Why does he always seem to end up in rolls where he is a child molester? It disturbs me.) So... if you haven't jumped on the bandwagon for this show, you will need to go back to watch the previous episodes first. You can't jump in somewhere in the middle. The premise is that a serial killer escapes from prison and ends up establishing a cult of people to keep killing for him when he goes back to jail. It's a neat, very different, spin for a TV show. I'm hooked.

#3 March Fave: Southern Tots
Why: I am not originally from the south, and perhaps that is why seeing smocked clothing literally makes me violent. Especially on boys. That's just mean! But somehow or another, I got hooked up with this Southern Tots Facebook page. They run sales twice a day of kids clothes and accessories. Some days, I just gag with all the smocked ugly crap. (Who wants giant sack dresses to the floor for their daughter? So fugly!) But other times, there are adorable little dresses with lobsters or whales that I just want to eat up. I was definitely hesitant to order - especially though the "just put a comment on the photo and we'll send you an invoice" scenario. But I tried it for an adorable little outfit that will hopefully work for her first birthday photos. It took almost 4 weeks to get it shipped and it is adorable, but I'm worried it's going to be too small come late May. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project 52 - Week 42

Bimmer was in no mood for photos this week
A little list of updates for ya this week...

Height/Weight: Bimmer weighs in at 21 lbs. 11 1/2 oz. and is 29 1/2 inches tall! She is in the 90+ percentile for both. Wowza!
Clothes/Diapers: Bimmer has been in 9 month sized pants and sleepers since late fall. She still rocks some of her 6 month onesies, but I finally packed away some of them to rotate in some of her 9 month ones. I'm hoping she gets into her 12 month stuff once warm weather hits though, since she has such cute stuff I'm anxious to break out! (Granted, "warm weather" is probably here already since it's been in the mid to high 60s lately!) She is still in size 3 diapers, but we have a box of size 4 ready and waiting for the size 3's to run out.
Toys: Bimmer's favorite toys right now are her picnic basket with shapes that Meghan got her for Christmas and a $1 bath book with Elmo on it that I got at Target on a whim. And suddenly after 9 1/2 months, she has found a pacifier and loves it. Granted, she doesn't actually suck on it like a pacifier. Half the time, she has it in her mouth backwards or is crawling around with it in her hand. She likes to bang it against things and will chew on the mouth part like she's gnawing. I think she must like it if she's starting to get new teeth.

Food: I've mentioned several times recently my frustration with her eating "people food." It seems like now, besides bread or cheese, anything new I give her, she spits out. She does awesome with her baby food (Plum brand being my favorite for variety) and snacks on Cheerio's and baby puffs. I see all the other kids in her class eating things like blueberries and Craisins and grits and I just feel like she's falling behind. Although, I also need to remind myself that she's 2 months younger than all the other kids in her class. She'll get there eventually. It's not like she's starving!
Sleep: For the past 2 weeks (minus the night we went to the ER) she has been sleeping through the night all but one night. She goes down about 9pm and sleeps until about 7:45am on the weekends. Waking her up for school during the week is hilarious. I can turn on all the lights, bang around and call her name and she won't even budge. Sometimes I'll even pick her up and hold her in a sitting position in my lap and she'll be totally still with her eyes shut. But when she wakes up on her own accord, she's just precious. She stretches and yawns and rubs her eyes. Then she pats my face to see if I'm awake. If I play possum she pulls herself up on the headboard and starts bouncing and dancing. So yes, as we approach the 10 month mark, we are still co-sleeping. I just keep finding excuses as to why we don't put her in her crib. We'll get there eventually.

Development: Bimmer can crawl up a storm and is getting really quick at it. She also can even pull herself up to stand on the wall, which I think is a pretty big step toward walking, since that's not easy! She dances and claps and waves. She babbles (and babbles and babbles). She bangs objects together and pulls objects out of others. She likes to open and shut books and doors.
Activities: Does being held count as an activity? She really still just wants to be held and involved in whatever Puff and I are doing. She likes to watch "Doc McStuffins" or "Snapped" (yes, she sat this week and watched it for 10 minutes... Mama was proud... lol). She likes to listen to music and dance by booty poppin'. She is really well-behaved when we are out and about and she's in her stroller or Bjorn. She also loves to play peek-a-boo. Especially with pillows or blankets. It's really one of the only times she just giggles and giggles. Her latest thing is putting everything behind her neck. That's especially fun with socks and Mommy's pants she grabs before I can take them from her.
Health: We met with the ENT this week as a follow up of her 6 ear infections she's had since Thanksgiving. The last pediatrician's visit had the doc telling us she had "a little fluid" still in her ears, but no infection. They didn't give any antibiotics, which I was grateful for, since I think she's had too many lately. Anyhoo... the ENT said she doesn't have "a little" fluid but rather A LOT of fluid behind BOTH ears. So she is definitely a candidate for tubes! They need to drain those poor girl's ears so she can hear!!! We haven't gotten it scheduled yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted. It scares me to death, but I know it's the right thing. We gotta get this little girl healthy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cheesy Pasta

