And cake makes everything better

Today is a particularly good Friday. The children have nearly made it through their first week of school, and to celebrate that we decided they could ride the bus home this afternoon. This has less to do with any reward logic (because, let’s face it, they’d much rather be picked up and we’re all a bit worried about what happens on the bus) and more to do with things like since it’s the end of the week, if the experience scars them horribly I have all weekend to help them get over it; plus yesterday the crossing guard lady yelled at me in the pick-up line and I realized that if I continue picking them up every day I am going to die young. Because for days now I have watched people cut in front of me in line and I have seethed in silence, and yesterday I went around a PARKED AND EMPTY car and this lady came up to my car and told me to GO TO THE BACK OF THE LINE FOR CUTTING. At which point I reverted back to my most primitive New Yorker roots and said to her, “You have GOT to be kidding me, lady.” So.

Also, tonight we are having what I have been promised is the best cake in the world on account of I have managed to stay in (more or less) one piece for thirty six whole years.

(I know! I’m impressed with myself, too. Especially seeing as how it was less than two years ago that the whole staying-in-one-piece thing didn’t seem quite so certain.)

To my credit, my utter gracelessness hasn’t extended to any further vehicular mishaps (hey, I wasn’t even NEAR the car when it got hit the other day), but my feats of klutziness still abound.

For example, yesterday I was preparing to pick up the kids, and we had a bunch of places to go and things to do, and I figured I would bring a snack in the car for the kids to head off any whining. And then I thought, how awesome would it be to bring them POPSICLES? They would love that. It was 102 degrees yesterday and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, that that is REALLY FREAKING HOT. So I set about packing up a little cooler with an assortment of ice packs and freezer pops, and then I decided to take the kids’ water bottles, too.

We are all quite enamored with Otto’s fridge (I mean, OUR fridge) because you can get ice and water right there in the door. This is high-tech for me and the kids. We all quite enjoy the “crushed ice” feature, because we are fancy, and that’s the default for everyone here at home. But, see, I once took physics in high school or something, and I happen to know that it takes longer for larger pieces of ice to melt (see? so smart!), and I wanted to keep everything cold in a hot car, so I decided to use whole ice cubes for the water bottles.

I held Chickadee’s bottle up to the dispenser and pushed. Ice plinked into the bottle for about five seconds, and then the plinking stopped. The KACHUNK KACHUNK KACHUNK of the ice dispenser continued, though, so I figured there was a piece stuck and I should just wait a minute for it to work itself loose. And then… well, I’m not sure what happened then. I saw something shiny? It’s unclear. But apparently I held down the level for quite a while before I realized that no ice was coming out.

Hrm. I removed the bottle and looked in the dispenser collar thingie (technical term) and saw a piece of ice stuck crosswise, so I reached up and pulled it out.

When I did that, a dozen cubes flung themselves towards freedom. Freedom, of course, being the kitchen floor. And ice, it turns out, is kind of slippery. So the ice all skidded away while I chased after it, and I laughed and laughed because I’m a moron and OF COURSE I should’ve known, and I picked it all up and threw it in the sink, and then I thought “Perhaps I will just fill up Monkey’s bottle by OPENING the freezer and removing the cubes by hand so that this doesn’t happen again.”

That was really bright of me, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, my smug feeling of brilliance lasted approximately .3 seconds, because when I opened the freezer door, all the REST of the ice which had been dispensed and then couldn’t go down the chute because of the blockage was sitting there on the door, and opening the door caused all of it to flying. This time it was about two dozen ice cubes. Most of which hit me in the chest before sliding off to the far corners of the kitchen.

And you would think that would be the end of my sad, spazzy story, but YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Because apparently after cleaning up twelve pounds of ice there was still a blockage in the chute I didn’t realize was there. So I was putting dinner on the table and had just finished telling Otto about my ice adventure when Chickadee went to get some water and said, “Hey Mom? The ice isn’t coming out.”

Only she’d put it on the crushed ice setting, so when we opened the door, IT SNOWED. That was sort of fun, actually.


And despite my flagrant wasting of ice, my family loves me, and I got many hugs and kisses this morning and Otto got me a NEW MOUSE for my computer because he loves me and is a romantic and also is probably tired of sitting at his desk here in the office and listening to me mutter profanities at my mouse. Tonight there will be more presents (so I am told) and we will have cake and celebrate the end of the first week of school and the end of my “early 30s.” And I will silently celebrate the natural, whispered collaborations my children have had with their stepdad, and how the three of them tormented me throughout dinner last night about the ice debacle, ever so naturally forming a united front—even Chickadee, who may talk a good game about how she will “never love Otto” but is a big liarpants (in the very best way).

I love that there will be chocolate cake but I love the excuse they had to work on a plan together, without my help, even more. I hope they got me something totally ridiculous so that I can keep it forever and they’ll be totally embarrassed about it; and later, when they’re grown-ups, I’ll point to it and say “That’s what you guys and Otto decided to get me for my first birthday in Georgia and I love it.”

It’s going to be a very good birthday, indeed.


  1. Valerie

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great one!

  2. Katie

    Happy Birthday!

    I’ve watched my MIL do this exact same thing with her ice maker. And she’s had the fridge for years and still routinely does this. (But I’m sure there’s more hope for you! hehe)

  3. Otto

    Crap … gotta get something goofy now …

  4. Jessica

    Happy Birthday! I too have a problem with ice dispensers…you are not alone.

  5. chris

    happy newly-wed birthday! now is the time to cement in some juicy traditions for the years to come. go for it, girl!

  6. Kimmie

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

    Maybe you should leave the ice cubes alone for the day. You don’t want an incident on your b-day…..

  7. Stew

    Hey Mir…Happy Birthday and welcome to the year of the 36 year old!

  8. Giillian

    Despite the fact that there are only 364 and a tad days in the year and statistically a huge number of people have a birthday on August 17th I am still always amazed to say ‘OMG! is today your birthday too!’ Because, after all, I was led to believe from infancy that it was MY birthday. So, happy to us both (and surely a staggering number of other folks in the world as well) on this most auspicious ‘It is too hot to have a party in the back yard’ day.

  9. Elleana

    Happy Birthday!

    Here’s hoping you have a safe and accident free birthday – and any other day, really.

  10. Christina

    Happy Birthday!!!

  11. Divrchk

    Happy Birthday!

  12. Em

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Amy

    Happy birthday! Stay cool (hee hee). :)

  14. birchsprite

    Happy Birthday dear Mir !

  15. Kim

    Mir, May you have the bestest of birthdays (already sounds like it will be). The later part of 30’s i found were so much better than the first part. Enjoy!
    (and still laughing over the ice…and to think i can make that kind of mess with a BAG of ice from the store….LOL I think I want me one of those fancy ice machines..if for nothing else it will give me blog fodder!)

  16. Woman with Kids

    Happy birthday!

    I would be really tempted to make it snow the next time it’s hot out… like right now.

  17. juliness

    Happy Birthday!!

    (You’re still a youngster, ya know.)

  18. saucygrrl

    Happy Brithday Mir!

    Dear lord I don’t even WANT to talk about my ice dispensing nightmares… lol!

  19. Not The Mama

    Happy birthday! I’m jealous of the cake. I loved the ice story — and given how hot it’s been lately, I’m actually a little envious of the snow.

  20. Amber

    Happy birthday Mir!

  21. Jenn

    Happy Birthday!

  22. Kimberly

    Happy birthday Mir! It’s going to be the Best Birthday Ever!

  23. Crisanne

    Happy Birthday!! I love the snow in the kitchen. Just what you need to break up that heat wave there in GA.

    Looking forward to the details of your evening with your husband (!) and kids.

  24. Wendy

    Happy Birthday!!

  25. LyndaL

    Happy Birthday Mir, from one who has penetrated the depths of the forest that is 40 and survived!

  26. Mimipz5wjj

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  27. Erin

    Happy Birthday, Mir!


  28. Angela

    Happy birthday! Heres to having a better day than yesterday!

  29. Susan

    Happy birthday! And many MANY happy returns of the day.

  30. Daily Tragedies

    Happy Birthday! You’re sure to have a spectacular 36th year.

  31. Stephanie Chance

    Happy birthday! Hope you get something great and goofy!

  32. MaryP

    Happy Birthday!

    Here’s your present:
    “On Wednesdays we go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea.”

    I’ve had it for a while. I’m hoping that now you have it, I won’t any more. I wonder WHERE I might have picked it up?

  33. Kristy

    Happy Birthday Mir!!

  34. Kate

    Oh, to be young and 36 again. Those were the good old days…

  35. Manic Mommy

    Happy Birthday, Mir. I would have totally pegged you for a Virgo. We’re highly intelligent, organized…okay, we’re anal.

    I’m loving my late 30s, sure you will too!


  36. Beth Reid

    Happy birthday! It’s my husband’s birthday too! Although he’s, ahem, just a tetch older.

  37. Aimee

    It’s your birthday! Have a great day, enjoy the cake (which looks SO good, by the way) and whatever the kids and Otto have been plotting for you.

  38. Karen

    Happy Birthday!

  39. Lady M

    Happy Birthday, Mir!

    Our ice machines is pretty aggressive too. We put a glass under it and wince in preparation before pushing the trigger.

  40. Pamela

    Happy Birthday!

  41. Jeanette

    Happy Birthday, Mir!

  42. Bob

    happy 36th!

    (I had to go back aways in my email history to find the email where I goofed your age last time to make sure I didn’t goof it again. I still bear the scars……….)

    I’m sure there are much more fabulous prez’s in line for tonight. enjoy.

  43. Karin

    Happy birthday! :)

  44. Shalee

    Happy, Happy birthday! (And 36 is everything it’s cracked up to be and then some. At least it is for me so far…)

    Hope you get loaded… in more ways than one. :)

  45. Traci

    Happy Birthday!!! I hit 36 on Tuesday…maybe I’ll “play” with the ice maker today to see if I can have an ice debacle before my bday as well…it’s freakin’ hot here too!

  46. becky

    cool. happy “you’re closer to 40 than 30” birthday, mir. sounds like it’s shaping up to be a good one.

  47. Rachel May

    Happy, happy birthday
    From all of us to yooooooou
    Happy, happy birthday,
    My all yer dreams come truuuuuuue.


  48. Cassie

    Happy Birthday Mir! Take pictures of the cake! We neeeeeed to see the chocolately goodness! :)

  49. Jessica

    Happy happy birthday!
    May it be the first of many happy family celebrations.

  50. Lynda Hitt

    Happy Birthday Mir. I hope that they got you something so ridiculous that you laugh for a long time and then grin every time you see it and that it gives you the warm fuzzies that we all need when our kids are just making us feel like it is time to kill and eat them or sell them to the circus. See, we all have those kinds of days.

  51. Beachgal

    I tried posting on wantnot, but it never went through, I hope it works here.

    Happy Birthday! I loved the ice story, it totally sounds like something I would do.

  52. The Other Leanne

    Happy Birthday, Mir…today it is ALL ABOUT YOU! I hope it just gets better and better.

  53. Mysh

    Happy Birthday to You! May you have nothing but happiness with your family.

    And you’re not fooling anyone — you were playing with the ice maker and the fridge so you could stay cool in that heat! Ha Ha Ha!


  54. The Other Leanne

    “and I realized that if I continue picking them up every day I am going to die young.”
    Sorry, too late for that.

  55. Elena

    The Bacon Wallet! The Bacon Wallet! What could be a better gift to sentimentally reflect on as your first Georgia gift from Otto, Chickadee, and Monkey?

  56. arduous

    this made me cry. happy birthday!

  57. ChristieNY

    Happy birthday!!!!!!!

    (…and please, please, no bacon salt on the chocolate cake, m’kay?)


  58. Hotfessional

    A very Happy Birthday. And snow? when it’s 102 degrees out? Lucky, lucky you.

  59. Sheryl

    I’m sure there are more bumps to come, along the road of adjusting to GA, but this seems like a pit stop at the Happy Ending Cafe. Yay!!! And happy, happy, birthday.

  60. ScottsdaleGirl


    Are you going to put the Bacon Salt on your cake?

  61. bad penguin

    Happy Birthday!

  62. Sarah

    Happy birthday!!

  63. Sophie

    It’s all so sweet, and not just the cake. A very Happy Birthday to you, Mir!

