Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions, Shmesolutions

I've never been big on New Years resolutions. I make them all the time but I've never been really big on keeping them.

Maybe its because I make grand, life changing resolutions that aren't very concrete. This year I'll get more organized. Well considering that I have the organiztional skills of an amoeba its not that hard to do. But its also not quantifiable. How do I judge if I'm more organized? Does there have to be a place for everything and everything in its place? Do I have to develop tricky new systems for organization? Because I can come up with ideas with the best of them. The follow through not so much.

So I won't be getting organized this year because I don't know what it means.

This year I'll get in shape. Oh that is a great one. What shape would I like to be in? A square, a triangle, a dodecahedron? And how do I decide when I am actuall in shape? Who measures that?

I could say I'll lose x number of pounds. But by when? Is it okay if I gain them back? Probably not. For me this is a hard one. I'd love to lose weight but I if I don't then I get down on myself and feel worse. So I don't make this resolution anymore. If it happens then it will be a happy surprise.

None of these grand life changing resolutions for me. No my resolution is much more simple. I am going to make something every day. I am going to indulge my crafty side. I am going to be the old me every day even if its just a few minutes.

But as I've shown I'm all about this being quantifiable. The former lawyer side of me wants proof. How can I show that I have made something everyday? Why I'll blog about it, of course. Not here. Here is just for Bunny and my mommy life.

My crafty life deserves a pretty new blog of its own. So starting tomorrow I'm launching a new blog Juniper and Coffee. I plan on sharing my creative endeavors (or lack there of) and the cool artists that inspire me. I want to make it the kind of place that not only inspires me but inspires others to do stuff too. Maybe that is too grand, maybe its not but that is the plan for 2009.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Or should I say Dinohouse.

Bunny received a lovely doll house for Christmas. It has 4 rooms, furniture and a little doll family. While she has in the past stated that "dolls are no fun" she has appeared to change her tune when it comes to doll houses. Everytime we see a doll house at a store or someone's house, she stops to play with it. She plays with the occupants of the house and seems to enjoy it.

So when Santa offered a doll house for Christmas, I agreed. Maybe my little girl would play with dolls after all.

I should have known better. After all, the residents of the zoo, barn, fairy house, plane and bus have all been displaced. These animals and people no longer reside in their original homes but in a big plastic bin. The dinos have taken over everything and with 31 dinos they need a lot of space.

And they took over the doll house as well. It was mass chaos in the doll house yesterday morning. The furniture was turned over and at times ejected from the house as the dinos took over. The poor family took to cowering under the staircase so they wouldn't be trampled. The dinos hung out the windows, lounged in the beds and ripped the roof right off the house. And Bunny could not have been more pleased.

When asked where the people were going to live. She looked around the room and said "the shopping cart". But when she got to the cart she realized that was where the lizard family lived. Hmm, maybe in the pink bin? No that was where the instruments are. The doll stroller? That would make sense. No. The stroller was currently occupied with a ball of yarn stolen from Mommy.

With no logical place to put the doll family, they were uncerimoniously dumped out of the house. They are no laying in a corner looking stunned and forelorn. Sorry dolls, I'm sure you are a nice family. Its just that dinos rule the roost here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Hanukkah to all

We here in But Why Mommy land celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. We want to teach Bunny about both tradtions, however, this year FAIL.

You see last year when I was putting away the decorations, I dropped the menorah and it broke. Rather than finding one during the post-holiday sales, I figured I would get one this year. Which of course I didn't remember until I got it out last week. Now I can't find one to save my life. I've looked in several stores and asked the manager if they have menorahs. They don't.

I could try to jerry rig it with duct tape and glue but I don't think that would be very safe. What with the lit candles and all. That is if I could find the candles that go with the menorah. You see if they don't sell menorahs, they probably aren't going to have candles.

So for all of you celebrating this year, Happy Hanukkah. We are with you in spirit.

Friday, December 19, 2008


We are in the midst of a huge snowstorm here in Wisconsin. It started snowing late last night and has not stopped.

