July 17, 2014

I Survived Camping with a Toddler

By Amy

FRIENDS.  After a week of being M.I.A. from the blog I have returned.  (You were waiting all week by your computer, huh!?) :)  This was the first time since the beginning of SOM that I didn't post at least once in a week.  And, let me say, I missed you!  I love your input, stories, and just the coolness that is you.  It means so much to me to be able to Stop, Collaborate and Listen with awesome ladies.  To be heard and validated feels good.  Plus, everytime I get to share a guest posts, I get to help YOU be heard too!  :)  Yep, I missed this cool little space on the internet. :)

So, let me tell you the cause of my MIA.

I attempted the insane: I went camping with a toddler.  

Many of you may be rolling your eyes right now, thinking: "Big whoop, camping with a toddler is no big deal.  In fact, I climbed Everest, carrying my 3-day-old infant in a sling."

If this is you, just know that you blow my mind, and that I am not as cool as you.  I mean, I'm not this ultra pampered girl who is scared of nature...nope--I love hiking and the great outdoors, and I am definitely more comfortable in the country than in the city, but...I have never loved sleeping in nature.  Sad, I know!  What kind of Idaho girl isn't a fan of camping!?  Well, it's simple really.  I like quick access to a toilet at all times (I have IBS), I like a sink so I can take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and wash my hands and face in WARM running water, I like to sleep comfortably, I like to feel clean.  I love day trips in nature, but at night, I crave the security and routine of home.  Oh, and I really don't like to be cold.

But, the fact that I truly do love the campfire and the songs and uninterrupted time with family away from the bustle of normal life usually lure me to the campground despite the physical drawbacks of camping.

But, with a toddler?

I gotta admit, I was quite intimidated about camping 12 hours away, with my husband's family, 34 weeks pregnant, with a 2 year old.

I worried a little about my own physical discomfort being this preg (trying to sleep well on a cot, having to run to an outhouse all through the night, the long trip to get to Washington, and just generally being exhausted at this point in my pregnancy....and HELLO!? what if I GO INTO LABOR IN THE WILDERNESS!?!?!)

But, I figured I'd be fine.  However, I really worried about my son--who takes comfort in his normal routine--becoming an emotional basketcase.  So many things could go so horribly wrong: What if he wakes up all through the night cause he's not used to sleeping in a tent and we are all MISERABLE?  What if he falls in the fire?  What if he has a blow-out or pukes in the middle of the night and we can't just plop him in the tub then switch his sheets?  What if he throws insane tantrums like he sometimes does at home, and the whole freakin campground can hear him and I look like the world's most incompetent mother in front of my husband's entire extended fam?  What if he runs off and gets lost?  What if he won't sleep past 5 cause the sun comes up early and he's not in his bedroom with dark curtains?  What if it's too noisy/bright for him to take naps so he's a cranky mess?  What if he eats poisonous berries?  What if a bear, or some hairy camping hippy, steals him in the night?  (I know, I know, my fears were getting pretty out of hand by this point.)

But, I wanted to support my husband and I knew how much he would love to go to this reunion.  Plus, I genuinely enjoy his family, so I wanted to go too!  I was just nervous about how Hayden would do and if it would really suck for me camping and traveling during my third trimester.

So, I told my husband that if I could fly, I was game for this trip.  Ha, I know that makes me sound like such a prissy diva, but you may remember a few months ago I had a pretty serious blood clot in my leg, and ended up in the hospital.  I am on blood thinner shots which I've injected in my belly twice a day since then, and I didn't feel good about the risk of sitting in a car for 12+ hours.  (Long car rides can cause blood clots for pregnant women!) It just seemed unwise, since I already got a clot during my pregnancy.  My doctor said flying was a much better option.  (2 hours vs. 12!)  So, Patty got me the tickets!

Oh, AND....of course I was just getting over the sinus infection from H.E. Double Hockeysticks right before the trip.

But, ya know what?  The trip went surprisingly well!  We had a ton of fun with Patrick's family, and the camping was even pretty good!  Luckily, they chose a rockin campsite...there was a big bathroom with hot showers and flushing toilets.  Heaven!!!

I mean, we did have a couple rough patches.  One night I had to run to the bathroom four times with a flashlight.  Hayden threw some massive fits, (I had to give him quite a few time-outs in our tent, and once we even sat in the car cause he wouldn't stop screaming!) but he also had a blast playing with cousins and rooting around in the sand and dirt.  (He was soooo filthy.  Haha!)  He did wake up crying with a crazy, nasty blow-out at 5 a.m. the first morning (I just cleaned him up best I could with a bunch of wipes and changed his pjs) and then he didn't go back to sleep after that (he climbed out of his playpen and smeared my lotion all over the tent floor while Patrick and I were desperately trying to get a bit more sleep.)  Oh, and he freakin lost it at the beach after a couple hours, cause he was cold, wet, and covered in sand.  And he started puking during the family dinner of all my mother-in-law's family, so I hung out with him in the bathroom close to the toilet for a while.

