Thursday, April 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never!


Remember how I told Paprika that the Easter Bunny had to postpone coming on Easter because Mr. Mustard had to work? Well, Paprika did not forget about the Bunny. Mr. Mustard has been working some really long hours, and it was just about impossible to find a time when we would all be together in the morning.

But, today it guess what...the Easter Bunny came today!

It's a good thing, too, because Paprika has been talking about him for weeks and the guilt was really getting to me. Last week she started making presents for the Easter Bunny (drawings, sculptures made of legos, etc.) to entice him to stop by.

She kept saying, "When the Easter Bunny comes, I'm going to give him my drawing!" - just stuff like yup, mommy guilt was really starting to set in and I couldn't let the month of April slip by without making sure the Easter Bunny penciled us in!


Now, unfortunately, I ate all the Easter candy in the house weeks ago, so the Easter Bunny had to be creative!

The chocolate bunnies survived the past few weeks because even though I really wanted to eat those, I couldn't bring myself to eat them. Easter candy is one thing...bunnies are another!


So, Paprika and Ginger got their own chocolate bunnies, and then a bunch of art supplies and fun stuff like new Play-Doh, and they each got their own kite. I guess they were kind of unconventional Easter baskets, but it's fun to mix it up every once in awhile. Right? I mean, if you're going to do baskets 3 weeks late, I think convention has already been thrown to the wind!


Speaking of wind, we decided to test those kites out right then and there! We headed down to the beach, and my oh my, it was a very windy day outside!


There was so much wind that the trash cans were flying through the air and no one (let me repeat: not a single other person) was at the beach! But we were there. Oh yes. The kites had to be flown right we braved the wind!


I had Ginger in the Ergo, and I zipped her into my sweatshirt because the sand was flying and I didn't want it to get into her eyes. Paprika had a great time, and was pretty oblivious to the wind...although I'm not sure how it didn't pick her up and carry her away!


The first kite was kind of a dud and caused Mr. Mustard a lot of frustration. But after Ginger and I went back to the car (about half an hour in), Paprika and Mr. Mustard cracked open the other kite and it was a huge success...until Paprika let go of it and it flew away! I think it was merciful because I don't know how we ever would have gotten Paprika to leave the beach if there was still the possibility of flying kites...she loved it so much!


Then we came home and popped popcorn in the air popper - it was our first time doing that. When I put Paprika to bed tonight, I asked her what her favorite part of the day was and she said, "When we popped poporn!"

So, the Easter Bunny, the kites, and the beach were all trumped by popping popcorn in the air popper together. Good to know! :-)

Just Ducky!


After we cancelled our movers last minute, it kinda freed up the day. So, yesterday, as we had the whole afternoon with nothing to do, we went and goofed off at the park. Paprika loves feeding the ducks and seagulls so that's what we did first thing.


As you can see...


she had loads of fun!


I tried to get Ginger interested in feeding the ducks, but she just wanted to eat the bread. And it was pretty good bread, I had tossed all our stale bread the day before (it was blue and green- yech!) Anyway, so this was our fresh bread, and Ginger really just wanted to eat it and not share with the ducks. Which was okay by me.


Then I put Ginger down in the grass.


She thought it was pretty cool.


For a few minutes...


Then she realized I wasn't holding her...and in her own baby way, she said...







And that was the end of her time in the grass! Then we went to the Botanical Gardens, and then to lunch at our favorite local hamburger stand, where we shared french fries and a chocolate shake. Fun!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Any Dream Will Do...

Remember how I said that we were moving all of our furniture from our old house into our new house this week if all the stars aligned?

Well, guess what...the stars did not align and yet another monkey wrench has been thrown into our house sale. Surprise, surprise!

Last night at 7:00pm, I got a call from our realtor telling us that our buyer can't be approved for a loan because he is in the middle of a divorce and his wife (who we were told was his EX wife, and that he had already gotten a divorce) won't let him take title in his own name without her.

I have no idea why this is just coming out NOW, when we were supposed to be closing in a few days.

This news came the night before our movers were set to arrive, to move out all of our furniture. This morning, we had to cancel our movers at the last minute (as they were showing up on our doorstep), and we have to start again from square one to put our house back on the market.

We have been living without most of our furniture for two months now. Our master bedroom is an empty room with nothing in it. We have no television, and all of our dishes are at our old house. Camping out is getting old.

On top of that, my mom is coming to visit from Indiana this weekend. We planned it so that she would have a place to sleep when she comes to visit. Now I either have to scramble and find a suitable bed for her, or she will be sleeping on the floor. Sorry, mom, our real beds are back at our place in Pasadena!

