30 November 2009

My tiny tornado!LARGER than life itself! Crazier than a coconut! Sassier than Sassy McSassypants!
and then she is
my shining star my HIGH DEFINITION no holds barred technicolor girl!

my precious

24 November 2009

this stinks...again.
We found out today that there would be no pay raises at my husbands work. This comes as quite the blow as last years were also non-existent. We have a huge year ahead as far as expenses go and we are going to have to rethink sending Piper to Chinese Immersion preschool. We are going to talk to the Principal and Director of the program and see whether the half day program is an option, but...when I spoke to the Principal a few months ago she recommended we do the full day program as their Kindergarten operates on a full day 100% curriculum, and she would miss out on HALF of what the other children learn. We really don't want to back out now, but the full day is as expensive as private school and without even a cost of living increase we are doubtful we can afford it.
I'm going to look at a few of our local schools regular programs...we want to make sure Piper gets the challenge she needs in a warm and nurturing environment. To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement, but it'll be okay, she'll thrive in whatever environment as long as she's learning.
At this rate we'll probably never get back to New Zealand, but education has to come first, especially since children here don't go to school on their 5th birthday, but have to wait until the year they are 5 by September 1. The regular school program will only be a half day, at this stage thats all the State wants to pay for, so Piper will be 6.5 years old before she sees a full day of school! I'm going to have to do more homeschooling than I thought. Also with our pediatrician and several other 'professionals' urging us to enroll Piper into a full day program because of her aptitude we feel 2.5 hours of school a day just isn't enough...either way you spin this cat it means we'll be paying some major moola!

Snowflowers meet the 'Chicken Spaghetti Lady'and other fine recipes!
On Saturday I sneakily convinced my wonderful husband to come with me to a 'little book signing' at the Mall of America. Y'know, we're not big mall people, so it's saying something. Of course the Snowflowers lurve the MOA...not because of the 16 trillion stores, but because of the kickarse amusement park planted in the middle of the mall, AND the Legoland, AND the American Girl Store and cafe!When we arrived there were already the equivalent of two Jumbo jets worth of PW fans in line...I figured 1.5 - 2 hours and I'd have my cookbooks signed, and we'd zip back home in time to throw together a delicious lasagna...
hmmm, funny how things don't go how you think they will.
I sent Piper off with her Daddy while Paisley stayed in line with me..and we waited, and snoozed... and waited, (oh butt the distraction...pardon the pun!..and before you get all P.C. with me, the PW herself PUBLISHED photos of this in her COOKBOOK! ye gods!) and waited...and stared at MM's bum.Thank God I packed snacks, and my complete lack of decorum so I could continue looking at MM's bum some more.
About half an hour before I got to meet PW, Mike came back with Piper...who decided to join us in line...and instantly made a new friend..of course! Mike decided to plonk down on a bench close to the 'action' and watch the madness that is the PW posse. Although... a few minutes after he sat down he was questioned by a mall cop regarding a package underneath his seat....of course he had no idea what it was and stood up as the FBI came over to investigate! I had no idea the FBI had a stronghold outside Nordstrom? Turns out the 'package' was of an organic nature...not one I wish to repeat...but it was amusingI finally got to the end of the line and the girls and I trotted on stage to meet a still smiling Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman...this is how our neeting went

PW : Hi...
me: I feel duped...
PW : looking confused
me: someone told me the Jonas Brothers were at the end of this line!
PW : oh...sorry to disappoint...
me: nah, I just happened to have two of these books anyway so it's no biggie
at which point Piper states... "I really like your chicken Spaghetti"
me: you should plan a New Zealand book tour
PW: is that where you're from, I was going to say Australia
me : lucky for you, if you'd guessed that I'd have to thwap you over the head with these books
Lets just say I have a way with words...I'm pretty sure as I was walking away she called out that she wants to be BFF's!
p.s. the kids never got their lasagna.

