This weekend, the girls and I got up early and headed out to shop for Operation Christmas Child (I'll do a whole post on that later). Then we came home, and I made Hello Kitty waffles for breakfast. Darren and I had a wedding to go to in the afternoon, so we dropped the girls at my parents'. After the wedding when we picked them up, we gave them the favors we had gotten--little tulle bags filled with mints and cherry candy. They called them "flavor bags" and ate them all the way home. The car smelled overwhelmingly like mint, which isn't a bad thing at all.
Sunday morning was kicked off by Elaine stomping into our room, crying. "Mom! Mooooommmmm!" she sobbed. "What?" I asked groggily, lifting my head from the pillow.
"Lucy has spoiled this day!" she bawled directly into my ear. Let me tell you, it is quite an accomplishment to already spoil a day by 6:30 a.m. But they got over it, and by afternoon were completely happy with each other. It was our first real cold day of the season--snow flurries and everything--so when we got home from church, we changed into warm clothes and all got under various blankets in various rooms with our various rice bags heated in the microwave.
By around 5 p.m., I could see that Elaine was about to fall asleep so I scooped her up and put her in the tub. That woke her up, and then she had a little Mommy time while we read awhile. These are the books she picked out for me to read: "Peter Rabbit" (her favorite) about a naughty rabbit, of course. "Tom Kitten," about a naughty kitten. "The Tale of Two Bad Mice" (or as she calls it "Hunca-Munca"), about two naughty mice. Are we seeing a thread of continuity here?
After that, Lucy took her own shower (by the way, can I just say how much I am loving that a) both my kids are completely and totally potty trained and don't need me in that area at all, b) both kids can buckle their own car seats, and c) Lucy can take a shower by herself if need be. [Insert Aretha Franklin's "Freedom" here]). Then she put her pajamas on, and we read several chapters of The Bobbsey Twins "Wonderful Winter Secret." We are currently big Bobbsey Twins fans at our house. I asked Lucy if she would like to take the book with her today so that Mrs. Pope could read a chapter to her after school, and she said, "Oh no, Mom. This is our special book. If Mrs. Pope read some, then you would miss some of the chapters!" I just love that girl.
Speaking of books and especially of Peter Rabbit, I have an absolutely fantastic book recommendation. Growing up, my mom always made our birthday cakes (actually, she still does). But when we were little, she did wonderful things like elephants and rocket ships and Raggedy Ann and once for my brother, an entire train with individual, decorated cars. Since my mom set the bar pretty high, I guess I figure that decorating my child's birthday cake is something I should do. However, my fine motor and artistic skills are, shall we say, maybe not my strong points. Fortunately my girls aren't too discerning yet, but I'm always looking for ways to do things better.
Then...ta da! This book (published by the very company where I work! Buy it! Please!):
I just got my copy last week (I believe it has been featured on the Today Show). "Hello, Cupcake!" is written by a food "stager"/designer and photographer. First off, it's just a blast to flip through the pages. But the absolute best part is that really the only things you need are a zip-loc bag and candy readily available at the grocery or gas station (gas stations sometimes have the most comprehensive selections of candy). Not to mention--this book is THICK. It's not some little magazine with 5 or 6 ideas. It's also a springboard for your own creativity; the ideas are definitely adaptable. The chapters are broken down by event and various holidays. I think my personal favorites were the fishbowl cupcakes and the sunflower cupcakes, but it is so hard to decide.
Elaine has been saying for weeks now that she wants her birthday cake to look like Mr. McGregor's Garden. I've been figuring out how in the world I can make this cake and WHERE in the world I can find marzipan to fashion into tiny vegetables. I do love where I live, but I don't have the easiest time finding things such as rosemary and escarole. I was beginning to despair of ever finding marzipan. Enter stage left..."Hello, Cupcake!" There is a detailed vegetable garden fashioned entirely out of candy readily available at my area Super Wal-Mart. I cannot wait to stay up all night the night before her birthday and do this cake.
So, if you're looking for party/cake ideas, this book is a veritable jackpot. Go forth and purchase! I'll be posting pictures when the time comes...