Monday, September 30, 2013

Rushing Life's Oktoberfest

Whew.... we are soooooooooooooo excited for September to be over around here!!!

October is totally my favorite month of the year. And to say we're embracing our motto this month will be a major understatement... we are definitely RUSHING a lot this year!

What's on the agenda? Well, what's not on the agenda??? Family visitors, state fair, car shows, Halloween festivities, a wedding, travel, apple picking, fall photo shoot. Mix in there our typical adventures and things like work and school, and we're going to be lucky if we're still standing by Puff's birthday the first week in November.

I'll do my best to be more up-to-date with my updates this month, if I can find the time! Just expect a lot of family fun updates this month. Hope you stick with us through it all!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Calling

There's been something weighing pretty heavily on my shoulders recently. And I haven't had the guts to actually talk to anyone about it. Probably because I know it's not something that would ever materialize. As much as I'm an open book, sometimes I just don't know how to lay it all out there. Especially on something this deep.
 
I've been thinking a lot lately about adoption.
 
I'm sure the idea has been spawned by several blogs I read (HERE and HERE) and their stories of adoption. It's fresh in my mind and my heart right now.
 
Over the course of my adult life, I've been touched here and there by adoption. Mr. Smith was adopted as an infant, and that fact alone had me thinking that if he and I were to get married, we would adopt. So this isn't a totally new concept for me to be thinking of this. (Although back then, I thought we'd have 3 kids of our own and then adopt 2 more!) I had a client that adopted several children from China. And I had another client who adopted 3 older siblings from Peru... after a 5 year process. It took them so long to get everything sorted out that they almost weren't able to adopt the oldest, since he was about to "age out" of the bracket they had given to start. I also have a good friend who adopted 2 children years ago that are thriving. And then I watched "The Little Couple" and their journey to adopt their son. Plus, I have a current co-worker who has literally saved 3 children's lives by adopting them. (One was sexually abused by his mother before the age of 3!!!)
 
As Puff and I weigh the pros and cons of another child, I can't help but think if adoption would be an option for us. The reality is, I don't think it will be. Puff had enough trouble figuring out if he could bond with Bimmer, let alone a child that is already born and not part of him. I'm not saying I don't think he could if he had to, but it would probably be forced. And I don't want that. Another big deterrent, is the time and the money it takes to adopt. As I mentioned, one couple had almost a 5 year wait for their kids. I am not sure my sanity could handle that type of stress and all the unknowns. Lastly, as shallow as it sounds, I'm also not sure I could handle some of the issues that come with having adopted children... possibly different race, disabilities, problems from their past, etc. I'm sure I could, if I had to, but it's such a large "WHAT IF" that it's scary.
 
My heart aches for all the children in this world that need love and support and a family. I want to be that type of person who can just jump on board and help. I have the utmost respect for those who are able to adopt and bow to them in their greatness. It makes me tear up to think about how wonderful they are. I want to be that wonderful. I just don't know that it's in the cards for us. We are a perfect little family of 3 right now, and there would have to be a lot of discussion and prayer before we even think about going to a family of 4... no matter the route we take to get there.
 
If you get nothing else from this babbling today... maybe I can inspire someone to go out and help... in any way you can. I need to learn to practice what I preach.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwing in the Towel

I try not to gripe too much on this blog (that's what my private one is for) but today, I'm making an exception.

We are standing smack-dab in the middle of a shit storm in our family right now. I'm throwing up my hands, in the towel, and waving a white flag.

It all started a few weeks ago when I got a call from daycare early on a Tuesday afternoon. Bimmer had been coughing so badly that she made herself sick and I needed to come get her. No big deal. It became a bigger deal when I got there and realized she also had a fever, which meant she couldn't go to school the next day. Puff and I arranged a split shift for that Wednesday at work and went on with trying to make the baby feel better.

 
 
I was super ready for her to get back to school on Thursday. I had the lunch packed and the clothes picked out. Until we woke up and she still had a fever. Puff and I had had a conversation the night before, about "what if" she was still sick. So when he left for work, I expected him home at lunch. When I hadn't heard from him, I texted him. Apparently, he thought I was taking an entire day off work. Woah buddy... not so fast! So he packed up and came home.
 
