I've been meaning to post these pictures for over a week now. In fact, I've been telling my mom—nearly every day since last Saturday when these pictures were taken—"I'm going to be posting some new pictures on my blog tonight." Well, here they finally are...and only nine days late! :P
We missed our chance to visit Mt. Lassen last year (because of all the fires and smoke in the area) so we were especially happy to be able to arrange a last-minute day trip to the park last Labor day weekend. Nothing much planned...just some casual exploring and picnicking. Incidentally, one realizes just how out-of-shape they are when they try to do some casual exploring at an elevation of 8,500 feet and are unable to do some without some moderate huffing and puffing! :P
Still, it was a wonderful day. The kind of day spent out in nature that could soothe a troubled week away. And what a troubled week it had been...more about that after the pictures.
The boys (w/Mt. Lassen in the background).
Our troublemaker extraordinaire!
I like this next series of pictures. Matthew was, obviously, not in the mood to take any more pictures. But thankfully he changed his mind. :)
Hoonie's choice of snack these days, by the way, is Pocky. Mmm.
Hanging out at Lake Helen.
The majority of the day was spent laying about on our quilts in King's Meadow. I love this meadow. There are small streams everywhere (or maybe it's just one long one) winding it's way throughout the meadow and you can just lie down on your blanket, watch the clouds and relax to the sound of trickling water. Oh man, I want to go back!
We also had a grape eating contest while we were there...you know, where you throw your grapes up in the air and try to catch them in your mouth. This was Matthew's first time trying it and he was so bad. We were totally cracking up. Hoonie, of course, just tried to throw them at our faces in general, ha! :)
Amazingly enough, Hoonie did not jump in the water.
I love the way the stream just winds around everywhere.
Growing older by the second...
Jack's belly is growing too, hee! :)
And before we left, we stopped by Sulphur Works to check out some hydrothermal vents. But not before leashing Hoonie!
Our monkey leash is still coming in handy...even though it's been over two years since we first put it to good use! :)
So that's it for the pictures. Now back to that troubled week...
Hoonie, after having a moderately successful first day of daycare, decided one day was enough. I honestly thought he would be okay there since he loves being around people so much. The thing is, he does loves being around people...people he knows & loves! And being enrolled for only two half-days a week, he hasn't really had the chance to get to know the daycare people all that well yet. Imagine how I felt that second day when I arrived to pick him up and when he saw me there, just started crying and came running into my arms. He didn't say much, he was just so relieved to see me. And, with the exception of today, it's been like that every single time we've picked him up. It breaks my heart.
And in the mornings, when he wakes up and realizes it's Monday or Wednesday, he immediately starts crying about having to go to "school" and begs to stay at home instead. I tell you, my heart can't take it.
Jack and I talked about it some this past weekend and were even considering taking him out of daycare. Maybe waiting a few months (or more) before enrolling him again and hoping, oddly enough, that Jack didn't find a full-time job between now and then. Then today happened.
Jack's mom—who used to be a "master teacher" at that same daycare and who occasionally still "subs" there—decided to plan a visit to the daycare today to see Hoonie. That was enough promise to keep him from crying this morning. To tell you the truth, I was actually a bit dubious about the whole plan because I didn't want him using her as a crutch...but then I decided that I would rather have him have a crutch and be happy than be without one and miserable. Turns out that her visit was just what he needed. She was able to introduce him to a few more kids—which is exactly what he needs there...friends!—and keep him from being too lonely. She stayed for just over an hour and when she left, he was totally okay with it.
And the best part of all? When we picked him up today, there were absolutely no tears. He was a happy Hoonie. Still very glad to see us, of course, but definitely more like himself! :)
Anyhow, this still doesn't solve the problem of what we're going to do about daycare, but today gives me a little hope. Hope that things might eventually work out for us and, more importantly, for Hoonie. And right now, I'll take any hope that I can get.
Keeping our fingers crossed for Wednesday!