Busy, Good Monday

So far this Monday has been busy, but good. After Mass, I chatted with another mum while our kids played. Turns out we’re both Kentuckians!

After that, I had a well check with my doctor. I’d only met her once before, when I had strep throat nearly a year ago. Even so, she remembered me and we had a nice chat. I was impressed.

The elder two kids also had well checks today. Usually they see Dr P, but today they saw Dr B. He hadn’t seen the kids before, even though he is the head doctor. He was very nice, put the kids at ease, and was just generally good.

Then I came home and finally got around to phoning Melissa and Doug. I’d emailed them over the weekend because the castle Charlotte got for her birthday on Thursday had broken by Friday. They’d emailed back and told me to phone, so I did. After hearing what happened, the rep said they were sending me a replacement! Easy as that! I love Melissa and Doug even more now and will happily recommend them.

Gender Stereotypes in Children

Why are the stereotypes so prevalent and strong? Girls, it seems, can either like pink, princesses, and dresses, or be tom-boys, but not both. Boys have only one option: to like sports, trucks, guns. They certainly shouldn’t like pink (never mind that pink was a boy colour not too long ago) or dolls.

I was thinking about all this yesterday when Charlotte started football (soccer). She loves dresses and never wants to wear trousers. She loves pink, princesses, fairies. She was also absolutely thrilled to don her Liverpool kit and play footie. She also enjoys watching American football.

Then there’s Kieran. He loves books, violin, and MLP, but also trains, wrestling, machines, video games, and wants to play footie now.

I’d venture to say that no one completely fits in one category or the other, yet it seems society would have it that way. I do wish people weren’t immediately relegated to one category or another. In he meantime, I’ll just tell my kids that they’d fine just being them.

King Cake

This year I thought I’d try to make a King Cake for Fat Tuesday. The only problem is it isn’t dairy- or egg-free. I wanted to start with a simple recipe since I hadn’t tried altering it before (in fact, I’ never made any kind of King Cake before), and I figured this one would do. I doubt it’s the most authentic, but I was going for ease here. I used rice milk and flaxseed meal instead of milk and eggs, and it seems to have worked well. Here it is before baking:

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I’d planned to cover it with the coloured sprinkles, but I didn’t think to check the label and it turns out the ones I have contain soy. Weird. I’ll plan better next year.

Experiments that Worked

Having a child with multiple food intolerances makes life interesting. I’ve had to relearn how to cook, really. I’ve also taken to experimenting some so I can have things I like that are safe for Leo to eat. On Sunday, I found myself making a roast chicken. Now, making a roast on a Sunday made me feel I should also make Yorkshire puddings. The problem with that, of course, is the egg(I figured replacing the dairy wouldn’t be as hard). I usually use flaxseed meal mixed with water (1 T flaxseed meal to 3 T water for 1 egg). I wasn’t sure if that would make it too heavy, but I decided to try it anyway. I took the recipe from this site, and tweaked it. So here’s what I ended up doing:
3/4 c self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
Flaxseed egg replacer
1 c rice milk

I probably let it sit longer than 30 minutes, but everything else was per the recipe’s directions. They turned out quite well! The texture was very similar; the taste was a little different, but not bad at all. My husband isn’t fond of eggs, and he liked this recipe better than normal Yorkshires. The kids also enjoyed them – all asked for seconds. I will definitely repeat this.

Oscar Fantasy

I never pay attention to Hollywood news, so I had no idea that today is Oscar Sunday. The local paper, though, ran an article detailing the extensive preparation the actors and actresses go through to achieve those red carpet looks. As I read it, two thoughts went through my head: why go to such lengths, and why do we idolize such impossible looks?

This article stated that the vast majority of the stars have had surgical alterations, from butt implants to face lifts. I don’t think that includes those who have Botox. This sounds very extreme to me. Why are so many unhappy with how they look? Why go to such lengths to achieve a look that would be impossible naturally? Why do we look to them for our ideas of beauty when it’s all an illusion?

Besides the surgical alterations, the article also detailed the regimen for the week leading up to the red carpet. The stylist being interviewed said many will do cleanses and lots of smoothies for that week before, as well as seaweed wraps and exfoliating treatments. Then there’s the spray tan and two hours of makeup and a wig or hair extensions that cost thousands of dollars. Where on earth did we derive this sense of beauty when no one can achieve it without painful surgery, extreme diets, hours of make-up, and various other tricks? Why do we use that as the measure by which all women are judged? Why do we think that impossible ideal is better than how women really look?

I wish I had the answers to these things. I worry for my children, for their perception of beauty. For now, I do what I can to avoid such things, though we can’t avoid the magazines when shopping. Then, I have occasionally pointed out that the images aren’t real, that those women don’t actually look like that, and that true beauty does not lie in one’s appearance. I can only hope my words will outweigh those of society.