I am so angry that after almost two months of jumping through hoops for our buyer, we are now faced with a situation where just days before the close of escrow, he is walking away without owing us anything. (The loan contingency was never lifted, so we cannot collect his earnest money deposit).

I would say I am devastated...but I don't use that word lightly. Devastation for me happens on days like the one where I picked up Vivian and Annemarie's urns at the funeral home and brought their ashes back to sit on a shelf in my house.

I know it's just money, I know it's just a lot of money...but at least we're alive and healthy, and that's what really matters.

But I am kind of furious about it. This means months more of mortgage payments. I have to re-stage the house (because I took down a lot of the things already in preparation for the move). Now we have to find a new buyer. And our property now is stale because it's technically been on the market longer (even though we haven't been able to pursue other buyers because we had an accepted offer).

So, instead of closing escrow we originally were supposed to do...we instead found out that we are back to square one (and then some) in our home selling quest. I joked to Mr. Mustard today that it is our pad on "The Upper East Side" (but you know, the Upper East Side of LA is a little different than the Upper East Side of NYC!) It's like having a kid in college at Harvard and paying tuition payments every month...except that we don't, of course, have a kid at Harvard...not yet anyway. ;-)


So, this news happened right as I was walking out the door to take Paprika to see Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It's playing at the Civic Light Opera, and I knew she would love it. She did love it!

We lowered the average age in the auditorium by about 70 years, and she was the only little kid to make it past intermission. (There was a family with a 5 year old and a 7 year old but they left at intermission because the 5 year old couldn't sit still).

So, at age 3, Paprika did a pretty awesome job.

The show was beautiful, and Paprika sat wide-eyed on the edge of her seat the whole show. At intermission, she was dancing in the aisles, and wanted to go down to see the instruments in the orchestra pit.

When the show ended, a hush fell over the audience, and Paprika exclaimed, "That was FANTASTIC!" And the whole audience laughed.

It was a wonderful few hours, and I spent it enjoying watching Paprika watch the show. She was as entertaining to me as what was going on on-stage. Some days I just want to drink in her wide-eyed wonder and excitement.

I also kept looking for the deeper message in the show, wondering if it could give me some perspective on our housing situation...and it kinda did. What the heck are ya gonna do? Just do your best and that's all you can do, right? Right...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Skinny Tuesday- What Motivates You?


Lately I've been thinking about the images that motivate me to get healthier. Sure, I can look at images of celebrities, other moms, other women for motivation and say, "I want to look like her."

But honestly, that doesn't really drive me. I know deep down that no matter what I'm not going to look like Heidi Klum. And that's okay.

At the end of the day, I am going to look like me. But I want it to be the best version of me. The version of me where I felt most carefree, happy, and youthful.

I came across this pic the other day on my hard-drive. It was taken on September 23, 2003, just a month after I got married. It's not the pic of me at my fittest. Or my thinnest. Or even with the best hair (I remember I was NOT too happy with these highlights- haha!)

But I felt good, and alive, and carefree. I want to get back to this place with my health.

I want to wear these white pants again (I still have a box hiding in the garage?)

So, this week, this pic is what is motivating me to stay on plan.

What images do you use to motivate you?

Sunday, April 25, 2010



Sometimes when I think about my life, the choices I've made...the jobs I've turned down (and the money, oh the money I could have made)...I remember that there is no paycheck that could ever pay me so much as this, and no job that could ever teach me as much as the one I have right here and now.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Wiz!


We started out the day today just hanging out at home. Ginger wants to do everything Paprika does, and doesn't understand why being 10 months old limits her in any way!


By mid-afternoon, Ginger still had not gone down for a nap, so I decided to take the girls to the local highschool's matinee performance of The Wiz! Even though I don't know anyone at the highschool, it seemed like something Paprika would love.

About a month ago, we all went to the Harvard-Westlake Middle School Production of Annie (Mr. Mustard's sister designed the costumes), and Paprika loved the show. It's not every day we can take her to the Ahmanson like we did for Mary Poppins, so a school production is the next best thing!

I was worried The Wiz would be over Paprika's head, but she loved the show. I had both girls by myself, and Ginger wanted to take a nap during the show, but it was LOUD and I had a gaggle of middle school boys sitting next to me. So, I went to the side aisle and she eventually fell asleep in the Ergo just about the time the show was ending! So, she missed her nap. Ah, well...what can ya do?


