Friday, August 30, 2013

Week In Review!


I can't believe it's already Friday!  We've had a very full, busy week.  Over the weekend, we went to The Wilderness Park.  I tried to get Mr. M to take a cute picture of me with the girls - and well, he tried!  But he can only do so much!  Ha! The top picture is the best one...

This one is good but Ginger's not looking at all:


In this one, everyone is happy...well, except for Violet!


I love this picture of Ginger and Paprika.  They truly are the best of friends!


Violet explored the whole park, of course!  In her swimsuit, no less!  (She insisted on wearing it - it's Paprika's size 6T!)


Paprika and Ginger's favorite log - they call this The Iguana:


 Here is a picture from WAY back when (September 2010 - almost three years ago!) of the two of them on the same log:


And here they are three years later:


Ginger hanging out with the ducks:


The girls had a great time watching this birdie...a Great Blue Heron?:


I love letting them explore:


The rest of our week has been busy, as well!  On Monday, Devon came over with her girls. Our house was full and loud for about 9 hours (we don't live as close as we used to, so Devon stayed late to avoid rush hour!)

I love that after not seeing each other for months, the girls pick right back up where they left off.  Even Violet was in the mix, and was so happy to just tag along with the big girls.  It was a magical day - it always is when we get together with Devon!

The girls made lemonade from our lemon tree in the backyard.  They fixed Devon and me lunch and served it to us on fancy plates.  They tried to make a hot air balloon in the backyard.  I was worried that because we have so few toys now that the girls would be bored - but OH MY, they were not!  Their imaginations were on overdrive all day long.  Love it!


This week was also the beginning of the public school year here - on Wednesday, Paprika would have been in 1st grade! Intstead, she happily spent the day finishing up her Third Grade math curriculum, reading lots of books, playing outside, and well...not waking up at the crack of dawn! Ha!

Ginger has been working hard on HER homeschooling, too! I am not pushing her AT ALL - instead, I often find her looking over Paprika's shoulder as she is reading, doing math, writing, etc. It seems like it all rubs off on Ginger.

Artist hard at work... ;)

Yesterday, I found Ginger working on some Algebra apps on the iPad and getting ALL the answers right. She amazes me - her strong-will and her smarts are going to take her far, I just know it!


Paprika had her end of the summer Swim Team Party tonight!  Mr. M took her - and she got her first trophy (for participation).  It was really sweet!  I stayed home with Violet and Ginger - and Paprika got to have her one on one time with her daddy.  She felt so special!

We spent a good chunk of today at the park.  After Paprika finished her lessons early, we had the whole afternoon free.  That is one of the things I love about Homeschooling!  This is Ginger during our Hide and Go Seek game today:


Violet was my little helper in Hide and Go Seek.  Violet LOVES being at the park - and asks to go all the time!  She is talking so much more now, and I love it!  I can actually understand much of what she says - and it's so helpful to me!

Her favorite thing right now is Jessie from Toy Story.  Everything is Jessie, Jessie, Jessie!  She has a Toy Story Sippy Cup - and that's her favorite thing to carry.  She has Jessie and Woody dolls - and they hardly ever leave her side.  I even went out to the garage into the bags of stored toys (I still haven't brought them inside!) - and I unearthed Buzz Lightyear!  She was over the moon with joy about seeing Buzz!

(But I soon regretted that decision because Buzz Lightyear is one obnoxious toy! Ha!)

Violet also does this with her hands when you say:  Smile!  (like for a picture).  She takes her fingers and pulls out her cheeks.  It's the cutest thing!  She is such a handful lately - and into everything - and well, I just love her so much that even though she's a ton of work for me, I do wish I could freeze time with her!

Love her to the moon and back!


The End!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



A few highlights from last week:

First - I got my hair 'did for the first time in...oh, about 18 months.  It was TIME!

And, to be punny...I got highlights - it was a highlight of my weekend, for sure.  ;-)


Most of these next pictures were taken while Paprika was at swim team practice.  Every day, pretty much no matter what, the two littlest get an hour to RUN at the park.  They love it!



She likes to boogie...



This next picture was taken during a game of hide and go seek last week when we spent most of the day at the park (Paprika included).  The girls met three other little girls and they had a great time playing.  Baby Violet always finds the best  hiding spots! ;-)

Hide and go seek

Ginger rolling down the grassy hill - one of her favorite things to do!


