Friday, September 30, 2011

My Miss Manners Soap Box

Ritzy Helene here, right on top of my soap box. I am disgusted by the lack of public decency and manners. Common courtesy is lost and no one is polite anymore. I am not being a snob, I am just sick of the rudeness.

Of course this post stems from the upcoming triplet-palooza birthday party. I sent e-vite invitations this year. I did it this way so responding would be simpler for the parents of the guests. Typically, I am an old fashioned hostess that mails a paper card stock invitation to such events. This time, I caved and went the on line route.

Regardless of the method of delivery, responding to an invitation is a given. The definition of RSVP is obvious- RSVP is an abbreviation often included in invitations to request that the invitee let the host know if he or she will be attending. From the French term, "Répondez si'l vous plaît," which means "please reply." I am considering changing the meaning to RUDE SUCKERS VILE PEOPLE in my mind.

If you are lucky enough to be included on the guest list to any event, it is your responsibility to let the host know if you can or can't be there. The request for a reply is not asking too much, or is it?

Here we are, just two days away from the birthday party and 12 parents have not acknowledged the invitation at all. I know they opened it, but they have not found the time to simply click a button that says yes or no. This is infuriating. I have to confirm our count at the party venue, pay for the total number of children attending, and I need to make the lunch and goodie bags for the children- all of which is contingent on how many will be there. As if I want to pay for shit that will go unused? No thanks.

I am teaching my children to be solid citizens. In doing so, it is my job to lead by example. Instead of ragging on the folks who did not reply, I took the high road and said nothing about it in front of my impressionable soon to be six year olds. I made enough lunch and treat bags for the possibility that we might get some additional party goers and left it at that.

Miss Manners be damned, I am on my soap box. Rude suckers, vile people I am telling you.

If I ever invite any of you to a party and the words RSVP appear on the invitation, you better respond dammit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosh Hashana is the new Thanksgiving

Jeff and I noticed a disturbing trend in the retail marketplace. As we strolled through Fashion Show mall for lunch yesterday, it seemed as if most stores were already decorated for and displaying Christmas merchandise.

Apparently, Rosh Hashana is the new Thanksgiving.

The push for Christmas shopping keeps getting earlier and earlier each year. This is the first time I have seen the full on Christmas hoopla in September. Good lord, it is not even the month of Halloween yet.

While I do not celebrate Christmas personally, I do embrace the idea of holiday gift giving and shopping. As a person who depends on the retail dollar for a paycheck, I understand the motive, I just don't agree with the timing.

To me, the holiday season kicks off on the day after Thanksgiving. Since Rosh Hashana is literally translated as Head of the year, maybe we should change the translation to say, Head to the mall.

Let the shopping begin- Happy New Year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Las Vegas Shopping for Sport and Support

Las Vegas and retail therapy go together. Of course, I had to find something to do besides gambling and spending copious amounts of quality time with my husband.

As if you had to twist my arm to do some serious shopping anywhere? But in Las Vegas there is so much to chose from, how could I not do some "research" on the latest styles and couture fashion. What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas unless it hangs in your closet.

Before I could meet up with Misti and Michele, I had to stock our hotel room with plenty of diet coke for Jeff. G-d forbid he even wiggle one of the 6 ounce glass bottles in the mini bar. It would KILL me to pay $3.50 for a measly short bottle of that crap. Instead, I drove over to the scary CVS by the Hard Rock, and bought him a few 2 liter bottles before I left him to his own devices at the hotel.

Since product placement is key to retail sales, I was chuckling to myself when I passed this display. In Las Vegas, the condoms are not housed in the family planning aisle of CVS, instead, they are right where they belong-in the liquor department. It seems fitting that in sin city you buy a box of wine and a box of rubbers in the same area of the store.

I could not wait to meet up with Misti and Michele at the Saks store inside Fashion Show Mall. I had to share my CVS product placement story with them because as locals, I felt they needed to see what I saw. I arrived at Saks at our scheduled time only to discover the store did not open for another 30 minutes. I scrambled to make arrangements for us to enter the store prior to the stated time, making Michele and Misti feel extra special.

When I accepted the job at Saks, I signed a confidentiality agreement. I vowed not to use social media to discuss my clients, our merchandise, the sales, and the general happenings associated with the department. Keeping true to my word, I won't go into all the juicy details of our Saks shopping, but I will say, we had a blast, not as a personal shopper and her clients, but as three friends, enjoying the experience.

While at doing additional "research" at Nordstrom, I paid homage to my dear friend Beverly Feldman. Her sexy shoes and boots were on display. This was excellent product placement by the way. If only they had my size, I would have snagged a pair - just to support my friend, of course. I am so caring and kind like that. The selfless things I do to support my friends.

After we left Fashion Show Mall, I forced Michele to replace her tired, sorry-assed, ill-fitting bra. Her "girls" needed more support and as a friend, I had to offer to help. I could not stand to see her missing out on the opportunity to look her best. Even at at PTA meeting, your boobies should be properly cradled in a bra that supports and enhances your bust line. Shopping for bras in Las Vegas was easy- there is a lingerie shop in every "strip" center, no pun intended. Misti and put just enough peer pressure on our pal to push her intoa push up, underwire, lightly lined undergarment. What are friends for?

I never worked out at the fitness center or gym inside the Palazzo. Instead, I got my cardio doing laps around the various shopping centers. While wearing a spanx tank top under my clothing for support, I cruised through the various boutiques. Chanel. Gucci. Dolce & Gabanna. La Perla. Four more, three more, two more, and breathe.

My strenuous exercise regimen continued the following day by myself. While my (triplet mom) partners in crime had carpools and school lunches to pack, I went to the outlet mall in Primm, Nevada for a mega work-out. Forget laps, I just raced around carrying 3 pound shopping bag weights from the Cole Haan clearance center. I determined that bags of shoes make ideal hand weights. Those Nike Air shoes are worth the ten cents on the dollar I paid, as you can imagine, when you are on your feet all day, having fun, supporting your friends and entertaining your clients while appearing to be a credible fashionista.

When it comes to shopping in Las Vegas, you will find my winnings, neatly displayed in my closet at home. Yes indeed, it was a weekend of shopping for sport and support. Viva Las Vegas my friends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nothing Says

Among other topics of importance this week, Jeff and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on the 20th. Six months ago, when I noticed that Jeff had a booking to keynote in Las Vegas on September 26, I made myself available to tag along.

We decided to take the weekend to reconnect as a couple, without the kids. I must say, this is key to the success of our marriage. Our day to day operations can get stressful and overwhelming, but knowing that we are getting away is a nice goal to help us deal with the chaos. I have been in countdown mode for a while, but because I do not post in the future tense, I was unable to mention it, until now.

I have been looking forward to this for weeks. Nothing says I can get through this day, week, month like a scheduled break!

When I accepted the new job I made sure that my Vegas anniversary celebration would not cause a scheduling conflict. I redeemed a Southwest Airlines voucher from my last trip to LV and since we used some invited guest passes for hotel rooms, this became an anniversary vacay that did not cost us any real out of pocket money. This was our gift to each other. Nothing says I am still in love with you like going away together.

The ninth anniversary did not come and go without some surprises. Our dishwasher decided to shoot craps just as we were getting ready to leave for Las Vegas. I thought I would be the one shooting craps, but instead, I had to double down my first three paychecks and buy a new Bosch. Jeff researched the models, features and price points to find us a deal. He ended up buying a model that was introduced last year, but had a better rating with consumer reports that the newer version. Thankfully, as part of my anniversary present package, Jeff found one that did not have the original box, was moderately scratched on the side that goes into the wall, and could be delivered and installed the next day. He even got all romantic and purchased the 5 year parts and labor warranty because he is that sexy. Nothing says I love you like a cleaning appliance that lasts 5 years.

While at TJMaxx this week, I treated myself to a $14.99 cubic zirconia necklace. I had it gift boxed with ribbon and gave it to Jeff to give to me. This is how I roll. If I see something I want, I buy it, and make my husband the hero. He is glad that I make it this easy. Nothing says I will treasure your gift like buying yourself.

When I officially announced my role at Saks a few weeks ago, Misti left a comment on my blog post. She wished I lived in Las Vegas so I could style her for an upcoming high school reunion. Little did she know that a few weeks later, I would be coming into town. I orchestrated a little personal shopping adventure for her with Michele S, our mutual partner in crime. As much as I was anxious to get to Las Vegas for the luxury hotel room, quiet time with Jeff and the people watching, I was totally psyched to meet Misti and help her with the reunion project. Nothing can guarantee hysterical laughter like hanging out with two other, crazy triplet moms.

