Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Always Exciting!


Even in our downtimes, it's always exciting here at our house...sometimes I don't know if I should write things on my blog, and a lot of drama I leave out because I don't know...when is it just too much information?

But, the sale of our townhouse has been nothing short of dramatic and I think it's okay to share. We have a buyer, and after much negotiation back and forth, we reached an agreement. Everything was going great, and then he disappeared.

Literally. Disappeared. Without a trace.

No one knows where he is. He hasn't picked up the mail for over a week. He is just gone. We have passed forth so many theories- maybe he died, maybe he's in the hospital, maybe he's a spy and he's had to go into deep cover. We don't know. But we can't cancel until we get him to sign off...and in the meantime, we're just waiting for him to come back.

It's so frustrating. We can't even put our house back on the market until this all gets worked out. Stressful!


In the meantime, we're living without furniture at our new house. I have been finding some stuff on Craigslist to get us by because, let's face it...a few weeks without a couch and a bed and a dining table are just fine. It's like camping. But after awhile, you really just want a place to sit down and rest after chasing kids around all day. At least I want that!


I have no idea what's going to happen. Seriously. I try to live this quiet little life, and things always happen that are so unexpected and surprising. Why can't we just have a normal house sale? Why?

Last fall we tried to buy a house near the beach, and what happened is a movie script I will have to write someday. As you all know, I won't even talk about it on my blog.

Why can't things just go smoothly? Why so dramatic?


So, I will keep you updated on what happens with our buyer. He's a really upstanding professional guy, and we've been told that his disappearance is really out of character for him. Needless to say, everyone is worried and we hope that he's healthy and safe.

In the meantime, we are hanging out waiting to put our house back on the market, and enjoying the new rugs I bought to cover up our sticky wood floor (that I never could get unsticky). As you can see, Ginger is especially enjoying it. So plush, she could even take a nap...and after all that's going on here, I really feel like a nap, too!


Monday, March 29, 2010

The Best Laid Plans


I am always making plans and hatching new ideas after Paprika and Ginger go to bed. Big plans, grand plans. Plans that seem so simple when they are both asleep (which is a very small window of time, by the way)!

When Paprika was seven months old, we moved out of our 450 square foot apartment and back into our townhouse in Pasadena. We had our own washer and dryer (which was a big deal), and I decided I would start cloth diapering. I was so fresh and full of enthusiasm about it.

But then reality set in!


I cloth diapered Paprika until I became pregnant with Vivian and Annemarie. Being pregnant with twins and all the physical discomforts that go along with that (twice the morning sickness, twice the fatigue, etc.), cloth diapering went out the window. We switched back to disposables (Nature Baby Care diapers), and that was that. I packed away those cloth diapers and promptly forgot all about them.

But now that Ginger can fit all these diapers, everytime I buy a box of disposables for her, I think "what a waste!" I can diaper her for free using all the cloth diapers I have packed away.

Long story short, the other night we ran out of disposables, and I decided (while Paprika and Ginger were sleeping) that we're switching back to cloth. I have a big yard, so I can even line dry the diapers.

It all seemed so simple!


Then Ginger woke up, and I held her for the rest of the night as she fell back asleep (as I pretty much do every night).

About an hour into holding her, she peed through the cloth diaper, and I was covered in her pee...which was warm for about five minutes, until it turned cold. Because she was sleeping so soundly, I didn't want to wake her up!

So, I kept holding her, and I was covered in pee all night long.


I realized that the best intentions in the middle of the night are always a little more complicated in the light of day. ;-)

I think we'll still cloth diaper, I've just got to figure out a nighttime solution to keep her dry overnight...for her sake, and for mine!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Craigslist Adventure!

I woke up this morning intent on finding us a dining room set. Our old set is still at our old house. We're going to sell it because it's way too big to fit in our new house.


Since our new house is a 1940s/1950s beach bungalow, Mr. Mustard wants to stay with a dining room set that fits the era of our house. He is dreaming of a mid-century modern set (a 47" Saarinen Knoll tulip table and matching chairs, in case you were curious) and I just want something to sit on. I have been hunting for his set for weeks, and it's hard to come by unless you want to pay full retail value (which I don't).

We have been borrowing my friend Brenda's card table and folding chairs that she so graciously lent us. Thank you, Brenda!!! Before that, we were sitting at Paprika's kid table and chairs.

Our house on move in day. Notice Paprika sitting at our then "dining table":


My goal for this morning's activity was to find an old dining table and chairs, have it delivered to me, sand it, paint it white, and have it done by the end of Ginger's nap...all for $100 or less.

I found a dining set on Craigslist, then called the guy and asked him if he'd drop it off because my car is too small to load it. Surprisingly, he agreed!

He wanted $120 for the set which included the dining table, a leaf, and six chairs. He asked if he could keep one chair, so I said it's a deal if I can have it for $100 instead of $120 (since my goal was $100). He said that the table has been covered with a glass top for over 50 years, so it looks new.

Long story short (I know, this is getting to be a long story), he dropped off the table, and after he left, I realized that he left us with this gorgeous, solid cherry authentic Stickley dining set. I even have a fifth chair, which I am going to use for my desk! Score!


It totally threw off my plans to paint the table white because now when I look at it, I can't imagine painting it anything. It also threw off my plan to paint the kitchen cabinets white, because now the table kinda matches the cabinets...


