On The Market

Well, it's official. Our house is on the market and ready to sell. It has actually been on the market since last Friday and we have already had several showings. Now, time for a buyer!


Pumpkin Patch

A sneak peak of our weekend excursion. And, a photo from our excursion last year. Same place, different year. Look how much Ms. A has changed!

Sauvie Island - October 2008

Sauvie Island - October 2009


Food Frenzy

When thinking about what Ms. A eats, I often think about the diet of a ravenous pregnant woman. It often sounds just the same. She'll eat the same thing over and over, has weird cravings and throws tantrums if she doesn't get what she wants. Oh, may I add that she loves pickles, too.

She continues to do well at feeding herself. And, her babies as well. However, she still likes to be a "baby" herself and have you feed her once in awhile if she's having a hard time getting the food on the fork or spoon.

But the food we couldn't live without right now is ...

Yes, Kashi GO LEAN cereal. Of all things. I think she likes it because of the different shapes and textures of the cereal. Plus, Kashi is usually part of my morning breakfast routine so she's like what I'm eating. That's a plus. But seriously, this girl will eat a whole bowl of Kashi. I wouldn't normally think an 18-month-old would enjoy something like this, but she does!

As for the rest of her diet, we're working to extend our range of foods. If she doesn't like, she still spits it out or won't eat. She's definitely a toddler when it comes to that. As for she she eats, here's a list. And, all joking aside, if it's not on this list, chances are, she probably won't eat it. Good luck!

Ms. A's diet consists of:
* All white meat chicken nuggets
* Kashi cereals
* Yo-Baby yogurt (all varieties)
* Dairy - milk, cheese, eggs
* Lunch meat roll-ups - only if it's pepper turkey (yes, it's the spicy kind)
* Pasta on occasion
* Sometimes grilled cheese
* Fruits - blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapes, pear. Sometimes peaches or bananas.
* Vegetables - cucumbers, peas
* A scoop of peanut on a spoon
* Snacks: pretzels, puffs, graham crackers, Koala Peanut Butter puffs cereal, goldfish crackers, soy crisps, pickles, tortilla chips

Trying to have a well balanced diet is hard for this girl - especially when most of what she eats is dairy. We had her hemoglobin levels checked and they came back 13.9 which is right in the range she needed and she was 22.6 lbs and 31.75 inches at her last 18-month check up. So, she's growing right where she to be, but boy oh boy is she picky about food!


$2 Tuesday

Every second Tuesday of the month, the Portland Zoo holds an amazing deal - $2 Tuesday. That means I can take Ms. A to the zoo for $4. A $2 ticket for myself,Ms. A is free and then $2 for parking. What a bargain! There aren't many things out there to entertain children in an educational and fun way for only 4 bucks. Seriously.

However, I had previously attempted one of these bargain days with my parents. We were stuck in traffic to get off the exit to the zoo, drove around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot, stood in line for 20 minutes just trying to get a ticket, and continually watched bus after bus load into the lots. Absolutely ridiculous. And, after all the waiting, we decided we would just head over to the Children's Museum and go with Plan B. A much better decision. No waiting, just fun and interaction.

The thought of me trying to venture to do this was a little scary. I'm not going to lie. I packed a lunch and plenty of snacks and liquids for Ms. A. However, I've gotten pretty good at traveling with A by myself that a little trip (heavy Portland traffic, stuck in lines, etc, etc) to the zoo doesn't scare me in the least bit. I've flown across the country with her a few times by myself and driven to and from our old house and our new house (soon to be our old house) what seems like a million times. So, I thought I'd be fine.

And, fine indeed we were. We made it in traffic just fine. I pulled up to the zoo and found a parking spot right in the front. I waited for 2 people in front of me to purchase tickets and then it was smooth sailing. This was also one of our first "adventures" like this without Daddy. We missed him, as we always do, but "A" has been interested in animals the last few weeks so I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Actually, interested in animals is an understatement. She has been obsessed with animals the last few weeks.

We had a great day. A picnic at the zoo. And, frankly, a great bonding time with Mommy and Ms. A. She enjoyed the ducks the best and was deathly afraid of the elephants that appeared to be running towards her through the glass. I've never seen Ms. A run so fast!

I also sized her up to the polar bears!

All in all. A great day. Although this great day was definitely a few weeks ago. I'm just a little behind in posting.


Wishful Wednesday: Job

An old co-worker and friend of mine has started something called Wishful Wednesdays. It's a nice way to break up the middle of the week, our hump day, and wish for something. Plus, Kelsey has a great blog and lives in the Pacific Northwest.

So here it goes. Short and sweet.

'I wish' .... I got paid $1 million a year to ...
do what I do right now. Be a stay-at-home-mommy. I just wish I was paid.

I absolutely love what I am doing right now and wouldn't trade it for the world at this moment. To be able to have A on her own schedule, a schedule that works for her and for me to be flexible with our play dates, park times and running errands.

We are two peas in a pod. And do everything together. She works out with me when I go running outside, we run errands together, she cries for me in the mornings and wants a big hug from me when she wakes up from her naps.

When she was first born, her Daddy was her favorite. Hands down. And, he still is her favorite. You should see her face when he walks in the door from a hard day at work. But, I'm her favorite, too. She was such a struggle when she was a little baby and cried all the time. I often felt like I was not very good at being a mother. But, we passed the hump and now life is grand. Yes, we are entering the toddler tantrums, but we'll get through it easily.

