Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the Interest of Science

Have you tried the raspberry cheesecake cookies from Subway?  They may be my favorite non-chocolate cookie ever.  I have searched the internet for a copycat recipe with no luck.  Oh, there are recipes out there, they just aren't right.  And the problem?  It's the raspberries.

And so, in the interest of science, I purchased a dozen of these cookies so that I could taste them enough to test a few of those copycat recipes. :)

What the heck are those raspberries anyway?  They appear to be some type of jam-like candy drops.  According to the ingredients list on Subway's website they are "raspberry bits (dextrose, palm oil, sugar, corn flour, raspberry powder, natural flavor, citric acid, blueberry and carrot extracts)". 

Hmmm... can't find those on my regular grocery shelf.  So I headed off to one of my favorite stores, Planktown Market, because they have lots and lots of baking and candy items.  I found two types of raspberry candies, and although the ingredients are not the same they were the only things I could find so I decided to give them a try.  Ooh, and while I was there I found REAL white chocolate chips, the kind made with cocoa butter.  Not just the "white chips" that you can find most places, which are definitely NOT chocolate, although they are what Subway uses.

So anyway... as my teenage fans might say... Epic Fail.  Rats.  Both types of candies melted and ran all over the pan.  Good thing I used parchment paper, or I would still be soaking the pans.  Tasted good though.  So why did I write about them?  Because sadly enough they were the highlight of my week.  And if by chance you know the real recipe, or even where I might be able to get the right type of raspberry bits, please speak up!  I have seen some offered through King Arthur flour, but at $7.95 for 8 oz (plus shipping) I might as well just keep Subway in business. 

The rest of my week was just changing diapers.

Last week I thought Tommy's intestinal issues were food related and not contagious, but I spent this week changing Ellie's diapers way too many times, and now she has also officially been introduced to the shower.  And what is the correct formula for how much a baby can throw up anyway?  Maybe like 1.75 times their body weight?  Yikes!

By today she was mostly better.  We headed out this afternoon for a family stroll around the block.  I tried to get them to keep their new sunglasses strapped on, but they were non-compliant.  You can tell that Ellie looks pretty mad about them, and Tommy didn't bother grumbling, he just ripped them right off.  Repeatedly.

The walk took it's toll.  By the time we got home they were in full nap mode.   

It gave me a chance to grab a few weeds out of the flower bed next to the driveway. And what you ask, is that box on the ground next to them?  Just a little Christmas tree box that the wind blew into our yard a week or so ago.  I found it and a tarp with a bungee attached along our fence line.  If they are yours, please claim them!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Letting Go

For a few months now, Eliana has been doing a fabulous job of sitting up.  It started one morning at library story hour.  She had been sitting unassisted for a few seconds at a time, but that morning in February when I sat her down in front of me, expecting to move her onto my lap as soon as I got myself positioned comfortably, she just stayed sitting.  And stayed and stayed.  Twenty-five minutes later, at the end of story time, I picked her up to go home.  Who knows how long she would have sat if I hadn't moved her.

Ellie is such a good sitter that it has been tough to get her to move on to the crawling all over the place stage.  She has been content to sit and play with the toys within reach, sometimes for an hour or more at a time before she accidently falls or gets pushed over by Tommy.  She hated the falling over I think, so she just stayed put, falling only on an as needed basis.

Until this week.  FINALLY she figured out the graceful fall and is letting go of her fear.  Lots of demos, and I think it came down to the fact that she was watching Tommy progress to all the fun stuff without her.

Tommy is also starting to let go.  Yesterday and today he stood several times for a second or so without holding on to anything.  Maybe just a half-second before the little whump! onto his bottom.  But he is getting very good at the one-handed barely paying attention stand!

The other news of the week is about teeth. On Thursday evening I noticed two additional teeth on the bottom and then this afternoon I found one more new one on the top, with another one looking very close to the surface.  So he now has 7, almost 8 teeth, and hopefully he will be getting a break from teething for a few months.  It's been a rough week around here. Tommy has had a nasty bout of diarrhea since Monday which finally started slowing down yesterday, and we are thinking that the new teeth are the root of that problem.  Or maybe it was all that pizza last weekend?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trip to a Winery

One of the "firsts" that I hadn't been expecting to report on in my babies' lives was their first trip to a winery.  But that trip was today, and so I am dutifully reporting it.
Tommy and Ellie and I went to Perennial Vineyards in Navarre to meet up with my sister Lindy's family.  Justin and Jen are in town from Tucson so that Jen can check out law schools in Ohio.  Sounds like she has picked Case Western.  It will be nice to have them back in the area.

Justin and Jen with Tommy...

The reason that we met at Perennial is that Wyatt works there, and
since he was working today he could get in a visit with his brother too. 

And Tommy and Ellie could check out life behind bars.  Or something like that.

Emma with Ellie...

Lindy with Ellie...

Ellie is still thirsty?

What happened to my sweet Ellie?

Hopefully Tommy is safer with Phoebe...

And yes, the wine glass was wiped clean before Ellie got to it.  The googly-eyed look was all her own invention. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Visit from Berlin

Tom's brother Doug and his wife Sara are in town, visiting from Berlin.  Last night we met them at The Amish Door and introduced them to Tommy and Ellie.

