Thursday, February 25, 2010

What We're Up To...


(Photo of Paprika, in 2007, during our last move...7 months old)

The big move is keeping us REALLY busy. The last time we moved, Paprika was 7 months old. It is a BIG change to go from moving with a 7 month old to moving with a 3 /12 year old AND an 8 month old. Big difference. Add that to the fact that this time we're also selling our house...Whew! It exhausts me just thinking about putting our house on the market and everything that involves.

When we moved last time, I plopped Paprika in her exersaucer while I packed. I packed during her naps and my "downtime."

Now there is no such thing as "downtime"- especially since Ginger likes to stay up all night long (still) and Paprika doesn't take any naps. Ginger doesn't really take any naps for that matter, either! She basically only sleeps when I'm holding her or carrying her.

For our last move, we did a big yard sale in front of our apartment building the day before we moved.

Our Yard Sale, 2007:


Paprika just entertained herself on the front lawn:



Sometimes I can hardly remember her being so little...littler than Ginger is now even:


Even though we did that huge clean-out back then, the stuff seems to have accumulated! We've been busy selling on Craigslist, boxing up things, donating to Goodwill, and sorting. It's kind of refreshing, actually.

We've been busy doing all the home improvement stuff we should have done eons ago. Isn't that how it goes? We're looking around, like...why didn't we do any of these changes ages ago?

So, that's what we're up to. Moving, selling...packing, cleaning, sorting, painting...and a gazillion other things. And we're doing it in our spare moments because Mr. Mustard still has to go to work, and Ginger and Paprika still need our undivided attention pretty much 24/7. We are still taking them to the park, and the playground, and all that good stuff.

Needless to say, I'm more tired than I've been in a long time. I have heard it said that selling a house is one of the top stresses of a person's life. Thankfully, after experiencing the loss of Vivian and Annemarie, moving and selling seem small potatoes. Whenever I get overwhelmed, all I need to think of is "the big picture" to snap things back into perspective.

I will post before/after photos when there's an "After"- everything is still looking "Before" at the moment! ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On A Boat!


Ginger is getting to that age where she and Paprika can really play together. No matter how many toys they have, these two have the most fun playing with household items like laundry baskets, pots and pans, and raiding the kitchen cabinets for spices and pasta to mix into incredible creations. ;-)


Paprika has been playing all weekend with this laundry basket- it's a "boat" according to her. Everytime she gets into it, she exclaims, "I'm on a boat!" - as if she's playing homage to Andy Samberg's video...but I know she's not because she's never seen that video and won't til she's...ummmm...18?


So, before you know it, Ginger was in the "boat" with Paprika, and I was pulling them all around the upstairs. They had a grand time, as they always do when they are together. So sweet!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skinny Tuesday...errrr...Friday?

Well, needless to say, I've been busy around here. I find I have so much to do, I haven't had too much time to focus on my weightloss.

I stepped on the scale this morning after an almost two week break of weighing myself. I haven't been following a plan. I haven't been working out (not that I ever really do!) I have been eating whatever I want, whenever I want.

I was really worried I'd step on the scale today and see a 5 pound gain.

But...nope! I was the same weight as I was two weeks ago.

The same weight. That is a nice place to be at the moment.

This gives me hope that I am re-training my brain to enjoy good foods that are healthy. Even though I felt like I was over-indulging, the scale didn't budge. So, if I go back to what I was doing before, I will probably lose weight...

One of my big shifts I've been doing is how I think about, or how I visualize the food I eat.

Nothing is bad, or off limits. Food is something to be enjoyed...savored. But I am training my mind to find comfort in different kinds of foods. I can still eat pizza (one of my favorite foods of all time), but instead of being laden with lots of cheese and pepperoni, it will look like this instead:


I am very much a creature of habit, and the truth is that my old habits involved a lot of cheeseburgers, fries, cokes, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Now I find if I'm going to get in the habit of something, it's going to be warm, gooey squash, baked mushrooms and carrots, a big juicy orange, or a whole wheat pita sandwich stuffed with avocado. And a few squares of dark chocolate thrown in for good measure. ;-)

I'm not one to make my food "perfect" - I find that any kind of veggie tossed with a little olive oil and thrown in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees is going to taste really good to me now.

And on the occasions I drink a huge soda or eat a bucket of fries...those days are okay, too. But now my body drags afterwards, and I find that I don't like how I feel for the 12 hours I'm digesting. I associate that sluggish, yucky feeling with those so-called "comfort" foods I used to enjoy, and now I don't find those foods quite so comforting or enjoyable.

This is definitely a big journey for me, and I am not interested in getting to my goal weight fast. Don't get me wrong, I do want to get there! I just want to enjoy the process and find a way to sustain a healthy weight over my whole life. I'm re-training my brain, and I know that doesn't happen overnight!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Today is Paprika's half birthday. She is 3 1/2 years old today. Time is flying, so fast, so fast, so fast.

We moved back into our townhouse here when she was 7 months old, Ginger's age. This is the only place she's ever known.


Everyone has been asking me for a year if Paprika is 4 or 5. Then, when I say 3 or "almost three"- they would say, "No, surely she's at least 3 1/2!"

Well, now she really is 3 1/2. My big girl.


Paprika loves cooking, or "making" - that's what she likes to call it.

She is starting to read now, a development of the last two months. She can pick up books and sound out the words. The first word she ever read for real was "Baby" from the front of a Baby Signs book.


As I've mentioned before, she is a wonderful big sister to Ginger. She is so protective of her. A few weeks ago, we were at the park and a stranger came up to Ginger's stroller to admire her. Paprika ran over and pushed the stroller out of the way, and said, "Don't you touch my baby sister!"

When she's at preschool and I pick her up (with Ginger in tow), Paprika always wants to show Ginger off. "Hey everyone, look at my baby sister!"

She is impossibly beautiful on the inside and out (most importantly, the inside) and I am so grateful that I get the chance to raise this amazing person. She is just the light of my life- (well, one of the lights of my life)- my first baby, as she will always be.


The Biggest News I've Had In Awhile


We have big news to share. The biggest news we've had in awhile. We have not told anyone, and even now, I am so nervous about sharing this news.

No, I am not pregnant. Not even a little bit.

But it's still really big news all the same.


We are moving!!!!! Into a house. With a yard. And three, yes, three bedrooms. In a good school district. I am beyond excited about it.

I haven't told anyone yet because I was so nervous about the deal falling through. In fact, I've pretty much been avoiding everyone in my life because I knew I'd spill the beans if I talked to anyone. I have a lot of calls to return and emails to write because I have been hiding out the past few weeks.

I just didn't want to talk about it because in the past whenever I've mentioned us possibly moving into a house, it has always not worked out (to put it mildly). The first time we were set to move, the house was in the middle of the worst wildfire in Los Angeles history. And the second time things went so far south we'd be sitting in Antarctica if the deal had gone through.

Looking back, I am glad that things worked out the way they did because I've fallen in love all over again. Yipeee! (Gosh, that makes me sound like I'm a contestant on The Bachelor).

We move in a little less than two weeks. Have we packed anything? Nope. Have we hired movers? Nope. Have we put our townhouse on the market yet? Nope.

I asked Mr. Mustard last night when we should think about packing our whole house to move, and he said, "Let's just throw our stuff in garbage bags the night before and rent a U-Haul." Awesome.

Last time we moved, Mr. Mustard cancelled the movers 48 hours before our move because he didn't think we needed them and didn't want to waste the money. I wish I'd taken a video of him the day of our move because if I had, I know we'd be hiring a whole fleet of movers this time.

So, that's the big news. Moving. Selling our townhouse. Big life changes. Just like that.

