Baking a Birthday Cake

I read the back of the box of the cake mix. Awww, crap! I don’t have a mixer. So I climbed back up the step stool so I could see the top shelf, where I stash all of the stuff I intend to bake but barely get to, and grab a different cake mix. Oh, good. This one says beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or 450 strokes by hand. Guess I will have to do it the hard way. I stirred, and stirred some more… I counted until about 150 and gave up on the counting. I really wish I had a mixer.

I counted aloud to the kids. I did a little dance as I stirred. I thought about all the arm muscles I was working out.  Bradley was racing cars across the kitchen floor. Elsie was trying to eat one. Mallie was tugging on my skirt. “O.kay, kids. Mommy needs to concentrate and read the directions,” I say to them and continue reading the back of the cake box aloud. I have my doubts. I’m making two cakes just in case. I have my anxiety. I will feel horrible if there is no cake to eat. I really hope it turns out.

Why do I have this job anyway? Do you not know my credentials or cooking/baking background?

But I do like the idea of baking for the kids and that motherly kind of stuff. I’m just not good at the food part of it. I’m excellent at the making a mess part of it. I can do science experiments and arts and crafts, but for me to make pancakes can be a challenge. I can’t flip them. More ends up on the spatula. They are burnt on one side and barely browned on the other. They can be soggy in the middle. I try to blame it on the pans. I try to blame it on the electric stove because I rather have a gas one. But it is all the same. I’m just not a cookie baking mom. I’m a cereal mom. (Even though I can make some good jell-o and a mean meatloaf).

I called my mom, “Hey, I’m making Cedrik’s birthday cake.”

She immediately interrupts me, “Oh, by yourself?”

“Yes,” I say, trying not to laugh. See, even my own mother knows. She had to throw a cookie sheet away once because no matter how much scrubbing or scraping my Snickerdoodles were stuck like glue to the cookie sheet.

“Why didn’t you have Hannah (my 13 year old niece) help you?”

“I didn’t think of that,” I say.  “Well, it doesn’t matter because I made the first one, but I forgot the oil. Will it still turn out? I was making the second cake and after putting the oil in that one, I realized I didn’t do it for the first one,” I whined. “I’m making two, just in case one doesn’t turn out.”

“Well, I’m not sure,” mom says. “It might be kind of dry.”

“As long as it’s edible,” I say hopefully.

The house filled with a delicious smell, which usually only happens when I light a candle. I watched the clock so I wouldn’t burn them.

I pulled them out of the oven. They looked pretty. They didn’t collapse. AND they tasted good. Nobody complained, anyway.

Phew! Success!

I just need to practice more. 🙂


Domestic Bliss and Green Cookies

This is part two of my St. Patrick’s day post. It was a busy day yesterday.

I have been really getting into a spring cleaning mode…and trying to reorganize every room. So I had my sister came over to help me move a few things. As she was leaving she said, “I never pictured you being so domestic. Look at you; cooking real food, making cookies, tons of babies all around you, organizing and cleaning house.” I chuckle and said the only thing I could say, “I know.”

But don’t worry, I’m still the wild child in my own sort of way, only with kids now. We like to play fetch with potatoes, paint with our toes, and keep worms as pets. I have also been restraining myself…I really want some hot pink hair for some reason. Maybe just some hot pink highlights.

Funny how things change. I used to look forward to going out on the weekends. But now on Saturday nights I look forward to watching Saturday Night Live, and usually hoping I am able to stay up that late.  

Yesterday I really enjoyed puttering around the house in bare feet. The temperature got into the 60’s. I had the doors open, shook out the winter dirt from the rugs, and was really enjoying my domestic bliss as the kiddies were all napping. The cool spring air floated in through the front door and I could hear the birds chirping. The smell of corn beef and cabbage permeated the entire house. It was a perfect day.

Besides moving and getting all kinds of spring cleaning done, we made green cookies. I did cheat and buy the sugar cookie dough that came in the roll, I’m not THAT domestic yet 😉 And the only reason we had green frosting is because I stood on the counter and looked in the way very back of my baking shelf and found Christmas frosting that we never used, along with a box of red and green confetti cupcakes.

Bradley is excellent at decorating the cookies. And Collin…well, he just likes to play and make a mess in the sink. He was really cheesing it for the camera 🙂

The boys had Iron Man tattoos. They had to put them on their arms so they could be just like Daddy.

Bradley makes YUMMY cookies!

We also had Grandma Chris and Grandpa John over for corn beef and cabbage. Collin was entertaining as usual. He wore his bowl of supper on his head and made chomping noises in the air. And you should hear my boys  giggle, they are hilarious.

We also saw Clifford at the book fair and made some fun crafts. Stay tuned for part three and Bradley’s goofy video…coming soon 🙂


p.s. I am embracing this stay at home mom business, in my own sort of way. My house is not perfect by far…but I make sure I have fun with the kids. But I mentioned to Brad that I needed a good floor wax for the hardwood floors. When Brad and Bradley went to the store they brought me back a “surprise.” Yayyy! floor polish. Bradley asked me when I was going to use my “surprise.” I told him it would be a surprise. That gave Brad a good laugh. 🙂 I’ll get to it, after we build the fort on the front porch.