Vic’s been exhibiting teething signs since she was three months old. There was even a rough patch on the roof of her mouth around 6 months and we were sure a tooth was breaking through. Lots of sound, little fury. So when she started sleeping very poorly for a stretch of time last week, the last thing we thought of was teething. It doesn’t help that she won’t show us her mouth, and really hates it when you try to coerce her into anything. At some point I opened my mouth and she excitedly reached in to touch my teeth, while at the same time going a little gape-jawed, allowing me to reach in and feel around. Sure enough, the first tooth has broken through, with the second one well on the way! In this picture, Seth demonstrates the tooth-checking procedure.
The past year has been a time of transition. Around the same time that we welcomed baby Victoria into our lives, Seth realized that his career path in IT was not something that he could easily realize here in Alaska. More importantly, he realized that he didn’t want to. Much discussion and soul-searching has taken him on a new path. A path that I think will be more than fulfilling, but will also require schooling.
I have been working remotely, at home, not infrequently in my pajamas. Sounds great, sure, but it has also been isolating. I left a career that meant a lot to me, and friends that meant even more.
I have been offered an excellent job back in San Francisco. This will give me the ability to support our family while Seth completes his schooling. We can’t say no. It’s a life-changing decision. We leave behind our loved ones for a chance at something new – something that will hopefully benefit Victoria as much as it does her parents. As excited as I am to return to the place that felt like home to me for so many years, I ache to leave the family that has become mine.
On Valentine’s Day a couple of weeks ago, a very special present was awaiting Seth and I in Victoria’s cubby at daycare. She had made us her very first Valentine!
That’s right, a butt print of my daughter. Am I a bad mom for thinking this isn’t so cute as much as it’s just… weird? At least will have something to embarrass her with that’s a little more unique than boring old naked baby photos.
My friends and I enjoyed a fantastic night out last night. I started the afternoon off by getting my first post-natal haircut. It wasn’t specifically for our lady-date, but after a stressful week I wanted to treat myself, and since I hadn’t had my hair cut in nine months, I was due.
After my hair appointment, I went to Nordstrom and put my makeup on in their bathroom. Très chic.
I then headed to the restaurant to nurse a beer before our reservation. The restaurant is a new, hip, happening, popular place called Fat Ptarmigan. Quick history/zoology lesson: the ptarmigan is the Alaska state bird. This restaurant is totally cashing in on the sort of rustic Alaskan hipster vibe that’s popular at the moment, and which I find pretty delightful.
The wood-fired pizzas were reasonably priced, the beers (mostly local; another plus) were ridiculous. You can see where their revenue is coming from. Us hipsters (or faux-hipsters) do have a weakness for our craft beers.
Jess and Erica met up, and we had a wonderful dinner, in which we were determined to devote 25% or less of our conversation to our babies. It didn’t help that there was a 4-month old at the table next to us, a 12-week old at the table behind us, and at least 3 pregnant women elsewhere around the restaurant. But we managed to prove to each other that we are interesting people outside of our offspring.
We then continued our conversation at the wine bar around the corner. It was refreshing to get out for an evening and spend time with these great friends. A lot of the time we have spent together has been in the context of our young children, so it was refreshing to be able to strip that away and connect on a more personal level.
A couple of months ago I received several boxes full of my childhood stuff. One of the most exciting finds in the dusty pile was a box full of my childhood clothing. My mom was a sewer (I hesitate to use the word seamstress – that makes it sound like a profession), and she made a lot of my baby and toddler clothes. Sure enough, there are quite a few dresses handmade by her grandmother that Victoria will be forced into over the next few years. Beyond the clothing my mom made, I also saw quite a few pieces that I recognized from photos. Obviously, this situation is just perfect for a photo recreation.
I am just about six months in my photo, and I took Victoria’s on the day she turned 8 months old. I’ve been procrastinating doing this photo shoot for a while (at least two months) – I wanted to get a dark wood chair, get the lighting just right… but finally I realized that by the time I got it together, Victoria would no longer fit into the dress.
It was good that I just went for it, because there was pretty much no way to get Victoria to hold any specific pose. I’m actually surprised we got one of her standing, because she kept folding over and playing with her feet. We all had fun, I think, and we learned that V is not particularly ladylike when it comes to wearing dresses.
This is all you really need to know about the Daffodil Cake:
Since I was going to a fiesta, it only made sense to make this margarita-inspired cake. I initially tried to make lime-infused olive oil for the required 1/2 teaspoon of lime oil, but that turned into a disaster of burnt lime peel and boiling oil. Also, it turned out that lime oil is not the same thing as lime-infused oil. These poor limes pictured above were sacrificed for that knowledge.
The first step, before involving any lime or tequila, was to sift. A lot. I had to sift sifted flour and sifted powdered sugar together not once, but three times. I always question sifting – deep in the back of my head is my mother’s voice telling me that it’s an unnecessary step – so when a recipe tells me to sift something three times, I have to wonder if it’s not some sort of test to see if I will do ridiculous things because they’ve been put into print. Anyway, I did it. I believe in following the rules.
Once the cake was done, it seemed so… well… plain. I’m used to frostings and whips and whatnot, but this cake was just glazed with a practically clear icing made of powdered sugar, lime juice, and tequila. It did have a certain elegance, though.
The cake was amazingly light and fluffy. Spongey – almost too spongey. It was best where the glaze had seeped through and soaked in, although the flavor of powdered sugar was more cloying than the flavor of the tequila. I don’t think this would be a go-to cake for me, but if I ever attend a lime festival and I’m asked to provide a dessert, this is the one I’m making.