Friday, July 22, 2011

Breaking News: Dolls Want Breastmilk, Too!

Since the beginning of time 1959, America has known and almost always loved a beautiful blond named Barbie.  She is stunning, comes with many accessories, has a handsome, albeit gender confused beau, and she makes most other dolls look really fat.  Barbie has graced the floors of many a living room floor with her plethora of clothing choices, and her many, many friends.  While I do not condone Barbie's unrealistic proportions, I was never made to feel like less of a person by her, and I never once had unrealistic expectations of what women should look like.  I know, I know, I am a bad feminist, but hear me out.  I do not think children are dumb, but I also cannot believe that they sit around thinking, "I will grow up to be 6 feet tall with slender thighs and no waist like Barbie."  No, they are just PLAYING.  That is why when I heard of all the commotion surrounding a new doll being released in the United States, I was a bit taken aback.  Why do we REALLY care, America?  This doll is a toy.  Just like other dolls, it will be loved by many little girls and boys alike if they are given the opportunity to play with it.  What makes this doll so special that it graces newsstands (do those still exist?), blogs (guilty), mommy boards all over the web, and countless news stations?

I will tell you exactly why this doll is SUCH a big deal.  This doll is not toting a sweet little bottle of fake milk that empties when you turn it up.  Instead, this doll features a special shirt that the baby's mommy or daddy wears.  When the baby gets close to the flowers on the shirt, it starts to "nurse."  The Breast Milk Baby is not a new thing, by far, and I recall seeing it on the news back in 2009.  It was called Bebe Gloton (gluttonous baby) then, but it is the same doll.  I suppose it caused enough ruckus to delay it's debut, but here it is, back in the news again.  Personally, I think the retail price of $89 is a bit ridiculous.  I mean, my oldest son mimicked me when I breastfed his twin brothers, even going so far as to hold up the two pump flanges to his chest to "pump"and had no special doll.  I, for one, would not purchase this doll because I am extremely cheap.  My children can breastfeed any doll they like and make the sounds themselves.  I do think the concept is fabulous, however, and if you have the money to throw around, buy it!  Why not?  I saw a baby doll at the store the other day that came with a bottle of juice.  Is that baby going to lead to the dental decline of our society since we all know (if you did not know, you do now) that juice should never be given to a baby in a bottle?  No, probably not.  Is it appropriate that our children learn at an early age just exactly what those knobby things on their chest are for?  I think it is.  Do I think this doll could be the start to some kind of boob revolution? YES (or no?)! 

I see this doll as a golden opportunity to shine some light on breastfeeding in the United States.  This is our chance, ladies!  Let's take back our boobs from the men (and women) who oversexualize them and tell the rest of the world we know what they are for, and we intend on using them as such!  The thought of breastfeeding being perceived as inappropriate is completely ridiculous.  If my daughter is hungry, I will feed her.  I have and will continue to feed her while walking down the aisles of grocery stores, while sitting on a park bench in front of (gasp!) a playground full of children and their parents, while sitting in my own front yard watching my older children ride their bikes, and (you get the point).  As for the debate of breast milk versus formula, that is a whole other blog post (and all four of you readers know that BREAST MILK beats FORMULA in all showdowns, so yeah).

For those of you who skip to the end:  breastfeeding good, media bad, imagination good, oversexualization bad.  If anything The Breastfeeding Baby is a step in the RIGHT direction for our oversexed society.  That should just about cover it.

P.S. I am sorry to keep you on the edge of your seat, so here it is:  the cake balls were amazing, and my husband found my ring!  I would like to thank each and every one of you for making that possible with your Jedi mind tricks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cake Balls and the Case of the Missing Ring

For as long as I can remember, when I have lost something dear to me, such as my New Kids on the Block technicolor t-shirt, I have baked. Most of the time I would bake these Aggression Cookies, a recipe found in a cookbook I had as a kid. They required you to knead the dough, and pound the dough, and roll the dough, and pretty much beat the dough until it was no longer breathing, thus the name. Well, these cookies became my sieve, and I poured into them all of the precious only to me items I lost over the years, such as my Ace of Base tapes.
I have become only slightly more sophisticated in my emotional baking over the years. I recently lost my 3-stone ring that my husband purchased for me four years ago when he graduated from Marine Corps boot camp (he normally does this-buys me things when it's supposed to be about him). It was, and still would be if I could locate it, my favorite thing in the world, you know, besides my family and stuff. I have searched my house high and low to no avail. The beloved ring is gone. Now, I'm not saying that it won't turn up somewhere in this house, as the three boys do love shiny things. All I'm saying is that I'm done making myself crazy with the search. So, I'm making cake balls to fill the void.
Cake balls are AHmazing. They truly are. There are so many varieties to make, and I've made a few. I've made orange cake balls, classic white cake balls, and red velvet cake balls (OMG GOOD!). Tonight, I am feeling a bit adventurous, and I'm adding a new ball to my bag: German chocolate cake balls, complete with coconut pecan icing and chocolate coating. I'm thinking they will be just as exceptional as the other variations I have tried. I will let you know. Or I won't. You'll see.
As for the recipe: this isn't a cooking blog. Google it.