Last Tuesday was Axa’s 8th birthday. We spent the morning at the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences. They had quite an interesting mishmash of exhibits, including a room devoted entirely to art depicting space flight, and another of Spanish conquistador weapons.
But Axa’s favorite, and the reason we went to the museum on her birthday (other than the fact that it was the first Tuesday of the month, and free to Volusia County residents) was the beautifully preserved fossil skeleton of a giant ground sloth.
On the way home from the museum, we finally had the experience we’ve been waiting for since we moved to Florida: an encounter with wild alligators! Although I was vigorously urged on by Axa, this is the closest I was willing to get, even on her birthday, and even for the sake of photographic evidence of our exploit.
The alligators are the small lines on the incline toward the pond (you can tell they’re really alligators if you click on the photo and make it big). In the background is a flock of storks, which as you can see were braver than I.
When we got home, Axa opened her presents.
And then we had cake. Yes, I MADE this cake. I’m practically getting to be one of those awesome pinterest moms. Just kidding. I’m not. To tell the truth, I made the mistake of sitting down with Axa and doing a google image search when she said she wanted a dinosaur cake. This was the one and only dinosaur cake that I could imagine myself actually executing.
The recipe called for chocolate graham crackers to make the “dirt.” I was going to make it easy for myself and just buy them, but they didn’t have them at the grocery store, and going to another store didn’t really fit in with my idea of making things easy for myself. So instead I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe, with the addition of 1/4 cup or so of cocoa powder. Lots more work than store graham crackers, but lots yummier as compensation.
We made a white cake for the base, and then chocolate cream cheese frosting to glue on the dirt. The “bones” are sugar cookies. If you have a similarly dinosaur-obsessed child, here’s the dino bone template.
Axa helped with every stage of the cake, from beating the eggs to cutting out the cookies. And she was very pleased with the result.
Happy birthday to my sweet little girl!