Monday, November 23, 2009

Isaac's train cake

In addition to the train table, I also had a good idea for a cake for Isaac, which a client at work had given me a couple years ago. I was thrilled to create two things for my little guy as I don't often get to use my creativity.

I baked the cake the night before in large and small springform pans and let it cool overnight. The next day, I began by putting one on top of the other and cutting a piece in the smaller, chocolate, cake to look like a tunnel. I also cut a ramp up the wider piece of cake.

I also whipped up some cream cheese frosting (yum... the boys and I ended up eating quite a bit of it out of the bowl after I was done... ok, I snuck in several helpings as I was frosting also!). I frosted the cake, creating a path up the incline and an arch over the tunnel. I used sugar wafers and brown frosting the create the tracks.

You can see I'm not very neat when doing this kind of thing... and that picture was taken after I tidied up a few things.

Isaac loved his cake. I just added a train that I gave him with his train set and a couple candles, and it was complete. Notice how his little lip is covering his upper as he blows out his candles... luckily he didn't have a cold that day because we all would have gotten it just by eating the cake!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Isaac's birthday train table

We celebrated our 3 year old's birthday earlier this month. He loves trains, so the theme this year was trains. (I'm not usually together enough to create a theme, but I had a couple great ideas for his birthday that just sort of fit together).

I had wanted to make the boys a train table for some time, and a friend of mine had some wooden tracks she no longer needed for her son, so I was able to buy them from her and find a 48 inch round table at a local second-hand store:

So I set out putting together a track. It took some time, but I enjoyed every second of it. It reminded me of building tracks for my little brothers when they were young. And I was just so excited to give a track to our two boys... uh, to Isaac for his birthday. After a few adjustments, I had a great layout that fit perfectly on the table!

Andy suggested I nail it down rather than screwing it down as I was going to do, since nailing it wouldn't take as long. But I found that I still had to drill holes in the wood as the railroad pieces were more dense than I would have ever imagined. I set upon doing that the next night. After nailing the flat pieces down, breaking two of my husband's drill pieces in the process (actually, he was responsible for one of them breaking), and gluing down the bridge pieces, it was done. I had to find a good place to hide it until Isaac's birthday. Luckily they never suspected that hidden beneath a sheet and behind a couple boxes and rolls of toilet paper and paper towels was this table.

When Isaac finally opened it, it was hard to tell who was more excited: Blaise or me! Isaac was pretty thrilled, of course, but Blaise was the one who was jumping up and down, as you can see by his blurred image on this picture:

They have really been enjoying playing with the track and the trains Grandma and Grandpa gave them.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Countdown to Graduation: 19 months

One more month down, nineteen to go, until Andy's tentative graduation date and until I can be home with the boys.

I mentioned in my post a month ago that, while I have a good job, it does significantly affect me and the boys in that we are rushed in the mornings to get out the door, and transitions in general are difficult for my high-spirited 4 year-old. Even the transition from sleeping to being awake in the morning is difficult for him. I would love to have the time to sit and rock with him in the mornings. I had time for that this morning, and it really did help him. He, more than the nearly-3-year-old, also has a difficult time in that he doesn't feel at all in control of the situation and feels that he has no say in what he does on any particular day. I know he is frustrated. As am I, especially when I come home exhausted and with no energy to give them what they need and no energy to deal with their high level of energy.

So, since quitting work is not an option, and since I cannot be with them as much as I would like to to work with them along a path to holiness and happiness, I have begun to offer up my working days for their holiness and happiness. And, on the days when I drive the boys to the sitter, we say a prayer together of offering my working and the boys' spending the day at the sitter's house. Blaise is not yet sold on the idea, but Isaac enjoys saying the prayers with me.