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Friday, September 27, 2013

A-Camping We Will Go!

Big news at our house! James got a new job! He will be working as a product research engineer at Align Technologies. I'm so proud of him and excited for him as he starts this new chapter in his professional life. He decided to take a week vacation between his last day of post-doc work at Stanford and his first day at his new job. To celebrate, and to take advantage of his week off, we decided to venture out on our first camping trip as a family of four!

James and I love camping and we live in such a great part of the country where there are lots and lots of gorgeous places to camp and hike (mountains, desert, and beach!) practically in our own backyard. But it's been a while since our last camping trip... back when I was 7 months pregnant with Calvin! We have been eager to get back to the great outdoors, babies and all :)

When I looked at this pic, I was like - oh geez, we had just arrived and already Calvin is trying to eat sticks!
Then I remembered that I had given him a snack of freeze dried peas, so don't worry!
That is actual food he is putting in his mouth!

We went to San Mateo Memorial Park, just outside La Honda, CA. Since it was the middle of the week and the off season, there were very few other campers and we got a nice big campsite. 

We were used to having the trunk plus the whole backseat to pack our camping gear, but now our backseat has two baby car seats! James should get an award for Trunk Tetris :)

We saw this pretty doe just after we arrived.

Maybe it seems crazy to go camping with two babies, but we really enjoyed it! James did all the work of setting up camp, cooking, cleaning, chasing away raccoons, breaking down camp, and packing the car. I spent most of the time nursing Henry who is a snacker and likes to eat every 2 hours or so. I felt kind of guilty and kept thanking him for doing everything and he was just like, "It's not work. I love camping."

Calvin had a blast. He loves exploring and he just wandered around discovering treasures in the nooks and crannies of our campsite. He also tasted a fair amount of dirt and one acorn.

Calvin in the redwoods

Yup. That is the acorn. We didn't intend to let him put it in his mouth.
James was trying to get him to show it to the camera. Oh well!

Henry did what Henry does... eat, sleep, soil diapers, and snuggle with mama and daddy.

Of course they both did their share of fussing and crying when they were tired and hungry, but no major meltdowns. Mostly they were both very sweet and happy.

And James and I got to play with silly Calvin and cuddle with mushy Henry and enjoy one another's company.

Banana slug!

What a goofball.

We took the boys on a short hike.

We brought yummy food... pumpkin pancake mix for breakfast, pb&j with fun trail mixes for lunch and snacks, steak fajitas with peppers and onions for dinner, and of course s'mores!

We made some unusual s'mores, though, because we had done our shopping at TJ's and they didn't have normal marshmallows. They only had chocolate covered marshmallows, but we bought them anyway. I got the idea to make the s'more sandwiches, then wrap them in foil and cook them on the grill over the fire. We didn't get the fun part of roasting the marshmallows on sticks, but the end result was super yummy! The chocolate covered marshmallows got nice and melty between the graham crackers and I think the ratio of chocolate to marshallow was just right :)

James has recently learned how to play guitar and he brought one along and played songs by the campfire. There we were, Calvin asleep in the tent, Henry asleep in my arms, enjoying our s'mores and James' guitar music... when our relaxing campfire experience was rudely interrupted by some furry intruders! A pack of very bold raccoons made multiple attempts to snag some food from us! They totally freaked me out. James chased them away and threw sticks at them. The second night I kept feeling paranoid that they were lurking and were going to come bother us again! I was feeling totally afraid of the raccoons!

Me: I think they're out there. Do you think they're going to come try to eat the babies?!
James: [ignores me]
Me: What if they attack us and scratch Henry's face? What if they bite the baby?!
James: They're not going to bite the baby. I'm going to wash the dishes.
Me: What if they come while you're gone?!!
James: Then I'll chase them with my knife! 

The weather was chilly at night. I think we did a good job of keeping the babies warm - thanks to lots of layers of clothes, some fleece footy pajamas for Calvin, and a fleece swaddling blanket for Henry. Unfortunately, we did not do a very good job of keeping ourselves warm in the tent!  I barely slept the first night because I was so cold. The second night James let me have extra covers so I could sleep. Next time we need warmer blankets for mom and dad! The babies slept fine. The raccoons didn't eat them - though they did swipe a banana that James was trying to bring to Calvin early in the morning!

All in all it was a nice, relaxing trip (raccoons aside) and I'm so glad we went for it, even though our kiddos are so young. We look forward to lots more camping trips in the future!

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