Saturday, July 31, 2010


We celebrated Thing 2's 7th birthday. It's killing me how fast my babies are growing up. I see them walking around and am floored at their long lankiness... They're almost as tall as I am. When I'm on my knees.

In Utah Thing 2's birthday falls on a state holiday. There is a parade, and fireworks. Since my brother's office window overlooks the parade route, instead of camping out the night before, or even racing down early to squat a place from which to see the parade, we just pull into his parking lot in a leisurely fashion 20 minutes after the parade starts, call him to buzz us up, and then go join him and his family (and my folks) to sit in air conditioned comfort on the large window ledge of his 2nd floor office. We look out over the heads of the people who have been camped there since last night, and watch the parade turn right in front of us. There are Banbury Cross donuts (thank you, Hubby!) cold milk, bathrooms, and a coke machine right down the hall. What more could you want? So we started Thing 2's birthday by going to the parade.

Thing 2 said she wanted Tortellini for her birthday meal. So after the parade we met back at our house for an italian inspired lunch. It was very nice.

There was more stress than normal for me leading up to her birthday because I had spent the two previous days swapping two rooms in our house. There are a couple of reasons for doing this, one is that I want to put a murphy bed in the larger of the two rooms, and can't do it the way it is now. By swapping the rooms I will gain a guest room of sorts and give the girls more room to play with their toys. The larger room that used to be the TV room has now become the toy room, and that's where the murphy bed will go. The smaller room used to be the kids' toy room, where the most of their toys were kept and where they had to play with them. The problem was that once the walls were lined with a couple shelves of toys, the play kitchen, a couple of doll strollers (because you can't get rid of the single stroller just because you get a double!), and an easel, there was no where to play. They often overflowed into what WAS the TV room. I finally figured this out, and swapped the rooms. My motivation for doing it THE DAYS before the birthday party was that as part of the room swap we will be trading out our old 347 pound tube television, and the huge wardrobe-like shelf that it sits in, for a sleek new flat screen TV, and a low profile slim TV cabinet for it to sit on. The previous weekend it worked out that we went to Costco and bought the new TV. In order to get the TV box out of my kitchen for the birthday party I had to give it somewhere to go, which meant I had to buy the cabinet (found a solid wood one I liked on the cheap that wasn't from IKEA but I did have to assemble it myself) and get everything put together before I had the party. Did I also mention that instead of hiring the fabulous independent baker lady that I usually have make our birthday cakes, I'd decided to do it myself?

By 10:30 pm the night before the party I had baked the cake, and pretty much moved the two rooms (except for the behemoth old TV and cabinet, which are much too heavy for one person to move and are still sitting in what is now the toy room where the murphy bed will go someday), but the new TV was still sitting in its box in my breakfast nook and I hadn't assembled the TV cabinet. I opened the box, pulled out the instructions, looked over the dozens of pieces of wood in the box... and immediately gave up on that. Which is not like me, I like assembling that sort of thing. But No Way was I going to get that put together... I still had to create a dolphin out of cake before I could go to bed. And not just a picture of a dolphin painted on the cake with frosting, she had requested the dolphin be MADE out of the cake. I was tired, frustrated, and quite overwhelmed.

About an hour later, pushing midnight, as I was putting the finishing touches on the cake, Hubby came home from a week in ... Oh, who knows where. And in true White Knight fashion, he set to assembling the TV cabinet while I cleaned up the kitchen and pulled the TV out of the box. By about 3:00 a.m. I was exhausted, the cabinet was assembled, the TV was up, and the new Blue Ray player was connected. I went to bed. Hubby stayed up and connected the Wii.
Here is the finished cake. Remember I started with a plain ol' 9x13 cake. It wasn't quite how I envisioned it, but I was running out of room on the back of the cookie sheet that I had put it on, so the water part is one piece of cake kind of angled up on the other, so the one end is higher than the rest. I thought it worked pretty well.

So the fact that we made it to the parade only 20 minutes late, and Thing 2's birthday was a great success, was kind of surprising given how little sleep Hubby and I had had the night before. But everything came together. Thing 2 LOVED the cake, and was more thrilled than words can say that she got the thing she most wanted, a Pillow Pet... even if it was the horse, which last week she had crossed off the list of desirable Pillow Pets she'd given me two weeks before.

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