Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

It is almost 11:30am on Black Friday and I am totally still in my pajamas lounging on the couch, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, and watching "Snapped." Because, why not, right? Puff and Bimmer are out entertaining my horrible MIL, so I'm content to stay right here for as long as possible to avoid her. (Oh, family drama is always so fun, right?)

Let's focus on the good stuff...

Like this sweet girl. Does she not look so grown up? Sheesh! And that shirt she's wearing? It was totally my dress when I was her age. Apparently she's either taller than I am, or I wore it at a younger age. It had a horrible apron over top of it, but I nixed that and thought she looked just adorable wearing it with her jeggings and Sperrys.

Due to my goofy work schedule (I work tomorrow) I didn't feel like making our normal trip down to Atlanta to visit the MIL. (Plus, she's a bitch - so let's face it, the less time with her, the better.) I also knew she would want to try to make us go Black Friday shopping. And that is not a good idea with a 2 1/2 year old. I would have pulled my hair out. So after some a lot of bickering on her end, she agreed to come to us. So we made lunch reservations at a nice restaurant, watched the Macy's Day Parade, took a 3 hour nap, and scrounged around for dinner, since none of us thought that part of the day through.
All told, it was just kind of a day. Not necessarily anything special or memorable. It just all makes me so thankful for my wonderful husband, my adorable sweet little girl, the precious angel I am growing inside me right now, and for my friends & my side of the family. Because they show me all the time what true love and caring is all about.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you get to enjoy a drama-free holiday weekend! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Don't Like Turkey

Happy paid day off to watch Cowboys football!!!
But seriously - here's hoping that all of you have a safe, fun, and family-filled holiday. I will post later about what we are actually doing for the holiday weekend. But for now, just know that I am thankful for each and every one of you. For those I know personally, especially. You are rocks in my life that you probably didn't even realize. I am blessed with an amazing family and friends and I am so thankful. I don't deserve it. But I'll take it.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Month Update

This month, she seemed much more like a little girl than a baby!
I am going to apologize in advance if I have already mentioned some of these tidbits about Bimmer in the past months. I normally write this post all month long, so I don't forget anything, but I just have had a time this month finding computer time. Hard to believe I only have a few more months of these updates! My sweet girl is growing so fast and becoming such a little person. I love her more and more every day.
* When you tell her something or suggest an activity, she is always like, "Good idea, Mommy!" She will also say she has to "ask question" or she will hand you something and say, "Let's talk about this."
* She is very into matching or realizing that things are the same. She will point out if we are both wearing skinny jeans or if we are both eating a muffin. To hear her squeal, "I got stripes on like Mommy!" is just the sweetest.
* We haven't been too great on introducing new foods to her lately, but she did recently try French Onion dip on potato chips and thought that was pretty amazing. She also has eaten some turkey at school during lunch, which she hasn't eaten in a long while. Whenever Puff offers her something new, he seems to always preface it with "I'm not sure you'll like this." I just think that's so counter-productive. I am trying to get his mindset switched so that she doesn't automatically get brainwashed into not liking something before she even tries it!
* We have been letting her eat cereal with milk on weekend mornings. It's an epic mess, but that girl loves her some Froot Loops. (Which she still calls "bloop loops" and I have yet to correct her.)
* She told me this month that she needs "2 babies." I asked what she would do with a baby and she told me "change the stinky diaper." I told her babies cry and what would she do if the baby cried? She said, "I tell her, no cry baby!" And she pointed her little finger and gave a stern little face. Oh, if that only worked. Ha!
* Puff and I need to get our act together on encouraging the potty training a little bit more. She isn't quite ready, but she is starting to show more signs than before. She tells us more often now that she has a dirty diaper. (Or if we ask her if she is poopy, she will say, "No, I'm clean. Just pee pee.") She hasn't actually used the potty in quite awhile, so I think we are going to have to come up with something to entice her to try more often. Puff started giving her treats for just trying a few months ago (she likes "butters candy" aka Reece's Pieces) and I have put a stop to that. No reward if she doesn't go. We have until May for it to click!
* Instead of saying "everybody" she says "all the bodies." And she correctly uses the term "upside down" but then if she wants it fixed, she will ask for it to be put "upside up." Makes sense, right?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Book

