Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This And That!


This morning, I finally got around to taking Violet's Three Month photos. She's three months and three weeks old, but I figure as long as we're still in the month, it counts. Right?

As soon as I took the first picture, someone else wanted in. ;-)


This month saw Violet's very first roll-over (at 3 months, two weeks old). This is a photo of her seconds after she rolled all the way over for the very first time. Yes, I wish she was wearing a cute outfit in this photo, but this is real re-enactments on this blog! Ha!


Violet continues to be a dream baby. She has basicaly two modes: happy and sleeping. Or maybe I'm so sleep-deprived I don't remember the rest? :-)

That is Ginger hiding under the blanket next to Violet. Ginger's favorite game of the moment is hide and go seek:

It's never too hard to find her!


Sometimes hiding is just covering her eyes:


But she still finds it so funny when I find her:


The End.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Aunt Lala and Ski Week!


My Aunt Laura came to visit us last week, all the way from Indiana! It was her first time out to California in about eight years, so it was high time. We were glad to have her and the girls were so excited to have a new playmate. ;-) Ginger named her "Aunt Lala" (or maybe that's just because that's how she pronounces Laura)...anyway, the name stuck!


Baby Violet is now 3 months old and is bursting out of her clothes. This outfit is 3-6 months and it's already too short. Time flies.

This week (on Friday morning), Violet rolled over for the first time! Aunt Lala was here, and we both saw Violet do it. Truthfully, she probably would have rolled sooner, but I rarely lay her down on the floor to try. Whoops! Since Friday, she's rolled a gazillion times. Next stop, crawling. She is already almost there. Sob!

Paprika was out of school all last week. They call it "Ski Week" - which is really just a fancy way of saying that they get the week of President's Day off. I guess so many families took vacations that week that the school decided to close (they miss out on tax dollars for every day students are absent).

We took advantage of the vacation and went up to Santa Barbara for a few days and stayed with Grandma Pat. My computer is broken, so I stole these photos off my Aunt Laura's Facebook page since I can't transfer my photos off my camera to my computer. None of the photos you're seeing on this blog post have been edited at all. (And that is rare for me...haha). Even without the magic of Photoshop, Santa Barbara is gorgeous. Wouldn't you say?


On this day (Thursday), we went to a butterfly sanctuary with thousands of Monarch butterflies. It was amazing! Once I get my computer up and running and can get the photos from my camera, I will have to post the pictures because it was sooooo incredible. It was one of my favorite things I've done this year, and I want to go back again (and again).

After we saw the butterflies, we hiked out to the beach. It was a gorgeous, sunny day.

Ginger was in a mood that day and didn't want to walk, or wear clothes, or shoes. Thankfully, I had the Ergo with me, so I put her on my back and carried her. Of course, I already had Violet on the front in the Baby Bjorn. It was a double baby wearing day! Violet was nursing and napping off and on the whole time, which made things kinda tricky. But it worked out! (P.S. This is not a flattering photo of me, but I had to post it anyway because I was pretty proud of myself for hiking while wearing two kids! Haha)


We had a great trip up in Santa Barbara, and Grandma Pat was a wonderful hostess (thank you, Pat!!!) After a few days, we came back to our house and hit the beach once again. We spent time walking on the Strand and looking at all the beach houses, big and small.

Come to think of it, I think every day that Laura was here, we ended up at the beach. Nothing like having someone from Indiana visit to make you appreciate the beach. I remember how amazing the ocean was to me when I first moved to California (from Indiana, 12 years ago). So, it was awesome to see the beach through Laura's eyes and not take it for granted like: oh, there is my same old stretch of sand. (not that I take it for granted, but you know what I mean...)


And another upside to having Laura here? A built-in photographer. I think I got more pictures this week of the five of us than I have since Baby Violet was born! Aunt Lala went home on Saturday, and we miss her already! Paprika goes back to school tomorrow, so it's back to the routine. But our Ski Week sure was fun!


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big Juggling Act!


Life is busy, busy with three kids and a husband working out of town. The days kind of fly by, so here are some photos of just "daily life" type stuff:

Ginger "swimming" in the bathtub- of course she had to wear a swimsuit and googles. She cracks me up!


Paprika is such an author. She loves writing little books - she illustrates them and dictates the story (or sometimes she writes the words herself, but that can be a little frustrating for her).

This book is called "The Play" and is all about a classroom that sets up and puts on a play. She's done a bunch of books, and the stories she comes up with are pretty great. Of all the crafty type things to do, this is by far the easiest (for me). I just fold 5-8 pieces of plain white paper in half and staple the spine. Voila - a blank book for her to write in. At the end, she has an awesome book for me to keep forever and ever.

