The first birthday of the season is Quinn's just before Thanksgiving. I was in Cleveland that week, but I did get to talk to him for a bit on the phone. We played twenty questions where he had to guess what I was looking at outside my hotel window. It was giant plastic birds, so it took a while.
They had these giant plastic sculptures all around the library and up on a grassy space near the lake. The weather was unseasonably warm the whole time I was in Cleveland and I enjoyed walking around a bit of downtown where I kept running into these things. The colorful meerkats and wolves and giant snails were certainly fun!
(Here is what Quinn told me about baking the muffins--I bit my tongue during much of it for obvious reasons, but see what you think: They didn't realize the recipe in the folder was already doubled, so they doubled it again and made 250 muffins. It took forever despite our now having a double oven, because they could only do one small tin at a time due to the fact that there is only one timer on the microwave. So... yeah. I still feel my mom direction is needed despite their ever growing independence.)
Quinn is ten! (And not just at the Shedd Aquarium anymore.)
This is not birthday related (unless you want to relate it to Aden's birthday last year), it's just something cute Mona made for art class and I wanted to share it:
Speaking of the artist, here is Mona on the morning of her 13th birthday:
We picked up an angel in pink, a Christmas tree in silver, a small brown lion and green hippo we haven't seen there before, and a bison and a macaw that are completely new to our collection. A good haul! I think that brings the number of figures on our mantle to 147 or so.
The one zoo plan that was thwarted was I was hoping to pick up some 50th anniversary Mold-A-Rama shirts that I knew came out this summer. We were hoping to get one for each of us, but apparently I should have jumped on that when they came out because there was nothing left except a few grey shirts in size 5X. (I suppose we could have gotten it and all shared it at once, but my kids weren't interested in that much family togetherness.)
But first we must discuss cake! Because this year I had very little to do in terms of cake duty. Mona wasn't interested in a cake, Aden made her own, and I missed Quinn's birthday.
The reason Aden made her own cake was because the day before her birthday her school was having a fundraiser for the Hunger Task Force that involved a cake decorating competition. Aden went all out and made a geode cake with a dragon on it. She grew rock candy herself and made the fondant and the cake and did all the sculpting. The only things I helped with were to make a batch of rice crispy treats for her to use to make the dragon, and I re-iced the dragon when there was a mishap and time was running short. The whole cake is edible! The wings are made of sugar paper, the horns and claws are modeling chocolate, the scales down the back are chocolate chips sprayed with edible gold paint.
Anyway, since Aden made her own cake, she said I could make a cake to bring to her party at the skating rink in the form of whatever Quinn wanted since he hadn't gotten one. Quinn wanted a chocolate bear. I decided to make an accessory cake for the one vegan guest, and I made that into a little present. I was tempted to make it a pile of meat, because vegan cake in the shape of meat amused me, but the little present was cuter.
Oh I love that girl.
The birthdays are done! On with holiday stuff! (This is probably the moment where I should stop and have a glass of wine, except I don't drink. Pity.)