Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat

I can't even believe this is already Bimmer's THIRD Halloween!!!

Ever since I knew I was having a daughter, I wanted to make sure there was a Halloween costume of a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Yes, I initially intended white booty shorts, blue leotard, vest, etc. But searches for toddler-sized costumes that actually looked like the real thing came up empty.
Not what I was looking for.
Since I figure this was the last Halloween I would have full input on the costume, Puff and I went a little bit of a different route with her outfit, but it was no less cute. Um... did you notice the REAL cowboy boots that Puff insisted she get?

When my parents were visiting, we were already in Greenville for a car show, so we bought tickets for the Boo in the Zoo. It was a great age appropriate event for Bimmer. It was her first real time getting to trick or treat! And yes, my OCD daughter took out her candy one by one when we got home... and even matched up like-type candy.
We also took Bimmer to a trunk or treat at her preschool and a trick or treat event at my office. Due to my work schedule, we missed out on a few Halloween themed events we would have liked to attend, but we'll just pencil them in for next year. (And we are still unsure of our actual Halloween evening plans - since our neighborhood isn't really trick-or-treat central.)
Speaking of next year... is it too early to start brain-washing her into a costume idea?
(And since I just discovered photo collages, here is one of her from the last 3 years of pumpkin picking!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29 Month Update

* We are now 100% finished with the bottle!!! (More on that process in its own post.)
* Bimmer has always liked pillows (random, right?) but it's on overdrive right now. One of her near nightly activities now is to make a "pillow house." This basically involves us barricading her against the headboard on the bed surrounded by all of the pillows. She loves it. Sometimes she calls it her "castle" and we have to get out her toy T-Rex to be the "dragon" or we have to pretend to be the big bad wolf and try to blow her house down. My favorite is when she requests for me to build a pillow house with windows. Still haven't wrapped my brain around that feat of engineering yet.
* She continues to be super polite - even more so than I actually need her to be. Does that make me a horrible mom? Ya see - I don't like to be called "ma'am." I just hate it. I understand that it's a southern thing I just need to accept (and I do say it in business) but I just don't need my child telling me "Yes ma'am." But I don't want to break her of it either so that she does still say it to other people. I suppose it's better than the opposite... although she does sometimes now at restaurants ask the waitress, "You go get my drink now?" or "You bring me my food?" Thankfully, she always poses it like a question or else she would sound super rude!
* With it being fall, she is now always talking about "the football game" or saying "Go Gamecocks!" Last year, whenever she saw anything associated with Halloween, she would say "Boo!" Which was super adorable, of course. This year, my favorite is that she pronounces pumpkin like "punk-man." Yes, I am encouraging it and not correcting her. Why would you correct that?
* On the same note as her being too polite, sometimes she apologizes too often for things she doesn't need to tell me she is sorry about. However, once again, is this really a habit I want to break? Probably not. She is mostly very agreeable these days when you ask her if she wants to do something and she'll scream "OK! Let's do that!" She has also started saying "you guys" or "us guys" as a generalization of multiple people. I am totally OK with this - because it's better than her saying "y'all."
* We had a follow-up ENT appointment this month to re-evaluate if she needed a second round of tubes. The verdict? No! For now anyway. She has only had one infection in the past 7+ months and she had no fluid at all this last visit, so that's a step in the right direction. She was 35 1/2 inches tall and 31.5 pounds. I feel like she hasn't gained too much weight since the last time she was weighed, so that's good. Now if she would just start to rid herself a little bit of her belly. Unfortunately, her mommy and Papaw have that same belly - so she is probably destined to keep it. I hate that for her.
* Her speech seems to be improving every single day. She speaks in mostly coherent sentences. Sometimes her brain is working faster than her mouth, so she stutters on some words, but nothing major. I'm not worried about it at this point. She knows all of her ABCs and is able to recognize a lot of them too if you ask her to find the "C" or the "S." She knows a few on immediate recognition as well. She is also now starting to know the sounds the letters make. If you ask her what an "S" says she will say "sssssss" or a "J" makes a "juh-juh" sound.
* A few of my favorite things she is saying these days are "muddle" (instead of puddle) and "good end" (instead of the end) at the end of a book!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Photo Time

I worked an ungodly number of hours last week, so I took today off to recover. Bimmer is at daycare, Puff is at work. "Snapped" is on the TV, laundry is in the dryer, and I have put off a shower and real clothes until sometime later today. In honor of my laziness today, here is a little photo dump of the last few weeks.