Now, we all know you don't come here for recipes. I'm not exactly known for my amazing cooking skills. In fact, most nights, Puff and I sit down to a mean bowl of cereal. Or if I'm feeling fancy, I'll whip up some fish sticks.

But there is one thing I make regularly that Puff just loves. And I love it too. We refer to it as "Three Cheese Pasta." It's super easy and yummy, so I thought I'd share!
What do you need? Well... some bowtie pasta, sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and shredded parmesan cheese. That's it!
I make the pasta according to the directions on the box & drain it. Then I reduce the heat on the stovetop to medium and throw on a non-stick pan. I pour on as much sauce as I want. (Yeah, there aren't any measurements here!)
Then I spoon on some ricotta...
And I keep stirring on medium heat the whole time. Once the ricotta seems to melt down a little bit, I layer on the mozzarella and parmesan.
Once the mozzarella is nice and stringy, I spoon it out into bowls and top with a pinch of mozzarella.
We serve it up next to some garlic bread or some crescent rolls with some olive oil & garlic seasoning to dip.
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get Shoppin'

At my old job, I always felt super sexy. I'd rock the oxford and the pencil skirt. I was the youngest in the office and one of very few viable objects of men's lust and attention. (Not that I'm looking for lust and attention, but hey, it's nice to feel sexy, right?)

Cue my new job.

I love my new job. I work with a great group of girls. (Remember THIS?) But working in an office with a lot of young, cute, spunky, in-shape, and fashionable women will wear on you fast. Especially when you're 9+ months post-partum and still sometimes feel like you look pregnant. My mental capacity for their cuteness is running thin.

On a good day, I am only 4 pounds heavier than my weigh-in the day I found out I was pregnant. That's still 9 pounds, however, heavier than I want to be. I'm also pretty convinced that no matter if I lose those 4 reluctant-to-leave pounds, my boobs are just not going to shrink down two bra sizes to my previously perfect cup-size.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because I've finally set a goal. I have an end date in mind. And a reward to follow.

May 1st is my "Bitch, please - it's time to be back to your pre-baby weight" deadline. May is a busy month - a wedding to attend at the beach, which will involve a bathing suit, and Bimmer's first birthday photos and party. I don't want to look and feel fat that day. Plus, I want to be able to rock a super cute spring and summer wardrobe.
My reward for getting back into shape will be some new pieces for that wardrobe. Some must-haves to make me look and feel cute and in place at the office, amongst all these gorgeous ladies.
And maybe some brownies too. Ya know, just because :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Project 52 - Week 41


Bimmer gave us a good heart attack this week.
On Monday night, she decided she didn't want to eat and her breathing became labored and she was retracting. Her poor little belly kept going up under her rib cage. We ended up in the ER overnight for about 5 hours. They did chest x-rays (no pneumonia) and her RSV test was negative (although she probably still has it.) After one breathing treatment, they decided to try a continuous one. Since holding her relatively still and shooting medicine toward her mouth for an hour at 2am is so much fun.


The poor girl just hasn't been herself this week. We are so ready for spring to get here and the bad germs to go away!

She missed her school pictures on Tuesday, since we kept her home, but after I saw the proofs, I was OK with her missing them. Since it was a gray, cold day, they did them inside in front of a plain backdrop. Here's hoping the ones in the fall can be outside. Not like we don't get tons of professional pics done anyway. Already preparing for her one year photos in May!
One of the cutest things she has started to do is when she is standing up on the coffee table or her little music table, she'll sometimes put all her weight on one leg and kick the other leg out to the side. We call it her "Stanky leg." I've also had it up to here with her lack of wanting to eat table food. She'll eat some.. bread, crackers, biscuits, yogurt, cheese. But she refuses to eat any fresh fruit. We've struck out now with banada, avocado, cantelope, and watermelon. And she spit out the tiny little bits of chicken I've tried to give her. And she can't quite figure out how to chew and swallow pasta. But she'll eat the fuck out of some Cheerio's. I guess I just need to keep reminding myself that she's only just been 9 months for a week or so, so I can't freak out yet.
Trust me... she's not a little girl. I'll have her 9 month stats next week. I have a feeling we're in the 90+ percentile in height and weight. But definitely weight.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quirky Cute

We all have our quirks.

I am totally OCD and get excited about a color-coded planner. I know people who will only write with blue pens or people who collect wine corks.

Yet, Puff has a quirk that just baffles me more than almost anything.

He is a napkin hoarder.

Yes, you read that correctly.

If we get a handful of napkins from a fast food restaurant, he will save every last one that isn't touched. Now, I'm guilty of keeping a few in my car from a drive-thru expedition to have on hand just in case, but he takes it to the extreme.

But even worse than that, he will keep USED napkins.

Ya know, because we don't make enough money to repeatedly buy more paper towels.

If we have dinner at home and he only wipes his mouth on the napkin once and there is no visible residue, he folds it and puts it in his junk drawer and reuses it later. I have repeatedly told him that we don't NEED to conserve in this way, but he insists. I will even sometimes make sure I snatch up the paper towels from the table after dinner before he can grab them himself. Sometimes he'll sneak it in his pants pocket before I can get to it.

It's my own little version of "Hoarders: Buried Alive" at my house, except it's just napkins.

While I roll my eyes every time I see him diving into that drawer to put away a used napkin, he just shrugs. It's just his quirk. He doesn't think anything of it. So, instead of fighting, I just go with it. When I set the table at night, he gets a used napkin from his stash. I secretly hope it starts to deplete it enough that it just magically disappears one day.

Did I just give my future dinner party guests something to worry about? HA!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Balloons to Heaven

Historically, I am not a crier. Not at Hallmark commercials. Not at "The Notebook."

But then I became a mom.

And all of a sudden, I'm getting teary-eyed at things that sometimes seem ridiculous. Surprise military homecomings on the news always get to me. And then there was that episode of "Bones." Yup... an episode of a show about death and murder. ::hangs head in shame::

One recent day at work, this happened...


And it was an awesome day. Filled with lots of teary-eyed moments.

You see, my co-worker's daughter passed away unexpectedly when she was just 20 months old. This recent day would have been her 4th birthday. In an effort to make the day easier for my co-worker, my team rallied together to pull off the exceptional.

We all wore purple, the color of the baby's birthstone. We had a cake, balloons, flowers, and a little girl's birthday card we had all signed. And at 4pm, about 15 of us trudged to the rooftop of an adjacent parking garage and released 4 balloons for the baby's 4th birthday. We had written birthday messages on all of them. We stood in the gorgeous sunshine of a warm February afternoon and watched them float away until we could not watch them anymore.

We toasted with champagne.

It was a day full of reminders. That I work for an awesome company full of amazing, good-hearted, and kind people. We are definitely a team in all the sense of the word. It was a day that I felt more grateful for Bimmer than usual. I try not to take any moments for granted with my daughter, and I certainly didn't that day. When several girls went out for drinks after work, I declined and said I needed to go pick up my baby. She understood with every bone in her body.

I can't even begin to fathom her loss. I know she has gone through tremendous pain and grief. She is an intensely strong woman. And while her daughter is no longer with her physically, she is still one of the most inspiring mothers I know.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Project 52 - Week 40

It is so blowing my mind right now that Bimmer has been outside my body longer than she was inside me! I've been nurturing her and caring for her and loving her for 18 months now. It's been the best of my life!

Bimmer has finally discovered a TV show that is her jam. It's called "Doc McStuffins" or something like that on Disney Junior. If we need her to stay awake longer than she wants or if I just want a chill out moment with a still child, I pop that show on. She will actually sit still and stare at it for a good 15 minutes. It's amazing.

She has been very vocal this week... we think she was talking about who should be the new pope. After a Sunday night fever and a sick day at home with Mommy on Monday, we realized she had another ear infection. We have scheduled an appointment for two weeks to see the ENT. It is time to start talking about tubes. This poor girl has just been miserable for way too long.
She also seems to be getting into everything these days! Puff let her discover that she can stand up in the bathtub and reach the toilet paper, so that's been a new battle. Hopefully we can squash that one here soon! Oh - and the girl is loving some shredded mozzarella cheese these days. It's been a new thing this week for her and I can't say I blame her for scarfing it down!