Each year since, we have had some valid reason to not go - usually that reason was in the form of a small, infant, child full of wrath and fury.
Well, this year, my good friend Jenni (who is an expert at camping with small children) suggested that our two families go on a camping trip together and we made it work!
I was nervous. I am still scarred from past experiences with Paige and was afraid of how she would be. The other two I knew would love it.
The bigger girls spent hours each day riding down the hills of the campground on their bikes and scooters.
Luckily, we were one of the only people in the entire campground so we didn't have to worry about them bothering any neighbors.
They'd come speeding down (Claire usually screaming) and then make the long trudge back up to the top over and over and over again.
Paige so badly wanted to join them.
They spent the rest of their time playing in the dirt. I had no idea my girls were capable of playing with one thing for so long.
They mostly made cakes.
The babies were a little trickier to keep happy. Poor Paige absolutely loved being outdoors in the cool but she kept tripping and falling.
Being the 3rd girl to wear these tennis shoes, the velcro was giving out so we had to duct tape them on her feet. It was hilarious.
She could not take more than 5 steps with out completely doing a belly flop in the dirt. She was in good spirits though and rarely cried after a fall.
Her buddy Quincy could only crawl.
She also ate carrots and rocks which Paige couldn't understand.
At meal times they would bother each other and steal each others' food.
One of the days we hiked a little ways to see if there were any raspberries to pick at a sink hole that Jenni's husband knew about.
The girls were excited to find some but there weren't many.
The next day we went to the good old fish hatchery we picked lots of blackberries and the dads were able to knock down some apples.
The fish hatchery itself was thrilling as always. They men working there were dumping fish in a bucket, weighing them, and then counting how many fish were in the bucket. The girls liked seeing the fish.
The last day it was really rainy and Joy was super scared because there were occasional claps of thunder. It was exciting and luckily didn't last too long.
Overall, it was a great trip. All of the girls did really well and had a blast. We plan to go camping a lot next year. Paige will be almost 2 and easier to handle and out of a pack n play. We won't have a baby to bog us down until the following year probably. We'd like to go with the Jacks again one of the times. Camping with friends is great!
Claire was so depressed to go home, I had to remind her what a lucky girl she is as we have really had an eventful summer! Disneyland, kid's camp, the beach and now camping. We are all vacationed out!