Saturday, June 27, 2009

Smash Cake Crisis Averted

The babies' first birthday party was Saturday afternoon. We had a cake, that everyone ate, and we had "smash cakes" for the babies.

Until a month ago, I didn't know what a "smash cake" was. For the uninitiated, a smash cake is a small cake made for a baby to eat/destroy on his or her first birthday. Baby has cake for the first time - baby gets all messy beating on a cake - fun time had by all.

I was slow to buy into the idea of smash cakes, or our kids eating cake at all, for that matter. Initially I was opposed to anything that was not whole wheat or had added sugar. My desire for good early childhood nutrition was overcome by the thought of the kids pounding the heck out of a cake and seeing the look on their faces when they ate their first big bite of cake. By Friday, the day before the party, I was really looking forward to having three cakes for the babies to destroy.

Heather had picked out the birthday cake well in advance at one of our local bakeries and ordered three smash cakes to go with the cake. She picked them up on Friday.

This is the cake:

And this is one of the three smash cakes the bakery made to go with the main cake:

For purposes of scale this is my Chap-Stick next to the smash cake:

If this was something I thought Heather would mess with me about, I would have thought these cakes were a joke. If you recall the movie Spinal Tap, there was a scene where the the band wanted a 18 foot Stonehenge replica monument on stage. Because the drawing they made said 18" instead of 18', they got a comically small Stonehenge monument instead. That is what I though of when I saw these tiny cakes. These were not at all what I had in mind.

Heather wasn't too happy about the tiny squish cakes either, so I went down to the bakery to find out what was up with them trying to pass of something smaller than a cupcake off as a smash cake. I didn't get a straight answer about how these tiny cakes could be smashed by a child as opposed to being hurled across the room, and I was told two times by two different people that there was just no way to get bigger cakes to be smashed by Saturday at 1:00.

I don't like to be one of "those" parents who thinks that every little thing is a huge deal, but I was one of those parents in the bakery on Friday. I've seen Cake Boss on TLC. Cake Boss doesn't say how something can't be done; Cake Boss does it. By God, I wanted proper cakes for my kids to smash and I wasn't leaving that place until we had it sorted out.

I am pretty sure I'm not be welcome in that bakery anymore, but we got our cakes:

And the kids did a respectable job of smashing them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Plaid Pants Friday

In the tradition of Mustache Wednesday, I declare today Plaid Pants Friday.

This is Ricky Barnes sporting a semi-mean pair of plaid trousers during the 3rd round of last week's U.S. Open. You know, professional golfer Ricky Barnes? Finished 25th on the Nationwide Tour in 2008? Right, that guy:

Barnes was leading the Open at 8-under through the 3rd round. He foolishly chose black trousers for the final round and shot a 6-over 76 to tie for second place. Lose the pants, lose the lead. But this isn't the last we'll hear from Ricky Barnes. OK, well maybe it is. Tough break, Barnes. Nice pants.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Piper, Henry and Rosemary. They came into the world one year ago at 12:36, 12:37 and 12:37 p.m., respectively. The story is recounted here in case you missed it. It's hard to believe the pictures in Heather's old post are our babies. They have come so far.

Also happy belated birthday to Laramy Downs, daughter to Heather's brother Zac and his wife Kimberly. She was born last night at about 11:30 p.m., weighing 8 pounds even. Laramy missed having to share her future birthdays with her three cousins by about a half hour.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Word of the Day

The word is "meme" - pronounced like cream. Per Wikepedia, it is "a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena." An internet meme is an idea that spreads via the internet, such as a viral video, like David After Dentist and Drinking Out of Cups (dirty words - no link), or the brilliant idea to give Mississippi State a dog that is way too big on its basketball court.

I just learned the word "meme" last week in reference to the Three Wolf, One Moon "3W1M" shirt (see comments). Because the shirt, or the listing for the shirt, is a meme, it was also one of my Father's Day presents. I am one of the many people who now own a redneck wolf shirt because of the funny comments about it - and they are funny. According to 3W1M lore, a law student at Rutgers wrote a funny comment, then more people did and it found itself on The rest is wolf shirt history.

The comments on 3W1M and some of the "Customers Also Viewed . . ." items are refreshing. There are a lot of truly funny people out there. Now go give Mississippi State a really big dog. I did.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

People are Trying to Scare Me.

Heather went out of town last weekend for a girls' trip, so I had the weekend to myself with the kids. In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t just being nice: there is a quid pro quo involved. My “quo” will be seeing U2 open their North American tour at Soldier Field in Chicago, together with whatever else one does during a weekend in Chicago. I think my quo is significantly better than her quid, but I love U2 and really don’t care for people I don’t know touching me.

Anyway, as I discussed weekend plans with my friends and office mates last week, a theme began to come together: people feared for my safety or sanity and the safety or sanity of my kids. Either people think I am dumber than I really am, or people think that our kids are harder to handle than they really are. Hopefully, it is the latter, but who knows; my experience with kids is limited to ours. It's all I know. The comments ranged from a polite but concerned “You are going to take them out by yourself as well, huh?” to the blunt “That will never work – you are going to have to call in help.”

I had taken care of the kids during the day by myself and I had taken care of the kids at night by myself; I just hadn’t strung those days and nights together. I was really wondering if there was some awful magic number of hours where the kids’ arms and legs fall off and everything just goes to hell. If there is a magic number, it is somewhere over 48. I tested 48 and 48 is cool. Everything went fine, except the sporadic damaging straight line winds and power outages unrelated to me being alone with the kids.

We took a couple trips and I got some pictures at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens when it wasn't raining:

When I got back to the office on Monday, people asked me how it went. I said fine. Then I got more: “Just wait until they are older.” Seriously? I just did it – at least for a weekend. How bad can it possibly get? I know that if I leave the country for two years, that I would have a hard time handling my children at the age of three. But I will be there almost every day as they turn into little people who are capable of killing me. I think I can learn defensive measures as quickly as they learn ways to hurt themselves and me.

I still can't help but wonder if all of these people who have experience with kids know something that I don't, and there is really something terrible looming on the horizon. Even if there is, defending a semi-violent attack by three toddlers sounds pretty fun. Put me down for 72 hours, please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Have a Blog

It wasn't more than a few years ago that I started reading about blogs, bloggers and blogging in Newsweek. I wasn't totally sure what blogs were, or why they were for that matter.

As a matter of course I resist new things, at least until they are no longer new. I am basically a weak willed Luddite. Now, Heather has a blog and it has served as a family diary for us for almost a year. I have decided blogs are good.

So, if only for myself, I will now blog. I will use the term "blog" as both a noun and a verb. I will speak of other bloggers as if they are my brethren. Now, on to the blogging, because I am blogger . . . who blogs.