Three Birthdays Down, Two To Go

Kids birthday parties are stressful. Like most moms, I want my kids to feel special on their birthdays. Unfortunately, there are some moms out there that make this extremely difficult. You know the ones I’m talking about. They rent gigantic bouncy houses, treat their girl and her twelve friends to a spa day, rent a pony, and other ridiculous stuff like that. I handled the stress pretty well on the last birthday. I rented a cabin and we had a sleepover by a lake. There was a pool. I thought it was wicked cool and the girl, when asked how she liked her party, shrugged and said, “It was fun, I guess.”  Trust me. That means she liked it. She’s subtle like that.

This party was for my Aspie. I was worried. Turnout for a summer birthday party isn’t the greatest, especially when the birthday falls two days after the Fourth of July. That’s stressed Mikey in the past. “What if nobody comes?”

Ouch.

Burger King

Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a creepy king and a Whopper.

I held my breath when I asked what he wanted to do for his birthday this year.  He didn’t hesitate.

“I want to go see The Amazing Spiderman and go out to eat and I want Noah to come with me.”

Whew.  A movie and dinner with a kid I know would come.

“Where do you want to eat?’

“Burger King.”

Burger King?  Really? Alrighty then.

“What kind of cake do you want?”

“A map of the world.”

I love this kid. He made it so easy on me. A sheet cake with a drawing of the world. Easy peasy, right? Well, kind of. I had to do it free hand while looking at a picture. As usual, my kid got the short end of the cake decorating stick. Their cakes are always so…shoddy.

map of the world cake

I seriously need to invest in an airbrush system.

He liked it. Though he did point out that I forgot a body of water to separate the too small Africa from Eurasia, Alaska looks like a hawk’s head, and Italy in no way resembles a boot. All valid points and he was gentle about it. He’s a good kid.

He got everything he asked for–a super impressive Atlas (geography buff), a watch, and a gift card to Game Stop. Again, he made it easy on us.

He was funny on his birthday. Everything we did was “the first time I’ve done this as a 12-year-old.” I took him to the beach. “This is the first time I’ve been to the beach this summer AND as a 12-year-old.”  We had pizza for dinner. “This is the first pizza I’ve eaten as a 12-year-old.”  You get the idea. I’m glad that only lasted for a day. As funny as it is, I really didn’t want every minute experience commented on in that manner. “This is the first time I’ve eaten lasagna/hamburgers/ice cream/a ham sandwich/a bowl of Captain Crunch as a 12-year-old.”

So birthday number three is in the books and it was a success. Next up is Billy, the soon to be seven-year-old. He’s going to say Chuck E. Cheese or Jumping Jacks. I’m prepared for it. I have no idea what kind of cake he’ll ask for. I’m sure it will be difficult and he’ll want it just so. I’m really gonna have to step up my game on that one.

Related Posts:

A Birthday Party at the Commune
Three Cakes 
The Leaning Tower of Rapunzel 
The Lego Head Cake Debacle 

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Wordless Wednesday: Marilyn Monroe Cake

Marilyn Monroe Cake

Black and White Marilyn Monroe Cake

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Marilyn Monroe Cake Stencil

Marilyn cake stencil. Done free-hand and cut out of Black Wilton Icing Sheet.

Three Tier Staggered Squares Wedding Cake

I did a wedding cake this weekend.  Wedding cakes freak me out.  They have to be as close to flawless as possible and I don’t do flawless work.  I prefer the cakes that have to look like something else.  The kind that, if I mess up, I can cover up the mistake with a fondant flower or some other random decoration.  Anyway, this one was pretty simple.

Three square tiers with ribbons around the bottom.  Impossible to mess up, right?

Psht.  Right.

busy bakerThe first cake I baked stuck in the pan.  When I tried to turn it out, it came out in a million tiny pieces.  I said some choice words, cried a little, gave the mess to 5 very happy children, and made another one.  It turned out perfectly, as did the next 4.  In all, I made 6 pound cakes, but only used 5 of them for this cake.

Then I cut them into squares, as I don’t have square pans.  Again, more remnants for the cake monsters.  They ate cake for breakfast for 3 days.  I won major Awesome Mom points for that.

I made 14 cups of buttercream icing (thank God for KitchenAid mixers!), iced them, put dowel rods in them (to keep cake from collapsing,) iced them again, and stacked the suckers. Then, I spent 1 hour, applying scotch tape to the back of ribbon so the grease/butter from the icing wouldn’t bleed through.  That was FUN.  *eye roll*

I attached the ribbon and went to bed.

The next morning, I got up, got myself and 5 kids ready for a wedding and loaded them and the cake into the car.  I hate driving with cakes in the car.  I just know somebody will rear-end me and cake will fly everywhere and the poor bride will be left with no wedding cake.  I drive very slowly, turn corners at a snail’s pace, and tick off drivers every time I deliver a cake.

Anyway, I got it there in tact and on time.   Here it is.

staggered squares with ribbon wedding cake

Not much to it, but it’s at least relatively smooth.  Not smooth enough (my cakes never are) but I did the best I could.  It tasted good, or so I’m told.  I’m dieting and can’t eat it.  Bummer, huh?

