Friday, July 30, 2010

A Rollercoaster


What a rollercoaster the past few days have been! Yesterday, Paprika's school had a big end of term party, and we all went. I really like so many of the other parents, and hope that we find some good friends over here.

After the party, we went back to the Aquarium, as I was hoping that Ginger would fall asleep in the car for a nap like she did the day before. Of course, someone (Paprika) wanted to sing songs the whole car ride, so Ginger didn't fall asleep. But it was okay. Any day at the Aquarium is a good day!

Today we've been busy, busy, busy. I had a friend come down to visit and we had a girl's day at the beach while Mr. Mustard entertained one of Paprika's friends and her dad here at the house (I have been calling it a man-date instead of a playdate- ha!) Paprika had a wonderful time...she was in tears at the end of the day because she didn't want the playdate to end.

When I got home from my girl's afternoon with my friend, Ginger was happily chasing Paprika and her friend around the backyard. Ginger saw me and ran to me like she hadn't seen me in years. I picked her up and she let out a big sigh and fell asleep in my arms. I took her in her bedroom, laid her down in the bed...and she's currently taking a nap. I shouldn't even mention it because I don't want to jinx it...but wow, that was unexpected. I really should go out with my friends more often if it will get her to nap!

Ginger has been really into dolls lately, and half the time, I think she likes to stay up late so she can play with all of Paprika's dolls without Paprika knowing about it! I don't think Paprika was really into dolls at this age, but Ginger sure is. She puts them in the little stroller, feeds them, tries to dress them, gives them kisses, rocks is a-dorable!

We have a big weekend planned - lots of here and there and friends we haven't seen in a long while. I feel like we're just getting into the groove of summer, and it's already August. How 'bout you? :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Pledge

Last night during dinner, Paprika surprised me with this little thing. I haven't posted a video of her in awhile, so I thought I would. If you've been reading my blog for long, you know that Paprika memorizes things the first (or maybe second) time she hears them. She's kinda funny that way. I haven't posted a video of her at her current age (3 years old), so I figured it's about time!

I have been having a lot of fun looking through old videos of her at various ages:

Age 1: Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Age 1: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food

Age 2: Singing The Little Mermaid

Age 2: Reciting "The Big Honey Hunt"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turning Into Pumpkins


I felt so much better after I got the whole story with our sleep situation off my chest last night. Like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. A glimmer of hope that things can get better.

Last night was more of the same sleep-wise, and this morning I was really tired. So, while Paprika was at preschool, Mr. Mustard watched Ginger, and I took a long nap til noon. I woke up feeling refreshed and so good. It's amazing how much three uninterrupted hours of sleep can help.

Then, of course, Mr. Mustard was really tired (he was up editing all night at The Amazing Race last night) I decided to let him get some sleep, and I took Ginger and Paprika to the Aquarium today by myself. That gave him about four or five hours to sleep while we were gone. I guess we're sleeping in shifts now. Haha!


Paprika has this special thing with the divers in the tanks at the Aquarium. She walks up to them, has long conversations with them, and makes up stories about their lives. She imagines whether they like pastrami on their sandwiches, if they have brothers or sisters, just stuff like that.


Now that Ginger can walk, she is totally unstoppable. Anything Paprika can do, she wants to do, and faster. Paprika kind of pulls her around. She calls her "doggie" - like, "Come here, doggie! Be a good girl, doggie!" Paprika thinks Ginger is the ultimate sidekick.

Ginger has a really really loud voice, so much so that on two occasions today, two different people came up to me to tell me so. One said, "Wow, she really knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to let you know it!" The other person heard Ginger talking and thought a wild animal was on the loose. No joke.


So, this is my self-portrait from today. A bird landed on my head (a Lorikeet). I was carrying Ginger in the Ergo, and carrying my purse, and still managed to take a picture. I was mildly impressed with myself. Haha. ;-)


Paprika has lots of long conversations with the birds. She wants to know about their families, where they came from, what they had for lunch. And, of course, what they dream about.

At the end of the day, I said what we always say at the end of the day, and that is: "Guess who's turning into a pumpkin?" So, Paprika started asking people, "Hey, are you turning into a pumpkin like me and my sister?"


Ginger fell asleep on the ride home. So, I rolled down the windows all the way (it's cool here), and parked in the driveway. Paprika and I sat on the front porch and I read her stories while we watched Ginger sleep in her carseat for about an hour. I guess that counts as a nap. At this point, I'll take what I can get!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When All Else Fails


Since Ginger refused to go down for a nap today (what's new?), we decided to go to the park and feed the ducks.


Quack! Quack!


All Ginger wanted to do was eat the ducks' bread and bagels. She had zero desire to feed her food to any ducks. Smart girl!


After the bread was gone, it was playtime at the park. Paprika made some "just for today" friends and they had a grand time until the sun was setting and it was time to go home.


