29 April 2008

"adios lumpy"
Not only was today Paisley's birthday but we also saw a surgeon about 'lumpy', the mass on the back of Paisley's head, the medical reason she was classified as a waiting child . The MRI was great, no issues, no concerns, it's just a good old fashioned 'lump' and it's coming off on Monday!
We really liked the surgeon, and his support staff. We loved the fact that it is a 15 minute surgical procedure and can be done outpatient, and we especially love that the recovery time is just a few days and that our Snowflower is lucky to have such a minor issue (believe me it could have been a completely different story so we are counting our blessings!)
So..adios Lumpy, you had a nice ride, it's time to say goodbye.

That's not a candle...

This is a candle!
sorry it's sideways...I havent figured out how to flip these things just yet, but I couldnt resist posting this pyro show! We saw these disasterswaitingtohappen in China and had to have some for our girls! Luckily we had camera ready just in case we needed proof for the insurance company...
yes...that's the fire alarm in the background. Lets just say it's a little temperamental. Okay, so the 'fireworks' candle on the cake didnt help, but seriously, I need my kitchen fixed so that the venting system is above the stove so that everytime I cook the freakin fire alarm doesnt go off(hold the jokes, I saw them coming)
*please excuse the singing*

for the best effect, scroll down and pause the blog music then watch these!


Listen, I'm not a bad Mum on purpose...my kids eat organic and locally grown 75% of the time, we recycle, we donate to charity, but there is one thing I said I'd never do...and thats deprive my kids of a real birthday cake! I know other Moms (you know who you are) who would happily serve their children a wheat free, gluton free, vegan, lemon poppyseed tofu cake under the guise of 'Birthday Cake' but not I, this is not a time for the pure of heart, this is time for refined sugars, food coloring and potential system shutdown! This is CAKETIME people!

and wouldn't you know, it was appreciated! Bonding people, this is good bonding!

disclaimer: please ignore the snorting, I have no idea how that happened...snort.

Our Snowflower turned one today! We are so blessed and so grateful that she was chosen to be part of our family.

We started the day early, well Mike started way earlier and by the time we woke up he had already left for work! So, Piper & I unveiled the 'superbug', Paisley's new ride! Let me tell you, it was a big hit!
It's unseasonably cold here this week, so I bundled up the kiddoes and we headed out to the cul de sac for some driving lessons! Piper was extremely bossy and told Paisley and her co-driver(moi)

"you are a very bad driver Mummy!"
Piper gave Paisley a microphone for her birthday, this clearly trumped the superbug and we have not been able to go anywhere today without both girls and their 'mikes'

America's next Idol?

After a quick lunch at the Cheesecake Factory(sans cheesecake) we picked up our FREE first birthday cake from Byerly's(our local fancy schmancy grocery store) and headed home for some sugary goodness! We couldnt resist getting one of these candles for Paisley's cake...we saw them in China and they are hilarious, watch the video below for a better idea of the kitschness! Since it was so cold a lei was a necessary accessory for the party girl!

Clearly Paisley likes cake!

28 April 2008

a bit of McDreamy with a side of McSteamy
yeah right in my wildest! However this might be what is in store for Miss Paisley! We got news today that her MRI results are AWESOME! Best case scenario! We are scheduled to see a general pediatrics surgeon tomorrow and he will consult with a Plastics guy to make sure that Paisley's scar will be as small and her hair pattern will not be too messed up after the surgery...looks like she will have the procedure in the next 3-6 weeks, as soon as it can be sceduled. Although we initially thought she might need a neurosurgeon(like McDreamy), it looks like she wont, she'll just need a good general surgeon, but it wouldnt have been much fun if I'd only posted one of these guys right!
This is good news for Paisley!

