31 August 2008

monkey see, monkey do

cue the theme music from Rocky...

the kid is in training for the next Olympics, the Snowflowers will be the first sister ensemble to go to the bars together in 2020! I might have to step up training a wee bit. 100 push ups and chin ups before dawn every day should do the trick.

I know I sound like the gushing Mumma, but Paisley was so far behind physically when we got her that we had a physical therapist come to the house to help her build stregth, muscle and tone...sure looks like it has worked!

Fearless...first time on slide

Yesterday I took the Snowflowers to the local park for a bit of a run around... Paisley followed Piper up the stairs to the slide, sat down next to her sister and PUT HERSELF DOWN THE SLIDE...and laughed! I couldnt believe it, so I took Mike back with me when he got home from work...here's the proof...this is the kid that just started walking 10 weeks ago!

29 August 2008

crappy photo ~ cute dresses

can't help it, these photos stink, but I had to post them because I have waited a long time for the girls to wear these dresses together. Now in this photo Paisley is actually standing a few feet behind Piper so she actually looks much shorter, but in actuality there is only four inches between the two of them! If you can believe it!

I got the smallest dress on clearance a few years ago for Piper and last year I picked up a larger size for Piper on ebay...gotta love miniboden, they are my favorite and my best!(thanks to ebay and consignment) I also offer no apology for dressing my kids in matching dresses, as long as they are happy, I'm happy! Piper actually loves Paisley to wear the same dress or a similar design to what she has on...she loves the 'sister' look...I'm pretty sure it wont be like this for much longer so I indulge while I can!

fakin' bacon!

Hey, I'm 16...

"I have my passport to prove it!"

The worlds youngest Olympic gymnast outside the real Olympics!

When I take Piper to gymnastics Paisley gets really antsy and want to go with Piper into the gym area, of course, she isn't allowed to so she makes do with practicing her 'somersaults' on the floor of the waiting area! When Piper and the neighborhood girls spend hours doing cartwheels and somersaults on the front lawn, Paisley is ALWAYS right there, trying her hardest to get involved! I think I might have to sign her up for a Mummy and me gym class or she will start complaining!

hey, what about a photo of me?

Paisley loves the water, she is super confident around it...she swims on her tummy in the bathtub, splashes like mad in the paddling pool and generally just enjoys playing with the sprinkler and hose. We think she will be ready for swimming lessons in the Spring, we're not going to sign her up for the Fall/winter sessions, nothing is worse than hitting the pool(indoors) then going outside with wet hair when it's -20 degrees outside!

Icee pops are evilMike came home from the gas station the other day with a two foot long frozen tube of food colored sugar water - whoopeee! Piper absolutely devoured it, but the stinkin orange die got all over her bikini top and I couldn't get it out...so I threw the bikini into some oxyclean and left it overnight...uh oh, I completely destroyed the bikini, the black ran into the pink and the dye completely ran everywhere! So...no more icee pops, natural iceblocks(popsicle's are fine, but the fake crappy ones are no longer welcome!(I knew my Mum was right about these things!) However, this photo is proof that she at least had one of them...in her lifetime!


"monkey cheeks and scoop like this Mummy"

Piper is still doing swimming lessons, she really enjoys them, although as I have said before it is quite evident that she isnt a 'natural' in the water...thats okay, she's not going to be swimming the English Channel anytime soon, we just want her to build her confidence in the water and learn how to be 'safe' and know how to get to the side if she needs too. One thing I cannot understand is how so many pairs of swim goggles can go missing? I swear we have had four pairs this year and they keep disappearing? A few weeks ago I had to buy her a new pair, she picked these feline ones out, and told me they were 'Batcat'(a superhero on Charlie and Lola)goggles...it's bizarre, but since she has been wearing the new goggles her confidence has multiplied 100x, to the point that her teacher keeps mentioning how well she is doing! Could the goggles be magic?

Piper obviously thinks so!

26 August 2008

MIFFED...the school update
Well...I talked with the School district. They do not allow ANY variances for children based on intelligence and readiness for school. They only allow a six week 'age' variance, so if your child turns five up to six weeks after the cutoff you can get a variance. I am miffed beyond words! This is so stupid(sorry Piper, Mummy owes the jar $1). So smart kids have to suffer it out, get bored and frustrated and ACT out.
We are going to look at schools outside the district, sadly some of the better private schools are way out of our reach. It's days like this I wish we could pack up and take the girls home to New Zealand.
Oh to be wealthy, and actually have 'choices'

23 August 2008

the scales tip...

and someone isn't so keen on their little sister's surge of self confidence! Paisley has been pretty big sister friendly since coming home in March...but as her confidence is building, her big sister is getting a bit concerned. I'm afraid Piper will no longer be able to assume her meteoric stature in the sibling department, now she will have to fight for it! (I think Paisley has seen a wee bit too much of the Olympics!)

