Monday, January 26, 2009

What We've Been Up To... you've probably heard, we had a baby!! Welcome Eliza! I suppose if you're reading this, you know this already....I really should expand my readership.

I finally got up the guts to try cloth diapering. I must say that I love it! It's extremely satisfying knowing that less of Eliza's pees and poops are going to clog up our landfills. We still use the disposables (called "'sposies" by those in the cloth diapering world) at night and when we go out, but at home, during the day, it's all cloth. The laundry isn't so bad and it's not nearly as gross as I thought it'd be. I'm now venturing into using the wool soaker diaper covers that Mom and I knitted. It's amazing that they work, but they do! Here's a shot of some diapers drying in the lovely winter sunshine.

My family is crazy about Dinosaurs! Not really. Actually, we've all been cooking from the Dinosaur Bar-b-que cookbook. Julia introduced us to this DEEE-licious cookbook. It really is amazing stuff. We've all made at least a couple dishes now and all of them have been outstanding. Most of the recipes incorporate bar-b-que sauce, which they have a recipe for. Make it - it's worth the effort. They call it "Mutha Sauce". Julia thought it was pronounced "mootha". How cute :-) So, if you're craving some good, good, good food, get yourself a copy of this book. Yum, yum.

We have become friends with the owners of Takenoya, a Japanese restaurant here in town. We happened upon it when it had first opened four years ago and we still love going there. Denise and Robert, the owners (and also brother and sister), invited us to their Chinese New Year celebration yesterday. Their mother was visiting from China and she brought with her gifts for Eliza. Here's a picture of her wearing gold bracelets, which are a traditional Chinese gift for newborn babies. The beautiful silk necklace is a good luck charm. Their mother went to a temple and had it blessed for Eliza. After we put it around her neck, she held onto the silk cord the entire time. So sweet.

The New Year celebration was fun! We ate yummy food, including dumplings which are traditionally served at New Years. Robert and the restaurant staff made 386 dumplings! Wow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm back into knitting and tried out some new stuff - new patterns and Fair Isle knitting, which is difficult (especially when you're teaching yourself and have no idea what you're doing!). Here are my three latest projects.
This is a wool soaker, which is used as a diaper cover for cloth diapers. I followed this pattern - Soaker Knit in the Round - and found it pretty easy to follow. Luckily, my mom is a knitting genius, so she helped at one tricky point. Had to try out the Kitchener Stitch which joins the two sections together. See the seam? That's supposed to be invisible. Not so bad for my first try though (and I don't think the baby will care). The dark area at the bottom is there because I thought I was going to run out of yarn so I added a little section with some other yarn I had. Mom says it looks pre-stained :-) The matching I-cord drawstring makes it look a little better, I guess.

I made these two hats this weekend. The left one is my first attempt at knitting in the Fair Isle style. It's very satisfying to see the design emerge, but also very tricky. You have to make sure that it doesn't end up too tight, which unfortunately is what happened for me, I think. I have yet to try it on a baby head (hopefully within the next week or so I'll be able to!), so it might be okay, but right now, it doesn't stretch too much. So, it looks sweet, but may not be wearable! I adapted a pattern from here. It's newborn sized, so if it does fit, it won't for long! It's made of two yarns - the red is Sampa Organic Cotton by Mirasol in Red. The white is Bebe Cotsoy by Queensland Collection (50% cotton, 50% soy) in Ecru.

The hat on the right I made by following the original pattern (that I adapted to make the hat on the left). It's made of some dreamily soft cotton, bamboo and silk blend (Louisa Harding Jasmine in Cypress).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What We've Been Up To...

The baby has not arrived yet - 9 days till the due date!! We've been spending our time in a variety of ways - mostly relaxing, getting ready for the baby and wondering what the hell we're going to do with it! Ha ha...actually, we're feeling pretty good about welcoming a little one into our lives. It's scary as hell, but super exciting at the same time. The diapers and covers are ready to go, the clothes are all washed and waiting, our freezer is packed with food for the first weeks, our neighbors are on call, the midwives are ready. It's very exciting!! Other than baby stuff, we've been up to this:

Eating Passionfruit - they look absolutely disgusting, but they taste amazing!

We spent a night at El Capitan Canyon Campground (which is a fancy resort "campground"). We got upgraded (for free!!!) from a Safari Tent to one of their nice cabins. It was fabulous! We made s'mores and sat by the campfire. What a cozy and fun way to spend a day off together!!

This is not our cabin, but it was like this.

After our night there, we went for a lovely walk at El Capitan State Beach. Here I am sitting on a picnic table.

Today we went down to the Santa Barbara Harbor to see a replica of Colombus' ship, the Nina. It was surprisingly small - definitely NOT something you'd want to use for sailing off to a new land. Apparently, it worked for them, though. I did not take this picture, but if I had, I'd be very proud of it. When we saw the Nina, the sails were furled (can sails be furled?) and it was docked. The tour was six bucks each, so we passed up on that, but it was still cool to check out from the dock. Then we went for a chilly walk on the breakwater and watched tiny ducks go diving for food. Rosie came with us and smelled everything.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What 33 and a half weeks can do to your midsection

I'm feeling good and enjoying my pregnancy. Eric and I are getting the house ready for our new arrival. We had our shower last weekend and it was a blast! Many of our friends came and we enjoyed Mexican bbq and fabulous weather. December 2 is fast approaching!!!

April 10, 2008

October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My sister Maria





Monday, July 7, 2008

Gap Fire Update

Everything ended up working out for us. We were allowed to return home yesterday. Other than the light dusting of ash, it's hard to tell anything exciting happened here. It's been such a surreal experience. I can't believe it was only four days ago that we packed up our lives in our cars. I'm so thankful to the firefighters for saving our property, to Eric, Serena and Michael who packed up all our stuff and to Susan for letting us crash with her. And, to Rosie for being the best dog anyone could ever ask for. Oh, and of course, to all our friends who called us concerned and offered their homes to us. Thank you!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Evacuating is no fun

We had to evacuate from our house last night. It was really scary because the hillside above our house caught on fire. Eric happened to go home right after it caught fire. He, his cousin, who is visiting with her son, packed up his car with our valuables and booked it outta there. We met up and went to my coworker, Susan's house where we spent the night. We're now down in Huntington Beach with Eric's family. It's very odd to distill your life down to a carload of *stuff*. Makes you realize how unimportant stuff is.

The ranch and our house are fine as of now. Luckily, our neighbor happened to see the plume of smoke and called 911. 4 or 5 big trucks came blasting down our road and up into the woods. The firefighters did an amazing job and put out the fire there. Oz's investment in widening the roads on the ranch really paid off. But, what's really scary is that the main fire is moving towards the hills above the ranch. So, we'll see what the next few days bring.

What we learned:

1. Make a fire list - what valuables and other things would you want to bring with you? Keep the list out where you can find it easily. We did this last year during the Zaca fire. Eric, his cousin and her son found it extremely useful and are sure they would have not been able to pack as well without it.
2. Have a meeting place set up. I was trying to get home and couldn't get in because they closed our road. I couldn't call Eric because we have SUCKY AT&T and there's little to no coverage in the area around our house.
3. Have a disaster kit ready with water, food, batteries, candles, flashlights, battery powered radio and corded landline phone. Know where this is!
4. Keep all your important papers together in an easily moveable container.
5. Remember that pretty much everything is replaceable.
6. Even if a wildfire seems far away, it can jump to where you are in seconds.

Life on a ranch is wonderful, except for the evacuating part. Two and a half years ago we had to evacuate due to too much rain. Sure would like to have some of that now.