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Month: September 2016

Baby Finger Food: Spiced Vegetable Croquettes

Baby Finger Food: Spiced Vegetable Croquettes

My babies are growing up fast and prefer getting their hands messy than their puree these days. It’s time for new homemade delights on the menu… I wanted to make something that’s easy to pick up but still packed with the goodness they’ve been getting from their favorite veg purees. I wanted to offer them something more exciting than a plate of boiled vegetables, and keep introducing them to interesting flavors through spices. So I came up these Indian inspired spiced vegetable croquettes. Totally delish for adults too, although if I was making just for grown ups I’d add a bit of salt in the mix… but for now babies, we’ll keep your lunch salt free.

croquette-stack

Spiced Vegetable Croquettes
Yields 20
Healthy finger food for baby and grown-ups alike, packed with vegetables with an Indian inspired spiced flavor.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large potatoes
  2. ¼ cup milk (ish)
  3. 3 tbs butter
  4. 1-2 cloves garlic
  5. 2 carrots
  6. ½ a shallot
  7. 3 mushrooms
  8. 3-5 broccoli florets
  9. ½ tsp tumeric
  10. ¼ tsp corriander
  11. ¼ tsp cumin
  12. 2 tbs olive oil (optional for the golden crispy look)
  13. 1-2 eggs (I just about made do with one large)
  14. 1¼ cups panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large pieces and boil for around 15mins until soft enough to mash. Mash the potatoes together with a little milk and butter (1tbs).
  2. Finely chop all the vegetables. You may want to grate harder veg such as the carrot or broccoli stalks if you want the croquettes to be super mushy. My boys are ready for a little texture so I chopped to no bigger than a pea. Saute the chopped veg in the remaining butter (2tbs) for 5-8mins until it softens.
  3. Mash the veg in with the potato and add the spices.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, take heaped tbs sized balls and roll into cylinders the size of a fat thumb. You should be able to make around 20 croquettes that size but you can make them any size or shape you like. I found rinsing my hands every 4-5 croquettes made the sticky mix easier to handle.
  5. Put the croquettes in the freezer for 20mins to firm up a little and make the breading process easier.
  6. Toast the panko breadcrumbs in a pan with a little olive oil. This step is optional but does give the breadcrumbs that lovely golden color. Otherwise, you can fry the croquettes instead of oven baking, or use whole wheat panko which are darker in color. Baby will also unlikely care if you bake the white breadcrumbs just as they are, it's only us adults that expect breadcrumbs to be golden!
  7. Remove your 'fat thumbs' from the freezer, dip in a egg and roll in the breadcrumbs to complete each croquette.
  8. Bake for 20mins on a tray lined with parchment paper, turning at half time.
  9. Wait for them to cool before serving to those hungry babies! I fed them cold to my boys straight from the fridge the following day and froze the rest for another time.
TwinPickle http://twinpickle.com/
And it’s only right to show you what the boys thought of them… Spiced Vegetable Croquettes for the win!

croquettes-twins

 

The Pramshed

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Poopcrastination: A child’s guide to difficult questions.

Poopcrastination: A child’s guide to difficult questions.

poopcrastination
Source: today.com

Listen up kids… My daughter is six and she is an expert in avoiding chores, homework or basically anything she thinks is rubbish. Here’s her guide which I’ve aptly named Poopcrastination: A child’s guide to answering difficult questions.

1. When your parents ask you to tidy your room, just tell them you “need a really long poo.” Mom let’s me read books while I sit on the toilet so I can just wait until my legs go numb.

2. When Mom asks you why you haven’t brushed your teeth yet, say “I’m sorry Mom, I got really distracted talking to myself.” It’ll buy you another five minutes of pulling faces in the mirror before she actually gets angry.

3. If you’ve already started ‘tidying’, just put the toys in and back out of the box multiple times. It’ll look like you’re working hard even though you’re actually playing peekaboo with your My Little Pony Equestria Girls.