27 April 2008


Paisley l-o-v-e-s her bath! She cannot get enough of the water and as an added bonus she gets to play with toys! Her absolute favorites are a set of sea creatures my friend Tamara sent her! She uses them as teethers, and when she hears that her sister Piper is coming she has to figure out where to 'hide' them so that they dont get....bogarted! Her big sister is AWESOME at hoarding all the good toys...but not today eh Paisley! Tonight she had a special treat, bathtime with her sister...so they got to share a little.

adios hospital!

We left the hospital and headed to lunch at Noodles & Company, both the girls were ravenous, and nothing beats their mac n'cheese on a cold & blustery Minnesota day! We couldnt resist taking a photo in front of Charlie Brown, since this is his home town after all...okay, St Paul is, but we were officially on the right side of the Missisippi! We spotted an old Vermont favorite and stopped to share a cookie sundae at Ben & Jerry's before heading home. mmmm. Can I tell you...off topic, if you happen to have one of these 'strolli riders' for the stroller you will be asked every 15 feet where on earth you bought it and how freaking cool it is...to be honest I love it, and so does Piper! I think at least 5-6 Drs asked us about it and pretty much every nurse...and the parking valet!

somebody is certainly enjoying those cookies!

"Dr Piper to Radiology...STAT!"

Friday was a long day! We had Paisley's MRI scheduled for 12pm so we needed to be at the University Hospital at 11am so that they could prep her for the IV. Turns out Paisley is really a 'hard stick' when it comes to finding viable veins for an IV, so the bigwigs were called in and finally, a line was put in, but again, it wasn't pretty. We were so happy to be at the University Pediatrics Radiology center, their setup is amazing. In the waiting room there is a play sized MRI machine, Piper had a blast 'Doctoring' the baby dolls. It was also a good way for us to show her what the REAL Doctors would be doing to look at Paisley's head. Talk about a 'learning' hospital.

zapping the baby!

Wonderful nurses taking care of Miss Paisley

I decided to sit int he MRI room with Paisley, at one point Paisley started to come around so they had to stop, push a wee bit more 'sleepy juice' and repeat some of the films. It was good to be with her as she fell asleep, I wanted her to know I wasn't going to leave her at all during the whole process. After about 45 minutes the scans were finished and we waited for her to wake up...seems that Paisley decided that she wanted to sleep a bit more since it was her real nap time and all the poking and prodding wore her out. The Docs weren't having any of that and let her snooze for about ten minutes before waking her up. She did great, despite the nasty old IV (we've been told from this point on a vascular specialist is needed and an ultrasound done to place an IV in the future!)

sleeping beauty...and bunny.

24 April 2008


Holy 'Hokie' Batman!

Last night one of Mike's mates from the old days at Virginia Tech stopped by to visit his old VT Home boys in Minneapolis! 'Mr' Paul(as dubbed by Piper) was an instant hit at our house, guess who was smitten? sSo much so that she didn't give her regular squeeze 'Uncle Matt' the time of day! We went out to one of our favorite eateries YUM and hit Linden Hills for some post dinner ice cream at Sebastian Joes. Paul is a crack up, and the boys were glad to be back together, albeit briefly.
See Paul, you'd make a great Dad someday - hint hint!

how could I forget to post this one?

Well, you know the party we went to last Saturday, well this picture is just great...Diana's hubby Jeff was such a sweetie, tending bar and making sure everyone had what they needed...and letting one precocious three year old talk his ears off! Check out the 'Vikings' shout out atop Jeff's head...there are some serious fans here in Minnesota!

23 April 2008

what do you mean my music is too loud?
We have a rocker on our hands...and while she is not quite up to the 'Ramones' just yet, Paisley is quite a music officianado. The other night we had dinner at our local Mexican Restaurant, and it just happened to be 'Mariachi night'...well, Paisley thinks 'La Cockaracha' is the shizzle. When I sing it to her she wiggles and claps like crazy....we had the girls up late last night and they watched American Idol with us...I have to say we enjoyed it more because the girls were having so much fun watching the singing.

my three cuties

22 April 2008

Sunday at the park

Last Sunday it was finally warm enough to go to the local park. We took the girls to 'run off some steam' and gave Paisley her first taste of the swings! Something rather unusual happened with Piper...the last time she was on a swing was last Fall, she was pretty petrified of the 'big girl' swings and didn't quite know how to do the swing moves 'push & tuck'..but it was as if she had been reading the encyclopedia of swings over the winter as she got on without a worry, and actually managed to swing herself with little more help than a cursory push from Daddy!

