Friday, October 29, 2010

Sammy The Fish

Yes I'm from Jersey. No this is not a mafia story.
My four year old son was a tough guy to potty train. He showed interest early on and the second something finally came out of his little body, he thought "ok, I did give me back my diaper and leave me alone already!". I worked at it continuously and made a lot of progress. Just when he was ready to leave his diaper years behind him, my husband would have to travel for his job and my son would take 18 steps backwards. At least that's not frustrating or anything. So of course, just this past summer, the Hubbs left for 3 weeks, came home for 4, then left for another 3 1/2. Within this time period, the boy had more accidents than I'd care to remember. Including one time I specifically remember his actually crapping on my hallway floor directly outside of my bathroom. Awesome! There's only so much patience inside of any one human being. I can't even lie and say that I held it together all the time. It's no small feat being the sole person to wake, be with all day, and go to sleep with 3 kids under the age of 4. I totally deserved a medal or even dinner out somewhere after all that. I'm keeping a mental note and may choose to take all the payments for all the times like this summer all at once! HA! I'll show him. Anyway, I digress. Finally, I decided that a small reward should be offered for any continued success. I gave my son a chart with boxes for the days on it and after 5 consecutive days with NO accidents, he could get a pet. Now, this pet was to be his very own. And I'm not naive....we have two 100 pound mutts in this house. I told him he could pick out his very own betta fish at the pet shop. No filter necessary. You feed them when you remember. Very little start up cost and maintenance. PERFECT! And on top of that, my husband and I really wanted to teach the kids about death in a subtle way before they lose their lifelong pups. In our minds, this fish would teach that lesson, probably even sooner then we'd hoped. A win win.
So sure enough, after 5 days were marked on the chart, we all headed to the pet store. My boy picked out his favorite color(blue) fish and his Dad and I picked up the rest of the necessities....bowl, food, little plastic plant. Check out.
The fish is named Sammy by it's proud new owner and lives a very content life in our kitchen. It was summertime and I suppose, optimal temperature for Sammy in our kitchen. He was in clear view of everyone at the table while eating so the kids could enjoy watching him swim around his little bowl, and the adults could remember that it needed to be fed. This extra pet is really paying off. A constant reminder to my son that he needs to use the potty and a reminder to us that our little boy was growing up. Harmony right?
The boy's 4th birthday comes around and a very good friend of ours buys a brand new fish tank for Sammy complete with awesome army tank and an army guy too! It's mid-late October and getting pretty chilly on the east coast. After the party, I put off as long as I possibly could switching this fish's humble abode. My son couldn't wait a second longer to watch him swim around the tank....and the tank in the tank! So I'd set out some water a couple of days prior to let the chlorine evaporate(I SWEAR I read this somewhere). It's now the night before the boy's actual Birthday. I can't say no, and I set up the tank, pour in the water, and drop in the fish. All looks good. Until the next morning that is. At breakfast his Dad loudly points out that Sammy is looking a little "sluggish". Of course my 4 year old Birthday Boy and his little sister are wanting to see Sammy in all his glory swimming around. Thankful for all my distractional tactics sitting around ....I find a way to point them out of the kitchen and assess the situation. I have afterall, once worked in a veterinarian's office. So I would be the better qualified adult in the house to tell what's really going on with Sammy. ;) He was sluggish indeed. Gills still moving, he was kind of sort of on his side a little. Let me sidebar by saying, my kitchen is freaking cold in the fall and winter. Like REALLY cold. If you go in there without slippers, you may lose a toe to frostbite! And here is where this poor fish is all day and all frigid night. So I thought if I moved him into the sun, he might warm up a bit and get the chill out. It was either that, or my way which is to down a hot cup of black coffee. Sun? Coffee? Sun. Definitely. Well, we go do our traditional birthday stuff....pick pumpkins, eat lunch, come home and pretty much do whatever the birthday boy wants and finally naps before dinnertime. I'm getting ready to bake cupcakes for his preschool party the following day and go to check in on the patient. Only to find him sunken next to the army guy. Oops.
Now, I know we wanted to teach the little one a life lesson about death and all.............but it was his birthday for God's sake! And anyone who's been around a 4 year old knows that they don't forget a damned thing. So I certainly couldn't have this poor little boy going to school the next day and when asked "how was your birthday?" his response being that his dear fish Sammy died. So, in lieu of baking, I drove to the pet store and bought the replacement. I can't believe I'm one of "those" parents now. Ugh. And truth be told, it's not even a close match. Yes, it's blue.....I got that far at least. But it has red tips on it's fins's the kicker......apparently it's a girl! Because there's a nice layer of "bubbles" or roe on top of the water now. The Hubbs and I call her "The Deuce" and luckily the kids haven't picked up on that. Yet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time. As fortune would have it, my son is about as observant as I am. While he did notice the bubbles, he has yet to see any difference in the colors or(did I forget to mention this) the fact that "Sammy 2" is almost 1/2 the size of the original. Don't judge. I sleep like 10 hours a week. And will have you know that I was up past midnight finishing Spiderman cupcakes.
To add insult to injury though, my son's new pet now resides in our bedroom. Along with the 200 pounds of smelly dog. Just in case the below freezing temperatures had anything to do with Sammy 1's demise, my room is on the second floor and much warmer. And now smells like dog fart and stagnant water. Very romantic! In that setting maybe we'll muster up the lust to go for a fourth child. We'll get them all ringtailed lemurs, which of course would live in our bedroom too and start a colony in our little NJ town. It'll be freaking GREAT!
Chillin with Sammy 1 the day we brought him home from the pet store. RIP Sammy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hear dat?

