Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day Of The Tub Stopper

Today Paprika discovered the tub stopper and has been infatuated with it ever since. She pulled it out of the drain while she was taking her bath this morning and will not let go. When I tried to take it away from her, she cried inconsolably. So, we took it everywhere with us today- to the mall, in the car- we even ate lunch with the tub stopper. It's her new best friend! I had to draw the line at her taking a nap with it, though- I didn't want her to choke on it. But it looks like this new friend isn't going anywhere anytime soon! Her favorite thing is when I dangle it over her head while she's laying on her back. She goes crazy with giggles. Now, why are we spending money on toys when the $1.99 tub stopper keeps her entertained for hours?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father's Day Weekend

We did a lot on Mr. Mustard's very first Father's Day weekend. On Saturday, we went out to lunch at The Yard House and then went to the Pasadena Chalk Festival. Sunday we shopped for televisions (didn't buy one), had lunch at Chipotle, and took Paprika to the park to play on the swings and the slide. Mr. Mustard got cards from me, Paprika, Hauser, and Meg, as well as gifts from Paprika and me.

We noticed on Sunday that Paprika has new teeth poking through. She already has two on the bottom, and now she is getting a third one down there. It's already come through the gums and is now about halfway to its full size. She also has two teeth on top that are poking through- we can see the little white dots telling us that they are almost ready to pop out.

Paprika learned how to clap last week. Now whenever we say "Yea!" she claps and claps! She gets very excited by it. She also knows how to wave bye-bye. She's been doing this for awhile- probably a month already, but now she does it very consistently. Usually when she waves bye-bye, she waves towards herself (as if to mirror the person waving to her). It's very very cute!

She continues to increase in mobility every day. She loves climbing and kneeling is now her favorite position. She can stand holding onto the crib railing, but only when the railing is lowered. When it's at its full height, she kneels and holds onto the bars.

On Saturday, Paprika turned 10 months old! I can't believe she'll be a year old in only two more months. Time is really flying. She continues to be sweet, adorable, and a true light in our lives!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Living In The Moment

Lately I've been savoring every moment and enjoying each day, the hard ones and the easy ones, and appreciating them for what they are. Earlier this week (Wednesday), we had a rough day around here. Paprika did not want to sleep at all, and I found myself spending the whole day trying to get her down for one nap. It was a very hard day and she barely slept. Even so, I really enjoyed that day with her. I enjoy being with her and fully present in tough times, because that is when we grow stronger and closer, and she learns to trust me the most.

Thursday was an especially easy day. She slept to make up for the day before, long luxurious naps without a struggle, and in between naps we jaunted happily about town, meeting up with friends for lunch and shopping. It was what I would call a "perfect" day. But then I got to thinking about what perfect really means, and even though Wednesday was tough, it was just as perfect as Thursday. I've come to realize that each day is a perfect day just because we are together, whether it's a hard day or an easy one.

Learning to be flexible and in the moment helps me when some days are more challenging than others. I've learned not to force a bedtime on Paprika- she lets me know when she's ready for bed, and then it's not a struggle. Just getting in the flow of her life, responding to her when she needs it, and realizing that she operates on her own internal rhthym makes life much more enjoyable and interesting, rather than trying to fight what she needs by scheduling her in a way that's not natural for her. I know that life happens, and that she can't always just take naps when she wants to, but as much as I can be accomodating right now to her needs, the better it is for all of us.

The point of parenting is to enjoy parenting, to really love and relish the process of watching a child grow. Living in the moment and realizing that each day, however seemingly flawed, is perfect, is a truly rewarding and incredible gift.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ladies Who Lunch

It's only Thursday and so far this week Paprika and I have made it out to two separate lunch engagements.

On Monday, we met up with some other moms from one of my baby groups. Paprika had a great time interacting with the other babies. We met up in Rancho Cucamonga, which is a pretty long drive for us. Paprika did great- even though she did not nap in the car, she entertained herself with toys and by looking out the window. It's amazing to me how much she's grown up in the last few months. When she was a newborn, she would cry in her carseat the second we put her in it. Now she can handle small car trips, no problem!

Today we met up with my friend Dana, who I haven't see in the longest time. It was great catching up with her and hearing about how her daughter is doing! We had a very yummy lunch at Islands and then went for a walk around the outdoor mall near us. Paprika loves getting out and seeing people, and looking at all the cool stuff in shops. She gets pretty bored when we stay home, so after her morning nap each day, I try to get her outdoors looking at nature, interacting with people, and just getting to know the world around her. She's much happier that way!

Paprika's new trick is to throw all of her pacifiers out of her crib when I lay her down for a nap. I'll come back into the room to check on her, and she's sitting up, happy, throwing them out one by one. She only gets frustrated when she runs out of pacifiers! Her new favorite position is kneeling. She likes to sit on her knees when she's playing with toys and when she's trying to get my attention. Next thing I know, she'll be standing! That seems so far away, but I know it's just around the corner!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paprika Playing

I posted a video below of Paprika playing. One of her favorite things to do is to play with her toy piano and dance to it! It's really cute! This video was taken at the end of a very long playing session, so she's a bit bored with the piano, but the video is still cute.

