Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cake Hater

What do you do when your son hates cake?

Worse. What do you do when he hates cake but thinks that he likes it?

My adorable 5 yr old was so excited to have a vanilla vanilla cupcake cake with sprinkles for his Super hero birthday party. This is what I made.
It's a super T symbol because that's what his name starts with. I used licorice and nerds to do the top.

He hated it.

To his credit he tried to be polite by lying and saying that he was full. But no amount of bragging could make him eat his own birthday cake.

I was devastated. It ruined the whole party for me :( Lucky for me he's 5 and could care less and loved his party regardless of the scary cake. Unlucky for me I had to play it off like, "haha, kids. what can you do?" while secretly dying inside.

For the record - Everyone else ate it and I heard very few complaints so I really do think it was my sons problem and not my cake making skills problem.

So, I hatched a plan.

I deduced that he must have been scared of the unusual looking cupcakes (makes sense right?) I was determined to make him something for his actual birthday (the above was for his earlier party with friends) so the planning began.

First, I grilled him relentlessly on flavors he liked and what sprinkles were ok sprinkles. I was pretty sure I had it figured out but still felt a little timid after my previous monumental failure.

Aha!! I decided he and I would make the cake together out of all store bought ingredients (none of that homemade crap where there can be hidden foods) on the day of his birthday.

Here's a photo montage of how that went, he did it all himself. It was a gross mess and he was SUPER proud!! Sorry about the quality, I took them with my phone. Also, I do not know how to turn the pics so enjoy the crick that will be in your neck by the end of this post. It's like a present for you!

First he broke 3 eggs into the mixing bowl
(only one exploded from his wrist all the way up to his chin, so...success!!)

Second, pour in the cake mix

Third, pour in water. Fourth pour in oil. 
(I premeasured. This still counts as him doing it himself because everything is always premeasured on cooking shows.)

Fifth, mix the batter. Sixth pour the batter. 
(turns out 5 yr olds lack certain pouring skills necessary for this task. Lesson learned, batter disaster cleaned.)

Break for a taste test of the batter. He said YUM!!!

Now for a frosting taste test. (I was not going to just take his word on it. Fool me once!!)

Not sure why the pictures look like this. You will have to take my word that it was thumbs up for vanilla and thumbs down for chocolate. I SWEAR!!!

Step 7, frost the cake. As the picture might indicate, 
it took awhile.
(I may or may not have lost patience, poured it all on and told him to spread it around. That still counts for doing it himself right?)

TADA! Frosted cake. 
(Yes it's in an M shaped all edges brownie pan. He wanted it to be shaped like a letter and this is what I could come up with. Poor choice? Probably.)

A final taste test break. Quality control was needed to ensure the frosting was truly edible. Turns out it was a YES!

Final step, sprinkles. Apparently dump 2 entire cans of sprinkles right in the middle. We each have our own decorating styles I guess. 
(note: maybe don't have him help with household decorations...unless you really like the sprinkle look.)

TADA! AGAIN! His final creation. He was sooooooooooooooooooooo proud :)

I know what you're thinking, I am such an amazing mom. While I can't disagree with you on that, I do have to let you in on a secret. 

The pictures lie!!

That's right. He was excited all the way until it was time for the cake, begged for his piece and practically dove into his plate.

Then he saw the cake on his fork, changed his mind, and was "too full" again. Whatever kid, I get it. You hate cake. I will NEVER make this mistake again.

Except he still thinks he likes it. I'm at a loss. How much cake must be wasted before he acknowledges that he just doesn't like it and that those feelings are ok?

The world may never know.

p.s. I broke my no picture rule to give you this post. What do you think? Should I tone down on my conspiracy theories and start posting fam bam pics every once in awhile?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Creative Overload

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I MIGHT get a little over excited about creating things sometimes.

I actually avoid gettin' my crafty on a lot of the time because I'm an all or nothing kind of gal and have zero ability to set boundaries. But every once in awhile I let myself go crazy. It is amazingly fun thinking of ways to create things, actually making them is usually pretty great too but then I have a problem.

What to do with the things I create.

Don't worry, I have several examples of what I'm talking about to share with you.

