Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Can Has Foodz?

I’ve been doing a lot of laundry this week.

Putting something in your mouth and chewing is something we largely take for granted until we have to teach someone else to do it. Especially someone who, as of yet, has no teeth and has subsisted for 6 months of life on an entirely liquid diet. (Quite frankly, the Prawn can remain toothless for as long as she wants. The minute they come through, Mr. DD and I are going to have to start brushing them and I can only imagine that this process will be only slightly easier than trying to tango with an octopus.)

So, we’ve started on solids.

There is quite literally a bewildering array of advice in terms of weaning floating around. When you should start. What you SHOULD give. What you SHOULDN’T give. How much salt is too much? How much sugar is too much? Do you mash, mush or puree? I myself have been given conflicting advice by two midwives working AT THE SAME SURGERY. In light of this obvious lack of organization among health professionals, I have taken my own path which is called, “Feed My Daughter Things That Don’t Make Her Vomit Or Bored Enough to Simply Smear In Her Hair”. It seems to be working out okay. My full color recipe book of the same title will be in stores in time for Christmas.

We are pretty much still at the textured goo stage. In a fit of supermommy ingenuity, I prepared an actual meal for the Prawn several nights ago; the same meal that her father and I were having, which included salmon, mashed potatoes and peas. This was after I was tremendously pleased with myself; not only had I prepared a tasty, nutritious, low salt meal for my daughter, I had made enough for two MORE meals for her which I promptly stuck in the freezer.

Of course, it made the Prawn gag. Try as we might, shovelling ejected comestibles back into her gaping maw, we could not get her to eat until we gave up and went back to the organic puree that we’d been starting her out on. (Which, by the way, looks god awful, but she seems to think that a broccoli, pea and pear combo is manna from heaven.) So, to the health visitor who so confidently proclaimed that babies don’t NEED food to be pureed, even at the beginning, I say please kiss my ass. YOU feed her. I am investing in a hand blender asap and the Prawn WILL eat her food in liquid-ish form for a bit. In fact, next week, I'm going to give some recipes from Mush a whirl.

It could certainly be worse. I could be feeding her crisps. I could be putting Coke in her bottle. (No shit. One of the midwives I talked to early on told me she’d run into someone who was doing this) I could be I could be Britney Spears. Eating mushy food for a bit will not be the worst thing to ever happen to the Prawn.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a stain treater and three bibs covered in day old Weetabix.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baking on the Edge

My mother is an extraordinary baker of cakes. Although it has been rather a long time that she had to make one in the shape of a large doll or flower garden, in the heyday of my childhood birthday parties, her cakes were not only tasty, but works of art. I remember hanging out in the kitchen while she used her bewildering array of cake decorating supplies- little silver nozzles attached to bags that spewed forth colourful icing, most of which I was allowed to lick when she was finished. (Then she’d spend the rest of the day trying to peel me off the ceiling depending on which food coloring she’d used.)

Every one of her culinary sweet things was an unqualified success aside from the unfortunate batch of cupcakes that she prepared for my 4th grade class that ended up tasting exactly like Rubber Cement because we glued little ears and whiskers onto the cake wrappers. Whoopsie. Luckily, this was in the days before frequent, petty lawsuits. Mom now sticks to more adult friendly cakes that include copious amounts of rum and raspberry cordial and less industrial adhesives.

The Prawn is now officially half a year old. I remembered seeing a photo of a ½ birthday cake that my mother made for me smeared all over my face and thought I’d like to do something similar. (Make a cake, not smear it on my face.) In preparation, I bought my first icing bag and nozzles at John Lewis, thinking that everyone including the cashier who rung me up could probably see that my first attempt was likely to be a bit of a hash.

“I’m going to bake you a cake, girlie,” I told the Prawn.

“I don’t doubt it, Mummy,” she seemed to say, “but the day will likely end with more icing on you than on your chocolate sponge.”

In the meantime, between the purchase of ingredients and decorating implements, my brother in law and his lovely girlfriend went and got themselves engaged. So it was pretty obvious that one cake was not going to cut it.

Betty Crocker is my cake goddess and her mixes always produce cakes of extraordinary moist tastiness, so the process of turning one of those babies out wasn’t too difficult. My only regret is that my tongue is not adequately shaped to get all the batter out of the spokes of the mixer. It is a feat of self control that I waited until after switching it off to begin the licking process.

The icing was another matter. My only frames of reference were dim and fuzzy memories of haunting the kitchen while my mother worked. I remembered the white icing bags, the nozzles, the food coloring…but not exactly how to use them. Without being excruciatingly boring, I will suffice to say that I now have 2/3rds of a can of salmon colored frosting left over and a shirt that’s going to need some stain treatment before it goes in the wash.

At any rate, you can see the results. My BIL and his now fiance returned from their holiday (they spent a week at Mr. DD's uncle's villa also) last night (We call them Duff and Trumpet. It's a long story) and we celebrated their impending union by demolishing a bottle of champagne, all of the engagement cake and part of the Prawn’s birthday cake.

The Prawn, being too cranky to remain vertical and conscious for the bulk of the celebration, will get her token frosting-smeared moment this afternoon with lunch for the benefit of posterity.

I hope to become more proficient at the art of cake decoration before she asks for a Taj Mahal themed birthday party.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy 6 Months, Prawn

So the Prawn is 6 months old today.