Paprika wants to give this book to the public library so that other kids can read it! But I am not letting go of it! ;-)


I can't tell you how proud Paprika is of Violet. Paprika is such a good big sister to Ginger and baby Violet. I am so grateful for is a gift I don't take for granted!


Ginger wearing clothes! She looked so cute and even wore Paprika's red sparkle shoes with this outfit (four sizes too big, but who's counting?!) I was also in this picture but cropped myself out because it was such a bad picture of me. It's my blog and I'll do what I want to! ;-)


Another sister moment caught on camera. Paprika always asks to hold Violet right before Paprika leaves for school and first thing when she comes home. Paprika whispers in Violet's ear how much she loves her.


And finally, a picture of Crazy Daisy! She is getting so much better in her "older" age (I know 10 months is not old - but every day she gets older, I like her better!) I think we are finally going to get her some training. She is such a handful, but I am growing to love her and the girls adore her. She has such a pure, sweet heart and wouldn't hurt a flea. She just might lick you to death...and, well, what can you say to a face like this? :-)


So, that's what life looks like juggling three kids and a dog. Pretty soon here I hope to have a moment to come up for air (and take a shower). But it's not likely! Haha.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Date!


Baby Violet had her 2 month well-check on 3 months and 1 day old! (We are a little behind...oh well).

She weighs 15 pounds and is the 98th percentile for weight for babies her age. She is 24 inches long, which is the 86th percentile for height. The pediatrician kept commenting on how strong Violet is, and how happy and alert she is. Violet almost rolled over at the pediatrician's office, and she was smiling and laughing a lot. She gets a lot of attention wherever we go, especially because she is so alert and wants to interact with everyone. You can tell that there is so much going on in her head and she has a million things she wants to say already...she is just trying to get the words out!


Grandma Pat came down for a few days this week, which was wonderful! I got to take Violet to her doctor's appointment without Ginger in tow, which made things a lot less stressful for me.

Ginger picked up some kind of cold bug at the Tar Pits last weekend, so she was very sniffly and miserable all week. She is still mostly refusing to wear clothes, but will occasionally put something on if the mood strikes her just right. But usually even when she is wearing clothes, she wants to take them off about five minutes later! It is such a shame because Ginger has the best wardrobe of any of us (due to some awesome clothes gifted to us by a generous friend). The good news is that Ginger's wardrobe is getting very little use at the moment, which means it will be pristine for Violet in a year or two!

Last week, Ginger would only go to sleep in my bed and not in her bed. So that means I had a full bed with Ginger and Violet both sleeping with me in my room. It was sweet! Usually I stay up in bed after they have gone to sleep and I watch something on Netflix or Hulu (with the captions on and the volume muted) to wind down before I go to sleep. Last week I decided to watch Hoarders for the first time ever. Have you ever seen that show? It was unbelievably disturbing to me and gave me nightmares. I found myself wanting to declutter and clean all weekend as a result. I don't think I can ever watch it But I think Mr. M will be happy because now anytime I want to buy something spur of the moment, I will probably think of that show and restrain myself. Haha.

Mr. M came home this weekend. Yay! I caught Ginger's cold so I spent most of Saturday just taking it easy at home, except for when all went out to lunch as a family. We try to do that every weekend, even though it can be a little challenging with the little ones. Last week we went to a vegan restaurant and it went over like a lead balloon with the kids. Haha. So this week we went back to our favorite hamburger place, and I picked up some Chipotle for me and Mr. M to split and brought it over to the burger place. I'm not really vegan, but I am eating a lot less meat these days after watching Forks Over Knives (the documentary), reading The China Study, and reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I would say I am eating vegan about 95% of the time now, and when I just can't stand it anymore, I have a little bit of meat or dairy here or there. ;-) Baby steps.

Then tonight (Sunday), Mr. M and I had our weekly date. We brought Violet with us, and she was mostly sweet, but got a little fussy during dinner. I think she was tired. We went out to Indian food at a little restaurant near us. Delicious! Then we went to Target and picked up napkins for Paprika's Teacher Appreciation luncheon at school, and a new bathroom garbage can. How romantic! Haha. Then we went for a little moonlit stroll on the beach, but Violet's toes started to get cold (she was in the Baby Bjorn), so pretty soon we turned around and came home. Things sure have changed since we went on our first Valentine's Day date 12 years ago. ;-) But it was great to come home to our house full of life, and realize that even though things aren't as they once were, they are in some ways so much better. I am so happy to have our sweet little family, and it really is the best Valentine's Day present of have our little house so full of love.

