30 January 2009

The wonderful folks at My Adoption Website have donated a HUGE prize! They are not only offering the Kreuer Family an adoption travel package so their friends and family (and cyber bloggy buddies) can follow their journey to Anna Grace, but they have donated a PRIZE to the fundraiser for one as well! The prize is Package A plus a journal and CD valued at $185!
If you are about to travel or hope to be travelling in 2009, this would be an amazing prize to try for! I have watched so many people's journeys through this site and I have to say it is just fabulous, and it's owners are truly wonderful!
We are working tirelessly on getting the fundraiser up and running, hopefully in the next couple of weeks!


I don't normally do these things, but I recently got a blog award from Casey and I thought it was short, and fun...so here we go...

rule 1. Choose 5 blogs to pass this award onto
rule 2. List five things I'm addicted to....

Five blogs I love

1. My friends the Ronan's
2. Diana, because she was the first to feed my Matilda Jane addiction
3. Nic, from Mother Mother Ocean
4. Lisa from Lost & Found
5. Jen...my hero
My FIVE + 1 addictions

1. Coffee & Chocolate...I know thats two...but in MY world, they are ONE
2. My TV addictions - 24, New Adventures of Old Christine, and The Daily Show
3. My husband and the Snowflowers
4. The blogosphere
5. Ebay, Etsy & Craigslist...for buying, selling and trading

and just because I don't conform here's another one...

6. recycling...addicted to the point of madness
oh and shoot...my biggest addiction of late, much to my husbands chagrin

27 January 2009

broccoli, the silent killer
tonight at dinner Miss Four announced...
"I just can't eat this broccoli, when I taste it my heart doesn't pump my blood in my heart properly"
who knew?

sniff sniff...I'm okay, I am...really....the crib is SOLD. This means no more babies in the house, not that we were planning on any more...it's just tough to see that little bit of their 'babyhood' go away. The people who bought the crib will be back on Sunday to pick it up, we have until then to go buy a mattress for Her Majesty's new bed...the sheets and duvet are already washed and ready, all we need now is the mattress and box springs and we'll be set.
Now I just need advice on how on earth I can keep a not quite two year old in a big girl bed? I'm really looking foward to that! NOT!

Fancy Paisley?

blurry photo...but this is the newest fan of Fancy Nancy and all her accessories! At 21 months Paisley's first four word sentence....


okay then

Fundraiser Alert
Okay, it's coming...we're still working on obtaining some prizes for the fundraiser.
So far, we have some spectacular items...and today we got another great adoption related prize...
an autographed copy of Shaoey and Dot
by Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman
This prize is especially poignant, because like the Kreuer Family, Steven & Mary Beth Chapman have also felt the pain of losing one of their adopted children in a tragic accident.
We feel very lucky to have received this book from The Chapmans...THANK YOU!

26 January 2009


23 January 2009

Norman Rockwell eat your heart out!

NO TO SCHOOL BUSES!Just last week Mike and I were having the conversation about whether or not we felt comfortable letting Piper ride the school bus. My first question was "do they have seat belts?"...and when I found out they don't my mind was made up. Then last night on the news we saw this...and that cemented our thoughts...our kids will not ride the school bus...at least not until they are at high school. I cannot believe it is not FEDERALLY mandated to have seat belts on school transportation. This is awful! To make matters worse, I think living in an area where inclement weather is the norm, that these precautions would be a priority. So..guess who will be driving Piper to her first field trip on Tuesday!

22 January 2009


So now that Piper has turned four, I think we should also highlight some of what is going on in 'Piperland'...

Miss P is currently enjoying gymnastics, she loves the beam and floor but is challenged on the bars...I think it's letting go and turning oneself upside down that is the daunting part for her. This year she is also in ballet, and is prepping for her first ever 'recital'...I'm not sure how they will pull it off, it's still a few months away, and like I heard someone say recently, it's like herding cats! Piper is enjoying pre-school, she goes 2 mornings a week and adores her teachers and classmates. She has taken a break from Chinese pre-school until Paisley gets a bit older(it was during nap time and was becoming problematic). We hope she will be able to start back up in the Fall. We'd also like to start her at our local Kumon Learning center once a week(if we win the lottery!)

