Daniel thinks that I am April O’Neil.

I have got to order this mini-chef his own apron!

I have got to order this mini-chef his own apron!

Today Daniel turned four. I asked him what kind of cake he’d like for his birthday. In the very early years of parenting, I always bought the boys grocery store cakes with characters on them. There were a couple of years I even tried to make super pretty cakes–Caleb had a really impressive train cake two years in a row.

But decorating cakes is a giant weakness for me. I’m just not good at it, so I resorted to buying grocery store cakes again and just sticking some toys on top of it.

This past year the boys became disillusioned with the grocery store cakes and started asking me to make their cakes. I make cakes all the time, but they are very simple and undecorated. I make the little round cakes. That’s what we like.

So I was expecting Daniel to ask for that too. Wrong.

“Me make my cake myself!”

“Oh! OKay, sure, Daniel.”

Alan took him to the store to pick the ingredients. St. Patrick’s Day stuff lurked everywhere, so Daniel gleefully chose GREEN cake, white icing. Pretty fun, huh?

He really likes to pour all the ingredients into the bowl and stir, so I let him do all of that. He normally helps crack eggs, but this recipe called for egg whites only, so I had to just let him watch that part.

He seemed very happy with it, so we were too. It actually turned out to be quite delicious!

The birthday boy was so happy tonight that it took him forever to go to sleep. Do you know what Daniel said to me tonight, as I tucked him into bed for the second time?

“Mom, what’s your name?”


“Like on the Ninja Turtles. You’re April. You know the Ninja Turtles,” he giggled, “Donnie. Ralph! You know Ralph, Mom! What’s he say, Mom? All the Ninja Turtles…”

He was so sleepy he was practically delirious, so I only understood every other word or so, but he was quite happy and excited to discover that his mother is none other than the famous April O’Neil.  I just smiled and told him good-night, as he went on and on and on about April and the turtles.

He had a great day. We all did. This morning I woke up to the sorts of sounds that send mothers straight into euphoria:

Caleb asked me, while I was still in bed, “Mom, would you like some coffee?”

“I would.”

Then I heard him asking Alan, down the hall, “Dad, can you show me how to make coffee? Mom wants some.”

I heard Joshua shout out, “I started a load of blacks!” (Laundry. I’ve told him they’re called darks and lights, but for some reason he says blacks. It’s sort of like when I tell him to say his times tables. Instead of saying “4 times 8”, he says “4 ‘x’ 8”. Try explaining it. I’ve given up.)

“Did you use laundry detergent?” Alan shouted back.

“What? Oops! Oh yeah!” he said as he ran back down. Hey, that’s okay. The boy is doing laundry.

It was not so hard to get out of bed this morning, thanks to these wonderful sounds.

Here are a few photos from our day:


Who wouldn't love a giant stuffed sea otter?

Who wouldn’t love a giant stuffed sea otter?

Caleb reading to JD make me so happy I just can't even begin to express it!

Watching Caleb read to JD makes me so happy I just can’t even begin to express it!

more because I'm obsessed

more because I’m obsessed

This is as good as it gets here. Dan was very happy.

This is as good as it gets here. Dan was very happy.

Alan found these number gummies to decorate Dan’s cake. Daniel is obsessed with writing numbers and letters everywhere right now, so he was delighted.

I have got to remember to take a picture of all of his little writings. He does really well with the letters we’ve worked on. A lot of the others look sort of like Hebrew or Arabic. It’s so adorable.

a brotherly birthday party

a brotherly birthday party

Something was exciting. I don’t remember what.

IMG_5155 IMG_5158

I love it when he has this look!

I love it when he has this look!


IMG_5162 IMG_5163 IMG_5164 IMG_5166



I’d better go. Donatello needs me to help him fight the Krang.

Yep. That’s me all right. 😉


  • FOUR??? Wow. Somehow that just seems unreal. He’s not a baby anymore. And baking his OWN birthday cake? Amazing! Happy Birthday Daniel!

    • I know. He’s so tiny. It does seem unreal! This boy is allll about baking cakes. One time he got in trouble for breaking JOshua’s Lego creations, and I said, “Do you want me to make him bake you some cookies?” Joshua scowled, “NO! He loves that.”

  • queenmommyjen

    I think that is an impressive cake! I too have resorted to baking our cakes! With four kids, big parties and fancy cakes would bust the budget! Jen’s Guy did his second blog tour today and mentioned you might need to get with Gingi and try on one of her cosplay jumpers to way impress your kiddos with your mutant ninja powers!

    • I have been on vacation and I did not allow myself to bring my computer or do any blog related work. I feel so out of touch! Can’t wait to read your Hubby’s post!

  • Nicole

    Some day you will look back and these will be the memories that stand out! Birthdays with 4 boys. Such a blast. I used to make fairly simple cakes but the boys loved them as long as they had lots of candy on them they thought they were terrific. They usually co-ordinated with themes, dino’s,hockey,lego etc. One year we had just moved and it was our first move away from friends and family and our 3rd boy was turning 7. I didn’t know my way around the city yet and my husband was working and had our only vehicle so we made the cake out of what was at home……green sugar sprinkles left over from Christmas was the main factor in this HULK cake, and green food coloring of course…..It was by far the WORST looking cake I have ever done as it was just a 9×13 we cut into the shape of Hulk (imagine that) but it is the cake that my boys remember the most…..Remember when you made that AWESOME HULK CAKE. They thought I was AMAZING!!haha Enjoy this time it is sooo fun!!! My baby just turned 16 this month and my oldest turns 22 on the 29th!!! They both pick ice-cream cakes which kills the budget!!!haha

    • O, I love this story! 1. Ice cream cake. Sign me up for that stuff. Your boys are so right. 2. I cannot get a mental picture of how you cut a cake in the shape of the Hulk. But apparently it was the cake to remember. My boys would love that too.

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