Still Here!

A quarter of a year has passed since I last posted something here. Yes, it has been four months! Time really passes by with a blur. Anyway, I had my hands full, what with having two girls, one of which is a really active baby toddler! Ellie keeps me on my toes most of the time. She's a little bundle of energy, I'm telling you. She can turn our room upside down in a matter of minutes... when I have just finished fixing it up for an hour. Sometimes I just let the mess be, clearing up only when she is sound asleep... at night! Haha So that means our room is only tidy during evenings. LOL.

Climbing cabinets, eating books, walking, playing. That's what keeps our super kulit Ellie busy.
As for Sophie, everything's pretty much the same. Her therapist keeps on telling us that Sophie has everything she needs to walk. It's just that she still can't get over her fear of falling. Oh, and there's her attitude as well. She is as hard-headed as she can be. It can be difficult telling whether she really is in pain or just not in the mood to do things (so that means she's forever NOT in the mood to move). Sometimes I think she's contented lying down or sitting and watching her sister scamper off in different directions. I really would like to push her to her limits. But only God knows up to what extent can she really take it. For all we know, we might be doing more damage than good to her... Sigh. Damn this CS.

Sophie's very zen while Ellie continues with the chaos.
Aside from the usual hustle-bustle of mommyhood, what kept me busy too was Ellie's first birthday celebration. You all know I'm a proud DIY mom. So with Ellie's birthday party, I pretty much DIY-ed everything. (Yes, I'm bragging now. Haha!) Check the pictures first before I tell you which ones were my projects.

{Photo credits to Ellie's Ninang Geelay!}
So what were my projects? The first three photos of the party, that's what (except of course the balloon decoration). It was indeed a birthday filled with Mommy's labor of love. I was quite proud of my handiwork and party planning skills then. I researched, planned, budgeted and did everything that I can for that party. It was quite hard to pull off a party, given I am working with a budget and have grand visions of how I want it to be done. Actually, I just wanted it to be a memorable affair, something that both the kiddie guests and adult guests enjoyed. So hearing from the guests that they had a blast made every sleep-deprived night all worth it. *huge smile*

Anyway, the greatest challenge I experienced related to the party would be the cake, as it pretty much tested my amateur baking skills. Ellie almost had no cake to blow her candles with that day because of the mistakes I did with making that fondant cake. I made one before, to gauge if I can manage making a presentable cake. Here's my very first fondant cake:

Not bad for a first-timer right?
Since it turned out fairly well, save for the octopus which looked like an alien, I did not bother repeating this again. Heck, ingredients don't come cheap! So I just kept in mind the things I need to improve on and repeat the things that I know I did right, then proceeded with busying myself with my other DIYs.

So a week before Ellie's birthday party, I started with the components of the cake. I planned it in such a way that the cake will be finished a day before the party. I would like to be chillaxing (chill + relax = chillax, gets?) and focus on my kids then. But horror of horrors, this was what my cake looked like after I spent the whole night assembling it:

My cake is sweating! One big mess. Tsk, tsk.

I made the mistake of putting it in the refrigerator, for fear that the fondant will melt. But when I took it out, the melting then started! It would have been better if I left it outside overnight. I had also rolled the fondant covering too thick that it started tearing... I was in a state of panic then. Not knowing who to turn to and make a cake that will be ready the next morning. Even bakeshops like Goldilocks or Red Ribbon does not accept very rush orders.

Alas, the damage is done. So I just decided that we eat the cake. Thus the photos with a quarter of the cake gone. Anyway, I spent the whole morning of that Saturday (Ellie's party's the next day) crying and regretting my decision to make Ellie's cake. I should have just entrusted it to seasoned bakers I know. My overconfidence and lack of skill got the best of me...

After I have dried my tears and assessed the situation, I checked my resources. Yes, there's still enough left to make a cake. But compared to the damaged one, it will be just a teeny cake. I asked a cousin of mine the possible reasons why my cake failed. I also consulted a baker friend about the chances that I could finish my new project in time. My friend assured me that I can still do it. I just have to be careful NOT to repeat my previous mistakes.

So I rested up a bit then started from scratch again. I started at 2PM of that Saturday, baking my cake. While the cake is in the oven, I started molding the fondant figures I'll be using. Before I knew it, it was already dark. I just continued what I was doing with the firm resolve that I can finish it that night.

I finished by 10PM, after eight straight hours of baking, crumb coating, covering, molding and assembling the cake. It is small, something that is not fit for a first birthday party celebration, but I am so proud of myself. Not just of the neat handiwork that I made, but also because I have proven to myself (and to everyone at that) that I am not one who simply accepts defeat without doing anything.

My friends, especially my fellow moms, were anxious about the result. I have shared my frustrations in my FB page. They offered words of comfort and support, and that helped a lot to regain enough confidence to finish this little cake of mine. When they saw it, I can feel the immense pride they have for me, for not giving up so easily. Perhaps, it could be summed up with this short line: "For the love, anything is possible".

Our cutie patootie during her real birthday, two days after the party. The cake is very much intact!


vee fernandez said...

Wow!Pwede na umorder mommy Van?Belated happy birthday Ellie!Sorry hindi ako nakapunta..

Vanenie said...

Mommy Vee, pwede na! Hehe Simple designs pa lang nga. Still working on my designs e. Pero pag cupcakes, go na go na. Haha

Iamkiara said...

Wow ang galing mo naman mommy vanenie. how i wish makapagbake din ako ng cake :)mukhang enjoy na enjoy ang mga kids and adults sa party

RH said...

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