The timing could be A LOT better because the beginning of March was when we were set to go to Indiana to visit my family, and now that trip has to be postponed (and I have to make some very painful phone calls to my family in Indiana). I hope they will be happy for us, and will be okay with us coming to visit later this spring/early summer.

I am still in disbelief that we really are going to be moving. I'll believe it when I see it. I have to do about a gazillion things in the next few weeks, so I need to act as if it is really going to happen.

So, stay tuned. This great adventure is just beginning, and I am a little scared out of my gourd about everything we have to do in the next few weeks. Eeek!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Weekend!


Or, Happy President's Day weekend! ;-)

We've been having a great time here with our little valentines. Yesterday, we went to a kids' Valentine's Day party at a local indoor playground. It was awesome!

Today we went to the park/playground, and watched the Olympics. Paprika is all set on becoming a figure skater now. I have some great video of her leaping around the living room in time to the music. Ginger thought it was the funniest thing ever!

Overall, we've had a great weekend just being together. Mr. Mustard and I ordered in Indian food for dinner last night and caught up on Lost. Today he and Paprika surprised me with roses and chocolate. Can't beat that! It was a lovely day with my loves! The best Valentine's Day on record? Perhaps! :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

She Likes To Move It, Move It!


Since Ginger first started crawling almost two weeks ago, she has gotten really fast at it and really good at it. It's still pretty much an army crawl, although she can and sometimes does get up on all fours.


She is fast and into everything. She really is an Energizer Bunny, in that she never stops going and going and going...


I will look over, and she's into a bucket of toys. She is fascinated by everything and wants to figure out how it all works.


Ginger is also a very loud talker. She's so different from Paprika, when Paprika was this age. Paprika was very sensitive, and so quiet. Her words were soft and sounded like "A-Boo-Ja-Boo-Ja-Boo-Ja-Boo" over and over again. Her words melted on her tongue like butter.


When Ginger is babbling, you cannot hear yourself think. She is so loud, and her sounds are so varied. It's surprising, really. Paprika is still really quiet and soft-spoken. Ginger is definitely asserting her voice in our family. She may be small, but her voice is not!

She has something to say, somewhere to be, and loves to laugh no matter what she's up to. My type of girl!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ms. Gulch!


Since Paprika started taking dance classes a week or so ago, I have been thinking of The Wizard of Oz. Paprika loves her dance classes. She loves being with the other kids, and she is so proud of herself and ever the little student. She has JOY when she dances.

But her not a very nice person. Her teacher is the living embodiment of Ms. know, from The Wizard of Oz.

If you've been reading my blog for long, you know I've pretty much never said anything bad about anyone. And I'm not starting now...but...

Ms. Gulch is especially mean to a few little girls in the class who aren't good at following directions. This is a class of three year olds, mind you! Isn't the point for them to just jump around and have fun?

She's pretty hard on all the kids. Paprika has thankfully been spared from this treatment. I think it might have something to do with the fact that Mr. Mustard works on Dancing With The Stars, which we chatted about before the first class. Hrmmm...coincidence?

Ms. Gulch locks the parents outside during class, and we can't hear what she's saying. We are literally standing on the front lawn, peering in through the windows of the studio. When some of the girls start crying, she won't come get the parents (these are 3 year olds, remember?) Then, half-way through the class, she lets three parents come in and help change the kids' shoes. There are 16 students in the class- so three parents is not going to cut it!


Last class, I told Mr. Mustard that he had better get in there and be one of the three parents, because I didn't want Paprika to get the short-shrift and get ignored. Well, when Ms. Gulch unlocked the doors, three moms barged in (probably to comfort their crying children) and Mr. Mustard got locked out.

I sat and watched from outside the windows as no one helped Paprika put on her tap shoes. She kept trying to put them on, but they weren't going on...and then they were on the wrong feet.

The class was starting to tap, and she was still sitting there, alone, trying to figure out her shoes.

Even though I was carrying (and breastfeeding) Ginger in the Ergo at the time, I couldn't take seeing Paprika sitting there struggling like that. I tried the door, but it was locked (of course). So, I ran around to the back of the house, found an unlocked door and barged into the middle of the class, ran over to Paprika (still holding Ginger and still nursing her, for crying out loud)...and managed to get Paprika's shoes on her.

Ms. Gulch was NOT pleased with me. She shot me a death-stare. How dare I barge in on the class?! Her precious class!

But, my word...seriously? Are we the National Ballet here or are we a bunch of three year olds in tutus?

Thankfully, Paprika is oblivious to it all, and has a grand time in class twirling and dancing. And that's what's important, right?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Skinny Tuesday...Errrr, Wednesday

This week has been whizzing by me so quickly, I forgot that yesterday was Skinny Tuesday! How could that have happened?

This week I focused on making good choices, and finding victory away from the scale. When I used to go to Weight Watchers meetings back in college, I remember these milestones being referred to as "NSV" or Non-Scale Victories!

I had a few Non-Scale Victories this week:

1) I found a dress I bought back prior to Ginger's pregnancy, and it FIT! Granted, I still have 30 pounds to lose until I am back into clothes I wore prior to Paprika's pregnancy, but...that's progress.

2) Although I DID take Paprika to McDonald's this week when she was begging to go, and I DID order an Oreo McFlurry for myself (old habits die hard)...

I DID NOT eat the McFlurry. Nope. I ate two bites, decided it was disgusting, and then put it in the freezer for later. When "later" came, it was hard as a rock and smelled like plastic. In case you're curious, McFlurries do NOT age well in the freezer. So, I tossed it. Yea!

3) On Saturday night, we ordered Domino's Pizza - which is also an old habit of mine. As embarrassing as it is to say, I love Domino's and we usually order two large pizzas and eat one the first night and one the second night (just me and Mr. Mustard). Well, this time, I had two slices and that was it. The next day, I had one slice (and not my usual half-pizza).

The next day, I let Mr. Mustard take the remainder to work and I went back to my usual healthy fare.

4) I ordered new leggings. And they are size MEDIUM! Oh, how awesome it is to be a size medium after squeezing myself into the XL size just six months ago. So, now I have three new pairs of MEDIUM leggings (yes I had to capitalize Medium), and from now on will avoid saggy legging-knee least until I get to size Small.

Oh, to dream! ;-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life In 3D


This picture of Ginger reminds me so much of those 3D/4D ultrasound pictures. You know, the ones where the baby's face is impossibly cute and scrunchy? We had a 3D/4D ultrasound with Ginger at our perinatologist's office when I was 20 weeks pregnant, but I was too worried at the time to ask for photos from our session. Plus at 20 weeks they don't look quite so scrunchy.

If you recall, ultrasounds were not a fun thing for me during Ginger's pregnancy. Although they were necessary, and I had a gazillion of them, I never did enjoy them. Our final ultrasound with Vivian and Annemarie (when we found out they had both passed away in utero), pretty much sealed the deal on ultrasounds never being a fun thing.

So, yesterday when I snapped this picture of Ginger, snuggled up so tight and close to Mr. Mustard, I got the warm feeling: this is probably what she looked like inside of me not too long ago. She was the same baby then as she is now. She was the same baby when I was 20 weeks pregnant, 30 weeks pregnant, at three months old, and now at almost eight months old. She has always been who she is, as God created her.

Seeing Ginger like this made me miss our twins, the ones who I will never watch blow out their first birthday candles. Who I will never send off to college. Or fix their veils on their wedding days. I had seven ultrasounds with Vivian and Annemarie. Seven times when I saw them alive. Seven photographs of them alive. A few videos. I feel lucky to have those memories. But, I miss the chance to be with them. To kiss their soft peach fuzz. To listen to them laugh. Even to listen to them cry. I just miss them.

Life does go on, and I find myself here...two years after their conception. Two years after they came to earth, came into my body, and came into our hearts. Life has changed so much in those two years. For good. For bad. For better or worse.

