Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog Material

I haven't had much material lately to blog about, or I just felt it was too boring to tell ya'll. Last week was a very busy week for me, with two birthday celebrations, a trip up north for a farewell luncheon with some of our techs who got hired by the company they were working onsite for, and Ceara leaving for Washington DC.

Here it is a week later and I do not remember what happened on Monday and Tuesday of last week. On Wed, I used my lunch hour to go get the girls cell phones - which they have been begging for a lot lately. I figured I'd give them another chance to see how they do now. They are a little bit older, and hopefully a little bit more responsible.

So, Ceara was leaving Wednesday night on a trip to Washington DC with her school. We had dinner with my mom for her birthday right after work, then Ceara and I rushed home to get her things together in the car to get her to the bus. We were trying to program her phone with some phone numbers, but it kept saying that the SIMM card was missing or broken. I tried to take the darn thing out, but the way it is in there I could not get it out.

So, we called the place I got it from and they said to bring it in. We were in a hurry to make the bus, but it wasn't too far away. We loaded the car and went to the store. They were able to get the SIMM card out and it was actually in the wrong way. No, I didn't do it, they had set them up when I bought them. So, it was quick and easy, and we got on our way to the school. Then we realized she forgot her pillow and blanket - which she needed to sleep on the bus on the way there.

So we ran home and got them. We had to also stop and buy some shampoo and conditioner that she forgot as well, but we did make it on time. We met up with her room mates and they got all of their things sorted and onto the bus, and they were off.

Allie and Conor had went with my mom to have cake at her house, so I headed there to get them. Conor was tired, so we didn't stay any longer and I took a piece of birthday cake home with me.

At lunch on Thursday I went to the grocery. I needed to get some apples to make a couple of pies. One for my mom for her birthday - a day late, but a surprise - and one for my former work bud who I was having a farewell luncheon with the following days.

So, the kids and I spent Thursday evening making two apple pies. We took one to my mom that evening, and I took the other one to my work bud the following day. I was very worried about it, though, because I have never. ever. followed a specific recipe for making my apple pies. I throw it all together and just put whatever looks right to me for the filling. Even though I did take measurements for the post I made on here? I don't follow that. It's kinda a starting point for people who don't know how to make pies! Not for me to look at and measure stuff.

So, sometimes my pies are too sweet. Sometimes they are too tart. They all get eaten usually though. You can put a scoop of ice cream on top and it balances either way. :)

But, my family are the only people who I have ever made pies for - so giving one to someone else and not being able to try it before he did, or be there when he tried it... made me nervous!

OK, onto this luncheon we were having. My boss had this idea to do a cook out at a park close to their work site. That's almost 2 hours north of our work site. So, he put his grill in the back of his truck and tied it down. And we hauled it north. In the rain.

I did a few twitter updates about that day - it was cold. Very cold. Insanity was what it was. Why couldn't we just have pizza somewhere?!?!

The park, however, is beautiful. Even in the rain. I did take a few pictures, but I haven't had the chance to load them onto my computer yet, so I will do that later.

The guys brought desserts, and we all gathered under the shelter to eat and talk and try to find a little warmth. I was the only female there, so I was way out numbered!

After the food and fun, the guys gave our boss a "farewell gift" - one of the gifts was a few lottery tickets. Dave set them aside to rub off later - probably didn't want to rub it in if he actually won. But they wanted to see him rub them off.

So, after someone said something to me while we were loading stuff into cars, I told him to rub them off. There was a lot of ribbing and teasing going on during the scratching off of the tickets. Dave claimed that he would split anything he won, and they all, "you're not going to win anything big enough to split.."

"You never know, I could just hit this $10k right now. I've got 2 already, just need one more... OMG, there it is. I just won $10,000! OMG, look at this!" as he proceeded to show them all his winning ticket.

Then reality set in and he read the back of the ticket. "You can redeem this ticket at Santa's Workshop, the Tooth fairy's house, or Yo Mama's house" and stuff along those lines.

Yep, they bought him a fake winning lottery ticket. And they told me that while we were loading the cars. Their intention was for me to prevent his doing anything stupid (like quitting his job, or telling his boss off) when he saw the winning ticket.

I told him to scratch them off so that the guys could see his reaction in person.

Yeah, it was fun.

So, I know Monday and Tuesday were busy as well, but... like I said, I don't remember! The week flew by though. Friday night was Austin's birthday party - just ice cream cake and family though. They went out to dinner and we met at my sister's house for dessert.

So, this has been quite long enough, and I will just end it here. I will try to put some pictures up soon, too. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Mom

I have read several posts lately where the writer does not have a good relationship with their mothers. Reading these posts have made me realize how lucky I am to have my mom.

My mom has always, and I mean ALWAYS, been there for me. I have made many mistakes in my lifetime and there have been times when I was afraid to tell my mom about those mistakes. Afraid of disappointing her, but also because I believe that if I made the mistake, it is up to me to fix it. Sometimes I was able to fix it, other times I needed help. Either way, she has always been there to help me no matter what. Even through the big mistakes that I had to eventually go to her on anyway.

When I got pregnant at the age of 19, of course she was a bit shocked and maybe a little disappointed in me. Mainly all I remember about my pregnancy is how much she was there for me and how much she supported me.

She has been a huge part of my children's lives as well - spending time with them, picking them up from wherever they are when I need her to, babysitting when I have something to do, taking them to appointments when I can't make it.

She has helped me move several times as well - packing, moving, unpacking.

She has been there for every major event in my life - good and bad. And she has also been there for all of the non-major events.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I love my mom very much. I appreciate her for everything she does, and I don't know where I would be without her. I know that I can go to her for anything at any time.

And today is her birthday. So, I thought it would be a good time to publicly announce some of this sappy stuff.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Baby Fix!!!

Well, we had a small family reunion of sorts on Saturday, and I got to get my baby fix! Meet Morgan - a distant cousin - from our Indiana bunch. I was so excited to see a baby when I got there!

She was so fun to play with and watch. She laid on the floor, starting out on a blanket, and rolled around. She's 6 months old, and she will be crawling before her parents know it.

She laid on her belly and would put her arms out and lift her legs. Gage (my nephew) said, "She wants to fly!"

She laughed and watched everything.

And would try again. Over and over she tried to take off.

Then she would get worn out and rest, while sucking on her fingers.

Oh so sweet.

She would stick her little bottom up in the air, and it looked like she might crawl, but then she would give up.
Here is her big sister, Rory. She's the oldest of 3 girls.

And her big sister Isabel. I think that is how you spell it, I didn't ask.

Isabel, Rory, and Conor spent a large part of the afternoon walking round looking for bugs.

Which would be why she's looking at the ground in these two pictures.
Rory and Conor found a spider after Isabel gave up and went in. Both were afraid to touch it though. I certainly don't blame them! I guess they just wanted to see the bugs. Not actually play with them!I wasn't the only one who wanted to hold her. Conor is our youngest kid in our Ohio family, so we all were wanting a turn. But I got her more than the others, so ... HA!
I did offer her to my uncle for a little bit. He likes to pretend like he's mean and all macho. But he's a big softy for kids.
Didn't stop him from complaining a bit when he was holding her.

But when I offered to take her back? He would not let me.
He fed her.
And burped her. And made faces at her. Until she needed changed. Then he handed her over and I got to change her as well.
Then she had to leave to go back to Indiana. Her wrap and hat were so cute as well!

We discussed who should be having a baby in our family since it has been almost 6 years since we had a little baby to pass around at Grandma's on Sunday. Two of my cousins got married within the last 2 years and we are waiting on them. They seem to be taking their sweet time, though.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Management by Fear

So, I have this job, right? I loved my job when I started it in 2000. My coworkers were great, we had fun, and we always got our job done - since we loved our jobs, we went way above and beyond to make sure we did them, and did them right. But now, it has slowly deteriorated into what it is today. A corporate America job where all they care about is money. How much they can save by letting people go and making the ones still here do more work. How no matter how much work they pile on you, they give some corporate line of "in this economy, be happy you have a job" and "it could be worse, you could be one of the ones let go" and "would you rather I fire you?" I have heard these three phrases so much over the last 3 months that I'm immune to their effect.

It started a few months ago. The manager of our KY branch applied for and got a new position in the company. Well, rather than replace her, they decided to assign that branch to my boss. They can save money that way, right? Well, I've written about this branch before, I had to help out with it previously and it is still a mess. And since my boss is the manager now, I'm the one doing all of the administrative stuff for it. Job security, I'm was told. Since they had done some layoffs and were looking at our branch and trying to get rid of one of our admins, I was told that this would make my job more secure.

