Saturday, May 31, 2008


Best Friends Forever. Do you remember those days when you were sure you would be friends with Susie or Jenny forever? Ah junior high.

Well Bunny apparently has reached that stage. Everytime we are around other kids and they leave, she will turn to me and ask "Where did my best friend go?" Its so cute. She doesn't even know their name and never really played with them, but they are her best friend.

I think this stems from the fact that when I know we will be around other kids, I stress the importance of sharing with our friends. I call all little kids our friends so she doesn't freak out and try to take their toys or whatever. I have also told her that she is my best friend. So apparently she has put two and two together and all little kids are now her best friends. She has her music class best friend, her gymnastics best friend and her playdate friend (although Charlie has never been called her best friend because he is a boy).

I guess this also means I have to get her around other kids on a more regular basis so she can make more "best friends".

Friday, May 30, 2008

On Language

When your child speaks their first word, you are overjoyed. Hearing her say Mama is music to your ears. You can't wait to hear what they will say next.

But then after the age of two, your child won't shut up. Then its not so cute. She will repeat everything and I mean everything you say (hence the spelling from my earlier post) so you have to be careful.

When we first adopted Bunny we assumed she would be a late talker because she had heard nothing but Cantonese for the first nine months of her life. But she started talking right on schedule so no problem. And then she kept right on talking and talking and talking.

Bunny is definitely a very verbal child. She loves words and the sounds they make. She will make up words because they sound funny. She also loves to say what the big people are saying even if the words are difficult. She now knows she lives in Waukee Milsconsin. When I tried on a new pair of sunglasses and pronounced them rockstar sunglasses, she put hers on and repeated rockstar sunglasses for a good 15 minutes.

The problem with a child like this is there are times (especially while driving) that you really need to swear. Now you don't want your child thinking its acceptable to drop the F-bomb even if you were cut off by the lady driving the blue minivan.

So what do you do? You make up words just like your child does. Bubs has taken to saying "Son of a Bee Sting" and phrases like that. It works for him but not for me. So my new word of choice in those situations is Focaccia. Say it out loud "Focaccia!" You can put the emphasis on it just like you would with the F-bomb and its just as satisfying. If your child picks it up, it is an innocent word. However, they may be confused if someone actually offers them focaccia bread when they've only heard it muttered under your breath or yelled at a passing motorist. So use it with care.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Falling Down is Part of Life

Right? Every kid falls down. Its how they learn. But it doesn't make it any easier on the parents.

Yesterday I took Bunny to an open gym at Swiss Turners Gymnastics. She loves it. She runs around like a crazy girl, bouncing on trampolines, jumping in foam pits, walking on balance beams and hanging from bars (while I am running just to keep up). She even has a little friend, Claire, who is three and has taught Bunny to climb up a ladder onto a platform and jump into the foam pit (well I help her jump off by holding her waist and dropping her into the pit). I like the pit, its full of foam blocks. You can't really get hurt in foam.

But yesterday Bunny and Claire were running around and they wanted to go jump on this little trampoline. To get there you had to step over this metal bar. I've always thought it was weird that the bar was there but it is. Well Bunny didn't quite make it and she fell. On to the bar. With her face. While I was standing not even 5 feet away.

I immediately started to panic. I had all of these scenarios in my head. She broke something, she lost her teeth, we'd have to go to the hospital. She started screaming and when I got to her I could see blood coming out of her mouth. Even though I was panicking inside, I remained calm on the outside. I scooped her up in a big hug and immediately took her to the front desk for ice before heading in the bathroom to wash her off and assess the damage.

By the time we got to the desk, I could tell that she had bitten her lip. That's okay, right? Kids bite their lips all the time. I still wasn't sure about her teeth. They handed me some paper towels and after wiping her off I could tell all of the blood was from her lip. Thank goodness!! They didn't have ice, but they did have freezie pops, which Bunny put directly on her lip.

When we got to the bathroom to clean up, Bunny discovered that she could eat the freezie pop. So she stopped crying and demanded to eat it. Ok that is a good sign. So we sat down just outside the gym to eat the pop. She was happy as a clam with her freezie pop. Other kids were staring at it jealously and she just laughed. Laughing is a good sign that she wasn't seriously hurt.

When we were finished I asked her if she wanted to go home. She said no and wanted to go back in the gym. She proceeded to run around slightly less crazily for the next 20 minutes. When it was time to leave she cried again because she didn't want to go home.