Those are the cute little words that used to come out of my daughter's mouth when she first learned to talk! "Hear dat Mommy?" In all seriousness, right now all I hear is the white noise coming through the baby monitor and I an a happy woman! My past two weeks around here (okay I think I may have grossly underestimated that time period...what month is this?!) have been neurotically paced at best. I've actually been winded a few times. I wish I could sit here and say that I know the end is near, but mid February is the soonest I'll be able to sit back and relax. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying all this....I just can't believe how quickly the days are flying by. I truly wish there were more hours in a day. (maybe then I'd manage to sneak some sleep in once in a blue moon....nah.) But by the time my day ends, my list of "to do's" has barely been touched and I'm totally wiped. I bet there's a Google clock in the works that actually extends the hours of a day. They're so crafty!

I was baking and decorating yet another batch of cupcakes for my son's Birthday around 11 o'clock last night.(insanity? quite possibly. I'll get back to you on that one) This time to bring to school to share with his friends. He's my oldest, so I think I might be just as excited as he is for all this to be happening. It's his first year in preschool and he was super psyched to celebrate his birthday with everyone there. Yay! Although I can't even lie by saying I didn't contemplate running to Dunkin Donuts on the way to school this morning instead of baking. Kids love munchkins! And I was sleepy. But instead of making the 174 different super heroes that he'd originally requested, I only made a batch of spider man cupcakes. Red icing, black web, red and blue sugar on the rims. Cute. And I knew it would be more than enough creativity for the rest of the 3-4 year olds in his class. And where I thought I'd done a rush job(they were definitely sub par), the teachers LOVED them. I slipped into the conversation that I do this on the side and they were REALLY psyched! Wanting business cards and to know what other than spider man could I make. :) One of the teachers just got engaged so they actually asked if I make wedding cupcakes. "YUP". So I told them I'd go home and email them some photos so they know I'm not all about the super heroes. I'd forgotten all about making treats for my little sister-in-law's bridal shower. It was this past summer and it was HOT. But I made white chocolate butterflies decorated with edible pearls and colored sugars. AND helped my mother in law make an awesome array of chocolate covered strawberries. Note to self : steer clear of the chocolate creations in the heat.  It all worked out in the end, but I actually couldn't get the A/C in my kitchen cool enough to let the butterfly chocolate set...I had to keep them in the fridge. Here are some pics.....


Yummy right?! And I don't even eat fruit and chocolate.....but these strawberries came out awesomely elegant! I helped make them with my Mother-In-Law. She's just the best and makes everything so fun. Like when she insisted we stop at the liquor store on the way to making the strawberries so we would be nice and relaxed about it! I mean...she had a great point....why be stressed around chocolate?! Then I went home that night and after putting the kids to bed, I decided to play around and see if I could make butterflies. They're sort of a theme for my sis-in-law. And as much as the heat wanted to ruin my big idea, I think they came out pretty good! The picture of the butterflies was actually taken inside my fridge because I was afraid to take them out of the cool air. HAHA And once everything was set up the next day at her shower, we placed the butterflies on top of the strawberries. It was so adorable. And no, I don't have a picture. I never seem to have a camera at these times. UGH.

