anna's dad is working in laos right now. he is in gold mining. he's been there since the beginning of the year. anna's parents figured out they would save a ton on taxes if he didn't come back into the u.s. for the rest of the year. so we all traveled up to vancouver island, british columbia. we went to the juan de fuca provincial park to camp for a week.
this was the first time we had camped with arden. anna and i are backpackers. we're used to packing small, light-weight items. just the essentials. for this trip, we bought a big ass 6 person tent. it's 11' x 11' x 6'. we brought an air mattress and a pack-n-play. we brought whatever food we thought of, and packed it in a big cooler. life was going to be comfortable.
turned out to be a very cold trip. we wore layers the whole time. i slept in socks, jeans, two shirts, and a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. all inside a 20 degree down sleeping bag. arden wore socks, footed pjs, a long-sleeved onesie, sometimes pants or baby legs, a fleece sleep sack, and a hat. we also covered her with a thick baby blanket, her thin baby blankie, and a baby towel. she would go to sleep in her pack-n-play but come to bed with me after her first wake up.
oh and the wake ups. man, it was like having a newborn again. i was a nursing machine. i have this terrible crick in the shoulder/neck area from sleeping and nursing (on a slowly deflating air mattress).
arden finished cutting her left front tooth at about the beginning of the trip and started cutting the right front. it was rough going folks. it didn't help that she fell and cut her lip on a cooler. she had a nasty bruise on the inside of her lower lip. it was dark purple/blue. ouch. the tooth, i think, is what made the trip the most difficult. but the memory of why specifically is starting to fade already :)
trying to keep a mobile, curious baby away from small rocks while camping is very interesting. fortunately, anna's mom brought a screen tent thing. we set that up to keep arden away from mosquitoes. then anna and her mom put down a tarp, put sleeping pads on top of it, and then a large blanket. surrounding that area, they put all coolers, boxes, and large luggage. they basically created an awesome play area that arden could safely play in (mostly- reference cooler lip cut). it was the best idea ever.
until, anna's mom had an even better idea. she had brought the inner tube that they pull behind their boat in case we could play in the water at the beach. since is was freakin' cold and there was no way in hell we were going in the water, she blew it up for arden to play in. and that is how the tumble tube was invented :) arden loved that thing. she could stand up in it and fall down without getting hurt. she could reach for thing outside the tube but we didn't need to worry about her climbing out of it. she even started standing in the middle of the tube without support! it was awesome!!
arden got to experience a lot of different things on this trip. hiking in the woods. bathing in a washtub. playing in tide pools. ooh, i forgot. we went to butchart gardens and she rode the carousel. she went to a "foreign" country.
yeah, the bad memories are fading away. it was difficult caring for a teething, cold baby while camping, but we enjoyed ourselves a lot. it was great to spend time with anna's parents, sister, and uncle. we had good food. read some fun books. had good conversations. saw beautiful scenery. i know i'm forgetting some good stuff, but you get the gist :)
next time we'll be sure to bring more clothes. we'll check the weather better. make sure the mattress will not deflate (ugh). and remember where we put the baby tylenol. :) pictures will follow. first we need to unpack the car...