I'm not really sure what to do about Ginger's sleep issues. She has always been a pretty terrible sleeper, but I guess I just figured that it was something that would get better after she turned one year old. I think it's more that I am now at the point where I want her sleep issues to change, and nothing really seems to be working. It's pretty overwhelmingly exhausting. I have read pretty much all the books on the subject, and I'm at my wit's end with it all.

Today I felt like I was about to break- she won't nap, won't sleep...and it's one of those things that can really start to drive a person CRAZY.

So, that's why when I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore, we went to the park and fed the ducks. Because if you're going to be completely.freaking.exhausted, then why not go to the park and feed the ducks?


It's actually not true that she won't sleep. It's that she won't sleep without me holding her. Since the day she was born, I have sat up in bed and held her while she sleeps because that was the only way I could get her to sleep.

See this brown pillow on the bed? And the pink donut shaped boppy pillow? I sit up with the brown pillow at my back, and the pink boppy around my waist...and she nurses the whole time she sleeps.

I even bought pillows just like these when we went on vacation to Maine and Indiana (it didn't make sense to bring them with because of the baggage fees)...but you'd better believe, I made sure I had pillows just like that when we were on vacation.


Now that she's mobile, the mattress is on the floor in case she unlatches and moves, which she never does. What's that? Oh yes, she has to be latched on, all.night.long to sleep. That wasn't such a huge issue until she got EIGHT teeth all at once about a month ago. Now, it's not so awesome. Not really awesome at all! ;-)


So, basically, I have not slept lying down since June 18, 2009...and I am, for lack of a better term, an all-night chew toy. I kid. Really. It's not that bad. (or at least that's what I'm telling myself).

I know it will work itself out. In the meantime, I am taking this sleep thing one day, one nap, one night at a time. And when all else fails, it's nice to just take a break, remember the big picture, and be grateful for the good in life (because even if I do have to sleep sitting up for the next five years, she is so very worth it). You know?


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Weekend


We had a busy weekend here. I gave Paprika a makeup set on Saturday, and she had so much fun using it. She loves wearing my makeup, so I figured that having a little set of her own would be right up her alley. Yup, she loved it and it was the highlight of her weekend, for sure.





Ginger is a terrible sleeper. I'm just going to come right out and say it! We're working on it, but man...she had such a hard weekend. She was NOT a happy camper most of the weekend because she was SO TIRED. Basically, if I am not holding her, she is not asleep. So, her naps are basically non-existent, and for a 13 month old, that isn't ideal. Not at all.

So, she was a little bit of a crab apple most of the weekend. She got in a few cat naps while I was holding her, which made everyone's life a little more bearable! Haha!

On Saturday night, we went out to a new restaurant, and it was AWESOME! It was just perfect for us...great food, and it was the kind of place you can get amazing food AND bring kids along (which doesn't happen too often in LA, or anywhere for that matter, I guess...)


I even got a picture of the 4 of us- I had the waiter take it after dinner. I should have had him take it BEFORE we ate...but c'est la vie, right?

After dinner, we all went to Michael's to pick up some craft stuff to do with the girls. When we were there, I started to feel violently ill and realized pretty quickly that the amazing food from the restaurant had given me food poisoning. Awesome.

And you know the funny thing? We had such a good time at the restaurant that I am tempted to go back again crazy is that?! I think next time I will just order something different. ;-)


Friday, July 23, 2010



Ginger is thirteen! Thirteen months, that is!

Since this blog is her baby book (and Paprika's, too)- I have to list all her milestones and achievements this month. Please indulge me...

Ginger, this past month has been a big one for you! Here is a little list I just made up of everything going on with you now:

Biggest Milestone: Walking! You still prefer to crawl (because it's faster), but you are taking more and more steps on your own every day. Your favorite thing to do is to hold on to Paprika when she's walking (which she sometimes loves).

Teeth: You have eight, with two more on the way. You have a really hard time with your teeth coming in, and it's no fun. (For any of us!) Haha.

Favorite Foods: Anything on someone else's plate. Seriously! You definitely want what you can't are a big food moocher!

Favorite Toys: All electronic gadgets, cell phones, car keys, glasses...basically, anything you can't have. Am I sensing a pattern here?

Sleeping: While other parents talk about getting their kids to sleep through the night, I am trying to get you to sleep through the half-hour. You love to sleep when I am holding you and you are attached to me (nursing)- but otherwise, not so much! I am considering changing my name to Nuk.

Favorite Games: You love playing Ring-Around-The-Rosie with Paprika, and you fall down and laugh at the end. You and Paprika are quite the pair and are starting to play together a lot, which makes my heart smile.

Favorite Activity: You love being outside and you squeal with delight when I ask you if you want to go outside. At the end of the day, you are happiest when you are covered in mud, sand, and water.

Favorite Animal: You love all animals, especially dogs. When you see a dog, you go nuts! You love dogs so much, and are fascinated by them. Big dogs, little dogs...all dogs!

Favorite Words: You say "mama" and "dada" a lot. You also say other, kinda random words like: water. Even without words, you are able to let us know what you want very well, and you have a loud, booming voice that gets attention!

