Thursday, August 28, 2014

27 Month Update

* She has taken to occasionally calling us just "Mom" or "Dad." I don't like it. She's too little for that nonsense.
* She loves to climb on things these days and then JUMP! Like the bed, coffee table, stools, etc. Thankfully, she always jumps to one of us, but it scares the crap out of me. We're trying to have logical conversations with her about the possible injuries she could sustain. Hopefully it's sinking in.
* We are still taking a bottle to go to sleep at night. I had hoped to be done with that by now, but Puff and my work schedules have just been insane lately, so we haven't been wanting to lose any minutes of sleep. And taking that bottle away is going to make bedtime a lot less fun. One thing we have been able to do successfully is ween her off a full 8 ounces and down to just 4. It takes her awhile then to get comfy and situated and to fall asleep, but at least it's a positive step in the right direction. She has also been doing much better with her sleep and staying in her bed. She falls asleep with one of us, we move her to her bed, and most nights she stays there all night. Sometimes, if it's after 5am, we let her get in bed with us. But it seems to be working. For now.
* While some of her pronunciations of words are getting more clear, I love the words she doesn't use quite right. If she wants her window down in the car, she asks for her "window back." If her bug bites are itching her, she says she is "scratchy." She doesn't want to get under or beneath blankets, she wants to get "uh-hind" them. And if she does something backwards, like puts her shoe on the wrong foot, she says it's "on the back way." And if she wants me to open the patio umbrella, she asks me to "turn it on."
* Girl has discovered Ranch dressing. Or "white sauce" as she calls it. Obsessed.
* We have mastered red = stop, green = go, and yellow = slooooooow. Makes driving with her a heck of a lot more, um, narrative. She also is very into elaborate descriptions of things. If something is small, it is always "little, tiny" and if it is large, it is always "big, heavy." And she always says that in the deepest voice she can muster up!
* When she gives us a hug, she grunts.
* One night, she walked into the living room while Puff was watching a car show. She looked at the TV and said, "That's a Mini Cooper, Daddy!" And she was right!!! Soon enough, this girl will be able to recite every make and model there is! She has been doing great for awhile knowing car/truck/ambulance/fire truck/bus. She knows what a "vertible" is and a "Jeep." Although a lot of times, she uses that term for golf carts. Close enough.
* She had her first dentist visit this month. I was super nervous, but she was a typical rockstar. She let the dentist do an exam and scrape off some calcium build-up like it was nothing. We got back in 6 months for her first cleaning.
* When it boils down to it, I just love that kid more and more every single day. Since she was about 18 months old, have been my most favorite days ever. If I could keep a toddler forever, I very well just might. Each and every day, no matter how much she tests my patience sometimes, I cannot wait to get home from work to hang out with her. I love snuggling up with her every night before bed, and sometimes napping together on the weekend. I like taking her out to the store with me, out to eat, and just hanging out reading books or playing in the yard. She's the most amazing little person I have ever known. I am blessed beyond words that I get to be her best bud.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Picnic Perfect

Back at Bimmer's birthday, my parents not only gifted her with the amazingly awesome water table...
They also got her a picnic table. We were unsure about the whole thing, since it was big and we don't have that large of a deck... where would we put it? Would she even use it? But it was super nice and we knew that eventually, Bimmer would get some use from it. So we busted it out one slow weekend (what are those???) and got to work. Except then we realized the top was broken! Oh no!
But the awesome people at KidKraft, who made the table, included this awesome handy-dandy sheet that was all like "Missing a piece? Call us!" So I called them. On a Tuesday. And with no real questions asked, I had a new table top on my front door step before the end of the week. Um... hello amazingly awesome customer service that I wasn't sure existed anymore!!!
Thanks to them, Bimmer's birthday gift was salvaged, and even though it took us two months to find time to get it all put together and in use, it was well worth the wait. And Bimmer will definitely have many more summers to enjoy it!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Laugh It Off

I've written about it before, but Asheville's Laugh Your Asheville Off Festival is one of our favorite things ever. And it's one of my most favorite date nights I get to take with Puff. (Read about last year's jaunt, HERE) While getting there was super rushed this year, thanks to work schedules, we made it with ten minutes to spare!
And Bimmer hardly noticed we were gone! My assistant, Coco, came over to watch her and came equipped with bracelets, wands, rings, and all kinds of other goodies! I am pretty sure it was the most epic babysitting job ever if you asked Bimmer.

