Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Old Wives Tales

Lots of people have been weighing in as to what the baby's gender will be. So, I thought that that we'd try a few out and see if the "old wives" come to a consensus.

Here's the answers:

1. Chinese Lunar Calendar Predictor says GIRL!!!!

2. Old Wives Tales Predictor says BOY!!!!

3. Boy or Girl test says GIRL!!!!

4. Needle test was unreliable :)

We'll see I suppose.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Shoes!

Thanks to our friend Haley, Heather has been talking about snow shoes for a couple of3123029111_bc51bf9998 weeks now. She’s looking for something that would be good exercise, allows her to get out in the fun winter weather, and is safe to do while she is pregnant. Snow shoeing seemed to fit the bill (especially after I told her she couldn’t go skiing). Coincidentally, we’ve gotten about two feet of snow up at Forest Home in the last week. Last night Heather and I went  out to REI (armed with our 20% off coupons, of course) and each got a pair of snow shoes (they’re the new banner), and we took them for a spin today. It was super fun! We trekked around Adventure Mountain a bit, and got some fun pictures. Check out the full set at Josh’s Flickr site.




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby's Heartbeat

Heather had a doctor's appointment yesterday and was able to get a recording of the baby's heartbeat on her cell phone. It's here if you want to hear it to!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!!

YAY!!!!! The tree is up and decorated!! Let the celebrating begin!!!! Now, if only it will snow!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby Gifts!

Well, Thanksgiving was super fun! We got to see lots of family and ate LOTS of good food. We also got our first baby gifts (mostly because Josh's mom and sister are silly, and couldn't handle not picking up a couple of "really cute" things).

IMG_3827 To explain: Josh's sister's nickname is Chicken, hence all of the chick stuff. She wanted to make sure that the baby always remembers who she is. Josh's mom got the stuffed animal/blanket deal (Heather secretly really wanted one for the baby, so good work Grandma), and the Baby Einstein toy so the baby will be brilliant.


Some of the other grandparents are also already planning on buying a ton of other stuff that they mentioned while we visited with them. Thanks is advance (just remember not to go overboard)!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


In order to tell the staff in my department that I am pregnant, I brought in cupcakes the day after my doctor's appointment. My boss asked me during our staff meeting if I wanted to tell everyone about the "Sacred Encounter" that I had had the day before. A sacred encounter is what we describe at work to mean a cool moment (usually with a patient or family). Anyway, so all I said was that I had brought in blue and pink cupcakes. Then, I waited! It took longer than I thought for them to figure it out. And, I had to apologize for lying or throwing them off track in the months before my announcement. (I get asked multiple times a day at work if I'm pregnant, and I got pretty good at saying no and explaining that we would have a baby eventually).

Anyway, here are the cupcakes. They turned out really really yummy! The staff all took a cupcake of the color that represented the gender they want the baby to be. I came with 12 of each, and left with four blue and six pink so if they get their way, then I guess we are having a boy! We'll find out in 8 more weeks.

Oh, and I have to give props to my friend Natasha. I stole the cupcake idea from her. It's what she did to announce that she was pregnant with her daughter Kate. Thanks, Tash!!!


So, the entire Erquiaga family went to see WICKED last night at the Pantages! YAY! It was the first time that the Conejo Valley crew had seen it so it was exciting! The crowd was great! There was even a little girl who had painted her face green and wore a black dress for the show. The big standout for us was that Fiyero was a different guy this time, and we liked him SOOOOOOO much better! Apparently, his name is Derrick Williams and he was the understudy for Fiyero in the original broadway cast. He was amazing!

My favorite part: not the greatest video, but oh well!

Carrie Underwood

Heather and three of her girl friends got tickets to go see Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town a couple of weeks ago. It was the first concert at the Ontario Citizen's Bank Arena. It was a blast. It's a lot smaller than going to the Forum or Staples, and parking was included in the ticket price. YAY!

It was a great concert and it's kind of amazing to see what Carrie Underwood has done since her American Idol days. Pretty impressive!

One of the cutest parts was that she brought up a little girl in the middle of her song "American Girl" to sing with her. She had won the opportunity through our local country radio station, KFROG. Here's someone's video from YouTube about it.

Much thanks to Danielle, Amber, and Heather for making the night a great girls night! Love ya!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet the newest Erquiaga!

That’s right, Heather is pregnant! There will be a new Erquiaga on June 8, 2009 (at least that’s what the doctor told us). We’re super excited!

Baby 001

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Female TV Stars...