Did I mention that we were scheduled to leave the next day to start our family vacation?
 
We decided to go ahead and hit the road anyway on Friday morning, since Bimmer was acting a little better. Her fever wasn't as bad and she did really well in the car on the way to Savannah. Of course, it wasn't until we were out on a boat with no medicine, no inhaler, nothing, that she decided to get sick again. (More on our trip in an upcoming post!)
 
Now that's a baby that doesn't feel well :(
 
 


She got better during our trip and when we got home, she was awesome for a few days. (Even after Puff left town for a few days for business.) Until last Saturday night. Puff and I had a great date night and the Nanny took care of Bimmer for us for a few hours. Around midnight, I heard the baby coughing. Except, after a second, I knew it wasn't normal coughing. I went into her room, flipped on the light, and watched her vomit all over herself. She was already covered in it before I got in there, so I just let her go. It was on her sheets, bumper, pajamas, hands, hair, and eventually all over me and the rug on the floor.

That night, she got sick 3 more times in bed with me. More changes of clothes. More changes of sheets. She wasn't herself on Sunday, but she wasn't puking. I was just over her being sick. I needed my baby to get better. I was feeling the strain of it all... in my marriage, in my life. But, oh no, we weren't done.

Monday night, the baby coughed all. night. long. She would just scream at some points... I didn't know what to do for her. Was she just tired? Was she in pain? I was giving her medication, cuddling her, letting her sleep in bed with me. I got about 2 1/2 hours sleep that night. The next few days at work, I was dragging. I was in training for a new software, and it required my full attention, and it wasn't there. I was stressed to the max and overwhelmed. When she coughed for 3 hours straight Tuesday night, I was almost in tears.

Why couldn't my baby catch a break? I needed things to get back to normal.

We also found out in the midst of all of this that Puff's aunt died. And his mom is basically guilt-tripping him into going to the funeral. In Illinois. Meaning, he is leaving town for a few days. Just what I needed. In the middle of all of this... the stress, the tears, the anxiety. I need help with Bimmer, and he's going to be gone. All weekend. Three days of being a single parent. Again, too soon. I can't do it.

But I will, because that's what I have to do. I won't like it though. Not for a funeral for someone he hasn't talked to since our wedding over three years ago.

Then last night happened. I got home from a super long and stressful day at work and wasn't feeling well. Thankfully, Puff took over baby duty and I laid on the couch until she was in bed. I tucked her in and went to bed myself, just after 8pm. It wasn't twenty minutes later that I was hanging over the toilet. Stomach bug. Seriously?!?

I had to take off work today, since I was definitely not better. I've not gotten sick since early this morning, but I feel like it could come again any second. The universe is against me this month and I am ready for October to get here. I am ready for this to move on and get back to some sense of normalcy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What a Shindig

A few years ago, Puff and I found out that Asheville, NC, was hosting a weekly bluegrass concert (free!!!) in a beautiful park smack in the middle of downtown. It's called Shindig on the Green.
 
 
 
Puff and I made it a date night, complete with dinner at Tupelo Honey (ohmigodthosebiscuits) and listened to a little music, while enjoying a gorgeous night out. Now, mind you, bluegrass isn't really my thing, but Puff enjoys it, and I just enjoy being out and being entertained.
 
Bimmer threw a wrench into our plans last summer, since she was still so little and I was worried it would be too much (and too hot) for her.
 
And we almost missed it this summer too! But on a whim, we decided the Saturday of Labor Day weekend (the last concert of the summer) that we would make the trek.
 
 
 
Puff envisioned dancing with the baby and then having her sit still on his lap to listen to the music. Ha! What a rookie move.
 
 
 
I ended up spending most of the 90 minutes we were there, at the back of the lawn letting her run around with other kids. (She did stop and bend down to give a baby a hug at one point... melted my heart!) But she did a little bit of dancing and with perfect weather, we couldn't have asked for much more. I'm sure we'll give it a go again next year, and hopefully she'll be more interested in sitting still.
 
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Project Runway

There are tons of times I find myself wishing that Rowdy lived in SC, versus Oklahoma. For a number of reasons... one being that she's a good friend and it's been way too long since our schedules have coordinated to see each other. Past that, I wish I could go shopping with her. Or make that, let her go shopping for me. She has always been the fashionista of our group of friends and it's really a wonder she ever wanted to be seen in public with me. Now, I'm not a "What Not to Wear" candidate or anything, but the "Fashion Police" would certainly dub me as someone who is still trying to find herself when it comes to fashion. I just prefer to be comfortable... is that such a crime?!?
 
So... after working a year with so many girls who just out-cute each other day after day, I decided it was time to start revamping my wardrobe. I'm back (roughly) to my pre-baby weight, and I'm just not realistically going to get any skinnier, so the time is now. For fall. Now, I have plenty of nice pieces from LOFT, J. Crew, and Banana Republic. It's not that I'm schlumping around in totally crappy clothes. I just never feel trendy or on-point when it comes to fashion. It was time to vamp it up a little bit.
 
I started with two new shirts from a local boutique....
 
 
 
Puff was out of town when I wore these to work, so I had to take selfies of myself in the bathroom mirror. I will say I got a lot of compliments on my outfits both days. Now I need to work on getting some better jewelry to wear with them to finish off the looks.
 
A stop at Old Navy yielded a few $3 sale t-shirts (they're casual and comfy, but I suppose they look a little more put together than a t-shirt with a gnome on it) and a gray cardigan (a must have always, right?) but I also came home with these...
 

 
 
Totally out of my wheelhouse, right?!?! Unless you count the denim shirt I rocked years ago in the early 90s. I saw them all over stores and then I saw several cute girls wearing them in Facebook photos, and then a co-worker even wore one with some black dress pants to work and it looked so cute. I thought I would try it out. Oh, and those skinny jeans? I totally need to go buy them in every shade they make. I am just excited that my boss doesn't notice when we wear black jeans to work, so I can get away with it and it feels soooooo good!
 
Oh, and when I stumbled on this shirt at Carter's for Bimmer, I couldn't resist...
 
 
 
To wrap up my current fashion splurge, I looked to Boden. I had never heard of it until we randomly got a catalog in the mail for their kid's clothes. And I fell in love. They're a British company, so their style is much more European than anything I would normally jump at buying. I loved their mix for Bimmer, so I started looking at their website to score her some clearance items. My fingers wandered over to the ladies clothes then, and I had to throw a few things in my cart.
 


 
 
I'm still not 100% sure about them all, and maybe they're even a little safe, but they're different enough for me to be proud of myself. I'm hoping they can all become fall/winter staples for work.
 
Now we just need to get working on my shoe collection. It's honestly pathetic. Anyone want to volunteer to help with that?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rollin' in the Blogs

I'm not only an avid blog writer, I'm an avid blog reader as well. In fact, I definitely spend more time reading them on an average day than writing. Probably because I am OK reading them during any down time at work, but not so much writing them. (In fact, I don't openly advertise this blog to my co-workers.) So, that being said, I am always trying to pimp anyone in any way that I can (should I be getting paid for that? Hmmm....) and I have made several attempts to add a "Blog Roll" to the sidebar of my page. However, Blogger just doesn't seem to want to let me. And I'm not technologically savvy enough (or have enough patience) to figure it out. So, in the meantime, I thought I'd just post about some of my favorite places to visit on the InterGoogle. I hope you enjoy them the same! (Please note these are not listed in any particular order!)
 
 
I stumbled across this DIY blog a few years back and have read it every day since. I'm not really sure why, since I don't have a DIY bone in my body, but I still find it inspiring, nevertheless.
 
 
Through YHL, I found her best friend, Katie Bower. She lives in Atlanta with her 2 adorable little boys and her blog is a mix of DIY and life in general. They just seem like the cutest, sweetest family. And I'm insanely envious of their ginormous house.
 
 
A friend recommended this to me years ago and I am pretty confident I sat at work that day, for at least 3 hours, reading and crying from laughing. The author came out with a book last year as well, which is definitely a must read. It's kooky and strange (lots of taxidermy) but it still gets me every time.
 
 
This is Kimhead's blog, and while she doesn't update as often as I would like her to, it definitely gives some good perspective on a "damn yankee" transplant that I can usually relate to. (Minus the cooking. I just ask her to make these things for me.)
 
