Monday, April 29, 2013

Blooms

Oh, spring! Now that the pollen is calming down a little bit, the days are getting a slight bit warmer, and those green slimy worms are fewer on our trees, it was time to stop rushing around so much and just stop and take pictures by the azaleas.
 


 
 
I wish I could show you a picture of the front of our house, with our aqua front door and all the gorgeous old azaleas in bloom. But I'm just not comfortable. Take my word for it - it's adorable. The Bungalow is super gorgeous in the spring!
 
In other random news, do you think Bimmer needs a haircut or what?!?!
 


 
 
I just can't bring myself to cut it though. She's not even a year old yet. Plus, I definitely don't want to get rid of those curls! There will just be lots of hairbows and pigtails in our immediate future, until I can figure out what to do with it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Project 52 - Week 48

It makes me sad we only have 4 more of these to go! :(

First, a Mommy note. I have been able to exercise about 3 times a week for the past few weeks and it feels awesome. Yes, sometimes it's only 15 minutes, but you gotta start somewhere, right? We have a wedding to attend in May, and I am so determined to fit back into one of my old dresses I already own!
 
As for Bimmer this week, I don't want to jinx us, but we have had a stretch of successful naps in the crib! She doesn't always want to fall asleep with a bottle anymore for naps, so it's actually been kind of perfect for us to be able to put her down in her crib. Yes, there are tears. But the length of crying has shortened significantly. It used to be 20 minutes or more before she would go to sleep, but now we're down to under 10. Sometimes, under 5. It feels amazing to have just at least a little bit of time to myself (or ourselves) without her under foot. It makes me so hopeful that she will be in her crib at night sometime soon!
 
Bimmer has also started to play with a toy Kimhead got her for Christmas that promotes walking. Yup... walking! She has always played with it flat, but we raised it this week so she can stand behind it and push it, if she wants. She has done it a few times, but the toy really flies once she starts to push it, so she never makes it very far. But it's definitely a step (literally) in the right direction. We have also caught her standing for a few seconds here and there, without holding on to anything. Usually it's because she wants a toy or she is brushing her hands off, but she lets go before she realizes what she is doing. I love to see those little milestones!
 
Did I mention last week that we successfully ate some carrots, green beans, and zucchini? Not much, but some bites. Enough to get me excited. She also has discovered that she loves pineapple! We even managed a few successful sips from the sippy cup this week... that weren't spit back out! I clapped and screamed and cheered. Hopefully we can continue working with that and encourage her to succeed.
 
One random thing she keeps doing this week is crawling and then flopping down on her stomach and almost making a breaststroke move. It's so funny. I'm sure she picked it up at school. Where else, right? And while I'm at it... time for a little TMI. I like to think that I have my 11 month old potty trained. So, here's the deal... every morning when I put her in her Bumbo on the counter (yes, we still use it and yes, it's on the counter) she poops. I know it's coming, so it's nice that I can plan accordingly. (I typically don't get dressed until after her morning poo!) It's just funny to me that she seems to always poop when she is in her seat. She just knows that's where it happens!
 
If only it were that easy, right?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Faves

 
I'm back with my monthly raves! What are you jonesing after this month? (Yes, I just said that.)
 
#1: Garlic Festival
 
 
 
Why: Because who doesn't love garlic??? A few years ago, Puff and I took Kimhead to NC for a Renaissance Festival. (Go ahead and judge.) On our way out, we passed by some of the vendors and one of them was Garlic Festival. The second I tried the Garlic Garni, I knew I had to have it. I use it in so many ways... on baked chicken and fish, in hamburger meat before it's grilled, on veggies. Our favorite use is to put it in some olive oil and dip bread in it! It's inexpensive (maybe $4 a bottle) but the shipping isn't, so I order a few jars at a time!
 
 
#2: Doc McStuffins
 
 
 
Why: Because Bimmer will finally sit still! Puff and I are avid TV watchers, but Bimmer has always sort of ignored it. Probably because "Criminal Minds" and "Snapped" just aren't her jam. But one morning a month or so ago, I happened upon this TV show on Disney. And the world stopped for Bimmer. She sat for about 15 minutes and couldn't take her eyes off it! Since then, it's been our "go to" if we need her to chill for awhile or if we are trying to keep her awake later to ensure an uninterrupted night's sleep. It's the only show she will actually watch. And yes, Puff and I can sing all the songs. "Time for your check-up, time for your check-up."
 
