Homemaking: Birthdays

There was Ben’s birthday in December, and we had a date, but I think that was it. It was a good date, if I remember correctly, with dinner and a hot tub and then we came home to put Sam to bed.  A 3-hour date and home by 9? That’s good enough for us, and we still got enough sleep to handle the next day.

My birthday in February involved me chopping lots of chocolate during my lunch break to make this chocolate torte. I skipped the red currant jelly and raspberries, but I’ll be sure to do that next time raspberries are in season.  I forgot my rule about only using a designated pan to melt the chocolate, and ended up infusing the taste of onions into the torte because I used our big cast iron pan.  Stupid. I knew better, and I certainly know better now.

Lots of chopping. (My step-dad gave me that knife 14 years ago. It’s my favorite. Oh, he gave me the cutting board too. The blue and white butter dish is also my favorite; I bought it for myself! It deserves a Beautiful Things post all to itself.)

At least the mousse was perfect and perfectly edible.  I made chocolate mousse again for our friend Mat’s birthday a few days later, but then my pregnant self was too paranoid to eat it due to the raw egg factor, but I cooked up my portions into a moussey sort of pudding. It was equally delicious.

My birthday night ended with Matthew doing some antics (of which I have photos but out of respect for The Age of Twelve, I will not post them), and his little brothers looking on.  Man, I love my boys.

Sam’s birthday came in April. We didn’t have a party, because we’re lazy and tired but really because we’re smart parents who know it would overwhelm the poor anxious child.  Max surprised him that morning with snowflakes that we hung around Sam’s bed while he slept.  Max also meticulously drew and colored Clifford the Big Red Dog (with some penciling help from me).

Yes, that’s a photo with no focus. I’m not sure what was happening, but I do recall a newly-minted 3-year-old being quite upset that I was taking photos in his room. The snowflakes have since been torn down in rage (hello, The Age of Three), but Clifford remains.  By the way, Max’s snowflakes were amazing. Mine were… eh.

We went to Bouncapalooza to celebrate with Sam and Matthew and Max. Sam got a full portion of candy from the candy machine, and Max won an Easter basket full of (cheap) chocolate and a ball and stuffed animal (both of which he gave to Sam), and then we went to Petco (we were at the mall, after all), and Max got a new hamster to replace the one he lost months ago.  The cashier at Petco ended up giving us a full bag of dog treats that Sam had self-served and brought to the cashier after we had paid.  What a lifesaver she was.  After hours at the mall with three boys, we wanted to Go Home, preferably without The Tantrum.

We arrived home exhausted and no, we didn’t have a cake. I’ll stick 3 extra candles in Max’s cake in June, and he and Sam can blow them out together.

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