Twas the Night Before Xmas

Miss A was OBSESSED with Christmas this year. Every single thing about it. Santa, stories, books, baby Jesus, etc, etc. We read the book, "Twas the Night Before Xmas" probably one million times this year ...

Here is Miss A's version of the story ...


Christmas Eve Celebration

Our Christmas Eve was definitely fun filled! We started off with a trip to the Sacramento Zoo and then headed to Fairy Tale Town.

The zoo!

Fairy Tale Town

When we arrived home, we decorated sugar cookies, including a special plate for Santa.

And one cookie with LOTS of sprinkles...

We dressed up for Christmas Eve church service.

Miss A wanted a special picture with one of her dolls after we took a few family pictures.

Posing in front of the tree and being the typical, crazy 2 year old that she is.

Miss A stayed with us during service this year (a little antsy), but she did well and fell asleep in the car on the drive home. However, we woke her up so she could open her "Christmas eve" packages and put cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. She was asleep by 6:45!

Matching pajamas for Miss A and her Bitty Baby! How adorable. She LOVES them!

Cookies and Milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer!

She fell right asleep, surprisingly, and was thrilled when she woke up Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas

The Chef Family hopes everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year!


Miss A Dreams About Santa

Every morning, Miss A wakes up and calls my name ... it goes like this ...

A: "Mooooooommmmmmmeeeeeeeeee, I'm UPPPPPPPPPP!" (Mom, I'm up)

Yes, she stays IN BED until I come into her room. She is not allowed to get out of bed unless she calls for me.

Me: "Are you up?"

A: "Yes, I'm up!"

Me: "Okay, I'm coming."

Mind you, this is all screaming because she sleeps upstairs and our bedroom and everything else is on the main level.

A: In the sweetest voice ever, "Okay."

Me: "Good morning, sweet pea. Did you sleep well? Any good dreams last night?"

A: "Dreams about Santa. Again last night. I love Santa."

Yes, this little two-year-old lives, dreams, breaths, talks, and does EVERYTHING for and about Santa right now. She told me she didn't want to go home today because it was Christmas and she wouldn't see Santa. She'll definitely be the one to "stay up" and try and hear Santa in the middle of the night because she's already telling us she's going to give him a big hug when he comes down her chimney.

We are having a blast with Christmas this year and the Iron Chef and I can't wait for Christmas so we can relive our own memories through our sweet little 2-year-old.

Blackberry Pictures from this week

We've been BUSY this week. Last minute shopping, wrapping, house cleaning, etc. And, I am completely wiped out. This pregnancy is taking a toll on me these days - I'm getting more tired and it takes me about 200% longer to finish a task than it used to. Plus, we're dealing with a toddler that just learned how to use the big girl potty and running errands usually takes at least 1-2 trips to the bathroom (if not more). So ... we are all drained and anxiously awaiting Christmas over here at the Chef Family household.

Two pictures from this week. Sorry for the low quality, they are from a blackberry.

One with Kegel (yes, the Iron Chef named this one in honor of Always Sunny) the Elf in the playroom.

Another picture of Miss A decked out in her new gear.


Belly Bump ~ 'almost' 35 weeks

Yes, almost 35 weeks along. This pregnancy is moving quickly and January will be here before we know it.

Per the request of many ... here are my latest "self portrait" belly bump photos.


Running to Santa

Seriously, my sweet little girl just can't seem to get enough of Santa. She has "added" to her original wish list, too. Saying she wants a white dog in a dog carrier. :)

These pictures were taken at a Moms Club Christmas Event at the library.

Here's a photo of the kids in action at the library - the program was so much fun for the little ones that are not in school during the day.


Special Santa Visit

The clubhouse in our subdivision has a special Christmas party every year. We made sure to buy tickets in advance this year, and thankfully we did, because it was a sold out event!

Miss A was a very brave little girl, too. Why?

1. She actually sat on Santa's lap.
2. She gave him the biggest hugs.
3. Santa ended his visit by saying she's going to be the sweetest little girl. She was smiling from ear to ear the entire time.

We had a pancake breakfast, made lots of craft activities - including a super messy glittery stocking - and then Santa gave Miss A a very special candy cane and reindeer bell after she sat on his lap. Miss A's reindeer bell said "Dancer" ... so it's "very" special.


Dress-up Fun

Just a quick photo of what we've been up to lately - DRESSING UP - and lots of it!

Sleeping Beauny (aka Beauty) and a little cat.


Love Hate Relationships

Another one of Miss A's buddies! For Miss A and Mr A, it's definitely a love hate relationship, as can be clearly demonstrated in this picture. Miss A getting a little too aggressive. But, they are two years old (and going through the same fun learning experiences) and have an absolute blast playing together. They were so darn cute today (except for Miss A's random tantrums).

Another playdate and another busy day for us!!!


A First for Miss A

I have been called the "nap nazi" about napping schedules and making sure Miss A would get her "scheduled" nap at her scheduled time. Well ... her naps are on their way out. Today was one special day. She was up in her room, not napping, of course. I decided that (after a little rest) she could come downstairs and watch a movie on television while I worked on Christmas cards.

And, the little stink, she fell asleep on the couch! She's never done this before and was clearly tired.

I haven't taken a picture of her "sleeping" since she was such a baby because she's usually sleeping in her bed! But, little kiddos and babes are definitely precious when they are sleeping.


Crazy Girls

Two friends, being silly, being crazy girls! Miss A was having a playdate and I dressed them in Miss A's matching jackets (different sizes) so they could be extra silly, handed them a glow stick for our walk (since it was clearly very dark outside) and they laughed and giggled like little girls are supposed to do! What fun!

