Saturday, March 31, 2012

Silver Lining!


Ginger has now been sick for over a week, and at least one person in our house has had some sort of bug for three weeks now. I took Ginger to the doctor on Tuesday. It had gotten to the point I was really starting to worry, and wanted to make sure that she was going to be okay. At that point, she wouldn't eat or drink anything and her fever was still pretty high even with Tylenol/Motrin. She had lost a few pounds, too...almost 10% of her body weight.

I always go to that "worst case scenario" in my head, and I know I shouldn't, but I just do. I told the pediatrician I was worried that Ginger was going to die. As in, really die. The pediatrician just laughed and told me that Ginger has a bad cold and an ear infection, nothing more. As I said, I get a little dramatic when my kids are sick. It's just easy to go there when bad things have happened (I'm referring to our twins), and you've been on the receiving end. You know?


The silver lining to all this sickness is the snuggles. Since Mr. M is working all the time now, and I am here with the kids on my own mostly, things have changed. Ginger has changed the most. She used to be the most confident girl, and only wanted to run away from me. She used to look me straight in the eyes and say, "Daddy is my favorite." Since Violet was born and Mr. M went back to work a lot, and with her being sick, she is my shadow and only wants me. Completely. Wherever I am, that's where Ginger wants to be.

She hasn't wanted to take naps for forever...literally her whole life. But, since she's been sick, she comes to wherever I am (usually nursing Violet), snuggles up next to me, and falls asleep. At nighttime, at naptime, it's the same. She's my little snuggler now, and while I miss her confident ways (I'm sure they'll be back), I am enjoying this time with my little snuggle buddy. She even lets me carry her everywhere, which just a few months ago was something she'd never consider!


Ginger has rounded a corner and is starting to feel better (thank goodness). I have been giving her antibiotics and tylenol, and it's something I really don't like doing because oh my word, she does not make it easy! I know other people have it worse, so I am not complaining. I just don't enjoy the task of giving my kids medicine because they fight it so hard and it makes me feel bad giving it to them... bad if I give it to them, bad if I don't! It's a no-win situation for me.

We are now on Spring Break, so hopefully we can get everyone feeling 100% and get out and do some fun things together this week. I know I am ready for a beach day, a trip to the Aquarium, or at least a fun picnic at the park! I know we have our backyard, which is shaping up to be better than any park, but it's still fun to get out in the big wide world and feel like a member of society. Haha.


And hopefully, my little Ginger Bear will be back to her old self shortly. I found this pic on my camera from a few weeks ago, and I thought to myself...oh, there she is! I can't wait to see her tearing apart the house again. Even if I miss out on my snuggles, I am looking forward to seeing my little girl's smiles again. :-)

Pin It

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Singing Dolphin!


Baby Violet is now 4 1/2 months old. She is very vocal, and sounds just like a dolphin when she talks to us. Lots of clicking and high pitched sounds, just like a dolphin. :-) She is very alert and active, and always wants to be interacting and doing something.

As long as you're paying attention to her, she's all smiles. But, walk away for a second, and she's not having it!


She loves her sisters so much, and really wants to do just whatever they are doing. She gets so frustrated that she can't crawl or sit up by herself even. She is always pushing herself to do more, and wants so badly to crawl and sit up on her own. She gets so mad when she can't!


I have never met a baby (or grown-up for that matter!) who loves music as much as Baby Violet does. She can be so mad and then she'll hear a song and just burst into laughter. She loves music, especially vocalists. Right now her favorite thing to listen to in the car is my Adele cd (21), she just melts when Someone Like You is playing. At home, she can always be calmed down with music, especially her mama's not so great singing voice. ;-)

We do a lot of singing in this house...when the kids are driving me bonkers (and even when they're not), I sing everything to them. They love it and it makes everything go so much more smoothly. So, I am glad Baby Violet digs singing! What can I say, she fits right in here!


Pin It

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wearing A Basket On My Head!


(Paprika reading books to Baby Violet)

This weekend was a toughie. Ginger was soooooo sick and miserable all weekend. She had a high fever and refused to take medicine. I ended up forcing her to take medicine because her fever was getting too high. I sweetened the deal by giving her a lollipop afterwards as a reward...which made her quicky forget all about the medicine. ;-)

Mr. Mustard is back working on Dancing With The Stars, so he was working all weekend. It poured rain the whole weekend, so we were stuck inside. Ginger was sick, so we couldn't even go to a museum or visit was very cozy in our little beach shack with three kids and a big doggie. You can only play Legos so much before you start to lose your mind.

