Tuesday, March 06, 2012

It's Oreo's Birthday . . .

Yep, Oreo, the cookie, has a birthday and it's today! It's its 100th birthday, to be exact. Sounded like a great excuse to bake this delicious cake I've had my eye on . . .

Oreo Pudding Poke Cake (original recipe here)
Chocolate Cake (adapted slightly from this recipe)
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 in. square cake pan.
2. Whisk together all ingredients except boiling water, until thoroughly combined.
3. Slowly whisk in water until incorporated, then beat for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 28-30 minutes.
5. Allow to cool for a few minutes while you make the pudding.
**You can also use a chocolate cake mix - just bake according to the package directions in a 9x13 pan, and double the pudding part below.

1 pkg. Oreo pudding (4 oz.)
2 c. cold milk
1. Whisk together 1 minute. Let sit 2 minutes to thicken slightly.
2. Poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon about 1/2-1 inch apart all over cake. Pour pudding over cake and spread to edges.
3. Allow to cool a little before placing the cake in the fridge to set up. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
4. You can crush some Oreos for the top if you want, which I did, and I also drizzled some hot fudge over it - mm, mm, good.
Poke holes . . . 
Pour pudding . . . 
Spread pudding . . .
Accessorize . . . 

On a Side Note: It was gorgeous outside today - I'm talking upper 60s and sunny! We got out the table and chairs, Asher's basketball hoop, the bats, the balls . . . we may have jumped the gun since I'm sure we'll be in for colder weather, but we couldn't resist! I can't wait for spring/summer when the boys can run wild outside. Also, both boys have had nasty coughs and ear infections, so for the past week this is what I've been dealing with every day, every time he's not being held . . .
Thank goodness the meds are taking effect because his mood was much improved today! And so was mine.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

No One Ever Told Me . . .

Two-and-a-half years into parenting I still feel like a complete newbie most days. I feel like I should have a pretty good grasp on how to get the boys to listen to me or stop doing whatever it is they're doing that's driving me crazy. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Why didn't anyone ever tell me being a good parent is impossible so hard? Okay, that's not technically true. I seem to remember a "few" instances of my own parents mentioning some such business about "just wait until you have kids." Honestly, though, there's really no preparing yourself for it despite all of things you "know."

You know when your kids are babies you'll get much less sleep than you did before. You know when they start crawling/walking they'll be into everything. You know when they get to the "terrible twos" that they'll be, well, terrible. You know they'll be picky with their food. You know they'll get sick. I could go on, but you probably get the point. Here are some things I didn't "know."

1. I didn't know exactly how much less sleep you get when you have a newborn. I'm talking 3-4 hours a night sometimes. If you're a nursing mom, you'll get even less because you're hubby can't help with feedings through the night (at least until they take a bottle). But, you always find a way to keep going because, well, you have to! And, falling asleep will never be easier than when they're newborns because you're just that exhausted. (I should also mention I didn't know that the lack of sleep continues well out of the newborn phase . . .)

As tired as I might be, nothing beats that smile!
2. I didn't know that "into everything" was meant literally. We got off pretty easy with Asher, but Aiden gets into ev-er-y-thing and there's no diverting him with a toy or something he's actually allowed to play with. Also, it's amazing what they figure out in order to get into trouble; Aiden has climbed on top of tables, unlatched the child safety gate, and stood on the little gap between the oven and the drawer underneath that holds pans, to name a few. But, you'll be overly proud at their capabilities, despite how much more difficult it makes your life. I feel amazed on a daily basis by what our two little guys are capable of doing.

Mr. Mischief using a propped-up cushion to try to climb on to this chair.
3. I didn't know how unbelievably frustrating a toddler can be. Refusals to eat food, put away toys, get a diaper changed, or something else that seems tiny to me can turn into a whole fiasco as Asher continues to resist and I continue to insist. But, no matter how impossible he seems at times, I still find it hard to stay upset about it because he turns on the charm or says something that takes us completely by surprise (even if it's said with an attitude). For instance, the other night during supper he wanted to be done and I said "two more bites of veggies, and one more bite of bread and you can be done." His response? "Never, Mommy, never!" What? I don't even know how he knew to use that word correctly! Definitely naughty, but it was funny.

Thumbs-up for eating a good lunch!
4. I didn't know that no matter how sneaky I think I'm being with vegetables, Aiden still manages to filter them out of his mouth while keeping pretty much everything else in it - it truly is a talent. I wish it was a talent he didn't possess . . .

5. I didn't know how much I would dread them getting sick. Especially the stomach flu. Once that season hits, I am literally paranoid they're coming down with it every time they seem out of sorts. In spite of all my efforts to keep them/things clean, Asher got it last year and this year, and Aiden got it this year, too. But, taking care of them when they're sick really does make you appreciate when they're healthy because it's a night and day difference. Finally seeing them smile and feel better is such a relief after days of feeling crappy.

Okay, there are probably hundreds of things I didn't know before we had kids. Do I miss some of the freedoms? Sure. I don't know how you couldn't miss them. But, I wouldn't change it for anything. It's so much harder than I ever dreamed, but I love them so much more than I ever could have imagined. They bring so much joy to each day, and it's amazing how happy it can make me to see Aiden's mischievous smile as he peeks around a corner (even though it's probably a warning that he's doing something he shouldn't) or just hear Asher say "Hey, Mom" as I come down the stairs. Each day holds something unexpected, and no matter how badly the day seems to be going, kids brighten it when you least expect it (i.e. I was almost in tears from feeling overwhelmed with everything as I was preparing lunch today, and Asher came up and just hugged my leg!)

"Hey, Mom!"
This is one of the funniest things I've seen him do. I brought down a
pancake in a bowl for his breakfast one morning, and for some reason
he decided to eat the first few bites like he was a dog . . . No idea
where that came from, but it was hilarious!
No one ever told me parenting was this hard, but it wouldn't have mattered because it wouldn't have prepared me for the reality of it anyway. And, as many times as people tell you how wonderful it is being a parent, that part's true, too. It really is.

"Ooo, can you teach me how to use that, big brother?" 
Best part of having a toddler? Hearing "Love you, Mom" from this guy!