Make a Birthday Special

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Collin just turned four. I wanted to make his birthday memorable. I wanted to make his day special. I planned on getting up early and making him pancakes and putting a candle in it. I wanted to blow up balloons and have a little party for breakfast. I wanted to surprise him with a smiley face and his name on the bathroom mirror. I found all kinds of wonderful ideas on this blog post from The House of Hendrix.

Well, sometimes I can be a slacker mom, but with good intentions. Needless to say, I didn’t make pancakes or do any of the ideas above (even though they are super easy, check out the link above). I am not a morning person and the chaos with four kids in the morning is enough to feel as if I have lived a whole day just with our morning routine (or trying to get a morning routine since school just started). But I did manage to pull something out of my sleeve at the last minute.

I had everybody at the table with their Cheerios like a normal morning. I was in the kitchen trying to wake up and feeling a little bummed because I didn’t get up early enough to make pancakes (and wondering if you can make pancakes the night before and just put them in the microwave?).

Then I remembered the doughnuts the kids didn’t finish that my dad brought over two days ago. I reached into the back of the fridge for the chocolate doughnuts that I had been hiding and kind of forgot all about. They might be a little stale, but totally edible. I counted what was left in the bag. Phew, just enough. Eight would be enough for the kids to each have two.

I rummaged through the back of the drawers and finally found four oddball candles. Good enough.

I set the doughnuts on a plate and poked the candles into the doughnuts. I lit the candles and walked into the dining room. All of the kids were surprised and happily left the remainder of their Cheerios for doughnuts. We sang him Happy Birthday. Oh, the look on his face.

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I might be a slacker mom, the doughnuts might have been a teeny tiny bit stale, but it was still a special and memorable birthday, even at the last minute. Mission accomplished. (And I think I will try to be a better planner next time. Bradley’s up next.)

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How do you make birthdays special?

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My Baby Turns 3

I can’t believe my little Collin just turned 3!

I think back to when I had him and how much he has changed. It’s amazing how they grow so fast. I want to catch every little memory and keep it, like collecting butterflies in a jar. But since I can’t, I will settle for pictures and writing the little things down. 

Happy 3rd Birthday, my crazy little Collin!

xxx

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. 🙂

xxx