Monday, September 16, 2013

A-camping we will go

The part of our camping trip I was most nervous about was the drive.  Wait, scratch that.  First I had to get through packing us all up in time.  Now THAT was a chore.  Packing is more and more involved with each new child we add.  And packing whilst also trying to entertain kids is even more interesting.  Plus, we try to leave the house semi-clean before we leave, which is hard enough on a normal day.  I decided the best thing to do was start packing a year in advance ... okay, just kidding.  I did as much as I could before Tuesday, sent the boys to preschool, and then finished the packing, loading the car, and cleaning the house while they were in school and whenever Joci would let me put her down.  I packed the kids a lunch for the car and we hit the road before noon.

I knew we wouldn't be able to make the trip without at least one potty/nursing break, the question was just when.  As long as Joci kept sleeping I wanted to keep driving.  We drove out of town, past all the familiar landmarks, past civilization itself and then I realized we had entered farm country.  Right about that time Jack starts complaining he has to go pee-pee.  I push through, hoping for any restaurant, gas station, friendly looking business.  And then Jack starts saying he has to go "pee-pee'er and pee-pee'er!!"  It's right about this time that Joci wakes up and wants her mama ASAP!

And then I saw it, rising in the distance, a porta-potty!!  And right next to it - a swing set!  All conveniently located at a friendly farm stand.  I mean, when you think about it, a porta potty is ideal for someone in my situation.  Had Joci remained sleeping (like her sister), I could have just pulled right up, let Jack hop out, and kept the car running the entire time.  Drive-thru bathrooms - now that's an idea!  As it was, Joci needed to eat and the boys aren't able to exit the car without disturbing Lia.  And Jude wasn't really able to utilize the porta potty on his own.  The lady running the stand took pity on me and offered to help out.  And since I can't let a stranger help my sons use the bathroom, I gave her Joci instead.  I think that's okay, right?  I didn't really think about it.  I just rushed the guys through and ran back out there to retrieve my hungry baby.  And then we bought some apples, honey sticks, drinks, and crackers as a thank you for providing this oasis in the dessert.

We made it the rest of the way without further mishap and arrived at Cape Henlopen a little after Marmie and Poppa.  Now, I should clarify, this wasn't tent camping.  I'm not that crazy!  (Although we did take Jude tent camping when he was only 10 weeks old (and when it got down to the 40s at night!!).   Nope, we stayed in the same kind of cabin we stayed in last year, with a bed and electricity.

This year's cabin also had a massive sand pit out in front.

Cooking with Jocelyn.

Lia, you are not a baby!!
The biggest difference between this year and last year was the temperature.  It was up to nearly 90 some days, and that's just a tad hot to be camping!  I might as well add here that although I was happy to have a July birthday in the family, I still hold to fall babies being my favorite!  I am not a fan of nursing, wearing, snuggling, diapering, etc. newborns in the heat of the summer.  Ick.  But Joci's a sweetheart and didn't seem to mind much at all.

Marmie got a big beach bucket for our big family.

Daddy said she got chunkier while he was in Hawaii.

She drags that poor doll everywhere!
I think I've mentioned this before but camping (or vacationing in general) with 4 kids is still work.  Even with both my parents around we were still outnumbered.  Apparently, kids don't stop getting dirty, testing their parents, and peeing and pooping on vacation.  But even so, it's a nice change of scene and I was able to get some reading done and half-relax a little.

We met a friendly fisherman named Mr. Gene.

Somebody was not a fan of the showers...

... so Marmie bathed her (and baby) in the bucket.
At the Nature Center, where you can use two fingers to touch the horseshoe crabs.

On top of "Rapunzel's tower."
Our last day there was chilly and overcast, almost as if summer had final given up.  It was the perfect way to end our mini-vacation.

Even though we've left the campground, it still lives on in our house.  The boys play "camping" every day and Jack still talks about "Rapunzel's tower" and the fish.  It's a little sad, knowing that he'll be in Kindergarten next year and our fall camping trips are probably over (for at least the next 18 years).  But we have some great memories to look back on and a bright future ahead of us!

And here are the kids sharing their favorite part of camping.

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