Monday, July 30, 2007

when life gives you lemons...

you have the party anyway.

(pardon the "no skipping of lines" in this post. blogger is having it out with me. and i don't even know what i did to deserve it.)
this is a little overdue. but here it is nonetheless.

we decided to have a first birthday party for the goo. and in a moment of temporary insanity and mental weakness, we decided to throw it outside.
SURELY i have mentioned my feelings re: summer weather. better yet, my feelings toward summer weather in texas in JULY.


well, as some blogs have mentioned, it has rained a lot, A LOT, here this summer. now, you won't hear me complaining (as much as i could) because it has kept the temperatures below 100, which is good. it has, however, not kept the humidity level below 614%, thank you very much.

the combination of all these weather-related issues: sweat, bad hair, greasy face.
that combination does not lend itself to a happy lady. (but this day wasn't about me. it was about the goo.)

so i'm pretty sure it rained the entire day last sunday. party at 4. rain stopped at 3:50. resident mosquitoes came to greet our guests one by one as they arrived. we're hospitable like that.

i was so bummed. so bummed that i didn't even put the goo in her swimsuit. because putting her in the pool so meant that i had to get in the pool. and clearly no other adults were getting in this pool with all of the other 3- and 4-year-olds. (goo doesn't have any of her own friends yet.) so i would be the only one.

so she just wore her lounge pants and birthday t-shirt and looked cute for the two-hour shindig.

and here is the silver lining. or the lemonade, if you will.
buz and i have amazing friends. my first guest to arrive forgot swimsuits for her children (even though it clearly stated it on the invitation). but they were happy to be playing outside, in the 217% humidity. troopers. second guest to arrive came, swimsuit in tow, ready to get wet.

so the three of us mommies stood there (with me moping, i might add), and weentrab said something to the fact, "let's have this party anyway." (sorry weentrab, i can't quote you verbatim. you said something like that, right?) and so we did. i put away my camera, held the goo, offered cold drinks to all who were present, and buz headed out to the grill. (God bless you, buz. interestingly enough, no one other than weentrab's husband went to talk to buz. guess 344% humidity combined with the heat of an open grill doesn't attract a lot of company. looked like buz had taken a dip in the pool in his clothes. only, he hadn't.)

guests came. dinner was served. cake was served. cookie cake was served.

and in the end, fun was had by all. and goo was celebrated and honored. and that was most important.

and big h was only in time out once.

again...success, people.

clearly, she was so enthused. (goo was running on one little nap at this point.)
this was about as messy as she got. too tired, i guess. and bull if i was going to let her put her fingers in my beautiful cake. oh no, she was NOT going to do that.
this was her birthday invitation.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

paula who?

seriously, boomama, i hope your friend leigh has the other half of your necklace.

because to make this cake for her. well, you are one incredible friend.

after reading your blog about this beautiful cake, i was moved. emotionally. spiritually. physically. and by physically, i mean i had to head straight to the local store to buy EVERY INGREDIENT!

so, let's stop there for a moment. for those of you who don't know me or haven't read this blog before or for very long, i do not cook. and to say i don't cook is quite an understatement. and frankly, i can't even come up with a decent comparison. let's just say that one time i messed up kraft macaroni and cheese when buz and i we were first married. buz walked around that night with a dazed and confused look on his face. "did she mess up kraft macaroni and cheese? i wasn't sure that was possible." so again, people, i do NOT cook. not sure buz was that excited about that when he decided to pursue me, but apparently something else drew me to him. probably my looks. yeah, definitely my looks.

so for me to read a blog post about cooking is saying something. to actually be spiritually inspired by that cooking post is almost unheard of.

hmmm...if only i had an occasion coming up....


i know! i will make a cake for goo's first birthday party! with all my bestest friends!

my track record with big occasions is as follows:

