Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Gum News

Way back in January, I talked about my trip to the periodontist to have a gum graft. Basically, the doc took a slice of tissue from the roof of my mouth and sewed it above one of my front teeth to fix a receding gum above that tooth.

Today I went in to have all that pink and healed up gum tissue laser resurfaced. I had to be numbed up and then he went to work with a very quiet laser. It was fine, though sometimes he had my upper lip pushed so far out of the way it made it difficult to breathe through my nose. Which in some ways was okay, because then I couldn't smell the burning tissue. However I could sort of "taste" it when I breathed through my mouth. I don't recommend it!

My periodontist told me it would turn red and feel like a burn before it eventually pinked up. It is then that I can brush that part of my gum again. Yay.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

I'm not one to get all crazy about big health warnings and such. I just feel like we are bombarded with warnings of all kinds, and until I see significant reason to worry, I generally don't.

That may all change here, though. A high school in our city has been closed until Monday due to a suspected case of the Swine flu. Another school in a neighboring town has been closed for the same reason. The high school, Marmion Academy, has students that are siblings of students at my children's school. (Did you follow that?) So, if it is Swine flu, this boy has been in contact with other boys (it's an all boy school) who are brothers of students at my children's school. It concerns me. If it is confirmed as Swine flu, I will be watching my kids a little more carefully.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breakin' My Heart

Even though it was announced in February, I still was shocked, though not completely surprised, by the fact that Steve Page has left the Barenaked Ladies.

I have loved BNL for many years. My big brother, Kevin, introduced me to them in the 90's and they quickly became my favorite band of all time. I know Page has had a lot of problems with drug use and poor choices in the last year or two, but I somehow hoped he would get it together. Considering he and Ed Robertson shared a considerable amount of the leads on the songs the group wrote and sang, he will be sadly missed. And since 139 of my 1300+ songs in iTunes are by BNL, I will be reminded often of his mark on the band.

I wish the remaining band members, Jim, Kevin, Ed, and Tyler the best. I will still listen to all of their new music and continue to love them. But I can't help but think I will miss Steve's musical contribution to the group. I have never attended a more fun live show than the Ladies. I hope it will still be as much fun without Steve.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stem Cell Research

I found this little gem at Third Base Politics and felt I needed to share it here. Dr. Oz, Oprah's favorite doctor, is telling everyone that adult stem cells will be the root of a cure for Parkinson's and advances in treatment for other diseases, not embryonic stem cell research. This is huge, and for it to finally be shown on mainstream TV is wonderful, in my opinion. Check it out:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baptism Weekend

My newest nephew, Declan, was baptized this Sunday. The ceremony was held in a lovely old chapel with wooden floors and beautiful stained glass windows. The remarkable part was that Declan was the only child baptized that day. All three of my kids had several other children and families baptized on the same day they did. But Declan's was relaxed and personal and the old deacon who performed the ceremony was great with children. He made sure that both my three kids and three of Declan's cousins on his father's side of his family had a good view and even let them help him after the baptism with cleaning up and turning the font off.

My husband, Brendan, was godfather. It was fun to watch him light the candle and hold Declan in the pictures afterwards. A cool little aside - the beautiful baptismal gown Declan is wearing was originally his great grandfather's. He wore it, my mother-in-law was baptized in it, as well as my husband and his brother and sister (Declan's mom), and all three of my kids.

The party at my mother-in-law's house was a lot of fun. My brother-in-law's family is lots of fun, and I always enjoy my husband's family. Zoe made friends with the Coffey cousins and spent the entire day running around with them. She has arranged a playdate for an unspecified later date.

I played my usual role, which was to make the cake. I love doing that. I spent a lot of time online looking at other people's cakes for baptisms and first communions, trying to get some inspiration. But, it was a cross that I found at a Christian Bookstore that gave me my final idea for Declan's cake. I bought it as part of Declan's gift and used it as the cake topper for the cake. It is a two-sided cross with a little baby in jammies holding a blankie. On each side is a prayer, one for the morning and one for the night. The jammies have tiny little stars on them. When I saw them, I knew Declan's cake would have to have stars. This is what I made:

It was a huge four layered 9-inch cake. It was chocolate frosted with vanilla buttercream. I made marshmallow fondant stars to encircle the top and sides of the cake. Both the cake and the frosting are made from scratch. The cake recipe is a Martha Stewart recipe - a real keeper! The buttercream is Wilton's recipe.

As I wasn't sure if this would be enough cake, I made a second, smaller cake. I made another Martha Stewart recipe, and it turned out fabulous. It was a vanilla cake that I brushed with an Amaretto simple syrup. The frosting was an Almond Swiss Buttercream. It was the first time I made a cooked frosting and I must admit it turned out great. I have long been intimidated by cooked frostings, but with my trusty Kitchenaid stand mixer and my candy thermometer, the frosting turned out really good. What amazed me most was that the frosting for just one cake took three (3!) sticks of butter. That's a lot of butter. But it was good. I decided to coat the sides with sliced almonds. The cake turned out really dense, but really good.

This is the godfather with his godson. They're both pretty cute, don't ya think?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What Is Your Best April Fool's Joke?

My parents are in visiting from Ohio. As my mom sat at the breakfast table this morning, she told Zoe to, "Watch out! There's a bug right there!" and pointed at the floor by Zoe's feet. Zoe fell hook line and sinker as my mom said, "April Fool's."

The kids all giggled and Zoe started planning. About five minutes later Zoe walked up to my mom and said, "Look outside, there's a flying Grandma!" My mom, being the good grandma that she is, looked out the window and pretended to be surprised that there was no flying grandma. Zoe shouted, "April Fools" and we all had a good laugh.