Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What WERE We Thinking?????

What, what, oh what WERE we thinking? It will be fun! It'll be SO much fun! We'll be a family! We'll spend quality time with our children. While T3 naps, we'll read and I'll get to write in my journal. Cooking over an open fire will be great! :) Hee, hee! It was great! We went camping...as a family! It was crazy fun! We are crazy for taking an 11 month old camping! New rule: (Lesson number one:) If you can't walk, you can't come! (T3 isn't walking, yet!)

Thursday afternoon we loaded up the bikes and the bike trailer, sleeping bags, paper lanterns, candy land and hungry hungry hippos, snacks and "real" food, books, bags, and all sorts of other things and we set off on an adventure! And what an adventure it turned out to be! Starting with getting out of the driveway with the bikes on top of the car. (Our neighbor doesn't want us to trim back any of the branches that hang all over our driveway, but are attached to trees he insists are on his side of the property line. Who knew Mimosa trees were his favorite? - That's for another post. Suffice it to say, there's one partially wacked Mimosa in the side yard we share...) We arrived at the camp ground around 8pm. The ranger was out of the office and had posted a "be back in 10 minutes" sign. After twenty we gave up and headed on in, deciding to register later. We found our assigned spot, right smack between two RVs - which just wasn't cutting it for me. Thanks to Steve Brown and the freedom I've been experiencing thanks to the insight his book has provided (A Scandalous Freedom), I actually suggested we take the better spot, away from the RVs. (If you know me well, I get antsy about breaking "the rules" {aka: legalism}, but not this time! Something is changing inside of me! Hooray!) So..we took the better spot, agreeing one night there was better than two between the RVs. So we pull up to our new spot and T begins setting up the tent. Get the picture: T3 is having a bedtime snack, MW climbs up front in the car. The headlights are on T so that he can see to set up the tent, but they're also illuminating the spanish moss filled trees and the water's edge. MW's eyes get about as big as saucers and she reverently says, "Look Mama, it's the deep and wide."

We get the tent set up, make two trips to the bathroom, and we plug in the paper lanterns, strung from one end of the tent to the other, turn on the sound machine and put little man down for the night...we hoped!

I have to branch off here to give three cheers for "car camping!" I never did this growing up and it ROCKS! We had a bath house about 100 yards away, running water and an electric outlet at our sight, which meant that Thursday night me, T, and MW crawled into our sleeping bags with hot chocolate! And T and I got to set the timer on the coffee pot, which was right outside the tent! Have you ever? I mean, who knew you could camp and get your coffee, hot and fresh, without even getting out of your sleeping bag? Rock on! Of course, the hot chocolate also meant that MW got schooled in midnight pottying in the woods. Fun, fun!

LIttle man, oh little man. Mom and Dad always told me "payback is rough." Yours will be VERY rough! He got up THREE times the first night! I know, I shouldn't be surprised. We took an 11 month old camping! What did we expect? Well, nursing a screaming baby in 32 degree weather is painful! Not to mention the fact that he wouldn't snuggle up with me in my sleeping bag because, being a mummy style bag, he panicked from the confinement! So three times, I sat in the cold darkness, trying to comfort my baby boy. Finally T put him in the car and drove into town. We decided he kept waking because he would wiggle out of his covers and get cold...so the plan was to purchase a space heater. One problem, Walmart isn't open 24/7 in this town! We bundled him up tight and he slept the rest of the night.

Friday was a FUN day! T3 was up by about 6:30 am, shortly followed by MW. We had a delicious breakfast of coffee and instant oatmeal and grits! Yummy! Just like the good ol' days! We went into town and purchased a space heater for the tent...hee hee! When we got back, we put T3 down for a nap. I left him fussing in his pack n play to go take a shower, assuming T would get him if he didn't settle in a little while. I came back from my shower and about half way from the bath house to our tent, I could hear little man! NO NAP!

We made Hobo Stew for lunch...um...which was lesson number two: use at least three layers of foil! And becareful about how hot the coals are. It was more like Hobo charcoal than stew! Sweet T sat there with a literal brick of burned meat in his mouth insisting that he liked it. What an awesome husband! He is ALWAYS so thankful for whatever I make! I begged him to stop eating it. After lunch, we went for an almost ten mile bike ride! I just knew this would exhaust T3 and he'd nap. We got back to the tent and put him down...nope. Not a chance. That child wouldn't go to sleep.We spent time gathering firewood and walking around the woods. T and I rolled a HUGE log for the fire! We had a DELICIOUS dinner of lasagna and garlic toast! Followed by marshmallows roasted by MW - who is a complete pyro! After a lesson from T on fire safety, we let her poke the fire. She's a pyro! After a few marshmallows, she climbed into my lap and told me how tired she was. Not too long after that we all turned in for the night.