Everything in town is closed. Bubs' office is closed too. None of the neighbors have even tried to shovel out. It doesn't make sense, its just going to keep snowing.

So we are hunkered down in our living room, cuddled under blankets in our pjs, drinking hot chocolate and tea. And you know what? Its pretty awesome.

(by the way that is Bubs' car directly outside of our side door which we can't open because of all the snow)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Gift That Just Keeps on Giving

Warning this post contains references to bodily functions, both mine and those of a certain feline whose exploits have been referenced here before. If you would rather not read about them, I understand. Please come back tomorrow when I will regale you with stories about the cutest, smartest toddler ever. I promise.

I suffer from IBS. Most of the time I don't have any issues. However, the condition tends to be aggrivated by hormones so there is one day every month on which it hits.

Let me tell you this is a lovely day to be me. The cramps, the moodiness, the cramps, the "issues", the cramps. So fun. Today is one of those days. So if you see me in person today I am likely to bite your head off. I apologize.

When I awoke to cries of "Mommy I have to go potty" I knew that today was the day. I could feel the cramps kicking in full force. I was not happy. I wanted to stay tucked into my warm bed with the covers over my head and wait until the bad stuff had passed. But you can't ignore the cries so I got out of bed. Luckily it was a false alarm (thanks in part to an earlier call at 4:30). I asked if she wanted to come in my bed and she said she'd rather stay in hers.

Great, I have a few more minutes in bed to curl in the fetal position and try to rock away the pain. As I was reaching for the bottle of Advil, I hear "what you doin' momma? Can I have some?" Um, no this huge bottle is just for mommy and when you get older you'll understand why.

So no rest for me. I got up and stumbled downstairs where I handed off Bunny to Bubs. I told him I needed to take care of a few things and he should occupy her. As I headed in to the bathroom, I heard her singing the Wonder Pets theme song and knew she wouldn't bother me. Privacy, glorious privacy.

Or so I thought. The door was soon opened by Tabasco. At first I thought he just wanted some attention and for me to turn the water in the sink on. As I reached down to pet him I saw that he was in the midst of a butt waggle. For those of you who don't know, the butt waggle is the tell tale sign that a cat is about to spray. And Sir Pees-a-Lot had aimed the spray directly at me on my throne. (Now I love this cat unconditionally despite the peeing and the puking but if you pee on me then we have a problem.)

What happened next was like a movie where the hero sees someone about to shoot and it goes all slo-motion. He screams "Noooooo" and jumps in front of the gun to take the bullet for the victim.

I couldn't move. Really, I couldn't move because I wasn't finished. I screamed "Nooooo" and did the heroic thing. I stuck my hand down there in an attempt to block it. I pushed his butt down and redirected the spray to the tile floor instead of my leg. Crisis averted.

When he was finished there was a rather large puddle of pee right next to the toilet just waiting for me to go all Anti-Icky Poo on it. All before 7:30 a.m.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Drive-Thru

The drive-thru is the ulitmate in convenience. You can get what you want without ever having to leave your car. No fuss, no muss.

Just place your order into the speaker, drive forward, hand your money to the person at the window and drive off with your food. In my estimation, this is the only way to do fast food. I don't eat it very often but when I break down and make a run for the border, I don't feel as bad about it if I go to the drive thru. I'm protected in the car, no one can see me ordering my tacos. Yes I am aware that someone could see my car but I pretend they can't.

Now the drive-thru wedding, I don't really understand. Are you in that much of a hurry to get married, that you can't get out of the car? Are you like Bonnie and Clyde, on the run from the law and need to be prepared for a get away at a moments notice? Or is it the kitsch value? I just don't know.

When I heard that Starbucks had installed drive-thru windows on some of their locations I didn't really understand that either. I mean I get it in theory. If you are a commuter and are in a hurry you can pull into the drive thru and get your venti, non-fat latte faster than if you went into the store.

