Saturday, March 31, 2012

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{the enforcer}
Yet again, so grateful for this little girl. I am just kidding about the enforcer thing, how could anyone be scared of something so cute.

{another sign of spring}
My mum went to the valley this week and she brought home these pussy willows. Violet can't remember their name for the life of her. So far she's tried: pussy pops, pussy puffs, and my personal favourite, pussy wands. There is an easy joke in there somewhere...

{fresh herbs from the market}
Every year I buy potted herbs. Every year they die. I am grateful for the optimism that allows me to believe that this year things will be different.

{frog pond}
We went on yet another lovely walk at Frog Pond this afternoon. Violet fed the ducks. This is a picture of her and Jeff on a rock watching the ducks eat stale tostito chips. He is so good with her. We are so lucky.

What are you grateful for today?



One a penny, two a penny

{my first attempt at hot cross buns}

You guessed it: hot cross buns. I can hear the recorder now. Oh, elementary music class!

I am a little early with the Good Friday classic, but I was thinking about all the eating we will be doing next weekend (mini-eggs, mini-eggs, lamb, mini-eggs) and I decided to spread things out a little.

My mum's friend used to make homemade hot cross buns every Easter and bring them for all of the children at our church's Sunday school. They were always warm and fragrant; I love the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg. The little white icing cross was my personal favourite. I couldn't help myself from licking it off before eating the warm bun.

I haven't had a hot cross bun in at least fifteen years. I daresay I haven't thought about them, but when I came across a recipe for them yesterday afternoon I knew I wanted to try it. I am an admitted novice when it comes to baking with yeast but the recipe came together pretty easily.

Sweet Jeffrey does not enjoy raisins or currents and he absolutely hates candied peel. I like all of those things but since I am a superstar wife (read: we didn't have any in the pantry anyway) I decided to leave them out. In fact, the recipe I chose didn't add anything extra. The author  mentions he may offend hot cross bun traditionalists, but I prefer to think of him as a purist; the bun stands alone, nothing to rely on (oh, except that little icing cross).

You can find the recipe I used here:

Here are a few observations I had while making the dough:

1) It is hard to tell when the milk is scalded. The author mentions little bubbles around the edge of the pot, but my milk had a few bubbles from pouring it. I think the best way to tell that the milk is ready is because the smell changes. It smells nutty or something. This might sound weird, but I noticed a marked change.

2) I was over eager and dumped all the liquid into the flour at once. It seemed to work really well.

3) I don't know how someone could knead for 10 minutes straight at the pace my mixer was going. I was tired just watching it.

The hardest part was waiting to the dough to "prove" (fancy and/or British word for rise - use it, you'll feel smart).

The buns baked perfectly, my only regret is that I waited for natural light to take photos; the crosses aren't as pristine as they were last night.

Jeff had never had a hot cross bun. Once he got over the fact they aren't buttery and sweet like a cinnamon bun he loved them. He ate three before bed if you want evidence!

Have a great Saturday.



{a baker's dozen}

Thursday, March 29, 2012

caution: running related post

{my new kicks}
To the brave reader who decided to continue beyond the title of this post, I thank you. I totally get that running is not everyone's cup of tea. I'm not sure how my activity of choice got such a bad wrap. It seems like runners are kind of like lawyers; it is socially acceptable to exhibit distain for them. But, just as there are many nice lawyers (I like all the lawyers I know) there are nice runners. So try not to judge me just because I run when it is -15 or because I think that it is normal to do things like carb-load and use Body Glide.

Running is on my mind because I got new sneakers tonight -- very exciting I know. Actually, I do find this news exciting for two reasons. First I have never had "cool" running sneakers. Part of the problem of being a runner is that you don't really get to pick your sneakers. Unfortunately, things like stride and preferred distance trump aesthetic preference. This has always been a thorn in my side.

