The ADD Kitchen 5: Her Majesty’s Birthday Baking Success!

The Princess strikes a pose on her birthday.

The Princess strikes a pose on her birthday.

The Princess turned five this past week!

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she presented me with an oral list that was about twenty minutes long.  I most likely could have walked into any retail store, and as long as I picked out something remotely girly she would love it.

When asked what kind of cake she wanted, she changed her mind every three minutes.  I think that she had selected every kind of cake in the world by the time I finally just picked one and made it.

Thanks to a wonderful link that a great friend shared with me, I decided to make her a butterfly cake.  I felt a little better going in to do this one than I did when I did the Batman cake.  Just in case it was a flop, I had an extra box of cake mix and plenty of powdered sugar to make more frosting!

The link my friend sent me was from the website  It is amazing.  It gives step by step instructions on how to make the butterfly cake, complete with pictures and even diagrams of the cake.  It should be called “Cake Baking for Dummies”.

I tell ya, this was perfect for me!

I tell ya, this was perfect for me!

This was so helpful, I think I can safely say that there will be no entries sent into Craft Fail this year.  Don’t worry, I’m sure I will screw something else up pretty badly that they’ll get more from me.  The ADD cook still screwed stuff up-when I went to get the ingredients, I misread the list and missed a couple of things.  Luckily, I’m pretty good at improvising.

I also think that I’m starting to learn from my mistakes.  Whhhaaaaat?  Yes-I made the original cake for The Professor in the wrong sized pan.  When I took it out of the oven the middle had sunk.  Then when I tried to take it out of the pan there was a big hole in the bottom.  This time I remembered this and made it in two smaller pans.


It’s strawberry cake, hence the weird looking color.

I had to giggle when I got done cutting it all out, because it really looks like two rabid Pac-Men butt to butt.

Last year I learned my lesson with store bought frosting.  I used a can of the store bought stuff on the Princess Castle Cake, now known as the famous boob cake (it really will be famous, I understand it may be in the Craft Fail book!) I tried homemade frosting on the Batman cake and it worked beautifully.  I’ll never go back.  I did invest in a set of gel food coloring at Target.  Although I’m sure regular food coloring would have worked just fine, the color that it made was gorgeous!  When it was all said and done, both The Princess and I ate entirely too much frosting because it was THAT good.

Official frosting taste tester.

Official frosting taste tester.

I used the butter frosting recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, except that I substituted shortening for half of the butter in the recipe on the advice of a cake frosting expert (my Mom).

In the end, other than the fact that I should have made more frosting (or eaten less), I think it turned out beautifully!  She was thrilled with her purple butterfly cake.

The Princess on her birthday.

The Princess on her birthday.  As you can see the cake turned out great!

The birthday itself was pretty quiet.  We went to the park that day and did presents and cake and ice cream that night.  I was a little disappointed in what we ended up getting her-but the girl has a million ponies, Barbies, and stuffed animals.  I didn’t just want to buy more stuff just for the sake of having some birthday gifts.  We would up doing the more practical types of gifts.  She received some great stuff for t-ball this summer, except we’re still looking for pink batting gloves.  She was happy with everything she got, and as you can see below they both really liked the cake!

What's not to like?  Cake= GOOD.

What’s not to like? Cake= GOOD.

Am I a WAHM or a BAHM?

We're no strangers to the comic book store.

We’re no strangers to the comic book store.  Not a great picture, but it shows my daughter’s undying love for Superman, however creepy he is.

I was kind of quiet yesterday for good reason.  We were trying to squeeze in Free Comic Day, a haircut, the retrieval of my husband’s car, and my birthday celebration into one day. Evil Genius was wonderful-he said it was my day.  This meant I got to do pretty much whatever I wanted, within time and budgetary constraints of course.  So after I did a little solo shopping at the mall while they were at the comic book store, we met up and drove back home to get the haircut taken care of and headed BACK to the big city to get in line to see Iron Man 3.  This was to be followed by a light supper afterwards.  I was pretty psyched to get out because I didn’t think I could stand another day of sitting home and doing very little, and I am dying to see that particular movie.

