Ok, bear with me here, I want to tell about our trip in one post so here it goes... With pictures...
The 2 kids and I flew from Las Vegas to the Bay Area as a team. The Southwest Guy gave Huz a pass to come thru security with us and that was great... since we almost missed the flight... because even after 6-7ish years I still let him plan things.
The ManChild was amazing and yes, nursing on the plane totally helped. So did the extra seat on both, both, flights. He slept for most of the second flight and KaBean got to color without worrying about her silly brother eating the pens.
Unky Dunky came and picked us up from the airport and drove us home. As soon as we could see the ocean I started taking pics. None of those actually have the ocean in them. Duncan's nose was in the way.
Poor ManChild made to about 8 minutes from Grandma's house before finally vomiting all over himself. 2 airplanes and 4 hours in a car later, vomit. I still feel bad. This pic was about an hour before... I can almost see it in his face. He handled himself well I must say.
KaBean planted these flowers before we left, she was very proud of their growth. In fact the garden looks amazing right now, I really really miss it...
I tried to soak up as much ocean wonderfulness as I could while we were visiting. I feel like I took any pic I could that might have the ocean in it. I also took a lot of pictures of the roads near home. I don't know why, I know these roads better than any other place on earth.
My dear friend (and Sock Goddess) Pippi's youngest. In just the month that we've been gone she is already running around and trying to talk and play with the big kids. The ManChild was a little afraid of her.
We got to play at Bill and Lynette's house which is always a treat for me, I just love talking to Lynette about everything. She is unschooling her 13 year old daughter and they both seem to be loving the lifestyle. Bill is sort of also The Dude so it fits right in with him. They have an insane out door playscape for big/little ones and both my kids love it there.
Big fields, huge rocks, swings, trampolines, a pond... and an ocean view. They have a great sitting area where we can sit and watch the kids play and see the ocean and everything. I really love it there...
So do the kids...
I'm not sure, but I think Bill and Lynette like having us to visit... just a little.
When I was a kid I had to walk to school uphill, both ways, in the rain, battling fierce logging trucks. True story. But on the sunny days, it was well worth it. These are crappy phone pics, but the right side of the road in this top pic is lined with moss and ferns and when the wild flowers are blooming it is truly magikal.
We'd pass this field on our way to school too (well we have to pass it anytime we want to go anywhere, really). I've always been in love with this view. There is something so traditional homesteader about this view with the house and the fields and the forest.
We got to spend some good playing time at Lily's (click the link, her work is awesome) house and see all her pets and animal friends... and of coarse we got to see her and Melody too.
Dude, she has a hammock and a pond in her sheep pen. So cool.
He really really loved watching the World's Oldest Pony (no, not really... but close) eat his lunch.
It was like the coolest thing ever.
I got a kick out of this: this little girl, sitting up and playing with her friends. Blowing kisses, signing to The ManChild and KaBean, eating. Eating! Now Lily doesn't brag much so I'm gonna do it for her.
A few weeks ago this little girl couldn't eat rice without choking. Now she is eating meals with her momma and poppa like a champ. A few months ago her physical therapist said she wouldn't be sitting for at least a year, well she proved him very wrong when she started sitting up, what, like a week after he said that. She is starting to crawl backwards and she can sit up all by herself. She is practicing standing with her momma and they are both doing so amazing. Don't tell Lil, she'll probably start crying, but man, I look up to her as one of the most inspiring moms I have ever come across. And that baby of hers is just perfect.
I think both of us were a little tear-y watching our 3 kids, not babies anymore, play together. It was seriously awesome.
Flower art in the garden. I really miss having a place we can go to dig in the dirt. This garden was so important to all of us. It was one of the only way I could get the kids to eat greens besides broccoli. It was a great place for learning about color and growth and life cycles.
... fast babies don't need pants...
I think mostly we will miss the blueberries.
This is the Rhododendron Fairy Tunnel and it is amazing. Lets see... The rhodies have been growing since before our family moved into the house in 1990 so they are at least 22 years old. They are massive and I love them. They've grown up to make a wonderful little play area underneath them and when the blossoms start to fall, they carpet the ground with color.
The ManChild got a booboo on his knee and kept asking me to "tiss it, mawmaw. tiss it." I love him.
The Star Flower for Grandma. She doesn't like when they pick all the flowers in her yard. I think it's beautiful.
The awesome thing about visiting in the summer is that both my brothers are home. Unky Dunky here is stuck in a never ending "i'm winning!" race. Kabean seems to be winning. The boys, aka my brothers, kept suffeling the kids back and forth between them, it was really funny to watch. One kid would ask an uncle to do X and that uncle would be like, "Yeah! let's see what Other Uncle is doing first!" and trade off. All four kids had a blast playing together. um, my brothers are old enough to legally drink, but I think they still belong at the kid table with my offspring. lol
There are still Irises!!!!!!!!!!
Walking thru the forest to visit the cabin. Both the kids tried to go inside and both kids tried to get in the hammock. We all miss living in the woods...
