Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Toys: Plastic vs. Wood

So with all the bazillion recalls lately toys have really been on my mind. I get the whole "wood is better" just like I get that I should be bringing my own cloth bags to the grocery store (I do, just not every stinkin' time). I started leaning toward plastic that doesn't have any paint that can be chewed off a long time ago. Then the recalls on toys that had too much lead in their paint started. Go check out the CPSC's search page and see how many you get for "lead paint" -- I found 60 when I limited the search to "in the last week"!!! That's insane.

So, despite all the "ooh, wood toys are better" I felt that if a spit-wet toy could leave paint marks on things (for awhile everything was a drum/drumstick), then that paint was also getting into The Biscuit. He's got enough problems, I'm not going to add some bizarre paint poisoning to the list. So plastic seemed nice and safe, paint-wise.

Then I was reading this post on Kerflop and a commenter mentioned off-gassing plastics. Well, crap. The kids are surrounded by off-gassing plastics now. What's that doing to them long-term?

What do you do? Where do you fall in this debate? I'd really like to know. I don't want everything to be rubbed with bees' wax just to be safe. Kids need color in their world.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Moms for Modesty

Ah, if only I could figure out buttons. This week's project: get the new WordPress blog up and running. I just don't want to learn how to do something here when I'm moving on anyway!

On to the topic at hand...

Get yourself on over to the Mission Statement post at Moms for Modesty and sign up if, like me, you feel that girls should be dressed like girls, not "ho's". Ugh. Hating the way I'm seeing girls dressed for the most part. If that means going into a store to expressly state why I won't be buying clothes there, then I will. Maybe by the time The Cupcake is in school there will be places that sell clothes for girls that want to look like girls instead of women.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Words That Encourage

{I hope Heather never starts a cult because apparently I would drink whatever Kool-aid she asked me to.}

My Biscuit's Daddy,

I knew when I was 14 that I would never get married or have children. I was deathly afraid to have a daughter thanks to a not-so-great relationship with my mom, and didn't like myself enough to imagine anyone else would ever like me. Both of these things are lodged in my psyche so deeply that I still cannot believe that you proposed. True we had dated for about a decade, but I was still shocked. So shocked that apparently I didn't actually say "yes" aloud and forgot to take a picture of you, even though in my mind I did speak and I did take the photo. Maybe stunned and incapable of functioning would be a better way to put it.

Now here we are 5 years later. I'm not sorry that I made us wait 2 more years for our wedding because I worked very hard to get you a meadow in the moonlight like you wanted. And I think it was a beautiful night. If only you could remember that the word "obey" was not uttered during the ceremony. Perhaps you were stunned as I was when you proposed and just thought you heard it?

I still cannot believe the life that we have. Who could have guessed that an old biddy like me could get pregnant so easily? And that the perfect boy we had for 3 days would suddenly turn into one who would need those awful surgeries? That we would be strong enough to help him recover from them and to develop into the rowdy toddler he is today? That his sister would follow so soon? And that having two children would be so much different than having one?

I know that sometimes you feel I am not on the team and am questioning your decisions. I know that you feel I tell you that you are wrong too often and that I go into debate mode too easily. I will try to remember (and I hope you will too) that those beautiful kids are proof that I think you are right. I don't think you are wrong, I just want to make sure that all bases are covered when you make these big decisions. If you've already considered those points then great. I'm glad we had the Volvo and I'm glad we turned it in when the lease was up. I'm glad you quit that crappy job where they didn't appreciate you. Yes, it is scary to not be out there and earning my own money and to know that it is not only me that depends on you for a roof and food but our children do as well. But look at what you have done! You've taken a firm non-believer like me and made me a mom. I never could have imagined I would love being a mom so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you for seeing the potential in me and helping me to unlock it. If you can do that then in my eyes you can do ANYTHING. I will gladly follow you anywhere.

And now the whole world knows it (so I can't come back later and say I don't remember I said it).


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chocolate Glaze Cures Adultitis

Just because I'm in the mood to share this with more people. I wrote this up for an entry into Daring Young Mom's adultitis cure give-away. The history part at the end wasn't in my comment though.

Here is my way to be more childlike.

Sneak a snack when no one is looking. You know your kids do (or will do) that when you aren't. My fave is this chocolate glaze on vanilla ice cream. I get to have it when they nap at the same time as a victory snack.

1 pound of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 pound of butter

Melt, stir, indulge.

Notes: Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar works great. You can make a small batch with no adjustments. Unsalted butter works too, but I add a bit of salt then because I like chocolate and salty (not a lot of salt though).

Helpful math: If you use the Trader Joe's bar here are the proper proportions for smaller batches.
20 squares + 1 stick of butter
10 squares + 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
5 squares + 2 tablespoons of butter

This recipe is from a now-defunct bakery I worked at. We used it instead of frosting on our chocolate cakes by popping the cake in the freezer between putting on thin layers. Build it up until no cake crumbs or filling is visible. Top with warm, strained or food-processed apricot glaze if you want it shiny. Keep cool if you aren't going to cut it that day. On the day of serving you can leave it out for hours as long as you've done a good job of sealing it with the chocolate. Cut with a sharp knife dipped in HOT water. (It will probably crack when cut. All the pieces that crack off are treats for the person who was forced to cut the cake.)


Dove's Real Beauty Campaign: a new film

Again, obeying OMSH, I'm sharing this video with you. It's not one of the 2 she suggested, but it's the one that I like the best.

I still need to learn this lesson myself. Can't take a compliment to save my life if it's related to looks. Or my children's looks. So let's blame the beauty industry! Yeah!

Shooting Stars

Thanks to OMSH for the link to the explanation of what is done with poop in space.

This is why I bother to catch up.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

I just read about Inflammatory Breast Cancer on Melissa Summers' Buzz Off. Then I did what she said and went to read the whole story.

You can have breast cancer even if there is no lump. Not all redness is mastitis.

Now go and read and spread the word!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lead paint on fabric

Sometimes soft toys get recalled for violating the federal lead paint standard. I had no idea. I thought our soft toys were safe from all this.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

ALT text

I added this cute little geek comic called to my GR a little while back. It has taught me the importance of alt text more than any logical reasons. If you don't mouse over and look at the alt text you often don't see the punchline (my favorite example). Just thought I'd share.