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Archive for March, 2007

Ethan‘s 18-month checkup results: weight– 26 lbs 0.2 oz (11.8 kgs); height– 2 ft 10 inches.

Alexander‘s 4-year-old checkup results: weight– 36 lbs (16.329 kgs); height–3 ft 5 inches.

Ethan had to take 2 shots plus blood test this time. Of course he didn’t like it at all. What made it worse is that the nurses had to call his name twice to go into the lab (they give shots and blood test separately) so it’s twice trauma for poor little Ethan! Other than that, he is just happy and growing strong. Dr. Fan said to keep Ethan’s milk intake under 20 ounces per day.

Alexander didn’t like it when the nurse wanted to check his blood pressure. You could hear him crying/screaming from the registration area. I think kids generally don’t like to go for doctor visits, and Alexander likes it even less now after that accident happened while he was given shots (Somehow Alexander’s hand struggled free and pushed away the needle just as the nurse pulling it out, scratching his skin 3 inches long… ). Anyhow, Alexander had his blood pressure taken afterwards after we explained how it works AND a promise to buy a train for him. Dr. Fan said it’s good to play a little game to have him cover ears and one of his eyes at home, so Alexander would be a bit more cooperated during next visit for vision and hearing check.

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Hey it’s about cake again… sorry to those who are bored by my CAKE blogs!!! 😉

Chinese New Year Cake-- Cherry Blossom

Chinese New Year Cake-- Cherry Blossom

Chinese New Year Cake-- Cherry Blossom

Chinese New Year Cake-- Cherry Blossom

Here is the story about this cake: After learning cake decorating, I wanted to try decorating a cake that’s related to Chinese culture– Chinese traditional art painting, calligraphy etc., and the timing was good– it was around Chinese New Year. I made this cake as part of my new year gift to Uncle & Auntie Chew. I froze some extra flowers from Jenna’s birthday cake project earlier and decided to use them as cherry blossom flowers. The two Chinese characters means “Spring Greetings”. The words didn’t come out as good as I thought– definitely needs improvement on piping Chinese characters so the strokes would show just like calligraphy. The bottom border is just a pink ruffle– a new border that I just learned recently. Because it’s a Chinese New Year cake so I tried to stay with new year colors (red, pink, orange, gold, yellow) for base coat, but I think the flowers and words would stand out more if the cake is coated in green or even blue.

Tips used: cherry blossom flowers: tip#107; flower center: tip#2; outline of the tree branch: tip#2; tree: tip#13; Chinese words: tip#102; ruffle bottom border: tip# 67. Colors used: lemon yellow, pink, brown.

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I’m not a big fan of pizza unlike Richard and Alexander (umm, and Ethan pretty much eats everything he sees!) so sometimes it’s hard to find a eatery that make us all happy when someome is in the pizza mood. But today we tried out Porky’s Pizza Palace and we decided it to be our pizza place. It’s only 5 minutes away from our house. Not only they have pizzas they have fried chicken, sandwiches and pasta too. We ordered a large combo pizza and 2 pieces of chicken for myself– the pizza is loaded with lots of toppings, the chicken are naked fried and very juicy. I believe it’s a family owned restaurant and they have pretty good business– there were 5 restaurant delivery trucks parking on the street. Try it out if you’re in the neighborhood. It’s on Manor Blvd next to San Leandro Library Manor Branch.

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My older son Alexander is a big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine. Island of Sodor is the place where all Thomas stories take place. I thought of making him an Island of Sodor birthday cake months ago. One time while we were at Target, I saw these Percy birthday trains series (the last cart has a surprise inside) then I knew I definitely had to buy it to put on the cake and also as his birthday presents. What’s so cool was that I later found a set of traffic sign bday candles to use on the cake too.

