Sunday, March 30, 2008


I didn't have enough time to publish these pictures in the past week, I've been so busy. Bella liked to hold onto one egg while she picked up others, so she could only hold one new egg at a time.

I tried to publish more pictures, but the website is having a hard time right now...I'll have to add more later.

Missing: One Chocolate Easter Bunny

"Bella, do you know who took the bunny?"

Flea Market Finds

So today we went to a Swap Meet with baby/toddler items. Even though we got there an hour after it started (I heard you need to get there right when if opens, if not earlier, to get the really good stuff), we still got some great finds. We spent a total of $24 and got the following...

We're headed to Colorado for Christmas, so finding a snow suit for Isabella was a priority. I'm sure she'll be excited about it when she's old enough to wear it (in a few months). We also got her a few sweaters and pants. Total on clothes: $8.

We got this little chair for Bella to sit on while we are all in the living room--she's always trying to get up on the couch. It needs to be reupolstered--I was thinking brown corderoy so it'll go with our couch but will still look cute with her Dick and Jane quilt. It's still up-in-the-air as to whether I'm going to do it or if we'll take it to the little upolstry shop by Joann's...I guess it won't hurt to get a quote. Chair: $3.

This little Winnie the Pooh rug will go in her room so she can play with cars and trains. I'll post pictures of her room in the coming weeks--it's undergoing a little transformation (very little). Rug: $12.

This was our favorite find. It's an old metal fire engine with plastic fenders. It's missing the bell and needs to be repainted/recromed, but we may end of fixing it up for a Christmas present. We got it for $7!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Made In China

With all the talk about China (lead in paint, antifreeze in toothpaste, driving over tea leaves to dry them) I thought I would highlight some stores which sell items that are homemade, natural, and not made in China.
This toy store specializes in wooden toys and has a special section called "Not Made in China". If you're still concerned about your rugrat chewing on paint, they have toys that are not painted as well. They only sell wooden and classic-type toys including blocks and trains--no batteries here!
This is a website which allows for people to buy and sell homemade wares. If I could (and had the time), I would love to do this. You can do a search for toys, clothing, household goods, etc. For a little taste, check out this set Cute!
This store has montissori-type toys. They have kid-sized household items for pretending (and "helping") like brooms, dust rags, ironing boards, etc. They also have swings that look like ships and other goodies to fulfill all your creative whims.


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Pitter-Patter of Little Feet

No, no, we're not having a baby; we're housesitting for my in-laws who have tile floors. Just by listening to her bare feet against the floors, you can tell a lot about what she's thinking and doing without actually being able to see Bella.

A constant pitter-patter is great. It means she's occupied and not getting into anything. She's usually headed back to her toys or following the dogs. It's the slow pitter-patter followed by a quick-quick-quicker steps and then a giggle that's worrysome. It usually means she's about to get into something she knows she wouldn't be able to if you could actually see her. It's the slow-slow-silence that's the most concerning. It usually means stairs, drawers, trash, or toilet--I'm not even sure which is the best. I think my favorite, though, is when she walks around aimlessly slow-slow then squeals and runs with her arms stretched out wanting to be picked up.

Just looking at her today I was thinking about how much she's grown in such a short amount of time. She hasn't quite mastered "Mommy"--I think because she never needs to say it. I follow her around and play with her constantly when I'm home--she can't get rid of me. Sometimes she'll say "Mamamama" but she usually just comes and sits on my lap.

When I ask her where Daddy is, she holds her hand by her ear (her sign for Daddy), yells "Daddy" and looks for closed doors to bang on. Sometimes she sqeals "Dada" in a high-pitched playful voice. Cute cute. I think this is my favorite age. I say that every month. Her personality is really starting to show through.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Redheads Extinct?

My daughter is a redhead, so many people have approached me to tell me redheads are dieing out. Red hair is a double-recessive trait, so both parents must carry the gene in order for their children to be redheaded. Knowing both my dad and Abel have red hair, we were well aware that Isabella had a 50% chance of being redheaded. We were so certain were were having a redhead baby that had she not been born on Christmas, her middle name would have been Rose.

In doing some research on the redhead gene, National Geographic did in fact do a study which reported that approximatly 2% of the world's population is gingy. By 2060, they estimated the gene may be nearly wiped out. Scotland has the highest population of gingys, with 40% of people carrying the gene and 12% are actually redheaded. In looking at this, I think we may see the gene lay dormant, but it would take many generations before it is actually wiped out in its entirety. The gene tends to skip generations due to its double-recessive nature, so I think we may see it pop up here and again.

From an evolutionary standpoint, the redhead gene had the beneficial effect of increasing the body's ability to make vitamin D from sunlight. This might be especially helpful if you lived in Alaska or Antartica, however, (living in California) today's carriers have an increased risk fo skin cancer and sensativity to temperature. I would think this would lead to a slightly lower rate of depression in redheads versus the rest of the population since a lack of vitamin D from sunlight has been shown to lead to certian types of depression.

In summary, redheads are not dieing out (I'm sure many will live past 2060), but the gene itself is becoming less prevalent. You may see fewer and fewer redheaded babies, but as long as color comes in a box, you'll always see redheaded adults.

Birthday Party

We had a birthday party for one of our close friends. She mentioned one time how she never made a "real" baked cheesecake, so I thought I would attempt one and give her the recipe. This was a complete surprise since we always make each other cakes that we can decorate.

Here is the recipe:

2 packages (not boxes) graham crackers, crushed (around 15 crackers)
2 T unsalted butter, melted (or use buttermilk as a butter substitute but you'll have to eyeball this--use enough so that the crackers smoosh together when push on them)

Cheese cake
4 8oz packages of cream cheese (room temp)
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit the bottom of the pan--this will let the crust come off easier (you can skip this step if you want to).

Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter (or buttermilk). Press into bottom of springform pan. Put in the fridge.

Mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk. Mix in eggs one at a time (do not over mix). Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and flour until smooth. Pour filling into the crust.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cake sit in the oven for a few hours (2 or more). This helps minimize cracking. Then put in the fridge.

For the topping, heat 1 can of cherry pie filling in a skillet and add flour to thicken. The flour may not dissolve all the way, but once you refrigerate it, the white specks will disappear almost entirely.

I'll post a picture later.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

'Nilla Mesa

Isabella and I went shopping with some friends yesterday in Mira Mesa. We were looking for an Easter dress for me--which we found. It's very cute and Abel loves it. After visiting Dress Barn and Marshalls, we decided to have lunch at Jollibees. If you've never heard of Jollibees, you're not alone. Apparently they are big in the Phillipeans--the cashier said they are like a McDonald's there. We loved the decor and the big mural of orientals feeding eachother Jolly Crispy Fries in a cramped car.

I got the Palabok Fiesta which had two hardboiled eggs, three shrimp, and some sort of beef sauce over these cooked rice-noodles. (I think Isabella's face says it all, but how can you go to a place like this an just order something that's half-way normal?) I've never seen so many different meats combined together in one dish. The dish had brown sugar sprinkled on top to give it some crunch and then you're supposed to dump lime juice on top (which definately helped it out a little). Isabella ordered a Juicy Yumburger with some Jolly Crispy Fries, and our friend ordered Crispy Chicken Joy which came with rice and gravy. They also had combos where you could get spaghetti with a chicken strip on the side (they all had creative names as well, but I can't remember what they were, unfortunately.

Then, our friend needed to go get some Boba (the big tapioca balls that are in oriental drinks). So we decided to try this oriental market. I'm not sure what it was called because the sign on front just said "Seafood" in big letters. It was amazing! They had live fish in buckets and you could just pick them out with some tongs and bring them home for dinner. Isabella was intrigued at first but once she realized the were still jumping, she started to get concerned.

I took the pictures on my phone, so they are a little smaller in size than usual, however it works great in a jam. I definately think I need a little pocket-sized camera to carry in the diaperbag so I can better share our adventures. Maybe later...