Saturday morning T3 woke at 6:30. I got up with him, determined to wear him out playing so he'd take a morning nap. After all, I did bring three books and a few magazines and my journal. I read three chapters by booklight (thanks mom!) in my sleeping bag after everyone else was asleep, but that was it! I wanted that reading time! So we hiked. We went for a bike ride. We played at the water's edge. I let him crawl. We walked around and around a tree! By 9:30 he was big time sucking his thumb. Yep, this was it! He was exhausted. He WOULD go down. We went back to the tent and I had to wake T and MW, who were still sleeping! I put T3 down. And here is lesson number three: go on a weekday, not the weekend! The campground was packed at this point. People don't really enjoy a baby crying. After ten minutes I got him up. I couldn't take the nasty looks a minute longer. I understand no one was there to hear a crying baby, but please, for ten minutes, HAVE MERCY! (I promise to remember what it was like when my kids are older!)

So we played until time for lunch. We'd planned to eat in town at a little hot dog place we saw. We're ordering and I ask MW what she wants to drink. "Water." So I order a tap water. (Mind you, we've all ordered something off the menu and T and I bought drinks) and the teen behind the counter says,
T "We don't have tap water."
J "You don't have tap water?"
T "We have bottled water."
J "We'll take a coke."
We sit down to eat and I pull out T3's sippie cup...it's empty. I'd planned to fill it at the restaurant. I walk up to the counter with a pleading look in my eyes and say,
J " I know you wouldn't give my three year old tap water, but would you please give me water for my eleven month old's sippie cup?"
T "No. We don't have tap water. You can buy bottled water."
J "Ok, then I'm going to fill it in the bathroom. Would that be ok?"
T Blank stare.
So the guy standing beside her says, "I think that's reasonable."
So I had to walk past them to get to the bathroom. WHAT is up with that? T encouraged me not to let it ruin my lunch. I didn't let it, but I'm still amazed. Perhaps I'm being childish, but I will not be eating there again. No tap water...huh!

So we return to the camp sight. I'm certain this time T3 will nap. He's hardly slept at all! I tell myself, ten minutes. Give him ten minutes to fuss and he'll go down...three mintues, he's still fussing! Four...Five....Six...Seven...Eight...I hold my hands up and look at T. The girl beside us says, "I have a ten month old. I left her at home." Nine...Ten...he's still fussing. The nasty looks are back and it's bad. I go get him, and we pack it up! He slept part of the way home.

Ok, it WAS fun. We won't go again until he can walk. I think that would make it a little less exhausting. Next time, we'll go during the week, when it isn't so full of people. We did have some great family time. I just need to adjust my expectations...reading just isn't going to happen with two little ones on a camping trip! And that's ok. Before I know it, they'll be grown and T and I can camp and read all we want. I'm determined NOT to wish away this precious (though it may not always seem that way) time!

And now, the three funniest things we saw:
1. a green tinsel christmas tree COVERED in plastic easter eggs!
2. a boat in the middle of an RV park occupied by a woman with her fish pole, casting into the parking lot. she seemed a little crazed. (to her credit, perhaps she was legitimately practicing her fishing skills, it just struck us as a bit humorous!)
3. we were at an intersection inside the state park. I had on my blinker, but this truck was coming, so I decided to wait to turn. He took a year to get through the intersection. I felt like we watched him coming for hours before he crept through. There were two kids standing on the tool box in the back of the truck, one was talking on a cell phone. Finally the truck passes us...there was a FOUR year old DRIVING the truck! I am totally not exaggerating. Ask T! It was hillarious! There's no way he could touch the pedals! He must've been "idling" along at three mph! T looked at me and said, "Next time we come, MW will be old enough to drive!" Hee hee!

When we finally made it home, I bathed the kids while T unloaded the car. This afternoon I finished the last load of camping laundry and got the last items put away. We can't wait to pull it all out and do it again!

1 comment:

  1. i suppose i'm a tad bit biased as aunt katie, but T3 is the prettiest little boy i have ever seen. i loved reading about your adventures!