That made it so much easier for Puff and I to enjoy our evening out! While this wasn't the best year for the comedians, it was still awesome to have a date night. Add to it that we had the night out to ourselves, but we also were in one of our favorite towns (seriously - we love Asheville like crazy) and we got to ride the whole way home with the convertible top down.
And Puff was pretty excited that I decided to "sex it up" a little with my new super short (didn't realize they were so short til I was wearing them out in public for the first time!) Lilly Pulitzer shorts and my wedges.
Now if we could just teach Puff to take a better photo. Eh.... we'll just blame it on him being excited to be out on the town with his trophy wife! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

No Child Left Behind

As you are fully aware, I love to travel. While Puff and I are unsure about adding another baby to our brood, we are definitely still tentatively planning 2015 trips in case that second baby doesn't ever materialize. (I always say I'm not happy without a trip on the books!) So I was having a discussion one day with a co-worker about how I would love to go to the Turks & Caicos in the spring. After describing to her where that is, she asked me who would watch Bimmer while we were gone.
You should have seen her face when I told her we would take Bimmer with us. (In fact, the only reason we even picked that destination was because of her and her love of a beach!)
"WHY?!?!?!" My co-worker's face scrunched in the type of disgust I reserve only for those terrifying moments when I find out someone is a Packers fan.
Um.... why NOT?
There are lots of things about my life before Bimmer that I miss. The time with Puff is a big one. However, the times that I miss are those quiet moments snuggling on the couch watching TV, sleeping in late on a Sunday morning, going on a spontaneous dinner date on a Tuesday, or long drives in the convertible in the mountains. Yes, I miss the travel. I miss it a lot. I haven't been to Europe in 3 years and that seems like an eternity to me! But not for one second do I wish I could travel without Bimmer. While our destinations have changed, that's a temporary setback. If we didn't have her, we probably would have been to Croatia and Slovenia already. But we'll get there eventually... just a few years later.
I was blessed enough to be able to travel a lot as a child growing up. It started out with just a week-long vacation each summer, typically to someplace in Florida. But as I got older, we would sometimes do six or seven trips a year. Not always huge ones, but maybe a long weekend in San Francisco or Boston. When Puff and I got pregnant, we knew that we would continue to travel with Bimmer. It was never even a discussion of what we would do with her when we went on a trip. We have talked about a 10 year anniversary trip to New Zealand since even before we were married. And yes, we will 100% take Bimmer with us on that trip. No questions asked. I couldn't fathom NOT taking her!
Yes, Puff and I are discussing a 3 day weekend trip to Newport, Rhode Island, or Martha's Vineyard next year for our 5 year wedding anniversary, without Bimmer. But I think those type of things will be few and far between. There will never be a week in Europe without her. Not until she is old enough to tell us she doesn't want to join us. Although, if she is anything like me and Puff, there won't ever be a trip she will turn down. At least I hope not.
Puff and I want to show our baby the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Out & About

The industry I work in can sometimes run you ragged. There are definitely many days that a lot of us work well more than 8 hours. And there are lots of days when we hate people in other departments. So in an effort to build some community between some of the departments that get left out sometimes (so, basically, not the sales people... lol) my boss and the director of the other departments banded together and sent us an invite to have a day off work to spend a few hours bonding.
And not the kumbayah kind of crap either. No trust falls or sharing your feelings in a circle.
We were slated to play some tag football and then have lunch with alcohol included. Yup - definitely my kind of team-building! However, all the excitement went to a screeching halt when we got up that day to find it pouring rain! (Seriously - in a mostly dry summer, why that day of all days?!?)
So we switched it up - and headed bowling!

