Thursday, March 29, 2007

Getting Settled

We're getting settled in Pasadena- it's SO wonderful being up here. The air is cleaner, the neighborhood is better, our townhouse is wonderful, and we have so much more space. We are all really enjoying our new place- we're even sleeping better. It's so nice. I feel like I can finally exhale fully and being at home feels like being on vacation! I think we took this place for granted before, and now that we're back in Pasadena, I really appreciate it. It's fantastic.

We went out to dinner at a Thai Restaurant in town called Chandra to celebrate our move. Plus, we haven't moved our pots and pans yet, so we've been eating out a lot this week! Paprika sat in the high chair at the restaurant for the very first time ever. After sitting in it for a few minutes, she fell asleep! It was her bedtime, after all. Too cute! Luckily we had brought her old car seat, and laid her down in that. She slept for the rest of dinner, and Mr. Mustard and I enjoyed a wonderful meal together.

Here's a pic of Paprika falling asleep in her high chair:

Meg and Hauser are also enjoying the space and comfort of our new home:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quick Update

Just a quick update- we still don't have internet at our new townhouse, so I can't check email or do much of anything online yet. We ended up doing most of the move over the weekend, even though we hadn't planned on moving until the movers came on Thursday. Since we moved so much, Mr. Mustard cancelled the movers for Thursday and we'll just finish up moving the last few items ourselves on Saturday. I've been making day trips back to the old apartment to pack up the last of our items so that on Saturday all we have to do is load the truck, clean up, and turn in our keys.

It feels so good to be in our new place. It will be fantastic once we get all of our furniture set up and get the boxes unpacked. Right now everything is in our garage- our two car garage fits all of our stuff and one car!

Paprika is adjusting well to the new space. She loves being able to roll all around the carpet. She has even started to crawl- I think she feels liberated having a vast expanse of carpet under her legs. It's nice being here now because it's 100% babyproofed (since all of our stuff is in the garage).

Here are a few recent pics of Paprika in the rocking chair at our new townhouse, showing off her teeth:

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Paprika loves making noises by pushing her finger across her mouth- it's really really cute! Paprika is in the middle of a two and a half hour nap right now- whew! She was up a lot last night- and so she's making up for lost time right now, I guess. I hardly know what to do with myself!

I cut out all the gossip media for Lent- a change that has had a really profound effect on my life. I'm also filtering most other broadcast media- I mean, I'm still keeping current with what is going on in the world and in our community, I'm just not leaving the television on at random and listening to all the negative stuff out there. We are cancelling cable when we move to Pasadena. We only got cable a few months ago, but already, I just want to be rid of it. I turn it on and in the background I just her noise, noise, noise. We'll still have the network stations so I can get my weekly fix of American Idol and Lost. There are a few cable shows, like Battlestar Gallactica, that I really enjoy, and we can get those on ITunes. Since Mr. Mustard works mostly on network TV shows, I will still get to see all of his shows, which is really important to me since I definitely want to support him. A lot of my decision to cut out cable has come from wanting Paprika to be active and not stuck in front of a television all day. In the limited time we have all together as a family in the evenings, I want us to be interacting not just mindlessly watching television. We will be keeping the TV to watch movies and stuff like that, though.

I've also made really good progress with cutting out the sugar in my diet. I still have some with my oatmeal, but for the most part, I'm eating really heathfully and mindfully. It's changed my perspective on things a bit, since I'm looking to food for both nourishment and enjoyment-- and it's hard to enjoy something when you know deep down it's hurting your body (like a lot of refined sugar does!) Cutting out the soda was huge for me, but now it's no biggie. I drink a lot of water, which makes me feel really good and alive. Since starting these simple changes, I have lost a great deal of weight effortlessly, which is so nice. I don't feel like I'm trying to lose weight at all, just enjoying life and allowing my body to naturally rid itself of the excess through diet and exercise.

I've been thinking a lot about God and spirituality lately. Living here has been difficult for me, and in that, I think it made me really search for meaning and a connection with God. So, that has been a good thing. I always seem to take the difficult path in everything that I do- I never seem to do things the way that everyone else does them. I think that's something in my spirit- something maybe my mom and dad instilled in me. Anyway, lately I've been on a real search for meaning and I am discovering so much about my purpose, my place in the world, and finding a sense of peace about it all. Having a child, for me, has helped me change my view of the world, redirect my focus to things that really matter, and find a sense of peace that I didn't know was possible. It's a very exciting time of life, and one of hope, too. Speaking of my little girl, she just woke up from her very long nap. Time to go play!

