Thursday, April 28, 2011


We had an absolute blast at Disney this year.  The weather was perfect, it was crowded, but not unbearable and it is just so fun to see Poppy (and Sam's) reaction to everything.  There is something about being there that really is just magical.

First, we decided to stay in Disney this year.  We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter, which was recently renovated.  It was super cute and really looked a lot like the French Quarter in New Orleans.  I wish I would have taken a few pics of the actual hotel - it was that cute!  

The first day we just checked in and relaxed and then we decided to go to the Boardwalk for dinner.  I was picturing us getting some ice cream afterwards and strolling along the boardwalk.  Well, I think Marc described it best when he said "I feel like we're walking into a blow dryer."  It was soooo hot.  And humid.  The entire boardwalk was just intense sun and heat, with absolutely no shade anywhere, and barely any other people either (because it was too hot!).  We grabbed a few sandwiches and ran back to the ac of our hotel room.  I took this picture of Poppy sitting on a bench in the lobby of the Boardwalk hotel while we were waiting for Marc to get the car...
{doesn't she remind you of Alice in Wonderland?}

Then the next morning we set our alarm clocks for bright and early to beat the crowds at Magic Kingdom.  The first ride we headed to was Dumbo.  Last year the line was always too long and Poppy didn't get a chance to go on it.  But because we got there so early, we were able to go on it a few times with no lines.  She loved it.  We even brought Sam on it once.

After Dumbo, it was off to Breakfast with the Princesses.  Marc made these reservations 6 months ago.  I thought he was a little nutty about it, but it turned out to be so worth it.  First we were greeted by Cinderella in the foyer and had a family picture taken with her.  Then once we went inside and were seated, each princess came to our table individually and talked to Poppy and took pictures.  Poppy was so excited to meet each princess, but she clammed up and got nervous and shy when they actually got to our table (of course!).
Ariel was the first princess to visit our table.  We also met Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty and Belle.  Poppy says that Belle was her favorite because she likes to read as much as Poppy does.  The waiter also gave Poppy a magic wand and Sam a plastic sword.  Poppy carried her wand around all day, and Sam was wielding his sword around all day too!

We went on a ton of rides.  Poppy was just a hair too short to go on splash mountain, but she said she is going to eat her veggies so that she can grow and go on it next time.  Her favorite ride was Peter Pan, which she made us go on at least 3 times.

Leading up to our day in Disney, I was pretty worried about how Sam would be.  It turned out that he was a total champ.  He slept in his stroller for 2 hours in the morning, woke up in time for lunch and to take the jungle cruise.  Passed out in his stroller for another couple of hours and then woke up for dinner.  We had dinner at the Crystal Palace where each table is visited by the Winnie the Pooh characters.  Poppy could care less about Winnie the Pooh, but Sam absolutely loved these characters!  He just stared at them and smiled.  We have a video of Piglet kissing Sam over and over.  It was so cute!
We stayed for the Electrical Parade which was the highlight of the day for Poppy.  Sam was of course sleeping like a baby in the stroller.  We were so exhausted by the end of the parade that we called it a night.  It was so nice to be able to hop on the monorail and go back to our hotel, instead of drive back to our condo like we did last year.

The following day we just lounged at the pool all day.  The pool had tons of fountains and water slides, which was a lot of fun.
Poppy even got to meet up with her friends Brendan and Colin while we were there!  Everyone met at our hotel and we took the riverboat to Downtown Disney for dinner and ice cream.

Poppy was so happy that she got to boss two boys around.  She was quite the queen.  Maybe next year we'll be able to meet up again and spend a little more time together.  Poppy has been asking for her boyfriends to come over ever since...
We really didn't get to take too many pictures because we were just so busy while we were in Disney, but it was such a great time.  Magical.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

more Easter celebrations

Perogie making on Saturday morning...
The ladies of the fam.  We worked hard and made hundreds of perogies that morning.  We've been making perogies for years and I think we get a little better at it each year.  They turned out really good this year!