But I never really needed coffee that badly that I couldn't get out of the car for it. My commute was only 15 minutes and there was a coffee shop in my building, so I could wait for my morning cup. Or if I really had to have it before I left, I'd make a pot when I first got up. It just seems easier.

Plus to me the best part of coffee is savoring it. I like the ambiance of the coffee house. I like to see the people. I like to smell the fresh coffee. Coffee just tastes better that way.

So I've never felt the need to visit a drive-thru for my coffee fix. Until yesterday. Yesterday there was no nap and there was a cranky toddler to deal with. I figured we'd head to the store to pick up a few things. As most parents know, the car has magical sleep inducing properties so I was also hoping for a nap.

Of course she fell asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car. We didn't make it to the store but that's okay because Bubs could pick up the stuff on the way home. But now what? If we go home, she is likely to wake up on the transfer and that would be bad. It was snowing so I didn't want to aimlessly drive around. I wanted to go somewhere, but where?

Then it hit me, the Starbucks drive thru. Genius. I could get my salted caramel hot chocolate and kill some time. (If you haven't had a salted caramel hot chocolate you must run to your local Starbucks and get one. Its that good. No its better than good, its amazing. But I digress.) This was the perfect use of the coffee drive-thru and I was glad there was one when I needed it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Its A Hard Life

Actual dinnertime conversation:

Bunny: "I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. Let's go play."

Grampa: "Now is when we sit and talk. How was your day?"

Bunny: "Well I had a very long day. I played silly dino games. Then I played silly tree games. Then silly dino games again."

Grampa: "Did you go to a party?"

Bunny: "Yes. Mr. Panda gave me Curious George stamps. Let's go play with them now. Let's go, let's go, l-i-t-s g-o."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Tempt Fate

Say you are having a conversation with your friend where you say you are surprised your daughter has not been sick at all this year, save for an occasional runny nose, what would happen?

What would happen if you write a blog post about a problem your daughter had sleeping one night?

Well you would spend Friday night cleaning puke off of your daughter, her bed, her floor, a teddy bear, her bedding and pjs. Not once but twice.

So lesson learned, you don't tempt fate.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


dee - cheez

To remove cheese from a person or object. (After Bunny fed baby T-Rex a snack, mommy had to decheese him.)

Friday, December 12, 2008


When you become a parent, sleep is like a long lost friend. You promise to keep in touch but you never really get together. You have great memories of solid a solid night sleep. And who can forget all the times you slept until noon in college. But they are only memories.

Bunny is a pretty good sleeper so we've been very lucky. But with the advent of potty training has come a new sleep issue, waking up at all hours of the night to use the potty. "Mommy I have to use the potty" can come at any time 11:00 pm, 2:00 am, 4:00 am. And of course after its over its hard to fall back asleep.

We've also encountered another problem. If Bunny doesn't wake up in time and actually goes in her diaper, she freaks out. Diapers are not for peeing in anymore, they are only for peace of mind. If she has an "accident" she sobs uncontrollably. While this is a good sign that she is potty trained, it is a bad sign for sleeping.

We had one such accident the other night. Daddy went in to comfort her to no avail. She was still wailing after 30 minutes. So we decided to bring her into our bed. We've never really done this but we were desperate. Everyone needed sleep and this seemed like a good option. It wasn't

When she arrived in our room, she flung herself into my arms and continued to cry. She finally managed to settle down and began to fall asleep. It warmed my heart to see her peaceful, to feel her heart beating as she curled up against me. But then my arm fell asleep. When she finally rolled off of my arm, I got to look at the most perfect face in the world looking so angelic in sleep. Until the most perfect foot in the world kicked me in the ribs. Hard. Twice.

And then there was the polar bear. She started mumbling about something or other. Then she sat up, looked me straight in the eyes and asked "why aren't the polar bears in the house, momma?" Um, what? Excuse me, polar bears? Oh right, I forgot she talks in her sleep.

