Friday, April 08, 2011

Chock Full O' Life

This is going to be a catch-all post to rival all others, but I can't think of a better way to chronicle recent events. It's my life and it kind of bores me to write all of this, yet I don't want to just act like none of it happened. And honestly, I'm not sure I can even remember the order of everything. My best stab at it:

The weather got really nice so we decided to plant some seeds in the egg cartons I'd been hoarding for months. And our seeds actually sprouted! Because we used popsicle sticks to make holes for the seeds, Natalie now feels the need to have popsicle sticks in hand every time we go to the backyard. There are a LOT of popsicle sticks out there since she inevitably finds other things to entertain her once she gets out there.

Then it got cold again, so I moved the seedlings to the laundry room where they still reside. I'm hoping a little lint will be good for them and I figure the warmth of the drier is a little like living in the south, right?

Then I baked a bunch of cakes. To be precise, I baked nine cakes in three days and only four of them were edible. Lesson learned: I will not buy store brand sugar again! After narrowing down the list of possible reasons my cakes were repeatedly overflowing their pans, despite the fact that I'd made all the recipes before, I narrowed it down to the sugar. Who knew? My theory is that because it wasn't quite as fine as name brand sugar, it through the balance off. And trust me, I'm no kitchen scientist so google was my best friend. My other best friend (Jeff) was insanely patient with me as I got frustrated and tired and made our house smell like burnt sugar and went through pounds of butter.

But it all turned out okay because the cakes were for my grandma's 90th birthday party. I asked her what kind of cake she liked and she was so stinkin' vague with me. Some sort of answer like, "I like them all!" so we settled on lemon, chocolate and almond. And then, because we actually had no idea how many people would show up to an open house on a Sunday during March Madness, there was a lot of "will there be enough cake?" debate. So I made another one, too. Yellow cake with fresh strawberry buttercream.

And you know what? All that baking and frosting-making and testing and decorating might have just pushed me past the point of "I love cakes!" and into the land of "it'd better be good if I'm going to exert my effort to make it or spend my calories to eat it." It was therapeutic, I guess. But I still think that all roses cake is pretty, pretty, pretty (I found it over at i am baker, who's pretty ambitious when it comes to cakes)!

More importantly the party was good. She had a lot of friends turn out and those who couldn't make it (because let's face it, if you're 90, your peer group isn't exactly into road-tripping) sent really great cards and memories for her to savor. I have it on good authority she's enjoying every last word written on each note. The other great part of the party (for me; I'm not sure it was so great for anyone else) was that I got to go through all of her old pictures and make a slideshow. Who knew there was a baby picture of her? None of us did! In those boxes of photos I also found pictures of my dad as a kid, long-lost photos of my grandpa who passed away nearly six years ago, pictures of me and my sister as kids - all events I'd forgotten about or not really seen evidence of.

Like this gem - that's me in the awesome plaid pants, my sister in an outfit she remembers as being uncomfortable and two of my cousins. I guess we went fishing!
Wyatt liked playing the "who's this?" guessing game with all the pictures, too. My favorite? He wanted to know why I looked like a boy when I was in grade school. You know what? I wonder the same thing. Maybe that's why I'm dragging my heels on cutting Natalie's hair.

The not-so-great part about the party is that it was snowing. Again. Ahem, dear Kansas, you are CRAZY with your wacky weather. And the Jayhawks lost that day, which made me really thankful I wasn't sitting at home staring at a television screen. But otherwise it was a great day.

And then, let's see, I did all the laundry I neglected during cakefest and we trekked to Lawrence mid-week to have a family dinner on Grandma's actual birthday. Then some normal days passed before I got a phonecall that Grandma fell and broke her hip. That's a crummy birthday present! I offered to cancel our evening plans so we could come in and see her, but since she was having surgery that afternoon, it seemed best if we'd just wait until the weekend. So we had our friends over and it was really fun…until Wyatt broke his collarbone.

We weren't really sure he was seriously injured, so we stayed home for a couple of hours debating the severity of his injury and encouraging him to play with his friends. It's kind of difficult to separate preschooler drama from needs-immediate-medical-attention when there's no blood, swelling or visible trauma involved. And it's also difficult to realize the kid needs medical attention when he's begging to NOT go to the doctor. When he was still in pain an hour after bedtime and it became apparent he couldn't lift up his arm, we made the call. I can't say enough nice things about our local ER - which was thankfully very quiet - and the doctors, nurses and techs who took care of Wyatt. After a series of x-rays we had an answer, a sling and a prescription for good ol' painkillers. After a few rough days, he seems to be getting back to his normal ways pretty quickly. He'll be wearing a sling for four weeks and then will, hopefully, be good as new.

this was taken in the ER to send to Daddy, who was home worrying about his boy.
His face pretty much says it all.
Since he refuses to take off his sling (the doctor told us he can sleep without it, but he doesn't want to), I decided we might need more than one. I mean, he's using his left hand for everything remarkably well, but that sling's not going to stay clean for a whole month. And if I'm going to go through the hassle of making a sling, shouldn't be something that makes him happy? Yes, yes it should. So I he now has a custom sling, complete with airplanes all over it. I managed to not get a picture of it yet, but you're bound to see it soon.

That's it. A rough catch-up and a bound-to-be-broken promise to myself to stay on top of things a little more around here!


Darling's said...

Gosh, Natalie is getting so big!! That face of Wyatt's at the ER is priceless, poor guy! I have to say, the old photo of you looks exactly like Natalie!! Great thing she is going to look like her Momma!! Oh and those did such a GREAT job, Steph!! We miss them around here, especially the icing! Great post.

SStites said...

I am totally impressed with the cakes--AND with the gorgeous children! Can't wait to see you in June! Glad Wyatt is healing well! Hugs to all!

Steph said...

Catching up. First of all, Miss Designer Cake Maker, the rose cake is ridiculous! What?! I was sure having first looked at the picture then reading that you ordered it from Food Network or something. Great job!! (P.S. I ventured into amateur cake baking for the kids' birthdays this year and it was a trial-by-error process as well. Poor Shea, since his was first; but then again, he should've known better than to ask for Red Velvet for Mom's first try. Landon's was much better. The second time.)

Wyatt - Poor kiddo! He sounded like a trooper though. If it makes you feel a tad better, Sadie moped around for two whole hours before we realized she'd been mauled. We just thought she was being fat. How do you know if they don't act any different? I hope Wyatt's on the up-and-up soon. It doesn't look like the sling is holding him back much at least.

And finally, I think it was the plaid pants. :)

Steph said...

Hm, reading back: Sorry that I just compared your son to my dog. She's family, right?

Leslie said...

Agreed...roses cake is gorgeous!

Poor Wyatt :( I love that you sewed an airplane sling for him!

kristen said...

Okay sorry for the late post! But really those cakes look awesome! I would totally pay you to make one...bc I can't do that kind of stuff! Hope Wyatt is doing better and his new airplane sling makes him happy.
Love to you all