It has been really hot here! Today we walked up to the library to return some books and check out some new ones. The library isn't air conditioned, so I made sure Paprika had plenty of water before we scooted out of there and came home to hide out in the air conditioning.

Paprika is a climbing machine now. She loves climbing the stairs, and will pull up on anything and everything in her path. She's still not walking yet, and when I hold her hands to help her walk, she sits down. She's fully mastered going from laying down to sitting up. She is so proud at herself when she pulls up or climbs the stairs- she knows what she is doing and is happy about it!

I have started a running program to get back into shape. I have been running about 3 miles/day, in the evening, with Paprika in the jogging stroller. She loves watching the scenery whiz by as we jog along! It's really fun. I blast her favorite music while we run, and we have a great time!

Paprika Playing

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Norton Simon Museum of Art

Today we took Paprika to the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena. She loved looking at the paintings and sculptures. There is a beautiful garden in the back of the museum, with a small pond filled with lillies and ducks. Paprika got a big kick out of looking at the ducks and pointing out all the flowers. This past week I have been working with her, showing her the different flowers throughout our neighborhood. She loves to smell them and giggles when we get close to a flower. The museum was surprisingly empty, and we carried Paprika throughout the galleries, so she could look closely at the paintings. She really enjoyed it a lot, as did Mr. Mustard and I!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cooper's First Birthday!

Paprika's friend, Cooper, had his first birthday party today. Luckily, he lives only one block away from us, so it was a short walk up to the party. We had a great time! They had lots of fun stuff for kids to do, and had a big spread of yummy food and drinks- there was even a margarita machine! I helped Paprika strike the pinata, but we didn't break it- we left that for one of the older kids to do. The party was an "under the sea" theme- and even the cake matched. Paprika got her very own snow cone- but we didn't tell her that it was just shaved ice without the topping. She felt like a very big girl eating it! The party was really great- we got to talk to our neighbors and got to know more people in the neighborhood.

After the party, we came home and Paprika had a short nap while Mr. Mustard and I relaxed out on our front patio. Then, we put Paprika in her jogging stroller and went for a 2.5 mile walk together as a family. So much fun!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Halfway Up The Stairs!

Paprika is now easily able to sit up on her own from a prone position, can get up onto her knees, and is starting to pull up on the furniture. She can also stand assisted! This morning while Mr. Mustard was watching her, Paprika climbed halfway up our very tall flight of stairs! She was chasing Meg, our cat, who got away before Paprika could catch her. Such a big girl!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Running Around The Neighborhood

Today I took Paprika out for our very first run in the jogging stroller. We went about 2 miles- it was a lot of fun!

I love hearing music while I run but I didn't want to run with headphones on (for safety reasons). So, yesterday, we went to Target and bought some battery powered IPod crib speakers, and I strapped those to the stroller. Now, Paprika and I can both hear music while we run! Paprika loves music so much. She had a great time watching the scenery fly by while listening to music blasting. The neighbors may have thought that we were crazy, but who cares! :-)

Paprika is trying to figure out where the music is coming from in this picture:

There was a film crew shooting something just up the street from us. They had taken over the whole block. If they're still there tomorrow, I'll go see what they're shooting. It was a very big production- there must have been 15 semis filled with equipment and hundreds of people milling around. Maybe tomorrow we'll jog by the set!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ann and The Gang

Here are a few pics from our visit up to see Ann, Len, Benjamin and Cameron in Lafayette!
Ann, Benjamin (age 4 1/2), and Cameron (1 year):

Paprika and Cam hanging in the car:

Paprika explores our suitcase:

Eating at Puccini's Pizza in Lafayette:

Playing with sunglasses on the patio at my mom's house:

Back In California!

Our plane touched down late last night after a very long day of travelling. It's good to be back!

Yesterday, my dad took the day off work to spend time with me and Paprika. He came over in the morning, we played with Paprika, and then went to the health food store to buy some vitamins and then he took Paprika and I out to lunch at Chipotle. We had Mr. Mustard's favorite (my dad always wants to order what Mr. Mustard would order, since Mr. Mustard always orders the best thing on the menu). After lunch, we went back to the house and Paprika had a little nap. My grandparents came over to say goodbye to their great-grandbaby. It was so great seeing them one last time before we left.

My dad, Paprika, and I then made the trek to the Indianapolis Airport. We had some time to spare before the flight, so we hung out in the food court and fed Paprika french fries (my dad's idea)! It was her first taste of junk food- but a grandfather is allowed to spoil his only grandbaby a little bit!

