Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why I Hate Decorating Cakes - A Happy Ending

Whew!!! I finally finished decorating the cakes, and am so relieved to be done. I thought I would share the finished product with all of you out there waiting anxiously to see the finished product.

Natalie's Princess Cake

Michael's Hot Wheels Cake

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I HATE Decorating Cakes!!!!

I hate decorating cakes. That is right, I hate it. The icing is like glue and sticks to everything, the food coloring is messy, and it is a pain to clean all those little decorating tips. I hate it!!

Why am I going on about my cake decorating hatred. Well, you see, my twins 6 birthday is this Sunday, and since I am the proud parent of a food allergic child, I am forced to make my own cakes. Of course, because I am forced to make my own cakes, I aspire to make them better then any bakery cakes, so no one feels they are missing anything. My twins, of course want two separate cakes, so I need to decorate two cakes - Natalie wants a Barbie Island Princess Cake, and Michael a Hot Wheels Cake- which means twice the pressure.

I am sure you are now asking yourself how this all began. (I am sure you are also asking yourself why I am writing about my cake decorating hatred, but that is easy, I have spent the last 10 hours making and trying to decorate cakes). After Conor was diagnosed, and I made the unfortunate discovery that no bakery cakes would be safe for us, I decided to sign myself up for a cake decorating class. I had once tried to decorate a cake without such a class, and it was not a good experience, so I figured a class would give me all the expertise I needed. Each week we had to bake a cake, and make our own icing and then go to class and decorate the cake the cake of the week. Then we could take our decorated cake home and share it with all of our family and friends.

The first class was not to bad - I made the cake from scratch, and closely followed the recipe for the perfect icing. I did a simple Superman cake, and excitedly brought it home to share with everyone. As soon as Conor took a bite his face started to swell. Great, I took this class to make him cool safe cakes, and instead he has an allergic reaction to my first cake. Oops. I could not figure out what was going on, I had made everything myself from scratch. After some serious contemplation I finally figured it out - Conor was allergic to eggs, and was reacting to the meringue powder in the icing. After an allergist visit, and some testing confirmed the allergy (it all made perfect sense later, and explained alot of unexplained reactions) I learned to make icing and everything else without eggs.

This has gone on way to long for now. I need to get back to my cake decorating now that the little ones are finally in bed and not able to "help". Unfortunately in our house, "helping" ends up involving sticking fingers in the great masterpiece I have just created, and fighting, crying and large messes. I promise to post pictures of the finished projects when I am done.

Wish me luck

Monday, February 2, 2009

What I Learned During the Superbowl - Don't Freak Out if Blood is Ozing From Your Child's Ear

It was Sunday afternoon. We were all ready to sit down and watch the big game. Conor had a cold for the past few days, but we had been able to control his coughing with the nebulizer, and he seemed on the road to recovery. (Yes, any time the asthmatic child gets sick, it is always a deal. I hear someone sneeze and immediately ask "Who is it?" If the response is Michael or Natalie, I always think oh good. Not good for them, but at least it is not Conor) I thought all was well, when he starts screaming about a terrible pain in his ear. After I force him to drink his chocolate milk spiked with ibuprofen, I realize it is time to toss him into the car and head over to the local after hours pediatric clinic. For those of you that don't have one of these places, I feel for you. It is just like a pediatricians office that is open from 5-10 pm during the week, and 10-10 weekends and holidays. It truly is one of the greatest inventions of all time, and cures the problem of what to do when your child decides they are sick first thing Saturday morning, and your Dr is not open again until Monday, and you really don't think it is that worth of the ER.

So I bribe my sweet little thing into the car with 2 cookies, and his sister decides to come along for the ride because she has no interest in watching football, and would rather watch her little brother get poked and prodded. We finally reach our destination and go into the office. The doctor comes in, and looks in his ear, looks at me, and proclaims that his eardrum is about to burst. OK, between my three children we have probably had about 10 ear infections and no one has ever mentioned the possibility of an eardrum bursting. Even better, she told me if the eardrum did burst, Conor would probably have blood and puss oozing from his ear. Cool!!! No doctor ever told me of this possibility either. If I woke up in the middle of the night to my screaming child with blood oozing out of his ear, I would probably freak out and rush to the emergency room.

Little did I know, that although a burst eardrum is not a good thing, it is not that bad, and usually relieves the pain and heals by itself. No one ever told me these evil ear infection possibilities. If they did, they could probably save alot of crazed worried parents some panic when dealing with their oozing ear infected children.

So just in case you want to learn more about this cool phenomena of eardrum bursting and puss and blood here is a link or two.

Thankfully we seem to have caught the ear infection just in time, and so far I have not seen anything oozing (I like that word), out of ears. (Noses are another story though) We are on the cool antibiotic that takes less time (the one good thing about being allergic to penicillin) and are hopefully on the mend.