The last ten days have been a whirlwind around here. Ross was on a business trip for six days (Well he came home on the sixth day in the afternoon). I know there are lots of single moms and moms who have husbands that travel a lot, but that isn’t the norm around here. I’m use to having my partner in crime and the kids are use to having daddy home. We were out running errands when Ross called to tell me he was home. When we pulled up to the house and Quinn saw daddy come out of the house he started to cry. He was so excited to see his daddy. He kept saying, “I’m not crying because I am sad, I’m crying because I am so happy”. It was really touching and I wish I had caught it on tape.
We did okay and I worked so hard on keeping the house clean, getting the garbage out of the house and running that dishwasher. The day Ross came home was the day we were going to pack up for our camping trip so we could hit the road Thursday morning. Despite all my efforts, we managed to destroy the house Wednesday when we packed. When we walked out the door I couldn’t believe that after my best efforts, we were still leaving the house a complete disaster.
We were headed to South Haven, Michigan to camp at Van Buren State Park–just a little over three hour drive for us. This is an annual camping trip, but we haven’t participated since right before Quinn turned two. It was Eleanor and Hudson’s first camping trip. My mom is originally from Michigan so her aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins’ kids and cousins’ grandkids all come. We have had campfires with 100+ family members around it. It is pretty cool. My grandpa just turned 80 and he still makes the trip.
My mom, twin brother, his wife and their new baby, my sister and her husband all were there as well.
Ignore the drool, Hudson has two teeth that just came in and there might be more on the way.
My happy camper!
The kids loved everything about camping. They were so excited about the tent when it went up, they just wanted to hang out inside.
I’m not going to lie–I anticipated the worse. With Hudson being so young and blankets not being a safe option, I was worried about keeping him warm enough. I also pictured kids who didn’t sleep. All that fresh air and activity had those kiddos knocked out.
The first night it started raining around 5 am and that woke up the kids pretty early. They were bouncing off the walls. We knew we would never survive hours inside the tent so we jumped in the car and headed to Holland Michigan–a nearby town. We ate breakfast at an apple orchard and then stumbled on the replica of an old dutch village. Since the rain had let up, we decided to give it a go. We figured if the rain picked up we would do laser tag or some other indoor activity that we had googled on our phones.
I still cannot believe that Eleanor went on that spinning swing ride. She did it twice–she loved it so much. Then, because we are such hardcore campers, we hit up Five Guys for lunch. After lunch, we checked the weather at the rain that had been predicted for the afternoon was no more so we headed back. The kids enjoyed visiting with family, playing with aunts, uncles and cousins, and the traditional campfire– complete with s’mores.
Hudson slept from 8-7 and the other two slept even later. We had some fun play time with Hudson, while the other two snoozed.
Then it was beach day! Last time Eleanor was in the sand she was all–get it off!
Apparently she is over that. Her favorite part was the swimming. Quinn’s favorite part was wrestling my cousin Brett.
Quinn climbed to the very top of the sand dune.
We wrapped up our trip with ice cream at a local joint who makes ice cream the old fashioned way and serves large portions.
I learned a few things from this camping trip:
* As usual, I worried way too much and everything turned out fine. Hudson stayed plenty warm in a Wombie and Aden + Anais winter weight sleep sack. Everyone slept. Eleanor loved the sand. The kids were really well behaved. We didn’t get stuck in awful traffic. Everything was fine. It was better then fine–the kids loved camping!
* I over-packed. Not a ton, but I did end up with way too many kid clothes. I didn’t know how many outfits they would ruin or how many layers they would need.
* Camping with family rocks. Having built in help was a lifesaver.
* I tried a new packing method for the kids for the first time and it rocked.
I put a days worth of clothes in a ziplock bag. Long sleeve + pants (chilly mornings and evenings), shorts + tshirt (for the day) and a diaper or underwear. This made getting the kids ready idiot proof and I didn’t have to answer a million questions or micro manage anything. It also allowed me to pack all the kids clothes in one bag without them all getting jumbled. Plus, when we were digging through the contents of the bag, clothes didn’t end up strewn all over the tent. The best party is everything that we didn’t wear stayed dry, sand-free and clean. No extra laundry for me!
Now I am just waiting for the energy to get my house cleaned. That disaster we left, just got added to when we dropped the contents of our car in our kitchen. It literally looks like a bomb went off in here. It was all worth it though. My kids had so much fun and I always have fun watching them have fun. I love watching them have new experiences.
Anyone else attempt a camping trip this summer or have plans for one? What did your weekend look like?
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