Then, Paprika and I boarded the completely full flight to Los Angeles. Every seat was taken, and since I had been hoping that the flight would be undersold, I did not buy a seat for Paprika (children can fly for free on your lap until age 2). Well, that was a big mistake. For the first half of the flight, I sat next to a mucho macho man who insisted on using the whole armrest. Paprika and I were by the window, and I had the unfortunate job of trying to nurse Paprika while sitting next to this manly man. Ugh. The plane stopped in Kansas City and that guy got off the plane, but then more people got on again and the flight was oversold.

Paprika was pretty good, considering it was getting very late and she had missed her afternoon nap. She really wanted to get up and move around, and about four hours into the six hour long flight she started to get really upset. She was crying a little bit, and I overheard a woman in the next row say, "Oh God, I hope that kid doesn't scream the whole flight." Again I had to try to nurse Paprika in my seat, sitting two inches from the passenger next to me. Paprika is two and a half feet long, which is pretty big when you're holding her on your lap for six hours! The plane also did not have a changing table on it. I'll be writing Southwest about that little fact. It was a pretty miserable flight, but we made it through okay.

Paprika is having a hard time adjusting to the three hour time difference. She woke up at 5:30 this morning, which is 8:30 Indiana time. She also caught a bit of a cold on the plane. The woman in the row in front of us spent four hours coughing, hacking, and sneezing. Since the flight was completely full, I couldn't move seats to get away from her. Paprika is really stuffed up today and is having a hard time sleeping because of all the congestion. Hopefully she gets better soon.

Even though the flight back to California was horrible, I am so glad that we made the trip to Indy. I really appreciate Indianapolis more now that I've been away for awhile. California is great, too. We have a lot of things to look forward to in the next few weeks!

I'll be posting more Indiana pics over the next few days- I took about 350 pictures while I was there!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

More Indiana Fun

Whew- we have been busy this past week! On Tuesday, we spent the day with my dad up in Pendleton. We had so much fun hanging out at his place, going to lunch, and playing on the swings at the park.
That night, Paprika and I headed over to Laura and Kevin's house in Fishers for dinner. We had such a great time- Caroline and Stephie were there and it was so exciting to hear about everything they're up to these days. Caroline is getting ready for college and Stephie is busy with running, preparing to get her driver's license, and other fun teenage girl stuff. Here is Stephie and then Caroline holding Paprika:

Wednesday, Paprika and I spent the day with my grandparents. We had a great time at their house. It was a very relaxing day- we decided to stay close since we had been running around doing a million things each day. I wanted to get Paprika back on her nap schedule, since she had been missing all of her daily naps. She seemed really tired, so I thought a day of rest was in order. When we were at my grandparents' house, Paprika learned to sit up on her own for the very first time from a laying down position. I was so proud of her and so happy that my grandparents got to see that!

On Thursday, we spent the day with my dad and Robbie. We hung out by the lake, took the paddle boat out, went swimming, and then went to lunch at Don Pablo's. After that, we went for a hike at Holliday Park--which is where my dad used to take me when I was a baby.

Friday, my dad came over with his girlfriend, Nancy. We relaxed by the lake while Paprika had her morning nap. After Paprika woke up, my dad and I went over to my grandparents' house for lunch. We were there the whole afternoon. My grandma babyproofed her living room, so it was totally safe for Paprika to crawl around. My grandma and grandpa had a lot of my toys saved, and Paprika got to play with those! That was pretty neat.

Saturday, we stopped by Robbie's Little League game. He was pitching and struck out the other team. He is very talented. It was so hot outside, we were roasting! After that, Paprika and I drove up to Lafayette for Cameron's first birthday party. Ann did an amazing job with the party- it was a lot of fun! Ann's whole family was there, and it was great seeing her sister, Kari, her sister, Erika, who flew in from Virginia, as well as her dad and stepmom, Penny. I hadn't seen Ann's dad or Erika since Ann's wedding ten years ago! It's always so much fun seeing Ann's family- they make me feel like family!

This morning, Paprika, Robbie, and I went to church with my grandparents. It was a moving experience for me, since Mr. Mustard and I got married at their church! I remember it like it was yesterday, and that church holds a very special place in my heart. We stayed afterwards for coffee and cake, and got to meet a bunch of my grandparents' friends, which was great. Then my grandparents hosted a family cook-out for me and Paprika at their house. Laura, Kevin, Caroline, Stephie, Robbie, Eric, my mom, and of course, my grandparents were all there. Paprika learned how to stand up by holding onto the couch while we were at my grandparents house! It was the first time she's done that! So, that was exciting! Here are two pics of her standing up for the first time:

And here is a pic of my Aunt Laura holding Paprika:

Then we came home, Paprika napped, and then I took Robbie to his end-of-the season Soccer Team Party. After that, we came home, and had a big cookout by the lake. Then, Paprika said goodnight and goodbye to my mom, Eric, and Robbie for this trip! What a great trip it's been for us- and we hope to come back soon! :-)