We went to Big Basin yesterday, which happens to be the oldest state park in California. We all love it there, and have camped out under the majestic, towering redwoods on many occasions. The Easter bunny even found us there one Easter Sunday a few years ago! He creatively hid plastic eggs filled with treats and goodies all around our campsite In tree hollows and crevices, moss, twigs and leaves, Isabella delightedly ran around collecting them, happy and relieved that he found us even though we were not at home -
(She was really worried about that), and we ended up having the best Easter experience ever when Isabella befriended a little girl camping a ways down the path with her delightful grandparents; They had us over for both an evening campfire and a farewell morning breakfast! Random acts of kindness from complete strangers (-: Nothing like that happened yesterday of course, but we enjoyed the lovely smells of afternoon barbeques and campfires and the sounds of wind and birds in the trees. I wore Jude on my back in the ergo as I hiked through the woods and it was awesome. Forests are my favourite.
I haven't yet had the pleasure of sharing this ~ Jude's newest favourite thing to do. He loves to hug our cats (-: All three of them (-: They are not the biggest fans but just as long as he isn't pulling their tails or hitting them, they are tolerant of his exuberant embraces. So far I have captured him hugging Lily and Socrates in
photograph form; I have yet to get the picture featuring our cat Blue.. For now Mabel is exempt from the frightening baby-love, safely tucked behind her bunny-wall. Thank goodness, because he is the most facinated by her cute bunny self!
Now that Jude is nearly 11 months old ~ Tomorrow actually ~ He is quite the character. He is not only hugging the pets, but also giving us hugs, which has got to be the sweetest thing ever (-: He frequently says "Good", which is also the sweetest thing (-: As in, we are walking along, the sun is shining and there is a gentle wind blowing and he looks up at me and says, "Good" with a beautiful smile. I went to an evening raw food culinary class earlier this week, Jude and Bella having spent the 2 and a half hours together strolling, playing and eventually getting frozen yogurt. When they met me in front of Whole Foods on the way home, Jude started smiling, and then wriggling, and then fussing until Jason removed him from the cozy ergo where he had been nestled all that time and handed him to me. Jude buried his face in my neck and said "Good".
Yes, there were tears in my eyes. You give so much as a mother and rarely do you get such profound feedback (-: So then, besides the cat hugs and first word, Jude is one seriously busy boy. He loves to chase the cats around, Still by shuffling along on his bottom ~ It looks like he'll just skip the actual 'crawling' altogether and go right onto walking, which he has been avidly practicing using chairs, the laundry hamper, the bed, high chair and couch for a support! He has a great sense of humour and the cutest little giggle, which can be ignited with neck-tickles, watching our cat Blue chase a laser pointer dot, or tummy and back gobble-gobbles (-: I cannot believe that in just one month he will be a whole year old. Time passes so quickly and I am so grateful for this most cherished gift ~ this opportunity to be home with him for his sacred babyhood (-: Did I mention that he is a bit saucy as well, pulling out the phone jack, trying to get into the garbage, pulling all the books off the shelves and of course attempting to unroll all the toilet paper...He does keep me busy...but I just get all mushy when he smiles at me; It is the cutest thing imaginable (-:
Here is a list of his favourite things:
hugging/chasing cats of course
having bare feet
being outside - especially when there's a breeze
when Jason and Isabella come home
having showers with us
sitting on the earth - in the grass, leaves, dirt or straw (-:
drinking out of a cup
visiting our bunny Mabel
Jason's little camping radio
his baby spoons, which he plays with all day
sneaking into the kitchen to grab handfuls of cat food and water!
dancing around the living room
being allowed in Isabella's room
pulling things off of tables
pulling cords out of where they should be and waving them around wildly
squealing with delight at the sight of our cats
saying "Dah?" or "Dat?" while pointing at things
giving us toys to eat (-:
That's pretty good for now! Jude ~ poor little guy ~ has a cold and so he's feeling pretty rotten. He was up a lot last night crying because he was feeling badly )-: And he has just awakened from a ten-minute nap, which is pretty much completely ineffective, so I think I'll strap on the ergo and take him for a nice walk outside. I have my Mom's voice in my head saying "Go to the out-of-doors, Take yourself outside" which is what she always said to us when we were sick. She believed that nature is our greatest healer. So I will be a good daughter and mother and do that (-:
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo is a beautiful mission aesthetically. It features a unique vibe and style unlike the other missions, which are for the most part pretty standard as far as construction and decoration are concerned. Carmel seems to have a sense of finery and a sort of a rusty, warm, earthy beauty to it that I think is apparent in the photos I took. I had read that Father Serra, the founder of the California missions, had a special fondness for this particular mission and coined it his favourite. ^__^
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is no more ~ all that is left are ruins. Earthquakes and floods will do that...We happened by late in the afternoon/early evening so the gift shop and 'reconstructed mission buildings' were all closed. That's just fine. I'm more interested in the actual missions, not gifty items anyway. This place is actually quite interesting even though there is 'nothing' there ~ As we walked around the grounds, we spotted chips of pottery, old animal bones, and chert chippings (possibly from Native Americans when fashioning arrows and other tools). Very exciting! Real history (-:
I have actually visited this mission twice since living in California. I think what is so special to me about it is the location, seemingly out in the middle of nowhere...The mission itself is pretty obviously restored, having suffered significant damaged by an earthquake in 2003. Of all the churches, this one is my favourite. It seems to be authentic in a way that many of the others are not, with their garish alter decorations and carpets. This church seems untouched for the most part, and that, I think, is so very beautiful and appreciated. We arrived late to Mission SanMiguel but the church and front courtyard was open, so we looked around a wee bit, took a few pictures and then continued on our way (-: