Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Preparations

This morning, Maggie was pushing around her Bitty Baby in the doll stroller, shopping bag over the handle (just like mommy), and reading aloud from her 'shopping list' a.k.a. a paper napkin..."hmm, toys for Meaghan, toys for Leah and toys for Baby Jesus!"

We went out and got her this 17 piece Nativity set at Walmart yesterday. It was only $15! What a bargain and so cute too. She loves to hear how the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby and how Jesus was born in a stable and the kings brought him gifts, so that's why we give gifts to the people we love. The set comes with a hay bale. She puts the hay bale in the manger and then precariously places Jesus on top. They laid the baby down on a bed of hay remember? She takes these things very seriously - and literally.

She also loves to hear about how Santa is going to sneak into our house to bring her presents. She sneaks around on her tiptoes like a cat burglar and asks "is dis how Santa sneaks?"
Sure Marge, just like that.

Hope your Christmas preparations are going well!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Maggie's Christmas Wish List

Here's the comprehensive Wish List:

Blue yo-yo
Diego Camp and Rescue set
Black & Decker play chainsaw (Fleet Farm)
Play Skis (like the Ronco ones when we were a kid - if they still make them)
Electronic Keyboard
Dora Singing Sensation DVD
Babylegs Leg Warmers (with some pink to match her dancing outfits)
Leotards & Tights (size 4T)
Books (Mo Willems, books that rhyme, Dr. Seuss - she is learning to read her ABC's and numbers)
Newborn (preemie) clothes that would fit her Bitty Babies
Color Wonder Markers and Coloring Books
Schleich Animals (likes horses, pandas, tigers, cats and dogs)

Updated 12/15:
Disney Princess Figurine Set
Wow Wow Wubbzy DVD
Neverending Story DVD

Or a donation to Love Without Boundaries

More information:
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Characters: Caillou, Dora, Ni Hao Kailan, Diego - also likes Disney princesses and Fairies.
Size 4T tops, 4 slim pants or 4T pants with an adjustable waistband.
Shoe size 8
39" tall
31 pounds

Gift ideas already claimed:
Ellen - Play-Doh
Christin - Candyland Game
Beth - 5 Little Monkeys game
Lori - ice skates
Grandma Lois - princess dress and accessories
Santa - roller skates (sorry Auntie Joan, Santa insisted)
Jim and Joan - Blue soccer ball
Grandpa Milt - markers, stickers and book

Call me or send me an email if you have any questions!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm A Faller Faiwee Pwincess!

Here's our gorgeous Flower Fairy Princess.
Big thanks go out to the Hastings Goodwill for the dress, wings and the purple petal garland that I sewed onto a purple headband. The ribbon skirt is just a length of elastic with ribbons sewn onto it and the rest of the petal garland. The flower magic wand is from Target. It took about an hour and cost me less than $15. Woot!
My favorite part of her outfit is the red Chuckie Taylors. I wish I had a pair!
I'm going to figure out how to make a new gallery so you guys can see the other kids. We had a herd of princesses and a little dragon too.

Update: The new gallery has been added to your left. You can also get there by clicking right here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two Very Important Announcements Today!

First of all, Maggie's ad came out in the Mpls./St. Paul magazine yesterday. You guys have already seen it, but here's a scan of the real live actual magazine. How cool is that? She's on page 177. We bought copies of the magazine for the grandparents, the rest of you are going to have to shell out the $4.50 if you want a copy for yourself.

So, the second very important announcement is...wait for it...we're adopting again! The reapplication paperwork just came in the mail today. We got a huge stack of paperwork this time! Maybe I just don't remember how much there was last time? I don't know, but I swear, a hundred pages came in the mail today. So, I've been running around like crazy getting all the rest of Maggie's county paperwork filed (yeah, I know how long she's been home - her adoption is final, she just doesn't have a birth certificate) so we only have one file open at CHSFS at a time and they don't think I'm a total loser for not getting my kid a birth certificate for a year and a half. Whoo, I can run on and on can't I? We're not eligible to go back to China, but Taiwan is an option, so are many other countries. We're going through the special needs program again, so the world is open to us. Last time we chose China first then moved to the WIC (Waiting International Children) program. This time we're doing theWIC program first so I think we can get a referral before our dossier is done and then apply to the country where our kid is. Someone along the line will fill us in on all the details I'm sure.

One thing I do know - this process is very long and very complicated. Right now I'm going to concentrate on getting my paperwork filled out. Then, we will do the next step, and the next, and the next, and the next...! We are also looking for referral letters if anyone wants to volunteer? Sorry mom and dad, you're not eligible.

