Jelly Belly is 19 Months!

September 18, 2016 by

  Miss Ellie Belly is 19 months old now!  She’s at such a fun age (I really mean that).  Everything in her life is BIG – it’s either huge smiles or dramatic tears.  No in-between. 🙂 Thankfully, she is a very happy, sweet baby 99% of the time.  One of her favorite things to do is ride around the neighborhood in her car.  I usually walk with her for at least an hour/day.  Not so much now because of my broken toe.  But that’s slowly getting better and she loves riding in the car so much, I’ll deal with the pain of walking! Ellie is obsessed with wearing this helmet when she rides in the car.  It’s because she watches her sisters riding bikes, and she wants to be just like them!     She...

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Oh No, My Toe!

September 14, 2016 by

  Now that Bachelor In Paradise is finished for the season, Mr. M has moved on to working at Dancing With The Stars.  The schedule for DWTS is different (bc it’s a live show) – so Mr. M had his day off this week (his “weekend”) on Tuesday. Violet really wanted to go to Mulligan’s Family Fun Center for the day.  We hadn’t been in months, and all the girls really love it there.  They have go-karts, mini-golf, paddle boats…that kind of stuff. The place is always packed on the weekends.  But…because we homeschool, we don’t have to go on the weekends.  We can go on a random Tuesday afternoon, when everyone else is at school!  Yay!  This is what the parking lot looked like today:     I think the other cars in the...

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Well, Hello September!

September 8, 2016 by

  In case you’re wondering, I didn’t fall off the face of the planet. 🙂 Two weeks is the longest I’ve gone without blogging ever (or at least since I started this blog 10+ years ago!) I don’t want to let that happen again. We do SO MANY things that now I feel like I have to play catch-up.  So this week, I’ll probably do a few more blog posts than usual. Get ready.  Ha!     Today was MY BIRTHDAY! Yay! I really love my birthdays and getting older. It’s just wonderful all the wisdom and self-confidence that comes with age. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m excited about the years to come (if I’m lucky enough to get years to come). Life is truly a wonderful gift – and I’m so...

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Fiddler on the Loose!

August 23, 2016 by

  What a fun week we’re having and it’s just starting.  🙂   On Monday, Paprika’s birthday present arrived – a violin! She’s been asking for at least two years (probably more like five years…eek!) to play the violin.  I always kind of shrugged it off because she already takes piano lessons, and I didn’t think she was really serious about playing the violin.  Well…she finally wore me down!  Haha. I spent the last month staying up all night researching violins – so I know a lot more about them than I used to know. I wanted to get the trifecta: High Quality Low Price ???  I guess there are only two things I wanted in my trifecta.  Haha.   After I narrowed it down to a few options, I let Paprika choose which violin she wanted.  She...

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Back To School?!

August 19, 2016 by

  It’s Back To School week! I’ve seen so many adorable photos this week from parents sending their children back to (traditional) school. I guess that signals the start of a new school year for us, too! We had a great “end of summer” with Paprika’s birthday celebration. (I realize I rambled on way too long last night in my post about Mermaid Linden. I went back and read it after I got some sleep and realized it was verrry wordy. I was just so exuberant – I’m sure you could tell! Ha!)     Anyway, it’s Back To School time now. It’s that time of year when regular school families are forced to buy lots of school supplies from ridiculously long lists (I know, because I had to do that when Paprika went to kindergarten)....

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The Most Mer-Mazing Birthday!

August 18, 2016 by

Paprika turned TEN on Tuesday! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, (or just started reading this blog), you know that Paprika adores the very special, one and only, Mermaid Linden! Paprika swam with Mermaid Linden last year on her birthday, which was a magical dream come true for her! Paprika on the day she met Mermaid Linden in person last year.  Paprika had been watching her YouTube videos forever and she was already a huge fan: >   We’ve been fortunate enough to see Mermaid Linden a few times since then – once at the LA County Fair, and another time at the Make-A-Wish charity walk.  But, you know, it’s just never enough time! At the Make-A-Wish walk, April 2016:     At the LA County Fair, September 2015:     Whenever we see Mermaid Linden,...

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A Decade Tomorrow!

August 15, 2016 by

  (Photo: Me and Paprika on a “date” last week at Islands) Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Paprika’s 10th Birthday! Can you believe it?! I started this blog when I was 17 weeks pregnant with her. Wowza! She was the size of an orange when I first started writing here and now she’s this big.  Geez!:     I don’t know about you, but we’ve been watching The Olympics non-stop!  This is the first time in many years that we’ve owned a television.  During the 2012 Summer Games, we tried to watch the events online using our computer, and it just wasn’t the same.  There’s nothing like relaxing on the couch, all together, watching synchronized swimming (Paprika’s favorite!) – or gymnastics (Ginger and Violet’s favorite)! 🙂 I am going to be sad when the Olympics are over,...

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Big Day (Part 2)

August 11, 2016 by

  I’m back! I know I said I would write Part 2 of my post yesterday, but I got caught up because TODAY, my 4th Book in the LOL Detective Club Series, The Mozart Mystery was published on Amazon in Paperback and Ebook! Here’s the link in case you want to check it out.  The Ebook will be 99 cents for the first week – and then the price will go up to normal. So, get it while it’s cheap.  🙂 Ha!     Here is Part 1 of my “Big Day” Note I wrote to myself on my phone on Saturday. This is Part 2: We do this dance together, growing up.  Ebb and flow.  One moment a child.  Then, trying on the cloak of independence.  Then needing my lap for comfort.  Around...