The Owl Baby Shower
My best friends best friend (I know, I know I've said this before and now it's about two different friends and it's still confusing but I can't think of any other way to say it so whatever) is pregnant with her second child. My best friend wanted to throw her a baby shower and her friend loves owls so she thought she would make it owl themed.

I don't remember if I was invited to help plan this party or if we were just talking about it one day and I decided that I was helping. I can be pushy like that, it's a problem. Regardless, the owl friend is my friend too, and I got really excited about the opportunity to get crafty and creative.

I MAY have went a little overboard.

There were almost 200 owls in the room the day of the party. I had pulled out my trusty cricut paper cutting machine and cut tons of owls in all sizes. Then I made a big paper tree and taped it to the wall for the owls to sit in. Then I made a sign that said Baby Tyree. Then I made an owl diaper cake. Then I made an owl quilt for the new baby. Then I created and quilted an owl pillow. Then I made owl thank you cards.

Are you getting the picture?

My poor friend says owl theme and I go owl crazy.

Ahhhhhhhh, but it sure was fun :)

Here are some pics of the creative overload I unleashed on everyone (My best friend and a few other good friends made yummy pretty foods and helped put together a lot of the crafts and decorated the tables and did all of the hardwork for the party so please don't think I'm taking credit by posting these pictures, but I will assume blame if necessary)

This is what I meant by the all or nothing.

So that's just a few pictures of that.

My dear friend who always has the cutest handmade finds and ideas bought a headband at a craft fair or somewhere. It was doublesided with a cute fabric pattern on each side.

I immediately wanted to make one.

I'm usually more of a bandana girl but bandanas don't seem appropriate for work so I've been looking for other ways to tame the giant mass of frizz that usually frames my face.

So, she wore it to bunco last week and I insisted on taking it so I could make a template. Then my sister really wanted to make some too. So she came over sat and sun night last weekend and picked out like 50 materials that we just HAD to make bandanas out of. Her enthusiasm was infectious so I decided that we just HAD to make them too. Then we ended up cutting like 200 or so and sewing at least 20 that night.

Now I have to give headbands as presents to everyone I even semi know for the next two years to get rid of the massive supply I collected.

See what I mean?

Fun to make, fun idea, fun times with my sister, but now what do I do with them all?

PLEASE tell me that you want one! (p.s. I did not take a picture of them yet but I will try to remember to do that and add it on here.)

Youngest sons 5th birthday
This one probably deserves it's own post but I'll save it for another day, today I am too emotional.

Creatively I went way past overload and into insanity with this party.

This was his last big party (after 5yrs old it's just invite a friend to dinner or a movie sort of a party, no more 30 screaming munchkins at your house for 4 hrs kinds of parties) and I was determined to make it the best ever.

He chose a super hero theme and I began amassing supplies a month or so before the big day. He had major opinions about everything:

  • only kids 5 and under were invited
  • he needed a cupcake cake
  • a hero sandwich as big as him 
  • there had to be games 
  • he wanted to dressup. 

Well, I strive to please, so I invited 12 of his young friends (of his choosing) and the party was a go. I blew up 200 balloons (with help from my sister) and we filled a tent with them to make a balloon room to practice their super skills. I turned polo shirts into capes for all the kids and paper plates into shields with flashing light star stickers on the front. Everyone designed their own masks and shields. We made a mini photobooth and hauled out my 3 sons massive dressup collection for all the kids to dress up and pose for pictures. My oldest son made a game where he drew chalk lines in the driveway and made kids race like Flash. All 3 of my boys painted cardboard boxes to look like buildings and made gotham city out of them. Then my oldest made a game where the kids had to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I did a superhero photoshoot prior to the party and liked the pictures so much that I made posters out of them and hung them around. I made all the kids placemat shields with their names and hung them as decorations. And like 15 other things but I am getting tired of writing them all.

Anyways, I made so much stuff and then today arrived and I didnt feel well and my house was a disaster and I was so slow at getting things done that I barely had time to decorate and half the stuff got left in my garage :( But, it was still cute and still fun. I will post pics tomorrow.

See what I mean? I need to chill out a little on the creative craft stuff and focus a little more on chores, family and my sanity. No one 200 owls and 200 hero themed decorations. Like 2 would probably cover it.

