Monday, September 3, 2012

That time when Addison ran away

I look at pictures of fabulous kids birthday parties, and I think- I should do that.

Streamers, special cookies to match the cake, color coordinated plates and napkins, crafty favors, inventive games, balloons that get twisted into shapes that hold up the giant tent made of cotton candy under a sky of Pinterest created sunshine.

And then I have mornings like this morning and I remember why I just should never, ever attempt that no matter how easy the blog posts promise that it is.

Yesterday Carter turned one. I could feel the world looking at me, waiting for me to pull off a crazy creative party because according to Pinterest, that's what EVERYONE does now. I have been struggling with just the day-to-day lately (more than usual)- two kids running opposite directions- undoing work that I do faster than I can redo it, making messes- you know, just trouble in general.

So I just said no. No party. No hand stenciled invitations. No Carter bust statues to hand out as favors. (instead I just put the "party budget" right into presents) I have such deprived children.

But, I did think that we should take the kids out to eat (yesterday we went to Texas Roadhouse) and then I set up an official one year photo shoot for this morning. We did a one year photo shoot for Addison, and plus we really needed some updated family pictures....so one plus one equals a morning in front of the camera for this crew.

I did all of the prep work- scoured the stores for the perfect matching outfits, lined up the photographer (Silver Spoon Photography), planned out locations for which pictures, and designed in my head a simple smash cake that Carter would smash for the pictures. How hard could this be, right? 

Well, this morning I woke up with a list of ten things that I needed to do before our 9:00 appointment.

1. Frost the Smash Cake
2. Vacuum the house

were the first two on the list.  I decided not to do my usual Buttercream frosting because when Addison's smash cake used that much Crisco, it was VERY difficult to clean up.  So I decided to be all kinds of crafty, and I made the frosting out of Greek Yogurt instead, trying to sneak in some extra goodness while the kids thought they were eating pure sugar. 

Turns out, while admittedly tasty and a lot healthier than the regular buttercream, Greek Yogurt frosting fails to harden or support a layer cake at all (even when I added butter to the recipe and way more powdered sugar than it called for). FAIL#1 (so much for the blue swirled cake I stayed up late last night preparing)
All it needs is the blue sprinkles and the ONE candle and this masterpiece is complete. I'm sure you'll be calling me to make such a complicated, finely-tuned creation for your child's birthday. I can see this inspiration spreading like wildfire on Pinterest like nobody's business.

Swallowing back my cake-making pride, I whipped out a can of store bought frosting because I only had fifty minutes left before photo time. (I promise I DO know how to make an awesome cake!), I then noticed the silence coming from the kids, so I went to check on them. Addison was smearing peanut butter toast (where did she get this???) on our white sheets and Carter was in the bathroom trying to drink saline solution (how did he get in there???). FAIL#2 I re-situated them and tried to salvage the smash cake. I learned quickly- not possible.

Fail #3:
I'm thinking of submitting them both as design inspiration to a cake magazine. I'm sure they're going to fight over the rights to these pictures. I can see it now "SUPERMOM makes cake of the century" or perhaps "Inspiring cakes for your child's first birthday" or maybe "Cake Crap" oh wait....

Frustrated beyond reason (I admit, I cried into the frosting), I then realized I didn't even have Crisco on hand to try again with my buttercream frosting that always does so well for me. What's a girl to do? Naturally, I sent Aaron to the store to buy anything that would pass as a smash cake hoping that he would see into my head and pick out the exact cake that I would. (This rarely works for me)

Meanwhile, the photographer was arriving in forty minutes and the entire floor was covered in crumbs courtesy of two certain two little ones. I vacuumed- carefully, diligently (I contemplated sucking up the cake disasters into the vacuum). I finished the main living area vacuum just as Aaron walked in the door.

He looked at the vacuum turned off in the middle of the floor, looked at the floor, and then said

"Is the vacuum broken?"

Even the smash cake that he was holding (upside down) couldn't soothe over that comment.

"No, those are all the spots that are STUCK TO THE FLOOR and will need mopping to remove." I replied, feeling the insult stack on top of the injury. I then cried into the pile of crumbs that were stuck to the floor with peanut butter and other unnamed substances (figuratively, of course)

We then made the brilliant decision to go to Aaron's parents house and get our pictures done there. Perfect. I left the cakes on the counter, confident that the fruit flies would snack on the extra protein and triple their population by the time we returned home (editor's note: yes they did)

We dressed the kids in the matching outfits and loaded them up in the car. I was still upset about all my failures of the morning, and Aaron asked why we needed to go through all of this effort for pictures. I tried to explain that I wanted a memory to look back on that included clean faces and cute babies and loving family poses instead of the gray cloud that is replacing the thing called memory in my head. I wanted to capture the euphoric part of motherhood so that on those nights that I put the kids to bed and just cry, I can pull up that picture and feel that I'm doing a good job.


Upon arriving at the photo-ready yard, things seemed to go better. I mean, Addison and Carter kicked and whined when we wanted them to stay in our laps, and they ran in opposite directions when we wanted their pictures together (the photographer- who is also a dear friend- is a SAINT and a miracle worker) But overall- things were going well. UNTIL we were in the middle of Carter's cake smash session (so fun), and I looked around and didn't see the blonde pony tail bobbing around, trying to grab the cake herself.

"Um, where's Addison?" I asked.
"I thought she was with you." Aaron said.

Needless to say, a nanosecond later, we were running through their expansive front yard, back yard and open garage calling for her. The scary thing was, even if she could hear us- she really couldn't answer so we had to check every little corner.

Their beautiful property has many things, but it quickly became very clear that it was missing something important: our blue-eyed little princess. She was gone.

"ADDISON! ADDISON!" I started to panic. The photographer stayed with Carter while we started running through the neighborhood yelling for her. It's a family friendly neighborhood, but cars still zip through there pretty fast, and Addison would wander right into the road without giving it a second thought.

At a certain point I wondered if she could even walk this far, but sure enough, waaaay down the street I saw a blonde ponytail vigorously bobbing because of the fast pace as she was running. She was on the sidewalk ready to cross a street that was momentarily silent, but gets sudden, fast traffic that wouldn't be looking for a little girl in the road.

"ADDISON!" I screamed, but she ignored me as she kept trotting out into the direct line of cars. I started running as fast as I could. She was a considerable distance in front of me, and I thought I was going to see her get run over because I couldn't get there fast enough.

Just then a mom running with a jogging stroller saw me far away running and calling to Addison. I'm sure it didn't take much for her to put two and two together. She jogged up to Addison and blocked her on the sidewalk until I got there to scoop Addison up in my arms.

Can you say heart attack? (Fail#4, 5, 6 and 100)

It has taken me all day to calm back down from this close call. Seriously- scared me to death, and this could have very easily ended very badly for us (a car sped by the house very quickly right when we first noticed that she was missing)

Sigh. and sigh again. I think Addison has far more than nine lives, because she's on ten or eleven already.

Apparently the simplified photo shoot/smash cake agenda is STILL too much for me to handle. Can you imagine if I HAD thrown a party??? (shudder)

 After being found, she took her own swipe at her brother's smash cake....purchased so lovingly by her father. You can tell that her close call troubled her greatly.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more pictures (but hopefully no more drama)

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious and scary story and precious pics as usual! My brother ran away at Addison's age and we wee afraid he's drowned in a nearby pond. She called the cops and fire station and everyone. And then he came walking down the road. It happens :)

    ReplyDelete

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