#3: Southern Hands
 
 
 
 
Why: Because "Southern Tots" that I mentioned in a previous month just turned me off. (It took forever to get my order and then the size was off!) So, I found this place on Etsy and now follow them on Facebook as well. They are in South Carolina and I have already ordered a bib and bloomers for Bimmer's first birthday photos. Since the turn-around time and quality of work was awesome, I went ahead and ordered a special order of a whale onesie for Bimmer's first birthday party. She also has super cute personalized items for boys, which you don't see too often. I love me some seersucker!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hillbilly Heaven

Back when Bimmer was only 5 weeks old, she went on her first trip. We went to Florida to visit my mom (HERE) and since then has been a trooper through a few trips to the Fort and more local SC/NC day trips. However, my travel bug was itching and needed scratching, so we hit the road to Gatlinburg, TN. I chose the destination for a few reasons.... (1) It's not ridiculously far away, (2) It's family friendly, and (3) I have good memories of visiting there as a child, so it felt somewhat nostalgic.
 
 
 
 
 
Of course, Bimmer was a rock star when it came to traveling in the car. The first day, we had lunch at the Old Mill Pottery House in Pigeon Forge, and then hit up some cheesy shops. I was seriously disappointed in The Christmas Place this time. I actually walked out empty handed!!! Shocker, I know!
 
 
 
Downtown Gatlinburg is a mecca of class (ha ha ha) so we strolled the shops that night and had dinner at Cherokee Grill.
 
 
 
Yes, we were those people who took our baby to a somewhat decent establishment and then proceeded to grind French fries into the carpet. You're welcome.
 
 
 
Saturday morning, we headed up the mountain to visit Cade's Cove. I don't think Puff nor I realized that it was an hour's drive just to get there. Factor in the end of spring break crowds (which never dawned on me when I picked the dates for this trip) and the whole shebang took over 4 hours! Again, Bimmer was a champ in the car, but was super happy to get out and check out some of the sites at a few stops.
 
 
 
The best part was getting behind a family who thought it was OK to let their tween sit in the back of the station wagon with her feet dangling 2 inches above the pavement. Barefoot. I made Puff pull over after awhile so we wouldn't be right behind them. It scared me to death!!!
 
On Sunday morning, we were happy that Bimmer didn't let us sleep in too late (she got up at 7:30am, which is typical) so we could get ready and head to the Ripley's Aquarium.
 
 
 
I had been worried about the crowds (since everyplace else was ridiculous) but we were there about 15 minutes after they opened and felt like we had the place to ourselves! Bimmer loved the big tanks where she could see the big fish. She sat open-jawed in the tunnel with the sharks swimming overhead. The only part that scared her was a dinosaur display with a T-Rex... which she actually liked at first!
 
 
 
All told, it was a nice getaway. We didn't blow the budget, had some quality family time away from home, and got our fill of cheesy tourist locales for at least the next 5 years. It was definitely a humble reminder of why we usually opt for places a little more off the grid.
 
So... do you think Bimmer is too young for the prison rodeo? :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Project 52 - Week 47

 
Oh, my sweet little daughter is such a brat.
 
Yup... we are officially experiencing temper tantrums. If you take something from her, move her away from something, tell her no. Basically, if she doesn't get her way 100% of the time, you're going to know about it. And I don't really know what to do about it. She's only just shy of 11 months old. She is just finally grasping what "no" even means. I try not to let her get away with murder, but sometimes, you do have to give in. Dropping her off at daycare has been horrific in the mornings lately. Crocodile tears the second we walk into her classroom. Screaming and crawling after me, red faced.
 
When she is getting her way, she is such a ball of joy. She has started a thing now where she will lean her forehead into my face, wanting me to kiss it. Mommy loves forehead kisses, so I guess she does too! She also apparently has no fear of dark rooms. She has a new game where she will look at you, make sure you're paying attention, and then take off crawling as fast as she can in the other direction. I stomp behind her and she giggles. She'll stop to look back and then if you get close, she takes off again. I love the sound of her laughter as it flows through The Bungalow!
 
There don't seem to be any signs of her wanting to start walking independently. I really thought she would be an early walker. And even though she walks pretty well around holding on to furniture or the wall, she never actually tries to take steps without holding on. I'm sure one day I will be wishing for the days when I could contain her since she wasn't running around! We're also still struggling with the sippy cup and have been slow to introduce more finger foods, but that's my fault. I just don't have the time. Yes, that makes me sound like a horrible mother, but it's the truth. Preparing a real meal is way more labor intensive and time consuming than giving her baby food. Especially when she wants it NOW and is throwing her head back in protest of you taking too long.
 
