Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve was quiet, simple, with just our little family this year. We went to church, toured around to see a few Christmas lights, then back home for dinner, and opening one gift - pajamas. The anticipation of the evening was intense this year. Ava could barely contain herself throughout the day, all in anticipation of S-A-N-T-A.

After opening our pajamas, the girls headed outside to sprinkle the "Magic Reindeer Food." Never heard of it? (me either, it was a first for me this year). It was a combination of oatmeal and glitter that Miss A made in preschool and attached was a poem, that read:

Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way
And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morn on Christmas Day!

After sprinkling ALL OVER THE LAWN we headed back inside for our cookies, carrots, and milk plate for Santa. I had on a really cool, new dress ... and we didn't manage an entire family picture on Christmas Eve. The evening was just too rushed and it was more important that the kiddos enjoyed the evening than trying to snap a family picture. Next year, right?

After the carrots, milk, and cookies for Santa and the Reindeer ~ it was bedtime. Miss A crashed and went right to sleep, as did Little O. They both slept until 7:00 am the next morning ... when Christmas arrived.


Little O - 10 Months Old

A little old to getting around to post this, Little O is 10 months old. As active as can be, she is all over the place. I honestly can't believe she isn't walking by now, but she's still hovering around and talking along furniture, tables, etc. She has taken a few unassisted steps towards her daddy and sister, although we still have awhile before walking. She is so tall, that when on her feet, she is still a little wobbly. We are working on it. She wears size 4 diapers, and has for a long time. She eats like crazy and wants to eat all the time. Her bottle size has decreased and I'm getting ready to prep her for cow's milk and soley sippy cups. We finally found a great cup that she loves - green sprouts straw cup - and she's a pro!!!

Hard to believe my baby is 10-months-old. Time flies.


Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas!!!!!

The Chef family hopes Santa treats each and everyone of you well and that you remember the real reason for celebration this year, too.


Christmas Vacation - Griswold Family Style

A casual Christmas lights tour proved to be more than we bargained for tonight. A house had a full Christmas Vacation ensemble with Cousin Eddie and his fabulous rv. Couldn't get any better!

Apparently the shi%ter was full again.

Pebble Creek neighborhood in Rocklin had an amazing one-mile walking tour of house after house that was tastefully (or not so much) decorated with lights and accessories. We joined up with some friends and the kiddos had a blast looking at the lights and seeing the houses all festive and decorated.

Oh This Little Lady with Toofers!

She has teeth. Oh my does she have teeth. They all popped out in a funny pattern and she's still missing one on the bottom to balance things out.

Horrible picture, but I finally snapped one of ALL HER TEETH! I can't believe she's 10 months and is quickly approaching a mouthful of pearly whites.


Preschool Christmas Program

Miss A knows how to rock a Christmas program ~ and in her cowgirl boots, too! Yeah haw! She selected this outfit, fit with a pair of her favorite boots. This dress, a royal favorite (and last years' xmas dress) and she can't seem to go a day without wearing this red beauty.

A Christmas performance with three songs, a sugar cone (tree) decorating activity, and a book exchange, this program was a treat by all.

Two weeks off for the holiday break and we already have lots of playdates scheduled and a few fun family events as well.


The Sickies

We'd had the cold bug swoop through our house these last few weeks. No fun at all. The Sous Chef, myself, was sick during Thanksgiving, Miss A shortly after that, and now poor Little O. It really hit her hard.

Looking cute and festive in her trumpette tights, red pedipeds (one shoe on, one shoe off), red dress ... she couldn't quite last long enough with her toys without falling asleep.

Poor thing.

I took her to the doctor on Wednesday and found out, in addition to the congestion, cold, cough, she also has an ear infection. She's been a crying mess these last few days and I haven't been able to get anything done around the house. I'm hoping the antibiotics kick in and do their job.