Piper is doing well with her reading, she is sounding out words and can read stage 1 books with help. Her math skills are great, she started teaching herself addition and subtraction, not on paper of course, but you can give her simple equations and she will give you an answer. She has been writing her own name for over a year but has now moved onto other more interesting words...like Paisley and Fancy.

Piper is finally into 'girly' things, like Fancy Nancy, fairies, and dress up. She is still into Charlie & Lola, dragons and kung fu! She loves hot chocolate and anything with peanut butter...peanut butter is to Piper what chocolate is to her Mummy. She is getting a little picky at meal times but still loves spinach, so all is well in the world!

Piper was recently featured on a widely known childrens fashion website, and will, if all goes well be signing with an agency in Minnesota in the near future.

Sometimes....she is SASSY.

She adores her little sister, sure sometimes she gets frustrated, but most of the time she wants her by her side. They are pretty inseparable.Her favorite things are her pink blanket which was given a new name over the holidays...'pinkie', her stuffed schnauzer Ollie, Fancy Nancy and BOOKS...books are her favorite. She sleeps with a book under her pillow EVERY night. She also makes up songs...and singing is the soundtrack in our home, in the car and at the store...this kid is a mobile Broadway play! Favorite movie - Enchanted, closely followed by The Incredibles and Cinderella. Piper speaks in different accents, and is an excellent mimic. She is a master story teller.

She wants to help, she asks "is there anything I can help you with Mummy" which is lovely...and even better, she means it.

She is a spitfire, a spirited imp and a beautiful little girl.

Today's little adventure with the crib escape had me thinking how far Paisley has come in just 10 months since she was placed in our arms. Firstly, the kid has grown like crazy...I mean really really grown! The other day I took a pair of pyjamas off Piper that were a wee bit small...instead of packing them away, I put them directly on Paisley...and they fit! Paisley is wearing a size 2T in dresses, 24m or 2T in shirts and 18-24 in pants! Piper is wearing a 2-3 (euro size) in pants so as you can see, Paisley is catching up fast!

Her language is exploding...she has about 40+ words and will often string two of them together...sometimes three. Two days ago she switched from calling me Mumma to calling me Mummy...Mummy with a U! She has the sweetest little voice, but man can she yell when she needs to...and SQUEAL...I swear we could clear a restaurant with those lungs. The funny thing is...she doesn't talk in public...she is very quiet, so most people think we are mad when we tell them she talks up a storm.
She's smart...she knows most of her colors and their names. Purple is her favorite.
Her first request in the morning is 'bow'...meaning I must do her hair before all else. She is a girly girl beyond measure, always pushing the step stool up to the counter to look at herself in the mirror. She likes to dress up, and adores shoes...mainly Pipers's shoes...the fancier the better. Necklaces are a must have, she calls them "neck-necks".
Her manners are lovely, she always says 'pease' and 'thank you' and 'sqooze me'
She has a WICKED sense of humor...with a cheeky twist and a crazy giggle to boot
She loves her bunnies 'baba' and all things 'baby'
She is particular about hats and must have the one she desires, any other is unheard of
She is gloriously happy 99.5% of the time
She adores her sister, yet will punch her on occasion...her sister, never retaliates.
She is an excellent sleeper and loves pretty much any kind of food we give her
She loves baths and massages
She is loving and snuggly and sweet...always ready for hugs and kisses and says "wuv you" to her Mummy, Daddy and sister freely.

