Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Pot and the Kettle

I have a tatt. As in tatt oo. I should get that out of the way right now so this story will display the proper amount of irony.

Daphne recently discovered commercials. Either she’s only been watching DVR’ed shows her whole life up until now, or she finally just put two and two together and realized that commercials are showing her things she can BUY. Because for the last few days, she will frantically call me to the TV room and then show me something she just HAS to have. Today it was Barbie tattoos. I only caught the very end of the commercial, so I’m not sure if the tattoos were for Barbie or Barbie’s handler. But I informed Daphne that we wouldn’t be getting her any Barbie tattoos. “Why not?” she wondered. “Because,” I stalled, “Um, tattoos are naughty.”

“They’re not naughty,” she responded defiantly, “they’re beautiful!”

Touche, my dear child. Touche.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Korn Meets Maria Von Trapp

Ever heard of the Cookie Monster Rock? If so, you'll appreciate this version of Do Re Mi sung by Beck. He knows all the words. But today I guess he just felt like he needed to get a little aggression out:

(Not to be missed, Daphne realizing she's not getting any attention and running around and around the table humming and laughing and being obnoxious. You can just see the top of her head as she bounces past).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best. Food. EVER. And I can prove it.

If you haven't eaten at Pizzaria 712 yet, what is wrong with you??? I told you already that it was delicious. The most amazing Italian style pizzas (like the bacon and roasted squash pizza with carmelized onions and fresh mozzerela--I know it sounds bizarre, but it is To Die For), the most delicious appetizers (like the fall-apart-tender braised short rib over polenta with fresh horseradish sauce.) And amazing desserts (like the fresh pear cobbler and the vanilla bean panna cotta). And all of it is made fresh, right when you order, one dish at a time, in their imported Italian brick oven. And all from locally grown ingredients, hand-selected that week at the farmer's market.

If that isn't enough to tempt you, or you think I may be too biased (being related to one of the people involved with starting the restaurant) then read this:


Now go eat there, already! (Orem, State Street just south of Center St.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jennie's Amazingly Fattening Giveaway

My sister is named Jennie. She is:

A) beautiful (see above)
A 1/2) funny
B) a good writer
C) real. tells it like it is
D) the best baker. And I'm not exaggerating. She won "best baker in Utah" at the state fair for having the most blue ribbons
E) having a blog give away for CREAM-CHEESE BROWNIES. Homemade. Phenomenal.

Click here to enter.

And then read her blog while you are there, because it's almost as good as her brownies. Ok, maybe better. But they're a very close second.

What Facebook Would Be Like In Real Life

Thank you, Kami, for showing this. LOVED it.


Photo Booth

I have a bunch of photos I've taken for blogging purposes but I'm not sure they all deserve their own post. So I'm just going to jam them all together...

The Grass Is Always Greener (click this one to enlarge)

This is what happens when you leave your 3 year old alone with your laptop for 5 minutes to play online games....
(No, that is not a game. That is my new wallpaper image! How she did that, I have no idea.)

My Little Rockstar
Someday when he is a famous guitarist in a rock band, this picture will be worth a fortune. Don't you love how he's holding it just right and looking down at the strings like he's rocking out? No one even showed him how to do that!

BEFOREI colored my hair. I was sick of it being dark. So I got some highlights put in. It's pretty close to my natural color now. I'm so glad to not be a brunette anymore. No offense.

This spells joy to me. No, not watching my kids torture the neighborhood stray. But the fact that my kids are playing OUTSIDE. That day, they played happily outside for an hour and a half!!! Oh man, I forgot how wonderful good weather is. I got so much done while they were outside dipping their mittens in puddles and launching rotten chestnuts down the slide. Oh, and getting their eyes scratched out by stray cats. It was awesome.

I feel like this picture requires some explanation. I'm not in the habit of dressing my son up in faggy sunglasses and filming him dance around naked. Honestly. But when Daphne dug up her sunglasses and brought them in to Beck, who then decided to parade around his manhood, er, boyhood in pink sunglasses with his binky in his mouth, I just couldn't resist a shot. It'll be used as blackmail later in his life, of course.

