Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Obama needs a team of impatient, unforgiving, third-trimester renegades to whip this country into shape.

This is a rather humorous piece of journalistic genius by Heather Havrilesky.

Here is a teaser:

Jan. 27, 2009 | President Obama has chosen a sharp and able-bodied team to head his administration, but if he really wants to yank the country out of its dismal state, I suggest he enlist the help of some expectant mothers, preferably in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It is all about the small things

Despite the carefully laid out plans and the miles and miles of lists that we've been making in order to maintain some sort of control over the chaos of the Schwartz Family Life....The clock in ticking down and we're starting to feel a bit of pressure.

So, what does a Mama do when she has a To Do List that seems overwhelming? She sits and she knits. If her belly is round and her organs are getting kicked and punched by little teeny tiny angel hands she knits wool soakers.

Sophia has been a cloth diaper baby since day 1. We've tried pretty much everything except the All in One diapers (which are the Cadillacs of cloth diapers. I never bothered because they take FOREVER to dry and it seems like they're less efficient because of the extra energy consumed by the dryer.) I have a pretty abundant stash built up from Soph (who is fascinated with what Mom and Dad do on the toilet but not yet interested in doing it herself) but we were lacking in the newborn department. In any event, I got a great deal on some organic fitted newborn diapers. All I needed to do is knit up a few wool covers.

So, in the middle of our somewhat crazy life I started hunting down patterns and picking out 100% wool from my stash of yarn. (That's right folks...I didn't buy ANY new yarn for this project. I just used what I had on the shelf!)

How loved would you feel if you were raised by a family that actually covered your sweet little buns in something healthy, safe, AND handknit?? We're hoping that the warm fuzzies that our children will one day feel because I knit their diaper covers will cancel out their need for therapy because of all the bizarre traits they received via their genes.

...and.....They are so damn cute.

After I finished 5 diaper covers I decided to take a break and knit a new sweater for the Big Sister. I saved a few skeins of organic cotton from the moving madness and cast on and knit this sweater.

Much to my surprise (and thanks, no doubt, to the car ride to and from South Jersey yesterday) I knit the entire sweater in less than 24 hours. I wove in the stray ends last night before bed and Soph got to try it on this morning.

She ran several laps around the house after I put it on and was rather happy with herself. She didn't really enjoy the photography session though. She's much more interested in DOING the photographing and doesn't like actually getting her picture taken.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Despite my pleas to stay until June, Geo (the voice of reason in the Schwartz household) insisted that we packed up our dirty laundry and return home.

I highly, highly recommend mid-winter vacations to warmer climates. Last February we traveled to Florida for a week and this year it was Puerto Rico. I can't even describe how good it feels to get out of the gray, cold weather and to run around in the green grass in your bare feet.

So, on to the trip...

We had a fabulous time. We're both a slightly on the geeky side so as preparation for our island vacation we spent one childless day paging through every tour book that we could find in Borders. We settled on the trusty ol' Foders guide and threw down our dough.

We read through the descriptions of places to see, things to do and, of course, the delicious dining that HAD to be experienced. We looked and looked and studied and paged until our heads were spinning and our eyes were blurry with possibilities. We laid out a detailed plan that included daily activities and the places we would eat. This itinerary was based on Que Pasa! magazine and Foder's Puerto Rico travel guide.

We had a lot of fun, but there were many (many, many) hours spend driving around in the car looking for the places that we wanted to go to. Soph wasn't happy with the backseat and there were a few days when the only thing that saved our sanity was giving up and spending a few hours on the nearest beach. I'd recommend using other guides to inform your trip to the western part of the island.

Our favorite activity was the Zoo and our lunch at Ricomini Bakery. The Zoologico de Puerto Rico is the only zoo in PR and Soph had a blast. There was a great variety of animals but our favorite part was the bird exhibit. We had a chance to walk into the netted area with the birds and get an up close look at their colorful feathers. They were beautiful.

After the zoo we tested our luck and found the Ricomini Bakery. They are known for their Brazo Gitano which translates to Gypsy Arm. It is a giant (like...the size of an arm) jelly roll that is filled with delicious creams, fruits and cheeses. They are delicious! I did a search and found several recipes so if you'd like to try your hand at a filled sponge cake open another tab and Google it.

On Sunday we packed up and enjoyed a slow morning in the 79 degree weather. The drive from the west to east coast was scenic and, because Sophia slept most of it, was the perfect way to end a beautiful trip.

Good bye, Puerto Rico,
Good bye, warm, sugary sand beaches,
Good bye, lighthouse,
Good bye, 80 degree weather....

Hello, Pennsylvania,
Hello, blustery wind,
Hello, cold, cold, cold 8 degree weather....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How You Know Your Husband Loves You: 4

Your birthday present is a week-long trip to the beautiful beaches of Puerto Rico!

When we were nearing the end of 2008 I was enjoying the last few months as a twenty-something. On 10 January I turned 30. That's right folks...I'm all grown up now.

Now, there are some small things that end up meaning a whole lot to me and then there are some big things that just never phase me. This birthday was not really a huge deal to me. Probably because I've felt like I was 40 at age 18 and have been slowly working on growing younger every year since then. Anyway, when George told me that he had booked a week-long trip to sunny, warm Puerto Rico right smack-dab in the middle of the Pennsylvania's winter I

We've finished packing and are flying out in the morning. Hope you have a wonderful week...I know I will.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


For me, starting off a new year has always been about gratitude. I spend the last few days of the previous year reviewing all we've done, the changes we've made, and how our family and friends have impacted our life and I always spend the first day of the new year amazed.

2008 was a very, very big year for us. There were so many things that went on in our lives that it is hard to imagine we fit it all in one year!

Last January, Sophia and I were cleaning the house and bringing order to our All Girls Palace. We were making and checking off things to do on our list. We were pacing the floors waiting for the day that George was set to come home. His trip from Afghanistan to the United States was long and, because the guys were pretty much stuck for a week with nothing to do, included hours of reading bad novels and wishing they could speed up time. Its a good thing he had time to rest because as soon as his boots hit the ground in the US we were off and running.

They out-processed for 4 days and were back in Pennsylvania with two shakes of a fist! We were packed and migrating to Florida for our very first family vacation. The weather was amazing, the vacation was relaxing. This was the beginning of a new life for all of us. As we flew back home Sophia and I tried (really hard...really! hard!) to leave "Our Way" of doing things in the south and came home to a house filled with family love!

George enjoyed 40 days of being reminded of how "We Do It" and receiving instructions on proper diaper changing, bathing and sleeping habits. (He was so patient with me, I swear the man is a saint). After his sentence with The Mommer (and yes, that out-ranks a Lieutenant Colonel) was up he started his new position as Deputy G3 in Harrisburg. To date he still makes the 3 hour round trip to and from work.

Overall the transition from a Mommer run house to a Schwartz Family house was smooth for George and Sophia. Their adaptability just amazes me. They're both so easy-going and flexible. I had a more difficult time but eventually caught on.

Overall we've enjoyed the year and all its gifts. Watching Sophia grow from 9-19 months has simply been amazing. She started walking at the beginning of the year and now prefers to run everywhere. She has developed this silly idea that she is a separate person with her own preferences. Humph!

I want to thank you all for stopping by our little blog, saying hello and keeping up with what we're doing. I am so appreciative for the support you so willingly offer. I feel blessed and honored that you have joined us on our life's adventures. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.