Wednesday, April 30, 2014

23 Month Update

 
* The biggest monumental thing that happened this month was that Bimmer used the potty! On March 27th, she peed on the potty for the first time and got a gold sticker, jelly bean, the works. Daycare had just started that week with trying the kids on the potty. Of course, that was the only time she went then for weeks, but that was OK. They told us she was anxious to try each day and was seeing other kids use it. I'm OK with the introduction and I'm not pushing it. She's not even two yet!
 
* Bimmer is expanding her vocabulary a lot more lately to include words that are not nouns. She'll say things like "Dark in there" or "Mama's coming." She uses the words "this" and "that." She is grasping the concepts of up and down, in and out, off and on. I may not always understand all the words in a sentence, but she'll tell me about the moon being made out of cheese or playing outside on the slides at school. She is expanding her animal knowledge and now can say gator and flamingo. (Or well, "mingo.") She knows almost all the colors, we're just trying to work on matching the words to the actual colors. If you ask her to name colors, she'll list "red, yellow, blue, green" etc. The only ones she seems to get right a lot of the time are yellow and pink. Perhaps those are her faves? Since she has mastered animals and their noises, we're working now on colors and numbers. She can count to ten in both English and Spanish, but with prodding. If you ask her to actually count something physical, she still goes "one, two, one!" At least she grasps the concept?
 
* On a whim, I took the front of her crib off. We've been battling the whole waking up and wanting to sleep with us issue now for several months. So I figured it was worth a try. The first night, she went down without incident, but about 2 hours later, she woke up crying. I went in and consoled her and she went back to sleep... for about twenty minutes. I eventually went in and laid in bed with her. Yes, I laid in the toddler bed, half ass hanging off, until she fell asleep. That was at about 11:45pm and she slept in her bed until 7am! It has been AGES it feels like since that has happened! The rest of the weekend went pretty well. Fingers crossed the freedom of the toddler bed is what she needed to be OK sleeping through the night in her own bed. She would wake up in the morning and talk about her "big girl bed."
 
* One of the sweetest things a mom can hear is for her child to tell her that they love her. Or so I assume. The first thing Bimmer said that she loved? Kimhead. And then I think it was cheese. In early April, I decided to work on this matter. She did start repeating me when I told her to say "I love Daddy" or "I love Mommy." It was sweet and so cute, but I was anxious for the day when she would say it on her own accord. About a week later, her and Puff were in the other room and she came running in to me to tell me that Daddy was reading her books. I told her that I loved her and asked her for a kiss. After she leaned in and kissed me, she said "I lub you." And got the biggest smile on her face! Oh - kill me now! That kid!
 
* Besides her non-stop of wanting us to read books (current fave is "Zoola Palooza") she has also discovered stickers. And I am inclined to let her play with them, because she can honestly sit still and entertain herself for much longer playing with stickers than anything else. I splurged on a Melissa & Doug reuseable sticker pad back in the winter, and she now climbs up to the table in our office and plays with it on her own. I love that she is figuring out how to play by herself. As an only child myself, I was always having to figure that out. And since we don't know yet if she will be an only child or not, I like that she's at least trying.
 
* There are two boys in Bimmer's class who just got baby brothers in the past month, and another little girl is going to be a big sister to a brother soon. So it doesn't really surprise me, but at least twice this past week, Bimmer has said "Dee Dee brudder?" Maybe this is the sign from the universe I'd been needing to decide of we wanted a second kid? Perhaps.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Wild Side

As you learned in my last post, my parents came for a visit in early April to hang out with Bimmer. (HERE) One thing I have been wanting to do ever since Bimmer was born was take the trip to Hollywild. You may remember years ago that Puff and I went there for a holiday light display and a mutant cow tried to stick its head through my car window. (HERE) I had low expectations of the actual animal park, since I had heard it was all kinda sketch. But Bimmer loves animals and we were looking for a major wow-factor to a day out with Mamaw & Papaw.
 