This morning, Poppy and I made "tomb rolls".  We just used frozen dinner rolls, thawed them and then smooshed them in the palm of our hands.  Then you wrap the dough around a marshmallow, seal it and then brush it with butter and cinnamon sugar.  When you bake them, the marshmallow dissolves into the roll and creates a hollow cavity inside the roll.  Find the full recipe here.
 They were fun to make, yummy to eat and they were a big hit with the kids (and adults)!  These will definitely be a new Easter tradition for us.


Then we went to grandma's for a delicious brunch with family.  After heading home for some quick naps, it was off to Uma & Upa's for a traditional Polish dinner and an easter egg hunt with the cousins...
{Melynda found the first egg!}

{searching in the garden}

 {an attempt at a group shot of the cousins}

{chasing Tucker}

All in all it was a great holiday spent with family, filled with lots of traditions and yummy food!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter celebrations

We have been having fun getting ready for Easter around here.  Poppy and I made easter egg cookies to bring to the egg dying party with her cousins...
I love setting up the piping bags of different colors of icing and letting Poppy decorate her own cookies.  She had so much fun with these.

Then today we did the world's easiest, cutest Easter craft.  Check it out...

Is that not the cutest little lamb you've ever seen?  I found the idea on Pinterest.  Have you been pinning?  I am totally hooked.  I have found so many great ideas via pinterest!  

And then Sammy has been giving me a run for my money in the feeding department.  It started while we were in Florida, he has been refusing to let me spoon feed him and now he is even being picky about finger foods!  The only things he will voluntarily eat are cheerios and avocados.  Feeding time has quickly turned into drama around here...

This was my sorry attempt to get a few fruits and veggies into this kid the other day.  I offered him sweet potatoes mashed and as steamed fries.  I offered him kiwi.  I made a paste out of green bean puree and rice cereal that I could roll into little balls so that he could pick them up and eat them.  He said no to it all.  I finally ended up sticking his beloved cheerios into the green bean mash so that he would have to pick them out and maybe a little bit of veggie would stick to them.  That trick worked for about 3 cheerios until he refused those too.

For now, he wins the battle.  Avocados and cheerios it is!

Tomorrow is perogie making, followed by a ton of cooking and baking.  Poppy and I are making "resurrection rolls" (found via pinterest, of course!) on Sunday, those should be fun!  This is our first time being home for Easter (we're usually in Florida) in years, so we are really looking forward to it.

And I know, I still have to post Disney pics!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

FL (part 1)

We're back!  What a perfect family vacation!  The weather was awesome.  Well, it was a little on the hot side, but I won't complain about that.  For the first part of our trip, we stayed in our usual spot in St.Petersburg.  It was our first time flying as a family of four, and because our flight left right at Sam and Poppy's bedtime, I was a little nervous about how they would do.  Within 10 minutes of take off, I nursed Sam and he was asleep in my arms.  Poppy was occupied with a few new games on the ipod.  Marc and I looked at each other and both let out a sigh of relief.  And then exactly 1 hour into the 3 hour flight, Sam popped his little eyes open and was up without a chance of getting him back to sleep.  He was tired and although he never actually started crying, he made me work at keeping him content for the rest of the flight.  At the same exact time he woke up, Poppy declared that she was done with the ipod and started whining about being tired and bored, etc for the rest of the flight.  It was exhausting, but we made it.  

We headed to the beach first thing the following morning.  Hot and sunny, just the way we like it!

Both Sam and Poppy loved playing in the sand.  Luckily, Sam didn't discover the art of eating the sand until our last day at the beach...

I don't think I got any pictures of her in the water, but Poppy was a fish this year!  She kept her floaties on all day and loved swimming in the ocean (or the sea as she kept calling it).

 And of course, we went out for ice cream just about every night.