Yes... that's us bowling between people's legs. We're all kinds of crazy around here! We played one round normally, then bowled a round of "tricks" and then headed downtown for some lunch and cold beverages. I really, genuinely like the group of people who were out with me that day. It's so nice to throw on some normal clothes and hang out without the bosses looming over us.
Without going into too much detail on here, morale at work has been at an all-time low lately. There are some new people who are just literally draining all the fun (and incentives and community) straight out of each of us. I actually got on and looked at job postings a few times lately. Others are doing the same. We have a great team who enjoy what we do, but not at the loss of time with our family and friends. Not at the loss of recognition and advancement. Not at the cost of losing our souls... because it has become soul-sucking some days.
Puff and I are unsure about a lot of big picture things right now - moving vs. remodeling, having a second baby, etc. So the timing is pretty crappy for me to have to be looking for another job. So, we'll see how it goes. For now, I'm sucking it up, and holding on hope that things will take an upswing. And fast! I'll just hang on to the memories of little things (like this outing) and know that I'm not alone. I've got an awesome team.
We're all rockstars.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mommy & Me

July was bonkers for me at work. Puff too. Thankfully, we were able to get through it, although we found ourselves basically alternating nights that we had to work late. At one point, I worked 11 or 12 days straight! So when I was able to sneak in a mommy-daughter date night out with Bimmer, I jumped on it. It was my favorite date night we've had yet! She is at the point where you can have a conversation with her. I let her sit in a booth by herself, like a "big girl" instead of a high chair. She asked the people at the counter for a "cheese sammich" and when we were leaving, she asked for "a big box!" My sweet little girl is growing up too darn fast!

I can't wait for more special times like this with her!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

All Aboard!

There is absolutely nothing that makes me happier than seeing Bimmer smile. (Remember when I got super psyched about taking her to a Disney Junior Live event a few months back?) So when I stumbled across a special trip the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad was doing based on one of her favorite shows, Dinosaur Train, I couldn't buy tickets fast enough! Thankfully I found it in time... we got tickets for the last weekend they were doing it!
Bryson City, NC, is a several hour drive from the house, but I was so pumped (and trying to pump Bimmer up) that it didn't matter! The weather gods were also on our side that day - before we left the house, they were calling for 100% chance of rain! But thankfully, the only drops we saw were literally when we were pulling back into the depot at the end of the day!
Bimmer was so pumped up! We boarded early (which wasn't our wisest move ever) but when the train started to move, ohmigod, you would have thought I just gifted her with 20 pink ponies!
The train ride itself was pretty anti-climatic for me and Puff. I think the train ride they normally do in the fall to see the leaves is a lot longer and on a prettier route, so maybe we'll do that in a few years. But Bimmer loved it... she was pointing out the trees and the "ocean" (aka a river) and she was soooo excited when we crossed a bridge and everytime they would beep the horn, she would put her hand up to her mouth and giggle.

The Dinosaur Train that we did stopped at an area they had all set up with special events for the kids. Buddy the T-Rex from the show was outside waving to everyone as the train pulled up. Bimmer loved the bouncy castle and slide, the temporary "tat-toe" she got on her hand, and digging for "fossils."
She wasn't too keen on the whole meeting Buddy thing at first.
Although, thankfully, later she decided that if we held her, it was totally OK.
All told, it was such a fun family day. She was telling me later that Buddy is a T-Rex and that Tiny (who is a pteranadon) flies and eats fish. She would yell "All aboard!" and "Time Tunnel!" on the train too. I love that she is learning so much from that show, loves it so much, and that we were able to give her this real life Dinosaur Train experience.
And I would be slacking in my blogging duties if I didn't mention how cute the city of Bryson City, NC, is! We wished we weren't so tired and had had more time to explore the town and surrounding waterfalls. And I must give a shout out to La Dolce Vita Bakery, which was just across from the depot. We scored delicious homemade bagels before the ride, and stopped for homemade gelato (the strawberry cheesecake was fab) after the trip, and then took home some amazing cupcakes - guava with mango for Puff, and banana salted caramel for me!
So blessed that Bimmer was able to "ride, ride, ride, ride, ride.... the Dinosaur Train!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Favorite Place... Ever

If you're a long-time reader, then you know of my insane infatuation with the amazing country of New Zealand.

