Saturday, March 29, 2008

OFFICIAL Sweeney Todd Trailer!

I wish they would have played up that this is a musical in the trailer. I think that Warner Bros. wasn't sure how a musical would be received so they didn't put much singing in it. They forget about people like me who will see a movie JUST because it's a musical.

Herbs: Day 12 Plus my Sweeney Todd review

Yesterday while I was at Target I picked up a clear shower curtain liner to cover my plants with so that I could cover them all without those vegetable bags. When I put the plants outside I had to scoop them a nice dry and snow-free spot so that they wouldn't get too cold. Then I put the cover on. When I went back to check on them a few hours later they steamed up when I lifted the cover. They were actually steaming while I was looking at them. I thought that they were going to cook! I tried to air them out a little and then put the cover back on.

Well, I guess in that cooking time Genovese Basil liked it because it finally sprouted. Sweet Basil, who I notices popping up yesterday, is doing well too. Notice: I talk about my plants as if they are real people. I'm obsessed, but I've come to the conclusion that it's just my slightly obtuse personality (Harry Potter, Emmy, musicals, Sailor Moon, shoes etc.).

Speaking of musicals, I saw Sweeney Todd last night. I love the music, but it's a little too bloody for me--definitely not a feel-good movie like Enchanted. It's about a "demon" barber, but really he's just a very angry guy who is trying to get back at the man who ruined his life. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter (Belatrix Lastrange), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail), and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) were all directed by Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride), which was amazing. I felt like I was watching Harry Potter with Johnny Depp and a couple of other extras. Like I said, it was very bloody, but Tim Burton added his grotesque flare, which made it more bearable (I know that sounds weird, but I don't know how else to describe it). The blood wasn't very realistic and there was a lot of dark humor in it. I don't think I'll purchase the DVD because it made me feel slightly edgy by the end, but I did get the soundtrack and have been singing it since I woke up this morning. I've also been thinking about the actual writing style of the musical too. I think it was very well done with a couple of exceptions. So if anyone who has seen it wants to talk shop feel free to send me an email/IM.

I REALLY REALLY want these shoes

Today I sucked it up and returned those flower shoes from Target, but then when I was out at the mall I saw these Chinese Laundry shoes. They are sooooo cute. The site has them for $70 but at DSW they are selling for $50. I enjoy Chinese Laundry shoes very much. They are very comfortable in terms of high heels. Trust me, I know from experience. Some of them even have little pads where the balls of your feet go. Comfort is something that I've been looking for lately when I go shoe shopping, although it is difficult when I like four inch heels.

I think we all know that I'm a sucker for shoes and I'm caving on these. The only thing that's keeping me away from them is the 20 minute drive out to the mall. I had to literally talk to myself in the store and tell myself to leave so that I could meet Edward and the CS people for lunch. But now I keep thinking about them. The site has them in silver, which I like more, but I do where a lot of brown so gold will work too. *Sigh* And I thought doing my proposal was hard. Maybe I'll just work an extra hour every day this coming week so that I can justify buying these shoes. ...and wear them at least once.

Have you ever read Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella? I'm having a moment that is incredibly reminiscent of her Lilac and Clementine colored sandals. Ohh, while looking up the book for you all I found that the book is coming out as a movie in 2009. How exciting! I suggest checking out the series. It's very good. I haven't had time to read books 3-5? yet. I think there are five of them now. I'm not sure. Anyways, I feel like Rebecca Bloomwood right now.


Update:

I got the shoes today. I kept thinking about all of the different outfits that I could wear them with. Yesterday when I was at the store I was in such a rush that I didn't notice that they had the silver shoes also. It took me a while to decide what to do. I ended up with the gold ones since I liked them better. Plus, they're different. I felt like the silver would be too ordinary for shoes as awesome as these. Sadly, I think the shoes were the last things I thought about before I fell
asleep. Ah, I have a sick, sick addiction.