I also took it upon myself to make a dinner reservation for two at Postrio. While the menu has changed over the years, the restaurant still has sentimental value to Jeff and me. Whenever we are in Las Vegas, Jeff and I relive our very first date by dining there. We recall how we both knew it was beshert that night. While we both remember our date, we were so consumed with getting to know each other that neither one of us can recall what we ate that night. For foodies like us, this is unheard of- this just affirms my faith that it was truly a spectacular date- I can’t even recall my meal. Nothing says great date like forgetting about food.

The computer system at Postrio has us flagged in the system and every time we go back, they help "WOW" us on our special evening there. This time, there was a surprise dessert made especially for us. Nothing says congratulations on your marriage like mascarpone cheesecake with bittersweet chocolate and port wine infused figs.

Between the beautiful suite at the Palazzo, the triplet mom bonding, and the shopping, this was an anniversary to remember.

Nothing means happy anniversary like a new dishwasher, a sparkling pendant, a shopping adventure with friends, a romantic dinner date and a weekend without kids- in a posh hotel. While nothing else can show it, I can actually state it here: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JEFF, I love you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Library Lounge Lizards

I took the kids to the local library to leisurely look at books. These kids love to just hang out in the reading lounge. They have become library lounge lizards.

Each child, independently selected a different Eric Carle story. I noticed that all four of them specifically sought out the author on their own. They went to the "C" authors, saw the books available and picked one to read.
They were lolly gagging in the lounge just being lazy.

Charlotte got comfortable on the couch. She crossed her legs, sat like a true lounge lizard and read her book out loud. I offered to video tape her so Nana and Papa could see her reading. Charlotte agreed and then said, when we get home, you can put it on your blog and let them watch me. So, without further delay:

This girl is a natural born actress and ham. Don't you love the end, "Don't even think about it."

After we finished reading we stayed and enjoyed story time. As I was chatting with another New Albany Mommie, she said, "Turn around very quietly and look at your kids on the story rug." As I caught a glimpse of them from behind I saw the tender sibling moment for myself. I grabbed my i-phone and captured the image of sweetness. For some reason the four triplets were being especially loving and affectionate during the story.
Just when I thought they could not be nicer to each other, CJ rested his hand on Eli's shoulder. Who are these kids and how long will they be in my presence?

Based on the behavior exhibited at the library today, I was thinking it might be time to play the lottery or head to Las Vegas. I was feeling lucky- my library lounge lizards were lovely.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Catching Up and Honing In

The title of this post is intentional. There is a play on words because as I am retroactively getting caught up on the blog posts. I am also, catching up on just about everything else. Since I started working full time, I have to re prioritize many tasks.

I could blow smoke up your ass and give you a list of 177 reasons why I am not current on the posts, but I will not bore you to tears. If I had the time to blog more religiously, I would. If I tweeted every five minutes, had a facebook moderator, and a following of haters, perhaps I would place a higher value on this blog- but I don’t. THANK GAWD I am not a “public figure.”

Where I have been slacking, my sweet Natalie however, is doing her own catching up. She has already lost a second tooth, catching her up to Eli in that department.
You could not wipe the smile off of her face. As she posed for these photos, Eli and CJ were trying to hone in on her glory. Since I am one to keep it real, this is what it is like to raise multiples- they get in each others space, hog the limelight and fight for face time. The camera is a digital device that brings out the goon in my kids. Nice.

CJ got his new glasses and now he too is catching up on the compliments. He loves wearing glasses and these are the specs I ordered from Best Price Glasses- not bad at all. CJ now now has two very different options for accessorizing with eye wear.
Again, you will see other children trying to be recognized and acknowledged in the images I was taking of CJ. Excellent.

Not to be left out from tooth fairy mania and eye-glass-o-rama, Charlotte created her own photo worthy moment. She has perfected the twirly dress spin. This girl was sure to get some wind up under that layered skirting

and as I snapped the photos, she demanded that I show them to her on the LCD screen. Apparently, she did not trust that I was capturing the volume in the spin. I could not keep up with her ability to twirl, twirl, twirl.

This week, the daily blog update and Helene report is delayed because my real life gig as a personal shopper, tooth fairy, chef, bus driver, action photographer, and blogger are causing me to fall behind. It is a good thing I am able to retroactively get caught up. I can hone in on it.

Stay tuned for post-a-palooza.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Time for FAKERS

I do love me some mama drama. I admit to watching my fair share of Mommie Porn, also known as the Bravo Series, The Real Housewives. When it comes to a lifestyle of pure fantasy, editing and lies- there is nothing more entertaining than female fakers- either on televison, or on line.

I can thank Michele S. for enlightening me on this McK-Mom drama. I never knew the original site that spun a web of deceit and lies as if they were the truth. The followers of the McK, worship the author and are completely clueless to her ways. (While I am sure you are wondering why I am not linking you to the actual scene of the crime, the answer is simple. I will not support someone who is a pathological spinstress and profits from hits and page downloads.) If you want to see for yourself, be forewarned- it is addictive and can cause sudden increases in your blood pressure. I am not pretending to be a doctor, I am just keeping it real.

The McKin blog is/was a cash cow. The drama mama made money from all the clicks and sponsorships, pimped out her child's illness for ratings, and essentially used her readers for nothing more than financial gain. Her outright lies about foreclosures, tax liens, and domestic violence are deplorable.

Sadly, it is the 5 menu items she calls children, in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, who are suffering with a lack of true parenting and a stable environment. I just can't stand the fact that so many loyal and naive readers take what she says for face value, and are blinded by the all mighty platform she has created about her unreal, untrue lifestyle. Her followers and supporters make me want to give them a virtual slap, right from the monitor screen. SMACK!

Interestingly enough, there is a link to share. This is the site where I have followed the blog in question, without giving a precious $$$ click. This site is devoted to telling the truth and outing the discrepancies told by the former queen of BlogHer. I have found it more fascinating to read the site that mocks the original blog, than the original blog itself. Weird, I know, I know. Trust me, this is more reality than reality television will ever be.

You all know how bringing fakers to the light of day is the new and improved XXX Mommie Porn. Bye Bye soap operas, see ya later facebook, and move over RH on Bravo, there is a new way to entertain women and it is the mother load of drama- literally!

Can you imagine a site that is devoted to "hating on" and naysaying a single blogger gets more traffic that the initial blogger? My fellow friends who have pity, or are without pity- depending on who you ask, were at one time or another, duped and now they are mad as hell.

The McLiar is giving other mama bloggers a bad name. After all this faking and lying, I find myself questioning my own choices and blog material. I have learned a lot, I mean a lot, a lot from my fellow friends in this community of naysayers. My eyes are open wide.

How sad is it to start a blog, become so consumed with image and appearances that you lose sight of what is really important: your children and their well being. It must be exhausting to trump up a life that is purely fiction. With my actual crazy train, there is no need to embellish, I have enough blog material without really trying.

I admit to being fake. I have fake nails, fake hair, fake diamond stud earrings, fake quadruplets and on some occasions, a fake (sarcastic) smile. But there is one thing I do not fake, and that is the love and affection I have for my four triplets.

Now that I am working full time to help pay our bills, I will not have time for other mama drama. I have enough of my own. Any free moments in my day will be spent with my kids. As much as I have been amused by the fictional frenzy, it is time to step away, it is time to step up to my own responsibilities, like caring for my family- both financially, and emotionally. I will continue with this blog, as it serves as a half-assed substitute for not scrapbooking, but I am leaving the others behind.

I got no time for fakers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inspired By Missoni

Remember last week when I ordered a few new pieces of "career" clothing from the Missoni collection for Target? Well, the wait to see it is over. My package arrived today, and I was chomping at the bit to see it in person.

Of course, it is bedlam when I first walk in the door from work. All four kids compete for my undivided attention, each talking louder than the next. The first five minutes are uncontrolled chaos. After loving on the kids, hearing about school and petting two Jack Russells, I want to check the mail, start dinner, and do a million things. So long as I take a few minutes to greet the kids and give them one on one time, they will leave me alone long enough to get some stuff done.

Normally, I would start dinner and then go through the mail. Much like a Passover Seder, tonight was different from all other nights. I literally put dinner on the back burner (turkey burgers and baked potato wedges) so I could tear open the Tyvek envelopes from Target. The kids could sense my excitement and I let them help.

After releasing the clothes from the plastic over wrap, unfolding the knits, and sitting down, I was able to see what all the hype was about. The made in China Missoni for Target was pretty damn nice. Compared to my REAL Mi$$oni from the good old, disposable cash, single without children days it was a nice substitute for the genuine article. Truth be told, the Target Missoni was lovely, if you only have forty bucks to spend. And let me remind you, I barely had the forty bucks to spend.

