Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back from Vacation

Sorry about the lack of posts lately.... Becky commented yesterday that I must be busy b/c it's not like me to go 10 days without a post. ;) Very true!! After the move, we immediately had family in, and the day after they left, friends arrived and then we left for vacation! I've had very little computer time and absolutely no time to blog. As fun as all of this was, I think the next time we move, we will put a little more time between all the different activities!! We still have plenty to unpack, and it seems endless since we have had so much other stuff happening.

Anyway...Vacation! This was Aiden's first vacation, first time camping. We went with one of my best friends, Sonia, and her two boys - who happen to be similar ages to my boys. Camden and Justin are the same age, and Aiden and Christian are almost a year apart. To me, the older boys are almost like brothers with the way they act.... When they get together, it's like they've never been apart. They pick up right where they left off - usually arguing over every little thing. It's all a competition, nothing is off limits. But they still manage to have a lot of fun together! I think they'll grow up to remain good friends. (They almost have no choice since their moms are so close!) They had a lot of fun camping - getting to just be boys and do what boys do! They played with toads (they are all over the campground!), play soccer/volleyball/basketball, there was a huge chess game nearby, and they just got to run around a lot!

Aiden and Christian will soon follow and become great friends, too, I'm sure. They couldn't do a whole lot together right now b/c of their ages and where they are developmentally, but they will soon outgrow that and be good friends. (Once again, they pretty much have no choice.....) Sonia and I had wanted to have some great girlfriend time, and I don't think we got nearly as much as we wanted! I know I didn't. It's a lot of work camping with a toddler and an infant!! We all knew it would be, but it pretty much takes all of your time, energy, attention... And the little boys are on different schedules with naps and all, so it was difficult to get some one-on-one time with just us mamas. That was probably my least favorite part of the trip. (Next time, right, Sonia?!)

My favorite part.... When Aiden went down for his naps. I would nurse him and then let him play on his own in the pack & play in the tent. I would lie on our bed and read and watch him...he would do his little version of gymnastics until it tired him out. Then after he was asleep, I would lie there and read, usually dozing off right before he woke. He wakes sometimes after about 30 or so minutes and will go right back to sleep if someone is there and lays him back down - then he would sleep for a good while longer. But it was so nice to have that quiet time for me, too. I never get to read for fun much (I started rereading Fast Food Nation - good reminder of why not to eat fast food.....), and I certainly never get to lie down and relax any during the day. It was wonderful being somewhat lazy for an hour or so. (This would have been a good time for girlfriend time if it weren't for the fact that I knew Aiden would wake early and need to be put back down; he needs his naps, too! And Christian was on a different schedule usually, so it was hard to coordinate and have time for us ladies.)

Camden says his favorite part of the trip was....toads, s'mores, swimming (beach or pool). His least favorite...sunburn and then the saltwater on top of his burn (he burned around his eyes, so he couldn't wear his goggles, and the skin around his eyes were really sensitive, esp when he was in the ocean). Camden's a natural at camping (except for the work involved in taking things down to leave - but who likes that, right?). I think Ryan disliked the humidity and the heat that set in the last day and night (it was in the upper nineties, at least). He doesn't do well in the heat. And we left late and some of our "schedule" got messed up - he doesn't like that either. He says his favorite part of the trip was playing in the pool with both of the boys. Least favorite - sunburn. He got it bad! We think the rays must have been especially strong or something b/c just about everyone got burned. I even was a tiny bit burned for a day or so...and I NEVER burn! AND we all had on sunscreen - liberally applied and often. Our motto is - better too much than not enough. We use it VERY liberally - we're not stingy with sunscreen in the least! Poor Ryan, though...he got it the worst, I think. :( Aiden's favorite would probably be getting to be carried around everywhere (not many places he could crawl around on...). Least fave - probably having the ocean forced on him. Surely it will grow on him and he'll quickly become a beach baby. Surely.

With all the work it was, though, we still had a good time. Honestly, it wasn't the best vacation ever, but it wasn't the worst, either! ;) And although we had to constantly be on-call with Aiden, he did REALLY well as a camper! He napped well, he ate well, he did fine being in a new place around new people. He really was pretty easy-going about it all. Well, except for the ocean... Not a fan just yet. We'll have to work on that. We might go back for a day in August to get in some more time to help him like it....whether we want to or not (right...........)

We did our camping at Wilmington, next to Wrightsville Beach, here in NC. (Not my very favorite beach or place to camp - we were spoiled last time we went to where Sonia usually goes in VA Beach - but it was still decent. Nothing major to complain about.) We cooked almost all of our meals over the campfire - burgers, chicken, veggies, fried potatoes (I forgot how much I love fried potatoes), a big breakfast, etc, etc, etc... The boys helped a lot and got to learn how to do a bunch of the fire-making and cooking on their own. They also were on dish-duty for the week - whoever volunteered first at each meal got to choose: rinser or washer. Great way to get them to volunteer quickly, and without complaining a whole lot (good idea, Sonia!). No s'mores until dishes were done, too (which also helped them get to work!). ;) And of course, we had s'mores every night. No other way to do it!

We went out to eat at Dockside Restaurant one evening - I got a fish sandwich....and it must have actually had a lot of sand IN it. I had to send it back b/c no way was I eating that (which I hate doing...makes me nervous!). The next one was good, though - and they gave us free desserts. I guess sometimes messing up the order pays off..... ;) The food was decent other than that, but it takes FOREVER to get the food! The chocolate pecan pie, though...so yummy! Don't think I would go back, though.

It rained the first day and in the middle of the night the first couple nights, but that's not always a bad thing... Rained on night one the last time we went camping, too. It helps cool the weather down a bit. It didn't really get to feeling too hot until the last full day, and we just stayed in the shade that day.

Went to the beach a couple times. The older boys loved it, of course, and could have stayed all day, even if they were already sunburned from time at the pool. It was Christian's first time to the beach, and he seemed to really love it! Playing in the sand, splashing in the water, even sitting on the boogie board on the edge of the water. Aiden, however, did not. Check out the pictures to see his reaction... Poor guy. The second trip to the ocean, he did finally decide he could deal with the sand and was crawling all over it (before, he was happy to stay on his blanket under the shade). Right before that happened, though, the camera battery died. (I keep telling Ryan we need a backup battery b/c it always dies right when I want to take an important picture and it doesn't show when the battery is going down, like it should. He says, no...we just need to be aware but don't need another one. Umm...yes, we do. I told him it would die on the trip, and it did. Right before something really big happened. He knew I wasn't too happy when it did. Aiden even smiled once while in the water - b/c Camden was making him laugh - and no pictures of that, either. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..........) We did get some video of Aiden at the beach and will try to get that up soon (along with the other million videos we have yet to share.... It just takes so much time that I don't have, but I hope to get to it soon!)

Anyway, enjoy the pictures we DO have.

2009 June Camping Trip

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