Friday, July 31, 2009

Am I Crazy?


It was just the other day I was saying that I wouldn't go to the indoor playground with Paprika and Ginger. Well, guess what? I went ahead and took them today. How's that for inconsistent? I figured, how bad could it be?


Paprika had a great time in the bouncy. There were a lot of HUGE kids there, and they were playing rough in the bouncy, and were unsupervised. All this scared the heck out of me, so I was all over Paprika like a hawk, and carried Ginger in the Baby Bjorn the whole time. It was not so relaxing for me, but Paprika was holding her own.


We were having a really good time. Paprika discovered this costume chest that was wide open, and she put on the Snow White dress inside. I guess the costume chest wasn't supposed to be open (they only open it on Tuesdays...random?!) after Paprika got all excited about wearing the dress, the worker came over and told Paprika to take the dress off.


That did not go over well. Paprika had a 12 alarm melt-down. She didn't understand why if the chest was open, she wouldn't be allowed to wear the dress. And she had just put it on. I have to say, I kind of agreed with Paprika. I mean, how big a deal is it to let a 2 year old wear a simple dress for a few minutes when the costume chest was already open to begin with?


So, holding Ginger in the Baby Bjorn, I had to rip the dress off Paprika while she was screaming uncontrollably. It was quite a scene. I really think they should have let her keep the dress on for a few minutes. My word.

The whole experience made me feel a little better about when Paprika threw up all over their facility. Little do they know we're potty training, and if they're not careful, I could accidentally forget her pull-up, and she could accidentally poop all over their floor, too! Mwaaaah!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It Was A Good Day


Picked Paprika up from Pre-School. She was outfitted in Pirate Garb because it was Pirate Day. Arrrrrr!


Took her to McDonald's for lunch. We sat inside and talked about deep stuff. She was especially pleased because she got a unicorn in her Happy Meal. (I may have asked the guy behind the counter for the unicorn toy...shhhhh...don't tell!) She thought it was magical that he gave her the exact toy she wanted.


Went to the pool. Ginger laid on a blanket beneath the big shade tree. She looked up at the leaves, and felt the wind on her face and she was happy for a long, long time. She was taking it all in, thinking deep thoughts...someday she'll tell me all about it, I'm sure.


Paprika swam, and had fun splashing (especially splashing me). She got all her energy out, and then just when I thought she couldn't possibly have any more energy...she found some more!


Played with the dogs. Petted them, kissed them, loved them, and then loved on them some more.


Snuggled with Ginger on the blanket in the big sunshine.


Ginger fell asleep in the Baby Bjorn. We called it a day, came home, and what do you know...Paprika sat on the potty and peed...twice!!! It was a good day.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Little Ballerina


Mr. Mustard's friend, Aimee, sent us this gorgeous tutu and matching headband. She made them herself! She also sent us a matching tutu for Paprika and more flower headbands for Ginger. Thank you, Aimee! I feel more photo ops coming on!


Ginger likes it when I take her picture. She's a natural already. Paprika has lately been more camera shy, and sometimes she'll look at me and say, "No pictures, mommy!" But, then there are also days when she wants to get away with something she's not supposed to be doing and she'll say, "Take my picture, mommy!" She knows that when I take a picture of her doing something she shouldn't be doing, it's kinda cute and I'll sometimes let her off the hook.


Ginger hasn't learned that trick yet. I am sure it's only a matter of time. Paprika will teach her, so I've got to take advantage of my sweet, willing photo model while I've got the chance!


6 Week Check-Up

I bundled Ginger up and took her with me to my 6 week post-partum check-up this morning. Paprika was at preschool, which was a blessing. The doctor's office is on the westside of Los Angeles, and it is quite a little drive to get there- about an hour each way.

Ginger did okay in the car. There was a lot of traffic, so it took forever to get there, and she wanted to be held so she cried almost the whole way there (and as much as I want to, I couldn't hold her while navigating a 12 lane freeway).

The visit was pretty routine- it was so nice being there without the stress I had during all my prenatal visits- wondering if everything was going to turn out okay.

I was a little sad when I left. After spending so much time at Dr. K's office these past few years, I will miss him. I won't miss the pain in the butt drive to the office. I will not miss the long waits to see Dr. K. But I will miss Dr. K anyway.

I wonder if I will continue to go to him as my doctor. It's quite a commitment to drive 1 hour each way to see him when there are a zillion perfectly good OBs near me. We do have a history, and that has to count for something. He is one of the only people who was present with all the things we went through with Vivian and Annemarie, and so if I don't go to him, I feel like part of my connection to them will be gone. I know that's kind of a weird way to think about things, but it's one of the reasons I tolerate all the inconveniences of going to Dr. K.

Even though it's been a rocky road, I am so grateful to him for all of the support and care he's given our family these past four years. So, I'm thinkin' we'll probably stick with him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Give Up!

I give up on potty training! Okay, so not really...but after all the supportive comments and emails I've received, I realize that I'm gonna have to give Paprika her space and let her do this in her own time.

The drawback to that? She gets kicked out of preschool on September 1st if she's not potty trained, since she'll be three years old then and they don't let three year olds run around in diapers. She gets to have two accidents before she gets the boot.

So, I am going to have to look into finding her a different preschool, which is no small feat this late in the game.

I need for her to go to preschool. I know it's only three hours/day, but it's the only thing keeping me sane! For starters, those three hours are sometimes the only three hours I get to sleep. Well, more like I get to sleep from 4am until 7:30am, and then from 9am to 11am-- so total, I get to sleep 5.5 hours. If I had to wake up with Paprika in the morning (thank you Mr. Mustard for taking her to preschool every day), I would be getting up at 7:30 am, which means I would only get 3.5 hours of sleep each day. And that is just not enough!

Also, starting that first week in September, Mr. Mustard goes back to Dancing With The Stars, which is a much longer work day than what he's doing right now at Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Right now he gets home by 7:30 or 8, which is still long, but do-able. But once he's back at DWTS, it's a different ballgame...nights, weekends, the works. Once again, I will be by myself with these kids a lot...and I'm gonna need that 3 hour preschool break every day!

I also need to figure out something for us to do in the afternoons because hanging out inside our condo is not doing it. Paprika is still loving the pool at our friends' house, but we can't do that every day. She really wants to do other stuff (like our old rounds of Disneyland, Children's Museum, Park, etc.), but with it still being so hot here, I just can't take Ginger out in that heat.

All the indoor playgrounds are a little too overwhelming for me to do by myself at this point. Mr. Mustard says that the big indoor playground nearby reminds him of an afternoon in Fallujah. It can get pretty insane with all the big kids jumping and pushing everyone around. It really is a free-for-all. Not somewhere I want to bring my 5 week old baby.

Sigh. I want a yard. I want a yard. I want a yard. (That's the 3 year old in me talking). Someday!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sleepy and Snuggly


Three Day Potty Training Is For The Birds

Paprika is slowly getting the idea more about going on the potty. The 3 Day Potty Training book wasn't for had some good ideas, but it didn't address the issues Paprika has, and it really oversimplified things.

Paprika's big issue (with everything) is her fear. She gets so scared, and nothing can convince her to do something until she is ready to do it. She does things her own way, and in her own time. Being Paprika's mom is an exercise in patience- I learned that long ago....

She is the child who did not eat a bite of solid food until she was 14 months old, no matter what we offered her. Nor would she drink from a bottle. So, for the first fourteen months of her life, the only nourishment she got came straight from my solid food, no water...just breastmilk. She nursed voraciously until 23 months old, and still would be if I hadn't weaned her when I left for four days to deliver Vivian and Annemarie at the hospital. She still asks to nurse!

She is the child who dropped naps early on- down to one nap/day at 6 months old, and down to zero naps by 2 years old. She still can't sleep anywhere but her bed and wakes up at the slightest noise. Until two months ago, she went to sleep between midnight and 3AM and never woke up before noon.

She is the child who can go days without sleeping...I think 40 hours straight with no sleep is her record. She pushes her "go" button and can't be stopped! Downtime is not her strong suit!

Ahhhhh....sometimes I feel like raising Paprika takes everything out of me.

But, I can't complain.

She is also the child who could speak in full sentences by one year old.

Who can watch a movie one time and have entire scenes memorized.

Who randomly busts out speaking in French at the dinner table.

Who sings Sara Mr. Mustards and Dolly Parton and Disney princess songs in their entirety at the top of her lungs.

Who has fashion sense that rivals her mama's.

Who has a heart so big that she loves everyone she meets.

Who does not have one jealous bone in her body.

Who is outgoing and social, and includes everyone as a friend.

Who lights up my life with her uncontrollable laughter and wicked sense of humor.

Who made me a mom and stretches me in new ways each day, making me grow better as a person.

The 3 Day Potty Training book was not made for kids like Paprika. The issues Paprika has were not addressed by the book. Paprika knows what to do, and she knows how to do it. But, she will hold it until she makes herself sick, and then with many, many tears, will go on the potty very slolwy, fighting it with all her might.

Accidents aren't an issue. How can you have accidents when you have the ability to hold in gallons of liquid despite crippling pain?

Rewards don't work. She is self-motivated. I could promise her the moon, but it won't make her change her mind.

Comparing her to her friends doesn't work. She doesn't care that all the kids at preschool are potty trained and all her friends are, too. She really could care less. She watches the kids go at school and says, "That's for them. That's not for me."

I am frustrated, and tired...well, exhausted is a better word. But in the big scheme of things, these frustrations are so not a big deal, right?

I know she will get it eventually...when she decides she can, and when she casts her fears aside. I just have to be patient, and gentle, and guide her as she walks through this new milestone in her life. It's not going to happen overnight...or in three days.

Mr. Mustard and I watched Marley and Me over the weekend. And as bad as it sounds, that dog reminded us so much of our sweet Paprika. Spirited, wild, outgoing, irrepressibly energetic and loving, sensitive, smart, loyal, and completely defying all expectations. And we wouldn't trade her for anything.



Ginger at 5 weeks old. She's sleeping a lot still. When we brought her home from the hospital, she slept non-stop. I had to wake her up to feed her. Sometimes she would refuse to wake up, so I'd have to put a cold washcloth on her, or rub her with an ice cube! Now she's still sleeping a lot, but she has longer periods of wakefulness. She smiles at us, and looks up at us with her huge brown eyes.

She likes to stay awake at night and sleep all day long. Even so, she still sleeps quite a bit. Paprika slept in one hour increments when she was this age, and Ginger sleeps for stretches of four or five hours. It is nice.

She has that startle reflex that I remember so well with Paprika. It's pretty cute- she will be laying there and all of a sudden, her arms flail wide.

She tolerates car rides very well, and usually falls asleep a few moments after we drive out of the drive-way. She cries only when she's hurting from reflux, and is otherwise a really mellow baby. She loves being held, and usually falls asleep in my arms within a minute of me holding her. She's warm naturally, and I call her my little heater. That would come in handy in the winter, but in July, it just makes us both hot!

She is happy to nurse and has been easy in that regard. I was so nervous when I left on Saturday that she wouldn't drink from a bottle- but Mr. Mustard thawed some pumped milk, and she sucked it down and fell asleep.


She's happy to go anywhere, and isn't one to fuss. Usually when we go out, she falls asleep in her carseat, which we can take inside with us, and she doesn't wake up til we get home.

When she's fussy, all she wants is to be carried in the Baby Bjorn. It does not matter that I own every single baby carrier on the name it, I've got it. Our drawers are overflowing with baby carriers, and yet...the only thing she wants is the Baby Bjorn. The problem is that the Baby Bjorn hurts my back so much because it's not very ergonomic for the parent. But, like Paprika, it's the only thing she wants to be carried in. So, we do it and it's been a wonderful way to get her to fall asleep when literally nothing else will work.

I want to document all the things Ginger is doing- because I know I did that with Paprika. With Paprika, everything was harder. I didn't realize it at the time, but Paprika was a very challenging baby. With Ginger, she makes it easy on us for the most part. Love them both!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cabin Fever


We have all been stuck in the house since Friday potty training Paprika. It's not going so well. First of all, she can hold about 8000 oz. of liquid. Second, she doesn't believe in potty training. At least that's what she's telling us by her words and actions.

