Mother’s Day 2018: Crafts, Gardens, and Toronto Playgrounds

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Mother’s Day Weekend 2018

Friday

Mother’s Day 2018 started out on an unpleasant note. A bad case of gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the stomach flu. One might say I’m a little scared of vomiting. I’ve only ever vomited a handful of times in my life and always at the hand of this cruel illness.

I wasn’t expecting to kick off Mother’s Day weekend breaking my decade long “no vomit” streak. Especially on a day that my husband couldn’t leave work early.

I had an energetic Elowyn on my hands all day as I ran back and forth from the washroom to the couch. I spent Friday mustering all my strength to stay awake as the fever sent me wave after wave of chills and fatigue. I will say this, time never moved so slowly. When would 5:00pm arrive and bring with it my husband? As soon as he came home, I retreated to get some much needed rest in the hope of regaining enough strength to salvage the rest of the weekend.

Saturday

Day two, although much better than Day one, came with its own set of challenges. Non-stop brutal nausea and cramps. I was still low energy but thankfully not bed-ridden. My husband encouraged me to come on a short adventure with him and Elowyn, promising the fresh air would do me good.

I was worried the urgent need for a bathroom would arise while we were out and about but intrigued to see what he had planned. I do love surprises.

Off we went! A short-drive from home brought us to a garden we had never visited before. Allan Gardens Conservatory is a huge garden-filled greenhouse housing tropical plants, fish, and turtles.

Dave was urging me to take lots of pictures of the beautiful blooms, and more than anything I wanted to, but the nausea was making it difficult for me to get into my typical outrageous “I need to get the perfect shot” positions.

So I handed him the camera and opted to be on Elowyn duty instead. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Watching her discover the animals and excitedly exclaim “fish, fishy, wow!” and then “turtle! mommy turtle, baby turtle, yea!” was therapeutic. Elowyn walked along the small pathways by herself and I really enjoyed seeing her traverse the wild tropical oasis, like a princess in her secret garden.

There’s a large playground just outside of the conservatory. As soon as Elowyn heard me say “park” she started with “slide, sliiiiide, swing, slide, yea?”. How could I say no?

The next surprise was a risky one for my uneasy tummy but sometimes it’s the thought that counts.

The very first surprise date Dave ever took me on was to a little cupcake shop. Thinking the non-stomach-flu-suffers could use a snack we went to CutiePie Cupcakes and got a selection of 12 mini cupcakes.

I felt too queasy to eat more than a tiny nibble of each but they were quite tasty. I’m glad I tried them! Lookout for my full-review coming soon.

When we arrived home I read my beautiful card from Elowyn and imagined her writing it without Daddy’s help one day in the near future. Next order of business was more rest! The big day was fast approaching and I hadn’t even finished writing in my mom’s card or wrapping her present.

Sunday

Mother’s Day! Our day began with a visit to a playground we hadn’t yet discovered in our own neighbourhood. June Rowlands Park features a beautiful playground, a large sand-play area and an outdoor music garden! We’ve already returned to the park since and I think Elowyn has found a new favourite playground. She loves to climb, and the smaller slide has a tree-trunk ladder perfect for young climbers. There’s also a splash-pad for when the weather gets warmer!

3 Generations

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It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that my mom is my best-friend. Not a day goes by that I don’t speak to her on the phone. No matter how busy I am, or if one of us is on vacation, we always manage a phone chat.

We reminisce on special memories, discuss current events, life philosophies, and of course share our stories of the day.

Elowyn adores her Yiayia and it’s amazing watching them play; we visit almost every day. When they make each other break out in genuine laughter I can’t help but feel tremendous joy. What better Mother’s Day gift could I ask for?

Top 3 Lessons Learned from My Mommy

  1. Find happiness in the little things in life and you’ll always feel fulfilled.
  2. Love yourself for who you are, true beauty comes from within.
  3. Your voice matters. Never be afraid to ask questions or to share your ideas.

What to Get a Mommy who Values the Simple Things in Life?

My mom has never been one for fancy clothes or spa days. She doesn’t enjoy going to get her nails done, I guess that’s where I get it from.. Even with food she’s particular.

My mom loves to cook a wide-range of dishes for her family but rarely eats them herself.

You know that one dish that you could go for no matter what time of the day? Believe it or not, for my mom that dish is Sunny-Side Up Eggs. So this year we got her a special non-stick pan and organic free-range eggs. She definitely wasn’t expecting it!

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We did have a few other surprises for her! A musical and light up card that I had purchased weeks ago while my mom was actually still on vacation in Greece. Elowyn has since been on a mission to find this card and play with it every day. Luckily the card made it with enough battery power to wow my mom. It plays “Happy” when you open it and was addressed to Queen of the Moms. Very fitting for my mom who has four children, 10 grandchildren, and two daughters who have become mothers.

The Grand Finale

A #1 Super Mommy Award! I made the medal by repurposing a circular picture frame. She loved it, something new to wear every year on Mother’s Day.

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After a lovely BBQ we enjoyed the cake Elowyn picked out for her Yiayia. An epic carrot cake from Phipps Bakery. If you haven’t tried a cake from Phipps you’re missing out Torontonians!

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The carrot cake was moist, well-spiced, and the icing was rich but not too sweet. It was topped with candied spiced walnuts. Perhaps not what you think of as a summery dessert, but carrot cake was the first dessert I learned to bake on my own with my mom’s encouragement. She tried a lot of carrot cake flops before I got the hang of it! Carrot cake has a special place in our hearts and Phipps definitely did not disappoint.

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After dinner we went to a park and trail we frequent in my mom’s neighbourhood, Edwards Gardens. It’s a gorgeous garden with plenty of Spring blooms and trails to enjoy. We had a very relaxing walk, the perfect ending to a lovely and memorable Mother’s Day weekend.

Thank You Mommy

I’m thankful to have been raised by a strong, wise, caring and incredibly loving mother. I’m grateful for the amazing childhood I had and for the valuable lessons I learned from my parents.

My mom had such creative ways of nurturing my imagination (on a tight budget). She wore many hats.

She was my chief officer when I was the captain of my cardboard box boat. The voice of reason when I wanted to keep the butterflies, I had caught with my mini net, as pets. The chef who gave me the keys to her kitchen. The architect that let me rearrange her castle with pillow and blanket forts. The audience to my one child skits and concerts. Not just my mom, my best-friend.

I grew up knowing that for me there would be no greater joy than joining the Super Mom Club. I’m so lucky that my dream came true. Elowyn has enriched my life more than I ever could have imagined. Motherhood is a blessing. I plan to make the most of it by seizing the day and appreciating the little things in life like spring blooms, heart-felt crafts, and moist carrot cake. And teaching Elowyn to do the same!

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Sofia Martimianakis

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Kat says:

    That’s so precious!! The mommy-daughter bond is like nothing else, I’m so glad you’ve found that with Elowyn!! ❤

    Like

  2. David says:

    Sofia you are an amazing mother! I’m so proud of you!

    Like

  3. Krystalia Hatzinakos says:

    Happy mother’s day! Sounds like you had fun!

    Like

  4. Krystalia Hatzinakos says:

    Also where is that Chamblain guy? He seems so loyal!

    Like

  5. rothpoetry says:

    I love all of your Mother’s day adventures! Sounds like a really great time for all!
    Dwight

    Like

  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. 💕

    Like

  7. Amazingly beautiful pics….the treasure trove…..

    Like

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