Friday, July 16, 2010

Head for the Hills!

Well, we did it. We survived 4 days of camping with our energetic 20 monther and our little 10 weeker.  And we didn't just survive, we really enjoyed it!

You see, we've been going back and forth over whether or not to go camping ever since we found out about #2.  My mother-in-law reserves great sites each year, and to get these top notch, lakeside, wooded, three-in-a-row spots you have to reserve 11 months in advance, at 7am.  They're THAT amazing.  So we reserved and paid for the site back when I was preggo and didn't know it.  Since then we've been discussing the feasibility of camping with a 10 week old.  But Jude, as you all know, is a great baby. 

Turns out he's a wonderful camper as well.  Piece of cake.  The real challenge was camping with the other baby.  The big one who can run, jump, explore and get real dirty.  Yes, there were several times over the weekend that I heard, "Aunt Janine, Jack's down at the lake again." 

Photo Credit: Jenn Smith

You would think keeping on eye on the kiddos would be easy with 12+ adults around.  Wrongo.  Everyone always assumes someone else is watching, and then toddlers end up up to their ankles in mud trying to throw rocks into the lake.  Or 3 campsites down the road stealing marshmallows.  But really, all heart attacks aside,  we had a great time!
 Photo Credit: Jenn Smith

We were a little shocked at how COLD it was.  After the heat wave we've been experiencing the Pennsylvania mountains chilled out for two days and our first two nights of camping were well in the lower 40s.  Brrr.  You could see your breath.  I felt so bad for Jude, I hadn't even thought to bring a hat.  He was sleeping soundly in the pack n play when I checked on him around 10pm, but I had a hard time sleeping myself because I was so worried about him being too cold.  So I scooped him up and snuggled him in the sleeping bag next to me.  I didn't sleep the greatest, constantly afraid I was going to lose him in the sleeping bag, but we were both warm and cozy the rest of that night and the next.  And surprisingly he maintained his sleeping-through-the-night streak even during those cold mountain nights in a tent. 

Photo Credit:  Megan Douglass

I had packed a limited amount of warm weather gear for the boys and I, which is why I'm wearing the same sweatshirt in all photos.  And of course, Jack got was covered in dirt and pricklies within minutes of setting up camp.  He really is "all boy" and it was fun watching him thrive in his dirt and rocks environment.

One of the best parts about camping was that it was the first time in three years that my husband's side of the family was all together in one place.  This might not happen again for another few years and I can almost guarantee our family will be bigger thaen, ... almost. 

Photo Credit: Megan Douglass

It was also extra-special since our friends Megan and family (from over at and Jenn and Nate joined in the fun.  This meant that Jack and Edie got to spend some quality time together getting re-acquainted after their extended absence.

Photo Credit:  Jenn Smith

My favorite part about camping is that it's free of any distractions.  There's no cell phone, computer, TV, even no electricity.  And depending on when you timed your shower there was no hot water either!  There's so much time to do whatever you want - hike, bike...

Photo Credit: Jenn Smith

... kayak, whittle sticks...

Photo Credit:  Jenn Smith

... swim, knit, read, play games, chat around a blazing campfire ...

Well, there would be time ... if you weren't me. Nothing says vacation and relaxation like nursing a baby every 2.5 hours.  It wasn't until the car ride home that I realized I didn't get to do anything that I had planned to do.

Photo Credit:  Jenn Smith

But honestly, that's okay. To me, camping is all about doing the normal, every day stuff in a new and different way.  Kinda like playing house, one of my favorite childhood activities.  We still brew coffee and tea each morning, except now it's on a camping stove (perhaps in a Snuggie??).

We still go to bed at night, except on an air mattress in a tent.  We still eat meals, but outside on a picnic table. 

And we still take out the trash, except that means driving it to the dumpster each night to keep the friendly skunks away.  Jude still eats all the time, except in the front seat of the car or by the campfire. 

Photo Credit:  Jenn Smith

And, I must confess, some of us still watch TV while camping.  Because honestly, even grown-ups need a break from chasing little ones once in a while.


So yes, that is how we camp with the little people.  I don't think we'll make it next year, since Jon will be graduating and we'll be moving.  Then again, we didn't think we'd make it this year either.  Jon says that pretty soon we'll have to rent a U-haul to get all our stuff up on the mountain.  I don't mind.  Bigger cars, bigger tents, bigger families.  All the more fun!  Right babe?


megan douglass said...

awww. you captured the weekend SO well! even if i have to show up in a snuggi for the world to see! ha ha. now i have to dig through my pics to see if i have my own blackmail! great post!

Jennifer S. Smith said...

i agree with megan 100%! i'm glad you didn't capture my snuggie moments. :) this makes me miss you so much.

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