 
 
It was amazing! Yes, it was a little run down and there were no pretty paved pathways or glorious enclosures. But Bimmer loved it... and so did the rest of us! I wouldn't recommend going in the middle of summer, since I assume it stinks and would be bloody hot with little trees. And their bathrooms were gross enough without the stench of not being climate controlled in the middle of August. And you could probably stand to pack a lunch if you plan to be there awhile (we were there 4 hours) because nachos and hot dogs are your only choices from the snack shop. But with all that being said... I soooooo recommend it!!!
 
 
 
I was pretty confident Bimmer would want nothing to do with any animal feeding or touching. Just a few weeks back, we were walking down the street and she got excited about a golden retriever. Yet freaked out when it got close enough for her to pet. I figured if an emu or buffalo got within throwing distance, she would have a nervous breakdown. But that's the thing with kids... they surprise you. We climbed on board the rickety old gutted school bus and took our "safari" out into a giant field full of wandering animals.
 
 
 
When it stopped and we became swarmed by the herd, I even was a bit nervous. Bimmer held back and stood in the center of the vehicle with me, where they couldn't touch her. She watched and I snapped photos. Mamaw let the cows slobber all over her hand. Puff gave the buffalo stale english muffins to munch. The longer we were there, the more Bimmer warmed to the idea. And she decided she wanted to give it a try. I swelled with motherly pride at her taking that big step! Such a brave little girl!
 
 
 
Please note that I did not partake in feeding any animals... unless you count flinging the piece of bread out the bus window as far as humanly possible so that I wouldn't risk any actual animal contact.
 
One of the highlights of the day was getting to see a "show" (I use that term loosely) where they had three baby bears. Bimmer has loved looking at the photos since we've been home and gets excited and yells "baby bear!"
 
 
 
I was surprised at the variety of animals they had... .camels, leopard, baboon, tigers, and lions. All of them in enclosures that looked, well, short of passing any type of safety requirements.
 
 
 
We spent a total of about four hours at the place. Bimmer was soaking up every second and loved it so much. If it weren't such a far drive, I would consider going back quite frequently. I think maybe we'll save the next trip for their holiday lights. Bimmer will be 2 1/2 years old and I'm certain she will love it. Although probably not as much as she loved getting to feed and see all those awesome animals!
 
 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Family Visitors

From The Bungalow to my parent's house in The Fort is about seven hours. In the car. After living in SC for so long, I'm totally used to the drive. But that's my max... no further. When I was in college, I used to make tons of pilgrimages back home each year. As the years have passed, the frequency of these visits has slowed down significantly. Since Bimmer was born two years ago (almost - yikes!!!) we have been home 5 times. And the only reason for that extra visit was to see my Grandma before she passed away. Nope... I'm strictly on a two-visits-per-year plan right now.
 
I want to spend my vacation days on vacation. Sue me. So I made a very strong ultimatum with my dad and told him that if he wants to see Bimmer more often, then they need to pack up their asses and come visit us every once and awhile. (To be fair, we also invited them to Gatlinburg with us last year, and they declined. So far, same with our invite to join us in Hilton Head later this year.) A spur of the moment visit was scheduled and at the start of April, they were at our doorstep.
 
 
 
It was a wonderful visit. While there were moments where I wanted to smack them upside the head (that always happens with family, doesn't it???) Bimmer had a wonderful visit with her Mamaw & Papaw. She is at such a fun age where she wants to hang out with them and has no trepidation of being with them and me not being right next to her.
 


 
 
There was lots of playing. And eating. And chatting. And more playing. And booger wiping. And more eating. I needed a break from their visit for sure and just wanted a nap! (Stay tuned for an upcoming post about a super special fun day we spent at an animal park.) It's so amazing to see Bimmer with her grandparents. I had such vivid and special memories with mine. While I grew up seeing mine super frequently (as in, some of them every day) I know Bimmer won't have that luxury, so these trips are super important and special.
 
