Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Love You Happily Ever After

We entered the Office of Civil Affairs in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China on October 30, 2006. Two long years of waiting were over and we were going to finally be a family.

I had some idea what to expect when I walked through the door. I had spoken with a few families who had done this and I had seen a video of the process. What I thought was going to happen is that our group would be in a conference room. They would bring in the babies and call each family forward to be united with their child.

That is what I thought would happen. But in reality I can best describe it as crying and chaos, chaos and crying. Babies were crying. Parents were crying.

We walked into a large room and there were several groups of families waiting for their children. Nannies and babies sat on one side of the room. It seemed like no one was running the show.

I looked all over for Bunny. I had only seen a few pictures but I was sure I would recognize her. And I did. She was sitting on a nanny's lap staring out into a sea of unfamiliar faces. While some of the babies were crying, Bunny was not. She seemed nervous but calm.

I wanted to run to her, to grab her in my arms and never let go. But I couldn't. I had to wait my turn. Our guide located the orphanage director and they had to match the babies to the parents. Several other families in our group got their babies but we were still waiting.

Finally they called our name. Bubs manned the video camera and we handed our new camera to someone we didn't know. I walked up to the director and finally was able to hold Bunny in my arms. I just stared at her. She was so tiny and perfect.

She was wearing a bright yellow shirt and yellow pants with electric blue split pants. Most of the other babies from the orphanage were wearing the same thing. She was holding a stuffed bear that we had sent to her in a care package. It was the only familiar thing she had at that moment.

She was 9 1/2 months old. She had spent about six months living with a foster family. She went back to the orphanage when she was matched with us. She was leaving the only familiar home she had to go with these strangers. They didn't look like anyone she had seen before. They didn't sound like anything she was used to. She could not have understood what was happening to her but she really didn't cry.

Being first time parents we had no idea what to do. We had brought bottles from the US and we were given formula and rice cereal when we arrived in China. But of course we didn't bring any of this with us. We only brought a bowl of Cheerios. It wasn't enough. She had left the orphanage early in the morning and traveled for 3 hours on a bus. She was tired and hungry and her new parents didn't have any food for her. Poor girl.

But we were finally together. We were finally a family. We would figure this all out together. We would figure out what it meant to be her parents. She would figure out what it meant to be our daughter. What it meant to be our forever family.

This Is It ... Well Almost

Today's the day we finally meet Bunny. Two years of waiting and anticipating is finally going to pay off.

But first things first, there is business to take care of. Our camera, which we brought to record the moment we first meet Bunny, is broken. It doesn't work. It is D-E-A-D! How can we do this without a camera?

The camera broke the night before. We thought we would walk to Wal-Mart to buy a new one. That is what we would do at home. You have a problem, you seek a solution to the problem. You have a broken camera, you buy a new one.

So we walked the 5 blocks from our hotel to Wal-Mart. Navigating a strange city. Trying to survive the walk, trying to survive the traffic. There are no traffic laws, it appears to be every vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or cart for themselves. The only rule for pedestrians is don't get in the way. So we stepped off the curb, started to run and prayed that we would make it to the otherside. We did.

We made it to Wal-Mart without any accidents and managed to find the electronics department. It looked fairly similar to one we'd see at home. I recognized the camera brands. I saw one that I wanted. I managed to communicate with the sales clerk enough to let him know we wanted to buy it. Bubs handed over the credit card and . . . it didn't work.

What! I can't buy the camera. I can't record the memory of meeting my daughter for the first time. I tried hard not to lose it. I mean what's the point.

By that time, a crowd had gathered around us. We were quite the attraction. They do not get many foreigners in this city. But alas, none of them spoke English so we could not find out what had happened and we had to leave the store without a camera.

But this story does have a happy ending. Our guide, Grace, took Bubs to an eletronics store where he was able to successfully purchase a camera. An employee of the store came to our hotel to make sure the camera worked with our computer (that would never happen here). And two short hours before meeting Bunny we were the proud owners of a functional camera.

Stay tuned tonight where I promise I will finally tell the story of how we met Bunny for the first time (I tried to tell her the story today but she didn't really seem to care. She wanted to watch Ni Hao Kai Lan instead. "Stop talking momma. Kai Lan momma." Well alright then.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Almost There

The days blurred together. We were racing the sun. It was dark but it was never night. Today became tomorrow. Almost time but not quite.

