Friday, September 30, 2011

Think Of A Happy Thought!


Yesterday was a hard day. My mom got on a plane back to Indiana after spending two weeks with us! I dropped her off at the airport and cried the whole way home. The last time I saw my mom was last October at my Grandpa's funeral. And, I realize that the next time I see her might not be for another year or more.

On top of that, it's just been one thing after another. Little things that feel like they are pecking me to death - Daisy has fleas, the house has termites, we went van shopping...just stuff like that.

Oh yes, van shopping. Two days of torture (I was soooo grateful my mom was here to watch the girls while we embarked on that little adventure). It was definitely a wild goose chase, and might have involved the russ.ian ma.fia. I am not sure about that one...but needless to say, it was an adventure. And deserves its own post! (P.S. after all that, we don't have a van yet!)

Anyhoo- needless to say, yesterday we were all feeling a little down. But, then it was as if all the stars aligned and said to us..."Why don't you just go to Disneyland? You'll feel better!"


So, we did!

Paprika had the day off school for no explicable reason (teacher in service day). Mr. M had the day and night off work! Paprika didn't have swimming lessons or anything else scheduled. And our season passes are still valid! So, we threw the girls in the car and off we went!

The only snafu was me being about 34 weeks pregnant! I was thinking I might rent a scooter while we were at the park (like I did when I was pregnant with Ginger!), but then I decided not to (my cheap side won out)...and then I regretted that decision about an hour later. Ha!

But I was too far in the park to go back and rent a scooter, so I just kind of glided myself from ride to park bench for the rest of the day!


Ginger hung out with me while Paprika and Mr. M did the big kid rides, like the roller coaster!


We had fun just goofing around together by the fountains and people watching...


The Buzz Lightyear ride was a highlight. Mr. M scored so high on this ride that he maxed out the high score...




I, on the other hand, am convinced my scoreboard was broken because even though I tried really hard, Paprika still beat me by a few thousand points. I think even Ginger scored higher than me! Ha!

Being at the park was so fun, and it's hard not to feel happy and upbeat when you've got two of the happiest girls ever smiling back at you. By the middle of the day, we were all feeling better!


Paprika even braved a visit with Mickey Mouse - this was the first time she asked to meet him. I think all of our other Mickey Mouse encounters have ended in big this was a small milestone for our growing up girl!


We stayed until the park closed. That's the way we do it! :-)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Live From Hollywood!

Since my mom has been visiting, I have been such an absent photographer and a sporadic blogger! Life has just been whizzing by, and I find so often that I miss those opportunities to reach for the camera because we have been that busy!

Tonight I took my mom to a taping of Dancing With The Stars. Well, I didn't go exactly...the only sitter I could get couldn't be here until 4, and you have to be at the show by we did the next best thing.

I dropped my mom off at the show, and then I took the girls to The Grove (the fancy mall next door) and let them tear apart The American Girl doll store and Pottery Barn Kids store while we waited! Ha!

My mom had a great time at the show, and had an amazing seat. I have been to the show a few times before ;-) so I didn't mind hanging out with the girls until it was done taping.

The minimum age for audience members is 10 years old- so before long, I know I'll be dragging the girls to tapings with me! :-) Mr. M finished up the show and met up with us over at The Grove.

I brought my big camera (the Canon 7D with the honkin' 24-70L lens)- but when it came time to push the double stroller and carry the camera, I threw the camera back into the car because it was too heavy. Then, everywhere we went, I kept regretting not having my camera with me. C'est la vie.


Yesterday, we went to the beach while Paprika was at school. I took my mom last week, but it was a little gray. She wanted to get her feet wet this time, so we did!

Here I am in my 33 week glory! :-)


Ginger did not want to walk in the sand, and insisted on either being carried by me or sitting on my lap the whole time. She is my 30 pound sack of potatoes, but a little snugglier than a sack of potatoes, I think!


On Sunday, my mom and I took the girls to Hollywood to my mom's favorite yoga studio where she knows everyone there. I don't think it would be a trip to LA for her without visiting this place. Anyhoo- I took prenatal yoga there for Paprika and the twins...and I took yoga there with my mom before I was pregnant. So, I've been going to this place about 11 years, and it is just crawling with celebrities (not bragging, just a fact).