So, I was thinking this morning that I'm so glad that there are some really great female characters on TV shows these days. It used to be just silly kind of girls, but now there are smart, witty, fun, beautiful-you know complete people :)

Here are my examples for the day:

1. Ziva David and Abbey from NCIS. Ziva is a special agent; dealing with criminals, guns, and NCIS boys all day long. And, she's funny. Pretty amazing! :) Abby is in the crime lab, and basically can hack into anything. She is a hugger also, and treats her team members like they are her family.

2. Amita Ramanujan from NUMB3RS. She's a math professor and works with the FBI to solve a whole bunch of crimes. Plus, she has a sense of humor and teaches boy genius Charlie Epps a lot.

3. Kate Gosselin- Ok, so she's actually a real person, not just a character, but the way that the Gosselin family finds its way through each day with 8 kids is quite incredible!

4. Addison Forbes Montgomery on Private Practice: Well, really all of the women on Private Practice are great....they're doctors, supportive, leaders, and love each other (for the most part!).

5. Betty Suarez- She's funny, great at her job, keeps an entire magazine running, loves her family, and doesn't let the critiques of others get to her. Plus, I have glasses like her :)

Ok...that's all that I can think of for today! It's a pretty good start though I'd say, and also proves that I watch too much TV.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Two Cuties in Our World!

This week was really fun for our friends.

1. Macyn Hope got to come home on Tuesday! Yay! She was adopted by our friends Heather and Josh (yeah, I know--we think it's funny too that we have the same names-we are also the same ages). We got the pleasure to meet her on Thursday night when we all got together for our weekly dinner, games and Survivor!

2. For Halloween, Addie and her daddy Nate came over to help pass out candy! She's quite the little ladybug and her mom, who made the costume on a whim yesterday, is just amazing! WOW!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our day on the farm!

Today we went to Riley's Farm to u-pick apples. Heather has been wanting to continue to expand her new canning skills with Apple Filling. So, off we went. It really was an all day adventure from going to the farm, picking the apples, preparing the filling and then canning everything. It was lots of fun too! Now we just have to be patient before we can have some.

Here's how the day went.....

We walk out past the pumpkin patch to the Rome Apples. Supposedly, they are really great for baking (we'll see).

Josh went along for the ride. I think he had a good time. You'll have to ask him next time you see him :)

Our prize!!! Aren't these soooooo pretty?! Organic Rome Apples!

This is just a cool picture :)

So after we picked all of our apples, we went home to make the filling.

It takes the whole kitchen to make this work. Left back burner is the boiling water for to vacuum seal the jars. Left front are the lids for the jars. Right back are the apples--waiting for the jars. Right front is the yummy syrup getting all thick and tasty!

TA DA!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I think I figured it out…

From now on posts from Josh should show up as from me. Yay!

It’s Been a While…

Since either of us blogged, so here’s your update!

Both Heather and I are a little bit older. Thanks to all of our friends who put together really fun birthday celebrations! Heather is really looking forward to her 30s!

We just spent a fun weekend with the in-laws. I’m happy to say the the Stewart’s wireless network is now running in tip-top shape after the purchase of a new Linksys router.


We went and saw the Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of “The King and I” (which Matt is working on). It was a fun show, but Debby Gibson pretty much ruined it for me. She has this lisp which was super apparent from the very first scene and was super distracting throughout the show. I’m not sure how she ever became an 80s pop star. Heather and I even went to YouTube to watch some of her old videos just to see if the lisp was there then, or if some horrible tragedy (like a stroke) had happened to her in recent years leaving her with a crippling lisp. Luckily, no such tragedy has occurred (it has always been there).

We’re super excited for our friends who are adopting kids (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post their names, so I won’t – don’t want to mess up their adoption proceedings). We have three sets of friends who will all have new sons and daughters in the next month or so. Wahoo!

That’s about it for now. More to come!

EDIT – For some reason this post is showing up as posted by Heather, but in actuality it’s been posted by Josh. I’m not sure why that is yet.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Yep--You and I both love....Jason Mraz!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, my husband is very smart. He has been paying attention. Over the last couple of months, there was a billboard for the Jason Mraz concert at Morongo that I passed on my home every day. Everytime I passed it, I'd say..oooh, I want to go see him. I've been a fan since his first album wayyyyy back in 2002 :) And, he was going to be right here in the IE. Last weekend we got to go for my early birthday present. YAY!!! It was a great concert! There were probably just a 1500 or so people. So, it was a small venue. I had a great time! Thanks hubby! (We didn't bring a camera, so the pics are just from Josh's phone).

Here's a video clip that someone from the Morongo concert uploaded:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Anniversary Camping Trip

YAY! We finally got to use all of our camping gear when we went up to Morro Bay last week. It was so nice to get out of the 100 + heat and bask in the mild temps. We even got some fog! YAY! Who knew that we'd be so excited about fog?!

