Friday, November 30, 2012
It's been a big week of changes around here! Mr. M ended DWTS on Tuesday night. Yay for hiatus! Here he is in the Delorian from Back To The Future - it was parked on the Lot, and he had to try it out:
I was joking with him about how rough he has it at work. Haha. He went to the Wrap Party for the show on Tuesday night, and I was going to go but I knew Violet would be a wreck the whole time I was gone. I was sad to miss the party, but there will be other parties...I keep telling myself it's par for the course during this season of life. :-)
Anyhoo, it's been great having him home. The first day he was off work, we treated the girls to Rubio's after Paprika got out of school. We got the food to go and went down to the beach in our little rolling restaurant (our van) and parked by the ocean. It was perfect!
I kept joking that with the kids strapped in their carseats, it was the most peaceful meal I'd enjoyed in awhile. You can just see the beach house from the old TV show 90210 off there on the left-hand side. I was about half-way through my burrito before I noticed it!
Yesterday was the last day of swimming for the girls for awhile. Ginger's teacher is moving to Oregon, so it was a bittersweet day for our family. I am so amazed at the progress Ginger made this Fall. Even though she was so reluctant to swim, she loves it now!
Paprika will start back on swim team at the end of January - but Ginger won't do lessons again until April! So, that gives me four months of keeping Ginger and Violet busy during Paprika's swim practice. Oh boy! ;-)
I will miss my daily walks with just Violet in the Ergo while the big girls are at swimming. By the time February rolls around, I am sure Violet will be chasing Ginger around the park. It'll be all chaos anyway, so I might as well just give in and enjoy it. Haha.
Posted by Erika at 6:20 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
On Saturday, we decorated our house for Christmas. The girls saw our neighbors hanging lights outside their house on Saturday morning, so we decided to break out the decorations. Mr. M was working, so I got the decorations out of the garage and the girls and I got to work making the house merry and bright.
I had planned on getting a "real" tree this year. A friend posted a Groupon for a real tree (delivered to the house for free, no less) - and I considered doing that because the price was right and I figured the girls would like it better.
But, when I told Paprika about it, she got so upset.
She said: I don't want to get a Christmas tree like that because it will die. You know what is great about our old tree? It will never ever die.
And that is true. Our little Charlie Brown fake tree that we got from the Clearance Christmas section of Target for $5 many years ago will never ever die - literally and figuratively!
And it's paid for. Take that, Groupon! ;-)
It took about eight minutes to set up the tree and hang all our decorations around the house. Easy peasy. I even still had the stocking hooks on the fireplace mantel, so all I had to do was arrange the stockings in order from oldest to youngest. ;-)
We decided we would wait on Mr. M to hang the lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree, since it's kind of a special thing that we wanted to all do together.
I didn't think it would be a late night at work for Mr. M, so I promised the girls they could wait until he got home from work to decorate the tree. Little did I know that Mr. M would be working until midnight at Dancing With The Stars. Oh boy!
But, I am true to my word, so we let the girls stay up until he got home. And then we all decorated the tree at midnight.
It was worth the wait.
Even though half of the lights didn't work, the other half did. We played Christmas music while we decorated, and everyone got to help.
When we were done, Ginger declared it: The Best Christmas Tree Ever! And she said that this is the BEST Christmas EVER!
The girls were singing and dancing around our "beautiful, spectacular, splendiferous tree" - and Paprika said: I am so glad this tree will never die and will live on forever and ever in our hearts as the most magical Christmas tree of all time.
Alrighty then. ;-)
Then, in the bright daylight of Sunday morning, Violet decided it was her mission to pull over the Christmas Tree.
Ginger and Paprika made it their mission to keep her away from the tree, but it didn't work. During breakfast, Violet lunged for a tree branch. Ginger tried to block her by putting herself between Violet and the Tree. The Tree fell down on top of Ginger, who fell on top of Violet.
All I can say is that it's a good thing that this tree is a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that weighs maybe six pounds fully decorated. No one was hurt. Not even the tree!
I kept thinking how if I'd gotten that "real" tree from Groupon, it probably would have weighed a lot and how much more serious the tree falling would have been. That endeared me to our little Charlie Brown tree even more.