She has celebrated by eating solid food, rolling over, drinking water from the tap and throwing a pretty extreme temper tantrum. A good birthday in anyone's book.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Prawns Gone Wild

So we're back from sunnier climes. Portugal, to be exact. We were surprised to discover, upon our return, that Autumn had happened in our absence, so now it's all about trying to scrounge up some winter threads for the Prawn.

But anyway, we had a fantastic time. I may have posted something about the place where we stayed last year- Mr. DD's uncle owns a monster villa high in the hills above Faro where we stayed again, this time with some friends and their one year old son. The last time I was there, I was suffering from morning sickness, so I had a vague fear that I might feel kind of queesy from the smell of the place, but luckily, it was all good. We had a very pleasant week of beaches, pools, rum, wine and relaxing once the kids were in bed. The Prawn coped admirably with her first airplane trip and made doe eyes at everyone in the vacinity, making herself a load of new friends and cheek pinchers.

Here are pictures, as promised.

Her first trip into the pool was not an unqualified success. A long day on a plane and tiredness probably contributed to the screaming frenzy that occurred. But the next day, after a bit of kicking her legs over the side, she had a MUCH better experience. I believe we might have an Olympic breaststroke champion in our midst.

Water baby!

Mr. DD, as a small child, once fell asleep face down in his dinner. It looks like that's where she got it from.

Dad and Prawn at the beach.

More beach/Prawn action. As we've never travelled with children before, it was only natural that we were going to forget some things. Like the 6 sunhats that I bought her specifically for this trip. A muslin ended up serving as head protection gear.

The grounds of the villa are beautifully tended and boast an amazing display of native flora and fauna.

First encounter with the sea.

Pinching a bit of protective head gear from her playmate, Jonas.

Wearing Daddy's shirt.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Rockmama is off to sunnier (hopefully) climes for a week. I shall not be far from broadband, but I'm probably going to spend most of the week trying to keep the Prawn from falling in the pool or drinking daddy's rum, so I may check in midweek. Will hopefully have some uber cute Prawn pics to upload upon our return.

Can someone pause the web until I get back?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Good Thoughts Needed

Everyone please go give Sara some love.

Monday, September 03, 2007

An Easy Day

The week before a vacation, you get a bit of a case of senioritis. It's hard to get much done due to constant daydreams about how good the sun is going to feel on your oily, naked body. Or in my case, my flabby, white and mostly covered body with those stretch marks that are stubbornly sticking around. Mmmm, sexy. Luckily, the ever lovely Ms. Prufrock has provided me with a perfect excuse for hassle-free blogging. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

7 Facts/Interesting/Freak-like Things About Rockmama

1. I am also in the "hate to be surprised" club. Not in a "Hey, I bought you a diamond ring for our anniversary" kind of way, but more in a "don't fucking sneak up behind me because you won't see my ass for dust" way. I have been known to have scared people who've surprised me more than I myownself was actually scared due to all the screaming. When I was in college, I spent my summers painting properties owned by the college- often large and empty houses with large cellars. This always made me kind of jittery, so I usually just popped in my Walkman and tried to forget about my irrational fears. One day, I was painting the ceiling in one such house when my supervisor walked in unbeknownst to me and you can imagine that after he caught up with me about a block away, there was some laughing done on his part.

2. I talk to myself ALL THE TIME. It's really bloody embarrassing. I'll have imaginary conversations with people, make up little snippets of dialogue for characters in the movies in my head, or just find myself vocalizing my thoughts. Since having the Prawn, I've had to be more careful due to the presence of the baby monitor. There have been several occasions on which I've been like, "Was I just talking out loud? Did Mr. DD just hear me having a conversation between Lord Winterbottom and his young ward, Genevieve?" I worry about me sometimes.

3. I got cautioned for soliciting when I was about 15. I was waiting for my dad to pick me up outside a laundromat when a cop rolled by and told me to "move along" because he didn't want any girls of "my kind" on his beat. Uh, ok. All the hookers I'VE ever seen wear old overalls and Birkenstocks.

4. Before I get on a plane, I always plant a kiss on my hand and then press it to the fuselage as I walk through the door. It's just one of those things. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember and I know if I don't, the plane will obviously go down in flames. Even Mr. DD has begun to rely on my pre-flight ritual. "Don't forget to do the thing," he says as we walk down the jetway.

5. If I could eat one food absolutely guilt free without gaining a pound from it for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. I know a lot of people would probably say this. Sadly, what with all the baby belly still sloshing around, I don't get it very often. Tonight, we are having salmon fillets, mushroom cous cous and broccoli. I would pretty much give a minor limb for a large pepperoni from Papa Johns.

6. I love flowers and gardens, but have no talent with them whatsoever. My mother is amazing with plants, Mr. DD's mother (before the dementia) was amazing with plants, but both of us are of the "brown thumb" persuasion. Actually, that sounds kind of nasty, so lets just say that we kill stuff. The only reason that our garden looks nice right now is because my mother spent a day working on it when she came to visit.

7. I was a theatre major in college. Yeah, I know. However, I am hugely proud of the fact that I managed to ad-lib in rhyming verse once during a performance of Moliere's The Imaginary Cuckhold. The beautifully painted flat that had the town painted on it toppled over and I turned to the actor playing my husband and said, "Oh my goodness Sganerelle (Gonerell)/ Look at that; our house just fell." I got a near standing ovation in the middle of the play.