Even though she wasn't badly hurt (she just has a slightly fat lip) I still felt terrible. Like I was a bad mother for letting this happen to her. All the moms came up to me to make sure she was okay and I couldn't tell if they were judging me or not. But in my head I knew they weren't, they were just thankful she was okay and it wasn't their kid.

I know this could have happened anywhere, at the park, in the backyard or even in our house. She is going to fall and she is going to get hurt and that is okay. Its just lucky that I was there and not Bubs. He would have started hyperventalating and crying if he saw her get hurt. He would rather her be wrapped in bubble wrap so she doesn't get hurt.

Bunny has mentioned this incident a few times but really all she cares about was the popcicle she got at the end. To her that was the most important thing. And I guess it was to me as well because it shows that she is resliant.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude May 28th

Its Wednesday again and it is time to share what I am greatful for.

Today I am greatful for a toddler's imagination. Yesterday Bunny and I spent over 1/2 hour sitting on my bed pretending. The bed was the park and we were swinging on it. Then it was the beach where we built sand castles. Then we went to sleep in the sand castles. Finally it was a car. I had the blue car and Bunny had the black one and we were saving the purple car for Daddy.

It was the first time I saw her pretending without the aid of any toys. This all just came out of her imagination. It was beautiful and fun and I will treasure it forever.

I need a vacation from my vacation

We just returned from our long weekend in Door County, WI. If you have not been to Door County, I highly recommend going, its beautiful (for those not familiar, Door County is the thumb of Wisconsin). However, if you are driving, you may not want to bring a two year old. Bunny asked for an hour "where's Door County?" (I thought they didn't do "are we there yet?" until much older)

When you go on vacation with a two year old, its not really a vacation. Its more like everyday life only in a different location. Not very relaxing at all.

We did the typical vacation stuff and had fun. But I think there is one thing that will be etched in Bunny's mind forever. Our hotel had a pool which meant she could go swimming everyday. Swimming was not limited to once a week lessons. She was in heaven. She has gotten so comfortable with the water that she has no fear. This is a good thing to be encouraged, you don't want a child to be afraid of the water. But it is also a bad thing because it means you have to watch them like a hawk. She would think nothing of jumping into the pool by herself and going under water, except she can't really swim. So that is bad.

Mommy was not allowed to go to the pool. Because Bubs takes her to swim class, I was told "Mommy no swim" so Mommy no swim. The pool was filled with lots of other children and Bunny made instant friends with a few of the older girls (ages 5 to 7). She is fascinated by older kids and wants to do what they do.

The first night she came back to the room in tears. I looked to Bubs for an explanation, apparently the crying began when her little friend left the pool. Bunny looked at me, sobbing, and said "I miss my best friend." I tell you my heart broke for her because she was truly sad. Of course some of her saddness was explained in the next breath when she said "somebody's tired." So true.

Sleeping was another problem we had. We had rented a two bedroom condo and were going to put Bunny's pack and play in the spare room. She hasn't really slept in one but we weren't worried. But you see Bunny can climb out of the pack and play and did so repeatedly. So each night we had to let her lay on the big bed until she fell asleep at which point we could transfer her to the pack and play. Of course she didn't want to stay in the big bed so one of us had to lay with her until she fell asleep. Fun.

So all in all Bunny had fun on vacation. Bubs and I are planning our anniversary vacation without her so we can have fun.

Friday, May 23, 2008

10 Years Later

Today I won't have my usual Friday Finds. We are leaving on vacation for the long weekend and I am up to my eyeballs in preparations. Because of our vacation, there will be no posts until Tuesday (but I am sure there will be tons of stuff to write about when we get back).

What I really want to write about today, is my wonderful Bubs in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow. So here goes

Dear Bubs,

Thank you for 10 wonderful years. When I look back on our wedding pictures, I see two people who are so young, are very much in love and are filled with hope. Now 10 years later we are a bit older and wiser, our days are filled with joy and hope and I am more in love with you now than ever.

I realize that I am the lucky one here. You are so supportive of me. You believe so strongly in me that you have given me the gift of being able to stay home with Bunny. You have stood by me in the hard times, letting me lean on you for strength. You always want to make me happy.

You are a wonderful father whom Bunny adores. I love that you have your Daddy and Bunny Saturdays, it gives me an opportunity to recharge my batteries and gives you precious time with her.