Image via Google (Just search "most awesome place on earth")

Well, Kimhead shared a new blog with me and I was hooked from the get-go. It made me miss this place. Oh, how I miss it!

You need to read this entry, titled "10 Things Kiwis Do Better."

This entry hooked me from the start with this line....
Sometimes I realize when I am talking about New Zealand, I sound EXACTLY like a teenage girl in love. Well, let’s be honest here, I pretty much am. Swoon!

Um... that is EXACTLY how I feel about this country!! Even though it has been 9 years since I was there. Boo! (And another 6 more until Puff and I are scheduled to go back!)

If you need me, I'll be over here drooling over the entries on this blog and wishing I had had more foresight in my early 20s to just throw caution to the wind and do more traveling than I did. And I wasn't exactly sitting still. And, of course, swooning over the love of my youth that I miss so much. Oh, New Zealand... you have my heart!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Family Photos

At the end of June, during our trip to The Fort (read about that visit HERE) one of the things on our agenda was to see our favorite photog to have Bimmer's 2 year photos done! I had picked out our color scheme at least 6 months in advance and went on her suggestion of location. Everything turned out awesome - as usual! Here are some of our faves from our little shoot. And yes, I am already working on what we will wear for her 3 year pics!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Where to Next?

I feel like this blog has become the Bimmer Show. And I mean, c'mon, she's pretty darn cute. However, when I started this blog, one of my main goals was to discuss travel. I love it... it's in my soul. I don't feel whole without a trip on the books. I have been to so many places and have had such amazing experiences and I want to share those with you! I'm anxiously awaiting the green-light currently from Puff to start booking our 2015 trips. We're looking at small visits to see family in Atlanta, The Fort, and the Great White North. Maybe a few weekend getaways to Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head. And then an anniversary trip to Newport, Rhode Island, and a family vacay to the Turks & Caicos. (Fingers crossed!!!)

So, today, I am making a proclamation that this blog will swing back that direction more frequently. I am hoping to do a series of some smaller trips I've done with some tidbits on cities like Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Savannah, Atlanta, etc. Places that may not be super glamorous, but where I've found fun. And with that, I'm just going to leave you with a handful of photos from places I've been in the past ten years. Or since whenever digital photography became the norm. (I promise, one day I'll find time to scan old photos!)

Where is your dream destination?
Houmas House, Baton Rouge, LA


Cahersiveen, Ireland

New York City

Miami, FL

Tallinn, Estonia <3

St. Petersburg, Russia

Rome, Italy (This pic was taken with FILM and then scanned... ha ha ha)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bimmer Babbles

My sweet little Bimmer is getting to be quite the comedian these days. Or, I'm just her mom and everything she says is adorable and sweet. I won't make this a super regular habit, but I had to post a few of my favorite quips lately...
In my car, driving to school...
Bimmer: I go in Daddy's vertible!!!!! ::tears::
Mommy: Honey, you can't fit in Daddy's vertible. You're in Mommy's car. Do you want your window back?
Bimmer: Yay! My window back!!! ::giggles::
Bimmer: Mommy window back?
Roll my window down
Bimmer: ::giggles:: Mommy, this fun!

Mommy: Bimmer, did you go poop?
Bimmer: No.
Mommy: Are you lying?
Bimmer: No, Mommy. I'm a tiger!

While trying to get her dressed one morning:
Bimmer: NO LIKE THIS SHIRRRRRRRT!!!! ::epic tantrum::
I fight and put the shirt on her. Twenty minutes later while getting into car:
Bimmer: Mommy!!! ::huge smiles:: This a pretty shirt!
Mommy: ::in my head:: You are such a bitch.
She was climbing on my lap, so I started to tickle her and she rolled over on to her stomach. I was smacking her little hiney:
Bimmer: ::giggles:: No hiney!
Mommy: You're my punkin-butt. I'm gonna get that punkin-butt.
Bimmer: No punkin-butt, Mommy!
Mommy: No punkin-butt? Then what?
Bimmer: Um... stinky butt!
She came in from outside getting the mail. She had a AAA travel magazine in her hand.
Bimmer: ::studying the front cover of the magazine::
Bimmer: ::handing me the magazine:: I go on uh-cation.

