Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fun With Mommy's Purse!

Paprika can keep herself entertained for quite awhile by searching the contents of my purse. Sometimes I even hide little toys in there for her to find, which she loves!

We have been having a pretty laid back pre-Labor day weekend kind of a week. Paprika and I met another mom with her 17 month old daughter at the park yesterday. They were really nice, and the mom is someone who, coincidentally, used to work for the same television production company I used to work for! We worked there at different times, though, and in different divisions, so our paths never crossed. Anyway, we are meeting up again tomorrow, which should be lots of fun! Paprika really hit it off with her daughter.

Paprika is starting to repeat everything, and even said the name "Isabella" the other day when we met a baby by that name! Paprika is now standing on her own for a few seconds at a time, and is a super-fast crawler. She can be across the room in a matter of seconds!

Paprika has such a gentle spirit, and is incredibly giving. I always thought that children were supposed to be selfish, but Paprika displays none of that. She always wants to feed me (or Hauser!) instead of taking food for herself. She is always giving me her toys, patting me on the leg to show me things, and offering me her sippy cup--even when I know she is thirsty. Perhaps this stage will not last, but I am enjoying it while it is here.

She is a very clever girl, and remembers everything! For example, about a week ago at dinner, there was a song playing in the background. Mr. Mustard and I started clapping to the song (basically to distract Paprika from wanting to leave the dinner table). Today, randomly, the same song came on and Paprika, unprompted, started clapping to the song. She put two and two together and remembered that it was THIS particular song that we clapped to a week ago, and then decided to clap to it herself. I didn't even remember that until she started doing it. What can I say, she amazes me-- daily!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fun Morning At the Park!

Paprika and I met up with some other moms in the area at our local park this morning! We had a great time getting to know the other moms with babies. Paprika is crawling everywhere and so I dressed her in long pants so her knees wouldn't get scraped up as she raced around from playgroup to playgroup. She is a social butterfly- and very talkative, too!

Paprika is standing for a few seconds at a time on her own now. She could stand for longer, but she's still unsure of herself so she prefers to hold onto things. She is a quick cruiser and can move from one object of furniture to another very quickly by holding onto furniture while she walks around.

Paprika understands so much and can follow simple instrucitons like "open the door," "pet the dog," or "say goodnight," and "turn off the light." She is always laughing and smiling, and is such a joy to be near. Her two new favorite tricks are to hold my cell phone up to her ear and pretend to talk on it, and to put my purse around her shoulder and crawl across the carpet with it. Apparently, she wants to be just like mommy! I am definitely flattered!

Almost 20 Years!

This is the dress my mom wore as a bridesmaid in my Aunt Laura and Uncle Kevin's wedding, which will be 20 years ago in November! I had some fun trying it on when we were back in Indy. I think my mom is keeping it on the chance that someday it will go back in style! :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

First State Fair!

On our last day in Indiana, we went to the closing day of the Indiana State Fair with my mom, Eric, and Robbie. Paprika loved petting the animals. We saw a horse exhibition, drank Lemon Shake-Ups, and had a blast!

Daddy and Paprika near the piggies:

Makes my job look easy!:

So Cool!
Mr. Mustard is 6 Feet Tall, so you know that is one HUGE horsie! Paprika was afraid to touch him!:

These pumpkins were about 4 feet high- Paprika could have crawled through the holes in the back of them and stood up inside!:

We had an awesome time at the Fair! See you next time! :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Paprika's First Birthday Party!

Paprika had a wonderful first birthday party at Aunt Laura and Uncle Kevin's house! All of Paprika's relatives on my side of the family were there! Unbelievable! Even my Aunts Jane and Peg came out from New Jersey! All of my aunts and uncles on my dad's side were there- Ed, Jeanette, Rob, Jackie, Jane, and Peg came. My dad came with his girlfriend Nancy. My mom and Eric, Robbie, and my grandparents were there, too! And, of course, my Aunt Laura, Uncle Kevin, Caroline, and Stephie were there (it WAS their house, after all!) ;-) Kevin's mom came to the party and was cracking jokes left and right! It was great seeing her on Paprika's special day. It was a wonderful, memorable day for us- and my best friend, Ann, made sure to take lots of pics! Here are some of the highlights!:
Aunt Laura and Stephie Pre-Party:

Uncle Kevin Slaving Away, Making Food In the Kitchen:

Paprika, Grammy, and Mommy!:

Grammy and Uncle Robbie:

Grandpa and Nancy:

Caroline and Uncle Kevin:

Enjoying the Party:

Yummy, yummy food:

The Birthday Cake!:

Mommy Helps Paprika Blow Out the Candle- a Big One!:

First Bite of Birthday Cake!:

Paprika wanted to feed everyone else her cake!:

Then she decided it tasted good enough to feed herself:

Opening Presents!:
A Group Shot of the Spinks, Kohls, Becker, Urth, and McPherson Women!:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What A Long, Great Trip It's Been!

