It’s been way to long since I have written a post. I have lots of excuses. I’ve been working too hard, I’ve been lazy, I’ve been working on my book. Take one and run with it. But My Blog Buddy at thedomesticfringe.com just keeps going and that’s inspiration for ya. Check her out if you like clothes, jewelry, kids, humor, faith and many other subjects. So here it is 2014 and already May.
Many of you may be thinking that there is no such thing as too many birthday cakes. Well, sometimes there is. In the last two weeks we have had three birthday cakes, mostly eaten, and have two more on the planning board.
My daughters like to make cakes, so when one person has a birthday there are generally several cakes in the house. April is a busy month though so we have had cakes around until I am sick of seeing them. And that’s a big thing for me. This past weekend, we had my youngest red-head’s birthday. She turned 8, and wanted to copy her sister and have a Harry Potter themed Sleepover. I dutifully printed out Butter-beer labels, collected twigs for a wand making activity and bought crafty things to do, ’cause you don’t ever want to leave a bunch of 8 year old girls get bored, it’s just not a pretty sight. By 5.30 PM on Saturday we were as ready as ever. Snacks were assembled and the cake that my oldest had made was in the fridge (it’s a beach cake). I even curbed my desired to clean and let the major vacuuming go until the next day when I knew we would be wading in tissue paper and crumbs. Four 8-year-olds and two 11-year-olds in one house makes for a lot of noise. Corralling them is not n easy task either, kind of like herding cats. We all checked out the Butter-beer (root bear with labels) the chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts Beans. As for the activities, well the kids took some wooden dowels instead of my carefully collected twigs, and painted them, as well as some white tee shirts which I had gotten for the party.
Because tee shirts can only take so much glitter and paint they decided to become pixie fairy’s and used up several bottles of glitter. Some is still in my daughter’s hair.
Several hours and two uneaten pizzas later, we had cake, and cupcakes for the ‘eggless’ kids (There were two). After unwrapping presents and making more noise, they finally settled down to watch Frozen as my two friends and I collapsed on the couch. As it turned out only one party guest spent the night, and the morning after was calm and relaxing.
Next we will be celebrating my father’s birthday, which was last week. I don’t think there will be as much shrieking at that event. Well, probably not.
It’s been a pretty good January. I’ve not been working for most of it. Actually, I should say not working for a salary. I did a lot of work. In fact, most days I was exhausted after cleaning and cooking and shopping for dinners. However, it was satisfying and relaxing at the same time. My creative bug has gone to ground again though unfortunately. I am hoping it comes out of hibernation very soon though. I think it just might. Now I am back at work. Full time, the last few weeks I had a day here and there while learning the new role. It’s vastly different from the large corporate office building I am used to. (Yes, the large and leaky one) This is a small old house converted into a business and its about 10 minutes from home. I think that’s the best part. Part of me still toys with the idea of taking classes. I have some very nice ideas for the future in mind. But right now I just need to pay the bills. It’s much nicer paying the bills by working 10 minutes from home than an hour. I still will have to get used to the small business. It allows me to concentrate on my two red-headed menaces. One of which is throwing the whole family into chaos right now with her issues. But then that’s another story. So for now my friends in blog world, I am going to try to write more posts, and maybe encourage the creative bug back out of its hole where it has been for far too long.
I am undisputedly a cat person. That’s not to say I don’t love a lot of other animals. I just love my cat, and all my previous cats the most. I grew up with a dog, many cats, a rabbit, and a mouse, not all at the same time though. As an adult I adopted two cats who have sadly passed out of my life and a silly German Shepard for a few years. Now our family of 3 is matched by two guinea pigs and a cat. I would love a dog at some point when I don’t have small children, so maybe in 10 years. Cats, though, make a lot of people uncomfortable because of their superior attitude and independence. They generally don’t rush up to you at the door, follow you around or look at you with adoring eyes. They come when they want to, rip your couch up and don’t need any help attending to their bathroom needs or bath, thank you very much. In all of my years and at least 15 cats though, it has become clear how often this is a misconception. Yes, there are definitely cats who are stereotypical and I respect them for that in fact I love a cat’s sense of independence. But the majority of my cats have been goofy, affectionate, and quite loud at times.
