Friday, June 28, 2013

My Daddy's Girl

As you are well aware, Father's Day just passed. And this year was much more fun for Puff and Bimmer. (She wasn't very interesting at 3 weeks old last year!)
Is your heart melting like mine, seeing this photo????
I left the day's itinerary totally up to Puff. I had planned to take him to a swanky brunch downtown, but he nixed it in favor of a local Jewish bakery that makes delish garlic bagels. The baby then graced us with a 2 hour morning nap. SWEET!!!
Puff's gift this year was a Pawley's Island hammock. He has been talking about one since forever, so I finally broke down and got it for him. Err... Bimmer finally got it for him. We already had hooks between the big oak in our backyard and an adjacent dogwood from the previous owner, so it was perfect.
Even within the first few days of having it, I would find Puff sneaking off to lay in it and read a book, or taking Bimmer out there to enjoy a before bed swing. I have a feeling it's going to become a favorite place for us this summer.
It's just awesome that my husband is a pretty awesome father and that Bimmer loves him so much. They are my world. Happy (belated) Father's Day, Puff. I could never begin to repay you for the amazing gift you gave me when you gave me our daughter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thirteen Whole Months

So much has happened in the past month!
First and foremost, my big ol' chunky baby weighed in at 24 lbs. 5 oz. at her 1 year well-baby visit. That is the 94th percentile. And she was 31 inches tall (although for as much as she was wiggling, who knows) which is the 95th percentile! She has always held firm with being a bigger baby and she didn't disappoint. Doc Hottie said she looks good and we should start giving her a vitamin. He didn't seem concerned about her eating (obviously) and thinks she's as adorable as ever. Mommy agrees.
She started her new class at school, where she can't take a bottle AND she has to feed herself snacks & lunch. I've been at a loss for what to send, but turkey & ham Lunchables have been a God-send. She has also successfully taken to eating hummus on toast, cheesy rice, and even some pasta on rare occasions. Oh yeah, and peanut butter! Still working on the veggies. She puts them in her mouth, but then spits them out. Transitioning from formula to milk was super easy! I actually drug it out longer than necessary for selfish reasons... I had formula left and I underestimated the amount of milk she would drink. If I gave her all the milk, I wouldn't have any for my cereal! I suppose our next hurdle is going to be for her to start using some utensils. I have a feeling my OCD is not going to do well with this training process.
Bimmer is also doing all these cute things these days. She is perfecting her princess wave. She loves to wave at everyone and anyone. Sometimes it's the TV, or a passing car, or a person 50 yards away. She mimics me a lot more now playing peek-a-boo. Although sometimes she ends up with her hands on the top of her head or over her ears. I've caught her moving things around in the house now too. She likes to take all my shirts out of a drawer that is at her level, and put books in the drawer instead. Sometimes, I can even point at my cheek and she leans in to give me a kiss. One not-so-cute thing is that if we tell her "no" she shouts back at us. It even sorta sounds like she is saying "yeah." And if we do slap her hand away from something, she reaches to slap us back. Yup... we have our hands full with this one! But on the flip side, she's been giving really good hugs lately! She knows what it means when I say "kiss" and when I ask her where her nose is, she points to mine. I feel like she's soaking up something new every day!
She still only really says "Mama" and "Dada" but not even always appropriately. She knows who we are, but never necessarily calls for us. We've been working lately on a few other words. Or well, I guess you can call them "words." When she does something and wants our attention afterwards, she says "Ta Da!" And we've been trying to get her to signal for a TD and say "touchdown." She usually puts her hands straight out, instead of straight up, but she does mumble a word that's in the vicinity of "touchdown." My favorite though is when she drops something, she says "Uh oh." Except it never sounds like "uh oh." Either it sounds like "oh oh" or it sounds like "uh ewwww" which she drags out. I swear it's the cutest thing ever. And I may make her drop things on purpose so I can hear her say it. Poor kid.
Oh yeah - and that minor detail - she's WALKING! After being in her toddler class at school for one week, they were saying she was getting super frustrated that she wasn't actually moving forward. They said she kept standing there leaning forward, grunting and trying to get somewhere. So I made it a Mommy Mission that weekend to get her walking on her own. When Puff and I could be there to see it. I would make her walk everywhere holding just one finger, and sure enough, by Saturday afternoon, she took a few steps by herself. And as we cheered and showered her with hugs and kisses, she would take even more. She finally decided to walk from the living room to the kitchen and I almost cried! She was so proud of herself. And I was proud of her too... even if she would fall forward after a few steps, she wouldn't give up and crawl. Nope... she kept at it. That Monday, her daily report from school said "She was walking everywhere!"
It's amazing how much has happened in just over a year. I feel like the walking is her last major physical milestone. Now we get to look forward to hearing her talk. As much as she jabbers, I know that can't be too far behind. I'm anxious to hear what she has to say!
Trying to keep a super busy toddler standing/sitting still for any length of time on a homemade backdrop is near impossible!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where's My Beach House?

