Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Prince Charming

I've been meaning for months to write a review of my friend's book, Prince Charming. (You can go buy it now on Amazon!) However, we all know I'm a little slack on that sort of thing, so instead, I'm going to start out by telling you about the trip to Knoxville I had planned with Kimhead to meet up with Celi at a book signing. The entire thing was drummed up months in advance and Kimhead and I decided it would be best for it to be a surprise. I did let Celi's hubby know, so that at least he was in on the idea. He was totally game for it being a surprise. Yay!
However, life happens. And so this entry isn't going to spin out the way I thought it would initially. Unfortunately, a few days before the Knoxville book signing, Celi's grandfather passed away. She had to cancel her appearance, which meant that Kimhead and I had to cancel our trip. We were definitely bummed! We had been looking forward to a girl's weekend and surprising a dear old friend!
Anyhoo... I guess I can do a brief synopsis of her book now! See, bright sides abound!
I will say that reading this book, felt like returning to high school. The setting is fictional, but I can see so many of the same people and attitudes and importances that were the same way in our school. Heck, there is even an appearance by a Toyota Rav4, which was what I drove all through high school and shuttled people around in! The story is a "Cinderella" story, but told from the guy's perspective. It's not ground-breaking, but the different POV makes it different than others I've read before. The characters were well-developed and took twists I didn't see coming. I thought I would hate the female lead, Laine, only to like her at the end.
I will say, my only "gripe" with the book - and I use that term super loosely because I'm blanking at what other term would fit better - is that I could tell a female was writing the book. For whatever reason, there were just times where the descriptions were very much something a woman would say, not the guy who was supposedly telling the story... notes about fashion or the way someone was looking at someone else. Not that male authors aren't descriptive, they must just be descriptive in another way. I can't quite put my finger on it - but by no means did that hurt my enjoyment of the book. It was a sweet story with bends I never anticipated. And that's a good thing! When you can take a basic story and morph it into something more than that.
I know Celi is working on other projects and I can't wait to read them. I'm happy to have such a good friend who is so talented! (And you can tell by this post that I am soooooo NOT a book reviewer by trade.) I am so proud of her and cannot wait to see what she busts out with next!

Monday, July 28, 2014

26 Month Update

We are in a very animated stage these days which yield lots of cheesy toddler faces

* Seemingly overnight, Bimmer went from saying "Hold you, Mommy" to "Hold me, Mommy" and it kills me that I never got it on videotape, since it was soooooo stinkin' cute. Ugh. I'm sure it won't be the last time I miss something like that.

* She is doing rockstar with her sentences. She is busting out with legit ones now. Such a big girl! Things like "This water tastes good, Mommy!" and "I go outside swing over there." No, they're not perfect, but she is putting a ton of words together in longer sentences and can mostly get her point across. Yes, it gets frustrating for both of us when we don't understand exactly what she means, but we'll get there.

