Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, April 10, 2014


My Tessa-loo has been
on the planet for eight years.

I have had eight years to get ready for this, but it still sneaked up on me.  She has been growing so fast, changing so much.  She has been taking her smart-allec-mobile out for many test drives of late.  It is a familiar phase; we went through this with her sis, and they boys have had their own versions as well.  But even with all the stretching limbs and changing vocal pitch, I still wasn't ready for this whole
growing up thing.

I mean, where does she get off?  Honestly.  The nerve.

I was thinking back to her baby days, how I was so surprised on the day she was born to see that she was a little girl.  To her birth and her nursling days (okay, years.  So sue me), and how much she adored to snuggle with me.  She was a serious baby, with an intense gaze and little humor.  She was always a head turner, but didn't ever want the attention she unintentionally attracted.  She still is pretty serious, as her tummy troubles would attest, but she has developed a fun little sense of humor.  She is creative and bright, and so, so dramatic.  She loves music and dancing.  She is sweet to The Littles, and can be very helpful to me.  

We are blessed to have her in our family.
Happy Birthday, Tessa.

(Photo of the birthday girl by the amazing Annmarie Hall)


I had help with the "surprise cake" Tessa asked for.  It was a surprise in more ways than one.  I did have a first.  It was to be a green cake with a cute white picket fence around the outside.  On top was to be a little sculpted brown horse with a white patch on his face, and sweet flowers at his feet.  

As the day wore on, my plan dissolved.  Time was fleeting, and as Jonah-boy was trashing rooms, baby was crying and phones and doorbells were ringing.  Well, doorbells weren't, because ours has been broken for years, but you get the idea.  The cute little horsey I sculpted kind of was a flop (It's not important why, but I blame the fondant.  If I could've used clay I would have rocked that colt).  As usual, nothing was going according to my plan.

But Tessa didn't know what my idea had been.  She had no preconceived cake notions because she had handed over the pastry-plotting to me.  She just trusted me.  Trusted that I was going to make her an "awesome surprise cake".  By the end of the afternoon I found myself out of energy and ideas.  What if I just covered the cake with polka-dots?  No, the voice in my head said, you have to do something that is special to Tessa.

Jonah kept pestering me to help, and I finally gave in.  What harm could it do?  We rolled and cut and moistened fondant, and eventually, we had a cake.  Not the cake that had been in my head.  Not the cake with a picket fence.  
But a cake.  A nice cake that she loved.  

It has taken me years to be okay with switching gears; with giving up on an idea or a plan that isn't working because I've become attached to the fantasy, even if reality is telling a different story.  It's getting easier and easier to stop and take inventory, and see that sometimes the best idea isn't the "vision", but the one that you can realistically make happen.

(with polka-dots.  Just a few)

The last surprise was thanks to an inordinate amount of food coloring.  I promise the purple was not muddy-grey in real life, and I swear I don't do this kind of thing on a regular basis.  I make my kids eat broccoli and fruit and drink tons of water.  But once in a while, we eat rainbows.

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