Monday, December 28, 2009

Look! Birthday Cake!

Decorated by Gianna no less. And then, Kim left it on the dining room table after serving a mere 3 slices. And Bella got a hankering for another slice. Or handful!

And that was the end of the cake!

Hello, Back Nine! (Maybe 11th hole?)
46 today.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is it January Yet?

Random photos, Sunday gravy prep.
GFCF Peppermint creams for cookie party.

The Giginator.
Rudolph GFCF cupcakes. Have a wonderful winter break, everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas, Friends.

(Borrowed the idea from Stephen Parrish. )

Friday, December 18, 2009

Conflict_of_interest_pic CDC Did Not Properly Screen Medical Experts for Financial Conflict of Interest on Vaccine Safety

If there's one story the NYT has avoided, it's vaccine safety. No matter how many drugs they'd "out" for being dangerous, needing recalls, or pharma ghost written studies or their myriad other hard hitting journalism about pharma, vaccines were always the Virgins in Church, piously pristine. Maybe not.

Read the full article by Gardiner Harris in the New York Times, HERE.

WASHINGTON — A new report finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a poor job of screening medical experts for financial conflicts when it hired them to advise the agency on vaccine safety, officials said Thursday.

Most of the experts who served on advisory panels in 2007 to evaluate vaccines for flu and cervical cancer had potential conflicts that were never resolved, the report said. Some were legally barred from considering the issues but did so anyway.

In the report, expected to be released Friday, Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that the centers failed nearly every time to ensure that the experts adequately filled out forms confirming they were not being paid by companies with an interest in their decisions...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Island of Misfit Toys Diorama is BACK!

My brother, who is an architect, made this diorama last year. Isn't it fabulous? Enjoy! (And if you need a gorgeous house built or remodeled, he's with a firm in Bethesda, Rill Architects.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 years old today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let's Make Gluten Free Whoopie Pies!

I love to bake. And my kids are gluten and casein free, so I sort of have to bake. We made holiday shaped Whoopie Pies this weekend. A Whoopie Pie is a sandwich of two pieces of soft cake with a cream filling (almost like an Oreo but softer) inside. So, follow our story, won't you?

First, you need a helper. Bella stepped up to the plate.
I tried the new BC GF mix. Excellent. I was really pleased with it.

Use a holiday shaped "Cookie" pan. They make nice detailed shaped cakes. Only fill them about halfway, to cover the full shape, otherwise they'll rise too high and dome.

Mmm, here's the first pan. Cakey! Holiday-ey!

Cooling on a Santa mat. Onto the filling. I couldn't remember how to make it. Fear not! I have a cookbook!
When I was 11, my Mom gave me, "Kim's Cookbook." In it is a recipe for Whoopie Pies. Along with Chinese candy (remember the butterscotch chip and chinese noodle candy?) and many other favorites. I've had this book for close to 35 years and I treasure it. I bought a replacement on e-bay just in case anything ever happens to this onw- shocked to find it! The publisher was part of American Greetings, I think. Oh, you can't believe I'm that old? Ha! Look down.

My Mom inscribed the book. Isn't that the very best?!

Here are the ingredients for the filling. I used a Kosher corn free powdered sugar - although any kind will do.
Here's the finished product. Yum. I think. Are they good?
Gianna looks pretty happy! Guess they ARE good!
When Your Child Needs You.

Last night, my Mia, who will turn 15 next week, was very sad. She was crying, almost sobbing. And she was desperately trying to tell me what was wrong, but she doesn't have the words to do that. She was saying, "Fix it! Fix it!" and "Elmo?" and I paced the house looking for a broken Elmo toy. For a while I thought she wanted my laptop - she likes to ferret it out from where ever I've hidden it and log herself on. We keep one CD-ROM in it, a Blues Clues game - in case we're traveling and she needs some entertainment. She tore my room apart looking for the laptop.

Bella went to sleep easily around 8pm. Gianna's eyes were closing as we tackled her night time reading assignment. She crawled into bed at 8:30. Mia was still crying and roaming the house. She'd say a word here or there. She tapped her finger into her palm, "Can I have.... Can I have... PLEASE?" But she couldn't tell me the noun - I ask her, I try to help her. I wrack my brain trying to piece together her thought process to see what she wants.

I was tired. We'd had a snow day. So from 5:30am until 8pm it was just us girls. We drove Mark to the train station at 7am to catch the train to Newark airport. Then we started on the world's longest day.

I gave Mia Melatonin to help relax her. She finally got into my bed - which she NEVER does. IT was clear she needed me. I just wanted some quiet time to read and then go to sleep. But I let her into the bed, put her three snowmen, six arts and crafts Halloween friends she now carries everywhere next to her. She grabbed them all and lined them up in a different order. The RIGHT order. I stroked her head.

She stopped crying abruptly and fell asleep.

This morning she handed me one of her snowmen - she has three. And she named them Mommy, Daddy and Baby. She loves that little family. I looked at the snowmen, and noticed that one of them is missing a fuzzy pom pom button. AH HA!! FIX IT now meant something to me.

She took my hand, and placed MY finger on the missing button. "Fix it."
I hugged her and promised her six ways to Sunday that today I will fix her family. That's my job. I'm her Mom. And I must fix her family.

I'll be at JoAnn's or Michael's the second they open today.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I Denied my Inner Guidette.

There's a new reality show called, Jersey Shore. Remember the two, buff, Mafia wannabe's on the Soprano's? Jersey Shore elevates their ilk to godlike status as it follows a group of Italian kids/young adults at The Jersey Shore. No Madam Marie here. None of Sandy's Fourth of July love at the boarwalk. Not a hint of the heartache of Puerto Rican Jane.

Some folks are finding fault with the show for its stereotypes. Tanning beds and abs are Italian? Since when?

I went to a prep school. The minute I walked in, freshman (pardon me, IV Class) year, I realized there was this thing called the WASP - and I was not one of them. It was the first time I had ever felt any difference from my peers, a teeny tiny taste of feeling inferior, although nothing like other groups feel every day even in 2009.

I straightened my hair. I wore hot pink wide whale cords (for which I will NEVER forgive my sister who dragged me to Olken's in Wellesley to buy them.) I bought Bean boots (still have them and wear them.) I wore grosgrain ribbon headbands. I was a preppie. With a vowel at the end of my name. So not really a preppie at all.

How much more fun would it have been to have embraced my inner Guidette? I had the perfect hair for a mountainous spray on top of my head. I had the right lips for copious globs of pink gloss. I had big eyes that begged for sparkly eye shadow and six coats of mascara. I had a cute figure that would have looked kickin in tight jeans (wait, I did wear Sasson, does that count?)

Not sure I'll watch Jersey City - Boston Italians aren't Jersey Italians, though now I'm mid-way between the two in CT. I find it amusing that the show exists. It doesn't offend me. And maybe I'll check out the abs for a minute.