Oh! I just thought of a 3rd announcement! Does anybody want to buy our house?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

School Pictures Are In!

As the mother of this goofy kid, I can tell you I am capital T thankful that these pictures turned out so good.
Getting a good picture of a 3 year old is a challenge.
Getting a 3 year old to sit still is a challenge.
Getting a 3 year old to say cheese without looking like she's crapping her pants is a challenge.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"The One"

I was watching Love Without Boundaries videos on youtube today and this song by David King was playing in the background of one of the videos.

Do I even have to tell you I cry every time I hear it?

I bought the single off of amazon. Yay amazon!

The One
(Sydney's Song)

Verse 1:

Hey there little brown-eyed girl

Hey there, don’t be shy

You’ve come such a long way

And you don’t even know why

Verse 2:

Thinking about the days ahead

Will the past play on your mind?

All I know for certain

I couldn’t love you more if I tried

Chorus 1:

And I… want to be the one

I know we’re meant to be

Cry if you feel it come, you can

Rest your head on me

Verse 3:

I love when you reach for me
Fingers play across my face

Sometimes can’t help staring

You’re such a picture of God’s grace

Chorus 2:

And I… want to be the one

Lay your head on me

Cry when your world’s undone, you can

Bring your cares and your worries

Repeat Chorus

I want to be the one who holds you tight
I want to be the one who says goodnight

I want to be the one who’s always there
Put the bows and ribbons in your hair

I want to be the one who’s by your side
Be the one who gives away the bride

(Fade) I want to be the one

Chocket Cookies

I'm trying something new, here's a video for you. Excuse the mess, we have a 3 year old.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Real Maggie

By the way, that other picture is a fluke. This is the real Mao Mao.

This is the background image on our home computer. It keeps us all humble.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Here's Maggie's Ad!

I just received an email from CHSFS. Here's a preview of the ad that will be running in Mpls./St. Paul magazine.
She hits newsstands on October 23rd!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fame comes only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We received an email and phone call from CHSFS yesterday asking us for permission to use this picture of Maggie in an ad that will run in the November issue of Mpls./St. Paul magazine.
She hits newsstands on October 23rd!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She's just such a funny, funny kid...

"Oh maaaaaaaaaaaannnn, come on Dad get home." That's what she's saying right now as she's waiting for Bryan at the back door.

Earlier when I told her to get her shoes on because Mom and Dad are going to vote, she said "I want to vote too!", I told her she had to wait until she was 18, but she was welcome to observe the democratic process in action when we voted (yes those were my actual words). Her answer, "YAY!"

Even earlier we were upstairs and I told her not to turn on her penguin humidifier and turned around to leave the room. She said "but I love him!" I turned around and saw her giving her humidifier a one-armed, under the armpit, you're my best friend forever kind of hug.

And this morning I overheard her talking on her fake cell-phone "Do you like my pajamas?" (She told me later she was talking to her Dad.)

Where does this come from?

And one last story, we were going to Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and someone took the parking spot I wanted. "Dammit!" I said. She says "Mommy, no say dammit. Say Oh Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Elusive Yeti

The Yeti - or Sasquatch as it's commonly known in the U.S.; is a shy, elusive creature. They have been known to frequent heavily wooded areas and very few pictures exist of these gentle creatures. This amazing photo was captured in the dense forests of Whittlesey Wisconsin over Labor Day weekend, 2008. To protect these wild and beautiful animals, I can provide you no further information.

First Day of School

Maggie and Meaghan started Preschool today at Holy Trinity. They spent an hour there this morning with Mom's in tow - but they're on their own on Thursday.
Maggie has been having separation anxiety lately - let's hope all goes well.

Here are a few pics that I took this morning. You can see that Maggie was pretty excited to put on her big backpack and have her picture taken at home - but by the time she got to school she was looking a little worried. Unlike Meg, look at that smile! She was ready and rarin' to go.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Tisket, a Tasket, a Baby Dork in a Basket

Yes, I just called my kid a dork. The evidence is irrefutable.

Block Party Fun

Our block had a great block party on Tuesday night, with a potluck dinner, live music, fun for the kids, and visits from the Fire Department, McGruff, the Kaposia Royalty and others. But, the best part about having a block party is....being able to ride your bike down the middle of the street!

Lori, Matt and the kids joined our block party, because their neighbors are a bunch of dead weight (and most of you know that I mean that literally).

