Takes the cake – the parent as baker

Our youngest child is turning 12.  What a landmark.  And because of different commitments (read netball weekends) the celebrations will be slightly delayed.  So I am not madly scrambling around trying to tidy the house, juggling visiting family and baking cakes.  And it feels all wrong.

Over the years, Rod and I have made many birthday cakes together for both of our children.  Starting off in our old house, the first birthday for our elder daughter was a very simple orange cake. So healthy. No icing.  One candle.  It didn’t last long.

Hannah's 1st birthday cake Cait's 1st birthday

By the time she was two, the Australian Women’s Weekly children’s birthday cake book had been found, and we were off and running.

Requests for butterflies, lolly shops, paint boxes, number cakes and tigers ensued from both children at birthday time.

IMG_1025  IMG_0011

Surprisingly for two people without a crafty bone in their body, Rod and I were able to fashion something that looked like the cakes in the book every time. Shows how well tested they are.  This was despite having a dud oven for at least six of those years, until we could stand it no longer.  I think Rod made at least two different late night trips to the supermarket to get more supplies when the cakes died in the oven. And we were usually making them at 10pm on a Friday night, after a week’s work, so I think we did ok.  Certainly, they all were eaten, so we musta done good! Right? (well, the butterfly looks a bit dodgy, I admit.)

Still, it’s made me curious about all of those cakes.  What were they again?  Who had what?

This is a selection of just some of the birthday cakes over the years.

IMG_1017 hannah's birthday Sep 06 016 Hannah's 6 cake caitlin's 7th  birthday 08 009  Tiger two years Caitlin Caitlin's fifth birthday 017 IMG_6248

Who knows what we’ll try and do next?

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Shifting the work barriers

For three years now I have had the pleasure of working from home in Canberra, doing communications and PR work for a small, Melbourne based company.  That role finished in October, and since then, I have been looking for other work outside of the house because the time has come to broaden my horizons again. It was great while it lasted, and I really enjoyed the work and the people I worked with.  And the flexibility it offered suited me and my family for that period of time.

But since that role finished, I have barely been into my home office, and it has gradually become the junk room.  Beach towels, unfinished sewing projects, piles of books, reference articles, clothes to sort into piles of keepers and for the Salvos all populate the space … now it’s just somewhere that I used to work.

Even writing for this blog is done on a different computer in another room.  Somehow it doesn’t feel right to be in there.  I want to draw a line under it, close that door and jump through another window. Move forward.  (That’s enough clichés for now.)

Work 1

However, every time I walk past the room, I groan.  It’s more than it being a junk room.  Yes, it’s a tip, with piles of papers and books on the floor, and filing to be done.  But I am starting to think that the new phase of work that I want to move into can’t really start until I deal with that room and its contents.

So, kids go back to school tomorrow and I will attempt to make a start, push through the psychological barrier.  Something has to shift, and I am the only person who will move it.