Monday, November 29, 2010

What is a Texas Sheetcake?

(This is a special entry for Bonnie)

I could just tell you it's a big chocolate cake made on a jelly roll pan.  But that's boring and doesn't really make it sound as delicious as it is.  So I decided to Google it and find you a better explanation.  And I did!  In the process, I stumbled across an incredible food/photography blog called Homesick Texan.

Click on her link and you'll go straight to her entry all about her family's Texas Sheetcake tradition, her mouth-watering photos of her own recipe, and of course, the recipe.  I was going to give you my Texas Sheetcake recipe but there's no way I'll do that now!  I'm going home and baking hers!

Best of all, I'm excited to have stumbled across a great new blog to add to my bloglist.  Anyone know of any good ones you don't see on my list?  Of course I love multiples moms' blogs, but what are your favorites, readers?

I don't have a photo of the kids eating Texas sheetcake, but I do have today's post-nap-Yo-Gabba-Gabba-Teddy-Grahams-at-Grandmas-house-pic.

It's not Texas sheetcake, but it's still good!

In other news, my grandma has successfully taught me the double-crochet stitch and how to crochet in the round, so I've finished my striped scarf, hubs' sushi-scarf, and I'm working on Santa hats for the boys.  Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to let everyone else change the babies and practice my stitches.  After I put the boys to bed at my mom's, I crochet while listening to my parents' nightly debate between the Hallmark and Discovery channels.  "I never pictured you as a CROTCH-et-er," my dad tells me.

"No?  What did you picture me as?" I ask.

"I don't know, but not a CROTCH-et-er.  Don't make me a scarf, I'm not a scarf guy."


"Okay, Dad," I say, not that I was entertaining that thought, anyhow.  "What would you like instead?" 


"How about some golf club covers?"

Uh, okay, Dad.  I'll see what I can do about that.  In the meantime, how about some Texas Sheetcake?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey, Pie, and Other Things I Love

It's Saturday night and I've finally emerged from my pie-induced coma to report on our Butterball Turkeys' Thanksgiving.

Boy o boy, do we have fun at the holidays now that we have the boys!  Wednesday night was my grandfather's 81st birthday party.  I tried to get the boys to carry the gift bag to him, but they wound up taking each piece of "retro" candy out of the bag and running across the room to give them to him one at a time!  They gave him Zagnuts and old-fashioned root beer barrels, among others.  The best part was when Grandpa told me the next day, "Those candies the boys gave me I haven't seen in years!"  It made me smile because, yeah, Grandpa, that was the idea!

Thursday was the big day and we spent the morning getting ready at my mom's.  Okay, that's not exactly the truth.  The truth is, the big train table, two cozy coupes and car racing track in the basement took up most of the morning.  We carried them out the door to the cries of  "choo-choo! Choo-choo!"  Fortunately, there were more trains at my mother-in-laws!

 One of N's favorite things is to open and close the microwave or freezer door, and his Uncle A indulged his every whim. Knock yourself out!
 The boys just couldn't wait for everyone to get there, so Hubs and I fed them some sweet potatoes and green bean casserole before the meal.  For the second year in a row, they slept through the turkey, but I'm okay with that because it means they're napping.

M and Daddy read a noisy book between naptime and pietime.  Dessert is serious business at my in-laws'...very serious.  There were 5 peanut butter pies, 2 lemon merengue pies, 1 Texas sheetcake, 1 banana cake, and one spice bundt cake!  I was able to restrain myself somewhat because I knew what was waiting for me at my mom's; my grandma's pumpkin and custard pie. 

This reminds me of a song I heard on the kiddie music channel 930 on Charter.  I can't remember the artist, but I do remember the words:

I love pie
I love pie
I love pie
I love pie
Chocolate pie! 
Strawberry pie!
Pumpkin pie!

Thanksgiving is always a festive holiday for Hubs, myself, and now the boys because we are quite literally surrounded by the people we love the most...and turkey...and lots of pie.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving To All

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! May it be filled with love, food and time to reflect on how blessed we all have been and will be.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do You Know The Muffin Man?

The Muffin Man

The Muffin Man
Do you know the muffin man

Who lives on Drury Lane?
The one doesn't actually live on Drury Lane, but he lives right here in my house!  N was not at all interested in baking the bread (wait a minute, that's a different story) muffins, but M loved it and wanted to help with every part.  He was unhappy that I did the "oven" part without him. 

Muffin-baking, couch cushion tumbling, "beach-party" home-movie themed evenings, and removing stuff from drawers is what we've been up to since the weather turned icky.  It's sunny today and looks beautiful but it's a finger-numbing 14 degrees out there right now. 

I wonder what the temp is on Drury Lane? 

Probably 350.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Omen

8 am Monday dentist appointments are a scary way to start the week, especially weeks that have air travel and snow in the forecast.  Especially after my dear sis started last week with a 9am root canal! 

However, God is gracious to me and, despite the insane teeth x-rays and slick roads, I have NO CAVITIES. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just Checking In...

I know you haven't heard from me lately...I was flying solo with the boys this week and wrapped up in all things toddler, then I had to make Hubs come home from work because I was so sick yesterday! 

I'm back in the land of the living today, and the four of us visited the library to "read" to a therapy dog!  Which was quite a hoot!  M was so excited, making his "wooh! wooh!" sound, hardly able to wait his turn to attack pet the dog!  Everyone in earshot was laughing, except the little girl who really was trying to read to the dog!  Either way, it was a fun way to spend a chilly Saturday morning.  We're off to have another adventure this evening before the freezing rain keeps us in all day tomorrow.  I'll have pictures soon!

Oh, and I'm making progress on my first crochet project - a scarf that only its mother could love!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let it Snow

because there is one great thing about paying homeowner's association fees in our townhouse: plowing!  And now that I have two boys, it's also: entertainment!  As with our Friday morning garbage collection, the snowplow elicits "oohs" and "aaahs" and excitement from my little fellas, and better than the garbage truck, it lasts for several minutes!

Snow is much more fun from in here.
That's so amazing!

Monday, November 15, 2010

MN Children's Museum

I finally snagged the library pass to the Minnesota Children's Museum!  Lest you think that's so simple, I dare you to get it!  With our free admission in hand, the four of us trekked up to St. Paul yesterday to explore the awesomeness of the Children's Museum.

We were not disappointed!  It was a kiddie dream come true.  I said to Hubs that if the kids were older, this would be the perfect place to spend an entire day totally entertained.

"Habitot" was an exhibit specially designed for 6-48 month-olds, where we began.  There were different "habitats" for the kids to explore, things to climb and slide, flowers to spin and "pick," bridges to cross, and chimes to sound - for starters.  The guys were running like the wind, so yes, these are the best of the shots we took!
N spins the sunflowers

M climbs up the net

M gets a push down the slide

N giggles down on his tummy

A great shot of N's curls

N learns about animals
N struts his stuff on the Habitots bridge
N sounds the chimes in Habitots
There were several other rooms we checked out, but were geared for older kids, so we didn't spend much time in them.  For the record, I give "Earth World" a big thumbs-down, as it contains a GIANT anthill designed for kids to (literally) crawl through, searching for their "queen."  This might be a gas for a 60-pound 10 year old, but not so much for an, ahem, bigger person, crawling after her 17-month old who is RUNNING through the tunnels.  How did this thing pass fire safety codes?!

So we ventured into Water Works, which easily tied Habitots as the coolest place in the Museum.
There was a "Tiny Tots" water table where the kids were supposed to put ping-pong balls into the tubes and watch them go through as the water moved them.  The boys were mesmerized: I think we could have stayed there for hours!
My two little scientists!



N loads up the tubes





M is concentrating hard!

There it goes!
We finished our fun family day with pizza at Cossetta's, the best Italian restaurant and market in the area.  Since it's just a block or two from United Hospital, Hubs ate a lot of Cossetta's the week I was hospitalized after giving birth.  It's a great fun old place to visit!  The boys gobbled up the pizza, of course, and then zonked out on the way home:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snow Babies

Most kids in our area are thrilled with the foot of snow we're receiving today.  Are ours?  You tell me:
Where's my caaa?


Hey, it's kinda cold out here.
This is cold and I can't find me my caaa!
Okay, 5 minutes is enough.  Let's go in!



Waaaa!  We thought you loved us, Mommy!
No, Daddy!  Not the scary snowman!!!
Nope.  They hated every minute of it.
We've got about 4 more months to torture them like this!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Vocab List

There will be a quiz.  Study hard.

