Saturday, October 22, 2011


My first baby is 13 today.

I can still remember his birthday very clearly.  I spent most of the day before on my hands and knees cleaning the cupboards of the tiny cottage that we were in the process of moving into.  That night I went home to finish packing the old house and went in to labour about 2am.  4 days later I came out of hospital to the new house where John had made my bed, and arranged an arm chair and coffee table in the tiny lounge in the middle of all the boxes.  I spent 4 months ignoring advice to 'put him down' and cuddled him, fed him, played with him.  Then I went back to work part-time, and then after 18 months there was another baby in that tiny house.

I've always been sorry that I didn't get more time with him before I had to go back to work.  Now I struggle with the thought of going back and Smallest is 3 and a half!   I can honestly say that despite the usual dramas and issues, he is proving to be a thoroughly likeable young man, with a good sense of humour and an inquiring mind.  I am certain that one day he will be a very good catch for some young lady.

His birthday has been better than he was anticipating - long story involving wifi, phone bills, and staying up too late - so he was delighted when we gave him the book he had asked for rather than the promised phone bill, tied with a ribbon.  I managed to fool him for a wee while and then gave him the iPod Touch that he had been asking for for over a year!  He was so surprised and delighted!  "Mum, you rock!".    I do.

I had previously said that 12 would be the last birthday for homemade cakes, but started to feel guilty as they really are so easy.  So I had a think about what might be suitable for a teenage boy.  He had no particular idea so I googled.  I came up with Rainbow cakes but thought they might be a bit too girly and decided to use shades of blue instead.

No 2 boy helped to divvy up the mixture into 4 bowls and then add increasing amounts of blue food colouring.  We did 2 cakes at at time, cooled them, trimmed them flat so as to avoid the old 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' effect and stuck them in the freezer over night.  All good so far...  Today was a whole other story!  It has been very warm so when I was making my buttercream, the butter melted, separated and would not cooperate.  It has been in the freezer since 4pm and is still runny!  This meant I had to race to Woolies and buy some of that revolting tinned frosting (apoplogies to those of you that like it...!).  I slapped it in between the layers and all over the outside, crossing my fingers tightly that it would work and not just be some lame-looking white cake!  Thankfully all turned out well in the end and he was suitable impressed.

After a very laid back day of playing with his new iPod, reading his book and a (very) small amount of housework, we headed out for dinner.  One of the wee ones happened to mention it was Archie's birthday so when the drinks came, his was in one of those fancy flashing cocktail glasses, and at the end they brought sparklers in his dessert!  We were really delighted for him as being the oldest has a lot of downsides with so many younger sibs vying for, what should be, your attention.   And mostly getting it.

Anyway, he had a great day and is off to the football with his Dad WITHOUT brothers tomorrow, I hope he feels special.  I am feeling a whole lot older that I did with my tiny baby 13 years ago.  I hadn't a clue but was deliriously happy.  I still haven't a clue and am now just mostly fairly delirious!

Happy Birthday to my lovely Archie.  xx


  1. Awww look how little he was!! I adore the cake - what a fabulous idea hon. Happy Birthday!!

  2. Only fairly delirious?

    You are a clever girly what a fab cake! I've seen the rainbow cakes but yours is inspired in blues. You can't stop making them, I made myself a birthday cake last week and the kids decorated it...and I'm......well I am certainly older than twelve!

    My biggest has gone on his first cub camp this weekend and it is a huge step to think he is under someone else's care, I like you think he will make a good catch some day, he's a lovely boy if not a bit stroppy, but we are all missing him!

    Looks like you had a lovely day finished off with sparklers what could be more perfect?

  3. He looks so happy!

    What a beautiful looking cake, I'm going to try that one of these days. I've never tried that frosting though.

    Sounds like you had a lovely day.

    Kylie xxxx

  4. Haha! Loving the faces - just like my boys! That is rather amazing about the blue and green cakes isn't it - love yours!

  5. Now the fun really starts - genuinely i love teenagers! Archie looks just great!

  6. Oh what a beautiful post Sandra, I really enjoyed this. You're a fab Mama and an amazing baker. That cake looked unreal! Love the shades of blue, very masculine choice :o)
    I can't begin to imagine how odd it must feel to have a teenage child. I'm really going to need to toughen up before that hits me :o/
    Glad Archie had a lovely day, many happy returns to him... he looks like a tremendous character xo

  7. So glad he enjoyed his birthday. Looks like he really enjoyed his cake - it looks spectacular! Not sure I'd have the patience to make a cake like that. You are so blessed with your family. xx

  8. I have just found your blog and have loved reading through! Belated happy birthday to your son! Cx


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