Wednesday, February 25, 2009

D*mn You Darius Rucker

Change is coming to But Why Mommy land. Terrifying, exciting change is coming.

We signed Bunny up for pre-school next fall. She's very excited about the prospect of school (in theory). She is interested in learning. Everyday she asks, "What will I learn in school? Will I learn about giraffes? Will I learn about dinosaurs?"

I am excited for her. It means that she is no longer a little girl, she is growing up. Fast. Pretty soon she won't need me and that is a scary prospect.

We've also begun working on Turtle's adoption again. We put it on hold last fall while we figured some things out. I'm excited about bringing a new baby into the family. Well I'm excited most days. Other days I'm terrified. Things are so perfect right now, our family is in a great groove. If we bring Turtle home, what will happen? Then I start to dwell on all of the bad possibilities, the ones the books warn you about.

I literally have to shake myself to get out of this mindset. I know our family is not complete. It won't be complete until we have Turtle home with us. There is something missing without him(or her).

So my mind has been a little crazy with the possibility of Bunny growing up and not needing me and wondering what will happen when we add to our family. What's next, the unknown, the terrifying and the exciting is all right there under the surface. One moment I'm likely to laugh, the next I'll cry, the next I'll panic.

So with all of this emotion floating around, I found myself in the car with Bunny listening to the radio. I was flipping the stations looking for a good song. I came across the new Darius Rucker song and stopped to listen. I've been a fan since the Hootie days, so I was interested. I didn't expect that tears would start streaming down my face and I would have to pull over to avoid getting into an accident. D*mn you Darius Rucker, how dare you make me cry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hallelujah Part 2

The work on the basement is done! Hallelujah!

Well before I get ahead of myself, the drywall work is done. But that is the first step in reclaiming our basement.

It took a little over two weeks to go from bare stone and studs, to this:

And finally to this:

Now we have to put down new flooring, re-do the bookcases, re-do the bar, paint the walls, move the furniture, move all the toys and tv from the living room and then we'll be back in business. Which should take about another 2(or 6) months.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wanna Bet?

I love my husband. He is a wonderful man, a doting father and a loving husband. You can't ask for anyone better than him.

But he is also completely nuts.

He recently ordered some books. Everyday he'd come home from work and ask "Did my books come yet?" He looked just like a little boy waiting for Santa to come. Everyday I'd have to tell him that his books did not arrive. His face fell and he looked like I'd run over his pet.

But then his books arrived. He ran to the box, ripped it open, and hugged the books. He stared lovingly at their covers. "Look at these, aren't they wonderful?" Umm, honestly no. Then he opened one of the books and began to read "It says this guy has a WHIP of X and a . . ." I'm sure he continued talking but I blacked out for a moment because he was reading me baseball statistics.

Yes the books he ordered were for his upcoming fantasy baseball leagues. Leagues plural because there are two. Sigh.

Coupled with his strange obsession with fantasy sports is his extreme competitive nature. He pours over the stats looking for an advantage. He must win. He must beat his friends, especially Martin and David.

But apparently that is not enough for him. He also likes to challenge me. We bet on all sorts of things. Whose alma mater is going to beat the other's in football and basketball. (Usually its me but unfortunately this was a bad year for the Badgers). Who can correctly pick the most football games. Tonight we will see who gets the most Oscar winners. And so on.

He likes to make up games to compete at too: "I'm going to give you a hint and you have to guess the answer". My answer is usually I don't know or care, why don't you just tell me. Which, by the way, is not the correct answer.

One day he came home with one of those facebook notes on how well do you know your spouse. He said "Wouldn't it be fun if we wrote down what our answers would be and then the other had to guess what we wrote? We could see who got the most right. It be like the Newlywed Game." Sure, fun for you.

The only upside to this behavior is there is usually a prize involved - dinner or date night of the winner's choice. And the dinner or date is usually attended by the loving husband, not the crazy one. So I put up with it and I even try to win now and then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Jealousy is a strange emotion. Sometimes it just takes over. You can be going through a normal day, minding your own business and all of a sudden you see something or someone out of the corner of your eye and the green eyed monster hits.

You want what they have. You want to be where they are. You want to be who they are.

Jealousy reminds you of what you don't have. Sure you can probably be happy without it. You've been happy without it until now. But then you are reminded of that thing or that person that you desire and you feel like you cannot possibly live without it.

When I see scenes like this I am so jealous.

I want to be them, sleeping in the sun without a care in the world.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Age Is Just A Number, Isn't It?