Well, that freed up my afternoon. So, I took Paprika and Ginger on an adventure to feed the ducks and spent the rest of the day at the park.


Survey says, it was a success! Paprika thought feeding the ducks was one of the coolest things ever!




The End!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1000th Post!


Get ready for some excitement! This is post number one thousand. Yup, before this post, I had written 999 posts on this blog since March 2006, four years ago!

No pressure or anything to make this post a good one. LOL!

Today started off with a good-old-fashioned clean out of the garage. We kind of threw everything in there when we moved in, and it was looking disastrous. I wanted to wear a helmet whenever I entered.

Since we can park in our drive-way, my plan is to make our garage into a work-out room/storage space. I did unpack my bathroom scale very recently, and it has motivated me to get back on plan with my Skinny Tuesdays, by the way! But that's a whole other post! ;-)

The garage still has a long way to go, but at least it's a start. I had Paprika "helping" me during Ginger's it was a little bit three steps forward, two steps back. But that was part of the fun, too.





After Ginger woke up from her nap, we loaded into the car and went to one of our favorite spots on the planet...the beach and the ocean!


It was a gorgeous day. We brought lots of toys, like the soccer ball...


and stuff for digging and building sand castles.


Paprika quickly found a playmate in a little girl who was on vacation with her family. You know that saying, "She never knew a stranger..." Well, that's Paprika. She makes friends with everyone...


They were BFFs and played together for hours until it was time to head home. Life is so simple when you're 3 and a half. :-)


Backyard Fence Project


One thing that has been irking me is the fence on the back border of our yard. It's a simple thing, I know. It's just a fence. But it's chain link, and every day I was looking at my neighbor's messy yard.

They put their stuff behind their garage to hide it so they don't have to look at it...which means I get a full view of their discarded outdoor shower and their rusty old gym equipment.

Can I just say, I'm so not a fan!


Not to mention their cat carrier, and their broken lawn ornaments, their half-rotted wood pile...and...I could go on. But I won't...for your sake! And mine!


I didn't want to spend a lot of money, and the fence is perfectly functional.

So, yesterday I bought some reed panels and affixed them to our existing fence with clear zip ties. It took all of 30 minutes, and I really like the effect. I ended up doubling up on the panels for more privacy. When I first put them up they were a little see-through. But doubled, they really make it private. Oh, and I clipped the zip tie after I took this picture so the tail's not hanging out anymore!


Here are a few Before and After photos. It's amazing what a little camouflage will do!













Ah, that's better. It's a little Tiki, but it will do. Makes me want to have a Mai Tai. Yum!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

D-Land Spring Break!


Yesterday Mr. Mustard had the day off work after a great premiere night of Dancing With The Stars. We decided to brave the Spring Break crowds and go to Disneyland to celebrate. Paprika was super excited about it, of course! Ginger seemed to like it, too!


We avoided most lines by going on only the rides with the shortest lines. We also saw two parades (one at D-Land and one at California Adventure). Paprika got to play the drums in the Disneyland parade, which was a thrill for sure. We also saw a pretty awesome performance by Princess Tiana (Paprika's favorite princess). Paprika is still talking about that one.


Now that we've been so many times to D-Land...I have to say, and I feel bad for saying this...some of the princesses are so much better than others. This Jasmine did not hold a candle to the last Jasmine we met. ;-) She stood straight up and never got down on Paprika's level when Paprika was trying to talk to her. She wasn't even listening to what Paprika was trying to tell her. As you can see, Paprika is practically standing on her tip-toes to try to take a picture with her. I want the other Jasmine back! LOL.


I have figured out that the best way for big characters to connect with kids is to get down on their level (well, for anyone to connect with kids, really). I think that's why the Easter Bunny visit was so successful for Paprika last week- the bunny was sitting on the ground during their visit.

Anyhoo...we all still had a great time seeing the small attractions:


and the very big ones:


and even just hanging out together in line:


It was a great day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wrestling The Tree and Red Lemons


We really have been enjoying hanging out in our backyard. It was one of the key reasons we moved, so I am glad we are getting so much use out of it.

When we moved in, the yard was a disaster, and so I've been hard at work making little improvements here and there in my spare moments. Haha! The latest project I did involved taking out an old chain link fence that was in the middle of the yard. There was just a fence, right there in the middle of the yard...for no apparent reason! Who puts a fence in the middle of the yard?!



The hard part with removing the fence was that a big tree and bush had grown into and around the fence, making it nearly impossible to get the fence out. I had pruning shears, but those did nothing. I had a machete, but that was useless, as well.

I probably should have used a saw, but instead I just dug in there and wrestled the tree until it let go of the fence. Literally wrestled the tree. The tree almost won, and I have the scratches to prove it!

I think my neighbors (who can see into our backyard from their second story windows) must have thought I was odd, wrestling a tree and tearing down a fence with my bare hands - actually, I was wearing gloves. So, tearing down the fence with my gloved hands.

The result was pretty great- not that the pictures tell much. Now we have a pretty tree, more yard, and I'm not stuck looking at a chain link fence in the middle of the yard!



While I've been doing my improvements to our yard and house, Paprika has also been hard at work doing her own improvements.

Recent painting sessions resulted in not only great artwork



and here:


but also...



And, trees can always use a bit of added color to their leaves, am I right or am I right?

Like Here:


Not to mention...when life gives you lemons, why not paint one red?

Like Here:


Oh, Paprika. I love the artist in you! Mwahhhh!