 Coming up next, part 2 of our FL adventure - Disney World!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

{My sweet little pork chop.}

For being such a fussy little baby, Sam has really turned out to be such a good boy.  He is an absolute dream in the sleep department.  He's all about his little blankie.  As soon as he feels it in his hand, he sticks his thumb in his mouth, rubs his blankie over his face and it's lights out.  Without a peep, he sleeps at least 12 hours each night and takes 2 nice long naps every day.  And when I open his door to get him once he's woken up, his face just lights up with the biggest smile as soon as he sees me.  Makes my day, every single time.  He's a piggie in the eating department.  He can be picky about certain veggies, but for the most part, he eats like a champ.  And as long as you have an endless supply of cheerios, he'll sit contentedly at the table until we are all finished eating too.  And whenever Poppy is around him, there is sure to be a huge smile on his face.  He just loves to stare at her and watch every move she makes.  And she loves to play with him and help us take care of him, too.

{These two crack me up.}

As promised, here are pics of the absolutely beautiful bookshelf my dad made for Poppy's room.  She lives on this thing.  All day long, she asks me if I want to go read a book to her on her "library bench".
Isn't this what every little girl always wants in their bedroom?  I know I always did.  

Poppy and I have been trying to make it feel a little more like "spring" around here, so we decided to make these bird's nest cookies.  Didn't they turn out cute?  And they were super fun (and easy) to make with Poppy.

And with that, I'm signing off.  The warm sunshine of Florida is waiting for us.  I'll see you next week!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

cupcakes and dumplings

It's been another exhausting couple of days - but so fun!  First was April Fool's day on Friday.  I totally didn't expect Poppy to get the concept of April Fool's day, so I didn't plan anything fun or exciting.  But when we explained it to her during breakfast and told her a couple of jokes, she was rolling on the floor laughing.  When I went to pick her up from school her teachers said that she had not stopped giggling all day long.  So during naptime I had Marc pick up a few things from the store for me and I made these "spaghetti and meatball cupcakes"!  (click on this link for the how-to!)

I wish I had Poppy's reaction on camera because it was soooo funny.   And then I thought she might be a little scared to actually eat them, but she dove right in.  Next year I am totally making those for her class and reading Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to them.  I think a bunch of 4 year olds would get a kick out of that.


This is the favorite art project I mentioned before.  The first step was to coat a canvas with this acrylic medium that basically just adds a layer of texture.  Then I gave Poppy a paper cup and a beaded mardi gras necklace so that she could press the shapes onto the canvas...

After letting it dry for a day, Poppy picked out a few colors of acrylic paint and finished her masterpiece.  I think it turned out great, and so does Poppy.  Every time she walks by her painting, she compliments herself on how beautiful it is. :)


And check out the newest addition to our dining room...
We used magnetic chalkboard paint to paint the wall with, and then Marc added the trim to look like a frame.  I love the way it turned out, and we are all having a ton of fun doodling all over it with chalk.  (I had to laugh when I noticed what we had written on the wall while I took this picture - I got a coupon for a free donut and Poppy was worried that we might forget about it so we put our reminder up there, and Kuni, Poppy's beloved stuffed raccoon from Korea is missing, which explains the wanted sign)

Oh, and you guys can help me out with a debate.  I'm super sick of the red walls in the dining room and I want to paint it a real light grey.  Marc wants to keep the red.  What do you guys think???  Keep the red or paint it grey?  Please vote!


Saturday was our annual dumpling day when everyone comes over to help make Korean dumplings (mandu) for Poppy's birthday.  We made a ton this year...

Our little Korean helpers, hard at work...

After the Mandu madness, we heard giggling coming from Poppy's room and Marc found Poppy trying to "put Brendan to bed".  How cute is that?!  And check out the sneek peek of the awesome window seat bookshelf my dad made for Poppy.  I'm having a cushion and a few pillows made for it and I'll take a better picture once we get them...


Only 3 more days until we leave for the nice warm sandy beaches of Florida!  I'm off to do more packing!!!
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