Santa Cruz - Vacation Part #1

I'm going to document our little vacation one post at a time. Otherwise, I'll have the longest post known to man kind. Okay, maybe not that long, but it would have been my longest post to date.

The first stop on our vacation was Santa Cruz. The actual location was not our favorite. In fact, I do not think we'll ever vacation to this destination again. It wasn't that the beach wasn't pretty, the area just was not our cup of tea.

The water in the bay at Santa Cruz was actually the warmest water on our vacation. Many people were swimming in the ocean and laying in the sun.

Ms. A LOVED the water and enjoyed splashing her feet around in the small amounts of water in the sand. After our long car ride, running around at the beach was exactly what she needed.

One cool thing to highlight about the area - the surfers! The Chef family hasn't been exposed to much surfing throughout the years. However, in this picture you can see lots of black little dots. Can you see them?

They actually aren't just dots, they are surfers! They are waiting for the waves to arrive. It was absolutely crazy. We saw a few cool waves come by and later that evening the winds picked up a little bit. I've never seen so many people waiting for the waves to surf. It was seriously an amazing sight to see.

I know it's hard to see, but if you look near the point, you'll see little black specks. Yup, surfer dudes (and possibly dudettes).

The Santa Cruz area is also know for their boardwalk and the amusement park area along the beach, which can be seen below.


Goofin' Around at the Table

Maybe this is why nothing ends up in Ms. A's mouth. She has more fun playing than she does eating.

Berries, everything. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. I've written about Ms. A's love for berries here back awhile ago. This still hasn't changed. Lately a "meal" for Ms. A will consist only of berries. I guess her diet consists of antioxidants ... and she enjoys having some fun at it, too.


Meet Two and Tiger

Our new addition. Meet "two" and "tiger."


Our Little Leprechaun

This series of pictures makes me laugh. Actually, it makes me laugh rather hard. Like the kind of chuckle that makes you laugh once and then laugh again.

Let's just say, our little leprechaun was up to trouble today. I decided to bake some 'green' cookies in honor of St. Patty's Day. Ms. A decided that she didn't want to help. She wanted to continue working on her thank you notes and craft projects (yes, they are rather delayed this time around; oops) instead of helping me in the kitchen. This is rather unusual because she usually squeels with delight when I'm making something that is kid friendly and that she can help out with.

As I started to clean up while the oven was finishing preheating, I noticed Ms. A wasn't in the same spot at her picnic table working on art projects. Rather, I noticed a few little fingers poking around at the cookie dough. Thank goodness I had my camera right on hand to capture this moment.

Her little hand reaching as high as it could to get a taste of the cookie dough. Apparently she's getting too tall! Here's a closer look.

Oh, I couldn't help but laugh. She was so innocent looking.

Then I got a closer look at her fingers and noticed they were already a little slobbery. Looks like it wasn't her first lick of cookie dough.

With that being said, Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Parade Fun

This is an old picture (taken from Ms. A's nana's camera), but too cute not to post. Here is Ms. A waiting very patiently for a Christmas parade in California. Yes, it was December in this photo and no snow!


The Picture

What's wrong with the following picture?

Did you guess? Did you see me (the sous chef) working hard in the background while the Iron Chef plays with Ms. A? Just kidding. He was on toddler duty.

This picture pretty much sums up our daily life lately. The weather is nice outside and we're trying to get tons of yardwork done to our house. The landscaping was all overgrown and very much in need of some major trimming and shaping.

We're spending another weekend shaping up our lawn. Busy, as always.


New Blog Announcement

Drum Roll ....

I have a new blog I've started (yes, another). Please visit my new blog site - Dusting Off The Mantel (http://dustingoffthemantel.blogspot.com/) - and don't forget to follow me through my new adventure! Comments, tips and suggestions will be greatly appreciated as I start this new blog site.

I'm going to be keeping this blog - http://thecheffamily.blogspot.com - for my personal life but realized I wanted to share more of what the blogging world has to offer.