The other day I got a note from a collge friend on Facebook. He said his daughter had turned 13. I couldn't belive it. How could someone I went to college with have a 13 year old daughter.

But then I realized, I graduated from college almost 18 years ago. That's the age of a college freshman. Yikes! I'm old.

I know that I am old. I'm going to be 40 this year. That is no secret. And it doesn't bother me in the least that I am going to be 40. Do you want to know why?

Because I feel young.

And its not in the you're only as old as you feel kind of a way. Its a bit harder to explain than that.

Growing up, I was one of the younger kids in my class. I had a September birthday and the cut off was December 1st. So there were some kids who were almost a year older than me in my class. I was one of the last to start driving, one of the last to reach all the major milestones. I was always the baby of the group.

When I entered the workforce after college, I was clearly one of the "young ones." And I had no idea what I was doing so I felt young and naive. That feeling stuck with me. To this day if I am new to a situation and am learning the ropes, I always assume that the person showing me how to do it is older than me. Even if its clear they are only 18. They possess more knowledge of a particular subject therefore they are older.

Strange I know but its true.

When I went back to law school at 26, I was one of the oldest amongst my friends. But I was in school so I felt young. In school = young in my book (and I wonder why I want to go back to school now).

Now that I'm a mom, I feel young. I only have one child, a pre-schooler. I'm new to this game so I must be young. The more seasoned moms, with a few kids, must be older than me. I was with the wife of a law school classmate recently. She has three kids. She is sage and wise. She was giving me advice on preschools and dance classes. I started to have that feeling of being younger than her, when I realized that she is at least 8 years younger than me and I had to laugh

So here I am a young 39 and I'll soon be a young 40, but somedays I honestly feel like I'm only 25 (ok maybe 30).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Love You More Than Dinosaurs

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh The Lengths I'll Go

to do something educational for my child.

Lately Bunny has become obsessed with trees. She wants to know the different kinds of trees, why evergreens are always green, why the other trees lose their leaves. She wants to know how they grow, what they eat etc. Every car ride is filled with questions about the trees that we pass.

I've tried explaining it to her to the best of my ability but she doesn't quite get the fact that trees have roots and that they get nutirients from the soil and the sun. Actually I don't quite get it myself.

But then I had a flash of brilliance, we would grow our own tree so she could see how it works.

So in order to take one for the team, I was forced to do the following:

All so I could do this:

In hopes that a tree will grow. I hope she appreciates the sacrifice.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Taste of Spring

Today it was 58 degrees. On February 10th. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This is the kind of weather you dream about all winter long. When its cold and snowy, you think to yourself that it will be warm. Someday. And that someday was today.

I am not naive enough to think that this will last. I know it will freeze again. I know it will snow again. But for now I will hold on to the feeling of warmth.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Hamstacks

Bunny is very creative. She loves to paint and draw. She also loves to make up fantastical stories involving dinosaurs, rhinos, rabbits and trees (or whatever strikes her fancy at the time). These stories can go on for hours but are only told to her stuffed animals not to me.

She has combined her love of art and her love of stories into an interesting little world, the world of the Hamstacks.

What is a Hamstack, you ask? Well I am not exactly sure what a Hamstack is or where she came up with them, but the picture above is a typical representation of a Hamstack family. Each line in the picture is a Hamstack. She paints these Hamstacks over and over. In fact every piece of art involves Hamstacks.

As she paints, she narrates what each Hamstack is doing. Their activities often tie into her daily life. Yesterday we went to the zoo so the Hamstacks did too. Today she woke up with a cold so the baby Hamstack had one too. The brother Hamstack was quite worried about the baby but he knew the mommy Hamstack would take care of him.

We have several Hamstack portraits hanging in our family gallery. Bunny will often take visitors to a certain painting and tell them what is going on in each piece. This Hamstack is doing this, that one is doing something else and so on. The visitors are amazed and rightly so, the Hamstacks are an interesting bunch.

In fact sometimes I am jealous of the Hamstacks because they appear to lead much more interesting lives than I do. They are from France, they have traveled the world, they are scientists and artists, they throw killer parties, they live the life of leisure. And me, not so much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I didn't want to jinx it. I was afraid if I said it aloud it wouldn't happen. But it did and now I can shout from the rooftops.

They have started the work on our basement!

For those of you who've been following for a while, you know I live in a stupid old CrapShack which keeps breaking down and may in fact kill me. So the fact that they have started drywalling the basement means that we may actually get back down there in 2009. Which means that my living room and dining room can go back to being used for their original purposes instead of being a complete and total disaster area.

