First Smiles

First Smiles (3).JPG

The time has come, parents! Veronika is nearing two months old, and I can finally be certain that those beautiful smiles are not just gas (although those smiles are cute, too!), but actual social smiles. If your child is between 1 and 2 months of age, then you should start to see the same thing.

Note: It was very hard to get pictures for this post, since the light on the camera makes Veronika squint her eyes, eliminating the full impact of her smile. But you get the idea!

Today, I made smiles the focus of my interactions with Veronika, taking the time to give her a big grin at various points throughout the day. Sure enough, if I smiled at her, I was rewarded by a big gummy grin back. If the smile reaches the eyes, then you can tell it’s a social smile, and not just a reflex. Baby smiles are cute in the bassinet…

First Smiles (1)

…or in your lap…

First Smiles (4)

…or at the diaper table.

First Smiles (5)

Invite big siblings to try this game, too. Travis has been eager for Veronika to do “more,” and he felt so rewarded when she returned his big grin.

First Smiles (2)


Snowball Cookies

Snowballs (9).JPG

Travis and I plan to host a cookie swap this coming weekend, which means we needed to bake several batches of fun holiday cookies. What could be more winter-appropriate than cookies that look like snowballs? Travis was so excited to see how we would make these, and loved every minute.

Snowballs (2)

He was a huge helper reading the recipe and telling me how much of each ingredient we needed, a first in his culinary journey!


  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar + extra for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground.Snowballs (1)
  2. In a stand mixer, combine the butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined.Snowballs (3)
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.Snowballs (4)
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes.Snowballs (5)
  5. Roll in additional powdered sugar (you’ll need about 1 cup to thoroughly coat them all), and transfer to serving plates.Snowballs (6)

Note: We had a little less than a full cup of powdered sugar for rolling, so our cookies received a “dusting” of snow, not a full blizzard!

Snowballs (7)