a seven smile morning and some more pictures from Tatoosh Wilderness

Oliver was in bed with us this morning and I noticed he was stirring and opening his eyes. He looked too warm in the blankets pushed up against Diana’s side of the bed so I cradled him up and kneeled at the edge of the bed and propped him against my pillow so we were facing each other. His eyes were bright and wide and he was making an “oh papa oh papa” face so we talked about how we were the first ones up in the morning and that meant we got to eat worms and he smiled seven times at me over the next couple minutes! All separate smiles! He has been officially smiling for about a week and a half, now. My first smile from him (an obvious smile, not a fart smile) came in Sequim at Donald and Amy’s vacation rental house. And then on Friday, right before I left for Packwood and the hike up to Tatoosh Ridge I shaved my beard off and went into the livingroom to surprise Diana. She had just finished nursing Oliver and he looked up at me and smiled nonstop for a full minute, hahaha! We joked that he was amazed to finally see my face.

Here’s a view from my high point for the evening on Tatoosh Ridge, I was perched on a heather bench at the edge of a northeast-facing cliff. It was a pleasant place to take some deep breaths and contemplate how close I’d come to not making it all the way up here! The Tatoosh lakes are below to the right and I have a picture at the end of this post featuring them along with Mt. Rainier but I liked this one better and that’s why I featured it first.  I like how you can see the meadows on the other side of the ridge, that’s where I traversed across in this direction. And if you know your Tatoosh you can make out the surprisingly wide-looking-from-here gap between Plummer and Pinnacle Peaks.

Here’s a picture of Mt. Rainier that puts the Tatoosh into proper perspective, I would say. I’m not sure what we’re looking at here, it appears too bulky to be the backside of Unicorn Peak.

On the way down I tried to take advantage of the pretty backlighting……

Here’s another version of the picture at the top of this post. The difference here is you get the view of the lake basin on the other side of Tatoosh Ridge. As you can see, in the evening it can be a little tricky picture-taking the lake basin because of creeping shadows. And on top of that you have the competing brightness from all the snow. Apparently, snow tends to linger in the lake basin below.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) there’s no camping allowed right at the lakes, your campsites have to be a little higher up in the basin. Speaking of that basin, according to Manning it can be a tricky proposition hiking down into it (cliffs and such). Better have your backpack balanced properly!

Oliver took a bottle tonight, a first! I got to do the honors. Diana was worried we’d waited too long, apparently she’s heard horror stories about some babies who refuse bottles because too much time has passed since they were born. But I knew there would be no problem since Oliver inherited my insatiable appetite. Shukis men are not picky about where they get their food. He eagerly slurped down 4 oz. Diana will keep nursing Oliver, obviously (she nursed Adam until he was a year old). But it will help me out a lot when it comes to giving her some free time now that I have a way to feed Oliver when he gets hungry. The only downside is that at least once a day I have to banish Diana to a secret place in the house so she can hook herself up to her breastpumping machine. We both agreed that this time around I will not be allowed to witness her using the machine. It’s simply too compromising to my love of breasts to see them being manipulated in such a humdrum manner. Occasionally I’ll blindfold myself so we can sit and chat, but the rhythmic blubbling-tugging sound of the machine can be distracting as well.

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