Alternately titled: MY COMPUTER IS FINALLY FIXED! :) Well, not completely fixed, but functioning. We have a new keyboard coming in and once it is replaced, then we'll be back in business.
So here is the long awaited camping post that I started drafting what seems to be a very long time ago!
Two weekends ago we did what most people are telling us we were crazy to even attempt. We went camping with two toddlers, a 3-week-old newborn and three dogs. Plus some great friends.
We camped at the group site at Interstate Park near Taylor's Falls. We were actually on the Wisconsin side as there is an Interstate Park in both MN and WI. The weather was unseasonably warm -- almost too warm for a fall camping trip during the day, but perfect at night.
Our friends, Jamie & Deanna came with their 4-year-old son, Jack. The kids were in heaven. There were rocks to climb and adventures to be had everywhere they turned. Rosie, for the most part, just snuggled with me in the K'Tan or slept in her car seat.
We arrived on Friday and set up camp, cooked some hot dogs over the fire and explored the site until the sun set. After the kids went to bed, we had a very fun time sitting up around the fire with Jamie & Deanna, just talking and relaxing. My big mistake was that I stayed up WAY too late around the fire for a mother with a 3-week-old newborn.
That night I didn't get ANY sleep at all. By the time I went to bed, I had to get up again with the baby to feed her. Her nose was stuffed up and she was having a hard time eating and sleeping, which kept me awake. Ruby woke up twice that night as well, and it all combined to be a very restless, red-eyed night. I honestly don't think I got more than 45 straight minutes of sleep at once that night.
Saturday was a beautiful day and we had so many fun things to do. We went on a hike to the spot where JP proposed to me six years ago, threw rocks in the river, hiked some more, etc.
By lunch time, I was exhausted, and by dinner time, I was C.R.A.B.B.Y.
I had ZERO tolerance, ZERO patience, and ZERO ability to stop myself from pulling out my hair. Every time I turned around, the girls or dogs were getting into something, getting on my nerves, and wearing on my patience.
The last thing we were doing for the day was to go for one more hike before the kids' bedtimes. I sat Ruby down on the potty chair and told her to go. We sat there for at least 10 minutes, but she didn't go. So we left for our walk, and as soon as we got just far enough away from the site that it was too inconvenient to go back...you guessed it. "Mom, I need go potty."
I almost screamed and told JP he had to deal with it or I was going to lose it. He tried to get Ruby to pee in the grass, but she wouldn't do it. Finally we told her to hold it and we continued on our hike. Then Rae started complaining that her legs were tired. Then it started raining on us, and me with the baby and my camera.
The walk back was wet and too long for me; it was all I could do not to burst into tired tears and fall asleep right where I was standing. JP had the patience of an angel, alternating Rae & Ruby on his shoulders and keeping the mood light.
We finally made it back around 7:45 pm and I went straight to the tent, put Ruby to bed, nursed the baby, and went to bed myself at around 8:15 pm. No sitting around the campfire for me that night.
That night we all slept much, much better, and I woke up refreshed. Sunday was another beautiful day, if not a little soggy. My brother & his girlfriend had arrived the previous night after I had already gone to bed, so we got to spend a little time with them, too. After we broke down camp we went for one more hike along the river before heading home.
With the exception of my bad attitude on Saturday night, it really was a wonderful trip. I think Taylors Falls may be our new favorite "close by" campground. It took us less than an hour to get there, and the scenery was wonderful.
Here are some pictures!