So, both days when we all got to the point of cabin fever, I loaded the girls into the van and we drove around in the rain and listened to music. The big girls like Raffi, and baby Violet (and I) like Adele. So we rotated depending on Baby Violet's mood. Ha! ;-)

I let the girls wear their pajamas and we stopped at McDonald's drive-thru. Whenever we go to McDonald's, we always get the same order. Paprika gets a plain cheeseburger, Ginger gets a small fry and splits it with Paprika, and they both get ice water and one cookie. Well, Ginger would not share her french fries. She is always soooo good about sharing her fries, but she just would not do it this weekend. She was so sick, she wouldn't eat the fries either. She was so pathetic, clutching her little bag of fries for dear life. Paprika was so upset that Ginger wouldn't share her fries, I ended up going back through the drive-thru and getting Paprika her own fries...which she didn't end up eating either! Kids!

Anyway, I took the girls to the park to eat our pseudo-Happy Meals and we sat inside the van watching the rain pouring down around us, making little rivers and lakes. I sat in the back of the van with the girls and we had a mini-picnic in the rain. They thought that was the best thing ever. It was raining so hard that no one else was out, so it was like we had the whole world to ourselves.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have gotten almost no sleep because Ginger has been up all night every night. Paprika was a little sick about a week ago, and I took this picture of her. Paprika gets sick so rarely (knock on wood!) that I always take a picture of her when she's sick (because it's never that bad and usually just an excuse for her to lay on the couch and watch movies). Exhibit A:


Ginger is so miserable when she's sick (and of all of us, she gets sick the most). We've been mostly staying home, but I have had to do a few essential things, so this is how it gets done:


I am very thankful that I'm strong enough now to carry both girls. I've been doing this at Paprika's school drop off and pick up. One mom saw me and said, "Well, now you just need a basket on your head." Oh yes, that made me feel so fashion-forward. But, hey, whatever works! ;-)

Pin It

Jump, Jump!


It's no secret that we love to jump in this house. Between our mini indoor trampoline and our bounce house, these girls do a lot of jumping around. Paprika, in particular, is crazzzzzy about jumping. She could do it all day long...and she has! She's my litte Tigger.


Well, last week we got the most unexpected and nice gift from our nextdoor neighbors. One thing I love about our house is our amazing neighbors - they are just some of the best people ever. Seriously.

Anyway, they were re-landscaping their backyard and gave us their almost new huge trampoline...complete with a net and padding. Needless to say, it has been a huge hit!

Rule number one is that there always has to be an adult supervising when anyone is on it. And, since I'm the adult here 99% of the time, it means I am always out there when the girls are jumping. (I was really nervous about getting the trampoline, so I had to lay down some pretty firm ground rules to calm my nerves!)

But, since we've had it, I have even jumped on the trampoline for stretches here and there...and I have to say, the fun is a bit contagious. ;-) Nothing makes you feel more like a kid again than jumping on a trampoline. Ha!


Baby Violet is too little to jump, of course. She has fun laying in the grass and taking it all in...I bet she's wondering when she'll get to take part in the fun!


So, that's what's new and fun around here! It poured rain all weekend, so we didn't get to play on it...but it looks like the sun is coming out today, so we may be back in business!


Pin It

Saturday, March 24, 2012



We've been sick this past week...all of us except Mr. M and the dog (thank goodness!) Ginger has it the worst. Paprika is the carrier...I think she picked it up at a party, and brought it home and shared it with us. Fun! ;-)

So, now that we're knee deep in tissues, I like to remember back to happier times. I never got around to posting these photos from when my Aunt Laura was visiting last month and we went up to Santa Barbara and stayed with Grandma Pat.

I have always (for the past 12 years) wanted to see the butterflies when they come to Elwood Shores. I have never timed it quite right- I've always visited when it's too cold or too late (or early) in the season.

Well, this time we planned it perfectly! Do you see all the orange spots on those trees? Each little dot is a monarch butterfly. There were thousands. Isn't that amazing?


The girls were fascinated, of course. The butterflies would fall to the ground to mate...making new little butterflies. So, the girls got a little life science lesson on this field trip. ;-)


There were hundreds of butterflies all around us, and you had to be careful where you stepped. Some were a little preoccupied! Ha!


Isn't Santa Barbara beautiful?! While I have been taking care of sick kids (and being sick myself) this past week, I've transported my mind to this special spot. Bliss! :-)


Pin It

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Bunny Foo Foo!

