Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adventures in Camping

A few weeks back my husband was sent out of town for work. Since it's becoming quite nice out here, and we're up here to start saving money we thought it was a good idea for Ben to camp while out of town. It saved us a butt-load of money!! And it gave Adelynne & I the opportunity to go camping too!

So I posted the question on Facebook asking of those who have taken a baby camping before if they have any tips or hints they could pass along. I got a couple of basic answers: be OK with dirt, bring a playpen, bring something for white-noise, have fun, and bring wipes!

Adelynne & I picked a good sunny day to drive down to see daddy! We packed up our stuff and headed off! The drive from G.P. to Whitecourt is about 3hrs, and is incredibly gorgeous!!! It's so green, and lush, and just full of beauty! And wildlife!! There is quite the stretch that is actually labelled: "Moose Row" and there are a couple of big yellow moose signs to indicate that you had better be careful and keep your eyes open. Many probably don't know this about me, but I'm like a little kid when it comes to wildlife. Ben laughs at my reaction of seeing wildlife EVERY TIME! No joke! So here I am, driving, while trying to keep my eyes peeled for moose! Unfortunately, no moose on the drive down, but I did get to see dear, which is always fun.

Finally Ady and I arrive in Whitecourt and start looking for the camp ground. Now, since I'm from BC, when I think of the word "camping" it brings to mind fires, and tarps, and marshmallows, and of course, tents. So naturally I assume we're going to be camping. I was a little misled. I guess my first clue should have been the name of our campsite: "Camp-in Town." My second clue should have been the fact that our campsite was actually an RV site...we were the only tent in the site!

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But there we were, camping in our tent, our TWO room tent that is! When we go camping, we go luxury camping; it's awesome. We have our "bedroom" on one side and our "kitchen/living" on the other. And because Ben was camping for a month, he was able to get power into the tent, which allowed for a mini fridge, blender use, cell phone chargers, etc. Pretty sweet. If you notice in the picture, there is also enough space for his truck to fit underneath and beside. It was the largest tarp I have ever seen in my life.

I'd say we were pretty set up. Our set up made camping that much more enjoyable. And Adelynne seemed to do really well too! She loves playing outside, and checking things out, so it was so nice to give her this experience while she is so young. Hopefully she'll continue to love camping and the outdoors for life :)

Camping was such an enjoyable time: Ady and I just hung out, went for walks, and when she had her three hour afternoon nap, I read and caught up on Pinterst :) Such fun!

Now, of course, since Adelynne is a baby, and super curious, and teething, she loved to chew on rocks. I can't say that this is my favourite new thing of her's. She does have two bottom now, and it would be terrible if she were to chip one or something needless to say, I was constantly taking rocks out of her mouth. But not only does Ady like to chew on rocks, she likes to eat dirt/sand. Handfuls of it. Now, I'm not sure if other parents just let their babies eat dirt, because like I was warned, they'll get dirty, but I was a little apprehensive. I did however let her try some...heck, if you don't let them in front of you once to get it out of their system then they'll just keep doing it when you're not looking!! And thankfully I've also learned the are of distraction!!

Trying out some sand

Happy Girl!

We had a ton of fun going down to the river, eating outdoors, checking the town out, and of course, seeing daddy <3  Ben loved having us down too, and almost all of his work friends couldn't believe we were camping a) in a tent and b) with a a tent!

One of my favourite moments was getting to some dear...walking through our campsite :) They just came to get some food; I guess that tree just looked far better than any other!

Another favourite moment(s) was getting to watch Ady & Daddy, and just spending time out of the house as a family. When your husband works out of town, and 7 days a week, those family moments just seem to be that much more special.

I'm thankful for those few tips I received, but since having gone camping now, twice, I have a few tips of my own:

1. Bottled fed baby? While I still do majority nursing vs. formula, I still have to feed Ady formula, which requires boiled water. Solution: Bring a thermos. That way you don't have to keep boiling water for every feed. So much handier.

2. Bring a highchair. We have a kind that sits on a regular chair. I love it. This way I could give Ady some snacks while I'm making dinner, and they didn't get dirt all over them (unless she threw them of course...)

3.Water shoes. These little guys are brilliant. They are similar to socks, but they stay on the feet!! Her little feet & toes were safe the whole time. A worthwhile investment.

4. Be more than OK with the dirt. As one friend said: "kids are washable." Besides, if you're camping in or near a town there's usually a swimming pool...what a great way to get clean ;)

5. Take it easy & laugh often. Maybe this is just a regular life tip, but it sure helps when camping. Rain or shine. Tent or RV. Camping is a FUN time, not a stress time.

I hope you enjoy your summer and that you get out and take part in some fun family experiences. I think we might just go camping again.

PS. On my drive home, I got to see that moose I was looking for...and I yelled a myself...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adventures in Growing

My husband is out of town, my brother-in-law has left, and my beautiful baby is napping...put it all together and that means that I get to put my "to-do" list on hold for a bit and type, a patiently awaited by some, update!