She's a lucky little girl.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mommy Daughter Photo Dump

Instead of just a totally random photo dump this go-round, I thought I would narrow the scope this time. At the end of March, Puff got sent to Michigan on business, so I was playing single mom for four days with Bimmer. It actually was really sweet time together. I love that little munchkin... even if she wears me out! So here are a few shots from my phone from our dedicated mommy-daughter girl bonding time!!!
 





 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Meet Your Step-Mom

Yes, I realize I am a few weeks behind. Give me a break... I'm a working mother of a toddler who is spending all her spare time at the tanning bed and the gym. So, yes, I do have to DVR every single show that I watch. I did finally get around to watching the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. And I feel like I need to toss my two cents out into the blogosphere. Even if I wasn't live-tweeting during the finale, that doesn't make my mindless dribble any less important than other people's mindless dribble.
 
 
 
Back in September 2005, when the show first premiered, I was at a super weird cross-roads in my life. I had just reconnected with Mr. Smith after not speaking for several years after our break-up. I wasn't sure I wanted to stay with The Ex. I hated my job, but I had one thing to look forward to... a trip to New Zealand that December. When the show premiered, The Ex and I decided to take it on. (We had a lot of time to watch lots of TV back then.) We would watch it, and then I would lock myself in our spare room, in front of the computer, and chat on Instant Messenger (remember that???) with Mr. Smith. He was also watching the show and we would discuss it. (Amongst other things.)
 
The show became some weird, unspoken parallel to our own lives. He was Ted. I was Robin.
 
One of my biggest qualms with some TV shows is when they hook up characters too early in the run of the show. "Bones" is a good example... I want Brennan and Booth to end up together, but to me, that needs to be the last episode. Ever. At the very bitter end, they finally get together. However, the writers don't always agree with my view on this. Hence Brennan & Booth being together... and me hating it. I feel the same way currently about Nick & Jess over on "New Girl." And I felt the same when HIMYM finally got Robin & Ted together. Yes, I wanted them to be a couple... just not til the bitter end.
 
 
 
I will say, that I absolutely hated the Barney & Robin thing. It just never felt like it was going to work. It didn't feel real... the womanizer and the career-minded woman. They weren't going to last. No... Ted was the hopeless romantic that Robin needed to be with. Just like I ran the parallel that I was the career-minded, hardened girl who wasn't always enamored by romance, but there was that one person in life who could get to me that way... Mr. Smith was my Casanova.
 
While I am a happily married woman and Mr. Smith is a happily married man, I couldn't help but smile at the end finale of HIMYM. (Spoiler alert - Ted's wife dies and he goes to win back Robin.) In my smiles, I had some tears. Not just at the end of the series that has meant so much to me for all these years, but for that little bit of romance that I know Mr. Smith had impacted on my life. I could see that, years down the road, if something were to ever happen in our lives that brought us back to a situation where we were both single, Mr. Smith would bring me a blue French horn. (Symbolically speaking, of course.)
 
I hope I never come to that place in life. But it brought a sweet peace to me, to the me who saw myself through those characters, that they ended up together in the end. So while I didn't love all of the finale (I didn't agree with Barney having a baby) I was definitely OK with how it all wound up. I was never vested in "the mother." It didn't upset me that after all the build-up, she was hardly in the story at all. No... because the story I wanted was Ted & Robin together in the end. I think I'm in the minority of people who agreed or liked the ending. (At least amongst my friends anyway.)
 
It was that hopeless romantic hiding deep inside me. Shhhh.... that's our little secret.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hey There, Fatty

I am currently suffering from the worst bout of "I hate my body" that I've had in, oh, forever.

I joined a gym back in November and have been going regularly. Or well, as regularly as a working mom of a toddler with a bonkers schedule and a husband who also works goofy hours can. I started off swimming laps, but soon realized it wasn't having the weight-loss impact I desired, so I switched to full-time ellipticizing back in February. I had done this before my wedding back in 2010, and lost a good 10 or 15 pounds in just a few months.

