Thursday, May 27, 2010

movie review: Surfwise

we recently watched a documentary called Surfwise.  it's the story of a man named Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, an eccentric doctor, husband, and father of nine.  the 11 member Paskowitz family lived in a 24-ft camper and traveled around the continent surfing and living a very unconventional life.  Doc was extreme in his beliefs and practices regarding health, education vs knowledge, and sex among other things.  it was really interesting and while there were some admirable aspects of his life and choices, it was also not surprising to see the negative effects this lifestyle had on all of the kids once they grew up and found themselves trying to live in the outside world.
i recommend this movie for anyone who is interested in viewpoints that challenge society as we know it.  Doc, for better or worse, did just that and his story will make you think about what's important to you.  this is my favorite quote from the movie... "Health is not the absence of illness but a superior state of well being."  let me know if you've seen this and what you thought.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

6. skydive

imagine floating serenely in the sky with the majestic Rocky Mountains as your panoramic view; the air is rare but crisp and clean.  everything is silent minus the sound of your own breathing.  it's hard to imagine that only moments ago your heart was racing, pounding as if trying to escape from your chest as you toed the line between the metal floor of the small plane and the nothingness outside.  one hand rests inside the doorframe while the other is flat against the outside of the door.  it's loud and windy and your adrenaline is pumping.  you may even feel a slight tingling sensation, that precursor to urinating.  then you're exiting the aircraft.  you are willingly throwing your body from the safety of the aircraft into the wide open sky.  you hear nothing but a soft woosh and aren't sure if it's your sharp intake of breath or just the sound that accompanies a body escaping the prop wash.  ground school training kicks in and you begin counting, arching, looking, pulling... praying.  they don't teach that but you do it anyhow.  and when everything works the way it should, that prayer changes from a plea to a praise.  you thank God for opening your chute and allowing you to have that amazing view from that incomparable vantage point.  then all too soon, you remember that you still have to land.  you search below you frantically for a bright orange windsock to guide you.  you search frantically in your mind for the next series of steps that will guide you safely to the ground that has begun rushing up at you from out of nowhere.  again, the training kicks in and the next thing you know, you're standing up, breathless with a puddle of parachute on the ground behind you and a sense of victorious accomplishment enveloping you.  there is NOTHING in the world that can compare...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

maternity shot

here's a picture of me waiting.  i look much more patient than i feel...

Monday, May 24, 2010

nursery tree

Justin created this awesome tree mural for the nursery wall.  isn't he so creative?!  (i helped too)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

19. ride an elephant

in 2003 i traveled to Thailand for work and was able to check out an elephant show on the river Kwai (completing #19 on the list). i was so excited to take advantage of this opportunity! my friend jenn and i rode a big beautiful elephant through the jungle and across part of the river. i even got to "drive" for a bit! we later found out she was pregnant. then we got to watch the show where elephants gave "massages" and did tricks like sitting and walking on two legs. it was awesome!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

it's a wrap!

there are sooo many ways to "wear" your baby.  as i started investigating various wraps and carriers, i quickly became overwhelmed by all of the options.  after some research, i discovered what i think will be the route(s) we take. 

first, Justin will primarily use the baby bjorn.  no, it's not because he resembles the swedes in the advertisements.  it seems to be the simplest, most gender neutral and daddy-friendly carrier we've checked out.  we see them on dads everywhere around here.  so that was a pretty easy choice.

now i was a little more torn about what i want to use.  i have been lucky enough to inherit an infantino sling and a moby wrap.  but i was also excited to find a LOT of instructions for making your own wraps and slings.  some don't even require sewing!  so i picked out some fun colors and patterns from the fabric store on our last Hawaii trip (before i knew if Saraya was a girl or a boy), to do just that.

stay tuned for pics of her modeling all of her carriers and you can vote for your favorite!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

may gray

it can get a little overcast this time of year in what's normally sunny San Diego.  they like to call it may gray and june gloom.  it can be a nice change and a great excuse for making a good soup.  this past week i made a delicious 15 bean soup and served it up with some delectable french country bread from the farmer's market.  i don't have a step by step recipe but basically i started with some beans...

and i soaked them overnight.  then i cooked them for about forever, periodically adding ingredients like garlic flavored, fire-roasted tomatoes, chili powder, fresh zucchini, the juice of one whole lemon, onion, and some leftover pork tenderloin for that smoked meat flavor.  so i was feeling a little lazy and didn't want to go out and get a hambone or sausage?!

anyhow, here is the after cooking picture.  yes it was as hearty and delish as it looks.

and here is that bread that went along perfectly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

fun finds

i found some Dali meets Alice in Wonderland meets Disney inspired furniture while perusing craftgawker the other day.  how fun would it be to own something like this?

Judson Beaumont has lots of wacky and unique pieces for kids and adults.

check out all of his creations here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

78. see an Alaskan summer "sunset"

Alaska is absolutely stunning!  i've only visited twice but i've been lucky enough to visit during the winter and the summer.  i guess it was technically still autumn (Thanksgiving timeframe) but there was snow and it was dark more hours of the day than not.  but that's not what this post is about.  this post is about the summer.

in the summer, daylight lasts forever.  it's extremely disconcerting.  the first day i arrived in the late afternoon (around 4ish) and the sun was still high.  i was awake and excited.  by midnight, it barely looked like dusk and i was exhausted from traveling and being awake for so long, but i felt compelled to stay up and DO something.  it was so strange.  but i adjusted.  and i discovered that the sun didn't really "set."  it just moved across the sky.  like this...

it may be hard to tell but the sun is just above the peaks they call Moose's Tooth. instead of sinking below the mountain, the sun ducks behind them and moves across the sky and then ducks behind Mt McKinley. pretty cool, huh?

Denali National Park has some of the most amazing views and wildlife around. just look at this moose i found at our lodge!
i can't wait until our next trip there! Saraya's going to love it...

Monday, May 17, 2010

wild west fest

this past weekend we went to the Carlsbad wild west fest (mainly to partake in the salsa contest).  food, not dancing.  it was a gorgeous day for a festival at one of my favorite places in Carlsbad, the Leo Carrillo Ranch.  there were tons of activities for the kids like pony rides, mechanical bulls, and crafts.  there was live music and the peacocks that roam the property sang along from rooftops and treetops.

there were over 20 salsas entered in the contest in categories such as best overall, most unique, best restaurant, hottest, and best fruit.  my favorite was a fruit salsa with a little kick.  i like the sweet and spicy.  the hottest was the MOST ridiculous spice i think i've ever had.  many, many times hotter than the habanero, the main pepper in this salsa can't even be bought in this country!  he imported it from the UK.  i literally cried and Saraya was a tad bit unhappy with me.  even Justin was getting teary-eyed and was about ready to call it quits after that one.  luckily i had plenty of soothing, mild flavors and a hansen's soda to help me recover.

good times...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

labor playlist

one of the (many) things i like about choosing a birthing center is the flexibility to create a genuinely relaxing atmosphere.  i can use candles, music, and oh my goodness i can actually EAT.  not that i'm positive i'll have the greatest appetite and i certainly don't want to increase my chances of pooping in the water (sorry for that graphic description, but it's true), but anyone who knows me and understands the undeniable importance of food in my life can appreciate that i have the option.

so as the big day approaches (only 5 days!), i thought i'd better get to work on some playlists because putting my ipod on random shuffle would be a BAD idea.  i have over 7000 songs that would neither relax me nor encourage me to move.  and since those are probably the primary motives i'll have during that time i've made 2 playlists entitled, you guessed it relax and move.  how apropos...

consequently, relax is almost 9 hours long and full of wonderful soothers like Bob Marley and Jack Johnson.  move is only 3 hours and is a very eclectic collection of songs that make me want to shake, sway and dance.  i fully realize that my labor may be much longer than 12 hours but it could also be much shorter!  i have a friend that has spent a TOTAL of 6 hours in labor between 3 kids.  either way, these songs are just one more thing that i hope will add to making this a positive experience.

has anyone else had music playing while they've been in labor?  what do you wish you could have listened to?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

26. pet a wallaby

in 2006, Justin and I took a trip to Australia. one of my favorite activities was visiting the koala park sanctuary in New South Wales. in addition to the super cute and super sleepy koalas like Tatonka here

the park also had free-roaming wallabies, well-endowed kangaroos, fairy penguins, dingos, peacocks and more. including this very scary cassowary. i didn't mean to rhyme but it's true. that's a bone on his head. and he is very aggressive...

and here is one of those kangaroos i mentioned.

the wallabies were adorable and so approachable. i'm so glad we got to check them out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

are we there yet?!

dear Saraya,

so i know i've made it quite comfortable in there for you but i thought you should know that:
my ankles are like mini tree trunks.  i can't get out of bed without going through a series of stretching poses (which isn't always convenient when i really have to pee).  my back aches.  i'm fatigued.  and i am experiencing bouts of frantic nesting mode (which is driving your daddy crazy).  but most of all you should know that we are anxiously awaiting your arrival and really think you'll like it better out here with us.  so try not to hang out in there too long ok?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

car shopping

so i thought it would be awhile yet before i succumbed but it looks like the upgrade to a family friendlier vehicle is coming sooner rather than later...

