hello CUPCAKE!

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Because my large derriere was not planted in front of the computer screen yesterday I was able to be productive! I made these slumbering children cupcakes with Rebecca yesterday. I am so happy (as is Rebecca) with the end result. Hours of work will be devoured in a minute or two!

I got the idea from the book Hello Cupcake. If you love to bake and have children this book is an absolute MUST have in your cook book collection.

I will not be blogging tomorrow, January 21st as it is Rebecca’s 10th Birthday and we will be spending the day, celebrating together!

(I thank Mrs. B for letting Miss C. interrupt class to take this picture… and Miss C. thanks for taking them and emailing them to me since my computer is down!)

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The Land of Misfit Cookies

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T’is the season to be baking, Fa La La La La, La La La La… I was on a roll making my favorite crispy, buttery, brown sugary chocolate chip cookie.  I broke out all the cookie sheets and had both ovens on. Despite the boys wanting to help and make a mess along the way which included egg yolk on the counter and down the front of the cabinets, flour, white and brown sugar all over the floor, I persevered and baked all my cookies. I love to bake and I have been told that I am very good at it. But just as with everything else, we have our good days and our bad days. This was not one of our best days! I was having a harder time than usual. The cookies seemed thinner and more delicate than in the past. Perhaps it was my imagination. Perhaps it was my haste. Perhaps it was my complete and total lack of memory. The chips were hot and the cookies were thin and in some cases transfering them from hot cookie sheet to cooling rack took a bit of determination. I need a few more cooling racks. And a way to get the chips to cool faster. That’s when the grand idea of tossing the cookies into the fridge to harden hit me as brilliant. I was operating at warp speed. Cookies on sheets, sheets in oven, sheets out of oven… sheets into fridge. Sheets out of fridge. Scrape cookies off and place in large plastic container. And so on and so on and so on. And when the Silpats were in the fridge I would place the cookie dough balls directly on to the cookies sheets. I had a system going. A good one. Efficient and fast. But as it turned out not so pretty! In two cases I crammed too many cookies onto the sheet resulting in a oozy blob… the cookies hardened nicely, but I had to cut them out. What resulted were square, rectangular and triangle shaped cookies! And I forgot to grease a cookie sheet and despite the fact the recipe called for 1 POUND of butter the cookies seemed to be pretty well glued on.

All my beautiful, perfectly tanned and browned cookies were set asside and packaged together. But what do I do about the others? The not so pretty ones? They still tasted good! I’m not one who likes to waste anything. I am certainly not going to waste a perfectly delicious though maybe not so beautiful (by certain perfectionists standards) cookies. So I loaded all my square, rectangular and triangular shaped cookies into the cookie jar. They looked odd but happy in there. Then I scraped the heck out of the cookies that were stuck. Crumbs went flying everywhere. I scraped off peices with my fingers, delighting in the buttery sugary goodness. In the end I got each cookie off the sheet. Beautifully, not really… Ok, not at all… But I do know a few kids and a certain husband who know better than to care what their cookie looks like. They know all too well that the beauty of the cookie certainly lies within.  And now, within me!

“Buggie Report” Why I am glad yesterday is over but today’s not much better…

Yesterday was Alexander’s true Birthday but we celebrated it on Saturday because Daddy had to take off (for a month… yikes!) and Christopher had a soccer game in Greenwich and it was an all around too crazy kind of a day to try to squeeze in a Birthday party. So glad we had it on Saturday where he was able to be Prince for the Day and open his presents and have his cake and eat it too.

Yesterday was just a strange day. We should have been celebrating the Birthday boy but it just was not possible with everything that was going on. Don was trying to pack and get all his stuff together… our soccer games were on again, off again, on again thanks to the wet fields from Hanna. Alexander was in a rare mood. As was his older sister. My only saving grace was that Christopher was almost angelic all day. (I say almost because I am sure he had to have done something wrong!) My patience was tested on many occasions through the day. Rebecca did not want to go to soccer. She did not want to be at soccer once she was there. She was not at all quiet about that fact. Alexander found every excuse under the sun to whine and when he was not whining he thought I would be fun to cling to, climb on, jump all over. My name is Jessica not Jungle Jim… grrrr….