  • "shoo" shoes, socks, tissue
  • "choo-choo" train
  • "eee?eee?" are we going to eat soon?  will you feed me? I'm hungry! accompanied the "eat" sign
  • "baba" or "wawa" accompanied by the "milk" sign; I'm thirsty
  • "teee" teeth, TV
  • "moo" what a cow says
  • "baa" what a sheep says, or banana or bath
  • "nay" what a horse says, or what M calls N
  • "eee-eee-ooo-ooo" what a monkey says
  • "wooh, wooh" what a dog says
  • "naaaah naaaaah naaaah" what a motorcycle says
  • "raaarh" what a lion, tiger, bear, or stuffed animal in hand says
  • "coo-kie?" can I have a cookie or cracker or whatever it is that you're eating?
  • "jew" juice
  • "chee" cheese
  • "no" NO, nose, as the boy puts his little finger up your nostril
  • "mo?mo?mo?mo?"  can I have some more of that thing you just fed me?
  • "ahh duh!" I'm all done with this (meal, activity, carseat, etc.) accompanied by escalating sign language, meaning, if you don't hurry up, I'm going to flap my arms and fly outta here!
  • "go, go, go, go" GO, as in the "Cat in the Hat" cartoon song, "We're gonna go, go, go, go on an adventure," or me saying, "Let's go,"  also Go-Gurt (Yoplait's yogurt in a tube: genius!)
  •  "caa?" Can I go outside and play cars?  Will you open this diaper wipes box and get my matchbox car out so I can put it back in and close it? I want a car to play with in my carseat.
  •  "uh, uh" pick me up and let me get stuff off the counter or open the microwave door a dozen times
  • "nigh-nigh" Can I go night night? When is night night?  I just got up from night night.
  • "mama" and "dada," of course - my favorites
  • "zis?" what's this?
  • "zee" Auntie L's name
  • "GiGi" Great-Grandma P's name
  • "apo" apple
  • When M stands by the bathroom door wiping his hands together, he'd like to wash his hands (so he can eat) please!
  • "si?" Outside?  Usually accompanied by "shoo?" and an article of clothing to go outside
  • "ahma" Amen.
  • "Hi," "Bye, bye"
  •  

    Christmas Card Conundrum

    I've been using Shutterfly (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery) for years to make all kinds of special cards and this Christmas is no exception.   I think that if there is not an adorable face on the card, it will eventually be tossed, but who can throw away a picture of my cutie pies?

    Thus begins the Christmas card quest.  Here's the link to Shutterfly's Christmas cards page:
    http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards  I'm looking for one that is very
    "us," that can accommodate our BEST EVER family picture, and says something about Christmas, not "holiday" or "season."  Here's one idea:
    But I'd like a little more pizazz.  Here's another one I like from Shutterfly's "holiday" page http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards, but our photo is vertical, not horizontal.  I don't know if either will work:
    Good thing I've got...5 WEEKS!?  Eeek!  I'd better hurry up and decide!  What will you do for cards this year?

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Cumulatively Wonderful Day

    Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes right?  If you're like me, it doesn't happen often, so you've got to write it down to remember it!  Yesterday was one of those days, and while none of the events were earth-shattering, they were, cumulatively, wonderful.
    • I had intelligent, child-free discussion with a group of fabulous women at Mom's Group
    • Someone who owed me money paid me back
    • Two weeks after it went kaput, the dishwasher part I've been waiting for arrived
    • Because the weather was unseasonably beautiful, hubs came home early and the 4 of us took a long walk at a nearby park and had some unexpected fun family time in the middle of the day
    • I found a pair of pants and a top that fit me when I exchanged a clothing item!
    • My peanut butter fudge was the "most popular" dessert at the MVMOM meeting last night, which was a blast - getting to hang out with other multiples' moms always is!
    • I actually won a prize when my name was drawn last night and now have a very cool Christmas gift for one of my nephews.
    • A new-mom friend and I got to catch up last night and for over an hour, we shopped, snacked and chatted.
    • And one of my readers (at the dessert table, nonetheless!) asked me, "Are you Twin Engines?" and told me all about how she likes to read my blogs to get traveling tips b/c her twins are 4 months older than mine and they fly a lot.  I was so surprised to have found an actual READER! who's not my family - it tickled me pink!
    • My friend, E, debuted her business, Marigold Baby, at the Holiday Boutique last night and sold a bunch of items and took orders!  I'm very proud of her because she's worked so hard to get everything up and running.  You can check out her business at www.marigoldbaby.etsy.com.
    • The dishwasher part was installed when I got home! What a fabulous hubby I've got.
    Marigold Baby G
    Peanut Butter Fudge

    1/4 c. milk
    3/4 c. peanut butter
    1 lb. powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 c. margarine

    Mix together well.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Mix well and fast.  Pat mixture into a glass pie plate.  Cool and enjoy.

