Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Penny Picture Post!

 Now for some Penny pictures.  We have started to be a little more dedicated to our potty training.  I'm still pretty laid back, and not fully invested, but we're still testing the waters.  Really, we're in no rush, but it would be a nice change.

Here's Penny in some pants.

 Penny loves to webcam with Jeff's family every Sunday.
 She is also going through a slight Pooh obsession.  She gets the "Honey" song stuck in her head, it is very silly.
 Yes, she is wearing summer clothes.  Just seeing if they still fit, and they do!
 Potty pictures!  Her face is just ridiculous.

 These girls tangled us up!
 And we still have lots of fun with our cousins!  Though, having 4 babies all in their twos is quite an adventure...
 Fashion forward Penny!

We are in that dorky pose stage at last! 

 We got this tattoo at Wegmans the other day, and man did it stick!  I had to scrub it off a week later, but she loved it the entire time she had it.

Anyway, there is a Penny overload.  Just wanted to put those up there before I forgot.

Valentine's Day 2012

So, Jeff has always been clever with Valentine's Day.  Perhaps this is his curse, as it is also the anniversary of when we started dating and shared our first kiss, so now he just has to keep out doing that.  Or he's just a great guy.  Anyway, previous years have been memorable and great (the best yet worse among them were when he had Becky deliver flowers and treats even while he was away in Israel.  I say the worst because he was GONE!)

Anyway, this year was no exception, and we haven't even had dessert yet!

I thought I was being clever with doing this:
Really, it was kind of a funny joke, because we had been making fun of all the pins on pinterest of all these cheesy things to do for your husband.  As silly as it may be, it absolutely made Penny's day.  She demanded to see see the giant heart constantly, and buying those balloons may as well have been a second Christmas.  The REAL prize for Jeff was in the middle of the heart.  I bought him a digital kitchen scale so he can finally use those pesky ounce measurements in all the Alton Brown recipes.  I also got him a mini bamboo cutting board.  He has been wanting a nice big one, but I'm not going to risk picking that out without him.

But of course, Jeff is always one step ahead of me.  I woke up to a trail of Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cups leading to the kitchen (as he laid them out, I could here Penny saying, "Awwww, cuuute!")  where I found flowers and a plate full of delicious angel foodcake french toast!  It is as delicious as it sounds.


When I asked Jeff where we were going for dinner earlier in the week to schedule babysitting and all, but he told me we were dining in!  I know Jeff wouldn't pass up an opportunity to try out a new restaurant downtown, so I knew he had something up his sleeve.

Turns out it was a four course dinner!  This is what we enjoyed:


Our first course was a bread and cheese tasting spread complete with Spanish Iberico, Goat Milk Brie, and a Chocolate English Cheddar with figs and walnuts on the side. They were all delicious, it was hard to choose a favorite, but the Chocolate Cheddar was new and interesting, so I'll go with that.  It was beautifully presented on his new bamboo board!

Next Jeff served up a flavorful top sirloin steak with tiny little potatoes and a spinach salad.  


 Course 3 was a progressive chocolate tasting, starting at 29% cocoa all the way up to 90%.  It was quite an interesting experience with lots of different flavors and styles.  Things like Firecracker chocolate, that left your mouth burning from the spices, or just regular Belgian Chocolate.  The darkest of dark was a very bizarre experience.  I don't think I have ever tasted chocolate so dark.  It is amazing that adding a little sugar and milk to it can transform the flavors so much.


And finally for dessert, Jeff made this chocolate bread type situation.  I'm not so sure what it's called, he will have to tell you that.  But boy was it goooooood.  I was a little upset, as I thought I had the upper hand when it came to baking, but no.  Jeff just decides to make some bread and it turns out perfectly... pffffft.  But I suppose I can't complain, especially when it means we get to eat things like this.



So that was Jeff's grand presentation.  It exceeded my expectations, of course, and I enjoyed every bite of it.  It was just as fancy, if not more so than eating out at a restaurant!  Thanks for everything Jeff!  You are my truest of loves. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Christmas Catch Up!

So, I have been posting mostly about my art lately, which isn't truly the purpose of this blog, so I'll get back to the real reason, which is gushing about Pen pants, and posting delightful pictures.  I'll start with the rest of our California trip.

Jeff's family graciously volunteered to babysit Penny overnight while we took a little trip to Monterey.  This is where we honeymooned, so I was more than eager to go back and relive those memories.  We took the two hour, scenic drive south and arrived in the foggy little town.  We stayed in hotel just a few blocks from Cannery Row.  We ate fresh clam chowder on the docks, sipped on salted caramel ghiradelli  (sp?) hot chocolate, did a little window shopping. We made reservations at a little French restaurant called Bistro Moulin, enjoyed a fine spread of very fancy cheeses, the most light and fluffy spinach gnocchi I've ever had, and a really delicious chicken dish.  Jeff had some kind of fish that he enjoyed as well.

We had a great time sleeping in, and were met in the morning by the rest of the Ribeiras, along with Penny and Jonah.  We made our way over the the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was pretty crowded (it was New Years weekend) but we pushed through the crowds and had an awesome time.  Going there with a toddler was certainly a different experience than going as a newly wed, as you can imagine.  Here are a bunch of pictures.
Pen and Jonah did a great job driving the entire way down.




There are lots of hands-on exhibits.



Penny loved the stairs.

Very unsightly sea snakes just sticking up out of the sand.  *Shudder*

The little toddler jumping area.


Jellies!







These were SO tiny.  Probably about the size of a penny.

We then explored the bay a bit.


And tried to do photoshoots.




My favorite part was the sea horses and jellies, and Penny loved the toddler area, as well as all the animals.  It was a nearly perfect day, except for the fact that Pen only slept for a half hour for her nap, which made our dinner at Bubba Gumps slightly tricky...  We it was a lovely day, and we made our way home, and were happy to be back with our little Pen.