Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Our Little Flower, Paprika, had a GREAT second Halloween! We went to our neighbor's house for a party. All the kids looked adorable in their costumes, but of course I thought Paprika looked the cutest!

Here's our little flower:

Wondering Where the Candy Went:

Sitting on Mommy's Lap:

Contemplating the Meaning of Life:

The Three of Us:


These are some of the cool, decorated houses in our neighborhood. They were so spooky we were almost too scared to go up to the doors!:

All in all, a good Halloween was had by all!

Monday, October 29, 2007


We were up in Santa Barbara this past weekend. Paprika had a great time sitting on this rocking chair at Grandma's house and reading all about spiders! She was so excited to have a chair to sit in that was just the right size for her, and she was so happy to rock herself. This chair has seen a lot of use, since both Mr. Mustard and Andrea used it when they were kids. So perfect!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Books Have Arrived!

My books are back from the printer's and they are gorgeous! I am getting ready to send a big batch to Amazon tomorrow so they can get ready to ship them out to the first customers. Paprika has had a great time scaling the boxes of books in our living room.

Every day for the past week, I have taken Hauser and Paprika to the baseball field about 1/2 mile from our house. It's fenced in and provides a huge play space of grass for both Paprika and Hauser to run. I bring a few tennis balls for Hauser and he gets worn out in no time. It's really wonderful. We go at dusk, and once it starts to get dark, the baseball field is entirely illuminated with lights. It's a bit of a surreal feeling when everything else is dark, but the field is so bright. I've never played sports at night- but I can imagine the rush of being on a field lit up at night. The weather right now is perfect for it, and there's never anyone at the field, so we have it all to ourselves. It's been a perfect few days for us.

The fires are starting to settle down. We are thankfully out of harm's way. The fires are raging to the East, West, South, and North of us- but thankfully not in our own backyard. The sky has been a deep pink color and the moon a dark blood red. The air smells like burning wood, and feels heavy. I feel so terrible for everyone who has lost so much in the fire. I'm praying that the fire is contained quickly and that no more lives are lost. We will have a lot of warning if the fires start to move towards us- I think that we are pretty safe for now, though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mr. Mustard is Home!

Yea! Mr. Mustard just got back from his week and a half trip to Chicago. We are so excited that he is finally home. Paprika is still sick- day four of this terrible cold. She is congested and not sleeping well at all.

Since her nose is all stuffed up, she can't nurse because if she tries to, then she can't breathe. So, I have been pumping and trying to give her lots of solids to make up for it. Well, she does not like solids in general and so far today she flat-out refused: bananas, Yo Baby yogurt, cheerios, pumpkin muffins, carrot muffins, and spinach lasagne with baked brie.

Earlier tonight, I was on the phone with my mom and I heard Paprika choking on something. I ran to the kitchen, only to find that she had opened a box of dog treats and had about eight stuffed in her mouth and was desperately trying to eat them ALL at once. I figured she was hungry, so I warmed back up the spinach lasagne and as we're sitting at the table, she starts screaming and reaching for the dog treats on the counter, saying "I want! I want!" Then I said, "no Paprika, treats for the doggie..., for doggie." Then she said back to me, "for doggie! for doggie!" Although, it sounded more like "frrrr gawgeee, frrrr gawgeee."

She had seen Hauser eating the treats earlier in the evening, and of course she wants to do everything that Hauser gets to do! I calmed her down, hid the treats, and was pretty successful in getting some spinach lasagne into her for dinner, after all.

I hope she gets over this cold quickly. We are not going back to the indoor playground again. The only times she's ever been sick in her life were after playing there, and it's just not worth it to go back there again if it's only going to make her miserable. We're going to miss that place.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Little Under The Weather

Paprika caught a cold on Friday when we were at the indoor playground. This little boy came up to Paprika and started coughing and snotting right in her face. I immediately moved her away from him, but was worried that she would catch something from him. Sure enough, by Saturday morning, she was miserable. She had the high seal bark of croup and was inconsolable. Saturday night was very rough- she slept maybe three hours total the whole night and was actually crying in her sleep. I slept in her room, and could hear her laboring to breathe and wimpering. I put her on the queen bed with me and stayed up all night listening to her breathing, making sure she was okay. It was pretty scary. She is a lot better now- she slept okay last night and today she has a deep chest cough, is still a bit lethargic, but I think the worst is over. I've been running the humidifier in her room, her head is elevated in her crib to let her nose clear, and we have been using the steam in the bathroom to clear her head. I wish I could just take her sickness away and make it all better for her. It's tough.

We had plans to go up to Santa Barbara for the weekend, but Mr. Mustard got extended at the last minute to stay in Chicago for longer. He is working for Harpo there, and has been in Chicago for over a week now. I stayed here to watch the dog and take care of things, since it was supposed to be a short trip. I hope he comes home soon- Paprika really misses her daddy, and I miss him, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shopping Frenzy!

Paprika and I have done quite a bit of Fall shopping for her this week. It has gotten out of hand, and all I need to say is that I am going to have to hide my credit card from myself in order to end this mania. It all started very simply on Monday when I noticed that we were out of toilet paper. So, I went to Target to buy a few rolls of toilet paper, and somehow walked out of the baby department with a whole new wardrobe for Paprika. How does that happen? Very easily, apparently.

The next day I took back most of the clothes I bought at Target, and then after I returned them, I had to go back to the baby section to see if they had socks in her size. Well, you can guess what happened next! I bought more clothes for her- different clothes, but the total cost was more than what I had just returned. Then I swore off Target because obviously I have no control when I'm in that store.

Later that day I was on the phone with Ann and she suggested I take the jogging stroller up to The Children's Place clothing store near us. Well, when I was there, I saw two dresses that would be perfect for Paprika for Christmas- far superior dresses to anything they had at Target. And I had a 25% off coupon, so I had to buy both just in case one didn't fit.

This morning I looked in Paprika's closet and realized that most of her clothes from last winter actually still fit her. So we went back to Target and returned most of the items I bought on the previous day. This time I did not stray from the returns section- since to do so would have meant another large purchase of baby clothes, I'm sure! Then we went back to The Children's Place and returned one of the dresses.

So after all that running around, Paprika has a few nice new articles of clothing- and a frazzled mommy! I think I'm going to stick to online shopping from now on! ;-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

14 Months!

Today Paprika turned 14 months old. Today she also learned two new words: Up and Moon. When she says moon, it sounds like "maaaa-oooon." When we walked Hauser this evening it was dark, and she kept pointing up at the moon saying "maaaa-oooon." Then before bed, we read "Goodnight Moon," and she pointed to the moon and said it again. It's amazing to watch her make those connections.

It's been getting colder here and a bit blustery. Maybe Pasadena has an autumn season, after all. I bought Paprika a few sweaters today to keep her nice and bundled for our long walks to the park in her toy car.

Paprika woke up last night with some sort of night terror. She was sleeping peacefully and then all of a sudden was awake and screaming. I ran into her room and she was shaking. It really scared me. I rocked her for about an hour, and she just looked up at me with her big beautiful brown eyes and kept saying "mama, mama"- she didn't want to let go of me. So I stayed and rocked her back to sleep. She woke up a few more times later in the night, and I slept in her room so I could be close to her. She was all smiles by the morning, and woke up ready to run around, flinging rolls of toilet paper in her trail. All better, I guess!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rose Bowl Flea Market and Swim Lessons

We had a busy weekend. On Saturday, Mr. Mustard took Paprika to her swim lesson. She was scheduled for the 9 o'clock lesson, but she decided to sleep in until 10 am. We didn't want to wake her up, so we decided that we'd try to sneak her into a later class instead. Mr. Mustard took her to the 10:30 swim lesson, and was surprised to find that it was the Intermediate Class, full of 3 year olds! Mr. Mustard asked the teacher if it was okay for Paprika to participate and she said it was fine. Paprika was a bit apprehensive at first, but by the end of the class she was sitting on the edge of the pool and jumping into the water. That night Jessica and Matt came over for dinner, and we had a great time just hanging out, drinking wine, and eating good food.

Today we hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Wow, what an event! It is the hugest flea market I've ever seen, and we were only able to cover about 1/4 of it in our two hours there. I bought Paprika a few headbands, and that's all. We mostly just went to window shop and drink their frozen lemonade. Very fun!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Odds & Ends

Paprika's favorite thing to say is "Let's Go!" and "Mama, Let's Go!!!!" Apparently, she really likes getting out of the house. Here she is swinging at our neighborhood park.

We are still doing our Kindermusik classes and enjoying them a lot. Paprika loves shaking the maracas and listening to anything with a beat. She has very discerning taste in music. She only likes certain songs. Her favorite band is the Dixie Chicks. In general, she likes fast, folk songs better than slow songs and prefers music with a vocalist over pure instrumental music.

Paprika also knows how to nod her head yes and no in response to a question. So, if I say, "Paprika, do you want mommy to change your diaper?"- she will shake her head either yes or no. Or, "Paprika, do you want mommy to feed you yogurt?"- she will say yes or no by nodding her head. Our new outlet of communication is proving to be very helpful!

We are also hitting some other milestones. First, Paprika has now lived in our townhouse in Pasadena for the same amount of time time that she lived at our small apartment in Beverlywood. Time has really flown!

