Saturday, September 15, 2012

Consignment store and 108 degree slippers

Less than 36 hours til we'll be on the road headed up to the Sequoias.

I took out A's old clothes yesterday to make sure the baby would be well outfitted while up there. She's outgrowing 6-9 by length, so into 12 month we go!

Only to find that A's 12 month clothes were comprised mostly of shorts... hm. That won't really do for an altitude of 6500 or so.

So the girls and I headed to the consignment store to do some shopping. Fortunately they're well stocked in winter gear (which always strikes me as so weird considering we live in SD - where are all these snowsuit-outfitted kids to sell clothes to the store??) and nobody's really started shopping for them yet. So we had a great selection. I picked up three fleece sleepers, one fleece outfit, several long sleeve shirts (at 0.99 each), several short sleeved onesies, a few fleece pants, a couple corduroy pants, and a nice fleece zip up jacket.  Then I added in two pairs of pants for A, one of which is lined (score!)

Clothes-wise, the girls are set!

We have been in a heat wave though and the car's temperature reading had climbed to 108 degrees by the time we hit the consignment store. I was so not in the mood to be sorting through fleece clothes in that kind of weather!

Photo: Dear san diego: this is hot for you. We'll be in our car with the a/c, kthx
(note how sitting in the parking lot and enjoying the a/c destroyed my mpg!)

We did a playdate with A's friend and then we headed home, did our evening routine, and into bed they went. 

The downside of the weather, though, is that I have really not been feeling the crochet motivation I need. It's hard to work with wool-blend yarns to make thick slippers and mittens when you're sweating!

I did finish one of E's slippers - after many days of fussing over which pattern to use and starting/stopping three of them when I decided I didn't like how they were coming out. Lots of wasted hours but I have finally decided which to use (same as A's slippers, just downsized). now to crank them out!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sequoia Gear

Today, Baby E celebrated being eight months old! Time is flying. I think it goes on fast forward after the first baby is born, but then it just gets exponentially faster when the second is born.

We went to a new park today, and the girls both really enjoyed it. I was driving with them and decided to just look up parks in the GPS and found so many around us that I had never heard of. This might encourage some exploring :)

I started up A's slippers for the Sequoias today. When we camped there in 2010, it got into the 20s at night and well, it was rather hard to leave the tent in the morning in such temperatures! So my goal this time around is to crochet and knit up a few things to help us keep toasty. I splurged and purchased some Cascade Pacific yarn at the local yarn store - which I had never been to before! It is 40% wool and so soft. I made both girls hats that turned out great. I may become addicted to this yarn for the more special things I make for kids. Wool, soft, and washable!

I made E some booties in cotton and plan to make her some more in wool. The temperatures got up into the 60s during the day so layering is a must.  But I'd like to have two sets anyway for when one needs to get washed. 

I've started A's mittens - they are knit, and since knitting is slower and I am so new they are taking much longer than if I'd crocheted them. But they look so very nice when done! I have one mitten finished and need to do the other. 

So 7 days to finish some wool booties, mittens for E, and the second mitten for A. I'm running out of time fast!

Fall apple picking

One advantage of us doing "forests" this month is that it is also the start of apple season in Julian, located next to our largest local forest: the Cleveland National Forest. Last Thursday, we did an impromptu trip up there to do some apple picking (the first of our many family fall activities). On the drive up, we pointed out all the trees to A, who was amazed at all their different shapes, colors, and sizes. Many of the trees burned in the forest fires of 2003 (I believe) and 2006. They're starting to grow back or gain life again. But it wasn't unusual to see dead burnt trees next to lively sprouts. We showed her the firemarkings in the trees, where the trunks had burnt.  It was a really fun drive :) 

Once in Julian, we headed up to the apple orchard on Raven Hill. It is a family owned orchard and the owners are also artists. We paid for our bag and headed into the orchards. 

A went with us last year but she was way more interested and into it this year, reminding us that we were to only pick the "big ones, with no holes." Baby E got a HUGE kick out of this trip as well. Daddy carried her about in his arms (where was my Beco!?) and let her taste a skinned apple, which she held tightly in her chubby hands and licked. 

