Camping Success

Our first family camping trip was a success!

I spent the day packing and cleaning on Thursday, patiently waiting for Kevin to get off work. He was supposed to leave around 3:00, but didn't actually get out until 5:00, which meant he didn't get home until 5:45 AND there were a few things that he needed to do before we could leave. So, we hit the road by 6:30 and arrived at the campground about 7:00pm. It was late. Lea was tired and we still had to set up the pop-up, unload the truck and make the beds. Oh... and we hadn't had dinner, yet! Needless to say, our first night was a mess. Lea couldn't get to sleep. She was so wound up and excited with her new "playroom". I ended up sleeping with her (she didn't fall asleep until about 10 or 10:30pm!) and Kevin slept with the dog. Since I didn't have time to get everything set up before bed, the curtains weren't hung... which meant the sun came right in and woke up Lea bright & early Friday morning. :)

From then on, our weekend was very nice. Kevin actually had to head back into the office for a half day on Friday so Lea, Bailey and myself played around the campsite and went for a long walk before Lea was ready for her nap. She went right to sleep this time and slept for over 2 hours. (I took the opportunity to take a short nap, too, thank-you-very-much) I was awoken by my dad calling to say bad storms were headed our way. And boy were they ever bad?! It rained, poured and thundered for H O U R S. I took Lea and Bailey in the car to just drive around for a bit (away from the storms) because I didn't want to be cooped up in the camper alone (Kevin was still at work). My dad ended up coming to visit and then Kevin finally got back. We sat in the camper and talked... and talked... and talked... until my dad was bored enough to finally leave. Then, we drove the Target to get a board game (we forgot to pack some games... we actually forgot a lot of things). After a yummy, camping style spaghetti dinner and another nice, long walk, Lea went to bed. She went right down, again, and Kevin and I actually stayed up in the camper playing our game, quietly, while she slept.

The next day, Saturday, we had beautiful weather. We walked down to the lake to let Bailey & Lea run around before Lea's nap time. After her nap, we packed up and went back to the lake for a few hours. Lea had so much fun playing in the sandy clay and swimming in the water. Bailey went swimming, too but mostly stayed under the trees, in the shade. That night we had hot dogs with green beans and s'mores for dessert. YUM!

My parents came up Sunday, our last day there, to take us all out on their boat. Lea loves riding in the boat... Bailey? Not so much. lol Lea fell asleep on the boat and we headed back to the campsite to pack everything up. It took us an hour at the most to get everything packed, loaded and the camper down. We were home way before dinner time.

I'm very pleased with out little camping trip and am looking forward to many more in the future. Lea loves being outside so much and really enjoys playing with sticks, "pie-coes" (pine cones) and dirt. She didn't miss her toys a bit... but when we got home, she played with her toys so quietly for quite some time. It was like she was thinking, "Oh, I forgot about this... and THIS... oooh, and this, too!"

Here are a few pics from the trip. I forgot my camera when we were on the lake and in the boat :(



Waiting for daddy to cook the hot dogs.


Playing with daddy before bed.


Let's go camping!

Tomorrow afternoon we will leave our driveway pulling the pop-up camper behind us. I am really excited! We got the camper awhile ago, used. Kevin has been working on little things when he has some free time (which isn't very often!). I still want to do some little updates to it... mostly aesthetic things like painting, making slipcovers for the bench seats and possibly replacing the curtains. It's in camping condition now, though, so what better time than now?! Hopefully, everything will work and nothing will break while we're out there. I'm anxious to see how Lea will do sleeping & napping in a camper. Since she goes to bed much earlier than us, we'll have to hang out outside until we're ready for bed. Should be interesting!

Here's a couple pics from when we first bought it...

Holy cow!!! Just realized that we bought this thing a YEAR ago! We'll be staying at the lake for three nights... and hopfully all returning happy campers. :) I'll post pics next week.


Terrible Twos?

As Lea quickly approaches 20 months old (tomorrow!), I am beginning to wonder what our near future will be like. She is so much more independent than a couple months ago... wondering off without looking back, running aimlessly into the wide open and wanting to do things without assistance. I am so proud of her for learning and growing. I want her to be independent.  But I am also a little scared. I am scared because my baby is growing up so fast but I am also scared because I'm not 100% certain that I can handle an independent, sassy, 2 year old girl!

Lea (in pink) sitting with the big kids at story time.
Some people say there's no such thing as the "Terrible Twos" and some people swear by it. I guess it just depends on the child, the parents and how it's all handled. Is it really going to be TERRIBLE? I don't think so. It can't be that bad. I just have to remember to take the stressful moments with a grain of salt and laugh about it. Yes... today I had "THAT child" at library story time... but tomorrow it will be someone else's child... as least, I hope so! ;)


Story Time at the Library

Our local library offers a great program for kids... and it's free! Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning we head to the library for toddler Story Time. The kids sing songs, dance, listen to a couple stories and play a few games. Lea loves it! Each week, as she gets older, she is more and more involved. When we first started going, she sat on my lap the entire time. Now (about a year later) she is much more independant!


Who's Got Crabs?

I grew up camping at the beach with my family. We ate pretty much anything that came out of the ocean and we usually caught it ourselves... clams, fish and crabs. I loved it and still do.

While at the beach this week with my in-laws, we decided to get some string, a net and some fish heads to go crabbin'. Since we have a house right on a canal, we can do it in our back yard. The kids (Kristin - 10, Ross - 8 and Lilly - 5) had a blast. We actually got a few, but they were pretty small. Not wanting to disappoint the kids, though, we decided to cook 'em up. :)

So we had a small bucket full of live crabs...

Now what?!

Yes, I did say that I grew up eating this stuff but I didn't say I grew up cooking it myself! My dad usually caught dinner and my mom usually cooked it.

After a quick phone call home for some instruction (thanks, dad!), we put a pot of boiling water on the stove and threw in the crabs. Five minutes later I was cleaning crabs for the first time and then, the part I knew how to do... pickin' crab. Kristin, my 10 year old niece, helped... well, mostly helped eat them! Lea also loved them. There wasn't much because they were so small, but we sure had fun. :)


Beach Baby

We've been at the beach this week and it's been really nice. My in-laws got a place right on a canal... I love having water just steps from the back door. Lea's cousins, Kristin, Ross and Lilly, have been keeping her busy! They played on the beach, in the back yard, on the porch and the deck. We have walked the pier, gone crabbing and fishing. No fish (at least, fish big enough to keep) were caught... but we did get a few blue crabs. (actually, they were small enough that we should have thrown them back but the kids were SO excited about cooking & eating them, we just had to keep 'em!) The weather is perfect. It has been warm enough to play outside but cool enough to keep you out there.

We're coming back in August and I'm really looking forward to it. Kevin had to go home early this week for work, but he's promised to take the entire week off in August! We've missed him A LOT.

Lea is talking more and more these days. She likes to point things out and tell you what it is. If she doesn't know what it is, she waits for you to tell her... then she nods as if she's saying "Yup, that's right." Some new things she's saying now are Elmo, strawberry and ice cream.