We have been full-time cloth diapering since we moved to Pasadena (and got our own washer/dryer)- so that means we have been cloth diapering Paprika now for over half her life. So far, I have spent about $300 on all my cloth diapering supplies, and these should last her through potty training and then can be re-used for the next child, or sold on the secondary market (yes, there is a secondary market for cloth diapers). ;-) The average cost of disposable diapers is about $800/year, and all of those disposables end up in landfills. Not to mention that disposable dipaers are filled with nasty chemicals, such as dioxin, which has been known to cause cancer, liver damage, genetic damage, and a whole host of other health-related problems. So, it feels good to know we're doing something in a small way that is good for the environment, for our daughter's health, and for our pocketbook, as well!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I weighed Paprika this morning on our bathroom scale- she is 26.5 pounds! She is such a healthy, happy little girl.

She has surprised us a few nights in the past week by sleeping through the whole night! From 8:30pm until 9am. Wowza! Even on the nights she's waking up, she only wakes up once now. I haven't done anything to deserve this newfound sleep I'm getting, but I am enjoying it a great deal.

Paprika is now running- yes, running around the house. I can't believe that a few months ago, she was barely crawling. Now, she is completely mobile. It is a wonderful age and I am really enjoying it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Walk Amongst The Roses!

Lots of fun was had on our laid-back weekend. We managed to go to our favorite neighborhood park on Saturday and traipse amongst the luscious roses. On Sunday, we hit the beach in Malibu and enjoyed a nice La Salsa dinner overlooking the ocean as the sun set on the horizon.

In business news, Mr. Mustard finished installing our new television. It is mounted over the fireplace, and the wires are all hidden. I am glad to have our dining room table back in its proper place, as the television had been sitting on top of it for the past two months! Now we have a proper place to eat dinner- thank goodness!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Life Is Good!

I am in awe at how each phase of babyhood gets better and better. Paprika is walking exclusively now. It is the cutest thing ever to watch her toddle around our house carrying the stray shoe or stuffed animal. She takes her steps so carefully and falls quite often on her bottom- boom! But she doesn't seem to mind. She gets back up again and keeps trying, no matter how many times she falls.

She's sleeping well. Down for the night at 9 pm and up for the day at 9 am. She usually wakes up once or twice during the night to feed, and I actually enjoy going into her room and cuddling with her. She is just the sweetest little girl, and I am cherishing all these moments we have together.

Paprika understands so much, and is very aware of her environment. Yesterday, for example, when I took her down to the car to run some errands, she saw HER car and wanted to get in it. She started to get upset when I buckled her into her seatbelt, so I told her, "Paprika, we have to go on a trip now. We'll play with your car when we got back." She quieted down immediately. When we got home after running our errand, she started taking off her carseat strap, and was so excited to get into her toy car. She understood what I had told her when we got into the car and knew I'd keep my promise when we got home.

She is such a happy baby, and is so excited to meet others and to get out and about. Every morning, she looks out the window, trys to put on her shoes, and says "Go! Go! Go!" Then when I put on my shoes, she gets really excited, because she knows we are about to leave. She is always up for an adventure, and is excited to get out and see the world!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Busy Weekend!

We've had a busy few days. In addition to listing my book on, we have been going back and forth with the printing press, making sure all details are just right as they print the book.

Mr. Mustard got called for jury duty last Thursday, and got selected for a trial. He is Juror #10 to the court- and hopefully the trial will wrap up today and he'll get his life back! I am proud of him for doing his civic duty. The whole jury process sounds intriguing, but I am hoping not to get called anytime soon!

On Friday, Paprika and I had a playdate with a mom and daughter (Paprika's age) from down the street. It was so much fun hanging out with them. Paprika especially enjoyed visiting them because she got to play with a whole new set of toys. That night Mr. Mustard, Paprika, and I went to dinner at Kabuki. Paprika had her favorite dish there- Inari, which is bean curd. She loves it!

Saturday we went to Maya's 2nd birthday party. It was a pool party, and we had loads of fun catching up with everyone at the party. That night Mr. Mustard's mom came down, and Mr. Mustard and I went to Sushi Roku- just the two of us- and then wandered around Old Town Pasadena, window-shopping. It was nice having a date night- but I have to admit, when we were window-shopping, we saw a bunch of families with their babies, and I wanted to get right home to see Paprika. I was only gone for two hours and I missed her so much!

Sunday we went to a garage sale in our old neighborhood and picked up some great stuff. I got two mirrors, and a beautiful hand-knit blanket. We came home and Mr. Mustard mounted our new plasma on the wall (a very big undertaking)! That night the three of us we went to see some friends in Culver City, and had a wonderful dinner out. So fun!