You spend your whole life trying to find north on your compass. Looking for your true north, the path which you are supposed to travel. And here I was finally setting out on that path on a plane traveling from today to tomorrow to my future. Staring out into the vast nothingness of the North Pole waiting to turn south, waiting to head to my true home. The home I would find once I held my daughter in my arms.

The plane landed. Planes always do. In a city full of buildings and lights and people, so many people. It was in Hong Kong but it could have been New York, or London or Rome. I was not home yet, I might as well have been half a world away.

Night became day again. Another plane ride, one step closer to home. The plane landed. Planes always do. A smaller city full of buildings and people, so many people. And in one day it would hold yet another person. The most important person of all. In one day the city would hold my daughter. In one day, I would hold my daughter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Its a Leopard Dino Cat

Ah the joys of asking a two year old what they want to be for Halloween when they don't really understand what it means. For weeks Bunny said she wanted to be a kitty. Great, we've got the black clothes so we just had to buy ears and a tail. Done and done.

But I wondered, wouldn't she want to be a dinosaur. She's obsessed with dinosaurs. Should I just buy a dino costume? So I asked her and she said no, she wanted to be a kitty. Ok I'm holding you to that.

Then she said she wanted to be a tiger. I can work with that. I could buy a orange sweatshirt and some black felt. I could do that, but I was feeling kind of lazy. How would you like to be a leopard? You've already got the coat. Ok, leopard it is.

Then Sunday rolls around and we are getting dressed for trick or treat. Come on Bunny, lets put on your ears and tail. "Why, momma?" Because you are going to be a leopard kitty. "No I wanna be a dino." What? Why did I listen to you? I should have just bought the dino costume and been done with it.

But Bubs swooped in to save the day. You are going to be a leopard dino, he proclaimed. "Oh ok, daddy. I love leopard dinos."

Bet you've never seen a Leopard Dino Cat before.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day One

It was two years ago today but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Bubs and I checked and double checked everything. We set the timers for the lights. We made sure the cats had enough food and clean litter until my mom could stop by and give them more. The house was okay.

The suitcases were loaded in the car and we were off to the airport. I was so anxious I could hardly control myself. I reached out to grab Bubs' hand to make sure that this was real, that it was not a dream.

We arrived at the airport, the sun was shining. I was sure there would be no delay. We would be on our way in no time.

But when we arrived at the gate, we were told our flight to Chicago was overbooked. They offered to send people to Chicago via a bus arriving at 10:10. Our connecting flight was at 10:48 so we chose not to take the bus. We did not chose wisely.

We boarded the plane and it pulled back from the gate. This was it, we were on our way. And then they told us there was a delay in Chicago so we would have to wait on the tarmac. So we waited, for an hour. There was still a delay in Chicago so they allowed us to go back to the gate and wait for the ok to fly. So we waited at the gate, for another hour.

We had already missed our connecting flight. I was in a panic. We were supposed to be on our way, not sitting in the Milwaukee airport.

We were finally allowed to takeoff and after 45 minutes arrived in Chicago at 12:15. We didn't know what to do. I tried calling to find out what plane we were re-booked on. But I could not get through.

So we, along with countless others who were delayed, got in line and waited to talk to a customer service agent. After waiting for another hour we found out that we had indeed been booked on another flight, the 12:18 flight. Which left 3 minutes after our flight had landed. That didn't quite work. So they rebooked us on another flight for the next day.

I had been waiting for this day for two years. I knew that one more day would not kill me. We would arrive in China. We would meet our daughter. Soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Varmints:

Do you mind if I call you varmints? Because that is what you are. Everyone else may think you are cute little squirrles, but I'm not fooled. You are varmints.

Now we go back a long way and I've put up with a lot from you. You built your nest in my exhaust fan in the upstairs bathroom. I don't know how long you lived there but one day would be too long.

You've made a few uninvited visits into our home. You caused some destruction when you were chased by our cats (hopefully they chased you and not the other way around). While the image of Bubs trying to get you to run out of the front door instead of under the couch was freaking hilarious (I wish I had it on video so I could put it up on YouTube), I really didn't appreciate the visit.