At races I'd see other runners with cool sneakers while I was stuck with weird white monstrosities that look like the kind of thing a nurse would have worn 30 years ago. Not tonight though, I finally got cool running sneakers. Don't get me wrong, I would not be caught dead in them doing anything other than physical activity. They are so bright they make my eyes hurt and they strangely resemble a ninja turtle, but despite this they are better looking than any sneaker I've had before. Call me superficial, I am totally pumped.

The second reason I am stoked to have new kicks is because the last shoes I was fitted for, a mere six weeks ago, gave me horrible blisters (major understatement). I know few people who like hearing about running and fewer still who want to read about blisters so I will stop there. Just know I am happy to finally wear shoes that won't permanently disfigure my feet (which are not all that cute to begin with).

I am running a marathon on Mother's Day weekend and I promise I won't mention the subject until after that. I get it, no one likes hearing about running.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Working girl

{image via}

Wednesdays are my long day. I kiss my sweet girl goodbye after breakfast and I don't see her again until she is sound asleep.

It is hard being a working mum, but I don't think it is any harder the alternative. Alternatives?

I sometimes wonder if the only reason I wish I could stay home with Violet is because I can't, then I feel guilty. I think of the days I do spend with her, which can be amazing don't get me wrong, but they can also be long, lonely, isolating, frustrating and whether or not they are good or bad, they are invariably exhausting. Would I even be able to handle being a stay at home mum? Is that what I really want?

My mum stayed home with us when until my brother went to school. I'm not sure if she is just being nice, but she refers to those years as among her most satisfying. If I ever stay home with my children I hope I am a mum like her. I'm really not sure I would be though.

It is hard to know exactly what you want isn't it? I don't think of myself as being incredibly ambitious. I would, however, like to have a career. At least I think that is what I want. I went to school for a long time, shouldn't I use my education? Shouldn't I want to?

Being a working mum isn't all bad. Aside from the satisfaction of my job itself, there are little perks. For example, I get to talk to grown-ups about things other than Violet (although you know I squeeze that girl into every conversation I can...I am one of those). I get to take coffee breaks and they really are a break - totally silent if I so choose. If I go to the bathroom, no one follows me. These are little things, but they are nice little things.

I guess this little conundrum is reason #572959 I wish I lived at Downton Abbey. I should be more specific, I wish I lived upstairs at Downton Abbey. I am certain I should have been born into the aristocracy...



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bed Lunch

{a glass of milk before bed}

We never had snacks before bed when I was growing up. I don't remember feeling deprived, we always had a hearty supper and we went to bed pretty early - a snack would have been overkill. 

When we spent the night with Nanny & Pop it was a different story. My pop used to make us "bed lunch". (Did anyone else call their bedtime snack by that name?) Ice cream and Special K was his nighttime specialty. He would mix the two together so that the ice cream softened and the Special K crumbled. It was kind of like a cereal Blizzard come to think of it. Now that I have a child myself the thought of serving her ice cream right before bed is even more mind boggling than the act of mixing cereal with ice cream, but memories of those special nights have stayed with me until now. My pop was on to something. 

I normally don't give Violet a snack before bed either, but tonight I was in the mood to bake. Blue Ivy (my robin's egg blue stand mixer, Beyonce totally copied me) was calling my name. As you know I have a propensity to gravitate toward sweet treats when I bake but I held my ground and decided to make muffins.

Many muffins, arguably the yummiest ones, are just cake in disguise. This is not true of most bran muffins. It is certainly not true of the bran muffins I made tonight. I found the recipe on Heidi Swanson's website "101 Cookbooks". Since it feels like I have 101 cookbooks, I'm not sure how it is possible I couldn't find a healthy muffin recipe among them. Anyway, the muffins were easy-peasy and they are really yummy. Mums out there, this is the recipe for you, it has hardly any sugar at all and two cups of plain yogurt - that has to be good for kiddos! 

Violet certainly enjoyed her muffin right out of the oven. I had to add a little butter and a sprinkle of sea salt, but that is no big deal. I could have given her ice cream and Special K...