This little baby packs some major calories/carbs/fat or whatever else you’re not supposed to have while dieting.  Here’s the rundown.

  • 14 sticks of butter (cake and icing)
  • 15 cups of granulated sugar (cake)
  • 28 cups of powdered sugar (icing)
  • 15 cups flour (cake)
  • 30 eggs (cake)
  • 7 cups Crisco (icing)

I think I gained 15 lbs. just by typing that.

Related Posts:

Wedding Cakes
My Cake Hobby 
Let Them Eat Cake 
Three Cakes 

A Birthday Party at the Commune

Happy Birthday Hippie Style

Happy Birthday Molly! 9 Years Old. Wow.

Okay, so it wasn’t a commune. It was a campground. But when the birthday girl is wearing a bathing suit with peace signs and hearts on it, the cake is decorated to look like a tie-dyed peace sign, and everyone shares a bathroom, a campground has a definite commune vibe.

My daughter had a slumber party.  There was a pool, a lake to fish in, swans and ducks to feed, a fire to roast marshmallows over, and a cabin to make bohemian bracelets and watch movies in.  It was a pretty good birthday party.  Only 4 girls showed up instead of the 7 she invited, but that was fine by me.   I had help, but I don’t know if we could have handled an extra three girls and still maintained our sanity.

The weather was perfect.  Not humid or too hot, which is a minor miracle for June in Savannah, Georgia.  The girls had fun and my friend and I had a pot of Starbucks coffee, our laptops to get some Camp NaNoWriMo writing done, and we even got to watch a movie that didn’t feature animals or mermaid Barbie.

Oh yes.  A cake picture.  Molly wanted a peace sign.  A tie-dyed peace sign.  As usual, I didn’t put as much effort into my kid’s cake as I do for others (bad mama).  It turned out okay but my son was spot-on when he said, “It’s not your best.”  At least he’s honest (the butthead.)  The picture quality isn’t great, either.  As usual, I forgot the camera (bad mama) and had to take the picture with my crappy phone camera.

tie-dyed peace sign cake

Groovy

No, she’s not a hippie.  She’s a normal 9yo who has been bitten by the fashion bug known as Justice.  You know the clothing store–an explosion of glitter, peace signs, hearts, and too short shorts.  I don’t allow the shorts but the tops and dresses are okay.  She adores it.  Good thing, because she got $75 worth of gift cards to spend there.  She couldn’t be happier.

Somewhere in the last year, my baby grew up.  She looks older (thanks to bangs), is an expert eye roller, and always has a smart-butt comment for everything.  If she’s this lovely at 9, I can’t wait to see her at 15.  I can feel the gray hairs sprouting, just thinking about it.

My 34th Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 34, perhaps the most boring age on the planet.  34 is no different from 33.  Now 35?  That’s an important birthday–officially on the downward slope to 40.

Oddly enough, I spent the night before my birthday making a birthday cake for someone else.  Even more odd, I took it to a birthday party that wasn’t for me or the person whose cake I was making.  It was a surprise party for my husband’s grandmother, who thought she was coming to my birthday party (though I suspect she wasn’t really buying that.)  It was very sweet because her daughter, who lives in China, came in for the occasion and she wasn’t expecting that.  The look on her face was priceless.

Anyway, the cake.  I know you want a picture.  I will oblige.  It is a “sewing” theme cake and one that I made up as I went along.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

Small tiered cake (single layers) with fondant buttons, needle and thread, ribbons, and ribbon roses.)
Sewing Cake with buttons and ribbon roses

Pink Lemonade Pound Cake with Lemon Buttercream Icing
fondant buttons and ribbon roses

Fondant Buttons and Ribbon Roses

As with all my cakes, I was up until the wee hours of the morning, decorating.  It doesn’t matter when I start a cake, I’m always up at 2 AM.   When I finally decided to go to bed, my sick little girl woke me up, crying, because her ears hurt.  By the time I got her back to bed, it was after 4:00.  I went to bed and then woke up at 8:00 and had to clean up some vomit.  My poor little sick girl had coughed until she gagged.

Not a great start to a birthday.

But it got better.

I got to eat some good barbecue at the birthday party.  And I got to watch my beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats beat the despised University of Louisville Cardinals.  Goodness, it felt good to admit I despise the Cards.  On Facebook, everybody is so polite and sportsmanlike about the whole thing.  I don’t get it.  What’s the point of a rivalry if there’s no hate and vitriol involved?  Just because some people start taking the trash talk personally, like they play for the team or something, I’m supposed to be “classy” and write things like, “Good game” or “Congrats UL for making the Final Four?”

Psshhhht.

What I really want to write is, “Neener, neener, neener.  We won and you lost because you suck and we don’t.”

Anthony Davis is ridiculous and I love this shot. That's right, UofL, just watch him go to work. There's nothing you can do about it, anyway.

