Sunday, September 21, 2014

Andrew's 30th birthday

On Thursday night we discussed The Phantom Tollbooth at book club (because we think it's fun to review some childhood classics from this side of childhood and/or to see what we missed in English class because we were simply too young to understand) and I was responsible for supplying treats.

While Miriam was at preschool Benjamin and I made some sugar cookie dough together. It has to sit in the fridge for a few hours so it was good to get it out of the way in the morning.

In the afternoon we had my friend's son over (she's out of town and needed someone to watch him until her husband got off work and could pick him up). I thought the kids might be interested in making cookies with me but they were not. They played LEGO and then they played outside and I didn't see any of them the whole afternoon (aside from the occasional trail of children tramping through the house). So I made the cookies by myself. I used my letter cookie cutters, to make cookies inspired by the market place in Dictionopolis.

I was still baking cookies when Andrew came home.

He also happened to come home right after Benjamin had curiously grabbed a fresh-from-the-oven pan, poor baby! "Cookies—all done?" he asked. "All done—cookies? All done?"

"Yes," I said, "But don't touch. They're hot."

I put the pan down on the table and then went to grab something from the kitchen (the spatula or something?) but stopped dead in my tracks when Benjamin started screaming bloody murder and jumping up and down. I wheeled around to see what was hurting him.

"What is wrong!?" I asked, looking him over.

I couldn't see any danger nearby, no obvious injury, but that boy just kept on screaming and screaming and screaming. It took me a second to put two and two together—he'd reached up and grabbed the hot cookie sheet!—and then rushed him to the sink. I held his hands under cold water until he stopped screaming (which was a long time).

"I told you it was hot!" I said, kissing his sad little fingers. "That's what hot feels like! That's why Mommy always says to stay away from the oven. The oven gets even hotter than the cookie sheet!"

I don't think he got burned too badly—I couldn't even tell which hand he'd grabbed the cookie sheet with (so maybe that means he grabbed it with both hands?) and he didn't have any blisters or anything.

And it's not nearly as bad as the time Uncle David burned his wee little nose when he was sniffing a tray of cookies that he just been removed from the oven.

Benjamin also learned a very positive lesson—always use oven mitts when you're dealing with hot stuff. Unfortunately he decided that oven mitts gave him license to open the oven door. I assured him this was not the case—because he's two! But he was pretty adorable walking around the house trying to do everything with his oven mitts on.

Anyway, I finished my Dictionopolis cookies and then made some Digitopolis subtraction stew (cream cheese frosting) to go along with it. It was a fun book club but we stayed out too late, as always.

And Friday morning the first thing Benjamin went for were his trusty oven mitts.

He kept them on for several hours and even tried to clean up the living room while wearing them. He was quite excited for Daddy's birthday, mostly because he's assumed that every birthday since his birthday has been his birthday again. When he saw that the birthday sign was up he asked, "Mine doub-oo? Mine doub-oo?" which means, "My double-u? My double-u?" which means, "I see that there are letters up there. I believe we only put those up for birthday celebrations. They're meant for me, right? They're mine? Tell me they're mine! It's my birthday, right?"

"It's Daddy's birthday!" I said. "That sign is for Daddy!"

"Okay," said Benjamin. Then he cocked his head and asked, "Mine?"

"Daddy's," I said.

"Okay," he said. "Mine?"



We didn't really have a great day. I was worn out from book clubbing and a week of croupy nights and I was just tired. I also had to help set up for the school carnival, which we wouldn't be attending due to soccer and women's day (which I was also stressed out about) and then we had to go to ukulele lessons and then we had to come home and make dinner and I just really didn't know when I was going to fit a cake into my afternoon.

Miriam was pestering me about cake all morning and when I finally looked into the cupboard I found that we didn't even have a cake mix! That about settled it—I certainly wasn't going to make a cake from scratch or make a trip to the store.

"I don't know what we're going to do, Miriam," I said.

"We can just make muffins," she suggested.

"Maybe we'll just pick up something on our way home from ukulele. Something that will make Daddy sad."

"Why?" she asked.

"Because it would serve him right!" I said (and then explained that I was only kidding about that because of the cheesecake incident on my birthday).

Turns out I didn't have to worry about anything at all because my friend Susanne doorbell ditched us with two bags of hand-me-downs, a tray of cupcakes, and a pot of chrysanthemums! I knew she was planning on dropping off the clothes but I didn't know she'd be bringing cupcakes! I was like, "Hallelujah! The day is saved!" And the flowers have been cheering up my porch quite nicely (I'm trying to decide where to plant them).

I was able to go help at the school and then enjoy ukulele lessons without feeling guilty about cake the whole time. It was such a blessing!

When we got home we started dinner and then Daddy came home soon after and helped. After dinner we opened up Daddy's few presents. He got cards from each of the girls...

(Rachel's isn't pictured—she's actually holding it in the picture below—but it says "To the greatest guy in the world!")

No, wait! I found a picture of Andrew reading Rachel's card:

Benjamin was excited to help open presents. The kids gave him a new pizza cutter. I think we got three of them as wedding presents but they've all given up the ghost (the last one fell apart a few weeks ago). Pizza is a staple at our house (viva Italia) so Andrew was excited to get a new one.

My mom sent a shirt in the mail, which I then wrapped up for Andrew. I got it down and handed it to Benjamin and said, "Take this to Daddy." 

"Okay," Benjamin said, toddling off. 

By the time he got to Andrew about 50% of the wrapping paper had been ripped off. Benjamin was busily tearing as he walked.

Andrew and Rachel spent several minutes picking out author names (the shirt is promoting Books For Young Readers).

I got Andrew personalized mug from Shutterfly. They just keep offering me free stuff. Usually I don't get it if it's not a book or greeting cards but Andrew had just mentioned that he wished he had a mug for his desk to keep his pens in on the same day that Shutterfly sent me an email offering me a free mug. It was destiny.

After presents we had cupcakes. We only put 18 candles on them (three in each) because I was afraid that if we put all 30 on we'd burn the house down (also we don't own 30 birthday candles). Benjamin kept blowing them out as I was lighting them so precautionary measures had to be taken (Andrew held the lid up so Benjamin couldn't blow them out).

Happy, happy birthday to Andrew!


  1. Thanks for posting! How nice of Susanne to supply the birthday cupcakes!

  2. Haha...I love how lit up those cupcakes are! Wow! I remembered you didn't like cheesecake or chocolate, and they were the only vanilla ones I could find without red icing. (Dark red food color is bitter to me...)

    Great mug! I enjoy personalized stuff like that. Neat idea about keeping pens in them, too!

    Book club sounds fun.