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The Sweet Life

An Apple (Cake Pop) for the Teacher, a Xanax for the Mommy of a First-time Kindergartener


I'm freaking out, I'll admit it.  I wasn't expecting to feel this way but school is three days away and I feel anxious, wistful, nostalgic, sad...I could go on but you get the picture.  My oldest, my five-year old is starting kindergarten on Tuesday and I'm really freaking out. We're ready, forms are filled out, supplies purchased and labeled, his wardrobe is updated...well I threw out the torn and stained clothes if that counts, yes...all the preparation is complete except his haircut which he'll get tomorrow.  

We went to orientation yesterday and since I never went to elementary school in this country, much of what I saw was new to me. I had no idea they eat in a cafeteria where you can purchase lunch, at five years old, really?!  Their school day starts at 9 and goes until 3:40, the bus arrives at 8:18 and drops him off at 4:09, sooooo long for a five-year old. And then there is the fact that so many children are held back and start kindergarten at six, so I'm worried that my son is not going to have the maturity of some of the others. I hope they consider that when placing them in classes...Tuesday is right around the corner and I'm SERIOUSLY freaking out!applepop

How does he feel? He wasn’t excited until orientation and then, whoa! I was amazed at how independent he was, running to see old friends from the neighborhood who will now be his classmates and asking teachers all kinds of questions. He was thrilled to discover he can check anything he wants out of the library…without a card. That’s my son, the bookworm! They separated the children when the parents met with the teacher, he walked off as cool as could be and he came back exuberant about school and the possibilities it contains.  

He is SO excited to ride the school bus. We agreed to a box lunch four days a week and he gets to buy his lunch on Fridays. He is over the moon about his backpack, which features dinosaurs and reptiles. I let him pick it out and then put whatever he wanted on it. He walks around the house wearing the empty backpack and a big smile, it's adorable. I’m putting on a very happy face for my son, I know it’s important that I do that but inside (did I mention) I’m freaking out?!


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Chaos or Celebration? You decide!


Mid-morning fire crackers, a drummer atop a vehicle in a major downtown city, the same vehicle blasting music as it moves forward with cameras galore snapping from the front and rear of the moving SUV, a horse dressed in regal attire bearing a princely young man, tons of people dancing on the street, and a helicopter camera hovering above the chaos…or celebration. What is this event you ask? An Indian wedding! If you have never been to one, it is something to behold.


My small part in this magnificent event was to make the cake. It was a task I was so excited about, my very first wedding cake. Of course I can do it, I told the bride…not a problem in the least. Well, that was before I was given the specifics. The bride wanted to match the color to her outfit, she called it coral but it was not orange, not red and not pink. That was the first stressor. When I mulled over it and sat down to mix the color, it came together very quickly, I was so thankful. I posted on cake blogs asking for advice. Most cake decorators advised me “DON’T DO IT!” This is not the type of cake that you work on for a wedding, especially not your first one. That scared me a little but not enough to stop.

I spent lots of time working on the cake details. It involved so many firsts…the use of scrolls and molds, the structure I built at Home Depot, the fact that upon assembling the cake, the day before the wedding I realized that it would not fit in my car. Oh yes, this one was one I will not soon forget. My beloved husband and brother drove through traffic to trade cars so that I could use my brother’s minivan. By the way, have I mentioned that I have fought the idea of a minivan at every step, only to realize its many merits? Not enough to buy one YET but I definitely appreciate its functionality.


ANYWAY, I worked hours and hours on this cake. My children had their own fondant balls, mats and rolling pins so that we could work together. They molded animals while I worked on scrolls. It was an undertaking that required many early mornings and late nights. But last night the wedding took place and it all came to fruition.   It was a lot of fun watching people crowding around the cake and taking pictures, but more that they enjoyed eating it. I made flavors that appealed to the Indian wedding crowd…Cardamom, Coconut and of course Chocolate, the universal palate pleaser! It was a wedding to remember, dancing in the streets of Philadelphia where they even set off fireworks, a magazine about the couple (when did they start doing THAT at weddings?), amazing food, plenty of alcohol and floor thumping music, oh… and a really cool wedding cake!wedding9

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Book Clubs (and Cake) are Good for the Soul - Part 2

I joined my current book club with Heather, a friend and neighbor who has children the same age as mine. We decided that book club would allow for a regular night out and discussion of topics other than exhaustion, play dates and when to stop night-time pull-ups. We attend as often as we can, depending on our husbands' schedules. Last week I woke up at 5 a.m. every morning to work on various graduation cakes and cookies, including the book cake.uva grad

When Heather called, I told her that although I finished the current book, A Paris Wife, there was no way I could stay awake to discuss it. She insisted that not going was out of the question. She had been wearing a robe over her dress for an hour so the kids would not realize she was planning to make an exit.