I thought we'd gotten past our problems. I know you were a bit (ok majorly) peeved when we evicted you but you seemed to let it go. The creepy garage seemed like a nice alternative living space for you. You frolicked in the yard, eating the bird seed we provided. And you really seemed to like the apples falling from our tree.

But then as these things go, we decided to evict you from the garage too. We are trying to get it into shape and frankly I was scared to go in there. I never knew when one of you would jump out at me. So out you went.

I know that you are upset with all of the changes we've made to your living arrangements. But now you've gone too far and its upsetting Bunny. I cannot let this continue.

A few weeks ago we took a family trip to the pumpkin farm. Bunny was excited to pick out her own pumpkins. When we got home, we proudly displayed said pumpkins on our porch along with several gourds I picked out.

The first day all of the gourds disappeared, seven total. I couldn't be sure who had done it. Maybe it was one of the kids down the street. So I didn't get too mad.

The next day one of the pumpkins had been completely disembowled, leaving seeds everywhere. I began to suspect it was you. My suspicions were confirmed the following morning when I saw you tearing into another one. One by one the pumpkins went down, only their tattered carcasses remained.

Bunny was horrified. "Momma, what happened to the punkins? The punkins are gone." I had to act fast. We headed to the local farm stand to buy more. These we carved. Bunny enjoyed it so much. She loved the faces we made. She was so proud to put them out on the porch.

I was a bit hesitant but thought since the seeds were gone you might leave them alone. But no. You started in right away. There are teethmarks in every one. The tops are totally gone from two. I know they won't last until Halloween and I'm not going to buy more to fuel your sadistic games. You haven't bothered the 10 pumpkins on our neighbor's porch. None of the others in the neighborhood have been eaten. Only ours.

That is it. I'm drawing a line in the sand. This ends tonight, one way or another.

BFL picks

Last week I tried something new. No smack talk, only picks. And it worked. Well almost worked. I almost won. Almost. I finished second. And I tied with Bubs.

So no more smack talk, just picks.

Tampa Bay @ Dallas
Washington @ Detroit
Buffalo @ Miami
St. Louis @ New England
San Diego @ New Orleans
Kansas City @ NY Jets
Atlanta @ Philadelphia
Oakland @ Baltimore
Arizona @ Carolina
Cleveland @ Jacksonville
Cincinatti @ Houston
NY Giants @ Pittsburg
Seattle @ San Francisco
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
MNF score - 52

Here are Bubs' picks:
oak @ BAL
ari @ CAR
tb @ DAL
WAS @ det
BUF @ mia
stl @ NE
sd @ NO
kc @ NYJ
atl @ PHI
cle @ JAC
cin @ HOU
NYG @ pit
SEA @ sf
IND @ ten

And don't forget to head over to the lovely Insta-mom for the rest of the BFL picks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Essay on My Life

Right now I am working my way through the paperchase phase of our adoption.

As part of this process, I've been asked to answer a Parent Questionnaire. It seems like this questionnaire is designed to give some one who doesn't know you a complete description of you. Who you were, who you are now and who you hope to be.

Its an interesting exercise, trying to sum up all of your experiences. To find out what makes you tick. You look at your past remebering the events both good and bad that shaped your outlook on life. You wonder what would you have done differently, if anything. I might have forgone some forgetable wardrobe choices and hairstyles but that is it. Everything that has happened, no matter how difficult or painful, is etched on my soul. These events have made me who I am today.

Then they ask you about what you want for your child. What experiences you had growing up do you want your children to have. What do you not want them to have. You of course want to share all the really cool things that you did, saw and experienced with your kids. And you want to sheild them from all the bad stuff.

How would you want your children to be like you or not like you? These children do not share your DNA. They do not share that fundamental part of you. They are not going to have your eyes or your height. All the ways that they will be like you will be learned from you, from how you act and what you say. Wow. So this makes you think about what kind of values do you want to impart on your children. What passions and joys do you want to share with them.

These are the questions that parents think about for their child's whole life. These are the questions that keep you up at night. They are the essence of what makes you a parent. There are no easy answers. How am I supposed to come up with an answer and write it down on a piece of paper?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Warning Do Not Try This At Home

Have you ever been so tired that you felt if you let your head start to nod it would snap off your body, roll out the door, down the street and land in the gutter covered in leaves and dirt? Have you ever been so tired that you thought your head had already done that?