Today my daughter is 53 weeks, which means that in exactly 13 days she will One Year Old! Yikes! When people say that time begins to disappear the older you get they really aren't kidding!! I'm finding it hard to believe that its been nearly two years since I first found out that I was pregnant. I was driving a few days back and while listening to the CBC news it hit me that I actually have a baby, a child, who will one day be 13...and then one day be 21...I just about had a heart attack...

Adelynne (pronounced Add-Uh-Lin, NOT Add-Uh-Line, or Addy-Lin, it's Add-Uh-Lin - not too complicated) is growing and changing daily, which is what most babies do. She's finally been upgraded to a new car seat, but unfortunately for her, still has to sit rear-facing. She's still the most happiest baby that people meet (which are their words, not mine), and seems to be one of the cutest babies they've ever met as well...even young kids, boys included, think she is the cat's meow. While we were camping a young boy in the next site came by to visit and said very clearly: "that is a cute baby."

Seriously, who wouldn't love this face?
 So naturally, I believe my baby is the cutest baby in the entire world. I also believe she's one of the smartest, I mean after all, she knows how to sign "milk," comes to me when I ask her to, loves her veggies, knows which books are hers to read and which ones are mine, gives high-fives, and knows who loves her the most. Ady also loves to read, which makes my heart super happy. I believe in books. I love books. Books are good for so much!! Knowledge, learning, fun, entertainment, escape. I love love love books, and so it is such a joy for me to watch Ady sit on the carpet reading her books. While she may not actually read the words, she really does turn the pages and look at the pictures; heck she even kisses some of the pages!! Too fun!

She LOVES to eat whole apples!
While Ady doesn't eat everything the public health nurses think she should be, she does eat a variety of food: Yams, sweet potato, carrots, asparagus, peaches, pears, brown rice, cauliflower (fresh not frozen), peas, apples, millet, quinoa, zucchini, squash, eggplant, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew melon. She LOVES avocado, but really seems to DISLIKE green beans. I'd say that's a pretty decent list of food...more of a variety than most kids I know, not to mention some adults....

As most know, we've had some concerns in the area of Ady's digestive system and allergies. I for one have been praying about this for quite some time and have put it before God that I feel it's not right for such a little person to have "deal" with things and I've declared justice of her little body; also recently my husband has been praying for her as well. That being said a few days ago I tried some dairy in my diet (I'm still nursing), and...NO bum rash!! So I ate a little bit again. STILL no bum rash!! While this is wonderful news & we are thanking Jesus, I don't feel we are fully out of the woods just yet: while Ady doesn't have a huge flare up like she usually would get if I ate dairy (from cow or goat), her nose became stuffy once again, and she has become more irritable than normal. So, I will do what any normal parent would do: keep off the dairy until I have it confirmed. Thankfully I have a checkup for her soon and will ask for some blood work for her, because not only are we concerned about the dairy, but it's coming to light that she just might have a wheat and/or gluten intolerance as well. If these two are allergies to stay, I am looking on the positive side and I know of many health benefits for not including dairy & gluten in one's diet!

Ady is walking assisted, and has taken a couple of unassisted steps, but isn't super keen on trying again. I'm not quite sure why people seem so shocked to hear that she is assisted-walking, pulls herself up on everything, and crawls around like crazy baby with an agenda. I thought this is normal. She not only gets wherever she can/wants to, she also opens and closes the doors when she wants in or out, and no cupboard is safe. She loves to pull everything out, and not only pull them out, but them chuck them. I do indeed have a little chucker. And baskets! She loves to throw things out of the baskets. Not quite sure what her motive is but it's delightfully fun for her!
Starting to chuck the clothes out

Oh, and not only does she like to chuck things out of baskets and cupboards, when she doesn't like a food, or is done with something on her tray she so carefully picks it up, moves her hand across her tray, and opens her little hand just-so. This creates both laughter and frustration...sigh...

Along with books, music is another favourite of Ady's. We constantly have the radio on, and when a song she likes comes on she begins dance. It's ridiculously cute. It's even cuter when she's got one leg extended out, and her hands go out, and she bobs up and down. Cute cute cute!

Out of all the wonderful things that Ady now does - reading books, dances to music, giggles upon giggles, eats a variety of food, high-fives, signs "milk", talks and talks and talks, says mama & Dada, claps her hands, clicks her tongue, etc. - my favourite thing she does is gives hugs and kisses. Now, if anyone one really knows me, they know that I am NOT a hugger. I'd really rather not be touched. But boy does my heart melt when this incredibly adorable, perfect little angel, comes up to me, wraps her arms around my neck, squeezes, and then goes back to playing. This little beauty might change me into a hugger! I am just so in love.

Well, I could go on and on and on about my sweet darling, but she has now awoken from her nap. So I must be off. We're going to head out for a run today and then to play in the park, another one of Ady's favourite activities :)

Looking forward to hearing your updates,

Love Rebecca, Ben, and Adelynne