You know that the answer to the question "Where do you want to go to dinner?" is always La Fuente. You make the best salad dressing and pancakes and are an omlet maker extrodinare. You do the dishes after I cook dinner.

While you do have your faults - like playing in 10 million different fantasy sports leagues (fantasy golf? really?), you don't like bloody marys, ketchup, peanut butter or sauces of any kind. These faults are really minor and kind of funny.

No, what I remember and cherish most during these 10 years is the love that we share.

Thank you for 10 wonderful years. I look forward to the next 50.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let's Spell It Out

S-p-e-l-l-i-n-g, the method of communication of all parents around the world whose children cannot spell. It enables us to talk about things that would get Bunny totally hyper, running for the door with shoes and coat in hand, screaming let's go now. So spelling is a good thing.

We spell out words like z-o-o, i-c-e c-r-e-a-m, p-a-r-k etc. That way we can decide if we want to do a certain activity or give Bunny something without her knowing. Saves a lot of tears if we do in fact decide we are not going to do it.

But lately Bubs and I have found ourselves spelling w-o-r-d-s t-h-a-t w-e d-o-n't n-e-e-d t-o s-p-e-l-l. And it can get quite annyoying as you can see. These words are either words that Bunny does not know, are not trigger words or are said when she is not even in the room. That last one is a killer, why are we spelling to eachother in a conversation that Bunny is not even a part of? I blame it on parental brain mush and lack of sleep.

There is another problem with spelling out words. I am not the world's greatest speller, I never was and the advent of spell check has made it worse. So when I spell a word I am not sure I am actually spelling it right, which is kind of embarassing. Also some when you spell some words out it doesn't sound like it should, which can add to the confusion.

But soon enough Bunny will be spelling like a champ (like sometime before she is 3) and we will no longer have this problem. In fact I can ask her if I am spelling something right.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

One of my favorite blogs Mama-Om has something called Attitude of Gratitude on Wednesdays. In it you share what you are greatful for. I think that is just a wonderful idea and have decided to join in.

Today I am greatful for bubbles. You know the kind you make from dish soap and blow through a little wand. These babies can keep a 2 year old entertained for hours and that my friend is a miracle in and of itself.

Naptime is wasted on the young

At what age to you realize that naps are indeed a good thing and not something to be fought tooth and nail? High School? Definitely by college.

The past two days Bunny has sat in her crib for 2 hours, talking not napping. Monday she didn't sleep and yesterday she fell asleep right before the 2 hour mark.

I don't understand this. If I had a chance to nap, I'd jump on it. I would crawl into bed with one or both of the kitties and I'd be asleep within 15 minutes. I would wake up an hour or two later refreshed and ready to go. Bunny not so much.

Now its my understanding that kids at this age sleep on average 13 hours a day. Bunny is working on about 9 to 10. Maybe she doesn't need that much sleep, maybe its just a phase.

But I really hope she is not ready to give up napping alltogether. Her naptime is also my time. I can get a ton of stuff done when she is not around demanding my attention every 2 minutes. I surf the internets, I make jewlery, I read books, I clean the house and I even sometimes nap.

So Bunny this is my plea to you, give your poor mom a break and take a nap. It makes us both less cranky.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cat puke

This is something I have lived with my entire life with cats. My beloved boy cat Tabasco has always been a puker. He has some sort of allergy or GI issue but we have always joked that he is bullimic because he eats so fast and like such a pig that its inevitable that he'll puke it out. Luckily for me he ususally pukes in the kitchen or on the hardwood floors so it is easier to clean.

But lately Bubs' cat, Detroit(yes I know its a stupid name for a cat, there is a story but I don't want to get into it here), has joined the puke parade. She is 13 or 14 yrs old and we think she is getting sick but the Vet can't pin it down exactly. We've been giving her wet food because she was losing weight. She gets this in the morning and evening and will herd you into the kitchen and circle you until she gets fed. We were out of her normal food from the vet so Bubs picked up some stuff from the grocery store, which she loved. But when she went back to a different flavor of the vet brand the puking commenced.

But being the siamese princess she is, Detroit has chosen to only puke on the carpet. And if you don't catch it right away, well it stains. Luckily for me, Bunny is the champion at noticing cat puke. Any little mark or stain and she will yell "Cat puke!!!" at the top of her lungs. So thanks to Bunny's eagle eyes I spent 15 minutes trying to get fresh puke out of the living room carpet this morning. Fun.