First, thank you for all the sweet comments and emails about my last post. I am glad to know that quite a few of you understand where I am coming from. I know I do owe quite a few of you emails back...and I will get to it! It just really meant a lot that you reached out to me. It's nice hearing how others have the same struggles and that these things I build up in my head are just regular mommy worries that everyone has!


This post is going to be a little all over the place. I feel like we've been going a million miles a minute and no time to catch up. I am sure you can all relate! ;-)

One thing I wanted to mention is that we sent Daisy off to Doggie Bootcamp a few weeks back to learn some manners, because she was driving me (and the kids, especially!) insane. It was when Mr. M was working out of town on that movie in Santa Barbara, so the timing was great. Daisy is back now from Bootcamp, so I can give the full report.

I have to say that when she went to Bootcamp, I really didn't care if she ever came back. Like, at all. She was really annoying to me, and I don't like saying that, but it's true. She was kind of a behavior nightmare, and it was a lot for all of us to handle.

She was there three weeks, and I was so grateful for every day she was gone. Ha! She came back totally different than when she left home and is now a little lady. We are keeping up her training, and she is so much easier to live with. I have to say, I've kinda fallen in love with her, and I know the kids have, too. Now she is really like a member of the family!

(From my cellphone camera):


In other fun news, Paprika and Ginger really want to live on a farm. You would think that living nextdoor to the beach would be the end all be all for them (it is for me!)...and don't get me wrong, they love the beach. But, they also want to live on a farm. Paprika got this catalog in the mail for live chickens (you order the fertilized eggs or baby chicks and they send them to you) and it was like Christmas had come nine months early.


As strange as this may seem, she is so fond of the "magazine" (what she calls the catalog), that she's slept with it. She loves looking at all the different types of chickens. She really wants to get some chicks to hatch and keep as pets. But then, well, what would Daisy think about that?! I don't want to know!


Paprika is always dragging Ginger outside on adventures. On this particular night, they were taking apple seeds and planting them so they could have an apple orchard.


It's been two weeks since they planted, and all that's sprouting is clover...but we'll see. You never know! ;-)


Two year old Ginger loves to draw and paint. Paprika has always been so interested in art, and started drawing and painting practically from the time she was born. I didn't know if Ginger would be so into it, and we've never pushed it on her, but she loves to draw now more than anything. Wherever we go (even in the van!), she always has to have her paper and crayons with her. She is so proud of her work and hangs it up on the refrigerator, and says, "Mama, will you keep this picture forever and ever, please?"


They all kind of look like this...but I am saving them all, anyway! She has also started to draw faces, which is pretty great. I am going to have to photograph those for posterity, as well. She has a style all her own! And most importantly, she loves doing it.


Baby Violet is now four months old. Woah! We've started calling her Little Baby Foo-foo-ler. Kind of like Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest...


She is so alert and active all the time now. She really doesn't like sitting in her bouncy seat or her papasan chairs anymore. I think if she could take off running after her sisters, she would! We got out the exersaucer from the garage a few nights ago, and she loves that. She gets really frustrated because she wants to talk and crawl and walk and she can't yet. It's hard being a baby sometimes! But it's also pretty cute being a baby, too! ;-)


Pin It

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ego v. Heart


My mind has been all over the place lately. One day I want to go back to work. The next day I want to move to a farm, homeschool, and raise chickens. It is all rather predictable - whenever I have a baby, I start feeing this way. I always get the itch to move to a new house right around this time, too. Right when the baby starts crawling, we pick up and move.

We're renting our little beach house, and it is hard feeling unsettled. Like the landlords could raise the rent at any time (they just did). Or kick us out (could happen, too). There is a little bit of powerlessness that goes along with renting and I don't like feeling under anyone's thumb. On the other hand, there is freedom in renting, too. Should the rickety fence fall down...not my problem!


I have my own law practice very part-time. It's a transactional entertainment law practice. I have clients here and there, some famous...some not-yet famous. ;-) I actually really love the work but have been reluctant to take on more business because my number one priority at the moment is taking care of these kids. So when I do decide to take on a client, I end up squeezing in calls before the girls wake up or I stay up all night writing contracts into the very wee hours. I make it work, but it's a lot to juggle. I wonder about getting "help" - and increasing my practice or going to work officially at a law firm.

Part of me says that the kids are only little once, so stay home. Stay home...even when it seems like all we do is shuttle from activities, pack lunches, and change diapers. You know...the day-in, day-out routine of raising kids that is certainly not glamorous but yet is so fulfilling in a thousand intangible ways.