All you can think about in your headless state is sleep. Sleep is the only thing that will cure the headlessness. Nap, you need to nap.

Now what would you do if you, in your headless state, were confronted with a toddler who vehemently dislikes naps. If you shut her in her room while you nap, you know there will be no peace. You've done that before.

Would you decide that the only rational option is to have a slumber party in her room? Would your headless body belive that if you made a game out of sleeping she would sleep? If she saw you sleep that she would sleep and you would awake with your head back on your body?

It seems like such a simple idea. It has worked in the past at nighttime. Somehow laying on the floor with a blanket and pillow makes it easier for her to sleep, easier for you to sleep.

So you grab that blanket and pillow and make a big production out of arranging them on the floor. You both cuddle under the blanket and read some books. Then you lean over and kiss her before "falling asleep."

But as desperately as you want sleep, she desperately wants not to sleep. She runs around the room pulling every book off the shelf. "Read this book, momma." "Read that book, momma." Books are thrown around the room, some land on you.

But you continue to "sleep", hoping against hope that she will fall asleep too. You become a jungle gym. You are climbed on, climbed over, jumped on. It does not feel good.

There are attempts to wake you. "Momma, momma, momma" shouted in an outside voice. "Momma are you sleeping?" whispered as loudly as possible. "Momma, no sleep," whispered quietly from a mouth pressed directly into your ear.

You are covered in kisses to wake you up. You are covered in drool from the kisses.

Thwack, thwack, thwack. The sounds of the glider hitting the wall, over and over again. You make a mental note to move the glider further away from the wall to stop that from happening. But not now. You cannot show weakness now. If your eyes open or you change positions, she will have won. There will be no nap and your head will still be lying in the gutter at the end of the street.

This goes on and on. You don't know how long you've been lying there. But all of a sudden it seems quiet. Has she given up? Have she fallen asleep? Have you fallen asleep? You don't know and you don't want to check and see.

But then you hear it, "Momma, this book has a dinosaur in it." Well, duh. All your books seem to have dinos in them.

At that point, you give up. No one is sleeping today. You open your eyes and see a smiling face three inches from your own. You reach out for the book to read it, glancing at your watch. And then you notice its been an hour and a half. You could not have survived the onslaught for that long, you must have slept. She must have let you sleep.

You tentatively reach up to see if your head is attached to your body again. It is. It may be hanging by a few threads but it is there. You can go on with the day. However, you vow never to try that again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bottle It

I have this ritual when I am feeling sad or down. I pick up my daughter and I tickle her.

Its a simple act. Its a way of connecting to something outside of myself. When I tickle her I know that there is something so much more important than me.

Her laughter has a magical quality. It reaches inside and soothes my soul. I wish that I could bottle it up and carry it with me always.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The past few days have been pretty quiet around here. And by quiet I mean almost silent.

There has been no pitter patter of little feet, no sounds of toys being played with, no scratches of crayons on paper, no calls of "Momma look at this."

Bunny spent Thursday and Friday night at my parents house, reminding me what this house was like before she came home. Well at least how it sounded, not how it looked because her toys and things are everywhere.

In a way its nice to have the break. It allowed me to get a good night sleep two days in a row. It allowed me to get some things done that needed to be done. Basically, I was able to recharge my batteries.

But in another way, I don't like it at all. I miss seeing her. I miss hearing her little voice. I miss her hugs. I miss her saying "I love you momma." I just miss her.

So I am sitting here waiting for her return, knowing she will be here in just an hour or so. I am enjoying the silence for one last time. When she is here, there is no such thing as silence. And that is good.

Now on to more mundane matters, my BFL picks for week 7:

San Diego @ BUFFALO
Minnesota @ CHICAGO
PITTSBURG @ Cincinatti
TENNESSEE @ Kansas City
DALLAS @ St. Louis
San Francisco @ NY GIANTS
NEW ORLEANS @ Carolina
Detroit @ HOUSTON
NY JETS @ Oakland
Indianapolis @ GREEN BAY
Cleveland @ WASHINGTON
Seattle @ TAMPA BAY
DENVER @ New England
MNF combined score - 47

And here are Bubs' picks
BAL @ mia
PIT @ cin
no @ CAR
sf @ NYG
min @ CHI
TEN @ kc
sd @ BUF
DAL @ stl
det @ HOU
IND @ gb
cle @ WAS
NYJ @ oak
sea @ TB
den @ NE

If you are interested in the BFL, head on over to Insta-mom to see what all the fuss is about.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Normally I hate to fight. I hate conflict. It makes me uneasy. I want everything to be peaceful.

