Hello Monday {Post Holidays}

We survived the past week, but I’m not quite sure how. It is Monday and the beginning of a brand new week. Angry Kid and I are chillin’ today, but we have some fun plans the rest of the week. Here’s a recap of the past few days.

His game on the iPad is very important. He chose to sit in the itty bitty cart.Hello to last minute stops to the craft store and tiny shopping carts.

Christmas Eve at The Angry House: Husband's 38th Birthday, 7 men, 2 kids, 2 dogs, me....beer, pizza, chips, cake and Biloxi Blues.Hello to my husband’s 38th Birthday on Christmas Eve.

Hello to chips, pizza, and beer and watching old movies.

Lights on, TV on, Lego minefield, kid out cold in his bed.Hello to sleeping kid.

Hello to Lego minefield.

Hello to a fun night.

Santa left some packages for Angry Kid. I guess the next year will be filled with bike riding, Nerf shooting, book reading fun!Hello Santa.

Hello BMX Bike, Nerf, Star Wars, and Sharks.

Hello to kid getting sick at 2am, doing laundry, and cleaning carpeting.

Lasagna: Christmas Dinner Deliciousness. Recipe via @thepioneerwoman of course. Our family tradition for the past three years.Hello to Pioneer Woman’s Lasagna.

Hello to unwrapping presents.

Hello to husband getting the flu, sigh.

My son hiding in the corner. He's been playing @SkylandersGame on his new XBox all day. I heard about this game @BlogHer. I told my husband about it. He is totally impressed by the concept.Hello to Nana and Papa’s Christmas gift of an XBox with a Kinect.

Hello to The Skylander’s Game.

Hello to hours of entertainment for the kid.

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Hello To Monday.

Hello to another week of vacation for the kid, and a few days off for me.

Hello to decluttering, cleaning, and even a little relaxing.

Hello to fun events planned this week.

I’m linking up with Lisa Leonard today and her Hello Monday Link-Up!

Thirty-Six

Hey friends, guess what?

Somebody is having a birthday today? Who’s that somebody? Oh, yay it is me!

SuburbanGangster

Angry Kid and I bonded yesterday. I may have stolen his rad vampire/devil hat. You may be jealous. I’m looking all gangsta’ cruisin’ the streets aka suburbia in my Tahoe! Please ignore the obnoxious six-year-old who is totally photo bombing my epic self-portrait.

Because that is what thirty-six year olds do…right?

Six Layer Rainbow Cake Tutorial

I sometimes try to be Super Mom.  But with working full-time, I sometimes have to outsource.  I called my BFF Stacey the weekend before Angry Kid’s birthday party, and asked a favor.  This was not a small favor, but a relatively huge favor.  I asked her if she could make a rainbow layered birthday cake for Angry Kid’s party.  For some crazy reason, she agreed to do it.  I had almost all of the supplies (well colors for the cake), and I took them all over to her house.  While I was there, I may have borrowed two large tables and some chairs too.

I also forgot to mention the fact that she’s NEVER made this cake before.  I sent her some photos from the Internet.

My son's 6th birthday cake

Doesn’t the cake look delicious? I took this photo right after Stacey cut the first slice at the birthday party.

Stacey is also a smart BFF.  She knew that I would probably want to post a tutorial of some kind on my blog.  So she took photos along the way, and even typed up some tips for making the FAMOUS rainbow cake, well these cakes are sorta famous on Pinterest and parenting blogs.

Six (6) Layer Rainbow Cake Tutorial:

1.  MIX-Make TWO (2) packages of white cake mix.  Stacey used the stock ingredients.  I add some extra items for my rainbow cupcake recipe, and they are listed in my blog post. Either recipe is fine, as in straight out of box, or added items.

2.  DIVIDE-Divide the prepared cake mix into SIX (6) bowls equally, which equates to about 1 and 1/2 cups of batter per bowl.

 

Divide white cake mix batter into 6 bowls for rainbow cake

3.  COLOR-Color the batter in each bowl different colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple).  Stacey used a combination of Duff Brand Color Gels, and Wilton Icing Colors.  I had both of these brands in the box that I gave to Stacey.  Stacey preferred the Duff brand because they were in a squeezable bottle.

