A couple weeks ago, we went to Ludington, MI (one of our favorite places) for a long weekend. It was probably the most interesting Ludington trip we have taken thus far. It involved camping, in a tent, with a 3 month old. I know, I know, we had several people tell us we we crazy. It actually went surprising well. It was an adventure and I feel like we are super parents because we accomplished this huge feat. The packing is probably the most stressful thing, at least it was for me, and it was my husband who did most of the packing. I was terrified we were going to forget something important for Alaina. It did help that Jason’s parents rented a condo in town, it turned out to be a lifesaver, on more than one occasion. This is how our long weekend panned out…
Day 1: We arrived in Ludington and set up our tent…child free! (Thanks Mom and Dad, they brought Alaina up with them). This was one of the first times we have not set up our tent without it pouring rain…in fact, every time we have set up our tent in Ludington, it has been raining. So we had no baby and no rain…it was the best tent set up ever. Even though we had a wonderful set up, we still didn’t get to sleep in it the first night. After eating yummy smore’s over the fire, the lightning and thunder started rolling in. I will tell you what, as a mom, I have never been so afraid of thunderstorms. I have another little life to worry about. Because there is no cell service at the State Park we had no idea if the storm was bad or if was even going to hit us. So we packed up and went to the condo with my in-laws. They were a life saver. They carted Alaina off while we packed up our stuff to bring to the condo. They laughed because they felt like they were kidnapping Alaina in the night.
Day 2: It was a pretty dreary day…so it was a nice day to wake up in a condo. In the morning we made bath bombs with essential oils…seriously, these things are amazing! They leave your skin so stinking soft. Jason’s aunt, grandma, and a couple of his teenage cousins were along on the trip as well. The girls loved making the bath bombs. They got to experiment with mixing different scents and colors.
Later in the day we got to go for a hike. It was the perfect weather for a hike, not too hot that it felt like you were melting, but not cold either. Hiking has changed a lot since we had a baby. When Alaina wants to eat, she wants to eat now…no matter where we are. So we have to take occasional breaks. She is such a trooper, she gets carted around to so many different places and she just goes with the flow. I highly recommend that parents go a lot of different places with their babies. We have found that she learns to adapt well. We want to get her used to being in many different places so that we can go on trips without her panicking because she is in a new and different place. We want to experience different places with her. We are building memories as a family…and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
We topped the night off with a stunning sunset. I think this was the first sunset I have seen over Lake Michigan this year. Then again I think just about every sunset is stunning. I love sitting back and marveling at God’s beautiful creation, it is one of my favorite things. The same God that made that beautiful sunset, also made me. That is humbling.
Alaina got to go back to the condo with Grandpa and Grandma that night, the low was only 52 degrees, Jason and I can handle it, but I didn’t want Alaina to suffer in the cold all night. It was our first night without her since she was born. It felt like a part of me was missing almost. I am proud of myself that I didn’t shed a tear!
Day 3: We had a morning baby free. We got to read around the smoky fire, and eat breakfast at the same time. We had to fight off the stupid chipmunks though. I hate those little things. They sneak up on you, and before you know it, they are right next to your foot. I don’t like anything jumping out at me and startling me. The in-laws brought Alaina back around 10:00. The hiking adventurers then went on a long morning hike. My mother-in-law and I decided to stay behind and take the easy walk/hike with Alaina. It was so nice to be able to just talk to her, just her and I. It is important to have bonding time with a mother-in-law.
Later in the afternoon we got to go tubing down the river. Don’t worry, Alaina stayed with Great-Grandma. Although we did see a lady walking to the start of the river with a baby who looked to be 3 or 4 months old and a tube…to top it off, the baby didn’t have a life jacket or anything. I would be terrified that I would flip or my baby would fall off my lap and drown. Anyway, I digress. We got to relax on the river, with a Henry’s Hard Grape Soda in hand (those things are amazing!) We made it all the way to the lake.
The low temperature for the night was going to be 58 degrees so we decided to take a swing at this sleeping with a 3 month old in a tent thing. We bundled her up and put her in her rock and play. Alaina rocked it out! She slept until 6:45, then she fell back asleep and slept until 10:15. It was amazing. She is a natural born camper. We are raising her right.
Day 4: Beach day! We went to the beach with the family. Going to the beach with an infant isn’t very relaxing. It is hot and sunny, two things she isn’t a big fan of. She doesn’t like to sweat…she may be like her mom. Oh boy. I did get to read my book for a little while, Jason was hanging out with Alaina.
When we went to leave, my car wouldn’t start, all I heard was click, click, click. So we had an abrupt change of plans. We left my car on the campsite (luckily we had it for an extra day) went to the condo, ate dinner. Then Jason and his dad went back to the campsite to try to jump the car. No such luck. Jason took everything out of my car that I needed and him and Alaina needed. He stayed in Ludington with Alaina that night. I had to be to work the next morning. So I took his car home, he would then buy a new battery the next morning for my car and come home. I got to get my House of Flavors ice cream first before I left. You can’t go to Ludington and not have House of Flavors; it is against the law I think. I bawled like a baby before I left. I was leaving my husband and my baby in Ludington and I was going home. I had to sleep in our apartment alone and go to work the next morning. I cried for the first 30 minutes of my drive. I couldn’t sleep that night. I stayed up till 1:00 reading/finishing my book. it was too strange to be in the house alone. I missed my husband and my baby. Pieces of my heart were missing.
As you can tell…we had many camping adventures. Things have definetly changed since having a baby, but for the better. We have to make more of an effort to do things…but we are determined to live our life not too different than we did before kids. They will just have to come along with us on our adventures. Starting our family memories.