I'm so happy I could jump for joy. You know what I think I will actually do that.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This One Is All Glitter Hearts and Balloons

I've been feeling a bit angsty lately if you haven't noticed. But that is not all that is going on in our world. Lots of things have been wonderful so I thought I'd share some with you.

Bunny's new thing is when you say "I don't know" or "Yeah" she gets quite angry. "Don't say that momma. Saying that makes Giganta's book go away and he loves his book. Don't make it go away." Well all righty, she sure told me.

She's also asking a lot of why questions, of course she is, she's 3. We always try and give the right answer. There is no sense in making something up, its better to tell her the truth. I think she appreciates it, even if she doesn't always understand the answer.

But what do you say to this question: "Momma, why are the dinosaurs extinct?"

"Um, well . . . you see know one really knows. There have been lots of theories but none of them have been proven. Maybe when you get bigger you can be a scientist and you can figure out."

"Oh yes, I be dino scientist. I love dinos."

She is also all about the glitter stickers. If she could she would cover every surface in our house with glitter stickers (which may actually be an improvement). Right now there are some on our side table in the living room, on the bathroom walls, on her horses and on every piece of art in the place. The plastic/paper backings are floating all around. The forced air heat keeps blowing them around making it nearly impossible to pick them all up. Of course I keep buying the stickers whenever I see them.

We still have the #3 mylar balloon we bought for her birthday over three weeks ago. I can't belive its lived this long, but it has. The regular balloons were released from captivity to go to live in the stars. Do you know why the stars are so bright? Its because all the balloons live in the stars (ok maybe we don't always tell her the truth but I like this little story).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Broken Down

The other day I cried in front of my daughter. And I don't just mean that there were tears running down my face. No I sat down on the ground, head in my hands and sobbed in front of her.

I've always been an easy crier. I cry at the drop of the hat. I cry during comercials. I cry during movies. I cry when I'm happy or sad, glad or angry. I just cry.

But I try to maintain control over my emotions when I deal with Bunny. I don't want her to see me to angry or upset. I am the adult, I need to show her how to deal with things calmly and rationally.

Everyone has a breaking point, however, and on Friday I met mine. Our house, our stupid Crapshack of a house, continues to break down. This time its the toilets. The upstairs one hadn't been working right for a while and we couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. We didn't call a plumber, figuring we could fix it ourselves. But we didn't. And on Friday the same problem happened with the downstairs toilet. We had no functional toilets.

I was mad, mad at myself, mad at my husband, mad at the stupid Crapshack, mad that I had to call a plumber. I was also exhausted. I had not been sleeping well due to all the things running through my head. I was worried about fixing the basement, fixing this stupid house, worried about our second adoption, worried about Bunny, worried about everything.

My emotions were rising to the surface when it came to nap time. Bunny looked at me and promised she would nap or play in her room quietly. I needed this one thing from her. I needed some time to compose myself before the plumber came.

But like so many times before and I am sure so many more times to come, what I wanted and what I needed did not matter. The only thing that mattered to her was what she wanted. And at that time, what she wanted to do ended up breaking me down. I could hear her running around, pulling every toy off the shelf, opening the door and running into my room. I could hear her calling for me "Momma, momma, momma. I'm not going to sleep. I don't want to play up here."

I went upstairs 4 times explaining to her that she needed to have some quiet time. "I don't wanna, momma." "Please." "No!" The fifth time finally did it. As I was walking up the stairs she was running back and forth between her room and mine. I asked her to listen to me and she refused.

Right at that moment all of the frustration and exhaustion broke through the little cracks in my resolve and came rushing out in a torrent of tears. I could not plug up the cracks any more. I had to let the tears flow or I would be swept away. I sat down at the top of the stairs and let the emotion overcome me, my body shuddering with the weight of everything I was feeling.

Finally I regained some measure of control and looked for Bunny. My display did not seem to affect her as I thought it would have. I thought her seeing me like this would have scared her, as it had scared me. But it did not. In fact, she continued to run from room to room, slamming and opening doors, laughing the entire time.

I knew that she could not possibly understand what it was like to have the weight of the world crushing in on you. No, I would protect her from that for as long as I could. I wanted her to stay that happy, carefree little girl. But I also wanted her to play quietly in her room.

Luckily for me and my sanity, we managed to come to an agreement. She played in her room the entire time the plumber was here, not fixing anything (but that is a story for another day).