Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guaranteed to make you laugh until your sides hurt, especially if you've ever struggled through the white stuff.
Warning, the language isn't entirely G-rated (whose is in these cases?).
As a good friend suggested, this woman really needs to get in touch with her inner babywearer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rui (the bad dog) and Barney

Have you ever read the book Marley & Me by John Grogan? If you're the owner of a bad dog (as I am), it's a good book to read. Now, I'm not talking about a dog who is bad in the sense of being mean or dangerous or even ill-tempered. I'm talking about the dogs who love too much and live in the moment... to their detriment and that of their families. Pick it up, really - the movie is ok, but the book will have you laughing out loud even if you've never even petted a dog, much less shared your couch with one.

I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath for the outcome of Tom's purple dinosaur cake. As usual, it was a fair amount of work, but turned out pretty well... I took a couple pictures of Barney I before heading to the grocery store to pick up a little more icing sugar to finish him off.

Notice that I called him Barney I... this would imply that there are more Barneys to come. I did not know he was Barney I when I left him in the middle of the kitchen table. I also did not realize that Rui (the bad dog) was in the house free. I learned about these facts when I returned to this:

I'd like to pretend that I was all zen about it, but I wasn't. Frankly, I might have committed canicide (is that right?) had I been able to catch him. I knew there was something wrong when he didn't greet me at the door - I defy any one who says dogs don't feel guilt to explain it. And this is the look of a very guilty dog:

So, I started again, this time with no time for piping buttercream - the fondant was ok, but rushed. Here is Barney II:

He was a hit and the demise of Barney I made for a good story. Rui (the bad dog) remained contrite and I think he suffered for his dietary indiscretion. At least, we suffered the gas that came from digesting a pound of butter mixed with about 1kg of icing sugar.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Would you breastfeed a kitten?

Further to my post about cross-nursing, it's been a topic of crazy hot discussion these days. In the typical way that these things go, some of the conversations are going to extremes. One such discussion went something like this:
T: "Well, if you'd breastfeed another woman's baby, what about another animal?"
Me: "Uh... well, most animals are pretty good at nursing their own babies and there are artificial formulas made up especially for various species." (feeling suddenly very protective of my nipples!)
T: "Ok, but you're stuck in a cabin with a litter of kittens whose mother just died. No formula, no cow's milk. Would you then?"
(I love these conversations, don't you?)
Me: Eye roll. " So basically, would I rather nurse these kittens or sit there while they died a painful, horrible death that I could easily prevent? That's your question? Do they have teeth?"
T: "Yes."
Me: "Hmmm....". I need to get out of the conversation without looking like murderous maniac or a nutjob who would have kittens suckling at her teat... it's not easy.
T: "So?"Me: "Ah-ha! Kittens that small would need very little milk and I could express it for them and let them lap in from a cup. So, ha! There, they don't die and I don't get scratch marks on the girls."
Necessity really is the mother of invention.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I *heart* Salma Hayek

I never really cared about Salma Hayek one way or another, but now I love her. Her simple act of nursing a needy baby has brought to light a bunch of important issues around infant and maternal health. The cynics may call it a photo op, but what else are UN Ambassadors supposed to do? There's been lots and lots of discussion about this in mommy circles and that's a good thing.
So, of course, I was chatting with an acquaintance today and the subject came up. She asked me if I'd nurse another woman's baby or allow mine to be breastfed by someone else: I've come to this one step at a time, but today the answer is yes, provided that I was reasonably comfortable about the other mother's health. For some time, I considered cross-nursing to be an emergency only measure - like in a natural disaster where formula wasn't available. But if you think about it without the cultural qualms we've all developed, the risks of formula feeding so far exceed the risk of disease transmission that it's not logical. So then my position became that if mother and baby had to be separated for an emergency or mom couldn't nurse for medical reasons, then cross-nursing was ok. Does that really make either though? What about babies whose mothers need/want to work? Should those babies be subjected to the risks of formula feeding? I'm a big believer that babies need their mothers, not just for nutrition and comfort, but in and of themselves. However, every family needs to make their own choices about separations and that shouldn't have to steal the benefits of breasfeeding from that baby.
So, there we go, it wouldn't take too much for me to end up as a cross-nurser, but I haven't done it yet. Have you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The birthday season - the cake drama part I

It's birthday season at our house - starting February, one of us has a birthday every month. Tom's 2nd birthday has snuck up on me - I've been much more focussed on Isabelle's Valentine's and planning her birthday. He doesn't really have any independent friends and let's be honest, when you're two, more kids is really just more competition for toys and treats. So, we'll be doing something pretty low-key with some friends and family... which suits me fine.
The only trick is that when our godsons were born, oh, 7 years ago (!), I started a bit of tradition of making cool cakes for their first couple birthdays. The bear cakes have been very popular (see pics) as have some of the variation on bears. The complication, of course, is that when I started this, I didn't have my own kids to work around. Cake-making is a time-sensitive and detail-heavy task. Funny thing about kids, they are also very time-sensitive: "Mama, water!" is not a request, but an urgent, desperate plea (or so it seems). They are also very detail-oriented in some ways: "No, not that yogurt, that one!" They are the same yogurt, but on one package the picture is not facing out. Yet, precision is not a skill they've yet acquired, so offers to help are really offers to make a big mess and then get offended when it is cleaned up.
So back to my cake dilemma... My dear husband, ever the pragmatist and with none of the maternal guilt that weighs me down, kindly suggests that we buy a cake. This would be logical - the kids would be happy, I would be better rested and not sick from licking a pound of icing off my fingers. But what does he know? Instead, I've come up with a plan to build the best bear variation to date - Barney the Dinosaur!
This is foolish - it involves purple and green fondant. It also involves affixing cupcakes to a bear with toothpicks. Given that, I think you can likely expect that it will also include swearing and some tears. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bacon Explosion

There are no words....