Tag Archives: baking

Confession: I was THAT mom

02987f44146962c00ea7c5e013d8a591These days I feel so far removed from the original I Could Cry Days of having no time. To breathe. To stop and think. To smell the peonies. Now life is more under control. The parenting that I do is more cerebral and my maternal obligations are pretty low stress.

Even after a long, crazy work day, I feel like I have time because I am not torturing myself with the things I think I should be doing. As a working mom, and a lover of crafts, I could not escape being ‘THAT mom’. The one that worked all day but still made party invitations to match my daughter’s dress. The one that made the halloween costumes. And HAD to iron the graduation gown. Who knew this was all way more important to me than it was to my kids?

I stumbled upon this post today. Aside from simply loving his voice, Scott Dannemiller, hit a nerve for me – many years later, but a nerve, just the same. A little excerpt that had me laughing outloud:

“As the man who is married to the person who reluctantly put googley eyes and a graduation cap on all the fruit cups, I feel I am qualified to offer this sage advice to the mothers of the world who do this kind of thing through gritted teeth out of a sense of obligation.

Stop it!

Oh, Scott, where were you when I was sitting at the kitchen table till 3AM icing upside down cupcakes to chocolate chip cookies and wrapping shoestring red licorice around them to make little cowboy hat desserts for the 4th grade class? (what the hell was the theme of that class party, anyway?) That photo above was not my cupcake… a little gumdrop and a potato chip on an Entenmanns could have saved me a hell of a lot of time, though. If only Pinterest existed back then!

The kicker of that episode was that I took the day off to attend the class party and no sooner had I put down the tray of treats, than my daughter looked at me with a green face and said, “I don’t feel so good.” We rushed to the office to see the nurse, only for her to puke across the office floor. (sorry to bring this one up, Jana)

Needless to say she was too busy being mortified to give two craps about my cowboy hat desserts.

If I had it to do over would I have done less of this? Probably not. The thing about being a working mom for me was to make sure I did all the stuff that I would have done if I didn’t work. Was it ridiculous? Of course.

But when have I ever claimed not to be ridiculous?

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Halloween cupcakes

Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t sleep. I would like to say it was because I love halloween and I was so excited, but really folks, women of a certain age just don’t sleep all that regularly.

Usually I would lie in bed and just chill, but yesterday I decided to get up and bake the Funfetti Halloween cupcakes instead, because… well, because if I did not bake them then I would have to wait a whole year. (Funfetti is sort of a religion in these parts)

As I was making coffee and taking on this ridiculous task for no apparent reason, I realized that was the whole point. I was baking Halloween Funfetti cupcakes at 5AM… because I didn’t HAVE to. For so very many years – as a working mom – I found myself baking some ridiculous confection in the wee hours of the morning (the cowboy hat cupcakes at 2AM when Jana was in 4th grade come to mind. btw, these are cool, involving a cookie, an upside down cupcake and string licorice). But now, I was doing it because I wanted to, not to prove that I could do it all.

As I waited for the timer to go off, I sat drinking a cup of coffee while the sun came up and the household began to stir and got more than a little nostalgic about Halloween with younger kids. I have never been one to pine away for the past stages of parenting; but yesterday morning, in the quite of my kitchen I could not help but remember the sweet chaos of those days. Did I fully appreciate them wile they were happening? I like to think so. But in reality I am sure they were tempered with the rushed obsession to make it all the perfect halloween for the kids and maybe I did not savor it as much as I should have.

I have this thing about the seasons; I wish we could have just one day of beautiful summer beach weather in the middle of the winter and one crisp snowy day in the middle of a heatwave in the summer. Just one day. That’s not asking too much. I feel the same way about parenting now. Yesterday morning, as I was sprinkling the ‘fetti’ on the top of those cupcakes, I wished for just one day with ‘Little Danny‘ and ‘Little Jana‘, as they like to refer to their childhood selves.

Even the year when the little guy insisted on being a cowboy and I stayed up all night making his costume for him to wake up on Halloween and tell me ‘I want to be a Ninja like Dougie’.

I suppose the imperfections of raising kids are what makes parenting so perfect.

(BTW, ‘Big Danny’, since I tortured your dad that we did not have enough candy, you and the boys will be the happy recipients of a big box of candy… watch the package room for it.)

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Putting the Fun in Funfetti

funfetti

Around these parts Funfetti cupcakes are the bomb. Pillsbury makes this mix with cool colored morsels in the cake mix and frosting. For as long as I can remember, my kids’ friends have been obsessed with Funfetti.

The week that my son came home from camp I made sure to make a batch when the boys came over. By some miracle there were still a few left over, so I left them in a container on the counter.

I arrived home the other day and noticed a piece of green note paper in with the cupcakes. The picture above is what I found. Similar to the famous initialed banana in my fruit bowl, these boys have a way of letting me know they were here.

There are times when 17-year-old boys can all but break your heart. This is one of them. Just when you thought that perhaps you were invisible, they make you realize that you are anything but.

I texted my son to tell Mark that I loved him too, and to let him know that these cupcakes were probably better 2 weeks ago when I baked them. (hopefully I did not poison the poor kid).

Thank you Mark C, for the sweet reminder that the little things do not go unnoticed.

(now, Pillsbury, let’s see how good your social media monitoring is)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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