How about you. Do you ever get a little TOO crafty?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I know it's the real spy family!

Those are the words my 4yr old uttered to himself repeatedly as we exited the movie theatre after watching Spy Kids 4 yesterday.

First a disclaimer. I do not take my kids to see a lot of movies anymore, it's cheaper for me to buy the DVD when it comes out.Going to the movies is ridiculously expensive!!! Also, I had a hunch that Spy Kids 4 might not be a blockbuster and worth the ridiculous amount of money it would cost. However, I had loads of guilt built up from two weeks of daily meetings and cancelling kids plans so off to the movie we went.

Now on with my story.

My kids were over the moon excited to see these movie. We saw the 2d version but it was still extra thrilling because it had an extra dimension, aromascope. Aromascope means a scratch and sniff card that you scratch when they flash the # on the screen. It makes you feel like your in the movie. Right?


Aromascope was 8 circles, 7 of which smelled like gummy bears and one that was either like bubble gum, mint or licorice depending on which of us you asked. I will grant that we saw this movie way after it had first been released so maybe the scratch and sniff had worn out or something, but still it was very disappointing, Except for my 4 yr old. After the movie I asked if he scratched them all. His reply, "No (with a smile) I just touched them. It was amazing!"

I know you're all wondering how amazing was the 4th in a series of fascinating edge of your seat thrillers? Surprisingly (she said very sarcastically) unthrilling. Seriously sad acting combined with pitifully predictable writing and added to seriously unbelievable but none the less disgusting moments (have you ever seen a diaper bomb?) made it a little less than what I had hoped for. I may have fallen asleep for a portion of it. DO NOT TELL MY KIDS.

Of course that's just my review. My 4yr old laughed out loud hysterically (amusing all the other 4 movie patrons more than the movie, he has an amazing laugh) at numerous points in the movie. He was on the edge of his seat enthralled with every single moment and hanging on every single word. Afterwards he went on and on about the real spy family that even has a spy baby and a spy dog. The little boy had a super punch and that is one of my 4yr olds super powers so that took things to whole other level of awesomeness. He woke up this morning still excited to go over every nitty gritty detail.

So there you have it. Watch Spy Kids 4 to learn about the real spy family (and diaper bombs). Or save yourself an hour and a half that you can never ever get back. It's your choice. I'm always right on these things but my 4yr old hopelessly adorable so I'll understand if you take his recommendation over mine.

How about you. Seen any awful movies lately?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Do you ever have a moment that transports you back in time? I rarely do, but one hit me so strongly on Monday night that I have to share it.

It's 1989 and I'm in second grade.

I head to the big gym with my class a little giddy about getting some energy out in PE and a little nervous not knowing what to expect. A barely five foot tall woman with a bowl cut and a lot of bounce pops onto the stage in front of me encouraging our class to bounce along with her.

She is wearing spandex from knees to shoulders, and as I will learn soon enough, she rocks the mid length bike shorts worn under the skin tight deep V cut leotard every day. The prints are very fashion forward with their geometric patterns, splatter paint and oh so many shades of neon. Turquoise and the hottest hot pink your eyes can handle are almost always present. I bounce along wondering how she keeps all that spandex from crawling up her rear and if she wears it in her office and when she has meetings.

I never do get the answer to those questions.

I'm awakened out of my lycra mesmerization by this tiny bubbly woman blasting Michael Jacksons "It doens't matter if you're black or white." She turns her back to us and teaches us how to "squeeze those biscuits!" and let me tell you, she could really squeeze her biscuits and I could really not help giggling every single time she did.

Yes, it's true, I had been introduced, in my public elementary school PE class, to the wonders of jazzercise.

Okay, so that was the flashback. Now let me tell you what transported me back to Evergreen Elementary School PE with Mrs. A. I went to Zumba on Monday. Because I am who I am I didn't go to normal Zumba, I went to Zumba in the dark at the Filipino community center. Because it's better that way, right?

One of the teachers at the school where I work invited me to this class several times. I put it off, made excuses and did my best not to go. But here's the thing, I really like this teacher and thought it would be fun to hang with her and I'm really overweight and should not pass over opportunities to change that fact.