19 November 2009

OMG....it's almost Christmas!
Dear Santa,
I have absolutely no idea what you have in mind for the Snowflowers, you know you really should have planned ahead. Last minute shopping makes you really really crabby...I know! This year we'd love to drive out to Colorado again but we're not sure if it's going to happen...you know, with the crappy economy, lack of pay increases, non-existent bonuses(for the working stiff that is)and crazy medical bills(yep, thanks a tonne awesome insurance)...frankly...it's probably going to be a bit of a skint one this year...but that's okay, we don't mind. I was wondering, since we're now on 'talking' terms, if you'd ask your elves what a good gift for a 2.5 year old girl is, her Mummy is having a tough time figuring out what she wants...and as for the almost 5 year old...well, we all know what she wants, and THAT ain't gonna happen (not because it can't happen, but because I think it's a slippery slope with that company)...as for the Mister...he's easy, but hard...the truest oxymoron...I know what I 'want' to get him...but as a SAHM it's a little out of the el budgeto. So if you have an alternate recommendation let me know. I don't need anything really...a new pair of jeans and some warm winter clogs perhaps...or could you spare an elf or two to paint the bathroom...that'd be lover-ly!
Next Year though...could you find it in your heart and big red sack to leave 4 return tickets to New Zealand...I haven't been home in a long time and there are Nana's and a Grandad who haven't met Little P yet...sigh.
Update: We caved...we bought the Wii & Wii Fit for our family Christmas gift. Amazon had a kickin' deal on it. Now we just need to figure out which games to get that the entire family will enjoy...something that involves fast cars or skiing/mountain biking for Mike, Something singing or dancing for the girls and something made for a toddler for me(because I suck at video games!)...actually, I've heard such amazing things about the Wii fit, that I might be able to do my workouts on it rather than at the gym(cannot afford a membership!)

15 November 2009

Our 'Waiting Child'It's been almost two years since we first laid eyes on our sweet Paisley, and as this anniversary of her referral date draws nearer I have to say a few words about how grateful I am that she was chosen to be part of our family, and that the decision was made in the Heavens, out in the great Universe...and by whatever means on that day in November 2007 we got THE call...not the CALL, but quite literally THE call.

10 months earlier we had submitted our medical conditions checklist with our agency with the hopes that we would be approved to adopt another daughter from China. We knew when we began the paperwork that this would be the route we chose. Things were changing in China and the need for adoptive families for children with medical, physical and/or developmental needs was now more prevalent and more accessible and we felt that we could honor a child who had needs outside the realm of what was considered 'normal'.
Of course our parents were concerned for us, but we assured them we knew what our limitations were and that we had thoroughly researched all the conditions we were 'open' to. Funny thing is...when that call came from our agency, Paisley's 'condition was not even on their list let alone ours! Her file had severe mistranslations and her condition was not researchable, we relied on the advice of the adoption doctors and faith that this little girl needed us!
Her 'special need' was a birth defect on the back of her skull that was 'assumed' to be extremely serious...I won't go into macabre details, but her prognosis was 'fair' at best.
When we saw her we knew instantly that she was meant to be in our family, even after speaking with several of the most respected names in International Adoptive Medicine who had deep concerns for her welfare, we committed to this little child and forged forward in an endeavor to bring her home as soon as possible.the Director obviously had a sense of humor when he sent this update photograph!
In March 2007 we travelled to China to bring sweet Paisley Rose home, she grieved heavily for the first week, screaming for her foster mother and scratching her body unrelentlessly until we could barely see skin beneath the welts. It was a rough week, but after the move to Guangzhou we started to see her personality and sweetness emerge.

Once home, the first month was filled to the brim with Doctors visits, MRI's and screenings. It was after the MRI that we got the best news ever, Paisley's 'defect' did not involve any kind of spinal fluid, brain matter or skull defect but was in fact a simple lipoma, a mass of fatty tissue and skin probably caused by lack of prenatal nutrition.

On May 5, one month after being home Paisley had a 20 minute surgery to remove the mass...and there has been no looking back!
Isn't this incredible, this was taken just a few hours after we came home from the Hospital, the surgeon didn't even have to shave her head!
The decision to adopt a 'waiting child' was the best one we have EVER made!
Paisley Rose is an amazing 2.5 year old, she knows all her colors, can count in English AND Mandarin(thanks to her big sister). She has been FULLY potty trained for about 8 months! She has absolutely no residual side effects from her defect. We did have Early Interventions come for a few months post surgery to help build her muscle tone and strength, but after just 8 weeks of treatment she had surpassed not only their 3 month goal, but also their six month goals! She is insanely funny, sweet, cuddly, loving and loves loves loves her big sister. She tells each and every family member 'I love you' at least 20 times a day, and will sit calmly and repeat her professions until the sentiment is returned! She will try almost any food, hardly ever has a tantrum (unlike you know who) and is inherently kind and generous.
When people tell us how lucky SHE is we cannot believe the audacity, for it is US, this kooky family who are the lucky ones to have HER in our lives.

aww c'mon Paisley...don't go Yoko on us now!
I had exactly five minutes to take photos today...there had been no naps...and a fairly large amount of non-compliance. Yep, a photographers dream. I took 20 photos in quick succession and decided to pack it in and try again next week. I even tried bribery...but that didn't work at all.
I did get these ones after I announced that we were going inside...This is why even the bravest mummy with a camera calls in favors when it's time to take pics of her own kids!

Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

Somebody calls you,you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

14 November 2009

Positively Paisley

Splendiferously Fancy Day
(Fancy Nancy binoculars were a big hit!)
Thanks to a late night email from Auntie Susie..we found out that some of our local Borders bookstores were having a Fancy Nancy event today. We opted out of going to 'Baby Loves Disco'(because FREE activities win handsdown over spending $48 on tickets!) and headed over to the bookstore for some ooh-la-la-free-but-very-fancy-fun! Did I mention the free part?
There was story time of coursewe even got to hear the newest Fancy Nancy Christmas story for the first time(yep, and Mummy ordered it on Amazon for half price..sorry Borders!)
There were Fancy Nancy coloring pages, bow making, stickers for stickering, and the ever so posh fruit-loop-o-jewelry design center.
The girls had a blast making the bracelets, Paisley had never tried fruit loops before because we have all that stinky organic cereal(boring!)...but I think we have a new superfan because she ate more than went on her bracelet! They even had a prize drawing for a book and a Fancy Nancy tote...Paisley won the tote but was too shy to retrieve it...guess who did the honors?...yeah I figured you wouldn't have to guess.

Two very happy very tired little girls!

Dear Santa...

just sayin'

10 November 2009

Finally, a decent School Photo!

We got school photos back today and I have to actually admit that this is a decent one. Last year...it was a bit of a disaster...completely out of focus. This year however, I actually love it. Just don't hate me for the pony pompoms, she insisted we get them and hey, you're only four once right!

09 November 2009


Forgive the craptacular photos, I just couldn't resist this one...Piper loves the swings(I still can't get Paisley in one), and before Paisley took her tumble, shewas having a grand time on the swings at the playground. I'd love a swingset at home, but we can't justify the expense just yet. Maybe in a few years.

08 November 2009

OUCHIE Short story...little one falls four feet from slide at playground...lands directly on head. Parental units have heart attacks, take little Snowflower to urgent care, she gets the thumbs up but parents still in shock. If there was just a way to cover our kids in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives...we'd be good. The graze isn't bad, but it is a reminder of things to come.

On yeh bike! For the first time ever, Paisley actually wanted to ride her 'red' bike today! Since it was so lovely out we took advantage and set the kids up in the Cul de sac. Paisley actually agreed to wear her helmet, which is HUGE progress...perhaps yesterdays tumble gave her some food for thought? More on the tumble later...for now...some cute bike photos! Obviously the bell was the highlight, the pedals were deemed...highly inconvenient. Daddy gave out some last minute tips on not texting, uh I mean bell ringing while riding!
and she's off...like a rocket...well, like a really really slow rocket that hasn't been ignited.
Still, she seemed quite pleased with herself.Big sista kept a careful watch on her...just in case.

06 November 2009

35 years ago...

the cutest baby was born! Happy Birthday to my best friend and the most awesome Daddy in the Universe! BTW...still has the same haircut!

04 November 2009

pyjama day...preschool style!Today was pyjama day at Piper's preschool! I made her some Fancy Nancy pyjama pants for her to wear and they were a big hit! Piper had a blast, her teacher is such a great sport!

Pyjama Days!
A few weeks ago Piper got a call for a photoshoot,

I expected there to be a few children in attendance but it turned out it was just Piper and she was in her ELEMENT!

She had such a blast and all the photographers and stylists were wonderful. The shoot turned out to be a 'bedroom scene', how cool is that!

She got to wear jammies and eat rainbow colored cereal and pb&j in BED!

Her favorite part of the job was the jumping! She was so excited she screamed out
"oh-my-gosh-mummy-can-i-really-jump-on-the-bed?!!"and she did...with exuberance!
It was a really nice experience for her and will lead to more work. The Director and Photographers couldn't believe how well mannered she was and how well she follows directions (uhem, that doesn't happen at home so go figure!).