Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh, Hi!

I've been a little bit busy lately!  So busy that I failed to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of my beloved son (that was October 5), or discuss the family party that we held for him, or talk about the student who started working with me at the beginning of the month, or the vacation I've taken for the past week.  I'll try to remedy that right now:

  • I can hardly believe that Vinny is 4.  He is such an amazing little boy and I am so glad he came into my life four years ago.  Every day I love him more and more, as if that is even possible.
  • Since his birthday was on a Tuesday, we held a family celebration the Sunday before, just the three of us.  Vinny's aunt and cousin had a little online video chat with him for his birthday.  We ate homemade pizza and a Dora the Explorer cake for his birthday dinner (more on that cake later).  He got lots of great presents, including a remote controlled car; Lego Rock Band plus a guitar, drum set, and microphone for the game; and a fun set of gears that you can put together on interlocking backing.  He was positively thrilled with the whole thing.
  • He had requested a Dora cake for his birthday.  I said okay, I would make him a Dora cake.  Jeff bought a Dora cake pan and I baked the cake.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was decorating it.  You need 10 different colors for decorating Dora.  For example, she has light brown eyes, but dark brown hair.  Furthermore, she has the whites of her eyes, the light brown iris, the black pupil, and a little dot of white in her eyes.  She also has a bracelet that has light blue, dark blue, and yellow beads in it.  Luckily I bought some sort of frosting mix that was probably actually some amalgam of petrochemicals.  I mixed up all the ten different colors of frosting in ten different bowls, but I was having a lot of trouble with doing everything I had to do to follow the directions.  I had to change out frosting colors, which was an arduous process, especially because I had only one tip of each kind that was required.  A lot of times I just had to do one or two little tiny things and then I had to move on to the next color (for example, red was used only for Map's mouth and nothing else!).  By the end I was going so nuts that Dora's eyes and hair were the same color, and furthermore, she did not have a pupil, not to mention that glimmer in her eyes.  And she evidently forgot to put her bracelet on, because even though I had mixed the blue colors, I did not use them because if I had, I would have completely lost any shred of sanity I had at that point.  I had allowed myself two hours to decorate Dora; it ended up taking five!
  • I have a student working with me who worked with me the summer before last.  He has a prestigious fellowship and worked with me the other summer on something completely unrelated to his research.  He asked me if he could come back and I could help him with something that he's doing for his research.  I said "of course" and the rest is history.  He's a really smart dude and easy to work with.  He is close to graduation, so he asked me to write him some letters of recommendation for jobs.  I'm trying to figure out if there's a way we can hire him at my workplace.
  • Last weekend, we went to Memphis.  We saw the children's museum, which Vinny loved.  They had this wind tunnel with a model airplane in it, and you could turn the fans on to create the wind, then operate some levers which would operate the flaps on the airplane and lift it into the air.  He absolutely loved that wind tunnel because it had fans!  He was talking about the "fan tunnel" for days.  We also went to a place called Incredible Pizza, which was a pizza buffet plus arcade games and also larger games such as miniature bowling and go-karts.  Vinny rode with me in a go-kart, and we were winning the race until somebody hit my go-kart in the back left corner and spun me out, which caused the race to stop until they cleared it up.  Some of the other go-karts had passed me before they had to stop for the cleanup, and they ended up winning.  Anyhow, the food was pretty good and the games were fun too.  The next day we went to Graceland, and that was a lot of fun to the adults in the party but not so fun for the four-year-old.  On Monday we headed back home but we stopped at Shiloh National Battlefield Park, where a major Civil War battle was fought.
  • Then, I stayed home for the rest of the week.  I went in to work for a half day on Wednesday, but otherwise I just spent the week at home.  I did some cleaning up around the house, and I did some shopping, and Jeff and I went out to lunch together once, but I basically took it easy all week, which was really nice.  I really needed to get away from work for a while, and I feel really refreshed after this time away.
  • Today, Dad and Marvis are coming to celebrate Vinny's birthday.  It should be a lot of fun!


Jenny F. Scientist, PhD said...

Four! My goodness. Your cake-decorating dedication awes me.

Rebecca said...

Thanks Jenny, but I have vowed to never again decorate such a ridiculously tedious cake. I baked a cake in the Dora cake pan this weekend while my dad and stepmom were here, but I steadfastly did not decorate it. :)