Sunday, May 19, 2013
It feels like summer. The girls have been playing outside until dark like it's summer. But Paprika still has over a month of school left before summer break - can you believe that?! I am so ready to have her home!
Anyhoo- here are the girls with their "swimming pool" - hahahaha! They want a pool SO BADLY - and the kiddie pool from last summer popped. They were desperate for a pool and made a makeshift one out of this bucket, and then proceeded to have the BEST time in it.
I kinda think we look like Okies in this next picture - but oh well. We're Okies who are having an A-OK good time. Hardee-har-har.
The girls set up this tent in the backyard. They play in it for hours, and have their pretend "slumber parties" inside.
I often find them in there whispering to each other and telling stories:
We have lots of "Mystery Plants" that pop up in the summer. The only plant that doesn't seem to pop up is GRASS! Haha!
But anyhoo- we were very surprised to find these poppies growing wild in our backyard! That made Paprika and Ginger pretend they were Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz and fall asleep beneath them. :-)
Paprika never met a creature she didn't love. Here she is with her new best friend - a Roly Poly she named "Hannah" - who now resides in our home with us!
Paprika and Hannah have had so much to talk about! ;-)
For Show and Share at school, Paprika had to share something that makes her special (something she likes about herself). This is what she wrote:
Here is a recent drawing by Ginger (age 3). Ginger loves to draw, and I am always finding her drawings around the house - most of which are drawings of our family. They are all so sweet! This one is me and Ginger:
Ginger's other themes are landscapes! She loves to draw flowers and scenes of nature. Here is a little Doodle Pad sketch she did recently:
The butterflies hatched! Paprika and Ginger had to teach Toddler Violet all about butterflies. They were all so excited!
Here are a few photos of the butterflies right after they hatched:
Someone has been keeping me QUITE busy now that she's into anything, everything, and never stops moving! ;-) I do love it - I do...I spend my days chasing after her, picking up after her, and keeping her out of trouble. (Easier said than done). But I truly would not have it any other way - she is such an incredible gift. An exhausting gift, too! ;-) Love her to the moon and back!
Posted by Erika at 5:43 PM
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The girls have been asking for one of these "teeny playhouses" for awhile. I bought them one for Christmas a few years back, and they loved it (while it lasted!) :-)
Little did they know that the houses had been such a steal, I had bought two way back when and I was saving this one for a special occasion...just, you know, the odd Saturday in May two years later. Haha!
Seriously, though - I wish I'd bought ten because they store so easily and they were such a deal - I think I paid $5 each for them!
So, I surprised the girls by setting it up for them in the living room. They were so excited And it kept them entertained for hours. Seriously, hours.
After they had colored the outside of the house, they went inside and drew furniture on all the walls! Then they happily played together and set up house inside. I was like: Instant Babysitter! Ha!
I let them have at it and draw/color however they liked. I came back and found this note waiting for me on the door. :-)
You can tell they took their house decorating skills very seriously. ;-)
It was so much fun! Who knew some simple cardboard could provide so many hours of joy? It truly is the little things!
Posted by Erika at 4:27 PM
Monday, May 13, 2013
I had a great Mother's Day this year - I had been dreading it a little (doesn't everyone?) - but I did a few things differently this year that made it really great.
The first thing I did was deactivate my Facebook account on Friday. Haha! It's funny because I noticed I'd be having a great day, and then I'd go on Facebook and something would set me off - or I'd get distracted and feel pulled away from the girls while I was reading this or that. I understand there is a place for Facebook, and it can be a wonderful thing.
But I knew Mr. M would be working this weekend, and the last thing I wanted to read about on Facebook was all the husbands doting on their wives. Or the afternoons spent with their incredible mothers (my mom lives 2000+ miles away).
Don't get me wrong - I am happy for them - and genuinely want the best for other people. Sometimes when I'm on Facebook, I start comparing my real life to the highlight reel of others. As we say in our family: I become a Comparing Bear (everything in our house ends in bear: share bear, comparing bear, etc.). It is true what they say - comparison is the thief of joy. ;-)
And, of course, on Mother's Day, I always think about V and A especially - and then when no one mentions them, I get sad...because, you know, they're 2/5 of my children. ;-)
Anyhoo- so I deactivated Facebook. It was a GREAT idea! I felt so free!
Then, I set super low expectations for the day. I just wanted to be with my little trio - that's it - and they did so much to spoil me, it was awesome.
Paprika gave me all the stuff she made at school Here is the inside of the card she made for me. She got my age off by a year (I'm 35) - but she' got close!
Little flower she brought home from school:
The best part was that the girls (Paprika and Ginger) had spent WEEKS making all kinds of gifts for me out of things from around the house. Cards, love notes, decorations. They had been hiding them in their closet, and when I woke up on Mother's Day, they had decorated the whole house by themselves.
They even made a Pinata out of a Trader Joe's bag that they decorated by themselves. Inside instead of candy, they had filled it with love notes to me about all the things they love about having me as a mom. It was so incredible, I might have cried a little. ;-)
Here is the heart banner Paprika made. It says: Surprise!
Mr. M surprised me with some flowers - the girls helped him pick them out the night before, and Ginger might have spilled the beans about them...but I acted surprised! Haha.
Mr. M made me breakfast before he left for work! Gluten-free French Toast with Strawberries and Powdered Sugar...and real Maple Syrup. If food is a love language, this was definitely speaking directly to me!