My new site will be geared towards my new hobbies and passions in life. The blog will include decorating, DIY projects, fun recipes, baby craft ideas, bargain shopping, etc. I'm a busy mom on a budget and will be keeping all of that in mind throughout my blogging experience as well.

I'm still making adjusting and final touches to the website, so be patient. To jump start my blog I started off by reposting some of my old crafts and DIY projects.

Here's a sneak peak of what my blog site looks like at the moment. Hope to see you over there!


Ewok Language

Here's Ms. A and her ewok talking language and getting into trouble with deoderant.

Looking in 3D

Not only did the Iron and Sous Chef (myself) enjoy watching Avatar in 3D recently, but Ms. A enjoyed the glasses as well.

The movie was excellent. If you haven't already visited a theater to watch it on the big screen, I highly recommend it. After watching the movie, I completely understand what they hype was all about with this show. It's worth it!

But, the glasses. Wow. They took about 20 minutes for my eyes to adjust. Once adjusted, it was smooth sailing and I'm glad they were able to go the extra mile with our littlest one enjoying a laugh while wearing the HUGE glasses.


Wall Art

A new addition to our playroom upstairs. I love love love it! Thanks to a wonderful birthday gift from a college friend, Ms. A now has a new set of decor on one of her playroom walls.

She loves it as well. I'm on the hunt to replace a few of the other wall decorations I currently have so they all match a tad better.

I'd say this look compares to cute Pottery Barn kids decorations and wall art. They are so sweet and girly.


Terrible Twos

Yowzers. That did not take long at all. Terrible twos only 6 days after Ms. A's birthday. Apparently so.

And, call me a bad mom, but I couldn't help but snap a few photos of her "in action" today. Oh, it was bad. I guess I just want to make sure I photograph the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mission accomplished.

Can you tell how mad her face is? Her blood shot eyes from screaming? How about the tomato colored face? I even think her scalp was turning red. Why the tantrum (or one of them today) - because it was time to go inside and get ready for lunch and naptime. The Iron Chef and I purchased a new swing for her and we had been outside ALL MORNING LONG. Apparently she didn't think it was long enough.

Let's hope this phase is short and sweet. :)


2-Year Doctor Appointment

The 2 year well check up turned into quite an event for Ms. A. We ended up getting a thorough well check exam, a blood test for anemia, H1N1 flu shot, regular flu shot, autism test, prescriptions for fluoride tablets, prescriptions for allergy medications, orders for hearing test and speech assessment. Everything looked great with Ms. A but the doctor wants to double check on a few things with her speech, since she behind for her age.

As for her stats - a whopping 24.2 lbs and about 34 inches tall. They had to remeasure her height because it appeared that she was shrinking. I definitely found out that it's incredibly hard to get a good height measurement when you have a screaming toddler! Yikes!

Waiting for the doctor.

"Look here, Ms. A, this doesn't hurt. If you put your finger on the end your finger lights up red," said our pediatrician. Thank goodness for great doctors that have the ability to work with children and make them smile!

And now time for the check-up.


First Round of Golf

Quite a random evening for the Chef Family last weekend on Sunday night. While touring around town, we ran into a mini golf spot and decided to give it a whirl. Ms. A LOVE LOVE LOVED running around the golf course, climbing on the decorations (which I'm sure are a big no no), and picking up everyones golf balls.

I'm sure this is her first of many miniature golf experiences because she loved it so much. However, with this child, she loves everything. What's not to love? She's a toddler and pretty much gets to do fun things all day long.


Tumbling Class

Ms. A is now in a tumbling class through our community education and having a blast. She's learning coordination, balance and socialization skills. In the beginning of the class she can't hold onto me tight enough. She will not try the activities and it takes her awhile to warm up to the kids and the instructor. But, once we start the obstacle course and doing the "fun" things she's all about it!

Her favorites are - hands down - the trampoline and the bars. She loves them!


Chatty McChatterson

Being a birthday girl is hard work. Cards to read, presents to open, and phone calls to make. Several of them.

Phone calls to Mimi and Papa.

Phone calls from her aunties and uncles.

Calls from friends.

And calls from more friends.

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone. Ms. A truly had a great day and enjoyed being '2'.