4. At the suggestion of pretty much anything you don’t want to do, just flop dramatically onto the floor, exhaling loudly and say “I’m too tired.”. This works anytime you want to use the word ‘bored’. Just replace with ‘tired’, it’s pretty much the same thing but goes down better with the Olds.

5. I knew my brothers would come on handy at some point… When you’re asked why you haven’t put your clothes on yet, just say “I was playing with my brothers, they needed cheering up.”. It’s very important being a big sister you know.

6. When you’re asked  why you lost a reward penny at school,  just say “I can’t remember”. If you can’t remember it didn’t happen, right? This response is also perfect for questions such as “How did you do in your math test?” and “Did you eat all your lunch?”.

7. When you go upstairs to get on with your duties, make sure to take the cat with you. You can silently play for some time before Mom realizes you haven’t even started yet. Kitty love is important too you know.

8. If Mom shouts upstairs “How’s the tidying going?”, be sure to reply with an over-enthusiastic “GREAT!”. You might buy an extra five minutes before she comes to check just how great it’s going.

So just in case you haven’t already mastered the art of procrastination, try some of these techniques to drag out any five minute job and turn it into an all day thing.

Enjoy your poopcrastination children 🙂


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Diary of an imperfect mum
Life Love and Dirty Dishes
Petite Pudding
Identical Twins: Why does the fertilized egg split?

Identical Twins: Why does the fertilized egg split?

Today I’m putting on my science hat and attacking the question which burns my curiosity as well as many others. Why does a fertilized egg divide to create identical twins? It is well established that this is not a hereditary tendency and yet around 0.3% of babies are born a natural clone. So why does one become two?
The quick answer is… no-one knows. But like all other outstanding questions, there are plenty of scientists trying to find out. So before we consider the theories, here’s a summary of what we do know:

identical-twins
Source: babyology.com.au

How identical twins form

Unlike fraternal twins (which come from the fertilization of two eggs), identical twins are formed when a single zygote (fertilized egg) splits into two. This natural cloning process will happen at some point in the first ten days of gestation, usually around day 4-5. After a human egg is fertilized, the zygote ‘collapses’ and expands a number of times as the cells multiply/ It’s during one of these ‘collapses’ that the magic moment happens. During a collapse, the cells contained in the embryo divide into two groups, allowing two separate embryos to ‘hatch’ from the protective outer layer of what is now called the blastocyst. These two matching balls of cells keep dividing and multiplying to create two separate, yet identical, babies.

identical-twin-embryo
A blastocyst forming two groups of cells within it. Source: thedailymail.co.uk

‘Twin Towns’
Allahabad in North-East India is just one of a number of ‘twin towns’. For the past 40years Allahabad has experienced an unusually high number of identical twin births. Locals are sure there is something in the water or soil causing this, as they claim animals such as buffalo are also affected by the phenomenon. However, scientists are yet to find any environmental or social oddities and DNA from Allahabad twins has not given much insight either. Most researchers have written off the theory of twin towns as no more than a statistical fluke. Another twin town, Linha São Pedro in Brazil, reported in the 1990’s that 5% of births were identical twins… that’s quite the fluke.

twin-town-india
Source: hauntedindia.blogspot.com

The Nine Banded Armadillo
Nine-banded armadillos almost always give birth to four identical quadruplets. These quadruplets are created from one single fertilized egg that splits, and then split again. This is thought to be an evolutionary result of the physical constraints imposed by the shape of the armadillo’s uterus. However, while it may be seen as an evolutionary advantage for the Armadillo, twinning of embryos in humans is considered more of a pregnancy fail by scientists, because it holds higher risks of congenital anomalies and premature birth. Still, for armadillos it’s not a random event so something is causing it to happen…

armadillo-babies
Source: nature,com

Identical twins and IVF
When receiving IVF treatment, the chances of having identical twins rises from 0.3% to 2%. So even if only one embryo is implanted there is a 2% chance it will divide and create two babies. No-one knows why the chances of embryo division is higher, although it is suggested that subtle chemical differences between the lab and the human body are to blame. Maybe it’s just all that prodding and poking?

ivf
Source: kgiatrasivf.gr

So… these are all interesting points, but what scientific theories are out there for why identical twins develop from one fertilised egg?

Genetic mutation:
Dr Bruno Reversade has been busy investigating variations in the genomes of families from ’twin towns’ in the hope of finding a twinning gene. He has a candidate region, on chromosome four, and he thinks mutations in a gene here might have been present in the founders of twin towns, and then spread through the population. He speculates that the mutated gene might prevent cells sticking together tightly within the blastocyst, resulting in a split.

Dr Dianna Payne thinks the imperfect environment of the IVF lab is causing some cells to die or weaken at the cell junctions. This leads to the idea that a similar process could be caused in naturally conceived embryos, if they were triggered by faulty genes. It is also possible that subtle differences in the cells could force cells to repel one another, pushing two separated groups of cells to opposite sides of the blastocyst.

Daddy did it:
There is a popular theory (although I have struggled to find any scientific sources) that an enzyme in sperm causes the embryo to split. Many families with twins claim they have an abnormal number of identical twins in their family tree, even though at present science still claims it’s a random event.

fertilisation
Source: cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com

It’s all about timing:
Dr Judith Hall suggests twinning depends on the timing of fertilization, explaining why humans twin more than other animals (except the armadillo of course!). Most mammals choose to mate when conditions are perfect, when eggs have been freshly ovulated. Humans on the other hand just do it any old time and an old egg may be more likely to split.

couple-making-out
Source: jewishbusinessnews.com

So…there you have it.

I think if you combine Payne and Hall’s ideas to suggest an old egg is ‘faulty’, leading to abnormalities which create a repulsion between the cells, you have a fairly sound theory. After all, most identical twins don’t make it – it has been suggested that 12% of natural conceptions produce identical twins – but the vast majority of embryos are lost. Occasionally this can even result in a ‘vanishing twin’ where one embryo continues to full term while the other is lost and absorbed by the body.

Essentially something has gone wrong with the usual fertilization process to create two babies from one, although as an identical twin mom myself I think it’s just magic. Take your pick, what do you think causes identical twins?

 

References:
Cyranoski, D. (2009, April). Developmental biology: Two by two. Retrieved from: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090415/full/458826a.html

Study: Identical Twins Caused by ‘Embryo Collapse’ (2007, July). Retrieved from: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/07/05/study-identical-twins-caused-by-embryo-collapse.html

The extraordinary moment one baby becomes two (2007, July). Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-465788/The-extraordinary-moment-baby-two.html


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Whiplash – Knowing when to break your kid’s balls.

Whiplash – Knowing when to break your kid’s balls.

whiplash
If you haven’t seen the movie Whiplash, put it on your must-see list. It’s about the relationship between an extremely strict and ruthless college teacher and one of his talented music students. The poor kid is hammered down until breaking point, but ultimately becomes a better player and stronger person for it, despite the literal torture. I’m not condoning treating any human being the way depicted in this movie but it did come to mind when I had to make a parenting decision this week. How do you know when it’s time to break your kid’s balls?

My 6 year-old daughter has just started ‘playing’ the recorder in school music lessons. She has a sheet of music she needs to work on at home using the notes B, A and G. So we started with just learning these three notes… total disaster. As soon as we try to move from B to A she freaks out. Crying, arms flailing around, “I can’t do it!” and “it’s too hard!” on repeat like a broken record. My daughter has always been the dramatic theatrical type so this kind of reaction wasn’t totally unexpected. But how was I going to handle it? She had been walking around the house for the past week just blowing into this instrument, so she has had plenty of time to mess around and have fun with it, but at some point if she was going to learn how to play, she was going to have to put in the hard work. So I had a choice to make – Either we call it a day and start fresh tomorrow, or I open a can of Whiplash on her ass…

I stand up like I mean it, and in my best authoritative teacher voice I say:

“Stop. Now. You are going to pick up that recorder. You are going to hold it up like you mean it. You are going to know you can do it. And you are going to sit there for as long as it takes to play B, A and G. You are going to keep playing for ten minutes, and if I hear any crying, any whinging or moaning you will play for another ten minutes. You will get it wrong, and wrong again, but you will keep playing until it is right… Understood?”

