Thursday, September 13, 2012

In which we learn that Elise is incompetent.

Claire's birthday came last month. She is now five. Birthdays at our house are not traditionally big parties. Birthdays involve cake, a present or two, and--if you're a student--a treat at school.

I'd been asking Claire what kind of treat she wanted me to bring to her kindergarten class for a long time. For Grace I had brought gummy worms in Oreo-dirt and pudding. The next year I'd taken nothing cookies. (Recipes for those soon because they are fabulous.) So Claire had high expectations. You know, as far as our family goes.

I thought I would help her out by looking with her on pinterest for some birthday treat ideas.

This was a stupid idea.

Claire fell in love with Bakerella's Hello Kitty cake pops. And I, being completely inexperienced in the world of decorative foods, agreed that Hello Kitty cake pops would be a great idea.

That was also stupid.

First of all, you have to understand (because I'm SURE I've never mentioned it before): I live in a desert island. The only cake decorating/baking/craft store within 90 miles is Walmart. And I'm sure this will shock many of you, but Walmart supply on such supplies is spotty. Seasonal. Sometimes non-existent. So I had to forgo a few supplies. Like the iconic heart-sprinkle hairbow. I got a bag of red icing instead.

But I was hopeful and expectant. Excited for them to turn out beautifully and be the model creative-loving-attentive mother.

I started a week early. I had a lot of stuff to do that week. Like I had to write the Primary Program. I had to take Brad to the nearest airport 70 miles away so he could pick up his new truck in Houston because his got totaled. I had to go to my first obstetrics appointment in a city 90 miles away. I had to teach a beginning photography class to junior high schoolers. I needed time.

So I waited until the kids were in bed and Brad was watching the RNC. I spent a couple of hours mixing the cake. Waiting for it to bake. Waiting for it to cool. Dumping it out. Mixing it with frosting. Molding each cake ball oval around a little lollipop stick.

And the cake balls refused to stick. So I put them in the freezer. And I went to bed.

The next night I spent an hour and a half or so melting candy buttons and attaching white chocolate chip ears to the frozen little Kitty heads.

My back started to really hurt. So I said goodnight to 26 Hello Kitties and put them to bed in the freezer.

The next night I melted more candy buttons and brushed each Kitty with gooey whiteness. That took an hour or so. Bakerella says to dip them. But my kitties kept falling off the stick. Dipping was not an option. So I brushed away.

The result was seriously depressing.

I thought: "maybe they'll look better with faces."

So I put yellow sprinkles on 25 kitties (one poor kitty had gone the way of all the earth). Bakerella says to use mini colored baking chips. News flash. These are not for sale where I live. Not anywhere. So I used large yellow sprinkles. Don't bug me about it.

Then, Then. Then it was the night before Claire's birthday. I needed to finish them before class the next day. It was time to draw on eyes. I used an edible ink pen. Which Walmart generously decided to make available to us small town hicks.

After my first little kitty got eyes, the pen stopped working.

I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart.

I had a single kitty. And she was what you might call a reject. I couldn't bring myself to spend another whoknowshowlong piping red bows on the pathetic looking creatures.

Bakerella fail.

I would not be arriving in Claire's classroom as a caring, attentive and creative mother.

I would be arriving as a mad woman with deformed, eyeless kittens.

I took doughnuts instead.

Now I look like the rotten mother who forgot her daughter's birthday.


  1. This is exactly why we are kindred spirits! I tried to do cake pops and failed miserable as well. Dipping is impossible. I didn't even take a picture though, I was too ashamed. Now I think it's funny and wish I had one. At least one day Claire has proof that you really tried!

    PS I don't think she looks THAT bad. Although eyeless ones would be creepy!

  2. I have completely failed at cake pops too. For our primary talent show. The poor kids got no refreshments. They are way harder than Bakerella makes them out to be! And your little kitty doesn't look too bad, I bet your girls enjoyed eating them!

    Mac's b-day is this week and I was just going to skip the class treats, but donuts sound pretty good and impossible to mess up... thanks for the idea!

  3. I'm impressed by your effort! You're a good mom to do so much. I ignore celebrations. Maybe I'll bring in donuts -- store-bought donuts from Walmart. That's it. I've learned the kids don't really care. It's over in five seconds and they've moved on to whatever's next. Keep it simple and you'll always win!

  4. Elise, I don't think I've laughed so hard in a good long while. Thank you, I need that.

    (P.S. I think you're amazing. I mean, who would just keep plowing through like that? You have such love. Also, Bakerella, shmakerella.)

  5. She looks way better than any attempt I could do. Wow, you're super mom for getting as far as you did. Kudos to you!

  6. I think your kitty looks great! And, also, I like you. Cake pops are absurd, is my general opinion.

  7. Generoulsy made them available to you hicks. That had me rolling laughing.

    I suppose now is not the time to tell you that I don't think they look that bad? And, would a little Sharpie marker actually kill someone? Just sayin.

    ps- Ashley just walked up to my computer and pointed at these cake pops and said "What is that?" ... Crap. I am NOT making these, Elise!!!

  8. And, Ashley just said of your cake pops: That one is not the best because it doesn't have a bow. Because it was raining and the bow got off. But, it's still so cute. Like a baby puppy kitty.

    See. Kids don't care. ;)

  9. Ahhh! The disappointment, I a sooo empathisizing with you right now. Last year I wanted to bring a beautiful three tiered, beautifully frosted cake to my son's preschool cakewalk (PRESCHOOL cake walk, for crying out loud. Why did I set myself up?). Long story short, it was a crazy week, the cake broke in half over the layers and slid into a big messy oblivion. I sat there crying and grabbed a fork and just dug in. I ended up dashing to the store and bringing those yucky store bought m&m cookies on a cheap white paper plate. I looked like I didn't even care! That's when I learned not to be a hero and to just stick with chocolate chip cookies and call it good! Haha.
    Anyway, I'm impressed that you care so much, and while those other kids might not know to what lengths you went, Claire will always know her mama loves her!

  10. Please write "Nailed it" really huge across the pics and pin to Pinterest. So funny, love it! You're the best!

  11. Hahaha! I just found your blog because we're both linked on the lovely Bring Joy Blog (ya!) and I actually laughed out loud as I was reading this. so funny.

    Thanks for sharing your real mom experience with us. As a mother of two girls, and an over-achieving dreamer, I can totally see this exact scenario happening in our house.

    Happy Weekend!
    Emily Jeffords

  12. Oh you hicks living in that desert island have all the fun :) Elise you are seriously the best! What an awesome mom to even try, I would've given up the first night. Maybe next year you should just walk Claire through the bakery section of Walmart ;) yea right, now you have a whole year to nail it and get it for next time. Which, by the way, I think yours actually came out great!

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