We got three blocks from the movie theater…and heard the unmistakable sound of a child throwing up in the back seat. Not like you want to know this, but the Professor has issues with spontaneous vomiting.  We never really know if he is sick or had one of his random episodes. Being the great parents that we are (don’t laugh) we turned the car around and went home.

Sorry Mr Stark, I’m going to have to wait another week or two or twelve to experience your awesomeness. After I cleaned the backseat thoroughly, Evil Genius cooked me a delicious dinner, we watched Rise of the Guardians with the kids, and then later on watched Anchorman again-because I needed some serious comic relief.  I love lamp.

Tony Stark reads my letter of apology...

Tony Stark reads my letter of apology…

And Evil Genius’s car is still at work.  Guess who’s taking him to work tomorrow?  I’m not complaining, since it’s Princess Gimme’s birthday I’m sure she’ll be up at the crack of dawn anyway.

I did a weekly wrap-up yesterday quite late, if you missed it and want to read it click here.

On to other things, today I am participating in a series about WAHMs over at Mommy Writings: Daughter of Maat.  Today is Part 1 of how I got into blogging and writing. I realize that I can’t really consider myself a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) since I don’t really get paid for what I do (yet.)  For the time being I’m considering myself a BAHM (Blog At Home Mom).  The link to the post is here.

Back home at the ranch, I’ve got a birthday cake to make for The Princess and birthday shopping to attend to today, but I’m feeling a bit *urpy* myself.  I really hope he didn’t share his germs with me!  Don’t worry, I’ll try not to breathe on you…

Wonder where we go for our geek fix?  In Central Iowa we have the coolest comic book store ever-it’s called Mayhem Comics and is located in both Des Moines and Ames.  I’m saving the rest of my information for a future post on our hopeless geekdom, but I really wanted to give a quick shout-out to this place because it is AWESOME! 

The ADD Mom Travels: Encounters with UFOs, Evil Screens, and Pork Chop Anxiety

Best way to get me to travel-it’s like the mother ship, calling me home… (this car really exists-they showed up at Applebees once when we were there!)

Once upon a time we attempted to travel more than a few miles.  We also had company for more than a few minutes but less than a few hours.  The events leading up to the actual event that we were trying to get to made it that much more interesting…

The weirdness commenced when my son tried to go to Sunday School with no shoes on.  He waited until we were walking down the sidewalk to tell me this information.  “MOM, I don’t have any SHOES ON!”  I hadn’t even noticed, apparently he didn’t either.  Our church is very close to our house, so we often walk.  Now that his little sister is also attending Sunday School, he has to walk with her.  Our state has had a rash of child stealing people (always in a white van), so he can’t walk by himself anymore anyway.  Apparently he forgot that he was to wait for his sister and his Mom afterwards.  He went home while I was waiting downstairs.  What made this even more pleasant was that there was a potluck that we weren’t attending, and Princess Tantrum was EXTREMELY unhappy about this fact.  We had waited almost 15 minutes while inhaling wonderful smells coming from the other room when we saw Evil Genius come around the corner with The Professor, obviously from the direction of our house.  Yeah, he was so busted.

The reason we didn’t go to the potluck is that we were trying to get out of town for a family gathering.  My nephew turns two this next week, and my sister was throwing a party for him.  Apparently they live a lot further away than I thought they did.  I’ll get to that in a minute.

I had spent the morning trying to get presents wrapped, because as usual I had put it off until the last second, because that’s what I do.  I had actually planned on doing it the night before, but we had Evil Genius’s Dad and a Random Somehow Related Person come up.  Cousin?  Nephew?  Evil Genius has a very interesting family due to divorces and remarriages and divorces and remarriages, sometimes even to the same people they divorced.  Don’t ask and I won’t tell.  Anyway, the Random Somehow Related Person was not interested in playing with Princess Tantrum’s ponies or Barbies.  She could not fathom how a boy in 9th grade would not want to do this.  It brought darkness across the land when they then departed along with her father to go to car races in another town.  Evil.  I spent the evening trying to make it up to her and to her brother that didn’t get to go along, and of course got nothing accomplished.  Pajama Popcorn Party-best distraction ever.  Who knew eating popcorn in pajamas was so fun?

