A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We visited Bishop's Pumpkin Farm this weekend to kick off the fall season. Miss A had a blast, as did the Iron Chef and I.


Putting Green Pro

I would usually say that Miss A is taking after Tiger Woods ... but apparently I need to use a better, more child appropriate role model (when speaking of golfers) for my daughter. Haha.

However, she was a cute little golfer this evening. She wanted to play outside before bathtime. She went right over to here little play area, grabbed her set of clubs, wheeled them around the yard, and made her way to the putting green. Of course, I grabbed my camera. She was practicing some of her golfing skills and the Iron Chef was there to help "fine tune" her skills.

I guess he'll have to teach two girls to be golfers instead of having a house full of boys that love sports.


More Art Projects

Yet ANOTHER day of Miss A asking to, "draw" as she does almost every day of every waking moment. This time, however, we used finger paints with paint brushes because she hates getting her hands dirty with paint.

She's definitely hard at work in these photos and wouldn't even look up for a picture. Her fine motor skills are improving and she's able to draw little circles and "teeth" (she calls her letters teeth, but they look like scribbled letters).


Sticker Fun

As usual with Miss A, another fun day full of art projects and fun. I even managed to sneak a picture of the Iron Chef with stickers all over this face as well; however, apparently he beat me to the camera and deleted it when I wasn't looking!

She even woke up from her nap with stickers in her hair. They were everywhere!


Helping Yet Again

The Iron Chef and I have been working on the yard lately. We're prepping to put down bark and plant a few misc trees and items in our yard this fall. We're also painting a few accents on our house. And, little Miss A has been a great helper as well.

She finally wore her garden gloves for the first time and decided to get to work in the backyard.

Not sure what was going on with the quality of my camera.


Girl or Boy?

And .... Drum Roll ...

Another little girl for the Chef family ~ a little sister for Miss A! She's getting what she wanted. :)

Pink, princesses, and more pink. I still think the Iron Chef is in shock. We had a very detailed, intense ultrasound yesterday. The ultrasound was about 45 minutes worth of measuring and evaluating the babies' progress thus far. As we were last time with Miss A the Iron Chef and I were both amazed as how much an ultrasound shows regarding a baby in utero.

And yes, we are having another girl!


One Last Guess - Pink or Blue?

I gave Miss A one last guess - baby brother or baby sister - pink or blue. She chose - Baby Sister! We'll see if she's right today!

She could have cared less that I was filming her. In fact, she looked rather annoyed. She just wanted to play with her babies. A busy little bee that loves her baby dolls and everything to do with them. But, I filmed her anyway.



Yesterday was a huge milestone for Miss A! She learned to sing her ABC's. Speech therapy is finally paying off and the Chef family has been able to notice major milestones in her speech, her ability to communicate or the ability for others to understand her. What a special day!

Book After Book

The Chef family reads book to Miss A ALL THE TIME! Seriously, she will sit for 2 hours and read books. No joking here, either. She relates real world experiences to her "book friends" and now associates being naughty with Franklin, the turtle. No one book in particular is her favorite, although she loves Franklin right now. She just loves books in general.

The Iron Chef snug in on us one evening while reading books on the couch.

I'm sure when she starts reading on her own, she'll be the child that will sneak books under her bed at night and use a flashlight to read when the lights go out. I babysat for a girl like that and never believed it could possibly happen to my own. We'll see!

As for now, the Chef family continues to foster her love for reading and we take her to the library for new books and have been purchasing new books on a regular basis for her reading enjoyment.



Imagination is something most little ones are fairly great at using. Miss A has had a great imagination for quite awhile, will play by herself and entertain herself with her toys. I must admit, though, it's really starting to pick up.

I found this large mirror at an estate sale and knew it would be perfect for dress up time. I still haven't decided where I want it (that's another day) so it's still leaning on the wall for my daughters' dress up desires. It's actually perfect height for her and she can admire herself playing dress up whether it be a princess a ballerina or ... a cowgirl!

