Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Vacation!

This year, Frank and I decided that instead of getting each other Christmas presents, we'd take a little family vacation. And let me tell was a great decision. We had such a wonderful time! We'd been wanting to take Little to the Aquarium, so this was the perfect opportunity. We invited my parents to come with us and all headed out to Chattanooga a few days after Christmas. We decided that once we got there, we didn't want to have to drive anywhere. So we stayed at a hotel right by the Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. We were also only one block from Sticky Fingers. Yum! The hotel was so nice, and we got such a good deal on the room (I am a cheapo). We actually got all kinds of deals the whole time we were there. Thanks to Frank's handyman skills, we even ended up getting free breakfast ($11 per person) for all 4 of us for the whole stay, which was about $90 worth of breakfast buffets! Hilton Hotels are known for their chocolate chip cookies (the recipe is actually a secret even from the employees) and we got free cookies the whole time we were there. The staff at the hotel restaurant even gave Little a necklace and toy. We also had adjoining rooms with my parents, so while Little napped, we were able to go in their room and hang out. We couldn't have asked for things to work out any better.

The first day in Chattanooga, we just ate and ate and ate. We walked one block to Sticky Fingers and Frank ate a whole slab of ribs for lunch. Then, we got cupcakes from a little bakery next door. For dinner, we went to a wonderful seafood place called Bluewater Grille and shopped at the Moon Pie store.

The second day of the trip was Aquarium Day and so much fun! We got up and had our free breakfast in the morning and then headed to the Aquarium. This was such an experience with Little Pea, and she really enjoyed it. We didn't have to wait in any lines because we got there when it first opened. First, Little pet the sting ray while Daddy J was feeding it. This girl is fearless. She also pet a snake! She made a few friends while we were there. (Notice her penguin feet attached to her shoes.)After a couple of hours there, we went back to the hotel for morning nap and then for lunch we went to Cheeburger Cheeburger. Little had her first milkshake, and let me tell you...we had to bring her up for air once she started sucking that milkshake down. She ended up drinking half of Frank's big milkshake. And then she ate lunch too! This girl can put away some food.After lunch, we headed back to the Aquarium, and this time we saw Little's two favorite things...the River Otter and the Peacock Bass. She ended up picking out an otter to take home as a souvenir and has enjoyed kissing him and singing to him ever since.Our last night there, we had dinner in the hotel restaurant (which as you can see in the picture is a really nice restaurant), and the food was wonderful! It was a great relaxing evening after having such a busy day.Our last morning in Chattanooga, we had another free breakfast and then headed next door to the Creative Discovery Museum. This was just what Little needed to wear her out for the car ride home.I would definitely recommend this vacation to anyone looking for a fun family getaway with a toddler. We will most certainly be going back and will probably stay at the same hotel. It was a great experience!

Christmas Day

First thing when we woke up Christmas morning, Little got to see her present from Momma and Daddy (aka Me and Frank). Her very own kitchen. She was so excited, and it kept her busy for hours.
We then headed over to Momma J and Daddy J's house for lunch and Christmas celebration with Little's cousins, and they were so glad to see each other.After we ate, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, a long time tradition in our household. Emma and Ivey, two of Little's cousins, made the birthday cake again this year, and it was delicious!After lunch and cake, we all gathered in the living room to hear Ivey read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and then to share presents with each other.
Stay tuned for a post about our Christmas vacation in Chattanooga!

Christmas Eve

Frank's parents came to our house to spend Christmas Eve with us. They drove up the night before so they could spend some extra time with Little, and she was so glad to see them. Christmas Eve morning, we all woke up and Skyped Daniel after breakfast so he could watch us open presents. He so thoughtfully sent some books in the mail for Little and Baby Lincoln, and Little had such a great time opening them. She has really enjoyed the books every day since. Even Mollie was involved in the festivities.Little really enjoyed looking at the present she gave to Big Daddy and Nannie, a 2012 calendar with her picture on every page! She thought it was the greatest thing ever, as you can see here where she is talking to Big Daddy about it.After presents and while Little was taking her morning nap, Frank got to work one of the best meals I have ever eaten. He never fails to amaze me in the kitchen. He made a homemade beef wellington (my favorite), complete with sauces that have names I can't even pronounce. All made from scratch. He even did a flambe. It was A.MA.ZING! I could've just drank the sauce straight out of the bowl. Here he is at work and then slicing the wellingtons. He also made homemade cranberry sauce with some special ingredients. We were so excited to share this wonderful meal that we called my parents at the last minute and they came to try his creations. The seven of us all ate the wonderful meal, which was a Christmas present and memory in itself, prepared by Frank and then hung out until the Christmas Eve service at my parents church. It was Little's first time in big church (she's usually in the nursery), and she did surprisingly well. We sat on the second row, and she acted so grown up. The service was a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Stay tuned for a post on Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy 1 1/2 birthday to Little!

Saturday, Little Pea turned 18 months old! What a big girl! She seems to grow up more every single day, and she just soaks in every little thing that we do or say to her. I don't know her stats, but she has definitely gotten taller. She eats so much, some days more than her pregnant momma! But oddly enough she isn't really gaining weight. It must all be going to her height.