The true test of a bran muffin is if is edible the morning after you bake them. Almost anything tastes good right out of the oven. They jury is still out, but I'll keep you posted!



{golden beauties} 
{let's be honest, bran muffins need butter and sea salt}
{bottoms up}
{I stick my tongue out too!}
You can find the recipe for the bran muffins here:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men

{Betty's Deviled Eggs}
Though Jeff and I are not the only ones excited about Mad Men's return to the small screen last night, the show has a special place in both of our hearts. You see, before Jeff and I were dating we were enrolled in the same graduate course at Dalhousie (worst course ever by the way, although I lucked out with an awesome group). My group was doing a presentation one morning and I happened to reference Don Draper. I'm not sure why I did, the class has nothing to do with advertising, misogyny or classic cocktails. Anyway, when Jeff tells the story of how we met (cringe), he calls that presentation a Dream Weaver moment. 

To celebrate the show's long awaited return I wanted to make something special (scotch and cigarettes were the obvious choice but I thought that would be too easy...). 

I actually wanted to make pineapple upside down cake, but given we've sworn off sugar for a few more weeks I had to think of something else. I googled "snacks" + "1960s" and deviled eggs popped up. Delicious and something we can actually eat.

Martha came through for me with a simple recipe. One of my eggs exploded during the boiling process (yes, I actually messed up boiling an egg), but other than that making deviled eggs wasn't as tedious I thought it might be (although I opted not to pipe the filling - too weird for future cupcakes). I would definitely make these again, maybe for a picnic. They definitely have retro appeal (and they taste better than jello-salad). 

Jeff is so excited he told me he might, "suit up". As in, he may literally put on a suit to watch the show (and eat devilled eggs and drink scotch).  I do love a theme party, even for two!

{yes, that is scotch you see in the background}

check out Martha's deviled eggs here:



Sunday, March 25, 2012

weekend update

{it was a breakfast for supper kind of night}
{toast rack happy to finally be housing toast}
{strawberry freezer jam you are not the fanciest, but you are the yummiest}
{orange tulips at the farmer's market}
{Lady Vi in her Sunday best}
First things first, isn't my new blog design cute? I can take zero credit for it (many thanks Sorren), but I am thrilled with the result.

We managed to have a fairly low key weekend which was really nice. We didn't cook or bake at all really (hence breakfast for supper last night). We also didn't entertain or go out to eat. Don't get me wrong, cooking, baking, entertaining and going out to eat are among our favourite things to do, but sometimes you can't beat scrambled eggs, milky tea and your mum's strawberry jam followed by a classic Woody Allen movie (even better if you tuck in before nine).

What did you do this weekend?



Friday, March 23, 2012

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{alphonso mangos}

When you eat dessert every day it stops being a treat, no big surprise. After six weeks of back to back birthday celebrations we noticed the wee one had come to expect something sweet after every meal (and sometimes in between). Rather than merge birthday season with mini-egg season (although as I write this that sounds like heaven) we decided to lay off the refined sugar until Easter. Enter the alphonso mango: nature's candy. They are softer, sweeter and even more delicious than "regular" mangos. According to wikipedia they are only in season for two months, which is how I justify eating two a day.


Yesterday I was feeling a little blue so I picked up a potted hyacinth during my trip to the grocery store. After a day on our south facing window sill the flowers have started to come out. They are one of my favourite spring flowers, especially the cornflower blue variety. The smell is what really makes hyacinth special. Our dining room smells amazing. They were just the pick me up I needed.

{outdoor picnics in March}

Last night we met my parents at Point Pleasant Park for a picnic. You can't beat sandwiches, pellegrino, fresh fruit and homemade banana bread served on a stadium blanket. Violet led the way on a post dinner walk though the woods. We walked on the beach in bare feet. It was so fun seeing all of the people walking around, where has everyone been all winter! Last Friday evening we were sledding. The weather has been some kind of crazy, but I am not complaining!