The flowers and the breakfast were a big surprise because all I had asked for from Mr. M for Mother's Day was for him to give away the trampoline in the backyard and fill in the holes in the backyard with dirt. The trampoline had seen better days (Daisy ate all the padding off it and it was scaring me something fierce having it back there) - and the girls had been digging a "basement" and there were some very deep and stealthy holes dotting the backyard.
I began to dread the girls asking to go into the backyard because it didn't feel safe!
On Thursday when Mr. M was home from work, my Mother's Day wishes came true! Mr. M listed the trampoline on Craigslist for free- and it was gone in 30 minutes. Then we picked up some dirt from Home Depot and spent an hour together as a family filling in the dirt holes. It was pretty fun!
Here is a cellphone pic of the yard after the trampoline was gone. Violet had smeared my phone with cream cheese, which is why this picture has that hazy/dreamlike quality. Haha.
So, back to Sunday - "Official Mother's Day - we had been invited to a party at Paula's house. I made the mistake of telling Paprika about it the night before, and she was so excited she could not sleep. She woke me up at 4am: Is it time to go to Paula's party yet?!
Then she asked every fifteen minutes until 2pm!
Needless to say, we were the very first guests to arrive! Haha!
You can see the girls made themselves right at home!
They had so much fun splashing and swimming, and swam for two hours straight! They would have stayed in all day and all night if they could have!
So, that was my Mother's Day this year! I am so grateful for the gift of all five of my girls - I can hardly put it into words. They are, and always will be, the best Mother's Day gifts of all.
Posted by Erika at 5:10 PM
Friday, May 10, 2013
Toddler Violet turned 18 months old yesterday. I can hardly believe she is a year and a half old. She is into everything.
She tears the house apart with a mischievous grin, and she is so happy all the time (well, until you say "No" to her - Haha!)
She is such a little explorer, and she loves to see how everything works, what it's made of, if she can break it...and if she can eat it! Ha!
I had to hide Daisy's food because she was getting into it all day long, every single day...and it was becoming a daily mini-meal for her. Yech!
She loves to try all new things - including food - and she is thriving. ;-) She weighs 29 pounds, which is only 3 pounds less than Ginger (who will be four next month!)
They can wear the same clothes and I forsee a lot of wardrobe sharing in their future. They love each other so much!
Violet loves books and wants to be read to all the time. She walks around the house holding her books, and she will run up to you and MAKE you read her a book! Haha. She is quite irresistible that way...
She does not like "screens" (computer, iPad, etc.) If you put a program on for her, she might watch it for five seconds...probably less!
But one thing she DOES love is Barbie. Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie. There is one movie (Barbie and the Diamond Castle) that she loves. She dances to it, sings to it, and just loves it. Anything Barbie is Violet's favorite thing.
She also loves music - and loves to dance. If you turn on music, she will jump down from wherever she is and start dancing. Mr. M thinks Violet will be a scientist (because of how she methodically has to take everything apart) - and I think she will be a musician. She loves music SO very much.
Or maybe she will be a musical scientist. Haha!
She still likes sleeping right next to me, always touching me. Still nursing like a newborn. Still as sweet as she can be. Still so very very very loved!
Posted by Erika at 6:26 PM
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The girls are always drawing, always creating, and always making ART. I always make sure to leave plenty of paper and crayons, colored pencils, pens, scissors, glue, and markers out for them to find.
I often get surprised by finding their "art" all over the house - sometimes in the most unlikely places. Haha. It's also how we sometimes end up with "decorated" walls and furniture. Oh well. It's a trade-off I'm willing to make in the name of creativity!
I found the above drawing this morning on the cover of Paprika's "portfolio" - it's basically a three ring binder where she puts her favorite drawings. Blue is Paprika's favorite color and pink is Ginger's favorite color - so you can tell them apart based on their hair color in the drawing. Haha!
I also found this poem Paprika wrote awhile ago. It goes like this:
You make wind
go go go and
you make excellent
food factories, too.
That poem is so Paprika. I just love it!
We have a lovely family friend who sends Ginger her daughter's hand-me-downs (I feel weird even calling them hand-me-downs because they're all so beautiful).
Anyhoo- whenever Ginger receives a package, she is so happy and feels so special. She's so appreciative to have something special just for her. One of Ginger's love languages is clothes. Haha. So anyway - this picture below is Ginger moments after receiving a new frock in the mail. :-) Happy Girl!
It's obviously not just about the clothes. I've been really working on making Ginger feel that extra love and to affirm her in her own, unique way - so love tokens and symbols of affection go a long way with her. It makes me happy to see her happy! :-)
In other news, it's Butterfly Season in our house right now! We sent away for caterpillars and got ten fat ones back in the mail.
Here they are last week in Paprika's office. They had to live in the office because the door locks and I had to keep them safe from Toddler Violet! (Yes, Toddler Violet!)
They have each since formed their chyrsallis, and now are emerging as butterflies! Yee-haw! The girls are very excited, but I am not sure Ginger will ever be able to let them go. Eeek!
Speaking of Ginger - here she is with her Best Doggie. They kinda love each other... ;-)
Family portrait by Paprika (hanging on the fridge, of course!):
And the COUNTDOWN is on to the Season Finale of Dancing With The Stars. I can't wait to see this guy more often - although I am grateful for a job he loves and the many hours of work he does to pay dem bills...
I have to say that the sweetest things in the world are moments like this one...which only happen when he's home! Ha!
Posted by Erika at 5:15 PM