Friday, June 20, 2008

Little and bombus vandykei

Last night Little was playing in the courtyard when she started crying. Daddy went to go get her. She sounded pretty sad, so Daddy took her inside.

Little: There were two bees crawling on my face!
Daddy: Did they both sting you?
Little: Yeah, both bees.

After this she actually got pretty chipper. She seemed to think it was pretty fun that bees had landed on her face.

The bees stung her between the eyes and above her lip on the left side. You can see both weals in this picture:

Her lip puffed right up almost immediately. She didn't seem to mind; she thought her big lip was a bee crawling on her face and that seemed like fun.

When she woke up in the morning her lip was almost back to normal but her eyes were puffed up, especially the left one. She looks almost entirely unlike Little! [she's still very sleepy in these pictures... she takes a long time to wake up like Daddy]

It's harder for us to handle her puffy face than it has been for her to handle the stings. She's pretty oblivious, except when she feels a bump on her face and then she insists it's just a bee sitting there. Bees are one of her favorite things and it doesn't seem like this will change any of that.

The irony? It's the same species of bumblebee that Daddy spent a couple hours photographing last friday night at Montebello. Daddy found a dead one right next to a hole in the sidewalk that the neighborhood kids claim is the bee's home, and where they said Little was playing when she started crying. Bumblebees live in small colonies in holes in the ground so that makes sense. It could have been one bee that stung her twice since bumblebees don't have barbed stingers like honey bees and so they don't die when they can sting and thus can sting multiple times. This bee could have died from Little smacking it. Maybe we shouldn't tell her that...

On our way back from the garden today we saw a bee getting torn apart by ants on the path. Little obviously has no hard feelings:

Little: Here you go, bee, eat this! [setting a squash down right on top of the bee]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ode to Wife

My wife is friuujippin' awesome. See:

1. She got me a mandolin for FATHER'S DAY. How cool is that?

2. She let me take an evening and a night away. I went back to Montebello, did a little backpacking, did a lot of photography, slept under the stars, and generally had a fantastic time.

So, basically, my wife is better than yours/you. Just thought you'd like to know.

Some pictures from Montebello: here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Backpacking with a wheelbarrow

A couple weeks ago, we decided to take another backpacking trip, this time to Montebello Open Space Preserve. We've been here a few times before and are always awed by the beauty of this place, but we'd never been camping there before.

Little started the hike off looking cute and snazzy. (We thought we might take a family portrait for our wall, but we also wanted the girls to be layered in warm clothing.)

When we were most of the way to the hike-in campsite, we decided that Little should have an opportunity to hike a little bit, since we want her to be able to hike as much as possible when we visit Costa Rica this winter.

Little went the "extra mile" and even decided that she was going to help Mommy carry the tripod, except in her Little world, it was a wheelbarrow that she was pushing up the hill. She seemed to think this was the most exciting thing she could possibly be doing in the world. It was incredibly cute!

So much of what Little does every day comes from what we do, and Little thought that since Daddy was crouching to take pictures of her, that crouching was THE thing to do.

When we were very near the campsite, Little managed to spill water ALL over herself, which soaked every layer of clothing she was wearing.

Littler enjoyed herself for the first half of the hike, but after that she screamed pretty much at the top of her lungs until we got to the campsite and cuddled and nursed her (well, *I* nursed her anyway...) and made her nice and comfy and warm.

Unfortunately, we had decided this time that we were going to pack a little lighter and not bring extra clothes for the kids, since we never use them anyway and they're always just extra weight and bulk. So, poor Little at first only had a pair of footsie pants to wear (no shirt) to camp in this frigid weather! We decided to give her one of the baby's layers (a 3-6 month shirt). This worked for a while until Little's arms started to get uncomfortable from the elastic around the sleeves, so we had to take the shirt off. To make matters worse, Little has always needed lots of space around her to sleep, and really couldn't sleep at all nestled between Mommy and Daddy in the zipped together sleeping bags. We tried to bundle blankets on her the best we could, but she spent a large portion of the night awake and crying until I stole several blankets from the baby, who had just ended up sleeping in the sleeping bag with me most of the way anyway, and was quite warm. After this she slept quite well, and in the morning, we realized that the baby actually had a layer of pants that she could spare, so Little was able to wear some 9 month pants as capris and a 3-6 month shirt for the hike back to the car.

Aside from the pretty stinky night we had, the hiking was beautiful and there was an amazing sunset. We even saw a new bird we've never seen before but have always wanted to see (it's pretty common, especially in southeastern Arizona, but somehow we've always missed it). It was sooooo beautiful! We only managed to snap a quick ID shot, so it's pretty crummy (in fact, most pictures I've seen of this bird don't do it justice at all--it's much more exciting to see in person), but here's the beautiful lazuli bunting.