Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yesterday was Patrick's 29th birthday, and I was really looking forward to surprising him. The best gift I can give him is... myself, right? A happy, relaxed, pulled-together Wife greeting him at the door with a clean and cheerful Daughter. But then I realized he might not recognize us, so I focused on a treat, instead.

"If you're going to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."

And if you're going to surprise your husband with his favorite cake for his birthday, you must make sure you plan ahead so that everything can be completed while the Child is sleeping.

-First, go to the grocery store. When? Well, that morning, of course! You didn't think I had gone 3 days ahead, now did you? Nope, I went in the morning when Bella is in desperate need of a nap so that I could spend time carrying her around with one arm, pushing a full shopping cart with the other, feeding her grapes to keep her from screaming.
-Bella fell asleep in the car right before we turned onto our street - carry her into her bed, then carry all the groceries in and put away.
-Clean counters because they look dirty to me, load dishwasher to make room, and clean pots and pans because... doesn't everyone start baking a cake by washing pots and pans?
-Haul pregnant self onto counter-tops to reach those little-used, yet essential, ingredients from the top cabinet shelf. Mix cake batter, looking at all the things on the "to-do" list, but make conscious decision to just enjoy singing along with the music, instead.
- Put cake into the oven and start cleaning up, adding to both the surprise and being a calm wife. Realize that I have forgotten the timer, so I make a guess and set timer.
- Run to take shower; realize that clean clothes are a commodity in this household, and run back downstairs in search of something that isn't covered in flour, grape puree, or toddler saliva. Then enjoy shower, until 3/4 of the way through shaving Bella wakes up screaming, leaving me no choice but to speed-shave. All women know what this leads to; will throw in laundry with bloody towel later.
- Step out to the smell of Carrot Cake - a strong smell of carrot cake. Mental debate ensues: cake then kid, or kid then cake? She's safe in the crib, but the milk is all ready for her, easily buying me time.
- As the NOT BURNT cake is cooling, I wrestle with the electric hand-mixer for the cream cheese icing. (YUM, my favorite part!) I realize that all this baking and cleaning and phone conversation is taking a toll on my pregnant brain - I had completely forgotten about my stand-mixer until in a call for help to Angela she reminded me. *sheepish chuckle*
- Delicious, homemade, iced Carrot Cake is covered and put away! YAY! Success! Success? I still haven't started dinner! When do I get my nap???

Dinner turned out wonderful; I just had time to start prepping veggies when Patrick arrived home to a tired but happy wife and daughter. I tried a new recipe for us, one from his family's recipe book called "Drunken Chicken." I figured anything with that name that called for RUM and setting fire to it sounded good to me! We enjoyed a pretty quiet evening at home (At least as quiet as it ever is when Sara and Rachael and Bella are all running around!) but that suited me just fine after being up and running all day. Oh, I mean, it was all for Patrick :)

Happy Birthday, Patrick! Maybe one year I will a) remember to plan ahead, and b) not be relying on a pregnant brain.


Angela said...

Happy to donate my last brain cell to the cause! The carrot cake is sooo great--maybe you will consider posting the recipe?? Happy birthday Pat!! Get ready to start planning the great 3-0 PARTY!!!