Our Family

Our Family

Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Sandy

We are in the "red zone" for Hurricane Sandy.  We are all home and ready to weather the storm together tonight.  All three little ones are sleeping, and as of this moment, we still have power.  Abigail took the storm preparation very seriously tonight.  When I asked her to get ready for bed, this was the result....
She walked in and said, "I'm all ready for the storm!"

I love that silly little girl!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Story of Michael's Birthday Cake

As most of you know, Michael has a long list of severe food allergies.  This year, I wanted to bake a birthday cake for Michael that was safe for him to eat and tasted good enough to serve to everyone else at the same time.  As soon as I returned home from the hospital with our new baby, I was determined to find and bake the perfect cake.  When Michael's birthday occurred a week later, I was STILL looking for the solution.  (At least it wasn't as bad as his first birthday... when in addition to his allergies to milk, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts, we were dealing with a gluten allergy!)  

I have learned from this experience that it isn't too bad to substitute different things to achieve a milk-free cake, but finding a decent egg substitute is a nightmare!

The first two attempts at baking a cake went directly in the trash can.  I didn't even take pictures.  I'm not even sure you could have called them cake.  I was horrified when I caught Michael digging a handful out of the trash and eating it!  It was gross, but it was allergen free!  So, while I was disgusted that Michael was eating something from the garbage can, at least I didn't have to run for the Benadryl or the Epi-Pen.

Attempt number three
This is a milk, egg, and nut free white cake.  It actually didn't taste too bad, but it was a little too sweet. Michael loved it.

Attempt number four
This is a milk, egg, and nut free chocolate cake.  It was very moist and had a good flavor, but as you can see, it fell apart when we tried to get it out of the pan.  I was a little disappointed, but Michael was enjoying the job of tasting all these different cakes!

Final Attempt..... It would have to do because it was now a week AFTER Michael's birthday!

So... we settled on the chocolate cake and tried again to bake it AND get it out of the pan.  At least the cake held the general shape when we turned it over on the cake board this time.  However, lots of it stuck to the pan.  As Coley said, "It looks like Blue had his face chewed off."  I tried to mold it together the best I could and froze the cake before decorating it.  The cake is definitely a far cry from perfect, but considering what it looked like BEFORE the frosting, it actually turned out all right.

I'm not sure how much of my sleep deprivation was actually due to having a newborn in the house and how much was due to staying up too late trying to solve the birthday cake problem!

Happy birthday, Michael!  
Hopefully next year, we can eliminate something else from your allergy list and make things a bit easier!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tummy Time

Here is our little Emma Jane at three weeks.  What a beautiful, sweet baby she is!

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Michael turned two years old on October 6.  Our "little" guy had a great day.  He had lots of fun opening presents.  He loved his new stacking train from Mom and Dad.  He also loved the garbage truck and car carrier from Grandma Perry.

We didn't really celebrate with cake on Michael's actual birthday.  That is a long story that requires a separate post.  Michael didn't mind at all because he had a great big "Happy birthday" balloon.  Balloons are one of Michael's favorite things in this world!

On Sunday, October 14, we finally celebrated Michael's birthday with cake.  We spent the evening with the Petrucci family for dinner and then ate some allergen free cake.  

I'll post the entire story about the birthday cake later, but here is a picture of the final attempt at making a birthday cake that was allergy-free for Michael and decent enough for the rest of us to eat too.  That is quite a challenge when dealing with Michael's long list of allergies!  Michael loves "Blue's Clues," so he was absolutely thrilled with his cake.

 Michael opens his present from Lori.

Michael loves listening to everyone sing "Happy birthday" to him. 

 Michael is ready to eat his dairy and egg free chocolate cake.

Alessandra helps Michael with his presents.

Happy birthday, Michael!  We love you!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Loving Baby Emma

As you can see, we are all in love with the new addition to our family.