And finally, nothing makes a mother's heart glow like watching her husband make valentines with is little girl. He's in charge of the cards, she's in charge of sticker placement. As you can see, a few of the stickers missed their mark. By a few feet. That's OK. Daddy needs to get in touch with his pink, sparkly, girly side. He has one, I know it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Curious Case of Indecent Sobbing

Has anyone seen Benjamin Button? (Spoilers ahead! Skip to the next paragraph if you plan on seeing this movie). Because I just have a few questions: First of all, did the end make you cry? Secondly, did the end make you sob uncontrollably like a deranged lunatic? Like, so loudly that you couldn't even cover it up in a theater full of people? Cause, um, I totally fell apart at the end! Maybe it's just that I'm a parent and seeing a baby die was just too much. I don't know. But when baby Benjamin died at the end, I just lost it. Like totally, embarrassingly crying lost it. Sure, Big Daddy was shedding a few tears too. It was an emotional ending. But, seriously, what was my deal?? Did this happen to anyone else?

My third question is, am I the only one who just about had an orgasm in that scene where Brad Pitt is kissing Kate Blanchet and his pants are riding kind of low and you can just barely see the top of his bum? I try REALLY hard not to like Brad Pitt. It's so cliche. But, my gosh, when he finally got younger in that movie, I had to close my eyes and vigorously shake my head to keep from either passing out or drooling. That man is so fine and I hate that I like him!

Ok, now discuss.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pick A Little, Talk A Little

Oh, I should probably mention the biggest get-together of women with more time and wit on their hands than real life friends: A blogger lunch! Men (i.e. my husband) think it's crazy to make friends with complete strangers online, tell them all your innermost thoughts, and then actually meet up with said strangers in a public setting to tell still more of your innermost thoughts. Well, I think playing basketball with a bunch of strangers at 5:30 am and slapping each other's butts is strange. So there.

Anyhoo, here are some of the delightful people I met at the blunch on Saturday...

The lovely and talented Kristine P., who hosted this blessed event, Amber, who I met for the first time. HILARIOUS. Moi. And my twin separated from birth except for the cheesecake thing, Melissa. Each more funny and charming than the next. Especially me. (Tiburon, where did you run off to for all these pictures

Here is a picture of me, Melissa, and Melissa's sassy new haircut.

Wendy and Shauna. Can't you see just from Wendy's expression how much fun this date was? And you should have heard the noise level in this place! Positively dizzying.

Thanks for a rockin' time, Women. Next time I think we should try to stay away from such a small group and invite a few people to come.

Spark Person

Have you heard of It's a free website that's kind of like Weight Watchers. You can track your calories there, track your exercise, get diet and exercise tips, join support groups, get healthy recipes, and in every other way you can think of, force yourself to lose some freaking weight. So with a renewal of purpose last week, I joined sparkpeople in an effort to get my eating under control.

My eating, in case you haven't noticed, is sporadically healthy, at best. Looking at my blog, in fact, it probably seems like I do nothing but eat sweets. While I WISH this was the case, it isn't. I just don't blog about the carrot sticks WITHOUT dip that I eat. Or the no sugar applesauce. Or the lowfat cottage cheese. Because who wants to read about that stuff? (NOT ME, in case you were thinking about blogging about low fat cottage cheese). But even with all the healthy stuff I do eat in between blogging about cheesecake and chocolate truffle cookies, I'm still not where I want to be. I guess I haven't been committed enough to this weight-loss thing to avoid ALL treats, especially when it's not my diet blow off day (which usually falls on Friday, the day of weigh-in, because either I'm so pissed off that I didn't lose much/any weight that I binge out of anger. Or I'm so glad that I finally lost some weight that I reward myself with a binge day).

So, in order to try to gain some self-control over my sweets intake, I'm going to use you wonderful people as my personal diet police. Every day when I blog, I'm going to add a p.s. that tells how I did the day before on diet and exercise. And if I eat sweets and it's not a special occasion or my diet blow-off day, you all have permission to spank me. Slap me. Beat me down like a....what's that analogy? Anyway, like that. Verbally of course. I don't want anyone showing up here with a heavy wooden paddle or anything. I like my hiney round the way it is.