  • big h's first birthday at our house with our closest friends. i decided i would live outside the box and make something other than the usual yellow cake with chocolate frosting. (incidentally, that is one of my favorite sweets. which is funny seeing as how i don't really like sweets. i know. i don't really like chocolate. it's a blessing and a curse.) so in my "i'm so hip, i'm not going to fix something *normal* moment," i decided to get a cake mix in a box called cinnamon crumb. and then, i paired it with some cream cheese frosting in a can. oh yeah, that's going to be delicious. at the end of our pizza that night, i was essentially serving our guests another meal...breakfast. seriously. it tasted like some breakfast treat. don't get me wrong. it was good. just should have been served with flavored coffee, not dr. pepper and kiddie water bottles.
  • big h's second birthday party. i got smart. stick to cupcakes that taste like cupcakes. yellow cake and perhaps white frosting? whatever. it was good. thank you, betty crocker.
  • big h's third birthday. my intelligence was growing by leaps and bounds. BUY a cake. so we bought a cake with a MOVING! THOMAS! AND A TRACK! i kid you not, even the adults were ooh-ing and ahh-ing. this cake was all that.

so this year, i knew i wanted to do something special for the goo. and when i saw the post, i just knew this had to be it. mind you, i read the post for pure entertainment purposes. i never actually put two and two together with the whole "make your frosting from scratch" thing.

so buz tells me yesterday that i really needed to make the cake the night before. the day of (today), we have church, and the party will start at 4. and he figures i will be stressed. at first, i'm like, "oh pretty, i'll have plenty of time. there isn't that much to do around the house, other than throw everything in the guest room and lock the door." but he insists. make the cake, he says.

don't you hate it when your husband is right? and often?

i do.

so we decided to forgo date night (which is renting a movie or previous episodes of grey's anatomy and eating pei wei take out) last night so i can work on this cake. whatever.

bath for the kids. check. read big h a cart full of stories. check. watch goo in the baby monitor and ooh and ahh over her cuteness. check. big glass of ice water ready to be enjoyed. check.

and sweet buz walks in the kitchen with his laptop so he can "be there for moral support." honestly, don't tell him this, but i think it was going to be a turnon to see me in the kitchen. granted, i wasn't wearing an apron (should have been), but i was holding a hand mixer, a whisk, and a spatula. this is buz's idea of perfection. (never mind the fact that i don't know how to use any of the aforementioned objects.)

so prior to the evening, buz had taken big h to the store to get groceries and all of the items on my list as well. my list included all the ingredients for this cake. as well as some other things that i apparently needed to complete the cake.

a sifter. which buz had to purchase.

a double-broiler. yes, i kept referring to it as a double BROILER not BOILER. aren't you sad for me? needless to say, buz had trouble finding that.

i had to buy another 9" cake pan because i only had two. and the two i had. well, i had to use my goo gone to get the stickers (i.e. price tag) off of them. because with all the heat and humidity in the SIX years since we got married, the UPC bar codes had stuck pretty good.

there is quite a bit of just plain pitiful information about my relationship with my kitchen. for example, i was the only one to get married between 1980 and the present and not register for this. not because i forgot to. because i didn't want to and honestly couldn't think of any use for it. i think if someone were to have asked me who paula deen was, i would have assumed she was a friend of my mom's. no doubt my mom wishes that were true. but no such luck.

are we getting the message that i am not confident in the kitchen? like buz is not confident in a hoyty toyty children's clothing store? got it?

so i began the cake extravaganza at approximately 8:30. you have to read to the bottom to know when i actually completed the cake.

i start with the cake mix. and it tells me to mix the butter for seven minutes until fluffy. i mumble to myself about how in the world will it get fluffy? people, it got fluffy. i know! it did! and then, she goes to tell about how to add the ingredients. seriously. so i did all of it, by the book. and they went in the oven. and i was so tickled with myself. because i had just made three cakes from scratch. FROM SCRATCH, PEOPLE! while they baked, i prepared the filling and prepared the ingredients for the frosting.

seriously. at this point, i am really struggling with pride. but i am so freaking proud of myself i can't see straight.

