I Win At Cakes

So you know those moms who throw elaborately themed birthday parties, hand make all the favors, sew their kid a birthday outfit, and bake and decorate an amazing looking cake?

Yeah, I’m not that mom. For my kid’s classroom birthday party I bought a 24 pack of mini cupcakes with Valentine’s Day candies on them. Winning!

For some reason, though, I’ve been determined every year to bake Nellie a birthday cake to bring to her family get together. We don’t do anything large or lavish, just her close family members to celebrate her turning another year older.

Here’s the thing: I am terrible at this. The cakes taste fine; I don’t do anything fancier than a yellow cake with chocolate frosting… Though this year I almost went crazy and got Funfetti cake. WATCH OUT! IT’S WACKY IN HERE!

I didn’t, though. I stuck with yellow cake, chocolate icing. I digress. Here are her first and second birthday cakes, side-by-side:


I’ll wait for you to stop laughing before I continue.

Anyway after last year’s disaster attempt, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration for her third birthday cake. I found something that I knew not even I could mess up. It was perfect and simple! Here is the cake:

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brinkenzi/6973386233/

I was confident that I could pull this off. After all, it’s a white cake. With a stencil. Surrounded by festive colorful sprinkles. Easy peasy, right?

Ahem.

My first mistake was waiting until the last second to get the decorating supplies. I took Nellie shopping. Let her pick out the frosting color and the type of sprinkles. Couldn’t find a large “3” stencil. Settled on a wax candle in the shape of a 3 instead. It’ll work out fine! It’ll be great. Cutest ever.

Instead of telling you what went wrong, well… I will just show you.

Yyyyyyyeah.

Okay so seriously, what the fuck happened?  My cake looks like a faerie sneezed all over a pile of mud and then tap danced in the middle of her snot-covered mud pile, leaving teensy footprints smack in the middle of the cake.

Maybe next year I will just buy a cake. Yes? Yes. But I probably won’t, because I obviously don’t learn from my mistakes. The best part of all of this?

My kid didn’t even want to eat the damn cake.

SNOB.

Three.

On January 20th, 2010 at 4:15 P.M, a 7 pound 2 ounce baby girl with a head full of jet black hair came into this world and made me a mom.

This past weekend we celebrated Nellie Rose’s third birthday (I’m just now getting around to making her birthday post. Fail.) On Saturday, we took her out for a celebratory treat – something she had been requesting for months. “A pink cupcake. A big one. With sprinkles.”

We didn’t disappoint the birthday girl.

 I took a few photos of her on her last day as a 2-year-old.

 

On her birthday, we told her to choose a place to eat breakfast.
She chose Waffle House.
Whatever, she’s a cheap date.

After breakfast, some fun at the mall playground, and a nap we headed downtown to the Children’s Discovery Museum to take advantage of my dad’s birthday gift to Nellie – a year-long family membership! She had fun “fishing”.

 

We were going to have her family party afterward but my mother-in-law was not feeling well, so we decided to reschedule. It’s a good thing that we did, because it turns out that Josh came down with some funk that lasted for three days. He is just now getting over it – and I am hoping that this icky feeling I have is not me beginning to have it.

Nellie’s 3rd birthday was spent with the two people who saw and held her first – her mama and daddy. It was low-key, but special. It was perfect.

At 3 years old, Nellie is stubborn. She is willful. She is smart, funny, and ridiculous. She is a whirlwind of activity. She has the uncanny ability to remember things that make my jaw drop. She loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Princesses (especially Merida), and kitties. She loves music. Her two favorite songs right now are “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. Her favorite TV show is He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (yes. Seriously.) and her favorite movie du jour is Aladdin.

At bedtime, she wants two stories read to her. Usually “Llama Llama Mad at Mama” and something else (the second one can usually be whatever). After her stories she wants to be rocked while we sing “Wagon Wheel”. She still snuggles with her Fox. She is potty trained, paci-free, and growing more independent every single day.

Nellie Rose, welcome to 3. I cannot wait to see what adventures it has in store for us.

I love you to the moon and back, more than all the stars in the sky, more than you will ever truly know.

 

This Post Brought to You By Vodka.

Okay. So. I have a few things I would like to talk about. It’s no secret that I draw my inspiration for blogging from real life, conversations I have with my friends who live in the computer, my best friend oh – AND VODKA.

Tonight is a diet cheat night. Because I’m kicking ass with my fitness and weight loss. I’ve lost 7 pounds so far. I joined a gym. I’m fucking serious about this zombie race, y’all. I’m actually training for it. It’s happening. Where was I? Oh yeah, things.

So one of the things on my Twenties Bucket List is to go to a live concert. WELL, my friends. WELL. It just so happens that the Avett Brothers are playing with Old Crow Medicine Show in May. These are two bands that I’m pretty newly acquainted with. I want to go to this show. But I’m afraid to, because I’m really kind of holding out hope that Mumford & Sons or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will tour this year. But I don’t KNOW that they will, because Mumford & Sons have been in the damn UK FOREVER.

