Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Camper

Thursday night after we got Ben to bed, Mike and I began packing up the car for our camping trip to Lake Shelbyville. When I saw the amount of crap we had to fit in, my first thoughts were that it is a good thing Mom and Bill were kind enough to give us the Pathfinder, because this NEVER would have fit into either of our cars. And it is a good thing we decided not to bring Dee this year. I missed the little girl, but there was no room and I figured it would be too much trying to keep an eye on Ben and Dee. (I was right.)

Mike put his Tetris-playing skills to good use and got everything in the car. Friday morning when Ben was ready for his nap, we headed out.

You can't read it in the picture, but Ben's shirt says "Happy Camper." A gift from Aunt Jaimee. I'm happy to report that the sentiment of that shirt was accurate! Ben loved camping.

After a 4 hour drive, in which Ben slept about 3 hours and was super good, with only one small crying fit because he was hungry and had to wait 15 minutes for us to find a place to stop, we made it to the camp site. Ben and I looked on while Mike and Uncle Ken put up our roomy new tent (a Christmas grab bag gift).

Ben was very impressed with their efforts and took good notes so he can help out next year, you know, when he's able to stand.

Grandpa kept an eye on him for us while we unloaded the car.

And Brenda helped out while we got dinner together. Ben was a fan of anyone and everyone who wanted to hold him and give him attention.

Even Carson. (Cheryl's 4 year-old son.)

Ben slept pretty well the first night, waking just once at about 3 a.m. to eat. He went back to sleep snuggled in Mom's sleeping bag to keep warm. So while he slept another 3 hours, Mom did not. :-(
After breakfast, we hit the water in a rented pontoon boat. Ben was a big fan of the boat and water; he was not a big fan of his baby life jacket. We compromised by keeping it on but not zipped up. Probably not the safest option, but I lost this fight.

Ben even tried his hand at driving. But after a few minutes he figured he'd mastered it and was pretty bored by it. Here he gives a big yawn to let us know how "babyish" this driving stuff is.

After a little boating, we found a cozy beach area and Ben got some swimming in. He was pretty content to float around with the guys. Though he looks more intersested in his guy (that's what we call his pacifier) in this picture.

After swimming, he hung out on the boat with his aunt Brenda and cousin Riley.

It was a long, busy day. Ben was exhausted, what with boating, swimming, and sunning himself for so many hours.

That night he slept well, but woke at 5 a.m. ready to go. So Mom and Dad were up with him in the dark, waiting for the sun to come up and keeping him entertained so he wouldn't wake up any of the sleeping campers. His favorite activity was running his hands through the rocks. 100 toys and this kid wants to play with the rocks.

Once everyone else was up, Ben was ready to party! Here he is hanging with Dad, Mike, and Riley while breakfast was being made.

Eventually the partying was too much, and he crashed. Mom transitioned him to his "bed" - a pack n play in our tent - for a nap.

And that was the end of this adventure. A little later we packed up and headed home. Ben was so pooped from all that fresh air that he slept the entire 4 hour drive home and then slept another 12 hours (usually it is about 10.5 or 11) that night.
We're already looking forward to next year!


  1. These pictures are adorable! He's the cutest little camper ever! And I'm glad he was able to get some use out of his camping shirt.

  2. Oh yes, that shirt is a favorite of mine. But I figured it MUST be worn on an actual camping trip.

  3. I am not the best camper but Ben made it look so adventurous that I wish I could go! What a great time to enjoy. One day you will look back very wistfully!

  4. I am dying to come to Illinois for a camping trip! Ben makes it look so awesome!