Our camp site was right on the dunes, so we'd just walk over the the beach! We saw seal lions, birdies, crabs, anenomes, and lots of jellyfish.

Apparently, the beach was a safety zone for the snowy plover habitat. The Morro Bay kids told us so....

Morro Bay from the state park......

Sad Day----Josh kept trying to light the stove...unfortunately, he got a bad bad bad bad match, and it hit him....poor Josh! Bad Match!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Very Exciting

Yep, this should be an exciting season at the Rose Bowl!!! 27-24 over #18 Tennessee? Now that's the way to start a year.....we'll just forget all about our third string quarterbacks four interceptions...they were obviously flukes.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Side note...

Heather tried to relate to how excited Josh was to be at the Star Trek Experience. Especially, when the tour guide started to read really hard trivia questions about the show and multiple people in line would shout the answer. So, Heather started to imagine the creation of "The Friends Experience". That would be amazing. As Josh was talking about the history of the show, I kept thinking how fun it would be to have a timeline with 1986-high school Monica getting ready for prom, followed by 1987-watching Ross and Chandler come back from college with their flock of seagulls haircuts, and the week that Russ came into our lives. Just imagine this....a museum complete with Ross's keyboard, Phoebe's guitar, and Joey's costume from Vegas. The ride would be a trip in Phoebe's grandmother's car with Phoebe driving. Yep, that would be a good day!

This is how Heather understood how much Josh could like an entire amusement park dedicated to his favorite show.

Part 2 of Josh's Awesome Weekend

So, Part 1 was Friday's skydiving adventure with Dustin. Little did Josh know that there would be a Part 2.

There has been this totally awesome attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton for the last 11 years called "The Star Trek Experience." I actually remember being 16-ish and seeing a commercial for it, and thinking "I really want to go see that!" Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I found out that it will be closing on September 1st. I apparently talked a lot about it, because my wife decided that as an early birthday present (it's closing before my birthday) she would take me to see it.

Sunday morning started out like a normal Sunday, except that fact that I woke up and Heather was already dressed, which was a little weird. I made breakfast and then we decided to go to the Farmer's Market (our normal Sunday morning activity for the last couple of weeks). We went out to the garage and a number of weird things happened. Heather suggested we take her car (we normally drive my car on the weekends, since Heather's gets driven a lot more during the week) and Heather got in the drivers seat (I normally drive, since she drives a lot more during the week). Then, Heather asked me to hand her her sunglasses, and I noticed that mine were in the car as well. I finally asked her if she was up to something, and she just said "Maybe," with a little smile on her face. Then I asked, "are we driving to Vegas?" "Yep."

Thus began Part 2.

Let me say this; The Star Trek Experience was awesome. After three short hours in the car, we were greeted by this:


And shortly after entering the Las Vegas Hilton, we were at the entrance:


It was pretty much the best day ever. The Star Trek Experience offers three attractions, Quarks' Bar (recreate from the set of Deep Space Nine), Borg Invasion 4D, and Klingon Encounter. While you wait in line for Borg Invasion and the Klingon Encounter, there is an entire museum line up of set pieces, and a timeline of Star Trek history. Heather got more history than I think she ever wanted to know while we waited in line.

I think my favorite part of the entire day was at one point during the Klingon Encounter (equal parts live-action show and motion simulator ride, a la Star Tours at Disneyland), you are actual standing on the bridge of the Enterprise D! It brought back all kinds of memories of me wishing I was Wesley Crusher, the dashing young ensign on the Enterprise.

All in all, it was an awesome day reliving my childhood watching Star Trek, and remembering again all of the reasons that I love Star Trek. Thanks to my wifey, (who loves me enough to spend a super-nerdy day with me) for an amazing day, and an incredible early birthday surprise.

There are a few more pictures from our little day trip here.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Microsoft labs just released a really cool concept called Photosynth, which basically stitches a bunch of photos together into a 3D type image. You can check out the reference ones they've done at their site (here). I went ahead and stitched together some of my Macchu Picchu pictures (which you can see below, or click here to see it on the Photosynth site). The synth wasn't great (apparently only 24% synthy, or 24% matchability), but it's pretty cool none-the-less. Now that I know how Photosynth works (they have a video guide here if you want to try your own), I can take pictures of the cool places we go that will be "synthable."


