Time has flown.
During my maternity leave I kept intending to go blog. And then I would get stuck under a sleeping baby. And do you know how hard it is to move when you are stuck under a sleeping baby?
Before I wrap up a big post about my 10 weeks off, I thought I would do a quick short one about camping. But if you know me, you know that I don’t write anything quick and short. Anyways… you can deal or navigate away.
We have gone out on two camping trips this spring so far. The first one was our shakedown trip for the year at a nearby site. What all have we forgotten? What works in the trailer? What needs fixed? Oh and how will a 6 week old infant handle camping?
The answers? We had forgotten a lot – topping the list was dish soap and cheddar cheese. Dish soap to leave in the trailer. Cheddar cheese, not to leave in the trailer, but really, how could I forget my daughter’s main source of calories? Post-partum brain is how…
What works in the trailer? Most everything except for that broken propane hose… yes, seriously.
How was it camping with a 6 week old? Fine. We worried a lot about where he would sleep. I didn’t really want him in the bed with us as it is mushy, uneven (because AB and I like different thicknesses of foam) and small compared to our king at home. But we weren’t sure how the pack and play would work, would he get cold? Wouldn’t you know that I have a shelf right next to my side of the bed and the “newborn napper” insert from the Pack and Play fits absolutely perfect? See picture.
So we ventured further away on this last trip out. The Tucannon. We really love this area and have camped there about 4 times in the few years that we have had our trailer. The kids love fishing and catching trout there, AB enjoys fly fishing (I do too), and we like the fact that we are in National Forest land and can camp anywhere, have few rules and regulations to adhere to, it doesn’t cost anything and there is a lot of wildlife (deer, wild turkeys, osprey…).
We planned for a very low key trip and upon arriving AB scouted an area and set up “hammock village”. Last year I bought AB an ENO hammock for Father’s Day. He never got to use it. Ever. Our kids adopted it. So Leif got a hammock for his birthday and he spent many camping trips laying in the hammock reading, what could be better? Oh but then Skadi immediately started complaining that she had no hammock. Guess what she got this spring for her birthday? Three ENO hammocks and three sets of slap straps. Hammock village. It would have been a whole lot nicer though if it weren’t for all the mosquitos, ticks and horse flies. Skadi and AB seem to be fairly immune to biting bugs. But not Leif and I. He and I are the only ones who have had ticks this year and were swarmed by the mosquitos and horse flies. Not so much fun. Skadi and AB aren’t bothered by them and Skadi managed to walk away from the trip with one bindi-like mosquito bite in the middle of her forehead (or her “twohead” as she still calls it because I can’t bring myself to tell her it is actually a forehead now that she isn’t two anymore) and one big huge swollen horse fly bite on her thigh that she hasn’t batted an eyelash at. Leif and I didn’t fare so well.
The bugs drove Silas and I inside the trailer much of Saturday, while AB flyfished the river 100 feet from our trailer, and the kids alternated between being inside and playing outside. We bought a new game based off recommendations from two sets of friends, Sleeping Queens. Love that game. Both kids really got into it and it is fun for adults as well. Highly recommend it.
At one point Skadi was in with me, while Leif was outside and she admitted something – she wanted to learn to play chess. So we set up the board and she and I played… until Leif came in and ruined it for her by telling her what to do… typical brother!
One treat for the kids while camping is TV series shows. Our trailer doesn’t have a TV. We didn’t want a TV earlier when we bought one. (Our next trailer will have a TV.) But we have a makeshift TV. I bring the laptop, we keep an old flat screen monitor that we can hang up in the TV alcove and I download TV shows we ALL enjoy. One of the family favorites is Modern Family, the kids love it and get only 10% of the humor and bonus it has been an easy way to teach inquisitive minds about different types of families (gay, multicultural, regular old nuclear). Last summer the kids watched The Last Airbender series in the trailer. This year it is Legend of Korra. AB and I watched Breaking Bad last year (in and out of the trailer) and are presently evaluating options for this summer, Homeland is leading.
We love our trailer and enjoy having our own home away from home. I have enjoyed making it ours. It dawned on me on our first trip out this year that we really needed hooks. Then I remembered those Command hooks and how perfect they would be! I put hooks up all over the trailer last weekend and it worked so well I am buying another large pack for the next trip. It drives me up the wall how stuff gets thrown on the floor – and it isn’t all just laziness on the part of everyone but me in the trailer. There just isn’t a good place to put say sweatshirts that you don’t want to go into the laundry bag. We are always losing keys and dog leashes. Not anymore! Well not anymore, if I can get a certain person to use said hooks for said items.
I have an addiction to Target and may or may not have a weakness with the $1 bins. They had a camping section in the $1 bins a few weeks ago and I may or may not have gone nuts there. But seriously, tiny little towels? Can’t live without them. Then I found these little “survival kits” on lanyards. Most of the plastic crap I buy in the $1 bins is pretty worthless. Not these.
When AB was about Leif’s age he got lost in the woods. And scared. Well he doesn’t say he was scared, but I can tell it scared him because he mentions it a lot. And it scares me to think of my kids wandering off in the forests. The survival kits are on lanyards they wear around their necks, they have a whistle, a compass, a sparker (and yes, it works to make a fire, AB proved it could be done), a “dry” container to house a few matches. The most valuable part in my mind, is the whistle. But anyways, the kids LOVE those lanyards. I hung them on a hook (yay hooks!) by the door and they kids grabbed them whenever they went outside. Someday maybe knowing they have whistles on them, I may give them a longer lead to wander…
We saw a lot of deer this time out and had one deer that was pretty bold. It kept venturing into our campground with us sitting there and our two dogs off leash. The dogs stayed under the trailer growling, which became AB’s sign that the deer was in the campground. The kids LOVED watching the deer. We had the bow and arrows out and the kids immediately thought it would be a good idea to try and get the deer… don’t worry, we told them no.
On Sunday after the kids had a taste of trout that AB had caught, they decided they needed to catch their own. We packed up and headed to one of the many stocked lakes. I nursed Silas in the car while AB took the kids over to the lake, then came back to get the second load. All of a sudden Skadi is screaming, “MOM, DAD!”
We headed over to see her standing there with the net and a good sized fish flopping inside it! Leif had thrown his line in the water and caught a rainbow trout nearly immediately. He calmly and rationally got his sister to net the fish for him! We had a fun couple hours fishing. AB helped the kids and took care of Silas while I fished with the fly rod – I had a few bites but didn’t bring any in. Skadi fished for a few minutes every 20 minutes or so – focus is not there yet, though desire to catch a fish is. Leif caught a second fish, which thrilled him completely. His goal for the weekend was accomplished.
He outfished AB.