Saturday, May 27, 2006

My House is a Wreck, But the Silence is Flawless

Jay is swimming with Ben. Avery is soundly sleeping in her rootbeer sodden dress. And I am finally blogging. We have Jay's 14 year old brother staying with us for a few weeks and now computer time is shared between 3 computer-aholics. I also have to be very careful what I write about the said younger brother because in the 3 and a half days he's been here, he has "quoted" me 3 times from my blog. Like when I hauled him into the master bathroom to make him watch the kids while they bathed (ie, free childcare in a contained space) and he said, "Oh yeah, I see what you mean by a terrifically large and almost completely useless master bathroom." I sort of stopped cold. It's very odd hearing yourself quoted like that. I'm gonna try and not talk too much about him. My spouse, children, and random impression-leaving people are fair game, but he didn't ask to be blog fodder, so I won't force him to be. Plus I overheard him say to Jay, "So now that I'm coming to stay with you for a few weeks, Angela's probably gonna blog about me now." Sam, if you're reading this, go get me a Slurpy at 7-Eleven and never you mind what I write about you in my blog.

I have 5 gazillion things I'd like to blather on about, but I'm going to try and control myself. We had a family party in Missouri for Benjamin. One of my friends made Ben's cake. It was amazing. It was a crime to cut into it.

If I were completely internet/picture-posting saavy, combined with verbally succinct, I could post the picture of the "cake" I made for Ben's Texas party today that we had with a couple of friends and two of Jay's cousins here. It would just be so much more amusing to see them side by side. But alas, I'm none of the above so you have to wait a minute to see it.

We have some cute footage here of the 3-year-old showing off his new skill of holding up three fingers (I'm impressed because I was 23 before I mastered that skill). That combined with, "I'm free at last" made for some great party entertainment. I wish I had some pictures of my adorable 4 year old nephew asking me with wide eyes of delight and anticipation, "Is THAT a PINATA". When I told him it was he asked if he could please be the first to hit it. I said yes because that's what you do when you still haven't found a way to hang the pinata and your 1 year old is dumping out the pineapple plate and your birthday boy is peeing down the slide, and you're so hot and sweaty and...

I'm quite certain that Avery still thinks my brother is her dad, which is okay for now but could present some social problems if the misperception continues into adulthood. Avery spent most of her time getting people to hold her or chasing various cats and dogs and screeching with delight. She said her first REAL word. I'm calling it real because she uses it in the right context, she'll repeat it, and we all understood it. It is "Cuatica" for Nautica, my brother's gigantic Siberian Husky. I totally could have made that breed name up, but it sounds good, right?

I adore this picture of Avery with Grandpa and a box of raisins.

About today's party. I just couldn't get my act together enough to even remotely plan or prepare for Ben's party. I was really excited about it because it was at a really cool spray/water park in a nearby town---but just the logistics of it all were overwhelming me. Going to Wal-mart at 10 PM to find "anything train" to put on cupcakes is your first clue. When I walked away from the cake department with 8 Spongebob toppers, I knew we were in for a long night.
Finally after looking for ANYTHING train to no avail my friend Amy thought of just doing a giant cookie and putting a little train and tracks on there. Brilliant. So we got a little train toy, a gigantic tube of cookie dough, and headed home. That should be simple, right?

Here's the interesting part of the story. I have icing dye, I have decorating tips, I have black icing in a tube---if you looked in my cupboard, you would think "Now there's a girl who knows how to decorate." Even just a simple, "Happy Birthday Ben" and not much more. You would think that. You would be sorely mistaken. I burned the first cookie. Jay, bless his heart, jumped in the car and got me another one in record time. I did not burn the second one. But by the time it was time to walk out the door, it was not cooled, nor decorated. No problem. I watched my friend Amy effortlessly decorate a gigantic cookie with cute little pink and green "flower" dots with pastel M&M centers. I can write a few measly words and some black lines. Please.

What actually happened was a full on war with a sandwich bag and red frosting. It was all over me, and nowhere it should have been on the cake. After poorly gauging the spacing on the cookie (hereafter to be referred to as the artistic attempt from hell cake), I had to settle for just writing "happy birthday" and not include Ben. What does he care, he's only Free, and won't notice. I step back from my work and groan at random splotches of red icing. I had already conceded that the lettering didn't have to look good, but random splotches, come on now---even Ben's gotta know that ain't right. Jay is standing nearby and either out of kindness and sympathy, or a desperate attempt to salvage any decency, offered to do the train tracks on the cake. I happily surrendered the decorating tools. I walked off muttering to myself about, "just because you have the tools, doesn't make you a craftsman."

I was applying mascara when I heard Jay blurt out something like, "Oh geez!" I didn't care. I can control my mascara brush, I can't control anything else. I finish my makeup (yes, I did say that the cake decorating commenced AFTER it was time to go, so what if I went and put on makeup AFTER that...) and walk back into the kitchen where Jay appears to have hit a bump in the road. Or the tracks. And he is in a bit of a skirmish with a blob of black icing, a butter knife, and his own body's manueverability. If I have laughed that hard ever, I don't know when. Okay, I know when, but I started laughing SO HARD. And I seriously can't stop. This was 4.5 hours ago and I have burst out laughing about 14 times since then. Not just Jay fighting with the cake, but the finished product was just ridiculous.

What's really funny to me though, is in all of my decorating ineptness, I have these incredibly talented friends. It was Amy's idea to put a train on the cake---so we had a topper train on hand.
I mentioned it to Jay and he immediately dropped the butter knife and let out a heavy sigh of relief. Not that a cute toy train was going to stop THIS train wreck, but whatever, we do what we can. I plunked the cute little train on top and we walked out the door.

I was still laughing when we arrived at the park and of course had to explain why. Jay's cousin said, "It looks cute, it's a little weird that the train is stuck in tar, but the rest is cute" That too keeps making me burst out laughing at random times. When Amy, who had conceived of the idea, showed up, she burst out laughing. I'm sure what she had in mind and what we produced were two very, very different things.


Code Yellow said...

Oh, Angela.

I don't think I can stop laughing to comment.

And a three-year-old. Time flies. My kids get older, but other people's kids are only s'posed to grow when I see them.

The Avery - raisin picture is precious.

tara said...

Angela... I throughly enjoy your blog... as well as 'code yellow moms's' I am also a red headed mother of 2 who lives in Texas... thanks for the good laughs!

Angela said...

Tara--Thanks for stopping by! I love that you are a redheaded mother of two in Texas---I'll never feel alone again! :)

Mel said...

That is really very funny!

Dawn B said...

I feel like I need to make up a new name in order to comment... Wingless Angel, Mama Without a Cause.... Anyway, I wasn't going to comment, it reall isnt' very nice to make fun of your lack of skills. HOwever, I don't want to be phone shunned.. So my comment is this.....goodness, that was the saddest display of cakemanship I Have ever seen!! I bet you could have conned the girl at WalMart to write on it for you.....

rebecca said...

I think true mommy love is the twice burnt cookie cake (didn't realize you could burn one of those..ha ha..)thrown together with much love at the last moment.. I think I would of coped out and done nothing... anyone can throw together a Martha Stewart type train.. okay so not really.. but it made me pee my pants reading it!! :)

GS said...

Just read the train-in tar blog. TOO FUNNY! The whole I'm-a-man-and-all-I-need-is-a-tool-and-a-woman-in-distress thing really gave me a chuckle. A real zippity-doo-dah laff!

Anonymous said...

The party in Missouri was wonderful and I'm sure the cookie cake tasted great no matter how it looked. It's just fun to get together with friends and enjoy yourself. By the way, my cakes need help too, but not that much.