the birthday girl woke up this morning, a school day, to her snuggie and new camera.....and other goodies....life is good. the week goes on! grace's birthday certainly has been fun for all of us. after school. she asked our neighbors to come over for cupcakes with the 4 year old she babysits and his little baby brother, 15 months old. grace also had 2 friends over.....to make cupcakes. everyone came for cupcakes.
the cake mix that i bought was whipped up the moment i said that the oven had been repaired. that was monday. rick, my appliance repairman had been here. he knew that i needed that oven to bake a birthday cake or cupcakes! even rick knew the birthday reverence we had at our house.
rick and i go way back...our relationship began with a glitch in the washing machine. he came to save us....it was no big deal to fix...it was just unfortunate that i got tossed under the dryer! luckily, the washing machine trouble only took one quick visit. that's when he told us that the load had been too full and some little doo hickety broke off. oops? who might have overfilled the washer?
rick had won biff over when he praised biff for his wonderful self control involving the washing machine. rick was delighted that biff had not touched the washing machine in order to look into the problem. rick had no idea how lucky he was. biff has been taking things, any thing, apart since he recieved a pocket watch at age 9. he loved the pocket watch so much that he had to take it apart to see what made it work. wow!
i should be thankful that biff is handy like that. actually, biff himself comes in handy. i know i've mentioned how great he is with the christmas tree....he cuts the tree down on the coldest and dampest or snowiest nights, puts it on the car, ties it on, drives us all home and carries it to the house and puts it in the stand! and he's happy and proud to get the job done. this is not something that i was familiar with.
and it stays up.....that was worth marrying him just for that. he knows i say this. he also knows i was scarred living in a family with more charlie brown christmas stories than shoul be legal. many a tear of mine has been shed over a christmas tree.....i wanted to live in a hallmark commercial but instead i felt like our family trees always had a glitch. sorry, i digress.
biff and rick had a wonderful relationship from the first date/appointment.....at my expense. they had fun discussing my laundry issues. my mom didn't spend much time teaching me laundry techniques....i've learned the hard way. i had to learn it on the streets. i've learned alot from friends.
when grace was born, my friend karen told me all about stain stick. she had her baby just months before. my friend susan had a great cleaning knack and she taught me about chlorox and when to use it. by the time i had 2 babies, the laundry seemed to multiply. most likely, grace wearing different clothes every hour based on her need for fancy dress up or bathing suits to coordinate with her snow suits had something to do with quantity. at some point, i pleaded with my friend cathy....."please tell me what you do to get all of the laundry folded and how do you get stuff so clean?" .....and that was she gave me the laundry tip of my life. "tide with bleach," she said. "and i buy all white socks...just white!" and i wondered how my life had grown so complicated. for one thing, i knew that the end of the "socks of the month" was near.
so, i have learned alot over the years. any morsel of a suggestion? i'll take it. just put your info. into the comments. it's never too late. of course, a little laundry insecurity hasn't been all bad....biff was great about helping me. especially, in our first apartment....our cute little mary tyler moore apartment on the 3rd floor of a victorian house....3 floors up....stairs.....with laundry in the basement.....3 floors down plus stairs to the basement......then up, up, up, up! as wonderful as our little tree house was, i called our basement "the dungeon." it was a bit dark and dingy.....and to me a bit scary. he made some major hauls to "the dungeon."
now, here's the thing.....rick actually installed the new oven piece. the one that was supposed to be white. after many attempts to get the white.........finding out that they no longer made white...........no longer had any white in stock, i am happy to that we are the proud yet quirky of a newly installed black panel........that's on a white oven....after months of using it as an island, a bookshelf and a plant stand........the piece we settled with is black.......there was no choice. it looks fabulous! keep in mind, our standards aren't that high.
so biff, rick and i live happily ever after until....our white refrigerator has an issue....and by then, they probably won't even sell the plain old fashioned white.....the whole world will be stainless....with no magnets on refrigerators.....anywhere in the universe.....but our kitchy kitchen.
when rick left the house that day....we had tears in our eyes! we had been together, living through this anguish together.....we lived through 2 ovens together....we were....like.....family! it was over.
we thought it was over....until the dogs barked.....rick was back at the door within minutes! he couldn't bare to be away! he was back! ..............he left his toolbox he was so filled with emotion.
so, on that big day.....to celebrate....grace made cupcakes after school .......2 days before her birthday! we had all of that time with no oven....it was time for a celebration. t.j., grace and i had cupcakes!
so, sure enough on grace's real birthday, wednesday......grace wanted the world in to have birthday cupcakes. something we've done forever.....inviting all of the kids who live nearby! only.....wait.....alot of families have moved away....nothing personal, i hope. so, rather than immediately after the bus, we would have some friends in after four o'clock.
t.j. tolerated this well, considering the mix has fewer boys these days... fewer kids actually........now we have to improvise by importing friends.....and for the birthday girl, it was her friends.
the cupcakes couldn't be made without the mix. we had no mix! the cake mix had been used up. so had the icing....on the oven celebration. what's a mom to do?
this is when i'm at my best thinking moment! elli was expected to stop by. just then, grace asked me to call her mom. i called her cell to check in. hallelujah! they were in the car.....on there way to stop and shop....they would be here after a quick stop! that was a wonderful moment. i if they would buy some cake mix and icing for me! for the birthday girl!
not every mom would be comfortable asking this of another mom.....especially one that has very high cooking credentials....as in a chef! i'm pretty honest about my domestic dilemmas and this is no surprise to elli's mom. she came through for me....she delivered elli and the cake mix. they came to the door and happily gave the yellow cake mix and pink icing to grace, as her gift! it had been on sale....it was a happy moment for us all!
we talked. the girls laughed. we talked some more. the girls laughed all day. t.j. had male bonding with the boys on x-box. life was good. elli's mom and i talked so long that the little boys from down the street arrived with heir mom and dad. they had just eaten dinner! they had big smiles and gifts for our little lady. babies in the house! weeeeeeee!
so, elli's mom left when she realized the time. elli remained.....with grace and kate......and t.j. playing x-box.....and the 2 little boys and their mom and dad. that's when biff got home. what fun we all had. only, no cupcakes.
it's a sad day for me when i have broken a promise to a 4 year old. little jack woke up that morning talking about caroline's birthday. he told his mom that he wasn't going to school......because it was grace's birthday! he must have known my family history with birthdays. he waited for the right time to come for cupcakes.....he even brought grace a present!
it was bait and switch. the time flew by while we all shared some stories.......they had to leave.....it was his bedtime....with no possibility of a cupcake in sight....the girls were still at the computer. we had to send jack off with cookies and milk. he was happy..... but it was no cupcake. now, we'll have to have a day with make up cupcakes.
with the kitchen finally quiet, the girls came out to the kitchen to make the cupcakes. as the cupcakes baked, kate's dad came to the door to pick her up. he came in the kitchen to chat while she got ready.....i mean, she had to be torn away from the facebook fun. we stood and talked for awhile. we laughed about the oven and the kitchen. he owned a kitchen business! we almost had a new kitchen by the time he left. although, i just wouldn't be able to part with that oven....not yet!
well, no cupcakes for kate. she was whisked away into the night with no cupcake...the reason she had been here...to celebrate with the birthday girl. then, it was time for us to drive elli home. you guessed it. no cupcake....and they bought the mix!
so, we all had a great day.....birthdays are even if we had to wait for the cupcakes!