Friday, October 26, 2012

Miriam's Three!

Miriam had a rather low-key birthday, which was perfect. She woke up a little disappointed—I suppose she had been expecting some sort of dramatic change to have occurred overnight and was very disappointed that she wasn't notably bigger. She concluded that it couldn't possibly be her birthday, that she couldn't possibly have turned three, because she still couldn't do any of the things that she expected she'd be able to, such as reaching the sink by herself. And her old shoes still fit.

Eventually—mostly when we showed her the beginnings of her birthday cake—she came around to the idea that it really, truly was her birthday, despite all her disappointment in not feeling any different at all.

We spent most of the day doing ordinary things: Daddy did homework. I went visiting teaching. Benjamin napped. Miriam played.

But we also found the time to do this:

Andrew baked the cake last night while I made the fondant. I decorated it throughout the day between feeding the baby, cleaning the house, going visiting teaching, and playing with Miriam. She had fun watching it all come together.

Miriam loves Angelina Ballerina right now and so we went online to look at Angelina Ballerina cakes. She liked most of the cakes that she saw but particularly liked one that had a ribbon around the center of it and another one that had an Angelina figurine sitting on top. We combined those ideas and came up with this.

When I began molding the Angelina, Miriam got quite curious.

"What are you making? A mouse?"

"Yes, I'm making Angelina."

"Out of play-doh?"

"Out of fondant—it's just marshmallows and powdered sugar all mixed together to make dough."

"We can eat Angelina after Mommy makes her," Andrew said.

"We're going to EAT HER?!" Miriam gasped.

"Yes, we're going to eat your childhood hero. Happy Birthday!" I said.

She wasn't too sure of this idea in the beginning but by the time we got around to actually eating the cake she was ready to wrestle Rachel to the death over who would get to eat what part of Angelina.

Rachel came home from school and was disappointed to learn that we wouldn't be going to her school's Halloween party—which we found out about the night before. We had already made dinner plans (the missionaries came over) and birthday plans (skyping with our parents) so there was no way we could squeeze in a visit to Rachel's school as well. She was a bit of a bear for the rest of the night.

When it was Rachel's birthday I worried that Miriam would be jealous during the present-opening but she wasn't at all. She was simply excited for Rachel to get so many fun things.

I wasn't worried about Rachel being jealous of Miriam—because she hasn't really before—but the green-eyed monster certainly reared its ugly head yesterday. I frankly didn't know Rachel could behave so terribly (and that's saying something...if anyone has ever been honoured by one of her fits).

First Miriam opened the presents Grandma and Grandpa sent.

Miriam needed help opening her gifts because she was afraid to rip the paper and all the presents were "too buttoned up!" The first gift was a doll quilt Grandma made:

As luck would have it, we had a doll in a bed in the living room already so Miriam spread out the quilt and placed the bed on top of it. Apparently she thought "quilt" meant "rug."

The second present from Grandma was a Tangled toy set, with Rapunzel and Flint and Max and Pascal. You can see the excitement on both girls' faces:

At one point in the evening Rachel was racing around the house holding Rapunzel above her head yelling, "I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!" while Miriam chased after her crying, "BUT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" 

This was after Miriam gave Rachel a turn playing with the toys. See, Rachel's turn was over (which Rachel was fine with) but then when Miriam began her turn she changed something that Rachel had set up and Rachel went ballistic.

Andrew came home at the height of the insanity (he had been driving the missionaries to their next appointment) and promptly grounded Rachel from playing with those toys for the whole weekend.

It was ugly.

I had tried everything I could think of to stop the tantrum and resurrect Rational Rachel. Nothing worked. Not even when I pointed out that Christmas was only two months away and she could put "stupid Rapunzel toy" on her list of things she wants. (Dear Grandma: It's not stupid. It's adorable and the girls love it. I was just angry so I used a "Christmas" word. You understand, I'm sure.) This idea set her crying harder.

"But Mom!" she wailed. "In Utah we could tell Santa what we wanted. How are we going to do that here if Santa is there?!"

Wow. I tried explaining that Santa doesn't live in Utah. He'll be all over the place. But Rational Rachel had gone to bed and Irrational Rachel was ruling the roost.


Miriam also got a package from Naanii and Bumpa. She opened it up and found two shirts.

"New clothes!" she squealed.

And then Rachel pointed out that there was more in the package, so Miriam stuck her hand back in and pulled out...a skirt! And then another skirt! She almost died of happiness.

"SKIRTS!" she squeaked. "I'm going to put one on right now!"

And with that little sentiment she ripped off her red and white polka dot skirt and pulled on a new striped skirt. She loves clothes.

Rachel gave Miriam a necklace that Rachel got for her birthday but hasn't worn because she doesn't like wearing jewelry, and which Miriam has been admiring for months now. I'd say she was coveting it but she really wasn't; she was only admiring it. 

"I love this necklace, Rachie. It's very pretty!" she'd say, but she never, ever cried about it or tried to steal it or even tried to wear it. She merely admired it.

She was thrilled that Rachel gave it to her. 

"Your necklace!" she said when she opened the gift.

"It's yours now," Rachel said sweetly.

"Oh, thank you!" Miriam breathed.

We gave Miriam a book called What Are Clouds Made Of: and other questions about the world around us. We figured it was a good choice for her because her #1 question is, "But why?"

The last gift she opened was from Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Frank. We were surprised it got here so fast! Inside was a tutu—a blue one, "just like Alice!" (Angelina's best friend)—a crown, some tights, and another outfit (which included yet another skirt). She had to put on her new ballet things right away.

After we watched her dance and applauded for her we went to the diningroom for cake.

Rachel, still hopelessly jealous that it was Miriam's birthday and not hers, said, "No fair! Miriam's Angelina cake is even better than my Harry Potter cake!"

"Uhhh, do you even remember your birthday?" I asked her. "Your birthday was awesome. And your cake was six times this size and was amazing!"

"It was?" she asked.

"Yes. It was," I assured her. "So just be happy for Miriam, alright?"


We lit the candles and sang to our beautiful 3-year-old.

Then she made a wish and blew out the candles (and blew them out, and blew them out, and blew them out; she has bad aim).

The cake was so delicious and beautiful that the girls declared I should open my own bakery. It's really a ridiculous idea because the only way I managed to make a cake at all was with some serious help from Betty Crocker (hello, boxed cake mix) and Andrew (who held the baby while I was decorating).

It was a fun day all around, even for those of us who didn't get any cake.

Miriam certainly enjoyed her presents but I think she liked the attention she got even more. She got a phone call from Auntie Josie in the morning, skyped with Grandma and Grandpa (and Auntie Emily and Uncle Morgan...and Sadie) and Bumpa, talked with Uncle Patrick in the afternoon (he's in Florida right now), Naanii called just as she was blowing out the candles, and Uncle David caught her just before bed. She had many facebook messages addressed to her and loved reading every one of them. And this afternoon a package arrived with a book from Grandma Pat! The love just keeps on coming!

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!

And thanks to birthdays for only lasting one day—life is better at our house now that it's not just not Rachel's birthday but is not anyone's birthday.

Miriam's already looking forward to her next birthday, when she'll be four, and her second-next birthday, when she'll turn five. She has big plans, people.


  1. Great cake! Jealousy is a hard part of life...if I had a dollar for everytime I heard "it's not fair!"....I'd be a rich woman. :)

  2. That cake is amazing. You should be very proud of yourself--even if it was betty underneath.

    And I'm proud that I understand your *christmas* word joke. :)