An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

American Girls Learn the Hard Way: Beauty Hurts May 28, 2013

Filed under: Activities — edamomie @ 11:50 am
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A: Activities

American Girls Dressed in Yellow

American Girls Dressed in Yellow

It was another rainy Memorial Day Weekend with cousins – ages 7, 9, and 9 – in constant search of something to do. My 7-year-old son, Calvin, kicked off the weekend with an early birthday gift to his soon-to-be 10-year-old sister, Ava. It was an American Girl school desk with all the school box essentials.


He knew going in to the weekend he would be out-numbered as the cousin in the middle was Ravelle, age 9. Typical of each cousin camp weekend, he started out optimistic that he would be included in their play and ended up a bit burned out, frustrated by their undying interest in all things girly.


The complaints started to roll in around 7:00p.m. on Sunday eve of the long weekend, “what’s there to do?” We had already seen Epic, the movie, and went mini-golfing at Pirate’s Cove. They were on a fun roll. As we surveyed their slew of American Girl clothes, shoes and accessories, a bright idea popped into Ava’s head. “Let’s make dresses!” she insisted. Now was the how. What was on hand, what materials could we use? ….ah tissue paper from her early birthday gifts – in bright yellow, vibrant stripes and white.


American Girls with their Designers

American Girls with their Designers

They enlisted Aunt Katie and began cutting, twisting and creating fashionable looks with the paper. The four models – Kit, Kerstin, Piper and Mia (AG girls) – were fitted and styled from head to toe with the right shoes and accessories. An audience of 14 was called to the catwalk and required to sit in their assigned seats. Ava made the opening announcements and the Summer Fun Catwalk was underway.


The models emerged, via Ravelle’s hand, from under the pool table catwalk. For the grand finale, they all took one last turn and paused for the photos. Given the tight context of Ravelle’s space, she eventually bumped her head to which front-row Calvin pronounced, “Beauty Hurts.” Ensuing laughter prevailed as all the ladies agreed – yes it does! Here’s a little clip from the show, American Girl: Summer Fun Catwalk:


Mother’s Day Mayhem May 18, 2013

Filed under: Eats,The Unknown — edamomie @ 9:23 am
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U: The Unknown (Mothers Day Outcome) and E: Eats (Strawberry Cupcakes)

Last Sunday marked my ninth Mother’s Day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it does not mean Day Off. Not that I don’t appreciate the Hallmark and florist-supported day, it’s just that expectations must be realistic. Unless you are at a remote getaway vacation slash spa trip with your girlfriends, you are probably going to have to do some of your normal tasks and chores. And children, despite their best angelic efforts, will slip back into their needy behaviors at times during your day. Here’s a recap of year nine.


Strawberry Cupcake Love

Strawberry Cupcake Love

Mother’s Day Eve Prep Work:

I’ve heard that some moms are pampered over the full weekend. Guessing that is not the norm. I work pretty diligently on Saturday – laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc – to make sure Sunday starts off on the highest note possible. This year I did four loads of laundry, shopped with my daughter, Ava, to pick up dessert recipe ingredients and made my fave spinach quiche ahead of time on Saturday = clean kitchen Sunday and an easy brunch.

Mother’s Day Morn

Did not sleep well the night prior – – up watching a romantic comedy til 1:00a.m. A few emotions and allergy triggers later, I awoke feeling low-energy and puffy. I hollered downstairs in usual form to my weekend morning tv-obsessed kids, “Church this morning! Come up in 10! I mean it!” Ava, my nine year-old, oft the most challenging to drag away, bounded upstairs and hopped into the shower. No sign of my seven year-old, Calvin. When he did surface, the little negotiator launched into the boringness of church and how he’d get much more out of religion if we could just stay home and read the bible for an hour. Just Ava and I went to mass.

Mother’s Day Late Morn

Home from church and the quiche is due out in five. At the table, everyone acknowledged the day and post-brunch I opened a framed photo of the family at my brother’s wedding, a red satin lipstick case and a babushka doll tea-strainer. Great. Thanks all. Now I can make my loose-leaf tea. And since we’re in the kitchen loading up the dishwater with brunch dishes, let’s just roll right into cupcake-making.
Ava loves strawberries and after a Saturday online recipe search for Strawberry Cupcakes and shopping for ingredients, she’s ready to dive in. There is a mixer, strawberry gelatin, strawberry jam and food coloring involved – what messy, colorful fun! Witness the strawberry cream cheese frosting dying process here:


This was a fairly time-consuming recipe to make and instead of the 12 cupcakes it said it would yield, we ended up with 26 cupcakes on our hands. The frosting also made way too much in my opinion, but then again, we just spread it on conservatively because we don’t have a fancy swirl-twister frosting-tipped dispenser or whatever its called.
Come to find out, the drive to make cupcakes came from her American Girl magazine, which cleverly showed the best way to eat a cupcake – – cut it horizontally across its mid-section and place the bottom portion on top of the frosting so essentially you have a frosting filled cupcake. Had I known this, we might have split the cupcakes first, then frosted their middles so the ends wouldn’t be as crumbly. Next time!

Mother’s Day Aft

The kids went outside to play, my husband ran some errands, and I fell blissfully asleep on the sofa in the sunshine, listening to the kids’ laughter from their outdoor escapades. For this, I was thankful.

Mother’s Day Eve

Calvin and I planted four plants I picked up from our school’s plant sale the day prior (one of which passed already on Tuesday in the 97 degree heat). I made a kid-friendly dinner (= microwave laziness!) around 5:30, then headed out at 7:30 to meet a co-worker, who’s also a mom, at a coffee shop. We agreed that it was a fairly good day and that getting a jumpstart on work for the week would allow us to sleep better that night.
I came home by 10:30, did the usual straightening and kitchen tidy-up, kissed the sleeping children on their cheeks, checked my inbox, unplugged and rolled into bed. A stellar day. One to be very thankful for.

— Happy Belated Mother’s Day! (delayed post due to normal duties post-Sunday May 12).


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