30 July 2008

My point exactly!

Well, whaddya know! Just as I was lamenting my time here in the nether-burbs, I spot an interview on The Daily Show with Bill Bishop! This is on my list of must reads...seems like it explains my current conundrum. Here's what publisher's weekly said about the book.

Pulitzer Prize–finalist Bishop offers a one-idea grab bag with a thesis more provocative than its elaboration. Bishop contends that as Americans have moved over the past three decades, they have clustered in communities of sameness, among people with similar ways of life, beliefs, and in the end, politics. There are endless variations of this clustering—what Bishop dubs the Big Sort—as like-minded Americans self-segregate in states, cities—even neighborhoods. Consequences of the Big Sort are dire: balkanized communities whose inhabitants find other Americans to be culturally incomprehensible; a growing intolerance for political differences that has made national consensus impossible; and politics so polarized that Congress is stymied and elections are no longer just contests over policies, but bitter choices between ways of life. Bishop's argument is meticulously researched—surveys and polls proliferate—and his reach is broad. He splices statistics with snippets of sociological theory and case studies of specific towns to illustrate that while the Big Sort enervates government, it has been a boon to advertisers and churches, to anyone catering to and targeting taste. Bishop's portrait of our post materialistic society will probably generate chatter; the idea is catchy, but demonstrating that like does attract like becomes an exercise in redundancy.

Redundency, maybe...but it makes a lot of sense to me..truly an 'aha' moment for this subaru driving , organic eatin', BBC watching chickadee!

oh...look, the black spots are overwhelmingly democratic, the grey...republican...the gray...suburban...guess where we live...GRAY GRAY GRAY!

28 July 2008

Love Without Boundaries Foundation has set a goal to raise $5,000 by August 27.
Goal: $1 challenge to save a child's life!
LWB is launching a $1 challenge to kick off our new Unity Fund for impoverished, rural families in China. So many times over the years, we have met families who have had to make the painful decision to abandon their child in the hopes of getting them the medical care they need. It has been a dream of ours for many years to begin such a fund, so that when we learn of families in true crisis, we can provide their children with the surgeries they need so that such a painful decision does not have to be made. We have met so many of these families in person, and they love their children completely, but they simply could never afford a $5000 heart surgery to save their child's life when their family is living on less than $50 per month. Our Unity Fund was created to keep these families united and to give a second chance of a healthy life to at-risk children living in poverty. Join with us on this dream, and actually help prevent children from being orphaned. We challenge everyone to send just ONE DOLLAR during this challenge period to LWB's Unity Fund. Is it possible to find 5000 people to donate $1? With your help, we believe it is. If we meet that goal, then together we can impact a child's life forever. Pass on this message to everyone you know! Pop just $1 in the mail to Love Without Boundaries and help change the world, one child at a time. Love Without Boundaries P.O. Box 25016 Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0016 or donate $1 online at

25 July 2008

I'm not cut out for the suburbs.
My reality is I feel like I've been invited to a party, but when I get there it's an NRA convention, and I'm the only one wearing an Obama tshirt.

23 July 2008


this is Piper's....I have to get Paisley's done...I am dreading it. I have to find a quilter...and I'm on an extremely tight budget. Piper's was really a labor of love, and took over a year to finish because I initially gave the quilt to someone to sew who decided it was too ugly for her liking and sent it back to me half sewn, with lots of problems(she teaches quilting, but I guess it was below her to finish it). I ended up taking it to a different quilt store and the owner felt sorry for me and unpicked, fixed and finished the quilt for us. We then waited about 8 months for her daughter to machine quilt the back, which was worth it because it is AMAZING! This time, I just want it to be simple, one quilter to sew and do the longarm work. It's probably the most simple design I have ever seen, so it's probably pretty easy. The only different thing, is that the back is done in 'minky', a little twist but particularly nice on cold Minnesota nights.

Know anyone?

20 July 2008

and you thought we were weird?
nah, we're not weird, okay, maybe a little! Today Paisley brought me Pipers swim goggles and asked to have them put on. I obliged, I thought she'd rip 'em off after a few seconds but no...Captain Snowflower was preparing for the long haul! So funny, she even wanted to drink her bottle with them on. Strange kid.
Oh yeah, and she has really started mimicking Piper...the last few days she has been repeating phrases like, "no-i-don-wan" = "no I don't want to" ..fabulous. It's whining through osmosis! GREAT!


Piper is hooked on gymnastics...hook, line & sinker...110% hooked! She loves it, and I love that she loves it.


Last weekend we attended the Dragon boat Festival at Phalen Park in St Paul, it was a really beautiful day, lots going on. Piper was THRILLED to see the "dragon festibal', one of her favorite episodes of Ni Hao KaiLan is about dragonboat racing so she was pumped up to see the boats on the lake, as well as all the martial arts demonstrations. Our local FCC(Families with Children from China) boat team came second in a field of over twenty teams, next year Mike is interested in picking up a paddle, perhaps that will help them get to first place??

