So, we embarked on another family camping trip to Fishermen's Bend, which is near Mill City, OR. This is a big group thing with (on my mom's side) extended family joining (this year, Liz joined us with Madi and her two sisters plus her sister's kids). We've been doing this for a very long time (not sure exactly how long though...anyone?), and it's a much anticipated event for all of us. Colin and I look forward to some time to get some R&R, some rafting trips down the river and maybe some drinking & S'mores by the campfire (no drinking for me for the second year in a row though... bah). Z looks forward to going completely wild. Like, he forgets he is a member of civilized society and becomes 'one' with nature (I think I actually some him conversing with a chipmunk one morning).
So, we loaded up our car (yup, we remembered to throw the kiddos in there too!), my parents van and the truck we borrowed from Colin's dad. It's truly amazing how much stuff a family of four needs to take for a 5 day camping trip, and we definitely didn't leave anything out (bug spray-check; sunscreen-check; swimsuits-check; marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate---check, check check...; quesadilla maker-check; bikes-check; basketball-check; extra EVERYTHING-check...).
Half an hour later, we arrived at our destination, and as if on cue, both kids awoke from their naps and perked right up. Z sleepily asked ,“Are we at campin' now?” I told him indeed we were, and he immediately started vibrating with excitement and chattering about all he had planned... “I'm gonna sleep in my sleepin' bag...and I'm gonna eat S'mores...and I'm goin' swimmin'......and I'm gonna PEE on bushes!” “C'mon Mom...Stop the car so I can get out! C'mon, c'mon, C'MON!!”
We were one of the last to arrive (surprise, surprise huh?), so were greeted by Grandma who released Z from the prison that was his carseat. He immediately set off, and I kept a close up to make sure he didn't make good on his last promise of peeing on bushes (let's just say, the guy has a history of just dropping trou and going when/wherever. Nope, he found dirt, rocks, sticks and lots of 'em, and was in boy heaven!
We had five days of camping planned, from Sunday through Thursday. We heard the temperatures might get kind of high during that week, but we had no idea what we were in for. Sunday wasn't too bad, but we could feel the temps creeping up on us, and unloading everything in the heat was not very pleasant. We did the best we could to keep cool by drinking copious amounts of water and hanging out in front of the box fan we hastily purchased the day before we left. Z had the best idea which was to just keep himself covered in as much dirt as possible, at all times. I guess he figured it would be more difficult for the heat to permeate through the layers of filth.
Things started out a bit more rough for Princess Avalee. Monday morning we awoke to 85 degrees by 8AM. Yikes! Avalee started getting very fussy and cranky. She felt very warm to all of us (a campground full of Mommies & Grammas!), and we had to strip her down to nothing but her birthday suit a few times. I tried getting in some extra feedings, and we gave her some sips of water in between. Colin and I finally decided the best thing for hot, cranky kids (and parents!) was a trip to the river. We loaded up the kiddos, grabbed some water, sunscreen and the little boat I bought Z, on a whim, and headed off. We went to the swimming area, (which someone sectioned off with rocks long ago) and is very popular with the kids. Usually the water is SO cold that it takes a long time to get used to it, but not this time! We all jumped right in and it felt great! Z had so much fun and even poor Avalee had a good time, even floating around in Z's boat for a bit.
After we got back to camp, Liz invited Avalee over to play in Madi's swimming pool. Poor Avalee still wasn't her normal self, and cried most of the time (which stressed poor Madi out!). We figured, if nothing else, it helped keep her cool. After we had some dinner, Avalee took a turn for the worse again. We decided we needed a temperature check, but realized we didn't have a thermometer, so Colin headed off to nearby Stayton (about 15-20 min away). After confirming she had a slightly elevated temperature, we called our nurse hotline and were told to just keep doing what we had been; keep her cool and hydrated. She had already been sleeping most of the evening, so we just let her sleep and tried keeping her comfortable. I was worried about my girl (I have a kind of reverse hypochondria for my kids!) so we put her to bed with us and hoped she would feel better in the morning.
Avalee checking out the tent
Z showing off his muscles (and war 'paint!')
Avalee isn't really excited about the cold river water!
Z, after a recent 'dirt shower'
Avalee & Madisen playing in the pool