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.