Good morning everyone!! I hope your year is off to a great start. Can you believe we are already nearing the end of January? It’s been a pretty eventful one for us, in both great and other not-so-great ways 🥴. I’m going to share it all today!
Zipping all the way back to December 28th, I picked up a shift at work and was greeted by this beautiful sunrise heading out the door. Usually I leave in the pitch black, but my shift started later this day. It was a nice start to the morning. I also got this picture below while Quinn was at daycare 🥰.
That afternoon, we FaceTimed with my siblings, niece and nephews. It was fun to see everyone. Andrea is coming in from Colorado at the end of the month, so we’re excited for that! She hasn’t seen Quinn since July!
We jumped on the call fresh off a walk outdoors, hence the wintry getup, hah!
December 29th was a very special day. We celebrated Christmas with my Dad-in-law’s side of the family in the evening. It was a reminder of how wonderful it is to live so close- it was tough to get all our schedules to match, but when you live in such close proximity, you can even celebrate Christmas a week later on a week night!
One tradition DJ did growing up, and I would love to continue with Quinn, was having a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas. How adorable is this?!
I had a moment of total nostalgia. We had Moose with us, and I had a flashback to last year’s Christmas when I was sitting by the fire with Moose when we he was just a puppy and I was still pregnant. Now there he was, a full grown dog, lounging in the same spot, and Quinn is now here with us too. Wild how things change in a single year!
Quinn got after the gifts! She loved trying to eat everything per usual. In her mind the whole world is edible. Bow? Yum. Tissue paper? An appetizer. Cardboard? Main entree, fiber.
She was spoiled by her Sissy, Poppy, Aunts and Uncle! We had a blast the next day diving into the gifts. How adorable is this little turtle ball pit 😍.
That afternoon of December 30th, I decided to try the stroller again for a walk. With Moose, I don’t feel comfortable putting her in the carrier while walking him since he tugs on the leash when dogs pass. She enjoyed the stroller much more without the car seat. She just happily took in the views and crisp air while clutching her best friend, Violet.
New Years Eve, I was in the mood for a festive brunch. I decided to make a “beermosa” with non-alcoholic malt beer from Two Roots. This is fantastic non-alcoholic beer and award winning for a reason. Mixed with the orange juice it was a great combo. For brunch I made veggie egg scramble with a slice of Dave’s bread topped with Crofter’s berry jam.
It was a fun, chill day at home since DJ had the day off too! In the evening, Quinn got to experience her first fine dining experience.
We were going to a restaurant called Ken Stewart’s Lodge, so it seemed appropriate to put her in this outfit 😊.
And we’re off!
She started off in the high chair but didn’t last very long before we started passing her around. This social butterfly was ready to socialize.
For my main, I got scallops over butternut squash risotto (containing butter) which were divine. At that time I was adding back dairy into my diet in small amounts since Quinn had done well with yogurt and cheese. I had a little creamed spinach too. Unfortunately the next week, all her symptoms of cows milk intolerance returned, so I’m going to wait until she’s closer to a year to try again.
Quinnie girl got her own side of mushrooms, but was not super interested. She way preferred a couple bites of my risotto.
Here she’s reaching for the dessert menu. Girl knows what’s good!
Overall, she did well! It was a longer (albeit delicious & wonderful) meal. We were there from probably 530 to about 730, and she usually goes to bed no later than 7- but she was ready to push back the time on NYE! I probably should have brought more distractions though. At one point we used her shoes as a toy/teether- I mean they never actually touched the floor so they were probably fine?! 😅 It was so good to see our family and chat about everyone’s plans for the coming year.
January 2nd, DJ had the day off again! We had been wanting to take Moose to PetSmart to do his Christmas shopping, just never found the time until then.
Yes, we were bad parents without getting him anything to open on the holiday, but to make it up to him we thought it’d be fun to take him to the store and let him choose his own gifts/treats! If he really seemed excited about something we loaded it up.
The nice thing was pretty much everything he wanted was on sale after the holidays. Thanks for being a cheap date, Moose 😄.
Moose also so sweetly sniffed out some holiday cookies to take to his friends at Aunt Marie’s. Thoughtful guy, that one.
After getting Moose’s goodies, we took Quinn over to admire the birds and fish. I had her outward facing in the carrier, and she just loved taking it all in! This would be a fun rainy day activity for us to do in general.
That afternoon, we snuck in a family walk between the rain storms.
We started Quinn in the stroller, but she was over it halfway through and wound up in the carrier. We laughed because DJ was left pushing Violet in the stroller and no baby. Quite the look there, Deej!
That evening held another cherished memory ❤️. We went to Gigi and Gordie’s for Christmas!
They even had a stocking made for Quinn 💕.
We had fun opening gifts with Quinn (again trying to keep her from eating all the wrapping paper). She was sooo spoiled by all her grandparents!
We had Gigi’s chili for dinner too- my favorite!! She puts the big chunks of tomatoes in her chili, and I could eat it on repeat for days 😋.
Also I had to share how many EmergenC packs we were gifted for Christmas- clearly everyone knows we need them 😂.
January 4th was a tough one! I was using my back cam in the rain while backing into a gas station spot and didn’t see a pole since it was blurred in the cam 😭. I took out my back bumper and a taillight. Thankfully Quinn was not in the car (I was on my way to daycare when it happened). It’s all sorted now, and thank goodness for auto insurance, but was such a hassle, and I was just so mad at myself!
But this girl can turn any week around! On January 6, it was flannel day at daycare so I put her in this sweet outfit 🥰.
That day I started feeling under the weather, and it got worse as the day went on. I was so nauseated by noon/had no appetite, and I couldn’t eat anything the rest of the day. That is highly unusual for me. By the evening I felt so weak and tired that all I could think about was getting into bed. Overnight, it hit DJ too. It was very clear by the next day we had the stomach flu. It was the single hardest day in parenting we had faced yet. We were so weak and sick, we set our alarms every hour to alternate caring for Quinn. Gigi graciously stopped by to relieve us for a bit too in the afternoon. We survived the day, and thankfully Quinn didn’t seem to get it as bad as we did (she did throw up once but seemed her normal, happy self most of the week). We turned the corner Sunday and started getting an appetite back. We loaded up all the bland food items.
We even had enough energy to set up an obstacle course for Quinn that afternoon. She had so much fun with this!
My milk supply plummeted after the bug, but two weeks later thankfully it has come back to baseline. I basically just had to eat a LOT and drink a lot of water to get it back.
Monday January 9th Gigi sweetly watched Quinn while I zipped to drop off my beat-up car and pick up a rental.
January 10th, Quinn and I played in her playpen after breakfast.
I then got Quinn ready for the day and realized we unintentionally were matching, hah!
I finally got Quinn’s eight month photo just a little late!
January 12th I had off work. Quinn and I had a blast just hanging out together all day and cooking.. I made a vegan shepherds pie from scratch. DJ and I didn’t love it- I should have known it wasn’t our cup of tea looking at the ingredients. But Quinn, now that girl loved it!
That week we decided to give the full on baby led weaning a go again! It’s been much less stressful this time around (also she has 7 teeth!). Quinn has been enjoying it, and meals tend to last longer since she really has fun munching on her foods. So far, we have done egg, avocado strips, tomato wedges, zucchini spears, sweet potato wedges, sardines, whole asparagus, broccoli florets and pineapple BLW style! We still give oatmeal for breakfast and purées to make sure she’s getting her iron, but it’s been an exciting and fun endeavor!
January 13th, my birthday, I decided to start the day with a different type of breakfast! I gave the shepherd’s pie a second chance and put an egg over it. It transformed the flavor, and I had this on repeat for several days after!
I went for a massage that morning and returned home to a sweet edible arrangement from DJ. It was so thoughtful of him to get this. I couldn’t really do cake this year with the dairy/soy allergy, but this was a very sweet alternative ❤️.
Rachel stopped by and brought me food from Town Hall in Cleveland knowing I would be able to order something from there! Again, so thoughtful . I had their beyond delicious Brussels sprouts and spicy salmon roll. There is so much on their menu I want to try!
It was so much fun chatting away with Rach! When she headed out, I opened my gifts from DJ- I have to share this one with you all because it’s one of my most treasured gifts I’ve ever received.
Best gift ever 😭.
That weekend was a much needed chill yet productive weekend. We got so much done and spent quality time together as a family. Moose loved the relaxing weekend too. I thought it was so sweet he took a nap on her baby blanket .
While Quinn insists I’m physically in the playpen with her 90% of the time, sometimes when I run over to do dishes or get my cup of coffee real quick, I’ll return to her making the silliest faces through the mesh 😄.
On January 15th, Gigi and Gordie offered to stop by to watch Quinn while DJ and I celebrated my bday out! We decided to go back to Michael Angelo’s. I had a giftcard, and I wanted DJ to experience their yummy food!
It always feels so weird when we get into the car without Quinn or Moose. We realized we hadn’t had a date since October! Crazy how time flies. We decided we want to be more intentional on finding time for dates out this year.
We shared a flight of wine to sample some different ones. Our favorites were the 2021 Rose and Wildflour Cabernet.
For my main, I got vegan rigatoni. It was fine, but when I brought home leftovers I was able to doctor it up with my own vegan cheeses and butter to take it to another level 😋.
I also gobbled up their asparagus salad which I had last time and loved!
DJ enjoyed their carbonara!
Car selfies always and forever.
We stopped by our land after to see it in the winter! So fun to dream about the future.
And I’ll wrap up here for now considering this is plenty long enough!
Thanks for reading :).
Questions for you:
– What’s everyone reading right now?
– Highlight of your January so far?