Yeah, I know, I’m acting 4, not 34.  Whatever.  Shut up.  Point is, UK made it to the National Championship Game and I’m really excited because they’ll be playing Kansas.  Why?  Because writing UK-KU makes me happy because it’s symmetrical and I love symmetry.  Yeah, I know, I’m a weirdo.  Whatever.  Shut up.

So, that was my birthday.  Well, part of it, anyway.  I get to have a Part II–dinner out with the husband on Friday night while my saint of a mother in law keeps all five of the kids.

I am totally spoiled.

Related Articles

My Old Kentucky Home

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball:  A Way of Life

396 Months Old Today

My First Year of Blogging

Well, it’s December 31, 2011.  Time to make resolutions I won’t keep and talk about how much next year HAS to be better than this year because this year just sucked.  Actually, I’m not doing either of those things.  First, the only resolution I’m making is not to make resolutions.  WIN.  Second, this year was tough, but so many people had it so much worse than I.  My family is healthy, we have food to eat, a roof over our heads, so on and so forth.  A great portion of Earth’s population cannot say that, so I’m going to keep the pie hole shut about how bad I’ve had it this year.  (If that ‘s the kind of stuff you want to read, take a look around the blog.  There’s enough whining and groaning to keep you busy for hours.)

Now, for the end of the year blog stuff.  I’ve been perusing The Blog and marveling at how it’s changed, what people like to read, and how often my favorite posts get no traffic/comments whatsoever.  I’m telling myself  it’s because my favorite posts came in the beginning, when nobody but my family was reading.  It’s a shame because I was a much better blogger in the beginning.  Odd, but true.  Evidently, practice doesn’t always make perfect.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown of Momfog 2011.

Top 5 Posts

1. Cakes.  No-brainer, really.  Cake is good.  (More cake pics available under the “cake decorating” category.)

2. Curls Without Heat.  I’ve managed to answer that lifelong question:  “What do women want?”  They want to eat elaborate cakes and have good hair while doing it.

Apparently, hair and cake go hand in hand, as my most viewed cake post is the Rapunzel one.  Too bad it was a complete failure of a cake.  Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful to those mommies wanting to make their little princesses a birthday cake to remember.

The Leaning Tangled Tower of Rapunzel

3.  House Fire Leaves Family of Seven Homeless  This is one of my favorite posts.  Not because I enjoyed writing it (my house burned down) but the comments were so great and supportive.  I had people who I consider “blogging celebrities” wishing my family well.  That was when I knew the blogging community was something special.  We don’t know each other in real life (IRL) but when real life happens, we know exactly what to say to make it better.  Thank you guys so much.

4.  ‘Tis The Season For Stupid Commercials  I’d like to thank Lexus for making those ridiculous ads of people who recognize the Lexus song, whether it be in Guitar Hero, Elevator Muzak, or music box style.  Truly, you made my December a happy one.

5.  A Child’s Wish  This is one of my favorites.  My autistic son wrote an essay that broke my heart.  Five sentences that brought back the day of his diagnosis and all my fears and desires for his life.

My 5 Favorite Posts

1.  The Ultimatum.  My first “horror” story.  So much fun.

2.  My Old Kentucky Home  So homesick I could barely stand it, I wrote a tribute to all the old folks at home.

3.  Things Moms Say and Kids Are Annoying  Yes, this is two posts but the annoying kids are what makes us say these crazy things, right?

4.  Growing Pains and Good Kids Are Everywhere, You Just Have To Pay Attention  Sending my kids to middle school freaked me out.  Not just because that makes me old-er, but because kids can be cruel little buggers.  Amazingly, they were fine.  And so was I.

5. The Psychology of Me (According to Reliable Internet Sources)  I used to be funny.  I also used to take oodles of internet quizzes.  This is the combo of the two.

So, there you have it.  My five, er, seven, favorite posts.  Are they my best?  Probably not.  They are so ME, though.  And I figure, at almost 34, it’s time to accept who that is.

I hope you all have a very happy and prosperous new year.  I am so honored you take the time to read the ramblings I put out on a semi-regular basis.  I’m even more amazed by those of you who take the time to comment.  There are some great people out there on the interwebs.

Love you!

Momfog  (AKA  Erin)

scary lunch lady

This is NOT me, though many thought it was when I posted this picture before, which I find hilarious. Trust me. I'd wax if this was me. *shudder*

Giraffe Cake

I have so many posts in draft that I could finish, but it’s 11:30 on Sunday night and I don’t feel like thinking.  Besides, tomorrow is Monday.  Who feels like reading on a Monday?  So, for your pleasure and mine, a cake.  Cake is always a good idea.

It’s not the best cake I’ve ever done, but I think it’s cute.  I drew the giraffe free-hand and it wasn’t my idea to make it blue with neon green spots.  However, the color palette is my favorite part about this cake.  All the colors were vibrant and cheerful and my client (and her daughter) were happy.  Success!

In other cake news, I’m doing a wedding cake in December.  I always get nervous doing wedding cakes.  A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event (theoretically) and the cake needs to be perfect.  Ach, wish me luck.