Adding icing colors to the white cake mix batter for the rainbow cake

4.  PREP and GREASE-Prep the (6) cake pans for baking.  Stacey used Pam with Flour spray to coat the pans.  She HIGHLY recommends it.  You don’t have to bake all (6) seperate layers at once.  You can do a few at a time, and wait for them to cool, then bake more.

5.  BAKE-Bake the cake layers according to the directions on the cake mix box.

6.  COOL-Let the cakes cool.

7.  CUT-Once the cakes are cooled, cut the rounded dome off the top of the cake.  They need to lie flat, due to the layers. (IMPORTANT)

Cut the rounded top off the cake in order for it to lie flat for layered cake

8.  PRE-MADE BUTTERCREAM-Stacey pre-made a crap load of buttercream.  I’m not sure of there is a definition for the specific amount that crap load indicates.  Stacey uses THIS buttercream recipe which works like a charm every single time.

9.  PREP BUTTERCREAM LAYERS-Stacey made thin layers of a frozen buttercream transfer the day before to speed up her assembly process.  She traced the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of wax paper.  She did this because she knew that the cake layers would be relatively thin, and prepping/freezing the buttercream would help the cake from crumbling.

Prep and Freeze the buttercream for the rainbow cake's center layers

10. STACK-Stack the layers, cake-buttercream-cake-buttercream, alternating obviously.

Stack the layers in the cake, alternating cake and buttercream

Six layer rainbow cake pre-icing.
11. HEIGHT-After assembling the cake, it should be approximately SEVEN (7) inches tall.  It will FALL over if you don’t put dowels in it.  Stacey learned from a friend that you can use straws in lieu of dowels.  The straws are easier to trim that dowels too.

Use straws in lieu of dowels to hold the cake layers together

12. TRIM-Trim the excess from the straws that are holding the layers together.

Trim the excess portion of the straws being used to hold the layers together

13. FROST/ICING-Stacey did a “crumb coat” of frosting before she brought the cake to my house.  She transported this cake for an approximate thirty minute drive.  When she arrived at my house, we placed the cake in the freezer for approximately TEN (10) minutes.  After the “crumb coat” had hardened a little, she then completed the frosting/icing of the cake.  By doing a crumb coat and freezing it, the cake is easier to frost.

14. DECORATE-Place cake on cake plate or other serving platter.  Finish off cake but placing decorative trim around the bottom, or other decorations on top of the cake.  I made my own rainbow cake bunting with felt.

Rainbow Birthday Cake with Rainbow Bunting on Top

15. ENJOY CAKE-Take pictures of the finished cake, like tons.  I’m a blogger, did you think I was talking about eating the cake?  Once the cake is cut and eaten, depression starts.  The cake was sooo awesome.

16. TAKE MORE PICTURES-There’s only one piece of cake left? Well of course, you need to document that. Take more pictures, post them EVERYWHERE!

Now how am I going to pay my BFF Stacey back? I owe her big time!!! It is probably a good thing that she likes to bake!

Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Tip Junkie handmade projects
The Cottage Chick

Thirty Hand Made Days

Six Years Ago Today: A Tale of Pregnancy, Hyperemesis and Two Surgeries

I am finally sitting down and writing about my pregnancy with Angry Kid.  It is the first time that I’ve actually blogged the details.  It is nothing really dramatic, more of a rollercoaster involving drugs, and surgeries.  In 2004, we attempted to get pregnant, nothing happened.  After fourteen months, we went to the doctor, you diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  So I ended up taking a prescription drug, Clomid, which is used to stimulate ovulation.  Clomid made me crazy, like insane…and I took it for several months.  Luckily, on the absolute last month that I was allowed to take the drug, I got pregnant.

I’m not quite sure how they have a show “I didn’t know I was pregnant”, because, I knew how pregnant I was at about four weeks along.  Really, one word can describe my pregnancy, and that is VOMIT!  I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum because this wasn’t just morning sickness.  I vomited EVERY and EVERYWHERE.  I was commuting over an hour to work, back and forth each day.  I pulled over onto the side of the freeway many many many times.  I would eat to puke. I lied in bed.  I sat on the bathroom floor. It was INSANE.  I lost over 30 pounds in a month, and almost had to have a PICC line installed.  Only medication for nausea put through an IV worked for me.

At 32 weeks, I had an attack at 3am in the morning at home.  I had severe pain in the right side of my body.  I thought I was in labor.  It got so bad that we drove to the hospital.  I was diagnosed with gallstones and admitted to the hospital over the weekend for dehydration also.  I got out of the hospital a few days later, and returned to work a few days later.  Yes, I actually worked through all of this, and maintained my sanity through ten hour shifts.

Pregnancy Picture, Angry JulieI wasn’t sure if there were any pictures of me pregnant out there, but I actually had some in my Shutterfly account.  My husband’s grandmother took pictures at my Northern California Baby Shower.  Just a few things that I notice…roundness (ain’t baby), pasty white, and wow, my hair.  I was a hot mess!!!

At 36 weeks along, a Wednesday, I had another attack at work.  Angry Husband and I carpooled that day.  When he picked me up from work, I said take me to the hospital.  I laid on a hospital gurney for several hours, pumped full of morphine for the pain, and no food.  They didn’t know how bad I was, so they did not give me food, in case of surgery.  I was seen by a general surgeon, and my OBGYN.  Good times, were coming soon…

I was checked into the hospital for the night, and given an Ambien to sleep.  When I woke up in the morning, the nurses were attempting to induce my labor.  I started arguing with them.  I told them multiple times, “my son is BREECH,  I need a c-section.”  I hadn’t had an ultrasound since I was 20 weeks along, but I knew, because there was no doubt about where my son’s head was.  Of course, they didn’t believe me, and they had to bring over a portable ultrasound machine.  They finally got it, and scheduled my c-section.  I was wheeled into the operating room, and given a spinal.

Angry Kid's BirthAngry Kid was born on May 19, 2005 at 6 lbs. and 18 inches long, FOUR weeks early.  He went to the NICU immediately because of breathing difficulties.  Of course, there was the gallbladder thing that I still had to deal with.  If you are doing the math, it is still Thursday.  I sat in the hospital, with my son in the NICU, for a few more days, without REAL FOOD.  On Sunday, an endoscopy was performed to look at my bile duct, gallstones, and gallbladder.  I was put out for this.

The next day, Monday, I had laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.  I had my gallbladder removed, and several gallstones.  I was wheeled back to my room, and finally fed some food, you know, filling items like Jello and popsicles.  Through all of this, Angry Kid was still in the NICU figuring out the whole suck/swallow thing, and was finally breathing on his own (no machines, etc.)  I was also that nutso, whom didn’t take any pain meds.

On Tuesday, I was released from the hospital….by myself, no kid.  Angry Kid wasn’t quite ready to leave yet.  He still had to pass the NICU carseat test.  He passed with flying colors and left the NICU the next day, May 25th.

So when people ask about a second child, or my pregnancy…I tell this story.  I get that look, like I’m crazy.  I don’t even go into my son have surgery at four weeks old for Pyloric Stenosis, the MULTIPLE febrile seizures (at least fifteen), or the asthma.  I’m so thankful for health insurance, seriously.

Awkward face...but here is my 6 yr old! Today is Angry Kid's birthday!I tried to get a cute “birthday picture” of Angry Kid this morning, but the sun was shining in his eyes, and I got the squinty face.

We went to The Lazy Dog Cafe for dinner tonight. Angry Kid got a grown-up lemonade which had sugar around the rim of the glass. He throughly enjoyed the sugar. This picture makes me laugh, because it reminds me of Tiffany and Danielle, trying to get the almonds off the glass in New Orleans.

Happy Birthday Angry Kid!!!

Thirty-Five or Halfway to Forty

Doesn’t this look delicious? It is a white chocolate cheesecake tower from The Painted Pony in St. George, Utah.  This was my birthday dessert that I had after a delicious dinner with my two road-tripping buddies, Kelly and Tiffany.