Speaking of...I need to put some little girls to bed now! I am trying my best to move their bedtimes earlier and earlier. Last week I got them in bed (not asleep) by 8:45pm, which is the earliest that pretty much has ever happened. If I let them, these girls would literally stay up all night long and sleep all day. Like mother, like daughters! :-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Months!


Dear Baby Violet,

Today you are three moths old. Three months! I am typing this post one-handed while I hold you in my lap...turns out that in my lap is where you prefer to nap and I am happy to oblige.

Every day, I learn more about you. You love music, and you love to try to sing along. You are a talker and you are positively giddy when you are the center of attention.

You like to sit up and often you fall asleep just like that - sitting up!

When you get overtired, you get so mad that you cannot fall asleep. That is how I found myself at midnight last night, pacing the block outside our house with you in my arms. The cool air and the cover of stars calms you to sleep like nothing else.

One thing about Mr. M working out of town is that, for the most part, I am on my own with you, 24/7. This has created an incredible bond between the two of us and I know that usually all I have to do is scoop you up and instantly you'll stop crying. It's a deep trust we have and I feel like we understand each other in the deepest, most affirming way. Even though we are two people now, in many ways I still feel that one-ness with you. It is the best feeling.

Happy three months, my sweet girl! As I sing to you every day, You are everything and everything is you!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Weekend!


How was your Super Bowl weekend? We're not big on football around here and we don't own a our Super Bowl weekend was kinda light on football. ;-)

On Friday night, Mr. M brought Ginger home from Santa Barbara. The girls were so excited to be reunited!

On Saturday, we caught up on all errand-type stuff that went out the window when I was sick. When there is nothing to eat, we always say: Old Mother Hubbard...and by the weekend there was a serious case of Old Mother Hubbard in our cabinets. One trip to Trader Joe's fixed that. ;-)

Saturday night, Mr. M and I had a date night. We hired a babysitter! She's actually the nanny of one of my friends (another stay at home mom from Paprika's school), and I asked the nanny if she would be able to babysit for us one night a week...and she said YES! So, now we have a date night scheduled on the calendar for once/week (different nights depending on Mr. M's schedule).

For our first date night in this new date night era, we went to our favorite restaurant. We got there and it was packed, much more so than usual. Well, it turns out that it was the last night that the restaurant was going to be in business! It was such a shock. We were glad we got to go. We even lucked out and got our little circle booth in the back corner.

We brought Violet on our date (I am not ready to leave her with a sitter yet), and she was a delight. She was in her stroller for the first few minutes when we got the restaurant, but then she started to get a little upset. So, I picked her up and sat her upright on my lap, and about thirty seconds into dinner, she fell asleep. She was hunched over and snoring and stayed that way from appetizers through desserts. Ha!

In the past I have always been hesitant about getting a sitter because I don't want to spend the money, but it was really so nice to get out with just Mr. M (and Violet). Just a little adult conversation and a glass of wine can be so relaxing. I am so glad we're going to be doing this more often. It's such a treat and something I totally took for granted before we had kids.


On Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday), we took the kids to the La Brea Tar Pits, now called The Page Museum. It's called "the world's most famous excavation fossil site" and it's a great place for kids to learn about pre-historic mammals.


Paprika loved it and had the best time looking "in the fishbowl" - which is the glass surrounded work space they have for palentologists. Paprika spent a long time at that spot and decided now she wants to be a palentologist and an astronaut.

The Fishbowl:


Ginger spent the majority of the trip running from one end of the museum to the other, although the animatronic exhibit of the Sabertooth eating the Sloth caught her attention for about ten minutes, and we were able to rest from chasing her through the museum. ;-)

Violet was a peach and slept the whole time in the Baby Bjorn (and I made sure it was on right this time! I do not want to ever experience mastitis again). I think she had a great time dreaming about the La Brea Tar Pits. Haha.

After about an hour, we got a little worn out chasing the girls around the museum and decided to go outside to the (free admission) grounds and let them run. They had a hill there and the girls must have rolled down it 20 times. That wore them out a bit. We decided to get Chipotle for dinner as a little treat for the parents after a tiring day of was a great choice!

You would think the girls would have been exhausted after all that, but they still didn't fall asleep until after midnight. We have energizer bunnies for kids. ;-)

Now it's Monday and time to reset for a new week! Why am I already looking forward to this week's date night?! Haha!

Friday, February 3, 2012

What A Week!


Seriously, what a week! Mr. M had one day off, so he came home last Sunday for the day. I was feeling a little run-down, but we decided to go hiking and to the cove anyway. It was a beautiful day, and this place really is my little piece of Heaven on Earth, so I had to go.


The girls had a great time hiking, and then playing in the ocean.