Ok, thanks for your participation. Tune in later to see if you get to do your first session of verbal abuse. You never know, you might even get some of your personal aggression out. It'll be like free therapy! 'Cause I'm giving like that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'd Like To Change My Plea, Your Honor

Is there such a thing as temporary insanity....for your taste buds? Yesterday I got a piece of my most glorious and delicious true NY Style Cheesecake (if you missed out on my cheesecake search obsession, you can go here and here), and I SWEAR to you that it tasted faintly like blue cheese. Blue cheese is, of course, the most disgusting item consumed by human beings that isn't a strange animal body part. It's MOLD, people, masquerading as an edible dairy product. So you can imagine my disgust each time I took a bite and got the strange aftertaste of mold. There was no mold on the cheesecake. I looked it over thoroughly. And I confess, I probably should have stopped eating it just from the taste of the mold, even if I couldn't find any. But it was cheesecake, for crying out loud. You can't throw away really good quality cheesecake! So I did what any normal human being would do: I ate all but 4 bites of it, and then I put it in the fridge and decided I'd choke the rest down later. And what do you know? When I tried to eat it today, it tasted absolutely fine. Totally normal. Not a hint of blue cheese to be found. So all I can think is that my tastebuds went temporarily insane. Or that dementia has just begun. Either way, it was a dang good cheesecake. Well, today, that is.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Do you know what this is???

This, my dear friends, is SPRING TIME!!!

That's why I love the crocuses and daffodils and tulips best. Because when those little crocus buds and daffodil spears poke through the ground in late February, I know that it's the beginning of the end of winter and lovely, warm, sunny spring is on it's way.

Can I get a woot woot?


Friday, February 20, 2009

The Defnition of Me.

"It is hard to toot your own horn. But I think that is part of what makes this post so interesting. Everyone needs to toot their own horn from time to time. Beep Beep!

The idea here is define who you are - what seven things, traits or qualities make up who YOU are?"

I read this tag on Tiburon's and Melissa's blogs. I was immediately intrigued as I just love introspection and self-analysis. but I had to think about it for a few days to make sure I could hone in on the true essence of who I am. So after several days, here is what I have come up with.