* She is loving to sing these days. Current faves are "Jesus Loves Me," "ABCs," and "Baa Baa Black Sheep." She will mash them all together sometimes too. I love when she sings her "ABCs" because she goes "ABCD, HI, Jake, LmmmmmP, Q, S, B (I think she means V)" and then she trails off unless we are guiding her with it. Sometimes when we have on the radio on, she'll interrupt us to say "I like this song, Mommy!" The most recent was a John Legend. The one before that? Selena Gomez. Girl has varied taste, obviously.
* She still loves more than anything to sit down and read books. I brought back a ton of my old books from The Fort on our last visit, and a few friends gave her some hand-me-downs as well. She has been loving her one baby recently and taking it on walks in her stroller and brushing her hair, etc. She still cooks in her kitchen sometimes and spends a lot of her outside time in her water table. It is pirate themed, so sometimes as she is playing, she'll sing "Jake, Pirates, and you!!!!!"
* I feel like this is a constant update every month, but Bimmer is still a mommy's girl. She has started to get a little bit nasty about it though, which I hate. Sometimes she will cry and pitch a fit if Puff has to do something for/with her instead of me. She will tell him not to talk or not to sing. If you ask her if she loves Daddy, she will say, "No, I love Mommy!" I know it's just a phase and I know she does love Puff. He tells me that when I am not around, and it's just the two of them, she is super sweet and isn't a brat toward him. It just upsets me because I know if it were the other way around, it would kill me!
* As for TV, we still don't watch too terribly much. She still watches occasional episodes of Jake, Sofia, and Doc. We rarely watch Elmo anymore. She is obsessed with Curious George and Dinosaur Train. She also likes animal shows, like the Jack Hanna one that is on Saturday mornings.
* We are going a bit backward on the sleep situation and it's so frustrating. We definitely didn't do this sleep training correctly with this kid from the get-go. ::sigh:: She is still falling asleep with us and then we move her to her bed. But she is now waking up routinely around 1am and throws a bit of a fit ranging anywhere from two minutes to fourty-five. Bimmer just wants to get into bed with us and cuddle. And for as much as I love that, and I hate being awake in the middle of the night with a stomping, wailing toddler, we are definitely aiming to get her to back into her own bed. One night she even stomped out of the room and tried to slam the door behind her. Oh, I can't wait until she is 15!
* Bimmer has become quite the escape artist. She can now open the back door! I wouldn't care too much, if she also didn't know how to unlock the gate to get off the deck. Which would also be fine if it just went down into the backyard, which is fenced. However, the side gate goes down to our driveway and side yard, which is not fenced, which is along the street. One night, Bimmer took a rare opportunity of both Puff and I being involved in something and not paying her 100% attention. We then heard her screaming from the deck. Even with the back door locked, she had managed to sneak outside and on to the deck. Thankfully she didn't venture any farther. I'm thinking a new deck latch is on our next Home Depot order!
* Her bottom two back molars came in last month, but I think the top ones might be coming in now. Is it wrong that I'm afraid to ask her to allow me to stick my finger in her mouth to find out? That girl has some chompers and she knows how to use them!
* We aren't making many strides in the potty training department, but she has started to try more often. And most times when she tries, she yells, "Pee pee come out!!!" Except the word "out" is about 4 syllables long since she is sooooo southern!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Herbal Life

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And my weight loss (or lack thereof) was getting to me. It was draining me physically and more so, mentally. I had hit a plateau (basically back when I started) and it was overly frustrating. You can read about my decision to join a gym HERE and my round with a trainer HERE. The trainer didn't last more than a few weeks. I wanted to like it, but I wasn't seeing any results. Yes, I realize it takes time, but he wasn't listening to what I really wanted. I wanted to lose weight and focus on my abs, and I felt like we were never doing the necessary cardio to lose weight, and we weren't focusing on my abs at all. Ever.
So it was time to switch gears. I needed to focus on my diet and maybe my little bit of exercise (gym 2-3 times a week) would catch up and jump start me like I needed it to.
I reached out to an old friend from college who was a rep for this company called Herbalife. I knew she had lost weight on the program (along with several other people) and I was willing to give it a try. It wasn't cheap, but neither was wasting $40 a month on a gym membership to lose literally ZERO pounds in 8 months. I just needed a kick-start... just lose 5 pounds and then I could maintain. It was a long process of figuring out everything I needed via emails to her, which flavors to choose, and her sending me updates on my BMI and what was healthy and realistic for me and my goals. I appreciated having a friend I could work through all of that with. So I dropped over $200 on a month's supply (for 2 shakes a day) and I bit the bullet.
That is the first photo I took of the first shake I was ever making. I wanted to go super basic the first time - no fruit or ice or blenders. Nothing fancy. I wanted to make sure I could drink them this way (just the shake powder, protein powder, and water) because I knew if I was drinking them at work for lunch, that was the route I would need to go. How was it? Actually, not too bad. I went with the chocolate shake and the chocolate protein. I figured that was the best for me and my taste - and the simplest to figure out what to add to it. I can add strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, etc. I'm used to eating something small for breakfast (or having a Slim Fast shake) and then being starving in about 90 minutes. I drank my first shake (about 12 ounces) at 7:30am and was full all morning. It suggests to eat some fruit along with it (or mix in) but I just stared at the banana on my desk all morning, not interested at all.
The second day of shakes, I was at home, so I was able to bust out our blender to try some more adventurous concoctions. Mixing in a banana was by far my fave. The strawberries were better than nothing, but not fabulous. Peanut butter was delicious, although I needed to work on my consistency with that one. Puff was a little unsure about it all, but after he knocked me down once, he learned his lesson, and got on board with helping me get excited about my new little journey. And in a little tidbit of TMI, my pee was neon yellow the first few days. I like to think this was all those nasty toxins getting flushed out of my system!
Without being insanely forthcoming and posting my actual weight on the Intergoogle, here is what I can share to date:
Starting weight: 1X7 - Because of course I gained 2 lbs. out of the blue right before I started this adventure
After 4 days: 1X6
After 9 days: 1X6 - This was definitely heartbreaking to me. I had felt like I did so well and then to not lose any more weight the entire week was crushing.
After 16 days: 1X5
After 23 days: 1X5 - Which was right back to my original weight. Ugh!
It wasn't the "cure-all" I had hoped it would be. I definitely thought it would be the big jump-start I needed. It probably would have helped if I were able to go to the gym more often, and for longer stints each visit. But that is part of the downfall of living a "rushing life." Always on to the next thing. One of these days I'll figure out what balance works for me and be able to get down to the weight I want to maintain. (Which is still 5 pounds. I'm forever stuck here!)
In the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy my baby girl (who is growing up too fast) and enjoy Lemon Oreos while they still exist.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Photos Please