[but then i hear a screech on the record player]

sorry, make the frosting? missed that part. but ok, so i'm up to the challenge. (cue eye of the tiger)

so i begin mixing my frosting over boiling water in my double BOILER, not to be confused with double BROILER (which actually doesn't exist). and after mixing for the recommended seven minutes, i let everything cool. and watched buz check me out. he was so into "chef janet." seriously, he was. granted, this is the first time he had ever met her. but that's not the point.

filling completed but was in the red bowl in front. that blue thing in the bowl? it's called a spatula. on the right in the double BOILER pan is my HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH frosting. i think the drying bottles really gives this picture that down to earth feel, don't you think?

and now the prep work began.

poke holes in each layer and fill with filling. add another cake. repeat process. until the cake part was finished. and we were ready to frost it and lavish it with coconut.

so my finished product doesn't look quite like boo's (i reserve the right to nickname you boo right now in my own little pretend world. because i stayed up until ONE O'CLOCK in the morning making this bloody cake because of your recommendation. i wish i had a British accent) does. and it definitely does NOT look like jamie's. but it's the thought that counts, right? we'll soon see.

do you see the coconut oozes over the edge of the cake? i don't think it's supposed to do that.

look at all of those kitchen gadgets! you're impressed, huh? and do you see the sifter? yeah, i used it. i'm a baker like that.

OH! AND LOOK! i have a cake plate. apparently, someone gave us one for a wedding present. i should use it more often. and who knew? it can also serve as a punch bowl? craziness, i tell ya.

also, there are so many things i enjoy about this picture. the household cleaning wipes on the table. the hamburger and hot dog condiments behind the cake. and how enormous is that big bottle of pace picante sauce? buz bought it at the store. and i appreciate his positive outlook. you know, the one that says that we are having 172 people at goo's birthday party. (buz, i love you so much.)

updated: it was a hit. i think. will post about goo's little party later. but as for the cake. first of all, we went ahead and ordered a cookie cake for the kiddos and for those allergic to coconut or for those who just didn't like coconut oozing out of every corner of the mound of sweet goodness. and yes, the cookie cake was a hit with the kiddos. but listen to me when i say that people were talking. they were whispering. they were asking where this cake was bought. ok, that's not totally accurate. that's just what i dreamed about last night. but they were talking. maybe just being nice. i don't know. but honestly, there was about a fourth left when everyone left the party. and i couldn't find much of it when i searched the trash. (oh, by the way, i didn't really search the trash.)

that's success.

Friday, July 20, 2007

sweet, sweet baby...

[warning: proud mommy alert. mass quantities of pictures. enter at own risk.]

july 16 2006

to my sweet peanut,

today is sunday, and it is hard to believe that you are going to be here in less than four days, and you could be here tomorrow. that is so crazy, my little baby. it is hard to imagine who you are and what you will become. what your personality will be. who you will look like. if you're a boy or a girl!!! it's been much harder this time around not knowing. we didn't know with your brother if he was a boy or a girl. but either way, he would change our life forever. now, your arrival brings so much meaning to our "family." will i be a mom of two boys? will big h be a big brother to a little brother or a little sister? oh, the excitement you are bringing t o our life right now is so amazing. peanut, you have been prayed for constantly and by so many people. you have an amazing big brother. i can't wait to see how he will love you. he has so much passion and emotion for life.he is so opinionated, and i think (hope) he's going to be possessive and protective of you, and i pray it will be a beautiful picture of a sibling relationship. peanut, whether you're a boy or a girl, your daddy is already so smitten with you. he is an incredible man with so much love for his family. we are so lucky to have him protecting us physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

oh, and peanut I love you! i have prayed for, over, and with you. i can't believe your arrival is so near. i found out that i have high blood pressure, so i have had to lay on my side and not do much activity for a while. we have another doctor's appointment tomorrow, and hopefully our doctor, who we LOVE and trust, will tell us we can hold out until thursday, which is when you're scheduled to get here. the only reason i want to wait until thursday is because i want everyone to be here to celebrate your birthday. nana is coming on tuesday. papa is coming on wednesday. grandma and grandpa are getting here tuesday too. i just want everything to be smooth for your arrival, so we can focus on you. daddy and i are so excited about you getting here. peanut, you are such a gift. i'm sure you will know this by the time you read this, but mommy and daddy had a miscarriage after your brother and before you. so we consider you a miracle. you've provided us with great anticipation.

i am laying in bed tonight praying for your delivery. i am praying that you come smoothly. i so mourned the delivery of your brother. i wanted a "normal" vaginal delivery. but the Lord knew what was best. and because that was such a chaotic and scary delivery, i am praying that you come into the world with a little more peace. i am praying for weentrab. that she feels refreshed when she gets to the hospital, so that she can be a huge part of our day. i am praying for our dr. b and the anesthesiologist team. that they sleep well wednesday night and are full of energy thursday morning. i pray for dr. b and dr. a. that their hands are steady and they have clear heads the morning you get here. i pray for your health. that the Lord has taken good care of you inside me.

peanut, i cannot adequately describe the butterflies i have in my stomach about meeting you. guess it really is Christmas in July around here.

dear Jesus, thank you for peanut.

until we meet. i love you already.

this is the letter i wrote to the goo four nights before she was born. today, july 20, 2007, i celebrate the goo.

dear goo,

it was one year ago today that we welcomed you into our family. one year ago, daddy and i walked down the halls of labor and delivery with butterflies in our stomachs due to all of the anticipation and excitement of your arrival.

we were so excited to have our friend weentrab witness the entire thing. (seriously, weentrab, i will never be able to thank you adequately.)

this delivery was so incredibly smooth. i, of course, didn't sleep a wink the night before. partly because of my ENORMOUS belly. but more so because i could. not. wait. to meet you.

your daddy is the best daddy in the world. he told me jokes that morning while i was having my IV put in. (apparently, i am a hard stick.) but he was also serious and sentimental when it was time.

they wheeled me into the OR. i had no saliva whatsoever. i just wanted to meet you. i wanted to know you. i wanted to envision your gender. everything went so smooth. your daddy prayed the entire time the doctors were getting mommy open.

which worked because i was more calm in those several minutes than i had been in several weeks.

and then, all of the sudden, dr. a said, "well, hello sweetheart."

i just knew.

i just knew you were a girl.

and goo, i am welling up with tears as i type this because i can't begin to put my excitement and pure joy into words. i will never do that feeling any justice.

buz went over to look at you and watch you get cleaned, while my sweet weentrab just sat right next to me, reassuring me that she hadn't left me. it was such a surreal moment to say, "weentrab, i have a girl. i have a girl." she was elated.

they brought you over to me, and i couldn't really see you, but i will never forget that smell. the combination of the clean OR smell and your sweetness. oh your sweetness.

everything went fine, and they wheeled us back into the room. buz said that he would run out into the waiting room to tell our family what you were and what your name was. but i SO wanted to do it myself. of course, they knew from the fact that i wanted to tell them, that you were a girl. but it didn't take away from the joy i experienced in introducing you to them. to say they were excited was an understatement.

we just sat there, dumbfounded. we couldn't believe the Lord had bestowed this incredible gift upon us. you were more beautiful than i ever could have imagined. all i wanted was to be close to you.

and then.

we got to introduce you to your brother. oh, goo. this little guy was so excited to meet you. "baby! baby! daddy, baby! yook, baby! pitty guhl! i yuv her!"

and goo, as smoothly as you entered this earth, so have you been in personality.

