Thursday, May 28, 2009

Floored

Last night was the first time in three weeks that Bunny spent the night in her bed. She hasn't taken refuge in our bed, although she's asked. No, she has been sleeping on her floor.

I'm not really sure how it all started. I think it was an attempt to stave off going to bed. She said she wanted to lay on the floor. Since we couldn't make her sleep we agreed. When she fell asleep we carried her to her bed. We didn't think anything of it.

But then she only wanted to sleep on the floor. We had to bring her animals and blankets to the floor. If we tried to put her in her bed after she fell asleep she would wake in the middle of the night and cry. She would only sleep on the floor, no bed for her.

So we let it go. We figured it was just a phase. But we asked why she didn't want to sleep in her bed. We received answers such as "my bed isn't comfortable" or "the floor is more cozy". When we asked what we could do to make her bed nicer, she was vague. I think she liked the floor. She thought of it as an adventure.

This past weekend she slept in a bed with no fuss. Granted I was in the bed with her and it was a hotel bed, but it was a bed nonetheless. We thought she would go to her own bed when we got home. We thought wrong. She wanted the floor again.

We didn't know if this was a problem. If it was bad to sleep on the floor. It didn't seem to bother her at all. She slept soundly, through the night. So we didn't worry too much. Well we worried a little but not as much as we would have if she wasn't sleeping.

Finally, Bubs came up with an idea. He asked if she would like it if we made her bed into a tent. She was thrilled at the idea. But how would we do it? I found a sheer curtain that I was going to put up in her room (before I realized that sheer curtains in a kid's room was a bad idea). So we draped this over one edge of her bed (she has a little day bed so there are three rails). This worked. She and her bunnies camped out in that end of the bed and she slept there all night long.

I don't know if it will continue or if we'll be back to camping out on the floor. But for one night I felt better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stupid

Sometimes my own stupidity amazes me.

When they announced that BlogHer was going to be in Chicago I was thrilled. It was only 90 miles from my home. I could drive there, no worries about plane tickets. I could totally afford it and I was totally going.

I made arrangements for childcare. Bubs was going to take off of work. I told everyone I knew I was going. I was invited to and RSVP'd for parties.

But I forgot to actually register for the conference. Bubs reminded me but I never did it. I figured I had some time, it was still two months away.

But when I went to finally register, it was full. There were no tickets left. I was on the waiting list. When I found this out, I broke down in tears. Real tears that are usually reserved for important real life things.

But the thing is this blog and my blog friends have become a part of my real life, a very important part. This blog has given me a voice. It has helped me become more confident. It has helped me try new things, maybe not always successfully but I've tried. The blog has also given me you, my wonderful blog friends. Friends who have been there for me, to help me through the rough spots and to celebrate the good things.

I was finally going to put the two pieces of my life together. My blog life and my real life were going to merge. I was going to put faces to names. I was going to meet you. I was going to learn so much. I was going to take this blog (and my other neglected one) to another level, to make them better, to make them what they could be, what they should be.

I was. But now I am not. I was stupid and I waited and now I am too late.

So I sit here crying real tears as I type this cursing myself for being stupid, cursing myself because this matters too much.

Hair, Long Beautiful Hair

Well at least longer than it is now.

That is right I am going to grow out my hair. As I called back in August when I cut it, I didn't even last a year before I wanted to grow it out again. Call it a short attention span, call it caprice, call it crazy, its just who I am.

But now I have to suffer through the akward stages of growing my hair. Gone are the days where I could just put a little product in my hair, mess it up and go. Its too long for that but it is also to short to tuck behind my ears. So now I have to do my hair. There is curling, teasing, spraying involved every morning just to get it to a presentable state. I just don't have the time for that. But without it, I'm a walking bad hair day.

So I've looked for alternatives, hair accessories. Clips and headbands are my new best friends. I've got your basic black headband and a few stretchy ones. I started out stealing Bunny's hair clips (the little ones with the sparkely flowers) since they don't stay in her hair, I might as well wear them. These get me through those rough days. Not exactly a fashion statement but they will do.

Then the wonderful Kate of The Big Piece of Cake, as she often does, came to my rescue. She introduced me to Andrea's Beau, a fabulous line of hair accessories. Now, with all the imaginary disposable income I have, I can buy these beauties:





Because how awesome would I look in them?

