Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Photos

halloween 2010 collage

Snow White's Halloween Portrait

Happy Halloween from Snow White

Snow White

Snow White and family wish you a fun filled Halloween!
This photo is from Friday's trip to the zoo.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

straw maze

straw maze a the zoo

We bundled up and went to Halloween at the zoo on Friday afternoon. Hannah loved it all... the pumpkins, the candy, the straw maze, the animals... except for the friendly witch with a green face that wanted to pose for a photo. I think her favorite was the straw maze for toddlers. It was piled up just high enough so that she could still see Mommy and Daddy while running around trying to find her way out.

Hannah's at her aunt and uncle's house for a sleepover party today while we do a fall clean up outside and rush around to get the house looking nice for our homestudy visit on Wednesday.

I've made friends with some other mamas with a local adoption support group for parents. It's nice to get together and drink some coffee with other people who "get it" when one's regular friends aren't able or comfortable to discuss things like testing for fetal alcohol syndrome, communications with birth family, our children's biological siblings they haven't met, African American hair care, and dealing with the stares and sometimes comments a multi-racial family receives. It's nice to have this support with online friends, but feels even better to me in person.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

good potty rings

These have been the best tool in motivating Hannah to peepee on the potty. You can get a pack of 12 in the party section at Walmart for $1. "Mama, let's go peepee and get a good potty ring." And if she looses one, we just put it back in the pot and recycle them for another good potty!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Redirect: Taiwanese Cooking

Feeling adventurous in the kitchen? Check out Taiwanese Cooking - Recipes From Formosa For Those Living Abroad.

Our homestudy visit was scheduled yesterday and is next Wednesday, eight days from now. Last time we did this nearly four years ago, our homestudy visit day was the cleanest and most organized my home has EVER been. This time... uh... we'll be clean, but it certainly won't look like a page from Better Homes and Gardens.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my little pumpkin

Some of my favorite photos I've taken of Hannah are pumpkin photos from last year. As I look back on them tonight, it amazes me how much she's changed in one year. One year ago, my little pumpkin was in physical therapy and said a handful of words. She was just beginning to walk so that she didn't fall down all of the time. Now... she runs, jumps, hops, and CLIMBS. She says funny things on purpose because she knows she'll make us laugh.

Our photo shoot didn't start off so well. This afternoon I dressed her in the same dress, now a shirt, that she wore in last year's photos. It barely fits. Well, it was a little chilly, and pretty windy. My little pumpkin was ready for a nap and was not into it. She cried, got red faced, snotted all over, and threw a fit. Very photogenic, right? Those photos were pretty much all deleted and Kevin and I were both majorly frustrated. We packed up in the car and Hannah screamed all the way home. She must have been pretty tired, because she napped for nearly three hours this afternoon. This was a photography fail, for sure.

After her nap and an early dinner, I asked Hannah if we could go see the pumpkins again. She agreed, and then asked for some of my cheesy crackers. Ding! A bribe! So, I bribed Hannah to pose for photos for me with a package of cheesy crackers. Kevin worked really hard at being my jester by balancing baby pumpkins on his head, and we were table to get these shots.






The first one is my favorite. That's my funny girl! Number three is antiqued and feels a little moody. I adore the bokeh and bright red colors in the trees in number four!


Sunday after the wedding, my cousin's wife and I crafted some elastic headbands. Brandy made the light blue flowered one and the fabric flowered while headband while I made the others. I'd browsed many things like this on Etsy and decided to make my own. Tips I learned: Use upholstery thread for sewing elastic together, flowers on headbands, and buttons on flowers. Regular thread won't be strong enough. The feathers instantly dressed up the flowers. I'm really glad that I bought them. If they fall off, I've got a whole bag of replacements and can just hot glue more on.

ditching the dish

Kevin and I ditched the dish this week. No cable TV either. At $89.09 per month for DirectTV with a DVR, it was pretty ridiculous. We've become fans of Netflix ($7.99 per month or $8.99 per month with the unlimited DVDs via mail) on demand this summer for movies and started watching some old TV series that we hadn't seen before, and Kevin just turned me on to Hulu Plus to watch current TV shows on demand ($9.99 per month). We've streaming this all via a PS3 on the internet. If we didn't have a PS3, I would definitely get a Roku Player to do this with ($59.99-$99.99 depending on model). Anyone else make the switch to internet TV lately? If so, what are your favorite finds?

Uh... but I just spent the money we'll save this month by ditching the dish this month on my new clothing find. Love the asymmetrical lines of Naartjie Kids! They have 40% off Treasure Tuesday items every Tuesday. Hannah will be decked out in cranberry velour with dragonflies for Christmas. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

second shooter

Saturday we attended my cousin's beautiful autumn themed wedding. I heart fall themed and leaf themed decor, and had an autumn wedding myself nine years ago this weekend. Hannah brought her princess camera along as she's an inspiring second shooter. We sat in the back row on the end of an isle as I anticipated chatter and wanted to be able to make a quick escape if I needed to. I did hold Hannah up for a little while so she could see what was going on. "Do you see the ladies' fancy dresses. The bride wears a fancy white dress." Hannah pointed at the bride and exclaimed, "It's FANCY NANCY!"

Today we spent the day hanging out with family, eating yummy leftover wedding cake, playing chase with second cousins... and organizing Grandma and Grandpa's little pumpkins by their front door. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Hannah and I read the book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems together three times tonight. I LOVE IT! I'm still thinking about it crackin' up! Hannah thinks it's funny to tell the pigeon that yes, he can drive the bus, and then she looks at me with a crazy face and laughs. Funny kid!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

progress and some photo pages

Behind the scenes, we've been busy on our quest for number two. All of our home study documents have been submitted to our home study agency except for our physical forms. We'll be finishing up with those next week. We got mail from the USCIS to let us know that they received our I-600A and we would soon be receiving a biometric (fingerprinting) appointment letter. Thank you very much, Department of Homeland Security. I finished our family photo scrapbooked pages for our Taiwan placement agency as well as a letter of introduction. So... I haven't digiscrapped in forever. It was a little painful to put these together as Kevin had to keep Hannah away from me for an afternoon and evening. She wants to sit on my lap or on my desk and point at photos all over my computer screen when she sees me sitting at my computer.

Next on my agenda is completing the rest of our dossier documents for our Taiwan placement agency. Have to keep remembering to follow the instructions and use a blue pen!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Redirect: National Geographic’s Megacities: Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung, Taiwan is featured in National Geographic’s Megacities series as it deals with energy and conservation issues. has links found YouTube videos where you can watch the program. My favorite parts were part 2-1 on the solar powered stadium and part 3 a park over the former largest dump in Taiwan. Images of the huge container port blow me away. There isn't anything like that in the fields of corn and soybeans around here.

And... happy birthday to Hannah's Nana. :)