I like to live in the little bubble I've created with my family. Here everything is good, everything is peaceful. We have what we need.

But unfortunately life is not like that for a lot of people. They don't live in peaceful little bubbles. They live in the real world. And sometimes the real world is ugly. There is conflict. They do not have peace. They do not have what they need. They live in poverty.

They . . . are not strangers. They live in my town, they are my neighbors. They live half a world away, they are my family.

So today I pick up the figurative sword to fight. I stand with my fellow bloggers to fight poverty.

If we join together to do something, no matter how small, we can change the world for someone. We can help to make poverty history.

My plan is to donate to my community's food bank, to make scarves for the homeless and to donate to UNICEF in Ethiopia to help children like Turtle.

Can you help too?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tag You're It

A while back, I was tagged by the lovely Karen of Mommy I am Home to share 7 random or weird facts about yourself. Since I am all about the weird and random, I thought I would give it a shot.

So here goes:

1. I started this post and then went to save it but accidently hit publish. So if this showed up in your reader with just a blank #1, then I'm sorry. I'm kind of a dork that way.

2. I have some sort of adult ADD. I find it hard to concentrate on one thing so I always have multiple projects going. But my multi-tasking rarely gets completed. I find half-finished pieces all the time. The same goes for books. One day I will finish them.

3. I am a fountain of useless information. I know all of these random facts and I have no idea why. I always win when I play trivial pursuit. But ask me what I did yesterday and I might not remember.

4. I have a great sense of direction and can get anywhere if I've been there before. But I can not give you directions without pointing the way you need to go. If I tell you to turn right make sure you see which way my hands are going. The hands are always right.

5. I haven't had a caffeinated beverage in almost 20 years. But I still drink coffee every day.

6. My porn name (the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on) is Sugar Hi Mount. I think I'll keep it.

7. I did a workout video yesterday and now it causes me pain to walk. This is why I don't workout on a regular basis.

Well that is it. I'm sure I could come up with a million other weird and random things about me, but I want you all to keep reading.

I'm supposed to tag some people now but I'm feeling rather lazy so I tag everyone who is reading.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wanna Hear A Story, Momma?

A mommy jellyfish and a daddy jellyfish and some baby jellyfishes were swimming. They saw a volcano and jumped in the volcano. They had a good day.

The end.

As told by Bunny to her mother, to share with all of you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are We There Yet

Four simple little words. Alone they are fine, but used together they will strike fear in the heart of any parent. Especially if they are repeated ad nauseum over the course of a road trip.

Yesterday was one such day for us. Our cousin who got married in Las Vegas a few weeks ago was having a reception picnic at a park near her house in Illinois. We decided to go so we could see some relatives who weren't at the wedding. We also decided to bring Bunny along because the family hadn't seen her in about a year.

Now we live in Milwaukee which is about 2 hours from the greater Chicagoland area. B.B. (before Bunny) we used to think nothing of driving down for the day. Well we really didn't do it that often but we could have if we wanted to. But adding a toddler in the mix always complicates matters.

We had Chinese class in the morning. We decieded to have lunch after that and then hit the road. This puts us at about noon, which in theory should induce napping. In Theory.

In reality, not so much. We made the mistake of telling her we were going to a party. So the conversation in our car went something like this. "Let's go to the party." "I'm not gonna nap." "Let's go to the party." "I'm not gonna nap." Lather, rinse, repeat. For two straight hours.

I refused to pull out the DVD player to entertain her because I was hoping she would give up and fall asleep. Man am I stupid.

So we finally get to the party to see all the family. It was nice to see people we hadn't seen in a while. The park where the picnic was was on a river and really pretty. It was a beautiful day, 75 and sunny. The food was catered. It was worth the two hours of torture we had just survived. It was perfect, almost.

