Friday, June 27, 2008

The Stethoscope Cake... a.k.a. The Big Blue Blob With Someone Standing Next to it Cake

Her eyes looked fine to me.

Non-injuries aside, she loved the cake. Or she's missed her calling and needs to ditch the stethoscope for Hollywood. She just kept pointing at the sugar model of her husband and laughing and saying it was too perfect and looked just like him. I try. I really, really try.

She had me take the cake to her husband's office for her, since it wouldn't fit in her car! She wanted his staff to put it where he wouldn't find it, so she could surprise him. He was supposed to get to the office in the afternoon... but he got there early. He was standing behind the receptionist at the window when I walked up. So I (with my lightning quick wit and reflexes of a cat) jumped away from the window and pretended to be fascinated by the Ellen show credits on the TV in the corner until he walked away. Then I slyly approached the window and quietly (since he returned to the window just after I did; good Lord, will this man go check somebody's something???) tried to tell the receptionist why I was there and allay her fears that I was an insane stalker.

I brought the cake in, and staff and the other doctors at the practice came to look. They all said it was really cute. I heard many times, "It looks *just* like him."

Although I'm pretty certain they aren't issuing sequined scrubs at the hospital.

Got a little carried away with the glitter. Wouldn't you know that stinkin' camera would choose today to let them shine.

This cake was, from the beginning, a disaster. It quite honestly looks nothing like a stethoscope. I had to cut parts of it away (those parts are even now mocking me from the fridge) and reshape it. The fondant is blue because the dark brown (which was trying very hard to be black) fondant was being ugly to me and wouldn't stretch. Which means I kneaded and rolled and kneaded and rolled... only to have the fondant tear once I put it on. Last night I was ready to throw the whole thing in the trash and call HEB to make me a sheet cake. I was literally about to pass out or throw up or throw up and then pass out. So next time I won't drink while I decorate. But I kid.

It was a vanilla cake (very moist, very light) with strawberry filling and buttercream icing. There is that dark brown (chocolate) fondant under the blue. Without the chocolate, it tasted very similar to strawberry shortcake. I've never known chocolate to spoil a good dessert... so I'm sure it added to the deliciousness. The "Happy Birthday" banner is white chocolate.

The good news is: she was happy with it... and it's over.

I will never bake again.

Or at least not today.

Excuse me now, while I use cake to calm my agitated nerves.


My pediatrician's husband, who's a cardiologist, is having a birthday tomorrow. At an office visit last week, I took my cake photo book with me, just to show her what I've been up to... she was afraid I'd be bored when I decided to quit my job last year.

Anyway, she loved the pictures, and asked me to do a cake for her husband.

She wanted a heart cake (a real model, not just the traditional love heart!) but decided against that since it would probably be unappetizing.

I told her I'd sculpt her husband out of sugar, and set him on a cake. She seemed excited about that, and mentioned a stethoscope.

I seriously misunderstood her, because she called Wednesday to see how everything was coming along. I told her my idea, of having her husband standing next to a hospital bed made of cake, "talking" to a patient. She said, "Oh."


"I thought it was going to be a stethoscope."

Major arrhythmia here.

So, long story short, I made a stethoscope out of cake.

I have to go deliver it now, but I'll be back in a while to post pictures.

In the meantime, pray that she develops some sort of (temporary) eye problem that makes her see a really beautiful cake that actually looks something like she imagined!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cra-zazy week... take two

Okay... so here I go again with the posting of two-week-old events.

Hubs and Christian drove home from Quantico, together. It took them about five days... but two were spent in Nashville with my mom. They got home Thursday, and my mom flew in Friday. Our annual (summertime) family reunion was being held Saturday, in a little town near College Station. So, after four days of driving, hubs and Christian had to hop back in a car, and drive three hours to the family reunion, three hours home, and the next day two hours to Houston to take my mom to the airport. And back home. Hubs spent (and told many, many, *MANY* people) 40 hours on the road that week.