i love my little focus.  maybe not as much as the celica or the jeep, but it is a very practical and dependable little car that's been pretty good to me the past three years.  during the wildfires a couple of years ago, i fit 2 adults, OB and "important possessions" into the car and it worked but now i also have to consider Saraya, Lani, and all of the things that come with a baby and 2 dogs.  so, the focus won't cut it.  and aside from emergency escapes, there's also family trips to the beach and the country to consider.  i can't imagine a minivan right now so i think an suv is the next logical step.

so the question is, which suv?  i am a little partial to toyotas and fords.  the rav 4 looks great with seating up to 7 without being a monstrous vehicle.  and the escape has a lot of promising features too.  i guess there will be some price comparison and test driving going on.  i'll keep you updated!

in the meantime, feel free to make suggestions about these 2 or any other suvs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

52. visit the DMZ

it may seem like a strange place to "sightsee" but there are a few reasons this made my top 100 list.  first, the demilitarized zone is a significant influence to my existence because i probably would not have been born if some American soldier hadn't been stationed in Seoul.  second, as a military officer myself, i make yearly trips to South Korea to help defend and prepare the country from an attack.  i thought therefore, it would be a good idea to see this place up close for myself.

the DMZ is a buffer about 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide that lies along the 38th parallel cutting the Korean peninsula roughly in half.  it was created after a cease-fire and an armistice agreement was signed in 1953  (which was never followed by a peace agreement so the country is technically still at war).

when i took a tour, we entered the Joint Security Area and saw the table where negotiations have taken place.  the guards are serious and pretty intimidating.

and this is literally the line between the countries. i was on the north side for just a few minutes and it gave me goosebumps.
especially with this guy watching me...

it was fascinating to see and hear about various incidents such as Operation Paul Bunyan, multiple incursions, propaganda towns, tunnels and more. the third tunnel is open to tourists but there are no pictures allowed. now, i am short. and this was supposed to be one of the larger tunnels the North dug. but even i was getting a little claustrophobic and my hard hat scraped the top of tunnel on more than one occasion. i felt really bad for the very tall people on the tour creeping around like Gollum.  and these tunnels are deep.  on the way down i noticed chairs built into the walls and was wondering what they were for until we started our return.  i didn't have to use one but there were plenty of people resting on the way up.

another very interesting side effect of the DMZ is that the land surrounding it has become a sort of nature reserve. because the land is not really habitable by people (landmines and such can do that), endangered plants and animals have thrived there. there's hope that once reunification occurs, the DMZ can be conserved as a wildlife refuge. that would be kind of cool...

not an endangered animal ...

Monday, May 10, 2010

say yes to carrots

this is Pearl...

she likes carrots.

i met Pearl at a craft fair. she obediently sat for her carrot. Pearl looked like a long lost cousin to OB and Lani. i asked them if they wanted a carrot. this is how OB looked at me in response...

but then i told them that carrots were delicious. better even than the green beans i once gave them. so they ate some! and they agreed. unfortunately, i don't have picture proof that this occured. but i promise it did. and next time i'll have evidence.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day!

this holiday has a new meaning now. happy mother's day to my family and friends everywhere. enjoy your day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

this finger

dear saraya,

this is your daddy's finger after painting the walls of your nursery. there's a LOT of love in this finger. and i am so looking forward to the day i can post a picture of your little paint-spattered finger wrapped around this one.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

who DOES that?!

before i got pregnant i was never the type of person who took it upon themselves to touch or comment about a pregnant lady's belly. the only bellies i'd actually felt were usually close family or friends and that was generally only after i was TOLD to check it out. since becoming pregnant, i've been lucky enough to avoid any unwanted touching or uncomfortable comments (*knocking on wood because there's still time*) but boy did i hear a doozy this week.

imagine standing in the checkout line, being looked up and down, and then being asked when you're due. starts off innocently enough. after responding, imagine having that same perfect stranger indignantly informing you that her daughter-in-law is due a month before you and is half your size. now, the friend this just happened to thought to herself "well, you're twice the size of me and you're not even pregnant." i asked why she didn't say it out loud!

anyhow, i was amusing myself with possible responses to this:

1. start crying and make her feel REALLY bad
2. ask her what her excuse was
3. ask her if she's asking you for advice on how to get her daughter-in-law up to healthy weight
4. remind her that if she doesn't have anything nice to say...

and i'm sure there are a ton more. as a matter of fact, you should comment below on how you'd respond.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

cinco de mayo!