She looks at me in horror and I silently waited for a reaction thinking this could go either way… I’ve either created my daughter’s first therapy session or this might, just might work. She says nothing (pretty much a first for her) and just picks up the instrument and starts to play. She gets it wrong and before she gets a chance to say anything I remind her “do it again.”. So she does.

I walk away, listening in while folding washing, and let her keep playing until I hear it – she hit it – B to A. I shout “that’s it. Do it again.” She plays solidly without a word for ten minutes. For a talkaholic 1st Grader that has the attention span of a demented frog that is impressive. I breathe a sigh of relief that Ball-Breaker Mom worked out, and go in for a high-five. She was so pumped she could do it, she ran around the house screaming “I did it, I can play the recorder!” and I felt pretty pumped too.

I’m not normally Ball-Breaker Mom but sometimes I wonder whether my softer approach is a conscious decision or whether I am guilty of taking the easy option. “Don’t worry Sweetie, we’ll try again tomorrow.” would have diffused the situation quickly and easily, but she would have felt defeated and we would have faced the same, possibly worse problem the following day. I believe she responded well because I gave her my undivided attention for that moment and I said it like I meant it because I cared. I wanted her to succeed, not because I particularly mind if she grows up being able to play the recorder, but because I want her to learn not to give up, and work hard, and that things aren’t always easy but they are worth fighting for.

There is obviously a line, but deciding when to cuddle and step back, and when to break their balls is all part of the fun of parenting. I would just suggest that occasionally your child needs to know you care enough about what they are doing to bust open a can of Whiplash. And watch the movie, it is awesome and will crush and fill your heart at the same time. Here’s the trailer…


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Baby food super-ingredients: 5 ways to jazz up your recipes

Baby food super-ingredients: 5 ways to jazz up your recipes

You have a few homemade baby food recipes you know Baby enjoys, but maybe its time to start tweaking and adding some of these baby super-ingredients:

coconut-baby-food

Coconut Milk
Baby loves sweet potato? Try adding some coconut milk to boost calories while enhancing flavor and nutrition. Coconuts are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and the ‘milk’ contained in them is perfect for blending in with babyfood. Coconut milk also contains fatty acids which are easily absorbed by the body and used for energy. It is not only high in the right kind of fats, it also contains electrolytes that are great for digestion and preventing constipation.

turmeric-baby-food

Tumeric
Making some baby lentil curry? Tumeric is said to have all kinds of super powers from helping with Alzeimher’s to supporting treatment of cancer and osteoarthritis. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and its an antioxidant. It’s also good for the liver and digestion… another pooptastic ingredient for baby!

Because of its magic powers turmeric can interfere with some anti-coagulants and anti-inflammatory medications so do check with your pediatrician if your little one has a medical condition.

 

kale-baby-food

Kale
And you thought spinach was a superfood? We all want our little ones to eat their greens, but vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in naturally occurring nitrates and oxalates and therefore some cautious parenting ‘experts’ recommend waiting a little later to introduce these greens. Broccoli is also guilty of causing gas… we’ve all been there, right? Kale on the other hand is bursting with all those green veg vitamins with only a trace of oxalates and much lower nitrate levels than spinach. It’s also packed with calcium – it really is a baby food super-ingredient!

 

flax-baby-food

Flax seed
Want to jazz up your veg puree? Flax seed is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and iron, needed for healthy bone growth and blood cell production. Grind them up or just sprinkle on top, although soaking them first will make them easier to digest, allowing baby maximum health benefits. To top it off, flax seed is high in dietary fibre, so that tummy’s going to be in great working order.