1) Original - I HATE to jump on the bandwagon. I hate to follow trends just because they’re trendy. I like to be original and unique. I don’t know if it’s because I was the only blond in a brunette family, the only Arianne I've ever known, the only Mormon at any of my schools, the only American at my German high school, or the only liberal in my conservative town (or so it feels)…I have just always identified myself as being different. And I like it that way. I have the confidence to not mind doing my own thing. I can still appreciate a trend, but I won’t do it just because everyone else is doing it. And if my own thing just happens to be on trend, well I WILL get on the bandwagon, but I’ll sit on the back bumper with a hat covering my face.
2) Chameleon – I think the thing that I notice most about myself, that is both my greatest strength and my greatest frustration, is my ability to be flexible, to blend in, to take various aspects of my personality and bring them out or stifle them depending on the situation. I don’t know if everyone is as multi-faceted as I am. But I know that I often envy people who have a very definite feel for who they are. Because I don’t. Or rather, I do, but it changes depending on my day, my mood, my company. I can fit in perfectly well in a circle of old ladies chewing the fat, or a group of teenagers, or a village of natives in India, or punks, or businessmen, or girly girls, or whoever. This comes in really handy sometimes. But it also leaves me wondering who I really am. Am I the person who loves antiques or the one who loves modern art? Do I want to paint my nails sparkly pink or wear all black? Do I enjoy classical music or techno? Do I want to wear heels or Doc Martins or Berkenstocks? The answer is all of the above. I am all of these, but none one of these alone. It's a blessing and a curse, being a chameleon. I can TOTALLY relate to this book.
3) Assertive/Pragmatic – I guess I’ve always been assertive. I’ve always had a strong level of confidence that has made me unafraid to seek after what I want. It has grown as I’ve gotten older until I am just plain pragmatic. I see a goal, and I head towards it. No reservations, to dilly-dallying, no pussy-footing, and absolutely no wishy-washing. I quickly assess my successes and failures, make judgments and corrections, and move on. I can occasionally get into trouble when I act too fast. Sometimes I don’t stop to consider all the options when I act. I just feel like I know what I want, and I go. But on the whole, this trait has served me well. I feel like I’m as successful as I am because I’m not afraid to follow through. Not much scares me. People don’t scare me, life doesn’t scare me. I can't be bothered to be scared. Like Nike says, Just Do It.
4) Compassion – I have a huge well of compassion. Unfortunately, it has gotten somewhat subjugated as an adult by my greater need to get the job done, to be pragmatic and assertive (see above). But the truth is, I have a very soft heart and I care a lot about people. And animals. And the earth. I am very conscious of others’ feelings, of how my actions affect people and the world around me. I love service and to do good. I love to help out and be a responsible citizen. My husband laughs at me because I am always making him pull over to help people on the side of the road, to give a bum some change, to rescue a stray dog or cat, to invite lonely people over for dinner, to call 911 when I see an object in the road that someone might hit. Even my mom says that I was so sweet and nice to my little brother growing up, that any success he has as an adult will be because of my compassion to him.
5) Knowledge/learning/adventure – I have always wanted to KNOW. I am one of those weird people who loves to watch the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and National Geographic Channel more than any others. I have loved to watch documentaries since I was a little kid. Keep your cartoons, give me shows on the ocean, wildlife, volcanoes, diseases, indigenous tribes, classical painters, musicians, history, inventions, etc. I have always loved school. And I have a knack for remembering all the things I learn. I have always done super well on tests. And I can name more species of animals and marine life than probably anyone I know. That stuff just sticks in my brain. Languages stick in my brain. At one time I was taking French and Spanish…IN German. Numbers stick in my brain. I remember birthdays and phone numbers of kids I knew in 1st and 2nd grade. I remember all kinds of useless trivia that doesn’t help for anything except shouting out the answers when I watch Jeopardy. I can’t get enough. I just want to learn learn learn! And if I ever got really rich and had unlimited amounts of money and time, I’d just take more lessons—cello, harp, piano, Mandarin, karate, cooking, chess, ballroom dance, belly dancing, auto mechanics, Russian, oil painting, stained glass making,Arabic….you get the idea.
6) Optimism/Happiness/Low Maintainance - My husband told me after about 5 years of marriage (and 2 ½ years of dating) that if he had realized how easy it would be to be married to me, he would have married me two years sooner. I consider this a great compliment. Because I think I am pretty easy to get along with. I am opinionated. And assertive. But somehow I still find a way to be easy to get along with. And I’m just a generally happy person. And always have been. I believe people can be better, I believe the world is worth improving, I believe that forgiving and moving on is easier than holding a grudge. I laugh a lot, I don’t take life too seriously. And I just can’t stand people who like to wallow in misery or anger. Being happy is just... happier!
7) People – I love people. Everything about people. I am one of those who loves everyone until they give me a reason not to. Or several reasons. Over and over. Those closest to me have often been frustrated by my inability to kiss bad relationships (of all kinds) goodbye. I just tend to see the best in everyone and cling to it, even in the face of all their many faults. I love to figure out what makes people tick, to try to discover their motivations. Long conversations are my favorite way to do this. So yes, I’m a talker, but if you will put yourself out there, I’m just as good of a listener. I want to hear your story. I want to understand you. That’s why my two majors in college were anthropology (the study of people as a culture) and psychology (the study of people and their psyche’s). I just love to dive into social situations and get to know people (often to my slightly more introverted husband’s chagrin). And that’s why I have traveled so widely and lived in so many countries. I don’t stop with people in the U.S. I want to figure out how people are all over the world. People--who they are and what makes them do what they do--simply fascinates me.

I'll be interested to see if my mom thinks this is a pretty good assessment of me-- no one knows you like your mom. But these are the things that I think most define Arianne.

So what makes you who you are? As you know, I'd love to find out! Consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Child In Me

I have done this color code test many times before. But this is the first time that I have taken it with myself as a CHILD in mind. It came out with quite a different result. I think as I've gotten older, I've changed a lot. But here is what I got when I took the test the way they instructed:

Basic Analysis
Congratulations, you are a yellow.

yellow: 56.56%
red: ??? %
blue: ??? %
white: ??? %

Yellows (Motive: Fun)yellows are motivated by Fun. They are inviting and embrace life as a party that they're hosting. They love playful interaction and can be extremely sociable. They are highly persuasive and seek instant gratification. yellows need to be adored and praised. While yellows are carefree, they are sensitive and highly alert to others' agendas to control them. yellows typically carry within themselves the gift of a good heart.

