Monday, March 17, 2008

Makes Me Smile

Today we went out to buy my youngest daughter shoes for Easter. We found cute white ballet flats and bought them and moved onto the next store. As I was checking out at the second store, Zoe asked me, "Why did we buy Easter shoes if today is St. Patrick's Day?"

Nothing gets past Zoe!

Fun Monday

Our host for this week is Nikki over at My Husband Calls Me Weird.

Our assignment: I don't know about you, but my family is great at creating strange words that only we know the meaning. Some were created when the kids were first learning to talk, others came about when our tongues were twisted and the word came out funny. Either way, the words stuck and we still use them in our daily conversations. What created words does your family use?! Please share the story behind the word if you remember. If you don't have a made up word then tell us about the unspoken way you communicate with someone. Do you and your significant other have a look that means "This party is boring, lets split" or do you have a look that your kids know means their butt is in serious trouble? Please share!! And a picture of the look would be very entertaining!

So here are my entries:

1. Shalilla Wipers - when my son was little he called anything vanilla "Shalilla", the wipers part is for wafers - therefore vanilla wafers

2. You Missed It! - okay, this really isn;t a made up word, but my family uses it all the time, with emphasis on the You and Missed. My middle daughter would often point things out while we were driving, and if we didn't see it, she would inevitably tell us, "YOu MISSED it!" We now use it for all the time when someone misses something or doesn't get something.

3. Misappear - Again, from my son. When things went missing, when a character wasn't on the TV screen, when Uncle Kevin does magic tricks, things misappear - meaning disappear

4. Passamasquawtee - this isn't one that I actually use, but my husband and his siblings use it. It means F*ck You. Their family is Irish, and they had learned the gaelic "Pog mo thoin" which means "kiss my ass." They couldn't remember it, though, and while trying to they came up wth this word. Now if one of them says "Pog mo thoin," the other responds, "Passamasquawtee."

5. I was over reading Mariposa's Fun Monday entry and it reminded me of one more word. When I was little I had an Uncle Ed. For some reason when I said his name it came out "Honky Ed." To this day he still greets me as "Honky Heather" and he's still my "Honky Ed."

And there you have it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It Just Makes Me Laugh

I know I shouldn't find this funny, and I know it probably reflects poorly on my parenting, but Zoe did something today that just made me laugh.

Every Friday I babysit one of my friend's daughters, we'll call her M. She is three, exactly one year younger than Zoe. They get along well and play together a lot. This afternoon they were playing Barbie and M said, "Pretend her is going to sleep." When she got no response from Zoe, M repeated herself, "Pretend her is going to sleep," at least four or five times.

Zoe, who was busy trying to put feet on her sister's Bratz doll (don't judge!), finally says in an exasperated voice, "Okay, go already!"

Sounds a lot like me when I'm forced to play Barbie. Ooops!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Holy Birthday Cake, Batman!

My now four year old daughter wanted a Batman cake for her birthday. I have always made my kids cakes, as per their request, so Zoe's choice this year was no different. In fact, I was pretty excited about it. It's not often a little girl picks a superhero for her birthday theme, so after I was sure that she really wanted Batman decided to make my own invitations as well as the cake, of course.

My first thought was that I wanted the invitation to be as girly as possible, but to include Batman. After several failed attempts to find Batman stickers depicting the old Batman (the one I grew up with, or at least not the newer stylized "The Batman".) Unfortunately I had no luck with that, but found some neat "Tha Batman" confetti at my party store and decided to use that on her card. The results were a pink and white scalloped card with Batman in the middle. I was really happy with how they turned out.

After completing the invitations I focused on the cake. I had several ideas of how I might make the cake when I decided to search eBay. Sure enough, there was a great pan from 1977 of Batman complete with faceplate. I won the auction and eagerly awaited the pan's arrival. When it got here I knew I had made the right decision in buying it. It was in perfect condition, although the faceplate was faded somewhat.

Two days before the party I baked the cake. Zoe helped me mix and 30 minutes after putting the batter into the well greased and floured pan, it was done and ready to be unmolded. I flipped it over onto the foil covered cake board and it unmolded perfectly. As it cooled I whipped up another cake that I baked in two 8-inch round pans. Brendan and I had decided that since his brother's and sister's birthdays were so close to Zoe's that we should surprise them with a cake of their own. We decided to keep it in the Batman theme, so they would match Zoe's cake nicely.

