Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

May 08, 2011

A birthday cake epilogue (or "Happy Mothers Day")

"I'd like to be the ideal mother, but I'm too busy raising my kids."
Source: Unknown

Its Mother's Day: the perfect day to write a little epilogue to the story of the Octonaut's birthday cake.

I received such lovely, generous comments to last week's birthday cake post, that I thought I ought to set the record a little straighter. Here, friends, is the reality ...
  • The cake was made with a commercial packet mix
  • The cake fell apart when I turned it out of the tin - who the heck gets a packet mix wrong?
  • I swore a lot made a polite exasperated sound
  • I made another packet mix cake
  • The bottom fell off the cake - what kind of clown gets two packet mixes wrong?
  • I ran out of packet mixes. More swearing.
  • I had to glue the cake back together with fondant icing - a shedload of icing.
  • There was a disproportionate (and unfavourable) cake-to-icing ratio

  • The Octonauts decorations were really tricky to construct. I am afflicted with sausage-fingers. I spilt purple food dye down a cupboard. I glared at anyone who approached the kitchen. I spent more time on the cake, than I did holding the party. I swore a lot.
  • I don't think anyone actually liked eating the cake. Even the small children. That's saying something .... small children will eat anything inanimate labelled cake.
  • Not long after the party finished, I found Bargy breaking all the Octonaut decorations into small pieces (Look mum, I made a jigsaw). They were only icing. But I cried anyway.
This has been a real blog post from a real mum. All the rest that you see here at Hoppo Bumpo is nice camera angles and the use of a thesaurus.

A very happy Mothers Day to all the mums out there. (Remember: smoke-and-mirrors are your friends.)

Liesl xx


  1. Thanks for the amusing slice of Real Life!

    Happy mothers' day to you.

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  2. I don't know if you saw my blog posts about the six hours it took to make my son's birthday cake last September, but the experience was pretty similar. Especially the swearing. I don't think I was very pleasant to live with during the days I spent on that cake. I'm very sorry you cried when Bargy broke up the decorations. More accurately, I'm sorry you were so stressed that it drove you to tears. I don't know why we do this to ourselves!

    Happy Mothers Day to us indeed! None of us are alone in our bizarre problems.

  3. HUGS! The cake looked lovely and we appreciated the artistry even if the kiddos didn't quite seem to. Ruthie

  4. You know the original Women's Weekly cake book with the train on the front? Well, for Jake's third birthday I made THAT train cake. Took hours!!! It was magnificent!!!
    The party was at the local park and, due to a windy day, the candles wouldn't stay lit long enough to blow out and sing happy birthday. But we sang anyway, ate the cake (made using pre-bought slabs of sponge from Safeway) and went home.
    That night, I tucked him into bed and asked if he had had a lovely birthday. He said "No". Which surprised me! When I asked him why he said "Because I didn't get to blow out my candles".
    So I got him up out of bed, made a triple-decker vegemite sandwich with 3 candles stuck in. Dan and I sang him the birthday song. He blew out his candles, ate the sandwich and went happily back to bed. The second cake was the best one I ever made!!

  5. That made me laugh. It is SOOOO stressful making an awesome cake. Last year I just thought bugger it and made the tried and true idiot-proof and delicious cake and emptied a box of smarties on top. No-one complained and everyone ate the cake. Thanks for taking us behind the facade, but I still think - in-edibility aside - that you did a fantastic job, and no wonder you cried when the kid broke the ornaments.

  6. Have a hug. Considering the odds you were/are up against - you did, and always do, a FANTASTIC job.


  7. if it's any consolation I'm the sort who can't make a cake out of 2 or more packets mixes. but then again, this is coming from someone with a fear of baking, and who owns now cake tins, cookie trays or proper mixing bowls.
    big hugs to you xoxo

  8. A good dose of smoke and mirrors goes a long way. It's got me through life so far.

    Happy Mother's Day to a fabulously real Mum. xxx

  9. NO matter what, I think you're super clever. You nailed those Octonauts, you are amazing masterchef!

  10. Liesl, happy mothers day to the superchef

  11. Oh I'm SO GLAD you're a real Mum, instead of one of those scary perfect ones. We're all a bit too real in this house and I wish I had more smoke and mirrors....

    The cake was a masterpiece.

  12. Oh Liesl I told you to be careful not to upload your blog post to Cake Wrecks.com !! You've put the wrong text up here...everything was fabulous, repeat after me, "i am not messing up my children, i am a perfect role model, that guy who said 'they fuck you up, your mum and dad' (whose name has escaped my hormone ridden tiny brain) was wrong," keep repeating after me, until you fall into exhausted sleep...seriously, thanks for keeping it real, love you for it (and so do your readers!!)Happy Mums Day. x

  13. I love this. Awesome commentary on real life (and good camera angles)

  14. Hilarious!!! I think you get top marks for perserverance!

  15. Oh... you mean you are NORMAL? (evil grin)

  16. I am so glad to see the "out takes" It makes me feel less of a failure as a mum lol. I would have shed tears though too. I usually take 3x longer decorating the cake than the duration of the party. But will miss it once the kids don't want htem anymore :P

  17. Ummmmm... lost for words - but it's a very nice jigsaw puzzle?

  18. This post reminds me why I was SOOOOOO happy when my 5 year old requested a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for his birthday this year. No fancy shape. No fancy icing. No stress for this real mummy.

  19. Ah boys, they know just how to get right to the heart of the matter!

    Hope you had a lovely Mothers Day.

  20. Oh wow - I would have cried too!
    What an amazing job you did - the cake looked spectacular - I bet the kids ate enough sugar anyway - who needed cake!

  21. What a great laugh to start the day!
    Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day.

  22. Oh i just love you even more. I had a sucky mother's day & did an honest post about it too, with a plethora of comments in agreement (sad but true). Honesty, you rock, cake mix & all. Love Posie

  23. Liesl, I still think you are pretty perfect....wanna adopt me ?

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