After her school trunk or treat, she realized she was one of the few girls not dressed as a princess. So Puff and I had to improvise when she got upset that she didn't have a princess dress. (Don't worry, I ordered a Disney princess dress the next day to gift her at Xmas!)

During a split shift at work, I rested at home while Bimmer played

After Puff took the above photo of me, someone had to do the same as Mommy

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Big Girl Bedtime

In a recent discussion with some friends, they labeled me the "creepy" mom since I like to still lay with Bimmer as she falls asleep and snuggle her.
I can't help it - she's the cutest and snuggliest thing around. Puff is a laughable second option.
As my long-time readers are well aware, we became unintentional co-sleepers pretty early on, and then had some difficulties with the transition to her crib. I wrote earlier this summer about moving her to her big girl bed. (HERE) It became apparent in September that Bimmer was ready for a change in her bedtime routine. For a few months, I had been laying with her while she took a bottle and then I stayed with her until she fell asleep - often falling asleep with her myself. Then, I would move her to her bed whenever I woke up (usually around midnight). It was working, but it was getting more and more difficult for us to get Bimmer to fall asleep.
There were lots of nights of laying with her, trying not to laugh, as she would put her face right in front of mine and giggle. Or tell me "Daddy's stinky. You need get up and go wash him." Oh - that kid.
That's the last photo I have of Bimmer with her bottle. I always thought she looked so sweet holding it, but I knew the end was nearing. We were slowly throwing them away as they got yucky and we were pumping up the idea of a "big girl cup" as much as we could. Finally, after coming back from our trip to Hilton Head (HERE) we made the call to get rid of the bottle for good. We took her to Toys R Us, let her pick whichever sippy cups she wanted, called them her "Night, Night Cups" and that was it. I had hoped she would want one more night of snuggles with her bottle, but she wanted her new cups. And that was that - she never once asked again for a bottle. (In our defense, she had been off a bottle during the day since she was one, and off a morning bottle since about 18 months. That nighttime bottle was more of a selfish vice for me - it was a few minutes of sweet, snuggle time!)
Now we are working on the bedtime routine. In early October, I noticed that if I left the room after she had her milk, she was content to let herself fall asleep. And it was a lot quicker than if I stayed in there with her. It also afforded me and Puff some much-needed time together - to talk or watch TV. That adult time had been sorely missing since she was born, and it was nice to finally figure out a way to get it back.
We are still moving her from the full-sized bed in her room to her bed when one of us want to go to sleep (since we still don't like sharing a but I am contemplating the timing of just letting her stay in that bed. My hold up on making that transition? (Which would be a super easy transition for her - and much preferred probably.) I don't want to have to go back to sharing a bed with Puff.
So, for now, it is working. No more bottles. No more fights at bedtime.
My sweet girl is growing up. Pretty soon, she will just put herself to bed all together and she won't need that sippy of milk and snuggles from Mommy.
Nope... can't even think about it. Not ready for that.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Falling for You

Sometime in late summer, we realized that it had been way too long since Kimhead had seen Bimmer. So when she mentioned that she was available the second weekend in October, and wanted to go to her "favorite October festival in South Carolina," we decided to join her!
Fall for Greenville is a festival in downtown Greenville that we have been to before a time or two over the years. It is really a lot of fun, although it gets super crowded! They shut down Main Street and about 40 restaurants in town set up food booths. There's a beer garden area, 3 or 4 stages of music, a kid's area with rides. I was hesitant to go with Bimmer (since we hadn't been since she was born) but it turned out to be just fine.
The key was to get there early! We went right when they opened on Saturday morning and it worked out perfectly. We got tickets (which you use to buy the food) before there was any line and then took our time shopping in the local stores (downtown Greenville is so adorable) and then stopping for food whenever we saw something that looked yummy. Since I'm a picky eater, I knew it wouldn't be much that I would eat. I ended up getting things that I could share with Bimmer, so we had some shrimp hibachi from Mimi's Japanese Steakhouse, mac & cheese from Larkin's, and a salted caramel chocolate cupcake from The Chocolate Moose. Puff raved about his food from a Malaysian restaurant called Yap, and Kimhead was all about some BBQ from Smoke on the Water.
All told, it was a great day. We spent a few hours there, and that was enough. It was getting warm and Bimmer was ready to hit the road for a nap. I love that we have such a sweet little girl who is willing to just go with the flow and hang out with friends and let us introduce her to fun things like this!
P.S. Don't worry - lots more fall festival updates to come!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pack 'er Up

Over the years, I have come up with a pretty good system on how to pack for a trip.
Yeah... she's SUCH a help. ::shaking head::
So, I know this isn't groundbreaking stuff here, but I felt like sharing. My key to packing?
A list.
You can go ahead and wipe the surprise off your face. I know it's fake. I know you fully expected me to say that. I love me a good list.
Since I have to pack for Bimmer as well as myself, I now make two lists.

Are you as in awe of my handwriting as you should be?
You would think by now that I would have a template saved that I could just alter based on the location/duration, but I haven't. I just still do it off the top of my head. I like to make the list at least 2 weeks in advance, so that way I can make sure I don't wear anything I want to pack in that time, and it gives me time to do laundry/iron. And yes, if it's a big trip, I like to pack a week in advance. How do I do that?
Well, a few things help... having too many clothes is a start. Ha! But I also keep a toiletry bag fully stocked always (so I don't have to remember stuff from my normal routine) and since I need a fan to sleep, I keep a small one just for travel. I also keep things in our suitcase so I don't have to remember to pack them - like a pillow case/dirty laundry bag or copies of our passports. (And if you're questioning why I have "dish soap" on Bimmer's list, it's because we may need to wash bottles/sippy cups in the hotel! I just keep some stocked in a travel shampoo container.)
Puff makes fun of my lists, but I've never found myself out of town with no clean underwear. So who's laughing now?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Guest Post Alert

I'm guest posting over on The Converted Southerner today about my love of the monogram.

Check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What I'm Wearing Workdays

The change of seasons is upon us, so I've been packing away some of the more summery outfits I've been wearing and transitioning into some more fall-ish type clothes. Although, let's be real, I wear the same dress pants to work year-round and I can wear short sleeves easily into November. Alas, I thought I would share a few of the outfits I wore to wrap up the summer! Note that I am madly in love with my new J.Crew gingham oxford and cannot wait to layer it under some sweaters this winter. Not that I like sweaters, but ya know - if you have to wear a sweater, might as well make it cute!

Top: The Limited
Pants: Banana Republic
Shoes: Target

Top: Banana Republic
Pants: The Limited

Top: J.Crew
Pants: Banana Republic

Top: Local boutique
Pants: Banana Republic
Necklace: Local boutique
Shoes: Target

Dress: Local boutique
Sweater: Gap
Boots: Nine West

Dress: LOFT
Camisole: Old Navy
Shoes: Target
Dress: Escapada (from a boutique in the Charleston market)
Boots: Old
And I finally bit the bullet and bought some booties. These Toms were the first pair I had eyed and then after looking for several months, I went back to Nordstrom and ordered them. They weren't cheap, but I was prepared to spend a little bit if money on something I really wanted. Here's hoping I find some occasions to wear them out this fall!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I don't often post Throwback Thursdays on Facebook or Instagram. So I most definitely haven't done one here on the blog. But I hear so often that Bimmer looks like a "mini-me" that I thought maybe I'd try to find some photos of me and some photos of Bimmer around the same age. I'm totally guessing how old I am in most of these pics, but I figure it's a pretty educated guess. I wish I would have had time to search for photos where we are making the same face, etc. But let's face it, this blog is slipping lately due to life, so you gotta just take what you can get. My apologies.
So, a few side by side (or above and below) photos of Baby Gail vs. Baby Bimmer.






