Cake walk 2016

One of our favorite events in the school year occurred on Friday night: the Cake Walk. The Cake Walk supports the band. This year, we were required to donate a cake because Maria is in the band. I figured Kroger’s would profit from this requirement. However, Ri had decided a month ago that she was going to bake a cake. Any reason she has to bake, she takes.

Kroger’s did profit on us buying cake mix and a bunch of icing the night before the Walk. Ri came home after school on Friday and went to town with Morgan. She had a picture of the cake she wanted to make – it was white with a blue bobcat print for her school mascot. She sent me a text at 5 pm to show me the final product she was delivering to the high school gym. 

I was mighty impressed. The girl has got the knack for baking. 

The kids were begging to head to the Walk as soon as I got home at 5:30. We were one of the first ones to enter and I enjoyed the quiet before the storm. However, they did a good job setting it up this year in a way that you never felt sardined in the gym with a gazillion other parents. In year’s past, I got claustrophobic because it was so crowded. Neither kid wanted me anywhere near them after I paid their admission and gave them ticket money. So, I used that as an excuse to run home and walk my pup. 

I returned 30 minutes later and talked to a mom who was looking for her third-grade son so she could bolt for home. We laughed at how excited and nervous the kids got at this event – all over a little cake. But we laughed harder when I saw Mario pop up out of his chair and thought he won a cake! He hadn’t, and I was bummed. It’s not just the kids with the nervous energy. A cake is like $20 to me, especially a sheet cake. I had made it clear to the kids they better win something for mama!

Mario took a break to get a drink with me in the concession area (yes, he had run out of money). We found his friend Addison with her mom eating pizza. Mario whipped out about 15 tickets he won from playing games earlier and Addison ooohhhed and ahhhhed. I asked if they both wanted to try for a cake with me and Addison jumped at the opportunity. I believe Mario only tagged along to be with her. 

They say together at each walk and laughed. So cute. Addison even hooked Mario up with a few tickets when he ran out. 

Maria, on the other hand, was not messing around. She and her friend Evelyn wanted to leave with a cake. She had gotten all irritated with me because I said no to a sleepover earlier in the night so she had been pouting. But then she broke out of her doldrums after I told her for the tenth time that she was creating a bad time for herself while everyone else was having fun. Or maybe it was me telling her she could have a sleepover on Saturday night….

Whatever it was, I’m glad she stopped pouting because she won a cake at the last minute! And it was a sheet cake!   Mama was so charged! Mario tried up to the last walk but had no luck. He was ok though, because he had won a sweet Buckeyes basketball at the games. 

We left at 10 pm – long night for those cake walks. I tucked them both to bed and ran downstairs to enjoy Ri’s winnings.

Cake Walk 2014

Cake Walk 2014 kicked my butt. I don’t know if it was the opening and closing of the festivities or the loud band music and even louder kids, or the chocolate cake we devoured once home.
Maria went with her friend, Kathryn since she had a play date with her after school. This year she continued to step one foot closer to teenage-hood. She came to see Mario and me only a few times and it was only to ask for money and water. She hung out with one group of girls for a minute and then others the next. I likes seeing that.

Then she found our next door neighbor who is Grandview’s baton twirler and stood with her to try to learn how to twirl. She must have stood up there for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, I should have left at 8:30 to head up to the event with Mario because he would have never known what time it started. I gotta take advantage of his youth while I am able. And all he wanted to do was play the kids games and all I wanted to do was try to win a cake. Guess who won?



He played the golf game again and again. Then he moved onto the football game where the volunteer was absent. All the kindergarten boys were loving the freedom of that. Soon a volunteer showed up so we moved to the lollipop game. Such anxiety each time he pulled a sucker out to see if it had a blue tip or not. He moved to the treasure chest and scored these dandies.

Then we hit the baseball pitch. He was allowed to stand on the line closest to the catcher but refused. He wanted to stand where the older kids had to stand. And don’t you know he got a strike on his first pitch.

Ri kept trying to win a cake but to no avail. I finally got Mario to head down with me and try to win. After three more hole-in-one attempts, he finally followed.
There was Ri standing in line with Kathryn and Evie. She smiled when she saw me and waved (at least I still get that). Mario and I went to another line and danced to the music as the band played. The music stopped, we sat in our chairs and hoped. Unfortunately, our numbers weren’t called. Mario got livid last year when this happened but this year he brushed it off. We stayed for the band’s last tune and although we didn’t win a cake, we bought a sweet blue one in the form if a mustache that Kathryn and her mom had made. And we dug in at 10 pm when we finally got home.


Weekend Round-Up

Biking up to the Annual Cake Walk was bad luck. How were we going to carry a cake home if we won?

The Middle School gym was packed with no ability to avoid touching another human (Jon would have been very unhappy). I am usually ok in those situations for a brief period of time but then I reach a rapid breaking point and need out quick. There were the parents who loved every second of the event watching the crowd and chatting with other parents.  Then there were the seriously irked parents in the crowd silently bemoaning their children for making them endure such conditions. I was in-between.  This was the first year that I felt comfortable allowing Ri to leave my sight and run around by herself or with friends. And thank god I did because there was no way to let her walk ahead and still keep an eye on her. Ten feet ahead and she was in the masses. Mario wished he was Ri and could be on his own. He is so over having to be next to me and not run around on his own. Luckily, there was a toy/game area cordoned off upstairs so I could stand back and let him do his thing  (inevitably he’d run back to me though and say “Mom, come watch me play!” (he needs me more than he thinks)). Mario found Quinn and followed him everywhere. He’s got a complete boy crush on him. Ri hung with Sophie.

We failed on the cake front. Mario got so mad after our first loss that he pronounced “this is stupid, I’m never playing again!” Mario is intolerant of games of chance. He played a few more times and got irritated at losing every time.  Ri could have cared less; she was busy bragging about how Uncle Jack played in the band at the Cake Walk when he was in middle school. I love this picture of us: I was stunned because I almost won; Mario was mad because he didn’t; and Ri was zoning out due to a sugar overdose.


Saturday brought 40 degree weather which meant we were on our bikes and trolling the neighborhood. We hit Panera with Jon (Mario ate his entire ham sandwich – miracle!) and trekked over to our old digs to see if our bird’s nest was still up in the corner of the neighbor’s house. It was! But we found no mama sitting on eggs. Maria again lamented like she always does about the new owner not taking care of our old house. “He doesn’t care for it like we did. He doesn’t even plant flowers.” I’m worried if he ever comes outside, she may give him a piece of her mind. We stopped at Doris and Kim’s house to say hi but they weren’t home. The kids wanted a sad picture to send them so they’d know we missed them.

But then our always joyful Ri chirped “Now turn those frowns upside down, folks! Unfortunately, her stranglehold on Mario produced a greater frown.

Next, we hit Zach’s house. They were preparing for Grace’s birthday party so we helped fill the piñata and broke out SpongeBob tattoos (we know how to party). Zach let M&M ride his go-cart which thrilled Mario. He also played b-ball with him. Mario is gonna love making boy friends at Stevenson. Meanwhile, Ri threw on Zach’s football pads and completely played the role of linebacker.



We left Zach’s and headed up to Kroger’s for eggs. We had our Paas coloring kits already. The kids engaged in their annual egg coloring doing better this year than in any year past (usually there is at least one colored water spill). After coloring 20 eggs we called it a night. Ri read Martin Luther King Jr.’s book to us before bed.  The book contained his “I Have a Dream” speech. Mario paid no attention to which Ri scolded “you are never going to learn about history, Mario!”

We skipped out on the farm on Sunday due to the Winter Storm predicted for the day (ended up to be a false alarm with hardly any snow through the day – daggone meteorologists. Mario jumped on me at 7:30 in the morning begging to color more eggs. So there we were at 8 am coloring away.




Ri went to Yoga with me at 10am. She loves playing on the iPad and watching me sweat. She is at once in awe and disgusted. We came home and found Mario in heaven because he was playing with Quinn. Ri and I took off to Stauf’s for a scone and Uno and then picked up Sophie and Paxton to head to the woods. Nothin’ like a girl climbing a tree in cowgirl boots.


After climbing trees and playing in the shallow creek, we called it a day and went home. Quinn and Mario were playing mutant ninja turtles in the basement and eating peanut butter and Ri and Sophie took sleeping bags to her house to sleep outside in the snow.  When Quinn had to leave, Mario gave him a big hug and told him that they would play again tomorrow “because we’re best friends.” When Jon questioned Mario about Gio being his best friend, Mario told him “it’s complicated, dad, let’s not go there.”

We ended the night with a family card game of Three Little Pigs and Beat the Parents.  The kids demolished us.  We blamed it on being tired but I think it’s more likely a lack of sugar from no cake.