Friday, February 25, 2011

the purge.

I have been slowly working on a house-wide purge over the past few months.  Room by room, I am getting rid of so much stuff!  Lately I've been feeling so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that can accumulate now that our family has grown.  There are piles and piles that are going to goodwill, and the garbage bags and recycling are piling up.  I love it!

One of the things I am getting anxiety over throughout this purge is photos and the storage of them.  For the amount of pictures we take in this house, we need to come up with a better system.  I am the worst at updating pics in frames or printing pics to put in albums.  I have come across so many shoeboxes stuffed with pics (both old pics, new family pics and lots of polaroids).  I have quite a few scrapbooks that I never found the time to finish.  And then there are all of the pics just sitting on our computer that have never been printed.  See, I'm getting all anxious just thinking about them all!

After much contemplation, I have finally come up with a plan.  Here it is:

First, I have started flying through iphoto and sending piles of pics off to snapfish to be printed.  Those will go straight into simple albums.  No captions, nothing fancy, just pics in chronological order.  That in itself gives me such a huge sense of relief.  Even though we do back-up our computer (both to an online storage and an external hard drive), most of my anxiety was over the fact that if something ever happened to our computer, we could possibly lose our pics and I just hated not having any of them printed.  I just finished our first album and I love having it available to flip through.  And once I am caught up with the backlog of the last 5+ years, I will continue to print pics every few months and just put them in an album.

Next up will be finishing the scrapbooks.  This will take time and I plan on working on them while the babies are napping.  Once all of the scrapbooks are done, I am retiring my scrapbooking stuff.  It was fun while it lasted, but who has time for scrapbooking anymore?!

I am also planning on sorting through all of the pics we have stuffed in shoeboxes and putting some in albums and chucking the rest.  And then finally, I am going to work on updating the pics I have in frames throughout the house and I am also planning a "framed gallery wall" that will go all along the wall in our staircase.  That will be a work in progress and I plan on posting more details about it soon.

Phew!  My plan was a little longer than I expected, but that is what happens when you do absolutely nothing with the thousands of pictures you take!!!

So here is my question for you - What do you do with your pics?  Are you good about printing and organizing them?  Or are you ok with just having them stored on your computer?  Do you have a photo organizing "system"?  Any scrapbookers still left out there?  Do tell.

Monday, February 21, 2011

reading and eating

I sat down yesterday to write a post, but I quickly realized that I had no pictures from the week, and I couldn't even come up with any interesting things we did during the week.  That's what happens at our house when I get sucked into a really good book.  Everything gets put on hold until I finish, especially when I'm near the end of a good book.  Last night at dinner time I was looking for closets to hide in just so I could finish this book!  I was reading Water for Elephants.  I know, I know, I'm one of the last people to read it.  I didn't want to read it because I knew it was about animals at the circus and obviously it would have to involve the animals not being treated nicely, which I find so upsetting.  But I finally gave in when I saw it on the shelf at my library last week.  And just like I thought, it was soooo good, but it definitely involved a lot about the way animals were treated and I found it difficult to read at times.

Anywho, my mom convinced me that I also need to give in and read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  I just hate how every time someone tells me about the first book, they say that the first couple of chapters are hard to read and you just have to get past them and then the book gets really good.  I don't want to read a book that doesn't start out good!  But I think I will just have to give in and give these books a try.  I'm sick of hearing about them and not being in the loop.

But before I start that series, I'm thinking about joining in on a virtual book club next month.  They're reading My Life in France by Julia Child and it sounds like a nice light read to get me over the circus animals.  Anyone else want to join me?


