We love to camp but last summer had a bit of rough luck in our attempts, several stormy days and a tummy bug mid-trip really put a damper on our fun. But not the kid's enthusiasm as for the last few months, both Lucy and Jonah have been asking when its camping time. We would try to remind them that it was WINTER still but then they'd just ask again. So when we saw the weather report had a whole week of 60-70 forecasted, we figured, why not go camping in February?!
We had planned it for later in the week then we realized we had made a mistake in calculating Craig's day off so Sunday night we decided to go camping on Monday! And we are in the middle of a fairly intense elimination diet for me as well as a gluten-free/dairy free trial for Jonah (with everyone else tagging along because I am not about to fight a 4 year old with every meal because he can't eat the same thing as his sisters). But I quickly made a meal plan, we threw stuff in the car in the morning and off we went.
And surprisingly, we did pretty well. In answer to my question "Why not go camping in February?" Well, for one thing, the parks don't have firewood for sale - oops! Don't worry, we made it work and marshmallows were toasted and enjoyed by all (but me). And we had to use the dreaded VT instead of the nice bathrooms with running water. The plus side is that by the time the kids were desperate enough to give in and try them, we were the only family left at the park so I could leave the door open and let some extra fresh air in so Jonah didn't have to keep holding his breath. I was pretty sure he would have passed out if I didn't. It was only afterwards I realized that he was a boy and since the park was empty, technically that whole experience was unnecessary for him. Apparently I'm more of a girl mom than a boy mom still! And if Lucy has to give up gluten and dairy for him, then he gets to use a yucky bathroom same as she does. Fair is fair! Just kidding, after that I let him pee in the bushes.
You can see an empty campground around us although right about the time we brought out the marshmallows, another couple did show up so we weren't totally alone. But the kid's loved having free run of the playground and scootering all around the loop without having to worry about cars. And we've generally had good experiences at our state parks with neighbors being respectful, it certainly was a bit more peaceful than usual around the campfire -at least after the kids went to bed.
Everytime we go camping, I tell myself to take more pictures. The pictures above is the only pictures I had on my phone when I got back! That's really a good thing because I feel like our camping times are some of easiest times for me to just focus on being present with the kids. I played with them on the playground, I read a bit while they scootered around me, Craig and I both did some reading aloud around the fire once everyone get into their jammies. It was nice, even if I don't have photographic documentation. I did manage to scavenge a few from Craig's phone of our big hike from Monday, some of which I did take.
And I got this video of Norah after she figured out how to climb up the bars and slide down herself. She was really proud of both new skills and repeated it about 20 times.
She had already hiked a pretty good amount (for a 1 year old) earlier that afternoon before moving to my back and by the end of the sliding time she could barely lift her legs to the next rung but she didn't want to stop. All that moving made bedtime pretty easy. And I've figured out podcasts on my phone so the big kids got to listen to their regular kay ray reads to you podcast at bedtime as usual and we had a lot less of the "He's kicking me!" incidents of the previous years. Our camping as a family skills are definely improving - although I still can't ever remember to bring a potholder! We really need to work on a master camping list because apparently, we sometimes go camping at the last minute!