My 2-year-old selected this cowgirl outfit, boots and all - and had an absolute blast.

For you Nashville girls, I know you'll love the boots and her love for them. You'll be happy to know this is her first pair of "cowgirl" boots.


1st Day of Preschool Part 2

Miss A was thrilled when the Iron Chef came home from work. He even snuck out a little early so he could hear all about her day! Miss A showed her daddy the crown she made, and of course, her daddy decided that he could make her into a Preschool Princess (thus the ruby/rhinestone belt).

She was smiling from ear to ear, as she does everyday when the Iron Chef walks through the door. I honestly think it's one of her favorite parts to the day.

And here she is showing off her Preschool Princess apparel and belt.


1st Day of Preschool

I guess anything is possible, including a mother being more nervous for her daughter going to preschool than the preschooler herself. I was probably more nervous because she had no clue what was actually doing to happen this morning.

What happened? She started preschool. Preschool at the farm. Our instructions were to not wear clean clothes and get ready for your "preschooler" to have a great time learning. This is, infact, exactly what she did.

However, our day began off to a rough start. I wanted to snap a few pictures of Miss A (without her blanket) although this is not what she wanted to do. She was "thrilled" to have her picture taken before preschool.

She threw tantrum ...

after tantrum ... and then we finally left in our car.

After her reaction this morning, I was more than nervous to drop her off to school. It's a little bit of a drive into the country to the farm and it was perfect to get her mind off of her recent tantrum.

We pulled up to the farm and the squeels and noises that Miss A was making when she saw the animals made me realize everything was going to be okay. This was one of the reasons we chose this preschool in the first place and the surroundings and the animals made her excited to learn.

I dropped her off, signed her in and was on my way. She immediately saw a friend she knew, Cullen, and another little girl grabbed her hand and led her over to the baby dolls to play. She was happy; I was happy.

After three hours of preschool, this is how I found her upon my return to pick her up. Sitting in a mini John Deere tractor for kids, DIRTY, and getting her picture taken with her "I Love Preschool" crown. The happiness in her face, the dirt on her face, and the smile made me realize how much fun she had.

I knew Miss A would be hungry upon getting into the car so I was prepared with fresh strawberries and grapes in a cup as a healthy snack for her to enjoy during our drive back home. I had to do everything I could to keep her from falling asleep in the car - even the snack wasn't working!

Upon our return back home and during the drive, Miss A filled me in (and the Iron Chef after he came home from work) and I tried to piece through her day. She played with baby dolls, played outside, saw horses/goats/geese/pigs/dogs/cats, and played with her friend Cullen. Overall, a great day for Miss A. And, most importantly, for the Sous Chef as well.


Potty Training Blunders

Potty training was going excellent. See Miss A's sticker chart from all the times she actually went potty!

As you can see, she was doing great. Until (yes, the big until) I became so sick with my pregnancy that I couldn't sit in the bathroom reading book after book during the potty training process. Everything made me sick to my stomach and sitting in the bathroom was definitely one of them.

So ... I put potty training on hold. Well, apparently so did Miss A. After we returned from vacation she decided she didn't want to sit on the potty chair at all and frankly, just until tonight, she hadn't sat on the potty chair in a good month. She would scream, she'd cry, throw tantrums, etc so I thought, forget it! I figured she wasn't ready and didn't want anything to do with it either if she was going to act that way.

However, she most definitely knows the process and knows the drill. The other day while playing upstairs, I hear Miss A say to her one of her baby dolls, "Hurry, hurry, hurry" as she proceeded to run to the bathroom. I smiled to myself, thinking that Miss A was running to the bathroom so SHE could use the potty chair.

Without luck, I walked in and found this ...

A disheveled toddler sitting next to her baby doll that was using the potty chair. Apparently she was having a hard time and needed to read several books to her doll.

After all the stickers, the hours, the potty training, at least I can walk away knowing that her baby doll can be potty trained.