 
This is Rach's blog of super yummy recipes. Again, I'm no chef here, so whenever she posts something super quick and easy, I am all over it!
 
 
This is one of my oldest and dearest friends. She is such the type of girl who never should have hung out with me in the first place... she is talented, smart, witty, fashionable, and chic. She is also a published author.
 
 
I met Julie years ago and through social media & blogging, have kept in touch. She live such a fascinating life... military, German husband, 3 kids, lots of adventures and opportunities. She has also been gracious enough to let me guest post over there a few times.
 
 
I recently featured her in a bit of a shout-out, but you seriously need to check out her photos. She is amazing. I am so grateful to have her in my life so I can live vicariously through her!
 
 
This is a new one for me. I actually stumbled across it when I was revisiting blog #10, which I hadn't visited in awhile. I've also previously mentioned her blog, since she is the stylish mama who travels with her two young children. Oh, the type of person I strive to be one day when I grow up!
 
 
Kimhead got me on to this fellow South Carolinian awhile back. During my pregnancy, I followed her almost every day. However, once Bimmer was born and I was back to work, I had to scale back my reading. She got the cut. I still like her page though and pop by when I can.
 
 
I have mentioned her before too... a family of 7 living in Oklahoma, beautiful photography, and an adorable adopted daughter from China. If nothing else, stop by for the photos. They're so inspiring.
 
 
Yes. Roll your eyes. It's OK. I would too. But it's quick and easy fun and good for a laugh during a hard day at work!
 
 
Are there any blogs you're reading that you think I would enjoy? I do read some other family blogs, but I wasn't sure if they were OK with me mentioning them or not, so I decided against it. Don't want to advertise anyone who doesn't want it! Anyhoo... let me know what I'm missing out there! (And Kimhead - if you tell me that Jen girl, I'm going to smack you. I've tried. I just don't like her. I'm sorry. Can we still be friends?)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All Decked Out

Ever since we painted the dining room at The Bungalow (HERE) I have had a bug up my butt about wanting to tackle my next must-do decorating project... painting the living room.
 
 
 
Gag me with a garnet & gold spoon!
 
But then Puff got laid off, and we were uncertain how long we would have to adjust our spending. I made a promise that it would be our "reward" for once Puff was back to work. Because I'm certain he wanted nothing more than that to celebrate. @@
 
Thankfully, Puff was only out of work about 5 weeks and then he was shipped off to Michigan for training. And that meant a lot of days alone entertaining Bimmer, a lot of which was on our deck. That was when it hit me... I had to make a grown-up decision. The deck needed to skip ahead to the front of the "spend money on me" line.
 

 
 
It had been a few years since the deck was pressure washed and sealed, and our giant oak tree coupled with lots of summer rain, had made it look like Kermit puddled all over our play space. Those two patio chairs also weren't going to be a deterrent for long for Bimmer. I could envision her crawling under them to get down the steps to freedom.
 
We placed a call to our handyman and he was out within a few days. Even after the initial pressure washing, it looked brand new. (So did our shed that he also did!) Yup... my gut had been correct. Giving Bimmer a clean and safe place to play was worth the cash. And now we can all look forward to spending lots of time out there the next few months now that the heat of summer is slowly starting to wear off!
 

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Caribbean Dreamin'

As you are well aware, I love to travel. I'm a bit of an addict. And since there has been a serious lull this summer (mostly because we went to visit family in May and scheduled our "summer" vacation for September) I am in a bit of a nostalgic mood today. I've mentioned before (probably more times than you care to remember) all the places I have been. Or well, I've mentioned a number. I've mentioned 30 countries/territories. But I don't know that I've ever TOLD you what they are. So, this is a two part series... a little run down of all the amazingly awesome places I have been lucky enough to step foot.
 
 
Bahamas (2005)
 
 
 
I had a trip to New Zealand scheduled for this year, but when Kimhead and Rach said we needed a girl's trip, I signed up. Why not pick up two new countries in one year? We took a quick cruise over to Nassau and Freeport and had lots of girl time!
 