We had a fabulous, wonderful, and somewhat odd road-trip to St. George, Utah from Southern California this weekend for Bloggy Boot Camp.  I got home at 3am this morning, and crashed. But I woke up to so many awesome memories, and a fabulous breakfast with my best friend, Stacey and a her daughter.  Because, today was my birthday, my 35th.  Ye gads, I’m on my way to 40 now…

5th Birthday Celebration

This is a little late, about two weeks or so, but I’ve been quite swamped lately.  Plus, I had to edit all of the pictures. We had Angry Kid’s Birthday Party on a Friday night at Scooter’s Jungle, which is a bounce type place here in Orange County. The party was from 6:30-9pm.  Angry Husband questioned me when I scheduled the party at that time.  I told him that Saturdays have been taken over by sports and other activities.  It is getting harder and harder, as Angry Kid gets older, to schedule “the perfect time”.  I figured that it was Friday night, and the kids could stay up a little later that night.

I wasn’t surprised at all, ok maybe a little that almost EVERYONE that we invited showed up. Seriously, Angry Kid had his biggest birthday party ever.  We had a ton of people, which was over 23 kids and 30 adults.  It was a good thing that I selected the Ultimate Party rather than the Jr.

All of the kids had a great time playing, and they found something that was perfect for their size.  The little kids climbed, crawled, and slid down all of the obstacles.

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And the even bigger kids (adults) also got in on some of the action.  Angry Husband had quite a fun time.  He even had some bumps and bruises later that night from all of the fun.

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After all of the playing, we had some fruit and vegetable snacks.  Look at me, the healthy mom, who knew! And some cupcakes of course!

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I had to do the ritual of goodie bags. Which I wish we could stop that ritual.  I did a simple bag with coloring pages (printed out from the net), some fruit snacks (bulk from Costco), bouncy balls (Party City), bubbles (Party City), and these awesome Lego crayons that I had made (Gaddy Nipper Crayons).

Lego Crayon Party Favors

After the party was over with, we were all famished.  Yes, it was 9pm. Normal people would have gone home. Oh no, we headed to Chili’s.  Angry Kid ordered his usual, an adult size platter of ribs and rice, along with a birthday treat!

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I’m quite happy we our finally done with all of the Birthday celebrating.  Now if someone would just come to our house and pick up all of these Legos and Star Wars toys!

Camouflage Cupcakes

Inside of camoflauge cupcake

Angry Kid’s 5th birthday party was last Friday.  We did a Star Wars theme, even though it was held at a bounce place.  I’m pretty Type-A, and need to follow through with my themes.  You are thinking, what does camouflage have to do with Star Wars? Well nothing really, but they are quite boyish, and I thought they looked pretty cool.

This recipe is just an adaptation of the Rainbow Cupcakes that I made for Easter. I just used different colors for the camouflage effect. For the colors in these cupcakes, I used the following Wilton Icing Colors: black, green, and brown.

I made my own frosting for the Rainbow Cupcakes, but I did not have time to do that this time.  I had an extremely busy work week.  I comprised with my OCD and bought frosting in a can.  I made it look a little fancy, and piped it on with a 1m star tip though. I used a chocolate frosting, and a vanilla frosting. I used green icing coloring to make the vanilla frosting green.

Camoflauge Cupcakes with Lego Star Wars Toppers

With the right presentation, even I can look like I’m doing something right.  I placed the cupcakes on two-tier buffet server from Crate and Barrel and stuck Star Wars toppers in the middle of the cupcakes.  I had the help of Cindy from Skip to my Lou with the cupcake toppers. She designed them for me and gave me the step-by-step process on how to make them. I borrowed a circle punch from Kelly and printed them out on white card stock with a colored printer.  I added a popsicle stick, and glued it all together.  It was pretty simple once I got the hang of it, but I got frustrated in the middle of it all.

Close-up view of Star Wars cupcake toppers

Here’s the recipe for those folks who want to stay on this post, and not go to my original rainbow cupcake post.

Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes from Hello Cupcake

Yield: 24 standard cupcakes

18.25-ounce box cake mix (French vanilla, devil’s food or yellow)
1 cup buttermilk, in place of the water called for on the box (the box will call for more water than the buttermilk you are using)
Vegetable oil (the amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Using substitutions above, follow the box instructions to mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer.