She is a miracle

It happened...the munchkin, all 20.5 months of her, has decided that pole vaulting out of her crib is her newest achievement. I'm not ready for this! So..this weekend we will be turning her crib into a toddler bed. Children are so different, Piper was content in her crib until she was three...then we switched to her full sized big girl bed. Paisley on the other hand has been eyeing up an escape route for months. Lets just hope she can stay in her bed at night...yeah, I'm really looking forward to this transition. If that doesn't work, perhaps the contraption above will? Then there is the question, do we make the crib into a toddler bed, or just go straight to the twin bed?
I think I'll try to sell her crib on ebay or Craigslist and buy a twin bed. Sad to see the crib go, I bought it with the intention of turning it into a full bed, but when I got it we were living in a house in Vermont where the bedrooms were much larger, in our current house it just seems to gigantic to turn into a full sized bed. If anyone is interested in an Amish made quality crib with conversions rails for a toddler bed and full sized bed let me know!
Here's the bed I found for Paisley on Craigslist...I haven't bought it yet but we are going to see it tomorrow.add some pretty bedding and voila "welcome to princessland"

20 January 2009

Today marks a historic occasion...the swearing in of this Nations 44th President...


19 January 2009

A special project
I am part of a special project that is in the works...one that will help an amazing family bring a child with a special need home from China. This family has been through HELL in the past few months and I know that the adoption community will come out in full support for them in an effort to bring home their newest daughter and to honor the daughter who they tragically lost just short months after bringing her home in 2008.
Stay tuned, but this is going to be BIG...this family needs our help and many wonderful items will be part of a fundraiser in support of this family.
some of the wonderful people donating to this cause are
If you or the company you work for is interested in donating an item for this fundraiser please contact either myself or Kris by email or leave a comment. So far the donations from the above people are outstanding!
and yes...this is for Carrie!

18 January 2009


Just in case Fancy Nancy isn't girly and glittery enough for everyone...the newest rage on the block is the movie 'Enchanted'...Piper and Paisley both seem to love it...Piper 'floats' around the house singing all the songs...and practicing 'true love's kiss' on whomever she can! It truly is a sweet fairy tale and we don't mind them watching it...but after the 47th rendition of 'how does she know' one tends to get a bit of a knee jerk reaction to all the 'fluffiness'. So forgive the soundtrack, but it is OUR soundtrack lately....and since it's giving Ariel and her mermaid friends a break we're all okay with that...there's only so much 'under the sea' shanty-ing one family can handle!

Mancave or butterfly tent?

The girls are enjoying their new butterfly tent...I had Piper convinced it was a 'man cave' for Daddy, right up until the end...she stood there with a perplexed look on her face while I assembled it, unsure as to why Daddy would need a pink 'mancave'...turns out Daddy wasn't interested in claiming it as his own so he handed the rights over to the two little monarchs...

~Fancy Piper's Birthday Soiree~
Twas the night before the party and all through the house, not a creature was stirring....well...that's not exactly true..sometimes a fancy girls Mummy is still stirring..but it was worth it!
I mean, someone had to get the house 'fancified' for the party after all...there were curtains to hang, and chandeliers to adorn...but we made it in time...whew!

The morning of the party we wisked Piper off to have a surprise makeover at the local kid's salon, curls and glitter, purple and pink extensions and irredescent butterfly hairclips...
"ooh la la I feel so posh!"
Once all the girls had arrived, we started the party with a story to put everyone in the right frame of mind...a FANCY frame of mind!
After the story the girls split into groups...taking turns at crafting their very own tiaras, and having their nails painted and lips glossed at the 'Ooh la la spa de beaute'

Chief beautician Leanne and Mom to one of Piper's pals Ellie 'glitterfies' some of the guests - always good to have an extra set of hands helping!

"um Mummy, aren't fancy girls supposed to have tiaras made for them?"

some very fancy party guests looking glamorous.
Well, surprisingly each and every child devoured their entire lunch, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into the shape of butterflies, 'green popcorn', grapes, mini pizzas, cheese kebobs and fancier than fancy 'pink fizzy grape juice' which the children aptly called 'pink fizzy' but out of everything, the children were most interested in the....CAKE!

blowing out the candles

and you thought it couldnt be prettier...look inside, decadent chocolate cake with raspberry filling!

All the guests left with a bar of Fancy Nancy chocolate

and a lifesize 'Fancy Piper doll'....just kidding, but this photo was too wierd not to post.

One of the cutest moments came as one of Piper's classmates from pre-school was walking down the stairs...she looked up at Mike and said...

"You look like a Prince, can I please hold your hand"


15 January 2009

Is everybody ready for a Fancy Nancy Party?
This weekend we are having Piper's fourth birthday party...it's themed of course...a FANCY NANCY party of monolithic (fancy for large) proportions! The house is packed with all manner of things that could be construed as 'Fancy' or 'Posh' in little girl terms! Swags of tulle adorn the dining room chandelier, as do iridescent butterflies and faux pearls. Favor bags festooned with glittery goodies and delicious chocolates are placed up high(just in case some sticky fingers think they can raid the booty early! All there is to do is hang the curtains in the dining room, assemble some of the store bought food (you have got to be crazy if you think I'm making party food at this point!), pick up the cake and balloons and finish off preparing some of the party games. I laid out the table to see what it would look like and frankly I think it looks pretty snazzy(old people talk for great).

I cannot wait to see Piper's face on Saturday morning! We have a few surprises in store for her before the party starts..including a secret trip to the salon for Fancy Nancy hair...perhaps some curls, a few bright pink extensions and a lot of glitter! I sure hope she likes her cake...I ordered two small cakes from our local bakery one 7" and a 6"...I have to place one on top of the other...if the store did it they'd have charged me 'wedding' prices which was frankly too 'fancy' for this Mummy! I would have liked to replicate(fancy for copy) this cake
...but that would have been unimaginably difficult...so instead I'll post it here and drool over it.
and since I'm working my derriere off to get this party off the ground, I thought a happy little working song from Pipers favorite movie would be appropriate

One of the highlights of our trip was seeing so many of my online friends and fellow adoptive Moms and their families! This particular gathering was at Jen's house, where we feasted on delectable pasta and indulged in fabulous conversation while the children went crazy! Jen & Ben (sister Ellie is not in this picture for some reason?), Christie and Lina, and of course Me, Piper and Paisley. Maia and Flynn were also there earlier in the evening, but had to depart before the 'group shots'. We didn't leave the husbands out, they were all just talking and taking photos for the girls!

then you see something that you didn't spot at first...lovely Zi-Zi...just lovely. Can you see the beer-bruise on her forehead?!


This is Mike's idea of the perfect Christmas tree! Nothing more festive than a tree made out of 'Fat Tire' cans! When we were in CO we made a side trip to Ft Collins to have the Mountain Buggy (I bought one of Craigslist) serviced by the Distributors. To make a long story short, Mike heard 'Ft Collins' and said "Great idea, we should stop at the New Belgium Brewery while we're there" this in fact was a brilliant plan and we actually had a wonderful time there. This particular brewery makes some of Mike's favorite beers, including 'Fat Tire', they are also one of the most desirable workplaces in the country, coming second after 'Google' in Outside magazines best places to work guide. I even tried a few brews, not being a beer drinker I had low expectations, but I found THREE beers I didn't just like, I thought they were awesome! Who knew?

my handsome groom enjoying his 'Sampler'

my 'Sampler' was a bit more 'girly' but hey, I'm a girl, there's no shame in drinking 'girly' beers!

This was also the scene of Paisley's first 'beer injury', yep, you heard correctly...my little one had her first alcohol related injury...you know, where I'm from we don't freak out about alcohol like the Americans do, it's part of life so it never really becomes an issue, kind of like the French and Italians....but this was more of a Beer Vat meet child's skull issue as opposed to a consumption thing, lets just say....exit stage left during the 'factory tour'...there are however photos of the bruise to prove her injury to those who doubt it's origins.

We were also lucky enough to get the Mountain Buggy serviced, new treads installed and a few clips replaced in quick smart time. Not bad for a side trip eh.

Cousin Mollie(2.5) and Paisley(20 months) feed their babies on Christmas Day. I love this photo, both girls are so into 'babies' and strollers and all girly stuff.
"Inspector, I believe there may be an imposter in the house!"
Cousin Rhys(4.5), Travis(5, Rhys's cousin from NZ) and Piper(almost 4)


Piper, Bella, Sophie, Levi & Paisley

Since I didn't post while we were away in Colorado over the holidays I wanted to catch up and post about all the wonderful things we did...this being one of them! I finally got to meet Tiffany and her three beautiful children after all these years! We were in China at the same time in 2005 but missed meeting up...so making it out to see them was a highlight! We had a wondeful day together, a delicious lunch and the children 'tore the place apart' which is kid for 'having a great time'....I also have to mention that the family dog 'Charlie' is so sweet, I almost smuggled him out in my purse!

Just because I love this photo....this is my CRAZY-PAISLEY face...dig it!?!


School is closed today, the message on the phone stated that the weather was "dangerously cold"...what is dangerously cold?
-20F or -29C
with windchill
-38F or -39C
yep...that's cold. It is the coldest day in the Twin Cities in FIVE years, and that's saying something! This isn't weather to take the kids outside to play in the snow, this is stay inside and pray that the electricity stays on, consume lots of hot chocolate and chicken soup. I have a tonne of errands to run today for Pipers birthday party on Saturday but I will have to wait until this afternoon when it is supposed to warm up to -5F! Lucky for us, it's supposed to be 23F on Saturday...still well below freezing, but it will seem like a heatwave compared to today!

11 January 2009


My baby turned four today! Can anyone advise me of a special potion or herbal tincture that can stop my children growing up? I cannot believe she is FOUR! Okay, I can believe it because she has turned into Sassy McSassypants and thinks she knows more than her poor parents, she also talks incessantly and has become fickle about some foods and reluctant to sleep like she used to. Is this what FOUR is like? It's kinda seeming like it!

We started her birthday off with a jolly good helping of super sticky, super sweet, super non organic(okay maybe the sugar is organic but nothing else) sticky sticky buns (recipe from our dear neighbor Kristine!)...this is one of Pipers favorite treats, and Paisleys too I might add! Both girls DEVOURED two entire servings each, as well as a heaping ladle of scrambled eggs and bacon(yes yes, both were organic...I have to make up for it somewhere

After 'brekkie' we began the daunting task of opening pressies....boy, and was there a mountain of them! Her eyes barely reached over some of the parcels....
What could a Fancy girl wish for more than anything?

FANCY NANCY stuff out the WAHOO!

Accessories galore, Nancy herself, dress up stuff, fancy purple slippers

Fancy Nancy meet Fancy Piper...Oh La La, I am Posh!
Not only did she clean up on the FN front, she also made out like a bandit with a Tinkerbelle activity box and bath set(pictured below)...lets just say, thank goodness for the bath set, after the sticky buns both girls needed hosing down! The Tinkerbelle mirror might become a wee bit of an obsession with Piper though, Mike could hear here singing Ariel tunes from downstairs while she combed her hair! Ye Gods, help us with this child when she turns 13!

Purple Tinkerbelle bath foam looks tasty, but as Paisley figured out...tasty?...not so much

All this before noon! After bath the girls got dressed up and we headed out for a 'birthday surprise'... a trip to the movies to see 'Bedtime Stories' which was fun for Piper who just loves making up stories, for Paisley...well, she slept through the last 45 minutes!

As requested, dinner was a lavish bowl of steaming macaroni and cheese a la YUM...one of our favorite eateries in Minneapolis. Topped off with a decadent red velvet cupcake with marscapone topping! Lets just call the day a resounding success! Happy Birthday Darling...you are the fanciest, silliest, smartest little girl I know!
We are the LUCKIEST parents in the Universe to be given the honor of being your Mummy and Daddy!