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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday Night in the Woods

Last night we went camping. With the kids. And the dog. A few weeks ago Eric was talking about how much he loved camping as a kid and he'd like to get us into it. I'd never really camped much before, and obviously never with kids and a dog, but I'm up for trying anything once. So when family started asking Eric what he wanted for his birthday, he said "camping stuff." And that's how we found ourselves in possession of a tent, four sleeping bags, an air mattress, a camp stove, a camp organizer, two new camp chairs, and a few other small items of camping goodness-- all of them ready for us to pop their cherry, so to speak.

We stuck close to home-- a state park about an hour's drive from our house and only a few miles from the college where Eric and I met and we both did our undergraduate work (and later where I went to grad school). We figured this way, if things got bad, we could pack up camp and head home. I was surprised at how well things went. We arrived around 4:30pm and picked a campsite by the playground and not too far of a walk from the bathroom.
We set up camp.
Brennan smiled a lot.
Cate loved the tent and made herself right at home with her books once it was set up.
We made a fire and cooked hot dogs and bratts for dinner.
Then it was off for a walk. A stop at the camp store for ice cream was a necessity.
We skipped rocks in a creek that feeds into the lake and enjoyed a beautiful view.
We came back and made s'mores. Eric played guitar for us. The kids rolled around on the mattress. We all were in bed and mostly asleep by 10:00. Around 11pm, Eric and I awoke to a raccoon fight. Zoey, our dog, had knocked over her food earlier in the evening. Apparently there were some stray pieces of kibble on the ground that the raccoons did not want to share with one another. Luckily the kids slept through it and the dog didn't bark (she was in the tent with us).

A half hour later Brennan started to whimper because he was cold. It was only supposed to be in the low 60's last night, so all I packed were lightweight footed pajamas for him. But it actually ended up in the low 50's. He kept trying to curl himself up into a ball in his sleep (in his pack n' play), so I picked him up and put him in between Eric and I, where he settled down immediately, warmed up, and slept until 6am. Cate slept through all of that. Next time, I'll pack him fleece jammies since he's still too young to have blankets in there (risk of suffocation, not that his being on the mattress was totally safe, but it was the only option we had since he was cold).

At 4am, Cate had to pee. She had a little accident trying to get her shoes on and walk to the bathroom. We'll bring pull-ups next time, just in case. Brennan slept through all of that.

And when Brennan got up at 6 to nurse, Cate remained sleeping until just after 7. I was surprised we all got as much sleep as we did. I was anticipating an all-nighter.

We packed up camp after breakfast, Cate took one last swing in the early morning light, and we headed home for showers, baths, and naps. We learned a few lessons (about dog food and peeing at night with children and bringing fleece jammies for babies). But we're already plotting our next outing into the woods (which might be within the week). Gotta squeeze in the last little bit of summer fun before the official start of school in two weeks.

~Melody :-)


Confessions From A Work-At-Home Mom said...

I am impressed that you got that much sleep, too! Go Cate and Brennan! What was Brennan sitting in in that first picture you posted? Is it a camping exersaucer?

mama marchand said...

Um, all of that sounds amazing. I kept waiting for the bad part ... but it didn't happen! You guys rock!

And yes, same question ... travel baby sling thing? What is it?! :)

Emily said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! I can't wait to go camping once I pop out this kid, the kid gets a bit older and it isn't 100 million degrees outside! You'll have to let us know how your second trip goes. :)

Kelley said...

At first I thought you might live near me but then read that part about 50 degrees. Nope, not close to here. I live in Texas. Kids love camping! I think it is great you are making it a part of your family tradition.

Carly said...

I love camping, but am a little worried about how it will work out with the little guy. If you can do it with 2 kids, we should be able to manage with one. The bad thing about FL is that the camping season is not in the summer when I'm off of work. Glad you had such a great time. Oh, I saw your mom the other day. I'm up visiting my parents, and I was walking through the HS to get to Hudson Springs park.