Let me start off by reminding you that I'm pretty well traveled (44 states, 30 countries/territories) lest I let anyone forget.
That being said, the girls in my office have brought about a phenomenon to me that is a bit of a foreign concept... the family beach house.
I'm about to call up my dad and ask where the heck my all-expenses paid vacation is. He's slacking.
Now, I've heard of people doing this before. It's not a totally novel concept. But just about every girl in my office is spending a week at the beach this summer with extended family. Some split the cost, but some don't. My immediate thought is that I hope I can be in a financial situation to be able to do that with Bimmer and her kids someday, if she was interested.
My next thought is that I would probably shoot myself if I was forced to stay in a house for a week with a bunch of family members, Puff and Bimmer excluded, of course. I just foresee way too many problems. First off, no matter how big the house, you're still sharing space. And for people (like me) who aren't used to doing so, it would be uncomfortable from the get-go. Second, how do you decide what to do? You know that many people are never going to agree on tennis vs. golf, or bike riding vs. laying at the pool. Do people feel obligated then to do what everyone else is doing?
One of the big reasons I have been to so many places over the years was that my mom was pretty adamant about not going back to the same place twice. Or at least not without several years in between. We would go to Marco Island and then Hilton Head. Orlando. Palm Beach. Clearwater. Myrtle Beach. Panama City. Then maybe back to Marco Island again, since that was her favorite. Yes, it was still a week at the beach, which lots of people do, but it was always at a resort (we never stayed at a condo) and there were always daiquiris at the pool and a nice dinner out each evening. My hairdresser told me that she was going to Hilton Head with her extended family for a week in July and they COOK every night but one. Seriously? Cooking on vacation? That actually happens?
Yes, I realize I'm sounding like a total snob here. But I don't mean it to be that way. Everyone has their own travel agenda. But I will say that I do appreciate that my mom mixed it up for me growing up. I hope to do the same for Bimmer. Sitting at the same beach every summer may have its appeal to some, but not to me. With as much as there is out there in the world, why would I want to sit on Myrtle Beach for a week every year? Puff and I would much rather take several shorter vacations to different places.
Alas, having said all of this, I am actually sorta jealous. Not of the details or locations of anyone's summer trips (none thrill me) but of the fact that they're going on a trip. Puff and I haven't had a week-long excursion (minus visiting family, which doesn't count) since we were in Scandinavia for 14 days back in 2011. That was a LOOOOOONG time ago in our lives! Don't worry, I'm already scoping out a beach trip for sometime next year.
Thoughts or suggestions? We're currently batting around Siesta Key or Longboat Key? As long as there are daiquiris, I think I'll be content.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bikini Clad

I'm cheating a little bit with this post, but Bimmer was just too darn cute not to share.
To back up for a second... ever since I have lived in The Bungalow, I have commented that I could not wait to have a baby so I could get a kiddie pool for the backyard. I like to be out getting sun, but I get hot very easily, so I would love to have a little pool I could dip into. So when Bimmer was born, I knew full well that a pool was in our immediate future. Puff and I scoped out several stores before settling on an inflatable one that was big enough in diameter that I could join her inside.
On the first non-scheduled, sunny, Saturday of the summer, I busted that puppy out. I didn't care that my house was a mess... I wanted to get outside and spend that time with my baby girl. How can you resist this insane cuteness???
She was super excited as we were filling it with water, but once we put her inside and she felt how cold it was, she freaked out. From then on, she would only sit inside if I was sitting with her. Eventually she thought crawling around the deck, risking splinters in her knees, sounded like a better plan. And then we collected every leaf on the deck and threw them into the pool. She was a dirty, gross mess when we finished.
It's one of my favorite memories of the summer! I can't wait until we have more laid back weekend days to play together as our little family!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One is the Lucky Number

Following our cut-short trip to The Fort and The Great White North to visit family, I came to a pretty solid life decision...
Even if you put a gun to my head, I would not get pregnant again.
Yup... I've said it. I am leaning a hard right toward having Bimmer be an only child.
I know I mentioned it before a few months back, but it's really weighing on my mind. Puff and I had decided that we would know by the end of this year if we wanted to try for baby #2 or not. I'm pretty sure he is content with one. I was the hold out. And right now, I am pretty darn content with just having my sweet, angel, Bimmer.
The fact that trip was horrible in the sense of her being sick, not sleeping, and throwing car-seat tantrums? Yeah, that was probably the reason I oh-so-suddenly felt so strongly on the subject! But then it led to me thinking of a lot of other benefits. And as horrible as it sounds, a major theme kept creeping back into my thoughts... I didn't want to be broke.
Puff and I both have good jobs and make enough money. We live in a desirable neighborhood, own 3 cars, and have enough fun money to eat out, splurge on entertainment, and travel. Another baby would mean a heck of a lot less disposable cash since we'd be paying for child care for two, having to buy more diapers, formula, and car seats. Another baby meant more sleepless nights, frustrations with the baby and with each other, and putting the ever-important family vacations on hold. You can fly to Iceland with 3 people a lot easier (and cheaper) than with 4.
Does saying that make me the most shallow person ever?
We have time to change our minds. You never know when holding someone else's sweet little baby or seeing Bimmer pass an awesome milestone may flip that maternal switch back the other way. We're not taking any drastic preventative measures. But know that we're not trying. Not right now. Not any time soon. We want to give Bimmer all the opportunities to see and experience the world that we can.... be it through going to the circus or visiting museums in NYC or driving across Croatia.
For now, I'm on a mission to start planning some 2014 vacations. I think 2 years old is a good age to start to fly.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Midwest Memories

Well before Bimmer turned 1, I knew I wanted to celebrate it back in The Fort with all my family and friends. It was also a good time to pack up the car and head even farther north to visit the FIL and BIL and for Bimmer to meet her cousins.
Let's just say that 12+ hours in a car does NOT make for a friendly toddler. Especially one who was battling an on-and-off fever, plus a rash.
Then this happened....
We were not off to a good start! However, it was so great for Bimmer to meet her grandpa for the first time and spend some time with family we don't get to see very often. We stayed at a swanky B&B (that did not welcome children - woops) and attempted to watch a parade. Don't worry, it was 50 degrees and raining, so we had to bail. How else do you entertain yourself in The Great White North? You pull things behind your lawn mower...
The week got better after that. We got to spend some time with my parents and go to the zoo! Bimmer loved it, since it was a much bigger zoo with bigger animals than the one in SC. She liked the giraffes and this green parrot-like bird that kept talking to her. Plus, we got to ride the train!
One of Bimmer's highlights was when Papaw pulled out MY old Cozy Coupe. She was in love. We are definitely going to have to buy this kid one of her own. She wanted to get pushed everywhere around the whole house and outside. Leave it to her... to be in love with cars, like her daddy!
There were multiple birthday celebrations... one with my Granny/aunts/cousins, and another with my parents/step-sibs/nieces/nephew. Bimmer wasn't crazy about the cake, but loved the icing!
I can't wait to share with you the professional 1st birthday & cake smash photos we did! That's definitely one thing I will never scrimp on... lots and lots of photos of my baby girl! Her party we had planned with my friends ended up getting cancelled due to a lot of unforeseen reasons, so we actually hit the road back to SC a few days early. It turned out to be a wonderful blessing... my SC girls threw together an impromptu party in the park for her that was amazing. (More on that to come!)
Sometimes, I really go back and forth about whether or not I want to move back to The Fort. (My dad keeps dangling a job in my face!) But really, after this trip, I was just sooooooo ready to get back home. And "home" was in South Carolina. I'm pretty sure it will never be anywhere else.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Just Need Sleep