For all I do - from the cooking, cleaning, taking care of A, bills, shopping, running errands, etc - I deserve $1 million dollars.

How much fun would that be. Getting paid to stay at home? That would be my life! And, if I would have been working, I would have missed out on times like this - see video below. Playing with A on the ground and hearing her baby laugh. Something so simple. Something many people take for granted. I would not trade it for the world.

Spilly McSpillerson

First of all, I must share a picture of my two favorite people. :) We seriously tried to take at least 30 photos of Ms. A with her daddy and none of them turned out. I guess that's what happens when you try for a photo shoot with a toddler. Here's the best one of the bunch.

In other news, we are working on the skills of drinking with A. Drinking from a 'big girl' cup might I add. As can be seen, the skill has been mastered. The spilling, well, not so much.

At least she thinks she looks cute with a soaking wet dress. She does, doesn't she?

We are still using sippy cups and continue to "play" with the big girl cups. This shall be a work in process.


A New Favorite

A loves many things. She loves her blanket, her binky (yes, she still has a pacifier and I'm 100% pro binky), her bunny and many other favorites as well. However, when it comes to playtime, A definitely has a new favorite!

A new bike carrier. An absolute favorite. After our family dinner, the Iron Chef and I have tried to make a point to take A to the park, for a walk, or on a bike ride. Her favorite lately has definitely been going on a bike ride. Since she is still signing A TON, if we ask her, "Do you want to go on a bike ride?" she will walk to the back door to the garage, point to the door, and then point to her head where her helmet goes (because the only way we go on a bike ride is if we all wear helmets on our head - safety first).

At first A was a little scared of the helmet and did not like the feeling of confinement to her head, but she's fine now. Rules are rules.

We debated back and forth about which bike carrier to purchase or if we should buy a bike trailer instead. We found this carrier online at Target and thought it looked like a simple investment that would provide hours and hours of fun. We were pleasantly surprised at the ease to put together and it fits nicely on our Schwinn bicycles.

We are even more thrilled to know we'll be able to go on bike rides most of the year now we are moving to California.


Di & Mi

My mom, my mother-in-law and my baby. I absolutely love this picture. Sometimes I wonder if these two women love my baby more than I do. I'm blessed. Ms. A is blessed.

There are not too many people out there that can say their mom and mother-in-law are the best of friends. But for me, I can say this is true. Very true.

Thank goodness for a loving family. A loves you, too!







On Camera

This is for the grandmas and great grandmas. A's latest youtube videos.

This is my favorite new youtube. Love it! Ms. A "helping" with pre-wedding planning.

And finally, watch out Tiger Woods! 'A' hit the golf course several times this past summer and really learned how to put the balls in the hole. She's a natural.


Roost & Zillow ???

I don't mean the kind of "ROOST" - er that goes cock-a-doodle-doo! I mean Roost.com and Zillow.com. I absolutely love these two websites for house hunting online.

Roost is a great sight for the Pacific Northwest Area, California, etc. Actually, I do not know know how many states they cover but it's been great for house hunting in California.

And for Zillow ... If you are curious how much your house is worth, just type in your address and Zillow will give you a "Zestimate" on the value of your house. It's very interesting. You can track recent comparable sales to your home and see what the houses around your neighborhood are worth as well.

I've become quite good at searching around these websites. Maybe I could even do my own house appraisal? Wouldn't that be nice!

If you are planning to sell your house or if you are looking to purchase, zillow.com is a must for your favorite websites! Seriously, just check it out. Here's an example shown below:

Once you click on the house of your choice, more detailed information will appear. Zillow works well in larger cities but does not included detailed street information in smaller cities.

Just a few of my favorite websites. And, throughout this moving process you'll probably hear more about "A Momma on the Move - The Chef Family" and our relocation experience. Just think of these blogs as a way to clear my head.


Fearless Friend, Fearful Frog

Yes, Ms. A loves a little dirt. Loves getting dirty. Playing in the sand is definitely one her favorites. Trying to stop her from eating it, is not one of my favorites. While vacationing this summer she also found out about worms, bugs and frogs! Here she is "swimming" in a bucket with a frog. Poor little guy. He looked like he was trying to swim for his life. Ms. A could have stayed in the bucket with the frog all day. But, don't worry, we didn't keep him in there too long.

Afterwards, she proceeded to chase the frog in the sand and try and catch him in her hands.


The joys of the cottage. The memories she is already beginning to make.

Great Grandparents

Families are beginning to look like bean poles these days. But not the Chef Family! Ms. A is blessed with 3 sets of living great grandparents. And, she's had a chance to meet ALL OF THEM more than one time. What a lucky girl!

During one of A's summer vacations, one of her great grandparents came to visit. She had an absolute blast visiting, as she always does. In fact, she had her very first tea party with them. Thanks grandma and grandpa for the fun!

This is also the great grandma that gave Ms. A her very first tea set. She hopes to be able to share tea and crumpets with everyone someday soon when she is old enough to enjoy her her china tea set. Until then, we are in the hunt for a smaller plastic version - more kid friendly.

Grandparents are a special joy in Ms. A's life. Great grandparents are a special part as well. And, as amazing as it sounds, I think A loves her grandparents just as much as they love her. Her eyes light up with joy and her smile is constant.