Eggnog Lattes, Cheesy Things & More

 

Are you a fan of eggnog? I love it, and this year in particular, like the Black Eyed Peas say, I just can't get enough. Today was my second consecutive day of stopping in Starbucks for a grande non-fat eggnog latte. I haven't looked up the calories in that yet, but something tells me that even the skim milk isn't doing me any favors. Ah well, 'tis the season and it only comes around once a year, right?

 

We have a fun weekend of family Christmas gatherings ahead and a little downtime on Sunday for the first time in a very.long.time. I can't wait to just sit by our tree, watch some (bad) football, snuggle with my Sweet P and maybe convince Shaun to watch a Christmas movie or two. 

 

I don't have five things for you today, but some fun links to share instead:

 

This 10 Month Old's Letter to Santa had me crying tears of laughter

 

If you are still feeling broken inside by the Sons of Anarchy season finale, EW has got lots of goodies to mull over (please don't post any spoilers here because my mom, who is a season behind, will kill me...but just know...I'm not over it and I'm with you!)

 

This article tells us the meaning behind your favorite cheese...I don't think I fit into any of these categories, but I do love ALL of these cheeses...is there a cheese for that?

 

Here's 50 Holiday Treat Ideas, in case you are in the market

 

Thanks to BuzzFeed for featuring my Pepperjack & Pimento Cheese Dip in the 25 Cheesy Dips That Will Make You Swoon..I'm particularly swooning over #s 1, 7, 10 & 20.

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

10 Months

It feels like I just did an update on P, but here we are another month later.

Penelope is over 10 months old at this point and I swear she is changing everyday day.


I really love this photo of her, just a few days before her official 10 month birthday (on Thanksgiving!)...it so captures her personality right now. Happy, stuffing her little face with food and smiling that enormous, beautiful smile to show off those many pearly whites.

This month brought the full transition to finger foods. When she began flat out refusing to be spoon fed, I silently rejoiced because though letting her feed herself is a little scary (I have an unreasonable choking fear), it is also quite liberating. I really enjoyed cooking and pureeing food for Penelope, but finger food is soooooo much easier and so much fun.

My little cheese doodler

At this point, she is eating just about anything and everything that we eat. This includes mixed veggies, pasta, black beans, sweet potatoes, eggs, turkey, cranberry sauce on thanksgiving, ravioli, bread, bananas, melon, hummus on tiny bits of cracker...essentially anything that I'm eating or snacking on, if Penelope seems interested in it, she gets to try it. In Aruba, we even gave her a little ice cream! Though she made a strange face initially, she opened her piehole right up for more and started whining...it was love at first bite!

In the toy department, P is starting to love her interactive toys. Just this week, she is so enamored with her toy remote control. She is a great solo player...she will sit for quite some time in her playpen and just play with her toys. She also looooooves to jump!



Penelope is also a little crawling machine. She is so active and just wants to be on the go. Time for mom to start baby proofing!

Penelope continues to love Mickey! but we've gotten a small break with Finding Nemo, which she will tolerate.

This month also brought her first big trip - Aruba! We flew on a plane (4.5 hours each way), played in the pool and in the ocean, and went to lots of restaurants.



Bedtime continues to be a challenge (is it ever not, parents? Do these kiddos ever grow out if it?) We finally decided to just let her cry at bedtime and also if she wakes during the night and for the last few days that seems to be working alright.

Daycare continues to go well for us. I do wish that I had a little more time at home with her but we have found a workable groove...for now.

And here we are in her eleventh month. I'm already planning her first birthday party (Mickey Mouse themed of course) and will be sure to fill you in on those details as they develop!

Each day just gets better and better :)

 

For more Penelope updates, see:

1 Week

6 Weeks

3 Months

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

7, 8, & 9 Months

Weekend + The Holiday Spirit

It's a super snowy morning today and although I had to traipse through it to drop Penelope off at daycare, I still love it. I finally have reason to wear my fancy snow boots. I get to wear a scarf all day and drink copious amounts of tea, and watch the snowfall from my office desk next to 10 ft loft windows. All in all, not too shabby I guess.

This weekend we really got into the holiday groove. It all started on Thursday evening with picking out our Christmas tree! Though it cut into her bedtime, Penelope helped pick out a beautiful first Christmas tree and a poinsettia to boot.  

We decided to downsize a little this year since we have less space with P crawling around, but still fell in love with a 6 ft beauty from the 14th Street Garden Center in Jersey City.



Friday evening, we just couldn't get it up to trim the tree since we were a) completely spent from the week and b) prepping for a weekend of picture taking and cookie baking. Instead we watched an episode of Sons of Anarchy (can't believe the season is almost over...still one of my faves!) and were snoozing by 11.


Saturday we were up bright and early to head out for Penelope's first Christmas photo shoot. It was so sweet and fun and I'll be sure to post the photos when I receive them! Penelope was a champ through the entire thing and all of my anxiety over her sitting still and/or being a cranky butt were put at ease. Tempting fate, we decided to try our hand at seeing Santa that afternoon. I had visions of parking space fights (If anyone has done the Jersey mall scene - esp at Christmas - you know what I mean), mobbed lines, and a crying baby who would ultimately have pooped through her clothes once we got to the front of the line. Luckily, we must've gone at the exact right time - or God was shining down on us - because we easily found a spot, the line was only 5 people deep and Penelope once again was a champ.

 

I was secretly hoping for a crying photo with Santa (does that make me a bad Mom? The woman taking the photos seemed to think so), but she did ok and was mostly only concerned/scared by the woman dressed as an elf who was trying to make her smile. #fail.

Saturday night we headed to my parents house since Sunday was our annual Christmas cookie baking day with my mom! Penelope was enamored with their Christmas tree, as I expected. 

It was fun to have Penelope with us for baking this year, though she did mostly floor sweeping and baby cheese doodle eating while the rest of us carried the hard labor. 

8 batches of cookies later, we were completely spent and headed home in the snow. Sunday and Monday were spent hanging lights and trimming the tree. Times have sure changed since we could get all of that done in one night! 

Just missing its skirt and a topper (that's the final piece for tonight!)

And lastly, I'm excited that we got our Christmas stockings! Shaun and I never got stockings for Christmas (outside of our childhood ones at our parents' houses), and so when I got one for Penelope, I thought the whole family should match. I'll post more pics once they are hung by the chimney TV with care.

So that's how we spent our whirlwind weekend and how we've been getting into the holiday spirit lately.

Are you all decorated for the holidays?

Where do you go to see Santa?