Due to them not staying more than a little bit we didn’t get to have the six expensive pork chops (to me, the one who doesn’t like to buy meat) we had bought and thawed.  Wasting meat in our house is a sin.  So we had to try to figure out what to do with those pork chops already marinated in the refrigerator.  We would have to return from our trip in time to eat pork chops, lest we waste meat.

Back to wrapping.  I actually had no decent wrapping paper.  We do Christmas paper really well.  The Professor has a birthday right after Christmas so we tend to recycle gift bags and use less Christmassy looking paper that is actually Christmas paper for his gifts.  I was out of boy wrapping paper.  So I grabbed gift bags.  Our gift bags are never thrown away unless they are horribly mangled.  We keep them and recycle them year after year.  So you can always count on finding something appropriate for the gift.  So I did gift bags.  Remember the card we made that could deflect the sun?  We still have it-yeah, I never sent it.Princess Tantrum made yet another card for my nephew, and I finished it up that morning-she did the inside and I finished the outside.  It turned out pretty cute.  As I finished wrapping and present stuff I gathered up the 57 pieces of artwork that we were taking with us to distribute amongst the family that would be there, and take stuff to the car so I won’t forget anything.  A classic Jedi mind trick utilized by the ADD folk.

12:30-I check Google Maps.  I’ve been to her house several times but only once have driven myself there, and due to a horrible Mapquest error I got very lost.  In horror I discovered it was almost an hour further than I had thought.  At that point we were already going to be late.  It was almost three hours to get there, according to Google.  The party started at 3:00.  I panic because I am still in my sweatpants, grubby shirt and hastily combed hair at this point.  I wasn’t even going to get to take a shower.  I get stuff together to wear and throw it in the dryer with a wet towel to dewrinkle, because of course what I want to wear is a mess.  Meanwhile I try to get the children to finish their lunch, and get their things they need together to go.  They must take many things to do or they will kill each other.  And the things they take must work or have all of the parts.  The last two times we traveled my son has brought his DS.  The first time he forgot to bring a game for it.  The next time he had forgotten to charge it so it was dead as a doornail.

1:00-We get out the door and go on our way.  I can’t find my water bottle but at least they have theirs.  I’m not going back to find it at this point.  I tell them they just had milk and they WILL NOT get their water bottles for a little while.  I drive out of town and on to the next one before I realize I have forgotten to take my meds that day.  Not just some of them, ALL of them.  I felt pretty good-maybe I’d be ok.  I am NOT going back now.  We were maybe ten minutes gone at this point.  I call my mom and tell her I’m going to be late.  I’ve already texted my sister and didn’t want to bother her again.  Then the Princess pipes up “Can I have my water bottle now?”  NO!  The reason they don’t get them is the minute I hand them the water “with flavoring” in it the liquid will be sucked up in less than ten seconds.  Ten minutes later the bathroom requests begin.

Aw dang it I forgot the pony.

1:10-The Professor is already bored with everything he has brought with him.  He was even told to bring more than one game to play.  He is threatened multiple times to not cause trouble.  Princess Tantrum is actually quite well prepared, she has brought her Leapster, 15 ponies, a sparkly scarf, and a wooden thing she made in Bible School (not sure why she brought that.)  Ponies have a magnet in their foot so they stick to the door frame.  That is very entertaining.

2:00-The Professor announces he is hot.  He gets carsick easily, so this is not a good thing.  I check to make sure he is not wearing too many layers of clothing.  Often if it’s 100 degrees he will want to wear a sweatshirt, sometimes leading to spewing and blowing chunks.  He’s appropriately dressed.  I tell him maybe he needs a drink.  I prepare the water with the “flavoring” while going down the highway, opening the little packages with my teeth and the water bottles between my legs while wearing a skirt.  I’m pretty talented.  They are consumed in six seconds. No throwing up-that’s a good thing.

