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July 10, 2012 / mommy brain

camping + baby = 98% joy + 2% eyeball poking

Fact: the awesomeness of the weekend is inversely proportional to the awesomeness of the Monday. My Monday morning went a little something like this:

Notice, I’m wearing a drab cardigan even though it was 85 and gorgeous out. I have my own office, which means I am the master of my little office universe, and I control the AC within that universe, but sadly, my only options are high (crazy cold), medium (ok for some people / G would be ready to go shirtless / but too cold for me without a sweater) or low (ok if I were in a bikini with mojito in hand, but otherwise, a sweaty mess).

My Monday wasn’t actually all that horrible; it’s just that this past weekend was especially awesome, and it’s tough to get back into the grind. T went camping for the first time last weekend! In a tent.

He’s such an outdoorsman. Here he is hanging off the side of a cliff on Saturday. Move it, Dad!

T is already experienced in the great outdoors since he’s been on a bunch of hikes and a camping weekend in a cabin that involved an encounter with a real live mama-bear and her baby-bear, but this was his first time in a tent.  The first night, he slept in my sleeping bag, with me in there as well. This arrangement worked out great for T, but he took up more of the sleeping bag than I thought he would, so I only had maybe 10% of the sleeping bag for myself. It’s cool, though, because he slept through the night and was a happy camper when he got up at 7AM. (7AM!! Mom and dad were pleased.) He was so happy, he crawled on top of my face, and woke me up by poking me in the eyeball. At first my eyes were closed. Not that closed eyeball poking is all that pleasant, but he continued to poke after I opened my eyes. It was an effective way to get me out of the tent to start the day; he’s a smart little dude.

Is Dad making more mancakes? A second helping for me, please.

The next night, we bundled him up in a blanket, and I still shared my sleeping bag, but more like 50% of it instead of 90%, which worked out better for both of us. We also learned from our friends that we should get a baby sleeping bag. D’oh! My mommy brain totally missed that baby sleeping bags even exist. A trip to REI is in our near future.

T was up a little earlier Sunday morning, but 6:15AM in a gorgeous place after sleeping through the night was not too shabby. More eyeball poking the second morning as well. Oh well, the weekend couldn’t be 100% perfect. And a little poke in the eyeball never hurt anyone.

I should take a moment to point out brag about this amazing (and super lucky for us!) campground.

Much of New Mexico and Colorado has been under strict fire restrictions for weeks due to extremely dry conditions. This means that nearly all campgrounds, private and national forest ranger operated, are enforcing camp fire bans, and for good reason.

Luckily, my friend and I are extremely savvy internet researcher mommies, and we found the three only campgrounds in Southwestern Colorado that were allowing campfires in a designated fire pit. And don’t worry, these were not ghetto campgrounds bending the rules. They are high elevation (ours was at 9,800 ft and super scenic!) campgrounds with very lush conditions. It felt like a rainforest up there. A cold one with chipmunks instead of parrots but quite lush and wet like a rainforest nonetheless.

The less savvy part is that we got there a little later than ideal, so we were stressed on the drive up, crossing our fingers that all the sites were not taken, and we wouldn’t need to bushwhack it without a campfire or hope for a room at one of Silverton, Colorado’s two inns. The highs were in the low 60s and the lows in the low 40s up there, so a campfire-free night with the kids would have been chilly.

But it turned out there was no need to worry we were lucky, and we got the last two sites when we rolled in half an hour before sundown. Plenty of time to set up camp! And the next morning, we switched over to a cherry spot right on the creek with more amazing views.

T got to help set up camp.

Go for hikes.

Play with his buddies. (My friend’s older son is pretty much T’s hero, and he was super nice to T this weekend, including him in badminton and soccer and even taking him on an adventure to check out the “t-sized” river, his term for the small stream that fed into the bigger stream by our campsite. Super cute, right?)

Visit Ouray, CO. (If you haven’t been here, it’s one of the coolest places ever, and just getting there is half the fun, so you should totally check it out. Or don’t because I like that it’s not too crowded. I was wrong. Ouray is not cool at all. It totally sucks.)

And he even broke down the tent for us! He’s so helpful.

And we had an awesome time with our friends. By the way, my friend is a badass mommy, camping at six months preggo! And looking cute while at it! Oh, and we’re totally getting a pimped out family tent like theirs in this photo. I’m no longer as impressed with how light our tent is now that there are three of us in there, and I wake up smushed against the dew-soaked side and with a little finger poking my eyeball. The sweet big tent will not reduce the eyeball poking I don’t think, but it will give me more room to get away.

Pretty much a perfect weekend, which made for a very happy mommy. And a very happy T-bear.

And a happy G:

And huge added bonus of the weekend: no cell phone reception. Aside from the stop in Ouray when I turned on my phone to check who won the women’s Wimbledon final (my girl Aga, the Polish tennis star, was steamrolled by Serena, so that was a bummer of a news update) and to check in on Facebook (gotta let everyone know how much fun we’re having!), I had no access to anything internet or email-related all weekend. My mommy brain is always driving me nuts, but my work brain was actually starting to drive me nuts for real, so I needed a weekend without it.

We’ll definitely go back to…oh wait, I can’t tell you where our super secret and super awesome camping spot was because then it would be less secret and therefore less awesome. Just kidding….email me and if you ask nicely offer me a bribe, I’ll send you the info.

This last shot is for my sister, who appreciates G’s poses more than anyone I know.



Leave a Comment
  1. M / Jul 10 2012 8:54 AM

    hahah it’s true, G in photos gets me every time. Not sure why he dislikes taking photos, he’s so awesome at it. hahah.

    Aww, T-sized river is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard! That was very sweet of V! And agreed, I am mad-impressed by P for camping (and hiking!) at 6-mos preggo!

    • P / Jul 10 2012 12:58 PM

      Thanks M! Glad that she pointed out that I am preggo and not just looking chunky in the pic. 🙂

  2. P / Jul 10 2012 12:57 PM

    Great description of our awesome weekend!! Hope that we’ll have many more in the years to come. 🙂

  3. E / Jul 19 2012 11:41 AM

    Yup, tents come in many varieties and you need to look at them more like shoes! We each finally have a superlight tent, but we also have an honest-to-goodness family tent (2 room, screen/zip up covers on one) that weighs almost as much as a trailer but gives us plenty of space. Sounds like you guys had a great trip, and I’m excited to hear P’s news! Yippee! (Just now catching up on the MommyBrain – for some reason I haven’t seen update notices and didn’t come by to check it out anyway.)

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