By the end of the night, the kids were completely worn out from all the fun and badly in need of baths! (check out LeLe's face) Also, take a gander at baby boy in the background of this picture. Standing up! Walking around! Tall enough to steal Uncle Bryan's beer off the patio table! Arms long enough to touch over the top of his head! At 10 months!

And, last but not least, here's a picture of baby boy attempting to walk across my deck. (looks like he might have had too much of Uncle Bryan's beer)
I kid! I kid!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hand Picked With Care

We picked her, she picks her nose. It's a good life.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Sincere Apology for Being a Total Slacker

Life has caught up with me lately, and there has been no time for blog posts. (actually, I'm in the middle of a really good book) I have pictures of Alaska that need to be put into a gallery, pictures of the girls meeting the cows at Maryann and Clinton's farm and so much more. I also need to finish Maggie's paperwork for preschool - do they really need 8 pages of paperwork? She's 3! Oh, and we're going camping this weekend - so there's all of that to do too.

And right now I need to clean Maggie up because it's time for ECFE.

So, if I find some time later I may do some of the things on this list.
Blogging may not be one of them.

Here's a picture of Maggie to tie you over. Mmmmmmmmm Peeps.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Parke and Krista's Wedding

We just got back from the wedding. It was a nice little affair at the local public ski area. They rented out the Community Center on the grounds, which is an A-frame chalet with a view of the ski jump area. Really cool.
If anyone is reading these blog posts, please leave a comment. I'm am damn sick and tired of coming up with blog posts and pictures when I don't even know if I have an audience!
I'll post pictures later. Maybe.
Kiss my baby for me!

All I Want for Christmas is Whales and Puffins

Yup, I was prepared to check whales and puffins off of my "to do" list and be content with living the rest of my life in Minnesota with no grand urges to travel the world. Ha! As Bryan said earlier, we saw all kinds of things on our little boat trip, but not a whale or puffin was to be found. Dangnabbit!
Here's us in front of the boat we took out on into Resurrection Bay and beyond. We used Renown Tours and had an absolute blast.

Here's some pics of our trip to Seward in random order:
Seward Harbor

Dall's Porpoise

Mommy and Daddy Big Boat No Big Fish

Seward Highway

Can you tell by the pictures how balmy and tropical it is in Alaska this time of year? This next picture was taken after we rounded a corner and came face to face with a couple of glaciers. The boat captain said the air temp would drop about 20 degrees after we took the corner, and he was right! I estimate the air temp was 10, with a constant 30 mph wind. Got the Southern boys on the boat with us off the deck right quick! We had the whole front deck to ourselves!

The snow field off to the right of this picture is one of the glaciers that was blowing cold air on us. Notice the huge chunks of blue ice on the shore. Cool.

Here's a picture of where an avalanche went into the water. Considerably less scary than the avalanches that come right up to the side of the road on the ride down to Seward! I'll post those pictures next.

On the drive to Seward, first you see the sign, then you see the reason for the sign!
No Stopping? No Problem!

One last picture before I go to bed. Here's me next to a snowbank up on Turnagain Pass. The snow has been melting for a while now, I'm not sure how deep this was to start with. This is a cutout snowbank, not a pushed up snowbank. Crazy.

Moose Breath and Moose's Tooth, Another Perfect Day

Hey all, Mary here. Just in case anyone was confused - or cared - this post will probably be dated Saturday, but it's still Friday here - and Bryan's last post was made on Thursday night not Friday like it says.

We took another trip down the scenic Seward Highway again today, but only went about 40 miles down to the end of Turnagain Arm. This is a picture of the inlet that you drive along. You can see the mud flats in the picture here because the tide was out, yesterday morning, this was all covered in water.

We went to see the animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It's a wildlife rehab and education center that has moose, bears, elk, Sitka deer, bison, caribou, muskox, coyotes and other animals. We had a great time and took a ton of pictures. I also got up close and personal with a moose!

Unfortunately, there was a fence that you can't see in these pics. But he did stick his nose through and I was able to pat him on the nose. I got to pet a moose! How cool is that?!

After our little day trip, we went out for a late lunch at the Moose's Tooth. It is a pizza place/brew pub here in Anchorage. This is the second time we've eaten here since we've arrived and it was killer. Highly recommended to anyone who happens to make it up here.

Anyway, that's enough for this post. I'm going to go through our pictures from the boat trip in Seward and hopefully make another post tonight.
Kiss my baby for me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a day!