Now that the Bejing Olympics are over, let's begin the countdown to London 2012! Woot! (yes--I know that I'm a bit obsessed, but obsession about world uniting (well...almost uniting) is a good thing right?! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Josh's Really Fun Day

Josh had a really fun day today. It started out in Perris, CA, at the Perris Valley Skydiving School. They have a shark plane there. It looks like this:



Josh went with his friend Dustin.

They rode in the plane up to 12,500 feet, and then, they jumped out! They had a whole lot of fun!




Once they were back on the ground, they realized they had taken the whole day off, and Dustin had a brand new (from Craig's List) road bike, so they came home and went for a ride. It was a really fun day! There are a few more pictures here, if you want to see them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Morro Bay!

We decided that we are camping in Morro Bay for our Anniversary weekend! It should be fun! We get to try out all of our camping gear! YAY!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Now with two bloggers!

Of course, I should have figured this out sooner, but you can actually configure multiple authors on a Blogger blog, so now you'll know whether posts are from Heather or Josh.

Friday, August 8, 2008



Monday, August 4, 2008

Making Jam....

So, about a month ago, Heather was talking with her friend Annette at work. Annette was talking about how she cans fruit for the winter making jams, jellies, and canned fruit etc. Heather thought that this sounded fun.

With our new love for the Loma Linda Farmer's Market, we were stocked full of fruit today, when Heather ran into Annette again and remembered that she was supposed to practice canning.

So, here's the first attempt using Farmer's Market Strawberries.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Support GRACO!

If you are buying baby gifts or have one yourself, we highly recommend GRACO!
GRACO recently made a very generous donation to a family at Heather's hospital! It was absolutely amazing and unexpected! We are so incredibly thankful! So, we will sing GRACO's praises for years to come!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where should we go....

for our anniversary vacation?

That's the question of the day! :)

Hot Hot Hot!

Good things about Heather's Air Conditioner blowing up:

1. She can drive 40 miles more on a tank of gas....saving $12.50 a week! :)
2. The wind-blown look
3. No freon to breathe in
4. She gets to give bugs a ride to the desert

That's about it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Africa Photographs...

Josh has uploaded a few hundred of our Africa pictures to his flickr site. Check it out!!

Here's one picture to get you excited about the rest.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We are back

We got back from Malawi last night. It was an amazing trip! We met some incredible people, both from Malawi and from the states. Pictures to come!

Here's just a snippet of what we got to do:

1. Build a foundation with bricks for a pre-school. Yep, we used brick, dirt, and cement to work alongside the actual bricklayers to finish the foundation walls.

2. Visit multiple villages where World Vision works with the tribes to provide fresh water wells, agriculture education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and education just to name a few.

3. Visit World Vision's HIV/AIDS swine and chicken project. This project provides an opportunity for those who are positive for HIV/AIDS to be employed, and to sell the meat in order to show the villages that people with HIV/AIDS do not need to be outcasts, but can be productive members of the community.

4. We toured the Nkoma Hospital. There are just a few doctors, and nurses have 150 patients a day. When a person comes to the hospital, he/she must be accompanied by a family member who provides care for the patient during the hospital stay. Because of the shortage of medical personnel, the staff only provides the medical care. Thanks to Louise from FTS for the tour. Nkoma is one of a few hospitals in the country, and people will walk for 50 km plus to get care.

5. Work with FTS partners on an outreach event in a village. The village has a high percentage of witchcraft followers. When we hear witchcraft we tend to think of kids during Halloween, but this is actually some really evil stuff. Kids get taken in as early as 2 years old and sold to the witch doctor. The witch doctor in turn teaches them to kill, perform sacrifices (human and animal) etc. Pretty nasty stuff that I really didn't think existed. Any way, we were there with the amazing FTS Malawian crew to provide an alternative and hope to the village.

6. Work with FTS on a day with kiddos in the villages. We got to play with kids from infancy to teenagers, and some mothers. It was basically a VBS kind of day. Lots of games, lots of laughs, and a little learning about family and caring for each other well with Bible stories.

7. MVUU (Hippo) Camp Safari. Yep, yep, hippos, baboons, monkeys, water buffalo, birdies galore, crocodile, elephants, and wart hogs. (The rhinos, lions, and zebras were hiding). A great two days!! Josh and Heather stayed in a little hut on the banks of the river with the windows facing the water. We woke up at 3am one morning to elephants eating on the trees about six feet in front of them. We got to watch them for about a half an hour before they moved on.