We're back in California! It feels like we lived a whole lifetime on our last trip to Indianapolis. So much happened, it's unbelievable!

Tuesday, August 14th- Robbie, Paprika, my dad, and I spent the day up in Fisher's visiting my Aunt Laura. Paprika had so much fun bouncing on Aunt Laura's giant trampoline!

That night we picked up Mr. Mustard at the airport around midnight. Paprika was still awake, so she went with me, Eric, and Robbie to pick Mr. Mustard up. Paprika fell asleep in the car right before we picked up Mr. Mustard, so we had to be really quiet the whole car ride home!

My mom got into a car accident on Tuesday and totalled her car! I am soooo glad she is okay. She was shaken up, but otherwise fine. It really scared us all.

Wednesday, August 15th- Mr. Mustard, Paprika, Robbie and I went up to Lafayette to visit Ann and family! Mr. Mustard and Robbie watched the kids while Ann and I went out and got pedicures! It was so fun to have a little "girl time" together. When we got home, we found out that Robbie had contracted a very bad stomach virus and was puking everywhere. He threw up 17 times that night- he was so very sick! Mr. Mustard and Ann's husband, Len, drove Robbie back halfway to Indy, where Eric met up with him and took Robbie home. Then Mr. Mustard came back to get me and Paprika- we didn't want her riding in the car with Robbie, in case he was contagious!

Thursday, August 16th- Paprika's First Birthday! - We had such an amazing day! Mr. Mustard, my dad, Paprika, and I all spent the day at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. It was incredible. Paprika had an awesome time. They have a special play area for babies under the age of 2. Paprika loved splashing in the water there and playing with the blocks. She actually loved looking at all the exhibits in the museum- especially the glass display and the dinosaur exhibit.

Looking Up At The Glass:

Splashing In the Water:

With Mommy:

Taking a Lunch Break:

That night we had a mini-party for Paprika at my mom's house. My grandparents came, which was awesome! We had cake and ice cream and sang "Happy Birthday" to Paprika. Then we took a boat ride around the lake. Paprika loved peeking over the edge of the boat at the swans and ducks swimming beside us.

Friday, August 17th- Mr. Mustard, Paprika, and I drove up to Lafayette to see Ann and family! Ann had hired a babysitter for her boys for the day so that she could go with us to get Paprika's professional one year portrait taken. Paprika was so adorable at her picture- we got some great photos of her to commemorate the day. Here are some photos of Paprika in the dressing room, prior to her photo session!:

Saturday, August 18th- Paprika's Big First Birthday Party at Aunt Laura and Uncle Kevin's House. What an amazing day! We had a big celebration with family and friends- and it was just perfect. Photos to follow in a later post!

Sunday, August 19th- We slept in, then went over to my Grandparents' house for a visit. After that, Eric, my mom, Robbie, Mr. Mustard, Paprika, and I went to the Indiana State Fair. It was Mr. Mustard and Paprika's first time at the State Fair- and I think they both really enjoyed it! The main attraction for us is seeing the animals. Paprika got to pet goats, pigs, llamas, alpacas, sheep, and horses! She liked it all- but was a little aprehensive about petting the horses- they must seem so huge to her! She also had her first taste of lemonade and did not like it one bit!

Monday, August 20th- We boarded a 6am flight back to Los Angeles and got back just in time for Monday morning rush hour! Honestly, it wasn't too bad. I was exhausted because I didn't go to sleep the night before. Paprika had been falling asleep so late that we both got used to staying up til 3am, so by the time it was time to go to sleep, it was time to leave for the airport! Paprika slept most of the flight home, thankfully. When she wasn't sleeping, she was tuned into the dvd player. Having Mr. Mustard with me was a huge help- it made the flight about 1000 times easier!