Just for a giggle, I had to post this saying we saw on the wall of a restaurant in Edina.

It makes you think what would happen if you forgot your wallet?

more on.... SCHOOL
So...since we are on the subject of school, and since I'm an expat with little experience on how things work in the States...I was surprised to find out that children don't have to attend pre-school here. Okay, that's fine, there's tonnes of fun stuff to do at home, but then I started looking at the Kindergarten situation...in our State, you have to be 5 by September 1(give or take a few days) to be enrolled for Kindergarten that year (school year starts at the beginning of September). If you miss the cutoff by a week or a month...tough luck, you have to wait until you are nearly SIX to attend Kindergarten!!! Then, it's not a full day of school...it's a measly half day! But...if you have the cash, and I'm talking C-A-S-H...your child can attend 'full day' Kindergarten at 'select' public elementary Schools. How much you ask?


Wait a minute, did I say 'public school'? Yes I did...because it is considered 'after school care' a.k.a. baby-bloody-sitting! $3200 for someone at public school to 'babysit' my child! If you think I sound a bit miffed, yes I am!

So...if you are unlucky enough to be born after the first of September, and don't have an extra few thousand hanging around your child could be almost SEVEN YEARS OLD before they have their first full day of school. In my opinion this is INSANE! I don't know how we are going to handle this people? Where I am from, you go to full day school when you are FIVE, you attend 'kindy'(our preschool) for FREE from age 3-5! So what I'm seeing is kids get better opportunities and options if they come from homes that can afford the 'extras'...shame shame shame. I'm really disappointed.

Yesterday I got a call from the County Education Department, they are sending out information about obtaining a State Variance for Piper so she can attend Kindergarten early, she emphasized to me that they make it as difficult as possible to grant variances, regardless of circumstances.

Mike and I say BOLLOCKS!

22 August 2008

"I am too absolutely small for school"

well, perhaps in stature, but come September 2 Piper will be toting her Charlie & Lola schoolbag to her new pre-school, 2 days a week..2.5 hours a day...woohoo!

Last week her new teacher Mrs Chabot came to visit Piper at HOME! I've never ever ever heard of home visits, but it was rather sweet, and they played and talked about pre-school for about 40 minutes so that Piper would feel 'comfortable' going to school. Piper has read Charlie & Lola's book about going to school(title above) for the past two years and is well and truly primed...but watch her, she will quote little sayings from the book like "I am a little bit slightly nervous to go to school"...complete balderdash, she is stoked, she even says "Alligators are for fancy, for school, stripes are nice"...can anyone say "and the Emmy goes to...", our little soap star is 100% DRAMA...all the time! I do hope Mrs Chabot doesn't get too cross with all her 'acting'. the only thing Mummy is a bit sad about is no schooliform(yet another C&L reference!)

Today we even got a postcard from her teacher telling Piper how excited she is to have her in her class...hello...sweet!

We also signed Piper up for a separate Chinese Immersion pre-school that is 2 hours per week...Piper has been making up her own languages lately, and absorbs everything French, Spanish and Mandarin she hears...at the dinner table the other night she was talking to her blueberries in "blueberryfrench"..it went something like this.

"Bonjour blueberry...I am going to eat you..oui oui oui!"

Let me tell you...this isnt because her parents are Rhodes Scholars, this is because the girl DEVOURS books, and we read lots of them, from Fancy Nancy to Grimms Fairy Tales! She has been sneaking our Steinbeck novels from the bookcase in the last week and will sit staring at the words(no she cannot read yet) for 15 minutes at a time! I don't know what she is doing, Tortilla Flats isnt exactly a picture book! I think she wants to look like she is reading like Mum & Dad! Weird kid!