Notice that I was pretty evenly also blue, red, and white. As a child that is. But when I take it with my adult self in mind, here's how it turns out:

Basic Analysis
Congratulations, you are a yellow.

yellow: 47.5%
red: ??? %
blue: ??? %
white: ??? %

I am still yellow, but about 10% less so. And the portions of secondary colors have changed too. The bigger one is red, then blue, with almost no white at all. It's funny because my positive traits are all yellow and blue, but my negatives are not yellow and blue, but red. So I've traded out my compassion and desire to have fun for being more assertive and bossy. Great.

Anyway, interesting stuff. If you want to take the test, click here.
(Thanks, Tib.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nobody Loves Me Like DDR

DDR, or Dance Dance Revolution (Hottest Dance Party), is my home exercise of choice. I have an eliptical machine. HATE IT. The weather is too gross for outdoor exercise. And so I usually do DDR when I don't feel like dragging my kids to the gym to get yet another disease from the germ-fest daycare. And can I just say, my DDR is SO NICE TO ME!

Whenever I choose a new song, even if it's one that I got an E on last time (E, as in, Embarrassingly bad), it says, "Nice Choice!!!". Why, thank you, DDR.

While I'm dancing, the screen sends out encouraging messages like "Perfect!" "Marvelous!" "Great!" and "Good." The constant positive feedback is so uplifting.

And occasionally it shouts things like, "I'm loving it!" no matter how good or bad my dancing actually is.

When I finish a song, it says, "Nobody can move like you do!" And that's true. My moves are quite unique.

Even when I do badly, it doesn't berate me. It only says, "Aw, you can do better than that" or "That's OK. Try again!" If only I had such quiet encouragement in all aspects of my life. My life would be more like this:

"You didn't pay the gas bill this month? That's OK. Try again."
"This cheese stick has been sitting here under the table for three days. Aw, you can do better than that."
" Wow, my shirt is ironed to perfection! Nobody moves like you do."
" Nap time, Mommy? Nice choice!"
" Another time out? I'm loving it!"
" Grilled Cheese for dinner again. Marvelous!"

Sounds good, right? I think I'll write to Nintendo and ask them to start doing training classes for spouses and kids of Wii owners. Maybe a petition. Whose with me?

Here. It's your own personal copy, in case you aren't lucky enough to have the positive life coach I now have:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Look How European I Am!

Big Daddy and I went to the new Harmons the other day after several recommendations from people. For those of you who don't know, Harmons is a local grocery store. It's owned and run by locals, the Harmon brothers. We had heard that their new store was amazing, not just your average grocery store. So we decided to check it out. It IS pretty cool. There is a loft area above the grocery store with amazing cooking faciilites where they offer cooking classes of all kinds. And the main grocery store has a ginormous exotic cheese section. In my book, this equates to a great grocery store, regardless of the rest. But the rest was worth regard. They also had an olive bar, yum, Asian food bar, yum, pretty decent bakery, YUM, and several other interesting food stations that you never see at grocery stores. It was no Whole Foods, but it was pretty freaking cool. So I bought some of this stuff to snack on the next day. Here is what my lunch looked like....

Herb Gouda, multigrain roll, Black Forest ham, and exotic olives stuffed with almonds and feta and such. So European, don't you think? Don't worry, I didn't eat that whole block of cheese. Because I enjoy pooping more than once a month. Also, this:

Here, let me blow that up for you...

Very interesting sensation, let me tell you.

Anyway, you should check it out if you live nearby. It's just off Bangerter and I-15. It's a good substitute for a trip to Europe. Ya... that's a total lie. It's not even close. But herb gouda really does go surprisingly well with chocolate mint water. Um...that's another lie. You should eat them separately. Or, actually, just stick with the cheese.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Like a Horse and Carriage

Seven years ago I put on the most gorgeous dress I've ever seen. I held the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and walked down the aisle to one of the most romantic pieces of music. And then I married the most amazing man ever.

I think that says it all.


Keeping Cupcakes

I keep having baker's remorse. Or, more accurately, dieters-baked-goods-giver-awayer's remorse. I made these last week: I ate 5, and then I made my husband take them all to work so I wouldn't eat them. And then I wished I'd kept some more.

And then on Thursday I made these:And I sent them all to school with Daphne for her school party. All except one. And after I ate that one, I wished I'd saved a few extras.

Big Daddy bought a mega bag of these from Costco on Saturday for our annual Anti-Valentine's Day party, and then we sent the remainder of the bag home with our babysitter afterward.

And I made these for our party too: And then when the party was over, I threw the rest in the trash. I didn't eat a single one. But today I wished I could.

My inner dieter and my inner eater are at odds. They hate each other. I get cravings, so I bake, and then I eat, and then I know I'll keep eating, so I ditch my sweets. And then I wish I hadn't. But part of me is glad I did. The part that wants to lose weight. And the other part of me is pissed and wants to punch the first part of me in the face. And so it goes, round after round of me arguing with me over chocolate truffle cookeis, and pink frosted sugar cookies, and peanut M&Ms.

So when my friend Kelli showed up with these today: (The world most delicious lemon cupcakes EVER. Not an actual photo), the part of me that likes to eat baked goods karate chopped the part that wants to lose weight in the neck. Then I ate one. And I'm keeping the rest.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This is What Happens When Your Husband Goes Out Of Town

You spend all night on the computer, guilt free! And you do all kinds of random tag posts that you'd otherwise not have time to do. Sweet.

I got tagged by Crystal on this one. Here goes...

1- Post the rules on your blog
2- List 6 random things about yourself.
3- Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
4- Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
5- Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1 - I like modern style furniture, but also antiques
2 - My favorite color of M&M growing up was the light brown one. I was sad when they got rid of it.
3 - I shoot pool left handed.
4 - I despise basketball and love canoeing
5 - I would rather live around tons of trees than mountains or oceans
6 - I am watching a show right now called Face Transplant. I love these kinds of shows. The weirder the better.

I tag:
Suzie (Eagarbrood)

I'm Playing the "Lucky You" Game

The first five people that respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2. What I create will be just for you.

3. It’ll be done this year.

4. You have no clue what it’s going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry, a picture, or maybe even some creation I haven’t even invented yet. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange. The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!

* * *Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In A Valentine's Day Sort Of Mood

Today I have been thinking about love. And romance. And things that make me feel good. Like half a piece of German chocolate cake I brought home from dinner out last night. Or the beautiful pink spotted lillies my husband got me today. (They were in the corsages at our wedding. I bet he doesn't remember that, but I do. So it makes me smile even more.) Or cute movies where love and happiness reign. Like the movie "Waitress"...

If you didn't get to see it last year when it came out, get your honey, check it out and watch it together. NOW. And if you did, check it out and watch it together again. It'll make you smile. And crave pie. It doesn't get much more romantic than that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spoken Like A Crotchety Old Lady

Evidently I know nothing about Valentine’s Day. I thought I did. But whatever I remember about Valentine’s Day from 4th grade is clearly useless. What I remember about Valentine’s Day is that it was a day of romance, love, and general affection for your friends, classmates, and the boyfriend you wished you had but never did when Valentine’s Day rolled around. At school you handed out little cards with trains saying cheesy things like “I choo choo choose you” on them. But now, it seems, Valentine’s day is like a mini Halloween. Minus the costumes. It’s just an excuse to pass out and receive candy.

My daughter went to preschool with elaborate hand-made cards, with beautifully decorated envelopes. Ribbon and stamps decorated one side, a chocolate heart was stuck to the other side (and I only knew to do this because the preschool teacher told me that candy was involved. I swear I NEVER got candy with my valentines when I was a kid. Or I would have had much fonder feelings about the holiday, I am sure). But what she came home with was a bag full of “valentines” that had nothing to do with love, romance, or any kind of affection whatsoever. They had more to do with corporate greed and commercialism than love. Spiderman, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Tinkerbell, Cars....does Disney OWN Valentine's Day now? Only one of the cards even had a cute saying on it. And half of what she got had no card or message at all. Just a little Halloween sized bag of candy out of Valentine’s Day colors. See here. I'll grade them, teacher-style:

Child 1 gets a D. Although he did provide the most candy, he failed to include a card, a sweet message, or even his name.

C-. This one gets a near failing grade. "Have an amazing Valentine's Day" from Spiderman does not imply love, adoration, or even mild affection. At least the pencil has hearts on it. It's the only thing that saved Gavyn from a D.