Not this time.

Post-baby weight is not being kind to me. And yes, I am technically hovering at my pre-baby weight, it has redistributed. And it's all in that horrible spot that will not look so cute in a bikini this summer. A spot that I should have worked harder to get rid of LAST year. Not the year my baby is turning two. My bikinis are taunting me from the depths of my bottom drawer. Buying new ones is not an option. I won't let it be.

A few things to note about all of this....

1) Since I am, deep down, a woman, I thought that getting some new cute work-out gear may bump the motivation level up a notch. Getting checked out in tight pants and a cute top would make going to the gym not so bad. Right? So I nixed my old ratty t-shirts and running shorts (which is hilarious to call them that, because, I've never ran ever... except for that "challenge" to run a mile in gym class that nearly killed me) and hit up Old Navy for a few cute new things.

2) A co-worker whose son is a few months younger that Bimmer has been going to the gym less time than me, but has lost more weight. Yes, she eats better than I do. (Seriously - my diet is horrific.) And yes, she had more weight to lose than I did. But still... that doesn't make me feel good to have only lost two pounds in almost 5 months. And I still have a nice little muffin-top. My summer vacation is sneaking up on me quicker than I care to admit. And watching other people lose weight and me be stuck? It's depressing. I want to go eat a brownie.

3) I am contemplating a trainer. It's not cheap ($24/half hour) but I think it's the kick-in-the-ass that I really need. I don't know which exercises to be doing to lose the tire around my gut. I have had some in-shape friends give me some moves to work my abs, but that involves laying on the group at home. And that means Bimmer thinks I'm a horse and runs over to me screaming "NEIGH!!!" before jumping on me. Gosh, I love that kid, but she's not helping my quest to lose a few lbs. I was all geared up to ask at the gym about signing up for a session, but the guy I need to chat with was always helping someone. And let's be honest, I'm not quite proactive enough in this endeavor to call the gym to talk to him.

Thanks for listening to my little bitch-fest about how much I wish I could lose weight, but am not. I did go on a gluten-free diet this past week, since that tends to cleanse and I usually lose a few pounds. It did nothing. Not a single ounce. Talk about frustration!!!!! Stay tuned. I'm hoping to have an ab-reveal in a few weeks! **UPDATE: I went ahead and bit the bullet and I have my first session with a trainer this week! Will post about it soon!**

Monday, April 14, 2014

Man Candy Monday

There's no rhyme or reason to today's post. Just needed a little eye candy to start the week. Enjoy! :)
 

 
I'm late on the Jared Leto bandwagon. It wasn't until the Oscars.. that hair, that scruff, those eyes, that smile. Yup... I'm a fan!
 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Becoming a Princess Overnight

Last fall, I squealed (internally, mind you) like a little girl at the announcement of a One Direction concert when I saw that the Disney Junior Live show was going to be in South Carolina. Yes, I plopped down over $100 on three tickets for me, Puff, and Bimmer to head to Greenville, SC, to check out the "Pirate & Princess Adventure." Yes, even though Bimmer is much more obsessed with Elmo than Jake & Sofia. However... Mommy and Daddy find these shows much easier to swallow.
 
 
 
The entire drive there, I was trying to pump her up asking her to get excited and singing the parts of the theme songs that I could remember. Yes, I'm pretty sure I was more anxious and excited about it than she was. We got there about 15 minutes early so we could find our seats and see the Doc McStuffins pre-show. Bimmer was clapping along the whole time!
 
 
 
I couldn't get any good pics of the actual show, since I had only taken my phone and the lighting just wasn't working for me. But overall, the show was great. Bimmer loved the Sofia part (which I was happy was first) because there was a lot of singing and dancing. The intermission was a good time for us to take her out to the mezzanine and run around. She did get a little antsy during the Jake part since we were then past naptime and there wasn't as much singing. We moved seats to a back row in our section where there wasn't anyone around us though, and she was able to stand on her seat and eat a snack and I was dancing with her to keep her involved. The entire show was only about 90 minutes, and yes, I do think Bimmer was a few months too young to sit through it all, but I think she did fantastic.
 