I'm writing this at 4:30am in the rural midwest. Puff and Bimmer are sound asleep in the big king bed at our B&B and have been that way for hours. I have been awake every hour since 10pm and have been wide awake now since 3am. It's not a fun place to be.
And I am resenting Puff with every ounce of my soul.
Since Puff and I have been together (almost 5 years now) sharing a bed has not been a favorite of ours. In fact, even since those spunky early days, one of us almost always would end up on the couch at some point. He would blame my small bed; I would blame his heavy breathing. As the years wore on and we lived together longer, we got in a better routine and actually made it through a lot of nights together in the same bed. But no snuggling. Sleeping is not time for snuggling. Stay on your side of the damn bed!
Once I got pregnant, we decided it was time for a split. From the early months of nausea, into the insomnia, and then into the weeks of being so big I was sleeping in a fort of pillows, it wasn't fair to either of us to share space. Those getting up every 30 minutes to pee weren't fair to Puff when he had to get up to go to work in the morning. Yet, here I sit, wide awake, with a full day of baby wrangling and hours (and hours) of driving to do tomorrow. Yet, Puff is the one sound asleep. Somehow, somewhere, along the way, "fair" must've gotten a new definition.
You see... as time has worn on, Puff's heavy breathing has segued into snoring. It's not normally as bad as it is tonight, but right now, he's full on grandpa-style. And I am kinda wanting to smother him with a pillow. My OCD with noises goes into hyper-drive with snoring. I am thinking very violent thoughts. The sleep deprivation isn't helping.
So... once Bimmer was born, we opted to do a split shift with her in her room. So, really, Puff and I haven't shared a bed since October 2011. And it's probably been the best year and a half of our relationship! Even when sharing baby duty, I think both of us were better for not having to share a bed. It's just not our style. And with "Operations Get In Yo Crib" about to commence after our trip, I am actually wondering if it will be the best option for us. Yes, I would like to have that free time to not always have to go to bed with her, especially on nights she wants to go to bed at 8pm. But on the flip side, I don't really want to go to bed with Puff either. In fact, I am dreading it.
I know some people will scoff at me saying that. I know some people will think we're horribly weird, or just plain horrible. I love my husband. But I love sleep too. And with battling around the idea of another baby, we may begin another roller-coaster of sleep here again soon. Maybe not. Either way, I am kinda maybe thinking that Bimmer is always going to end up with a roommate. It will just probably be me sneaking into her room, instead of the other way around. Instead of her climbing into bed with us because of a nightmare, she may get me climbing into her bed so I don't suffocate Daddy.
Oh, the joys of relationships. It's times like these I really miss having my own apartment. Such a fond, distant memory.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Decorate It Up

We all know I'm a sucker for some DIY blogs (YHL, anyone?) and am an avid shopper over at West Elm. Have I publically announced here that my dream job as a child was to be an interior decorator? Well, it was. And I secretly still think I would be really good at decorating. Just only for my own taste. On an unlimited budget.
You just read recently about our dining room upgrade (HERE) which lit a bug under my butt to start working on some other lingering projects in the house. So I thought I'd share some of the new items that have made their way into The Bungalow
#1: Master Artwork
After spending a year and a half in storage after I left my last job, I finally decided to hang this painting in our master bedroom. I got it as a child while visiting Hilton Head and it was even personalized to me by the artist. It's an awkward corner in our master bedroom anyway, so it's nice to have something to fill the dead space. Further over on the same wall, Puff had some prints from his days of living in NYC, which I reframed after one broke.
#2: Who Needs a Pet?
The Bungalow has some gorgeous hardwood floors. In fact, every room except the sunroom has them. I love the look of them, but I also felt like our master bedroom needed some softening. Cue a West Elm rug sale. Cue this beast. I absolutely love how it looks and how it feels. BUT... it sheds. And sheds and sheds and sheds. Puff has a giant ball of the fuzz in his closet that he claims is for a future arts & crafts project with Bimmer. I'm pretty sure he is just trying to prove a point that I spent $100+ on something that sheds worse than a dog.
#3: Storage Cute
I had a Crate & Barrel gift card burning a hole in my pocket (after the chandelier didn't work out) so one night I hit up Land of Nod and snagged this puppy for about $20. It's hard to tell how big it is, but it will definitely fit a ton of Bimmer's toys. I figure it will get filled up after her birthday toys make their way in! For now, I'm keeping the shape with a West Elm pillow that coordinates with her nursery.
#4: Tone on Tone
It's no secret that I'm not in love with the gold/garnet color scheme that Puff embraced from the previous owner and subsequently decorated our living room. After years of feeling like the windows were closing in with dark garnet curtains, I finally snagged some light gold drapes from the Nate Bertkus line at Target. They are much truer to the wall color in real life and have made the living room much brighter!
#5: On the Ledge
I have been eyeing these shelves from West Elm for literally years. I finally broke down and bought them a few months ago, after we updated the curtains and I realized how naked the wall was next to the couch. Except, then YHL posted about how they hung a shelf in the awkward space above their TV and I was sold. Instead of hanging the two shelves on top of each other, I had our painter hang them side by side. I used that C&B gift card to get a gallery frame and Puff/Bimmer gave me a small little (fake) succulent in a small vase for Mother's Day. They also gave me my super awesome SC embroidered state with a little heart on it. This is definitely a work in progress situation, so I will update you once I get it all fancy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wish List