2:45-The kids have to pee.  Eyeballs are floating and stuff.  I have to go too:  since I couldn’t find my water bottle I just left a 12 pack of Diet Sunkist Lemonade in the car to drink and I’ve drank quite a few.  We arrive at a rest stop relatively close to where we turn off the interstate to go to my sister’s house.  I text her informing her that apparently Google is wrong, because it was not going to take anywhere near as long to get there as it had indicated.  So we’d only be “somewhat late” instead of “really late”. I usher the kids inside-I chose the rest stop because I didn’t want them asking for stuff since I’m broke.  And I needed a new map-they’re FREE you know!  But as we came out my son had found what he considered the most amazing thing he had ever seen in his whole life:  The DOT Traveler Information Network screen that is interactive.  Nice, but very distracting.  I almost had to drag them out screaming.  Luckily I had the prospect of birthday cake to bribe them with.

This is a nice addition to rest stops for most people, but evil for people like me who are trying to get two children to come peacefully back to the car. At least I got a free map.

3:30-We arrive at our destination.  Children play, adults visit, food, cake, ice cream is consumed.  Many pictures are taken because cuteness abounds here with both children and animals.  I worry about pork chops.  Pork chop anxiety is never good.

5:45-I start giving the warnings that we will be leaving soon.  Warnings are ignored.  I finally am able to coerce the younger one into the house by mentioning there are kitties.  Remember there are pork chops involved.  We must leave so we don’t waste meat.

6:00-We are close to leaving. Both children are urged to use the bathroom so we don’t have to stop immediately.  The toilet is too tall, and I have to hoist Princess Tantrum onto it each time.  And there are ducks.  A Momma duck and baby ducks that ride on her back in my nephews’ bath toys.  I was surprised she ever came out of the bathroom.  Then there is a busy ball popper in the living room.  NO!  Not those-my kids cannot resist the evil ball popper.  Ours mysteriously disappeared recently.  It “accidentally” fell out of the back of my car into a Goodwill donation bin.  Not sure how that happened.   We try to convince the children to take a family picture.  The final result is my parents strong arming the children, The Professor is obviously distracted by the ball popper to the left, Princess Tantrum is trying NOT to look at it with really big eyes.

6:15-We finally are able released from the Ball Popper’s clutches and are down the road at Caseys to fill up the car.  I have to go back into the parking lot three times because the Professor keeps dropping things on the floor, and has to unbuckle each time to get them.  He will NOT be bored on this return trip.

6: 45-We had to return to the rest area because although both kids were forced to “try” to go to the bathroom before leaving, they had to go again.  Maybe because they guzzled down the water right away?  Hmmm.  So we went back to the rest stop.  I even let them play with the DOT thing for a couple of moments.  Now the sun was getting low in the sky and it was that really bad time of day when you can barely see.  If you look at the sun you wreck havoc by possibly getting your retinas burned out.  Not fun.  So we thought we’d come up with a solution.  I  had handed The Professor a Walmart cooler bag to help shield his face from the dangers of the sun.  He decided it would be more interesting to wear it on his head.  Princess Tantrum began wailing that she needed one too.  It was in the trunk-so while we here I grabbed it.  I decided I had better take a picture while we were parked.  It’s now my profile picture on Facebook.  Creative, but weird…

I look like I’m being invaded by Walmart. My kids are weird.

7:15-Now remember I didn’t take my meds.  My anxiety is getting a little out of sorts and it’s REALLY time to just go home.  Between this, the sun in my eyes issue, getting hungry and getting tired I was really pushing things.  And then I thought I saw a meteor shower.  Or UFOs.  Little lighted trails of smoke that were odd looking, and there were many of them.  I’m surprised I didn’t wreck my car because I was trying to get a good look at them.  I even tried taking a picture while driving.  It was driving me crazy-what ARE those?  I was really disappointed when I figured out it was just some sort of jet.  😦  I wanted aliens.