The month of June sucked all kinds of donkey balls this year. Life picked me up, turned me upside down, shook me for all the loose change in my pockets, then bent me over and did inappropriate, unmentionable things to me. Work was terrible. Bimmer went to the ER twice (read about that HERE). And on top of all of that, we had family drama, Puff work drama, and car trouble. Life threw so much shit at us, that we literally had to get a new toilet.
However, amongst all of the craziness, stress, and tears, there were small, sweet moments. And in the grand scheme of it all, the check-engine light on my SUV isn't going to be something that we dwell on. It's those little moments that make up each day that are most important to the dynamic of my family, my life, and the way that Bimmer is shaped and molded for her future. Things like a random Monday night dinner to the local Mexican restaurant up the street. And cuddling on the couch reading to Bimmer what feels like every book we own.
So, this photo dump is going to be bigger than usual. And it's going to be full of moments that happened the last month or so that weren't monumental or hectic or frustrating. A reminder that even a hurricane has a peaceful center. July is getting things back on track with some calm at work and exciting news on the family drama side. Things that have greatly lessened my stress level and have recentered me back to focus on what is important.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Splashdown

I've said it before and I'll say it again... Bimmer is such a water baby!
Ever since she was only a few months old, this girl has loved her some time in the pool/bath/ocean/sink...
First time in the pool at 8 weeks old
This summer, it has been my quest to get this girl in her "kini' as often as possible and let her have some water time....

And July has also been the month that we started swim lessons! Yes, she is only two, and no, I didn't go into it thinking she would learn to swim independently. However, I knew that four Saturday mornings in the pool would be fun for her, if nothing else. The class is at the local YMCA and was for babies ages 6 months to 3 years old. I was definitely scared there would be kids in her class who hated the water and would disrupt the fun for Bimmer. I had no idea what to prepare for going in - other than I knew I would be in the water, and I wanted to make sure Bimmer had a blast.
Trying to "bloat"
She did wonderfully! I wasn't sure how she would take to listening to instructions versus just splashing around, but she figured out after awhile that if she listened and showed the teacher, she would get to play with toys at the end. She blew bubbles, floated on her back, went under the water (which she asked to do again and again), kicked her legs (her favorite), threw toys and "swam" to get them to practice her arm strokes, and then jumped in to me (or, fell) several times at the end. The instructor warned it would be repetitive, but that's what babies need, right?
Puff had to go solo the second lesson. His assessment (not the teacher's) was that she is more advanced than the other kids, but needs to still work on her arms and feet. She is also the least afraid of the water. No surprise there! At the third (and most recent) lesson, both Puff and I tried to get into the water with her, but it was too overwhelming and she wasn't concentrating. So Puff jumped out. He'll hold the reigns next week. But the teacher told us that Bimmer is a good candidate for private lessons, because then she could start lessons before turning 3! I had never thought about that!
Summer in SC runs well into September, so I'm certain we will have plenty more opportunities for our little water girl to splash! And now Mommy and Daddy will be saving and eyeing a month in the spring to do some private swim lessons for our little fish!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Feed Me!