Well the polar bears were enough to wake her up and she started tossing and turning and poking and kicking mommy some more. So it was back to her room. "Mommy don't go. Sleep on the floor with me mommy. I'm scared of the dark." And in my sleep deprived state, I agreed. I grabbed blankets and pillows and hunkered down on the floor. Where she proceeded to toss, turn, and kick me some more. Fun.

She finally got in her bed and fell asleep. I guess I did too because I woke up two hours later with an aching back and shoulder. I crawled back to my room for another hour of fitful sleep before being greeted by the cries of "I have to go potty momma" at 6:30.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Well scatterbrained is more like it.

Lately I've been having a hard time focusing. I've got eleventy million things racing around in my head. I come up with an idea and its the most brilliantest idea ever. I embrace that idea with full force until the next most brilliantest idea comes along.

And lately these ideas have been coming fast and furious. They all sound great. Any one of them would be something worth pursuing but I clearly don't have the time to be doing eleventy million things at once.

I've been trying to come up with a path. Where do I want my life to go? What do I want to be when (and if) I grow up. And my brain has been working overdrive on this. I could start a new blog/magazine with one idea which I've been thinking about for a while. I could write a book with a newer idea. I could ... I could ... I could ...

But if I can't focus on just one thing, I won't get anything done. And I'll just sit where I am swimming in the worlds greatest ideas wishing that I could pursue them.

I need a big bottle of Focusin* and a focus group to help me focus in on where to go next.

*A big shout out in the next post if anyone gets this reference.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family Fun with Cleaning

I've said it before that I really don't like cleaning. I can find a million and one other things to do instead of cleaning. I do it but I'm not happy about it at all.

But there are times that cleaning is a necessity. Over the weekend I rearranged the furniture in the living room to make room for the Christmas tree. As we are still without a functional basement (its only been 8 months) we had a lot of stuff to move. Well moving created dust and exposed areas that had previously been covered. So it was time to bust out the supplies.

I grabbed the swiffer first to sweep up some of the dust. Bunny freaked out. "I wanna do it momma. I can do it all by myself, momma."

Hmmm. Perhaps she can. It would shorten the cleaning time and it would also occupy her for a while. So we tried it. And you know what? She is pretty good at it. She got most of the spots I was going for freeing me up to vacuum.

I wonder if I put the wet swiffer on if she could wash the floors for me? The answer is yes she can. Pretty sweet.

So I got a fairly clean living room out of the deal and Bunny had loads of fun. We may be on to something here. Do you thing she is too young to . . . ?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


For the past few years my father has been sending me weekly letters. I love this tradition for a variety of reasons.

I love that it is a letter sent through the mail not just an e-mail. In the day where you can instantly communicate with someone half way around the world, it is so nice to recieve a letter in the mail.

I love that my dad takes the time to write even though he sees me several times during the week and could share the information with me at any time.

I love that he shares poems and articles that he thinks are important or that I would enjoy. I have been saving them for years and its nice to go back to them from time to time.

Recently he sent me an article entitled "Be Happy Anyway". The concept of the article is that the economic boom didn't bring us any real happiness so maybe there are ways to find happiness now. Since you can't buy happiness, you have to find other ways to be happy.

So I started thinking about what it is that makes me happy. Some days its hard to be happy, the weather is grey and yucky, there are bills to pay, errands to run, chores to do, cranky toddlers to attend to. But even then if you really stopped and thought about it, there are a bunch of things that could make you happy.

Here are just a few of the things I've come up with
1. Family. I'm pretty lucky to have the family I do. I love my husband and my daughter. I have a great relationship with my parents and with my in-laws.

2. Friends. Even though most of my friends don't live close by I know that they are always there and it makes me happy.

3. Making Stuff. It doesn't matter what it is, I just love to make stuff. I make jewelry, I crochet, I sew silly dino toys for Bunny. Just put something in my hands and set me loose and I'll be as happy as a clam.