Alexander's Bday Cake-- Island of Sodor

Alexander's Bday Cake-- Island of Sodor

Alexander's Bday Cake-- Island of Sodor

Alexander's Bday Cake-- Island of Sodor

Again, it’s 3-layered cake with Pastry Pride non-diary whipping cream and fresh strawberries (hmmm, maybe one of these days I will try apple pie filling instead of strawberries). The cake was supposed to be coated in green color expect for the ocean corner but I forgot and so I had to add the green to the side later– it was hard because icing doesn’t stick very well with whipped cream. I had to work fast as it was getting a little runny– I  thought if it won’t stay then we will have a small mud slide on the island, oh well… You know people always decorate the picture on the top of the cake, well this time I have decided to extend the picture to the side of the cake. The train tracks go from the top to the sides of the cake and same with the ocean. Speaking of ocean, I blend the color straight on the cake and use a pallete knife to smear around to create the look (Richard said there are quite some waves there and I said of course… it’s an ocean!! 🙂 I wanted to do a tunnel that trains would come out of it but not sure how it would work, so I changed my mind and put a hill instead (I used ice cream waffle bowl, coated and covered with grass). Animals and rocks are toys I borrowed from my kids for decorating purpose. The candles are something that I found at clearance that just fit the theme– each says “Happy Birthday Zone”, “Stop for Cake”, “Yield for Fun” and “Party Ahead”. There are 4 candles total in the set and Alexander is 4– what can be better than that!! I also crumbed up some graham crackers for the “gravels” on the tracks. Since there are no place for the words, I created a “birthday flag” to add a special touch.

Here are the tools that I used: grass– tip #233; rail wooden board– #47; metal tracks on top of rail board– #3. Colors used: leafy green, sky blue, brown, black (to mix in with brown for metal tracks). Tip: to decorate the track easily later, I drew the lines on the cake after coating it on top and the side– the tracks will look smooth and the width of the tracks will also look about the same size.

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Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

Jenna's Bday Cake-- Barn and Horses

My good friend Tina asked me to make a birthday cake for her daughter Jenna and I did and had lots of fun decorating it. Jenna is into horses recently. At first I thought of transferring a picture of a horse in a blooming field to the cake and just star-pipe it with different colors, but I change my mind later and decide to go 3D– putting a little barn house and some horses on the cake! This is more vivid plus Jenna will have the present to take home rather than all eaten by the guests!

It’s a 3-layered cake filled with fresh strawberries and Pastry Pride (a non-diary whipping cream product) so the cake won’t taste super SWEET inside. On the cake surface I used butter cream icing or the decoration won’t show. I prepared the following ahead of time and froze them– icing (white, green and different shades of pink), flowers on the side. Since the horses and the barn house aren’t very girly look at all, I decided to add ruffles to the sides of the cake in various pink and add the flowers so the cake will look like for a little girl than boy! (plus Jenna likes pink!) The other feminine touch is the blooming vines on the front and back of the barn house. Oh, “SRC” is my initial– I have decided to leave my initial somewhere on the work 🙂 To make cleaning up the toys easier, I taped a clear plastic underneath the flat bottom of the toys (barn house, water tank and hay feeder). I wanted to add some trees and possibly a hill but the cake isn’t big enough for the extras. Also, this time instead of writing the words on the cake, I have decided to “flower” the words–as if they are blooming, forming clusters in the field and the horse are looking at the flowering words. Oh, the barn house would sit on the top left corner and there would be one more horse stepping out of the house while looking at the birthday words too. I decided not to put the barn house on the cake until the party started on the safe side.

Here are the work details: grass– tip #233; ruffles on the sides of cake–#67; flowers on the side of cake–#107; vine on barn house (front & back)– #2; tiny flowers on barn house– #13; flowers in the field– #16; words– #16. Colors used: leafy green, pink, white (base coat).

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A Quick Update of the Latest

For the last few weeks I have been busy– since early February, I have been busy taking care of my sick boys, then I got sick (around Chinese New Year.. bummer!), then making Jenna’s birthday cake, followed by Richard’s mom visit, then Alexander’s birthday cake and party, and now taking care of Alexander as he is sick again. The flu hit him hard this time. As for myself I don’t think I fully recovered from the illness before as I still have some coughing from last time… and guess what: Ethan started a little coughing this morning… sigh!

Now everything is back to normal life. Time for me to rest. The weather has been nice these couple of days but I don’t want to take chances going outside, so simply staying at home. I can’t wait for the whole family to get healthy so we can enjoy the nice spring weather outside.

I will do some postings later on Jenna’s cake, Alexander’s cake, both boy’s doctor’s checkup stuff like that… check back soon.

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