{recipes shared between friends}

I mentioned a few weeks ago that our friends sent us some recipes to try (remember the mung beans...yum). Well, we have another winner: bulgar mint and mango salad. It is a little like amped up tabbouleh. Imagine my delight at the prospect of eating more mango! Thanks for another great one Heiberts! Jeff made this salad (and photographed it) on Wednesday. He delivered it to me so I would have a nutritious supper between work and my night class. What a gem!

Despite my slightly negative post yesterday, I am very grateful. How about you?



Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Halifax with Love

{we love you Halifax}

I am feeling a little melancholic, a mood that does not suit the weather. You see, my sweet husband and I would really love to live and work in our fair city, Halifax. I guess technically we do both of those things, but despite valiant effort (not an exaggeration I assure you), neither of us have permanent positions in the fields of our choosing.

Come on Halifax, we are young, educated and we actually want to stay here. What gives? You think you can do better? Not to toot our horn but we are the type of people you want here. We are energetic, creative, compassionate, and we want to make this city a better place to live and raise kids. Seriously, we do.

I guess you could say we are feeling a little rejected. Why not us Halifax? Is it something we said or did?

Like any spurned lover or bestower of unrequited love we are starting to feel a little bitter.

You know what happens next Halifax? Have you ever seen a romantic comedy?

We are going to come to the realization that we are worthy, that we do have something to offer and we are going to move on – literally and figuratively.

If I was my own best friend I would suggest that I, 1) go get a pedicure 2) have a glass of wine (or three) and 3) get over it. And by it I mean you Halifax.

There is only so much a girl, or in this case a couple, can take.

Consider yourself duly warned Halifax. I have had it up to here (opps…quick change from spurned lover voice to mum voice…awkward…)



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

gimme gimmes

{I need this bike}

Does the internet make anyone else want more things? Today alone I have been convinced I need to buy a bike (the weather is supporting the argument I plan on presenting to Jeff), I’ve been convinced it would be a good idea to move to France for a year (training, visas, flights and jobs would of course be required), I’ve wanted to buy a pair of skinny jeans (it is on my “to-do-before-thirty list after all, and they were on sale) and I have priced Adobe Illustrator (my sad little mac laptop definitely couldn’t run it, so I’d need a new computer too). I came to all of these realizations on my lunch break! 

I get countless emails a day about sales at my favourite shops which lead me to believe things like, “I am saving money by buying this 'Paris Pink' cashmere cardigan” and “Violet really needs another pair of jeggings.” Don't get me started on the things I think that girl needs.

I have always been a lover of things (sounds better than materialistic) and the internet makes it easier to access all the stuff I don’t have, rather than look around and appreciate what I do have. So annoying! 

I am hoping that recognizing this tendency to think I need things is the first step towards realizing that I am actually fine with what I have now - more than fine.

On the other hand, I really do want that bike and I would save money by not using our car...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Heat Wave

{Point Pleasant Park after supper}
Today was a perfect first day of spring. The only thing that would have made it better is if it happened to fall on the weekend.  Violet and I went to the park as soon as we got home from work and played until supper. Later, not wanting to waste a rare warm evening in March we went to Point Pleasant Park for a walk. It was so beautiful, the ocean was still and the sun was still out well after 6:00. Violet was running around in a t-shirt. I can't remember a March evening like that.

I have heaps of work to do tonight, but I feel energized by the beautiful weather - or it could be the caffeine. Either way I am feeling good!

I'll leave you with a couple sweet pictures of my girl, but not without a cute story first. Last night Vi had to pee during dinner (if that is too much information for you I don't suggest reading on), she hopped off the chair and ran to the loo. She is very independent when it comes to the bathroom these days. When she ran back into the dining room, Jeff asked said, "Vi, did you remember to wipe your bum?"

This may seem invasive, but it is entirely necessary given the situation. I'll leave it at that.

Her response floored me.

