Mother’s Day Sheet Cake


Maria knows her mother very, very well. She knows her mom does not want jewelry for Mother’s Day. Or flowers. Or heaven forbid, dinner at a fancy restaurant. No, she knows her mom salivates and gets giddy over sheet cake, especially sheet cake from Giant Eagle. So, she asked Jon to take her on Friday night, before he left for England, to Giant Eagle so she could order a cake for her sweet-toothed mama.
She took two pictures – one of her as a baby and one of Mario. She asked that they print them on the cake. When they asked the size, she said “the biggest one.” So Jon agreed to a half sheet cake that serves 35-40 people. Yeah, that’s what I need. Ri made up some excuse about why we needed to pick up the cake on Saturday (for her school function) so I wouldn’t know it was for me.
Saturday rolled around and for some crazy reason I thought having my niece and nephew over as well as two neighbor boys would be a good idea (I always have these bright ideas when Jon is away). I worked in the yard while the kids played and all was good. But 5:00 pm rolled around and Ri came screaming “we have to get the cake I ordered mom!” So we piled in all 6 kids (thank god Jon left his truck) and took off for Giant Eagle. They were screaming at people out the window and singing songs and having a whooping good time up to Giant Eagle. When we got out of the truck, I put on my stern face and told them they had “to act right” in the store (I also bribed them with a donut if they were good). We hit the card section first to find mother’s day cards. The girls picked out sentimental ones dripping with love and flowers. The boys picked up a birthday card that contained boobs jiggling back and forth when you opened it. Lovely.
I quickly moved them over to the bakery and got the cake. Then we walked over to the park. There were puddles galore due to the rain all morning. I should have seen trouble coming. Gio soaked himself and kicked water on Mario. You know how Mario gets when he gets wet outside of his control. Pissed. He splashed back and it was war. But it turned into a hysterical war with the boys laughing and playing and squeezing mud in their palms. The small delights of being a kid. Not caring about getting muddy and dirty and soaked. But after a while, I started to fret that my lax parenting style may not be the same as my brother-in-law’s or my neighbor’s so I rounded up the crew and we headed back to the car. They hooted and howled and I tried to stay calm but the nerves were frazzling a bit after I took them to Walgreens to pick up pictures. Why do I try to run 5 errands with six kids?! We made it to the truck without me hitting or screaming at anyone – in fact, they had me in stitches with the shirts Ri and Alana created.

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We gathered everyone in the car, buckled up, and headed to Wendy’s for kids’ meals. On the way, some guy pulled out in front of me and I braked hard. I heard a loud scream in the back. And then a wailing. Ri’s hand slammed on the cake box and caused her baby head to split in half. She was hysterical. I pulled into Wendy’s and took a look. Yep, her body was split in two. I tried to joke about it but she was devastated. “This was supposed to be a perfect cake for you, mom!” So, we got Wendy’s and headed back to Giant Eagle to beg for a re-do. I reached in to get the cake and written all over the box was “I’m sorry I ruined your cake Mom.” This was your surprise and I wanted to see you smile.” Frown faces decorated the box everywhere. Well, after tracking down the manager, Giant Eagle could do nothing else but make another cake after reading Ri’s words to me. I went back to the truck and let Ri know a new one would be made for pick-up on Sunday and she clapped in delight. By the time we got home it was close to 8 pm. We ate, took baths and showers, played, and took Gio and Alana home at 9:45. Of course, we had to play with their new hamsters for a while so we arrived back home at 10:30 pm. Ri was fast asleep but Mario was wide awake. He finally crashed at 11 along side me at 11:01.
Ri woke at 6:50 am on Sunday and begged Mario to go downstairs with her to make me breakfast. I begged her to sleep a bit longer but she was way too excited about making me breakfast. So, alas, there they were downstairs at 7 am making eggs and toast and sending Rocco upstairs to wish me a good morning by jumping right on my stomach and sitting on my neck. Happy Mom’s Day!
Ri cooked my eggs over medium – yes, she fried them on the stove without me knowing – and microwaved bread since she couldn’t work the toaster. She confirmed she let Mario no where near the stove. The eggs were perfectly fried like the cooks used to make at Perkins. We played Scavenger Hunt after breakfast (their favorite board game) and then I convinced them to walk to Stauf’s for coffee and bagels. We took the Flintstone game cards and I whooped on them the first game.
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Grandma Ionno met us at Stauf’s. She brought her French vanilla hot tea bag with her so she was a cheap date just asking for hot water. She loves that tea! Her Mother’s Day gift to me was lottery cards (my addiction) and to take the kids a few hours so I could get a massage. The best gift someone could give me after my weekend. I went to Yi’s Relaxation Station and got pounded on for 45 minutes. Heaven. I came home to find Grandma and the kids standing next to a pile of junk on the sidewalk. Mario was asking to bring home a chair and Ri wanted a lamp. Grandview had its annual city-wide garage sale on Saturday and everyone puts out their junk out on Sunday. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and boy if Mario doesn’t live that saying to the fullest. He can’t resist anything he sees. He found a green vase at one house and questioned “why would anyone give this away? I could get $20 for it! They must be rich. Can I take it home and try to sell it?” Pathetic, that kid is ridiculous about money.
Patty left around 4 pm and the kids and I went to Giant Eagle to get my cake. It was the most beautiful creation ever!
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Ri was so excited to get it for me. She is like me with how she really thinks through gifts for people. She knows how I love my sheet cake and my kiddos.
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We brought it home and cut the first of many pieces. We decided to wait to cut through any bodies or heads until later. I wanted to cherish the pictures as long as I could. After cake, I read them a book and rubbed their backs and told them that I couldn’t ask for more awesome kids. Then I snuck downstairs and ate one more piece of heaven…with ice cream.
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