But, to stop that from ever happening again, I moved an empty bookshelf in front of the tree to keep Violet from staging a repeat. It's not pretty, but it works.
I should say, it works mostly. Because this little troublemaker knows what she wants and she is so very determined:
She loves to crawl inside the bookcase and steal the ornaments off the tree. Even when we tell her no and put them back, she cannot be stopped. I would hang them higher, but she knows how to climb! So, I just put the ornaments I don't mind her playing with towards the bottom, and so far that seems to be working.
Well, until our backs are turned. Haha! ;-)
Posted by Erika at 5:14 PM
Monday, November 26, 2012
Our nine day Thanksgiving Break has come and gone. I remember when I first heard I'd have the whole week off with the girls, I wondered what we'd do with the time. I'm still not sure what all we did, but I do know that the time flew.
Today it was back to reality. Friendship group before school for Paprika. Then school. Then swimming for Ginger and Paprika. Then piano lessons. And that was just today!
One thing I do remember is that sometime last week (a few days, I think!) - it rained. Of course, the girls had not wanted to set foot in the backyard until it rained. And then once it started raining they wanted to be nowhere else.
So, with umbrellas and galoshes, they braved the stormy weather. What's more exciting than playing outside in the rain?! Nothing!
The big girls watched he movie Ratatouille one night and afterwards made a giant mess of my kitchen! They made up menus, got out the pots and pans, and had a great time pretending with the items in the pantry. I asked them why they didn't want to use the play kitchen - and they said, "The real thing is so much better!"
Of course it is. ;-)
Last Friday (day after Thanksgiving), Grandma Pat came down for the day. The girls were so excited about that, they were counting the minutes until her arrival. It was wonderful having her here. The girls even both sat still long enough to listen to her read a story. That's a rare feat!
The rest of the weekend after Thursday's Thanksgiving, Mr. M had to work (a lot). So, I was home with my little turkeys. I don't know why it always happens, but every year on the day after Thanksgiving, I run out of something small like Desitin and decide I need to run to Target to pick up a tube. Bawhahaha. Then I remember it's Black Friday and decide that the diaper cream can wait. ;-)
So, we were homebodies all weekend because I couldn't bear the thought of taking the girls to any sort of store on Thanksgiving weekend. Nope. Not happening. ;-)
But, then on Sunday, we were so low on food I figured we might starve to death if I didn't go, so I loaded the van and we all went to Trader Joe's. The girls got so dressed up for it, I think they thought we might never leave the house again. I took pictures, but they are still on my camera. :-)
Mr. M was working a lot, but when he was home, we made sure to make the most of it (and make sure it was well-documented!) Haha. Trips to the park are big in our family. They have the three Fs: Fresh air, Fun, and Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Violet is a little daredevil. She is so adventurous and such a little sweetheart. She's very confident and she thinks she's 4 years old. I wonder why?!
Paprika spent a lot of her vacation practicing piano. When she first started lessons in September, I had to always remind her to practice - but now all she wants to do is practice and compose music. She's started writing down her compositions/songs and they're actually pretty good! My favorite one is called Magician at the Beach. She always draws illustrations to accompany her work, which may be the best part of all. ;-)
It was really fun having her home all week with me. I do miss her so much when she's at school.
So, those are the highlights of our cozy Thanksgiving Break spent at home. Next stop, Christmas! :-)
Posted by Erika at 8:09 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2012
One of our favorite little traditions is our nightly dance parties in the living room with Pandora radio on full blast. Lately we've been playing the "Nutcracker" station - so I get a little holiday themed ballet recital on an almost nightly basis.
Now that Violet is walking, she's in the mix one hundred percent. She's got her dancing groove down. It won't be long before she'll be slipping on the ballet slippers. :-)
Paprika is the little ringleader and makes sure her younger sisters feel included:
Ginger loves to dance wildly and pretend with Paprika:
It gets a little rowdy sometimes, but what can I say...it's fun!