*Sidebar: It's been a regular house 'o sick around here lately. Tuesday, Bimmer got a bad cough that led to a fever on Wednesday. I was home with her Wednesday afternoon and started to feel "off" and took a 4 hour nap! Thursday, I was in the full throes of a stomach bug along with a 102 fever. It has been a loooong time since I had a fever. Then tonight, Bimmer has been saying her stomach hurts. Dear Lord... please don't let her get the stomach bug too!*

I'm not super into Broadway shows, but every once and awhile there is one that just peaks my interest. Back in 2012, Puff and I went to see "The Lion King." And it was great.
But I wasn't nearly as excited about that show as I was when I heard "The Book of Mormon" was coming to South Carolina.
In general, South Carolina is pretty conservative, so I never thought this show would make any theater's billing. But the Peace Center in Greenville surprised me when they announced their 2014-2015 season. (Don't even get me on my "Kinky Boots" kick yet. I've got time to decide yet on those tickets!) I was so gung-ho on the entire thing, that I asked my assistant, Cole, which night she would be available to babysit. Like months before the tickets even went on sale! They happened to go on sale a morning that we were vacationing in Hilton Head. (Read about that trip HERE) I tried my hardest to access their website on my phone by the pool, but it just wasn't loading right. I eventually ended up having to abandon Puff and Bimmer at the poolside bar to go to the hotel business center, pay $8 for internet access, and spend 20 frustrating minutes attempting to create a profile to get the seats!
The show was a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I haven't laughed that hard at any type of show/movie/etc. in a long time. Puff is sometimes a bit of a fuddy-duddy when it comes to religious humor, so I wasn't sure what he would think of it. But in general, he loved it too. And I was so excited to have a fun date night out with my man. (He took me for hibachi/sushi beforehand!) So if this show comes to a city near you, be sure to splurge on the tickets! It was definitely one of the best stage shows I have ever seen!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Xmas Card Preview

The first weekend in November, my co-worker (who is an amateur photographer) met our little family to snap a few family photos in the hopes of finding one good shot for our Christmas card! It was super cold, but Bimmer was a trooper! While I've kept the one we chose for the card a secret (for now) here are a few others from the little shoot.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Birthday Man

Puff's birthday falls right after Halloween, so sometimes it seems to just fall into the hubbub of it all. But we always try to make sure we do something special for him. You can read about last year's birthday HERE. Last year we trekked to the mountains for a little hike. This year, life just was so chaotic that we didn't ever have time for a fall leaf-peeping trip. But Bimmer and I tried to make the best of Puff's mid-week birthday.
When Puff got home from work, Bimmer was quick to give him the cards we got him. Bimmer gave him two, because she couldn't decide between the one with a donkey and the one with a hamster. (Or a "chick-munk" as Bimmer called it.) We gave him a super fancy caramel and pecan apple, some sort of seatbelt contraption for the convertible, and a swanky new raincoat. (Trust me - the old Walmart one he had was in desperate need of an upgrade.)
 We had half joked about where to eat for his birthday, but actually ended up there... Chuck E. Cheese's! (Or Hushy Cheese's as Bimmer calls it!)
Puff was... well, disappointed. I'm not sure what he expected, but he was upset there was no ball pit (although that meant no strange diseases for Bimmer to catch) and he thought the games all promoted gambling. I'm pretty sure he has never been to a place like this before. Ha! Bimmer enjoyed it, but not as much as I expected. She rode a few of the "rides" but they were anti-climatic. And she couldn't quite get the gist of all the games. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was... for $20 we got a pizza, 2 drinks, and some tokens. We spent another $10 on more tokens, but that was still way less than I had anticipated.

Will we be rushing back? Absolutely not. Did Puff actually get a real birthday dinner? Yes... at a local swanky steak restaurant the Saturday following his birthday. Don't feel too sorry for him for choosing to celebrate his actual birthday at a Bimmer-friendly restaurant. We definitely made up for it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dracula Lives

I'm living with a vampire.
But you would never know it, because she's pretty darn adorable. And when she's at home, she isn't so... teethy.
I have mentioned a few times in her monthly update posts, but Bimmer is a biter. She has been since she was just over a year old and moved into the toddler class at school. She was bit a few times and something clicked... so she started biting. And she was BAAAAD for awhile. So bad that we had to meet with the teacher. Her recommendation?
Kool-Aid powder. Apparently, it is super sour! And it seemed less horrible than say, hot sauce. So for a few weeks, whenever she would bite, she'd get a nice ol' spoonful of the stuff. And she eventually quit. No more biting. Yay! I could rest easy that she was not going to get kicked out!
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I noticed her biting was back... and getting more frequent. There was a span where she bit everyone every other day basically. So when I got a phone call in early October from daycare, I had to get out of a meeting to find out that Bimmer had bitten a little girl so hard that she drew blood. I was mortified.
I was at a loss as to what to say, what to do. I told the teacher I didn't want to come and pick her up because that would reward her behavior. Instead, I scheduled a meeting with her lead teacher and the director for the next day. And racked my brain for what to do. I came up with this...
Bimmer helped me make it - hence the imperfections. LOL.
It was a good behavior chart. If she was good all day at school, she would get a sticker when she got home. If she was good all week, she would get a present at the end of the week. We talked a lot about how important it was to be nice to our friends and be a good girl at school each day. When we met with the school the next day, the teachers were very adamant that Bimmer was doing it for attention. They told us how smart she is and that she realizes it gets her what she wants. When I told them about the chart I was making at home, they agreed to make a chart to use at school too, so she would be accountable at school as well.
The first week was a half week, but she didn't bite! Yay! So off to the dollar store we went. She got to pick whatever she wanted... and she chose a Care Bears coloring book. The next week, we took her to a local fancy-pants toy store and she got a spiky ball that when it bounces, it lights up. The next week? The $1 bin at Target yielded a bag of tiny dinosaurs. We were off to such a great start! Then... on a Thursday, she bit. Ugh.
The next week? She bit again Monday AND Tuesday. She told me one day was because a girl poked her in the eye. The paper the teacher sent home on the other incident? That she bit for no reason, laughed, and then said "Sorry." What were we going to do?!?
Thankfully, she really doesn't want to disappoint us. She doesn't want us to be cross with her. (We use that term since they use it on Thomas and she gets it.) She wants us to be happy and we emphasize how happy it makes us when she is nice to her friends. So, the rest of that week, she was good again. No prize though. ::sigh::
It's a work in progress. But the positive attention, versus the attention when she was biting, seems to be working. It isn't a flawless system, but it's a system I am willing to stick with for a few more weeks to see what happens. I know she knows biting is bad. She isn't stupid. Here's hoping it continues to work and register with her. And then eventually, we won't even remember that biting is an option!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Fair Lady

As I mentioned in my last post about my parent's visit to SC, we couldn't pass up visiting the state fair in Columbia! (Read about last year's adventure HERE)
My outlook on the fair has changed dramatically since having Bimmer. The past few years, it was a quick trip, because it was a lot of stuff for her to process being so little. But this year? Well, this year it changed again... for the BEST! Bimmer is now big enough to ride rides!!! (Never mind my insane fear of fair rides!)

My sweet little car-loving girl rode that car ride about 6 times! (In her defense, it was one of the few that she could actually ride at her age/height and the line was minimal.) However, one of this year's highlights was when this happened....

