Thursday, August 29, 2013

Peer Pressure

Don't completely balk at this concept, but I don't really like to be the center of attention. I don't want all eyes on me and I certainly don't want to take part in anything that mildly resembles audience participation. I get nervous walking into a new store/restaurant/situation/etc. without a friend/husband/baby in tow for fear I won't do it right or everyone will suddenly be staring.
So when I got the newsletter from Bimmer's school about an "End of Summer Bash" I wrote it off. There was no way I was going to hang out with the other parents at her daycare. Have I mentioned that she's in a bit of a snobby one?
But then the RSVP list got posted. And day after day, more and more names went up. At first, I honestly was pretty convinced it wasn't going to work out anyway - Puff was in Michigan and I had a major client in that week. Then I found myself caving to the peer pressure... at 31 years old.
I put my name on the damn list.
The smile on Bimmer's face when she saw me walk into her classroom to get her was priceless. I didn't care if none of the other parents even talked to me. My baby girl was pumped that her Mommy was there with her.
And you know what happened? I sat with some of the other parents from her class and they didn't hate me. They didn't shun me. They engaged in conversation with me, talked to Bimmer as if they knew her, and I survived. Puff even texted me that he was proud of me. We had some pizza (Bimmer's first time trying it) and apple sauce and then I hung around for a little while so Bimmer could play on the big kid playground, where they were having the party.
Bimmer played with her little friends, ran around showing me everything, and taught me an important lesson. Being a mom means tucking away your insecurities, manning up, and doing things you may find uncomfortable. In the end, it will always be worth it to see your child light up.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Me & Bimmer

The first day of being a single parent went horribly wrong. It was not a good way to begin. I ended up waiting 90 minutes at my doctor's office (20 of them naked!!!) and had to leave before I even saw the doctor, since daycare was going to be closing and I needed to get Bimmer before they sat her on the curb.
Ya know she's pretty cute and someone probably would have wanted to take her home. At least until she bit them.
I had a big client in that week, so I was already on pins & needles, having to go in early, stay a little late, and just be on my A game. I was wanting to give a C effort that week at work so I could focus more on Bimmer at home. Just as I was about to break down on that first night - after her temper tantrum and giving her microwaved mac & cheese for dinner because I just didn't have the energy to make anything worthwhile - she wanted me to sit with her on the kitchen floor. She backed her little booty up into my lap. And all was right with the world.
The second night, I was able to pick her up on time from school and we had a wonderful night hanging out, playing in the bath, talking on Skype with Puff, and she even slept through the night for me! We were back on track and I was feeling hopeful. By the fourth night, we were in a groove. We played on the deck, took a walk through the neighborhood, watched Animal Planet, and I showered her with kisses.
The full weekend alone with her was looming and it had me scared from the get-go. Thankfully, she slept in both days, we got some errands run, TV watched, games played, song sung, bubbles blown, balls bounced, books read, slides slid at the park, and we even hit up a birthday party for a few hours.
By the start of the second week, it was old hat. I had a routine and it was working. I was enjoying not having to share a bed with Puff and since Bimmer was a little clingy with him being gone, I was reaping the benefit of all those extra hugs and snuggles. It was rough not having him there to help, but I was managing. The only thing that really got left behind was my exercise routine. And who are we kidding? It wasn't that regular to begin with.
As the second week wore on, however, Bimmer started to act out. I couldn't really place why... she didn't seem to be in pain or too tired. Then it hit me... Daddy had been gone for over a week. It was starting to wear on her. She had two modes... super clingy or super cranky. She wanted to always sit in my lap. She wanted to only eat what I was eating. She didn't want to leave school some days. She didn't want to take a bottle in the morning unless I sat and held her. It was all a bit nuts. Thankfully, a dear friend invited us over one night for a play date, so I could catch my breath.
Then "the armadillo" came back under the house. Seriously, universe? Just get me through another few days!
The last two days of my single parent run, daycare was closed. Yup... they close every August for a mass cleaning. It was like having another weekend pop up on me way too soon. And not in a good way. More fretting and silently freaking out over how to entertain a toddler for two full days with no help. Of course, it turned out to be awesome. I am so thankful there is such an awesome park less than 5 minutes from the house. Between time there, lunch dates with friends, and surprising Puff at the airport when he arrived, we managed.
Seeing Bimmer run up to Puff at the airport when she saw him brought tears to my eyes. She had missed her daddy as much as I had. Here's hoping we don't ever have to be apart from each other for that long again!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sitting Still is Boring