The Dynamic Duo on Santa's Lap

A picture is worth a thousand words. Isn't that how the saying goes? Here's a picture for the photo albums. Nothing says "Christmas Joy" more than a screaming kid on Santa's lap, right?

Well ... here it is.


Christmas Magic

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Isn't that the truth.

The magic of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas. This picture tells and shows it all.

Miss A, day dreaming with Santa. A special list, her list, wrapped tightly in his hands and a smile so big, it brings tears to your eyes. Can you just feel the magic of Christmas?

On her list - Barbie bike and Rapunzel dress. Hand written and picked out just for Santa, if you look closely, the visible part of the note says, "Ava and Santa." For her little sister, she told Santa Little O wants a book.

Three consecutive years in a row, the Chef family makes our annual appearance at our clubhouse Christmas Event. It has become a tradition for us. This year, Miss A, wouldn't even visit with Santa anywhere else. Just the clubhouse. It's her special time with Santa and I would trade it for the world.

I always remember Christmas being so special. A time to be together, a time with family, a time to remember, and a time for memories. The memories I had. My brother and I would sneak down the hall, in the early hours of the morning, sorting and arranging our gifts. We did this year after year. Our parents were both sound asleep, as was our little sister. We always worried Santa wouldn't arrive, but everytime we managed to sneak out to the living room to check if he made his appearance, the presents were already under our tree, the stockings full.

It's little things, like our annual clubhouse Christmas Event with Santa, that bring a sparkle to a 3-year-old's eyes during the holiday season. Anything to create a special memory for our girls as well.

Christmas is a special time and the spirit and magic in believing makes Christmas even that more special.


I've Had ENOUGH!

Poor Little O .... she's done! She's not feeling well, a yucky cold, and she's had enough. This is also a highlight of how a string of photos went in attempting to snap a Christmas card photo. Yeah, not so much. Let's just say I'm still working on them.


New Helmet

The plagiocephaly correction helmet continues. I honestly can't even remember if I've posted a new picture of Little O's new helmet. Butterflies this time. At her last helmet appointment there was no change, no growth, and no improvement. Her appetite has slowed down tremendously, thus, no growth spurt. I honestly think it's the first time in this little ladies' life that she hasn't grown.


A Mini Vacation

The Iron Chef and I escaped town ... well ... for a few days. We headed to the coast for some fun. The hubby had his work Christmas Party in San Francisco and we worked our trip around that function. We drank too much, ate too much, and had a great time. It was a well needed trip away from our kiddos. Love them to death, but time away is always a great thing - on both ends.

We started off the trip with our second visit to the beautiful 17-mile-drive. We went to the majority of the stops, grabbed lunch at Pebble Beach, and ended our day with scenic views of Carmel Beach, which is amazing! And, of course, the end to the end ... happy hour.

Day 2 included driving along Highway 1. The California coast is amazing, breathtaking, and the drive is crazy! It will definitely make a motion sickness person not feel well ... but worth a drive. Hearst Castle - check! Sunset on the ocean - check! Another enjoyable day.

After our adventures on the coast, we headed up to San Francisco for the Iron Chef's Christmas Party, which was held on a private yacht. We toured around the San Fran bay, enjoying the beautiful skyline lit up with holiday lights. Definitely a creative way to see the city at night. Before our big celebration we walked the Golden Gate Bridge and toured Alcatrez. Alcatrez was definitely one of my favorites on this trip. Great information, eery information. Hard to believe this was a working prison several years ago.

Next up --- Jamaica --- and we can't wait!


Happy 60th Birthday, Dad!

Happy 60th Birthday to one of my favorites, my dad. Such an inspiration, always providing, and loving unconditionally. Thanks for everything dad, you've been an inspiration to me ever since I could remember. Cheers to your 60th year and the many years that have yet to come. I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday, Dad.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The tree is up, the decorations are hung. I'm adding a few "extra" jazz to areas this year. I snapped a few pictures the other day only to realize pictures of xmas decorations just don't do justice.