Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Burglar

Last night was kind of terrifying.

McKay and I had just put Tyler and Jamie down to sleep, and we were in our room working on various things (me, homework, McKay, Angry Birds), when I thought I heard a door creak open somewhere in the house. I didn't think too much of it, and I asked McKay if he had heard anything. He said no, but he stood up and walked towards the bedroom door to go check it out.

Before he reached the door, we heard quick footsteps running down the hall, away from the bedrooms.

Tyler never, ever gets out of bed after we put him down, so you can understand the panic we felt.

McKay grabbed a big polka dot umbrella, and I grabbed some curtain rods, and we hovered in our doorway, hearts in our throats, hands shaking, torn between grabbing our babies and hiding from whatever or whoever was in our house, and charging down the hallway with our makeshift weapons. McKay yelled a few times down the hall to the rest of the darkened house. I became very aware of the fact that all our hallway light switches were where the footsteps had gone towards, along with our cell phones, knives, hammers, and anything else that might have been more useful than a $5 Walmart umbrella against a robber, and why oh why did we move so close to downtown?

As we stood frozen in the doorway, Tyler peeked his head out of his bedroom across the hall to see what was going on. I snatched him up and pulled him behind me.


"Tyler, shhh."

"Momma, I gotta go potty."

"Shhh, Tyler...wait, what? You have to go potty?"

"Yeah, I get out of bed, I go potty."

"Tyler, did you just get out of bed to go potty, and then run back into your bed?"

"Yeah, I run back into my bed."

All the tension and adrenaline just whooshed out of us as we realized what had happened. Tyler had, in fact, gotten out of his bed, cracked open his door, and then ran back into bed when he heard us coming. (The raised foundation of our home plus the hardwood floors makes it hard to tell exactly where the footsteps are coming from.)

Rest assured, we did still search the rest of the house, just in case. And Tyler trotted happily off to the bathroom. I spent the rest of the night researching the best way to handle break ins, and I am happy to report I learned nothing useful but I am now freaked out of my mind.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Park Buddy, Mr. Clemens

"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."

--Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TuTu & 'Stache Bash!

(Get ready for a picture bonanza...)
Last summer, when Jamie was born, she came in a trio of Hinckley cousins:

Jamie: June 24, 2011
Megan: July 9, 2011
Grant: September 24, 2011

So when Kendy and her kids came to visit right in the middle of all these first birthdays we decided to have a big joint birthday party for all three babies.

All the girls the night before making tutus for party favors, while all the boys went to a Ranger's game.
All our guests with their respective accessories:
Mustached boys

Tyler took his mustache-wearing very serious.

Tutu'd girls
Pretty Birthday Girl!
Each birthday baby had a cake: the girls got initial cakes with pink icing tutus, and Grant got his very own mustache cake :)
Some party decorations! (That didn't actually get printed out in time, but I thought they were so fun)

We played Pin The Mustache On The Grant and Pin The Tutu On The Jamie and Megan.
Birthday girls in their tutus watching the older kids playing party games
Tyler was SOO excited about playing the games
Oh well, Grant's armpit is just as good...
Birthday girls bored with the games and trying to break into the forbidden upstairs.
Water balloon toss outside!
Tyler was horrified that we were breaking the water balloons, and held onto this red one for twenty minutes, scowling at everyone who threw theirs.
Jamie did not join the water balloon toss, but she was so happy to be outside. She hadn't been feeling great that morning, and she was so happy to get to crawl around on the deck.
Cake time! The lineup...
And they're off!
I regret to report that Jamie is no stranger to cake. She knew just what to do with this slice. Megan watched her cousin in awe. Or disgust, I can't tell :)
The babies weren't shy about their cakes:
Grant developed an interesting technique. He dipped a pretzel stick into the icing over and over before diving in with his hands.
Jamie and Megan kept showing each other their fist fulls of cake and then looking under their plates for more.
The rest of the kids liked the cake too, although they were pretty adamant that the girls should only eat the girls' cakes, and the boys should only eat Grant's cake. Any deviation was quickly ridiculed.
A birthday-suit bath was mandatory after all that cake!

Thanks for coming everyone! We had a great time, and we are all are ready to sleep until their second birthdays next year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma!

We had a nice family dinner over at David and Marie's new house last Sunday to celebrate Grandma's birthday.

As per tradition, we brought a cake and let everyone else feed us dinner:
Grandma received lots of love and hugs and several presents from her grand-babies, including fake flowers, a butterfly catcher, and a hand colored picture frame :)
Happy Birthday Grandma!

Feasting with the Prophets VII

Week #7: Heber J. Grant
Favorite Dessert: Figgy Pudding

This week was a really fun one. Here's some fun facts on Heber J. Grant:

1. The J. stands for Jeddy, which I first misread as Jedi and got pretty excited, and then I reread it correctly.

Then I looked at this snappy picture of President Grant:

And then saw this uncanny resemblance:

I think not.