Being Pregnant

I'm almost 33 weeks along in my pregnancy. The tail end of things, yahoo!!! And, one of the reasons I love being pregnant, is the fact, I can eat certain foods or do certain things and get away with it, simply because ... I'm pregnant.

For those that know me well, I have a sweet tooth. A big one indeed. Mostly chocolate, but pretty much anything sweet will cause a craving for me. I usually don't give in to my sweet tooth pregnancy cravings (very often), but this past weekend at the Iron Chef's Christmas Party I thought, "what the heck, I'll go for it." (I'm referring to the dessert table).

Yes, instead of just being a proper guest and helping myself to a simple dessert, I decided to indulge my palate and select two desserts for myself, one a pumpkin cheesecake and the other a chocolate Swiss cake roll type of dessert. And, thank goodness I did, because the pumpkin cheesecake was better than the chocolate dessert.

However, upon arriving back to my table, everyone asked if I left any dessert for the rest of the party. Ha Ha Ha! I responded that I'm pregnant and apparently eating for two these days and began enjoying my dessert only to find another "guest" had 10 cookies piled high on his plate. He passed by our table and I politely pointed out that I wasn't the only one with a sweet tooth. Someone from our table grabbed two cookies from his plate, which he then proceeded back to the table, helped himself to two more cookies to replace the missing ones, returned back to our table and said, "these are too good to pass up."

Glad I'm not the only one with a sweet tooth out there ~ and at least I could use the pregnancy excuse for my cravings because this wasn't the only time this week I needed a quick sugar fix. While Miss A was at preschool today and I was running errands, I stopped at the "Pink Box Donut" and picked up a chocolate covered donut for myself. I NEVER do things like this, but apparently today, and this weekend, and probably the week before, I did.

Oh, the joys of being pregnant.

Napa Valley

The Iron Chef and I had a "fancy" Christmas party in Napa Valley last weekend. We enjoyed the evening socializing with the Iron Chef's co-workers, kid-free too!

We hired a "Napa Nanny" for the evening at the hotel for Miss A. She had so much fun with her nanny that when we entered the room around 10 pm she was WIDE AWAKE and told us, "I'm not sleepy" immediately upon us entering into the room! At least she had fun, right?

Here's a picture from our glamorous evening. I just love getting dressed up, wearing my fancy jewelry (thanks to my husband) and spending time together as a couple. And yes, you can tell I'm "ballooning" out from the pregnancy. The photographer only caught me from the waist up, probably because my large belly was causing the flash to have a focusing issue. ;)


All in a Line

Miss A likes to organize items in rows, by shapes, colors, etc. And, apparently the other day, she enjoyed lining up her new big girl panties!


A Day at the Park

Just a simple afternoon at the park. And, a "deprived" child that can only dream of having a dog ... so she needs to walk her pretend doggie to the park and take him down the slide as well.


Home Depot Helper

Miss A attended her first Home Depot Kids Workshop a few weeks ago ~ and had an absolute blast. The hammer, hammer, hammer sound of about 50 kids making a spice rack probably could have sent any person running out the door, but not her sweet daddy. He let her do everything herself, even if the project didn't turn out perfectly.

She received an apron and several other goodies, too. But, this has no become her handy apron when she helps the Iron Chef with projects around the house.

Along with displaying her cute little orange apron, here's a sneak peak of her new big girl bedroom!!!


Potty Training

We're working on potty training! And, Miss A is doing SUCH A GREAT JOB (with the exception of BM's... but we're working on that). Here she is flashing a new pair of her big girl panties.


Happy Thanksgiving!

The Chef Family wants to wish everyone a healthy, happy Thanksgiving as you celebrate with family and friends.

Here's our little pilgrim with her hat from preschool. Cheesy smile or face turned away from the camera as always these days!


Twinkle Twinkle and Oh My Goodness!

Two year olds have pretty funny things to say. Miss A's "phrase" these days ... oh my goodness!

Miss A has also started singing tons of songs. Here's her version of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Too Much Sugar?

Have another donut, Miss A. Too much sugar yesterday ... yields this!


Funny A'ism

For little Miss A, her world has been turned upside down for a few weeks now. We went from a crib to a big girl bedroom and she was temporarily sleeping downstairs in the babies new room while her room was undergoing renovations. And now, we're venturing to the world of potty training.

Her famous words these days ---

"Mommy, are you so proud of me?" I will have to capture it on video because it's the cutest! Apparently I've been telling her how proud I am of her A LOT!



Drum Roll ... BIG GIRL BED!

And ... drum roll, please.

Miss A is finally in her big girl bed and doing incredibly well. She's been sleeping in her new, "big girl" room for about a week and half and I have no complaints.

She follows my rules and has yet to climb out of bed and explore the playroom or her bedroom while she's supposed to be napping or sleeping. My rule -- call for "mommy" when she's up and I will come and get her out of bed. So far so good (although I probably just jinxed myself).

She probably doesn't get out of bed because she went from her crib straight to a queen sized bed with box spring and needs a 2-step stool to get from the ground to her bed. It's a big world in her bed!

Pictures to come!


Watching Smarty

Miss A LOVES to cheer on the Michigan State basketball game and watch "Smarty" (aka Sparty the mascot) on television. Here she is enjoying some special time with the Iron Chef.


Tea for Two

A fancy tea party for Miss A was on the agenda yesterday. Pottery Barn Kids held a special tea party for the little princess' and we were able to join in. Miss A's friend invited her to this special event and we were glad we were able to attend. The girls had a blast!!!

This was her first "official" tea party event - baby dolls and all - and was surely a success. She woke up this morning and said, "yesterday tea party w/ Miss K." She had a blast indeed!