Saturday, April 28, 2012


Sorry for the unexpected hiatus!  These past few weeks have been a flurry of visitors, packing, grading, and crocheting.

Many of my followers are already aware, but I opened an Etsy shop two weeks ago.  If you're looking for cute and colorful crochet creations, look no further than Peachy Colleen Crochet.

We're going on our March for Babies walk tomorrow, and we are especially excited because we (slightly) exceeded our fundraising goal!  Our team, which covers more than one state and has a lot of members, raised over $23,000 for the March of Dimes.  My friend Liz is one of the top Philadelphia fundraisers.  We are walking in memory of her nephew, Dylan, and in honor of all the babies born too early or with other issues.  Our (thankfully brief) time in the ICN at Penn showed us what kind of work is being done to help all babies thrive, and we feel very connected to the cause.  If Elliott had stayed much longer in the ICN, I'm sure we would have benefitted from the March of Dimes in some way.  Anyway, we are so glad  we could help Liz and her family honor her nephew in such a big way.  Pictures coming soon.

Better get to bed!  Early morning and a full day.  As much as I love relaxing, more memories are made on full days.  :)

- M.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

One prolific chef.

Jason put up another recipe!

Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Baked Potatoes made for a delicious Saturday night dinner.

 - M.

Banana Cheesecake Muffins

Jason's first recipe posted over at One Sleepy Chef!  These muffins were amazing and fairly simple to make.


- M.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My sleepy chef.

Jason, who isn't a frequent writer here, has created a food blog to document his adventures in the kitchen. He is the far superior cook in our family, mainly because while I love eating, I don't really enjoy cooking. Fortunately, Jason loves to try out new and delicious recipes.  Check him out at One Sleepy Chef!

I'll also be posting links to the individual recipes.

- M.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Independence or: Riding with Boys on Trains.

When you're a mom with a supportive, helpful husband, it's easy to become used to always having that extra pair of hands in unusual situations.  Going shopping?  It's easy with two people!  Need to run to Ikea?  No problem with Daddy along!  I'm sure this changes as you add more kids to the mix, but for now, this is my reality.

30th Street Station, Philadelphia

My sister comes home this weekend for her spring break and Easter vacation, and I wanted to surprise her at the airport with my parents and Elliott, of course.  However, Jason has to work, so we'll be using Amtrak to get to Harrisburg.  I've taken this train probably one hundred times, since I used it in undergrad and grad school.  However, I've never done it with an infant, stroller, car seat, and baggage in tow.  I booked my ticket, and I called Amtrak to ensure I can actually carry-on all the things I need to.  When I did, the Amtrak rep also added a note to my tickets that I would need assistance, so Elliott and I will get to board early and have someone to help me get him and his things on and off the train.  Jason helped me get into the station and such at Philly, and my dad would be on the other end to do the same thing, but there are certain places non-ticket holders can't go.  I'm so glad I called ahead.

Here's my plan:
 - I have a travel system, so the car seat and Elliott can ride right in the stroller.  I'll use a backpack as my bag (Jason will be down on Friday, so I just need the necessities), and Elliott's diaper bag.  The only thing I'll actually need to carry is the car seat base (so we can ride in the car once we get to Harrisburg).

 - I will pack as light as possible for myself.  Normally I'd need things to keep me occupied on the train, but I think I'll have enough to pay attention to.  If I have room / weight to spare, I may bring a book or some crochet for the car ride to Baltimore.  Maybe.

 - I also packed as light as possible for Elliott, which is a whole different definition of "light."  I'll suck it up and wash bottles as needed so I can bring fewer along.  Bottles probably take up the most space in a diaper bag.

 - I booked the train so it will be after Elliott's first nap, but at a time when a nap is possible.  If he doesn't nap on the train, he'll sleep on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's, or on the ride to Baltimore.  He has some guaranteed nap times, basically. He sleeps really well in the car, and a lot of the sources I've read say similar kids sleep well on trains. I know I do.  Perhaps he'll take a cat nap!  (Edit: Nope.  No train napping.  Too many stops for him to get settled.)

 - I also brought my wrap, just in case I needed to part with the car seat and stroller on the train itself.  He also enjoys being wrapped, so if he gets fussy, it will help. I didn't need to use it this time, but it's a great option to have.

So, let's review and add some tips:

1. Call ahead and let the train line know you'll need assistance. They were very helpful and it made transitions on and off the train very smooth. At Harrisburg, they even let my dad come down to the train to help me.

2. Book in advance, if possible. You don't want to schlep down to the station with all this gear in tow to find that the train is too crowded.

3. Now is a good time to learn about minimalism in your own packing. It really helped me figure out what I REALLY use on a trip and what I don't. It was more beneficial to pack extra books for Elliott than to pack an extra set of clothes for me.

4. Don't forget the car seat base! You'll need that once you get to your destination. If you travel with any frequency, a car seat bag might help with this awkward item.

I hope this helps. What do you do to make traveling with your little ones easier?

- M.

Spring is here!

I never feel like it is spring until Easter.  There's something about the decorations, the cute dresses, and Easter traditions that really bring in the season.  I only like winter for Christmas and snow...and we didn't get much of the white stuff this year.  Boo.

My 40 Days, 40 Bags challenge is over.  While I did not complete it, I got the biggest problem areas of my apartment under control.  Between the post-moving purge from last May and my Lenten effort, I definitely have removed 40 bags from my house.  We got rid of at least 50 books, which doesn't look like a lot, and my closet is a little trimmer.  I'm happy with the progress I made, and I'm definitely going to do it again next year.

I had also planned on opening an Etsy shop today, but I want to have a little more inventory before I do that.  That being said, Peachy Crochet will open in the next week.  More updates once that happens.

Easter was so much fun, and I think Elliott really liked getting some new toys and hanging out with his 2nd cousins.  Last year in our family, three of us had babies, so they will grow up very close in age.  The few months between each one will seem less and less significant every year.

This was just a quick update.  The end of the semester is almost here, so my updates will probably be less frequent, since I'll have a ton of grading to do.  Eee.

- M. & J.