 

quinoa-baby-food

Quinoa
Looking for a protein boost in your baby food? There’s a reason they call it ‘the mother of all grains’, despite being gluten free. Quinoa is a good source of protein, containing essential amino acids,  great for baby vegetarians or those with kids that just don’t like meat. It not only contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, it’s also an anti-oxidant, particularly useful for babies due to their high metabolism and production of free-radicals. It is a little tricky to digest, and therefore most ‘experts’ advise waiting until 8 months to introduce quinoa into Baby’s diet, but once you do, bowel movements a plenty… yup, its very high in fibre too!

 

Information Sources:
momjuntion.com
draxe.com
homemade-baby-food-recipes.com
wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com
parentinghealthybabies.com

Image Credits:
luvo.tetherinc.netdna-cdn.com
youthfulninja.com
oceanmist.com
eatingwell.com
self.com


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Top Ten Ways to Move a Sleeping Baby.

Top Ten Ways to Move a Sleeping Baby.

You arrive home in the car and open the back door to find a baby (or two) fast asleep. If only you could do a tactical transplant to the crib? Here are the top ten ways to move a sleeping baby:

sleeping baby

1. Slowly. Undo the straps, pause. Remove arms from straps, pause. Slide hands behind head, pause. It might take most of nap time to get him to bed but he’ll be none the wiser.

2. Quickly. Babies have the ability to wake randomly, scream and then instantly fall back to sleep. Use this to your advantage by frantically wrestling baby out of the car, chucking them into their crib and closing the door. You’ll likely stand outside holding your breath to see if he goes back to sleep but it might actually work.

3. The Yoga Transplant. This is my favored technique. It’s important to get ‘in-the-zone’ first with some deep breathing and a little shake out. You’re aiming for continuous smooth movement accompanied by rhythmic breathing. Feel the movement, go with the flow and be confident yet gentle.

4. The Lullaby. Remove your child in the usual manner but accompany the action with a lullaby. The success of this will likely depend on your singing skills and therefore I am currently running on a 0% win rate.

5. Don’t move them. I quite often do this if I realize they’re asleep while I’m still driving. Divert through Starbucks drive-through, turn up the radio ever so slightly and enjoy the view of the parking lot. Accompanied with a browse through Facebook and a some people watching you can have quite the afternoon.

6. The Hypnotist. Pull out your best Derren Brown impression and talk quietly to your baby. Start before you touch, telling him how ready he is for naptime – ooze mind-control. Talk repetitively and continuously until baby is in bed, using trigger words like sleepy-sleep, naptastic and shhh…

7. The Masseuse. Rub baby’s feet, hands and temples in an anti-clockwise motion. Follow this with gentle tickles down the legs and arms before carefully removing baby from the car and placing over your shoulder. Pat bottom repeatedly until you reach the crib. OK… I haven’t actually tried this but I have a good feeling about it.

8. The Rocker. More rock-a-by-baby than leather pants and mosh-pits, the Rocker requires rhythm. Undo and remove arms from straps, then pause. Start to rock/giggle the car seat in a rhythmic motion and hope baby doesn’t wake up. When you’re ready, scoop baby up while keeping up the same rock/giggle until you get him to bed.

9. Act like nothing happened. Just remove your baby from the seat like normal. They’ll probably wake up and expect an afternoon snack so whatever you do DON’T make eye contact. Confidently pretend you haven’t notice that they’re totally awake and just put them straight to bed anyway. If you believe it enough they might just join in.

10. The Defeatist. Just don’t even bother. The look of disappointment and desperation on your face just might be enough for a sympathy vote and baby might go back to sleep. It’s unlikely but there’s always hope.


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Baby essentials for the Zombie Apocalypse

Baby essentials for the Zombie Apocalypse

zombie-643461_1280main
Image credit: rumandmonkey.com

Last night I made applesauce. Anyone that’s made family sized batches of applesauce knows that it’s very dull peeling that many apples. So I got thinking… when is the latest series of The Walking Dead going to arrive on Netflix? And that got me thinking… would I be able to find apples during a zombie apocalypse? And… what would I carry in my diaper bag if it actually happened? While the apples are boiling I do some research.