Paprika was so excited by the show. When we got home, she ran out to the backyard and put on her Tinkerbell swimsuit. She studied the program...she wanted to take it all in.


Then she put on a show for us...

for about three hours.


Til the sun went down!


She had a captive audience in me and Ginger!


Then when Paprika was done performing she said, "I'm tired. I need my rest." And she went inside and went to sleep. Meanwhile, Ginger still has not slept and doesn't look like she's ready to go to bed anytime soon!

That's our Saturday, so far!

Hey, Howya Doin'?


You know those people who are really nice to everyone? Who always think the best of people? Even people who make fun of them? Who just keep on being nice and waving and smiling no matter what?

Well, I know someone JUST like that! ;-)


As they say, Paprika has "never met a stranger" and she makes friends with everyone she meets. I've met a few people in my years as genuinely nice and outgoing as Paprika is...but not very many!

Paprika's new past-time is to climb up to the top of her play structure and greet all the neighbors. She can see over all the 6 foot tall privacy fences from her perch.


Hey, howya doin'? Whatcha doin' over there? What's your name? Are you having fun?

She has a view of five neighbors' backyards from our backyard, and she's always making friends.

Now, all the other kids whose yards border ours are middle school or older, so they kind of humor her as she engages them in conversation.

But she keeps smiling and talking, and cheering them on. Yesterday our neighbors were playing baseball and Paprika was saying, "You can do it! Run fast! There ya go! Great job!"

On a sidenote, Paprika's new favorite wardrobe is Ginger's wardrobe. Nevermind that Paprika wears 5T clothes and Ginger wears 6-12 months or 12-18 months. According to Paprika, the clothes fit just fine!

Yesterday, Paprika wore Ginger's 6-12 month pants (they are capris on Paprika, obviously) and stretched out Ginger's shirt...hey, whatever works!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just A Million Things


Well, it's been really busy here. So busy I barely have time to get online to email anybody back (sorry everyone!) or call anybody. Just busy, busy, busy like 24 hours/day!

The house sale is driving me batty! I will be so glad when it's done! I knew the house sale process wasn't going to be easy, but each time something is dealt with, something else pops up in its place. At this point (as of this moment anyway), we have everything pretty much managed to close escrow in a few weeks, and I'm just holding my breath that nothing else pops up. Please!!!!

I have scheduled movers for next week, so if all the stars align, we will be moving our furniture into our new house (where we've been living for almost two months now without most of our furniture). Right now the master bedroom at our new house is flat out empty, and oh's going to be good to have a nice big bed to sleep on at night. I am counting down the days!

I enrolled Paprika in another art class through Parks & Rec, and it was a bust again (she was the only one enrolled). They said it was "open studio" and she could just do whatever she wanted, and the parents were supposed to "teach" the kids. I was like, "so, I'm supposed to pay YOU, so I can teach my child by herself. Why can't I just go home and do that?!"

I've probably been indulging food-wise more than I should, and darn it, I really want that scale to budge. It's been sitting in that same old place. Part of it I know is stress eating. I take care of the kids all day and then when they go to bed I just want to have a nice, relaxing (and big) meal. Or I snack during the day for energy because I'm tired. I know I could be snacking on healthier things, I know that! But in the moment...ah, it's a hard battle to put down the cookie!

Anyway, I was feeling so overwhelmed with it I considered going to Jenny Craig. I know if I go there, I will lose weight and the food thing will be "managed" for me. They tell you what to eat and when to eat it, and it's so easy. But...their food is 100% processed, and full of excitotoxins, and I'm breastfeeding (so everything I eat goes to Ginger) and PLUS I didn't get this far with my weightloss journey just to start feeding myself crap again.

So...I decided not to do Jenny Craig. But I am back to tracking what I'm eating. I still have about 20 pounds left that I want to lose. I know I will have so much more energy when I'm down at that ideal weight. So, let's go ahead and get there already!

So, that's what we're up to! I can't believe Ginger is almost one year. Seriously. Where did the time go? In two months she'll be a year old. I am so not ready for that! Sniff, sniff!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



Ginger loves watching her big sister take a bath. Paprika blew bubbles at her, and this face happened!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010



On Sunday, in between the "cake baking" and other merriment, we played in the big sunshine and enjoyed another ordinary yet extraordinary day.


I never take a second with these two for granted.




There was laughing...


and more laughing.


And then Paprika wanted to wear Ginger's outfit.


So I let her.


All in all, a lot of silliness. A lot of fun.

So grateful for these two. They make life worth living. Each and every second of every day.


They are my sunshine.