Spring Thoughts: Baby Birthday Parties, 2000’s Fashion, Chipotle Quesadilla Rant

I want to write, but I’m not sure what to share here lately.

Having been pregnant or a new parent during the pandemic, we haven’t traveled. And now that we have a toddler, we haven’t gone out to eat often. With the COVID surges and such, we mostly ordered take-out. We’re slowly venturing out more often. It feels good.

I’ve thought about writing more chapters of my book. A lot of the stories don’t seem right to share here, but gosh darn it, they’re pretty amusing.

I don’t think I’m destined to become the mom blogger I’ve always loathed. Mostly because I feel very strongly about parents blasting photos of their children all over the internet their permission – sure, a five year old can verbally “consent,” but is it actually informed? I think not.

Struggling with infertility for so many years, I feel an obligation not to be hurtful, even though I’m sure I fail a lot. I don’t mean to come across as one of the people who crossed the bridge to parenthood and never looked back at the people who are still hurting. New parenthood feels all-consuming. Until everyone’s sleeping better, it’s so hard to see past the haze.

Today I don’t have a really focused post today, I just want to talk about things that have been on my mind lately:

Little Kids’ Birthday Parties

I used to think over-the-top little kids birthday parties were annoying. “Silly parents,” I used to think as I shook my head at the overstimulated child who would inevitably melt-down. “Smash birthday cakes, how silly.”

Now I get it. Planning my daughter’s first birthday party was a joy.

Especially, ordering the cake. That was mostly for me. The rest of the party could be ok, but, by god my daughter would have a really fantastic cake.

Queen of Cakes created a custom Llama Llama Red Pajama cake even included a little detailed smash cake. Baby cautiously poked the cake and spit out the frosting before eating more cheese. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it – the cake itself was very moist.

I also enjoyed planning the baked potato bar of my dreams – I knew it was a success when the other Minnehaha Academy graduate said it reminded them of our school lunch baked potato bar.

Baked potatoes (I threw in some baked sweet potatoes too), chili, bubbling cauldron of queso, diced ham, onion, sour cream, broccoli, bacon, and shredded cheddar for those who preferred.

I know the baby will never remember this and became overstimulated in the end – but someday, hopefully she will see in the photos the love we put into the details and a lot of people who loved her.

2000’s fashion
I was a middle schooler in the 90’s – my mom shook her head and laughed as I pined after chartreuse colored things, yellow smiley faces, jewelry with little green alien faces, jeans that flared like bell bottoms, ying-yangs tops, peace signs.  “Everything cycles back into style.”

Now I’m old enough to see this happen.

I love the 90’s renaissance. Most of us do. Seeing trendy influencers wearing the mom jeans, though, is hilarious.

In my mind, the Delia’s/Dawson’s Creek/Reality Bytes aesthetic never went out of style. I’m still chasing that perfect white t-shirt to wear under a spaghetti strap top. And you’ll have to pry lip gloss out of my cold dead hands

People of my age are old and wise enough to dread the early 2000’s fashion renaissance. Even WE know it was bad.

The frosty lips and eyes. Those little lacy silky camis. The extremely layered hair flared out at the ends. Bra strap headbands, wearing scarves as belts, scarves and headbands, ties as scarves, tiny thin scarves as scarves. . .

AND DEAR GOD THE LOW RISE JEANS. I hope those stay deceased. Whoever bring those back deserves to wear them.

Caribou and Starbucks
Say what you will about these coffee chains – of COURSE I want to support local coffee shops, but there are none located near our house, daycare, or work prior to 8 am when I need them the most. I’m usually partial to Starbucks, but there are Caribou’s located near work and daycare.

My favorite coffee drink at Caribou is an iced Campfire Mocha with half the pumps of dark chocolate and marshmallow with oat milk. My mother-in-law’s favorite drink is now also my favorite – sparkling green tea lemonade with 1/2 shot of raspberry.

Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla Rant
The Chipotle chicken quesadilla is maddening.

First, it’s only available via online order.

Second, it’s really tiny. The employees claim it’s the same amount of chicken and tortilla, but that it’s folded differently. This may be true, but perception matters and what I’m seeing is two tiny triangle slivers of quesadilla.

Third, it’s MORE expensive than a burrito, tacos, or burrito bowl.

Fourth, they make you pick three sides. But rice and beans are treated the same as a salsa or sour cream. And some reason you can’t choose lettuce.

So in summary, this dang quesadilla is tiny and more expensive than the other menu items, but instead of just giving you more quesadilla you have to pick three whole sides to go along with your tiny quesadilla. And what’s even more maddening is that it’s so good, so there really is no other way to have it.



  1. katie

    I haven’t had the quesadilla yet, but I’m pretty sure its online only just so that they keep their flow in the work chain somewhat smooth. I love that I can now again get an eyeshadow pencil with glimmer just like I did in middle school when it was the only makeup my mom allowed. I can somewhat understand your mom blogger fears, and think it is totally a personal call on what to share and when to share it. Live streaming the cake smash might be a step too far, but then again if some of the grandparents live out of state and its the easiest way to share…who am I to judge? (not that you did that, but just an example). I’m going to have to try that quesadilla next time I’m ordering chipotle.

    • Jeni

      that’s what i’ve heard too – it took too long to make them when people ordered in stores. they have special ovens for them now. i can see wanting to be creative sharing the kids’ experiences with people a far!

  2. Cathy

    I was in Kohl’s the other day, and low rise jeans and crop tops appear to be back. I hated them last time around and am really not pleased to see them back again.

    • Jeni

      noooo – they were so uncomfortable.

  3. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    I just love reading your posts because it’s like catching up with you in person. The cake is everything for me at a kids birthday party too. My kids love designing their cakes each year. And to solve your quesadilla conundrum, I recommend going to Pancheros.

    • Jeni

      I love seeing your kids’ cakes each year! Thx for the Pancheros rec!

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