As I hold Ginger, I think of her sisters she will never meet this side of Heaven. Of what they would be doing now, and how my heart aches for them, and for Ginger and Paprika to know them.

Life goes on, and I am getting on with it. I'm still moving forward, and still living life as happily and fully as I can. I'm enjoying each day to the fullest, because I know that our tomorrows are not promised to us.

Thinking of my sweet angels tonight and wishing they were here...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Changing Gears


We went to two parks today...we quickly discovered that the first one was filled with big kids, a daycare, and a lot of homeless people (who Paprika wanted to run over to and wake up). So, we shifted gears and headed back to an old, familiar place. It was a great decision and we ended up having a lovely time!


I read half of the book, The No Cry Sleep Solution, last night and implemented its techniques. So far, we are still sleepless in our house. I think teething and being sick (very stuffy) is causing Ginger some distress. Please let Ginger's toofers pop through soon and please let us all get over our colds! Achoo!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunshine & Fresh Air


Before kick-off for the big game, we headed out to the Botanical Gardens to get a little sunshine and fresh air. The clouds had parted and it was a beautiful day. Paprika even found some orchids laying on the ground as we entered, and she wanted to share them with Ginger...


We're all still feeling a little sick, but definitely better than a few days ago. It felt good to get outside- we were starting to get a serious case of cabin fever!


I think Ginger is getting some teeth or something because she has gone from sleeping very little to almost not at all! She's sleeping about 4 hours/day (that's including night-time), and she's never asleep longer than 45 minutes at a stretch. It's driving us a little bonkers. I have dusted off the old war-horse, Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and will be re-reading it asap. It really helped me with Paprika when she was a baby, so here's hoping...


Of course, Ginger closed her eyes and fell asleep while we were at the Gardens, but that didn't last long. I knew it was rare, so I had to get a picture. ;-) Five minutes later, she was awake and ready to go. Oy vey! We need some rest! Off to watch the big game...Go Colts!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Up All Night


We really were up all night here. At about 6 o'clock last night, Paprika said, "I'm exhausted. I'm going to go upstairs and go to bed." I went to check on her a few minutes later, and she was fast asleep in her bed. She woke up at 11:00pm and said she'd slept enough, and now it was time to play.


By the time I got her back to bed, it was 1:00am. Then, I got Ginger to sleep at 1:30am, but as soon as I laid her down, she woke up. She didn't go back to sleep until 3:00am. Then she woke up at 5:00am, which was right when Mr. Mustard was coming home from work...

Needless to say, we were all a little groggy today. Maybe it was a good thing, though, because it was so rainy here that we stayed warm inside and all had naps on and off all day long.

Paprika still has a cough, but her fever is gone. Ginger is stuffy. I am still sick, but hanging in there.

As weird as it is to say, I am looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow. My home team (The Indianapolis Colts) are playing! Another reason to be proud of my homeland! :-)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Rinse, Repeat


I wish I could say that we all felt awesome today and that we went out and had many adventures. But, nope!

Paprika woke up feeling fine. Mr. Mustard called the doc and decided not to go in because she didn't have a fever, and she was pretty much back to her old self.

Then about an hour later, she threw up all over our couch. Our leather couch. The same couch that she threw up on back in November. The same couch that she drew on with ballpoint pen in December. The same one that our dog shredded, and our cat clawed, and...need I go on? It's just a couch, I know. But now it is a very smelly couch and probably should be replaced...but then I figure, if we get a new one, that will get ruined, too!

I was up pretty much all night with Ginger. She is catching this cold, and she is so stuffed up that she doesn't sleep for more than 30-40 minutes at a stretch.

On top of that, I am really sick. You know that saying: No time off for good behavior? Well, that's how I'm feeling at the moment!

Mr. Mustard is back working on The Amazing Race. He works a lot, and I am trying to figure out how to manage his very long, very odd hours, two sick kids, myself being sick, all on an overwhelming lack of sleep.

Calgon, take me away!!!!