I also purchased somethings called "sure step" which are little rubber paddings that adhere to the bottom of your shoes so that you don't go sliding on slick floor. I haven't been wearing heels nearly as much as I used to because I've had too many near encounters with sliding into the splits. I'm not as flexible anymore, plus it would embarrassing to do that at work. The pads are basically that stuff that you see on stairs so that you don't fall down. I'm going to go out Home Depot or Lowe's to look for some and then make them myself. At $4 for a set of two I think I can put my craftiness/frugality to work. I am a Chin after all. We are crafty, crafty people.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gardening

I've come to a conclusion that if I'm going to do this Advanced Project and Thesis I'm going to have to stay sane. So I'm going to start gardening once the weather gets a little better. Edward said that astronauts found themselves tending their gardens a lot when they were stressed out up there in space. If it worked for them, it'll work for me. I've already noticed as my stress level rises I've been blogging more to try to keep my mind off of things/procrastinate. At least you guys get to hear from me more often, although I'm beginning to think its a bit of overkill. I also think I've been posting more now because I've been waking up earlier, which gives me a lot more time than I had before. I just find that I'm a lot more tired or have to depend on coffee and exercise to stay awake. Exercise is good, but I've been getting caffeine headaches too.

Edward and I are going to build a planter or two so that I can have a nice little place to dig around in. I was going to do it myself, but then he said that he would help me. I was very happy when he said that. I figured the he's always so busy now-a-days that he wouldn't have time to help me build something that could just be a phase. I think he likes building and fixing things, so hopefully it'll make the both of us happier and more relaxed. Hopefully we can do it in the beginning of April since some of the seeds I bought need to be planted then. I was originally going to dig up the grass that the landlords put in, but it looks like the grass is growing on a thin layer of dirt that is piled on top of the cement. So we're going to build little 5x5 planter(s) so that I can have something nice out there.

Last night Edward and I couldn't fall asleep and were trying to figure out how to make a little garden for me. He said that he wanted carrots because he used to eat them out of the ground when he was little. He also said that his daddy had some potatoes that he would go dig up every few weeks to look at. I told him that I only wanted flowers because I didn't want to be disappointed if my vegetables didn't grow, but I bought him carrots anyway. I didn't get any potatoes since I'm a impatient and it seems that potatoes take a long time to grow.

Today in my excitement and anticipation I went back out to Lowe's and purchased more seeds.

Cauliflower
Carrot (for Edward)
Brussels Sprouts (for me)
Jalapeno Pepper
Long Thin Cayenne Pepper

Sunflower (mixed colors)
Sunflower (Ebony and gold)
Zinnia






I really wanted strawberries, but couldn't find them. I think after looking at the flower seeds I got I'm going to plant them in little pots and planters so that we can have them on our deck. I think that they will brighten our days to see them when we leave the house everyday. We'll have our "crops" in the planter.

I also purchased two packs of Thyme to send home to Julie. She said that she couldn't find them anywhere. It's funny that dismally urban Troy, NY has seeds that agriculturally based Davis doesn't.

Also, my Sweet Basil sprouted today! Yay! I had lost hope! Maybe they knew that I was going to try to transplant basil in their place so they thought that they should make an appearance. I bet it's glad that I didn't put it out in the snow today. It had been nice the last few days so I thought that Spring was definitely on its way, but I was wrong. It snowed about four inches today. Boo.

Should I keep these shoes?

I've been thinking about these shoes for a while now. I bought them today, but think I might return them. I first saw them at GoodWill, but they didn't have my size. They're still in the Target's around here so I'm thinking that they'll hit GoodWill sooner or later. If I get them a GW, I could get them brand new for $5, but it's not guaranteed that they'll be there and have my size. I got them today for $15, but I feel like I should return them. What do you think?


I got another pair of shoes today too, but I'm keeping these ones for sure. They aren't super cute or anything, but they are soooooo comfy. I couldn't find a picture on Target's website to show you.

Getting a mentor

On Tuesday I had a VERY good day. Not only did my plants start to sprout, but I got a a prof to mentor my advanced project. I wasn't sure I wanted to start my advanced project next semester (my third) so that I could do a thesis in my fourth semester. Most people in the St. Rose English department don't do theses. I'm not really sure why, but it's just the way it is. Well, I decided that I am going to do a thesis.

