Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our First Camping Trip

It's something I've wanted to do with Braden since he got here. Take him camping. I know his first summer at 5-7 months old he would have been great! We even had the trip booked...but it rained so we cancelled. That summer it didn't really get nice until August. Last year, he was 16-18 months old and there was NO WAY I was taking that hooligan camping! That still marks the "worst" age and stage we've ever been through with Braden. Not old enough to listen, yet completely marching to the beat of his own drum. Did not want to sit still for a minute to eat and constantly running away - ACK! Anywho, we booked a Sunday night, Monday night trip to a campground only 1.5 hours away with a big lake...this way we could stay cool with the heat wave and the family could meet us there with the boat! (Andplusalso we could bail at any time and take the short drive home!)
First Family Camping Trip

First Family Camping Trip
The kids all had a lot of fun, everyone went tubing, and Kihei was SO well behaved. Jay had to really encourage her to come and cool down in the lake...she is not a water dog by nature!
First Family Camping Trip

I love our family pictures! The progression of Braden NOT wanting to stop his fun to take a picture and Kihei obsessively staring at a chocolate lab hoping we'll let her go and play with it! The family came to our campsite for supper.
First Family Camping Trip
First Family Camping Trip
Then we were on our own. It was hot. I mean, really hot. 32C which is about 90F. We only get maybe 5 days in the 30's all summer if we're "lucky". It's just too hot for most Albertans, we're not climatized to the heat and humidity like that! Here's a summary of our evening/night:

1 - Braden and Kihei were VERY well behaved, better than I expected - especially the dog!
2 - Braden enjoying his bath in the 5th wheel, I remember this as a kid too!
3 - A bit of #SheReadsTruth camping style for me
4 - S'mores with Jay
5 - Braden and Daddy still sleeping at 9AM
6 - Braden enjoying pancakes for breakfast

So, the night. I'll try to summarize as best I can!
  • Braden had been very excited to sleep in his Special Camping Bed....until it was time to sleep. No nap and a bedtime of 9PM, 2 hours later than usual and the kid was READY for bed yet tried to protest the same
  • 2 stories and 2 songs later, I laid with him as he was fussing, rubbed his back and he was out
  • 1:30AM I hear him cry out...but he settles
  • 1:45AM full on crying and calling out for me, I go down to settle him
  • Sing him songs, rub his back...nope! He wants to go play outside, he thinks this 4.5 hour "sleep" is it and it's time to go!
  • I try lying with him, he says "Mommy go!" but then fusses as soon as I try and settle back in our bed
  • I try letting him play with the iPad
  • Jay steps in around 3:30 and I believe by 4AM we were all finally sleeping again
  • Braden is not the kind of kid that has ever been able to sleep with us, so I was shocked to see the boys sleeping together when I got up in the morning
So Jay took Braden & Kihei for a bike ride while I made breakfast, and then we went to the lake for the morning.
First Family Camping Trip
Jay took all of these next pictures, he's pretty proud of himself!
 I didn't take any pictures of us playing in the lake, because I was hot, tired and didn't want to lug around my DSLR in the sun/water. Braden had a wonderful, wonderful time and finally has the attention span to stay at the beach and play. When we went to Maui 6 months ago...not so much! We came back to our campsite, had lunch, Jay and I talked it over and were luckily on the same wavelength and decided that after Braden's nap...we'd pack up and leave. It was just TOO HOT, no A/C in the trailer, and we really didn't want to risk another sleepless night for all 3 of us. So I put Braden down for his nap shortly after 12, I ended up falling asleep with him for THREE HOURS which I couldn't believe, he slept for 1 more hour as we packed and cleaned up...and then we were ready to hit the road.
You win mother nature. "feels like" 36 without AC or a breeze means we're packing up to leave!!! B is on a 4 hour nap right now with a fan blasting on him!!
TOO hot to camp for our Albertan butts!

But our "fun" wasn't over yet. Jay's truck has always had a problem with the coolant...so sure enough, a few minutes on the highway out of the town we camped at...Jay's truck is overheating and we're pulled over on the highway. The truck is spewing steam everywhere and Jay got a jug of coolant in it and we barely made it back to town. God was good to us that day, there was a gas station for Jay to buy coolant, a McDonald's with an air conditioned play place for me and Braden to kill time, and a nice, shady tree for Kihei to stay cool under. 1.5 hours later, the truck had cooled down enough and we made it, by the grace of God, back home the 1.5 hour drive.

That was a lot of work to go camping for 1 day and 1 night! BUT, we learned a ton, I know what more to expect next time we go and we will never go during a heat wave even though the really nice, sunny weather seemed appealing at the time. We're sure learning a lot about family trips!! You gotta learn one way or the other, right?! It kind of felt like a Griswold camping trip, but it's one to remember forever!
Sarah

9 comments:

  1. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time, love the pictures! Camping IS a lot of work (I can only imagine how much worse it's going to be with kids). We've discovered that going for 4 or 5 days at a time is the only way to go, otherwise you end up putting way too much work in for only a day or two of play and it just isn't worth it. Enjoyed your last post as well - you look fabulous and so happy to hear that all is well with your little one!

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    1. It is SO much work, you're right. I need to get checklists that I just have for every kind of trip we make. And you're right, going for a bigger trip seems like it's the only way to do it!

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  2. I can't wait to take my little ones camping. We haven't braved it yet and Florida is pretty much a no camping zone during the summer. I think it will be perfect for you guys when the new little on is the age Braden is now.

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    1. I think even next summer when baby is about 8 months old will be okay to go, baby will be a good sleeper by then so it might be doable if the weather cooperates!

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  3. I want to take Bennett camping but I bet we will have problems getting him to sleep, too!!

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    1. I've heard from camping friends that the first night is the worst night...so who knows how our second night could have gone!

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  4. I've been wanting to take Judah camping but I am not sure how well he will do since he is only 19 months. Looks like you all had a great time !

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    1. See, Braden was 18 months last summer...and there was no way I was taking him! Just way too busy and wouldn't have sat still for a minute.

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