So....What will it be, a year of kindergarten tuition, or the legit, Made in Italy Mi$$oni? Ughhhhhh, Right. Hello Target. Welcome to Made in China Missoni. This is how I roll now.

As much as I wanted to fawn all over the knits and examine them thread by thread, I had dinner to make and kids to entertain. Normally, in this exact situation, I would allow the munchkins to watch Phineas & Ferb, lest I have to break up fights, ration toys and deal with whining about how much longer it would be before dinner is ready. Tonight, I did not have this luxury. We were no go for tv viewing tonight- of all nights.

This morning, Jeff scheduled a carpet cleaner to come and sanitize our stairs, play room and basement floor coverings. Since he did this on trade, through the barter club, I did not get involved. I let my husband handle the whole thing. I did not micro manage the job. Instead, I went to work and looked forward to coming home to fresh and clean carpets.

SHOCKER! The so-called professional that agreed to clean on trade dollars, left me with soaking wet stairs and carpeting. Sure, it is ungodly humid, but I seriously doubt it is supposed to be this squishy hours later. There is a reason he was working on barter and had availability on short notice. The reason is most likely that he sucked. Or in this case, did not suck up the water after he cleaned. FAIL.

There was no way I could pop the kids in front of Phineas & Ferb- not on that carpeting. I know my monkeys, and they would have been skating, stomping, splashing and reeking havoc on that wet mess. Obviously, I had to plan B it.

I told the kids a short, but sweet story about the House of Missoni. Cue my annoying, higher pitched, teaching voice, "See these beautiful clothes, they are made by the licensed brand called Missoni. It is a family run business from Italy. The Missoni family has been making these colorful woven knits (demonstrating using the dress) since 1953, the designs are collected because they are wearable art, blah blah blah." With my sticky sweet spin on the merchandise, even my kids were pumped up about my new sweaters and dress. Couture is contagious, even the wanna be kind from Target.

I struck while the iron was hot. I made my move. With spiral notebooks full of paper, and 600 broken, stubby crayons, I put the garments

on the kitchen table. I encouraged them to touch the fabric and feel the way the threads are woven into the bold, graphic stripes. I asked my proteges to study the patterns. I suggested they draw a similar design using lots of color. This engaged them, kept them relatively busy and quiet, and bought me some time to finish dinner, sans the robotic babysitter known as television.

Did I miss that whiny bitch, Candace as the kids were constructing faux knit fabric? Did I long for the sound of Phineas & Ferb acting like complete goons in the next room? No. No I did not. At all.

Instead, I listened as the Missoni inspired four and five year olds crafted. I heard them discussing Italy. I was impressed with their vast knowledge of very specific colors.

It was music to my ears. My fashionista and couture clad ways were validated. My pride was hard to contain.

So while the Target version Missoni clothes may not be collectible, high quality, one of kind pieces of wearable art- they do inspire curious minds. My kids and I are officially inspired by Missoni.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Way They See It

I am always amazed at the art and drawings that come from children. You can learn a lot about a child by taking a closer look at their creative process. This is why, no matter how late I get home, no matter how tired I am, no matter how much I just want to flop on the couch with a cocktail, I always go through the backpacks to see what happened at school.

It cracks me up at how perceptive and visual four and five year old kids truly can be- no one can teach a child to see the details, they just do it. For example, this week when Natalie was the star student, her classmates listened to her answers to some simple questions, then they drew a picture to reflect what they learned about Natalie.

Here is the questionnaire that Natalie answered.See, I would never have known that baked potatoes were her favorite. I would have guessed about 100 other foods before I would have pegged her for the baked potato. It is a good thing I went through the backpack, and paid attention, right?

Take a peek at how her fellow kindergarten class translated what they heard into a crayon drawing. Not only did they feature a bike, but they almost all gave Natalie wild, brown hair

and some sort of pink/green outfit. It is a fact that this girl is typically dressed in a combo of pink and green, yet on the day they colored these pages, she was actually wearing red. They know her as pink and green, so they drew her according to how she looks to them. The way they see it....Interesting!

Equally as amusing, but somewhat more puzzling, was the lump of shit next to Natalie or her bike. If I had not read the questions and answers, and if I relied solely on the drawings for the facts, I would have wondered, why each classmate drew a big old pile of crap next to Natalie or her bike? Oh, yes, that delicious baked potato. Good thing I read and retained the details, or not. Even I learned something new. Ahhhhhh, baked potato, gotcha. I guess they way I saw it was different.