It was nice to see some people we had met at Diana's party a few months ago, and to spend the day in the sunshine. Of course, you cannot visit a park without trying out all the playground equipment.

As you can see, Paisley is still a little unsure of the swings, hopefully she will get the hang of it like her big sister did.

17 July 2008

I covet thee, oh lovely hat

oh yes...I do. I love hats for kids, and when I saw some cute crocheted ones on my friend Maia's blog i had to do some investigating. If you don't know what ETSY is, pop on over and have a look. I'd much rather buy an item from a hardworking crafter than from a mass produced store any day of the week...this one has my heart...brown, orange, flowers...need I say more! Maybe Santa will bring the girls will get one each for Christmas. If you like them, you can order them here
bummer...it sold before I could get one!

14 July 2008

Stupid Poopyheads
This is so stupid. The New Yorker cover this month is a picture depicting Obama and his wife as turban wearing afro coiffed flag burning gun slingers...and guess what, it's supposed to be satrical and funny but the truth is that half the dumbarses out there(you know who you are) will think it's real, hell, I know a person who flat out told me 'O'(and I don't mean Oprah) cavorted with Terrorists...seriously people, seriously? I told her to turn off Fox news and do some research. People are suckers for spin.
Frankly, I heart OBAMA.

11 July 2008

PRINCESS DAY 2008Yesterday was a bit of a yukky day weather wise, it started out hot and muggy and quickly turned into a stormy afternoon. We decided early on that July 10 would be the official 'princess day' in our house. Piper picked out her Tinkerbell outfit and I popped Paisley in a little sleeping beauty number I picked up a few days ago at a consignment store for $6. We spent the morning in the cul de sac driving the 'carriage'(aka Barbie jeep) to the ball...when the weather started to turn we headed inside for a showing of Cinderella, which both girls enjoyed thoroughly. For lunch...enchanted sandwiches...yep, you heard me right. Piper made her own and washed them down with a glass of 'pink milk'
Then the storm came...the sky turned green and we headed for the basement. Huddled in the bedroom, under the covers with the dog, the girls & I told stories and snuggled until the worst had passed.

For 'tea' we headed across the Kingdom(aka cul de sac) to Miss Kristine's house for a delightful afternoon of miniature scones and macaroons.

When Daddy came home, Piper and he spent half an hour 'dancing at the ball' in the living room....the perfect ending to a completely lovely princess day.

Did I let the kids wear their dresses all day? yep, even to Target, that's what fairy Godmothers do I hear.

Enchanted Sandwiches

organic whole wheat bread * organic peanut butter * nutella * mini marshmallows
spread one side of bread with P.B., spread the other with nutella
let princess put as many mini marshmallows on either side
squish together and slice into triangles. serve with pink milk and apple slices
(not recommended for princesses under three)

10 July 2008

Ice Ice Baybee!
Found this at the store. One of the new Ben & Jerry's flavors...Americone Dream, named for funnyman Steven Colbert of Comedy Central famed 'Colbert Report'
Love Mr Colbert...now we get to taste ice cream made in his honor
his tongue in cheek conservative talk show is a close second to our favorite Mr Jon Stewarts liberal 'Daily Show'...hmmm, I wonder if they can come up with a flavor for him....

09 July 2008

Think before you speak...or ask
Leading up to the Olympics in China, the global media is focusing on the host country, you may watch documentaries, read newspaper articles and hear many conversations regarding the lifestyle, culture and history of China. There will be shows that focus on topics that are not suitable for our children to watch or hear about. My request is that you respect this, if you have questions about something you read or saw, please consider the subject and the participants in the converstion.
There are things that we can talk about, questions I can answer freely and those that should not be discussed amongst the little ones. Just because you know someone who has been to China, or have a relative or friend who has adopted a child, or watched a program on TV...don't assume that all topics are up for discussion, don't assume you know more than we do about a situation. Know that this is part of what makes our family, the past, the present and the future.
little ears are listening
Think before you speak, ask, or assume.

08 July 2008

What a lovely surprise!
The girls got a lovely package from some friends in Boston this week...they were both thrilled with their fairy skirts, dresses, stamps & stickers! Thanks to our friends Jenny, Ross and their boys Ty & Jesse for such thoughtful gifts.
on a side note...um, is Paisley just ridiculously tall or am I seeing things?

someones happy with a new twirly dress with a fancy belt

new duds...looking cute

Okay, I know some of you can't stand the shoes in question but at our house we partake in the reptilian footwear because they are just so bloody comfy. Piper has a pink pair of mary janes, and I have the same ones, only in a little larger size, Mike has an army green pair of sandals and sometimes we all wear them at the same time, sometimes even out in public(gasp)...Paisley is clearly feeling left out...she keeps trying to put on Piper's but yesterday only mine were good enough. Pity she is only a size three, otherwise she'd be sprting her own pair (smallest size is a 4-5).
Dont hate us because we wear these, there are worse things in the world.

peach for my peachlipsmakingly delicious...and the peach was yummy too!

06 July 2008

Wish you were here...

or wish we were there!

These are Piper & Paisley's kiwi Grandparents, Grandad Pete & Nana Jocelyn, and Nana Rosemary. We took these photos last March when we were in NZ. We miss them. I wish Piper & Paisley could spend more time with their New Zealand Grandparents, like the other grandkids do. We cant wait to bring Paisley to meet you, hopefully sooner than later, Piper misses you!
Homesick? You Betcha.


What could be the perfect ending to a lovely day...a ride on the carousel at Como, this particular one is 94 years old and all the horses are original hand carved from wood. Paisley was so thrilled, she fell asleep in my arms on the 'sleigh' ...Piper, as always had just enough energy left to enjoy the ride.


At the Zoo is a small amusement park for little kids. There are plenty of rides for the little bitty ones as well as the elementary set. Piper realized that she wasnt quite ready for the extremely fierce loop de looper Dragon ride(whew) and settled for the bumpety bumper cars, Aladdin's carpet ride, the speedy race cars and the horse and buggy.

"That's okay, I'm really not quite big enough for the loop de looper"

a full 36" with a hat on...I have a feeling it'll be a few years before the loop de looper is on the cards! Probably for the best eh!
Now this is more my speed....Aladdin, carpet rides...does that mean I'm Jasmine?
speed racer

this whole thing sucks...when will I be big enough?

'Bonjour Butterfly'...our trip to the zoo!

What's the fourth of July without a trip to the Zoo? Well, officially it was the 5th of July but whose counting? Piper is animal mad at the moment and quite 'keen' on butterflies thanks to one of her new Fancy Nancy books 'Bonjour Butterfly' Since both of the Zoo's in our area have butterfly habitats set up at the moment we thought we'd take the girls to see the animals.
We chose to go to Como Zoo in St Paul, to be honest we'd never been to this Zoo before since we had a membership to the Minneapolis Zoo for the past two years. We L-O-V-E-D Como, and will be returning again soon! For starters it is only $2 for adults and $1 for children to get into the Zoo! That's a bargain! It's small enough so that you can see all of the exhibits in just a couple of hours, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, AND they have a kiddy amusement park called Como Town inside the park...where there are rides for the littlest monkeys!
Have you ever been so close to a Tiger? Piper was intrigued!

"Daddy, lift me up so I can take a photo with my clicky clicky camera"

the must must must sees were giraffes, seals(aka sealions) and 'azure butterfly'! All other animals were considered amazing and spectacular, but the top three were the absolute bomb!
Now, I have to explain, Piper loves her camera, partly because of a Charlie & Lola episode where they go to the zoo to see all the animals, Lola uses up all her pictures and borrows Charlie's 'clicky clicky camera' to take photos of the seals and giraffes....hence Pipers fascination. The camera was a Christmas gift from Nana Pam, and she has taken to photography like Ms Lebowitz! The camera is tough, built for kids...it's awesome! She really took her time on her photos, and even though the quality of the pictures aren't great, she is so proud and says "that was a good one" whenever she captures her subject in the right pose.

Father's Day revisted

I know I know, but life is busy and this is the first time I've had a chance to download photos from the camera! On Father's Day this year we had a wonderful day at the Lake, packed up a picnic and threw on the swimsuits for a day at the 'local'. It was Paisley's first exposure to lake water and she LOVED it! She didnt want to get out!

enjoying marmite sandwiches

this is fun stuff this water!

We love you Daddy!

swimming lessons

We are so proud of Piper! She is really loving her swimming lessons and although not a natural born swimmer she is truly loving her time at the pool. We think it's important that the girls learn to swim since we are pretty much surrounded by lakes here in Minnesota, and when we go to New Zealand Grandads house in right on the water so learning to swim isn't so much an activity as a necessity. We no longer belong to the local gym that has a pool, so access is limited for learning, but the instructors at the local swim school are amazing and have the kiddies completely engaged throughout the lesson. Piper got lucky this year and is going to do a one week swim camp in August! That means she will get five lessons in one week! She is stoked! Or should I say 'stroke'd'!

goggle me gorgeous!

Little sister wants in too...

You all know Paisley came to us pretty much potty trained right? It's amazing, the girl is fantastic! In China they use what we in the West call 'elimination communication', and I have to tell you it works. Paisley poops exclusively on the potty and pees 99% of the time on the potty too. She still wears a gdiaper 100% of the time but we expect to start her in undies by the time she is 18 months old. Piper was 16 months when she started using undies, but she would wake up dry so we knew she was ready. It's an awesome gift to the girls, having this skill, and yes, it is parent directed at this point but it worth it to Mike & I because we not only have the opportunity to carry on the good work and give the girls the gift of potty freedom, but it also saves our landfills from YEARS of diapers. We are thankful for the partnership of early potty training and gdiapers.

what's so funny?

02 July 2008

need I say more.

Our rockin' Snowflower!
Watch out Miley, this little rocker is one your tail! Well, not really, but she looks the part eh! This is the one that made it onto the wall in the portrait studio.