Yes, that is my 36 year old husband riding on a camel. By himself. At the fair. ::shakes head::
Oh - and the food? Well, this year I actually branched out and tried something new. Both Bimmer and I had our first ever corndog!
And of course, some deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough as well. I'm not an idiot - there was no missing that.
And in case you didn't notice it, yes, Bimmer and I were matching...
Because, why not?
All told, it was a beautiful way to wrap up my parent's visit. We spent the most time EVER at the fair that day... like more than 5 hours! I am already looking forward to next year when she should be able to ride even more things! And maybe we'll even play some games.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Real Light Living

It was a chance happening just over a year ago that I was introduced by a colleague of mine to a beautiful, sweet woman named Logan. And, chance have it, she was a blogger. Like, a for real, legit one. So much so, that she had a blogging conference called Allume. Yes, it was a Christian based conference for women who blog way more frequently and better than I, but I just felt this pull. I had to see what it was all about. And when I had the chance to meet up with several of the other women involved, I felt a bond. I definitely needed to swing by and check it out.
So I made the trek into Greenville one day, at the invitation of these lovely ladies, to join them in worship, hospitality, friendship, and blogging. It was an experience I will never forget... even though I didn't delve into all parts of the conference. And no, I'm not as "Jesus-y" as they all are. But I accepted their hugs, and their blessings, and their prayers. New friends prayed over me when they knew I had to have a medical procedure (which I may or may not eventually share here) and it was probably the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.
All this being said... I just wanted to take a second to give these wonderful women a shout out. Check out the Allume page, read about their speakers, be on the look-out for updates on their blogs about the next steps they are taking. And for real, see if you can find some links for their vendors. I have never been so drawn to want to buy anything ever. Organizations that help orphans in Africa (where I bought Bimmer a giraffe ornament) and others who help beaten women in Haiti (where I bought a necklace). Another who helps children with heart defects in Iraq, whose video during one of the sessions brought tears to my eyes. (I bought a t-shirt.)

I know that church and God have never been a huge part of my life. Nor do I know that I am ready to commit whole-heartedly to attending one right now, especially since Puff and I can't make a decision on which denomination feels right for our family. But I will say that every once and awhile, feeling that overwhelming love from people of God is an amazing experience. I feel blessed to have met these ladies and stood in their presence, and to have forwarded their cause for just a blip on the InterGoogle.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Apologies

I promise to be back with real entries here in a few days. Life has just sorta hit me this week... it was Puff's birthday, so there were celebrations to be had there. And I haven't been sleeping well, so I've been so exhausted at night that the thought of moving to even open my computer just doesn't sit well. Here's hoping this weekend will rejuvenate me and reignite my need to write!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cars & Guitars

I mentioned HERE during my recap of our last visit to The Fort that it was high time my family started to come to South Carolina to visit us. My parents decided my most hectic month at work would be the best time to come, so we forced them into an already jam-packed weekend. They like to be entertained, after all. And it worked out beautifully. We had dinner Friday night, a car show and Boo in the Zoo on Saturday, and then the state fair on Sunday! (I will recap that in another post.)
Bimmer had a bit of a regression in the biting (more on that in another post to come) but my dad promised her a "president" if she was good the week they came. She had been pretending to "rock on a pink tar" for awhile, so my rockstar loving dad decided he would surprise her with a pink "tar."
She has been playing and singing on it ever since. Her little songs are hilarious - "I no like my tar, mmm mmm" being my favorite that gets stuck in my head. And I'm going to sneak in a little family photo of the 3 of us before heading out to dinner. Not too often we all look this put together!

One of Puff's favorite fall activity is the European Auto Show at BMW. We hit the road to Greer, SC, to the BMW plant every October to check out the hoards of European cars. I will say, this year didn't have the variety that they have had in years past. But, it was much better weather (and toddler behavior) than last year HERE. I think Puff and I are just hoping next year's feature car is something super cool... unlike last year's Ferrari and this year's Porsche 911. How about something more interesting? Just a suggestion, BMW.

My parents had a surprisingly good time - even though they aren't super into cars. And Bimmer loved getting to spend that time with her Mamaw and Papaw that she doesn't see too often. I'm pretty sure she loves being spoiled. She is my daughter after all.