Charlotte brought home a couple of cards she made. She is really into making greeting cards by folding a paper in half, and coloring both the outside and an inside message. Is it any wonder her mother worked for a division of Hallmark for five years? Coincidence? Perhaps.

Here are two of the Charlotte cards I found in her tote bag.Both cards depict Pennylane in grass, both showcase Penny's obvious spots and both are made with a letter stamper.She sounded it out. Charlotte wrote Pennyla as the title, which is impressive for a four year old. I love all the details with a sunny sky, wagging tail, and of course, showing the ants and worms in the soil. This card maker has a lot to say. It was made from the heart, the way Charlotte sees it.

All of this proves my point about these kids. If you take the time and pay attention to every aspect of their world, they show you the way they see it. With that mantra, it is time for me to introduce more color into my wardrobe. Kids tell the truth in their artwork. I asked Eli to draw a picture of me. He agreed, smiled and then said, "Now where is my black crayon?"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Natalie Has Joined The Club

It happened. It finally happened. Natalie lost her first tooth. Her last place streak has come to an end, and the tooth fairy is on her way over to our house.

Natalie kept wiggling that bottom tooth for weeks. Last night, it was so loose that it was practically just hanging in her mouth. I asked her if I could wiggle it a bit and by a bit, I meant, can I snatch that thing out from your gums? Instead, I just said, "I don't think it is ever going to come out." To which Natalie had to show me how loose it was, and when she demonstrated it, that sucker came clean out and shot across the room. We were all shocked.

Finally. Finally, she has lost a tooth.

She can join her brothers in the exclusive, ever popular, highly coveted, tooth fairy club.

As for Charlotte, she could really care less. She keeps telling the triplets that she is the baby, and she is keeping her baby teeth forever because she likes being the youngest. She doesn't care about the tooth fairy club because she started a new club, the Baby Tooth Club where you can only be a member if you still have all of your baby teeth. The fourth triplet knows how to work the crowd. She is so friggin smart.

I am sure the tooth fairy will be generous with Natalie. Would it be wrong to get a DSW or Saks Fifth Avenue gift card for losing your first tooth? The prize remains to be seen, but will most likely be a gift card- so stay tuned for all the juicy details. In the mean time, Natalie is now destined to be, a (gift)card carrying member of the tooth fairy club.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Uncle Silvan's Birthday Celebration

Today, Uncle Silvan celebrated his birthday with us. This meant that the kids were over-stimulated, wild, crazy and so happy to share this amazing day. Birthdays are always a slam dunk around here.

The kids took turns snuggling with Uncle Silvan. They watched Phineas and Ferb
under a blanket before a reasonable hour on this Sunday. You have no idea how much I loathe Phineas, Ferb and that whiny ass bitch, Candace. Knowing that Silvan had things under control allowed me the opportunity to sleep for an extra 45 minutes. I totally owed him one, and by one, I meant a home cooked meal.

I broke out some packing bubbles. I rescued these from the trash at my office, brought them home and allowed the kids to pop them in the driveway. This good old fashioned hilariousness. Look at how much fun it is

to destroy packing materials with your feet. Lucy and Ethel may have stomped on grapes for a good time, but my kids, are all about the noisy, Ka-Pow, of sheets of BUBBLES. This provided serious entertainment and good exercise.

We spent a good portion of the day outdoors. While Natalie continued to ride her bike, CJ made all kinds of contraptions, Eli chased Charlotte and I made Uncle Silvan a birthday cake. When you are four or five years old, it is not really your birthday unless you have a cake with candles.

I cranked out one of the multi layer yellow cakes, filled with chocolate ganache and iced in milk chocolate butter cream. I decorated it with whipped cream and fresh raspberries for a festive,

non food dye version of a birthday torte. Watching Phineas & Ferb episodes earned Uncle Silvan this deluxe dessert.

We sang Happy Birthday, Silvan and CJ blew out the two candles

and it was considered a real live birthday party. Cake and candles are legit. This cake was so incredibly delicious, Natalie had to literally, lick the paper plate clean.

FYI- if I make you this cake, I like you. Clearly, I like Uncle Silvan- with or without the famous 1970's porn star moustache. After all, it was his birthday, so I had to give him a break. I will be back to hocking and draying him later in the week. Until then, it is just another day of fun here at the Slutskys.

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