Puerto Rico (2008)
 
 
 
Yes, I know it's weird to label this as a "country" so this particular island is the reason I always add the "territory" disclaimer. When The Ex and I broke up, we had a cruise planned. My good friend, Meg, jumped on board and we had a weeklong "lesbian extravaganza" in some of the most gorgeous tropical places on the planet!
 
US Virgin Islands - St. Thomas (2008)
 
 
 
We spent this day lounging on a random beach, so we didn't really see much. But hey, when you're at the beach, what else do you need to see except sun, sand, and water?
 
Dutch St. Maarten (2008)
 
 
 
Of course when I found out that St. Martin/St. Maarten was split into two, I had to pick up both sides. I count them since they are governed separately, have their own currencies, etc. We docked on the Dutch side in Phillipsburg. This is one of my all-time favorite travel photos I've taken, and it was literally steps from the water taxi!
 
French St. Martin (2008)
 
 
 
I basically forced Meg to go on an excursion through the cruise ship so we could hop over to Marigot so I could pick up this new territory. I'm ridiculous. And anyone who ever dares travel with me should understand and be fully prepared.
 
 
Antigua (2008)
 
 
 
In all my planning for this trip, I was most unsure about Antigua. I just couldn't seem to find any decent info. Since Meg and I were two ladies traveling alone, I felt safer booking a beach excursion through the ship. (Which I would never do if Puff were with me... it's a waste of money!) However, I am sooooo glad we did! When we were walking off the boat, I felt like we were going to be attacked by the swam of taxi drivers. Watch your space!
 
St. Lucia (2008)
 
 
 
Awww... St. Lucia. This is where Meg and I fell in love with Roger, our zipline guide. Seriously... if you have never been ziplining, it will change your life. I had no idea I was such an adrenaline junkie until I did this. Now I can't get enough!
 
Barbados (2008)
 
 
 
I was less than impressed with Barbados. It just seemed like any other beach town. I was also a little bit over the beach, since I hate sand. But still, I wouldn't rush back. Glad I tried it, but once was enough.
 
Haiti (2010)
 
 
 
Puff likes to point out that we were not in "real" Haiti, but rather "Royal Caribbean Haiti." Yeah, I get it... we weren't out in the areas you see on TV, but we were technically on Haitian soil. Plus... since we ziplined, we did actually leave the compound and risk death driving up a gravel road on the side of a mountain. Puff is just mad that he wasn't able to donate blood for a year after he went there and didn't get a free t-shirt!
 
Cayman Islands (2010)
 
 
 
I have to give credit where credit is due and say that Grand Cayman had very gorgeous beaches. The water was perfection, calm and nice to swim. The beaches were clean and pretty. However, it felt like Florida. The island had no personality. There were no buildings with any charm. And it was FLAT. ::yawn::
 
Jamaica (2010)
 
 
 
I was definitely excited about Jamaica... there was going to be so much to do there! We took a trip up to the mountains to look at a coffee plantation and check out some amazing views. And then we climbed Dunns River Falls. Yes, I know it's touristy, but it was worth it. Do I need to do it again? Eh... maybe not. But I know we'll eventually go back to Jamaica since there is so much to do there!
 
Mexico (2010)
 
 
 
Puff and I visited Cozumel and Playa del Carmen on our honeymoon. Tulum = amazeballs. We cannot wait to get back to that gorgeous water and check out all the other cool things there are to do there!
 
 
Canada (199? & 2001)
 
Yes, I realize Canada isn't a Caribbean nation, but it won't fit in the European post next time either! I don't have any photos, since I went there prior to digital cameras. The first trip was into Ontario at Niagara Falls. I was less than impressed. The second trip was a trip with my best friend and Mr. Smith. We went through Detroit (scary) and stayed in Windsor (blah) to go gambling and drink underage. I have a feeling once I can get out to Western Canada I'll have an entirely different view on the place!
 
 
So... there you have it! The first of 13 countries/territories that I have visited. I hope it's inspired you to think of your own trips you may want to take! As far as where I want to go next in that area? Turks & Caicos is probably tops. Followed by Curacao and the Dominican Republic. Fingers crossed it will be sooner, rather than later!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Laugh Out Loud

This is the 6th fall that Puff and I have spent together. That's a lot of hours logged in the convertible looking at trees, hikes taken to enjoy the gorgeous weather, and more festivals than I can count. One event that Puff and I routinely try to attend is the Laugh Your Asheville Off festival in North Carolina. This would be the 4th time we had made that trip. Last year, with a new baby at home, it was one of the few times I actually let the MIL come to babysit so Puff and I could go! (Read about that trip HERE.)
 