She is thoroughly enjoying her swing we bought her for an early 1st birthday gift. We hung it from the big oak in our backyard and she gets almost daily pushes. She just lights up the entire time. I've been letting Puff handle swing duty lately though, since we have all these little wormy things hanging from the trees. It's one of my least favorite things about spring! I'd rather deal with pollen than little green creepy crawlies!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sleep is Overrated

When I started my job back in September, Puff and I made the worst parenting mistake we've made yet... Operation Cry It Out. (HERE)
 
 
 
It was just too much all at once. I wasn't here with her all day. She had a new nanny. She was able to roll over to her stomach but not back again. It was the worst week of our lives together.
 
After I wrote that post, I promised an update.
 
Here we are 7 months later. She is roughly 11 months old. And how is Bimmer doing with the whole sleeping in her crib?
 
She isn't.
 
And that has been a conscious decision on Puff's and my behalf. We had good intentions of doing it around the holidays when our work load was lighter, but then she was constantly sick. I wasn't about to put a baby with a snotty nose and cough through that transition. Then the spring came and she had ear infections and I had crazy weeks at work where I couldn't be sleep deprived. Then we were out of town for Easter and the weekend following. No time to do it in April.
 
Why not May? Well, because we have a lot of travel plans. And I refuse to do this transition twice.
 
So... June it is. She will be 12-13 months old and it will be time for her to just deal with it. I know it's going to be difficult. We are probably going to have to come up with a plan of attack before we start. I know the "going in every 5 minutes to soothe her" route won't work for us. We are either going to have to go cold turkey or we are going to have to do the "stay with her and rub her back until she falls asleep even if it takes hours" approach. I've got some time to decide.
 
I will desperately miss falling asleep with her on my chest. Yes, even at this age, she still does that every night. I hold her for most naps too. I'll miss being able to wake up to her little hand resting on my arm. Or being able to reach over to touch her back, just to check that she's still breathing. It won't just be hard for Bimmer, it will be hard for me too.
 
But it's time. Puff and I need quality time together. We are ready to have some cuddle time of our own. I am ready to not have to go to bed at 8:30pm every night (although, I'm really not complaining) so that I can catch up on TV shows and blogging and getting chores done around the house. And maybe this will give us time to work on that sibling Bimmer so adamantly opposes. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Drowning

I have a whole new respect for single parents.
 
Even when Puff tries his hardest, I still pull the bulk of the weight in household chores and baby wrangling. But lately, he's been having to put in some long hours at the office, which cuts into any possible "get shit done" time that I would normally have in the evenings. Couple that with back-to-back weekends out of town, and my life has quickly tumbled into chaos!
 
My typical day goes like this... Wake up, get ready, get Bimmer ready, feed Bimmer, take Bimmer to daycare, work a 9 hour day (sometimes more), pick up Bimmer, pack Bimmer's lunch for the next day, feed Bimmer a snack, let Bimmer take a 30-60 minute nap on my chest while I watch TV, cook dinner for me and Puff, feed Bimmer dinner, clean/laundry/etc. while Puff gives Bimmer a bath, have a few minutes of family time, give Bimmer a bottle and go to bed!
 
There's barely time to make sure I have enough clean underwear, let alone have the time I want to dedicate to things like writing, organizing photos, and scrapbooking. Forget it. I've got to make sure I take time to eat!
 
I'm not griping. Not really, anyway. Do I sometimes wish Puff would take more initiative to get stuff done while I'm putting Bimmer to bed? Sure. But do I also understand that he needs some time to himself to unwind? Yes. However, I need it too. And I need it SOON! He gets a few hours every day. I'm lucky if I get a few hours every few weeks. And that's normally for an occasion like girl's night out or a trip to the grocery store. Yes, grocery shopping is now an "occasion." There's never just quiet time to sit with the windows open, curl up with a good book, or watch "Hannibal" without the baby waking up.
 
I will fully admit to going to the tanning bed just to have 15 minutes of silence. It's glorious.
 
I'm not full-out struggling, but life is definitely limping along. It's a wonder more people don't divorce during the first year after a child is born. Puff and I have no time together anymore. We haven't shared a bed in a year and a half. Date nights are expensive, since we don't have family nearby as free babysitters. Intimacy is out the window. We fight much more often. We are both tired, run down, overworked, and overwhelmed.
 
Yet, I know there are others out there with much bigger problems. There are others with much more difficult situations. I think we are in need of a change. A big one. Something life altering... in a good way. I have a few ideas of what that could be, but I haven't really gotten through to the execution part yet. We'll see.
 
