Saturday, November 24, 2012

First Thanksgiving…

This is your first Thanksgiving, one of many traditional thanksgivings to come. It is the day to be even for grateful all that we have especially family and friends.

Nov 21, 2012  pre Thanksgiving Baking. It was nice having you in the kitchen with Mommy while I bake. You did not want to play by yourself these days unless Mommy is right there in the room with you. As you had your mixing bowl and spoon, water (in case you get thirsty) and measuring spoons, it was time to bake. Made the carrot cake and managed to make the crust for the apple pie and sweet potato pie for tomorrow’s baking frenzy.


Mini Carrot Cake
Recipe: (I apologize, this recipe was one of my many clippings of recipes but do not recall where it came from. So FYI, it is not my recipe)
1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grounded cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda'
1/2 tsp salt
2 jars (4oz each) of baby food carrots or baby puree (if you have some handy)
2/3 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil (extra virgin olive oil will do as well)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 brick (8oz) cream cheese

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Orange or green gel food color (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 13 x9 x 2in baking pan with heavy duty foil, extending it over sides, coat with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl to mix.
In another medium bowl, whisk, baby food, fresh carrots, orange juice, sugar, oil, egg, vanilla
Stir wet ingredients in dry ingredients just until blended. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20mintues or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean
Cool in pan on wire rack 10minutes. Using foil, life cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
For the Frosting: in a bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until creamy, On low, beat in confectioners’ sugar. Beat until fluffy.
Using foil, lift cake onto work surface. With a 2 1/2 in round biscuit cutter, cut out 12 rounds from cake. Place 1/2 cup frosting in another cup and tint green-yellow.
On half of the cake rounds, spread 1 tbsp frosting each, top with remaining rounds. Frost each top with 1 1/2 tbsp frosting. Place orange and green tinted frosting in separate quart size ziptop bags, Snip off tips from each bag, pipe orange carrots and green tops on cakes.
The last two directions I choose not to do, as it means more work on this busy pre Thanksgiving baking day. After it cools, I just serve. I also tried to use an many organic ingredients as I can, such as organic carrots, extra virgin olive oil as opposed to canola oil, eggs with no antibiotics, and hormone free,

Eating the carrot cake. Lina<3 enjoyed the carrot cake Mommy made :) yum

Nov 22, 2012 Thanksgiving Day
Apple Pie
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Sticks Chilled Butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar .
  • 10 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 5 1/4 pound Granny Smith Apples cored and sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1 1/4 pound Empire Apples cored and sliced 1/8" thick
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoon Bourbon or Brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Whites of 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup Water
2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoon Sugar
FOR THE FLAKY PIE CRUST:  Combine water, salt, and sugar in measuring cup. Stir and place cup in fridge for at least 15 min to chill water and to dissolve sugar and salt. If possible, chill mixing bowl and paddle attachment if possible.
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
4 Sticks Chilled Butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Combine flour and butter pieces in mixing bowl. On medium speed, cut butter into flour until butter pieces are the size of small pebbles. With the mixer running, pour the water into the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.  Separate the dough into 2 disks. Wrap each with film and chill.
Roll chilled pastry dish out to fit a deep dish pie dish. Prick all over dough with a fork. Bake on 375 for 10-15 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
10 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
5 1/4 pound Granny Smith Apples cored and sliced 1/8" thick
1 1/4 pound Empire Apples cored and sliced 1/8" thick
2 cups Sugar
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
5 tablespoon Bourbon or Brandy
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
FOR THE PIE FILLING: In a very large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, then add apples, sugar, and cinnamon. When apples begin to sizzle, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and release their juices, about 10-12 minutes. Add the bourbon, cook for another minute, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and allow to cool.  If needed cook in batches and lay out on a sheet try to cool.
TO MAKE PIE:  Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out a chilled piece of pie crust large enough to cover pie.
White of 1 Egg
1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
Pour filling into par-baked crust, and cover with the second piece of pie crust. Trim the cover, and fold under the edges. Flute edges together or use fork to press together. Brush the top with egg whites and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut four slits near center of pie to vent steam.  Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.

This is my first time making apple pie and it was delicious (made with organic apples. Unfortunately Lina<3 was such a picky eater these days, a little taste of it with your tongue and shook your head “no” and did not want to eat or see it, lol. The crust was extremely good!. There was extra crust and I used it for the sweet potato pie (made with organic sweet potatoes and once I find my recipe, it’ll be posted later)  :)

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (make your own)

    1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
    2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

The wait before dinner… We had some family members come over for dinner, and you enjoyed playing with them, not at first but you slowly warmed up to everyone.

Thanksgiving Dinner …yum. Lina<3 did not like the turkey, (hormone free turkey from BJs) maybe ate one or two bites and that was it. You have been a picky eater lately. On your plate was some turkey breast, white rice, mashed potatoes (organic potatoes). Barely touched your food during dinner time and would rather eat carrot cake instead.