The perpetual First sock on it's way to the Mendocino Yarn shop. Annelle helped me with all my knitting issues, including helping me find my mistake in That F@#king Shawl. I love Annelle and I really miss that shop. like a lot. seeing her was fun and she totally loved the Vegas Yarn I brought her. which I forgot to get a pic of. shoot.
My own homespun at the shop. Wait, I already showed you this pic, huh. oh well, I like it. Annelle helped me figure out the yardage so I can make it a Mobius for my Grama Jeannie.
Dare devil Uncle Brian taking The ManChild down the big hill on his mountain board. You know how I was talking about how great it is having both uncles around? Scratch that. They do stupid things. Like
And naturally, our favorite beach, Jughandle. We hung out there for hours...
At first just the three of us...
Then with our friends...
The sexy keg in the back is one of my oldest, closest friends, Tim. I love this guy and really wish we lived closer to each other. The adorable blond holding his hand is his niece. She is so friggin cute it hurts. I especially loves the way she talks. hilarious.
It wouldn't be beach day without Lily and Melody, and Pipi and her kids came too... why aren't they in any pictures. We were talking about how long/short ago it was that the 3 of us were sitting on that beach with only 2 mobile babies, 2 babes in in arms and one little person in Pippi's belly. Now we have... well, we have 5 very active and excited (able) kids. It was sort of bittersweet because despite my mom's promise of funding a road trip in the end of july (that just sounds like too much too soon...), I just don't know when I will get to see my friends again. Also, I fucking missed you, Amy. dammit.
This is Dundee and Nova looking all cute and shit under a tree. Nova is very lady like and has her little paws crossed. She cracks me up.
Um, my birthday is coming up, so I'm showing off my haul again.
I used to do the same thing on this same stool when I was little visiting my Grama Jeannie's house. We'd lay on our bellies and kick spin in circles till we couldn't stand up any more. This was The ManChild's most favorite thing to do until...
The baby frog broke into Grama Jeannie's house and we got to watch him jump all over the place, followed closely by my grama (their Great-grama) who was trying to catch the poor thing. He caught her in the end an we set him free with all his brothers and sisters on the front porch. There are close to a million baby frogs on her front porch. Like so many, it's a little freaky...
When we left Grama's house we drove over Tioga Pass. Oh.My.God. that place is amazing. I let the kids get out and explore a few times... we even say a coyote hunting gophers or something in the field. It was so frigging cool. i thought it was a wolf. awesome.
They were trying to escape on the top of the world. It was a long drive from Sonora to Bishop. But very very worth it.
I think at some point we were up close to 10,000 feet. in the sky. amazing. We are definitely doing that again. With Huz. He's never even seen Yosemite Valley!
At the hotel in Bishop I broke out some new Lorna's Laces and balled it up and cast on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise jacket. Even though it has been frogged and recast on a total of 3 times, I still love it. I love LOVE that yarn and it looks amazing in plain garter stitch. but more on that jacket and it's trails and tribulations later. punk ass baby sweater.
Love birthday wool and birthday books. Love.
One lane road google maps thought would be fun to send us thru. yippee! In other news that stunted tree right there is like a billion years old.
We drove right thru the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (we didn't go to the visitor center, although I really wish we had...) to get from Bishop to Vegas. I know this word might be over used in this post... Amazing!
Mining ghost town of Palmetto.
Neet rock/mountains in the desert .
KaBean was fascinated by the dust tornado things. This was a pretty big one that crossed the road right behind us so I pulled over to watch it.
More stripy rock/mountains. I wish we had my brother's friend, Michelle, with us. She knows about rocks and probably would have made this all really interesting.
What is this? Every so many feet there would be these long sticks with ribbons tied to them waving in the wind. Too regular in distance and consistent in appearance to be memorial markers for accidents, but...?
Welcome to Nevada. We drove past the Nevada Nuclear Test Site and a huge prison. The sign says in part, "the nations principle nuclear explosives testing laboratory is located within this 1350 square mile geologically complex area..." and "... continuos occupation of prehistoric man from about 3,500 years ago. The last aboriginal group to occupy this site was the Souther Paiute... who occupied this site until the coming of the pilgrims." This sign strikes me as odd and sad for so many reasons.
The trip north and south again was an amazing, formative journey that the Littles and I did together. Recovering from it has been very hard. Both of the kids were their very receptive spongey selves and I was... well, I was me. Crazy, indecisive, insecure me. The landing back at New-Home has not been good. I've been a lot more yell-y than I want to be. More timeouts, more removal of privileges... But now Huz is home too and I can feel all of us relaxing back into each other and being more like the good parenting ideas we have than the knee jerk parenting reflexes.
As a last little note, I am linking this up with Owlet's Unschool Monday because I believe that this whole trip was a massive learning tool for our whole family and I can't wait to plan more trips like this and include fun things to learn about, corresponding books and games, new places to visit... all for the sake of learning from real life.