Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taking the Cake

My family helped my nephew celebrate a big birthday last weekend.

(Mom's always has the right attitude for a birthday party!)

At the party, I wondered if my kids realize that I've been kind of a lame mom when it comes to birthday cakes. I may have made one or two from scratch....Yes, I do remember a Barbie cake (the kind with the doll standing in a dress made of cake, like this:

            photo credit

(And trust me; mine did not look anything as nice as this one, but Kendall was maybe three years old, so she didn't notice.) And I might have done something creative for Kyle's cakes once or twice (?) but I can't remember. I'm just more of a last-minute, day-before-the-party type planner, most of the time. (Though I redeemed myself with Kendall's Sweet 16 Cupcake Wars surprise party.) Most of the cakes my kids have had for their birthdays were store-bought. (Oh, the horror; I know.)

My sister, Michelle, though, does a great job making sure her kids know they are special on their birthdays.  For example, when her son Logan turned 13, she decorated his cake with an iPhone complete with carefully-crafted little app icons!

I think this year's cake, for Caden's 13th surprise party, took the cake (pardon the pun). Can you tell what Caden's major interest is?

 That's right; Caden loves to play the drums, so much so that he he even tried to play us a little tune!

Inspired by Pinterest, Michelle made the drum set with bar straws, marshmallows, colored sugar, tiny silver beads, carefully-carved graham crackers, mini Nilla Wafers, and a Hostess Ding Dong (the leftovers of which she tried desperately to get rid of before everyone left the party). The base of the cake was a delicious pumpkin cheesecake from Costco.

The cake was a big hit, of course, and Caden clearly appreciated his mom's efforts.

I don't remember a single cake from my own childhood though I'm certain my mom made each one from scratch and most likely went out of her way to make them look special (Sorry, Mom.). Actually, I take that back; I remember the store-bought cakes my "second" mom, Ellen, always bought from Sentry Food Store and how delicious they were. Okay, that does it; I just realized I don't need to feel guilty about it.

Besides, disappointment builds character, right? And my kids have plenty of that, so I obviously did them a favor! That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

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