 
 
I had planned to splurge and get her a toy if she acted like she wanted something, but we glanced at the merchandise table and she didn't ask for anything. I figure there will be plenty more shows like this (and the circus, etc.) in our future, so if I managed to get out of this one with no unnecessary paraphernalia, I consider it a win! We did splurge on some popcorn though, which did help entertain her for awhile. It came with a little Disney Live bag that she loved carrying with her back to the car.
 
 
 
All told, we were super happy that we got to go together as a family. Especially since Puff flew to Michigan that night for business! I will admit to getting a little choked up over the whole thing. My baby girl is growing up so fast. And I feel so blessed that we were able to take her to see this show. I hope there are many more in our future!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Accessorizing

As one more component in my effort to dress more like the mom I want to be portrayed as (read about that HERE), I've decided I need to ramp up my accessories. My entire life, I've been sorta bi-polar about them. When I was little, my mom always had me wear earrings. I tried it again in college, but found in the real world, where I was sometimes on the phone, they bothered me too much. I wore rings in middle school, but then never did again until 2009 in Waterville, Ireland, when Puff bestowed upon me a Claddaugh ring as a promise that we would get married. I still wear that on my right hand, with my gorgeous sapphire & diamond engagement band on my left hand. Nope... no wedding band. That was just one more thing I didn't feel I needed in life. Necklaces... that's an easy way I can accessorize that doesn't get in my way. That's my ticket.

For the longest time, I had three go-to pieces in my necklace collection...
 
 

One is a cheapy fake diamond that came from my best friend to wear in her wedding. The other is a Celtic cross I got in high school while on a trip in Amelia Island, FL, and it reminds me of my favorite place, Wesley Gardens, in St. Simons, GA. Yes, I love it so much that I have an enlarged version of it as a tattoo. The third was my jade fish hook I got in Hokitika, New Zealand. I purposely got a very dark shade so it wasn't so in-your-face-green. The cord it's on is sorta strange (and looks cheap) so I usually only wear it when I'm sporting a collared shirt and my hair down. (And yes, I have a Maori fish hook tattoo as well, just not this exact one.)
 
But since last fall, I've been making a very concerted effort to add some color and variety to my necklace collection. It seems to be growing pretty quickly. Here are a few of my current faves...
 
Turquoise & pink ones from boutiques in St. Simons, GA, and the white one from Pick Your Plum

Pink one from Banana Republic, Small Aqua from Lily Pottery, & Large Aqua from Banana Republic

Silver & Gold from Charming Charlies, Gold with navy & teal from LOFT
 
 
Bimmer also wants to get in on the action too. One morning, she said "Dee Dee pity neckiss" - translated to "Dee Dee pretty necklace" - so I gave her one of the old costume necklaces that had been my grandmothers. Of course I didn't think about the string being super old and fragile, so she busted it in a hot second. After that, I was determined to find her one she could play with. About a week after that, we were at an Osh Kosh store and I saw one that was navy and aqua and was on more of a ribbon than a string, so it looked harder to break. She wore it for a few days straight after we bought it. Such a prissy little girl we have here. Maybe I can take some cues!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friends When You Need 'Em

As a busy working mom of a rambunctious toddler, finding time to be a good friend is hard. I definitely don't have the time, means, or energy to do all the things I want to do with or for my friends. Yet, somehow, I still have some of the most awesome people in my life. I am blessed beyond words that they have hung around and stick it out with me right now. I know things will get better as Bimmer gets older. I need to get better about my friendships. I am fully aware this is one of my shortcomings at this season of my life.