With the promise of a glass of wine, a short meeting and a ride, she managed to get me out the door, not knowing that the robe was what really made me realize how desperately she needed that time out. It was fun, and we enjoyed being away from the kids for just a little while.

Books will give you that escape!

And by the way, while I certainly don't recommend Riot for any of your kids, do try Enid Blyton with them!

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Book Clubs (and Cake) are Good for the Soul (Part 1)

Graduation proved to be a busy week for even a novice baking professional like myself.  I was tasked with several orders, the most challenging of which was a book cake.  But having always loved books, it was a welcome challenge.

Those of you who love to read know how exciting it is to delve into a book and become absorbed for days in a story that gives a glimpse into another world. I remember sneaking Enid Blyton's (a popular Bristish children's author back in the day) books under the covers as a young girl and reading for hours with the flashlight when I ought to have been asleep.

A love for reading is one of the things that I was excited to share when I met my husband. I was in a book club at the time, one where we read books by South Asian authors. It was a burgeoning genre and I found it exhilarating to read and discuss these books with other Indian friends.

My husband was curious about what these monthly meetings were all about. I impressed upon him that it was a very intellectual group, educated at MIT, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon and the likes.  People with diverse opinions, I told him, who shared a common South Asian upbringing which made for interesting discussions.

On the particular night I brought my husband along, we were having dinner and the discussion at a lovely home in an outdoor setting.  The book was about India's independence and aptly titled Riot. There was one racy scene, which bore little relevance to the plot but it was so scandalous that it merited discussion. Some discussion...not the entire meeting!

However, one book club member decided that in the interest of not offending neighbors who might overhear the discussion, we should refer to the scandalous sex scene as Café Latte; thus we could keep any offensive rhetoric to a minimum.  Of course my homilies about how much I love to read and how intelligent my fellow book club members were did not have much of an affect after my husband witnessed us in action that night!

We must have heard, said and laughed about the Café Latte incident no less than two dozen times.  It was hilarious. Certainly not the thought-provoking discussion we usually had, but it was funny. To this day, my husband jokes about the night we discussed Café Latte and we laugh about it. Even now, I try to convince him that the meeting he attended was an anomaly.

That particular book club meeting was many years ago but it still amuses me to think about it and making this cake reminded me of the intelligent, insightful group people who filled that year with stories, entertainment and Café Latte!



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Preschool Graduation

At the risk of sounding atypical, I hate to admit it but I've always thought that too much is made of graduation in this country.  It's a milestone; that, I realize.  But I grew up without the tradition of big graduation parties and instead was taught that education is a privilege and that those who go to school are fortunate for the opportunity.  

Rishi Fred Parent

You can imagine my surprise then , back in my pre-kids life, when I heard from friends that their offspring were "graduating" from elementary school, middle school, even preschool!  I (secretly) laughed at these doting parents who purchased new clothes and gifts for the occasions they considered so momentous, and documented everything with photos. Lots and lots of photos!

As for me: when I moved to the United States in the midst of my freshman year in high school, I was just a few years away from a big milestone: high school graduation.  That was when my parents imparted their philosophy that school is a privilege and a luxury.  The celebration is intrinsic in being lucky enough to attend.  Needless to say, I wasn't quite as excited as my peers to graduate from high school and then from college,  and then with a master's and finally, after a few years off, a doctoral degree.  (Well the doctorate was exciting I have to admit, at that point I was fully assimilated and of the mentality that I just graduated and I damn well deserved a celebration, which I got!).

While my parents lecture about how lucky I was to go to school rings true especially in light of so many children around the world who do not share that privilege, the fact that my son graduates from preschool has changed my outlook about celebrating.  

Laugh at me all you will, especially if you don't have kids, but I have been converted.  A friend who has a daughter at the same preschool signed me up to make the graduation cake for the ceremony and let me tell you, I am making a fabulous cake for my son who is SO excited about his big day.   He keeps reminding us about what an important day it is and that all of his friends and teachers will be there.  As his mom, I realize that next year he'll ride on a school bus and be away from me from me for most of the day, and it hits me: wow, this really is a milestone, preschool graduation.  I'm going to celebrate it in a momentous fashion with my beautiful boy!

Grad Cake

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About Ameeta

Moms of the world...we're in the kitchen all the time so why not make it fun...RIGHT?! After working in the field of higher education for over a decade, I decided to stay home. Being here is wonderful (sometimes!). BUT, I love the invaluable (read crazy but good) moments with my children. One thing I miss about work is having a creative outlet. Decorating cakes and cookies gives me that focus for my creativity. It's therapeutic to work on cakes, cookies and the like. As you will understand, with two young children, lots of therapy is necessary! Hence I've been baking more and more....and in my blog I'll be sharing my culinary adventures with you with a side serving of raising my two kids! For pictures and information about my confections, please visit my site at



Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.


The opinions and/or views expressed on this blog represent the thoughts of individual blogger and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine or any of its employees or staff.