Friday, July 17, 2015

Camping at the Homestead

I know I know, I'm several days overdue for an update!

We survived our 4 day long road trip/camping trip to Arizona for Clayton's extended family reunion! I was pretty panicked the night before we left, worrying that there would not be enough food that Elsie could successfully swallow while we were away, plus I didn't know if we would have access to a fridge or freezer. So I might have gone a bit overboard at Walmart, buying up several containers of baby food, fruit puree in pouches, and single portion containers of peanut butter and Nutella, to name a few.

Elsie did pretty good on the way down, as far as eating goes. She munched most of the day during our drive on baby/toddler munchables that melt in your mouth easily, like rice rusks, toddler cookies, and wagon wheels. She also swallowed a good deal of Pringles chips and a few Go-gurts, among other things.

Throughout the rest of the weekend, it was kind of up and down, good and bad, just like it is here at home. She wouldn't swallow solid foods super great during a meal or not be interested at all in the pureed food I brought with us that she can easily swallow, but then later on in the day would eat an entire half of an avocado. I realized halfway through the weekend that most of the baby food we brought with us tastes like crap. A container of baby food pureed Mac & Cheese, which I thought she'd love because she loves Mac & Cheese, tasted awful because it had sweet potatoes mixed in. Dang baby food makers trying to make our babies eat nutritious foods. And the Gerber toddler yogurt that I brought with us specifically because it doesn't need to be refrigerated, tasted like chalk. She refused to eat most of the baby food that I brought with us, and I don't blame her because it was mostly all disgusting. So we fed her a lot of peanut butter, avocado, and snacks like Teddy Grahams, chips and cookies. Great nutrition, eh?? Hey, we did the best we could in a tough situation. She still chewed and attempted swallowing several solids during meals. She ate probably half of a pancake doused in syrup and loved chewing up bacon and sausage.

She took a nap on Saturday afternoon, and then was pretty grumpy and clingy for the rest of the day. I was worried that she might be getting dehydrated or that she wasn't eating enough. Then during one of her crying spells, I got a peek in her mouth and noticed not one, but TWO of her canine teeth poking through her gums. No wonder she was feeling grumpy! That made me feel a lot better that it wasn't necessarily related to her feedings. But just to ease my worried mommy heart, I gave her a syringe of water through the tube as she went to sleep. She probably would have been just fine without it, but it made me feel better, so I did it.

On an unrelated to feeding note, we had a blast on our trip. It was our first camping trip with Elsie and my first time camping with Evje. The kids did mostly great, going to sleep easily in our tent. Elsie woke up unhappy a few times each night, but we chalked it down to her teething plus it was kinda cold at night. It rained off and on all day Friday, was hot and dry on Saturday, and then rained again on Sunday afternoon as we were leaving. Evje loved being able to play with her cousins all day long, only stopping to eat meals. We hiked up to ladybug log, Evje participated in her first race by walking and occasionally running for 2 miles, had a kids talent show, played "Mountain Cricket", and of course lots of visiting with our family. It was great to learn more about Clayton's great-grandparents, Elda and J. Albert Brown. Plus I loved finally being able to go to the Homestead for my first time, where the reunion was held, which I have heard about since we got married.

Sunday afternoon after the reunion was over, we drove with Cameron and Sarah to Moab, where we planned to camp for the night and then spend the next morning exploring nearby Canyonlands National Park. We got to our campground, got our tents set up, and then let the kids chase each other around with glow sticks in the dark. We had just gotten the kids settled in the tents to sleep, and I was just about to take a shower when the wind started to blow ... and blow and blow and blow. A huge windstorm had come upon us and our tents were being blown about like crazy. We tried to stick it out for a while, because for some reason our children were dead asleep despite the deafening flapping of the tent and howling of the wind. But we knew that it was only a matter of time before our brand new tent was torn to shreds by the wind. Cameron and Sarah's tent actually broke; one of their tent poles snapped, and I'm sure ours would have followed the same fate eventually. So around midnight, we loaded our sleeping children into the car, managed to pack up the tents without being blown away, and headed out of town. Our original thought was to go to the nearest town and get a hotel room, but being only four hours away from home and with our children sleeping peacefully in their car seats, we decided to just drive home. Looking back, it was probably a dumb idea, considering the dangers of falling asleep at the wheel or hitting a deer in the dark, but we rolled safely into town just after 4am. Clayton and I put our still sleeping children in their beds and then fell into bed ourselves and passed out.

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