31 August 2009

I've had enough. I hate the suburbs. Our neighbors are moving...the normal ones. That leaves us with the crackpots, racists and other assorted red meat neanderthals that tend to congregate en masse in the burbs.
Piper's preschool refused to see that having a mini McDonald's inside a classroom is inappropriate.
Searching for a new preschool a week before school starts is a nightmare.
I want out of this house, out of this neighborhood!
SUCKS to be me right now.

30 August 2009

do rockstars go to preschool?

the kid is so cute she makes me cry

Lil Punk!I thought I'd take Piper out for a back to school photo shoot. She's still all bitten up, but the swelling is down and she is back to her spunky self(thanks to some sleep!) She is such a fun kid to photograph...when I asked her what she will do when her teacher asks her to do something...she did this.

always laughing the kid is destined for great things!

29 August 2009

when Daddy is in chargethis happens'
We are thinking of doing a show on TLC called 'Minnesota Ink, the kid has some serious tattoo talent. She even did each individual fingernail and 'lipstick'....I tell ya, turn around for 30 seconds and you get a surprise!

27 August 2009

The Princess and the Pea...part deux!
On Tuesday night the Princess was bitten by a rabid and unforgiving mosquito that happened to find it's way into her un-sleeping quarters. Actually...it turns out she was asleep at the time of the attack but awoke to over 30 large hot red welts all over her arms, legs and FACE! She was not just the 'hot mess' aforementioned in the prior post, but a double hot mess...
after 36 hours of monitoring and benadryl/claritin/calamine cocktails the heat of the welts and the severity of the swelling wasn't dissapating...so we took the ragged Princess to the doctor.
Conclusion...Dr said "yep, she's a hot mess"
prescribed THREE medications to reduce swelling, and since several bites were around the eye and had caused her to have a shiner any heavyweight boxer would be proud of, she even got steroid eye drops to help. Poor thing. By this afternoon she was still swollen but feeling much better.
The best side effect was the conversation I had with the Doctor about Piper's insomnia. After explaining how long this has been going on and how unlike her it is, we concluded that Piper is experiencing and episode of
'insomnia induced hysterical hyperactivity'
this can happen to children with PTSD, and to make a long story short...she is producing those 'fight or flight' hormones in overdrive and for some reason they aren't able to come back down to manageable levels(kids with ptsd almost always have higher levels of these hormones anyway, but this is crazytown levels)
So...if you can imagine a kid with ADHD drinks 12 cups of espresso, downs a 2lb bag of jelly bellys and 18 brighty colored popsicles...well thats what Piper has been like for the past month or so...except it gets a little worse every day. She is LITERALLY bouncing off the walls.
The Doc was clear to say she knows that Piper is not ADHD or ADD but is somehow caught in this 'cycle' and we need to break it before she crashes and burns...yep she said 'crashes and burns'!
We all know it wouldn't be pretty.
So...we are trying Melatonin. In a very small dose for a very limited time. It is afterall a 'hormone' that induces rest & sleep, and we want to limit her exposure to hormones at such a tender age but we need to try something. We gave Piper a very small dose tonight and she was asleep by 9pm. Lets hope she gets a good nights sleep...she only got 5.5 hours last night, half of her 'normal' amount.

golden arches in the classroom? no thanks! Tonight was open night at Piper's preschool. Mike and I walked into the classroom and were greeted by a mini-McD's in the center of the classroom, complete with cash register, price list, empty packaging, staff uniforms and hats in pint sized variations! Not to mention a 3 foot hanging yellow M dangling above..ugh! I understand that this is to be the MATH CENTER! It's not a small play center off to one side, it's the freakin' centerpiece of the classroom, it's grand central station of mathematical learning! I get it...but I am not at all happy that this is in a preschool room. I'm actually so unhappy that I don't want Piper in that particular room unless they change the 'McD's' into something a little more appropriate. I think this is absolutely horrid. I don't want my daughter learning math making change for a Big Mac! I don't care if 'other' people feed their kids at this particular establishment but to bring it into the classroom, well that just stinks!

24 August 2009

The Princess and the elusive Pea
Lately, we have been experiencing some technical difficulties in the slumber department. Snowflower #1 has been fighting sleep like she's Mike Tyson on speed! The kid is EXHAUSTED but never lets the zzzz's win. We know this is part of the issue with children who have some form of PTSD. We've noticed a massive improvement in self regulation when it comes to managing tantrums(BRAVA!) but the side effect is insomnia. I am open to suggestions in any form. She has an excellent diet, lots of exercise etc etc...it's just that her body produces the 'flight or fight' hormones en masse. This is also having an effect on her focus and concentration...which is concerning since school starts in a few weeks. We're going to talk to the big guns and see what pearls of wisdom they have to offer...until then...well...we'll keep looking for that pesky pea that keeps her awake!

23 August 2009

Holy flying Nannies Batman, we got tickets to see the show! Thanks to a nifty gift of theatre tickets from Nana & Papa last Christmas we were able to get four tickets to see the original Super Nanny in action! Okay...am I more excited than my children? yep.
Piper asked "will Jane and Michael Banks be there?"

17 August 2009

Super Star!
At the beginning of Summer Piper was placed two levels higher in gymnastics...and today, she was raised once again to Super Star level. Amazing! She would probably be the very youngest in this catagory and would be with girls up to three years older. She's also the very smallest one. I'm happy for her but I might look at a Super Star class to make sure she wont be to overwhelmed. Until then, she is stoked that she was offered a spot.

16 August 2009

The $$$ of Education

Everyone wants their children to receive a good education...don't they? I'm not talking about fancy private schools either. I'm talking about a good quality PUBLIC education. Yep...that's what we want for our girls and we are LUCKY! We live in a State with EXCELLENT schools, we are even lucky enough to live in a county with some of the best in the NATION! Wow!

BUT...yep, there's a but...and it has to do with half day vs. full day school. I've posted about this before, but since deciding we want to send Piper to the local PUBLIC Chinese Immersion program we have found out several things that just don't make sense to me.
1. even though most PUBLIC schools offer full day programs, they only have half day curriculum, the second part of the day is actually considered 'after care' or glorified daycare.
2. Half Day programs are free, of course, but you have to pay for full day, but in first grade onward it's completely free.
3. Some schools are starting to offer full day curriculum, but still charge for the second part of the day because it's not yet State mandated that full day Kindergarten is covered, so if you want your child to get 100% of an education in his/her first year of school then you have to pay for it...otherwise you are SOL, or you suck it up and wait until your kid is near SEVEN YEARS OLD before they pull a full day of school!
4. The district that we are registering Piper for Chinese Immersion offers FULL day curriculum in Chinese, but because the State only covers for half day we have to pay $4000 to receive 100% of what is taught,..actually, that's what last year was, it'll probably be $4200-4400 by the time Piper enters Kindergarten in Fall 2010. It makes no sense to have her attend a half day and miss out on valuable learning, so we will have to find a way to save for school fees for 2010.
5. 2010 will also be the year that Paisley enters pre-school...which means another $1500.
6. 4200 + 1500 = $5700
7. $5700 is about what it costs for tickets to New Zealand.
Don't even get me started on Healthcare...if I see or hear one more person compare Obama to Hitler I'm going to lose my shit!

14 August 2009

Call 911my kid is burning up the dancefloor!
I mean the girl is ON FIRE!
This summer has been fantastic for Piper, we signed her up for a few little day camps, just an hour a day here and there. This week she had a camp called 'Phunky Super Star' and boy did she love it! I don't know what it is about this child but she GLOWS when she is in front of people singingI think she wants to be a rock star when she grows up! Sometimes I actually think she might just do that! She has this amazing memory for lyrics, singers, and lines from movies...almost to the point where it's kinda crazy.too fierce for words...whassup dog!

12 August 2009

"Mummy, I need to tell you something...if you don't want us to play with your makeup you need to zip up the bag and put it somewhere we can't see it"
and how about this one...said with a high degree of perplexity
"Mum, I know how babies come out, but what I can't figure out is how they get in there?"

08 August 2009

Little girl lost
This little girl was adopted by an American family in China a week ago. Her parents are being forced to leave her behind because the US Consulate will not issue a VISA or a WAIVER to enter the USA due to the fact she has TB. The parents were never told she had TB, at the physical in Guangzhou they did a TB test and it came back positive. Turns out the Orphanage KNEW and didn't share this fact with the CCAA or the US agency. The little girl Harper has been legally adopted by her new parents and is no longer a ward of the Chinese State...she is in effect a lost child, her birth country no longer bears responsibility for her, and her new parents are not allowed to bring her back to her new home and country. She is NOT CONTAGIOUS! The CDC refuses to issue a waiver to allow her to come home to receive the rest of the treatments she needs.

Lets just get some perspective here...NO ONE other than adopted children are required to take a TB test prior to entrance to the USA...NO ONE! That means that many people come into the USA either with active or inactive Tuberculosis! Why is it that the CDC can't grant a waiver for this child so she can come to the USA and receive the rest of her treatments? She is four years old...the same age as Piper. She is a little girl who finally has a family and the bureaucratic paper pushers at the CDC are utterly and completely at fault for not seeing the damage they are doing to this family. If this new TB screening was part of the pre-adoptive process then this poor child and her new family would have had the knowledge and ability to organize options for her care prior to travel. Makes me so angry.

To those who have commented and judged the family for leaving Harper I am incensed at your inability to have empathy for those families who work many jobs, save for years and mortgage their homes to afford to bring a child home. I know for a fact if it were us, it would have been impossible to stay, we just wouldn't have the financial ability to stay for 4-6 months.

This beautiful child is not just a statistic, she needs her Mommy and Daddy...the first REAL parents she has ever known. You can read about Harper here AND if anyone knows Hillary Clinton please alert her to this story. If Bill can rescue two journalists from North Korea then bringing Harper home will be a cakewalk!

Harper gets her new name from the novel 'To kill a mockingbird' by Harper Lee, her Dad Jay hopes there will be an advocate out there for Harper...she needs an Atticus!

I guess there is something to say about discrimination starts at home.

IMO a child adopted in a foreign country by US citizen/s should not have to 'immigrate'(need entry visas), but should be a full citizen at the swearing in ceremony(Guangzhou)and receive a US passport before travel....I've always asked that question but no one could tell me why it happens that way since the first step on US soil is in fact the Consulate/Embassy.

06 August 2009

D.I.V.A.need I say more? she studied under the pro. we are in double trouble! big fat double trouble!
and yes...she is acting...putting on a show, I don't know where she got this pose from, but it is her signature pose complete with rockstar facial expression.

05 August 2009

jazz hands
theatre camp
teeny ballerina

To immerse or not to immerse?For the past few months we have been seriously considering registering Piper for Chinese Immersion Kindergarten and Elementary School. Of course she wont be going to Kindergarten until Sept 2010 but registration is at the end of this year and we need to make decisions now. Every single person I have spoken with is 100% for immersion programs, we've done some research and spoken with the school and we are ready to make our decision. I'd love to hear others experiences with similar programs so feel free to leave a comment or email me! We also signed Piper up for one of the Summer Camp Immersion programs, it's just one week long, 3 hours a day and she LOVES it! The other AWESOME side effect...she falls asleep immediately once she goes to bed which is nothing short of amazing. This leads us to believe that she is being challenged in a positive way! Quite honestly, I was fearing our other more mainstream choices...this one seems to be just the ticket!

We love 'the girls'We love the girls across the cul de sac...L.O.V.E them..ever since we moved here just over four years ago 'the girls' have had a big role in the Snowflowers lives. Bryce, Avery & Dillon are Piper & Paisley's 'big sisters. Mike and I adore their parents (the beautiful Kristine was featured in one of my photogrpahy blog posts). I am sad that they have their house up for sale, but I treasure each and every day our girls spend with 'the girls'.
This was taken last Friday night after a delicious and impromptu dinner across the street.

gymnastics rock!
the kid rocks the gym...seriously, she loves it! Piper has been doing gymnastics for just over a year and is currently learning how to do cartwheels and handstands on the beam! At some point pretty soon I am probably going to have to look away...but for now, with her coaches nearby I took the opportunity to snap a few pics.
Ta Da!

04 August 2009

the aptly placed hand"I refuse to let this photo haunt me when I'm famous"

03 August 2009

Art for Arts' sake
I fear I'm addicted to taking photos. My new obsession. Tonight we ventured over to the Weisman Art Museum...I fell in love all over again. What is it about Gehry that floats my boat?