8:15-I give in to hunger and floating eyeballs and stop at McDonalds just off the interstate.  Arguments ensue about what we can actually afford to eat versus what we want to eat.  Did you know fries are NOT on the dollar menu anymore?  Two hamburgers, three small fries, and a snack wrap later we return to the road.

9:15-We arrive home.  My kids are exhausted, but need to get right to bed because tomorrow is a school day after all.  I pick up my stuff to go inside, and there under my bag is:  MY WATER BOTTLE.

We still didn’t eat pork chops…

The ADD Mom Makes Stuff…With Assistance

This is really getting out of hand.

My sister’s birthday is on Thursday.  In true ADD fashion I am just now getting around to doing stuff for it.  I’ve thought about it quite a bit, as usual I realized “Hey it’s in TWO days!” today.  And we’re making stuff, because that’s what we do.

Hey sis, if you read my blog, your present is going to be late.  Mainly because stuff needs to dry.  Scared yet?  By the way, I wrote this yesterday.  I DO know when your birthday is.

Princess Impatient loves to help Mommy make stuff.  Especially if there is any sort of art involved.  I scrapbook and I make my own cards.  Ahem, I used to scrapbook and I used to make my own cards.  That’s because whenever I get stuff out she must be involved, and take over.  So now WE make cards.  My goal is to start scrapbooking again before the month is over.  I have a couple of days.  We’ll see how that goes.  I can give the princess a scrapbook page of her own to make, but somehow I don’t think that will fly with the dog.  That will be another post:  The Dog Ate My Scrapbook Page, He’s Dead Now.

So WE made a card today.  It started out simple.  After she got done with it, I think it could possibly be used to reflect the sun away from the earth.  It’s THAT sparkly.  Four year olds don’t  have any form of sparkle self-control.  There’s no glitter, just lots and lots of sparkly stuff.  I don’t want to go there, because to paraphrase Demetri Martin “Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies”.  Because once it gets on you, you’ve got it forever.

The genius of Demetri Martin.

(For the comedically uninformed, Demetri Martin is one of the funniest people who’ve ever walked this earth.  He not only does stand up comedy but draws lots of pictures and stuff.  Here is an example of his funniness.  I understand he just wrote a book.  I need to make money so I can buy it.)

I mentioned the “worm” that she crafted out of sparkly pom poms and craft sticks yesterday.  This worm thing is also getting out of hand.  We now are on to our second worm, second worm house, a worm slide, and a worm teeter totter.  She wants to make many more worms, mainly because she’s obsessed with those sparkly pom poms.  I hate pom poms because no matter what kind of glue you use they won’t stick to anything (I haven’t tried Super Glue-I’m not giving that to a 4 year old.  I have visions of the dog wearing permanent sparkles, glued to the side of the stove).  She also wants to make worm chew toys, because apparently worms are notorious for chewing stuff up (who knew?)  By the way, the worms are named Worma and Wormy.  Worma has issues with her head-I think it must be some sort of genetic mutation that only sparkly worms get.  Her head won’t stay on.  She’d be an easy target for The Highlander.  Oh wait, worms don’t have hands (no sword fighting going on at that worm house).  Maybe if Princess Impatient would just WAIT FOR THE GLUE TO DRY!

Where the little wormies live!

Anyway, back to the gift making process.  We have a very sparkly card, various artwork, and before the end of the day we may have a human sized sculpture to send through the mail.  I can’t afford that kind of postage.  I hope I can find the postage I have.  I hope she likes Christmas stamps.

(Mom-I made you a card for Mother’s Day.  It was very cool.  I had it.  I never sent it.  Then I meant to give it to you but I forgot.  Then I lost it.  Maybe you’ll get it by next Mother’s Day.)

Oh wait, we’re back to the worms again.  Now she wants the worms to have pets.  Adhesive google eyes on a sparkly pom pom-BAM!  You got pets.  Oh wait, now they’re worm babies.  I don’t have the heart to tell her how worms reproduce.

This could go on for days…