While they were driving, I was baking. My extended family has only seen pictures of the cakes I've made... and needed proof that I was really capable of them! Oh, I kid. Kind of. Anyway, I made another swimming pool (since it's a summertime reunion, and when I was little it was never without a swim in the Texas-shaped swimming pool)

and a birthday cake for my Great Aunt MJ. She turned 91 a couple months ago. She's my grandmother's sister, and the last of 9 siblings. Her husband died around her birthday, so she's been down. I wanted to make something special, just to honor her.

And now, for the photographic extravaganza you've all both been waiting for:

MJ, the birthday girl! I've always thought she was beautiful, and still do! This woman is *NEVER* without lipstick and jewelry, ya'll. I could stand to read a page from her book. ;)

The Extended Fam looking at a family tree diagram. That thing was amazing! I think someone's going to try to update it. It's my grandmother's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and I think great-great-grandparents. It stops with my grandmother's generation.

More of the looking at the pictures and what-not.

After much merriment and excitement, hubs Cullen needed a nap... and so fell asleep during family discussion (known by the elder members of the group as tattle-taling!) time. It was fun to hear about all their shenanigans when they were young!

Two hams, mugging for the camera. And Mimi is only too happy to oblige!

Cullen, post-nap, ready to do some damage.

I would be remiss if I didn't post pictures of the cakes... since that is why I started the whole blogging thing.

I believe I've mentioned one or four times how much I despise my camera! This cake was very elegant, and you know an elegant cake has to be radioactive with edible glitter. Which my camera does not capture. But it sparkled, ya'll.

And, no, I was *not* going to attempt a Texas-shaped swimming pool. My mom snarkily no, snarkily is right, thought I should.

On the (LONG) way home, hubs found a historical marker that honored one of his ancestors... so we got some pics of him and Christian in front of it. He was one of the first botanists/scientists in Texas. And one of the first M.D.'s to try to use herbal remedies. Ancestor. Not hubs.

Just for fun, I thought I'd post a picture of a sign I saw on the way home. It was next door to a store we used for a little leg-stretching.

Only in Texas. Ya'll.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our cra-zazy last two weeks, part one

I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Our lives have been jam-slam-packed with waaaaaay too much. I'm just now looking at all the pictures, and finding time to write about everything. I will attempt to break it down into manageable pieces.

Or not. Be forewarned: there will be LOTS of pictures and mindless ramblings. But you get what you pay for.

First, let me start by saying everything I'm about to post is at least a week old; most of it more than that. So when I say, "Tuesday," I mean two weeks ago... and so on and so forth.

Tuesday, Christian graduated from kindergarten... here she is in the sweltering school cafeteria... with 500 other people all generating too much heat.

You'd think someone would have turned the AC on a couple hours before it all started. But no. So there I was in a cute little dress (little being figurative/relative... whatever) sweating like a pig. But boy did I look cute. Unfortunately, I don't have photographic proof of this.

Wednesday we got up (extra early!) to drive to Houston, and then fly to Washington, D.C. Cullen was pretty good in the car (two 1/2 hours) and in the airport (one hour) but somewhere in the middle of the flight (three hours) his patience wore out. He actually fell asleep in his car seat during the first part of the flight (Hallelujah!)

but got pretty angry about being confined for six straight hours and threw a fit (albeit a small one) on the plane. My mil tried to entertain him for a while (the woman has the patience of Job, I tell you, she does!), but he saw me get up to go to the bathroom, and he went off again. He ended up falling asleep in my arms, and slept through the landing. The guy next to me was a pilot, and asked me to let him by because he was a jerk in a hurry. Cullen woke up as we jostled him around playing musical chairs, started crying, and the guy just stood there, since 75 other people were ahead of him, waiting to de-plane. Nice. Clearly he didn't celebrate Father's Day last Sunday. Anyway...

Thursday there was a luncheon for all the graduates and their families. Do not adjust your monitor. Persons in picture appear larger than actual size... or not.

I found out why hubs complained about the food. However, I do not think he has room to complain about his accomodations. This is what he saw looking out from his room each night:

Thursday night there was a dance for the graduates and their wives. They all jokingly referred to it as "The Prom." It was pretty lame, too. Again, no photographic evidence of how cute I looked.

Friday was the graduation. He looked so handsome in his new suit.

He introduced us to a couple of his favorite instructors. They had really great things to say about him... that he enriched the class, had a lot of interesting points, worked really hard, blah, blah, blahtedy-blah... I was so proud. Here's the pic I got of him during graduation:

I know. I'm an awesome photographer. Please don't bombard me with requests to photograph your special event; I am just way too busy.

After graduation, we packed up all of hubs' stuff and moved him into the hotel with us. To clarify: he'd been staying in the hotel with us, but had been too lazy to pack up and move until the staff had stripped his bed and left his door open! He was literally THE LAST person left on his floor! The kids went back with mil to the hotel and took a nap, and hubs bought me a souvenir. Waaaaay out of character for him! But I love it!

And to those of you who know him as the Cheapest Man Alive, it's totally real. Woot!

He immediately slipped back into his normal personality and informed me this was the last bag I am allowed to buy. Ever. Clearly he's off his meds.

Friday afternoon we went to Mt. Vernon, and toured George Washington's house.

I know... I'm hot.

Must've been, like 243 degrees outside.

Okay... it wasn't that hot. 120, tops.
A really horrible overnight storm (during which the power went off in our hotel. good times.) had knocked out power to a large area, so there was no a/c. We went to the back porch overlooking the Potomac River to relax and cool off. Cullen and Christian played barefooted on George Washington's back lawn. I can't believe I just typed that. There was an old lady who was so enamored with Cullen, that she squatted for about fifteen minutes, following him around, getting closer and closer, trying to get his picture. I couldn't blame her... he really did look adorable.

Saturday we went to Fredericksburg, Virginia to tour the Chatham house, which is a pre-civil war mansion that both Washington and Lincoln stayed in. Then we went downtown for the best ice cream I've ever had. Completely ruined me. As if I needed the help.

After that, we headed to Baltimore. I went to Charm City Cakes, from Food Network's show, "Ace of Cakes." It was closed. Big sorrow, here. Doesn't matter. They don't allow visitors. We peeked in all the windows, saw some really, really cool cakes, and took some pictures outside. I know this picture is not dated last week... but hubs took pictures on a trip he took there, and all the pictures I have are not very flattering to me... so... you get this. Imagine me sitting right there! On the steps! Really!

We headed back to Virginia, and went to the Arlington National Cemetery. We got there just before closing, so were only able to visit JFK's grave and the eternal flame. It was our second trip to D.C. (mil's first) and we really weren't up to walking the whole cemetery, so it wasn't a big loss. Hubs and Christian hiked up to Robert E. Lee's house... while we waited down below!

After that, we visited the Iwo Jima memorial. It's so much bigger than it looks in pictures. Next, we drove around D.C., and pointed out a few of the various monuments... a few (as in more than two) times! Anyone ever been to that circular piece of roadway??? It's like National Lampoon's European Vacation! We had originally planned to spend the whole day touring D.C., but realized Hill was giving a speech to her (former) supporters there on Saturday, so we made alternate plans!

For those of you keeping track, that was Quantico, Virginia, to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to Baltimore, Maryland, to Arlington, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., and back to Quantico... all in one day! After the marathon sightseeing, we went back to the hotel (with two VERY tired babies) to pack up for the loooooong trip home.

I promise Cullen has a mouth... with teeth and everything! It's just usually hidden behind that stinkin' thumb. Working on breaking that... prayers are appreciated. But I digress.

Christian decided to drive home with hubs. Just a "Daddy and Daughter" trip. They spent two nights in Nashville with my mom, and got home Thurday.