I did manage to take some simply breath-taking gorgeous action shots of my handsome little devil on the run and caught some magnificent soccer maneuvers. And then my heart sank 12 feet when I glanced down and saw that there was no CF card in the camera. Rebecca was hungry. Rebecca was hot. Rebecca was thirsty. This went on for nearly 2 hours.

The one respite was when someone kicked the ball out of bounds and Christopher came over to the sideline. He looked up for a moment and lost focus. He saw me there with his brother and his sister. The biggest smile came over him as he shouted for all the spectators to hear, “Hi Momma! Hi Owie! I love you Momma! I love you Owie!” He blew us a kiss and he was off.

To tell you the truth I don’t remember much past 5pm last night… I remember blocking out noise — screaming, hollering, etc… Then I remember crawling into bed exhausted and so very glad the day was over.

I woke up today certain that it was going to be better. It had to, really. And it was for a while. A short while. I took the older two to school and as soon as we stepped out of the car Alexander insisted on being carried. I was not about to carry him and so the whining began. And never stopped.

We returned home to bake his Birthday cupcakes for school tomorrow. Of course I had some cleaning and tidying and vacuuming and picking up to do before-hand. Because don’t you always feel the need to get everything spotless before you are about to make a bigger mess? Finally everything is ready and I go in to the fridge to get the necessary ingredients. I notice the fridge is a mess and start to go through and toss everything in sight. I placed a container of pasta salad on the counter. Well, someone didn’t put the lid on properly and the whole thing tumbled out of my hand and landed, splat!, on the floor. Arghhhh. After the fridge had been cleaned and the mess cleaned up from the floor we began our cupcakes. Like always Alexander needs sprinkles. In and on everything. Those too went a tumblin’ down… all over the floor! Finally the cupcake batter is made and poured in to the lined tins. I have averted further disaster and am left to clean our mess. Alexander wants to play with his new Play Doh ice cream parlor toy and I set him up at the table. 10 minutes later he is done. And teeny tiny bits of Play Doh adorn my clean kitchen floor. While I get down on all fours I see Alexander over at my desk from the corner of my eye. This is never a good thing. He is spinning my Rolodex. Index cards come flying out. Not in alphabetical order. Not in any kind of order. I love my Rolodex. I need paper. Electronics can let you down. Paper never does. Unless Alexander, of course, gets a hold of it. Arghhhh. It’s only Noon at this point. The day is young. Too young.

Soon the cupcakes are out and need to be cooled. The banana bread (because I couldn’t bear to throw away any more bananas) is ready to go in. The banana bread should be bananas muffins but the muffin tins were full! Eventually the afternoon passes on and relatively easily. Until I remember the dead mouse at the end of the driveway. The dead mouse that somehow needs to be moved. Off my driveway. And Daddy is not around to help me. I need to put on my big girl panties, suck it up and do it. The Country Mouse and The City Girl. I’ll take Manhattan. Anytime. Eeeeek!!! A mouse! Alexander accompanies me to the garage. We get an old metal shovel. A really heavy one. The kind that could do serious damage if it landed on someone’s head. I went down the driveway with a determination. But the mouse wouldn’t slide onto the shovel the way I thought it would. I could feel it’s solid dead weight. At one point I asked Alexander to get me a big stick. I used the big stick to help nudge the mouse on to the shovel. Finally I had it. There. What next? I hoisted my shovel over my shoulder careful not to let the mouse fall off and walked over to the edge of the property and flung! I screamed. I screamed a lot. Alexander laughed. Alexander laughed a lot. At me!

It’s 9:52 and the kids are in bed. I have just made a delicious marscapone and cream cheese frosting with a little hint of honey in it. The kids will get to have some in the morning on top of their warm banana yogurt bread. I will go to bed dreaming sweet dreams knowing that all three kids will be in school tomorrow. About me missing Alexander the other day? I’m so over it!