20 August 2008

well, exhausted actually. Last week was officially our 'Staycation', but so little happened other than the regular errands and a few small home improvement projects that no photos or explanations are worth mentioning! Poor Mike, it really wanst much fun for him, I was under the weather the entire time, and the girls were...energetic! This week is off to a rocky start, I'm still feeling pretty run down and Mike had to take off for a business trip to Lake Tahoe(perhaps he can pretend he's on a real vacation?)
Piper and Paisley are AWESOME! Piper loves the Olympics and is the biggest Michael Phelps fan under 4 years old! Paisley seems to be growing like a weed and will surely soon surpass her sister in the height department! Piper clocked in at 36' and 30lbs at our last Dr's visit, more surprising(not to us though) is the fact the Dr tested her at a 5 year old level and she passed all the guidelines for speech, comprehension, physical ability etc..the doc decided not to test her further...but suggested we have Piper enrolled for Kindergarten in 2009 instead of 2010.
Not much else really, I do have some cute photos to post, but right now...sleep is on the menu! Do you think it's the Olympics keeping us up until midnight?

11 August 2008

We just finished watching 'Long Way Round' the documentary-ish show about Ewan McGregor and his buddy Charley trekking around the globe from London to New york (via Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia and the States) on a couple of touring bikes. WOW! I absolutely loved every minute of it and am excited to watch the new adventure 'Long Way Down' where the wiley lads trek from the tippy top of Scotland all the way down through Africa, Egypt, the Sudan and to Capetown in South Africa! If you are looking for a great DVD to watch, this is it! I love Ewan, he seems so 'real' and 'honest', probably 'cause he's a good Scottish lad eh! I have a 'thing' for Scotland, my Mum's family has Scottish ties, and I spent a wonderful Hogmanay up there in a castle when I was a young lass.
Did you ever notice, both our girls names are decidedly Scots?
Piper & Paisley - AHA!
Well...that's it for now, just wanted to share with my meagre readers the pleasures of watching two lads on motorbikes roughing it in the wilderness...oh, I have to say the scenery and filming in Mongolia and Russia was astounding...the 'Road of Bones' in Eastern Russia is just so....well, it left me pretty speechless.
Watch a snipit here
If you watch the entire series, you will see the boys visit an orphanage in Mongolia, Ewan was so touched by a little two year old girl there that he and his wife adopted her soon after. Another thing I like about this chap, is he isn't all Hollywood...he just seems like a nice down to earth guy.

07 August 2008

Storyteller or Singy-teller?

There is a reason her nicname is Talky Talkerson.

"Abra Cadabra!"

The weight loss industry is in big trouble...apparently Piper came up with the plan that will save millions of people the trouble of going on Jenny Craig, sweating at the gym or joining Weight Watchers! The only problem...I wish she'd told me about her magic earlier...I'd still be able to wear those jeans I've been holding onto for 7 years! El-tummo-dissapearo!

05 August 2008

Hannah Montana wants YOU!
and Piper has already signed up! I caved and let her watch an episode of Hannah Montana yesterday...don't judge, it was dinner time and Whiney McWhineypants was on fine form.....if there's one thing I can't stand...it's WHINING! So...Piper sat and watched an episode of HM and LOVED it! She already knew one of the songs from her HM guitar she got last year, but now she actually knows who Hannah aka Miley Cyrus is, she seems hooked' I know she's only three but to be honest, Hannah is a lot better than some of the other options out there. ehem...Ms Spears included.

02 August 2008

It's hot in Minnesota right now, pleasantly hot. For a State that has a good 6+ months of winter I think we deserve days like these. We're also lucky enough to have over 14000 lakes in Minnesota, not that I'm all that fond of Lake swimming under normal circumstances, but last week someone told me about these little creatures, much to my horror. Chiggers are rampant in the lakes right now, so my girls will have to quench their need for cooling off in their tiny paddling pool on our front sidewalk(I know I know, I can hear the banjo's playing too)..last year we belonged to our local gym where they have the most amazing outdoor swimming pool, this year it isnt in our budget. So...how do you keep two grownups and two kids happy in the heat of the summer? Lets just say, I'd rather the four of us sweat than have ten thousand chiggers bitng our bits and pieces, spitting their liquifying enzymes into our flesh so they can slurp up 'soup du snowflower!'
Bugger off!

01 August 2008

Sheer determination!
Look at the concentration on Piper's face...this biking thing is serious stuff! I can't believe how serious she is! Borderline freaked out, but so excited to take that next step...or pedal. At her suggestion, her friend Lola had to come along for the ride...Lola looks a wee bit more confident than the Snowflower!

"I can do it Mummy...but I can't go fast, or I'll wreck!"

training wheels
big move...from three wheels to four

my little girl is growing up! Just a few months ago she still had the foam blocks on her tricycle pedals, now she's riding a "much funner really proper"(verbatim) bike...like the big kids in the neighborhood.