I'm signing off now. Need to switch some laundry and then park in on the couch for some R&R once the Hubbs comes home from the gym. I only update my blog when he's not around. It's like my little affair with my own self. You know.....since I have no followers and am basically just typing to myself!
Sweet dreams

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And so the blog name........takes a face! The Caped Cupcake apparently has more than one meaning. I always joke about how my cape is at the dry cleaners anytime someone asks "how do you do it all?!" and I love cupcakes. So of course I thought I was all crafty, thinking I'm the caped cupcake crusader. worked in my head:) My oldest son is about to turn 4. So we had a "friend" party for him yesterday. The family one is next weekend. He's all big and tough now so he requested a superhero party. Gone are the days of Nemo and Elmo. We don't go crazy buying the party plates and wall hangings and stuff like that, but we decorate like maniacs with balloons and the cupcakes are always the centerpiece! I had great intentions, but alas the Hubbs was inevitably called into work the night before the party and my 8 month old was awake with me till about 4am teething. Gotta love Murphy and his law! So instead of making a bunch of different super hero cupcakes, I only ended up with Superman, Spiderman and then a couple that I slapped icing and sugar on in Batman colors, literally as the guests arrived! Can we say rush job? That's over and now I need to make some for school Thursday and the weekend family party too. I'm seriously considering stapling my husband to the floor so he can't leave. God bless every little coffee bean out there cuz I'm gonna need em to get through this week!
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Procrastination? Nah.

So here I sit. 2nd active day on this blog. I have to tell you honestly, this is the third day in a row that I'm home, at night, alone with all the kids asleep, and I think I enjoy the quiet far too much to do anything other than sit here! I'm throwing a Birthday party for my oldest son Saturday, he'll be four. So clearly there's a ton o' crap I could be doing. But instead I sit.....thinking of the 427 balloons I could start blowing up and hanging all over the place. Or even BEGINNING to make templates for the cupcakes. It's a superhero theme. Of course! But not just one of them.....ALL of them :) How can I say no to those big brown eyes?! (ok ok I do all day long, but not when it comes to his Birthday theme request!) AND he is my first born that should count for some extra brownie points on his end?!
I must say that I like how I necessitize(is that even a word?) my priorities. As soon as everyone was in bed, I unpacked 2 HUGE bags of clothes handed down from a friend of mine for my rapidly growing 8 month old! They could have very easily sat there till I was able to throw them in the attic for after the party....but I really wanted to see all the cute new clothes. hehe And I have to stress the need for new clothes here. Yes I have an older son, and yes I still have his old clothes. BUT, my 8 month old is already wearing 18-24m clothing. Yeah, he's small. So I welcome with open arms "new" items friends and family are willing to throw my way! I try to sneak them in the house when my husband's not looking so I can't see the "where the hell are we gonna put that?" look on his face. Somehow, this always manages to put me in a snippy mood when I see that look. Maybe because he doesn't TOUCH the laundry at all. And when I ask him to go grab an item of clothing from the kids' room he comes downstairs a half hour later with something that maybe fit an infant, maybe.....all out of breath, saying "I couldn't find what you asked for so this'll have to do". I know it would take me a few seconds to run the same errand, but it's kind of like when you ask your child to go look for something in the living room even though you know it's not really IN the living room. The old....get them outta your hair trick! Yep. Works for the Hubbs too.

Still thinking of all those balloons that need to be blown up.

And yes, I said kids' room....not kid's rooms. All three of our little angels share the same 4 walls. Originally, we thought we were simplifying things. Bringing our family back to the days when kids didn't all have their own seperate rooms. Seriously most of my nieces and nephews and their friends have more space than I EVER have. Even now! And I own this whole house!! But can I find any decent sized space that isn't occupied by a talking child, a snoring husband, or a farting dog?  Negatory.
Well, we learned the hard way that the whole kids-sharing-a-room thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. I remember our naive days when we said "they'll learn to deal with the __________________". Fill in the blank with whatever you can come up with. Early riser. Kid that talks in their sleep. Kid that likes to turn the light on and off 17 million times before finally passing out at night. Hitter. Poop painter. Screamer. Newborn.
And now why we ever thought THEY would have to learn to deal with any of this is still a mystery to me. We are the ones up in the middle of the night cleaning poop off the wall, or changing sheets for someone who got sick, or was potty training, or picking up all the kids off the floor because they fell out of their beds. (that actually makes me laugh every time I do it.) The kids couldn't give a flying fart what the other ones are doing! Just us.
Is it any wonder why kids grow up and look back at their parents and say "man, they really didn't know anything"?! We didn't!

Ok, the balloon thing is starting to bug me. I'm off to possibly begin being productive maybe sometime soon.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Time Blogger

Try as I might, I can't think of anything even mildly entertaining to write at this moment. I was so excited to start this blog, and now feel like I'm standing naked in front of the entire class without my speech! I'm actually starting to sweat a little. LOL Baby steps, that'll be the name of the game here. As for now, kids are tucked in, Hubbs is at the gym and the dogs are even asleep, so all is quiet. I wait all day for this moment and am not going to let my lack of wit ruin it for me ;) I'll sleep on it and wait for something wonderfully entertaining to come into my head via dream or osmosis through my pillow and will fill you in tomorrow. Night all