Anyway, we had a blast camping! Have you ever taken 4-10 yr old boys on a 2.5 day outdoor adventure? If not, I definitely recommend it! I know, I know, surprising, isn't it? But I swear, the greatest joy in my life these days is watching my son with his friends, hearing their laughter and watching their minds at work. I had no idea 10 yr old boys were such clever, fascinating people.
When we first arrived at the campground, my sister had already set up all the tents (yay!) and was getting ready to construct the canopy I'd bought just for the occasion. I sent the boys to set up sleeping bags, etc in their tent and ran up to the camp office to check in. I ended up getting the boys tent for FREE! because they base their prices on 2 adults/children per tent, and since theirs was a kid's tent, they threw it in for free! SWEET! I love unexpected savings! By the time I got back, the boys were down at the river behind our campsite, fishing. But oh how they wanted to go to the pond up the hill to fish and swim! So once I was sure things were pretty well set up, I changed Ky into his trunks (he gets to swim too, y'know!) and off we went!
The pond wasn't nearly as nasty as I thought it'd be, so it was cool for them to swim. Not that they'd have cared if it was gross! They all ran out to the end of the cement dock and fished a bit, then took turns swimming. We only had 2 fishing poles for 4 boys, but they shared surprisingly well. There was only 1 who was a bit of a fishing-hog, but he's a nice kid and only needed to be reminded to take turns and would hand it over. So that was cool.
Soon enough the boys started getting hungry, so we headed back to camp. We were waiting for one more grown up, so we broke out the hot dogs and they made their own hot dogs, on real sticks, over the fire. Awesome - especially when 3 of the boys had never been camping before. That night we ended up having hot dogs, hamburgers, s'mores, chips... probably more but that's all I can remember. They turned the back of my Jeep into a store where things were free and kept trying to "sell" us stuff. Too funny! Except the back of my car got all wet and muddy. I need to find/make the time to clean it out. Seriously.
When we finally went to bed Friday night it was really cold. Not just cold - I mean cold. I shivered more than I slept that night. And we were visited by an animal in the middle of the night who not only got into our trash - responsibly hung on a tree - he also got into one of the coolers and got out the ketchup! Not a sophisticated raccoon, but an industrious one. Kyan's sippy cup also went missing and we never did find it. I figure the raccoon is using it to show off to his friends how cool he is.
Saturday is just a blur in my mind. Swimming, fishing, sunning, eating, playing.... my cousins came and brought Jaben a great birthday present. It's a badminton/volleyball set with the net and all! So that was set up and the kids all played with that too. They played in the river and found what, I swear, looked like an oyster! They wanted to open it and get out the pearl! They thought it'd make us all RICH!! I just had to laugh - they're just so darn cute! They also found natural clay and did some "sculpting" with it. They had a blast and we had a blast watching them. I absolutely love watching these boys run and play and be so imaginataive and creative in that muddy, natural environment. Video games begone! For today - we fish!
Saturday night the boys got glow sticks and these light necklace things that were pretty fun to play with. We tried to make Jiffy Pop, but it just burned, so that kind of sucked. But my cousin made these banana split thingys on the fire that were just wonderful! I remember them from girl scouts... You take a banana and split it, length wise. Then in the middle you put marshmallows and chocolate pieces, wrap the whole thing in foil and put it in the fire to bake. Oh is it GOOOOOOD!!! I was thinking, that'd be good at home too, in the oven, then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream right in the middle, while it's all still hot. Yummmmmm!!!
I ended up sleeping in the boys' tent Saturday night. They were a little freaked by the noises in the woods (twigs snapping, etc) and knowing there'd been an animal in our camp the night before. I didn't mind, except it meant going without my air mattress! Yikes! So that part kind of sucked. It was cold again so I gave one of the boys my spare blanket because his had somehow gotten wet. I would rather be cold myself than know one of those kids wasn't warm enough. So, I didn't sleep well either night, but I guess camping isn't really about sleeping, is it?
Sunday, we pretty much just got up, had a quick breakfast of donuts, bananas, hot chocolate, then packed up and went home. Everyone was tired, filthy and content. It was WARM in the car!
I got a bit of a nap in the afternoon yesterday, in between laundry and Kyan's fits. He's coming down with a cold now (and he didn't even stay at camp at night!) and so is Jaben. I feel like I might be getting it too, but it was worth it. Jaben said it was the best birthday party he'd ever had - even tho it was just over a week early. We'll still have cake on his birthday, but that's going to have to be the only gift he gets from me. I think it'll be enough. It was weird tho, hearing him call me "Mom" all weekend. I'm still Mommy, except in front of his friends, and sometimes I'd forget to answer him because I'm not used to hearing "Mom" directed at ME. He's just growing up and there's no way to stop it.
My car is a mess yet, too. Mud, mud, mud! And I found little marshmallow fingerprints on the back window a little while ago. That was kind of cute. I was not nearly as amused by the daddy long legs I found climbing up my arm as I drove to work this morning. I don't mind bringing the mud home, but the wildlife needs to stay where it belongs.
Hm... so much for Iron-Mom, huh?