Friday, December 26, 2008

Birthday Girl

Close-up view of the cake - can you get more pink princessey?
Getting ready to blow out the candles.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. We had a great Christmas and birthday, but missed the AK family and friends. Next year? We are incredibly blessed to have such fantastic families and friends - near and far. 

Here are some pictures of Natalie and her princess cake. She loved it! She did mention that the doll should have a tiara. She's obviously more detail-oriented than I. (I thought the hand-made rose petals were enough). I actually made many more rose petals, intending to decorate the platter with them and forgot them at our house when we went to the Carlisle cousins. Oops. No matter, no one missed them but me. 

The story behind the princess cake with the petal skirt originates in London where we would walk by a bakery with a large princess cake with a skirt made entirely out of petals prominently displayed in the window. Natty loved it and we had to stop and admire her regularly. So that's what she wanted for her birthday cake, but I didn't think I was up to a skirt made entirely out of petals, hence the fondant overskirt. Now that I've done it I know making rose petals isn't that hard, merely tedious. And the crazy cake decorating supplies you can get make it rather fun! Luster powder powder for instance - shimmery rose and silver powder to enhance each petal. I love living in the modern age. Hot running water and non-toxic luster powder for my daughter's cake. Oooo la la!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fun times and pictures

It dumped snow here last weekend and Murray and Natty went out for a ski - her first real ski! The last time we tried skis on her was year before last and she just stood in the driveway and wailed. Not a Picabo Street moment. But this year she was psyched: strapped 'em on and went for a fairly long ski. She had a great time and Murray had a great time with her. (I had a great time too - I laid in bed and enjoyed the quiet).

The snow had started while we were in NYC - we had such a fun time there. The only issue was that the energy in the City is so high that I overdo it. Thinking I would take it easy I went to the Metropolitan Museum while Natty and Murray were at the Big Apple Circus. So actually I walked around for hours - wonderful hours of soul-rejuvenating art gazing, but lots of On the Feet time. I got all sorts of pregnancy aches and pains, but I'm recovered now.

Murray and I got 2 adult dinners in a row - one with Paul and Anne at a "modern Korean" restaurant. Great company and delicious food. I think that Korean might actually be my favorite cuisine. It's remarkably different from any other and specializes in pickled/vinegary/fermented things which I love. The next night Marmee babysat while we went to Carnegie Hall for the Messiah. What an experience.  And we ended the trip by hanging out with Jon and Abbie - always fun to see them (and not just because Abbie reads this blog).

Sunday Natty was an angel in our church's Christmas pageant. Too cute. She was beside herself with excitement and behaved like an angel. 

Now it's Christmas Eve: the presents are wrapped, the stocking hung, she's in bed and we should be but aren't. I made a fabulous cake for her - hideously pink as a 4 yr old's birthday cake should be. Here's a picture of the process and we'll document the final product tomorrow. I tracked down some of the "necessary"supplies while we were in NY - nothing like obsessing over a 4 yr old's cake. It's become somewhat of a disease with me if you remember last years cake. Once a year I get the fever. It's fun - and it's worth it to see her excitement.  

Important lesson learned by Murray this Christmas Eve: Laphroiag single malt whiskey does NOT go well in eggnog. It's terrible. We tried it so you wouldn't have to.

As of right now (christmas eve, 11:30 pm) I have only gotten the one photo to post. Grrr. I'm going to bed but will post this as is and try for the rest of the photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I wrote this at least 10 days ago but didn't publish it. I don't know why. Now I will. And post another with some fun pictures.

We got the tree up and decorated! The house is getting more moved in and there is light at the end of the "pooping on the toilet" misery. We're very, very grateful for these things (and many more). On a sad note, my Uncle David passed away yesterday. My heart is so sad for my cousins who have now lost both parents in 4 months. And my Dad and Aunt Gloria to have lost their brother. 

I've got 95% of my presents mailed off, hurrah! Just a few odds and ends to finish up and I can sit back. We were going to do a Christmas card, but it's looking like we'll put that off until after the baby brother comes and do a baby announcement/Valentine's day card. Simply because we haven't gotten it done yet so it's not likely to happen in this last week.

We're going to NYC for a few fabulous days tomorrow. Murray is taking Natty to the Big Apple Circus - which was the only saving grace for missing her preschool Christmas party. (she was so upset when she found out we'd be gone for it - Big Tears, slowly rolling down cheeks! Broke my heart. Thankfully we'd already planned the circus and reminded her about it so she rallied). Thinking about how stressful last holiday season was, including a trip (or 2) to the City then, I'm in a much, much better space and grateful for it. 

Time to pick up Natty from Preschool and get a holiday haircut for her. 

Natty said, as we were almost finished decorating, "It's even better than I expected!" which is something because she was pretty psyched about the tree from the get-go.