This last weekend Fiona and I went camping with Ellie and Jackson in Leavenworth. It was Fiona’s first camping trip and I was excited and nervous.
What to bring? Packing for yourself is hard enough but packing for you and a nonverbal, crawling baby adds an extra challenge. The nights have been getting a little chilly around here lately and the days haven’t been all that great either so figuring out what clothes, p.j’s, blankets, sleeping aids, etc.. to keep us all comfortable was a challenge and my nature to worry and fret and over-prepare was growing.
Thank God for Ellie. With out her I would never have braved the packing and the planning to go camping.
Friday we loaded up the car…and i do mean LOADED and off we went. It was a lot of fun having both kids with us. We noted that though we do a lot together we’ve never driven anywhere with each other. Kids and car seats really puts a damper on carpooling!
We arrived at our campsite a few hours later and all was well. We sat Jackson on the ground and caged Fiona in the pack-n-play while we set up camp. I borrowed the latest tents from the office to give them a try and they were fabulous! The tent Fiona and I slept in was big enough to fit the pack-n-play in the vestibule and tons of room inside. I used two Therm-a-Rests together and tried out or new sheet/tech blanket set up to sleep in (and I brought a back-up sleeping bag) I was well prepared for the cold!
We ate and played and quickly it was time for bed. I dressed Fiona in this very cute fleece snuggling suit I bought to keep her warm at night. I layed her down next to me so that I could change into my p.j.’s and she immediately fell asleep laying there next to me. I’ve never seen this happen before so I have to assume that camping suits her well!
My plan was to put her in the pack-n-play until I went to bed and then move her to sleep next to me so i could make sure she stayed warm. It worked like a charm! I was so relieved. She woke up a few times but no more then if she were at home. If it had been summer and warm out I would have been able to leave her in the p-n-p all night…this tent rocks!
The next morning we got up and Fiona spent her time man-handling poor Jackson. Then she discovered the dirt and I spent my time keeping her from eating rocks and pine cones and whatever else she discovered. After breakfast we packed the kids up and went to the salmon festival and wandered around.
Next stop a short hike and Fiona’s first trip in her new backpack. Once again success! She napped for a bit in the pack but for the most part just sort of zoned out on the trees and ground. By the time we got back to the campsite it was already 4:30 and the other families that were camping with us were there.
The kids did so good after such a busy day and broken up nap schedule. We all ate dinner together and by 7 Fiona was well ready for sleep. After I put her to bed I sat around the campfire chatting with the other parents for a bit. There were 6 other kids there, a 6 yr old, two 4 yr. olds, a 14 mo. old, a 18 mo old, and a 3 yr old. It was a relief to not have to worry if Fi cried through the night! We certainly weren’t the only ones!!! Around the campfire I used the term “car camping” several times. Finally one of the fathers stopped me, “Karen. We don’t say car camping anymore. Now it’s just camping. There is no distinction. This is it”. Lesson learned.
Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast and started to tear down camp. Let me tell you taking down a tent and trying to deflate and roll up therm-a-rests when the parent to baby ration is 1 to 1 is a bit of a challenge. Add on about 2 extra hours.
We made it home with only one stop on the side of the road to sooth the babes. It was really a great time but I was happy to be home. I think Fiona was too…she giggled and played all afternoon.
I have a great sense of accomplishment having pulled off something as simple as camping….but I will admit….I now understand the pop-tent-trailer.