So, as much as I didn't want to, I accepted it.

Then, 2 months ago my boss came to me and said that I needed to train with the techs in my "spare" time so that I could work on computers in the back when the techs weren't there. He needed for some of my time to be "billable" so that he could defend my position if they asked that he get rid of me. So that some of the work that I do pays for my salary. I was very incredulous that they could even question if they need me or not, and what kind of spare time do I have??! Not much, I'll tell ya. In the last 2 months since I was supposed to train, I have maybe had a total of 1 day to go back there and train. And this wasn't "spare" time. It was me just doing it and letting some work slide.

I was not thrilled with this new turn, but I decided to look at the bright side and think of it as more training I could put on my resume, in case they did decide to remove my position.

However, I have always been a perfectionist with my work. I want it done, and I want to do it right. I was always a control freak of sorts. When I took vacation or sick time, I would log in from home or on my laptop so that I could stay on top of what needed to be done. I didn't want anyone else messing it up.

Now I hardly have time to do the work, let alone try to see if it is getting done right. One of my jobs is to make sure invoices get invoiced when they are supposed to and that they are correct. The billing is all done at our corporate offices, so they do not know our contracts as well as I do and they sometimes invoice for something they shouldn't. Or at the wrong rate.

So, when my boss came to me on Monday to tell me that they had found a way to "solidify my position in the company" by having me take over the California branch as well, I was livid. And I got all the standard lines, again. "In this economy, we have to do what we have to do to keep our jobs. What would you do if you lost this job?"

My response? "Maybe I would go out and find a job where I only had to do the work of ONE person instead of FOUR."

So, after all the lecturing about how happy I should be that I have a job, I just looked at him and said, "Fine. I'll do what I can."

Then I went out to my car, got on my cell phone and called my "former work bud" to vent. Although he had no solutions other than my moving 2 hours north and coming to work there, it did make me feel better to just talk about it. I calmed down and went back to my desk to work. I'll do what I can in the time I have and if it doesn't get done, they can let me go and try to find someone else to do the work of four people. Or - hire someone in the Philippines for 6K to replace me. Which is what they want to do anyway.

I'm not sure if they are trying to push me to quitting so they don't have to pay me severance or unemployment; or if they are piling on the work so I won't do a good job so they can have a reason to fire me. Whatever happens, it happens. It will be hard for me to not be able to do a very good job at all the jobs I have to do, but I will do my best.

What's that saying? If your best isn't good enough for them, tell them they can kiss your @$$. Sorry for that. But. I'm pretty much beaten into submission at this point. It is very hard for me because I can't just not care, so it makes it very stressful for me.

This post is just me venting about the way the company I work for is treating its employees. I'm not the only one, and they are probably not the only company doing this right now. I just think it is wrong.

And yeah, I am looking. But he is right - there isn't much out there right now.

I did go play the lottery that night, but no luck. I day dreamed about being able to go in the next day, pack my personal stuff up and sing "Take This Job and Shove It" while I was doing it. It didn't happen though. Good thing, I guess, becaues I don't really know all the words to that song. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Ceara

Yes, I know it is a late birthday post! She turned 14 on October 7th. We celebrated her birthday on the 11th, though, at her Nana's house. That part was kinda a surprise to me, and probably to Barb as well. I thought we would have it out our house. It was just a small party, family only.

Barb innocently sent an email to Jeff and me asking what time the party was going to be at. I replied and asked what time Jeff thought because he had to work that day. He responded and said, "I was thinking around 3pm at your house, Mom."

I thought he was playing with her. But it turned out he was serious. Which was an excellent idea and I think we should make her have the parties more often! She decorated a table for the event, and made games, and had prizes! I would have never thought of any of that.

Ceara is not my biological daughter, so I don't have a story to tell about how I went into labor or anything this time, but I do tell everyone that I have 3 kids because I have known her since she was 5 years old. I have helped raise her for the past 9 years, and I do consider her one of my kids.

I have watched her grow into the level-headed young woman that she has become and I certainly love her as if she were my own. She has become the middle child at our house and at her mom's. She is very easy to get along with (for the most part, she does have her moments, as we all do) and she is helpful around the house as well. She is also very sensitive. She is the one who cries with me during sad movies.

