Wednesday, April 03, 2013

april showers

We promised our daughter that we'd get a family dog.  Now that our March Break travels and Easter family gatherings are now behind us, and warm weather and budding flowers are ahead of us, we've re-ignited the search to find the right dog to join our family.

I'd often hear dog owners warn me about how puppies are just like babies.  Waking up in the middle of the night.  Potty training.  How travel and extra curricular activities are limited because of the dog's schedule.  To be honest, this has been our biggest deterrent.  But with our daughter's big brown eyes and perfectly curled pout, we have succumbed to her wishes and are edging much closer to getting a new four-pawed member of the family.

As I start browsing for dog necessities (dog beds, crates etc), I start to recollect the time when I was preparing for our two beautiful children.  Researching for all the "gear" to add to our baby shower gift registry.  However, when our babies were born, I soon realized that all the baby "stuff" doesn't really prepare you for journey that follows.

During my pregnancy, we'd also often wonder what our children would be like.  Would they have the eyes of Mom or the nose of Dad? Would they be athletic or academic?  Would they be happy and kind or obnoxious little bullies?  It is one of the many curiosities of being a parent....we'd look for little clues sometimes as signs of reassurance that our kids inherited our positive traits. That they'd be a reflection of the good in us, not the bad.

Now that we're in anticipation for a new dog, I finding myself now wondering the same thing again.  If a dog barks and runs like a maniac at the park, is that a reflection of the owner or is it a reflection of the individual personality (and breed) of the dog?  Would the dog adopt some of our personalities, or would it's carefree nature force us to be more playful? Will we then, become a reflection of our dog?

I guess time will tell, much like raising children.  When someone says they see "a lot of me" in my kids, although some of it may ring true, deep down I think it's the other way around.  With their determination, enthusiasm and charisma, I think my children have made me become more outgoing, more accepting, more loving (although maybe not as patient?)...and I have become a reflection of them.

We'll continue to research and plan as much as we can to prepare for our new furry arrival.  Then we'll  let nature take it's course and welcome our dog with open arms, and I'm positive our children will shower their "baby" dog with everlasting joy and love.

And with his/her loyal, unconditional love and happy-go-lucky-tail-wagging nature, I hope that our puppy too, will be a reflection of our family.

Baby Shower Cupcakes
I like making these simple cupcakes for baby showers.  It's not overwhelmingly sweet, and you don't need to be an expert to decorate them.  It fits most themes and is non-gender specific.

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Cream the sugar and butter together.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 
  • Add the baking powder, then add the flour until the well mixed.
  • Slowly stir in the milk until the batter is smooth. 
  • Soon approximately 1/3 of a cup of batter into each of the muffin liners. 
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. (done when it springs back).
  • Completely cool before frosting.

For the Buttercream Frosting & "Baby" icing design

  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Cocoa powder (for the eyes and mouth)
  • Mint Lifesavers

  • Cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. 
  • Add salt, vanilla, confectioners' sugar and milk. 
  • Beat well.
  • Reserve 1 cup of frosting, and add cocoa powder until the frosting is chocolate in colour.
  • Lightly frost the cupcakes

  • Using a piping bag (or a zip lock bag with cutting a small corner of the bag), place the chocolate frosting and add the semi circles for sleeping eyes and a smile.

  • Add the lifesaver as the baby soother.


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