Soooo, I went.

And she didn't.

I know right??!

Now here's the kicker, I am 29, and many of the women attending this extra special Zumba class could be my mother. They are quite a bit older. And many are quite a bit heavier. Not my teacher friend, but still I stuck out a little in this group (which brings me to another flashback of water aerobics with 80yr olds, but I'll save that one for later)

Have you been to Zumba?

I hadn't either and I thought it was a little more latin. Apparently I thought wrong. The Zumba I attended was a whole lot of everything, hence the being transported back to jazzercise days. By everything, I mean booty shaking (like Beyonce style), do the pony, bust out some windmills, the boob bounce chest pump, grinding all by yourself and of course baby got lo, lo, lo, lo, lo. Now imagine the age group and body shapes I mentioned above and the fact that we're in a Filipino community center, in the dark, with a disco ball.

It was so entertaining I had to go back.

Tonight was my second encounter of the Zumba kind. Tonight the very attractive Zumba leader had a very interesting man as her assistant on the stage. I could barely control myself and had to avert my eyes occasionally as he danced to what sounded like Pink Panther and did the full on claw hands (if it hadn't been so loud I think I might have heard him doing a cat purr too) The booty shake and Tahitian hip jive were also particularly special on this older male teacher.

Full disclosure, both nights kicked my butt and were pretty hard core cardio. Also, I plan to continue, but it's as much for the entertainment value and irony of it all as it is for the exercise. I need to laugh more and let loose and this certainly fits the bill.

Finally, I suck at Zumba. I do not have a natural sense of rhythm and am very slow on following along with dance moves. They make the new people stand in the middle of the room so you can stop judging me for laughing at others and revel in the fact that they are all getting in a good chuckle while watching me front and center and screwing up on every single move.

A special thanks to my teacher friend for the invite and a shout out that all you Maui friends should join me next Monday. What's a little embarrassment and sweat among friends and strangers?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aha! Now I get it.

It's been a really, really long week. I've found myself dragging more and more everyday. I don't like it when weeks end up like this.

The thing is I've been struggling to figure out why. Why does the week seem so long? Why do I keep getting so irritated? By irritated I mean irate, irrational and just plain rude. I hope these are not words that usually describe me and I'm sad that they fit me perfectly this week :(

It's ridiculous really. I almost sent out a nasty memo to some teachers and just couldn't get past some little thing they had done. Thing is, it doesn't matter. Where was my grace and patience? Then, a fairly insignificant event occurred at open house that turned me into a seething stomping maniac. Add to that another small open house frustration and I allowed myself to ruin my day. I blew things way out of proportion. Finally there has been all of the little things, losing my sons homework, melting a cheesecake, losing my list like 5 times today, forgetting things etc... That just left me feeling like a puddle of failure.

But now is where the aha! Figures in. I figured it out this afternoon. A couple things happened this week,

1. I had to talk to my youngest about the fact that it's not appropriate to go around yelling that your grandpa is dead.

2. it was grandparents week and my twins had to do a grandparents project and we had to find grandparent pictures to share.

3. I saw the last picture my sons took with their grandpa on the last day they ever saw him.

These things happened and I just kept going on with my week and I never acknowledged or dealt with them until finally when I had a few moments today and it all just overwhelmed me. I am so mad that he wasnt here for grandparents lunch today. I hate that I can't tell him what my youngest wants for hisbirthday. I really miss him and most of all I miss watching the moments he had with my husband and my sons. I couldn't even bring myself to attend the grandparents events at school and totally let my kids down.

I cried so hard in the car tonight I almost got in an accident. I'm better now, and I'm not totally sure why it all hit so hard again this week, but it did. I realize this isn't a fun story but I'm sharing it because I bet things like this have happened to others and knowing you're not alone really helps sometimes.

On the positive side, all this angst means I got a ton accomplished this week. I'm helping with a baby shower tomorrow and everything is already done and ready. I'm a last minute scrambler so this is a minor miracle for me. It felt really good to get lost in a craft or a project. To have total control of what I was doing and to be able to focus exclusively and temporarily forget everything else in your world felt great.