Post Script: Not 2 minutes after I hit publish, Tabasco puked in the kitchen. Man, when it rains, it pours in this house.

Monday, May 19, 2008

If its not about me . . .

then I don't want any part of it.

This is a 2 yr olds motto. Yesterday we had our regularly scheduled dinner with my parents. Bunny gets to hang out with them, play with toys and generally revel in all the attention.

However, my cousin recently had a new baby so my parents suggested after dinner we go to my aunt's house. All my cousins would be there, we could see the new baby and they could see Bunny (they haven't seen her since Christmas).

Well Bunny was suitably underwhelmed when she saw the baby. She just muttered "Hi River" and walked away. She played outside for a while then looked for toys at my aunt's house (which there weren't many). She started whining and we had to leave after being there for 15 minutes to avoid a full blown tantrum (we didn't want Bunny to set a bad example for River).

My cousin told me thats exactly how their 13 year old acted when he first saw the new baby. So apparently they don't grow out of it. Nice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

When exactly did it happen?

When did I become lame? (Wait you probably shouldn't answer that because some will say I've alwasy been lame. I have been physically incapable of staying out until midnight for at least 5 years now, so yeah I'm lame.)

But when did my idea of Saturday night entertainment become drinking a glass of wine with Bubs and listening to Bunny talk on the baby monitor?

It happened like this, I got Bunny settled in her crib at 8:45 pm and headed downstaris to Bubs. He was checking baseball scores online (lame). So I started to clean up the living room (lame) and Bubs headed into the kitchen to do the dishes (lame). He said do you want to watch a movie? DVD player isn't working (lame). Do you want to rent a movie on the TV? We didn't like any last time (lame). Do you want to play a board game? Lame.

So we settled down on the couch with our glasses of wine to find something to watch on TV. Meanwhile Bunny started saying the alphabet in her room, only it sounded like she had her tounge stuck out. Then she started saying Fa Fa Fa Foo Foo, Fa Fa Fa Funny and Ja Ja Ja Jelly. You see I've been teaching her the sounds letters make and how they relate to words - so I was very proud that she got it right and was practicing. Maybe I'm not so bad at this mom thing.

We were commenting on this very fact when Bubs turned to me and said "This is lame. Sitting listening to a baby monitor on a Saturday night." And lame it was, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Finds

I love art. I love to go to museums and galleries and look at art. But owning it is generally not an option for me.

But thanks to Etsy independent artists have a venue for selling their work. And people like me have the opportunity to own these wonderful works of art. I have discovered many wonderful artists through Etsy and am continually inspired by them.

One of those talented artists is Ravenwolf. Suzanne Gonsalez of Ravenwolf creates beautiful assemblages and collages. Some of my favorites are The Transformation of the Magdalene and Magdalene.

Please check out this wonderful artist.

Word to the wise

Even if you think its the greatest idea in the world, don't decide to trim the front hedges during naptime. Especially if you never do this kind of work. Especially if you've got slight carpal tunnell and want to make jewelry in the next few days. Especially if you have to keep up with a toddler in the afternoon.

Yeah I thought this would be a great idea. But then my arms and wrists started crying in pain and I was completely exhausted. Not so great.

On the bright side, the hedges look great.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What are you eating?

Lately Bunny has become obsessed with eating. Not so much by what she is eating (unless its ice cream) but by what everyone and everything else is eating.

Whenever we have lunch together, unless we are eating the exact same thing, she has to eat whatever I am eating. If I have a different kind of sandwich, if I have a frozen dinner, even if I have a salad, she has to eat it. In evitably she will like what I am eating more than what she is eating and want it. But if I start off giving it to her she probably won't eat it. Sigh.

She is especially interested if she sees you snacking on something. Probably because she knows its chips or something sweet. She will follow you around hoping to get some. We don't really have anything in our house she can't eat so its usually not a big deal. But sometimes Mommy buys chocolate that is just for her, so I've had to learn to save it for nap time.

Bunny is also obsessed with what animals eat. She has taken it upon herself to help daddy feed the cats every morning and night. She carries their plates of food and gently (or no so gently) places them on the floor. She then yells for them to eat but they really don't want to eat when she's around. Something about a screaming toddler that makes them a bit skittish, I don't know what it could be.

She also forced us to get a bird feeder. Well not forced, but she constantly talked about the bird feeders at my parents house until I gave in and bought one for her. She loves to "help" me fill the feeder and tells me that its okay if we spill because birds like to eat off the floor. She has even found a terracotta dish from an old planter and converted it into a bird feeder too. She carries that one around hollering for birds to come and eat. But again birds eating and yelling toddlers don't really mix. She is also totally mad that the squirrel in our yard has figured out how to eat out of the bird feeder and yells at him a lot.

Finally she is obsessed with the food the animals at the zoo eat. We usually get there first thing in the morning when all the animals have their food. In the bird house she doesn't care about the actual birds but wants to make sure they are eating. Which of course is usually accompanied by yelling at them to eat. She has also discovered the cart the zookeepers bring around with all the food. She loves to see what is on it - the fruit, the veggies, the live worms and insects, the dead mice. She is fascinated, while I'm totally grossed out at the last part.

Her interest carries over into the monkey house. She knows they eat vegetables, including lettuce and the other veggies we pretend they eat like broccoli and green beans just to get her to eat them. She knows they eat monkey chow too and thinks that is hilarious. She wanted to know if there was people chow or little girl chow.

Now if only I could get her as interested in her own food or at least something that is not ice cream. Hmmm, maybe I could make up something and call it little girl chow . . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Decoding Toddler Speak

Houston we have a problem. Or do we?

Bunny has been using the words "No problem" and "We have a big problem" a lot lately. However, I'm not quite sure she understands what they mean.

Often I'll hear her say "Mommy, we have a big problem." When I ask her what the problem is, she'll giggle and say "I don't know" (her new favorite words).

Ok so "Big problem" means no problem. So what does "No problem" mean?

"No problem" means there is actually a big problem. When Bunny says "no problem" it is usually accompanied by tears in the middle of a tantrum. Like say when I tell her she needs to take a nap, wear pants or do something else she doesn't want to do. She'll look at me with tears in her eyes and say "No problem." It makes me want to just give her a big hug.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let's Talk About Guilt

Ahhh, the G word. A mother's constant companion and worst enemy. All mom's have guilt, its part of the job description but as a stay at home mom, it seems to be a bit more prevalent because being a mom is now my full time job.

Today, just two days removed from Mother's Day, I am wallowing in Guilt with a capital G. Why today, what makes today so special?

Today I am sick. It started at 2 am when I woke up feeling all kinds of crappy (literally and figuratively) and it just got progressively worse. At about 4 I started seeing stars and thought I might pass out so I had to wake up Bubs, which made me feel guilty. He was great about it getting me juice and tea, which led to my second problem, causing me to puke. At that point I told him he had to stay home because I couldn't look after Bunny feeling the way I was feeling, leading to more guilt. I knew Bubs had meetings today that had to be canceled, guilt. Even when we worked for the same company, I would take off if Bunny was sick because his job as a supervisor was important and mine, well lets say there are a few reasons I'm not working there anymore.

My emergency passed and Bubs managed to get some more sleep but then he was up with Bunny early. I tried to sleep but then heard Bubs cheering and clapping when Bunny went to the potty, more guilt that I wasn't there. Guilt (and relief) when they went to the park. Guilt that Bubs had to miss work, guilt that I wasn't the one there for Bunny and guilt that I was sick.

Eventually the guilt won out and I told Bubs that he could go to work when she went down for a nap. Hey less guilt. When we both woke up from our respective naps the guilt came back because Bunny wanted Daddy. She refused to get out of her crib and told me on more than one occasion to leave, which of course led to crying. I finally managed to bribe her with the promise of applesauce and watching Ni Hao Kai-Lan, guilt and guilt. I also told her we could call Daddy and ask him to come home, more guilt.

She eventually warmed up to me being there and all seemed well. But then much to her relief (and mine), Daddy came home, guilt. Bubs told me to go back to bed, he would take Bunny back to the park and then out to dinner. I knew I should feel guilty about this but I didn't really care anymore. I feel terrible, I'm no fun to be around and I'm going back to bed.

Hopefully tomorrow comes and I am back to my normal, manageable guilt levels.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On Mother's Day, A Love Poem to My Daughter

Mommy, Momma, Mom. Those words fill my heart with joy because I am your mother.