finally, a baby i could cuddle. a baby who would go to sleep nursing. (not that you were EVER a good nurser. but i won't hold it against you.) i never thought i would love having a girl this much. you rounded out our family. our family is complete. i love buying pink things. i love matching your shoes with your outfits. i love putting bows in your hair, even though technically you don't have enough hair to do so. i love always making sure you have bloomers on when you wear a dress. i love when you fall asleep in the car, and i get to do the "lift and lay" and lay you fast asleep in your crib.
i love giving you your bottle. if you ever think of a way for me to thank your aunt and uncle for introducing the bottle to you, please let me know. there are so many things in motherhood that i have had to mourn. one of those things was that i didn't get to nurse you until you were at least twelve months. but dr. g said 8 months was great. so i'm taking his word for it. but on the flip side, there is nothing i love more than feeding you your bottle. you sink into the pit on my elbow and just snuggle. your head sweats (like mine), and you enjoy every minute of it. i love that your dad and i farkle (rock, paper, scissors) for who gets to put you to bed at night because both of us want to do it so badly. don't think i don't cheat a lot. actually, daddy gives in because he's just that kind of guy.

speaking of daddy. wow, goo, you have one 37-year-old man wrapped around that cute little pinky of yours. that poor boy who comes to the door to ask you out on your first date. i will pray for him now.

actually, there is someone else that will be worse than dad. your brother. i don't even know where to begin. that poor future suitor. God bless his soul. big h loves you more than he knows what to do with. literally, some days he wants to hold you and cuddle with you so much that he ends up squeezing too hard. and his response? "but mama, i just yuv her so much. sometimes i just want to skeez her. i'm sorry i skeez her yots, mama. sometimes i can't help it." goo, you are his very best friend. he would go to the ends of his little earth for you. he wants you to be involved in everything. he wants to read all of his books to you. he wants to introduce all of his trains to you. he tells you EVERY. TIME. he goes poop on the potty. and're the first one he tells. (lucky you?) he holds your hand when you're asleep in the car. he shows you his dance moves. he explains to you who each backyardigan is. he wants so badly to teach you sign language. he sings songs to you when he can tell you're really tired. and more often than not, it puts you to sleep because he sings "extra ky-it." you don't ever laugh as hard as when he's messing with you. he asks daddy and me every night if you can take his bath with him. when we're getting ready to leave and get in the car, he always without a doubt says, "mama, don't forget about baby." and no question, my VERY FAVORITE thing he does with/for you is the minute you wake up. he walks in your room, puts his hands on his hips like daisy duke used to do on the dukes of hazard and says in a slow, southern drawl "where's my gooey?" seriously, your mama almost cries every morning. and then he asks, "baby, how did you sleep? i swept so good. i had pleasant dreams. did you have pleasant dreams too?" and then, he invites you into the living room to play with toys with him while i make breakfast? that is the best part of my day. next to putting you to bed at night, of course. but i already said that.

because you're not the first kid, you don't get regular naps. you just go with the flow. we just do big h's stuff, and you go along for the ride. that's who you are. we started nicknaming you "the shaft" because you always get the shaft. big h is always first in deciding what to do for the day. we are constantly saying, "oh yeah, we can do that. it won't matter to the goo. she can just do whatever."

your physical characteristics. besides being the most beautiful woman i have ever seen, you have one feature i could look at all day. your toes. they are so much fun. your third toe on each foot kind of has her own personality. she likes to be above the rest. a little superiority complex, if you will. and big h wants to eat your "keency" toes pretty much every minute of the day.

you go all day without a word. and then, around five o'clock in the afternoon, you announce to us that you've had enough. it's time for things to be about you now. move aside, big h. it's goo time. and we love that about you.

goo, you bring me more joy that i ever could have imagined. i love you with every ounce of my soul. thank you for becoming that missing part of our family. happy birthday, sweet gooey. here's to many more.

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

here's to you, sweet goo.