I may have failed to mention that it was my birthday yesterday. Happy day to me! The kids gave me a cold.
I actually started to feel sick this weekend. Enough that I canceled my usual Monday morning volunteer gig. Harper was with Matt's mom for the afternoon (visiting Matt's grandma, who also celebrated a birthday yesterday) and I had grand plans of napping while Michael napped. I ended up dozily watching television (I have a serious addiction to our DVR) between happy birthday phone calls. With the phone, email, Facebook, and even the USPS I had lots of birthday messages yesterday and I have to say it is really nice when your birthday reminds you that you have a large network of wonderful friends and family.
Matt and the kids gave me an iPod Classic for my birthday - which is a generous and awesome gift. Seriously, spoiled much?
You may remember that I got an iPod Nano a few years ago, but it was only 4GB which seemed fine at the time - I was so happy to have it and it has served me well - but has been making me sad because, according to iTunes, my music collection hovers above 30GB. Even when I spent hours trying to choose only my absolute favorite songs I would have to randomly cut out more than half to them to make a set that fit on that first iPod. NOW I can gleefully carry all my music, probably add a digital file of UP, get audio books from the library, AND subscribe to my favorite NPR podcasts and have room for all of it. Yippee!!!
I am a very happy camper. I can even forgive the kids the side of sinus pressure/cough/throat full of razors that came with it.
And now - the cake drama.
First of all, let's review that I make the kids' cakes because I can't buy them from a bakery due to nut allergies. I mean, I do kind of like the idea of making them cakes from scratch, (Which, this year, required the use of egg whites for the love of Pete!) but my decorating skills rarely live up to my vision and I find myself thankful that the kids aren't too picky.
This year Harper wanted a cake with a yellow layer, a pink layer, and blue frosting. I was so thrilled that she didn't want me to make a cake in the shape of anything! So I whipped up a batch of cake batter and poured it into my very thoroughly greased and floured cake pans and the yellow layer came out nicely and then pink layer came out in about five pieces.
And then I cried in the middle of the kitchen.
And then I sent Matt for more eggs.
And then I started again.
I made two more pink layers and NEITHER of them came out cleanly. And I'd had a seasoned baker (i.e. not me) do the greasing and flouring. My conclusion is that my cake pans are lousy. One out of four is not an acceptable ratio of successful cakes, you know?
Anyway - the second and third pink layers were intact enough that we just decided to try to work with them. Many baking sins can be covered with copious amounts of frosting. Here is Uncle Joe assembling the pieces of the top layer, note that part of the layer is on the cake and part is still in his hands:
We ended up including both of the pink layers from the second batch, making a HUGE cake. It took nearly four batches of frosting to cover that thing. And then, per Harper's request, we added some princess sprinkles. Here is the final product after the candles has been extinguished:
And a shot of one of the cake slices on a party plate:
And a cake cross-section:
In the end, it was fine, but this is not the first birthday where I've had to do the cake over. I find re-baking to be a discouraging experience. And I would like for the cake to be better than fine. Oh well. As long as the children want birthday cake I will keep trying. I have until March to come up with my next cake plan.