Sunday, May 25, 2008

The difference between boys and girls...

This is a recurring topic of conversation these days. For both kids. Boys have penises. Girls don't. What do girls have? Where does the pee come out?

Sierra's intrigued by penises. Imagine this: She's sitting at gymnastics class next to her dad with all the other kids and their parents waiting on instructions. She asks, "Daddy, do you have a penis?" "Yes." "Can I see it?"

Owen is confused that girls do not have penises. I'm in the mall public restroom in the handicapped stall with both kids. Owen asks, "Why do you sit down to pee?" "Well I don't have a penis to aim with, so I have to sit down to pee." "Were does the pee come out? The same hole as your poop?" "No, there's a different hole for the pee to come out." "Where is it?" "It's in about the same place as where your penis is, but there's no penis." "Can I see it?" "Owen, we're in a public bathroom, can we talk about this at home later...?"

Bathtub conversations between the two kids is becoming interesting sometimes, too. When is it time to make the kids take separate baths? I'm trying to be as nonchalant about it all as I can. I don't want the kids to be uptight about sex and sexuality, and I'm sure that attitudes I pass along now will be hard to change later. In the meantime, their curiosity is quite amusing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I got in over my head, a bit...

Another cake! This time, I planned something not only fairly complicated and detailed, but big. I kind of got in over my head and had to spend most of the last week working on it, neglecting my kids and my exercising in the process, and staying up really late too many nights in a row. Since I promised a cool cake for the preschool's party celebrating the purchase of the building, I thought how cool to make the cake look like the building. But the building is itself is pretty boring, so how about the building and the grounds, too?? I wanted to include key elements of the playground -- the tire swing, the play house, the climber, the swings, the trees, the sandbox.... I used six boxes of cake mix, eight lbs. of confectioner's sugar, a dozen and a half eggs, ... well, you get the idea. Just all the baking and mixing frosting took a lot of time. Then I had a lot of pieces to try to prepare for final assembly, without really knowing how they would work out. Anyway, here are some photos:

Aerial view:

The swing sets and tire swing turned out very fragile, and though I got the tire swing to work (thank goodness because that's Owen's favorite) I only got one of the two sets of swings on there and part of it was replaced with a toothpick. I wanted two trees (because there are two on the playground) but really only one fit. The climber, which I made out of royal icing, had to be created in two-dimensional pieces and assembled at the last minute. I didn't know if it would fit together and work at all, but it turned out to be one of the best parts:

The climber:

Here's the real climber:

Also, the mailbox, one of the simplest pieces on the cake, which I created on a whim, added a charming detail that everyone loved.

And the number one question that people asked me about the cake: "How long did that take you?" And the answer: I don't want to think about that!!

It was a huge hit, to say the least. I'm pretty proud of it, but I don't think I'll do a cake that big and complicated again until I hone more of my skills AND have a much bigger kitchen to stage all the pieces, if ever.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bathroom humor

Well, it's interesting to know how early kids develop bathroom humor. Yesterday, Owen was sitting and drawing nicely and Sierra was watching. They were being very well behaved while I was working on something else (in the same room.) Then they started giggling more and more -- you know, the way they giggle when they're doing something they're not supposed to. But I was watching them and they were very sweetly sitting at their table and drawing. So I went over to look and this is the work that was in progress:

I tried not to laugh too hard or make a big deal out of it. But I had him draw another "bear" for me as he explained all the parts as he drew them. Sure enough, the last thing he drew was the penis. Then he drew the "Daddy bear" with a really big penis... and then the "Mommy" and then the "Grandpa." (We tried to explain that mommies don't have penises.) Then he wanted us to date it and he wrote the title because he was very proud and wants to save it.

I'm looking forward to pulling it out one day when he's in high school to really embarrass him!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

He's growing!

Today my son was going to the bathroom and my husband and I were standing just outside the bathroom waiting. All of the sudden, the boy, looking down at himself, declares, "My penis is getting bigger, like yours, Daddy!" He turns toward us and said, "and it's still growing -- in 2 weeks, it's going to be this big!" holding his arms out as far as they would go.

He was just so proud that he noticed himself growing bigger... in all respects! (Please note that he was noting general growth, not an erection.)

I was in hysterics.

Movin' and Groovin'

Happy Mother's Day to me! My kids (read: husband) bought me an iPod shuffle! It's so tiny. And engraved with "OWEN, SIERRA, LOVE". Sweet. Remember when the Sony Walkman was the coolest and smallest thing and you had to have one? (Perhaps this dates me, but it doesn't seem that long ago.) I didn't even realize that I wanted one -- I thought I was happy listening to just kids' music. But really, how cool is it that I can now put all my music on this tiny little thing and no one else can hear it? I don't have to think about whether or not the lyrics are questionable for children. And I can put together workout mixes and go running. (The other week my neighbor saw me running and exclaimed, "How can you run without music?")

Hope you're all having a happy Mother's Day, too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My take-charge girl

Last week when I was picking up my son from pre-school, I had just pulled into the parking lot with my 2 1/2 year old girl. I turned off the car and she said, "I'll go find Owen on the playground, Mommy. You can wait in the car." Sweet.

Monday, May 5, 2008

More cake!

Last weekend I completed a cake that was for one of the preschool auction winners. This is for a 4-year-old boy who loves Pablo the penguin of the Backyardigans. Pablo, to my delight, has a perfectly round head and I recently purchased a ball cake pan...! After I first assembled this cake and left it overnight, the head started to roll off. I repaired it and added a better dowel, but I was petrified driving over to deliver it that it would fall apart! I hope it made it through the whole party! Note that the body, arms, hat, and beak are make of molded rice crispy treat.

And in case you thought that I only ever make elaborately decorated cakes:

Yes, this cake is for me. (Who else was going to make one??) It's chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! Yum! I can't wait to eat it!