Wow, this is going to be a long process ...


Baby Bump Photos - 19 weeks

Of course, I HATE posting photos like this, but as usual, everyone has been asking. After having a few weeks of finally [feeling better] I have definitely started to gain weight and my bump is MUCH more than noticeable these days.

Unfortunately, I am also sad to admit, this is the first round of baby bump photos I've taken this time around.

Without further ado ... here they are - the baby bump photos - 19 weeks.

And just for a little comparison, here are my 38 week photos from my pregnancy with little Miss A. I can definitely tell I'm going to be much bigger this time around and realize I still have a L-O-N-G way to go!


Crater Lake National Park

According to Crater Lakes' National Park website ...

"Crater Lake is Like No Place Else on Earth. Crater Lake has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past."

While I'll give them the part that "CL is like no place else on earth," I must say I'm glad the Chef family didn't spend 6 hours in the car just to see Crater Lake. As my husband said, "it's just a big lake." haha.

Crater Lake is definitely more than a big lake, it's a beautiful big lake. ;) Crater Lake is a perfect destination if you're going to make an "event" out of it such as hiking for the day, biking around the lake, camping, etc. In my opinion, it's definitely not worth it to simply drive and see. We made a few scenic stops, visited Rim Village area, took several beautiful pictures ........... and then made our way to Bend, OR.

However, I must say, having previously lived in Vancouver, WA, I'd always wanted to visit Crater Lake because you hear about it so often. With that being said, I am glad I checked this National Park of my to-see list. Crater Lake was beautiful and I think our pictures prove just that.

If you look in the distance, you will see "Crater Lake" hiding behind the volcanic remains. You can see the remains of the volcano and the dip in the middle that hides Crater Lake.


Preschool Bound!

The Chef family definitely has a few busy weeks ahead of us as we adjust to our new fall schedule. Miss A is starting preschool two days a week beginning next Tuesday. This will be a transition for her since she has stayed home with me (except for 2 months when I went back to work) and she is quite a mommy's girl these days.

Our days will consist of: playgroups, preschool, MOPS (I'm joining for the first time this fall), Mother Goose on the Loose, speech therapy, LMAKT club events (I'm the treasurer), etc, etc.

I never realized how the introduction of "school" brings on an entirely new world of parenting. Driving, picking up, and driving again. I can't even imagine how many miles I'll be putting on my car when Miss A is in middle school and high school in between sporting events and friends.

Here's to hoping the next few weeks Miss A transitions smoothly to her new schedule.


Turtle Bay Exploration Center

The Chef family recently went on an extended weekend excursion to a few locations in California and Oregon. We had a blast meeting up with friends. Here's a highlight from our visit to Redding, CA and the Turtle Bay Exploration Center.

We drove to Redding via backroads instead of I-5. Something a little different, and actually, a little faster. We saw the beautiful countryside, several fresh fruit stands, walnut tree farms, peach tree farms, several new cities including Chico, and ended up getting stuck behind several pick-up trucks, farmers and locals driving way too slow!

The Turtle Bay museum/park was definitely worth our trip mostly because we were one of the few people actually touring around the facilities. It was the perfect way for Miss A to run around and get some exercise before jumping back into the car for another long ride.

We saw animals and a Wild Animal Show, she played in the kids park area, we toured around a museum, and saw a huge sundial (that actually had the correct time). Overall, a great stop along the trip.

The turtle exhibits were by far one of Miss A's favorites. She spotted the turtles and would get incredibly excited! This one is for you, Mimi!

The butterfly house was another highlight of the park. Miss A was scared at first and then realized it was pretty neat to see all the butterflies flying around. A butterfly even landed on her head ... but I wasn't able to snap a great picture.

Paul Bunyon's treehouse. Miss A had the run of the mill at the kids park area.

The beautiful sundial bridge.

Riding in an old car in the museum. I honestly do not know what this exhibit was all about, but Miss A had a blast steering the wheel and playing old fashioned music on the radio.