So Ready

I'm ready to go, ready to move already! This week has seemed like the longest ever, just waiting to get out of this place. I am ready to be free! These are the views from our two main windows- ummm, don't mean to be depressing, but hello!- I can't believe that's what I've been looking at for two years now! I can't wait to relax on our patio in Pasadena, drink some tea in the morning, play with Paprika outside, and roam around in the spaciousness of our palatial place (almost three times as big as this apartment). The hours are going by SO slowly. I'm going to do a great big happy dance when I'm free from this place. We're taking all the little stuff over on Saturday morning along with Paprika's bed and an air mattress for us. So, tomorrow night will probably be the last night we spend here. So happy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Packing Up

Here's my little helper, helping me pack up our apartment to move. Last night I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so I picked up In 'N Out, which we haven't had in months. It was so good and decadent. After Paprika went to sleep, Mr. Mustard and I watched the movie "The Prestige" and relaxed. It was a really good movie- very clever!

I may be shutting down the internet here soon, and so I might not be updating or checking email for a week or two until we get our internet going at our new place. So, if the updates stop happening, you'll know why- no reason to worry, it's just us transitioning! Hopefully we won't be offline for long. :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007


Paprika is SO mobile, she gets into everything. She can also pull herself up onto the coffee table, knock over books, wedge herself under the couch, and move from one side of the living room to the other in a matter of seconds. Since we are in the middle of packing up to move, this is really quite challenging for us. On top of that, she gets bored easily. She's not entertained long by anything anymore, so unless she can have complete freedom to roam about the apartment and explore at her whim, she gets very vocal about her boredom.

Yesterday we did our final walk-through with our tenants, and they will be returning the keys to the townhouse to us tonight. We have a cleaning crew scheduled for tomorrow to deep clean the place, and then we're free to move in. We hired movers to move all the big stuff next Thursday (March 29th), and until then we'll be moving small stuff over as we have the time.

She was pretty fussy yesterday- which I attribute to her teething and starting to get her top two teeth! The teething makes her irritable, but she can't stay asleep, so she ends up letting out a kind of long droney-whine for hours on end. At least that was how it went yesterday the whole car ride home from Pasadena back to our apartment.

She's also learning all about possession. If she sees something she wants and we don't give it to her, she gets really mad. Last night Mr. Mustard was having a beer with dinner, and she wanted to hold it so badly. He let her touch it and she got really mad when he tried to take it away from her. So, I know that now is the time when we have to start teaching her that she can't have everything she wants. But, it seems like the more dangerous the object is, the more she wants to play with it. She is fascinated by scissors, forks, knives, and anything made of glass!

Anyway, we thought the beer bottle thing was pretty funny so we took some pictures. Obviously we didn't let her have any of it! But watching her hold it was a moment of humor in a long day, full of running around frantically, packing, and trying to entertain a teething, daredevil baby. I hope we get through this move with our sanity intact!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Yard Sale!

We did it! We had our big Yard Sale yesterday- it was actually pretty fun and we made a good bit of cash. It started off a bit rough, though!

The week before the big sale, we posted ads on and the Pennysaver to advertise it. Then, the night before, Mr. Mustard drove around with signs I made and posted them on the major streets near our apartment complex. I set the alarm for a 6:30 wake-up time, since our sale was advertised to start at 7:30am, and we went off to sleep.

Well, the alarm clock didn't go off. I haven't set an alarm clock since the Bar Exam last July, so maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway, I woke up at 7:20 in a panic, pushed Mr. Mustard out of the bed and out the door to walk Hauser and started frantically trying to get ready. Paprika was still asleep, so I couldn't leave the apartment, so I was basically running around trying to organize everything, wash my face, etc.

At 7:25 I got a loud knock on the door, looked out the peephole, and there was an army of people standing outside our door. Turns out, we had posted a sign down by the mailbox telling people in our building that we were having a yard sale, and on it we had put our unit number. So, I had to deal with a bunch of angry early birds who wanted to know if they could come inside our apartment to start looking through our stuff!

Luckily, Mr. Mustard came home and dealt with it, because just at that second, Paprika woke up and wanted to be fed, changed, etc. It was a nightmare. The army of people left empty handed, and we then started setting up, but of course, the rush was over by then. No worries, though. More people eventually came and bought.

Mr. Mustard thought I was crazy for putting out certain items like a half-eaten box of fruit roll-ups, partially used bottles of baby soap, cans of cat-food, a broken cheese-grater, a rusty can-opener, and packages of Crystal Light- but, guess what, people bought them! So now I regret all the stuff that I didn't put out and threw away instead. Some people will buy anything, I guess! Groddy-to-the-max!

After that, we did a big donation drop at Goodwill. It feels so good to be free of all that stuff! Paprika was big help. In the morning, it was pretty chilly, so we put on her warm pumpkin hat that she got as a Christmas present from the Kohls family. She looked so cute! Then the sun came out, so we put on her sun hat. She had fun interacting with everyone, and afterwards was ready to sleep, sleep, sleep!

Friday, March 16, 2007

7 Months Today!

Paprika Bliss turns 7 months old today! She now has her two bottom teeth and loves to chomp on anything and everything! She can sit unassisted indefinitely, and she has a great sense of humor- she laughs and laughs at everything, but especially "doggy" (Hauser's new nickname).

She rolls everywhere and can pivot 360 degrees with ease, so there's no corner she can't find on her own. She loves grabbing everything, and can hold on so tight that I can't get her to let go. Her favorite things to grab are her daddy's hair and her mommy's nose!

Paprika babbles non-stop when she's at home, but when she's out in public, she likes to be quiet and check everyone out. She is always laughing and smiling when we're at home. When we're out in public, she is more reserved and likes to really assess what is going on before she'll let out a grin.

She is fascinated by Megatron (our cat), and wants to pet her, but Meg usually skitters away after Paprika moves in to touch her. Hauser, on the other hand, will do anything to get Paprika's attention. When Paprika wakes up in the morning, after she's fed and changed, I say to her, "where's the doggy?" Hauser will then come in the room and Paprika will start laughing and smiling! It's really wonderful to see that connection.

Paprika loves playing with her daddy (and her mommy, too, of course!) Mr. Mustard and Paprika have father-daughter bonding time in the morning before he goes to work- and it lets me get a few more minutes of rest, which is a gift I love getting.

Paprika is still 100% breastfed and that is going really wonderfully. I thought it might become a bit tricky with the teeth, but it's not at all. She's pretty careful about being nice to her food source!

This has been the best 7 months of my life- so wonderful, full of surprises and unexpected gifts. When she was first born, I never wanted her to leave my sight because I was worried that someone or something might take her from me, or perhaps that something so good could not last for long. Now I know that this joy is lasting, and every day we have together just keeps getting better. Of course, I still don't want to let her out of my sight. She is the most amazing gift- I never knew a child could change a life so profoundly and for the better.

Time does seem to be speeding up- it feels like a moment ago she was 6 months old and now today she is 7 months. But maybe it's not that time is speeding up so much as that I'm just slowing down and the world continues to go at its own pace. I take moments to enjoy each day now, to relish each breath, each laugh, and to enjoy each smile. Even the tears are worth cherishing. Life is good and I'm glad to be here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Today Paprika and I took a break from packing to go to the Century City mall and have lunch with my friend, Lauren. It was so great catching up with her and Paprika was great. I brought the stroller (which I pretty much never do) so that Paprika could sit in it while I ate lunch. Usually I have her on my lap and I'm often trying to eat while she tries to steal my food or grab my plate. It was a lot easier to eat with her on my lap when she was younger, but now she wants to touch everything and put it all in her mouth, so I brought the stroller for my sanity. It's a little bulky, but it was worth it. Lauren and I talked for an hour while Paprika stared happily up at us! So good.

Then, we said goodbye to Lauren, and Paprika and I splurged and went clothes shopping (for Paprika, not me)! My favorite clothing store for babies is at the Century City Mall-it's a South African store called Naartjie, and they have really adorable clothes. Since we'll be moving soon and I won't be shopping there anymore, I thought I should buy a few summer outfits while I still can. They are really precious- very frilly and girly! Paprika is now wearing 12-18 month clothes and weighs 21 pounds still.

Her favorite game for the past month or so has been peekaboo! She goes wild for it! It's a sure way to cheer her up whenever she gets tired or fussy. She's also making a lot more noises with her mouth- kind of like she's singing almost! Mr. Mustard taught her how to run her finger up and down across her mouth to make funny noises, and now she won't stop doing it. It's really cute!

These pictures were taken today while we were at the mall. By the end of the trip, Paprika fell asleep in her stroller and I thought it was so adorable I had to take a picture.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Exciting Weekend!

We had a great weekend. My friend Lindsey was in town (she lives in the Bay Area), and she invited the three of us to her friend's birthday party on Saturday night in Playa Vista. We went to the party (even though it was long past Paprika's bedtime) and had a wonderful time. Paprika really enjoyed showing Lindsey how well she can sit up! It was great talking to Lindsey and catching up on everything that's going on in her life.

We also went up to Malibu- it seems like we make it up there just about every weekend these days. It is so beautiful up in the mountains- it really feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. We found the cutest sandwich place and had lunch there and happened upon a great playground for kids. It was celeb-packed. We saw Kate Hudson, Kate Capshaw (Steven Spielberg's wife) and Josh Duhamel all in the span of five minutes. It was insane! We also did some window shopping. We went into a kid's boutique where they were selling simple sundresses for over $200. Yikes! I really want to get a sewing machine and start making my own stuff. I know I could make clothes way cuter than the ones they were selling.

On Sunday, we went to church. It was so good- all about changing the focus of your life, filtering out what matters least, and getting in touch with what matters the most. What else? Paprika got her second tooth this weekend! If you look really closely in the pictures, you can see them- they are her two bottom teeth. She made up for all of the hard work of cutting a tooth by sleeping for about 15 hours last night (with one brief wake-up to feed in the middle). She was such a sleepy girl, and today she is well rested and ready to play.

We also watched "Shut Up And Sing"- the Dixie Chicks documentary. It was very good- I highly recommend it, especially if you're a Dixie Chicks fan like I am! :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Good Day

We did a little bit of a lot of things today. This morning, Paprika and I walked to the park and had some fun swinging in the baby swing (she did the swinging, I did the pushing). Then we walked home and she napped while I cleaned and packed. Then, we went to Free Play at our Mommy & Me center. Basically, they open up the place for fun, unstructured play. I asked them to set up a bouncy swing for Paprika, since it's her favorite thing there. She happily bounced away the hour. They also gave her a red balloon for her to take home- balloons are her new favorite thing to play with. Then, we went to the grocery store and got a bunch of goodies, including avocados for 40 cents each (a very good deal)! Next we took Hauser for a long walk, and did some laundry together. A simple day, but a good one.

I can't believe we're moving in 11 days! I am starting to get nostalgic for this apartment, even if it is horribly small and full of problems. I will miss the closeness that we have here, and of course, it will always be special to me since it's where we brought Paprika home from the hospital. I hope that we can keep that close and together feeling when we move into our big, roomy townhouse. Living here has been frustrating at times, but ultimately has taught me how to thrive on less and enjoy what I have more. The best times of my life have been spent in this apartment. I have never been happier than I am right now and I know that when we move to Pasadena it's going to get even better.

So, I'm starting to say goodbye to the apartment and all of the wonderful memories that we have here. Paprika has spent her first 7 months of life here- so, it's special to me and I'm never going to forget it. Well, I definitely won't forget it, since I have about three thousand pictures of her inside this apartment to help me remember! :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sleeping In The Car

Here is a picture of Paprika sleeping in her carseat. She loves it- it is so comfy for her! And, of course, I love the cow pattern! :-)

We got an email yesterday from our tenants saying that they will be handing the keys over to us on March 19th! I am so excited! Originally they were going to move out at the end of the month, and we were going to have to scramble to get the place cleaned and move out of our apartment by the end of the month. Now we have almost two weeks to move in! This takes a lot of pressure off us, since we can move in slowly, bringing most of the small items and breakables over ourselves and saving only the really big, bulky items for the moving company.

We need to do a walk-through with the tenants, and figure out what things we need to fix prior to moving in. The biggest issue is the carpeting- if we want to replace that or install hardwood floors, we will want to do that before we move in. I guess we'll have to see what condition the carpet is in. Mr. Mustard is leaning towards installing hardwood or bamboo flooring, since we have Hauser and Meg, and they shed like crazy. With Paprika crawling and playing down on the floor a lot, it would be nice to have a fresh start in that department. I guess we'll wait and see what everything looks like when we do our walk-through in less than two weeks! I am SO excited!

I am going to the doctor today- Mr. Mustard is going to take a lunch break and pick Paprika and I up to go to the appointment. I am so glad he's coming with me- I really can't imagine bringing Paprika to the appointment by myself.

Oh, and her teeth broke through the surface yesterday. She slept so well last night, and has been napping a great deal to make up for all of the sleep she lost while teething. I know that this isn't the last we've seen of teething pain (by a longshot), but it's nice to have our sweet, happy baby back! :-)

Monday, March 5, 2007

I See A Tooth In Her Future!

Paprika is babbling non-stop now. I took a video of her babbling and was going to post it, but the video was too large to upload because it was too long. She has a lot to say, I guess! She's also learning all about possession, and how to ask for the things she wants. She gets upset when she can't play with certain things- like a permanent magic marker, for example, or when her toy falls on the floor. A month or so ago she didn't care which toy she played with and didn't notice if we took something away from her. Now she is very specific about what she wants to play with- not just any toy will do!

I can feel her two bottom teeth popping up through her gums. The teeth aren't there yet, but I can tell that they are bothering her. She has always been an exceptional sleeper- basically sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. Well, now all that has changed. For the past week, she's woken up every two or three hours at night. She's sleeping so restlessly, and I think it has a lot to do with her mouth hurting. Hopefully once these teeth come through she'll be back to her old self and we can finally get some rest!

We have been spending a lot of time going through old boxes, sorting, and getting ready for the yard sale/move. It's been really fun, actually, going through old boxes of cards, letters, etc. I am set on getting everything organized before moving day, and so far it's been challenging. But, a little at a time, I'm working through everything. It's nice to have the luxury to do all of this- all of our other moves have been so frantic because I was either in school, working, or both. Since I'm home, I get to take advantage of doing it right this time. So, I'm enjoying the process. Already I've filled up our breakfast nook with items to donate or sell. Incredible!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Malibu Baby

Yesterday we spent the day at the beach in Malibu. We went to our favorite park right by the beach, and we also went to the opening day fair for the Malibu Little League. What fun! We picked up some yummy La Salsa on the way to the park and had a really nice lunch overlooking the ocean. Afterwards we went for a drive up through the mountains and into Topanga Canyon. We looked at houses up in Topanga for the fun of it, and enjoyed the drive in our wonderful new car. A good day was had by all!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hauser's Baby!

Click on the arrow twice to watch the video!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Rubber Ducky!

This is Paprika's rubber ducky. She really really loves it! It keeps her occupied during bathtime, and is her new favorite toy.

In other news, let the moving insanity begin! I started going through the kitchen yesterday, and now, for the first time since we moved in two years ago, the kitchen cabinets are fully organized! Just in time to move! I got rid of a lot of stuff, and so the process is beginning, but it looks like a whirlwind came through the apartment.

Paprika was a sport today. We went to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping and we were there for a long time! The first place I got stuck in was the "baby aisle"-- there are so many options of food products, that it's just overwhelming! I am planning on making all of my own baby food, but I wanted to see if there were any "teething biscuits" for her to try- and there were too many options! I wanted to get the organic ones, but they were only for 9 months and up. I think Paprika really wants to chew on something edible, so I thought maybe I could give her a teething biscuit to give her something to work through her teething pain. Guess I'll be waiting a few more months on that. Oh well.

I also used coupons today for the very first time in my life! I was "that" shopper with the neverending stack of coupons- and I saved about 1/3 of the grocery bill, so it was worth it! I know I was very annoying to everyone else in line, but oh well! :-)

Last night Paprika ate her very first bite of real food! I made quesadillas for dinner, and I had mashed up some avocado and put it in a side bowl for dipping- kind of like guacamole, but not as spicy! Anyway, we were almost done eating the avocado and Paprika started reaching for it. So, I sat her up on my lap and let her try a taste or two. She seemed to really like it this time- at least she really liked being included in the dinner ritual.

I am definitely not going to force food on her, but will continue to make things she can eat and then let her eat them if she shows interest. I'm going to keep making her avocado every now and then, and will probably also introduce mashed bananas soon. It's not nutritionally necessary for her to eat solid food until after a year old- right now she's just exploring food. So, we're taking it slowly and we'll see how it goes! But, one or two bites last night was really exciting!