Paisley was thrilled to be in the swing, she couldnt quite understand why it was so difficult to swing and clap at the same time?

but she soon got the idea...she looks a bit shell shocked in this one, but honestly, she was having a blast.

locomotion? not quite,..but nearly!

Here she is...as promised..and like I said, her first crawl wasnt pretty, but it was motion and that's what counts most! We are now a few days later and she is going gangbusters, 10-15 feet at a time, not fast, still not particularly pretty but the speed in which she is improving and strengthening is astounding! We are so proud of her! I'm not sure Piper is quite ready for her little sister to be so mobile, we'll have to see how she reacts when Paisley can get from 'POINT A' to 'POINT TOY'..hmmm, I imagine there will be trouble!

'party girls'

Last Saturday we were invited to a lovely party held by a Mom I met through the blogosphere! We live 10 minutes away and I am so glad we had the chance to meet in person. The party was a huge hit with both girls and we all had a great time. I have to admit I did enjoy dressing the girls up in their spotty finery...Piper especially loves the ensemble (yes she calls it that, she reads Fancy Nancy!), I have to thank her wonderful Aunt Kris in Florida for sending such gorgeous dresses for the Snowflowers! As you can see, Piper made a new friend in Miss Ruby(pictured above), I'm sure we will be visiting in the future for lots of playdates!
check out the grin

I don't know where Miss P gets this smile from, it's one of her 'new' ones...she has quite the repitoire of facial expressions, but I still think it's cute...typical Mummy! She was especially pleased with her 'Jilli braids'(Piper's friend from the China trip)

above photo curtesy of Diana
Miss Paisley did very well at her first big soire, she has discovered a new passion, balloons!! Yes...there was a bonafide 'balloon guru' on site to make all sorts of goodies for the kids!! At one point she was wielding two balloon swords and having a blast. We really had a great time, and we got to meet a bunch of other families with Children from China too!

balloon ninja

18 April 2008

not your average double stroller
In fact it's not a double stroller at all...it's a strolli, an 'attachment' for your single stroller so that a whiney pre-schooler(a.k.a. Piper) can ride along in style while her litte sister sits in the stroller! I ordered ours off ebay and got a great deal, they aren't cheap but they are a lot less than buying a new double stroller, a lot lighter, and the contraption goes on and off pretty easily, so I can throw it in the back of the Subaru, and pop it on when Piper feels like her 'legs are too broken to walk'! Piper calls it her 'mountain bike'. The Strolli can be attached to a lot of different stroller styles, so we can use it with the umbrella stroller and the jogging stroller(uh, yeah the 'jogging' part is just the type of stroller, not what we do with it!)
You wouldnt believe how much time I spent worrying about the stroller situation, it seemed every time I thought we'd be okay without a backup something would happen that made us wish we had one. This is the very best option for our situation, I'd have hated to buy a true 'double' only for Piper to refuse to sit in it after a few weeks...which we all know can happen.

17 April 2008

"because you're mine..."

In the slightly altered words of a great man Mr Johnny Cash, I want to let you all know that Miss Paisley started crawling TODAY! It's truly a miracle, last week she was evaluated by an occupational therapist as being about 4-6 months delayed in her gross motor skills, at which point she could barely sit unassisted, could not push up on her arms and had such low muscle tone and loose ligaments that we feared she may dislocate her joints! But a week of good food, lots of sleep and spending 90% of her day on the floor playing with her big sister & Mum, the kid decides she wants to break records! Yesterday she couldnt even get on her hands and knees, but today she can make it about 10-15 feet before stopping....I'm going to take some video tomorrow, I'll post it here so you can see her progress, it's not fast and it's not pretty but it is a magical and beautiful blessing to me!

15 April 2008

Here comes the Sun...finally!

not that it isn't sunny per say, it's actually lovely in Minnesota even in the winter, but the combination of Sun AND warmth is always welcome, especially after a particularly long and chilly winter!

Yesterday was the first warm enough day to go outside for an hour or so so that Piper could get some much needed exercise and sunlight. The last of the snow melted over the weekend and it's still a bit 'brisk' but I bundled up the kids and hit the cul de sac. Piper adores Bryce & Avery the twins across the street, she spent a good 30 minutes playing 'red light green light' with them...guess who was in charge the entire time and making the 'rules'...you guessed it..

Bossy McBossypants!


Paisley doesn't seem to mind her snowsuit, it's a little lighter weight than the one Piper had. She is just so happy to be doing anything! As long as she is with her sister she is one happy camper!

hey, how come she has all the fun?

just playin'

After the intense morning at the Clinic, we headed home for a nap. Paisley and Piper both woke up happy and ready for playtime! This is Paisleys favorite toy right now, a little choo choo train with animals that her Great Aunt Phyllis sent her.

It's taken Piper several days to let Paisley have a turn but now she has claimed it as her own! She is also making HUGE leaps and bounds in movement, in just the last week she has decided she wants to learn how to crawl, she's not quite there but I suspect in a week or so she will be speeding around the house like crazy! She is now able to get up on all fours and can move backwards a little, she can also go from her tummy to a sitting position..and roll to wherever she needs to go...not bad for a child who never had the opportunity to get on the floor for the first 10.5 months of her life! Last week we were told her ligaments were very loose due to inactivity and poor nutrition, and she was at risk for shoulder and hip dislocation...we were advised to have her spend at least 90% of her awake time on the floor playing, which we are adhering to...and boy the improvement is astounding!

one happy monkey!

14 April 2008

Paisley the Pin-cushion
Today I took the girls back to the International Adoption Clinic for Paisley's 'labs'. I bundled the kids up, threw the stroller in the back of the car and plugged in the Garmin GPS...only I hit the wrong address and ended up on the wrong side of the river! Not to worry, that's whats so cool about these awesome GPS systems, bippity boppity boo and five minutes later I'm standing in the lab!
Now this is where it gets dicey...Paisley has thin veins apparently and the nurse tried at least five times to find a good bleeder but without avail. By try #6 Paisley's very calm demeanor had vanished and wailing ensued. At this point I told them to stop and asked for topical numbing cream so at least the trauma of the needle and the moving it about would be less.
cream applied, 25 minutes later - jackpot...albeit a little from each arm...enough to fill five tubes!
My little pincushion is black and blue and looks like she just played pat a cake with some seriously grumpy pythons!
At least it's done!

Driving to Yifeng

It took us about two hours each way to drive from Nanchang to Yifeng, the scenery went from heavily populated city, modern towns and through traditional villages it was a jigsaw puzzle of the old and the new juxtiposed in such a way that was quite surreal. We couldnt stop to take photos so the only shots we got was through the window of a speeding minivan.

fields of gold

the older homes, added onto, but still in keeping with times long past. Somehow the older seemed more stable and liveable than some of the newer structures...but what do I know?

collective time out
uh oh, no kung fu in the temple?

'time out'

I have eluded to the fact that while in China Piper fell in with the 'wrong' crowd, or is it that Jilli fell in with the 'wrong' crowd? Either way Piper + Jilli = trouble! They were little imps, the pair of them. Inseparable. At one point Jilli's Mom had to resort to a collective 'time out' for both of the girls...well deserved I might add! They were none too pleased, but they paid their debt to society and went on the wreak havoc...together they were the hurricane sisters! Pity that Jilli and her family live in Florida...the girls did have fun with each other...but perhaps it's for the best eh!

luckily Jilli's Grandad Don was always on hand to pick up the pieces!