I was staring at the top of her head. Her tiny little baby head, lightly covered in downy strawberry blond hair, and thinking. Thinking some day she’s going to be a woman. A grown up. She’s going to meet boys(or girls). Fall in love. Get her heart broken. Oh god, some asshole is going to break her perfectly sweet heart someday, and I am simply going to murder him with my bare hands. She’s going to grow up. Go to school. Get hurt.
We were watching The New Normal the other day(which by the way I love, just like all of the other Ryan Murphy shows and no I’m not afraid to admit it). There was a scene where the little girl, who is adorable and awkward gets bullied by the other little girls. I turned to my husband and told him if any kid ever did that to my babe I will straight up punch them in the face. He laughed and told me I would go to jail. I said I didn’t care. And I’m also pretty sure I was serious.
This whole growing up nonsense scares the pants off of me. I mean really, can’t I just keep her so little and tiny and mine forever? I keep thinking I need to get her on a better sleep schedule, but why? I’m not working right now, and she sleeps just fine, why am I so concerned with how she’s supposed to be sleeping. They tell me I should let her “self soothe” and put herself to sleep. That it’s ok for her to cry sometimes. I tell them it is absolutely not ok for her to cry if there is anything I can do about it. So if she wants to be held, she’s held. If she wants to sleep in my bed snuggled up next to me, while my back aches because I can’t get comfortable, so be it. I can’t imagine she remembers any of her entrance into this world, the weeks in the hospital, but I do. This kid is going to get everything she wants. Except for a snake, if she wants a snake, she’s out of luck.
I’ve been noticing when I give her a bath, the tub is full of my hair. It’s everywhere. Wrapped around her little fingers, floating by her toes. I reach up and touch my head and suddenly my hair is half as full as it used to be, as the last of the pregnancy hormones flee my body and I loose this over abundance of hair I sprouted during those 9 months. It feels somehow strange and wistful to know the last few remnants of the days she resided in my body are on their way out.
I’ve learned how to balance this mom thing these days. I can make whole meals and sweets with no problem anymore. Curried chicken with coconut rice made its way into our lives in less then an hour. I photographed these cookies for you while she watched curiously, strapped to my chest in a baby carrier. And right now, tonight, she sleeps peacefully next to me, arms high above her head. This kid has taken over every aspect of my life, every fiber of my being in ways I wasn’t prepared for.
So I made a cake. To celebrate her. To celebrate us. Our journey. We never really got to celebrate when she was born. We went straight into survival mode. So today we did. We ate cake and danced with her. We told her how perfect she is. How she is our own little super hero. She may have had her first major baby meltdown. But woke up happy as can be after. This cake was good, the frosting lush, the cake dark and dense. I over baked it a bit since I decided to mess with the cake size, don’t do that. It’s meant to be moist. A perfect cake to celebrate those you love.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Line bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in chocolate and vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pans 15 minutes; run a knife around edge of each pan, and invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on a work surface. Place one cake on sheet, and spread top with 1/3 of frosting. Place second cake on top, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Using two wide metal spatulas, carefully transfer frosted cake to a serving platter.
Milk Chocolate Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
8 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add melted chocolate, mixing thoroughly. Beat in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated.