Canon bomb

We got a new camera. Stepped up to an SLR. I know it can do amazing things. I just don’t know how to make it do any of those amazing things, as you’ll see.

Below is a picture of Stella and her Animal Hospital. She loves it, and so do I. When she gets engrossed in her veterinary work, I get precious time to waste on my blog, twitter and Facebook page. She attempts to unlock the tiny cages that look like stacked tombs, says “ba-boom-ba-boom” while holding the stethoscope, and administers “Boo Boo Cream” to the toy’s accompanying kitty. Once in a while, she’ll even branch out and vaccinate me and Cody with her little syringe, giving an adorable but piercing little yell of faux empathy. The hospital is not on the up-and-up, though, because the cages aren’t much bigger than the animals. They certainly can’t turn around or even walk at all.  Please don’t report her to the Human Society, Ingrid Newkirk, or anyone like that. I bet I can convince Stella that a little investment in her facilities will eventually result in a huge boost to her bottom line. She loves animals, but this is a business, first and foremost.

Casual Friday at Stella's Animal Hospital.

Casual Friday at Stella's Animal Hospital.

And here’s a shot of Stella on her rocking moose.  I love the vibrant colors and light in this photo, and how the background is slightly blurred, but Moosey’s nose is in focus, rather than Stella’s. And before you say anything, Stella’s baby LIKES to sleep on the ground okay? It’s not a problem or anything. It’s what works for them so please don’t judge.

Moosey was successfully treated at Stella's Animal Hospital.

Moosey was successfully treated (for severe motion sickness) at Stella's Animal Hospital.

And finally, here’s a look at father and daughter. Other than the terrible framing (that’s a photography word, right?), harshness of the flash (their eyes aren’t actually white and illuminated in the middle, I promise), and general lack of photographic skill, you’ll probably notice a few things:

  1. Their eyes are identical. But Stella has my knees, so I don’t feel left out or anything.
  2. Stella’s hair style is an “interesting look.” She’s never had a hair cut. Those bangs are natural. Her hair is long and stick straight on top, wavy and short on the sides, and long and curly in the back. There is no decernable part, unless you count the adorable spiral of her hair from a central point in the back. As soon as I put any of them in her hair, Stella rips out the wide variety of cute clips I bought on Etsy. So this was my attempt at the most minimal and least intrusive style possible, a last ditch effort to tame her unruly mane and prevent everyone from assuming she is a boy, even while wearing pink (come to think of it, this once happened while she wore a pink hat, so maybe I can’t blame the hair). Not sure we’ll be going back to this look. Besides, it lasted 15 minutes before she tore out the band. Stella, 357. Me, 0.
  3. There is a lazily-left-behind pile of clean clothes right next to Cody, yet he chooses to wear dirty pants. You’re going to have to talk to him about that. I wear dirty clothes all the time, but only because ALL my clothes are ALWAYS dirty. There’s a big difference. Huge, actually. Not that I’m perfect or anything. Just superior. Even when it comes to wearing filthy pants.
  4. Cody’s smile, while attractive, is a bit “intense.” It’s because Stella was actually flailing maniacally and had finally stopped for a brief second to permit a photo (or because I yelled crazy gibberish loud enough to catch her attention), and he’s really smiling as hard as he can in an attempt to cover up any annoyance or stress involved in the struggle that preceded. Also, he always looks insane in photos. There are even legendary stories about this fact, which I’ll probably share in a future post. Because I know you’ve been waiting for that. Hang in there.
It's a blue-eyed party and mommy isn't invited. Ever.

It's a blue-eyed party and mommy isn't invited. Ever.


Exhibit B

Exhibit A

Exhibit C

Exhibit B

I’m looking into beginners’ digital photography classes. I know. I’ll definitely focus on how to get good action shots.

Let them eat sugar

I took newly 17-month-old Stella out for ice cream last week. Just me and her. There was no special occasion other than “mama needs ice cream NOW.”  We headed out on foot at around 7pm to sneak in our treat before her 7:30 bath (which, of course, didn’t happen until 7:45). On the “walk” home, she stopped between wind sprints to request “more more more.” I happily served her bites of my mouthwatering masterpiece: perfectly salted caramel and rich chocolate Molly Moon’s ice cream in a waffle cone made two minutes before we ate it. I didn’t even mind sharing, until I realized she’d finished the salted caramel, leaving only chocolate and destroying the dessert’s mindblowing salty-sweet synergy. Really, the outing itself was a treat that instantly turned into a sweet memory.

So imagine my reaction to an increasingly popular declaration being made on mommy blogs lately: “My toddler eats no sugar or white flour whatsoever.

First thought? Sheer defensiveness. Then, “WHAT DID YOUR POOR TODDLER DO TO DESERVE THIS???” Lemme tell ya, I gave up dairy for two and half months in a last-ditch effort to make breastfeeding work, and it eroded my soul. I’m 27% more evil now. Had I been forced to give up sugar and white flour too, which to me means insanely sexy chocolate and crusty loaves of French or Italian baked goodness, I would not be here today. With no caloric or emotional reserves to draw from, no boost from my extra special favorite foods, the breast pump would’ve eventually worn me down to a pathetic pulp. The way our dryer would wear down my jeans if I put them through an unrelenting tumble cycle every three hours for two and a half months straight.

Maybe it’s because I just finished reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, which I highly recommend as an enlightening antidote to our need to control and monitor everything we eat. Maybe it’s because for a few hellacious months, my baby refused to eat and required a feeding tube. In the process of helping her learn to embrace and enjoy eating, I had to let go of my own lingering fear and anxiety around food. (Fear is likely behind parental sugar bans, by the way.) Whatever the reason may be, I find sugar-free righteousness to be ridiculous, unrealistic, unhelpful and practically inhuman. Mark my words: An all-out sugar ban will backfire.

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