"That is not a very Christian thing to say daddy," Violet replied, shocked that he should mention such a thing. Then she dug back into her rice and lentils.

"Did I hear her right?" asked Jeff, astounded.

"Yes you did," I answered, "yes you did."

I honestly have no idea where she would have heard that expression. What an imp.

Monday, March 19, 2012

See ya later Winter

{fresh cut flowers that scream Spring is Holland at least}

If the city of Halifax* was at a job interview and the interviewer asked it, what is your biggest weakness, Spring would be an honest answer (Spring and reasonably priced real-estate on the peninsula). I should say, normally that would be an honest answer, but apparently this year we may actually experience the elusive second season. I will risk sounding like a complete idiot by saying that this whole global warming thing is kind of working out for us out here on the East Coast (insert one million reasons why that is an ignorant statement here).

With unseasonably warm temperatures forecast all week I have started to think about my summer wardrobe. Until recently I'd forgotten about the perils of the months where the temperatures allow for bare arms and legs but my lily white complexion make it a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, this is only a slight exaggeration.

I'm not dissing all my fair skinned lady friends, au contraire, your porcelain skin makes me jealous year round (as does your lack of wrinkles). It is us "in-betweeners" who really suffer at this time of year. I'm not fair, but I'm not naturally tan. At this time of year I think my look would best be described as anemic (don't think Kate Moss early 1990s, think Gareth Keenan from the British Office).

In spite of this, I can't wait for a week of evenings spent outside, sun beaming through my window at work (even though I'd obviously rather experience it in person) and a warm weather menu. Bring on the rhubarb and the asparagus (a season of regularity if there ever was one!)

Oooohhhh, and BBQ'ing - let the BBQ season begin!



* Halifax Regional Municipality didn't have the same ring. Apologies municipal government friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

half anniversary

{happy half anniversary}
Why not celebrate often?

My parents offered to take Violet for a sleepover last night so Jeff and I could go on a proper date to celebrate six months of marriage. Jeff had to convince me that a real date meant leaving our apartment (I wanted to get burritos from Dee Dee's, what can I say). We did, in fact, end up venturing out of doors and I am so glad we did. We went to one of our favourite spots in Halifax, The Brooklyn Warehouse. 

I opt for veggie choices more often than not when we are cooking at home and when we go out I almost always eat fish. I knew I had a long run ahead of me Sunday morning so I wanted to really fill up (I also felt the freedom to totally indulge). I've always heard the burgers at the Brooklyn Warehouse were good so I decided to give them a try. Jeff's jaw dropped when I ordered! Just keeping him on his toes...The burger was ah-mazing. Worth taking half an hour off your life, for sure.

When the burger arrived there was a little flag sticking out of the top bun that read: "Vote the Brooklyn Burger Best Burger in Halifax". They definitely have my vote. The meat (beef and pork...) is free range, the bun is challah and the toppings are plentiful - the potato wedges served on the side are amazing too (probably the duck fat...). It is a lot of food so if you aren't super hungry you could substitute the potatoes for a salad. But if you are going for it, you might as well go for it in my estimation.

Burger + MacAuslan Oatmeal Stout + adult conversation with the one you love = perfect (and I didn't throw up anything green this morning, it is nice being a grown up)



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

Chive & Cheddar Guinness Bread

It is hard to keep classy on Saint Patrick's Day. I'm not referring to the line up I saw outside the local pub at 7:45 this morning, those people are dedicated if nothing else. I am thinking more along the lines of doing a little something special for my family. I wanted to do something thematic but preferably not  fluorescent green and not involving beer.

Well, one out of two ain't bad!

One of the best parts of having a kid is having an excuse to celebrate even the most minor of holidays (no offence Irish friends). So in honour of Saint Patrick's Day, and to celebrate a long overdue lunch with my cousin and his lovely family I whipped up a few thematic additions to our mac 'n cheese lunch.