Ok. The scenery here is amazing. The people here are fun. We didn't see any whales, but we saw harbor seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and Dall's porpoises. We drove the 3 hours to Seward, did the 4 hour cruise, and drove back and went out for an amazing dinner. There are many stories to tell, but I'm tired. Here are some pics that don't do justice to the amazing scenery:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Alaska

Well, we made it. Here's a view from the airport. You may have to click on the picture to get a decent view of the mountains in the background. We're driving to Seward in the morning. I'm sure that we'll have much better pics to post tomorrow night.

See that flat-topped mountain over toward the right of the picture? It's called flat-top mountain. Parke's place is just down from there. That's how it was explained to us. Nice chalet type building that Parke has been doing a lot of work on.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Too Much Fun

It was absolutely gorgeous here on Saturday - 60 degrees and sunny - a perfect day for Leah's 2nd Birthday Party. After dinner the kids went outside to play and Lori got these pics of Mao Mao and LeLe. These pictures evoke scary thoughts of the two of them as teenagers. Just 14 more years and Leah's on the road with Maggie laughing her butt off in the passenger's seat. Oy vey.
My mom told me that Maggie's working the "gas" because Leah's feet don't reach the pedals. She also forgets to steer, but that's a story for another day.

Here's a couple more pictures of the two:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Study In Contrasts

One more picture post before I bring Maggie to Grandma's. I love the Elvis attitude in the second picture. And no, we don't teach her this stuff, she's naturally goofy.

Easter Sunday Maggie:

"Normal" Maggie:

Kiss Me Elmo

Just when you think spring has arrived, we get another 6 inches of snow! Bryan and Maggie went outside last night after dinner and made an Elmo snowman. Maggie is very enamored of the big guy. We are expecting highs in the 50's by the end of the week, I hope the loss of Elmo won't be too traumatic.

Side note - one nice thing about not having a dog anymore, all of the brown spots on Elmo are just dirt!

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Link to Our Article at Children's Home Society

Not all of you may know that Maggie is quite famous in these parts. We had our story published in the Ni Hao Newsletter, which goes out to all of the families in the China adoption program at CHSFS. They're encouraging adoption from the WIC (Waiting International Children) Program, so our story was featured.
We feel honored to share our story and since this was posted I've been in touch with a friend of my Dad's and she's adopting a WIC kid too through a different agency.
If any of you got here by googling China Adoption, consider a waiting child, it will change your life.
This picture was taken on February 7th, 2007 in Guangzhou, China. Our official US Adoption Day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun In the Tub

I've been meaning to take these pictures for a very long time now. Every time she's in the bath she looks so cool with her hair going "swish-swish" in the water. However, as a responsible parent, I can't leave her to go get a camera! Yesterday Bryan was home during bathtime. Yay! "Honey, get the good camera and get up here!" We took about 6 pictures of her and this one is the best.

The rest of them look like this:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

St. Patty's Day Party

They're cousins, identical cousins all the way...

(still working on that video I promised)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snow Day!

Someone up there decided that the streets of South St. Paul were looking a little scrungy after the snow melt, so we woke up this morning to a few inches of beautiful wet snow. Maggie and I went out to shovel, and you can see she prefers a little smaller shovel than most. We also found out that wet snow actually works better than sand in her sand castle bucket. It is a balmy 32 degrees here today and we really had a great time this morning!

Later today I will upload video of the 4 girls singing and being generally noisy at Grandma and Papa's house on Sunday. Papa went and spent some "alone time" in the den afterwards. Wuss.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Hey all, Mary here - signed in as Bryan.
(I was afraid to log him out of blogger and then not be able to log myself in)
It is a balmy 50 degrees here this afternoon. Maggie and I took a walk around the neighborhood to check puddle depth. We should have brought her life jacket!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Adventures in sleeping

I wish I could get this comfortable when sleeping, but I think that's only possible when you're under eighteen years old.

We may have to get her a bigger bed sooner if she continues with this sleeping technique.

We've got quite an array of patterns and colors in this picture so you may not want to stare directly at the polka dot socks. It could injure your sense of style.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1 Year Today

It's been a year, and it seems like a month. Since I've been moving the blog over to blogger, I've been looking at a lot of the old pictures, and reading some of the old posts. I still can't believe that we went to China and actually got her. This last year has been great. I can only hope that the next year will be as fun.

My priorities have definitely changed. I spend a lot less time programming, and more time trying to keep her happy, fed, and otherwise occupied. That's one of the reasons for moving the blog to something simple like blogger. I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'm not even sure that anyone reads this blog anymore, but we have the data moved so that we don't need to worry about losing it if I shut off the server in my basement.