Anyway. It’s like fate is handing me one of my list items on a silver platter and saying, “Here you go! Come to this hippie show. You will love it.”

I had something else to say, but then forgot. Oh yeah!

I’ve been thinking about re-branding the blog. I’ve been Mommy Boots for almost three years now and I wonder if it’s time for a change. I worry that I get thrown into a certain category because my blog has “Mommy” in the title. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a “mom blog” but let’s face it. That term is kind of heinous and condescending and also, I don’t really fit into the “mom blog” niche. I talk about vodka and say fuck all the time. So what the hell would I re-brand myself as, anyway? “Mom Who Says Fuck and Likes Vodka”? That kind of has a ring to it. Would you all still read and love me if I re-branded? What if I re-branded as a velociraptor, or a komodo dragon? Because those two things are mean.

This post has no point. At all.

Vodka.

 

Twenties Bucket List

For my birthday, my best friend gave me a number of really cool and funny things. She gave me a Starbucks gift card, a funny calendar featuring goats in trees (best ever, right?), some scented wax that smells like cupcakes (“so the calories don’t ruin your diet”) and a card with some wonderfully sentimental things written inside.

One of the things she wrote was how we should do lots of fun things this year and then throw a big party for the big 3-0. I wonder if she knew she’d make me cry with her card (the sweet things she said, not the fact that she mentioned me turning 30) but I’m almost positive she didn’t know that she’d inspire me to create what I’m calling  my “Twenties Bucket List” – a list of things I want to do before my twenties kick the bucket and become my 30s.

It’s probably going to be a list in progress, because I keep thinking of random and silly things to put on it. I don’t think the #1 item will change, however. Here is the list as it stands now in no particular order except for item #1:

  • Take a winery tour.
  • Attend Wine Over Water (not everything on this list is wine-related. Promise).
  • Lose 40 pounds (this one’s already in progress!).
  • Begin writing a book.
  • Take 1 photo a day and make a “memory yearbook” at the end of the year.
  • Begin saving for a family Disney trip.
  • Take a weekend road trip with the family.
  • Meet some of my blog friends in person (FINALLY).
  • See a live concert (preferably Mumford & Sons or Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros).
  • Do something completely different with my hair.

And the #1 thing on my list is…

Train for and run a 5k.

Specifically, the Run For Your Lives Zombie-Infested 5k Obstacle Course Race in September. What’s that? Check out the video below for epic awesomeness.

I mean seriously. How freaking cool does that look? I just can’t decide if I want to be a zombie or a racer. Obviously it’s going to take me more than just training in running – that shit looks serious. I’m going to have to be in good shape before tackling that but I have plenty of time since the run isn’t until September.

That’s my Twenties Bucket List so far. I’m determined to make the last year before 30 awesome.

Have any suggestions of things I could add to my list? Add them in the comments!

 

 

In Her Time of Dying – Little Boxes

While my brother was in town (we had a great visit!), one of the things on our agenda was finally going through our mom’s things. We weren’t sure what we would find. Our parents divorced when I was twelve and we moved out of my childhood home. My mom moved around a lot after that. She was messy and disorganized.

To be honest, I was a little nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect emotionally. It ended up not being as hard as I’d imagined. It actually was kind of fun. I did cry on the drive home – there is something very sad and strange about driving away with tangible evidence of your life before your family fell apart.

The things we found surprised me. There were several figurines that belonged to my grandma Nellie.

I found several pieces of artwork that I made as a child.

I can smell your fear. COME PLAY WITH ME

Stumbling across my childhood art and handed-down figurines was great, but my favorite part was the pictures we found that I thought were long gone.

This dress. Oh yeah.

I didn’t have a lot of photos of me as a child – and now I do. Not so many as others may have, but enough to tuck into a photo album to show my children one day. The whole experience of going through my dead mother’s things and picking through what I wanted to keep was very strange. It made me sad to think that these things we collect throughout our lives, these precious pieces of jewelry, knickknacks, trinkets, and treasures will one day be sorted into neat little boxes and driven from our homes by our descendents – if we are lucky enough to have descendents who will want them.

I think what made me the saddest of all was that my mother kept all of this stuff. Through all the shit, through all the moving, through all the depression and darkness, she clung to these items from her past. She kept these treasures tucked away in closets while her life spiraled out of control. It would have been easier, I think, to write her off as a hateful person if I hadn’t found these things. I could come to terms saying she never really cared.

These photos, these baubles from the past tell me otherwise. She did care. And that breaks my heart.

My brother and I divvied up her few possessions, and now I have my own little boxes nestled safely in my closet. One day they will belong to my children, but for now, I will keep them safe. Because I guess that’s just what you do.

BlogHer Book Club Review: The Willpower Instinct

I’m a fiction girl. I rarely stray outside my preferred genre, but this year I decided that I wanted to challenge myself, particularly with the books I read… So I agreed to review a self-help book, which I’ve never read before. Turns out this book was kind of perfect timing.  I made the decision at the end of December to finally shed my 40+ pounds of baby weight, so a book about willpower and taking control of it was perfect for me… Especially since I’ve tried and failed multiple times to lose the weight in the last three years.