I was so excited that my first pick professor, Hollis Seamon, took me on. I was dancing around the room and Emmy was getting very upset. Now I'm busting my rump to put together a proposal. Apparently it was supposed to be due two weeks ago. Woops. I'm almost done with it, I'm just working on my huge working works cited list. I have twenty articles, chapters, and books to read. My bags were so full of books that my left bicep muscle is sore from caring them all. You should have seen the poor girl behind the circulation counter watching me pile all of these books up on the counter.


Me pretending to love all of the books I checked out.

My actual sentiments towards the tower of literature.

Emmy had dug her racket ball out from behind the shoe rack. It's so bouncy that it went behind the heater where it's all dusty. She came out with hug dust bunnies on the ball and in her mouth. She does the cutest little licking thing to get the dust bunny out of her mouth. Here is a picture of the ball and the dust bunny hanging from her mouth.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Herbs: Day 8

Lavender has one tiny, tiny little sprout! I noticed it when I was putting the planters outside to get some sun. It's so small right now that it can easily be mistaken as plant food, but the food I got is white and orange. Maybe it was all of my singing and dancing around the planters. "You make me want to sprout! Throw my leaves up and sprout!" I was so excited I ran inside to get my camera. Emmy had no idea what was going on and was sliding around the wood floor.


See that tiny little green speck? There she is! Lavender Brown is her honorary name. (After the HP character) Sorry the picture is a little blurry. I think I got too close in my excitement to get a picture of her.

I devised a plan for my soil to get some sun and warmth while I was laying in bed this morning. I put the planters in plastic veggie bags that you get at the grocery store. This way the wind doesn't chill them down to much and they get some sun. It's much better than sitting on our living room floor in the dark. Plus, now that I have a seedling Lavender needs to have lots of sunlight. It's going to be a very good day. I was so excited that I had to call Mommy and tell her even though it was only 7 30am at home.



Sun makes everything better. I even have been waking up earlier. "Ah, the sun is shining. The tank is clean...THE TANK IS CLEAN!" Can anyone tell me where this quote is from?

Update:
Oregano and Thyme are sprouting too!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Herbs: Day 7

I should have done transplants! My soil is starting to get moldy and it's too cold to put them outside to get sun to dry up the dirt and inside the sun doesn't stay long enough in one spot. My lavender is getting white and fuzzy. I was soooo excited about having lavender, but all I'm getting is stuff that I can grow on old bread. If by May I don't have anything I'm going to go get some transplants. I want herbs gosh darn it!

My long day

I got so much work done today I’m very proud of myself. So now I’m giving myself a break and watching Dancing With the Stars. Let me run through my day for everyone so that you guys know how much I accomplished today.

First of all, I woke up at 9 15am! Can you believe it?! Last night I didn’t feel like my Sunday night ritual of preparing all of our dinners for the week. So I had to wake up early to do it all so that I could meet a friend for coffee at 11 30. I managed to get dinner started for tonight as well as prepare all of our meals for the week. At 11 30 I went flying out of the house to meet my friend.

By 1 00 I was at work…even though I didn’t really need to be there. The kids only had half a day for Easter so I didn’t have to do program, which was nice. I decided to go into the Y anyway so that I could get some paper work done and print out some stuff for class. (I print my stuff at work to save our paper and ink cartridges.) I actually got work done at work too! The last time I was in the office I wrote that long blog last week, but today I did this flyer that Carol wanted me to do and made my calendar for the rest of the year. It was all done in an hour, so now you know why I go in just to write my blog. Writing my blog actually takes me longer than doing the work that they pay me for.

I rushed out of work at 2 10 so that I could drop off my resume at Seton Health (a little doctor’s office/hospital down the street from the Y) and then to school. I should have thought about it before I drove 20 minutes out to St. Rose. Everything was closed because of Easter. So I got back in my car and drove back home by 3 15 so that Edward could use my car to go right back out to Albany. Last night I talked to my Baba and he thought that I should try to apply for secretarial jobs since most of them offer full time and benefits. Of course Daddy and Edward had the same line of thought, where as Mommy, Julie, and Juni think that I should stay at the Y. I wasn’t going to apply anywhere until Edward said that if I didn’t then I’d be loosing either way because I wouldn’t know if I could get another job or not. I guess the word “loose” did it for me. So I sat down and updated my cover letter and addressed some resumes to deliver. I’ll have to go back to St. Rose on Friday since I get out of class too late to turn it in on an actual school day. Hopefully I’ll hear from Seton Health soon so that I can get back to my friend about the summer camp thing. I think it’d be best if I stayed at the Y, but I thought I’d try anyways. I just hope that my friend doesn’t give away that position while I’m trying to decide.