Visited aunties after dinner. You played with your cousins and played with your aunties IMG_0402

Nov 23, 2012
Black Friday. No, we did not do the black Friday early morning sales! Mommy had a few hours to myself at the movies, and had missed you very much. It was the first time, I really had time to myself, and spent three hours at the movies. It was three hours long, as I was thinking about you and how you were doing. You came to walk around with me afterward at the mall. Daddy had to dressed you all by himself and he said that it was hard to do, too a while, he does not know if the clothes matched or not, claimed he does not know where anything was (like your hat, or what was in your diaper bag). When you came to mall, you looked fine, with a pretty dress, tights, hat, coat, and shoes but Daddy did not button your bodysuit underneath your dress, lol, he usually does this every time he changes your diaper. @Deer Park

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Officially Walking

Lina<3, you are officially walking now :) Slowly you been walking since you took your first step on Oct 29, 2012. Just a few one, two, three steps at a time, or just walk while Mommy holds your hands (you like that better) made you more confident to walk more on your own. You walked with your duck in hands, doing your funny laugh, and walked towards me slowly in your play area :) in the afternoon. I love it, watching how excited you were to be walking. It made you so happy.  So much new adventures awaiting to come...
I am trying to put the home video online, once I get it up and running, it’ll be posted.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Piggy Back Rides

The other day, Lina<3 you are so funny. You like your piggy back rides from Mommy (and Daddy). You were playing in your play area while Mommy sat down on the floor to be with you and leaning on the back of the couch. You saw that Mommy was too comfortable, so you came over to me, slid yourself between the couch and myself, pushed me forward so you can fit perfectly behind me, wrapped your arms around me, and attempted to lift your legs up as to straddle my back. It was an indication that you want a piggy back ride, lol, well why did you not say so (Mommy knows that you can not say that yet). So Mommy lifted you up onto my back with the back of the my arms, n hands, bounced up and down, made you smiled and screamed. Besides bouncing up and down, we walked a little, especially toward the wall mirror in the dining room (where you also play) so you can see yourself bounced, laughed, smiled, and having a good time.

This is one of many moments that I love and there will be many moments.

My Little Screamer

Lina<3, you have become quite the screamer for the past few weeks. Screaming with your mouth open, very high pitch, and very loud. It could be deafening if you do it close to Daddy's or Mommy's ears. It started with just a high pitch squeal which became a high pitch and loud scream, lol. It is screams of excitement, and joy. It happens when you are having fun, too much fun :)
You scream when you are playing, during diaper changed (when you are not scratching up a storm, or fussy), during meals and while outside. Sometimes it is in the mornings only, or the evenings, or all day long, lol. It is fun to see you scream because Daddy and I wonders what is going on in that head of yours, and it makes laugh and smile to see how happy you are.
My little screamer, you are. Daddy and I just need to be anticipatory when it comes to your screaming especially when you are near us. So go ahead and scream!

I scream, you scream, we all screamed for ice cream! lol

Note to Lina<3: you'll learn indoor and outdoor voices later, for the time being, Mommy is going to let you be you

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nice Day for Playground Fun

Nice weather calls for a outing yesterday.  Lina<3 took advantage of the weather by going outside :) Have not been outside in almost a week. Found a playground nearby for Lina<3 to go to…yay! Took a  long walk to the playground and spent some time there. Went on the swings for the first time :) and did not cry at all when I put you on it, and swing you because you were busy watching the two other children there running around. You liked watching those two kids running away, and playing with each other, that you even called out to them, and waved to them even though they could not hear you or see you. There were times when you were not happy because those two children were in your sight, and you realized you were doing something new. There were also a lot of noise from trucks which startled you at first.

After playing, you sat back on your stroller and had your cookies and water for snack time. When snack time was over, it is time to go home. As you can see in the last picture, you were exhausted from playing.

Another Bad Night...

Another couple of hours during the night time where you refused to go back to sleep on your own. I just do  not understand.
You went sleep after 8:30pm and slept until 2am. 2am, changed your diaper, cleaned you up, nursed you, and back to your crib you went. Slept for 15mins and then was up again, this time you did not go to sleep even after Mommy patted your back, and rubbed your head. So thought a change of scenery might help and into Mommy's bed you go, played, climbed, and tugged at Mommy's shirt for breast milk. Back to your crib you went after 3am, and slept for 15 minutes, up, and cried loudly. Mommy waited a while to check in on you. After 4am, you came to Mommy's bed, nursed and slept til 7am.

I do not understand why you are unable to fall back to sleep on your own. It can not be because your tummy is empty and you are hungry. Could it be the drastic change in temperature, as a few days ago it was in the 40s, yesterday was in the 60s? Could it be your eczema symptoms bothering you? What is the reason? hmm...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bad Night...

