Jul 16


Tim and I have bought a tent. We are planning to introduce our family to camping. Nine years ago, when we got married, I would never have believed that not only would I agree to accompany Tim on a camping trip, but that I would actually (sort of) look forward to it! A few years ago, I believed that my friends who went camping while pregnant, or with babies or toddlers, were a little…crazy? Now I’m joining their ranks.

Last night we set up the tent in the backyard just to test it out. This is how the evening went:

While Tim and the older two girls are in the backyard with the tent, I give the baby, Sarah, a bath to rinse off all the watermelon she had for dinner. Then we got outside to “help.” Mosquitoes are everywhere and the kids (except for Sarah) are covered in bug spray. I am on the swing with Sarah, watching her exposed skin like a hawk so I can slap away any mosquitoes that want a bite of her. Tim and Naomi do all of the tent set-up together. It’s a very nice 9-person tent that has two rooms. Tim and I can both stand up inside it. It takes up most of the backyard. Since we don’t have any sleeping bags yet, we haul the air mattress and lots of blankets and pillows outside to sleep on. Sarah is tired and it’s not time to sleep in the tent yet, so I take her in the house and put her down in her crib.

At 8:30 it is still too hot outside to go to sleep. Tim did not go for my idea of either making s’mores over the grill or in the oven so we go inside to play some board games. The kids are up wayyyy past their bedtime by the time we decide to go back to the tent around 9:30. I get Sarah up (getting a sleeping baby up from her crib=slightly crazy) and carry her out to the tent and we all go to sleep pretty quickly.

Soon after the kids and I have fallen asleep Tim wakes me up. There is a thunderstorm somewhere around us. We can hear the thunder and see some lightning, but it’s not close to us. We discuss going inside, but frankly, I am too tired to be properly concerned about lightning. I remember thinking that at least the tent is not the highest thing in the backyard. What kind of reasoning is that??? You should not expect sleep-deprived moms to have to make rational decisions in the middle of the night. Anyway, I fall back asleep in the middle of our discussion, so you can tell how worried I must have been.

It was kind of cool to go to sleep listening to the breeze and the tree leaves rustle.

Later on, I wake up over and over again because I am FREEZING. Plus I have to go to the bathroom. (I assume the storm passed because there was no more lightning.) I have a dream at one point that we all get up, go in the house and go back to sleep in our nice warm beds. When I wake up after that dream, I throw in the towel, grab the baby, my two pillows, and the pacifier, and make Tim unzip the tent door so Sarah and I can go inside. I check the time: 3:45. So we made it over half the night in the tent.

Tim woke up at 6 and brought Naomi and Rachel in, still sleeping, and put them in their beds while he got ready to go out to the church’s huge garden to do some harvesting for the free community produce stand. The cat jumps on my bed and wakes up Sarah. Not happy with the cat. I finally give up and get up at 7 and make pancakes, which I served to Naomi and Rachel this morning while singing, “I Love The Mountains.” I plan to teach them to sing it in rounds.

Next camping trip, we will have a campfire and s’mores and warm sleeping bags!

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