8. We got the GREAT PLEASURE to tour the Partners in Hope health clinic. This clinic was started by a doctor from the Westside of Los Angeles, Dr. Perry Jansen. The clinic has two sides. There is a paying clinic for those who have the ability, dignitaries, politicians, business people etc. The clinic provides general medical care as well as HIV/AIDS testing and treatment. The second clinic, Moyo Clinic, is a free clinic for those who cannot pay. It provides HIV/AIDS testing and treatment. The clinic also stresses community outreaches through school health education etc. It was absolutely inspiring to see. And, UCLA has become a big partner with the organization, and will start sending UCLA doctor residents to Malawi to assist. UCLA also provided funds for needed equipment. YEAH, UCLA is the best! :)

9. Then, we had an additional work day at FTS property in the capital city of Lilongwe. We crushed bricks and stamped them to be the first layer of the foundation. It is definitely a process to build in Malawi. The property is going to be great once it's finished. It will have a guest house, dorms, staff housing, playing fields, camping spots, and gardens. VERY VERY cool.

10. We got to hear about Chief's Ministry and Opportunity International Bank. Chief's Ministry, run by a man named Amos, provides support and education for the traditional Malawian village chiefs. Opportunity International Bank is the only bank that is available to anyone in Malawi. A person only needs 500 kwacha, about $3.50 to open an account, and 1000 kwacha, about $7, to start accumulating interest. They also provide microloans as small as $10 to start businesses in the community.

11. We got to tour and hold infants and toddlers in the Crisis Nursery in Lilongwe. We both LOVED this place. The idea is that families who cannot care for the infants, usually due to the death of parents or infant malnutrition give the infants to the nursery for "this crisis". The children are fed, restored to health, and in the vast majority of the time, able to return to their villages with their large families. It is only a small percentage who end up needing to be placed into foster care or adoptive homes. For some reason, it was encouraging to know that "orphans" do not necessarily need to be "orphans". It was also encouraging to know that Madonna was not allowed to adopt from that nursery.

12. On our last day in Malawi, we got to go with Vasco, who is the youth leader for the area. He has about 1 million youth in his area. He was having a sleepover weekend for several high schools in the area. We showed up to keep the students occupied with soccer games, frisbee, and just chatting with them. They helped us learn more Chichewa words and they got to speak in English (of course, there English is WAY, WAY better than our Chichewa will ever be).

13. On our way out of Africa, we had a nine hour layover in Kenya. So, our team leaders made dinner reservations for us at a restaurant in Nairobi, called Carnviore Restaurant. It was all you can eat meat. We had pork ribs, chicken, lamb, beef, sausage, crocodile, and ostrich. It was a great three course meal, and we got to see a little bit of Kenya in the process.

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're going to Africa! That's crazy!!!!!!

We are leaving tomorrow! That is just insane! Our first flight leaves LAX at 8:55pm. We have a stop-over in London. Then, it's on to Kenya and finally to Lilongwe, Malawi. We are busy finishing the last minute planning, while of course, watching the Olympic Trials--just can't get enough! (Heather definitely programmed the DVR to make sure that we catch all of the trials while we are gone.)

You can call us: Mzungu now too :) Crazy white guys who run in circles :)

We can't wait to share stories and pictures when we get back.

Thank you in advance to the Ruppe's for their help with getting us to our meeting spot and back.

Friday, June 27, 2008

DA. da. da da da da da. Du du du du d d duda du da DA!

It's Heather's most favorite thing in the world: THE OLYMPICS!

She spent a lot of last weekend watching the trials, and plans to do the same ALL WEEK LONG!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!

Track and Field. We'll watch the people run an 800 in the time it takes Heather to run a 400. Hee hee hee!


6 years, 3200 hours of work, two standardized tests, $400 dollars. DONE!!!!!

License! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thought for a day....

So here's the thought for the day.

When people run for office, you'd think that they'd do anything to get your vote. Well, we tried to get some bumper stickers for the Nov. election, just to find out that you have to PAY for the privilege of your endorsement. How silly is that?! Very contrary to all common sense, esp. since high school and middle school election candidates would give out free candy or buttons, and they didn't have any money at all.

On the subject of money.....there is so much money in these elections. I was thinking that maybe the political types should just donate all the money donated to them instead of spending it on commercials. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars. That could make it so that California teachers could keep their jobs, or vaccinate all the kiddos for free, or give everyone a free upgrade to Digital TV (since the FCC decided that in order to watch regular broadcast TV, you now have to go buy a special antenna). That'd definitely make more of an impact and let voters know what they are into. I like this idea. When I run for office, that's what I'll do. So, feel free to start giving me money that you'd like me to give away.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Part 1: Done

YAY!! Heather took the first part of her exam for her license....and she passed!!!

She's been working for six years to be able to sit for it, and she passed it on the first try! YAY!!

One more step, and then she's officially a Licensed Clinical Social Worker! Woot!