The yoga studio just moved to a new location, so my mom wanted to check it out. We got there, and it turns out that they moved the cafe to the front of the studio. We opened the door to go inside, but it smelled like yoga (you know, that mixture of incense, patchouli, and a yoga mat). Well, Paprika would not go inside because the smell was just way too overwhelming for her.


There were these two semi-famous Hollywood actresses seated at the table by the front door, and they kept trying to get Paprika to go inside. After much coaxing on their part, it basically ended with Paprika running inside and putting her dress over her nose, exclaiming (loudly), "It smells in here!" To which the actress said, "No, it doesn't smell! It does NOT smell!" At which point Paprika looked at her like she was 10 kinds of crazy and said, "It does smell. Blech!" And then Paprika ran into the parking lot screaming.

What can I say, we always make such a nice impression wherever we go! Ha!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Am Not A Soccer Mom!


I think this is our third week of Fall swimming lessons. Over the summer, Paprika had swim lessons five days/week (M-F) for nine weeks of summer. Now that school's in session, it's a little different. She has a semi-private swim lesson (2 or 3 kids/teacher) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday...and then on Saturdays, she has a private swim lesson. So, now it is four days/week.

She loves it...understatement of the Century! :-)


I guess instead of becoming a soccer mom, I've become a swim mom...if such a thing even exists! Ha!

I am living at the pool lately, and it is kind of a chore to get everyone out the door and be there 4 days week (especially when we have so much else going on). is so worth it.


For Paprika, swimming has been soooo therapeutic for her. It is good for her gross motor coordination. It calms her mind and her body. The water in the pool provides a lot of great sensory feedback for her. The small group lessons are great for socialization. It's one of those sports where you really cannot fake it. Sink or swim. She is learning to keep trying and keep practicing, even when things are hard. We have really started to see such a transformation in Paprika since she started swimming on a regular basis.

I just can't say enough good things about it! Which is why, even today when it was drizzling rain at the pool (and we still had swim lessons), I wrapped myself in a towel and sat on the sidelines as she had her lesson. :-)

There's a part of me that wants to take swim lessons myself 4 days/week! How great would that be?! But that is being a mom, right?! :-) I'm just really grateful that Paprika has found something she loves to do that is so good for her, too!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Clingy Baby!


Ever since my mom showed up, Ginger has become the clingiest girl ever. She wants me (and only me!) every second, and gets so scared that if I am even a few feet away from her, I might leave. She loves my long as I am holding her.

Whenever she walks a few feet ahead, she always looks back to make sure I am there.


I think Pavenzia's arrival is going to be big for Ginger. Paprika was so secure, and not jealous at all when Ginger came on the scene. I am guessing Ginger will be a little different with Pavenzia. Already, Ginger is saying, "Venzia will be big sister, and I will be baby sister."

She is nursing more than ever, and wants me to snuggle her every night to fall asleep. I think six weeks from now, her world is going to turn upside down, and will be interesting! :-)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

32 Weeks!

BABY 6 ultrasound 9-15-2011-800

It has been such an eventful week!

Last Friday, I had a routine OB appointment with Dr. K. We talked about how sick I've been (pneumonia), and after listening to my lungs, he prescribed some antibiotics. Yay!

He did an ultrasound of Pavenzia, and it was so great to see her. She is getting so big! On Friday, she was 4 pounds 12 oz., which means she's probably over 5 pounds by now. She looks so much like Paprika and Ginger in the profile. I was so excited to see her.

My mom is visiting for two weeks, and so she stayed home with the girls while I went to my appointment. I have to say, it sure is nice having Grammy here. She is kinda spoiling me! ;-)


Friday night, Mr. M and I went out on a date while my mom watched the girls. We had dinner at Katsu-Ya and had a great night out on the town. Just fun stuff. We got home at 11, and the girls (and my mom) were all asleep. We were amazed! We thought we'd come home to find everyone awake, but nope- they were all sound asleep!

Around 4am, I woke up really sick. Severe stomach pains, vomitting, and I could not feel Pavenzia move to save my life. After about three hours, I decided to wake up Mr. M and that we should go to the hospital. Honestly, the first thing I thought of was a placental abruption, which I don't have to tell you, is very bad.

We got to the hospital around 8am, and found out that I had a bacterial infection that causes pre-term labor. I got hooked up to some IV meds, and got cozy in my room at the hospital.

Mr. M had to go to work that morning even though it was a Sunday (especially since the DWTS premiere was on Monday!) - so we drove separately to the hospital, and once I was checked in, he left for work. I was feeling pretty miserable, laying there in the hosptial bed all by myself not sure if the baby was okay, if I was delivering, or what - and it didn't help when Mr. M on his way out the door reminded me to make sure to validate my parking (all the way across the hospital).

I was having some contractions, but nothing too regular. They did an ultrasound to check out my placenta and make sure everything was okay with the baby...and it was! So, after they gave me a bunch of meds, sent me home with more meds, and kept me there for a few hours for observation, I got to go home! And yes, I did remember to validate parking before I drove myself home. ;-)

On the way home, I stopped at the donut shop because while I was laying there alone in the hospital, all I could think of was donuts. So, I got myself some and some fresh squeezed orange juice...and ever since then, it is really all I can think about!

I have pretty much given up on watching my weight this pregnancy. If I have to be loaded on a freight scale upon delivery, so be it. The donuts were really good (and I've gotten them every day since). They're worth it!


The baby is laying on my spine, I think just about every second of the day. I have such severe backpain, I don't even know how to describe it. I just keep saying to myself...6 more weeks. 8 at the most. Most likely 6 more weeks!

Having my mom here has been so very helpful. She has watched the girls quite a lot for me, let Mr. M and I go on two date nights so far, and picked Paprika up from school twice when I had appointments to go to! I could get used to this!

Tomorrow Mr. M and I are going to go look at mini-vans, so we can actually transport this baby once she is born! ;-) My mom is watching the girls for us, which will be a huge help. I don't have to explain to you what a circus it would be to take Paprika and Ginger car shopping with us!


After my mom leaves, I am pretty much on my own until the end of October, when Grandma Pat comes for a few days around Halloween, and then my dad and Nancy are coming for two weeks starting on November 1st, which should get me through the delivery. Also, my friend Ann is coming for a few days in October, which will be so great...but I highly doubt it will be relaxing. We always try to squeeze every bit of fun out of every moment we are together, so I doubt I am going to get one millisecond of rest while she is here! ;-)

So, I guess I just have to skate from one week to the next, and hope this baby girl lays off my spine a little bit! That, and I know I can count on the donuts to pull me through. Ha!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two and a Quarter!


Ginger, you are now 2 years 3 months old! Your default position is On and only rarely do you hit Pause. ;-)

You are 100% sunshine, 100% love, 100% energy, 100% fun, and 100% troublemaker. Yes, I know that's 500%! You, my dear, are larger than life!


You talk like a 4 year old. There is nothing you can't say, and you are forever surprising people with your vocabularly. You still look like a baby because your hair is so short, so everyone assumes you'd be saying Goo-Goo Gaga. But then you bust out with "I don't need the stepstool to wash my hands. I can do it myself," and everyone takes a step back and says: Woah!


When we were at Urgent Care the other day, you surprised everyone by counting to 50 as you raced around the waiting room. I often get the question: How old is she????, with a look of disbelief.

You love to draw and paint, just like your big sister. Your favorite thing to paint right now is: fireworks! You remember the 4th of July fireworks and ask almost on a daily basis if we can go back and see them again. You remember everything!


You want to do everything yourself, and you want to do everything that Yaya and her friends are doing. You think you are a very grown up girl, even though I know you are still my baby. You are very opinionated on what you are going to wear, what you are going to eat, where you are going to sit, and of course, where you are going to sleep.

You think all of Yaya's friends are your friends, and don't understand why you can't do everything they are doing right now. You are in one big hurry to grow up, and I am doing my best to keep you close and protected because even though you think you're ready for everything, I know you are still so little!