Some days, I feel like a rockstar mom. Then I see a blog where a mom has a cute little bento box full of healthy and creative snacks for their kids and star-shaped sandwiches for their lunches, and I just want to smack my head against a wall.
Bimmer is pretty much a normal toddler when it comes to eating. She likes what she likes. And she's strangely picky about things I never would have expected from a toddler. For instance, she does not like popcicles.
Weird, right? (She is also not too big on cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, etc.)
I thought I'd throw together a little smattering of the things we typically throw at her during feeding time. By doing so, I'm hoping you'll notice a glaring hole in my offerings and give me some suggestions.
Breakfast: Let me start off by saying that Bimmer is not a breakfast eater. Sometimes she'll take two bites of something and be done. Other times, she'll just have milk or water. Whatever.
  • Cereal Bar
  • Froot Loops (dry) - And she calls these "boop-a-loops" and I'm inclined to always give them to her because it's so cute when she asks for them.
  • Yogurt Raisins
  • "Toddler Trail Mix" - I put together yogurt bites, raisins, puffs, and dried fruit
  • Yogurt

Snacks: This kid loves snacks. I'm pretty sure she has a "dinner" that is just a mix of a bunch of snacks at least once a week.
  • Cheese crackers
  • Dry cereal (usually Froot Loops)
  • Goldfish
  • Popcorn (both the fluffy non-kernel kind, and the normal kind)
  • String Cheese
  • Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, peaches, pineapple, and mandarin oranges are typical)
  • Yogurt Raisins
  • Craisins
  • Pretzel Crisps with cream cheese
  • Colby Cheese slices
  • Yogurt
  • Yogurt bites
  • Pita with hummus
  • Applesauce
Lunch/Dinner: Her entree selection is limited, and part of that is because I don't have the time/patience/desire to actually cook. She'll survive.
  • PB&J Sandwich
  • Hot Dog
  • Three Cheese Pasta (bowties w/ tomato sauce & 3 cheeses)
  • Ravioli
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Grilled or Baked Chicken w/ dip (always gotta have a dip!)
  • Shrimp
  • Cheese Quesadilla w/ sour cream
  • Baby Food Veggie packs (because let's be real, I'm not cooking veggies regularly, and the kid needs some)  
  • Fish Sticks
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Sides - as for some of the items above, naturally, a side dish would be served as well. Her favorites are any type of pasta side or rice. Or french fries. Girl loves fries!
Drinks: She exclusively drinks water, 2% milk, and apple juice. And 95% of the time, we cut her apple juice to a 50/50 mix with water. She has taken a few sips of soda over the past year and has never liked it. And on super rare occasions when we have a chocolate malt, she takes a few sips. But otherwise, she's not interested. And we're not interested in serving anything else to her!

So, again, if you have any mind-shattering suggestions for things we can introduce, let us know! It still boggles my mind (but also makes me happy) that she doesn't like chicken nuggets.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bungalow Bliss

This summer marks my fifth year of living in The Bungalow.
Five years of loving it and hating it. Sometimes, simultaneously.
Along the way, Puff and I have undertaken a lot of major projects. Like a new roof....

And new kitchen countertops...
And that super NOT FUN time we had to get an entirely new HVAC system. (Read about that HERE)
We are literally bursting at the seams, but the housing market in our town is insane right now and we are basically priced out of moving up in our own neighborhood. And it's a neighborhood we don't want to leave. So we are contemplating options. Perhaps there is a major update coming in the next year or so? Time will tell. But for now, we're working on smaller things.
Like a new rug for Bimmer's room. So she doesn't accidentally fall out of bed and onto hardwood floors.
I went with a color that kinda works for now, but will definitely work in her "big girl room" that's coming
And finally new curtains that go with our new lighter paint color in the living room. Puff hates them and says they look like they're from a 70s motel. He can bite me.
I spruced up a bit on the deck too with a new welcome mat (the last one said "Leave" so this one is a big nicer) and my little flower box project. I bought two hanging plants, disassembled them, and put them in the window boxes. They worked fabulously! We also planted a hibiscus, since apparently there is a chronic disease spreading through knockout roses, which is what we really wanted.
The big mack daddy improvement, however, has been the super-duper exciting....
This pic is such life with a toddler - bath toys, little potty seat, and unrolled TP
Yup... we had to get a new toilet. I'm less than thrilled with the fact that back about 2 years ago, when I managed to flush the toilet paper holder thing down the drain, the plumber who put the toilet back somehow got a hairline crack in it. And it slowly seeped out and damaged some of our hardwood floors. Apparently life in general was just too insane for me to notice the growing dark spot on our wood floors. So, we upgraded to this puppy, and eventually when we do some home renovations, we may swap out that one piece of rotted wood. For now, it gives it character.
I can't wait to get around to finding the time/money for our next home improvement projects. The fact that we still haven't painted the master bedroom/office/laundry is still driving me bonkers!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sound Bite Sunday

