Gentle Barn on Easter Sunday. If you're not familiar with the Gentle Barn, it's an animal sanctuary for abused farm animals. The thing that makes it really special is that during the week they bring in at-risk kids, prisoners, seniors, or any other group of people who might be troubled and/or ignored. They share the stories of the abuse and healing of the animals, and through the animals' stories, the visitors can see themselves and a path to their own healing.
It's a really special place.
On Sunday's they open to the public, and you can hug cows, rub pigs' tummies, and generally get to know and love the animals (and feel guilty if you still eat meat). Last year we went on Easter, and I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and freaking out (when wasn't I freaking out?) because I was reaching the point where I'd lost Baby T. It was lovely to go back with Baby Hannah this year. We brought a little book with pictures of farm animals along, to show her the real things after she saw the pictures, and Hannah had her first experience touching cows and horses. She was actually more interested in the other babies there though, including Reece, who was born on August 2. They compared teeth (he has ten, she has zero), cloth diapers (he wins), and cuteness (Hannah wins that round).
We drove home on Route 138, a desert two lane highway that runs parallel to the LA mountains, stopping for veggie burgers at Charlie Brown's Farms, a farm stand/kitchy gift shop/amazing food joint. It's hard to believe, driving out there in the middle of nowhere, that on the other side of those mountains is one of the biggest urban areas in the world. Just one of the things that makes Southern California such an awesome place to live.
Hannah decided that for her first Easter that she wouldn't nap much all day. Half an hour in the car on the way out. Half an hour on the way back. AWake for twelve hours with an hour in naps. She was exhausted and rubbing her eyes all day, but just didn't go to sleep. I guess we kept her up and gave her too many things to pay attention to all day. I'm hoping this doesn't auger difficulties when we're on the plane to NZ.
I started packing for our trip this weekend, and I'm thinking that I'm going to be able to fit everything on my list, except maybe the inflatable bathtub. I was hoping to take it because our airbnb only has a shower, but it might have to be sacrificed in the name of toys or books, and we'll just have to shower. We'll see. Bathtime is an important part of our bedtime routine, so I'd like to take it if possible. I'm still hopeful.
I'm also obsessing a little bit. Must sleep soon. 9:30 on a Sunday night. I really know how to live these days.