Okay on with the day. After I got home I had an egg salad sandwich because I was starving and jittery from my two cups of coffee. On Friday I had cracked down and written my Renaissance Lit. midterm so that I could have my prof edit it. Last midterm I didn’t do well at all. I was shocked to say the least. So I had to make sure that I got his feedback so that I do well this time. After he emailed it back to me I was like, oh my gosh I have so much work ahead of me. I didn’t feel like doing it last night so I tackled it this afternoon. I think it is WAY better now. It makes so much more sense. I had totally read Aristotle’s The Politics incorrectly. Hopefully my grade will be better this time. I’m pretty much done with it, but I want to give it a night to rest before I submit it tomorrow by midnight.
After I did my midterm, I did my two responses to my Information Age class. These are responses that I really dislike doing. They’re just so tedious. I like getting feedback myself, but when you’re required to post it is definitely not fun. We basically have to do four posts a week for that class. I write so many discussion board/blog posts for my classes it’s no wonder that I fall behind on my personal family blog. I was feeling quite good after I did my responses so I went to do my reading for the class. I’m not sure how I feel about the website that we had to read. The content was really, really cool, but the navigation was really difficult. The website was called Mark Amerika if you’re interested. Don’t look at it during work, or at least keep the sound off. I thought that it had some really good ideas. Here are a few quotes that I thought were particularly good.

“Perception itself has now become terrorized.”

“The World News propaganda machine pounds me with its social hammer.”

“I am corrupt body corrupting other corrupt bodies.”

By this time, my stomach started grumbling all weird and my shoulders were in knots. At first I thought it was my caffeine overload crashing, but then I think it might have been the egg salad. Our mayo had expired a year ago but it smelled normal so we used it. That might have been a mistake. I can see you guys cringing right now. Yeah, I better throw that away. Anyway, I tried to make the best of it and read most of the play for Renn. Lit called A Christian Turned Turk. I wasn’t looking forward to it because the first six scenes were about selling slaves and totally boring, but then it turned out to be pretty funny. I was so inspired that I was able to write my discussion board two days early! My prof hasn’t even opened a discussion forum for it yet. I was very proud of myself. Two things for Renn. Lit in one day. Whew.

We had some slow-cooker chili for dinner and now we’re watching Dancing With the Stars and I’m doing my blog. Okay, now that you’ve all read about my entire day, I’m going to sign off and go finish the Turk play and read Meridian by Alice Walker. I love Alice Walker so I’m looking forward to reading it. If her name sounds familiar to you it’s probably because you’ve heard the The Color Purple. Anyways, TTFN!

Oh! I have a new kitchen counter cleaning system. Originally I was using those Clorox and Lysol disposable wipes. Julie informed me that they are not biodegradable and then my friend Abby said that those things aren't really good to have around food. So then I started using the Lysol kitchen spray, but then I was using rolls and rolls of paper towel. So it's either not biodegradable or wasting wads of paper towel. I didn't want to go back to using a sponge since they're so germy. Then I came up with a plan. I'd use cloth towels and just label them and use one a day. Since I do laundry every week I think that my system will work. So now for $1 a towel I can feel as "green" as I possibly think to be. I figured since no one seems to want to see pictures without Emmy anymore, I had to put her in there too.


New Emmy Videos

Hopefully these work. I tried to post these last night, but they didn't work for some reason.


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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Herbs: Day 5

There is still no sign of anything herb growth. Today Emmy was trying to look out the window that they are stationed under and accidentally knocked Lavender over. I yelled for my unborn plants and she skittered away. After righting the planter I inspected it to see if there was any damage done. It doesn't look like it, but if Lavender doesn't grow, we'll know why.

I was in the grocery store the other day looking at more plant seeds and noticed that the Basil packages said that germination takes 5-10 days. Since we're (the soil and I) are only on day five I'm hoping that something will start sprouting soon. After reading all of Julie's posts about her sunny garden I'm feeling a little jealous and out of sorts for my little pots of soil. I keep telling them how Auntie Julie's garden looks very nice and that they should grow. I made up a little growing song for them, which oddly sounds a lot like the songs I sing to Emmy. Hopefully they will sprout soon.

It's still not warm enough to put them outside. It was nice and sunny today and I wanted to put them out there to encourage them to grow, but Edward said that it was pointless since they're still underground. I'm beginning to think that I'm too impatient to have a garden. Even though seeds are much cheaper than little transplants, I think that maybe I should have started with those.

On the up side, if my herbs grow, I'm motivated enough to turn over the soil in our back yard and plant flowers. Of course we'll have to fence it off so that Emmy doesn't do her business over there, but I'm willing to do that. Edward doesn't think that the soil is very deep so it hopefully it won't be too much work. He said that he thinks that the landlords just threw some dirt on the ground and planted grass. We'll see when the time comes. I don't like the bugs that come with flowers. Last year we had huge bumble bees (you might remember the pictures I had of the one that Emmy pulled off her belly. I had stacked a jar and a bunch of cans around it) and I don't really want them to come back. I just really like to have flowers in the house, but don't see the point in buying them from the store.

Work

The program that I'm working with currently at the YMCA isn't going to be running this summer because the grant didn't come through. So my boss said that she would have to "terminate" us and then pick us back up in September when the grant for the school year begins. After hearing this I've been looking for another job for the summer. St. Rose has a few secretarial jobs open and a local health care/hospital center also has a position open. I was thinking of applying to these but then yesterday a friend at the Y asked me to be the "Assistant Summer Camp Director". He said that I probably wouldn't be getting paid much, but he'd feel better about being director if I was there to help him. So I've been weighing my options. I really want to be able to say on my resume that I've worked somewhere for at least two years. If I switch jobs now, the I won't be able to work anywhere for that long until I get back home. I think that having some secretarial experience will help me since the life of a writer isn't very excited career wise. With secretarial I will probably get benefits and paid more. If I can get a job at St. Rose then I might even get some tuition paid for. But then what about my two years? The Y is much closer to our apartment and the job title is a lot more impressive at than secretarial. Also, once school starts again I'll have my position as Site Director back as well as the flexible hours. If I'm in secretarial then I'll be working full time, which might suck with school. Plus, at the Y they let me go home for the month December.

In the long run I think that secretarial might be the better choice, but I'm still not sure. The title positions that I hold at the Y are more impressive than a secretarial assistant, but I'm not sure how much future employers will look at that. Geez, I'm not sure what to do. Maybe since I'm thinking about starting my Advance Project next semester so that I can write a Thesis I should stick with the job at the Y. What do you all think?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Herbs: Day 1

Here's to the start of my new garden. Maybe I'll be like the little girl from the children's book that one of my librarians read to me and sing/read to my plants.

Day 1 pictures:





Starting a garden

Now that I'm getting more into cooking, I thought I'd take a leaf out of Julie'(Ed's sister) and start growing my own herbs. This weekend I went out to Lowe's to get some seeds, gloves, plant food, and a spade. All in all it cost me less than $17.00.

I bought :

Sweet Basil
Genovese Basil
Oregano
Rosemary
Thyme
Lavender
Candytuft (I decided to spend an extra $1.25 for some flowers. I like having fresh flowers in the house. It makes everything seem so much brighter.)

We have a whole bunch of flower pots and planters here from our landlords. I guess they were trying to make the place pretty before they left, but ended up leaving us will a bunch of broken down plastic pots. So yesterday even though it was rainy, I worked up the courage to put on some boots that I hadn't worn in over a year (I had to shake them to make sure no bugs were in them) and then I got rid of all of those ugly planters. Since it's still pretty cold here, there were no bugs really. Thank goodness. I had my gloves on and everything. In the wreckage I managed to salvage about four pots out of about 20. After that, I was still feeling brave and I dug some gravel out of an open bag that was left behind. There could have potentially been many many bugs in there, so it was no small feat for me.

Today I managed to wake up at a normal time so that I could take Emmy for a walk and then fill my planters with soil. I was going to plant the seeds today, but decided to read up on how to do it first. It's a good thing too since I learned that the soil should be warm and herbs need to be between 60-65 degrees all the time. It's getting a little warmer here, but it's definitely not 60 degrees. I brought the planters into the house and have them sitting on a plastic sheet on the kitchen floor. I rearranged the kitchen so now we have some extra floor space. I'll talk about that later in the post. Anyway, so I was talking to Julie about my little herb experiment and she suggested putting them in the TV room where the heater is for the first week so that they can germinate. I'm going to try that and then put them in the guest room because I think that it is the sunniest room in the house and Emmy doesn't tend to go in there much. I'll move them into the TV room tonight and get planting. I'm excited! I think I might wait a little while for my flowers though. I'm going to have to see how the herbs go first.

I'm inspired by Julie a lot when it comes to domestic ventures and experiments. In her house she used to have this little beverage cart that she kept her coffee machine, grinder, and tea on. I thought that this was pretty neat, but when I looked around our little apartment I realized that we have no room for anymore furniture. After thinking about it for a while I decided that I could convert out kitchen table that acts as a flat coat rack into an alternative workspace. It is temporary now since I'm not sure if I really like all of my appliances on the other side of the little kitchen wall, but it sure frees up a lot of space on my counters. Since our roof leaks and has ruined a good number of my cookbooks, I had to move them to the other side of the counter. But then the other day I filled our Crock Pot (a treasure by the way) a little too high and it overflowed, thus ruining another one of my cookbooks. Now with this new set up, I can have my books away from anything wet at all! It might be a pain to have them all the way on the other side of the room, but I can only use one at a time anyway. I'll live. With the cookbooks in their new spot, I was able to move my flour and sugar pots to where the cookbooks used to be. Before they sat under the broken cabinet where the roof leaked. I was always in fear that nasty rain water would ruin all of my supplies. At the beginning of the year this happened. I had just filled the sugar jar and then it was filled with gross water. I was really upset. Now the problem is solved.

The new work space also allows me to have our bread machine out again. I just found this bulk foods website that sells wheat flour by the pound. I ordered 7 3/4 lbs of wheat flour and a pound of yeast so that we can start making wheat bread again. The cost of wheat flour in the grocery store is ridiculously high, so I'm very happy. Shipping was quite expensive, but it still comes out to be much cheaper than the grocery store. I also bought 5lbs of couscous. We LOVE couscous. Note: Also introduced to me by Julie.

I think that is about it with explanations. My Sunday night food prep is still going strong. Doing all of the work on one night and then just dumping the ingredients into the Crock Pot is so much easier than doing it every night.



Edward accidentally broke off our windowsill so he's putting it back on. I'm surprised that it didn't fall of sooner. I think it's better attached now than when we moved in. I joked that when we leave the landlords are going to be like "Gee, this place looks better than before they moved in".


Notice how warped the counter is from the leaky roof. So annoying.



I really like this little jar that I got from Juni's bridal shower. It makes me think of her whenever I see it so I like to put flowers in it. Whenever I plant those flower seeds I'm going to clip them off to put in this.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More pictures

Here are some more pictures from the last couple of days.


Okay cousins Ruby and Tater. You should come play with me now.










We've been doing this play thing with Emmy that makes her do this funny growl. She opens her mouth like she is going to bite us but never clamps down. It only hurts because we move our hands around and they knock against her teeth, but it's too cute of a noise to stop.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Videos!

Okay, so now that I've figured out how to upload videos, here are some from last winter that I'm not sure if you guys saw or not.

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Hopefully I can find my charger soon so that I can take more up to date videos.

Pictures of Emmy update

I know that you guys have been asking for Emmy pics, but I can't find my camera charger. It's been missing since my last trip home so it's either there or here. When I find it I'll be able to post some more interesting pics. I took out my SLR, but it'll be harder for me to capture Emmy doing anything in action since it takes longer for me to get it out. I took a few tonight just so you can see her again. I have a difficult time getting her to look into this camera since it looks even more like a giant eye than my snapshot camera.












Here is a special treat that I found on my external. This is when we were at Glen Highland Farms checking out to see if our little girl was right for us. Obviously she was. Since I figured out how to compress my videos I can start posting them. Yay!

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P.S. Today, March 11th, is Emmy's 2nd birthday! She is officially a toddler!