I was your mother during those long and often lonely days when we were trying to conceive. During every negative pregnancy test, I was your mother.

I was your mother when we began the adoption process. During the long waiting period, I was your mother.

I was your mother when you were born a half a world away. During the first nine months of your life, even though I was not there, I was your mother.

I was your mother when I finally saw your face staring back at me in your referral picture. During the long flight to meet you, I was your mother.

I was your mother when they placed you in my arms for the first time. During those weeks in strange hotel rooms when we went from strangers to family, I was your mother.

I was your mother when we brought you home for the first time. During all those months since, I have been your mother.

When you smile, my heart smiles. When you cry, my heart cries. When you laugh, my heart laughs. When you love, my heart loves.

I am your mother. I have always been your mother. I will always be your mother.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Finds

Today's Friday Find is something for the kids or for the kids at heart - wonderful plush animals and mosters from Zooguu by sweetestpea.

I am in love with these fat little creatures, especially the elephant and the cute but deadly fugu.

Check out this great shop. I am sure that you will find something you or your kiddos can't live without.

Starring Bunny as Speed Racer

It appears that Bunny is built for speed. We used to be able to take leisurely walks with Bunny and by leisurely I mean it would take 1/2 an hour to walk around the block. Bunny would stop every 100 feet or so and pick up a stick or look for bugs etc.

But now she just runs as fast as her little legs will carry her, giggling all the way. She will run until she reaches the corner and then turn and wait for you to catch up (thank goodness). She knows she can't go in to the street unless she is holding someone's hand. But once you reach the other side she starts running again.

Bubs takes her for a walk/run most nights after he gets home from work. He is a brave, brave man. When she sees a dog ahead of her, she will often chase it shouting "Wait Bunny comming, Bunny want to pet you." Now most dogs when they see a running, shouting toddler will not wait for her. They would much rather run themselves or cower in fear. But she does manage to pet her fair share.

Luckily for us, her slow footed parents, Bunny is still fascinated by bugs and sticks. So she will occasionally stop her running to pick up an especially attractive stick or to find a interesting looking bug. But most of the time, I am getting a preview of her teen years where I am several feet behind her. Although she still acknowledges my presence by yelling "Run momma, run."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

If Bunny Doesn't Sleep

Then nobody sleeps.

Ah the joys of being a parent, your sleep schedules are entirely dictated by another human being. Since Bunny's adoption she has been a great sleeper, usually sleeping from 8:30 to 6 or 7, plus a 2 hour nap. Fantastic.

But lately no matter what we do before bedtime she has been talking in her crib until 10 pm and still waking up at 6 or 7. Now the two hours between when she goes down and when I go to bed (yes I go to bed at 10, momma needs her sleep) are spent listening to her talk, complain and even cry.

Last night it went something like this:
8:45 pm - Crying that her bunny was not in her crib. The bunny was placed in her arms and she laid down again. Talking commenced.

9:15 pm - The book she has insisted on sleeping with for the past week was deemed to be too scary and had to be removed. Once the offending book was removed, she laid back down and again started talking.

9:50 pm - The sippy cup we placed in her crib to avoid repeated requests for water was also deemed to scary as it might spill and had to be removed. Once the sippy was removed, she laid back down and actually fell asleep.

This morning she woke up at 7 am very tired. Mom unfortunately woke up at 5:45 very tired. So this should be a fun day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Toddler Gardening

Yesterday it hit 70 degrees so I thought it would be a great time to plant some flowers in the front yard. So Bunny and I went to the garden store to look for flowers. I told Bunny that she could pick the flowers and she wanted pink and purple ones. No problem.

She happily ran up and down the aisles looking for her pink and purple flowers. Finally she settled on a few - petunias, fuschia etc. I picked out some white ones to finish out our boxes. Then we went inside in search of toddler size gardening equipment. We picked up a set of Dora gloves and a Barbie shovel and trowel. Bunny was in heaven and insisted on carrying the shovel with her in the car.

Once we got home I put Bunny in an old t-shirt of mine so she wouldn't get too dirty. Then we proceeded to get to work. We planted two flower boxes and two small pots. We had to fill them with potting soil and then the plant the flowers. Bunny happily helped fill the first box with soil and then she discovered the bird feeders, the slide and well anything other than the planting. She helped a little after that but mainly she didn't. Its a good thing we were in the back yard with its own version of baby jail - a fence across the driveway. That is until she figured out how to open it. But I managed to get it secure and keep her contained.