But then I see a dream-house for sale, and hear of friends closing fancy deals and dining out in fine restaurants on their lunch breaks (and I'm not talking McDonald's!)...and all of a sudden, I kind of long for that experience, too. The kind where I am financially contributing to our little family and the thought of buying a nice house in this incredibly expensive area of the country doesn't seem like such a distant pipe-dream.

It's probably a push-pull between my ego and my heart. My ego wants the big house and all the fancy stuff that goes with it. My ego wants someone else to take over once in awhile, when the house is a wreck and the kids are screaming and...when for the love, can I just go to the bathroom without an audience?

My heart wants to be here with my kids, even if it means we eat peanut butter sandwiches every week until infinity. Even if it means the only things I get accomplished in a day are keeping my kids fed and bathed...and sometimes not even bathed. When my work uniform is yoga pants and a t-shirt stained with spit-up.


I get frustrated with living in sweatpants and feeling like my biggest accomplishment of the day is getting Paprika to and from school on-time...when I used to accomplish so much pre-kids. If I could just take a shower and get my weight down, and get a handle on the mile-long to-do list in my head (like that basket of laundry that never seems to get put away), then I might feel less like somehow I'm failing everyone.

Not to say that I'm not happy. Because, I am happy! :-) I just guess that, like everyone, sometimes I second-guess if I am really doing everything I can in this life to live without regrets. If being home and making all the sacrifices we make for me to be home are really worth it.

And then sometimes it feels like this is the only choice I can make, really. Remember our sitter that we had coming once/week? Well, that isn't happening anymore. Last week (Saturday), we left for an hour and Ginger started screaming and would not stop. She did not want us to leave, and spent the whole time in the corner sobbing. Our sitter called us, and I couldn't quite understand her (she was speaking Spanish very rapidly) I raced home. The sitter was so shell-shocked that I don't think she wants to come back. Maybe we're not enough hours to make it worth her while, I don't know. But again, so even if I wanted to go back to realistic is that? I can't have Ginger sobbing in the corner every day. I know she would get over it, but it still breaks my heart.


And bottom line, I would miss these girls too much. I understand that not everyone has the luxury to ponder working vs. staying home. I get that it's a pretty great problem to have. I just sometimes wonder the other what if side of things, and if me being home is really as beneficial to my kids and our family as I make it out to be. Could they be just as happy (or happier?) with a nanny, living in a big fancy house with me not being around so much?

I posed the question last night to Paprika and she started crying and said, "I don't want you to go to work! Let's get a big fancy house and you can stay home in it!" Clearly, she doesn't believe in compromise. ;-)


I go back and forth with these thoughts on a, hourly basis. But then I remember something like this day, when Ginger ate chocolate ice cream all by herself with a big spoon and I think, "what if I'd missed that?" Moments like these are etched forever in my memory, and they are more precious than gold.


Pin It

Monday, March 12, 2012

Everything Changes!


Mr. M finished working up in Santa Barbara this weekend. He's been gone since the beginning of January, so it's a big deal having him home.

I am pretty proud of myself for holding down the fort these past two and a half months. With the help of some visitors sprinkled in (Grandma Pat, Aunt Laura, and my Mom), it was mostly manageable. ;-)


The hardest part was the beginning, for sure. But now we have our routine, and I have figured out how to handle three kids (and a puppy) on my own, and while it's not perfect, it's life.


The biggest thing I had to change while Mr. M was gone was the night-night routine. Before, with two people at home, one of us would put Ginger and Paprika to bed in their room while the other took care of baby Violet.

With Daddy being gone, that brought up a whole new set of issues (like how much they missed him), so things changed. Gradually, the routine became that I would put Paprika to bed in her room, read her a few books, sing to her, and and let her read books and draw in bed until she got sleepy. Then she would turn out the lights on her own when she got tired.

We would write little notes to eachother on the DoodlePro...she would write one to me right before she fell asleep.


And then I would write one to her after she fell asleep that she could look at in the morning...


Meanwhile, Ginger would crawl in bed with me and fall asleep there with me and baby Violet. It wasn't perfect, of course (we ended up with a few very late nights)...but it was working.

Now, that era is in the past because Mr. M is home and we can go back to our old routine. The problem is that none of the kids really want to go back to that old routine. Haha! So, it's a work in progress. Nothing is certain but change. We'll figure it out...of course by then it will all change again! ;-) I have to say, I will miss nights like this one. Moments like these, I wish these babies would stay little forever:


Pin It