But, despite my worries and a couple crappy parts, it was a really awesome week!  I am really glad we went.  It was so good to be with my hub's family, who live far enough away that we don't get to see them very often.  We laughed our bums off, ate delicious food, played games, and just enjoyed being together.  I got to spend time with my sis-in-law, Alyssa and meet her boyfriend, AND, she took beautiful family and maternity pics for us!  (She's a rockin photographer...if you live in the Portland area, seriously, she is so good!)  I got to play with my son on the beach and he was blown away by the "big, big water!"  :)  We got to stay a few days with Patrick's Aunt Jen and Uncle Brett who were so fun and hospitable, we talked waaay too late around the campfire with his Aunt Anne and Uncle Garth who we love (they are super close in age to us!) and we got to spend time with my hub's hilarious and cool best-friend-since-elementary-school Brandon.

Heavenly Father answered my prayers by blessing me to get healthy just in time for the trip and helping us all to be safe.  Hayden did well in the car with my mother-in-law and teenage bros-in-law, (Thanks to an I-Pad loaded with Daniel Tiger episodes, ha!) and my husband and his dad were safe on their motorcycles.  And, I slept amazingly on my cot with the thickest sleeping pad in the world, which Aunt Jen let me borrow.  And, besides a couple hours where I felt really crappy, (the heat really got to me and I think I became dehydrated) I felt great the whole week.

And, best of all, I didn't have to birth a baby in the woods!  Yay!  :)

So, I let my phone go dead, I only got on my laptop once, and enjoyed a fabulous trip. :)

But, enough talk...I'll just show you!  Here are pics for days...I took a couple, but most are Alyssa's.

Alyssa, my momma-in-law, and I!

Football on the beach!

Haha, to be realistic, I had to include a cranky moment.  

Riding a scooter with Papa! (My dad-in-law)

I love this one! :)  My little Fam!!!
I even got to spend two days with my sisters after flying into Salt Lake City, while my husband, my son, and his fam drove home.  It was so nice to laugh, talk, and be with them! (We missed you, Laura!)  We also went to Ikea, and I spent too much money...it was awesome. :)  I also found that one day away from my son is super relaxing and carefree, but the second day sucks and all I want is to hold and cuddle my little babe!

Then, after driving back from Salt Lake to my Idaho town, it was so fun to reunite with my hot hubby and sweet son, be in our home again, and back to our happy little routine of life.

...Along with loads of unpacking and laundry.  :)

So friends, have you ever braved camping or taking a lot trip with a toddler?  Good experience?  Bad experience?  I'd love to hear!  :)   Any great tips or advice for making travel with little kiddios successful?  (Ha, my uncle recommends Benadryl for long car rides...)


  1. I love that little family picture... so sweet!

  2. As always...I love reading your posts! I went camping this summer with my 7 month old and I was freaking out that it was going to be a disaster! Four nights in a tent? Yikes! It went really well though. She slept the same as she always does and all my worrying was for nothing. Next year though...oh boy...with a toddler will be so much crazier! One thing I did that was awesome that I saw on Pinterest was put her in an inflatable pool with her toys so she wasn't crawling around in the dirt. That wouldn't work now because she is crawling around, but it worked good for her when we went! All of your pictures are SO cute and you look so good!

    1. Thanks Laura!!!! :) Wow, you are so brave for taking such a little babe! I would have been nervous too! I'm glad it went well. :) Oh, haha, I forgot to mention that I read like 50 "camping with a toddler" posts I found on Pinterest...there were some super helpful ideas! That is cool that you did the pool idea! SO smart for a baby!

  3. I think you're quite brave! I don't actually like camping...my family camped a lot when I was growing up (because it's way cheaper than getting the 2 hotel rooms that our family would have needed)....some of those camping memories are good...others are not so much....

    1. haha...I'm glad I'm not the only one who isn't gung-ho for camping! Yeah, my parents would pull our ghetto, tiny camper into a KOA or just off the side of the road (no exaggeration) and we'd all bed down for the night. But, there wasn't enough space for us six kids, so someone always slept in the truck cab and another kid on the tiny floor aisle space. I remember being doomed to the floor and getting stepped on.


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