Apr 27, 2011

Basket of Grapes Cake

On monday night, my kids school put on a Teacher Appreciation Dinner. They do this every year, and the dinner is prepared and served by parents. I always decorate two cakes (different flavors), but this year I did something different. I made one huge cake--three 8" round layers, combined with a sheet cake cut into thirds. I alternated layers of chocolate and spice cake. Then I assembled it all and decorated it to look like a basket of grapes.



I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I didn't account for the hugeness of the cake, and it was a little unstable when I went to move it (I've never made anything this big before). Plus, I used real grapes instead of making fondant grapes, and the juice mixed with the frosting a little too much, causing it to ooze a bit. But it held up, and I got it to the dinner in one piece. :)

Apr 19, 2011

Jingle Bells in April?

Yesterday, we woke up to a half inch of snow on the ground. Yeah, not exactly spring weather... It didn't help that I wasn't feeling all that great, because I kept waking up cold the night before.

So, I went downstairs to get breakfast for the kids, and Youngest ran to the window.

Youngest: It snowed! Look, Mommy!
Me: (not looking) Yeah, I noticed.
Youngest: (singing) Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way!
Me: No no no! No Jingle Bells, sweetie. Okay?
Youngest: (confused) But, Jingle Bells is a winter song.
Me: Exactly. It's not winter, it's spring.
Youngest: (looks outside, then looks back at me) But there's snow outside. How can it be spring if there's snow outside?

My thoughts exactly, kid. :) I'm filing a complaint with Mother Nature.

To make matters worse, Jingle Bells was stuck in my head all day long...

Apr 13, 2011

My Little Rule-Follower

Yesterday, Youngest had a friend over to play after school. These two are best buds, and they play really well together. They get really energized and run around all over the place, but hey, they're boys. It's what they do.

Over the years, we've made certain rules in the house because Youngest isn't the most coordinated child, and he sometimes gets hurt while trying to do something that's completely beyond his ability. So, we have your basic safety rules. Don't run on the stairs. Don't play in the kitchen. Don't jump off the top bunk bed. Don't play with Mommy's free weights. Etc. We've spent quite a bit of time drilling these rules into Youngest's head so he knows not to do these things.

Oldest doesn't have the same problem since he was born with good coordination, as does the boy who came over. The boy didn't go so far as jumping off the top bunk, but he's definitely coordinated enough to do other things. Youngest was having a great time, but as they were playing I kept hearing his little voice reminding the other boy of the rules. They'd be in the middle of something, and then Youngest would yell "No running on the stairs!" or "No playing with the weights!" or something. He'd never stop playing, he'd just yell out the rule. The other boy would listen and then move on to something else, so it was kind of like a dance. They'd play and play until Youngest steered them in a different direction by citing a rule, then they'd play and play again until another rule came up. It was so funny. And I was proud of him for remembering these rules even though he was so involved in playing with his friend.

Of course, the biggest rule-followers often turn into the biggest rule-breakers once they hit the teen years, so I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for that, starting now... :)

Apr 6, 2011

The Mayor of the United States

Yesterday, Mayor Daley came to my kids' school for a visit. This is a big deal, of course, and just before he left the whole school came outside to get a picture with him. I hoped to get a picture, but my phone chose that moment to freeze up. I had to pull out the battery and everything. By the time it was all fine and working, Mayor Daley had left. Oh well...

Anyway, when I picked up Youngest, he was very excited.

Youngest: Mommy! The mayor of the United States came to my school!
Me: (chuckling) There is no mayor of the whole country, sweetie. He's the mayor of Chicago.
Youngest: But that's the United States!
Me: Yes, but it's just a small part of the country.

Youngest leaned back in his chair and looked pensive for the next several minutes, like he was trying to work it all out. Poor kid, I think he thought he had met the president and I went and ruined it for him! :)