My daughter is now eight years old. Despite G-Rex being too sick to really enjoy her birthday, I spent the whole freaking day baking and decorating a cake for her.
Here's a helpful kitchen hint: If you're going to go to the effort of making a Swiss Merengue Buttercream frosting, COMMIT! Those boxed (pasteurized) egg whites may seem like a sweet convenience, but they do not make it from the thick foam stage to the soft peak stage. At all. Even when beaten for hours with the whisk attached to a 650W Professional Kitchenaid stand mixer. Go ahead and waste the egg yolks.
With judicious use of the freezer, I did manage to get the frosting thick enough to use, but right now that poor cake is still on its stand on the table (everyone was too sick to eat the darn thing) with melted turquoise goo dripping down its sides where the frosting used to be.
After all that, I have to chuckle a bit. Ultimately I did G's cake to save money. If my time was worth ANYTHING at all, there's no way we could have afforded that cake. $20 at the bakery doesn't sound so bad anymore. However, I do at least have the satisfaction of knowing that my daughter's cake has no trans fats and tastes better than anything at the bakery. Even if it took forever and isn't so purty.