I thought I would give a little update on Sam and what he's been eating.  Because this kid likes to eat.  And the evidence is in the chunkiness of his legs!  (will definitely need to snap a pic of those chunkers soon)

Going the homemade baby food route has been so ridiculously easy.  Just about as easy as popping open a jar of store bought baby food!  And he loves everything I have made for him so far, which includes - sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, green beans, zucchuni, peaches, pears and banana.  And I made a big batch of avocado and I give him a cube of that a day because apparently the unsaturated fats it contains are good for brain development.  Last week I introduced him to homemade yogurt and he did not like it at all.  So I whipped up another batch and added a good dose of vanilla so that it pretty much tastes like creme brulee and now it's his favorite meal of the day.

{Where's my yogurt?}

{Yummy, yummy!}

We ventured out into the cold today to meet my parents at the botanical gardens.  It was so nice to be in the warm greenhouses.

Poppy decided to be a pip when I asked her to smile for me.
Unfortunately, we picked one of the busiest days of the year (schools were closed because of the holiday) and it was so busy that you couldn't really take your time and relax.  I'd like to go back again sometime soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentiney Fun

Check out these adorable valentine's Poppy passed out this year...

We've been up to our eyeballs with cookies lately.

I was going to attempt to write little messages on the hearts to make them look like conversation hearts, but by the time I got done frosting them I was so over it.

Heart shaped brownies for dessert on top of all of the chocolate Marc gave me and Poppy for Valentine's Day...

Poppy worked very hard to make Sam and Marc valentines today...
She had me write this verbatim on the back of Marc's card:

Dear Daddy,
I really do love you.  Will you be my valentine?  Sammy did not cry at all today.
Love, Poppy

My three valentines... Lola.  She'll always be my valentine.

Did you know that Marc and I had our first official date on Valentine's day?  10 years ago today!  We met when we were both working at the same restaurant (he was a server and I was the hostess) and we both were going to Buffalo State College.  We were good friends for a while and we would hang out together after work or meet up between classes for lunch.  And then Marc claimed he needed to take an extra class, so he signed up for a lit. class with me (that had nothing to do with his major) and we did a whole lot of flirting with each other when we were supposed to be reading Farenheit 451.  And then he asked me out to dinner on Valentine's day, but made it seem like it was still "just as friends".  He picked me up in his little red Honda accord and I can still remember the exact outfit I was wearing.  We went out for sushi and spent the evening drinking lots of wine and talking about how we would love to go to Europe together someday.   Needless to say, we became "more than friends" after our valentine's day date.  A few months later, we did take our trip to Europe together.  A few years later we got married.  And now Poppy and Sam.  It's been an incredible 10 years together, can't wait to see what the next 10 hold for us...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Curling, etc.

Last weekend we headed up to Canada for our annual night of Curling!  Actually, Marc and I took the last few years off, so we were a little rusty with our skillz at first...

But after a few rounds, we were able to dominate.  We even managed to come in as finalists, but we lost in a rock throwing competition at the end.
 {half of "Team Hosers"}
You know what they say, "A family that curls together, stays together."
And then at pizza Thursday this week there were a few fires that needed to be put out. 
 Good thing Fire Marshall Marrano was there...


Yesterday was the annual Buffalo Powder Keg Winterfest.  It was a wee bit too chilly for me and Sam, so Marc and Poppy put on their layers and headed out together.
 {Where there's hot chocolate, there's Poppy.}

The most exciting part for Poppy was the horse-drawn carriage ride.  She was very excited to tell me all about the big huge horses she saw.
Everyone is napping now, and I'm thinking about doing the same.  Then we'll spend the rest of the day getting ready for Valentine's day...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Online Preschool Art Class

I found the greatest little website last week through Design Mom.  Dani is a stay at home mom to three boys and she loves doing art projects with them.  She has a degree in art history and has begun doing online art classes for her sons and their preschool aged children.  Her next class starts in the middle of March and I am planning on doing it with Poppy.  I would love it if any of my real life, or online friends would like to follow along.  I'm planning on posting pictures of our "classes" and Poppy's artwork.  Here is the website with the info about the class (and she has pics from her previous class).  Let me know if you're interested!

Spring 2011 Online Art Class

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tummy time

I'll admit it, I'm the worst at doing tummy time with Sam.  And the reason for that is because of the spit-up.  Tummy time means there will definitely be a lot of spit-up.  Which then means I will either be cleaning the rug or washing the blanket he is on, which ultimately that means Sam doesn't get a lot of tummy time.  

The above pics were snapped while Poppy and Lola were still napping and Sam and I were enjoying some one-on-one time together.

Then at 3:00 every day, the mailman drops off the mail, and Lola wakes up and starts barking, which then wakes Poppy up.  Every day.

Speaking of one-on-one time, I really miss being able to spend time with just me and Poppy.  When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time worrying about Poppy and how she would adjust to having to share me and Marc and how she would deal with not being the only child anymore.  Well she could care less, she never even missed a beat in that department.  Ironically it's been me that sometimes has a hard time with "sharing my time".  So yesterday I had grandma come over to watch Sam while Poppy and I went to the movies together, just us girls.  We went to the cheapo theater to see Toy Story 3.  I know, I know, we're the last people in the world to see this movie.  I can't get over how good it was!  Seriously!  And the baby doll reminded me of Sam.  Cracks me up just thinking about how much it reminded me of Sam.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Milkshake Cupcakes!

I saw these adorable cupcakes on Bakerella a few weeks ago and I just knew Poppy and I could whip those up.

You wouldn't even believe how easy they were.  We used a box of strawberry cake mix for the cupcakes, made chocolate ganache, and then I just used fresh whipped cream for the frosting.  Poppy's job was the sprinkle adding and we used sour cherry candies for the cherries on top!

And here's evidence of how much everyone loved them at Pizza Thursday...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day at Poppy's school

So my Korean lesson at Poppy's school went really well!  Poppy was sooooo excited to have me and Marc at school with her.  
I brought a little map with me and told the kids that Poppy was born in Korea (and Poppy was proud to point out where Korea was and tell the kids what they typically eat there) and then we talked about celebrating New Years Day and the different traditions they follow in Korea.  Then Poppy and I read Bee-Bim Bop! to them and they all seemed to really like the story. I was really surprised at how well behaved this little class of 3 year olds was.  

 Poppy was in her glory when she got to hand out coloring sheets (from Christine's shop!) to her friends.  This girl wants to be a teacher when she grows up BAD.

Then it was time for Poppy to change into her hanbok.  She was super shy when she had her dress on in front of the other students, but all the little girls in her class absolutely loved it.  And a few of the boys asked her if she dances in her dress (which she told them, no I do not dance in this dress).
 While the boys and girls worked on their coloring sheets, Poppy and I made hoddeok (Korean pancakes).  They were a big hit with everyone.
I wish I could share more pictures, but I don't want to post the other kids without their parents permission.  All in all, it was a great experience and Poppy was so proud to be able to share her Korean culture with her friends.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Korean New Year!


Tomorrow is Korean New Year, but we decided to celebrate it this past weekend.  We made a feast of galbijjim (Korean beef short ribs) and buchujeon (vegetable pancakes).  Poppy dressed up in her hanbok and we did a little photo shoot.  When she came home from Korea, her foster mother gave her two hanboks in two different sizes.  Both of them are somewhat adjustable so she has been able to wear the same one for the past 3 years and I thought she would still be able to fit into this year, but my little baby has had quite the growth spurt and we had to get out the larger one.  Check out the pictures to see how much she has grown!  (the picture above is in the newer hanbok we got out this year)


These first 2 are from her first birthday in Korea...
 (she chose the pencil which means she is supposed to be a scholar when she grows up)
And here she is with her foster mother...
{May 2008}

{February 2009}

{February 2010}

{February 2011}
Check out how much of her wrists and ankles are showing compared to last year!  CRAZY!!!

On Friday I am going to Poppy's school to do a little lesson with her class about the Korean culture.  Me trying to teach a bunch of 3 year olds about a foreign country?  Wish me luck!
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