Violet (age 21 months) made friends with this little girl who was almost 4.  Can you tell they are the same height?

I think Violet even has a few pounds on her.  That's my 99th percentile for height and weight baby.  We call her "Big Baby" around here - you know, like in Toy Story 3?


Feeding the ducks while Paprika is at swim team practice:

Best friends...

Slide racing:

Slide racing...

Smelling the flowers:

Flower child...

The End!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life and Pirate Ships...

Pirate ship in watercolor by Annika, age 7 :-)

Paprika just made this painting (above) an hour or so ago - using watercolors.  It's a pirate ship!  Do you remember the first pirate ship she painted?  I do!  ;-)

But, still my favorite is:  Rain on the Grass and The Universe!

She drew this lion a week or so ago in oil pastels:

Oil pastel lion portrait by Annika (age 6)

Hard at work "training" Daisy. #bestdogever

If she were going back to public school, she would be starting a week from today!  But as it is, we've been homeschooling since July 1st, and we're finding our rhythm.  A few days ago, I sent the letter to the school district and to Paprika's old school informing them that we are homeschooling - and I was freaked out!  Mr. M said it was like cutting the cord - haha - and now here we are.  It's been great - truly!

The above picture is Paprika "training" Daisy yesterday.  Paprika "trained" her for about an hour - and of course, Daisy already knew everything Paprika was teaching her - but Daisy played along.  She is the best dog - my word.  She is patient, loyal, loving, gentle, sweet, and incredibly smart.

But even though Daisy is all those wonderful things, she still annoys me because I have realized:  I am not a dog person!  

Yes, it's taken me this long to figure out this little fact - and I am sorry because I wish I were a dog person.  But, I'm not.  I like cats.  Too late!

But if you were to have a dog, Daisy is just about as perfect as one could be.  So, I should stop holding her "dog-ness" against her.  There's nothing she can do to make herself into a cat!

Swim time!

We've been making it to swim practice every day!  I have lined up activities for Paprika for the Fall, and she'll be doing swim team 4x/week, piano lessons 1x/week, and theatre 1x/week.  I was worried that was too much, but we'll see how it goes.  I don't want to overschedule but that the same time, I want to provide her with opportunities to do things and meet people.  It's a balance, I guess...

Ginger still wants nothing to do with any outside activities.  She just loves being wild and free and playing around the house and being with her family.  She is as loyal as they come!


I need to start photographing Ginger's artwork because it is incredible - she has a style all her own!  She rips up half of what she makes because she gets frustrated when it's not the exact way she wants it to look.  But on the rare time when it does meet her standards, I hang it up proudly around the house.  Our house is filled with Ginger's artwork.  She loves to draw people more than anything else.



Violet has been sleeping terribly - TERRIBLY!  So, I need to post these photos to remind myself that she DOES sleep sometimes.  ;-)

Hello, huge hands!

It's mostly a night-sleeping problem.  I am night weaning her because I only getting about 45 minutes sleep/night (because I am her pacifier!) - and well, I am ready to get some sleep.  As soon as I fall asleep at night, she wakes me up wanting to nurse.  Then I can't get back to sleep, and the minute I do, she wakes me up again to nurse.  It would be like someone tapping on your shoulder every 15 minutes when you're trying to sleep and then screaming at the top of their lungs if you don't let them keep tapping!  ;-)

Good times!

But she is so beautiful and sweet - I just love her.  Even if I never sleep again.  Haha.


The End.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pictures Lie!


Sometimes pictures just don't tell the whole story.  Sometimes photos lie just a little bit - because you never really take photos of the parts of your day you don't want to remember, right?  (Or maybe that's just me).

On this day (Monday) - we went to the park, which is the part of the day I'd like to remember most.  It's also pretty much the only time during the day I took any photos.

But here's what also happened:

Mr. M worked until 2 am - so I was flying solo with the girls from morning until the wee hours.

After the park, Paprika had her piano lesson - and Ginger did not want to get IN the van to go, and then did not want to get OUT of the van once we were there.  She also didn't want to wear clothes. ;-)  Violet, on the other hand, wanted to run up and down the halls and scream at the top of her lungs.