It's been awhile since I did one of these posts, and this one is totally impromptu. It is brought to you by a past 9pm solo drive last night back from a girl's day with Kimhead in Columbia. In an effort to keep from passing out asleep at the wheel, I popped on my iPod, flipped it to my "Rock" playlist and started my jam session.
It didn't take me long to remember how much I really love to just drive. By myself. And listen to music as loud as I can and just rock.the.fuck.out. My playlist included mostly bands like Trapt, Shinedown, Default, Buckcherry, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ya know, the music Puff hates and won't let me listen to when he is in the car. I'm sure I looked like such a fool singing at the top of my lungs, radio as loud as I could stand it, gesturing like I'm a rock star on stage.
So, a few little ditties for you today as a snapshot into my alone time in a moving vehicle...
"Something in Your Mouth" - Nickelback - Not appropriate for work or those who are overly sensitive or easily offended. But this song totally makes me want to dance whenever I hear it. So much so, that I'm 99% sure I played it during our wedding reception. Keepin' it classy.
"45-acoustic" and "Simple Man" - Shinedown - I don't like covers for the most part, but this version of "Simple Man" is insane. Seriously, I know I pimp this band a lot when I do these random Sound Bites, but c'mon, are you listening to this guy's voice? Pure magic. Love!
AND... Um... Hello.... I have totally been living under a ROCK!!! How did I miss Smith & Myers?!?!? Apparently I'm not the only person madly in love with lead singer, Brent Smith's voice. He and the Shinedown guitarist released a digital album a few months ago of acoustic covers of songs. Dude -

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Family Fort

Every summer, I find myself getting jealous of people who pack up for an entire week at the beach in a house with their extended family. But then I realize that visiting family is stressful enough... there is NO WAY I am about to make vacationing with family a regular activity. So, twice a year, Puff and I pack up the SUV and hit the road for a 7+ hour drive to The Fort. It's not that I don't like seeing my family and friends, it's just that there is always so much to do when we are there! Nitpicky stuff like getting my hair colored, taking Bimmer's 2 year photos, and picking up stuff from my storage unit.
At what point would it be OK to just be like "Hey, family and friends. Why don't you come visit us for a change?" Because I'm sorta kinda tired of feeling obligated to make this trip.

Alas, at the end of June, we hit the road. The drive up was torture. It is normally about a 7 1/2 hour drive, but after accidents, construction, never-ending orange barrels, a semi-truck broken down in the fast lane, a check-engine light, and just overall congestion (on a Wednesday night, no less) it took us more than an hour extra. Ugh. At least part of the drive was pretty???
I will resist the urge to post a "we did this, followed by that" rundown that I am inclined to do sometimes. So let's just say it with some photos, shall we?
There was a little bit of this...
Swimming at Papaw's house
And some of this too...
Bimmer with her great-grandma
Then a lotta bit of this for my water baby...
At a local waterpark
And some of this...
Celebrating her cousin's 1st birthday
And somewhere in all of that, we hung out with my parents, I got my hair done, Bimmer and Puff had a daddy-daughter trip to a flower show, we took Bimmer's 2 year photos, and I actually found a few minutes to relax. Unfortunately, I was not able to get together with any of my friends this visit. I hated it, but there has just been so much going on in my life right now that I just couldn't begin to fathom how to squeeze in anything else into this visit. I just needed some time to breathe, and it sucks that time with them was the casualty of life this time. Here's hoping the next visit, that won't be the case.
The drive home was a lot more pleasant and while Bimmer was a rockstar in the car (as always) I am definitely thankful we don't have to do that drive again for awhile! Bimmer was super happy to get home to "Dee Dee's white house!"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Urgent, Urgent... Emergency!!!

For as long as I can remember, I heard the tidbit of info that you should never lift a baby/toddler by their hands, for risk of dislocating their arm. Well, turns out that isn't just an old wive's tale.


On a Wednesday night, before putting Bimmer to bed, I laid down on the living room floor to do my crunches/planks/leg raises. Bimmer normally lays next to me and does them with me, which is so stinkin' adorable. But on this particular night, she felt compelled to sit on top of me. Puff eventually pulled her up and she was NOT happy. So not happy that he was holding her hand to keep her from trying to climb back on top of me. Which lead to a twist, pull, and full-body slam on the floor... All while Puff was still holding her hand.
Of course she started to cry harder and wanted me to hold her. Puff started off with his "I hope you did hurt yourself" and "That's what you get for not listening" rant. Within about 10 seconds, I could tell something wasn't right. As Puff tried to turn on TV shows to watch, I was focusing on the baby. She was grabbing her right elbow and couldn't stop crying. I eventually was able to convince Puff that she was honestly hurt. I kept trying to stretch it out to see if that hurt worse. (It did.) And then was looking for swelling. Since I didn't know what else to do, I put ice on it. After about 10 minutes, we called her pediatrician, who immediately diagnosed her with "nursemaid's elbow." She assured us it was super common and easy to fix - but it would require a trip to the ER.
Ya know... the ER we had just been to on the Sunday night that had just passed. Like, 3 nights earlier.
That visit had been at 2am for a horrible cough that just didn't sound right and Bimmer not being able to catch her breath after each coughing fit. Turns out she had croup. A little shot of steroid remedied that issue. Thankfully I was then able to rest a bit easier. Ya know, as easy as you can rest when your child sounds like she is having trouble breathing.
Right... so back to Wednesday night. We saw a nurse who immediately agreed with our pediatrician's phone diagnosis, and then a resident, who had Bimmer stretch out her arm, twisted it a bit, and popped it right back into place. Bimmer jumped a bit and let out a bit of a shocked wail, but that was that. The doc made her use it immediately by picking up a remote control and then keys with it. Once she realized there wasn't any pain when she moved, she was back to normal.
I will give a nice big ol' shout out to our local ER. The hospital is only a few minutes from our house, but they have a separate pediatric waiting room (which is soooo nice once you see the characters that hang out at night in the ER waiting room) and both times, we were in and out and back home in under 90 minutes. That said, here's hoping we don't find ourselves back there again any time soon!