Ever had someone ask you what you would do with one wish?
Now, I don't want to get all deep and meaningful here. I'm not talking "world peace" kind of answers. No, I'm talking things that would make life easier or more fun. Just something you WANT, versus something you NEED.
What would my answer be? I wish I could blog telepathically.
Ridiculous? Yes. Would it make my life a lot easier and give you a lot more posts of much greater substance? Yes.
Let me back-track for a second. Here's my writing process... I generally get struck by an idea, mull over it for a few days, and then pre-write a draft in my head. It happens most when I'm in the tanning bed or I'm giving Bimmer her bedtime bottle and am trying to fall asleep and clear my head of all those other yucky things that could muck it up, like worrying about work. Or laundry. And a lot of the time, by the time I get around to actually putting pen to paper (finger to keys???) I've lost some of the initial pizzazz.
I always come up with much fancier words in my head than when I sit down to produce.
So... what would you spend one frivolous wish on? Is it as stupid as mine?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sandy Days

When I started my new job last fall, I had no idea I would make such great friends. So when J. invited me to her wedding, I was actually a little shocked. Flattered too, of course. I was especially excited when I found out it would be in Hilton Head. That meant Bimmer would get to go to the beach! Now, she did go when she was 5 weeks old in Florida, but I'm not sure that really counts.
We had to work out some logistics since Bimmer wasn't actually invited to the wedding, so our good friend, Rach, stepped up to the plate and agreed to a free weekend getaway to help us out. We hit the road Friday after work, promptly got stuck in a ridiculous traffic jam, and had to take the back roads part of the way. No worries, we made the best of it. We stopped for a family photo at the UFO Welcome Center!
Saturday morning, we hit the beach. Now, for those of you who don't know me super well, sand is my mortal enemy. I hate it. I don't want to sit on it or feel it between my toes. So it was a major accomplishment for me to sit there for two hours and not freak out and want to constantly be brushing myself and Bimmer clean. But it was seriously the cutest thing ever. Bimmer was in heaven! She promptly ate a handful of sand, and kept eating it. And I let her. She also loved the lick the salt water from her lips. Precious!

That night, we went to see J & C tie the knot! It was a gorgeous ceremony (minus the drizzle) along a marsh with a fabulous party afterwards. She did an awesome job planning everything and I wish them all the happiness in the world. Plus, all her friends got to see Puff bust a white-boy move on the dance floor!
Sunday morning, we took Bimmer to the pool to try our her new float. It promptly ripped, but we were still able to use it. And she loved it! I have such a water baby!
We rounded out the day with some amazing sea food near the beach.
All told, it was seriously the perfect weekend. Minus Puff having a little meltdown and Bimmer's giant pootastrophe that happened at the rest stop on the way home, I wouldn't have changed a thing. We got to spend some good time with good friends, introduce Bimmer to a bunch of new experiences, and smile through it all. Together, as a family. I am already planning in my head for a weekend back next year!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Big Reveal

I've been blogging since 2003. Yup... that's a looooong ass time. Back before it was even called "blogging."
When I started this public blog back in 2010, I made a conscious decision to not share our faces with the world. I wanted to be sure that people couldn't necessarily link this page back to me. I was worried about any impact it could have on my career, not to mention our safety. When Bimmer came along, I figured a year's worth of her photos wouldn't make that much of a difference, since all babies look alike, right? Well... little did I know our little bugger was going to have very distinct curly hair from a very young age. So distinct, in fact, that I once took her into Walgreens a few days AFTER I had photos printed and the cashier recognized her!
There goes that theory.
So, with so many exciting things coming up in our lives over the next few months that will involve a lot of photos, I have made the decision to make the big reveal. I am no longer going to block faces in my photos. That doesn't mean I am going to go all willy-nilly and post my address on here or anything like that. I still won't use our real names or divulge what city we live in. I won't post photos of the outside of our house, nor will I discuss my job or our cars. I won't give you a heads up when we're going to be traveling or let you know where Bimmer goes to daycare. Essentially, you will only get our faces. I like to think I am smart enough to not post anything that could ever give HR a reason to fire me.
With all that being said... let's have a little show & tell, shall we?
This is me. This is Puff. This was from our wedding back in 2010 and is my all-time favorite photo of us together. We've put on a few pounds since then, but we generally look about the same. So, were we everything you thought we'd be? LOL!
Here's to the next chapter in this blog. Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by!