Ahh! go to sleep. You had a terrible last night, from 12am to 3am. Woke up and refused to go back to sleep. Did not want to sleep at all, although Mommy could tell you were exhausted. You managed to stay up for three longggg hours.
12 am, you woke up, Mommy went to check on you, changed your diaper and cleaned you up, nursed, and slept for 10mins. Woke up again, but Mommy waited a while to check in on you, hoping that you will fall back to sleep by yourself like you usual do around this time. Cried for almost 30minutes, but it was not hysterical or loud, it was a "eh, eh" cry, that is not suppose to last long or so Mommy thought. Went to check on you again after 1am, you were still lying down, cried, unable to fall back to sleep on your own, and scratched your head, thighs, and ankles a lot. Picked you up and brought to you Mommy's bed, you played, tossed and turned, and rolled over; climbed on Daddy and I; and screamed, smiled, and giggled. Brought you back to your crib after 30minutes of play, hoping that it will tired you out. Yes, you were laid down on your crib, patted your back, shushed you, rubbed your head and you drifted off. For five minutes only, you were up, cried out loud, and did not stop for a long time, as Mommy did not want to check on you right away, hoping that you will fall back to sleep on your own. Went to check on you. Changed your pjs, as it seemed like it made you hot and itchy, but did not relieve the scratching at all. So Mommy wiped you down completely with a damp cloth and moisturized your entire body from head to toe, hoping that it will cool your body down and bring back moisture to your skin so you will be less itchy. Thank goodness for the ScratchMeNot mittens, otherwise you would be covered in blood and scratch marks from all the scratching. After moisturizing and playing with you in your crib, Mommy patted your back, shushed you and hoped you go to sleep and left the room. Five minutes later, you were up again, argh. You came to Mommy's bed to sleep, no more playtime, as you were so tired. You managed to sleep next to Daddy and I, after Mommy's constant rubbing of head, rubbing belly, and pats on back. Slept finally after 3am to after 7am (then it was time to get up for the day).

Friday, November 9, 2012

In The News: Reassessing Flu Shot

Your Daddy and I were debating having our little Lina get a flu shot. We were not inclined to do so and now are supported  the following article, especially this quote: "Last month,, in a step tantamount to heresy in the public health world, scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota released a report saying that influenza vaccinations provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older, who are most likely to succumb to the illness or its complications." “We have overpromoted and overhyped this vaccine,” said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, as well as its Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance. “It does not protect as promoted. It’s all a sales job: it’s all public relations."

The link below supports our view:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favorite Toy

For the past couple of months, your favorite toy is the duck (ducky or quack quack, as Daddy and Mommy calls it sometimes). It was one of your first gifts from Mommy’s friend. You have fun with the duck when you are your play area. Lina<3 gives the duck hugs, and gives the duck for Mommy to hug. The duck sits with you when you do not throw it around, lol. Mommy taught you how to give the duck kisses, but majority of the time, you just put the duck’s beck into your mouth instead. (I guess the kisses are save for Daddy and Mommy). When Daddy or Mommy asked you, “where’s your duck?”, you look for it in your play area with your eyes and then you go and find it, when you see it (sometimes, it take several repeats of the question before you look for the duck).  
(tried to get you to take a picture wit your favorite duck, but you absolutely did not want to, lol, wanted the camera instead)


The first time you said "mumumm" it was so exciting, but you would not repeat it again, at least not when I was in your presence and that was early October. Now a month or so later, between yesterday and today, you had been saying "mumumum" or "mama" or "mum" throughout the day. It is music to my ears and I love hearing it! Lina<3, it was about time, lol. You say "mama" when I am in the room with you either playing with you or watching you play. I can hear you say it when I am in the next room while you are playing by yourself or in your crib. It is so wonderful. My baby said "mama" :). Yes, I am "mama" and nothing will ever change that!

Pointy Finger

My little Lina<3 has learned how to point within the last week or so. You had watched Daddy and Mommy point with our index finger and you want to do the same thing. When we point to something, we also make sure that you know what we are pointing at and make sure you look in the direction of where we are pointing to. Now you can tell us what you want. You had only point using your right hand, the index finger, but yesterday you started to use your left hand as well.
Pointing during playtime when you can not reach for your toys, when you want us to play with you, when you want to play music, and when you want your toys that you threw out of your play area. Pointing during mealtime, especially when you are ready to have a drink, when you want to your food, and when you drop the bottle. Pointing when we go out for walks while you are sitting in your stroller :) Sometimes it is hard to figure out what you are pointing at, because you do not always point in the exact direction of what you want but always close enough to for Mommy to figure it out.

Snow Baby

This is not my baby’s first snow storm but it is the first time you played in it, and got to see it.
At first it was rain, then it quickly turned to snow.

Snow… it came down hard and probably will stick to ground.

This morning:
Got ready to go outside and see the snow :)
Shoveling snow. Daddy shoveled, while Lina<3 and Mommy helped.

It is the first snow of the season and it is not even winter yet. It is still consider autumn. Let’s hope that it will not be a bad winter, when it does come. Let’s also hope for warmer weather and not too much snow… oops, did Mommy jinxed it?