Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beach Camping

Since this wasn't a Father's Day or a weekend that we want to go down in the history books, I wanted to write about the weekend before, an awesome weekend. We went camping at Nehalem Bay State Park on the Oregon Coast with ALL THREE KIDS. I like to say it that way, ALL THREE KIDS, because it felt like such an accomplishment, and it is, meeting all those little needs and attempting to enjoy ourselves and create memories for the kids is hard. But we did it.

Sometimes as a parent, you feel superhuman. Of course you also sometimes feel supertired or superimpatient. But there are the times when you do stuff that you are like, "WOW. We did it." "And we did it with three kids". ALL THREE KIDS. And we had fun. We'll sort of. In a really hard work sort of way! After packing up the entire car for the second time in 3 days, we pulled away exhausted at 9:30 in the morning, having been up since 4amish due to squawking birds, I said exactly that. "Well, that was fun." "Sort of". Camping fun has taken on a whole new meaning. It's not just sitting around the camp fire, drinking beer, talking leisurely walks exploring, and roasting hot dogs any more. It is 19 hrs of MADNESS and 5 hrs of broken sleep per day.

I remember camping as a kid, and it is such a highlight. And I really needed that uninterrupted time of fun with my family. A break from the world and the chores of the house to just be with Lawrence and the kids. And they had so much fun. No bedtimes or eating healthy. Getting dirty and a little sun kissed. Playing in the sand. Running in feety pjs and rain boots. Meeting kids at the playground, new "friends" whose names they never got and whom they will never see again. All the fun and no structure is a lot of work for mommy and daddy who used to camp to sit and do nothing. :)

Nehalem Bay on the Oregon Coast is one of our favorite State Park campgrounds. The ground is soft and sandy, the ocean is in ear shot, but it is just over some sand dunes, so you are protected from some of the wind. It's clean and nice, and we just love it there. The last time we went Lily was about 20 months old or so, so it was time to go back. Our friends Josh and Shawna and their little girl, Rachel, came too (not to mention their 24 week old bun in the oven!).

When we arrived, we started setting up camp. It felt awesome and I kept thinking, 'why wasn't I sure if we could do this, it was going perfectly'. The site was right next to a play ground, and while I planned it that way, I couldn't have imagined a better location or a nicer play structure. After about an hour Addie had an accident in her panties, #2. What a mess, just when we got that cleaned up, we discovered that Bryson was up to his neck in #2, literally up to his neck. Gross. So we took about an hour break to clean them both up, wash our hands a bazillion times and throw out some clothing, wash car seat covers, toys, bibs, etc. It was everywhere. Just when he was all cleaned up we had him standing there naked, and he smiled at Lawrence and peed all over the back of the truck and almost all over Lawrence. Lawrence just said to me, "Look at this guy!" as we watch the stream of pee splatter all over, we both fell over laughing, which made him laugh, and us laugh more.

The first night, sleeping went rather well, the second night Bryson had a really hard time falling asleep and you could hear him crying through the entire campground. I started to feel stressed and overwhelmed like, why did we do this? But finally Lawrence got him settled and when I went back into the tent, Bryson was asleep on daddy's chest. Lawrence was lying side ways across the air mattress with his shoes still on, sleeping on his back. Somehow he'd managed to get Addie and Bryson both asleep that way. We were all exhausted from our day of sun and sand - and eating and drinking lots of junk.

Here are a bunch of random pictures from the weekend. At the bottom there is a link to the whole snapfish album. I don't have the time to get them all in order to tell a story, and I don't really think that is necessary! :)

Bryson waking up from his nap in the Ergo. It was so loud with the waves and the windy, I only knew he was awake by the sounds of raspberries being blown into my neck!

Going Potty upon arrival. Unfortunately only a few minutes later, an accident followed. That's our giant tent (and Lawrence's early Father's Day gift) in the back.

After having a blow out up to his neck, he decided to pee on daddy's bumper while getting cleaned up. Yeah, he was pretty pleased with himself. At this point we'd been at the campsite for 30 minutes and already thrown away clothes from 2 kids due to, "Ugh, way to gross to clean with cold water alone!"
Me, my girl Shawna, Bryson napping, Fat Tire in a Can. Proof that we did spend some time together too!

It was just what we all needed. Everyone, including mommy - not including daddy, slept for the entire 2 hr drive home. We arrived home around 11:30am on Sunday and then had the rest of the day to enjoy in the Sun at home. If you don't live in Portland, you might not know, but it's been rather stingy with the sun so far this summer. Looks like that is about to change. Fingers crossed! :)

One more camping trip planned this summer, also on the beach to a State Park we've never been to, a little closer to home. That sounds just about right to me. I'm glad we have that, but kind of glad that's it. The girls absolutely love camping and sleeping in their sleeping bags on air mattresses. Bryson loves being outside so much that he could just look around at the sky and the trees all day. Lawrence and I love doing all of this for our kids.

And a lot for ourselves too


  1. I wouldnt know how to do it with one kid let alone 3.. you guys rock and amaze me. Id been crying over poopy diapers... still.
    :) good job mom

  2. Wow. Color me impressed! It took me six months to figure out how to get one baby out of the house and to the mall. You guys are super parents! Glad the trip was memorable, looks like the little ones had a blast.

  3. That is so awesome!!! You guys are such great parents and your kids are going to remember those trips forever. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and story!