A quick google search reveals the extent to which some people are prepared for this possibility – Zombie Preppers – it’s an actual thing. However, my browsing of prepper sites for help with families can be summed up by this image:

zombieapocalypsewithkidsyouaredead
image credit: nerdymindsmagazine.com

Apparently kids are too slow, too loud and too delicious to resist. Although this is probably true, I consider myself an optimist, and would like to make a contribution to the zombie prepping community with my top 5 essentials for a baby friendly zombie apocalypse…

Transportation. You’re going to be on the move, probably at high speed because zombies just don’t seem to be as slow as they used to be. You could go for the ‘war stroller’ deisgned by Chinese artist Shi Jinsong, but personally I’m not sure this is going to work for sudden changes in terrain or hiding under cars. I would highly recommend the camo baby carrier by Quokkajoy, although if you’ve got the budget for both I say splurge.

war-stroller

Food. Now most preppers are essentially hoarders and will revel in a huge stash of tinned food and water in their garage or bunker depending on how many marbles they’ve lost. But… when the zombies come to your house, which they will, tins are going to slow you down.  I found muscleandfitness.com very useful for my research on this topic, as they feature a detailed meal plan and even a workout regime made specifically for the zombie apocalypse. Afterall, nutrition is important, and just because the undead is at the door, it doesn’t mean standards have to drop. Therefore, from the featured meal plan I have picked an item from each food group to take with me: Cheerios, peanut butter, raisons, powdered milk and water. To be honest my bag’s already packed for the zombie apocalypse, I’m more prepared than I thought.

Clothes. There are two choices here, we either blend in with our surroundings or we stick with the tried and tested method of dressing as a zombie. Any old torn clothes will do for the latter, spattered with blood zombies really can’t tell the difference. For those mornings you just don’t have time for the makeup, you may want to just stick with regular camo like this onesie from Cabela’s.

onesie
photo credit: costume-works.com

Diapers. Crunchy mamas everywhere are going to be in their element in the zombie apocalypse. Your stash of pampers is going to run thin pretty quick so be prepared to go cloth. Yes, the washing and drying may be tricky while on the move but if a woman can run a marathon while pumping breastmilk (if you haven’t read that article find it here), you can conquer cloth diapering like a granola queen. Lucky for us, Etsy is filled with appropriately themed bum attire, perfect for any Little Ass Kicker (links in photos if you just need one now).

il_fullxfull-859001757_td26

zombie-diaper

il_fullxfull-842902099_ly47
il_fullxfull-1027788629_2zwc

Diaper Bag. I am generally anti diaper bag and stick with a standard purse as much as possible… do we have to give up all sense of style the moment we give birth? But in this instance practicality wins out and you are going to need a serious bag. You may want to consider swapping out your wipe-clean polka dot shoulder bag for something more like the ‘Explorer Tactical Gun Concealment Backpack’. It comes hydration ready (not quite sure what that means but it sounds useful for the apocalypse) with multiple gun pockets and zipper compartments. Perfect.

explorer-tactical-gun-concealment-backpack-with-molle-webbing-hydration-ready-9e85f5f9a49b8cb85196d69a5123cbf7

So we’re baby prepped for the zombie apocalypse and feeling ready for anything. And just in case you’re wondering what other supplies you may need in your new diaper bag, I leave you with this useful video made by someone that has spent considerable more time thinking about these things. He must really like applesauce…


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Boys playing with girl toys? Careful now…

Boys playing with girl toys? Careful now…

When multi-million dollar corporations start sending me free stuff to review my boys can have some boy toys. But for now the poor things will have to do with big sisters hand-me-downs. Yes, I’m officially going to risk turning my boys into transsexual perverts by allowing them to play with girl toys. In the name of science and mom blogging I will allow identical twins to review and pick their favourite girl toy, which I can only presume will be the most blue, macho looking toy because that’s what boys like, apparently. But don’t worry, as a precaution against instant limp-wristedness they are wearing their football themed outfits from the boy section of Target…

First up: My Little Pony Equestria Girls v Barbieboys playing with girl toys

Stage 1: Overview. George ponders whether he wants to play with Equestria Girl… “well she is blue, so I suppose its OK. But is it wrong that I kind of like her shoes?” Arthur, well he’s in total shock… “This is definitely a girl toy Mom, its wearing a pink glitter skirt, are you sure it’s safe?”

