Thursday, November 26, 2009


A court appointment later, Ned has a Wisconsin birth certificate.

Our adoption was finalized in China, but social workers recommend what's known as "readoption" in the family's home state for the sole purpose of getting a local birth certificate for the child for future school enrollment ease, etc. We are lucky in Wisconsin, as in some states you have to hire an attorney and the readoption process is pricey and drawn out. Here it's a simple process--filing a couple forms, $10 fee, and a brief court appearance with your social worker.

At first Ned was intrigued and thought the microphone was pretty fun, but soon after it started her feet were up on the desk, thumb was in and turtle was over her face. Court got a lot cooler for her after the proceeding when the bailiff brought her a toy. They do this for all readoptions. Nice, eh?

So, that's it. Aside from one last report to China in February, the paperwork is complete. For this, I am THANKFUL. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ned's been home nine months now, so it was high time for a haircut, don't you think? (We tried a couple months ago, but...well, it just...wasn't Ned's time for a haircut, if you catch my drift.) I've been getting my haircut at The Establishment for years now. It's a couple blocks from our house and owned by some of the coolest cats on earth, a husband and wife team, Carly and Howie.

A couple weeks ago I took Ned to watch her cousin John-John get his haircut at Vic's Barbershop in Cedarburg. (My Dad's been going to Vic for years, and all I can say is that his troll-like personality is clearly not the draw of the place...but that said, I'm not sure what is...but I digress.) Anyway, John-John did a great job of responding to my "Oh boy, aren't you having fun, John-John??" and plastered a nice big cheesy smile on his face while the troll trimmed him up. After that, I asked Ned if she wanted to get her haircut like John-John and she said yes, but of course the big test would come when
she was the one in the chair with a big, shiny shears pointed at her head.

So, after a couple weeks of daily haircut talk, today was the day. And all I can say is that my baby's split ends are a thing of the past. (She didn't appear to enjoy the experience, per se, but she sat perfectly still--aside from a few head turns to keep an eye on Carly and Howie's weiner dog, Otis--and was pretty proud of herself when all was said and done.)

So here you have it, Ned's first big girl haircut. Thanks, Carly. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Our baby is two! We spent today--a balmy 65 degree day at that--capturing Ned's version of 2. (Doesn't everybody do their 2 year old's photo shoot in a 5th Ward industrial lot full of broken glass and debris? And to think I scouted this spot out in advance...) Anyway, there are nearly a million photos in this post and there could have been nearly a million more. I know I'm biased, but she is freakin' adorable, isn't she? :) Oh, if you can see Ned's necklace in the photos, it's a jade pig (she was born in 2007--the year of the Golden Pig) we got for her in her province in China. She was so excited when it came out of the box today.

Happy birthday, Ned. You are loved to the moon and back...and then to the moon again.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BANG!! Two

This Saturday was Ned's 2nd birthday party! (Her birthday is Monday.) Because our house is approximately the size of a sardine can, Grandma and Grandpa (Dan's Mom and Dad) graciously hosted the big event in their beautiful, toy-stocked, party-friendly home. And then Nana and Papa helped with party supplies and food. How lucky are we? (They love Ned to pieces and, knowing that we're rookies at this birthday party thing AND terribly disorganized, they sprung into action for the sake of their youngest grandchild. HOORAY for grandparents!) Anyway, it was a really great time and so nice to get our family and friends together, many of whom hadn't seen each other in quite some time. That's a nice side benefit of kids--the parties you have for them pull all of your closest people together.

See Grandma's stock of toys? She has a huge kid-accessible, Martha Stewart-sized closet full of them!

Papa punched the head of Big Bird and Grandma and Nana convened in the hallway with Scotch tape... What's a party without the decapitation of the guest of honor's hero? :)
So, the cake. Ahhhhhh yes, the cake. Ummmm...well, it's supposed to be a section of the Great Wall. But in the words of Ned's Great Aunt Janet, "Is that supposed to be Big Bird's foot?" Funny, when we picked it up at the cake place, Ned was sleeping in the car. When she woke up, it was sitting on the folded down seat in front of her. She took one look at it, rubbed her eyes, and said, "Cake? Brown? Grass?" with a very suspicious look on her face. In any event, Dan created Big Bird in China stick-ins with great precision (see Holly poking fun below). This cake is kinda an "A for effort" thing. So now we know that the cake place isn't so great at constructing oddball cakes, but no matter, the taste was there. :)

And the gifts! It's always great to have a house full of kids when a two year old is expected to open a whole pile of stuff--group effort!

Look out, world! That's my baby with her very own digital camera! Oooooh, I can't wait to turn her into a little photographer. :)
Ned LOVES books. It was cute, she was opening gift after gift and then got to the collection of books from E and family and stopped in her tracks to page through a few.
Thanks to our family and friends for such a great time!