But alas I am short on funds so I am posting this in hopes that someone will take pity on me and buy one for me. Or that I will win Kate's giveaway.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What I Did On My Vacation

Friday

Do we have everything? Well they have stores there, whatever we've forgotten we could buy. But how could we have forgotten anything? The car is packed to the gills and we'll only be gone 4 days and 3 nights.

Lets hit the road.

"Where's Door County, momma?"
Its 4 hours away honey.
4 hours?! I thought it was 2 and 1/2.
No, its 4. Maybe 3 1/2 at the best.
Oh boy.
"Let's watch Diego, momma."
Don't you want to sleep?
"No sleep. Diego!"

3 and 1/2 hours later we arrive after multiple viewings of Diego and "Where's Door County, momma?" "Is this Door County, momma?" Not yet, sweetie.

Swimming!!!!!



Saturday

Breakfast of pancakes, strawberries and whip cream. Or should I say whip cream with strawberries and pancakes. "Momma! Look! There are goats on the roof! Goats on the roof!" Oh, yes Bunny this restaraunt is famous for having goats on its grass roof. "They live on the roof?" During the day, yes. "Goats!"

Parade time. The actual parade is kind of silly, but . . . "Candy! Momma, they are throwing candy! I love candy." Yes, sweetie, they throw candy to all the boys and girls. "I love candy." I know sweetie.



Lunch time. "Momma, look at the train. The train is bringing food to people." Yes, the toy train runs around the bar and delivers food to all the people. "The train is so neat, momma. I love trains." I know honey, that's why we (and hundreds of others) are here.

Swimming!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday

Bike ride in the park. How long is it? 10 miles. 10 miles?! That's kind of long right? Not on a bike, come on it'll be fun. Bunny would you like to ride in the little tent? You can have your toys and a snack back there. "Are we going to the candy store?" After the bike ride sweetie. "I love candy." We are going to stop at the beach. "Okay, I like the beach."




Huff. Puff. This isn't so bad. It is fun.

Candy store!!!!!! Gummi Worms!!!!!!

Swimming!!!!!!!

Oh, yeah Happy Anniversary, honey.

Monday

We're going to a farm. "A farm? With animals?" Yes sweetie, all sorts of animals you can pet. "I like animals." I know honey.

"Momma, goats. Can I feed the goats?" Yes. "Are these the same goats from the roof?" No these are baby goats. "They are so cute. Ooh lambs." The animals are fed corn and drink milk from a bottle. "They are so soft, momma. Oooh baby kittens. Oooh baby pigs."



Want to go see the geese and ducks? "Yes." Geese eat grass from Bunny's hand. Let's go see the cows. Giant cows open their mouths, stick out their tounges and wait for you to throw corn into their mouths. Its kinda gross.

"Look at the baby pony, momma." Yes, sweetie. The farmer said he was only two days old. "He's so cute." I know. Do you want to see the birds? "Yes." "Ooh look a peacock egg."

"Bunnies. I wanna feed the bunnies." The bunnies take dandelions out of Bunny's hand. "They are so cute momma. I want one." Um, no. The cats wouldn't like a bunny. "Ok." "Look at the giant horse. Can I feed him?" Be very, very careful. The last thing we need is for a 2600 pound horse to bite your finger on the last day.

Time to go home. "I don't want to go home. I want to stay here forever. I love Door County." We are coming back next year. "Next week?" No, next year. "Soon?" Yeah, soon.

3 hours and 10 minutes later, Bunny falls asleep. 20 minutes later, we are home. Thank goodness. Now I need a vacation.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It Goes To Eleven

Eleven years.

Its hard to believe that time can go by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday.

Eleven years ago I was so nervous. I stood before a crowd of our friends and family with you. I listened as my father and your mother performed the ceremony. I promised to love you, to cherish you, to be with you forever. You and I became Us.

These eleven years we have shared together have been easy and difficult. They have been happy and sad. We have had our ups and downs, our disappointments and our joys.

But most of all these eleven years have been wonderful because I have been able to walk through this world with you by my side. So thank you for being you, for loving me, for chosing me. I love you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weather Or Not

I'm a bit obsessed with the weather.

I have to know what the weather will be like for obvious reasons: Is it going to be nice out? Can we go to the park or do we have to stay inside? What should we wear? Shorts or long pants? Do we need to bring jackets?