Monday, August 13, 2007

She Stood Up By Herself

I forgot to add that when I went back to pick Paprika up out of the crib this last time, I put her down on the floor and she stood up by herself (without holding onto anything) for about 15 seconds. I held out her little bear in front of her to give her something to focus on, and she did it! That was her very first time really standing up on her own- without holding onto anything! Woo-hoo! I am so proud of her. Today she stands...tomorrow she walks? We'll see, I guess! :-)

Indy Day Two

We had a great time meeting up with my dad and Nancy at Don Pablo's earlier today. It's Robbie's last week before he starts 7th grade, so he came along with us. We had an excellent meal and then went to Holliday Park to walk the trails and visit the nature center. Paprika loved every second of it all. She loved looking at the fountain at Don Pablo's and made friends with a little girl there. Paprika loved being carried through the woods at Holliday Park and was enchanted by all of the animals (especially the turtle) at the Nature Center. Then we went back to my mom's house and watched (part of) The Wizard of Oz with Paprika for the first time. She loved it!

Paprika is continuing her sleep strike- and is also not eating much either. It's driving me a little crazy. It's 1:30am and she just now went down to sleep after much work on my part. Sigh. She seems happy, though, so maybe I should just let her dictate her own schedule. I just want to make sure that she's getting the rest she needs. I think she is just so excited by everything here that she wants to stay up and experience it all- and like her dad, when she gets busy, she forgets to eat! I am having a tough time of it, though, and hopefully the situation will resolve itself sooner rather than later. One good thing is that my grandparents loaned me this incredible mattress pad to put under her Pack 'n Play mattress, and that has made for a much more luxurious sleeping surface for Paprika. I just put it in her crib, so hopefully that will help things a bit, as Paprika is very sensitive to her sleeping surface and likes things to be comfy-cozy.

Tomorrow is the day that one year ago I went into labor! It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year already. This time last year was the last time I slept at our apartment without Paprika! I had no idea that I'd be rushed to the hospital tomorrow to give birth to our beautiful, precious baby girl.

I think back to that time and how special it was for me-- and how fresh it still seems. I am so proud of everything we have been through as a family this last year, and how far we have come together. This has been the most magical year of my life- and I wouldn't trade these times for anything- not even the sleepless nights!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

First Day In Indy!

Had a wonderful first day relaxing in Indiana. My Grandparents (Paprika's Great Grandparents) came over for an impromtu visit, which was wonderful. We visited and took a nice boat ride around the lake on my mom and Eric's new boat. It was so nice out- and Paprika loved looking at the water, ducks, and swans. She even got to drive the boat for a little while (with supervision, of course)!

We arrived safely in Indianapolis last night around 11pm. Paprika was great the whole flight- but did NOT sleep one wink. I actually did get her to fall asleep on the plane, but then a little boy a few rows back started screaming right when she fell asleep, so she woke up immediately. She got to Indianapolis very tired (after missing her nap yesterday), but still would not got to sleep until after 1am. Then today she repeated her routine and would not nap all day- and would not fall asleep (no matter what tricks I tried) until 1:30am. The time change is really doing a number on her this trip, and I'm not sure what to to about it. I am going crazy trying to get her to sleep, and she is very cranky when she hasn't had her naps. She won't let anyone hold her but me, and cries everytime I step out of the room. I am exhausted trying to accomodate her fussiness and late bedtime. I am hoping that the situation resolves itself and that she takes a nap tomorrow and goes to sleep earlier than 1:30am.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I forgot to mention what we did for our anniversary last night! Went out to dinner- with Paprika- to Hamlet (which I think used to be called The Hamburger Hamlet). It was excellent! Just the right atmosphere for bringing a baby. We had basically the whole restaurant to ourselves- we had a great round booth that fit her highchair perfectly. We split a crabcake burger and a bacon cheeseburger (Yum-o!), and then swung by the Cheesecake Factory and picked up a slice of cheesecake to-go. By that time, it was 9:30 and Paprika was ready for bed.

We brought Paprika home (she fell asleep in the car), and took her right upstairs and she konked out for the night. We came downstairs and watched Entourage, ate cheesecake, and worked on the cover for my book. A really fun night!

What a difference a year's what we did last year for our anniversary!

Paprika Meets Her Shoes

The first thing Paprika did after I put her shoes on is...take one off, of course!
Inspecting It:
Tasting It:
REALLY Tasting It!:

Standing On Her Own Two Feet: