Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SOOOOOOO Scary....

Two weeks ago, I signed Violet’s name on a piece of paper under the word “Cupcakes”.
Yesterday in the grocery store, I debated cake mix flavours with Jason: we knew there had to be no nuts, but were trying to decide if 15 toddlers would rather have Strawberry or Funfetti. We went with the Funfetti, cause, according to Jason, “Nobody doesn’t like Funfetti.” The frosting was easy: Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Frosting…perfect for cupcakes.
I hand-whisked the batter to make it just a little fluffier. I ladled each cupcake paper exactly 2/3rd full. I baked the perfect amount of time to ensure fluffiness without any burnt tops. I let them cool for an hour on the counter. I had mixed red and yellow food colouring into the frosting, stopping every minute or so to ask Jason, “Is this orange enough?” When it finally was, I carefully slathered each cake with the lovely orange frosting so that it had a lovely smooth top, with the edges just peeking out, like they would if you bought it from the bakery. I then sprinkled each one with fine black sugar sprinkles. As I lifted each one into the plastic container, I was so proud of myself. I could picture each toddler’s eyes lighting up when they saw this uber-lovely confection.
I saw Violet yell, “Cupca!!”, reach up higher than I thought possible for her little 18-month-old frame, and grab the entire container of cupcakes. The lid stayed on, and they all survived the trip. HOWEVER. All my careful frosting work and sprinkles are all over the lid. No longer on the cupcakes.
Eh. They are toddlers. They’ll gobble them up anyways. At least I knew how pretty they once were…
Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fabulous is Easy: Cause I Want It Thaaaaaaaat Way

We strive to be cool. We want people to think we are cool. But how do you become cool?

I have no clue.

However, I do know clothes.
Clothing is one of those elusive educations. It is not a math formula, where x will always equal…well, whatever x equals. I suck at math. No sometimes, x = q, or 17 - q, or 157 + q in a ski hat. The line between Hot Stuff and Totally Tacky is very fine, my dears. Positively microscopic.

I tried very hard for a lot of years to teach myself fashion. However, it didn’t come to me until I LET GO of my inhibitions, and STOPPED STRESSING. By the time I realized I had natural style coming OUT MY EARS, I was in my twenties. (Yes, I am bragging. There are few things that come easily to me, so I like to talk about them a lot when I find one.)
Anyhow, back to that fine line. You see, fashion is on a 20 year cycle. Which means that what you are wearing this year, you should be able to wear in 2027. And conversely, what you wore in 1987 should be totally hot this year. HOWEVER: this cycle has been shortened as of late. Instead of 1987, we are seeing recyclings of the early 90’s. Chunky shoes and browns and grays; babydoll dresses and even plaid.

(I would LOVE to find an original Backstreet Boys t-shirt from the mid-nineties. Not from anything later than 2000, cause that would no longer be hot.) (Yes, I am serious.)

Anyways, even though things are recycled, you cannot just wear them as you did before. NOOOOO, that would be TOO EASY. Baby doll dresses should be worn with jeans and heels or ballet flats, not tights and mary janes. Chunky shoes should either be worn with knee-length skirts or pants long enough to reach the ground while you are wearing them. Plaid should be done as a shirt, shorter skirt, or top; NOT AS PANTS. And dull colours need to be matched with bright accessories.

And cheezy concert tees should be at least 10 and no more than 16 years old.

And most importantly, fashion is FUN. Wear whatever you wear with joy.

THAT is hot.

Monday, October 29, 2007

conversations with a violet

violet: woof!

daddy: are you being a puppy?!?

violet: woof, woof!

daddy: you are such a good puppy!

violet: ah geh puppa?? (i get puppy??) *follows up with large eyes and innocent expression, lower lip quivering in hope.*

She is only 18 months old, for crying out loud. If she already has the manipulation thing down this well, we are never going to make it through the teen years.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Idea totally stolen from Jennie...

I have two best friends.

I met Jen (Jenny Jenny Jen Jen) when we were assigned as roommates at the University of Alaska Anchorage. We both played shy for the first couple of weeks, then completely and irrevocably bonded over root beer floats and a cardboard cutout of Elvis. She has seen me through countless relationships and their subsequent break-ups; we laughed so hard we cried and cried so hard we laughed.
There have been times when we didn't speak for months. Not because we were angry, but because our lives were meandering down their own paths. But each time we got back in touch, it was like there was no separation. We expected (and received) total straight talk from each other, no matter how disheartening it was. And nothing ever seemed insurmountable, because we each know the other will be there.
Jen is a single mom. Her sweetheart of a son was born with a hole in his heart. He had surgery and is now healthy as the proverbial horse. Violet calls him "Boy" and cannot resist slathering him with kisses every time he comes over. She has been through so much, but has come out of it on top.
She started practicum for Nursing this week. The Boy comes over in the mornings at 5:30 so she can be to the hospital on time. This is the least I can give to her to show her how proud I am to be her best friend.

I met Alison (the incomparable Miss Ali) when I worked for the State of Alaska. She trained me, and we soon bonded over The Office. Before long, we had a standing weekly date to watch the show and fawn over Violet Lynn.
Ali met Violet when she was about 3 months old. Though she is not a baby person (by her own admission), she jumped headfirst into a role of fairy godmother. Violet adores her and her golden hair; Ali always jumps at the chance to babysit. Now, Ali doesn't leave our house without a big kiss from the baby girl.
She was my biggest cheerleader (outside of Jason) during my bad days with PPD. She was sitting on the couch beside me when I realized that THAT was what was wrong with me, and I COULD get help. She has always had a sweet word and big smile.
She is one of the most cynically hilarious people I have ever met. She and Jason have matching personalities, and she has really been influential in drawing him out of anti-social JasonWorld.
I was able to give her some support when her marriage was having issues. This is the least I can do to show her how much she has meant to me.

These girls are the ones who save me from myself. I cannot and do not want to imagine life without them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here comes that fabulous bride...

Ominous things you can see: stormclouds.
Ominous things you can't see: 7 black flies biting my ankles through the WHOLE ceremony.

My baby girl didn't sit still for a second throughout the ceremony...but I loved it.

My darling girl...she adored her bouquet, which was a smaller version of mine.

AWWWWW!!!! Gag me.

The motley crew known as the wedding party.


The gorgeous cake my ma decorated

Right before this, Jason said, "Please don't shove it in my face, Reka." Who did he think he married?!?!

We miss you already, Panama City Beach.

On a side note, thank god you are back, Jennie!!!! I missed Purple!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Miss Flinger informed me that today is Blog Day for the Mothers Act.

Here is a blog about my Post Partum Depression.

I am doing much better these days. I sing and dance again. I love getting dressed again. I have energy and focus.
Most importantly, I know I am the best mother I can be. I was meant to be Violet's mother, and I know I am not failing. This is not to say I am perfect. I have bad days, I have tense moments, and sometimes it is hard to rise above. But now I know I can.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fabulous Is Easy

TADA!!! My first Fashion Passion Column!!! Thank you, Crystal, for the question!!!! (Please note my camera is still broken and thusly, I had to employ my Paint Program.)

Okay, I would like advice or suggestions on hair scarves. (Is that what they're called? Shows up fashionable I am.) I have long, curly hair and own one scarfy thing but I think it is too thin to contain my head of hair. Also, when I tie it at the base of my head it always meanders on up and ends up falling off and making me look more disheveled than when I started. Wanna bite on that one??

Dearest Darling Crystal, you are one of the lucky ones in this category. Curly hair is thicker by nature, and can hold its own next to a scarf. Don't be afraid to try bright colours and bold patterns.
On the whole, though, scarves are tough. They generally fall into two categories: Biker Chic and Rhoda.

I personally wear Biker Chic quite a bit. This is not something to wear to the office, mind you, but if you are running errands, doing housework, or hiking and would like to keep your hair back, this is perfect.

You use bandana that looks like this, available at any fine discount retailer:
There is only one acceptable way to wear it if you are planning to see someone other than your immediate family:
folded into a wide headband and accompanying a bun/ponytail.
NOT folded in half diagonally and worn like a Hell’s Angel.
Because this will ALWAYS make you look like a pirate. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are. YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK LIKE A PIRATE. If you are a pirate, then go right ahead.

Rhoda is a lovely, lovely way to show the world your bohemian side. (Think Rhoda Morganstern. Yes, THAT Rhoda) This is acceptable for the workplace, and anyplace short of the symphony.
Generally, this is performed with a longer, narrow scarf.
Wearing your hair down with this is completely acceptable, and will help to keep it in place. While your hair is up (which is an adorable look), however, it is going to slip and slide. I wish there were a foolproof remedy, such as hair spraying the scarf before you put it on. Unfortunately, it would have to be glue strength, and I DO NOT recommend that.

Instead, I usually fasten bobby pins in a inconspicuous place, like behind my ears; I put one going forward and one going back. It works fairly well, especially if you tie it a bit looser.
A la Bardot is another option.
See that space in front of the poof? Put the top of the scarf there. It will stay in place pretty darn well. And yes, you can pull it off. This look is pretty darn universally attractive.

And always remember to pair a headscarf with sunglasses when trying to pull off a caper...

Monday, October 22, 2007


Just a few general announcement, darlings.

1) I have a new car. My steady trusty Nissan died 2 weeks before the wedding, so my lovely husband, the incomparable Miss Ali, and her man-servant went on a mission. They came back with a 2003 Kia Spectra and spent less than my maximum. Her name is Rhoda.

2) Tuesday blogs will now be dedicated to fashion. I will let you know my fashion feelings, and will also take reqests and questions. No pressure, and I do not claim to be an expert; I just realized the other day that my blog didn't contain much fashion, and it made me sad.

3) I finally got some of the wedding pictures from my mother in law. I will post ASAP.

4) Violet turned 18 months on Saturday. She is closer to 2 than 1. She is a little person with an enormous personality. I get choked up a little. More on her adorability later this week.

Thanks for reading, by the way. You guys totally make my day. Seriously.

Photo from 11/2006 and way too Freakin Adorable

Friday, October 19, 2007

3 Coins in My Violet Fountain

Thanks to Misguided Mommy for the challenge...

My darling, I believe there is almost nothing you will not be able to achieve on your own. You are independent and strong, and I cannot wait to see what you do with these qualities. I will do my best not to push you to be an artist, and to encourage you even if you decide to be a mathematician. I hope you make your own choices, and never be influenced by what I think you should be. There are some things, though, that I wish with all my heart you experience.

1. I hope you have girlfriends. Boys do make wonderful friends as well, but there is something about a circle of estrogen that fuels the soul. I feed off their energy, they nourish my soul, and because of this, I can be a better mother and wife. A better person. I hope you find the girls that will help you find yourself.

2. I hope you have heartache. Though this may seem cruel, your life will be incomplete if you never have your heart broken. The pain you will have will tell you that you loved. You loved honestly and completely enough to have your heart ripped out. Hopefully, the girls I mentioned in #1 will help you through this. There is nothing like weeping in to a bowl of ice cream with your girls. And there is nothing like falling in love again after the heartache.

3. I hope you fail, and I hope you do it spectacularly. The only way to appreciate your success is to have it elude you. I hope I will teach you to get up after you fall, and to always ALWAYS give it everything you’ve got. Things are so much sweeter if you have to fight for them.

I love you, my angel baby. I know you will become amazing. I know you will have to hurt to do it. I hope you will always know I will be here with a hug and some cookies to ease the pain. I am already so proud of you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Million Dollar Baby

I know I promised wedding talk, but I got something else on my mind, ya’ll.

Ash has been having trouble with her daughter’s kindergarten bully. She is struggling with what to tell her daughter to do when someone is mean to her. This is making me think of my own daughter.

When Violet moved up to the toddler room, there was a little boy who kept biting her, ramming toys into her, and trying to pull off her pants. I know this is normal toddler behavior, but it still made me mad.

Violet bit him back. Hard.

She got written up, and received a lecture about being nice to others.
But you know what? I am proud of her.

I don’t want my daughter to be mean. I don’t want her to lash out for no reason. But if someone attacks her physically or emotionally, I want her to fight back. I want her to know she is strong and does not have to put up with abuse.

An alarming and unacceptable amount of my girlfriends have been in abusive relationships. This is not right. We need to be teaching our daughters that they are too good, too lovely, and too precious to withstand punishment. I don’t want my daughter to be stuck in a job where she is taken advantage of, like I am. Or in a relationship where she is made to believe she deserves abuse, like my best friend was.

Kick, Violet. Kick, scream, bite, punch, demolish.

I can handle a few detentions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back in the Saddle, or What I Did On My Wedding Vacation

That is right, precious readers, I am back with a new last name, a slight tan, and an extra 8 pounds. WooHoo Florida!

Coming back from my wedding, I realize I am in love.

Hmmm? With Jason? Well, yeah, but that is not what I meant. I am married now. No more of that romantic crap.

I am in love with gorgeous beaches containing sand as fine as baker’s sugar and water so salty you shouldn’t have to season any of the creatures that come out of it.

I am in love with my sisters and mother who basically cared for my daughter for two weeks to let me have a vacation. And also still made her sign “please” whenever she wanted something.

I am in love with said daughter, who ran around in as little clothes as possible, knocked down every sand castle, and was basically the cutest thing you have ever seen.

I am in love with discount stores, like TJ Maxx, where I got a full set of designer bedding, new down-alternative duvet included, for less than $150. We have no such creatures here in the frozen tundra.

I am in love with the Seattle airport, where they have a room just for toddlers, with big, rubbery toys to climb all over during 4 hour layovers between 5 hour flights. And also a fabulous food court.

I am in love with all the people at my wedding who took tons of pictures because our camera broke two days before the wedding, and we didn’t want a professional photographer. I will love them even more if they remember to send them to me.

And I guess I am in love with Jason, too, who wore a straw cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses the whole trip; who did not question the mountains of bags brought home from shopping trips with my sisters; who never failed to pick up a check; who wrote his vows to include lyrics from the BeeGees and Dido, chose Peter Gabriel for our wedding song, and cried during the father daughter dance.

Next time: Things I Don’t Love, or What To Do When Black Flies Will Not Stop Biting Your Ankles During Your Wedding Ceremony.