Favorite Music: You love all music, but especially loud music with a strong beat. You love to dance, and you get soooo happy when music comes on. I've started playing music around the house just for you, and you are always so excited whenever music is playing. You love to dance, especially if someone is dancing with you! Last week, we took you to a concert at the park, and you couldn't get enough of it!

Little Things You Do: You clap, point, and blow kisses. You love to do everything yourself. You want to brush your own teeth, hold your own cup, feed yourself with your own spoon. You love to climb...and can do so very quickly. You want to stand on Paprika's stepstools, and climb inside baskets and toy boxes.

Thirteen months since you were born, and not a moment goes by that I take for granted. You are a magical, amazing, beautiful baby. I am so excited and happy to be your mom. I feel like the luckiest lady in the world getting to watch you grow up. Every night when I rock you to sleep, I cry because I realize just how precious you are and how this time we have together is fleeting. I am so proud of you, and I love you with my whole heart. You are an amazing person, and every day...every moment...I get to be in your life is a complete joy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Getting In The Picture!


Last night I ordered a few prints of photos, and realized that we have almost zero pictures of the four of us together. Lots with three of us, and of course a gazillion of Paprika and Ginger...but out of the thousands of photos we have, there are about three photos of the four of us.

So today I decided to change that. From now on, I will be asking people to take pictures of us. Wherever we go. I have no shame. I have found that my "big camera" is a little bit too much to ask the random person to I am just bringing my little camera.

I figure that if we ask someone every time we go out, before long we'll have quite a little collection of family photos. Today was the start, and wasn't so hard!

Today was my day to work at preschool. I learned my lesson with the last time I worked (ketchup and mustard finger painting). I was the first one to call dibs on project tables this morning and got playdoh. Score! Someone else had to make blueberry pancakes...from scratch...with fifteen three and four year olds. I was the one drinking my latte this time. It was sweet! ;-)


After preschool, the four of us headed to the beach. We always go by the "90210 house" (where Kelly and Donna lived in college...please say you remember?). Today I took a picture:


It's on the market for $10.5 million dollars at the moment (gee, I wonder why no one is buying it?). Here is the real estate listing in case anyone's interested in snapping it up! Haha!


We went to the little Aquarium, and visited all the creatures in the touch tanks. Paprika wanted to take a few home with us, of course (but of course we didn't)!


We capped off the day at the ice cream parlour, where the ice cream is made fresh daily and is always so good.

Hmmmm...which flavor should I have?:


Oh yes, of course. Chocolate. With Rainbow Sprinkles.

Not a highchair in the whole place. Ginger had to make do with this chair. I think it suits her! ;-)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hangout


I guess we have found a new hangout. The sea lions are our favorite spot to chill at the moment.


The Lorikeets come in a close second...


Another gorgeous day with the sunshines of my life. And no one got bitten...although someone almost did. ;-)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Paprika's Sunflowers


About three months ago, Paprika bugged me to buy her some sunflower seeds. So, I did. I put them on the kitchen table, and next thing I knew, they were gone. I wasn't sure where they had gone, actually. But pretty soon I figured it out.

Remember when I took out the dead tree in our backyard? Well, I filled in the hole with potting soil, and I guess she thought that looked like a pretty perfect place to plant the seeds. Good worked!


These are Paprika's sunflowers. Imagined by her. Planted by her. Nevermind that she planted them all (about two dozen of 'em) in the same 12 inch by 12 inch patch of land. They are growing and thriving, and if you go down the slide too fast, you just might hit one!

Every time I see them, I smile at them. How can you not smile at a sunflower? Hello, summer!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Journey Is As Important As The Destination


This weekend we've been hanging out at home and doing some much-needed relaxing. I started coming down with something on Thursday, and ever since then I haven't felt 100%...I don't have to tell you, I don't have time to be sick!

So, yesterday we were supposed to go to a dear friend's party...but we decided to stay home and rest (as much as one can rest with a 1 year old and a 3 year old running around). I was so sad to miss it! Today I feel so much better (so I guess the rest worked)'s amazing what a little downtime will do.


I have been up to a lot lately, and have a few blog posts brewing in my head.

I did give up Coke...yes, I did. I am now even more addicted to my own special morning espresso/latte brewed right here in my kitchen...but at least it doesn't have HFCS, and is a lot healthier than the Cokes I was drinking. I calculated what 2 Cokes/day translated to calorie-wise. If I stopped drinking Coke and switched to water, I would lose 30 pounds in one year. Wowza.


I have recently lost 10 more pounds over the past month. I have been reading a lot of books about health and emotional eating, and healing my relationship with food. So, that has been wonderful. It's definitely been a process, but I feel really good about where I am now.

I plan on writing more about the weight loss stuff- I have learned so very much in the past month about health, wellness, food, and emotional eating. It's really revolutionized the way I'm eating now, and I feel healthier and more energetic than ever before. I have lost 60 pounds now, and have about 25 to go realistically...but I am enjoying the process and I'll get there when I get there. These changes I am making are for life...and so I know that even if it takes me awhile to get there, the journey is just as important as the destination.