30 August 2007

Like I didn't already know this...

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

A friend of mine did this little quiz thing, so I did it too...should have known better!

My very own JR t-shirt!

*technical issues on the photo, Piper's left hand was not eaten by wolves, it's just a camera fart*

We are blessed with some wonderful & generous friends, today Piper received a parcel in the post from the Battaglia's. Piper's eyes widened when she saw all the Charlie and Lola stickers on the box, but she grew silent when I opened it up and there was a HUGE and wonderful surprise from our friends in Chicago!

Out came an awesome Charlie & Lola t-shirt! It says "I will never not ever eat carrots" says Lola "what about peas?" ADORABLE! Especially since we had decided to give Piper a Charlie & Lola birthday in January (we have been in discussions on how hard it would be to make a Lola costume for Halloween)

Then her eyes got even wider as I pulled out an autographed tshirt from the Justin Roberts concert they attended this past week! Piper was especially intrigued because there is Rhino on the front and she LOVES his 'imaginary Rhino' song! so KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS to buddies in Illinois, they are too too kind!

She couldn't decide which one to wear so we took turns. Obviously it fired her up...and look what happened...

"LOOK Mummy - LOLA!" I love love love this tshirt! Maybe even more than Piper! When I read it to her she looked up and said "but I love carrots Mummy"


"she's a maniac...maniac on the floor...

...and she's dancin' like she's never danced before"


"Jumping Jack Flash it's a gas gas gas"

No captions necessary...if you know who the Wiggles are...you know what she's doing!


Intermission to 'fake' sneeze...it was dramatic, took about 15 seconds for the whole performance..."aaaaaahhhhhh-CHOOOO!" followed by "bless me"

great, we have a dramaqueen on our hands! Not that I didn't already know that!

Splitty Splitterson

Piper has never been to a gymnastics class, but for some reason I think she needs to go...it just seems to be her 'thing'. She has been doing sommersaults since before she could run and loves to arch her back so that she can "see me upside down", I think we will enroll Piper for classes in the winter, just for fun. I'm a bit scared of the 'sequin patrol', y'know, the same Moms turn up for ice skating, horse riding, cheerleading...I have called them the 'glitterazzi'...c'mon you know who I'm talking about...the 'pageant moms'! Well, I want to be clear...and have it in writing...I WILL NOT BE ONE OF THOSE MOMS! That said, Piper shows real talent...maybe I should whip out the bedazzler?

"are you kidding me? I just did a weeks worth of jumping in the house!"

I am very good at being an almost very scary lion

absolutely incredibly most definitely very tired

29 August 2007

"Oh my, how you've grown"

For the last week or so I've been selling some of Pipers old clothes on ebay. Of course I'm keeping my absolute favorites for Paisley but in order to get winter clothes for Miss P I decided to clear out the old to make way for(and pay for) the new(or preloved in our case).

I'm actually doing okay, despite listing everything on ebay and racking up $135 in ebay sellers fees! Then today I get the email, list EVERYTHING for free for the next month...GREAT! I could have saved myself some cash if only I'd waited! However, 'if onlys' don't fly in this house so I keep on tracking my sales and deducting the fees, so far I've 'made about $550! Not bad..$150 was from the barbie and an American Girl doll I sold my first week, but the clothes have been selling slowly but surely. I even sold Piper's chicken costume from Halloween last year...I packed it up and sent it off to Canada this morning!

So, the effects of this meant Pipers closet was almost bare this past week...but then packages started arriving. I think I'm almost finished getting her 'suited up' for the coming winter...and at a fraction of the normal cost! I've bid on and won full gymboree outfits new with the tags still attached...for $10! That's about a $50-$60 savings! I don't care if it's last years style, Piper is 2 for goodness sakes!

I'm really pleased, and with a few supplemental long sleeve tshirts from Target we are set! I have to say I even got a new pair of elefanten shoes for $9.99! WOW!

In the middle of the wardrobe purge I found this dress that I'd put away for when Piper was older...guess what...she fits it now! She wanted to be fancy and be a 'ballerina fairy', so this is what we came up with. Although, I'm not sure Ballerina Fairies have as many bruises on their legs as my little tomboy....no modeling for Piper in her future!

27 August 2007

Do I look smarter with glasses?

While Piper was reading the business section of the Wall Street Journal in our bed yesterday, she tried out a new look...

Daddy's glasses looked pretty cute. I'm surprised that they 'kinda' fit her head? Maybe she'll have a whopping cranium like her mother when she grows up?

well, cute lasted about 30 seconds...then this happened...I'm not quite sure how to explain this look, Bjorn Borg meets Woody Allen? My girl is definitely an individual. The headband is now her favorite accessory, she calls it "my dancing hair pony"??

25 August 2007

Introducing Chef Piper...

We got a big box in the mail on Friday, it was from our Secret Pal, we've been participating in our groups pal exchange since we were LID in December. Because the wait is now so much longer we change pals and do 'exchanges' every other month. It's nice, it breaks the monotony of the wait and builds friendships and companionship. We've been so lucky, and made some neat new friends this way.

This month our Secret Pals were the Turnmire's in Virginia, they sent us a great big box of wonderful stuff. Our theme this month was 'dinnertime' and boy we got served! In the box were two delightful aprons that were made by Courtney's mother, one for Paisley and one for Piper...who had to put it on immediately and go downstairs to her kitchen! There were all sorts of yummy goodies and cookbooks, and a sweet 2008 dayplanner that has earnt it's place on our counter and will help count down the days until we meet our Paisley!

Thanks you to our lovely Secret Pals, you outdid yourselves!

22 August 2007

"There is the currency of money, then there is the currency of meaning".

Wow. This one really spoke to me. I heard someone say this on a webcast today, it spoke to me! This fundraising isn't about MONEY, it's about MEANING! It really renewed my passion, and I needed it! My faith that we will raise the funds needed for this adoption has been faltering. We had even discussed pulling our names from the Waiting Child list so that we could have more time to search for 'resources'. There just doesn't seem to be a solution. One thing we know, this is our last chance to adopt a child from China, we no longer meet the new requirements set in place as of May 2007, we are 'grandfathered' in, along with thousands of other families hoping to bring home a child.

Watch this space for updates and fundraising projects, we are waiting for news from Mike's employer in September...we will know then if they will implement an adoption benefit, this will be one of the BIG deciding points for us as to how we proceed with this adoption...if it doesn't happen then we will need to sit down and discuss walking away from the Waiting Child program, something neither of us want to do.

So...for now, back to the search for meaning

My Ebay conundrum

Okay, so I have started my Ebay push for $1000! After 5 days I can see that it's not going to be easy. For starters, I've spent $73 in ebay selling fees...WHAT! I guess each time you place an item on Ebay, it generates a fee, which you pay regardless of whether the item sells! That makes sense, but $73! hmmm.

The second and worst side effect of Ebay is it's wiley charms...yes ebay is like crack to an addict...each time I'm on it, I see something I want for Piper. She has ZERO winter clothes and I need to figure out what we absolutely need for her to survive through the Minnesota winter.

One kind CCAI family is giving us their daughters winter coat from last year, in return for a small donation to their charity 'Grant me a Chance'. What a great way to get a coat and donate to a worthy cause at the same time!

I did make myself a little deal, if I reach the $1000 selling goal(pre fees), I can buy this amazing dress or outfit for Piper from Hanna Andersson. It's so friggen cute! I love their stuff! I do admit, I bought a couple of used Hannas 'it's a playdress it's a daydress' off ebay, but it stops there.

or something cute from mini boden...good grief.

21 August 2007

"HEY, these are MY Thomas overalls!"

Um, yep, yes they are honey...um, Mummy needs to sell them...why do I feel like I'm raiding my kids piggy bank? It looks like she is helping me to get some of our stuff up on ebay, but in reality she wants to try everything on and is asking me "is this mine?", "was this mine?"...wow...it takes a lot of work to get it all listed...I hope we sell some of it! Maybe if she flashes that 'winning' smile we'll get a few bids! I call it the 'Chandler Bing'. I keep asking myself if she will ever outgrow it? Someone please tell me she'll outgrow it...someone?

Still hoping to get to that $1000 ebay goal, I've set my eye on the end of September for a tally up. Meanwhile i continue to search for items to sell...the latest item is a lovely pair of Thomas the Tank Engine overalls.

18 August 2007

Halloween costume blowout! I'm selling everything! The ebay bug has bitten me and I'm gearing up to sell a bunch of clothes and costumes that Piper has outgrown. Of course I'm keeping all the 'essentials' for Paisley but we are trying super hard to meet our fundraising goals for Paisley's adoption. Here are a few Halloween costumes I have listed on ebay. The chicken is my favorite.

I am hoping to raise $1000 on ebay in the next month. I have sold two items already and after my 15% half the sky donation have made about $150!

17 August 2007

My very own PSA...

Bad news for baby bottle manufacturers, Avent & Dr Browns. I received an email alert the other day about toxicity dangers in clear plastic bottles. The authors of 'Baby Bargains' Alan & Denice Fields had recommended both of these bottles in past publications but the evidence is in that there is 'some concern' for the health of our children if we use these bottles. This is such a shame, I love both brands and recommend them to my clients(especially Dr Browns for reflux babies), the article is promoting to throw out ALL your bottles and replace them with opaque plastic or glass. There is a clear plastic bottle on the market that does not contain the harmful chemical, but it is quite pricey. I'd stick with the cheaper brands or drop-ins until Avent & Dr Brown make some serious changes!

I will work on posting a link to the articles in the LA times and the FDA links, but for now, seriously consider changing your bottles or if you are looking to get baby bottles for your child, do some research on BFA's and plastics that are coded #7.

For those who need to know more about BFA free bottles, here is a manufacturer of glass & BFA free bottles and sippy cups, be warned, they are not cheap.


16 August 2007

Sam's the Man..or should I say Wiggle?

Tomorrow is a monumental occasion for our family, we are going to see the Wiggle's. I told Piper this afternoon, if I'd told her earlier I wouldn't get rest from the continuous stream of questions..."when are we going?" "where's Jeff?", "Is Daddy coming?", "we going to the Wiggle's yesterday tomorrow?"...y'know, the typical 2 year old question-o-rama!

She is EXTREMELY excited...Mike and I less so, I'm about Wiggle'd out. Regardless of our personal opinions I think this will be a great experience for Piper, who has been a fan since her first week in the US!

Wish us luck, I'll try to get the camera in...but who knows if I'll be able to.

13 August 2007


Today Piper was on fire! This kid can TALK! I got out the bead box I'd been saving and although it says for ages 4+ I figured I could let her string the beads and make a few necklaces as an 'art' project. Well, by the reaction I got from her you'd think I'd figured out how to solve world hunger, the ozone issue AND make chocolate ice cream parfaits out of water! she sat at the table for a good 40 minutes string beads and singing Mary Poppins songs...she is quite accomplished now as she can spit out "Supercalifragilistcexpialidocious" without taking a breath!

As you can see we have discovered our newest fundraising venture...bead necklaces made with child labor! She isn't going to lose her eyesight for at least six months! Although, she might get headaches from concentrating so hard!

I think I'll call Suzanne Myers and see if she needs an apprentice!

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Fly Hook Removal

I saw this video on an adoption family's blog...I guess the guy in the orange hat is the Dad to be. I thought it was hilarious so I found it on you tube! His wife said, this is why men don't give birth! I agree.

12 August 2007

Off to try my hand at EBAY!

Now that the ipod raffle is over, I'm anxious to continue on our little endeavor to raise the $3000 for the orphanage donation for Paisley's adoption. We have $1,395 to go so I thought I'd start out selling some stuff on Ebay. I had planned on selling the 'going home' Barbie doll that we recieved at the White Swan Hotel in China, but when our friend Karen Battaglia heard what I planned she rushed upstairs and brought down one for us to have. Apparently they had received two dolls as they had booked two rooms for their stay back in 2005. We can't thank them enough for their generosity and kindness, we know that so many people are supporting us on this journey and we appreciate every kind word and action. We are also going to sell a discontinued American Girl 'Spring Pearl' doll, books, clothes (new and pre-loved), and any other stuff that isn't nailed down!

Wish us luck!

Sunday prayer

We have been preparing Piper for a new addition, telling her that we will be going to China to bring home Paisley. We have been talking to her about where her sister will sleep, and asking where Piper will be sleeping. We are also starting to tell her that Paisley might have a hard time with her new family and we should make sure to help her. Yesterday, without provocation Piper sat at the table and uttered these words...

"Mummy, when Paisley comes,..from China, like me, she will sleep in MY bed, I will sleep in my BIG GIRL bed in my new room. She might be scared but I will SHARE all my toys and hug and kiss her, I will...that Paisley Rose."

holey cow! from the mouths of babes, straight to a Mummy's heart.

We pray each day for Paisley, we hope she is being treated well and is loved and cared for by the orphanage workers or foster parents.

11 August 2007


and the winner is.....

MATT CARPER of Minneapolis, Minnesota! Congratulations Matt! One fabulous (RED) ipod is on it's way to you!

Big big big thanks to everyone who purchased tickets, Mike & I were overwhelmed by your generosity and participation in our very first adoption fundraiser. I'm sure we'll have to think of something bigger and better for our next project! We'll keep you posted!

151 magic numbers....

1 magic number take out box in stylish pink paisley...

One friendly neighbor (who had no tickets and no knowledge of whose number was whose)

1 winning number 89 (68 was underlined)

10 August 2007



UPDATE: at 2.30am this morning we experienced a very severe storm, as of 9am we still have no power or phones. There is a lot of damage to trees and homes locally so as soon as we are back online I will do the magic number drawing. I'm at a friends house right now, hopefully by this afternoon we will be back to normal....thanks for you patience!

Farewell Chicago!

After a long roadtrip back to Illinois, we arrived back at the Battaglia's and hit the town of Naperville for some of the best Mexican food we've eaten in ages...a brief stop at the fountain and we headed back. We can't thank the wonderful Battaglia family enough for their hospitality and love. They were truly wonderful and we are so pleased to have them in our lives, they are sure to be a part of Piper's for many many years!


Did you hear me? F-I-V-E!

there are ONLY five magic numbers left!!!

Goodbye Columbus...we'll miss you!

Happy Anniversary John & Melanie! Sunday was our last day in Columbus, after a leisurely breakfast we knew we had to hit the road back to Chicago, a seven hour car trip was not the highlight of our day thats for sure!. It's been a great weekend reconnecting with our China buddies...I just wish we could do it more often.

so do the girls...

"Peekaboo Maggie"

"right back at ya Piper!"

"Man, we're so wicked awesome...high five buddy!"

Run Maggie Run...

"do you think we can outrun the grownups?"