Once everything was planted and transported to the front yard, it was time to water the plants. Bunny was in heaven. She wanted to carry the watering can but it was about half her size (I forgot to look for a toddler sized watering can but its now on the list). She helped water the plants and managed not to water herself - too much.

All in all they turned out pretty good. I'll need to add some greens to the flower boxes and plant the other pots but we may limit Bunny's helping time to 10 minutes. Maybe we'll even plant vegetables - or maybe not.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A night with . . . Adults?

Every year my mom and I get tickets to a women's lecture series. We use this as a reason to go out to dinner at a nice restaraunt and catch up.

Yesterday was a fairly challenging day for me and Bunny, highlighted by two separate 45 minute periods where she refused to get dressed (once in the morning and once after using the potty). So I was ready for our night out.

We went to this nice restaraunt in Milwaukee's Third Ward. The Third Ward used to be just old warehouses but the have re-done it so now it is filled with shops, bars and restaraunts. I found a few new shops that I wanted to visit on my next day off. The meal was wonderful, punctuated by a creme brule trio. That's right three different kinds of creme brule - vanilla, chocolate and pistacio. I was in heaven.

Last night's lecture was by Lisa Ling. She talked about her experiences as an international journalist and the different stories that she has covered. She showed a few clips too.

It was during the clips that she showed a clip of her story "The Lost Daughters of China." The clip was of all the families going to the Civil Affairs building to meet their daughters for the first time - Gotcha Day. It perfectly caught the chaos and emotion of the day. And it sent me right over the edge. I started bawling openly in the middle of the theater as I remembered the day that we first met Bunny in China. My mom was crying too but she tried to comfort me. I think the lady sitting next to me thought I was crazy but I really didn't care.

I couldn't wait to run home and give Bunny a huge hug, but she would (or should) be asleep when I got home at 9:30. But she wasn't and I was never so happy. I went into her room and got to hug her and read her another story. It was almost as if she was waiting for me. She drifted off to sleep soon after.

It was the perfect night.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Things overheard in my house over the weekend

"No pants, pants too scary!"

Now I've heard of sassy pants, liar liar pants on fire, and even kitty pants (Tabasco's nickname - he's a tuxedo cat), but I have never heard of scary pants. In fact I am pretty sure that pants would never intentionally scare anyone.

So what was the problem? Who knows? Bunny had a little accident which necessitated new pants. So we got new pants out and the screaming commenced. Did she not like the pants we had picked out? Probably. Did she not want to wear pants at all? Likely.

This problem has cropped up on more than one occasion, even when she gets to pick out the pants herself. It seems that she preferrs to run around in just a diaper and shirt. She has even refused to take a nap wearing pants. She will just start yelling "Pants off, pants off" until you remove the offending article of clothing No problem when we are in the house but big problem if we are trying to leave. You see we live in Wisconsin and even though it is spring, it is still way to cold to go without pants. Plus people will look at you funny if your toddler is just wearing a diaper.

Since we were headed to my parents house for dinner, we needed to get some sort of pant or other leg covering on her. Luckily she agreed to wear a dress and tights, so the crisis was averted for a day. But who knows what it will be like today.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I admit it. I love to eavesdrop on Bunny. Its so much fun to find out how a 2 yr old mind works.

We still have our baby monitor hooked up. I generally only turn it on when we are sleeping or if I am in another part of the house (sound travels pretty well here so I know when she is crying). Mainly I am paranoid that she will try to get out of her crib, fall and hurt herself. She did it once and once was enough for me (and for her it seems).

But when she is still awake in her crib she carrys on these wonderful conversations with her stuffed animals. One day we went to the bookstore and that afternoon at naptime Panda bear also went to the bookstore. He had to find his coat and hold her hand. Stuff that I had said to her earlier. But then the 2 yr old took over, she said "that's not your coat Panda, that's a circle. No that's not it either that's a worm." Huh?

When she stayed over at my parents' house they reported her saying "I love ice cream and ketchup." Well don't we all. But too cute nonetheless.

Last night she talked for about an hour. She told her animals about our trip to a restaraunt with a playland. Then she started repeating the cats' names over and over, almost like a chant. "Basco, Basco, Basco, Basco, boo." (Tabasco) "Miss Troit, Miss Troit, Miss Troit, Miss Troit" (Detroit - yes I know its a weird name for a cat but that's her name). This chanting went on for about 5 - 10 minutes. It was almost like she was summoning them to appear before her. But they are too lazy to go up there and open the door.

