Camping in Sequoia National Park

Summer has come and gone. Or, if you’re from southern California, it’s never come and now it’s gone for good. I decided to get over it and no longer hope for warm weather. Getting over things is good. Especially because now we have the wonderful fall season to embrace. Sooner than I can blink it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas. And with little ones’ budding imaginations there is much to get giggly over without any adult guilt. It’s time for costumes and Santa Claus!

So, to officially end our summer we went on a family camping trip with old friends, the Michels, up in the Sequioas.

The trees are amazing. It does not matter how many times I’ve seen these giants; they always impress.

Great foils.

Our first night the temperature dropped to 30 degrees. I’m pretty sure I did not sleep that night, having been far too paranoid about the kids freezing. Every 5-10 minutes I’d get up to make sure Thomas hadn’t kicked off his 3 blankets, crawled out of his sleep sack, unzipped his fleece footed pajamas and stripped off his pants and onesie on the off-chance that he might prefer to sleep naked. The horror that would be. Especially if he decided to take off his diaper, too. Cold.

Then I would stick my cold fingers down his and Isabel’s shirts to see if their bodies were still warm. And even though we have a 2-room tent I thought it prudent that we all sleep together with Thomas’ crib jammed next to me on one side and Isabel sliding onto me from the other just to use the added body heat. This is what a loving mother does.

Thank goodness the next night went up 5 degrees. That was quite tolerable. And when our last night climbed to 41 degrees we were toasty and sleeping like happy pigs in a blanket.

Busy playing with the twigs and dirt.

Despite the cold we really enjoyed spending some more time out in the wilderness. Most importantly, Isabel and Thomas really loved it. Isabel had her friends there, 100% forgetting about her parents, and Thomas had his, well, dirt.

About 5 minutes into his play time. Perhaps after finding his way into the firepit.

If some of you find this frightening, don’t be alarmed. If you don’t know us by now, you will probably guess sooner or later from our pictures that the Hubs and I have quite the “relaxed” parenting style. Let’s just say I would rather clean up a dirty but happy boy at the end of the day than fret all day over what would inevitably be a frustrated disgruntled boy itching to eat him some dirt. Let him eat, I say!

We also did a couple of hikes. Knowing the limits of our family of four, we took our time and let Isabel set our pace. Every two feet there was something else that was really cool or fascinating. So, after an hour and a half of walking and then eating lunch we turned around and walked the entire half-mile back to the car. The kids were pooped.

Where is my dirt?!

These two got along so well. Old pals. 🙂

The day after we got home, Isabel fell asleep at 5pm for her “nap.” I tried and tried to wake her up, knowing that she would run into our room at about 4 am and tell me “it’s morning time, come play with me.”

Sure enough, at exactly 4am she came running into the room, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed dragging me out to the living room. When we sat on the couch she said, “look, Momma, the sun’s out, it IS morning time.” I said, “no, Isabel, THAT is a street lamp.” You can’t say she didn’t try.

Her response when I asked her to please please please let me take a picture.

A few more pictures from our trip.

Daddy M and little Em

Momma M and little Em

My boys.

P.S. Speaking of eating dirt, Thomas also loves to eat sand. Normally, this would not be a problem. He doesn’t have any molars so he sure doesn’t mind. But as he has found out this summer, what goes in and doesn’t get digested, comes out the same: granular and ROUGH. The makings of a raw, raw bottom.

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