4. Books. Before Bunny came into our lives, I could spend hours in a bookstore browsing. I've even read entire novels over the course of some of my visits. I love looking at all the art and photography books. I flip through cookbooks drooling at all the yummy goodness inside.

I don't get to bookstores as much as I would like but I've rediscovered the library and am loving it. We have library day every Tuesday. Bunny gets a stack of new books and I've started browsing for me too. I may not be able to find the latest or newest thing but I've discovered some real gems. And that process of hunting for treasure really makes me happy.

5. Writing. Somedays I don't know why I do it. I complain that no one is reading and I just ignore this blog. But sitting here at the computer, putting my thoughts out there for anyone to see does make me happy.

So there it is, just a few things that make me happy. What about you? What makes you happy? Feel free to post links if you'd like.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Everything is a whirlwind of activity this time of year. Rush to decorate the house, to buy the presents. Run off to this activity or that commitment.

Time is flying by at such an alarming rate. The holidays are almost here but it seems like only yesterday my leopard dino cat and I were trick or treating. How did that happen?

She is moving so fast too. Growing like a weed, advancing by leaps and bounds. She wants to learn everything now. She wants to master every new skill. She wants to grow up, fast. She knows she will be three in January. She is not sure what that means, only that it means she is getting bigger. And getting bigger means she can do more.

One moment she will be sitting on the floor reading a book, the next she is up and moving like a blur. She is spinning, running, jumping, dancing. Doing everything and anything she can.

All of this movement is scaring me. I don't want to move fast. I prefer to take it slow. I want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and hot cocoa, turning in on myself. I want to pull her in my lap. To hold on to her, to who she is now for just a little while longer.

I want to dive into the pool that is the present time, swiming in and soaking up the beauty of the now until my fingers get all pruny. I want to live in this moment. I want to be present in this time and this time only.

So I move slowly, deliberately. I reach out grasping at this moment and that flash holding them to my breast. I inhale deeply trying to memorize the smells. I scan the world around me, taking millions of mental pictures to capture the now.

The future does not matter. What is around the bend will come in its own time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Automatic Flushing Toilet is Evil

We started potty training Bunny during Bubs' staycation and it worked. She is basically 99.9% trained (crosses fingers, knocks wood, hops on one foot in a circle and spits). Accidents have been few and far between. She even made it through an entire week dry (overnights included). And yes I'm bragging just a little bit.

I'm glad we waited until she was ready. All in all its been awesome . . . that is until we encountered the automatic flushing toilet.

Now I know the automatic flushing toilet was invented as a convenience. It exists so that we don't have to touch the germy handles, too keep things cleaner. It just exists and I never gave it any thought. As far as I was concerned, it was a good thing. Until now.

We had a lovely day at the zoo on Saturday. It was 45 and sunny. We were enjoying it because we knew it wouldn't last, the snow was due to hit on Sunday. Trips to the zoo would stop for the year. We hit all of our favorites including the baby orangutang, Mahal, for mommy and the snakes, jellyfish and bats for Bunny.

But then we had to hit the bathroom and it was not so nice. The automatic flusher went off while Bunny was sitting on the potty and she freaked the heck out. She wouldn't go. We tried the potty at the giraffe house. No. The lion house. No! The visitor's center? No, no, no.

She took one look at the potty and made up her mind, if she didn't see a flush handle she wasn't going to go. I tried telling her that we could cover up the automatic flush so it wouldn't go off. Yeah that didn't work so well.

"No momma, I don't like these potties. No flush. I want to go home and use my potty."

You can't really argue with that logic. And I really didn't want to mess up all of her hard work becoming potty trained so we went home. She was a trooper. She made it home without an accident.

But of course you don't want to have to leave every place you are to use the potty at home. We may not be so close to home the next time. We have to solve this before it becomes a huge problem.

So I did a little research on the issue and you know whats supposed to work? Post-it notes. You just put one over the red eye on the potty and it won't flush until its removed. So simple, so easy. So now mommy is going to buy a huge stack of post-it notes and never leave home with out one.