I tell you I'm an emotiona roller coaster wreck! Or maybe it's all just excuses and the real problem is having aunt flo visit for the first time in 7 years or so. That takes you for quite a ride too, or so I'm told.

What about you? Do you bury stuff until it explodes out or have those moments where everything that was okay suddenly isn't?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Don't you love my scandalous title?

Or do you not think it is scandalous?

That might be one of the many differences between you and me. For me it's a scandal to be naked in public waters, for you it's a fun Friday night. Well, to each their own.

Are you ready for it to get a bit more scandalous? I am writing to tell you about my children skinnydipping.

I know, I know. The shock! The dismay. Or I just hyped up a very entertaining moment in my day yesterday.

Yesterday was the crazy day that made me look off my rocker. It began with too little sleep (as most days do), then I lost my twin sons homework and had to write them an excuse note. This was not a proud parenting moment, but I will never forget how mortified I was and hopefully will not let it happen again.(who am I kidding? It will happen again)

Then it was off to work where I realized I had forgotten my cell phone, forgotten to get a babysitter for the evening, forgotten to tell my ride to the party that I didn't need a ride because I forgot I had to work in the evening for a bit and probably 16 other forgotten things popped up making my day a little cringe worthy.

Work finished at noon and I grabbed the kids, got the forgotten phone and gave my sister a ride as speedily as I could so that we could haul our way to the next town over (this takes 20 minutes) to meet my dear husband for the worlds latest lunch.

It was one of those moments where you wonder if the quality lunchtime of watching one person eat while the four others shout at the one about how their days have been is really worht the scramble, scream and scrounge approach it takes to get there.

But whatever, we did it.

After that it was time to check on the in-laws dear dogs because they can only go a few hours without needing to pee. It's annoying but understandable, they weigh like 6 pounds yet seem to be able to pee like 12 pounds worth of water every time they go outside. We really didn't have time for this activity but whatever so I summoned my courage and using my best adult voice explained that we were letting the dogs pee and then it was straight back to the car.

Apparently my best adult voice doesn't come across so well because all 3 of my boys heard whine til she lets us in the swimming pool. Since I was already 10 steps behind and way past exhausted, I gave in, but with some rules.

1. No clothes, swim or otherwise (I was attempting to save time, changin clothes can take an hour)

2. I am not going swimming (my thought being, "it's too hot to swim" I realize this is counterintuitive but it's what I was thinking)

3. 5 minutes of swim time then we leave ( cause that's realistic right?)

I went and huddled in the five inches of shade sniffing at the bizarre stink eminating from the deck and peered at my children as they stripped like wild boys and hulred themselves into the water.

I don't know if it's because I was in the dark corner or what but my sons acted like there was no adult around and the results will entertain me the rest of my life.

Their conversation went something like this:

Youngest: It feels so good to be nude in the water.

Oldest: Did you try swimming nude, that feels even better!

Youngest: I just love naked time in the water.

Oldest: Wait. Wait. I have an idea. What if we try nude cannonballs?
Yep! Even better than naked swimming.

at this point middle child finally comes out of the bathroom to join them.

Youngest: Hurry! Join the naked party. You don't even have to cover your privates!

Oldest: We can only be naked for five minutes hurry! You have to try this.

Youngest: Doesn't it feel amazing?

Middle: Oh yeah, this is good. My penis feels great.

and so on, and so forth. You get the idea.

I realize it's awkward for you to read this, it's awkward for me to write it and it was awkward to listen to. I almost busted up with my stifled laughs but I didn't want to break the spell that had come over them with one of my loud guffaws.

I eventually made them get out and we hurried on our very hurried way to the 15 other things that needed to happen.

But seriously, my kids skinnydipping for five minutes at grandparents pool in the middle of the day was filled with sights and sounds I will not soon forget.

I don't know if this means I'm a terrible mom and don't give my kids enough freedom to feel this way more often. Maybe kids need more reckless abondon in their lives. Or at least more nude time.

Or maybe it means I'm awesome and they've learned to savor the moment and get all those bathroom words etc... out when they have the chance. They're keeping things appropriate.

Or maybe it was just a moment and I don't need to read into it.

How about you? Do your kids run around naked? Have you heard a similiar conversation?