Right now Yaya is taking swimming lessons 4 days/week, and it is so hard for you to watch her jump into the pool and swim without you. Everytime we go, you bring your swimsuit, goggles, and towel, and then get so upset when I have to hold you back. At our pool, you have to be 3 years old to take swimming lessons, and that is a long time to wait when you're 2 years 3 months. Next summer, you'll be in the pool with her, and I know before long, you'll be all caught up to her. That's how you are - whatever anyone is doing, you want to do it just as well or better.


You are still a snuggle-bug, and cling to your mama (me) quite often. I really don't mind it one bit. You are still very attached to nursing, and although I've been working on weaning you for awhile now, you just do not want to let that go. Because I am so pregnant, I have set some limits for you, and you seem okay with it.

You still want me to cuddle next to you when you fall asleep at night, and so most nights I end up holding you until you fall asleep in your bed. You always want to be with people, and you love your big sister, Yaya, so much. You love sharing a room with her because it means a nightly slumber party with your very best friend!


You have a big sense of humor, and know how to make us all laugh no matter what else is going on in the world.


Ginger, we love you so much and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. You have been such a gift and such a joy to our family, and we are so glad you are our daughter. You brought so much laughter and hope back into our family - and we are so grateful and thankful for you.

You make us so proud, and we love you to pieces.

Mommy (Daddy, and your sisters, too!)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Can't Keep A Good Girl Down!


Thursday was a "minimum day" at Paprika's school. Basically, that means that all the PM and the AM kindergarten kids go at the same time because it's a half-day. So, that means roughly 40 kids in one classroom with no extra teachers. Because the AM kinder class is all boys, and Paprika's class is almost all boys, that meant there were going to be 36 boys and 4 girls in her teeny tiny classroom on Thursday, and we had to be there at 8am instead of our usual 11:30.

For my quiet Paprika who does not like crowds or noise, I knew that would be very very hard on her. Plus, the change in routine and the early start time would add to the disaster.

So, we decided to stay home for the day. But, by noon-time, we were all bouncing off the walls and needed to get out of the house. Ginger is thankfully doing a lot better now (knock on wood) and I am, too.

So, the girls and I decided a trip to the big Aquarium was in order. We're members, so it's low stakes. If we got there and decided to turn around and come home, it would be no biggie.


We arrived at the Aquarium and discovered that we were just about the only people there. There were no school groups, and it was so quiet you could almost hear an echo when you said something. Seriously cool!


They just opened some great new exhibits. They had a lot of California Jellyfish, and they are always so cool to see in person. Like living lava lamps!


The girls had the touch tanks to themselves. Ginger wanted so badly to touch all the sea critters by herself, and so her calves got a great workout from standing on tiptoe for much of the afternoon, peering into the tanks, and feeling the squishy sea cucumbers and prickly sea stars.


Paprika did a great job looking after Ginger while I lingered behind. At one point, Ginger ran off and hid from us, and that was a bit scary. After that, I put Ginger back in the stroller and told her she had lost walking privileges for the day! Luckily, that was towards the end of the day, so I think she was probably ready to sit down anyway! Ha!


We were all fascinated by the sea dragons. They are like seahorses, but oh, about a million times cooler:


The girls made friends with the sea lions. We even got to sit front row for the sea lion show (but I didn't get pictures). Of all the times I've taken the girls to the Aquarium, this was our first time catching the sea lion show, if you can believe it. It was neat watching the "sea dogs" do their tricks!


The sea lions are definitely my favorite part of the Aquarium. I just want to jump in there with them! I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one! ;-)


We stayed until about 5 o'clock, then headed home because we were getting ready for a special guest to mom flew in from Indiana! She is staying for two weeks, and it's been great having her here.

She watched the girls today (Friday) while I went to my OB visit (I will update about the appointment in another post). Dr. K even prescribed me some meds so hopefully I can get over being sick already! Yay!

I have to say, going to the Aquarium was just what I needed on Thursday. No crowds, a little sunshine, and a lot of fun. That is my chicken soup for the soul. ;-)