Birthday #2 for the Month

Calvin’s birthday is tomorrow. September is birthday month around here ­– Calvin’s and mine are only eight days apart and Rich’s is at the end of the month. It can get to be a little much. Some years Rich passes on a birthday cake, or asks for a different dessert, since we are sometimes “caked out” by the end of the month.

This year is a biggie for Calvin – 13. I can’t believe he is going to be a teenager. It sounds cliché, but it really does seem like he was a baby not that long ago. We aren’t doing anything really out of the ordinary this year, but his celebration wound up covering several days, due to various schedule conflicts.

We started the celebration last Friday and had my parents over for a birthday dinner. We had four cheese mac and cheese, along with spiced mashed sweet potatoes, at Calvin’s request, and roasted veggies and salad (not his requests, but the rest of us enjoyed them). Dessert was homemade ice cream cake – two layers of black devil’s food cake, with a layer of vanilla ice cream in the middle, iced with vanilla whipped cream.

If you want to recreate the cake, bake half a recipe of black devil’s food cake in two 8-inch loaf pans. They bake in about 25 minutes. Make or buy vanilla ice cream. Line an 8-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and fill with about two inches of softened ice cream. Freeze until solid. Stack cake and ice cream on a platter and freeze until very firm, or overnight. Ice with whipped cream and freeze several hours before covering with plastic wrap (or the plastic will stick to the icing). Serve frozen.

The celebration continued on Saturday with Calvin’s choice of breakfast – chocolate-filled and almond-paste filled croissants from LaBonne Bouchée, a local French bakery and restaurant. We overbought, as usual, which is easy to do since the croissants are literally as big as your head. Rich and Calvin had the leftovers for breakfast on Sunday.

We went to a Cardinals’ baseball game Sunday afternoon as one of his presents. We sat in the nosebleed seats and took our own lunch, complete with gooey butter tarts for dessert. We got hot chocolate to warm up after a couple of hours of sitting in the shade with a cold wind in our faces. It was 80 degrees on the ground in the sun, but up where we were it was COLD! We never expected to be cold at an afternoon game in St. Louis in early September. The chilly weather made it an adventure, and they won, so Calvin was happy.

We are doing presents tonight, since the school bus comes early and we want him to have time to enjoy unwrapping. We offered the choice of waiting until tomorrow evening so he could open them on his birthday, but he declined. To end the festivities, we are going out for dinner tomorrow night so he has some celebrating on his actual birthday. I had a three-day celebration, but Calvin is getting five. Does that mean Rich gets seven?