 
 
When we caught wind that Puff was laid off, we were hesitant to buy tickets. Our nanny is super expensive, and we just weren't sure we could handle that kind of "fun money." We went ahead and bought them anyway when our awesome friend, Rissa, decided she would step up to the plate and watch Bimmer for a few hours. Seriously... this is one of our most favorite activities to do together and we would have been pretty devastated had we not been able to go. (As ridiculous as that sounds!!!) Puff started his new job the week before the show, and with his training in Michigan, he asked to make sure his plane got him back on time so he could rush home, change, grab me, and hit the road to Asheville!
 
 
 
We made just in time to grab seats, since the place is always sold out. Thankfully, there were no crazy hippie ladies next to me this year to put their bare feet on my seat. I was definitely more impressed with this year's show than last year. In fact, it was one of my faves. There were a bunch of really funny comedians, including my fave, Paul Hooper. He wasn't the headliner, but was far funnier. He was the only comedian who literally had the audience laughing non-stop from start to finish. His bit about wanting to get a duck when he retires had me in stitches. I also loved an Iranian guy who went on a rant about being anti-Chick-fil-A, which always tugs at my heartstrings. A bit he did about the KKK opening a chicken soup restaurant (only white meat, lots of crackers) almost had me in tears!
 
All told, I'm so thankful that Rissa & her boyfriend came over to play with Bimmer (she even posted a video of her man pushing Bimmer around the house in her car... so sweet) so that Puff and I could enjoy this amazing date night. I'm already getting excited about another trip. Especially when bathroom art in Asheville is this fun....
 
 
 
Who wouldn't want to hang out there?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Design a Quiet Mind

Long time readers will know two things about me... (1) that I am absolutely obsessed with Robbie Williams and his amazing music, and (2) that I sometimes have random moments where my mind wavers and I sometimes need something/someone to set me straight.

Right now, the Robbie song, "Heart & I" is the epitome of how I am feeling with life. The line italicized below just keep ringing out in my mind. Yes, my mind that is never quiet. I've listened to this song on repeat for the past few days. It's helping.

 
I hope there's a golden age, I pray for my sanity
Where we don't have to answer to anyone about anything

 This is not like the brochure, flying cars and sex machines
We're all so compliant 'cause everything is what it seems
 
And they can't build a satellite to tell you how loved you are
Or some kind of life device that holds you in you've gone too far
 
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by now
Walking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehow

Give me something to die for or design a quiet mind
Something to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie, my heart and I
 
You've been bending so long now, you think it's standing up
And they line up behind you to build you up, buttercup

 We can lose all meaning quicker than a credit card
And not everyone's healing so try your best and don't look too hard
 
'Cause they can't build a satellite to tell you what's in your heart
Or some kind of life device to hold you in, you've gone too far
 
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by now
Walking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehow

Give me something to die for or design a quiet mind
Something to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie my heart and I
 
Will I ever feel that waking? Make it as a lullaby
Don't ask me to explain again, I can't lie to my heart and I
 
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by now
Walking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehow

 Give me something to die or design a quiet mind
Something to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie my heart and I
 
My heart and I, my heart and I
I've been feeling so lonely
Feeling so low
So low I almost let go


 
There's not an official video for this song, but you can listen here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Walk It Out

Being a parent means having to constantly shift your list of priorities. It used to be easy... work, family, friends, health, travel. They all had their proper spots. I was able to see where everything fit. But now, with Bimmer, I am finding it's not so simple. Of course the big important, monumental things like her health and safety are at the top of my list. Everything else, just sorta fits around her.
 
One of those things that has seriously fallen by the wayside is exercise. Now, I never was big on it anyway. I much prefer a big ol' plate of brownies and a Project Runway marathon. However, I've been known to drop a few pounds and ellipticize with the best of them. Now? Mr. Elliptical is just a dust collector. And it needs to change.
 
And it does. In spurts.
 