Did I mention that I'm tired???

Believe me, there's more... but I'll save that for another post!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A really good laugh

I rarely laugh out loud at stuff I read. Or stuff I watch, for that matter.

Just now, I visited Beth's blog.

She has a hilarious post about trying on bridesmaid dresses today. I couldn't stop laughing.

If you need a good laugh, go check her out. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Little monkey

Today I was wasting time broadening my horizons on the net, when I heard a strange noise.

Knowing Cullen was awake, and roaming free, I went to investigate.

I would post a picture of what I found, but would have risked his neck to take the time to find the camera.

He was standing...

on top of...


Lord, help us survive the terrible twos... which my mil insists he's entering six months early.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

We're back!

I am so tired. Actually, tired doesn't even come close to what I am.

We just got back from Virginia.

I'll post as soon as I get eight, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

That's all I'm asking.

Please, God, give me uninterrupted sleep!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

How did this happen???

My baby is no longer a baby.

And I want to know right now: Who gave her permission to grow up??? It certainly wasn't me.

Today she graduates from kindergarten.

Be still, my beating heart. No, bleeding heart. Next time I turn around, she'll be getting her driver's license. And then going off to college. Then married. She says she's not having kids, because she thinks it's going to hurt "when the baby breaks your bubble." She always sticks her finger out like she's poking something when she says this. Not quite sure what she's talking about... but it does hurt!

I remember the evening she was born. That was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Cullen was a cakewalk compared to Christian. She was 9 pounds, 4 ounces of beautiful baby. And mad, Lord, was she mad! Apparently she wasn't ready to leave her warm, cozy home!

Six years have passed, and she's only grown more beautiful. She's so smart, and funny. Her latest joke:

Christian: "Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Christian: "The interrupting cow."
Me: "The interupting c-"
Christian (so excited she's wiggling): "MOO!!!"

This cracks me up every time.

But, I digress.

I know it's only kindergarten. I know she's only six. It's just that it seems like only yesterday we had to hold her all the time, or carry her everywhere.

I remember when she was about nine months old, I was walking her to her classroom, and I was so engrossed in telling her how beautiful she was and kissing her little baby head that I didn't even notice my pastor walking up next to me. He startled me when I realized he was there; I only had eyes for that perfect baby. I used to tell her (and actually still do!) that she was the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. Iheard another mommy telling her baby (in Christian's daycare class) the same thing, and thought she was crazy! At lunch one day, a parent came to the teachers' table, and told me that she loved to watch me carry Christian to the car every day after school. She said it was just so precious to see me whispering to her and kissing her and just cherishing her. I was so engrossed with everything about her.

Here was her first day of school this year:

And last year, K4:
And K3:
I'm sure later today I'll be an incoherent blubbering mass of snot and tears. So I'm taking the time now to honor my little graduate.

(And she is the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

One word

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Where is your significant other? Quantico

3. Your mother's name? Gayna

4. Your father? John

5. Your favorite thing? offspring

6. Your dream last night? weird

7. Your favorite drink? Coke

8. Your dream/goal? contentment

9. The room you're in? bedroom

10. Your ex? unmemorable

11. Your fear? discontent

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? mountains

13. Where were you last night? home

14. What you're not? bored

15. Muffins? blueberry

16. One of your wish list items? airbrush

17. Where you grew up? Texas

18. The last thing you did? bake

19. What are you wearing? slippers

20. Vacation? Virginia

21. Your pet? Bo

22. Your computer? Dell

23. Your life? blessed

24. Your mood? anxious

25. Missing someone? definitely

26. Your car? cluttered

27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry

28. Favorite Store? Target

29. Your summer? sweltering

30. Like someone? many

31. Your favorite color? red

32. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday

33. Last time you cried? Thursday

34. The person who sent this to you? John

35. Who will repost this? anyone

If you want to play along, you can only post one-word answers. Let me know, so I can check yours out!

Blessings to you all!