    By the way, that recipe is from an old church cookbook  (it's my mom's friend's recipe on page 139 of the CCC 2003 edition).  I've had it for many years and last night was the first time I tried the fudge because I had to make something to take for the dessert table - I remembered at the last minute.  Whenever I'm in trouble, I crack open that old church cookbook and I find something every time!

    So I fell asleep last night a happy lady, thinking maybe I do make the world a better place by writing my blog and trying out new recipes on unsuspecting folks.  And knowing that God has blessed me with some wonderful people in my every day life.  

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Operation Destruct-o-boys

    Dear Grandmas,

    This is your two-week notice: WE ARE COMING!  And we are going to DESTROY!

    We've been practicing all week.  Here's our plan:
    First, M will spin around in circles in the living room to get dizzy, giggling and squeaking like a mouse.  You will think this is hilarious!  You won't see N as he pushes something to use as a footstool and climb onto the dining room chair, then the table and mess up everything he KNOWS you're keeping from him!

    When you run to get N off the table, M will make a break for a kitchen cupboard, empty it completely, and climb in.  Then the brothers will have a giggling good time opening and closing the door until one of them drags the other out by his collar, causing a fight.  Then one of the them will step on to a cupboard object, it will fly out from underneath him and he'll bang his head onto the floor, causing both of them to cry.

    To console them, you'll put a boo-boo bunny on the bump and turn on a cartoon, which reminds them THERE ARE BUTTONS TO PUSH!  And they will be instantly happy pushing all the TV and DVD and remote control buttons they can reach.  You'll spend weeks fixing the settings and get them right just before we come back for Christmas. 

    You'll try to corrall them on your couch and N will decided that it's more fun to take all the cushions off the couch, which is just as well because M will bring you a blanket throw because he wants you to put it on his head so he can play "ghost."  Then he'll walk around and trip over the blanket only to fall onto the pillows and couch cushions.  Make sure you've got another blanket because N will decide he's taken all the cushions off and he wants to be a ghost, too.  This is hilarious when the ghosts bump into each other.  You can have minutes of fun!

    Boo!
    You'll decide to get them a snack but you'll say "cookie" and they will follow you around like little ducklings saying "coo-kie? coo-kie? coo-kie?coo-kie?" and if you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for milk, which is, oddly, the "milk" sign accompanied by "baba?"  Don't ask me why.  Then they will bombard with "mo?mo?mo?mo?" until you give them another.

    Exasperated, you'll say, "All done!" and they'll repeat "Ahh Duh!" and you'll try to wash their hands in the sink because you gave them chocolate or yogurt covered cookies, but they're too short so you'll be holding them over the sink and the wash-ee will be grabbing everything in sight to put into his mouth while the dirty kid will be playing with magnets and scratching up your refrigerator.

    In an effort to keep them occupied, you'll desperately try to get them to play with toys.  Pish-shaw!  They found your purse and are actively removing and inspecting each and every item.  You won't know this until you hear your car alarm sounding.

    Finally, you'll decide it's naptime (hallelujah!) and put them in their beds only to get a big squeeze around the neck and if you're lucky, a snotty kiss and a "nigh-nigh."

    And you'll decide you love your daughter (in-law) even more than you did before she dropped them off an hour ago. 

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    DIY Project

    I'm teaching myself how to crochet.  Tonight I made a mouse scarf.  

    Except hers is better.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Cake Wrecks

    I have a baking problem.  So does my sister in law.  And when you get the two of us together for a few days, some strange (and delicious) things happen

    Don't judge a book by its cover -  it's made from scratch; a white cake with lemon filling.  We're still working on the "fluffy white frosting."  It tasted great!
    We tried our hands at buttercream icing in May with great success.  L and I made tons of these for the boys' birthday cakes:
    And we made my grandmother's cinnamon roll recipe, too.  We stayed up late waiting for dough to rise so we could eat these delicious little guys in the morning:
    After experiencing sweet success, we upped the ante in August with this delicacy: tiramisu!
    Always remember, though, pride comes before the fall:
    We had to redeem ourselves this time, so we chose a recipe destined for greatness: Grandma's Sweet Potato Pie.  Can't wait to dig in tonight!
    I guess it's our adult version of make-believe; we'll never open a bakery, so we just pretend we have our own cooking show!

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Got Goldfish?



    Perhaps the boys were learning the story of the loaves and the fishes in the church nursery this morning? 
    One fish, two fish,

    No fish for you, brother!

    Ha, ha, I tricked him!
    There's gotta be one fish left for me!
    No more fish.  Darn.

    Nope.