Well, lil' Miss Maddykins turns one today. Can you believe it??
Happy birthday to my favourite niece!!
I swear, you can tell me all sorts of dirt about your life as you get older and I PROMISE, I won't tell your mom ;)
Maddy's birthday celebration was the weekend before last. My sister Ashley did a luau theme for her party.
|LOVE the colour scheme!|
|even Chloé got into the leis|
|best picture of Maddy EVER!|
|Even Logan got into the grass skirt theme!|
Maddy wasn't terribly interested in either the presents or the cake, but she had a blast, playing with her bff Evan.
I undertook the task of putting my newly learned cake decorating skills to use. We were also celebrating Logan's 2nd birthday at the same time, so I ended up making two cakes.
I made a quatre-quarts cake for Maddy's cake, which is a bit like a French version of pound cake. But soooo much better than regular old pound cake. I'll post the recipe for this shortly.
On a friend's mom's suggestion, I filled the cake using Shirriff brand coconut pudding, which I had never used before. But it worked quite nicely in this cake. On her suggestion, I mixed the pudding with 1 C homogenized milk, 1 C evaporated milk and 1 C table cream instead of the suggested 3 C of milk. I also stirred in 1/2 C of finely shredded, unsweetened coconut while cooking. She suggested I stir in 1 tsp. of vanilla, but I used pina colada flavouring instead, to stick with the luau theme. And she stirs in 2 tbsp. of butter once the pudding is cooked, but I didn't, only because I didn't have any.
Here's a peek at Maddy's cake:
|all crumb coated and ready to go|
|didn't get a picture until the very last slice, so it's a bit of a mess...|
Despite my best efforts, Maddy didn't seem too impressed with her cake...
For Logan's cake, I used the regular recipe for Katie's chocolate sour cream cake (the one with the baking soda). I split it between three cake pans and used my chocolate peanut butter (soy butter) ganache to fill them. And, of course, they needed to be decorated in a Cars theme for Mr. Logan.
|a mountain of gooey deliciousness|
|C'mon kid! It's McQueen. And Mater. And cake!|
One little baking lesson that I learned while making Logan's cake that I feel the need to share: you should not, ever, try to break an egg into a KitchenAid mixer while it is mixing. Now, you'd think this should maybe be written somewhere in the instruction manual. Alas, it is not. I guess KitchenAid figured that no one would ever be quite stupid enough to attempt such a feat. They did, however, underestimate just how many corners a mom may try to cut when scrambling to make cakes and pack for a road trip with two little ones.
You guessed it... the whole egg got mixed into the batter. Shell and all.
But this did not deter me on my birthday cake baking mission! I just washed my hands and picked that little broken egg shell outta there. I mean, I had no more butter. And it was 10pm. What's a girl to do?? I hope no one noticed that the cake had a little crunch to it!!
Maddy was a trooper through the long day. And, despite being sick, she even helped clean up after the party:
Some other random photos I wanted to share from our weekend with family:
|one of my faves - great-grammy with 2 of the 3 great-grandkids|
I also want to wish Ella, Logan's first love, a very special 2nd birthday today.
Super, super long post... However, last, but not least, I wanted to share a couple of my proud mama moments from that weekend:
- Logan was soooo extremely calm on our way to my sister's (on a 7 hour drive!!). I couldn't even recognize him as my own child. On Logan's Occupational Therapist's recommendations, we packed a bag full of sensory tools: relaxing music, both crunchy and chewy snacks, drinks with straws, a vibrating toy, a wide-brimmed sun hat, a weighted toy and a heavy blanket that could be tucked in tight all around him. Oh - and let's not forget the portable DVD player! And it worked!!! He was even quieter than a mouse. That was not so much the case on the way back, but it was nice that we didn't all have to suffer both ways.
- watching Logan learn to not be afraid of going down Maddy's slide. We have learned from Logan's Occupational Therapist that he is hyper sensitive to movement. Which basically means that he is more afraid of movement than most kids and also, that he gets dizzy more quickly than others. This means that he tends to be quite afraid of heights, slides, swings, etc. While at my sister's, he climbed up to the top of the slide, but then didn't want to go down. Advantage of having such a big family?? Everyone started cheering together "go Logan go" and Logan took a big breath and pushed himself off. And he looked terrified. And when he got to the bottom, everyone burst into huge cheers. And off he went.
Logan is also a sensory seeker for movement. Which means that once he's comfortable with a movement, he wants to do it non-stop. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how you can be both hyper-sensitive to, and also crave, the same thing. Yet I can see by observing Logan that this is true. I was so proud to see my little guy learn to tolerate something he is terrified by. This encourages me that, over time, and with therapy, he will learn to be able to deal with more and more of the sensations he cannot currently tolerate.
- watching Chloé attempt sitting alone for the first time at Maddy's party.
All in all, it was a great party and was wonderful to see my whole family again.