I cherish these conversations and will miss them when she's 15 and yells at me for even being in the same room with her when she's on the phone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Finds

Mother's Day is only 9 days away, so I'll be highlighting some of my favorite jewelers in today's Friday Finds. If you see something you like, feel free to forward this to your husband for a little hint.

First off is nectar. I am a huge fan of all of their work, but I especially love the embroidered domes and the leaves necklace.

Next up is modflo. I love how she combines original art work into her jewelry. The treetop city necklace and the retro star necklace are some of my favorites.

Finally, we have gemmafactrix. I really love her stacking rings and the tiny shinies.

Now these jewelers are only a small selection of the talented artists on Etsy and I will be highlighting more in the coming weeks.

Dinosaur Roar

Bunny is a bit obsessed with dinosaurs. It first started when my parents had a rubber T-Rex at their house. She loved to play with it every time we went there. The T-Rex will even sit at the dinner table and "eat" the occasional green bean. My mom also had a puzzle book with other dinosaurs. Bunny could say Iguanadon before she was two.

So I got her a dino puzzle of her own. She loves to take the wooden pieces out and play with them. They were toys rather than puzzle pieces to her. Given this interest in dinosaurs, I found a few books. I got her My First Dinosaur Board Book. She loves it. There are tons of pictures of dinos - most of which I didn't even know existed with names I can't pronounce. But Bunny knows most of their names. In fact if I show her a picture of a certain dino she will say "that's Coelophysis" so matter of factly as if I should have known. Silly mommy.

While shopping without Bunny yesterday I found some toy dinos - a T-Rex, a stegosaurus, a triceratops and a brachiosaurus (although it could be a barosaurus but Bunny calls it a brachiosaurus so that is what it is). The first thing Bunny did when she saw them is take them to meet their wooden counterparts. She lined them all up next to eachother and introduced them. Too cute.

So today Daddy has the day off and we are taking Bunny and the new dinos to the museum to meet their life sized counterparts.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mom its broken, mom its broken

Our house is broken. There is really no other way of putting it, its just flat out broken. We have an upstairs bathroom with a leaky shower and our basement leaks. See its really broken.

The shower has leaked for about 4 years. Everything else in th bathroom works but the shower. Luckily we had another tub and shower on the first floor so we were able to stop using it immediately. But we haven't been able to fix it because our roof leaked and was fixed first (See what I mean about broken - stupid old houses. Did I mention the new furnace and electrical work?). Then we needed to save up money for Bunny's adoption. (The choice between adoption and remodeling is really a no brainer.) It doesn't put too much strain on our day to day life, but it would be nice to have two working showers.

Well we decided to fix the bathroom this year. We figured between savings and our home equity loan we'd be able to completely redo the bathroom and still pursue our second adoption. We were excited about that.

But then it snowed almost 100 inches in Milwaukee this year and we started to get water in our basement when it melted. Now our basement was a finished family room. We had our TV down there and it was also Bunny's playroom. It had to be fixed right away, no question about it. So we tore up the carpet and got estimates for the work.

Everytime Bunny walks past the stairs to the basement, she looks down and says "Can't go down there, its broken. Daddy fix broken."

Hopefully the work will begin later this month or in early June. But then we will have to redo the basement once its done. So we will be without that room for a few months more. Now all of Bunny's toys are strewn about the living room and dining room. We've moved the TV up there too. Its not as comfortable as it was before but we can live with it for a few months. And apparently we can live another year without the new bathroom too.

Now you may ask why don't we do some of the remodel ourselves and save money. Maybe that way we can get both done. Well you see my beloved Bubs is not really handy at all. He can use a screwdriver, a hammer and nails and even a drill. He can assemble furniture. But that is really about it. Since I love him and all of his limbs, I would never ask him to touch a power tool nor would he ever offer too.

My mom keeps telling us to sell the house and buy a newer home with less problems. Because people like us should not own old homes. Well that's great in theory but you can't sell a broken house in this market. So here we sit with our stupid broken house and I've completely forgotten why I wanted to buy it in the first place.

So the moral of the story is don't buy an old house, unless you are handy with more than just a hammer and nails.