Sunday, March 21, 2010

438: a baby shower, a farewell

This is Bailey. She lives next door. Her auntie had a baby shower yesterday for an impending son, and Bailey's mama enlisted me (or I volunteered; I can't really remember what happened) in helping with the cake. This cake, complete with fondant, makes me appreciate that favorite show of mine and my husband's, so much, much more.

Bailey enjoyed helping. (What she doesn't enjoy? Wearing clothes. In case you couldn't tell.) You can see where she helped us decorate the dining room with flour below. Whoops.

And the homemade fondant? Didn't really work out. But we tried--it tasted better than the store-bought, but it stuck to just about everything, a gluey, bluey mess.

We baked the main cake in a nine inch pan, and then made a set of cupcakes, which we had to stack. I took a bread knife and sculpted the belly. Frosting it was so difficult, since the harder crust was gone, and Ryan told me he learned from Ace of Cakes that they let it chill for a day before frosting it, which keeps the crumbs from mixing in with the buttercream.

I painted on polka dots for the dress when the ribbon Melissa wanted didn't quite work.

And another neighbor came over to paint on: "Good-bye belly, hello Mommy!" along the sides of the tinfoiled cardboard stand. She added a little ruffle to the top of the dress too.

(I didn't taste the cake though. Sugar sensitivity, remember? Boo.)

And then there was the baby shower itself, which had little ones running rampant, little princess costumes and presents spilling over into the next room. This was Heather's first baby shower, though it's her second child. Below is a picture I snapped of the family: top row is Heather and Melissa's mother, then Heather the mama-to-be in the center, with my neighbor Melissa next to her; Emma is in grandma's lap, and Melissa is holding Bailey.

And, of course, I took many combinations of photographs, which I won't share here, but I loved the moments that were especially chaotic. By the end, I was beginning to feel like a photobooth!

A week from today, Brandon and Melissa and Bailey are moving three and a half hours away, due to economic pressures. Both lost their jobs over a year ago and haven't found work since; they're moving in with Brandon's father until things begin to smooth out. I understand and respect that decision, though I'm a bit sad: I'm a shy neighbor, who will be dragged along to block parties by her husband, but prefers hibernation above anything else. It takes a long time for me to feel comfortable, but once I do, well, you'll find me in the kitchen making cakes and leaving knit washcloths on the porch and trading peony roots for strawberry plants.

So long to the Evans family; I wish you much luck in your future, and I do hope you return to our sweet town. I'm going to miss that little Bailey, who says my name in such a squealing happy voice, who willingly jumps into my arms from the little stone walk that separates our yards.

When we were driving somewhere, Melissa said, "You know? We really like you guys. We like that you aren't nosey and don't judge and bring us beer..." Yup. That's how we are.

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