Ellie bonding with Aunt Sara...

Doug leaves the room and gives Sara an extra armload...

Doug returns and proves his own baby handling abilities, holding
Tommy and Ellie with their new Berlin shirts and bears... 

They visited us at home today and I recruited Uncle Doug to read Tommy's favorite book "Doggies".  Here is a video of the last bit of it...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Easter is my favorite holiday of the year.  Christmas is a good one, no doubt, but for me, Easter beats it all to heck.  And it has absolutely nothing to do with the chocolate factor.
We started our day with church, where we sang Christ the Lord is Risen Today. Something about those Alleluias just resonates with me, and even though I don't sing them well, I always sing them loud.  Sorry for any ears I may have offended this morning.  While there, I collected my fun lamb cake that we purchased from the YW bake sale.  Thank you Kathy for the great job you did, even without the coconut (my choice, not hers).

Tom's parents came over to celebrate and share dinner with us. The cake looked so nice that Norma didn't want us to cut it, but it did become the dessert sacrifice. Tom started at the rump end so as not to traumatize his mother too much.

It was fun to watch the kiddos with their Easter basket treats.  It took Tommy all of about 3 seconds to figure out that the plastic eggs in his basket opened and had treats inside.  A few goldfish, pretzels, and spinach-apple puffs.  Ellie shared in his treasure and left her own basket unraided.


A few of my favorite pics from today...

Ellie is such a little daddy's girl.  I love watching them play together. 

As I picked up Ellie tonight and swung her upside-down for her daily giggles before putting her to bed I noticed that her two top front teeth have finally cut through.  She wasn't fussing about it at all today; she's such a trooper.  I knew exactly when Tommy's teeth were coming through, because he told us all about it every step of the way. 

Ellie led the way in tooth production, popping through her first, the lower right, on January 9th and the one right next to it the following day.  It was another seven weeks before Tommy's first broke through, but then he got three more about a week or so ago. Now they each have four sharp little front teeth and we can assume that no pretzel will ever be safe in our house again.

We had a surprise visit yesterday from Tom's Aunt Judy.  She lives in Georgia and had not yet met Ellie and Tommy.  Her grandkids Jordan and Hayden and her son Todd came with her.  Everyone took turns holding the babies.

Great Aunt Judy

Second Cousin Jordan

And her sister Hayden

Tom's cousin Todd with a sleeping Tommy. 
All those toys must have worn him out.

Hayden enjoyed the snuggle with her Uncle Todd


On Friday we went to Andrea Landoll's home for a play date with a potluck lunch. We met up again with Kendra, and we also got to play with Jenna Purdue. 

Tommy and Ellie seem to be playing very well with other children. Not too much pushing or grabbing went on. Except on my legs--Tommy has started pulling up on any available surface, and my legs seem to be his favorite one.

Most of the kids at the gathering were a little older and played outside. Andrea planned Easter egg coloring and hunting activities. We had to leave a little early and missed that fun, but all in all it was a great afternoon. 

It has been a busy week and we have been visitors or been visited every day this week.  I am tired, and headed to bed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making the Rounds

After a quiet weekend at home watching General Conference...

Tommy, Ellie and I headed out on Monday to make the rounds of Ohio.
First, we stopped to visit one of my missionary companions, Tiffany (Zink) Neal.  Tiffany lives in Washington, so I have not seen her since I came home from my mission about 11 years ago.  She and her cute daughter Morgan were visiting her sister in Westerville, and we caught her at the end of her trip.

Morgan helped feed Ellie her bottle...

She played ball with Tommy.  She was moving a little too fast for the camera...

What the heck is Ellie saying with this look? 
And is it just me, or does Ellie look like she's dressed for a business trip?

Next we stopped in to visit Connie and Kendra Poppaw.  The kids were a little shy at first, but soon warmed up to each other and became good buddies again.

Kendra and Tommy were working on a project to open a battery cover.

While Kendra and Ellie mostly just chatted.

We ended the day at Aunt Sandy's house.  This time the kiddos were prepared with "high chairs" and some serious bibbage to protect from any oatmeal their auntie might prepare.

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed on to Cincinnati to visit Grandma Lux.  Her birthday is this week, so we got there a little early and started celebrating. 

We went to lunch at a favorite spot, Skyline Chili, where Tommy and Ellie were
introduced to 4-Ways and 5-Ways.  No wimpy cheese coneys for these kiddos!

We dragged grandma out shopping for a birthday present. She picked out a lovely vacuum cleaner.

On Wednesday, we met up with Sandy and Rachel for brunch at First Watch. 
The birthday girl ordered "pancakes as big as your head".

Here's the close-up of that, for Kathy. :)

and Tommy and Ellie helped to devour them.

Outside, we said goodbye to Sandy and Rachel, then took Grandma home and drove back home.

Just as a note to any friends and family that stop by.  A few of you have told me that you weren't able to leave comments before.  I changed the properties, and I think you can now leave a comment without logging into anything.  If you do stop by my blog, I'd love to hear about it.  Thanks!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Don't Kiss Your Honey...

Don't kiss your honey
when your nose is runny

you may think it's funny
but it's snot!