One thing we've really learned in the past couple of weeks is how much she loves to dress up. It's so sweet to watch her. She asks to put on her Christmas dress several times a day and will just stand in the mirror and admire the pretty dress. She loves to put on her bracelets and carry around purses. Momma J and Daddy J were at the mall on her 18 month birthday, and they saw something that they just couldn't leave without. They bought her this sweet little Auburn dress, which she has worn almost every minute since. She put it on 3 times over the clothes she was already wearing on Saturday (we made her take it off for naps) and then wanted to put it on as soon as she woke up on Sunday. Here she is in her sweet little Auburn outfit. Thanks Daddy J for picking this out. She LOVES it!Also on Saturday, Frank decided to make a homemade apple pie. I have mentioned his cooking before, which is exceptionally tasty, and this was definitely right up on par with his other attempts. This was the first time he'd ever made apple pie, and he did it all from scratch, including the crust. I am not normally a fan of crust (I usually throw away the very top) but I ate every last bite of this and even had a second piece. He even did an egg wash on top and made holly and berries out of crust for the very top of the pie. Look at the height on this thing!Yum yum!

Christmas Bunco!

One thing I look forward to every month is going to Bunco. I was unable to go for about 4 months because of being so sick with my RA while in my first trimester, so I was SO excited to be able to go this month which also happened to be our Christmas party. I didn't win any Bunco money (which might be a first for me) but we played dirty Santa so I didn't go home empty handed. It was a great time, and I'm so glad to be part of this group.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ornament Swap

Last night, Jenny and Anne threw an Ornament Swap. It was such a great time and was so nice to spend time with all of my lovely ladies that I don't get to see often enough. We had such a great time eating wonderful desserts, sipping on hot drinks and catching up with each other. We also played Dirty Santa with ornaments, and I was very pleased with my loot! I love these girls and each minute of the time we spend together!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas pics and Baby's Name!

My mom made a dress for Little for Christmas, although we made sure to not put any Christmas things on it so she can wear it for a long time. It is adorable, as always with everything my mom makes. And inquiring minds want to know if we have picked a name for baby. First let me tell those of you who don't know...we are having a BOY! We are so excited that we will have one of each. It took us awhile to agree on a boy name, but as soon as we heard it, we just both knew that was the one. His name is...Lincoln Daniel Cohee. Lincoln is a name that we just both liked, and Daniel is his uncle's name. It was very important to us to name him after his uncle, a man that Frank and I admire and respect so much. It's nice to be able to call Lincoln by name now, and he definitely makes his presence known. He is a very active little guy.

In the meantime, we are trying to figure out when to transform Little's nursery into a big girl room. We want to transition her out of her crib well before Lincoln gets here so she won't feel like the baby kicked her out of her bed. We want her to already be comfortable in her big girl bed before he gets here. We'll probably make the transition soon after the holidays. Speaking of holidays, this Christmas holiday has started out to be a really fun one with her. She is mesmerized by all of the Christmas decorations and lights and really loves the Christmas tree. If the lights aren't on, she'll walk over to the tree and point to the plug. She inspects the ornaments several times a day and oohs and ahhs at the beauty of the tree. And she loves going to my parents house where there are many more decorations than we have at our house. She spends a lot of time looking at the nativities. She even takes the baby Jesus out of the manger, brings him over to show him to us, and then puts him back. It's so sweet to watch her.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures with the Grandparents

Today was a beautiful fall day and also a very eventful day, especially for Little Pea. Nannie and Big Daddy (Frank's parents) came to visit last night, so when Little Pea woke up this morning, the fun began. We first had breakfast, cooked by my loving husband, and then played and played until she wore herself out and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. When she woke up, we went to one of the favorite restaurants of local residents, Clark's, where they have wonderful chicken fingers and catfish among other things. After lunch, we headed outside the restaurant and walked around to enjoy the beautiful weather. This was Little's first discovery of pine cones. There was also a log cabin next door where we took some pictures.There is a little shop next to the log cabin where they sell handmade products made by local residents. They have photography, jewelry, crafts, pottery, quilts and all kinds of other things, and today just happened to be their Christmas open house. We stopped in to check it out and ended up with some really great buys, including two antique oil lamps for $3/each. I got a beautiful handmade piece of pottery, a serving tray, that would easily go for $60 or more but only paid $15 for it. I couldn't believe it. By the time we got home, we had just enough time to pick some vegetables from our garden before Little's second nap. We got some green tomatoes and quite a few carrots today. Impressive!Little took a second 2 1/2 hour nap and woke up just in time for her other grandparents, Momma J and Daddy J, to show up for supper and the big football game between LSU and Alabama. While Momma J and I were cooking supper, Little Pea came in the kitchen wearing my shoes.What a sweetie! It worked out great that she slept so long for her second nap because it allowed her to stay up extra late to make up for the time change. And of course it let her watch more of the football game, which by the way she loves football. But who doesn't?