I check the weather first thing in the morning both on-line and on TV. I also check it before I go to bed, because it might change. There used to be a weather phone line that you could call to find out the daily forecast (even the marine forecast if you were planning on boating). But sadly the weather line was discontinued last year because apparently no one but me ever called (and I called every day).

We are going on vacation this weekend to Door County, WI. For those of you who don't know it is the thumb of Wisconsin. Since Door County is considered Up North, it is subject to different weather. So I've had to add another search for my daily weather quests. I've checked this weekend's forecast about 10 times so far this week and its only changed about 5 degrees and added in a 40% chance of rain one day. So that is good. But I'll have to check it again tonight and tomorrow morning before we leave, just to be safe.

Now my best friend is married to a meterologist. Perfect. Well when we were planning a trip to the Adirondaks a few years ago, he told us to check the internet for the weather forecast. What?! What's the use of having a professional weather person as a friend if you can't give me a personalized forecast?

I am afraid that my obession with the weather is rubbing off on Bunny. Every morning she runs to the window to "check the weather". That's my girl.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We Were Going To Go To Vegas

but decided to give all of our money to our mechanic instead.

A few weeks ago my Check Engine light came on. I wasn't too worried, it had happened before with another car. They said it was a computer thing and it didn't cost much to fix. So I waited a while before taking my car into the shop.

But then I realized the other car was new and had been under warranty. This car is older and not under warranty. Hmm, would that make a difference?

The answer was yes. Apparently, some parts of my engine (you know the thing that makes the car go) had broken (or melted or something). That didn't sound too good. And the parts were kind of expensive. Yikes.

And my car needed new tires. I was going to wait but I figured as long as it was there I might as well get them replaced. And apparently that costs money too. Double yikes.

(Now I should point out that our mechanic is honest. My family has been going to this shop for years. In fact some of the guys from the shop were at my wedding. So they take very good care of us.)

While my car was in the shop overnight, my husband was backing out of the driveway and broke the right side mirror on his car. I'm going to get this out there, my husband sucks at backing out of the driveway. We have tire marks well beyond the edges of the driveway. In fact he has driven over the neighbor's downspout on more than one occasion. Its just not good. I know this, he knows this. Although I'm pretty sure the neighbor thinks its me.

So he was pulling out of the driveway, checking his mirrors to make sure he wasn't on the neighbor's lawn, when he hit one of those mirrors on the gate. The gate that has been next to our driveway for all of the 11 years we've lived at the house. The gate that is not directly adjacent to the driveway but a few feet off of it. That gate.

So now we got to pick up my car from the shop, pay the ridiculous bill and drop his car off. Lucky for him, he didn't damage the mirror or the car that much so we weren't looking at body work. But still, it wasn't cheap.

So instead of taking a vacation, we fixed our cars. That just stinks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten The Hard Way

I picked up a bit of extra cash today.

By babysitting.

A three year old and a five year old, both girls.

My neighbor down the street has started working part time doing mortgage closings. Because her hours vary its not always easy for her to get a sitter. Because Bunny loves playing with girls, I offered my services. I figured we could play outside or go to the park down the block. No problem.

But today when they came over, it was overcast and kind of cool out so we had to play inside. Which meant I had three girls under the age of five in my house with no other parent in sight.

First we colored. But coloring wasn't enough so we had to add stamps and stickers to the mix. Then they discovered my stash of pom pons and we had to get the glue out. Needless to say there were sticker backs everywhere and pom pons glued to non-paper surfaces.

After coloring we moved on to Play Doh. When its just Bunny, I maintain a strict no color mixing policy. We get one color at a time. She is allowed to save a bit from each color to mix but generally the colors remain clean. But how can you police three girls? You can't. The colors just get mixed. And Play Doh gets everywhere. I mean everywhere. Like on the cat everywhere.

After they grew bored of the Play Doh we moved on to the Dino house. "Don't you have any dolls for the house?" Dolls? What are dolls? Oh right the original inhabitants of the house. Got it. They're around here somewhere. "Why don't they live in the house?" Bunny doesn't like dolls. "Why? Dolls are awesome." Bunny thinks dinosaurs are awesome. "Oh."

"Do you have any dress-up clothes?" Well we have one tutu and a few scarves. "Do you have any dress-up shoes?" Shoes? Why don't you just where your own shoes? "Because dress-up shoes are more fun." Yeah, we don't have any of that. "Why?" Because Bunny doesn't play dress-up. "But dress-up is cool."

"Oooh is that nail polish?" Yes. "Can you paint our toes?" Um, I guess. So three girls line up on the sofa. "Do mine first." "No do mine!" "Me!!!!" Oh crap I knocked over the nail polish, on to the rug.

"Ooh lets play with the blocks." "Build a tower." "Knock the tower over!" Undecipherable screaming and jumping up and down.

"Lets go upstairs and jump on the bed."

"Lets chase the kitties."

"Lets have a snack."

"Lets dump all the toys on the floor."

Thank goodness your mother is here. "No we don't want to go home, we want to stay here." At which point all three girls run upstairs and hide in the closet. Come on, its time to go home. "No!" They are finally coaxed out of the closet and back downstairs.

Its clean up time. The three year old opens the door and starts running down the block to her house. The five year old picks up some blockes. Bunny just jumps up and down clapping her hands, "this is so fun, momma. Lets do this again momma."

Um yeah sure. Okay Amy, here your kids in one piece. The house is still standing. Nothing is broken. Its a success!

Did I mention they were only here for an hour and a half? It seemed like 10.

Does anyone know how to get nail polish (pink) out of a rug (tan)?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nature Girl

I've come to the realization that I am going to have to learn to love camping and fishing and general outdoorsiness.

Now I've been camping and fishing when I was younger. I liked sleeping in tents, it was an adventure. Except when it rained and the tent leaked. I've been fishing and had fun. Until I had to touch a fish, then it wasn't so fun. I like hiking. (Shut up Sonja, I do too.) Well I guess I should qualify that as I like hiking on our nice rolling glacial trails in Wisconsin not on suicidal mountain missions in the Rockies and the Adirondacks that my friends like to drag me on.

So I like nature. I have an appreciation for its beauty. Its just that if I am going on vacation, I would much rather stay in a city. A city with museums and restaraunts and shops. And hotels. Hotels with spas and room service if possible.

But my daughter is a nature girl at heart. She loves animals and bugs and dirt. And she would love to be as close as humanly possible to those things. When I am out gardening, she follows behind me looking for worms to play with. She makes leaf sandwiches for the ants to eat. She loves scampering along trails looking for chipmunks, squirrels and birds.



If she knew that you could go to the woods, sleep in a tent and be surrounded by nature, she would demand we go at once. Who cares about pillows and nice comfy beds when you can see animals and bugs?

So this summer we'll be taking small steps. Visiting nature centers, farms and lakes. We'll experiment, we'll get dirty, we'll get our feet wet. And hopefully I'll learn to love it as much as she does.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book It

Bunny is a prolific artist. She draws and paints pages upon pages of Hamstacks.

Lately its all she seems to do. She will stand at her little table and scribble away. When she is done with one, she moves on to another. "Fresh paper, please, momma."



We literally have Hamstack pictures everywhere. I've tried putting them away in a box. I've given them away. I've thrown them away. But they continue to multiply.

These are not one and done creations. Each picture tells a story. Bunny will gather a few pictures and sit down. When I ask what she is doing, she answers "I'm reading the newspaper." Well, alright then.

Every night before she falls asleep, she reads her newspapers. She even has to have them in her bed for when she wakes up in the morning.

But its hard to find a specific newspaper in the mountain that she has created. Believe me, I've tried. "I need the picture of the Hamstacks at the beach, momma." Which one is that exactly? And we have to search picture by picture until the right one is located.

So I had to come up with a better filing system. There had to be a way for her to have the stories she wanted. And it had to keep them contained. And then I had a flash of brilliance, we could make a book.



I cut up a box of cereal and punched holes in it. Holes were then punched into each newspaper. The book was assembled using ribbon. She can now carry it with her where ever she goes and she won't lose anything important.



And whatever doesn't make the cut, can magically disappear.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shoes

I love shoes. Of course I do I am a woman and it is in the DNA.

But I also hate shoes. You see I am tall and have big feet. I have had these clown feet since I was 13. When I was a freshman in high school I was asked to the Homecoming Dance. It was a big deal for me. So I bought a dress. But when I went to look for shoes, I found that they did not carry cute shoes in my size. In fact they didn't have many shoes in my size at all. So I had to buy some ugly granny shoes. We tried to make them cute by adding some clips but they were still ugly. I was traumatized. I hated shoes.

But when they actually started making shoes in my size I began to love them again. And I began to buy them, a lot of them.

But then the shoes contributed to feet and knee problems so I had to give up heels. I hate shoes.

On most days in the spring and summer you can find me wearing these:


Or these (my beloved Ed Hardy shoes I've had for 3 years which are getting holes in the toes):


Or if I have somewhere niceish to go, ballet flats. They are practical and functional. They are flat so they save my knees and my feet from further damage.

But yesterday, I had a free hour because Bunny was with my mom. After looking for flooring at Home Depot, I decided to go to one of my favorite stores. I hadn't been there in a while so I was excited to look around. There was a shoe sale. I mean a SHOE SALE! Most of their stuff is insanely expensive so I wasn't too worried, until I saw these:





I fell in love because they are red and awesome. They make me smile. They don't look practical or functional*. And they were on sale, for $30. So I had to buy them. I rationalized it as a Mother's Day present for myself. If I bought these then Bubs and Bunny didn't have to buy me anything. They can if they want but they don't have to.

I love shoes.

*They are in fact practical and functional because the are Dr. Scholls. Which makes me love them even more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Be Nice, Brain

I recently started a class combining hypnosis and yoga. Its designed to bring your mind and body into balance and allow you to live a healthier life. In each class we talk about balancing certain areas of our life, stress, eating etc. This week we talked about the messages we send to ourselves, consciously or unconsciously.

Now we all know that we can be our own worst critics. We lable ourselves. We are our harshest judges, the Simon Cowell of our lives. We pick at our faults. This outfit makes me look fat. I'm having a bad hair day (month, year, whatever). My stomach, my butt, my legs are too big. I couldn't possibly wear a bathing suit, people at the beach might think I'm the great white whale. And so on.

If I said half of the things to someone that I say to myself, that person would hate me. I would never think of doing that. And I don't want to raise my daughter to think that way about herself. So why is it okay for me to think those things about myself?

Its not.

Part of the challenge for this week's class is to change the soundtrack our mind is playing. We are supposed to be nice to ourselves. To find the things about ourselves we like and to look at our "faults" differently. We are supposed to practice kindness with ourselves.

And its hard. Normally when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror as I brush my teeth, I would press play on the tape in my head and the criticisms would begin. Now I search for a new tape to play. I might say I am glad I woke up this morning and was able to walk to the bathroom. I am thankful for my health, for my strong legs that carry me where I want to go.

Its taken me years to get to this point, I am not sure how much I can change in a week. Maybe its enough to recognize the bad thoughts. Once I know that they are there, I can try to change them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ni Hao

Saturday was a big day for Bunny. Her Chinese school had their end of the year presentation. Every class performed a little skit showing what they had learned that year. Bunny is in the Baby Cricket class made up of two and three year olds. They were going to sing a song while dressed up as animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Bunny was the Rooster. Which meant that I had to make a rooster costume. Um, sure, okay? How exactly does one make a rooster costume? I know there are feathers involved. Lots and lots of feathers. Four feather boas to be exact, sewn on to a t-shirt. So many feathers. I am still finding feathers in the strangest places. Now I am positive we will never get a bird because feathers are hard to clean up. But the result was cute.

The only problem was how to make it a rooster? She needed to have something on her head resembling a rooster's comb. But she hates wearing things on her head. So I wasn't too sure and decided to skip it. I mean she was already wearing feathers, did I really want to push it? No.

So the big day came and she was a bit crabby. She had had a sleepover with her cousins the night before and was tired (and cranky). I wasn't sure if we'd even get her in her costume. But then a miracle happened. One of her classmates brought marshmallows for everyone. Bunny recieved a bag with 5 big marshmallows and she was so happy. A perfect opportunity for bribery, if you wear your costume you can eat your marshmallows. Done and done. Hooray!

And then the moment of truth, could she actually hold herself together to walk out on stage with Daddy in front of all of these strangers and sing her song? The answer was a resounding yes! I was so proud. If you care to watch, here is a video of the show. There is a parade of all the animals and then the song. Bunny is the only kid you can hear singing.
video

I appologize for the shoddy camera work. I was using my Flip and couldn't get a close up view.