Either that was the longest nap ever or I was too tired to come back and give details:) You can guess which one!
So, we knew we had to make at least one trial run camping adventure before the big adventure two weeks from now. We'd been debating all week off and on whether we should go this weekend but hadn't made any plans.
Until Saturday morning. Nothing like last minute ideas!! We picked a campsite in a forest preserve about 35 minutes away, packed our things and drove off, hoping they would have a spot available.
They had 4 spots left! The attendant, Lt Dan (I admit, it possibly brought up all sorts of Forrest Gump references), told us to walk and check them all out but I was too anxious that he'd give the spots away and we'd be left with nothing, as lines of people started showing up right after we got there!
So we picked a site and headed off.
We all piled out and after picking up stray twigs, got out our new tent, hoping no one would realize what rookies we were!
With a little help from the boys and from me, the tent master got our new home-away-from-home all set up!
We took turns keeping Little Miss occupied climbing around in the car and checking out her brothers' carseats:) It was pretty warm and humid and we were all pretty hot after our hard work setting up tents and beds so we decided to take a drive around the preserve and cool off. And give Eliana a chance to rest.
She fell asleep in the car so I stayed with her while B and the boys checked out the lake!
There were people fishing and kyaking, canoeing and just enjoying the beautiful sight!
They came back and Ben handed me the camera. When I asked if he got any pictures of the boys, he looked a little sheepish and shrugged. Goof!
We decided to go back and have our campfire dinner after our cool drive! Poor E was SO hot and sweaty so we took off her clothes and let her enjoy the glory of nature as is:)
She had a heat rash that started a couple days before we left and was it's worst on Saturday. She kept scratching so we had to put cream on her a few times.
Her curls came out in full force with all the humidity!
Even the boys went shirtless! Samuel does eat, I promise. I think he's sucking in a little....
We chowed on hotdogs and delicious, cool watermelon! But the best part was our delicious, traditional camping dessert of....s'mores!!
Eliana wanted nothing to do with the graham crack (aside from one bit) or the marshmallow. Chocolate only for her!!
And Samuel decided his 2nd smore would be "raw" not toasted. Strange but true!
Daddy and Zakkai roasting marshmallows!
We brought a few games to play. The boys played a couple games of Guess Who before we took an evening walk down to the lake to kick the soccer ball and admire fish and ducks:)
This is a picture of one very tired little girl yesterday morning. Tired? Oh yes. Allow me to tell.
After our lake walk and a rousing round of Hangman the board game, we tried laying Miss E down in her pack 'n play (our tent fit 1 queen sized air mattress, 2 sleeping bags and 1 pack 'n play plus bookbags!). She wanted none of it! We all decided to lay down and be quiet to see if that would help her go to sleep.
2 hours later.....Eliana was the only one awake. I kept dozing off inbetween laying her down, getting beaned with her elephants on my head, etc. I tried a couple of times to get her to lay down next to me, hoping that would settle her down.
All that earned me was her head bashing into my nose twice and a fat, bloody, bruised lip. (me, not her.) So by 11:30, I'd had it!!! She was SO overtired and almost wild because she just couldn't settle down. I picked her up, knowing she was almost ready to give up, and rocked her back and forth. Ben was over there stage whispering that we should get out the carseat and strap her in to make her lie down.
Ha! I shook my head at him and whispered back that her eyes were CLOSING! I laid her down, only to have her cry out again. One more quick round of rocking brought sweet peace to our tent.
For about 30-45 minutes. Before she startled awake, crying almost like she was in a panic. I leaped up and grabbed her, the paci, the elephants and cradled her. I rocked her a bit and she fell back asleep and ended up spending the rest of night asleep with us on our air mattress. She was restless at first and I was awake every time she moved, recovering her or putting her back on the mattress when she'd roll off and have her head on the ground.
Finally we put her between us (after B woke her up when he snuck out to use the oh-so-lovely pit toilet!) and she slept deeply, sometimes half on top of us. We all woke up somewhere between 7-7:30am.
Poor Little Lady was so exhausted from her restless, wild night that she fell asleep after we got home after breakfast for about 3 hours. And then went to bed early last night!
Now we have to figure out how to get her to sleep better for our next camping adventure....in 2 weeks!
All in all, it was pretty fun. The forest preserve was beautiful, we were adventurous, no one got bitten or hurt and we got a little sleep:) It's amazing how loud nature is! Zakkai was restless before falling asleep and he suddenly whispered, "Mommy! I can't go to sleep. It's too loud!"
He was right! Between the cicadas, the crickets, the strange, unidentified bugs and creatures, the owls hooting and coyotes howling, it was very loud! We got used to the noises and the boys slept well. They really enjoyed their first camping trip and are excited to go again!
Here's to many more peaceful camping trips:)