So, one thing Puff and I have worked into our (almost) nightly routine is something that throws some importance toward a little wee bit of exercise, but also factors in some family time and some fresh air... evening walks.
 
 
 
Even in the SC heat, we've found that most nights after 7:30pm, it is pretty tolerable. Bimmer loves to be outside, so it's perfect. She happily chills in her stroller for the most part. Although sometimes, she wants to be a big girl and walk with Mommy.
 
 
 
It's during these walks that Puff and I spend the most quality time together. Walking side by side, with Bimmer entertained by her surroundings, we are able to have adult conversations. In fact, it's been the times recently where we hashed out really important life-changing things like additions to our house, and our family. Otherwise, had we been sitting at home, we would have been rotating who entertained Bimmer, while the other person did the dishes, and the TV would have been blasting "Sofia the First" in the background, to get stuck in my mind for days.
 
 
 
It makes me even more anxious for fall. Right now, we take a walk anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the weather. With nicer days, we can wander farther. The insanely nice ritzy neighborhood that is a few streets over always makes for good dreaming and conversation. And it's on these walks that I just fall more and more in love with South Carolina. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Not for now, anyway.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

15 Month Update

 
After doing last month's update in bulleted form, I realized that's the easiest way for me to do it. I can draft in an email and add to it when something occurs to me. So, at least for this go-round, we are doing it this way again. My sweet little baby... now a toddler. An independent, knows-what-she-wants, kinda gal. Puff and I love her to pieces. More and more every day... just the way it should be.
 
Stats: Bimmer had her 15 month well-baby visit and shots this week. She is 26 lbs. 8 oz. and is 31.5 inches tall. It puts her in the 96% for weight and only the 80% for height. I'm not convinced the height was done correctly, since she was super wiggly and we had a different nurse who didn't seem too concerned. The doc said she looks good and we'll go back in 3 more months!
 
 
Food: New foods this month that she likes include cheese ravioli, corned beef and pizza. She ate some chicken from Zaxby's. Apparently Mommy's chicken isn't as good. She is iffy about orange juice. She has also decided she no longer likes hamburgers. At least at home anyway. She'll eat it if I send it to school for lunch.
 
Talking: She says "melma" or "momo" when she means Elmo. (And every cartoon character is Elmo.) She says "ny,ny" for "night night." She tries to moo and says "baa" for a sheep. One of her favorite things to say is "duck." She gets so excited when she spots one in a book, and forget it if she sees one in real life. She tries to say "belly" but it never comes out quite right. And right now, we are in a "yeah" stage. Any question you ask her, she pretty much says "yeah." Much better than the alternative! Oh, and did I mention last month that sometimes when she says "bye" she says it with a southern accent?
 
Comprehension: I swear the kid learns something new every day. If you say "outside," she goes to the back door. If you say "bottle," she goes to the fridge. If you say "bath," she goes to the tub. If you say "snack," she goes to the kitchen (and promptly opens the cabinet and pulls out the box of Cheerio's). If you say "mail," she goes to the front door. She knows what it means when you ask her to stand up, sit down, or look up. She can point on command to her head, nose, belly, ears, mouth, feet and hair. If you say "brush your teeth" she first grins with her teeth showing and then rubs her finger back and forth on them. Then she runs to the bathroom.
 
Development: With her gross motor skills, she is starting to be awesome at climbing. The park is the best example... she will figure out a way to get to the top of that slide. Because she wants to go down it. Be it going up the stairs, the right way, or by trying to walk up the slide itself. She has been trying more and more to throw things... some things we want (like a ball) and some things we don't (like a bottle). She definitely throws mini temper tantrums sometimes and is working on her high-pitched, bloody murder scream. She likes to arch her back if you're holding her and she's upset, so she about tumbles out of your arms. Always scary! If you ask her to help, she is more than willing and super excited to see what you are going to let her do. If it's out of her normal realm of duties, she is ready to learn. Oh yeah, and I call it "running" so that's what it is, but it's probably more of a swift walk that is similar to running. It's close enough. She's super mobile. And getting faster by the day. The one skill we *must* work on that Mommy has been putting off... eating with a spoon. It's gotta happen. I have to suck it up and accept there may be a mess.