Stage 2: The shake test. Pretty standard testing for any new toy – shake it to see what moves and wobbles, and check if it makes any cool noises.

Stage 3: Close inspection. Poke the eyes, scrunch the clothes and stroke the hair in as manly a way as possible. Can I pull anything off? is it edible? So far so good.

barbie-02

Stage 4: The boy test. George proves he’s-the-man by getting Equestria Girl to do the splits and looking up her skirt. Arthur looks on in horror, he didn’t know girl stuff could do that! He needs Equestria Girl immediately to redeem his sense of masculinity – George, sorry buddy.

Winner: Equestria Girl… probably because she’s blue and a bit slutty.

Next: American Girl Doll v Corolle Doll

ag-01

“Mom… er… you gave me the pink one again. And George’s is bigger, and us boys know size matters… this is SO unfair. I think I need to wash my hands, this girl stuff is starting to rub off.”

ag-02

I could see where this was headed so I thought I’d intervene and give Arthur one of American Girl’s slippers, afterall, even boys wear slippers. It turns out slippers taste pretty good so George wanted a piece of slipper action too. I tried swapping the dolls over – you know, to make it a fair test, but by then it was all about the edibles.

Winner: American Girl Slippers… because even men where slippers.

Last but not least:  Elsa from Frozen v Calico Critters

elsa-01

George is stumped “Mom, this one is definitely a girl’s toy and Arthur looks like he has something dressed in a men’s blazer.” Arthur is very pleased indeed for he has scored a male Calico Critter, it’s so macho it’s practically a Ninja Turtle.

Shake test… check. George looking up Elsa’s skirt… standard. Then Arthur decides he’s escaping with Mr Critter while he can. George is definitely going to want to steal it afterall.

Winner: Calico Critter… because its wearing a grandpa blazer.

But hang on, what’s happening here? George couldn’t care less he’s stuck with Elsa and her disappointingly long skirt…

george

Turns out George is man enough to play with the snow princess… screw you Grandpa Ninja Critter.

I do have a point to make here.

I don’t stop my daughter playing with Barbie and Elsa, she loves all things girly, pink and purple – especially if they have glitter and unicorns that fart rainbows – and that’s OK. She also loves Paw Patrol, Skylanders and weird Manga cartoons on Netflix. She was disappointed when Party City put Paw Patrol in the boys isle. She was disappointed when Ronald McDonald put skylanders in the boy happy meal. I’ve talked to her about it many times and she’s coming round, but I can tell shopping in the boy isle still feels a little ‘dirty’ in the same way she refused to borrow a friends T-Shirt because “its a boy t-shirt.” To be six and feel tainted by wearing a boy t-shirt to splash about in the yard is sad; and I only hope I can help her to become free-thinking and independent in the future.

But why is Lego City in the boy isle in Walmart? When I was young (yes I did actually just say that) all the lego was ‘Lego City’ and it was unisex in a non-intentional kind of a way. Why when you drive through McDonalds (not that I ever do that…ahem), do they ask you if your happy meal is for a girl or a boy? Why don’t they just ask if you want SpongeBob or Monster High? Or better still just give everyone SpongeBob? It boils my blood everytime! Grrr…

As for the boys… now they’ve spent the afternoon playing with girl toys I don’t hold out much hope for them. It’s high school musical and guy-liner from here on in.

 


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Two Tiny Hands
Diary of an imperfect mum
Mumzilla
Cats and babies… household safari.

Cats and babies… household safari.

cat-reach

 

[Best Attenborough voice required]
As the adolescent feline curiously scans the room for a play mate, two infant homosapiens drag themselves slowly towards their prey. As one gains distance on the other, it becomes a battle of dominance between the siblings. Who will win the prize?