Most of the time these dance parties are just me and the girls - and I do this little late night thing to restore my sanity after a long day! It's a little treat before I motivate the girls to brush teeth and get ready for bedtime. But every so often, Mr. M gets home in time to see the show. And that truly is sweet! Ah, does it get any better than this? :-)
Posted by Erika at 2:52 PM
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Paprika surprised me by making this book one afternoon all on her own. I always have a lot of art supplies available for the girls - just paper, pens, markers, crayons, kid scissors, glue, glitter, etc. I know that it's a LITTLE dangerous to leave all that stuff out and free for the taking (haha) - and if you look at some of the walls in my house, I can prove it! ;-)
But I think the trade-off to having a little mess and occasional artwork on the walls is worth it because every day, all day the girls are creating. When I am devoting time to getting Violet to nap, they are creating. When I am cleaning up, they are creating. They are always creating, and to me, creating is learning and reflecting and a valuable activity unto itself.
Anyhoo- this is the book Paprika made for me for Thanksgiving. All on her own. I will cherish it always, and even if it gets destroyed by water, flame, or errant scissor...I now have a copy of it right here to remember it always. :-)
The cover says:
The Thankful Book
I Give Thanks for Mom:
Mom Gives Thanks for Us and Dad:
And Annemarie and Vivian.
Ginger Gives Thanks for Going to the Park:
Violet Gives Thanks for Mama Milkies.
Dad Gives Thanks for Tickling:
And The Dog.
And His Film.
Mom Gives Thanks for Being Healthy.
And for Auntie Ann:
We Give Thanks for Family:
Posted by Erika at 2:37 PM
Friday, November 23, 2012
I'm so grateful for a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Originally, I thought Mr. M would have to work and I'd be alone with the kids on Thanksgiving. So, my friend and neighbor, Paula, invited us to Thanksgiving at her house with her beautiful family. Mr. M ended up having the day off work, so we had the whole day together.
Paprika kept exclaiming: This is the Best Thanksgiving Ever!
The girls played in the pool all afternoon. Paula had warmed it up to 85 degrees. They pretended they were Pilgrims sailing to North America. Swimming outside in late November - does it get any better than that?!
Paula had lots of crafts for the girls, so as soon as they were done swimming, it was craft-time! These crafts kept the girls entertained for hours. They had so much fun and are still talking about it!
Paula outdid herself with an amazing feast. I am still full a day later. When I went to log my calories at My Fitness Pal last night, I put in 90,000 calories for the day. I don't think it was an exaggeration. Hahahaha. I really enjoyed myself and every incredible morsel. It was sooooooo good.
This was such a wonderful Thanksgiving. I often get a little down on Thanksgiving because my family is in Indiana, and it's just too far to travel with three teeny little ones. But yesterday, I was so happy and felt so included, and it was just so lovely. I'm going to remember this Thanksgiving for a very long time. It is the new yardstick by which all others will be measured. It was a glorious day and I am so grateful for it, although I wonder how on Earth did I ever deserve any of it? Grace.
Posted by Erika at 3:45 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Today Mr. M had the WHOLE day off work (that hasn't happened in a very long time)! He also has all day tomorrow off work, too. I had prepared myself for him having to work tomorrow, but as of now it looks like he has the day off. Can I get a woo-hoo! :-)
This morning, we took the girls to the park and then out to lunch at Rubio's. After that, I snuck off with some girlfriends to watch Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was such a guilty pleasure...I enjoyed every second of it!
After the movie, I made it home in time for the girls' swim lesson. Yay! Ginger had her private swim lesson - she is turning into a little fish. She swears she's half mermaid and never wants to get out of the water. ;-)
Paprika's swim team has been playing water polo all week, since a lot of kids are out for the holidays. It has been so cute seeing her in the water with her little helmet and learning a new sport...even though I think she would rather pretend to play mermaids in the water than shoot a ball through a goal.
Ginger at her swim lesson:
Speaking of swimming, I keep forgetting to post a photo of my little cover girl! For the Fall catalog, her picture was inside the brochure. For Winter, she is THE cover! She is so proud of it. I got a few copies...you know, just so I can say I knew her when. ;-)
Happy Thanksgiving!!! :-)
Posted by Erika at 10:11 PM