Last Friday, the hilarious, quirky little girl you all know as Cakes turned 7!
I know that many readers have stuck with me from the very beginning of this blog, in 2008, and those people will probably be in just as much disbelief as I am about this birthday. After all, Cakes was only 15 months old when I started writing this blog. Fifteen months.
I always think of Cakes as my most “challenging” child, as she was the kid who slept the least, and got into the most mischief, but not anymore. We still have the occasional challenge with her (right now, it’s humming. She hums constantly, and can’t help herself), but she is so sweet, affectionate, and eager to please. She does extremely well in school, is much-loved by her teachers, and has shown incredible artistic ability. Her art teacher told us that Cakes draws better than some of her 6th-grade students, so we keep her well-supplied with pencils and paper, to encourage the development of this natural talent.
Though she’s settled down a lot over the last few years, Cakes is still Cakes – funny, energetic, and every bit an individual. This is what we love most about her.
Cakes has been obsessed with the movie Tangled for the last couple of years, and this is the theme she requested for her birthday. I made her purple cupcakes to take to school,
and I got this so-called brilliant idea to make a Rapunzel’s tower cake by baking cake batter in tin cans, which I’d saved, and run through the dishwasher. I also checked out a small, flower-shaped cake pan at the library, to be used as the base. I envisioned that if I stacked the cakes like this, once frosted, the finished cake would look like a tower.
This project was a pain from the beginning. First of all, when you bake cake batter in tin cans, you have to put them on a baking sheet to stabilize them in the oven, or you will end up with this problem, which is no fun to clean up, believe me.
So there’s my first handy little tip for you. You’re welcome.
Also, you cannot do as I did, and attempt to stabilize a tall, skinny cake with plastic straws, and cardboard circles on every other tier. This might seem like a good idea, but it will not work.
Now, I’ll admit that I was mighty proud of this cake, folks. I even posted a picture of it on Facebook because I thought it turned out so well.
But, as you may know from the book of Proverbs, pride goes before a fall (literally, in this case). After 2 hours of cake assembly and decorating, I was pretty much exhausted, so I sat down in my chair in the living room to relax for a little while. After about 15 minutes, I heard a definitive SPLAT!, and I ran into the kitchen to find the cake which I’d worked so hard on, lying in ruins. It had leaned so far to one side that the top 3 tiers broke clean off the base.
I did not take pictures of this tragic event because I was too busy staring slack-jawed at my ruined creation, and then bawling like a toddler who just dropped an ice cream cone on the pavement (I’m not exaggerating – I really did start crying). My husband, who cannot stand it when I cry about anything, came upstairs and self-assuredly took over the salvaging of my ruined cake, while I stood nearby, sniffling pitifully. He went out to his shop, found a wooden dowel, and trimmed it to the height of the cake. He then fastened it to a small square of foil-covered plywood. We placed all the tiers of the cake on this dowel, so it went through the center of the entire cake, and stabilized it so it couldn’t fall again. Then, I had to go to the work of very quickly refrosting the entire cake, which was now missing the top tier (it got smashed beyond repair when it fell), because Cakes got out of school early that day and was going to be home soon. Fortunately, I had some frosting leftover, and I’d purchased some decorator candies that I hadn’t used. They came in handy for camouflaging all the places where the cake was dented or smooshed.
Because of my husband’s quick thinking, we were able to save the cake, and Cakes was thrilled with it. She didn’t even realize that anything had happened.
The shorter, squashier version of the cake. Cakes loved it though, and her friend kept saying, "That is SO COOL!"
Cakie’s best friend came home with her on the bus, and we had cake and ice cream, and opened presents before going to Build-a-Bear, as Cakes requested.
The ABC scrapbook was a big hit with everyone.
A Rapunzel's Tower play set (minus Rapunzel, who was on the cake platter!)
Finally, a Flynn Ryder doll. She's wanted this for a long time, but he was hard to find.
She specifically requested a fairy doll.
Grandma knows her style - anything purple!
Just as I did with Bee, I put a dollar for every year Cakes has lived with her Daddy and me, inside a balloon. She had to pop it to get it out.
After we got back from Build-a-Bear, the girls played with Cakie’s new toys while I made her requested dinner – Velveeta shells and cheese, and carrots with ranch dip. After dinner, her Grandpa and Grandma came over and gave her another present – a Build-a-Bear gift card, a purple notebook, and a package of pencils – and we enjoyed a nice visit with them. Around 7:30, my husband drove Cakie’s friend home, and then she and Bee set up their sleeping bags in the family room for a sisters’ sleepover.
The next morning, I made Cakes’ requested breakfast of crepes and bacon, and then I went to work on baking bread, lasagna, and a pie for our church’s fall festival that evening,
until it was time to make Cakes’ requested lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup (for the kids’ birthdays, they get to pick all three meals. If they’re at school on their actual birthday, they get to choose the dinner menu, and then breakfast and lunch on a weekend day). She was very happy, and I think she had a pretty great birthday.
I was very tired and run down after so much cooking, baking, and party preparation, so last night my husband took me out to dinner. And now we have no more birthdays until my husband’s in January, unless you count mine. I don’t, because I don’t intend to lift a finger for my own birthday. In fact, since it’s my 40th, I would be content to pretend it isn’t even happening!