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Big Day (Part 1)

August 9, 2016 by

For tonight’s post, I’m going to jot down what I wrote on my phone’s Notepad feature on Saturday. Do you do that on your phone – write little notes to yourself? I have hundreds (thousands?) of little phone scribbles: ideas, dreams, observations. It’s wonderful to look back at those notes because they really capture a moment in time – a fleeting moment – and then poof! it’s gone…  I’m often glad that I collect these ideas when they’re fresh in my mind. Here’s the first half of one of the notes I wrote to myself on Saturday. I’ll post the other half of the note tomorrow… Big Day: August 6th: Paprika learned to ride a bike on her own today. It happened when I was out of the house by myself for the first...

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Almost Paradise!

August 5, 2016 by

  What a week it’s been!  Bright and early Monday morning, we got our copy of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in the mail.  We pre-ordered it back in December, and Paprika (especially) was so excited for the book’s release. Right when it arrived , she ripped open the box and read the whole thing in one sitting! I remember when the original Harry Potter books came out, and you had to wait a year (or more) in between books.  This is the first (and only) Harry Potter book like that for my kids.  The book’s been passed around all week, and hopefully I’ll get to read it soon – if the kids will ever let go of it for long enough! Haha.   This week was the premiere of Bachelor In Paradise...

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Feels Like Summer!

August 1, 2016 by

  First things first – Ginger (7) lost her first tooth last week! It came out when she was biting into a cookie.  She chomped on it and thought it was a chocolate chip.  Thankfully, she didn’t swallow it! She does not want the Tooth Fairy to come.  She wants to keep her tooth forever.  I remember that until last year, the idea of Santa Claus horrified her.   She would say, “What do you mean a strange man is going to break into our house in the middle of the night?  This is a good thing?!”  Haha. In other news, it’s been super hot – so we’ve been beating the heat!  The sprinkler is a big hit – we try not to run it too much because of the drought in Southern California....

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The Best Bowler!

July 28, 2016 by

We went bowling this past weekend.  It was our first time going bowling as a family – and the first time the girls had ever bowled!  I hadn’t been bowling in probably 15 or 20 years.  Although, I was on an intramural bowling team in high school!  Ha! I took this video at the bowling alley – and it’s really worth watching!  Seriously – so funny.  To play it, just press the triangle and it will take you to YouTube:     I think Mr. M deserves some props for that move!  (Do people still say props?  I do!  LOL) The look of victory:     Bowling was a mixed bag.  Paprika (9) liked it, because she likes everything.  🙂     Ginger (7) was not a fan.  She’s a perfectionist, so the fact that she...

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18 Months – Leaps and Bounds!...

July 27, 2016 by

  Miss Ellie Belly turned 18 months old yesterday, and WOW – this has been a huge week of changes for her! First, she started WALKING! Yes, she started toddling on the day she turned 18 months old. She’s so cute figuring it out – her unsure, careful steps making her way around the house. I’m so glad she’s walking! We were all at a pretty high point of frustration last week because we could tell how upset she was with her body’s limitations.  She wanted to walk, but she was just soooo scared.  I’m glad she’s conquering that fear.   And now that she’s walking, it seems like the floodgates are opening in other areas, as well. She’s talking so much more now. Her favorite thing to say is: Thank You. 🙂    ...

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One Small Step!

July 22, 2016 by

  The big star of the week is Miss Ellie – who at nearly 18 months old – has taken her first steps!  Yes, she is walking!  🙂 She is a very cautious person and gets freaked out by any sort of physical danger.  I am sure that’s why it’s taken her so long to walk – she is terrified of falling!   Slowly, but surely, she is overcoming that fear.  I do lots of practicing with her around the house – holding her hands and making sure she feels safe and comforted.  It’s helping a lot. Big Sister Ginger (7) has been a huge supporter.  Ginger is always patient and happy to encourage Ellie’s walking practice.     One of her first steps:   Ellie is still not a fan of walking (or standing) – but she’s...

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P.S. I Really Love You!

July 19, 2016 by

  Happy Tuesday!  As you may recall, last year I wrote about Violet (then 3) and her LOVE for the boy next door.  She didn’t know his name, so she called him:  My Handsome. We found out his name is Matthew.  He is almost 4 years old. I sometimes call him: My Shoe (because that’s how she says Matthew). She still loves him so much.  She writes him notes and leaves him presents on his front porch for him to find later. Here is one of the letters she wrote this week She also gave him one of our Hot Wheels toy cars.  Her letter says: Dear Matthew, Roses are red Violets are Blue Sugar is sweet And I love you! Love, Secret Girl (Ginger – age 7 – helped her with the spelling!)    ...

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At The Drive-In!

July 14, 2016 by

  On Saturday, I picked up this little car at Goodwill. We’ve driven it all over town these past few days.  The girls think it’s the best thing ever. (They really do!) Today we went on two long walks with the toy car. On the first walk, Violet pushed Ellie. Violet felt so grown up! Ellie was so excited to “Go!” (as she says it) in her little car:     Getting a book at the Little Free Library:     On the second walk, Ginger (7) pushed Violet (4) for almost two hours! I was behind them pushing Ellie (17 months) in the stroller.  Paprika (9) walked with us, too.  We were all happy to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.     I was so happy My Little Jelly Belly was not...

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