Almost because the pavillion where the food and tables were was covered with those little Asian Beetles (lady bugs) that are everywhere now. Now I may have mentioned my intense dislike of all things bug. If you get one or two of those Asian Beetles in your house, no big deal. But hundreds, nay thousands, yeah that is a big deal. And they were flying everywhere, getting in your hair, on your face, down your (my) shirt, on your food. Oh yeah and they bite. Not fun.

Bunny lost it. She loves all things bug. Except for flying bugs. Those she hates. So she wouldn't eat her food. She just kept saying "I don't like flies, go away flies. Make flies go away momma."

So in order to fend off a total meltdown, grampy took her for a walk and all was well. She found a bench under a tree where she proceeded to collect acorns, leaves, bark and wood chips. Yeah, that's my kid. If mommy were to venture down to her little oasis, she was told in no uncertain terms to go away. Only grampy and grandma could be there. Well alright then.

When it was time to go, we went back to the pavillion to say our goodbyes. Bunny gave hugs and high fives like a champ. And then she noticed the lady bugs. But this time they were on the ground, and she wanted to stay so she could watch them crawl around. "I love lady bugs momma."

Luckily for the sanity of all involved, she fell asleep as soon as the car pulled out of the parking lot and we managed to survive the trip.

Later that night, I turned to my husband and said "That was nice, let's not do that again."

Friday, October 10, 2008

BFL Week Six

My crafty plan at BFL and world domination is working. I've lulled you all into a false sense of security by making mediocre picks for the past few weeks. I'm 22 and 20. I'm no threat, right?

Wrong! Now is the time that butwhymommy kicks
it into high gear. I'm gonna win all my games. I'm gunning for the winners badge. Its gonna be living here for the rest of the year.

Baltimore @ Indy
Miami @ Houston
Chicago @ Atlanta
Detroit @ Minnesota
Oakland @ New Orleans
Cincinatti @ NY Jets
Carolina @ Tampa
St. Louis @ Washington
Jacksonville @ Denver
Dallas @ Arizona
Philadelphia @ San Francisco
Green Bay @ Seattle
New England @ San Diego
NY Giants @ Cleveland

MNF score - 37

Ok here are Bubs' picks, however, they are completely irrelevant given my stated intention of world domination:

GB @ Sea
NY Giants @ CLE

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The End of an Era

Yesterday I changed my display name on my blog. I am no longer posting as reneedesigns, I am now officially butwhymommy.

Now this may not seem like much of a big deal, my blog name is But Why Mommy, I sign my name as butwhymommy when I comment on other blogs. It is who I am right now. I am butwhymommy because I am a mommy.

But it is strange for me. I started blogging in 2006 under the name reneedesigns. I have an etsy store also called ReneeDesigns. For two years it was how I identified myself. I was a jewelry designer and I my name is Renee. The two when hand in hand.

I had made jewerly for years and wanted it to be my profession. I took classes, I learned new techniques. I sold my jewelry at art and craft fairs, at local boutiques. I was even in stores in California and Minnesota for a time. Reneedesigns represented who I wanted to be.

Of course when you become a mother things fall by the wayside. They have to, its only natural. A child takes up so much of your time. But you also want to spend all of your time with them, to see what they will do next, what new thing will they learn.

As Bunny grew, I spent less and less time making jewerly. Occasionally I would have bursts of creativity and make a bunch of new pieces. But they would sit there waiting for me to photograph them and list them on line. Or waiting to go to the my local store. In fact they are still sitting there, except for occasionally when I pull them out to wear them.

I still get compliments on my work and it still gives me a thrill. Like maybe, just maybe I could do this. But I don't. I've taken all of my pieces out of the local store. I barely have any left in my etsy shop. When things expire, I don't relist them. Its like the store is slowly closing itself.

I might go crazy and list a bunch of things for the holidays or I might not. I don't know. But I am okay with that.

The funny thing is being a mom has made me more creative than ever before. I'm drawing and painting on a daily basis (usually crowded in a little pink plastic chair at a kid sized table). I've been crocheting myself a sweater. I've started (and started and restarted) a little cloche for Bunny to wear this winter. I've bought materials to make Bunny a dress. I've made some designs for a dinosaur t-shirt that are waiting to be made.