At dinner, Violet threw a glass across the kitchen and it shattered into a thousand pieces.  After I cleaned up the glass, but before I mopped up the water, she came running back into the kitchen and slipped.

Later that night, I took Daisy outside to go to the bathroom.  Daisy ran to the back of the yard, and just then I saw two beady little eyes staring back at me.  A skunk!  The skunk sprayed Daisy right in the face, and Daisy STILL wanted to be friends with the skunk.  So, I brought Daisy in the house to keep her away from the skunk.

As I walked inside the house - barefoot - I stepped on a piece of glass that I had missed cleaning up earlier that night.  I had a riled up skunky dog, and now a piece of glass in my foot.  I got most of the glass out, but there are still a few small pieces I'm feeling days later every step I take.

So, now Daisy was inside - but she was stinking up the whole house.  I read online to leave her outside overnight - so I tried that but she started barking (and I love my neighbors and would not want to wake them up!)  So, inside she came.  She sleeps in my bedroom in a crate next to my bed, so yep- she slept right next to me with a face full of skunk smell. I was too tired to bathe her in tomato juice, as the website also suggested.

By that time, it was about 1am, and Ginger came downstairs to sleep in my bed.  But then she smelled the skunk smell and started crying because it smelled so awful!  It took an hour to get her back to sleep.

Mr. M got home a little after 2am - I waited up for him...and well, I was awake anyway.  When I finally got to bed around 2:40, guess who came waddling right downstairs?   Miss Violet, of course!

So, that meant Mr. M went upstairs to get some good quality rest, and I went back to bed with the skunky dog, Ginger and a very awake Violet.  Good times!  ;-)

Here are some other pictures from the day:

Paprika's math lesson - she will only write her numbers fancy with swirls, so you can guess how long it takes her to do a math problem.  ;-)

Even math becomes art...

After we did the rest of Paprika's homeschool lessons, I let her try out Scratch (a computer programming language).  She LOVED working on Scratch and couldn't pry herself away from the computer.  After a few hours, she knows more about computer programming than I probably ever will.  Ha!

(This is a picture of her playing Minecraft last week - I put it here because it is computer-ish):


Paprika did NOT want to leave after she got going on Scratch, but I was going out of my mind keeping Violet out of trouble in the house, and I knew we all needed some fresh air.  Park trip sounded like a good idea.

I finally got everyone out of the house to go to the park  (two diaper changes, four wardrobe changes, and three snacks later) - and then the park we decided to go to was closed down for the day.  So, we went to a different park - and  it took us FOREVER to find parking.

While I was putting the little girls' shoes on, I let Paprika go ahead into the park by herself (it is small and fenced) - and I told her I'd be right there.

90 seconds later, I went into the park, and Paprika had disappeared!


I could not find her anywhere.  My heart fell into my stomach - and then...then...about a minute later (which seemed like an eternity), I found her face down in the sand, crying.

She sobbed:   Why, why, why had I made her leave her computer when she was finally getting to learn Scratch computer programming?   She had waited her whole life for this moment and now I had made her stop?!

So, for 95% of the time we were at the park, she laid on the ground (face down) and talked to herself about the programs she was going to execute once we got home...

Violet had a great time doing scary feats - like climbing everything she wasn't supposed to, and in general terrifying me.  I spent a lot of time holding her while she attempted to do Cirque du Soleil moves on the playground.


Ginger had a great time at the park.  This is her favorite park - she would probably pitch a tent and live here if she could...


And then...just a few more pics from the day (parts I want to remember):

Violet blowing kisses at the park:

Kiss! :-)

Ginger going down the slide five billion times and getting so excited to "zap" me with static electricity when she got to the bottom:


Skunky Daisy being the coolest dog ever - and even though she STILL smells like a skunk, she really doesn't care as long as she's near us:

Guess who tried to make friends with a skunk and got sprayed in the face?

Paprika getting her face out of the sand and playing with her sisters:


My sweet Ginger falling asleep in my bed - I know someday she'll sleep in her own bed - so for now, I am  grateful I get to be next to her when she's in dreamland.  Does it get any sweeter?!


So, that was JUST Monday!  ;-)  People sometimes wonder what the heck I do all day - and there's your answer!

If I have any free time, I will be bathing my dog with tomato juice and picking glass out of my foot with a set of tweezers.

The End.