Yesterday I did get away for a few hours to visit Devon in the hospital. She's doing as well as can be expected, and was in good spirits. It was my first time leaving Mr. Mustard home with Ginger and Paprika, and he did a great job!

The fun thing about this weekend has been us getting to spend so much time together. Paprika is addicted to Ginger, and wants to hold her and be near her at all times. She gets stressed when she can't be by her side. So cute!


Friday, July 24, 2009



I am so ready to start this weekend! Mr. Mustard has been working long-ish hours this week. He's been getting home around 8pm, which is actually not too late for him, but it is still hard on me. Mr. Mustard has the whole weekend off, so I am really excited about that.

He is going to a friend's wedding tonight. I really wanted to go, but it's kinda far away, and I can't see driving with Ginger that far in the car both ways. So, I guess our weekend together will technically start tomorrow. It can't come soon enough!


Our big plan for this weekend is to potty train Paprika. I bought this Ebook by Lora Jensen on 3 Day Potty Training. Her method is basically that you can't leave the house for three whole days while you potty train - hence the name 3 Day Potty Training, right?! ;-) We are desperate for anything to work since we have that preschool deadline coming we're giving it a shot. I'll let you know if it works, since we have tried everything else and Paprika won't be persuaded.

Also, tomorrow I will get to sneak away for a bit and visit Devon, who is still in the hospital. She is currently 22 weeks 1 day pregnant, and is hanging in there like a trooper. She needs about 6 more weeks to be in a good spot in her pregnancy (her first daughter was born at 29 weeks and is a thriving almost-three year old). Babies can live past 24 weeks (sometimes even after 23 weeks), but she would really like to get to at least 28 weeks since the risk of long-term health problems goes down at that time. So, keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she navigates the next few very critical weeks in her pregnancy.


Water Baby Girl


I think it's pretty safe to say that Paprika is a water-baby! I have about 3000 pictures like this from our day yesterday. Well, not really 3000...more like 98. But who's counting? :-)






Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five Weeks!


Ginger is five weeks old today! Eeek! She is slowly waking up to the world. She smiles sometimes, and it is adorable- but I can rarely catch it on camera! One of these days...

My body is healing, and when I look in the mirror I can sort of see a distant version of my pre-pregnancy self. I know it takes time! I have lost 31.5 pounds since giving birth (yes, that extra 1.5 pounds does count!) and have about 50 pounds to go to get back to where I was before getting pregnant with the twins.

Now that my marathon of pregnancies has come to an end, it feels kinda weird to be the only inhabitant of my body. Last night Mr. Mustard gave me some quiet time to myself (to take a shower!) and I thought for the first time in a long time, "wow, I am really alone right now....there is no one living inside me!" Since December 2007 (when I got pregnant with the baby we miscarried in the first trimester), I have basically always been pregnant, except for the six weeks in between my twin pregnancy and Ginger. I don't remember much about that time after we lost the twins, except that I was very very sad about not being pregnant, so "being alone" in my body was not something I felt good about.


I know a lot of women miss being pregnant, but I have to say that I am really glad that Ginger is here and I'm not pregnant with her anymore. My whole pregnancy I was worried that she wouldn't arrive safely, and now here she is and I couldn't be more happy about that. So, I don't miss being pregnant because she is here- beautiful, healthy, thriving- and I am so grateful and thankful for that.

It just feels weird not to be pregnant after being pregnant for so long. Of course, I am nursing, so my body is not totally my own...but I like being able to do things like exercise and not think, "is this going to hurt the baby?"

I'm so glad that Ginger is big and healthy, and thriving. It makes everything seem worth it. Although I still wish our twins were here, and the baby we lost before our twins, I am so grateful for our Gingery-bear. She is an answer to my prayers, and we all love her so much!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A New Normal


It's still very hot here. We are still going to the pool almost every day. Paprika is still loving preschool. She is still resisting potty training. Ginger is still adorable. She is still sweet, and nursing well, and sleeping like a newborn. It's kind of same old same old here. Our new normal. I rather like it!