I made lemon buttercream frosting for the two round cakes and frosted each one. I then rolled out my marshmallow fondant I had made the night before, white for Elizabeth's cake and yellow for Kevin's cake. The cakes covered flawlessly and were ready to be decorated. I had a bat cookie cutter for Halloween that worked perfectly for the bat symbol. I cut a pink fondant bat for the white cake and a black fondant bat for the yellow cake. After placing them I felt the white cake needed to be girlied up a bit, (and I wanted to try some new flower fondant cutters I had gotten) so I made some pink flowers and added them to Elizabeth's cake. I loved the results.

The next morning I made my vanilla buttercream frosting for Zoe's cake. I made more than the directions called for because I didn't want to run out midway into decorating. I began covering the cape in royal blue stars when the girls swarmed me like gnats. After about a zillion questions on what I was doing and when was I going to switch colors and am I going to put frosting on his face, I remembered why I usually decorate their cakes at night after they are all in bed. But, I soldiered on and finished decorating Batman around lunch time. I was so happy with how it turned out, but more importantly Zoe was excited for her cake. My son told me it looked just like in a book, a huge compliment from him. My husband also loved it. He had had a similar cake as a child, and is considering asking me to make this cake for him for his birthday this year.

I made the chest plate the night before out of fondant and loved how it looked on the cake. I have to admit, I was pretty pleased with how the cakes turned out this year. I can't wait to find out what cake Zoe will want for her 5th birthday.

I've Been Awarded!

My friend, Alison, over at RDH Mom, has awarded me the "You Make Me Smile" award, my first ever award! Thanks Alison! I have recently gotten to know Alison through her blog and think you may enjoy reading what she has to say. Her adoption Journey series are especially compelling.

Thanks Alison! Now who to pass this on to?

I'd like to give it to:


Happy 4th Birthday, Zoe!

It was four years ago that I had you, my third child, my second daughter, my baby. You have always been such a good little girl, a happy and cheerful baby, a sweet child. Your curly hair gets compliments daily, often from strangers at the grocery store. Your good natured humor leaves you with a smile on your face most of the time, and with a frown for only moments. You see the bright side of things and are eager to help whenever possible. You are loving, smart, and unbelievably adorable. I love you. Happy Birthday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fun Monday

Our task was to choose five memorable movie lines and tell who we would say them to today. IT Guy is our host today, so head over there and check out other Fun Monday Movie Lines!

I had a little bit of a hard time picking all of my lines. While I enjoy movies, they have never played a large part in my life. My husband and his siblings recite movie lines all the time, the most my brothers and sisters and I ever did was sing the Heat Miser and Cold Miser songs from "The Year Without A Santa Claus." But, after I sat down to think of my favorite movies I found five memorable lines, though I'm not sure I could use them all in my real life. So here goes . . .

1. "Are you crazy? A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Gimme a pen, I'm signin'! You're signin'! We're all signin'!" - Lenny to his bandmates in "That Thing You Do"

I really don't know who I would say this to, but it makes me smile whenever I think of it.

2. "Ahh, home crap home!" - Walter in "Money Pit"

I'd definitely say this to my husband (maybe I did!) when we were selling our second home and we had to fix a whole bunch of stuff before hte new owners moved in. We had a contractor who wouldn't show up, would leave gaping holes where doors used to be, we had to have a radon removal sevice installed and things like garage door springs were breaking literally weeks before we had to move out. We couldn't get out of that house fast enough.

3. "I believe one should fight for what one believes. Provided one is absolutely sure one is absolutely right." - Mark Thackeray in "To Sir, With Love"

I would say this to anyone who is passionate about something, probably my friend Marie, who is doing amazing work in the pro-life movement.

4. "There's children throwing snowballs / instead of throwing heads / they're busy building toys / and absolutely no one's dead!" - Jack Skellington in "A Nightmare Before Christmas"

I'd probably say this to my husband every night he walks in the door (providing the no one's dead part was true!).

5. "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." - Maria in "The Sound Of Music"

I would say this to my friend Heather who is experiencing difficulties with her sister-in-law. I would say this to anyone who needs a boost and is feeling down or disappointed.

Hope you enjoyed my movie quotes. I know it was fun to think about my favorite movies and come up with these memorable lines. Maybe I'll try to sneak one into my conversations this week.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Hard Realities Of Growing Up

I have been busy all week preparing for Zoe's 4th birthday party this weekend. It is just going to be family, but I still have a lot of work as I am preparing brunch and three cakes for about 15 people and need to get the house clean and the food made.

I still can't quite believe she's going to be four years old. For over a year now, she has been using the potty (no more diapers, here!), sleeping in a big girl bed, and not wearing bibs. It's been quite a transition for both of us.

After three kids, Brendan and I have been methodically getting rid of most of our baby stuff. Yesterday that included selling Zoe's crib. Because she and Emma were so close in age (19 months apart), we had two cribs. Emma used the one we bought Ian when he was born, and Zoe used a hand-me-down crib from my father-in-law. We decided to keep the crib we bought, for our future grandbabies, but the other one we no longer needed. After over a year of storage in the basement, we finally took some pictures of it and put it up on Craigslist to sell. Within a day we had a few takers. Brendan arranged for a "showing" and the woman who came, a soon to be Grandma, bought the crib.

We were pleased with how things turned out. Zoe was not. Brendan had brought the crib upstairs so the woman could easily look at it. Zoe asked us why her crib was upstairs. We told her we were going to sell it because she didn't need it anymore. This brought tears to her eyes and she said she didn't want to sleep in her big girl bed anymore, that she wantd to sleep in her crib. We explained that she was too big for her crib now. This only led Zoe to exclaim that she wished she were still a baby so that she could sleep in her crib again. It was so pitiful and sweet at the same time.

The kids went to bed and about 15 minutes later our doorbell rang. The buyer came in and looked at the crib. I was upstairs in the office trying to make an Easter card when Zoe tearfully came in asking if the lady downstairs had bought the crib. I said she had, and Zoe burst into tears. I took her into the hallway where her dad was helping the woman take the crib to her car. Zoe watched sadly as the crib left. She cried genuine tears of sorrow for the loss of her crib. She was miserable and my heart ached for her. When I layed her back down to bed, she said she would think about sleeping in her crib until she died (she's a bit melodramatic!).

After I went back to my cardmaking I couldn't help but think how funny and interesting growing up is. Here we are, getting ready to celebrate her 4th birthday with a Batman cake and Tinkerbell plates, preparing her for preschool next year, truly one of the first major signs that a kid is growing up, and she is mourning her crib, her time of being a baby. She is getting older, and there is nothing she or I can do about it. I guess that is difficult to deal with.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Stand Corrected

When my sister, Leanne, and I were kids we ate a lot of Cheerios. My mom did not buy sugary cereals, so we usually had Cheerios, Corn Flakes and Grape Nuts in the house. We both hated Grape Nuts, and Corn Flakes were fine, but Cheerios was definitely our cereal of choice. (We also did not get a hot breakfast, it was cereal, that's it.)

My two brothers on the other hand were big Grape Nuts eaters. Leanne and I not only thought they sounded disgusting, looked disgusting and tasted disgusting, but that they also emitted a horrible smell when my brothers ate them. There was nothing anyone could do to get us to eat Grape Nuts.

Our feelings were echoed by my brothers when it came to eating Cheerios. Never would a Cheerio enter their bowls. They also complained regularly that Cheerios stunk. They rarely missed an opportunity to tell either myself or Leanne that our bowl of cereal smelled terrible and to move away from them.

Well, fast forward 25 years and while there still are no Grape Nuts to be found in my household, my two daughters (though funnily enough, not my son) are big fans of Honey Nut Cheerios. My son even complains from time to time that his sister's cereal stinks. I just waved it off and figured it was a boy/ girl thing.

Until today. Zoe sits behind me in the car and today was eating Honey Nut Cheerios dry. As we were heading to school, the smell of Honey Nut Cheerios wafted forward towards my seat. It was not a nice smell. I might even dare to say that it stunk.

And now I'm forced to do something most little sisters would never do. I have to admit my brothers were right, Cheerios do stink.