Nerds? For Valentine's Day? What are you trying to say here, Jordan? And the Scooby Doo card attached that says "Relp! It's Valentine's Day!" is only slightly better. Remind me not to let Daphne date you some day. C-

Another C-. I consider this the laziest kind of Valentine. How is fun-dip romantic or love-oriented? It's not even pink or heart shaped. Just sticking a heart on the package, with no message, doesn't make it suitable for Valentine's Day. The real Willy Wonka would not approve, Ethan H.

Best Friends? Best Friends??? That's the charming and creative message on this card? Way to put high effort in, Disney. At least Bella colored on the back. C

This card was pretty strange on the front. But the back provided some good old dyslexic entertainment (and teeny tiny M&M's)... For that, I give it a C+

B- This one isn't horrible. It has a message on it. And it has a pencil with it (you know, because nothing says I love you like a pencil). But what does "Light, Bright, & Sparkly" have to do with the holiday of love?

I actually love this one! Even though it's a Batman card (i.e. not very sweet) it DOES have a cute, funny, Valentinesy messsage on it. Way to go, Ethan P.! A-

Carmyn also gets an A. Homemade card, some craft glue involved, it has her name WRITTEN IN HER OWN WRITING--go Carmyn!--and it has a heart shaped sucker inside. Very well done.

These are Daphne's cards. Honestly I think they deserve an A. Not only is the card cute and glittery, and the envelope cute (it has an evenlope: that alone deserves an A. What happened to cards with envelopes in the last 20 years???), but it has chocolate on it, the king of all candy. And she helped make every single one, including writing the "D" on almost all of them and putting stickers on the rest.

I realize that I sound like a horrible old hag, railing on these sweet little three year olds' Valentine's Day gifts. But things have changed since I was a kid, and I'm not sure I like the direction they've taken. When I was a kid, we used to walk to school, up hill both ways, barefoot in the snow...but at least we had sweet, catchy valentines.

Lock Down

There was this time, about a month ago, when there was a...ahem...marital situation going on when we thought our kids were asleep. And then we heard a sound, turned to our right, and saw our lovely 3 year old standing there quietly. How long she had been there, we do not know. Fortunately, we were under the covers. She didn't seem to notice that anything strange was going on. In fact, she immediately launched into a story about what her ponies wanted for a snack and what shows they wanted to watch while eating. Long story short, we realized our days of having charming, antique, lock-less door knobs were over. So tonight, my wonderful talented husband installed serious security measures on our bedroom: one on our bedroom door to the hallway, one on the bedroom door that leads to the bathroom, one on the bathroom door (which leads to our room) to the kitchen, and one on the crapper, just for good measure. No more peeping Toms. Or peeping Daphnes. Or peeping Becks. Or peeping Flossies. (Because having your cat walk in on you is nearly as disconcerting as having your kids walk in). And my guests can now use the bathroom with fear of interruption. And by interruption, I mean Daphne coming in to provide commentary about the amount of hair on your thighs. Life is good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mothers' Valentine's Day

Today was my first day as a mom. You might think your first day as a mom is the day they hand you your tiny baby in the hospital. But you are wrong. Your first day as a mom is the first day you have to represent yourself at your child’s school. Through valentines. Now my daughter is only 3. And she’s an oldest child. So she has no preconceived notions of what Valentine’s Day should be. Or just how pivotal this moment will be for the rest of her school career. But, I do. And, really, this is the moment that tells her what kind of mother she has, and just how much pride and/or embarrassment she will suffer at the hands of said mother at school for the rest of her life. I want to be a source of confidence to her as she grows up. I want her to feel proud of who she is, and where she came from. I want whatever interaction I have with her at school for the rest of her life to make her feel secure, and to catapult her into popularity, not shame or infamy. Is that so horrible of me? So yesterday and today as we prepared for her first ever Valentine’s Day, I really put 100% into it. I stayed up late, I got up early, I skipped my nap time/me time/ internet time….I really wanted this to set the precedent for our relationship together when public appearances and treats were concerned. She is now on her way to school with beautiful homemade cards and delicious homemade cookies.

I have no idea to expect from my first Valentine's Day as a mother either. I hope I did her proud.