Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May Faves

I'm back with my monthly list o' cool shit. Enjoy!
#1: Hannibal
Why: Because who doesn't love a serial killer? Seriously? You don't? What's wrong with you? OK... so I probably have an unhealthy fascination with serial killers, much to Kimhead's dismay. But ever since high school, I've been stuck. I love Thomas Harris' books and movies. And so when I heard there was going to be a TV show based on his characters from "Red Dragon," I just knew I had to give it a chance. At first, I didn't love it. I was trying so hard to remember how it all had happened in the book and I couldn't get Lawrence Fishburne out of his CSI role. But after a few episodes, I couldn't turn it off, even if it's sometimes a little trippy. It's making me really want to go back and watch the movies again. Oh, if only I had time for movies.
#2: Land of Nod
Why: Because I'm obsessed with home decorating and I now have a child. I first heard of this Crate & Barrel children's store when I was first pregnant with Bimmer. I scoured their website, finding bedding and rugs that I loved. Except, then I wasn't working and we didn't have disposable income to splurge on overpriced baby gear. We opted to go with a beach themed nursery to utilize items we already had, so I wasn't able to make any purchases. Well, after a C&B gift card burnt a hole in my pocket for over a year, I finally broke down and bought a canvas storage basket for $20 and I love it. I am so anxious for either Baby #2 or for Bimmer's big girl room so I can go ahead and decorate a room the way I really wanted to in the first place!
#3: Snapchat
Why: Because I just know I would have gotten in trouble sending dirty pictures to boys had this been around when I was in college. (Frankly, I never would have probably landed a job in the real world had Facebook or Instagram been around then either. Counting my blessings!) Anyhoo... one of my friends turned me on to this and it's addicting. Basically you snap a pic or video and immediately send it to another Snapchat user, but you can only see the photo for a max of 10 seconds. You can draw on it or make captions. But once they open it and have seen it, it's gone. Forever. Now we just need to get Puff on board so I can start sending him some naughty mid-day photos!

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's All About Me

It's taken me a long time to realize this, but it's time to not feel guilty anymore. Nope... taking "Mommy Time" is a completely normal, acceptable, and necessary step in the process that is motherhood.
When Bimmer was first born, I was horrible about not wanting to pawn off the baby onto Puff. I had this mentality that she was MY baby and that I was the one who had wanted her, so I needed to be her primary caregiver, over everything else. Now, I would let Puff help when I needed to shower or do laundry or wash bottles. But it was always for a reason that affected the greater good of the family. I was extremely bad about it once I started working too, since I thought Bimmer needed to spend every possible second with her Mommy.
But I finally had an epiphany. This spring, I've started to do more things for myself. And by myself. They may sometimes be for the greater good (like an early Sunday morning jaunt to Target or an evening at the grocery) but a lot of the times, it's not. I have scheduled girl's nights with my friends. I went every other night to the tanning bed for 2 months. You have no idea how glorious 20 minutes of silence can be until you have a jabbering baby (and husband) at home! And then I started giving Puff some bonding time with his daughter so I could have some bonding time with my neglected elliptical.
And I've lost those last few stubborn pounds.
There's definitely some truth to the saying about if Mom is happy, everyone is happy. I feel like I am much more focused when I am spending time with Bimmer, since I'm not worrying about all the stuff that's not getting done. And it gives Puff time to play (or bathe or feed) with Bimmer, which is time she needs. She needs Daddy time as much as Mommy time. Which suits me just fine!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Project 52 - Week 52

Well, folks. This is it. My baby is a whole year old. ::scrambles to beg Puff to knock me up so we can do it again::
At 4:53am on May 24th, my world changed in a way I never knew imaginable. I took to being a mother so easily. I had the instinct. She was the best, most perfect baby in the history of babies. The cutest baby in the whole wide world. And I was lucky enough to be her mom.
We've been through some rough patches... trouble going to the bathroom, sleepless nights, spoiled tantrums. But the bright spots outweigh those. The joy this child brings me. ::sigh:: I can't love her enough.
In her final week leading up to her birthday, she has had a ton of fun putting things away. Mostly her new monkeys in a bucket that Rach got her for her birthday. It amazes me that she understands the concept. She's turning into such a little person! We also got her a mat to take to her toddler class at school coming up, and she loves to crawl on it and lay on it. That makes me hope she will still take good naps at school outside a crib!
She has also discovered a little maniacal laugh inside her. It's not her typical loud giggle that we get when we tickle her or chase her. No, it's an "I've got the remote and know I shouldn't be playing with it" laugh. I heard it from the other room the other day and she looked so proud of herself for getting into a mess she shouldn't. Oh wow... the toddler years are going to be fun!
Bring 'em on! We're ready!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Year Down

Well, we've done it. This coming Friday, Puff and I will have survived our entire first year of parenthood. It was pretty crazy. The first few months were so exhausting, I don't even remember coming up for air. But we've gotten into the swing of things... we know what we're doing, in general. And Bimmer has made it through unscathed. Even if she has fallen off the bed and bonked her head a time or four.
I like to think we didn't always act like first time parents. For whatever reason, that was a big deal to me. I didn't want to be the over-reactors or the uber-protective parents. Of course, we want to keep Bimmer happy and healthy and safe. But at the same time, we do things that I know a lot of first-timers wouldn't... like letting her crawl around in the bathtub or not freaking out if she licks the bottom of a shoe. Or the toilet. As long as she's not chewing on cords or drinking bleach, right?
Bimmer has been a lesson in patience for Puff. She has been a lesson in time management for me. But she has been an absolute joy. Whenever we question if we should try for a second one, Puff always wonders if the next one would be as awesome as Bimmer has been. We're pretty sure we made the most perfect baby in the world and aren't sure we could knock it out of the park a second time or not. That, however, is another story for another day.
I have a "May Faves" post coming next week, but I do want to share a few of my "Year One of Motherhood Faves" too. These were the top 3 things that I could not have done without...
#1 - Bumbo
I know they've been recalled, but we have used this thing to death. We got it as a hand-me-down when Bimmer was only 7 weeks old and we still use it. Yes, even up until her first birthday. We keep it on the counter (don't worry, we're never more than a few feet away) and it's our go-to spot for keeping Bimmer wrangled. It's just so convenient to be able to sit her there while we make her bottle or get her bag ready for school in the morning. Her chunky thighs are almost too big for it now and sometimes she sticks to it when we get her out. But, hands down, the best baby gadget ever!
#2 - Baby Oxiclean
My best friend recommended this as a "must have" when I got pregnant and she wasn't kidding. I have been able to salvage many pooped on onesies and food covered shirts with this stuff. It's like magic in a bottle! I know they make non-baby versions, but our grocery doesn't carry them in a spray, which is the easiest for me. So we always stock up when we hit up Babies R Us. I will admit that it was no good in getting out stains from orange yogurt bites or Goldfish crackers, but Puff did discover the Tide sticks works on Goldfish stains. But other than that, it has been a lifesaver. Or rather, a wallet saver because it was a clothes saver!
#3 - Date Blocks
I hope you have come to love our weekly photos as much as we have. My "Push Gift" from Puff was the most perfect gift ever, even if it wasn't over-the-top. We scored them on Etsy and I have looked forward to taking Bimmer's picture every week. So much so that I plan out her outfits in my calendar and have a good, healthy debate over her clothes on a regular basis. We won't continue with the weekly photos now that Project 52 is wrapping up, but I will still do monthly at least through her 2nd birthday. I hope you continue to check in on her growth and accomplishments through the next year, even if the updates aren't as frequent.
The rest? Well, we probably could have swapped our Graco car seat for another brand or our Chicco stroller for something different. We may have never noticed. We were low-key on all the things first-timers get sucked into thinking they need. Our minimalist ways have served us just fine and we hope that continues!
Now to figure out what to do with all these gifts Bimmer is sure to get for her birthday. Stay tuned for posts about her birthday party and her Year One photo shoot!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Project 52 - Week 51

Please don't remind me that we only have one more week of these updates! My sweet baby girl is quickly jumping to toddler status!
She can stand on her own sometimes. Yeah, that happened on Mother's Day. I think having shoes on helped, but she doesn't like to crawl in them. We're working on it. Things like learning to walk take some time. But I don't think it will be much longer! Sometimes I'm not sure she realizes what she is doing. I was working on putting stuff away in her room one night and she climbed on top of a pack of diapers and before I knew it, she was standing up to pick them up. Grunting, of course. Such a ham. She is also doing a lot better with walking with her push-toy (the hardwood floors no longer make it go too fast for her) and she can cruise pretty darn fast when we are holding her fingers. She has also perfected the slow bend to go from standing to sitting.
Bimmer has been super sweet this past week with giving lots of kisses. Granted, she only gives them to me, but I'm not complaining. One night, she motioned her fingers for me to come in close to her, and then she leaned in and planted a big ol' smooch on my cheek. It totally had me tearing up! And when Puff or I are sitting on the ground, she likes to come over now and plop in our laps. It's much more purposeful it seems than before when she just wanted to be held. It's like our little toddler knows her butt fits perfectly right there with Mommy or Daddy.
We are still working on formula in the sippy cup and taking the time to work on new foods. She did try some rice this week and it was a success! We had tried a few weeks back to no luck. It's definitely a trial and error and keep trying situation with this kid. She ate a few potatoes this week too, but then rejected the third one. I'm going to chalk that one up to her being so tired during dinner that she literally dozed off. Probably not the best time to try to introduce something new!
She's been doing awesome with a sleep schedule and has been sleeping through the night most nights lately. It all just worries me though because in a few short weeks, we'll have a lot of transitions... new class at school, sleeping in the crib, milk instead of formula, drinking from a sippy cup not a bottle at school. I have to figure out which ones are the most important and work on those first. We don't have a choice about the new class and don't really have a choice about using the sippy cup at school. My plan is to start on the milk the week of June 3rd and hopefully start with the sleeping in the crib the next week. Thankfully she has been doing awesome with weekend and evening naps in the crib. So she is getting used to it somewhat. My goal is just to have all of that behind us by the start of July. It's going to be an insane month in The Bungalow!
NEWS FLASH: Since I pre-wrote the above last week, Bimmer has taken major strides! We were traveling over the weekend (more on that soon) and she totally took her first steps in the hallways of the hotel!!! I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it. She definitely took 2 or 3 steps on her own! We are so close she can taste it!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Three Cheers to Me

Last May, we weren't sure if Bimmer would make her appearance in time or not, so Puff actually went out and bought a card. Alas, Bimmer came almost two weeks later, so this is officially my first Mother's Day!
We started the whole weekend with my one request... a quiet morning. Puff took Bimmer out for a drive and came home with a box of chocolate Munchkins. After breakfast, Bimmer took over an hour nap while Puff worked outside in the yard. The weather was perfect to have the windows open, listening to the birds, writing blogs, and just enjoying the fact that I could do something for myself for a change.
The festivities continued on Sunday with an early morning trip to the zoo!
It was Bimmer's first time and I was so happy to have a gorgeous and special day to commemorate the occasion. Her favorite thing was the turtles, but the baby crocodile that kept snapping at the glass freaked her out. She loved the giraffes and the brightly colored birds. I absolutely love watching her discover things for the first time!
Our afternoon included naps, a trip to Sonic for a cherry cream slush, and installing Bimmer's big girl car seat to face forward. My card said 'Hell yeah, bitch" on it, which is hilariously appropriate for our family. Oh yeah, and she decided to do this...
Where has my tiny baby gone?!?!?
Although, in reality, the past few months have been my absolute favorites. I don't really miss the tiny baby stage. Bimmer is developing into such a little person and I cherish every single second I get to spend with her. I am beyond grateful and so blessed that she chose me to be her mommy.
I love that kid with all my heart and soul.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Years in the Making

It just occurred to me that it was six years ago this month that I packed up life and moved to a new city...where I didn't know anyone. I started a new job (finally) in my industry. I thought I was on the road to forever with The Ex.
Then less than a year later, I was devastated. I felt like my entire world had just collapsed in on itself. I had packed my life! I was in a new city! I didn't know anyone there! I was left broken-hearted by the man I had put my life on hold for. We had been together almost 5 years. Weren't we supposed to be getting married and having babies? Instead, he went along with his new girl and I slugged my way through a short-lived office romance and an ill-advised few dates with a liar from Tennessee. I even flung myself at a happily-tied-down Mr. Smith.
It was the worst desperation I had experienced since college.
Yet, by June, I had met Puff. And my life was on the road to recovery. I was on the path I was meant to be heading down. And we did get married. We had a baby. We are living the life I always wanted.
But it's not easy.
Sure, we have traveled together and have made wonderful memories. We've cherished moments and showered Bimmer with kisses. On the flip side, we have petty arguments and tiffs over stupid things. We've dealt with some pretty bad hardships. But we've muddled our way through. Together.
I came home late one night after drinks with my girlfriends. The house was mostly dark and it was totally quiet. I walked into the living room to turn off the light and had to step over a few of Bimmer's toys. I had to stop and smile. This overwhelming feeling of contetment flooded my entire body. When I peaked in to see Puff and Bimmer snuggled up in bed together, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
My life may not be perfect, but I have been abundantly blessed with all I have been given. As my 3rd wedding anniversary and Bimmer's first birthday roll around this month, just know I am so happy. Even if I don't always act that way. I'm working on it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Project 52 - Week 50

I feel like we have made major strides this week in a lot of ways!
Bimmer is now drinking happily from a sippy cup. At school anyway. And usually only water or juice. But we're getting there. The fact that she drinks it at all is a major milestone. I about had a fit when I talked to the director at daycare this week and found out they're promoting her in June to the Toddler Room, regardless of whether she is walking or not. Then I found out they're promoting 6 or the 8 kids in her class, and only one is walking. So I am a little bit more at ease since she won't be the only one behind. She will still be the youngest in the class though. I've got to now think about finding her a nap mat, since there aren't cribs in that class! Good luck with that one, teachers!
We got Bimmer her first pair of real shoes this week ($40!!!!! at Stride Rite) but it's time for her to start wearing them and getting used to them. They frustrate her sometimes, since she can't quite get turned around with them on, but she will figure it out. She has been wanting to walk more and more with us holding her hands, so I know independent steps can't be too far away. She has stood on her own a few times without holding on to anything. She did it for the longest time while on Skype with my dad for his birthday. Just showing off for Papaw!
She has been eating ham this week, and pears too. We tried fish, but she wasn't in the mood to eat and just smeared it all over her face. Her favorite thing right now is strawberry-banana yogurt. She even got to taste a donut as an early Mother's Day treat. It was a cute precursor to the first birthday cake smash photos that are in our near future. Crumbs galore!
And just a sweet story to end with this week... She has been an awesome sleeper this week. (Although sleeping from 9pm-5am and then back to sleep til 7am may frustrate some, I can't get mad at that long of a stretch!) Anyway... one night she was wiggly and restless and I just laid there. She crawled up and put her head on the pillow next to mine and fell back to sleep for a few minutes. Then she readjusted herself and put her head on TOP of my head, cheek to cheek, and fell back to sleep. It was the absolute sweetest thing. She just needed some Mommy snuggles. And I am more than happy to give them to her, since Operation Get In Yo Crib is about to commence in a few weeks!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dine in Style

I casually mentioned a few months ago that we were making progress on our dining room makeover. Yeah, I am such a tease.
Anyhoo... I am finally back with a legitimate update!
When Puff bought this house, it came pre-painted with alternating rooms of garnet and gold. He decorated accordingly and we now have a garnet couch. (That's another problem for another day.) He was totally fine with the colors and when I moved into The Bungalow the summer of 2009, I had other more urgent projects (like the bathroom and kitchen) to focus on.
I did, however, insist on bringing my dining room table with me. It was the one and only piece of furniture I really was keen on keeping. Of course, he wanted to keep his antique dining table as well. His was relocated to the office and we brought in my Ethan Allen table that I have been obsessed with since I first saw it (and convinced my parents to buy years and years ago). I also brought along some black and white paintings that I had gotten on a trip to Rhode Island in my teens. (I like to say all the stuff in the dining room was the stuff I got in my parents divorce!)
Oh yeah - I also nixed his super fugly brass chandelier for one Kimhead had been storing for me. We had every intention of replacing it with a drum shade from Crate & Barrel. I even got a gift card specifically for that purpose as a Christmas gift. A year later, I finally ordered it. And it was too big. ::womp, womp:: It fit the space, but it broke the sight line from the front of the house to the back, and in a space as small as The Bungalow, it just wasn't going to work. As I teased in the last entry, I may someday get around to spray painting that thing white. Another post for another time.
So... on a random Saturday afternoon in April, I got a bug up my butt and finally busted out the test pot of Behr Valley Mist that had been sitting for way too long in the bottom of our coat closet. And I just painted a few squares on a few walls. There. We had to move forward. We couldn't live with it like that forever! And we scheduled our painter to come the first week in May. I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance once we had the date scheduled. I was sooooo ready for that garnet to be gone! (Even if I wasn't 100% confident in my paint selection.)
Right.... you're dying to see how it ended up, right? Well....

I'm madly in love. Yes, I will admit to being a little concerned that it was going to be too light, but it turned out perfect. The room seems twice the size and I feel like I'm in a totally different house. I love that from my normal seat in the living room, I can see the gorgeous blue-green dining room and through to our gray kitchen. The house is cooling down and feeling bigger and I love it! I'm so happy Puff trusts me and the tricks up my sleeve.
Now if we can only start working on this living room...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Get Outta My Way

Now, don't go getting your panties in a wad, but seriously, why are women such horrible drivers?
Me excluded, of course.
This topic has been swirling in my head for months. A friend of mine has a 16 year old daughter who was out one day, practicing her driving skills. She was obeying the speed limit and others were up her ass, making her nervous. I refrained from commenting on the Facebook post, since I knew she was looking for something along the lines of, "What a smart girl, obeying the law." But what I really wanted to say was, "If you can't take the heat, get off the street!"
I won't toot my own horn for too many things, but I do think of myself as a good driver. It's all subjective, of course. But I pay attention, I am aware, I go at the right speed for the conditions, and I am considerate to those who are in a bigger hurry than I am. Yes, I speed. Unless it's raining or I'm in traffic or I'm in a neighborhood. I'm not an idiot with a death wish. I don't do 90 on the highway. (And will someone please tell Puff that's not acceptable either?) However, if you are going 5 over the speed limit in the fast lane and are speed matching the person next to you? Perhaps you need to get the fuck out of my way.
I've noticed the biggest culprit for stupid drivers seems to be women. Most often in a giant SUV where they can barely see over the steering wheel. They're often texting or on the phone. Or twirling their hair. Or turning to look at the person in the seat next to them while they talk. Oh - that is one of my biggest pet peeves ever! You don't have to take your eyes off the road to chat about hairspray or makeup with the person next to you! Gah! ::smacks head:: Plus, what about people who essentially stop to merge on to the highway? Or those who slow down to pass a semi and drive in their blind spot?
So... just be smart out there people. Please. If you see someone behind you that wants to go faster than the speed limit, get over. Just do yourself a favor and stay in the slow lane. Especially you, stoners. You're not going as fast as you think you are!!!! ::sigh:: My road rage is destined to never be tamed. Here's hoping the next time I get in the car, I can make it someplace safely, quickly, and without going apeshit over the dumbass bicyclist who thinks it's a car.
But that's another topic for another day. My blood pressure is already rising.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Project 52 - Week 49

Reality is starting to sink in that my baby girl is almost ONE!
Where has the time gone???
I remember fondly the days when Bimmer's happy place was on the changing pad. She never cried when she was laying there. She was always super cooperative and chill. Then the past few weeks happened. She's not always bad when we're trying to change her, but she's definitely not always a model patient either. There are days when we are literally trying to keep her from rolling away or sitting up. And then the times she arches her back, throws her head back in a scream, and slams both feet down on the pad in a huff. She is going to be such fun as a teenager.
We tried broccoli this week, but her reaction was exactly what mine would be... disgust. I'm hoping to find time to search online for some other ideas for good finger foods for her. She does sometimes eat deli meat, so I'm thinking about seeing what she would do with that for lunch at school. I know if I sent it with cheese and crackers, she would love it! I am knocking on wood as I'm writing this, but Bimmer actually drank some from a sippy cup this week! I'm tempted to send it in to school to see if the peer pressure will entice her to do it more often. I am so ready for her to drink from one!
For shits and giggles this week, I put Bimmer in her crib after her bottle one evening. She had been sound asleep in my arms, but woke up screaming the second my feet hit the floor! She's not stupid! She cried for about 15 minutes before sleeping for 45. I did get her then and held her until she fell back to sleep. Then she went down in the bed with me and slept for about 8 1/2 hours. I'm really trying to get Puff off his immediate instinct to grab a bottle to give her if she wakes in the middle of the night. It's a bad habit that we got into (as was co-sleeping) so we could get through the infancy stage. It's time for us to suck it up now and muddle through the hard parts. My goal right now is nixing the occasional middle-o-the-night feedings and learning to get back to sleep on her own. It's times like these, I sorta kinda wish she would take a pacifier.
One of the cutest things this week is that Bimmer has started pointing with just one finger. She points so delicately to things in books, it's precious!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pass A Tissue

I'm in the midst of one of the most difficult things about being a mom... being a SICK mom.

I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat and a bit of a headache. I figured it was just my sinuses or allergies (even though I don't typically suffer from those) and went on about my day. As the days progressed, my sore throat got worse and I started to get congested. I can't breathe out of my right nostril. I'm hacking. And then last night I end up with an earache. Essentially, I feel like shit all the way around.

Yet, Bimmer doesn't know or understand. I can't tell her to sit and play quietly because Mommy is having trouble breathing and it's just easier to sit in silence and focus on not dying. She wants me to be down on the ground with her, playing, being silly, talking to her and being my normal self. Even when I don't feel anywhere close to normal.

Puff and I were really lucky this winter though. Neither of us came down with the flu or caught that nasty stomach bug that was going around. I wouldn't even know what to do with parenting if I were sitting on the toilet with a garbage can between my knees. Let's pause and say a prayer that doesn't happen until Bimmer is at least older!

Now, I know there are other moms out there who have honest to goodness illnesses and battle much worse all the time. And I'm just here to say that I applaud you. I bow to your amazingness. I have a head cold and I am already anxious to drop her off at daycare so I can go back to bed for awhile. I've been lucky this morning that she was snuggly and fine to just chill until she wanted to take a morning nap. I was able to shower while she was in her crib asleep and am catching up on work emails before I take her to daycare.

But yes, I am desperately looking forward to a day at home. In quiet. Fingers crossed it's just what the doctor ordered. Because the weekend is fast approaching, and we all know we don't sit still for long around here!