Thursday, December 1, 2011

Project Five- Make an Awesome Birthday Cake

Objectives-Make Me a Better Mom

Injuries sustained-none, but my hands were stained for a few days from the black fondant...

Difficulty level-It was very time consuming but not super difficult!

How Maya “Helped”-She didn't, she went to grandma's so I could surprise her:)

So I have always dreamed of making my kids ridiculous over-sized and beautiful birthday cakes. It is an ultimate Donna Reed type goal for me.  Last year, I bought a hello kitty cake pan and followed the instructions and made a decent cake. It was my first attempt, and it wasn't half bad. That being said, it was NOT something I was overly proud of. Being a perfectionist, I have a hard time claiming anything that doesn't look professionally done. I seem to always expect to get professional results with no training or tools. I know this is a little unrealistic, but hey that's why-most perfectionists are unhappy. As a matter of fact, I was going to include a picture of said cake, but I didn't take any because it wasn't perfect. Go figure. 

This year, thanks to Pinterest (Pinterest deserves its OWN post) I found my dream cake, well sort of. It was an owl on top of multiple tiers.It was a fondant wonderland. My one problem was I had never made or used fondant OR made a layer cake. Due to my ridiculous overconfidence and my tendency to be a dreamer, I decided it couldn't be that hard and recruited a good friend to make it with me. 

I found a blog with a good tasting fondant made out of marshmallow, a butter-cream recipe, and some great cake tutorials at Adventures in Savings and went to work. SHOCKINGLY, everything fell into place. We baked the cakes, iced them, covered them in fondant, decorated with fondant, and made a chocolate coated rice crispie treat owl for the top.

 I enjoyed this so immensely that I decided to sign up for cake decorating classes and learn to do it correctly! I looked at the finished cake and felt like the best mom in the world. It wasn't perfect, but when Maya walked in and screamed OWL CAKE!! I knew it was a success. 

Project Four- Make Time for Me (and This Blog)

Objectives-Make Me a Better Mom. Make Me a Better Wife, Make Me a Better Person

Injuries sustained-none, but I experienced some unexpected and unnecessary guilt...

Difficulty level-It's pretty difficult and still a work in progress.

How Maya “Helped”-She loves her night with Daddy:)

So I am sure you have now given up on me as I have not written or updated on her in weeks. It's sad. I love writing and this is an accurate representation of the priority I give it in my a matter of fact, it seems to be a pretty good metaphor for the priority I give ME in my life...last.

Why is it a mother is always last to eat, last to sleep, and last to rest? We are stretched so thin there is literally not enough of us to go around. I sometimes feel like I am simply a series of roles and functions, not really a person at all. Breakfast maker, clothes washer, dish doer, boo boo kisser, floor cleaning, puppy scolder...the list goes on and on. But when am I "Amy Jo" ? Even when I do things for myself-like take a bath or go for a run, the entire time I am feeling guilty for the things I SHOULD be accomplishing for someone else. I know that once you have children, they should come first, and mine certainly do. But it seems that there should be room, somewhere in my day, for me to breathe.

I have been working for a while on a solution to this problem...while I haven't solved it I HAVE taken some steps. First of all, I am getting up crazy early in the morning. I have been getting up between 5 and 6, before the kiddos and taking a few minutes to just BE. This helps my mood immensely, the quiet is almost a religious experience when you have two little ones around most of the time:) My mother always did this and I am beginning to see why it was worth getting less sleep. Secondly, I started taking a class:) A friend and I signed up at a local Joann's for cake decorating classes. This gives me an APPOINTMENT with myself. This is important for a few reasons. ONE-it is on the calendar and set in stone, I can not miss it if I feel too busy or guilty to leave the kiddos. TWO-my hubby knows about it a head of time so I don't have to feel guilty asking him to watch the kids-which is such a crazy concept anyway. Why is it babysitting when he watches the kids yet it's my job??? (that's a whole other post ). THREE- It gets me out of the house which keep the kids from seeking me out and demanding my attention (which is what happens if I try to do things at home). 

It has been nice to reclaim my "Self" and to create a few moments to be "Amy Jo". Honestly,  I kind of missed her. But with all the craziness of my life and the work that never ends, I wouldn't trade it for the world...I am so blessed to have a home, a family, even this crazy never- stops-destroying-things-puppy we call Lucy. But sometimes, a few hours away  makes it easier to see, I am truly living the dream.