I’m exactly the kind of person this program has in mind. McGonigal seemed to be speaking directly to me when she wrote, “Most people feel like willpower failures–in control one moment but overwhelmed and out of control the next.” With this book she advises readers to examine how and why we lose control; to understand the “science of willpower” we must really get to know ourselves – especially how we find ourselves in “willpower trouble.” To accomplish this, she has designed the book to teach us how to become “willpower scientists,” through a series of assignments designed to help us pay attention to how our behaviors are already operating in our lives. McGonigal advises I pick a specific will-power challenge to test every idea against. Perfect! Let the weight-loss battle begin!

The willpower challenges that she suggests are the “I will” power challenge, the “I won’t” power challenge, and the “I want power challenge”. The challenge that spoke to me most was the “I will” power challenge – mostly because the positive “will” language appealed to me. She describes this as choosing “something you would like to do more of, or stop putting off, because you know doing it will improve the quality of your life”.

This book gave me a lot of tools that I can implement, as well as some good knowledge as to what, exactly willpower is and what part of the brain it comes from (the prefrontal cortex, if you’re wondering). I’ve begun taking small steps from this book and can’t wait to continue my willpower challenge even further! If you’re looking to make sure some of those resolutions stick, pick up a copy of this book to glean some little tidbits on how to take control of your willpower.

DISCLOSURE: I received both monetary compensation plus a copy of The Willpower Instinct for this post as part of the BlogHer Book Club. You can read more about this book or join the discussion by visiting the BlogHer Book Club’s discussion of The Willpower Instinct. These thoughts and words are 100% authentic, and 100% my own.

 

Twenty-Nine

Happy Birthday To:

  • Kate Middleton
  • Dave Matthews
  • Joan Baez
  • Jimmy Page
  • Severus Snape

Oh, and

ME.

That’s right, folks. Today I turn twenty-nine years old. Twenty-nine! How in the actual eff did that sneak up on me?! Thus begins the last year of my twenties. THE LAST ONE. I remember sitting in my tiny one bedroom apartment on January 9th, 2004 and scribbling in my journal, “I’M TWENTY. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!”. That skinny twenty year old was in her first place on her own, worked at a restaurant, and was on the verge of dating the man she would eventually marry (thought she didn’t know it yet).

It’s really funny (and by funny I mean WTF JUST HAPPENED) how time seems to go faster and faster the older we get. Having a child has made it even faster than that.

I’m determined to make the last year of my twenties great. Yesterday at work, I walked in to a huge birthday surprise thanks to my amazing best friend, Rachel.

Yes, that is a unicorn farting. She is the best friend I could ever ask for. My coworkers all made sure I felt special and loved – plastering zombie cards all over my cubicle walls, taping this Grumpy Cat picture to my car window:

I work with awesome folks and you should be jealous.

I’m off work today to spend the day with my brother and his fiancee, who are headed back to Milwaukee tomorrow. It’s been a great weekend and I’m ready to tackle twenty-nine like an over-zealous college football player.

HERE’S TO MAKING TWENTY-NINE MY BITCH.

Things That Are Awesome

For some reason, I have reached the level of tired today where even staring at the computer screen takes too much energy. But I have a few good things to share, so I’m lifting my weary fingers and tapping out a blog post. I have also been the most impatient ever today, but I think that has something to do with the fact that my “monthlies” are almost here.

I feel like I’m not positive enough on my blog and also in every day life. So, here are a few things that are awesome right now:

  • It’s Friday. ‘Nuff said.
  •  My husband got me an early birthday gift. It is an Origami Owl locket and I am madly in love with it. I am not a jewelry girl but this thing is amazing. Here is a photo of it:

It is essentially a charm locket. You can remove the charms inside of it and change them out for MORE CHARMS. ALL THE CHARMS. FOREVER. The charms I selected are a rose to represent Nellie (her middle name is Rose), an October birthstone in the shape of a heart for my husband, a music note because music is a huge part of who I am, a January birthstone for me AND Nellie, and a laptop because. Well. Okay back to the awesome things.

  • As I type my brother and his fiancee are en route to visit us. It’s been over six months since I’ve seen them so I’m a little excited.
  • My birthday is Wednesday. I will be 29. It is the one holiday a year that is in celebration of me! CONFETTI!
  • Speaking of birthdays, my little girl is turning 3 (THREE. WHAT? HOW? HOLD ME.) on the 20th. This is both awesome and terrifying.
  • Since the beginning of me tracking my calories on 12/17, I have lost 4.5 pounds. I’ve been consistently under my calorie goals and have been exercising more. Go me!
  • I am tackling Stephen King’s massive novel “Under the Dome”, and I love it. It’s going to take me a while. It’s over 1,000 pages long.
  • The movie Pitch Perfect. I am not even going to lie to you. I loved that movie and would watch it once a day if I thought it wouldn’t make me a huge giant loser. I actually don’t care if you think I’m a huge giant loser. That movie was fucking awesome.

So I’ve shared some things that are awesome with me right now. What’s awesome with you?