so i know this holiday is about outnumbered mexicans defeating the sneaky french etc, but for me it's about the food. (it's usually about the alcohol too but not this year). i can't decide whether we should celebrate with a fantastic home-cooked meal or if we should treat ourselves to some wonderful local fare. living in San Diego definitely has some advantages when it comes to delicious and authentic Mexican food.

so those in favor of home cooking, here are some of the mouth-watering options i'm debating:

tortilla soup
black bean pizza

or maybe one of these...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

7 things i'm looking forward to rediscovering

the day i got lasik i was so amazed at what i could see that i spent the entire ride home driving Jenn crazy by reading aloud every single billboard and sign we passed. it was an amazing rediscovery of my sense of sight. i imagine there will be a few rediscoveries after Saraya's born that i will find just as exciting. things like:

1. sleeping on my stomach again
2. sitting in the sauna/hot tub
3. enjoying a nice cold beer
4. hot yoga
5. soft cheeses
6. sushi and sake
7. deli sandwiches


Monday, May 3, 2010

street fairs

i really enjoy street fairs. i adore the smell of kettle corn and it's such a great place to people watch. i like to support local vendors and admire the handiwork of artists, musicians, and foodies. most times i'm not shopping for anything in particular but i usually find great local gifts for family and friends. at the very least, i'm inspired in my own craftiness.

last weekend we checked out the Encinitas street fair. being a little beach town, it was easy to find goodies that reflected the relaxed surfer atmosphere, the green/organic attitude, and the extremely dog-friendly vibe. while i'm sure OB and Lani would begrudgingly accept it if i dressed them up in more than their polo shirts, i doubt they would love these hats. still, it was fun to see these real-life models. they were so well behaved! (he said it was because they were on the job).

yesterday we visited the Carlsbad street fair. again, there were so many booths with a lot of unique items. one of my favorite companies is Carlsbad Gourmet. they make one of my top 6 sauces as well as a bunch of tasty jams/jellies, mustards, and other sauces featuring locally grown strawberries. this time we took OB along for the day. since he's gotten a little older, OB's been pretty well-behaved in public. it's a crowded venue with LOTS of people and other dogs wandering around. i wouldn't dream of taking Lani until she's calmed down considerably. but OB was a hit. he's such a cartoonish looking dog and we couldn't walk past 3 booths before someone was asking what breed he was and petting his handsomely huge head.

between both trips, we ended up only buying a few things and they were all for Saraya...

a snow rose bonsai tree

a jellyfish paperweight/nightlight

a sufer baby beanie

Sunday, May 2, 2010


i've been a fan of massages for a long time but they have been nearly essential since entering my third trimester. even my wonderful snoogle doesn't completely eliminate the back and hip pain i've been experiencing almost nightly now. as i reached the milestone of being full-term, i treated myself to my first 2 hour massage. usually i get 1 hour and that is more than adequate. after the last 1 hour massage i thought i was going to cry because it was over way too fast. it was heavenly. she soothed every sore square inch and actually put me to sleep. i have to admit that 2 hours is a tiny bit much; i probably would have been just fine with a 90 minute. either way, i just wanted to put it out there that i consider massages a necessary part of my health and well-being, not just a luxury!

so on that note, i was delighted to discover infant massage. it only makes sense that the same benefits i get from massage would be great for saraya. in addition to stimulating circulation and natural healing, as well as promoting relaxation and sleep, infant massage "promotes physiological and neurological development and function and increases healthy attachment and bonding." who doesn't want that? so while i'm not sure i'll become a certified educator of infant massage or anything, i can at least see if it's something saraya can enjoy as much as i do.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

National Scrapbook Day

happy national scrapbook day! yesterday i checked out the scrapbook expo at the Del Mar fairgrounds. i am proud to report that i only spent 2 hours and under $100! (not to say it didn't take a LOT of effort not to spend more!) there were hundreds of vendors with so many amazing products and deals! between the workshops, make and takes, and demonstrations, it's really a wonder i didn't come out of there with more stuff. probably the hardest thing to resist was starting a new collection. it was so cool to see some of the newest techniques being demonstrated but of course if i wanted to start using them it would require a startup kit and lots of fun little add-ons that add up.

so i behaved and stocked up on some tried and trusted items and discovered a few new items and vendors that i may start frequenting. one of my favorite discoveries? quicklets! (eyelets that don't require a setter). i know this is a foreign language to some of you but basically an eyelet is an embellishment that usually invloves tools and semi-obnoxious pounding noises. i found a company that makes eyelets that you can set simply using a pen to run around the edge. awesome...

today is the last day for this expo so if you're in the san diego area, i recommend checking it out. otherwise, check out this link to the traveling expo to see if it's coming to your city or just to find some great stores; a lot of them have wonderful online selections.

here are some sample pages from Created By U that i loved: