lundi 14 novembre 2005

Babies everywhere!

It seems that of late, I know an awful lot of people who are having babies. Two of my older cousins are pregnant, as is a girl in my advisory group. Okay, that's only three, but that's definitely a lot more than zero, which was how many I knew before this school year (because my year is still the academic year, not the calendar year).

And babies mean baby showers, which are just an interesting phenomenon. A bunch of girls sitting around (sometimes guys too, but they seem to end up in front of the television watching football) playing silly shower games and oohing and aahing over presents brought.

It also marks the practical end, in my eyes, of ever receiving presents again for the parents, for all presents will go to your children and you will be IGNORED forevermore because face it, little kids are way cuter and then you become a part of your children, instead of your children being a part of you.

Anyhow, I had a baby shower to attend this weekend (the one for the girl in my advisory group), for which I made strawberry cupcakes, using, ooh, fresh strawberries. (I was primarily inspired by this recipe, though I didn't use it because it called for cake flour and milk, neither of which I ever have around, and I was too lazy to buy some.) Even though I increased the amount of ingredients to make 36 cupcakes (the original recipe made 24), I somehow ended up with only 23 cupcakes, which was just bizarre. For the frosting, I adapted this cream cheese frosting, which, if you'll note, makes enough frosting for 36 cupcakes. However, even though I only had 23 cupcakes, it was just enough to frost all of them (with, admittedly, an abundance of frosting). People need to get their measurements right, I swear, for otherwise, how is the innocent home cook going to know how to predict such discrepancies?

And I didn't mean to make the frosting so supersonic pink, but I barely dipped the tip of the spoon into my red food paste colouring, and next thing you knew - ahhh, neon pink! I was aiming more for pastel (this being for a baby shower for a girl), but that didn't happen so much. The colour didn't impair the taste any, though. But boy, was I glad that I stuck to clear sprinkles instead of the pink or red I was going to buy - that just would have been too much, I think.

Here's a close-up of a cupcake. Look at how you can see fresh strawberry bits!

Although I had initially wished for the cupcake to be pinker, it's a good thing it wasn't because, hey, look at the frosting. Unfortunately, the strawberry taste was very faint, and the cupcake itself wasn't too sweet, especially in comparison with the frosting. Then again, if the entire thing had been super-sweet, it might have been just too much.

Anyhow, I wish I had had enough lead time to make a quilt for this baby shower, as I did for my cousin's.

My mother didn't like the fact that I'd decided to make a quilt with blue and yellow as the primary colours, but it made so much sense to me as my cousin met her now-husband in their first year at UCLA. (First week, if I recall correctly.) But since I only had 10 days notice on this most recent baby shower for my friend, well, there was not going to be any quilt made. So instead, I went shopping (which I seem to do a lot of recently, but hey, why not?).

Baby sections of stores are SO overwhelming. It's all these bright colours and cute things, all of which you want to buy. I stayed away from clothes and instead went for the toys, because rugrats grow really fast and toys are everlasting. Plus, being the superdork I am, I went for the educational toys, because not just any toys will do. I love Fisher-Price as on the packaging, they list how their toys are developmentally appropriate. For instance, the Rock-a-Stack on the left (didn't everyone have one of these growing up? I think mine is still around somewhere) says that its developmental benefits are: stimulating the senses, developing motor skills, and encouraging cognitive abilities. The Roll-a-Rounds Pet Pal Rounds on the right develop motor skills and stimulate the senses. I mean, they're just toys. Do they really need such lofty descriptives? One could argue that a wooden spoon could help develop motor skills and stimulate the senses as well, but whatever. There are plenty of pictures of me playing with wooden spoons and pots, and I turned out alright. Anyway, I'm a particular fan of the Roll-a-Rounds because they are fun to play with, even though someone pointed out that they looked like cat toys. Cats, babies, all the same thing, right?

(I also bought a cloth books, but I couldn't find them online so oh well. Because it is never too early to start reading to your baby.)

I am not going to get into the stupid baby shower games we had to play, however. I don't see what these stupid games have to do with babies at all (finding as many paper clips as you can in a bowl of rice while blindfolded?), although I do like the ones where you can't say a certain word because I am really good at them and am like a HAWK when it comes to monitoring people in that regard.

Anyway! I'm sure that my other pregnant cousin will have a baby shower soon (she's not due until the spring), so I might as well get cracking on another baby blanket. Because it's not like I go to school or anything.