The girls visited the chickens, listened to the distant horses (who I'm sure would've enjoyed some apple picking of their own), inspected the apples, and tasted the different varieties - gala, fiji, golden delicious, oh my. The owner recommended we see if we liked the taste of the golden delicious apples which weren't quite as ripe. A took this job seriously :) A loved racing up and down the rows of the orchard, and E loved peeking through the leaves to spot all the apples on the branches.  After much apple picking, we found a shady spot and the girls sat with daddy to talk and laugh.

After picking our apples, we headed over to Julian. It is an old historic mining town, complete with "Western" looking main street. They have a nut & honey store, many small street cafes, a small grocer, even a pistol shop. It is a great town to visit and just walk around in. There are so many small, independent stores. And they have great pie :) We typically go on the weekends during "Apple Festival" days (which goes on for about a month, it seems), so this was one of our first times going up on an "offseason" day. It was so quiet and relaxed and lovely! We stopped and got our usual pie :) Baby E wasn't so sure about the taste of a boysenberry

Then we headed to the nut & honey store for some small treats of honey sticks, candy sticks, and even butterscotch. It was a great way to end our visit, and, exhausted, everyone napped while I drove home.

Forests and Fall

After baby E was born, we kind of slacked off on doing a "theme" each month. We still did quite a few activities, but they weren't organized by any theme. Our summer consisted of us spending a LOT of time outdoors. We live in San Diego, it would be blasphemous not to. So the hot summer afternoons were spent playing at the park, blowing bubbles on the lawn, and splashing in the ocean. With the Summer Nights going on at the Zoo, we also spent many evenings there - watching the various human performers and picking one animal to visit for each trip. We watched hippos swim, orangutans romp and play, a cheetah chase after a bird, and the beautiful colors of all the birds in the aviaries. We saw a variety of "less graceful" animal moments: giraffes clean their noses, rhinoceroses blow bubbles in their pool, and lions cough up hairballs.  We also spent quite a bit of time at SeaWorld with the dolphins, sea lions, penguins, and even their porcupine! There was the county fair in June - with horse shows and turkey races. Even our library got in on the summer fun with Wednesday activity nights. They had a musical jamboree, a magician, and even a night of science fun.

I can understand why not many people want to leave San Diego.

As we're entering fall, though, I feel that we need to start our themes once again. Aside from (all of) us learning a lot through these themes, they also let us learn and explore many areas of San Diego that we don't normally visit. It helps set up craft and cooking activities, and gives us new topics to talk about.

So back to themes :)

This month we are going camping at Sequoia National Park. We are all very very excited about this trip as it will be our first camping trip in over a year and our first major camping trip since A was a baby. 

With this in mind, forests seemed a natural theme for the month! I started the theme a few days into September, so I'm feeling a bit unprepared. We have been raiding our own bookshelves for books about forests and animals, and we also need to visit our library. We have talked about wildlife that lives in our local forests - deer, turkeys, birds, rabbits, and squirrels.  We have also been working hard at creating our own tree out of mixed art methods - will post pictures soon :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

And.... we're back :)


Okay it has been over a year. I have been meaning to do updates and be interesting and all that for months now. But the idea of all the time and typing it would take to update what has happened in a year was quite discouraging. So rather than try to be comprehensive... I will go for short and to the point with the aim of getting this blog back up and GOING!

- Our second daughter was born in January. She is the most amazing, mellow, sweetest baby. We adore her. Her sister adores her. Our family is perfect :)
- A is about to turn THREE. How has time flown so fast?
- I am to finish my dissertation by next summer. Insert panic here.
- I learned to knit last month!
- I have been crocheting like a madwoman. No matter how many things I finish, my list seems to never get shorter. Instead, it seems to always get longer. how does that work?
- We have started our Fall Fun activities and went apple picking yesterday (see delicious pie above)
- Our cat Thistle was lost for four days but has been found, thankfully!
- We are going camping soon!

Since this is short, feel free to just add in all the details and fun-ness that went on for each part :)