Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mommy Blog: Obligatory Halloween Post

Now that I have a child, I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to do a blog post about Halloween.  I mean, what's the point of dressing up said child if you can't share it with the whole wide Internet?  By the way, if the Halloween post doesn't go up until a week after Halloween, does it still count? So many things I'm still trying to learn...


Kaitlyn's first Halloween was a smashing success.  As soon as we got to the school she was whisked away by school employees (Kaitlyn has quite a fan club).  The kindergarten teacher took this picture of her.


Do I get Mommy Bonus Points for dressing in a coordinating costume?


In case you were wondering exactly how cute we were...  we both had tails.

Note to readers: My mostly sincere apologies to anyone who is offended by the above tailage.


Despite our best efforts, Daddy was not willing to go along with the farm theme ("But Steve, you'll ruin Kaitlyn's first Halloween").


Kaitlyn also had a Halloween outfit to wear while we handed out candy to trick-or-treaters.


I had a second Halloween outfit too.  :)  Daddy was once again a party-pooper.  Kaitlyn, however, was a real trooper.  She came with me to answer the door almost every time.  She only tried eating candy out of the bowl seven times.


Is it embarrassing to admit that my daughter had more than one Halloween costume?


We were a bit indecisive this Halloween.


We briefly considered combining the two costumes.  I think it's best that we didn't.  Cows and tutus don't belong together.

Note to readers: No actual candy was consumed during the taking of the above photograph.  One fun size Butterfinger was only harmed temporarily by baby drool.


Happy Halloween.

*This post sponsored by grandmothers who can't help but buy festive things for their grandchildren...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mommy Blog: Dangerous Pursuits and Other Cuteness


This is how I found Kaitlyn when I went to get her after a nap a few days ago.  It's only a matter of time before she's trying to crawl out of the crib...


This is Kaitlyn standing up on the swing.  Someday this will not end well.

On a more positive note, you can see her teeth!  Enjoy them because she doesn't show them off very often.


Kaitlyn holding her own bottle.  A triumphant parenting moment.


Kaitlyn's BFF helping her with a little meal.


The face I get to see while I'm cooking dinner.  Lucky me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mommy Blog: Progress We're Not Exactly Excited About

Kaityn's been learning how to do new things.  We're not exactly excited about them.


That's right ladies and gentlemen...


Kaitlyn can now pull herself up on things.


And while she looks adorable, it means our lives will never be the same.


Here's another one of her favorite tricks.

What?  You can't tell what's going on in this picture?

Note to readers: for maximum enjoyment of this and the next picture, please notice that Kaitlyn is only wearing one sock.  That happens a lot around here...


How about now?  A baby on top of the stereo receiver and DVD player.  What could possibly go wrong with that?


The final piece of bad news is that Kaitlyn's hair is now long enough to "be fixed."  500 small black rubber bands came in the mail yesterday, so now there is no excuse to not fix Kaitlyn's hair.

This may not seem like such a travesty, but it is.  Readers who knew me growing up will understand why this is so scary to me.

Note to readers regarding the above photo: This was the best I could do.  I am aware that her hands are cut off.  And she's not looking.  And there's a funky shadow.  Please do not let it get in the way of enjoying this blog post.  Thank you.

Additional note to readers: I am formally sorry for any baby blog pictures that I have judged in the past.  Taking pictures of babies is hard.  My respect goes out to anyone who even tries.

Busch Girls in Matching Dresses

(I am the one on the left.)  Not too bad, huh?  That's because my mom did my hair.

Matching Green Dresses for Christmas

(I am, again, on the left.)  My mom was still doing my hair at this point, but it was starting to get out of control (Hey Mom!  Thanks for the poofy bangs!)  (Hey 1980s!  Thanks for the crimping fad!)

Eating Watermelon at Grandma and Grandpa's House

(I'm on the far right.)  But this.  This I have to take full responsibility for.  Not only did I dress myself, but I did my own hair.

Ready for Church

(I'm the one standing on the far right.)  I was way old enough to do my own hair at this point...

Thanksgiving 1996-ish

(I'm standing in the back left corner.)  And the results were not pretty.  Could my bangs be any thicker?


My sister Mandy's hair always looked nice.  And she's fixed her own hair since about second grade.  Sigh.  (Hey Universe!  Why are you so unfair?)  Anytime in my life my hair has looked nice (Prom, my wedding, occasional church meetings when I begged her to help me out), it's because Mandy did it.  Unfortunately, Mandy is far away from Alaska, or I would outsource the duty of fixing Kaitlyn's hair in a heartbeat. 

So, Kaitlyn, I apologize for the years you are about to endure.  It won't be easy.  And you'll probably look back and cringe.  There will be times you will wonder, "Why me?"  Just remember, the alternative is Daddy fixing your hair...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mommy Blog: Adventures in Baby Feeding- Part Two

Today was the day we started Kaitlyn on food other than cereal.  After obsessively reading all information I could find about what food to try first, I settled on avocados.


This is what Kaitlyn thought of my choice.


Even after some of the familiar rice cereal, she was still dazed...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Field Trip: Berry Picking


I got to go berry picking with this little guy yesterday.