  64. Vicky

    Happy first Birthday in Georgia Mir!

  65. Shash

    Happy Birthday, Mir!!!


  66. Alison C

    Happy Birthday!
    I will have a beer to celebrate!

  67. sherry

    Happy birthday! I hope it’s a wonderful ice-free day!

  68. Denise

    Happy Birthday! Make it snow again, that’s an excellent way to celebrate your special day down there in Georgia.

  69. Sasha

    Happy Birthday!

  70. Steve

    Nice to meet you. I came here via a google search…

    Happy Birthday!

    You are a delightful writer.


  71. Kim

    Happy birthday!

  72. reen

    Happy birthday! It’s a daily treat to read your blog. Oh, and the icemaker fiasco…I do it all the time! Doesn’t mean we don’t learn well, it means we are optimistic.

  73. Lori

    Delurking to wish you a very Happy Birthday!

    I’ve been enjoying your writing here for a long time now. Thank you for all the great stories and laughs.

  74. AmyM

    Happy, Happy Birthday to you. You’re a lucky lady to have the great family that you do.
    (The ice maker on the other hand, could use a little work.)

  75. Dawn

    Chickadee will love her step-father but she may never profess to it. I had a wonderful step-father, however, I never called him dad. Girls have an insane loyalty to their fathers whether those fathers deserve it or not. :)

  76. Lala

    Happy Birthday Mir.
    35 is ok, it’s 37 that’s a bitch.

  77. tuney



  78. Stacey B

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I stepped out of “late 30’s” and into 40 last Sunday. *sigh* I miss the 30’s…….

  79. elswhere

    O happy happy! Enjoy the late 30’s. They’re fun, in my experience. Mine were also very, er, growthful. But I think you’ve had enough growth lately.

  80. Tree

    Happy BD. The best is yet to come, for real. Bask in the love and adoration of your family. Here’s hoping for a really goofy, cheesy, sentimental gift to cherish forever. Those are definitely the best.

  81. Amy-Go

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful Tulip!! And I hope it’s ok if I mention that I LOVE that you are older than me! ;)

  82. Suebob

    Happy birthday.

    About the cake “the baked delites created are unparalleled in their culinary appeal. The distintiveness of the cakes”…

    perhaps you could trade some copywriting for cakes?

  83. Andrea

    Happy Birthday, Pretty Mir! I will be in your shoes in 6 months when I turn 36. Hope you had a wonderful evening with your amazing family…one full of surprises! (Be sure to tell us what they gifted you!)

  84. Chris

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY….may you have many, many, more!

  85. Single Ma

    Happy Birthday Mir! It’s your born day! So does that mean you were extra pretty today?

  86. RuthWells

    My baby brother turns 38 on the 18th — Leos rock! I hope you had a great day. And yes, cake fixes just about anything, particularly if it is covered in buttercream.


  87. jean

    Have a happy birthday. My all your wishes come true.

  88. Cele

    Happy Birthday Mir, your’s will be easy to remember it is the same day as my grand son’s.

    Hapy Birthday, and much joy.

  89. Allanna

    I hope your birthday is wonderful and fantastic … and utterly without ANY mishaps. You totally deserve for every little thing to be perfect for you.

    And the idea of having “snow” come out of Otto’s fridge makes me snicker. Did anyone start humming “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” by any chance?

  90. Lulu

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Welcome to the other side of 30!

  91. LadyBug Crossing

    Happy Birthday, my dear friend.

  92. StephLove

    This is my son’s favorite song to sing at birthdays. It’s from It’s a Big, Big World.

    Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!
    How old are you? How old are you?
    Count the candles on your cake.
    Smear your name for good luck’s sake.
    We want cake! We want cake!

    Happy birthday and I hope the cake lives up to the hype.

  93. Brandi

    Happy Birthday, Mir!

  94. Heather C.

    HEY! Did I miss the fact that your birthday and my daughters birthday is on the SAME DAY? KEWL!

    And a woman DID NOT come and tell you to go to the back of the line… she did not… because that would so exceedingly rude that the politeness fairy would have come down and eaten that woman’s head.

  95. Karen

    Happy Belated Birthday, ya klutzoid.

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