For the party, we had pizza and cake. Barb decorated with the beads she got at Mardi Gras - and we all know how you get beads there!
OK, just kidding on that part. But it was very festive at her house!

For an October day, it was certainly hot outside. We hung out under the shade tree for the most part, while Conor and Gage played in the yard.

It was a pizza buffet! Three kinds of pizza, cheese sticks, chicken fingers, chicken wings...

Jeff just sat at the table with all the pizza, scratching his head and wondering which one to eat first. It's a good thing we all got ours before he sat down.

And he is so gonna yell at me for this picture when he gets around to reading my blog. He has no clue I took it. I was giggling with his mom when I did it.

Ceara doesn't even like cake, did any of you know that? It might be a recent thing, but she did manage to choke down a few bites. Had she said anything BEFORE the party, I would have made a cookie. But when I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said white with white icing. Not sure how she is related to Jeff when she doesn't like chocolate cake...

Brother and sister hanging out together. Conor just wanted a piece of cake I think.

Both boys did. Corner pieces with a lot of icing. Because that's all they eat, you know. The icing. They don't bother with the cake part.

She got a lot of money for her birthday, which she is going to be using to buy new tennis shoes, and some for her trip to Washington DC that she is going on next week. Oh, wait... next week? Wow I forgot it was coming up so soon!

She also got a digital camera for the trip. She asked for it, I'm sure it is so she can take pictures in the mirrors of the hotel in Washington DC, rather than the sites.
She also got a photo album to put all those pictures in when she takes them.

And lots of money.

Conor insisted on counting the money. He is obsessed with money and loves to count it. It has made him rather good at math, though, so I don't mind. He always asks to count the money in my purse, but since there is never much in there, the birthday money gave him a challenge! lol

One of the games Barb had planned for us was for us to draw Ceara. Only one person drew her head, one her body, one her legs, and one her feet. You couldn't look at what the other person drew, but had to just draw your part.

It is hard to see in the bright lights of the sun, but it turned out pretty well.

My mom did her head, Jeff did the body, Allie did the legs, and I did the feet. It turned out pretty good, but I think the feet just made the whole thing look good. I did an excellent job on those. Even painted her toenails.
I don't think I officially was declared the winner of the contest, which I think was just so the other three didn't get their feelings hurt. Come on, Barb... you can tell me. Mine was the best part, right?
Happy Birthday Ceara! May you have many, many more!

Well, huh.

I intended to post some picture and a few words about Ceara's birthday party over the weekend, but... I had a little blogger problem. Or maybe not blogger's fault, but anyway... every time I tried to upload a picture it asked me for a VPN password.

Jeff is working on Linux server stuff, and he is experimenting with our home "network" so... we have little bumps every once in a while. All in the name of learning though, have to make mistakes to learn how .

I'll also have a post to rant about my job at some point, but it will probably be a long post and I don't have time to do it now. But, just wanted to let ya'll know I'm working on it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Random Friday Stuff

I've been looking at a lot of baby pictures on the internet. Different blogs I go to, or are referred to by the ones I do visit. I love babies. And NO! I don't want another one. I'd like to borrow one for a little bit... but I don't know anyone close who has one! It's just that feeling you get, you know... when you see a baby and it makes you long to hold one and breathe in the baby smell?

No, not the dirty diaper smell! Sheesh, fwb, I know that is what you were thinking. So don't try to deny it.

It's probably a woman thing, right? Do men get these feelings?

Matt, Deb? Either of you planning a trip to Ohio anytime soon so I can keep your kids for a few hours?

I need a baby fix.

In other news, the dentist visit went semi well yesterday. No Oreos were consumed before hand. However, Allie's wisdom teeth are in radar on the x-rays and the dentist wants them removed immediately. He doesn't do wisdom teeth removal, but he referred us to someone who does. I'm not sure what to think of this. Anyone else have their wisdom teeth removed before they even think about coming through? She would be knocked out, then would wake up with no more wisdom teeth.

I had mine removed, but not until they were established as residents in my mouth. Apparently, it is much easier to remove them before they become residents.

Today is a trip to the eye doctor. For both Allie and myself again. I also need to make an appointment for Conor because we received a letter from the school in the mail that said he had difficulty with a color test, so they think he should be tested by a professional.

Every time I go to the eye doctor, I have to take a "special" test because of some problems I had with my right eye years ago. Although they never figured out WHAT the problem was, or what it was caused by, they still test me every time. And they dilate my eyes. Yuck. I had enough of that when they were testing me way back when.

The "special" test I have to take has a name, but I can't remember it right now. I'll just refer to it as the pirate test. I have to put an eye patch over the eye not being tested, and then put my face in this huge round white thing. It's like a big globe, but with an opening for you to see the inside. They dim the lights and flash little dots on the inner parts of the circle. I have to push a button every time I see the dots. Sometimes I get paranoid and don't want to fail the test, so I start seeing things! Or, my thumb will have a spasm or something while I'm taking the test and it will push the button when there wasn't anything there.

Maybe that's why I never get to keep the eye patch - I fail at being a pirate. =\

Then they dilate my eyes and shine lights in them. And blow air in them to test for something. Gah. No wonder I don't like going there. I had repressed these memories until writing about this today and it's all coming back to me now! I think it's too late to cancel my appointment, though. I should have scheduled it for October 31st because my eyes look really wicked when they dilate them, so I could have played that up for scaring little kids in my neighborhood. Oh, well. Maybe next year. heehee

*Update and picture of my eye removed due to the strangeness of it all. :) Don't wanna scare people away, ya know!

My eye sight isn't really that bad. My glasses aren't required on my driver's license (mostly because I forgot to take them with me to the DMV when I renewed them, so I had to test without them), but I do like to wear them when I'm driving at night or watching TV.

I've always wanted to get glasses that look like the ones librarians used to wear in the movies. But I always chicken out, thinking I look like a dork. Maybe I'll pick out a pair that is different this time. If I get new ones anyway.

And wow, this is a long boring post that I am going to schedule for later! So, by the time anyone reads it, the appointment will be over! :)

Sorry for the rambling, it's Friday and I only have to work 1/2 day. Yipeeeee! WOOT! WEWT! and all those other slang terms for YAY! heehee

Have a good weekend! I'll try to post some pictures... or something. ;)


2007 was my best year for blogging with 101 posts. I would have to post a lot in the next few months to catch up to that this year. *sigh* I'm not promising anything! I only have 56 so far this year (this post will be 57!) so I do have to blog a bit more to catch up to last year!

There are so many times I wish I had a small tape recorder to record my thoughts, or certain funny conversations so I can remember then to blog about them. But, I don't. So you all are cheated out of laughing at me and my family. Because we certainly have some funny conversations. Like the one the girls and I had when we went out running around one night. I had my iPod plugged into my radio and I was torturing them with my random music. A lot of the music I like they like as well, but I like a lot of old stuff, too. That they have never heard before. Sometimes they end up liking it, but sometimes it is just weird to them.

I have had some influence on them, though, just like my parents influenced me with some of the music I still listen to. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles. And Bob Seger. A little of this, a little of that.

We were listening to Garth Brooks "Wrapped Up In You" and there is a part in the song where he sings ba-bababa-ba-ba-ba-babababa. Ceara liked the song, and Allie asked if he was trying to say he loved her as much as he does sheep? Is that why he was imitating one?

It was a hilarious conversation, but I don't remember all of it! That's what happens when you have kids and get old, your memory fades quick!

There are a lot of conversations where we gang up on Jeff and make fun of him. He really can't win with 3 females around. Conor isn't old enough to help him yet.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So, blogger has new stuff. I have resisted for so long and didn't upgrade, and I finally bit the bullet and upgraded, which is why everything looks different now.

First thing is THEY DON'T OFFER MY FAVORITE FONT! Sheesh. I guess I can get used to this new font, but I don't like it! No sir.

Second thing is my favorite blogs. It USED to open up a new page (a feature I loved that Salena showed me how to do), but now it goes to the new link in the same window. =( I don't know how to change it. They did make it easier to add links, but... I liked them opening in a new window. If anyone knows how to make this happen with the new blogger template, please let me know! I tried the "help" feature, but it didn't help.

And I really hate the way it messes with the format, too. I figured out how to turn that off, but when I did, it changed the format of all my old posts too and I don't have time to go re-edit them all!

I need to learn how to make my own template. Yeah, that's not going to happen. See below (organized post) - I don't have time to learn how to do that right now. Maybe when Conor is in college. Or wait. He'll probably know how to do it for me soon, right?



I have never. ever. did I mention never? been an organized person. I don't remember at any point in my life being able to organize anything. I long to be organized. I try to be organized. It just doesn't happen.

How do people do it?

Is it just some gene that people inherit that they either have or don't have?

It doesn't help that I'm a sentimental person. I get sentimentally attached to something and have to keep it somewhere.

My sister is organized. But she is also not sentimental. So is that it? I got the sentimental gene and she got the organizational skills one?

I actually fantasize about having a month off work to concentrate on organizing my house. Is that a sickness? I take vacation days to be able to stay home and clean/organize. It just doesn't stay that way long. Clothes continue to be worn, and laundry just keeps piling up. Guess we can't very well walk around nekkid all the time, though, huh?

Like the dog's brush. I bought a brand new one not long ago. And I cannot find it anywhere. I can find the old one, and know where it is right now. But the new one? Whoever brushed him last didn't put it up.

Is there a cure for it? I need a drill Sergent to come live at my house.

The only thing that has really helped me is reading a book. I read that book, and when I'm 1/2 way through it, I get this sudden urge to throw stuff out. OK, not throw it out, but give it away / sell it / throw it out. It has helped me to get rid of a lot of stuff, but there is still so much that I need to get rid of and go through. A big problem of mine is I see something and think "that has to be useful to someone, I don't want to throw it away, that would be wasteful," so I put it in a box, and put it in my garage, where it is supposed to be donated or sold at some point in the future, but it still sits there. Cluttering up my garage. (And yeah, I recognize that sentence is a great example of a run on sentence, and my English teacher would be so ashamed, but I'm leaving it anyway!)

There just isn't enough time in the day!

Can you tell this is particularly bugging me today? =\ And today, I am at work, then I have to get Allie and go to the dentist (both of us getting cleanings). I've always wanted to eat Oreos before going to the dentist so that he has something to really clean. But I always make sure to brush and floss right before seeing him. At his office as a matter of fact.

Can you see by this post that my thoughts are even unorganized at this time?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Who in the world signed me up to get vacation package information in the mail? All of a sudden I have all this mail encouraging me to visit different states. Arkansas, Virgina, and Kentucky is the latest. I'm stumped. Who thinks I have the time or money to take a trip?!?!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Well, we did it. Conor and I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Mmmmmmm it is very good. Very rich, but very good.

Here's my helper:

No one else was home, it was just me and Conor. So we went for it!

First, we mixed the dry ingredients together.

Then we added the sour cream and oil.

Slowly started mixing it,

and slowly added the water.

Then we mixed in the eggs. Conor was the one pouring all this stuff, leaving me free to take the pictures. :)
I poured it into a separate bowl so I could see how many cups there were of batter. I do not have an 8" pan, so I decided to do just a double layer cake with a 10" pan. I also needed my mixing bowl to start on the icing.

Mmmmm cream cheese icing. With peanut butter. How can anyone resist? We creamed together the butter and cream cheese.

Then added the powdered sugar and mixed it well.

Next we measured the peanut butter. In the Wonder Cup I've had for years. For anyone who bakes and uses shortening or peanut butter, this is a must have. Sooooo much better than measuring and having to scrape it out of a cup. You just set the yellow part to the measurement you want,
Then push it out into the bowl (or whatever you are using).
Scrape it off, and there you go!
Mix it all together.
And set it aside to wait for the cakes to finish cooling. Or in my case, to finish baking since they had to share that one pan...
Next for the chocolate glaze:

Put the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and corn syrup into the top pan of a double boiler. If you don't know what a double boiler is, you just fill one sauce pan with water, then put a smaller pan on top that will be heated with the boiling water instead of direct heat. Yeah, you can buy an actual double boiler, but... the two pans work just as well and that is what I have used all my life.

Whisk it together until smooth... or so it said...

Mine got a little too hot and wasn't exactly smooth, but it worked out anyway when I added the half and half.

Then you just have to assemble:

Conor left to go spend the night with my mom before the assembly, so it was all me.

And it was all me when it came to the clean up part as well.

Where are the kids when you NEED them? *sigh* Note the spatula I used to spread the chocolate glaze? That would have been cleaned off by Jeff or Conor had they been there.

I cut a few pieces and took them to my mom's house. Hey, I'm not gonna eat all that cake. ;) And she had all the kids who need chocolate. Especially when they are at her house and not mine!

Here are the ingredients and measurements:
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder,
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Peanut butter icing:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)
Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half