Monday, March 24, 2008

Kitchen Capers

I'm so glad that I'm so easy going and that things don't get to me too often. We planned a pretty casual Easter dinner. Miles and I are not religious and don't celebrate Easter from a religious standpoint, but I really do believe in family traditions and building memories for our kids. One of those is to celebrate spring with the Easter bunny and a good ham and scalloped potato dinner. We didn't celebrate with Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Grammie and Grampie because we wanted a quieter day at home. I found a recipe for some really yummy looking lemon cupcakes, bought a spiral ham and some potatoes and cheese so I could scallop potatoes.

Right around morning snack time, the boys wanted to help Mommy make the cupcakes. I got out the recipe and got out the ingredients. The recipe called for 4 egg whites. First egg didn't make it, got too much yolk in the pan, so I dumped it out and started over. This should have been my first clue.

We poured all the ingredients into the mixer bowl and mixed up the cake batter. Boys helped lick the beaters (which is the whole point of making a cake, right?) Next we filled the muffin cups. I realized at that point that I only have enough pans to make 12 muffins. So, we get out a round cake pan and pour the rest into that. I guess I should mention that now the boys are spooning out cake batter from the muffins I had just filled.

The oven was ready, so we put our cupcakes and round cake in and set the timer for 21 minutes. I've learned to set our oven timer for a time about 5 minutes less than the low end of the scale that the cake recipe calls for. I can always put it back in if it's underdone, right?

When the timer goes off, I open the oven door, but the oven was off! The cakes were half baked. I'll use Cory and Tyler's favorite quote, "What happened, Mommy?" I think that Miles turned it off while he was wiping down the cabinets and setting up the pot to boil potatoes. But, he doesn't remember turning the oven off and even accused me of never even turning it on. But, the cakes were half baked, so we know it was on at one point. I guess either one of us could have turned it off absentmindedly and not remembered doing it. Three kids somehow does that to your brain. Anyway, I turned the oven back on and kept the cakes in.

About 20 minutes later, I check on the cakes and I guess they're done. They each have a big crater in the middle, but the tops are brown (a little browner than I would like) and the toothpick comes out clean. Out they come.

While the cakes are cooling, I get the ingredients out to make the cream cheese frosting. Yes, my mom did remind me that you can actually buy cream cheese frosting from the store and I could put a little bit of lemon flavoring in it to get the same effect, but I decided that I need to make the frosting. I can't remember the last time I actually made frosting from actual powdered sugar. I already had the cream cheese and butter out so they were soft. Dumped those into the mixer bowl and then measured the powdered sugar. I say measured, but I wasn't exactly sure how to measure the stuff. The recipe called for 16 ounces in weight and I had a 32 ounce bag. I couldn't just put 2 cups in, I don't think that would have been quite right, so I guess at half the bag.

I keep the mixer unplugged while I'm working because the boys like to turn knobs and move levers. It's just really safer that way. So, when I plugged the mixer in, it was already in high speed. I wish I could describe the scene at that very instant. Powdered sugar coated our kitchen (and me) from ceiling to floor and beyond. It was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing. Dad pitched in right away to clean up the sugar off the floor and countertops so the dogs and kids wouldn't spread it further. At least it was contained to the kitchen, my clothes and my hair.

Now we had to figure out how much more powdered sugar we would need to make the frosting to fill the craters in our cupcakes. We got that figured out and the frosting actually turned out quite good. I taste-tested a cupcake and it wasn't bad, but really not great. Very spongy and dry. Bummer.

After the cupcakes were done and placed neatly on a serving platter, I started the potatoes boiling so that we could get them done and go to the park before dinner. It was getting to be a nice day, even though we had snow and cold on Saturday. The rest of the cooking went without incident and I got the potatoes in the refrigerator so we could just pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes before dinner.

We went to the park.

When we got home to get dinner going, I looked at the directions for cooking the ham. The ham will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook. Bummer. I know that it's pre-cooked, so we really could eat it cold. I also realize that it is a huge ham for the 5 of us, so I really don't need to heat the whole thing. We decide to cut off enough for dinner and heat it in the microwave.

Dinner turned out great!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Decorating Eggs

In the spirit of spring and Easter...

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Our normally very sweet, very quiet, amiable little girl has turned into a little terror. I can't console her, she won't sleep, she won't eat, she doesn't want to be held, she doesn't want to play with her toys. I feel horrible, I can't seem to figure out how to make her feel better. I've been giving her infant Motrin every six hours and baby Orajel every four hours. It helps a little, but the poor girl is miserable. I peeked into her mouth (as much as she'd let me) and it looks like four of the suckers are coming in at the same time!

She's had 2 bottom teeth for awhile now. I was wondering how long it would take to get her next tooth, but I never dreamed she'd get them all at the same time. At least we can get it over with.

Last night she did finally go to sleep at 9PM and slept till about 1AM for a bottle, then went right back to sleep and slept till about 6. I just hope I can keep her comfortable so that she can at least get some sleep.

To make matters worse, this has been a horrible week for everyone. Miles is traveling, Grammie is sick, their daycare provider is sick, Amber is sick (on top of teething, had a 102.5 temp for the last 2 days. Seems to be better today, though). I had to take 2 days of vacation from work this week so that I can stay home with them. I love it and I also realize, again, how hard it can be. Everyone's napping now, so all is good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sleep - Again

Amber is still waking up at night. It's really not that bad. I make sure that I have the bottle and powdered formula pre-measured and ready to go when I go to bed at night. When she wakes up, I sleep walk to the bathroom, fill the bottle with warm water and poor in the formula. I sleep walk down to Amber's room, sit down with her and close my eyes. When she's done, I put her back in bed, she falls right back to sleep and I'm in bed and asleep 15-20 minutes later. It's really not that bad. Except she's 9 months old now. She sometimes sleeps through the night and I know she can do it.