From now on (in my book, at least), he is President Heber "Jedi" Grant,

So...we didn't actually learn much about Heber J. Grant (kind of let that part slide...), but Figgy Pudding was a big fat hit. Our visiting cousins from Virginia were so so excited about eating Figgy Pudding, and even Grandpa put on the Muppet's We Wish You A Merry Christmas in his office.

Amid "Won't go. Won't go!!" 's, we whipped up this winner from Paula Dean herself. Someday, we'll try the real Heber J. Grant recipe from the Lion House Cookbook, but you can never go wrong with a recipe from Queen Dean.


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 1/2-ounces dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter, for coating ramekins
  • Whipped cream, for garnish


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional
  • Whipped heavy cream, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blenderand puree.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate.

Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmeruntil the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With paring knife cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce.

Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm.

Soooo delicious. This is the first one that I have been tempted to do again. McKay said this was the best dessert I've ever made, and since he loves everything I make, that is telling indeed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We were coming out of a restaurant downtown last week, and we looked up to see the Dallas skyline right there in front of us! (Partially blocked by a parking structure, but still!) We told Tyler all about the different buildings, but all he had eyes for was the moon that was sitting so nicely right in between towers. Or, more exactly, "the Earth. Like in Wall-e."

A little more questioning revealed that in Tyler World, moons are crescents. Earths are circles. And that is that.

Downtown Outings

Our new home is so close to downtown Dallas, and we love love LOVE driving down there to see what's going on. It's so fun, because we spent most of last year moping over the fun things going on down here because we were too far away to come down every week. I cannot wait to get over to the farmer's market again, and to see some shows in uptown, and just park the car and stroll around the historic district.

I took Jamie and Tyler to the Museum of Art last week for the children's day.

We played with the door beads until the guard told us to stop:

Made some art:
which may or may not have been eaten by Jamie:
and then headed outside for a courtyard exhibit from the Dallas Zoo. Hot hot hot!
Yes that is a boa constrictor around her body. Tyler was ecstatic.
"Mommy! Mommy! Do you see that big snake?!"
"Yes, I see the snake, Tyler."
"No, Mommy, the BIG snake! BIG snake!"


Tyler loves going to the museum, and I know Jamie enjoys it. She's getting be not so much a baby anymore. Just in the last few weeks, she has started walking full time and jabbering in a very conversational way. She has words for Mama, Dada, and Tyler, and yes, although I don't think anyone besides me and Tyler know how to interpret. She is turning out to be such a fun, sunny little girl (when the world is going her way), and it makes me smile. When we decided on the name Jamie, I just thought it sounded like a name for a fun, happy, sunny, pretty girl.

And my Jamie is all of those things.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yeesh. What a whiny post.

Go watch How is Babby Formed. It's my magic cure all for grumpy days.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Moving Right Along

I've always liked to stay busy. If I don't have things to stay busy with, I get anxious, and then I start watching daytime TV. No bueno.

But this last week or two has tested my fondness of productivity. There is just soooo much to get done. I feel like if I just sat and spaced out for an hour, something awful would happen, like I'd have forgotten my children somewhere, or I'll miss a school deadline. I move from one task to another like a crazy woman until I just drop around midnight. For example, today:

8:00 Breakfast and morning routine with the babies
9:00 Grocery list making
10:00 Grocery shopping
12:30 Lunch and naps
1:00-4:00 School, school, school during naps
4:30: Babies awake, cleaning and playing
6:00: McKay done with work, school, school, school

And somewhere in these last few hours of the day, we need to plan a primary lesson for tomorrow and finish a birthday cake to take to dinner tomorrow night.

I am my own taskmaster, and I am relentless. I'd love to blow everything off for a few days and go play in San Antonio, but I am horrified at the thought of missing anything.
But in three weeks, summer term is over, and I'm taking it relatively easy this fall, so until August 11, I'll dream of simple times like unpacking Tyler and Jamie's room. (Yes they are still stacked to the ceiling in boxes. Embarrassing.)

Oh! And decorating the new house! Heaven.

Oh, what? Our children? Yes, we still have them. Here's some last day in our apartment shenanigan pictures when we unearthed a bag of Fat Tuesday beads:

This girl is a full fledged walker now! These hardwood floors gave her poor knees just the motivation she needed.
Not only for flashing crowds, these beads are also for impromptu dance parties!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hinckley Update:

We made it into our new house!

However, we've been waging war against it since then. Let's just say that cute old houses are still old. And landlords who are reluctant to clean are (surprise!) reluctant to repair.

We are gaining ground on the house, though. After lengthy and individual battles, we now have electricity, running water, a working water heater, and a bathtub that can be turned off.

Now if the washer drain could be unclogged and the bathtub could give us something besides scalding water and the lights in the living room would work, we'd be in heaven...

More to come when the sky stops falling!