Monday, October 13, 2014

Man Candy Monday

It has been way too long since the last Man Candy Monday post. So, a little montage of hotness for you today...

Now... a little side note about "man candy." I was recently talking with some co-workers and made a comment about the lack of man candy at our office. (There are a few decent guys, but nobody crazy worth crushing over.) One girl, who doesn't hang around me too terribly often, looked at me in shock. "Gail!!! You're married!!!"
Yeah? So?
C'mon... just because I'm married doesn't mean I can't appreciate a fine piece o' ass every once and awhile.
Calm down.
But really... Puff goes to Hooters and other similar places and I don't care. Sometimes when we're out together, I even point out how girls to him. Looking doesn't bother me. And as far as I know, it doesn't bother him either. He will even sometimes agree with me when I say that a guy we notice is attractive. (Like the guy who used to work at our local J.Crew whom we both thought was super hot!)
I understand our outlook doesn't work for everyone. (My step-mom, for example, is most definitely NOT OK with my dad checking out other women.) But I kinda think it's unnatural to never look at another person in that way ever again just because you're married. In fact, I think it's probably impossible.
That co-worker did tell me it was OK to have celebrity man candy though. At least she has exceptions to her rules :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sound Bite Sunday

It's been awhile since I've done a Sound Bite for ya.

My Ipod has decided to become super OCD and if I skip a song on shuffle, it automatically reverts back to playing the songs in ABC order. It's fine, most of the time. So one recent day, it skipped me over to the "All" songs and landed on one of my favorite Lifehouse songs, "All In."

I forgot how much I love them. And how they need to come out with some new music, stat, because I wasn't sold on their last album.


There's just no good music out these days, so I cling to the few modern bands that put out solid music. Lifehouse has been one of my faves for the last 14 years. I even walked down the aisle at my wedding to a Lifehouse song. Yup... two thumbs up. Even if they don't hit the mark 100% of the time, their percentage is pretty darn close.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Punkman Patch

I love fall.

Not the crazy mommy-blogger kind of fall loving, but ya know, the normal people who are excited to wear jeans and a hoodie every once and awhile kind.

So this fall, I wanted to make sure we took Bimmer out to do something stereotypical that involved hayrides and pumpkins (or "punk-mans" in Bimmer babble). I knew of a place in Georgia, but we found a place near Clemson, SC, that fit the bill - Denver Downs Farm. Their big claim to fame was the insane corn maze (which we skipped with a toddler) but their list of other activities was so vast, we knew we couldn't resist!

Seriously - the above pics are just a few of the things that Bimmer was able to do. They had animals, a zipline (that sadly, she was too small for) and a huge barn full of hay to jump and swing into. We picked the perfect day - early enough in the season to not be overwhelmingly crowded and the weather was in the 60s! Even if it was a bit windy, that just gave Bimmer time to practice her model poses.
It was probably a little too early to buy pumpkins, but we had promised Bimmer a trip to the pumpkin patch, so we couldn't dare leave without one. Sweet girl had such a fun time running around and trying to find the best ones. She loved that they had some that were "Bimmer sized."

At the end of the day, Puff got on my case about not enjoying the day enough and being too worried about taking photos. It all stemmed from me asking him to stop pushing her on a horse swing for a second so I could snap a pic and he never would bring her to a complete stop, so I never got a pic. He may not believe me, but I make a conscious effort to put the camera down and just enjoy the time. But on the flip side, I want to capture these memories. I would never want to have had an awesomely amazing day with my little girl like this and not have something to remember it by. The minute I feel like Bimmer is bothered by my photo-taking, I stop. But had I stopped taking pictures completely while we were walking to pay, I never would have caught this sweet moment...
I just happened to still have the camera out, and it took a split second for me to snap this before talking to Bimmer about how much she loved her pumpkin. And that's why I take photos. Because I want to be able to remember my little girl, loving on her "punk-man" forever.