Lessons Learned – Camping Edition

Yesterday was my first day back after more than a week away. A long week…

There are a few things that I learned (in no particular order) and I’ll let you decide if they’re good, bad, or neither.

lessons learned - camping edition

1. No matter how much food you pack and what you plan someone will complain that there is nothing to eat and want to go to the store.

2. You tell everyone to pack for 9 days. Do laundry while you’re camping and they still run out of clothes.

3. Toddlers never leave their shoes on. Never. No matter what you say.

4. When toddlers take their shoes off they lose them. Yes, lose them…. meaning my son doesn’t have tennis shoes and I have to go replace them.

5. As soon as I replace the lost tennis shoes they’ll turn up.

6. Even when you’re camping on grass, no sand/dirt in sight, and a paved road kids still look like they rolled in dirt by dinner time.

7. Campers hold a very small amount of hot water and kids need a bath almost every single night.


8. Your parents will let your kids get away with just about everything they didn’t let you do. This isn’t new though, right?

9. Even the biggest camper seems small with 6 people after a few days.

10. Best part about camping… spending the day at the beach.

day at the beach

11. Worst part about camping… being in a location where there is no internet access, no 4G, and barely enough edge service to send a text message. Thanks AT&T.

Overall it was a pretty good week because I was able to spend some quality time with my parents and my sister came home with her boys. And yes, it wasn’t all that bad disconnecting like that because I was able to spend a little time with my kids, my parents, and read two books.

So, now I play the catch up game. What’d I miss?

Family Playdates

Now that I have a toddler again I’m back to figuring out playdates… I could just keep him home with me forever but then he’d just turn out really strange. Really it’s like having an only child since there are about 8 years between him and my youngest daughter so that means playing with his three sisters isn’t always an option.

Playdates scare the hell out of me though. Why? Well, because I have to meet the mom of his friend from preschool/daycare and possibly know each other a little bit, and then we need to actually hit it off. You know what… it’s like dating again!

Thankfully every once in a while Andrew’s older sisters come along with us when we head to the park and we have a family playdate. By the way… family playdates aren’t as scary as playdates with friends from school.

running through the sprinkler

It’s these time that I smile the most.

The times when all of my kids are playing together despite the age differences between them.

sitting on the bench

They run, swing, slide, and climb together.

They laugh and smile.

playing at the park

And it warms my heart from the inside out. It’s times like these that make me forget all the times that they argue and not get along.

I hope that my kids always get along and play together regardless of the age difference or how old they get.

I know… they’re kids so there will always be ups and downs but I also know that as time passes they’ll get closer. I know this because my brother, sister, and I did the exact same thing.

Then again I don’t think my brother will ever let us forget that we dressed him up as a girl…

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Lessons Learned ~ Toddlerhood

After becoming a parent again, this time to a boy, I’ve had to relearn a lot of things. As time has passed I think I’ve done pretty good… I mean he’s still alive and laughing so I’m doing something right. Right?

So we’ve made it to the toddler stage and more importantly the terrible two’s. This stage is appropriately named too, because I’d rather deal with my teen and almost teen any day instead of my toddler. I should also mention that little boys are very different than little girls. There is no comparison at all… night & day, oil & water, yin & yang… whatever you want to call it. Boys are a challenge put nicely.

the many faces of Andrew

The Toddler

Alright, so here are a few things that I’ve learned recently.

1. When you get upset and just don’t have the words to describe how you feel. Spit. Yes, spit. Get right in your sisters face and spit on her. You feel better and she just walks away from you.

2. Screaming is also good to get your point across. It’s even better if you wait until someone is really close and get close to their ear when you scream.

3. Clothes are always optional. Especially pants.

4. Socks are for your hands not your feet. Duh.

5. Food tastes a lot better when it’s dumped off of the plate and placed directly on the high chair tray.

6. Coffee tables are meant to be stood on and jumped off of.

7. Nail polish looks good all over your hand and arm. And don’t think that tightening the lid will help… any toddler can get it off. They’re ingenious creatures.

8. Peeing on the floor and then looking at your mom while you point at it and say “Mess!” is always fun.

9. Using all the baby wipes to clean everything in the house while running around saying “Mess!” is fun. Guess mom didn’t clean well enough… thanks for helping.

10. All electronic equipment belongs to the toddler. I know this because he holds the remote(s), phones, etc and says “Mine”.

There may be a few more but I don’t want to scare anyone who hasn’t hit this incredible stage especially if they have boys. Mine could just be special and I’m getting paid back for something terrible I did as a child….. Although I doubt that’s the case because I know that I was a great kid!

I think that maybe this is karma for laughing at the antics my sister’s boys have pulled. For the past couple of years it’s been really entertaining to hear her war stories of life with two little boys and now I’ve been cursed blessed with my own boy. I know that I’ll make it through because she is still sane and doesn’t drink excessively… yet (she thinks she deserves sainthood).

Alright, now share with me a few things I have to look forward to that I may have forgotten (or repressed those memories) in the next year or two.