But before we could go to the baby shower, we had to do some baking. Grammers had volunteered to bring something to the shower and Ann Marie requested dirt cake. Well to make dirt cake baby shower appropriate we decided to tint the cool whip layers pink and green and serve it in a trifle bowl instead of a flower pot. This was supposed to be a simple 15 minute project - yeah right! It turned into a 2+ hour ordeal which included massive quantities of cool whip and pudding and sending Papa Garro to the grocery store for extra supplies. It was one of those projects that got out of control very quickly and took way longer than it was supposed to.
First we couldn't decide if we needed one recipe worth or two. So to be safe we started out making 2 recipes worth. Duh - one would have been perfectly fine. I still don't know what we were thinking. Ava wanted to help so I sat her on the counted and put her to stirring.
But then the double batch recipe started to grow...
We quickly managed to dirty almost every bowl in the kitchen and use up all the counter space. But something wasn't quite working right. The pudding mixture part of the recipe was way too runny and wouldn't set up. Oh well, we thought maybe it would thicken with time and adding it to the cream cheese mixture. Nope, now we just had runny cream cheese. We (quite stupidly) went ahead and added the cool whip hoping for a miracle. NOPE. We were going over the ingredient list when it hit both me and Grammers at the same time... she'd bought cook vanilla pudding instead of instant!
At this point we sent Papa Garro on a supply run. We would have to start all over. We had begun this Dirt Cake process around 9am thinking it would take 20 minutes and knowing we needed to leave around noon to get to the shower in time to help set up. Now it was well after 10 and no one had showered or dressed. Remember it takes some serious time to pull together 3 kids, 2 women, 1 man, and pack a car with all the new toys and stuff that wasn't staying with Eli and Ava.
Our second attempt at Dirt Cake went much better than our first. This time it really did only take 20 minutes. We then began the process of getting everyone showered, packed, dressed, etc and managed to pull it all together just in time to rush out the door around noon.
We'd decided that Ava and Mae would go with Grammers and I to the shower and Brian could take Eli and visit with Pawpaw John for a while. Ava was very excited to get to go to her first Grown-up Party. We put on her Christmas jumper, white tights and a white shirt. She looked pretty adorable all dressed up! The trifle bowl dirt cake looked pretty good and no one would ever have guessed that it was as big a mess as it actually was.
Mae also looked sweet in her snowflake dress-up outfit and matching head band.
At the shower, Ava felt very grown up and behaved fairly well. All the ladies hosting and attending the shower were so very kind to my girls and helped out holding Mae and entertaining Ava. There were even some Snoopy toys that Ava was allowed to play with. When it was gift time, Ava was so excited to see all the new baby stuff that she sat on Aunt Teresa's lap beside Ann Marie and watched all the gifts be opened.
In all the chaos of the day I didn't manage to get a picture of Eli to share. Then the kids spent the next few days with Grammers and when they came home it was time for Day 2 of our Christmas festivities. I have a few pictures of those Christmas celebrations but no others so for now I'll just put one of my favorites from the Christmas Celebrations thus far in here. Love this up-side down laughing boy!
Oh, and thanks to our little Dirt Cake episode I now have a new way of describing anything that doesn't go as easily as planned by putting Dirt Cake in front of the name. Like when we have those mornings where no matter how hard you try you can't get everyone out of the house on time that would be "having a dirt cake kinda morning". Yep... I think that works as a good descriptor of much of my life and I'm gonna use it!