Astute VFN readers will notice that the little cutie is wearing a life jacket. And in front of a background of water. That's because we were on a boat. The good berries are always a little ways outside of town.


We stopped by the white truck. Apparently, it's a local landmark.


We were surrounded by beautiful fall colors.


At our feet were berries. They grow really close to the ground.


These are the berries from this post. They are called blackberries by people around here, but another name for them is crowberries. They are less desirable than blueberries or cranberries, but they were the most plentiful, so I decided to pick them.


My little boating buddy picked shotgun shells.


I was quite pleased with how many berries I got in a few hours. The women from Brevig and Shishmaref would probably laugh if they saw how few berries I got. They typically pick up to twenty-five gallons a season.


The berries are beautiful. I look forward to enjoying them this winter.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mommy Blog: Kaitlyn Lately

Taking the advice of my esteemed readers, I'm going to embrace the concept of the mommy blog. I'm not ready to give up all of VFN to mommy land, but I am willing to create a new category: Mommy Blog.


This is Kaitlyn's pose of choice. She seriously does it all the time, complete with her arm stuck out.


Bathtime is fun time. Now that Mommy has mastered the art of the getting the temperature right, Kaitlyn really enjoys her baths.


The drying off part is not so much fun...


Kaitlyn loves to stick out her tongue. Daddy insists it is a sign of intelligence.


We've officially entered the teething stage. Two coming in on the bottom, and two ready to pop out on top. That means a lot of drool, a little bit of fussiness, and a daily struggle to apply Anbesol.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pro: Late Sunrises

Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't do mornings. I am super crabby need some time to wake up and adjust to a new day before I talk to anybody or do anything. As such, the number of sunrises I've witnessed in my lifetime is very small.

Until I moved to Alaska. Daylight is coming later and later everyday, putting a sunrise within the realm of possibility.

I popped out of bed at 7:15am on Saturday (that doesn't sound impressive, but it's a good four hours earlier than normal on a Saturday) for no apparent reason. When I looked out the window, the sky was lit up in pink and purple. It was so gorgeous that I woke Steve up to share it with me (Irritatingly, Steve is a morning person. That is why waking him up was a good idea. If the situation were reversed, waking me up would be hazardous to Steve's well-being).

Steve watched the baby while I went outside to pursue the sunrise with my camera. That's when I got this:


No photoshop. No color enhancement. No nothing. Just plain beauty.


When I turned around, I saw a rainbow. Best. Morning. Ever.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Introducing Cooking In Bush Alaska

You may have noticed that VFN has been sort of preoccupied with food lately. That's because the editor-in-chief has recently found herself with a lot more time to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

Lest my faithful readers get overwhelmed by all the deliciousness, I decided to start a food blog. Those of you who are into food, cooking, and eating can enjoy all of my culinary adventures. Those of you that are just here for the witty commentary about life in Alaska can enjoy that commentary without all of this food stuff getting in the way.

I reposted all of the VFN Creative Cooking posts on the new blog just to flesh it out a little, but there's some new stuff. Expect more.

Cooking in Bush Alaska

Check it out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun Fact: My Favorite Way to Eat Berries

Alaska's Bounty

I was going to tell you that these berries were Alaskan blueberries, but then I did an internet search to make sure. It turns out I've been misidentifying these berries for almost seven years. According to this and this they are blackberries or crowberries.

At any rate, the above picture is of Alaskan berries. They grow near Shishmaref and Brevig Mission.


Frozen berries are best served in a little glass bowl...


sprinkled with sugar...


and covered with evaporated milk (my friend Ginger uses half and half, but I don't keep that around the house).


The milk crystallizes around the frozen berries, and the sugar makes it just sweet enough.

Mmmmmmmm. The bounty of Alaska.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creative Cooking: Salmon Yakitori


This is what Steve brought home from his initial fishing adventure.


Isn't it beautiful?


This is the freshest salmon I have ever cooked with. From the ocean to the net to my hands in mere hours.

I went to my delicious bookmarks and looked up salmon. I rediscovered yakitori, a recipe I've been meaning to try from one of my favorite food blogs.


I started with a little sugar.

Note to readers: I attempted to be artistic while taking these photos and placed the salmon in the background of every ingredient picture. Consider appreciating that. Thank you.


Some smashed garlic.

Note to readers: If you use a knife to smash garlic cloves, use the same knife to slice a cucumber, and eat that cucumber slice, it is a bad idea. Trust me.


The original recipe called for rice wine. I had no rice wine. The suggested substitute was apple juice. I had no apple juice. I had a packet of caramel apple cider, but I thought that might throw the flavor of the dish off... I ended up using rice vinegar.


Because I'm an idiot, I added oil to the marinade. The oil was supposed to be used when cooking the salmon. Oops. Luckily, I don't think it ruined everything. In fact, because I used sesame oil, the flavor may have even been enhanced.


I had the foresight to mix the marinade in a ziploc bag...


which made it really easy to let the salmon chunks soak up the goodness overnight.


These pictures aren't the greatest, but I wanted to add them to prove I actually did make this dish. The above picture is the marinated salmon in (some more) sesame oil.


This is the salmon when it was done. (Again, the photo is primarily to prove my culinary activity, in fact, took place.)


The finished yakitori. Even my non-fish-eating husband enjoyed it.