Spoon half of the batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bag and fill the paper liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from baking pans, place on a wire rack . Cool completely.

I used Duncan Hines White Cake Mix for my cupcakes.  Kristin said that I need to use white cake mix as the color stands out better. I also adapted parts of this recipe to make the camouflage cupcakes.

After mixing the batter, I separated it into three different bowls.  I used three bowls, because I was going to use three different colors for my “camouflage effect”.

I used Wilton’s Icing Colors to get the desired effect. The colors that I used were Green, Black, and Brown.

If you want detailed instructions, including the step-by-step pictures, go to my Rainbow Cupcake post.

P.S. I would like to give a big thanks once again to Kristin who originally helped me with this recipe and Cindy for helping me with the cupcake toppers. She is SOOOO patient.

Angry Kid had his Family Birthday Celebration

It has been quite the week in the Angry Household.  I switched my work shift from nights to days, and had one day off.  I’m working a different schedule for  two weeks, and then switching again.  It has been hard to fit in swim lessons, and party planning in between everything.

Today was Angry Kid’s 5th birthday.  We are having a bigger party on Friday for him at a bounce place (nothing that I have to clean up after).  I packaged up 12 goodie bags (loathe these, they need to be extinct), and some mini muffins (no cupcakes, etc. allowed) for his preschool.  Angry Husband promptly dropped him off since I was at work.

I came home from work and set up a birthday sign and Angry Kid’s gifts.  We went with a Star Wars theme, of course.  I live in the Star Wars house. I really have no choice. Angry Kid walked right past his gifts when he got home.  I was shocked. He came and gave me a hug and hung out with Angry Husband’s BFF, Eric.

And then, he went for the gifts…

Angry Kid and his Birthday Gifts

Angry Kid was quite excited to open his gifts.  We got him a Star Wars Clone Trooper Helmet, Star Wars Clone Commander Blaster, and a Nerf Gun.  Yea, um, we buy our five year old guns.  They are science fiction, right? Really, there’s no way that we can get any “gun” themes out of our house.

Angry Husband has "Cloned" himself

For some reason, I think Angry Husband picked out birthday gifts that “he” liked. What do you think? Although, Eric had to get into the action and play with the toys too.  Angry Kid was running around the house while they shot Nerf balls at him.  It’s probably a good thing that we have nothing “nice” in our house.

Eric and Angry Kid

After unwrapping the gifts, my parents came over.  My mom got Angry Kid some clothes. He gave her that look, you know the where are the toys look. Even my dad said, “you didn’t buy him any toys?”  My mom said that she would take Angry Kid to Target while we are out for dinner.

We headed out to dinner at the Irvine Spectrum, which is a local outdoor mall. Angry Kid changed his mind on the dinner location, so we ended up at Red Robin.  We preferred the choice.  He sucked down some chicken, fruit, and a gallon of strawberry lemonade.

My kid is not shy at all though. He is nothing like Angry Husband. Angry Husband warns me every birthday to not tell the waiter that it is his birthday. Not my child though, he YELLED at the waiter that it was his birthday, and he wanted dessert.

Angry Kid enjoying a Birthday Treat

We headed to Target after dinner and walked out with another pricey Star Wars Lego toy.  My mom bought it though.  She let Angry Kid pick it out.  It was pretty hard for him to chose though, because he already has several of them. We then walked around the mall. Angry Kid attacked a Directory Sign, and I dreamed of going into Anthropologie which was right behind that sign.  I knew that I would get the angry look from my family if I disappeared into the store, sigh.

Climbing the Directory Sign

We then headed for the car, but alas got detoured by the candy store.  My mom picked up some treats from the pet store for the dogs.  Bruiser thinks that this ice cream cone dog treat was quite delicious.

Bruiser and his treat

Well we survived the day of Angry Kid’s 5th birthday.  Angry Husband is now putting together a very complex Lego set.  I’m exhausted, and we still have the big party on Friday.  I can’t wait to chill out and relax this weekend.