Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celebration Month of March- Blog 3: Letters from Mom & Mimi

Happy Birthday Mimi and Dr. Seuss!

Dear Ellie,

With tea in hand, I'm ready to write.  Your Mimi's memories made me laugh.  Let's ask her what her favorite birthday memory was as a child.  And by the way, isn't that how we got our cat Daisy through Ryan's very easy birthdays?  Didn't he ask for a dog and somehow someone convinced him to get a free cat from a local farm (and it came with fleas)?  And didn't he want to name her something weird like Big Ears and someone convinced him that Dusty sounded better?  No wonder why Ryan always shoots for the stars now, he learned early to not settle!

And we can't forget to add- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIMI (we get to celebrate with her here in Denver very soon, she will be here this time tomorrow as I post this blog!!!).

I don't remember celebrating birthdays so much in school- just eating cupcakes and singing for the birthday person (although I do remember a celebration for Halloween in 3rd grade when my mom was the homeroom mom and was supposed to supervise for the morning dress-up party... but she got the time wrong and as we were all silently reading and cleaned up at the end of the day, Mimi came in dressed as a giant carrot... good thing her face was painted orange because I think it was pretty red!  She is always a good sport and always knows how to make people laugh even when she doesn't mean to). 

But I do remember always celebrating at the beginning of March for a very special author's birthday!  I love that you share a birthday month with Dr. Seuss too!  I will be sure to celebrate March 2 with you every year.  You and your brother both enjoyed his books so much!  Our cousin Taylor gave you almost every book he ever wrote so we have lots of seussing to do!

Some of my favorite quotes to live by are said by this amazing author:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." (Remember that one when we leave Disney World!!!)

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  (Books will take you places Ellie that you would not even dream of.  I hope you love to read as much as I do.)

"Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!"  (I just love this one because it reminds me of your Uncle Ryan reading Oh, the Thinks You Can Think to Kyle and wondering what kind of person Dr. Seuss really was and having us all in a fit of laughter...)

I think we also need to celebrate Dr. Seuss in March because so many people find that you resemble Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Yes, Ellie you truly are that cute!!!

As for my recipe that I am going to add for our celebration month, I will tell you how to make a Strawberry and White Chocolate Buttercream Cake with the help of Betty Crocker.  I made this recipe while on maternity leave with you Ellie and it turned out fantastic... too bad you weren't able to eat solids then!!!
Here it is:

1 3/4
cups Betty Crocker SuperMoist butter recipe yellow cake mix (from 18.25-oz box)
cup water
cup butter or margarine, softened
teaspoon almond extract
Filling and Topping
oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, softened
cup whipping cream
cups fresh whole strawberries, thinly sliced

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously spray bottom and side of 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/4 cup butter, the almond extract and egg with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch rounds. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, place white chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in medium metal bowl. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium heat just to boiling. Immediately, pour hot cream over white chocolate and butter. Let stand about 5 minutes, or until mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Cool 1 hour or until room temperature.
  5. Beat cooled white chocolate mixture on high speed until fluffy.
  6. Cut cake horizontally in half, using long, sharp knife. On serving plate, place 1 layer, cut side up. Spread with 1/2 of the filling; top with 1/2 of the strawberries. Add remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining filling over top of cake; top with remaining strawberries. Store covered in refrigerator.
Makes 8 servings

And we have something else to get really excited for... Mimi's visit!  Oh the fun things we have planned for this week!

I love you Ellie!

Now from your Mimi:

Oh Ellie,
Your mommy sure has me laughing!  I hope I don't tip my teaspoon filled with sugar and spill the milk that I pour into my tea from all this giggling... heavens, that would make for quite a mess!  Your mommy's memory sure is picture sharp!

Yes, there was a year when I was dressed as a very, very orange carrot while everyone else around me was ... well,dressed as themselves of course!
And yes, there were a few years where it wasn't hard to convince your Uncle Ryan that his birthday gift (like the cat) were actually his very own idea!  Now when it came to your mother she wasn't as easily swayed.  You see Ellie, she was and still is a "planner."  I need to change that to "pre-planner" as your mom was always prepared days and sometimes even weeks ahead of schedule!  She would have thought the idea, planned it out, and organized the event many weeks prior to her big day.  And even on her "big day", she would make sure that everything went according to "Kimberly's" schedule.   And we are not talking about when she became an adult here.... she was like this as a little girl too!!!  Whew.... she sure did make life easy for your Pop-pop and me!

I love that our topic this month is on 'Celebrations' because along with our birthdays, last week the elementary school that I work at celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday all week long!  Last Monday we had crazy hat day, Tuesday was crazy sock day, Wednesday was pajama day (which almost all the children participated in), Thursday was wear green day for Green Eggs and Ham, and Friday was crazy hair day... that is the one and only day that I did not participate in because I had errands to run after school! (I am not sure the rest of the world outside of school would understand a 50+ year old sporting spiked hair dyed in a variety of colors with sparkles aplenty!)   Dr. Seuss was a wonderful children's author and I loved reading his books to your mommy when she was little and now to you over Skype!  You make me laugh Ellie because at times when I read to you over the computer I can tell when you are starting to lose interest and down your head goes ready to crawl away to something more interesting.... and then I throw some major expression into my voice and UP pops your head as you turn yourself around, crawl back to stand at the table and listen again ever so intently.  Sometimes we repeat this process a few times during our book reading!  You do make me giggle!!   OK.. Back to Dr. Seuss.  He takes words and writes them in the silliest of ways while teaching us a lesson to be learned at the same time.  I agree with your mommy's favorite Dr. Seuss quotes.. I too like those and one more besides.  It is:  "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.  Which is what I do, and that enables us to laugh at life's realities."  Don't you think that is a wonderful characteristic to have in oneself Ellie???  I sure do!

My birthday day this past week was a terrific one... just like last year and the year before and the year before that.  Heck, I love all of my birthdays!!  Unlike most people I save up all my birthday cards and presents to open on my exact birthday day in the morning while I am having my tea.  This year was no different.  It is a wonderful way to start the day with smiles!  Then through the day I received many birthday wishes from family and friends and I ended the day with a wonderful dinner out!  Yeahhhh... no cooking for me!  Your Pop-pop said he hoped my birthday was a good one before we turned out the lights for the night... a perfect ending to a perfect day! 

Now I can focus on the excitement of next week!  First and foremost my visit with you!  Also time with your mommy to celebrate her birthday!  Speaking of which Kimberly... what are your thoughts on turning 31????  And should we try to make the yummy cake that you posted in your blog for your birthday treat???? How fun the upcoming days are going to be!!  And to end my visit Ellie, your Pop-pop will join me and together we will participate in an early celebration of your birthday!  I can't believe that you will be turning one year old already.  Watching you grow has brought sunshine to my "everyday"!

And with that I will end with a "tweaked" quote from Lee Scott.  In place of the bear, I have added your name Ellie.  Here it is:

If I live to be a hundred I shall never richer be than when I shared your dazzling presence and together we sipped tea;  My dear Daughter, my Grand daughter Ellie, and Me!
Love you Sunshine!
Mimi :)

1 comment:

  1. I love reading these blogs, what a wonderful gift Ellie will have such special memories of all the love around her. I am so glad I get to read these blogs, makes me feel really good to have both of you in my life. Keep writing Kim and Mic.