But these amazing women? They're all around me. And they continue to bless me with even the most simple of gestures. Like Rach... whom I noticed on Pinterest had pinned a burlap wreath. I made a comment that I needed to hire her to make me one. Later that night, she was texting me pics of chevron ribbon options. And the next day, she had a finished product for me to approve. Are you kidding me?!? What did I do to deserve such a wonderful friend? She knew I had been wanting a new wreath, saw my "cry for help" and jumped on it. I had hoped to be able to make one myself, but the reality of that is I just don't have the time. Rach saw that I could use this in my life right now... yes, as simple and trivial as it was. I have a new wreath proudly displayed on my front door. And an awesome friend.

 

With my insane work and life schedule, finding time at all to see my girls is difficult. Kimhead and I try to make a point to see each other every few months. So on a random March Saturday, we found a day we were both open and decided to meet halfway between our homes. Puff opted to work in the yard that day, which meant it was the first time I took Bimmer outside our town on a trip! Yes, it was only an hour from home, but still. It was a bit monumental. We had lunch, shopped, and hung out in a small town square in a rural SC town for a few hours. It was just the break we both needed in our lives to catch up and get back in touch.
 
 
 
I do feel bad about all my girls back in The Fort. I miss them desperately. But sometimes trips home are short and unfortunately, visiting my grandmother and other things tend to take priority. I am hoping to sometime soon get a trip booked back up where it's just me. (Or just me and Bimmer.) That way I can schedule a girl's night out and catch up with those wonderful women who have been with me through thick and thin since high school... or earlier! I love you guys! And miss you desperately!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Summer of Sexy Mom

I didn't set an official resolution for 2014, but there was one thing I vowed to change this year.

I want to dress like a mom.

 

Yup - time to bust out the high-waisted Levis and sweaters with kittens on it. :)

What prompted this change? Well, a few things... #1 being that I work with a bunch of young, cute, and stylish women. Another reason was that whenever I drop Bimmer off at daycare, I see how the other snooty moms are dressed and I don't want to be an embarassment to my child. I can never allow myself to be "pajama mom." (Although yoga pants are the closest thing to pajamas I would ever dare wear out of the house anyway. I'm not a total slob!!!)
 
My work clothes are all appropriate and fine and I'm slowly investing in some nice pieces that will stand the test of time. (See a "What I wear to work" post HERE) But in my outside-work world? Yeah, at 32 years old, it's high time I stop wearing jeans and a hoodie all the time.
 
 
 
Nope, it's time to ramp it up a little bit.
 
Now that I've identified and accepted the problem, what was the solution? Well, cue the Mix & Match Mama.
 

 
 
I could dress like that! I want to dress like that! Wait... I already own stuff like that. It's just that I save most of it to wear to work! Yes, since I started working in the real world I have two very distinct sets of clothes... those I wear to work and those that I wear not at work. Dare I cross contaminate? Would wearing "work" clothes be comfortable on the weekends?
 
I decided that yes, some of it could work for me outside the office. The thing I hate most about dressing up for work are the pants and the shoes. So if I could still wear jeans and flat shoes (like ballet flats or my camo Toms) then I could look polished on the weekends too. But there was something else holding me back... I always hated to "dirty" something I could wear to work and didn't want to "waste" it on wearing it on a weekend.
 
**Sidebar: Time to let you in on a little secret. My mom implemented one fashion rule for me at an early age that still sticks with me to this day... you should never wear the same outfit twice within two weeks.**
 
Now that you know that, I think it's time for me to re-evaluate my excuse of not wanting to "waste" my work clothes. If I can't wear them within two weeks of each other anyway, that means I only need to have ten work appropriate shirts. And if you add in the weekends before, during, and after those magical two weeks, that's still only 16 days. And I own WAY more than 16 different shirts. There was absolutely no reason I couldn't start dressing better when I was outside the office. And with us rushing around so much on the weekends, and taking photos of a lot of it, you would think I would want to be remembered as being somewhat polished!!!
 
I did go out and buy one new thing specifically inspired by this promise to myself...
 