The cat that now shares our living space is interestingly loveable. We adopted her from the local shelter about 2 years ago as a kitten. She’s a half Maine Coon, which is a large breed, sometimes reaching into the 20 plus pound size. She is positively diminutive at 13 pounds. I would have to say I have never had such a happy cat. She purrs constantly, only while she purrs she likes to bite and play, very roughly. She sleeps on my bed at night, and while not a lap cat, loves to be brushed and petted, until she starts acting like my hand is a rabbit. She loves playing hide and seek and tag as well. With two young children, she might be considered a risky pet to have, but she is incredibly patient with my little one,who has gone from being able to scoop up the tiny kitten that she first was to barely being able to stagger down the hall with poor Oreo the cat. Needless to say my fears were unfounded . Oreo seems to know who to be gentle with and generally submits to adorations that would infuriate the mildest or personalities. Cats always do seem to have a special sense for sickness as well. I know that my daughters would be thrilled to have more cats, and so would I, if space were not at a premium. Mostly I think our cat would not allow another one in the house. I know we will have many more feline companions pass through our lives, but I hope to be a one cat family for a while. No more guinea pigs either…..
Despite my 6-year-old daughters belief that Saturday would never come, it did. And then passed. But while it was there it was fun and tiring. Mostly tiring for me. As I had indicated in a previous post, the whole week was filled with pre-birthday activities. The preparations for the party went swimmingly, despite not being completely sure who was coming since half of the invites never RSVP’ed either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. After a full day friday, we got the little one to bed and my older daughter and I started on the cake. The cake, it was a project. After becoming addicted to the show “Cake Boss” this past summer, my daughters both insisted on a cake with fondant. Hence at 10 o’clock at night we were taking cake pans and cupcake tins out of the oven to cool overnight. All I can say is thank goodness the party wasn’t at my house because I didn’t have an inch of counter left in the kitchen, and you can imagine what the rest of the house looked like. After the cakes, we wrapped up some presents and both fell into bed. The next morning was bright and sunny, absolutely amazing after the weather reports had been predicting rain with mournful certainty all week. Dealing with an extremely excited 6-year-old is always exhausting. Dealing with MY over excited and normally hyper six-year-old was a feat. That’s an understatement. At least we were able to get her to watch a movie while wrestling with fondant. It really wasn’t so bad for the first time. The cake was colorful, I’ll say that. a little cartoonish if you ask me, but then I wasn’t choosing the design. It was sort of like 3 presents stacked on top of each other with different colors and then a few garish looking flowers and bows that my 9-year-old bestowed on the cake like some over zealous fairy godmother. Needless to say my birthday girl LOVED it. After that was done, we whipped ourselves to the church hall, where we feverishly put up decorations (this being at 12.30 with only a cup of tea in me) After this we raced back home, I threw some food on a plate for the kids, and breathed a sigh of relief. Now all we had to do was have the party and hope there were enough goodie bags. A few nervous moments ensued as only a few children arrived at 2, but then the rest gradually made an entrance. As is usual with children’s parties, they do tend to do what they want as opposed to what’s been planned. For them it was running around the back lawn and crawling up the treehouse like little monkeys. I shepherded the kids back inside for the ‘activity’, cupcake decorating. They were to make a cute little cupcake with the icing and sprinkles and fun things I provided and then take the cupcake home in the little sparkly take out containers. Most of them ate the cupcake. I am sure I could have done the same, they looked pretty good and gooey. Once that was done, the kids ran back outside again and my parents and I got ready to bring out the cake. Presents followed this timeless tradition as the kids dove into the fondant. By this time parents started showing up to collect their children. After successfully remembering to give them a goodie bag (for the most part) I breathed a sigh of relief as we started to clean up, with the help of one of my friends, whose daughters thankfully stayed until evening and kept my kids out of my very tired and probably sugar covered hair. However, the party was deemed a success by my daughter, and that was all that mattered. Her favorite gift seems to be one of the cards, which is a picture of a hamburger that sings a happy birthday song and a large doll I had gotten her. She solemnly thanked me for giving her a ‘new friend’ and spent most of Sunday playing the card so many times I am surprised it is still working. All in all it was quite an experience, and more than once I asked my self if it would have been easier just to have the party at some skating rink, or even pick up a cake at the store instead of making it so complicated. But I wouldn’t have traded seeing the happiness on my daughters face or hear all her little friends giggling while they spooned icing into their mouths instead of on the cupcakes. Looking back, I realize that I don’t remember the times I was angry or grumpy at my parents as a kid, or when they were in a tired or bad mood. I remember the fun times and the family gatherings. That’s what I want to give to my daughter too.