Walking into Target for the 40,000th time in her short life...
Bimmer: No like this Target.
Mommy: What? You love Target.
Bimmer: No like this red Target. Go to blue Target.
Mommy: Where do you live?
Bimmer: The White House.
Mommy: Do you live with the President?
Bimmer: No, Mommy Daddy!!!
Mommy: Do you know who the president is?
Bimmer: Pete.
Mommy: How do you know that?
Bimmer: Brady read book my class.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pick 'em For Sure

"We hope that you'll forgive us, for the blunder that we made. We snuck in some extra goodies - So our apologies may be conveyed."
I have to step back and take a second in my little smidgen of the InterGoogle to give a big ol' shout out to this company. I have done a post before with them (back when I was doing my favorites of the month) and I have to pluck them out again and shout it from the rooftops how amazing they are!
I have ordered numerous things from their little daily sales - everything from scarves to necklaces to washi tape. My first customer service experience came with them a few months back. I had ordered two rolls of washi tape (for a whopping bill of less than $5) and when they shipped, I got TWO shipping notifications. Turns out something had gliched on their end and they sent me two packages. I reached out, not wanting to get charged for the second package. Within an hour.... AN HOUR... I had a personalized email back from them saying it was their mistake and not to worry about sending it back! I emailed them right back - had to be a fluke, there wasn't someone actually answering their emails, was there?
Yup. I wrote back and thanked them for their professionalism and awesome customer service and they wrote me right back and thanked me for my continued support of their company and thanked me for saying I would spread good word of mouth!
An. Actual. Person.
OK - cue a few weeks ago. I was super giddy to order an address stamp for my co-worker as an engagement gift. It came, I took it into work, assembled it, and stamped it on a piece of paper to leave as a surprise on her desk. That's when I noticed her fiancĂ©'s name was spelled "Gergory" instead of "Gregory." My heart sank. Had I not reviewed the order 9230493 times before I pushed send??? Turns out, I had. The mistake was on their end. I went ahead and showed it to my assistant, so she would at least know I had tried to get her a sweet gift. I told her I would email the company, but since they only ran sales for a limited time, I wasn't sure I could remedy it.
But not only did Pick Your Plum remedy it - they exceeded my wildest expectations. They answered my email within 25 minutes, apologized, and said they would be able to send me a replacement, personalized, stamp within the week. And you know what? They did. And it came with a card that said that line at the start of this entry... with a small pack of cards for scrapbooking. It was just something so minor - that probably cost them only a few cents and some time - but it had me screaming their name and telling their story and showing that card to anyone who would listen. And now I'm here writing about it.
I work in an industry that occasionally has to appease the general masses of the public. And I know how poorly our customer service can be sometimes. It's heartbreaking to think about it, when something so small, will gain so much ground with someone... to ensure they are a repeat customer. So - go place your order! Now! Stat! I'm sure there is an adorable and awesome deal just waiting for you!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sexy Mom Continues

Alrighty - here is my updated post on "Summer of Sexy Mom" so you can keep me accountable for my public appearance. In general, I feel like I have been doing pretty well. I have also been doing a ton of shopping lately. (More on that in a minute!)
For now, here are a few outfits I've worn recently that I am not ashamed of!
Finally upgraded to a new cover-up from J.Crew

As for the shopping... J.Crew has been my latest weakness. And their July 4th sales just had me flinging my credit card around left and right! A few of my spoils...

I successfully avoided placing these in my basket, although I desperately wanted to...

I have also accepted that while my preference of style is now deemed "Southern Prep" that must include a little bit of Lilly Pulitzer. I already have a few pieces, but July led me to add this new fave to my world...
I love me a good planner, and while the rest of the blogosphere (and several of my friends) are going ga-ga over Erin Condren, it's just not for me. Nope, I'm a Lilly girl! #summerinlilly
I also couldn't resist these babies...
What's funny is that Puff bought blue seersucker shorts from J.Crew the same day I bought these! Hey - great minds think alike!
Now if I can only get my mind off that Vineyard Vines dress I saw at Belk that I was madly in love with, only to find they didn't have my size, and it's not available on the internet anywhere. Boo hoo!