Monday, July 7, 2014

25 Month Update

Yup... I said I was going to do these monthly updates for one more year and I totally meant what I said! :)
* At her 2 year well-baby visit, she was a rockstar. She is 29 pounds, 4 ounces (which puts her at like the 85%) and she is 34 inches tall. She let them take her blood pressure and prick her finger like it was no big deal. She even didn't cry when they gave her a shot! The nurse was so surprised! Doc Hottie made a comment that Bimmer reminds him of someone closer to three with her development. He was asking if she said at least 20 words and I said she can probably name that many animals alone. She never speaks on cue, so I figured he would never hear her talk, but then she pointed to the bookshelf in his office and said "I want more books, Mommy." He said I definitely shouldn't worry about her speech and that it will just get clearer. However, her ears are still a problem. We will get an update in September, but we may be looking at another set of tubes and having her adenoids removed.
* I kinda want to video tape every single word that Bimmer says right now, because some of them aren't quite right and they're just the cutest thing ever. I mentioned a few last month, but here are a few more that I want to remember:
blueberries = boo-blees
strawberries = staw-bees
Froot Loops = boop-a-loops
napkin = why-kin (which I take as a mix of "wipe" and "napkin")
helicopter = hella-hopper
bicycle/motorcyle = bike-uhl
computer = pewter
bird = bobo (this one is going to be the hardest one for me to let go, because besides mama and dada, this was one of her first words)
* I've seen snippets of the two year old independence coming out. There have been plenty of "I do it, Mommy" moments. Or "I'm a big girl" with a stare that says, back the f**k off and let me do this myself. The time she most often wants to do this is going down stairs. Thankfully we only have a few off our deck, or else we would never get anywhere quickly!
* Recently, she has started saying our last name. She will call herself "Dee Dee XXXX" and then call me "Mommy XXXX." But my favorite is Puff... she calls him "Daddy XXX" but uses his first name. Every once and awhile she will say my first name, but typically she gets mad when we ask her to say my name and just calls me "Mommy." Now if we could just get her to actually say her first name. I guess that's what I get for giving her a mouthful of a first-middle name combo!
* Bimmer has started 2K. Yes, that's a thing. She is flourishing already and I love the progress she is making already in this class. She comes home talking about what they did at school that day, by way of colors and counting. She really likes her new teachers, and I greatly appreciate that her lead teacher is a guru in potty training! On her second day in that class, she both peed AND had a BM on the potty at school. Is it wrong for me to hope that they do the bulk of the potty training for me?
* In news of random milestones, she can now climb steps without any assistance (from me or a railing) and doesn't even have to bend over and use her hands to help. Such a big girl! Other miscellaneous things - She loves to count, but it is often "1,2,6." I think 6 is her favorite number. She also sings her ABCs and Rock-a-bye Baby. She likes to "ex-cise" with me and will do crunches, planks, and leg raises with me. And if you put on her running shorts, she says she is going to the gym.
* I can't remember if I've written about this before, but I just love when she wants you to pick her up and she says "Hold you, Mommy." So adorable!
* She is learning her shapes - triangle, square, circle, and rectangle. She is also doing better with her letters. She can pick out C,D,M,O,S, and Z. And she knows that "D" equals "Daddy" and "Z" equals "Zipper," for example. And she is working on different colors like black, white, brown, and silver.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Date Day

A few months back, Puff and I invited one of Bimmer's teachers over on a Sunday morning to babysit. We had grandiose plans of taking the BMW to the mountains, top down, just like good ol' times. Then THIS happened, and our day was totally shot. So, in early June, Puff and I thought we would try again.

We only had the babysitter for a limited time, so our plan of hiking to waterfalls got nixed in favor of a drive through the mountains, over Caesar's Head, and to Brevard, NC, for lunch at Rocky's Soda Shop.
I realized it had been almost a year since I had been out in the convertible like that... top down, wind in my hair, cruising on South Carolina's back roads, winding in the mountains, getting some sun, and enjoying time feeling free and young with my hubby.
I can't wait for us to get to do it again! Gotta keep the spice in the marriage somehow, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Baby Dos

With Bimmer now being just past the age of two, we are getting lots (and lots and lots) of questions and comments about a second baby.

I figured I'd enlighten you all at once.

We're not sure. No decision has been made 100%.

I know, right? Confusing stuff happening here.

For my entire life, I always wanted more than one child. I, myself, am an only child and I mostly hated it. I always wanted a sibling. Throughout high school, I was hell-bent on having six children. (To be named Brandt Andrew, Leslee Kristina, Troy Kenneth, Shane Wyatt, Antony Jaxon, and Kennedy Elizabeth - if you were wondering.) In college, it went down to three. And then once I met Puff, it went down to two. We were happy with the thought of two. It would be perfect for the family life we envisioned.

Then Bimmer was born.

And babies are a lot of work. So are toddlers. (And I suspect older kids just become difficult in different ways.) And they're time consuming. And we both have demanding jobs that don't allow us 9-5, M-F schedules. I work some nights. And some weekends. Oh yeah, and they're expensive too. Having two kids in daycare is the equivalent to almost having a second mortgage. All that means sacrifice - like less random orders from J.Crew and less extravagant vacations. Croatia would have to be put on hold. My quest for 10 more countries before 40 would definitely NOT happen.
So, am I weighing my options between travel and a second baby?
Mr. Smith told me that a trip brings temporary satisfaction, but a child brings a lifetime.
He's full of nuggets, isn't he?
Well... our goal is to make a decision by the end of the year. Do we try for a 2015 baby? Or do we book trips to Turks & Caicos, Newport, Rhode Island, and Hilton Head for 2015?
Do you have a preference? What helped you decide to stop at one or have more? Can you please just make this decision for us? Thanks.