We finally had the kids' birthday parties. Yeah, I know. They both have spring birthdays, and here it is, the end of August.
We didn't have parties at the times of their actual birthdays, because that was when we were in the midst of drywall dust and joint compound and transforming what had been our bedroom into two smaller rooms for the kids. We wanted the rooms to be finished before we invited a bunch of kids over to trash the place.
So we waited. And then the summer kind of took off running, and suddenly we were looking at the new school year looming on the horizon. So we finally got a date set where everyone could come, and that date was yesterday.
We planned a double birthday/cookout/potluck/end of summer thing. We tidied up the house and did the shopping and the planning…and I made the cakes.
Two birthdays, two cakes.
Alex's was chocolate. Julia's was lemon.
And I confess to you here and now:
I used box mixes. For both cakes. And I used canned frosting. For both cakes.
I admit, I sort of felt like I'd done something illegal when I put four boxes of cake mix and four cans of frosting in my shopping cart. After all, it's not like making a cake is difficult. I've certainly done it before.
But cake mixes are EASY and quick to throw together, and that's what I wanted. So that's what I did.
I know, I know, you've lost all respect for me. I accept that. My readership will now dwindle…I will be forced off the internet in disgrace….
Anyway, the main thing was how these cakes were going to LOOK.
I'd asked each kid what they wanted their cake to look like.
Julia wanted hers pink with elephants.
Alex wanted Yoda and Darth Sidious (aka Senator Palpatine, aka the Emperor) having their lightsaber battle in the Senate Rotunda.
And so I said okay, and started planning.
I decided to make ballerina elephants for Julia's cake. No particular reason – just the idea of pink and elephants…I thought the elephants should be doing something besides just standing on the cake.
I made the elephants out of fondant that I'd colored gray. And they were probably my favorite part of this whole two-cake-making extravaganza.
Here they are, doing their warm-up exercises.
I made 7 of them. I let them hang out and dry overnight, and then it was time for costume fittings…
I love them.
And then I made Yoda…
Yes, Yoda's plenty pissed about the Sith going around destroying so many Jedi. So just wait til his lightsaber has finished drying – and beware his wrath!
And here's Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious/The Emperor. He's not – okay, I was going to say "He's not as realistic as the others" and then I realized what I was talking about, so I'll just shut up now.
No, he's not pretty. But his face is distorted by evil, and as you can see, I've managed to represent that quite nicely.
Anyway, the elephants were done – all I'd need to do when it was cake time would be to place them here and there on the cake.
For Yoda and the Emperor's battle, things were going to be a bit more tricky.
I wanted to have Yoda up above the Emperor, their lightsabers crossed. But how to achieve that? Fondant is kind of heavy, so it's not like I could attach the two lightsabers in an X and stick Yoda way up high on the handle end of his…so what I came up with was this:
I perched Yoda on a chopstick.
It was the only way, given my limited time and architectural abilities, to hold Yoda in mid-air.
But it worked.
Alex was delighted, to say the least.
And here's Julia's cake – sorry about the picture quality – things were kind of chaotic at cake time and if I'd tried to take some really nice final cake pictures, I think the kids would have attacked me with their plastic forks.
And that's the story of those cakes.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have rooms of post-party fallout to clean up today.