{just a hint of green}

The first item I tried was Chive and Cheddar Guinness Bread (hence one out of two). The recipe sounded too good to be true: one bowl; no kneading; and bakes in 40 minutes, is that even possible? It turns out, it is. You know you have a winner when your guest asks for the recipe. The beer (we used Garrison's Martello Stout) gives the bread a moist richness, and the cheese makes it all the more decadent. The chives play two roles, they complement the cheese and add just a hint of green. We ate almost the whole loaf at lunch, another good sign.

{Chocolate cake with Bailey's Buttercream} 

The second treat we made was chocolate cake with Bailey's buttercream icing. I thought twice about adding the liqueur to the icing but then I thought, Ireland is in Europe - Europeans let their children drink in moderation - thus, on this, Saint Patrick's day my little North American daughter and her sweet cousins will be fine with a few mls of spirits! I bet the sugar contributed more to their energy level anyway.

The icing was really sweet. It was a nice treat on a special day but I'm not sure I'd recommend it any other time of year. Martha suggested making sugared four-leaf clovers to adorn the top of the cake but I had to wonder, where would even she be able to find four-leaf clovers for sale?

We had an awesome visit with our family, a nice walk at frog pond later in the afternoon and now Jeff and I are slipping out to celebrate six months of marriage! Forty-nine and a half more years until our golden anniversary. Time flies...

Check out the bread recipe here:

The cake was my go to chocolate cake:

The icing recipe isn't online but basically it is vanilla buttercream with 3 Tbsps of Bailey's.



Friday, March 16, 2012

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{my husband who loves to cook}

On Monday night Jeff made Nigel Slater's Thai Chicken Salad for supper. Carrots, cucs & sprouts came to life with a healthy dose of chillies and fresh citrus. Perhaps the dish would be better suited to lunch time, or maybe a light outdoor supper in the summer. Not fare typically eaten on snowy nights in March, but the heat of the dish certainly kept us warm!

Check it out here (scroll down half the page or so):

{pizza - in almost every form}

Salvatore's make the best pizza in Halifax. Can I say that? There are so many "kinds" of pizza I feel like it is almost unfair comparing them. We love Kit Kat for greasy pizza, the Wooden Monkey for the best topping selection & combinations and Morris East because of its sentimental value (we had our first date there) and the wicked chilli oil, but for Friday Night Fun Night (we actually call it that) overall satisfaction we'll take Salvatore's every time.

Try "The Original", it will change your life (or at least the way you view pizza).

Visit them in the Hydrostone Market:

{sledding, minus (most of) the snow}
Violet wanted to go sledding today. There might have been 5 cm of snow on the hill and that is being generous. After work we trudged (an accurate description, the ground was super muddy where the snow had melted) to a nearby park and hit the slopes. Make that slope (singular) - more of a slight decline really. Despite all this, we had a blast (for a while, then we all got cranky!)

{jane austen & tea}

I love surprises and I love presents so imagine my delight when I arrived home one night this week to find a birthday present waiting for me on my front step. My sweet friend told me to expect something, but I didn't know when it would come or what it would be. As far as choosing the perfect gift, she nailed it. Now I am able to combine two of my great loves: Jane Austen and tea. The quote is from Emma. The mug is from Etsy. What a lovely combination!

What are you grateful for this week?



Thursday, March 15, 2012


{Old Hollywood}

Writing cover letters makes me batty. I can't think of less creative text to work on (well, I can actually, I did study public administration). Anyway, it is safe to say that most cover letters are pretty boring. Or so I thought. Check out this one I came across on a cool website called Letters of Note:

Dear Sir:

I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave "V" words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land's-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.

I have just returned and I still like words.

May I have a few with you?

Robert Pirosh
385 Madison Avenue
Room 610
New York
Eldorado 5-6024

Who wouldn't give this guy a few minutes of their time?

Also, can we bring back letter writing (of the non-cover variety)?



