Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roadshow to the Roadhouse

Last week was mostly uneventful.  Paul and I planned a romantic Valentine dinner at Texas Roadhouse using a gift card Paul got for his birthday.  That place is busy.  I'm talking traffic-after-fireworks, Walmart-on-a-Saturday-night, temple-square-during-General-Conference kind of busy.  We left at 4:30 hoping to get there before the dinner rush, but the wait was already an hour and a half when we arrived.  Andrea was home with her aunt, but we didn't want to be away for too long.  We decided to drive to the American Fork location.  After becoming sufficiently lost, and battling my carsick issues, we pulled around to the back of the building to park.  We walked around, past the dumpsters and a woman calming a baby, only to find another tremendous wait.  I looked at Paul.  He looked at me.  We turned around and got back into the car and ate candlelit dinner at the Arby's up the street.  Paul was so positive about the trip and turned everything into a joke so we still had a good time.  We concocted ways we thought they'd let us in to the Texas Roadhouse.  Paul suggested shotguns; I suggested impressive Roadhouse tattoos. But mostly we just drove and laughed.

The next day we decided to try using that gift card again.  My mom said it was much easier to get a table if you go early.  So shortly after 2:00 we packed up the baby and headed out with empty bellies.  I sat in the backseat with Andrea to keep her from fussing, but I was overheating in the sunshine.  I rolled down my window.  We pulled up into the Texas Roadhouse parking lot next to a car with doors ajar and smoking men lounging in the seats.  I made a comment to Paul about having to pull my infant out into the second-hand smoke before realizing my window was still rolled down.  I got out of the car feeling embarrassed and guilty but secretly hoping they didn't hear my rudeness.  We walked up to the front doors and heard one of the smoking men yell after us that they didn't open 'til four.  That basically motivated me to return to the car as fast as possible.  I smiled at the informative smoking man and thanked him for letting us know.  Then I threw myself in the car ungracefully and told my get-away driver to speed off quickly as if speeding off doesn't imply enough haste.

Perhaps we'll try again this week.

Last Friday, Andrea had her two month check-up.  She now weighs 9.2 lbs (14.7 percentile) and is 22 inches long (34.7 percentile).  She's getting a lot better at having tummy time and will occasionally roll over.  The rolling over, however, startles her and sometimes makes her cry.  It's exciting to watch the new things she can do.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warning: sap ahead!

Dear Paul,
Will you be my valentine?  I know I don't shower as much as I use to and my hair is rarely fixed these days, but I promise to get all gussied up for you if you'll be mine.  I'll make you some homemade fudge and cook yummy food for your belly.  I might even get a babysitter and let you take me to Texas Roadhouse for supper.  I know, I'm too good to be true. ;)

I awoke at about three this morning just thinking about you.  As I nursed the child you gave me I made a mental list of all the things I love about being married to you.
  1. I love our long drives to the airport listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire.  I love that you sing along when you don't know the lyrics and the pretend words you insert every-so-often.
  2. I love when you roll over to my side of the bed and elbow me in the eye.  No, this is not sarcasm. The fact the you are asleep beside me is wonderful and I'd give up an eye for it any day.
  3. When I come back to the bed from feeding Andrea, your arm reaching for my side of the bed makes me smile.
  4. The concoctions you've cooked up have at times frightened me (peanut butter and jelly with Tabasco?), but I'm grateful for your ability to feed yourself when Andrea, fatigue, American Idol, other obligations keep me from the kitchen.  You've been incredibly flexible and understanding.
  5. I love that you aren't afraid to ask me to edit your papers for school.  I really enjoy editing and being helpful.  It fulfills something deep inside me.
  6. I love when you match your tie to whatever I'm wearing.
  7. There is an indescribable joy that fills my soul watching you play with and take care of our daughter.  She smiled at you all through Sacrament Meeting whilst I melted in the pew.  What a cutie!
  8. In your first waking moments early in the morning you mumble in Spanish.  I don't know what your saying but it hasn't ceased to entertain me.
  9. I love this ring on my finger that you picked out yourself.  It's simple, beautiful, and means that I belong with you for eternity.
  10. I use to believe I'd never get married.  I didn't think I was thin enough, talented enough, or interesting enough to ever be attractive.  But you saw past my well-endowed rump and old-lady arms and decided that I was the woman you wanted marry.  You have loved me for better or worse.  From morning breath to morning sickness.  Your faith in me is priceless.  You are everything I hoped I'd find plus three cubed.
 I love you lots and hope to be your Valentine everyday!  No roses or chocolate required. . . although I do like chocolate.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The wedding cake from you-know-where

When my friend asked me to make his wedding cake I was wondering what he'd been really drinking out of his water bottle.  I consider myself very amateur when it comes to baking and decorating.  It's just a hobby and a way of expressing a certain amount of my creativity.  He explained that he wanted just a single tier for them to cut in to.  Beneath it would be cupcakes for their guests.  I nervously agreed.  Yesterday I gathered all of my things and drove to my mom's house to bake.  Andrea needed a nap and was already fussy when I arrived.

Aunt Jelly took the cranky little darling and rocked her nearly to sleep and then laid her in the wooden chest in the living room.  I began baking and Janell went downstairs to take a nap of her own.  Before long the cakes were cooling, the frosting was mixed and the filling was waiting to be sandwiched between the chocolate sponge.  But Andrea was hungry and beginning to fuss.  With Janell still asleep and no one else to assist me I started to panic.  If I fed her then the cooling cake might dry out, but if I covered it the condensation would make it soggy.  I could not send my friend a dry or soggy wedding cake.  Although the cake was still a little warm and had a few minutes of resting time to go, my mommy instincts to feed my child kicked in and I decided not to wait.  That cake needed put together before Andrea was hysterical so it would be moist for the wedding.

This was the result of my haste. . . the cake split in two and collapsed.  I nearly fainted.  Thankfully, my younger sister arrived home from junior high and distracted Andrea while I attempted to fix the disaster I'd created.

But the cake just kept falling and bulging and melting and driving me nuts!  After much bloodshed and almost tears, I came to the conclusion that I would have to start over which required a trip to the store.  Defeated, I fed the baby and headed to Macey's to replenish my supplies.

I was frustrated, embarrassed, and expending all my energy trying not to cry.  Literally covered from head to toe with powdered sugar I remixed a cake, filling, and frosting with the aid of my angel sister who took turns babysitting and chef-ing so I'd finish cake number two before midnight.

The evening wore on, Andrea wanted to go to bed and was nearly inconsolable.  I arranged all the flowers I'd made the week before atop the white fondant.

The wedding colors were black, white, and red, and the theme was paisley.  I attempted to recreate a flowered paisley but was a little short on flowers.  Had it not been so late and if Andrea were a little more cooperative and if I hadn't already made and ruined cake number one, I may have made some more flowers.  But I was out of strength and willpower, and my back hurt.  So I called it good, scooped my poop in a group, and sluggishly drove home.

This morning my friends brother picked the cake up and I walked down into my apartment feeling such foreboding.  This was a wedding cake that would be immortalized in reception photos.  And I think I could have done better.

I just hope he and his gorgeous fiance like it.

It'll taste good at least.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chex mix

It's February and month two of my virtuous woman resolution.  The verses of focus for this month are 13-14.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
So, I've been working on a little circle skirt for Andrea.  I'm thinking it's time to finish it.  The outside layer is made from some old curtains and the inside layer is made from a white shirt that Paul retired for being too shear.  The tool is leftover from my wedding.  But making little shirts is probably not the only thing I can do to work on this goal.  I have a pile of mending that followed me when I moved in September.  Perhaps it's time to tackle it.

Bringing my food from afar. . . that one has me a little puzzled.  I guess I could drive down to Provo to buy groceries, but I doubt that's what this verse refers to.  I'll have to do a little pondering and reading and get back to you.

This morning Andrea and I were playing on my bed and she was making the cutest little noise that I decided to record it with my camera.  Afterward, I laid down beside her and turned the camera around to show her the video.  She watched herself and made noises at herself.  How I wish I had another camera to take a video of her watching the video.  It was just the cutest thing so I made her watch it four or five times for my own personal amusement.

On Sunday Paul gave Andrea her baby blessing.  I was a little worried because it took place in the evening she's at her peak of crankiness.  I timed her feedings and play time so she'd be ready to nap by the time everyone came at my parents house.  However, she has trouble falling asleep when there's noise and people so when the bishop arrived she was crying like, well, a baby.  Just before the Rowberry's arrived she finally drifted off.  As an answer to my prayers she was quiet for the entire event.  It was sweet experience.
Andrea in her blessing dress with her Aunt Juju.

It was also his birthday so I made him a cake!  I decided to just use buttercream to decorate it.  But I broke my mom's mixer and had to mix the frosting by hand so it was a little lumpy which made piping difficult.
But he seemed to like it just fine. :)

On Saturday a friend of mine is getting married and asked me to make his wedding cake.  It's a single tier cake with cupcakes beneath it.  When I asked what their flower was my heart sank.  White roses.  I cannot do buttercream roses.  I've tried and failed and I don't want to ruin this cake.  So I'm making gumpaste roses which is much easier.  The one drawback, gumpaste dries really fast and becomes brittle while you are working with it.

Other noise: I think our houseplant has seen better days.  Paul was worried about me taking care of a baby because I can't seem to keep one if the most hard-to-kill houseplants alive for very long.  But in my defense, the plant doesn't cry when it's thirsty, smile at me when it's happy, or incubate inside me for nine months.  Still, I have feelings of guilt when look at my sad little plant stick.

And this picture is just cute.  Andrea's little foot is the size of Paul's big toe.  Awww!