By this time in Cory and Tyler's life, I let them cry it out. They were still sharing a room, but didn't seem to wake each other. Tyler cried more than Cory, but they both eventually slept through the night without getting another bottle. I've tried letting Amber cry it out a bit, but she gets SO LOUD she actually wakes up Tyler in the next room. And although she'll go right back to sleep after her wee morning bottle, Tyler will not go back to sleep unless I bring him into bed with us or sleep with him in his bed. That isn't a very pleasant option either.

What really has me bummed, is that she's only gotten up once a night since the day she was born. When she was 1 week old, she'd only wake up once. Now why are we STILL getting up with her after 9 months! The other crazy part is that the last few nights she's gotten up twice. We seem to be slipping backwards. I've read that they can slip at this age and to not worry that they will grow out of it pretty quickly, but ugh, it's killing me. I'm not very good at work when I'm tired. Miles actually got up with her during her second waking last night. She didn't take one sip of her bottle, but giggled and laughed and squirmed and just wanted to play. Sleep, my precious girl, sleep! We don't play in the middle of the night.

So, I keep hoping that she'll eventually start sleeping through the night consistently.
The Dr. has suggested to give her a bottle of water in the middle of the night if she wakes up. She'll eventually decide that it's not worth waking up for. Maybe I'll try that tonight, but I'm really afraid of the crying. Not the crying so much, but the waking Tyler part.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

I had so much fun writing down quotes from the boys, that I decided that, as long as I can, I'm going to include a list of wisdom on Wednesdays... Here's this week's list:
  • Hi Tyler, is there any room for me? [Cory wanted to sit in the moon car with Tyler]
  • Where's the convertible, Mommy?
  • What's up there Annie? [Asking the dog why she's looking up into the tree. Annie spends most of her day staring at the squirrels that run along our back fence and then up the tree.]
  • I've got it in the other hand so Amber can't reach it.
  • My birthday is in October.
  • Daddy has a pink shirt on. [Dad refuses to call it pink, but Cory nailed it.]
  • Look at these cute knees. [Tyler playing with Amber with only a onesie on.]
  • Santa's a boy.
  • Mommy's not a boy.
  • I'm a twin. [First time I've heard that acknowledged.]
  • Look at this truck. It has black wheels and green wheels.
  • It didn't snow last night. [Tyler looking out the window and noticing no snow on the ground. The day before, it had snowed and I pointed it out to him.]

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Weekend Full of Wisdom from Two Amazing Toddlers

Here is a list of quotes taken from C & T over the last weekend:
  • Mommy, you get 'em, Daddy won't get 'em, he's reading a book.
  • I think I'm done working Mommy.
  • This is heavy Mommy. [Mommy: Do you want me to carry it for you?] No, I don't. I'm very strong with this.
  • I'm checking this out.
  • The dogs can't lick the beaters because they don't have hands. Only boys have hands. Dogs have four legs. On the front and on the back.
  • Cars have wheels on the front and on the back... and some lights on the back.
  • Because I like this.
  • Because I was born in Texas. (Um, no you weren't...)
  • Because I was born in a hospital. (ok, yes, you were...)
  • [Daddy: What do you think about my bike?] I do think about it. A lot.
  • That's a big bite Daddy. (yes, it was!)
  • Daddy missed the fox.
  • Mommy can't say cooperation.
  • This is not a democracy.
  • Applesauce isn't for eating. [Mommy: It's not?] No, it's for lunch.
  • I'm teasing Bumpa.
  • I made Amber laugh.
  • I made Amber giggle.
  • There's a bumper on the front and on the back.
  • Okey, dokey.
  • Daddy didn't park very good.
  • I actually want a BIG pony. (my emphasis)
  • I did.
  • This isn't our street.
  • Go home.
  • Don't say that to me. (I can't remember the context on this one.)
  • These are pliers - then I pinch your nose.
  • Yes, it IS a cactus. (his emphasis)
  • It ran out of D volt batteries. (huh?!)
  • Thanks, I do want some of these. What are these called? (M&Ms)
  • I actually like these.
  • That's an air compressor.
  • That's a shop-vac.
  • I think it doesn't fit. I think it's too big.
  • We're out of gas. Bumpa had to get gas.
  • I'm situated.
  • I turned the vacuum cleaner on. (uh oh)
  • Don't worry, man.
  • This car can fit under my house.
  • There's a white chair in the house.
  • There's a corner for my nose. (about time out)
  • Bumpa and Grammie have a white truck. and a red truck too.
  • This car is too big for this hole.
  • Up and down on the track.
  • This is a Honda motorcycle.
  • Ha ha ha, we made the funny ghost laugh.
  • We can't break these tools.
  • I don't bang it hard, I bang it soft for you.
  • Let me spin this backwards.
  • Put it back together. (This one is a common one. Even when they shattered the back window on our truck...)
  • Will you change me? I have a poopy.
  • I want a cracker-cookie. (Girl Scout Thin Mints).
  • We need to eat 'em or Annie will get it.

I can hear them say all these things with the cutest little voices.