[Enough Attenborough for now]

Why oh why does the cat keep coming back for more? She parades around to get their attention, lies seductively a little ahead, waiting, knowing that two commando crawling babies are going to drag themselves excitedly over to her. She knows whichever baby gets to her first is going to grab her tail with one hand and her face with the other, while simultaneously burying their snotty dribbly faces into her belly fur with a big baby moan of pleasure. The winning baby will turn and look at mommy, so proud at what they’ve achieved but with a slight look of guilt becaue they know I’m on my way to save her from their cuddles. She whines and yelps for help as they pull her tail and scrunch her ears, yet once I’ve rescued her she just goes straight back to them again and the whole process starts over again. Does she actually like it? Maybe she just likes being rescued – a damsel in distress complex?

cat-squash

I’m spending far too much of my day extracting this deranged furry beast from the clutches of the twins, which is usually followed by a good hand wash because they are magnetized to the butt and seem determined to take her temperature with their finger.

According to Parenting.com, babies are attracted to animals because they are unpredictable, while giving your little one the opportunity to process new sounds and textures. My cat doesn’t seem to be unpredictable at all – she chooses self sacrifice everytime. and to add more confusion, during the attack she not only yelps in what I presume is pain, she purrs simultaneously. Maybe its true love?

Maybe its because as Guardia Cross says… Babies and cats are exactly the same… I just love this video from The New Father Chronicles:

 

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Tammymum
Developmental Milestones: Can your baby breakdance yet?

Developmental Milestones: Can your baby breakdance yet?

developmental milestones

My first born was, and still is my over-achiever baby. She rolled earlier than expected, crawled on schedule, and picked up talking and reading so early I smugly revelled in many a proud moment as my toddler read out the title of a pamphlet in the doctor’s waiting room. But this time round, not so much…

My boys have the unfortunate combination of being huge for their age (they’re wearing 18mth clothes at 9 months), but behind on development milestones. Yes, I said it… they are ‘a little behind’ (Although when I say it in conversation people look at me like I’m dissing my own children), and their proportion means everyone thinks they can ‘do’ more than they actually can. At the gym a month or so ago – lets be honest, that was probably the last time I went – I checked in my boys and handed over one chunky monkey to a confident young girl a the childcare center.  She promptly plonked him down on the floor beside her while she came back for his brother. It was one of those slo-mo mom moments when you can see what is happening but are unable to move your limbs fast enough… and I have the reactive response of a sloth, so I watched him slump from his sit and topple to the side, bumping his head on the wall. Lots of crying and cuddles required, and I left feeling grumpy that my need for a better butt had resulted in injury to my not so little one. “I thought he could sit.” She said. And who can blame her, he practically looks ready for kindergarten but has the skills of a baby three month younger.

I don’t mind waiting… their pediatrician isn’t concerned so I shouldn’t be. But still the questions… “Are they nearly walking?” No they’re not actually, and now I feel like an inadequate mother, for no sensible reason what so ever. Other Moms agree, it’s family that are the worst culprits for it. Granny wants bragging rights when she visits the country club “Oh and he is clearly a talented musician because he can already play Incy Wincy Spider on the xelophone you know.” My boys also suffer from having an over-achieving cousin three months younger, meaning there is the constant comparison… even though when they FaceTime each-other they don’t seem to mind at all, dribbly grins all round.

I used to babble justifications at people “they were 4wks premature,” “twins are often behind schedule,” “it’s the weight of their giant heads…” but to be honest its feels better just to say “they’re behind but they’ll get there.”, whether its to the person in front of you or repeating back to yourself in your manic mommy brain. So if you’re baby’s not breakdancing yet, you’re not alone in the wait, and remember that everyone’s quick to brag but there is probably just as many moms silently panicking that Mr Jelly-Legs will never walk. The milestone guidelines are broad and I find the ‘speak to your pediatrician if…’ sections on this link reassuring:

www.thebump.com/a/baby-milestone-chart

And because it’s totally cute, here’s a baby actually trying to breakdance:


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Pink Pear Bear
My Random Musings