Since having Bimmer, our travel style has been seriously cramped. So much so, that Puff and I are even negotiating on having Baby Dos in fear that another child will forbid us to ever go anywhere that's not within driving distance. Then I stumbled upon a blog... a blog of a mom, dad, and two kids. And those kids are under the age of 5 and have each been to 13 different countries.
Wowza... is it seriously possible? I needed to read more.
So, of course I'm now obsessed with her blog and reading her tips and how she does it. I've been on Pinterest pinning the crap out of photos of Iceland, Slovenia, and Norway. I've even been researching places to visit in Minnesota so I can pick up a new state. But while I was over on this new blog, I came across her page of "Where have I been?"
And I realized that I have been way more places than she has. (If she's listing them all, of course.)
Myrtle Beach Sunset
For those of you who know me well, you know that totally made me grin from the inside out.
I've probably already mentioned it before (OK, I know I have) but I have been to 30 countries/territories (She counts St. John & St. Thomas as two separate ones, but to me that's just the US Virgin Islands) and 44 states. And Bimmer is only a year old and has already been to 8 states. She's been to the beach and the mountains, the South and the Midwest. While it seems to me that we've been sitting on our ass not doing anything, already in the first 6 months of this year, I had been to Charleston, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, Hilton Head, and spent a week back in The Fort and the Midwest visiting family. Plus we have follow-up trips to Atlanta, Charleston and The Fort later this year, plus a trip to Georgia for our family vacation. No, it's not the Croatian coast, but I can't really be complaining.  
If you're a long time reader, you know I get these bugs up my butt about needing to recap where I've been. It's all just to make myself feel better about my seemingly lazy life. Yes, I do sometimes feel like I am never going anywhere or doing anything. In these instances, you are totally free to smack me in the head.
Rural Austria
On that note, I am off to research child friendly restaurants in Savannah and start pricing plane tickets for Bimmer's first air travel (if all goes as planned) for the spring!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Photog Shout Out

I have a long overdue shout out to give... to my old college roommate and friend, Anna.
She is a globe-hopping photographer, writer, and gnome-lover, whose life I continuously envy. She has lived in Europe, Australia, and Asia. Her adventures run the gamut from tales of British pubs to hiking in the Himalayas.
I always like to point out that while she has lived more places, traveled more extensively and more exotically than I have, I am still beating her in the number of states I have visited. (Probably not for long!)
So... you need to check out her blog. Her talent is undeniable. And she is one of those friends that is just too awesome to have... she sends Bimmer postcards from India and lets the rest of us common folk live vicariously through her and her amazing photos!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Posting

I'm over at Julie & Martin today guest blogging in their "The Good Life" series. I fill you in on Bimmer's biting habit.

Take a look HERE!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dare I Say?

I know I posted HERE about being confident that Bimmer will be an only child. Yet, I'm wishy-washy and now I'm going through an "I must have a second child" phase. Spurred by looking back at photos of my sweet Bimmer from when she was tiny. Oh, I definitely don't miss that little itty-bitty stage, but it makes me grateful for all the time I've spent with her, all the laughs she has brought to my life, and all the wonderful memories we have yet to make together.

Think Puff and I could knock it out of the park again with the second one? Stay tuned... but not this year.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Preppy Whale Fashion

I've never been crazy about shopping or fashion. My lack of caring about my wardrobe was probably one of the big reasons I never dated anyone seriously in high school. I digress...
Now that I am married to Puff the Fashionista, my clothing choices have vastly improved. Now, I still prefer to lounge around in a good tee from Old Navy and some running shorts with flip flops, but lately, I've been trying to pick up pieces from local boutiques and Banana Republic and J. Crew. I needed to share my latest obsession... Vineyard Vines.
I learned about it from my friend Rowdy when she told me that Bimmer's birthday party theme (preppy whales) was "very Vineyard Vines." I had to Google it! And I've been dying over every piece in their collection ever since. Of course, it's not cheap. As in $100 oxfords and $120 beach cover-ups. I broke down and bought one dress, which I wore to my friend's wedding in Hilton Head this summer.
But now they're sending me catalogs. And they have kid's clothes. And Bimmer and I could get matching Mommy & Me whale tunics!
So... a few photos from their website of things I am currently drooling over....


Now if I can just lose a few more pounds so I can justify needing a new wardrobe!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Fun

The way summer life should be. Bimmer, my little water baby.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Brief Break

As I mentioned in the last post, Puff has started his new job this week. It is a scary, but super exciting time in our family. I am thrilled he finally is out of his last job, which he hated with such a passion. Anyhoo... starting the new job means training. And unfortunately, his training is in Michigan. For two weeks straight. So I am officially going to be a single parent.
Puff said it will be good birth control for me wanting a second. I figure it will be a good deterrent from divorce.
With all that being said, I am going to unplug a little bit for the rest of August. Over on Styleberry, she made a post recently about how she unplugs during the days when she spends time with the kids. She isn't constantly on social media, she locks up her phone at the gym, etc. Now, I'm not quite that bad, but I certainly spend my fair share on Facebook and blogging. With my eyes now being the only ones focused on Bimmer for a lot of the month, they can't be distracted.
I am not taking a full hiatus from blogging, but I am going to amend how I post. My stash of posts I normally have waiting in the wings has been depleted. And with Puff & Bimmer's trip to Atlanta last weekend rescheduled, I just don't have the time to come up with a bunch of things to write about when I have a toddler wanting to "help" on the laptop. I will still try my best to post twice a week, but I make no promises. Also, the posts will be different. They may be only photos. They may be quotes or something less time consuming than bringing my "A-game" with the wit and charm.
I hope you understand and will stick through it with me. I promise lots more ranting on the other side!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Moving Forward

I will never forget the look on Puff's face when he told me.
It was Father's Day. Puff had just walked up on the deck after lounging in his hammock that Bimmer had gifted him earlier that morning. "We need to talk."
Uh oh.
It was then I learned that he had been laid off. His job was moving to Mexico. And we were not going with it.
The range of emotions that I experienced that day, and in the days immediately following, varied. I was mad at the company for doing this. I was scared at what was going to come for us. I was happy that he wouldn't have to go to a job he no longer enjoyed. I was uncertain about the uncertainty of it all. This Type A control freak was spiraling the wrong way... with no life raft.
The financial worries of being unemployed are, unfortunately, something not too far removed for us. Remember, I was unemployed for 9 months when I was pregnant. The fact that I am not the bread-winner didn't really matter. No, we weren't completely struggling, but it definitely wasn't easy. Now that Puff wouldn't have his larger-than-mine paycheck coming in? Wowza... time to re-evaluate!
By the grace of God, he was given a decent severence package, that included 3 months of continued health care. That was one of my biggest worries. What if something happened to Bimmer? What would we do without it? He was also given 17 days of vacation pay. I had a bonus coming due at work. We would be alright. For awhile.
The first week of July, Puff had an interview with a company back in The Fort. Do we dare think about moving? If we were ever planning a move, now would be the perfect time. We welcomed another wrench into our already overflowing bucket of concerns and questions. I had a job offer on the table there, but was it worth it to pack up and go? Do we do it now or later? Does it feel right?
It didn't.
Even though almost everyone thinks we are nuts, we just love South Carolina too much. The last time I had a job offer back in The Fort, my gut told me not to go. A month later, I met Puff.
One Friday night in July, Puff got a phone call from a local company. The HR director talked to him for an hour, on her way driving out of town. Sunday night, she called to schedule an interview. He was at their door at 8am Monday morning. And had a 4 hour interview. They wanted to fly him to Detroit that same week for a second interview, but it ended up just being over the phone. The HR director called him that afternoon to ask if he was still interested. They would have an offer to him the next week.
Monday came and went. Then Tuesday. And Wednesday. My nerves were shot. My stomach was in knots.
Finally, Thursday morning, Puff texted me to let me know they had made a verbal offer. The written one would be coming that afternoon. It was a smidge less than the salary we had hoped, but it was still a decent raise from his last position. The location was closer to the house. It was a step up in his industry. That horrible concrete on my shoulders suddenly shattered. We were so blessed to have this offer come so quickly. It appears as if we were meant to stay here.
The new job started Monday. So far, so good. To those of you who knew about this situation before now, thank you for your prayers. Someone, somewhere, was looking out for us, for sure.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

14 Month Update

She sat still much better this month. She's got this modeling gig down!
I've heard a lot of moms say that each age is their new favorite. I'm really liking the toddler stage. Minus the biting. Ugh... the biting has got to stop!
I'm going to do this month's update a little differently. I'm going to give you titled bullet points. You're welcome.
Dressing: Bimmer mostly wears 12 month clothes, unless it's Osh Kosh, and then it's 18 months. She's still in a size 4 diaper. She wears a size 4 1/2 shoe... which are nearly impossible to find unless you pay $40 at Stride Rite. Awesomeness.
Talking: Bimmer can say mama, dada, papaw, baba (for bottle), ball, bye bye, bubble, book (although it comes out as "buh") and dog (although it comes out more like "duh"). She knows what it means when you ask for a kiss or a hug. She will also give a big hug if you tell her to "give love." She knows what "clean up" means too. She is at a very excitable age, where everything is so cool. She points and squeals and jabbers at just about everything. Sometimes she'll repeat a word to you, but then forget it later. I've heard her say everything from hippo to diaper to bear, but it's not constant. She did just start seeing dogs (in real life, in books, and on tv) and getting excited and saying "dog." So neat to see her pick up on things like that!
Eating: Bimmer is getting so much better in the eating department. Her latest faves are peanut butter, sunbutter (only because I can't send peanut butter to school), grapes, hot dogs, mac & cheese and shrimp. She does NOT like chicken nuggets, tomatoes, cucumbers, or feta cheese. My OCD hasn't allowed me to let her try to eat anything herself with a spoon. I've been waiting for a pretty afternoon so I can let her do it in her highchair, in just a diaper, outside in the yard.
Playing: Bimmer still loves her purse, bucket of monkeys and picnic basket. She's been "reading" a lot lately. She'll sit and open a book and study the page very intently. She has a big stuffed giraffe my parents got her that she'll tote around with her. She really (like, REALLY) loves her Cozy Coupe. And this toy pirate ship that shoots balls out of a cannon. And a microphone that makes you sound like a hamster. That's a joy. She also loves to play with pillows and blankets. She has also been carrying around a case that holds a large coin that my parents sent her from Alaska. And she has the start of her own magnet collection on the fridge. Basically anything that she doesn't think she should be allowed to play with thrills her. Today? We gave her a ball of aluminum foil and you would have thought it was a diamond ring she was so excited!
Singing: Bimmer has always loved to dance and sing. You can tell that school is teaching her some new songs. She knows as soon as you start to sing "If you're happy and you know it" that she either needs to clap her hands or stomp her feet. And when you sing "Wheels on the Bus" she makes a motion with her hands, which must be the windshield wipers. Her class participates in the Christmas pageant, so I will be anxious to see what she learns between now and then!
Development: Bimmer is a step away from being able to run. She definitely tries her hardest. She has also started to want to climb. She has been able to do steps for awhile (although The Bungalow doesn't have any steps, so she doesn't get much practice) but lately she's been wanting to throw her leg up over the side of the bathtub, or tries to pull herself up on to the couch or ottoman. She waves all the time, to everyone. Since she likes to pick up things (anything, all the time, even if she shouldn't) she is definitely getting stronger and is able to pick up fairly heavy and awkward items. Not sure how many teeth she had at my last posting, but she's up to 12. She's still weird about chewing certain things, but is getting the hang of it. However, with those teeth, she surely knows how to bite. Last week, she bit 8 different times at school. We even had to have a parent/teacher meeting to discuss it! Ouch! She can also identify some new stuff too... she can point to her head, nose, teeth, and belly. She knows that shoes go on your feet. When she wants a bottle, she now runs to the refrigerator. And she knows that "outside" means to go to the back door!
All in all, Bimmer is such a joy. She calls us by name, gives such good love, and is wildly animated. She is anything and everything I ever wanted and more. Gosh, she keeps us busy!