An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

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).


A Mother of a Day May 12, 2012

O: Outings

On the Legitimate Mill Ruins Park Path

On the Legitimate Mill Ruins Park Path

Mother’s Day is over-rated. Sorry Hallmark, that’s just the way I feel. Too many Mother’s Day’s with expectations set too high. A few years ago I started making my own favorite spinach quiche the Saturday prior so my loved ones had nothing to do but throw it in the oven. As good as that tasted, it still felt empty. My kids this year, now 6 and 8, have  been busy working on homemade cards and gifts this week at school. I am more rested and more realistic about the day. So much so that I get a jump on it – I’m taking this Saturday as the day. Anything splendid that happens on Sunday is a complete bonus.


Summit: Mill Ruins Park

Summit: Mill Ruins Park

As it turns out, this Mother’s Day Eve is one to replicate – minus the four loads of  laundry I did from 7-10a.m. It began at 10:05, when I enlisted my kids to join me in a stress-free, relaxing day.  We arrived at Mill City Farmer’s Market around 10:45a.m. I actually did not mind milling about for a parking spot for 15 minutes – a lesson in patience for the kids. Once parked, they circumvented the Mill Ruins Park circular hill walk-way with a straight-up route and rolled down a few times before I made my way up to the top on the legitimate path.


Hunger was beginning to set in. We were in search of abelskievers, but landed on Italian coffee (for me) and Gluten-free pound cake for the kids. A live band played in the background. A bride had her photo taken against a dramatic red backdrop near SeaChange, a restaurant at the Guthrie. People found sunshine and a place to take in their Chef Shack snack on the steps leading down to the river.

Pied Piper Incapable of Entrancing Followers

Pied Piper Incapable of Entrancing Followers


Kudos to the Guthrie. There is no stuffiness or pretense. Any joe public can meander in and move about the building. We entered and started with the gift shop. Both kids decided how to spend all or a portion of the $20 they brought that day. Calvin bought a $5 recorder/flute. Ava opted to spend  nothing, although I purchased a birthday gift for her friend whose party she’d attend later that day. We took the elevator to the fifth floor and walked out on the Endless Bridge. Calvin happily played his new toy. Others agreed when I suggested to him that he tone it down. Ava sought out places beyond the Stone Arch that she wanted to explore. Not today, I told her.

This Could Really "Rock the Garden" at Our House

This Could Really “Rock the Garden” at Our House


We  took the four-floor escalator down then hopped in our car to our next destination: Wise Acre Eatery. I had a hunch it might be a bit of a wait. I set the kids’ expectations accordingly. Sure enough, it was 30 minutes. Tangletown Gardens, just next door, was the perfect distraction. I had done drive-bys, but had never stopped in. The shop, bursting with creativity and pushing the full garden ambiance, featured plants and flowers among decorative and practical garden display vignettes. We wound through walkways and stumbled into the greenhouse, which Calvin thought to be fascinating. Cactuses and arid climate arrangements in rock gardens caught his eye. Ava was more fixated on the birds and other garden sculpture displays.


Absolute Black Cherry Soda Craze

Absolute Black Cherry Soda Craze

It effectively staved off the hunger and got me thinking about gardening, which, since the summer of 2010, had been hard to do. Beep beep. Almost 12:30 and time to grab our patio table at Wise Acre. The vibe at the acres is so mellow. I could stay here for hours. We nearly do. There is no kids’ menu. They split the Back to Bed Baked French Toast which comes with yogurt, granola and berries and I go for the fried egg, cheddar and ham on a brioche with ground mustard over a side of greens. The kids are full of carbonation after their $3 black cherry sodas. Calvin has a $2 bill and a one weighted down under his glass for another in anticipation. That never comes to fruition, but Ava brings her empty bottle home as a souvenier.


The service is good, but nonchalant. Harley riders come and go. Fire Station #27 across the street sees some action. Avid gardeners wheel their plantings for the season away from Tangletown. It’s time to call it. We’re pushing a 3-hour outing, which doubles our optimal outing time from just two years ago when they were 4 and 6.


I have always sought out from others and thought about recommending comprehensive, realistic suggestions for an outing with kids. This route – from Mill Ruins Park to Mill City Farmer’s Market to The Guthrie to Wise Acre Eatery and Tangletown Gardens – kept the kids questioning and me exploring. I would highly recommend the venture to all Mom’s out there – Mother’s Weekend, or not.


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