In the meantime. I'm going to be thankful for 10 minutes of Daddy-Daughter time that happened so I could have the time to get this off my chest.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Project 52 - Week 46

 
Sorry for the crappy update last week! Life has just been overwhelming lately. (Stay tuned for a post about that!)
 
 
Anyway... a few things about Bimmer this week. She has started to say "Mama" at the appropriate time when she wants me. I'll admit; it's pretty awesome. She is still Miss Clingy-Pants to me. The minute I think it's getting better, it gets worse again. Basically, unless she wants to be put down, she wants to be around Mommy all the time!
 
 
She has gone through some picky-eater moments lately, but she was also having some stomach issues. I'm hoping the two were related. My poor baby girl... as soon as one thing gets cleared up, she gets another  health issue! She does have an ear infection again too. Yup - two weeks after her ear tubes! My thought is they were infected when the tubes went in and we never got an antibiotic. One ear cleared up, but the other one didn't. So, now we're on new drugs and hopefully she's on the mend.
 
 
She is perfecting blowing kisses and now makes the "yum face" when she is eating something she loves. Usually cheese. I'm trying to work on getting her to sign "more" when she wants more food. Whenever I do it, she just laughs and then claps. I do think she is starting to understand "no" a little better. I always am sure to praise her when she listens. Baby steps, right?
 
 
One thing I wish we could work on is the sippy cup. Any suggestions from the moms on how to get her to use it?
 
 
At the end of this week, Bimmer got sent home from school with a 102 fever. She had it through the night and it was only down to 101 on Friday morning. Puff stayed home with her that day. She was eating OK and was chatty and playful, but just never could shake that temp. My poor baby!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bunny Tales

Coming off an exhausting 12 days straight at work, packing up and heading to Atlanta to spend time with the MIL ranked right above "Labotomy by Goat" on the list of ways I wanted to spend my weekend. Alas, I was bound and determined not to let her ruin Bimmer's first Easter!
 
 
 
Before we even hit the road, Puff and I gave her an overflowing Easter basket. It came with snacks, books, empty eggs for her to clap together, and a pair of purple bunny ears.
 
 
 
 
We spent that Saturday hanging out with family, eating lunch, and visiting friends. The weather was perfect to spend some time outside! Bimmer discovered pine straw for the first time and had a blast trying to move it piece by piece from the bed to the sidewalk. After a nature walk at a park, we got to spend some time on the swings. I'd say she liked it!
 
 
 
On Easter Sunday, we headed off to church with the MIL, BIL, and one of Bimmer's cousins that were visiting from the Great White North. She hadn't taken a nap, so I knew she was going to be a pill. After all the "oohs" and "aahs" over how cute she is, Bimmer lasted a whole 16 minutes into the service. She squealed and sang during the songs, but was otherwise fidgety and chatty, so after a few dirty looks, I took her out. Several people mentioned the nursery, but I knew she would just scream the entire time. No sense in ruining someone else's holiday!
 
 
 
 
We found a comfy chair in the fellowship hall, had a bottle, and napped for a good 30 minutes. It was exactly what my baby girl needed! We had Easter lunch with the family and then headed to a friend's house for an Easter egg hunt. Bimmer found 3 whole eggs, but she wasn't too interested in the Easter Bunny!
 
 
 
 
Can't say I blame the girl!
 
Holidays are just so much more fun with Bimmer in our family. I love seeing things new to her for the first time. Bring on the next one!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project 52 - Week 45

She looks so grown up this week!
 
Bimmer enjoyed her first Easter this week. (More on that in another post - I'm slacking this week, since my InterGoogle has been acting goofy!) Although with her ear tubes and traveling, her sleep schedule is all out of whack. And I'm about tired of it. Eh... maybe I'm just flat out TIRED!!! She has only slept through the night once since her surgery. Calling the doc is on my radar if this continues.
 
Speaking of her sleeping habits, I have noticed that at night, she's becoming less snuggly. I always hold her on my chest after she finishes her bottle and I usually fall asleep holding her. But lately she's more fidgety and wants to lay off by herself. Maybe that's a step in the right direction toward moving her to her own bed! (I'm mentally preparing a post about our sleeping situation for the near future.)
 
This week she also ate some carrot souffle - which is the first time she has eaten anything with carrots! She also ate some ham from my sandwiches on two different occasions. We continue to work on finger foods. Now our next task needs to be working on the sippy cup! She still doesn't have much interest in it and spits out whatever she gets in her mouth. One step at a time, right? Although, with her eating, she was pretty particular on our trip to Tennessee this weekend. Here's hoping that's not a trend. She wouldn't eat any new finger foods starting Saturday afternoon... one of which included a crepe with powdered sugar on it!
 
It's been a stressful, insane, and single-parent type of week, so I promise to have better updates soon!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I've Had it Up to HERE

My sincerest apologies for my lack of posting lately. I somehow upgraded my internet to Explorer 10 and it SUCKS STEGASAURUS BALLS!

Half the time, my top tool bar is missing. And when it appears, the bottom one disappears. Then, it will open one website fine one day, and the next, it won't.

9 times out of 10, I can't save photos on my desktop that I emailed to myself from my phone. And I just learned today that it doesn't want to save photos where I have put a watermark on them. Awesome. Then I get a white screen of death about every third website I visit.

Perhaps the most frustrating is that sometimes it won't even let me type in a text box to post a blog! Those few of you who have my personal blog have noticed my complete and total absence there... I no longer have the ability to type on the website.

It is the most fucking ridiculous thing ever. Microsoft - get your shit together!!!!!

So... until I figure out how to get another browser, my posts will be much more sporadic and I hate it. Stick with me please. Technology seriously hates me right now. Maybe I need to show it a little more cleavage or something.

Ideas???

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ear Tubes

It's hard to tell in this photo, but this was the week that Bimmer's epic battle with ear infections began...
 
 

 

From Thanksgiving until mid-March, I am pretty convinced the baby never actually was without an infection. She went through 6 (SIX!!!) different antibiotics in that time frame... including 2 shots! I was beyond frustrated. This mama knows how bad ear infections hurt and Bimmer had been a trooper long enough. It ws time for some intervention.
 

Following her 9 month appointment with Doc Hottie, when we were informed that she didn't have an infection (YET) but there was still a lot of fluid, I made us an appointment with the ENT.
 
 
 
 

 We were with the ear doc for all of 3 minutes. His exact words were, "She has A LOT of fluid in there!" Yup... Bimmer was a prime candidate for ear tubes. I had them as a child, which I remember because my anesthesiologist was hot. Yup... even at 4 I knew that! ::insert grin::
 

 
 

 So one recent morning, we woke the baby super early, headed toward the hospital, and got stuck in dead-stopped traffic on the highway because of a tractor trailer blocking all three lanes! We were able to get off the next exit and get around it, but we were still about 15 minutes late. ::shrug:: The check-in process was quick and painless and we probably waited a total of 10 minutes in two separate areas before getting back into a room. The assessment was fast and thorough. We kept Bimmer occupied with her toy remote control and Puff singing "S&M" by Rihanna to her. I'm sure anyone who could hear us found it amusing.
 

 When it was time to take her back, the nurse asked Bimmer if she could hold her and she gladly went. I was shocked! We followed them down the hall and she was just hanging on to the nurse and looking back at me and smiling. Yup... she smiled as she left us and went into surgery! That made it SOOOOO much easier for me and Puff!!!
 

 We literally had enough time to check our email on our phones and use the restroom before the doctor came over to us. I like that he doesn't beat around the bush. He told us that she did awesome, but that her ears looked "horrible." Apparently both were infected (which I suspected) and she had a lot of fluid in both as well. I was just so happy that she had done OK!
 

 
 

 Seeing Bimmer in this state was hard to swallow. But I knew she was OK and I was there for her when she woke up. Her heart rate kept hovering around 120 and her oxygen was at 98. The breathing tube was scary and I knew it would freak her out when she woke up. It would freak me out too!!! We stood there about 5 minutes until she started to stir. The nurse was awesome and jumped in to grab the tube out and unhook her from all the monitors. Bimmer cried while we were unhooking the machines, but as soon as I was able to hold her, she was totally fine. She took a bottle of apple juice and was dancing on the bed when I was trying to get her dressed. They gave her a little rubber ducky with bunny ears on it as a "prize" for doing so well.
 

 

On the way home, we stopped at Chick-fil-A (yes, I know... ugh) and got her a buttered biscuit. We know my little southern girl loves her a biscuit!!! I was so happy that she was chipper and acting herself when we got home. She did her biscuit dance, took a bottle, and snuggled with Puff when I headed off to work. She got to spend a few hours that afternoon with the Nanny, who came to stay with her. She slept most of the day, but was happy and playful when she was awake.

It was definitely scary to know my baby was going under for a surgery, but the doctors and nurses were great. We can't believe how quickly it went (we were at the surgery center less than 2 hours) and how well she has done recovering. Here's hoping she stays healthy now, starts to hear better, and maybe, just maybe, starts to talk a little bit more!