February 24, 2010

What Did You Say?

Yesterday, I took the kiddos to Coldstone Creamery.  Albeit was in the single digits, I had promised, and well it sounded good.  Gabe chose Vanilla with Gummy Bears, we're trying to wean him off the dairy and casein, but it would've just been plain cruel to eat it in front of him.  Audrey chose straight strawberry, no tempting toppings for her!  And I chose chocolate with Twix mixed in.  Look, it was that or a shot of vodka, I'll explain later. 

At home we were all sharing bites, and Audrey asked what was in my ice cream.  I said Twix, which she replied, "sticks?  gross mom."  I asked if she would like a bite and she declined.  I guess I got the easy way out and didn't have to share.

More on what prompted the ice cream inducing binge soon, all I have to say is I received an email that was mistakenly sent to me rather than the intended person.  It involved the school district and my son, so for now, I'm cooling off, debating whether to go on the war path, or let it go and take the high road.  More to come tomorrow....

February 17, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake. It has had a profound impact on my life. Yes, I said it. Cake and I, we go way back. It seems with so many good or bittersweet memories, there's always cake. And lest we forget the infamous cake lines, "Let them eat cake", "who's picking up the cake", "what kind of cake", "piece of cake", "cake walk".
Another birthday just passed for me and I'm thirty something again. Quite honestly I have to think about how old I am because I block it out. And sometimes I just plain forget. I can tell you my child's age down to the month and day, but can't yet the year right for myself if I try. Here's my tried and true trick, I think of how old my younger sister is and add two years.

When February rolled around, again, this year I almost had mild cardiac arrest because I thought I was going to be thirty-five; lucky I'm only thirty-four. Sounds crazy, I know, but it is my makeup. Or is it crazy?  It just seems all of sudden thirty to thirty-four came WAY too quickly. It's the children.  I think gray hair must slow metabolism and accelarate time.

Anyway, back to the post at hand, cake. We just polished off my red velvet birthday cake (my favorite) just in time for Pinkalicious cupcakes today for Audrey's birthday. And I thought, wow, more cake. But a birthday's just not the same without it. Or a wedding, or anniversary (after 25), or a Baptism or graduation, or good ol' church potluck! It is a food of celebration, a staple in our society. The cake is huge at weddings. It can be quite a conversation starter or topic,or even a budget buster.

So we have the cake, homemade or store bought, iced or fudged or frozen, and we enjoy a piece and divvy out large heaping portions, even though some ask for just "a small piece". You know darn well, if you've even been given the task of cake cutter, you better dish those babies out large and fast, otherwise you'll either be taking some home or it will be sitting in your kitchen getting hard and more dry day by day.

So here are some of my cake favorites:
My wedding cake: basic butter cream marble with raspberry
My favorite cake I've made: Audrey's Elmo cake for birthday number 2
The tastiest cake I've made: Staci's surprise party coconut almond chocolate ganache
The cutest cake: Sara's hot dog cake

The best wedding cake: Pam and Chad's, wow, that was good, I confess I ate three pieces

My best cake story involves one of my best friends. In fact, the winner of the tastiest wedding cake.  We've been friends since 5th grade, so with that comes a lot of girl fights and making up. Our moms were friends, as we are all church going Lutherans and when you are a Lutheran in the South; you're a minority amongst the Baptists and Methodists. Anyway, not that any of that matters, and my point is, the church was small. So after one of our fights, my friend and I were miserable without each other. Our Mom's planned an intervention. They forced us into the same house to talk it out. After the token "I'm sorry", there is always the uncomfortable silence to deal with. And even when you're 13 the inevitable thoughts still swarm your brain, will things be different between us, is everything really okay, or are we damaged forever? And because your mind is consumed with those thoughts, the uncomfortable silence seems even longer because neither of you know how to 'break the ice'. So I stepped up to the plate. My Mom had known they were coming, so we had made a cake in advance. So, I looked my friend in the eye and said, "Do you want a piece of cake?” And she said "yes". It's all history after that, things returned to normal, and we didn't skip a beat. And to this day, after we have a disagreement and the air is thick, one of us will say, "want a piece of cake?” We always laugh, and it's our way of saying to each other, it's going to be okay.

Thanks to whoever mixed that first couple eggs, milk, flour and other ingredients to make the first cake. And thanks to Martha Stewart for always making it a joy near impossible to replicate.  Life just wouldn't be the same without it.

February 16, 2010

What can be accomplished in a hour?

What can be accomplished in an hour? That's a loaded question. Well I guess that all depends on how motivated you are. A load of laundry or two. Bills. Catching up on emails. Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork (for all you mom's of special needs kids). Cleaning. Playing or reading to the kids. A bath. The store, argh, the store. Those are all thing on my list. And here I sit with an hour to myself, well almost, Audrey is at preschool and Gabe is napping, so blissful and about as alone as it gets for me these days. And what is a mom to do? BLOG ofcourse! And catch up on some of my favorite blog reading that has been sorely neglected the last few months.

I just rented Julie and Julia last week from the red box. Don't you love the red box? Grocery store and a movie on the way out, L.O.V.E. it! Now that is inspiring. For those of you who haven't seen the movie in a nutshell, based on a true story, Julie decides to cook her way through Julia Child's, The Art of French Cooking, in a year, and blog about it. Now that is dedication. Might I add she was married, but no children. I couldn't conceive cooking one meal that takes 3 hours with kids! Nonetheless, I was inspired. Julie really dedicated herself to finishing those 500 plus recipes and sharing with the world her triumphs and failures via the mighty Blog.

So that got me to thinking about my blog. Does it have a purpose? Oh gosh, maybe it should, I'm such a blog novus, maybe I'm doing this wrong. Maybe if I had a theme, I'd blog more, and perhaps would then be contributing something of worth to the great unknown. After much thought, post de-boning of the duck, I retracted my foolish blog thoughts! Sometimes for the answers to life's questions we must ask the simplest question, why? Why did I start blogging anyway? For me. To vent my dirty laundry for all the world to see and get it off my chest. It's hard to pinpoint in my blog profile what my blog is about, because it's about a little bit of everything. A sneak peek into my amazing and borderline crazy life. If I blogged about just one thing, i.e., autism, or divorce, or being a single mom, or spirituality; that wouldn't be my life, because it encompasses all of those things. So online journal it is, and I do believe that is how it is defined.

So. Here I am friends, no reservations, no holding back, pure Cari. Uh-oh, this could get ugly. I'm going to try to make more time for blogging because I do truly enjoy it. And if you read my sappy, sometimes pitiful, funny, or just plain wacky posts...thank you. Well, I hear the boy stirring and my dryer just beeped at me. Time to get back to work. And thanks to all the bloggers out there for inspiring me just to be me:)