Paprika found this little friend (a hermit crab) and played with him (gently) for a long while. When she pulled him out of the ocean, I thought...oh dear...what is that?! But he ended up being pretty cute.


I had Baby Violet in the Baby Bjorn, and she slept the whole time we were there (hike and all!) The problem was that one of the straps on the Baby Bjorn was in a funny place and was pressing down on my chest. It was really uncomfortable, but I didn't want to wake her up! Big mistake...turns out the strap on the Bjorn caused a plugged milk duct, and by the next morning, I had a raging case of mastitis with a temperature of 102.


But while we were at the beach, everything was beautiful and we were all together and I didn't yet know what was coming. It was lovely! :-)


I started to feel bad on Sunday night, but thought it was just me feeling tired from the hike and wearing the baby bjorn all day. Mr. M went back to Santa Barbara at 5am on Monday morning, and by the time I woke up, my fever was 103! Yikes! I thought I had the flu at first, but then quickly realized it was mastitis. Still, there is no time off when you're a mom, so that was tough.

I get paid in smiles, and there was no shortage of those, thankfully! :-)


Baby Violet's new way to fall asleep is like have to carry her seated in the crook of your arm, and eventually she just slumps over and goes to sleep. Any other method of getting her to sleep will fail and will result in hours of screaming. Just so you know! ;-) It cracks me up and I keep trying to get a good picture- but this is the best I could do on my own:


The rest of the week is a bit of a blur. Mr. M came down one night and got Ginger and took her up to Santa Barbara with him to give me a break (which left me taking care of just two kids and not three!) Grandma Pat watched Ginger during the day at her house, which was just wonderful and let me rest a little while Paprika was at school. I hear that Ginger is having the time of her life and is adoring all the one on one attention from Grandma and from Daddy when he gets home from work at night (he is staying with his mom while he works in Santa Barbara on the movie). But I miss my little Ginger bear sooooo much. I am counting down the hours until Ginger (and Mr. M) come home. Tonight! :-)

I started taking antibiotics on Monday or Tuesday (can't quite recall)- and as of now, my fever is normal (yay!) and I am feeling a lot better. I think I had about three days of having a fever of 101 to 103. It was awful. I had zero energy.

Last night I was feeling better, so I took Paprika and Violet to the mall. Paprika was sooooo excited! She counted out some money from her piggy bank and put five dollars in quarters and dimes in her purse. She dressed herself to the nines, including wearing sunglasses (even though it was dark out) and a big purse.

Several people stopped to tell her how great she looked, and one person even asked Paprika for her autograph. She was having a blast with it all!


Paprika kept saying things like, "I feel like such a grown up shopper. A serious shopper. But not a greedy girl shopper!" It was a hoot!

We went to a bunch of stores, but finally ended up at the Hallmark store. She picked out a Valentine's card to buy for Baby Violet.


She was so proud to buy it with her own money and to get to talk to the cashier on her own. And of course, now she wants to go back again! It was a real highlight to my week, just seeing how happy she was with something as simple as buying a greeting card.


Happy Weekend! TGIF!!!! :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Astronauts and Eggs!


Paprika and I have been having the cutest conversations lately. I love this 5 year age so very much. Just so I remember, here is one conversation we had the other day at bedtime.

Paprika: Mom, what is a teenager?

Me: It's a person between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. One day you will be a teenager.

Paprika: I don't want to be a teenager. I want to be an astronaut.

Me: You can be a teenager and an astronaut.

Paprika: (wide-eyed) No way! Wow. WOW! What do teenagers do?

Me: When you are a teenager, you can drive my car by yourself. To Trader Joe's. And buy me a loaf of bread. And pay for it. And bring it home. By yourself.

Paprika: (getting very excited) Oh wow. Really?!!!!

Me: You can go out with your friends. You can go to the movies when you are a teenager.

Paprika: I would just want to go to the movies with you, mom. When I am a teenager, can we see that movie about the chipmunks?

Me: Alvin and the Chipmunks? Yes, we can go see that...ten years from now. ;-)

Paprika: But, mom? I still want to be an astronaut first. After I'm an astronaut, then I will be a teenager.


Paprika has been trying to hatch this egg for almost two weeks now. She snuck it out of the fridge and made this cozy little nest for it. Her little nest also has another blanket and a pillow and is all wrapped up snug and tight.

She has been putting this nest under a lamp at all times, so that it stays warm. And of course, she sleeps next to the egg.

She keeps telling me that in 21 days (or is it 23 days?), a chick will hatch. No matter how often I tell her that no chicken will come from this egg, she still believes it will happen!

Paprika can't wait to have her baby chick and raise it into her very best friend, a chicken, of course.

Stay tuned on what happens next. I am not sure where to go with this, myself...