We are currently preparing for the girls’ first camping trip next weekend. Yup, you heard me right. Camping. Complete with tent, sleeping bags and bug repellent. It has been at least 10 years since I have slept in a tent, and I am actually kind of excited about it!
We will be going with our good friends Officer Lou, his wife Amy and their daughter Avery. Officer Lou is quite the planner, and was over a few weeks ago to plan the menu. Which I find amusing because in our house, we never plan a menu. We live by my sister’s philosophy: you find it, you eat it. Anyhow, in the spirit of preparedness, we decided to give camping a trial run in our backyard last night. Turns out my sister and her husband took bets on whether we would make it all night outside. Let’s see how it went.
First things first:
Man of my Dreams
I just love this man! Do you see what he is bringing me?!?!
I’m not much of a beer drinker, but there is just something so refreshing about a beer on a hot day. By the way, my car thermometer read 110 degrees at 4 o’clock when I was driving home from work.
Now that the adults had proper refreshments and the girls sippy cups were filled with cold water, it was time to get the tent set up.
Chloe the Scout
Chloe searched high and low for the perfect place to set up camp. She checked with our supervisor to be sure it was a good spot:
Chief of Camping Operations
Ella approved the site, so daddy got the tent out.
This isn't a cow...
Chloe was more than willing to help out:
She practiced her shapes while helping out… such a learning experience for Chloe.
With a little sweat and a few bad words, the tent was up:
The next step was to lay out the sleeping bags and blankets and necessary accouterments.
Need help daddy?
Ella wasn’t able to help out with this portion too much, seeing as though she can’t really move very far on her own. But don’t worry, she made herself useful by being cute.
You okay Ella?
Ella was doing just fine. She was fueling up on some graham crackers.
You want a piece of me?
I could always use a little Ella… those cheeks alone will keep me happy for a week! Ever the gracious baby, Ella was sure to offer me some of her food:
Have some mommy
I had a bite just to make her happy. Look at how happy it made her
Okay, back to Chloe…
Number 1 worker bee
While I was busy noshing on graham crackers with Ella, Chloe had the inside of our tent all ready. And it was a good thing because the sun was setting…
Sunset at the McArthurs
Not a bad way to end the day, wouldn’t you say? We were hoping that with the setting of the sun, the temperature would drop a bit. At 8pm it was a brisk 94 degrees. A big improvement over 110.
We had lantern to light the way. And Gary left the porch light on, just in case somebody was scared of the dark. It was quite nice:
It looked nice, but it sure didn’t feel nice. We zipped up the tent to keep the Beast from roaming around the yard. The temperature and the humidity quickly climbed to uncomfortable levels. But determined to stick it out, we hung in there. However, Chloe made a few desperate attempts to escape. It seemed as though any time that I got myself comfortable, Chloe would start to work on the tent’s zipper.
Me: Chloe, what are you doing?
Chloe: I go see Diego.
Me: No Chloe, Diego is sleeping.
It was quiet for a few moments and I found a comfy spot. By the way, I was more comfortable sleeping on the ground than I am sleeping on my Sleep Number bed. I should have never listened to Lindsey Wagner. Anyhow, the moment I was comfortable, Chloe turned on the lantern.
Me: Chloe, what are you doing?
Chloe: I go potty.
Me: You just went potty, do you have to go again?
Chloe: No thank you.
And it was like this for the next half hour. Meanwhile, Ella continued to kick me and pull my hair. If she wasn’t so cute, I would have been mad.
Finally, Chloe and Ella both fell asleep. I had just drifted off to sleep myself and was dreaming when something startled me awake. There are coyotes and raccoons and all sorts of fun wild life in our neck of the woods, and I was worried that one of them was coming to eat my baby. I opened my eyes and there was Gary, sitting up and wiping his head with a towel.
Me: Boyfriend, what are you doing?
Gary: F*@k this. It is too hot to sleep out here.
And with that, Gary and I collected up our little limp wet noodle babies and took them inside where the air conditioner was working oh so nicely.
It was 11pm and our first family camping trip was officially over. I guess it lasted longer than most people would have guessed.
Dennis, I hope that you bet my sister something good…