(as I mentioned, I found the letter on Letters of Notethis was their source, the image above was found here)

sugar bugs

{dental hygiene Kanye style}
I hated going to the dentist as a kid. My dentist was like a character out of a horror movie. He was tall, lanky, had long dark hair on his arms and he wore a little magnifying glass in front of his regular glasses that was typically splattered with blood. He was also a total sadist, but that is material for another post (or probably therapy session). I cried every time I went to the dentist. I stopped going there in my early twenties.

My new dentist is pretty awesome. After meeting him I realized that not all dentists were sociopathic creeps who liked torturing kids. I would go so far as to describe him as a nice guy. As a girl with dentist issues, that is as much as you're going to get from me.

Being the selfless mother that I am, I have tried not to let my distrust/ distain/ disgust with the dental profession rub off on my girl. When it came time to book her first dental visit I started to talk about how awesome going to the dentist is. It felt wrong lying right to my daughter's face, but I felt prepared for it after this Christmas and the whole Santa thing. 

Today was judgement day, the big appointment had arrived. We zipped Violet home after school for a thorough tooth brushing session. She had been up since before the sun so I was unsure how the event would unfold. 

When we arrived at the dentist's office she was pretty pumped to see a play area. We have a playroom full of toys at home but it cannot compete with the je ne sais quoi of the waiting room play area. There must be something special about really old, really germy toys. Kids love 'em. 

{calm before the storm?}
When a young female dental hygienist called Violet's name I was optimistic. Violet likes strangers who are women more than strangers who are men. The hygienist was sweet and made Violet feel totally comfortable. They talked about sugar bugs (I crossed my fingers Violet would not mention the mini-eggs I had in my purse) and dora toothbrushes - you know, the usual. 

She also got Violet to wear some super cool shades and convinced her to open her mouth so that she could count her teeth. The highlight of the visit was when Vi let the hygienist brush her two front teeth with that rubber electric toothbrush thing. Not too bad for a first visit. 

{I'm ready for this}
Things went downhill when the actual dentist arrived. He was kind, but Violet got nervous. Check out her face as he came into the room:

{there is no way I am letting that man near my mouth!}
She may not have had a thorough examination, but I don't think the experience was overly traumatic. Can we really hope for much more when dentists are involved?



Tuesday, March 13, 2012


{how could you tease someone this cute?}
Nighttime routine would be an understatement.

As you may recall, I am a fan of routine. Violet seems to have picked up this tendency – selectively that is. We are actually pretty lucky with our nighttime ritual; Violet is rarely awake past eight. We begin to wind down around 6:30, I read Violet three books (because she is three – obviously) and Jeff reads her another book and then tickles her back for about 10 minutes. Since she gave up her nap about six months ago she rarely has any trouble nodding off.

Last night Violet was feeling particularly dramatic at bedtime. She was weepy when it was time for me to go. She totally knows how to play me, by the way. I felt incredibly guilty as I pried her little hands from around my neck. Working Mum Guilt stinks. Violet clearly didn’t want me to leave and so she cried out in desperation, “I'm upset, what if my friends call me four-eyes?”

“What was that sweetheart,” I replied.

“What if my friends call me four-eyes,"  she said more clearly.

I had to hold back a chuckle. “Vi, your friends won’t call you four-eyes, you don’t wear glasses sweetheart.”

“Yes I do,” she wailed.

It was all I could do to keep from laughing.

Jeff popped his head in Violet’s bedroom door. “Vi, I have worn glasses my whole life and no one has ever called me four-eyes honey. You don’t even wear glasses…”

“Yes I do, yes I do,” she sobbed.

I looked at Jeff, he looked at me. He winked and returned to washing dishes (I have a good one).

Am I seriously consoling Violet about this right now I thought to myself?

I lay down with Vi for a few minutes, rubbing her back until she settled down. As I got up to go, she whispered, “Mum, my friends will call me four-eyes when I wear my sunglasses,” then she drifted off. These are the things that keep my girl up at night.

Sweet, sweet little girl, no more Arthur for you.

{hey - are you calling me four-eyes?}