 
 
I have always liked the look of a layered shirt under a sweater or other shirts. I had just donated all my old tank tops from college, so it was time to invest in some newer ones that were long enough to layer properly. Old Navy had a few on sale for $7 a pop, so I sprung for three of them. And with comfort being one of my key factors, I am gravitating toward these bottoms these days....
 

 
 
So, hopefully this will stick! Keep tabs on me in photos to come and get on my case if I start backsliding!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Little Scandinavia

Is it ridiculous that I remember the first time I really heard about Ikea? Kimhead had probably mentioned it a time or two beforehand, but what I remember most was being in Europe, the summer of 2002, and driving past the blue & yellow behemoth in the middle of The Netherlands (or someplace equivalent) and Kimhead yelling across the bus "IKEA!!!!" at the top of her lungs.
 
We've yet to look back since.
 
There are no Ikea stores in South Carolina, so we have to venture to either Charlotte or Atlanta if we want to pick up stuff in store. I have used their shipping before for some nightstands, and that worked out well too. So far, I've been pretty happy with most of the stuff I've gotten. A lot of it has been little, like lamps and a trash can or picture frames. The one problem child has been Bimmer's dresser.
 
 
 
I *love* this dresser. (It's called Hemnes for anyone wondering - and we have the matching nightstands in our master bedroom.) However, I do not love that the center drawer (the one where we hold the bulk of Bimmer's clothing) is sagging in the middle. Who knew baby clothes were that heavy??? I'm hoping that our handyman (who is not named Puff) can jerry-rig something when he's at the house next. Because I want to salvage that dresser for as long as possible. It's just so gosh-darn cute!
 
In early March, we packed our bags and headed to Charlotte for a quick weekend getaway. (Read about it HERE) It was under the guise of being able to take Bimmer to a kid's museum, but really, it was all about some shopping. So, what did we come away with?
 
 
 
Sometimes it's hard to not just throw stuff in your cart when stuff is that cheap! We got Bimmer a little step-stool for future use in our bathroom, once she starts using the potty. It was $4.99. And those 6-packs of plastic plates and bowls for her? $1.99 each. Can't beat that!!! We snagged that train set for $9.99 and I plan to use it as part of her 2nd birthday gift. The pillow inserts were $5 a pop, and unfortunately will be waiting for covers, since the covers I intended to use them with are too small. My fault, not Ikea's. The small RIBBA picture frames (which I love) were $1.99 a piece, and the bigger one was only a few bucks more. I fully intend to use them for my future gallery wall that's stirring in my head. And those curtains? I got them for the living room, but we're still undecided on their final fate. They may end up in Bimmer's "big girl room" if we move to another house. But for $14.99 a pair (yes, meaning I spent $30 and got curtains for two windows) AND they were 96" long? They had to come home with us!
 
Not pictured? We got Bimmer a table & chairs for her playroom. Not sure if that will be a wait-for-birthday situation or not. But once it's assembled and her playroom is put together, you can rest assured that I will post about it!
 
And since we're on a home goods shopping topic, when we were in Charlotte, we also hit up fan-favorite, West Elm.
 
 
 
The pillow shams will coordinate with both my brown fall/winter duvet and my white spring/summer duvet. Yes, go ahead and laugh at my seasonal duvet covers. The pillow covers are the ones I had hoped would fit the Ikea inserts. (Next time, maybe I'll check the size before just assuming and buying them!) But they had been $39 each and I paid $9.99. I never find bargains that good! Props to me for taking a few seconds to dig through that massive unruly pile o' crap on the sale table (no - under the sale table) in the store!
 
I love me a good bit of redecorating. Now the search is on for two more covers to replace our hideous couch pillows!
 
Oh yeah, one more thing. Bimmer is totally a klepto. Yup... she had found an ugly little stuffed bear when we first got to Ikea, and we let her carry it around, not thinking. Well, then this happened....
 
 
 
And she was having so much fun when we checked out that neither Puff nor myself (nor the girl checking us out, mind you) even noticed that it was in her hand! Whoopsies! Ikea, I hope we can still be friends! :)