I'm having fun and enjoying myself in the artistic process. I feel like a kid again because I am experiencing all of this with my kid.

So I may no longer be reneedesigns. I may be butwhymommy. But my name is still Renee and I still design.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


For more on Wordless Wednesday click here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dolls Are No Fun

There were several moments this weekend that captured the essence of Bunny, exactly who she is right now.

She was looking at some leaves we had found the day before. "What this leaf, momma?" That is a maple. "What this one?" That is an oak leaf. "What this one?" I don't know honey. "Let's go look it up on the computer, momma." Yes, that is right, at 2 2/3 she knows that you can find the answer to all things on the computer.

During the car ride to the pumpkin farm she was telling me everything she and daddy had played with that morning. Did you play with Dinos? "Yes." Did you play with playdough? "Yes." Did you color? "Yes." Did you play with dolls? "No. Dolls are no fun."

Watching me put on lipstick, "can I have some lipstick, momma?"

At the apple orchard, stuffing her mouth with an apple with one hand while picking up all the fallen apples and throwing them away with the other.

While on the hayride, "Are the cows gonna eat this hay later, momma?"

While picking pumpkins, "I don't wanna hold the pumpkin, its dirty."

Another family at the farm found a caterpillar which was passed around to all the kids on the hayride. While holding the caterpillar "its tickly momma. Can we keep him?" No honey he lives at the farm. "I love the caterpillar momma."

She loves dinos and hates dolls. She is fascinated by bugs and science but doesn't want to get dirty. She wants to learn about everything and wants to wear lipstick to look pretty while doing it. That is my Bunny.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My House Is Slowly Killing Me

Seriously. If you read about my untimely demise you can be assured that the underlying cause will be the stupid Crap Shack I am living in.

In the past 24 hours the upstairs toilet has broken, I've seen a mouse and the boy cat peed in the office.

So now we need to call a plumber. Luckily our neighbor across the street is a plumber, hopefully he can comeover today and fix it. Our house has two full bathrooms, unforunately the upstairs one is currently down to a sink. That is just not right.

And, yes more cat pee. But at least he is not peeing on the furniture anymore. He has decided to pee on the wood floor which is much easier to clean. So I guess I have that going for me.

And finally, a mouse. Yikes! Luckily he was in the dark scary basement. Now we have to search out all the holes in the foundation and plug them with steel wool so no more little guys get in. Then we find all the holes in the house and plug them too. Traps, check.

But I would like to send a little message to the boy cat if he's reading: If you're going to pee in the house, you better start catching any mice that show up. Its the least you can do.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall, Glorious Fall

I love fall. I love everything about it. The crisp weather. The leaves turning colors. Picking apples. Decorating for Halloween. Trick or Treating (mmm candy). Football, both the Badgers and the Packers. And for the first time in 26 years Baseball in October (go Brewers, please win at least one game for me, kay).

So it is with much joy and excitement that I present this weeks BFL picks (although I don't know why I'm excited, I've been sucking lately):

KC @ Carolina
Chicago @ Detroit
Atlanta @ Green Bay
San Diego @ Miami
Seattle @ NY Giants
Washington @ Philadelphia
Tennessee @ Baltimore
Indianapolis @ Houston
Tampa Bay @ Denver
Buffalo @ Arizona
New England @ San Fran
Cincinatti @ Dallas
Pittsburg @ Jacksonville
Minnesota @ New Orleans
Combined MNF score 39

Here are Bubs' picks (winner in bold):
ten @ BAL
ATL @ gb
kc @ CAR
SD @ mia
was @ PHI
sea @ NYG
IND @ hou
CHI @ det
tb @ DEN
BUF @ ariz
cin @ DAL
NE @ sf
pit @ JAC
min @ NO

If you are interested in the BFL and want in on the fun, just head over to the lovely Insta-mom.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Three black circles appeared. This is good, I was assured One is good. Three is great.

Three black circles gave me a faint glimmer of hope.

Three black circles allowed hope to take root in my heart.

Three black circles made me believe what was previously thought impossible was in fact possible.

Three black circles began to take shape in my mind. I thought about one. Yes, one is good. Two? Two is good. What about three? Three is insane but good.

Three black circles gave me joy that sustained me.

One red stain ended it all.

One red stain gave me pause.