Monday, May 20, 2013

How Low Can We Go?

Our fifth Maryland state park: Susquehanna. I present this post in two parts. The first part is the I-Love-All-Things-About-Being-a-Mom-and-Parenting-is-Great! I'm pretty sure you can guess the second part.

Part 1
We left Friday right after Rhett's preschool, which gave us all morning to prep. It was really nice to take that leisurely. This has to be the most-weirdly situated campsite we've ever stayed in. Check it out. It's just right on the road! We're still kinda laughing about this. Good news is that it was very soft ground for hammering in the tent stakes.

After setting up, we headed out for a small hike. We found our friends and all eight of us (plus Bruno) went on this small hike. We started on the small, but lovely, Deer Creek, but ended up on the Susquehanna. This river is HUGE (largest one this side of the Mississippi).

After hiking, we went back to camp and cooked dinner. I cannot get a camp dessert to work to save my life. When the time comes that I do, I want a medal. Breakfast was much easier: bagels with cream cheese and eggs.

We took another hike that morning and then it was time to head out. Before leaving, we stopped at the historical site in the park: the mill. This place was pretty cool. It was a functioning mill until the 60s, but even last year they had it working just for tourists.

Check out the awesome stone work on the building. Love it.

The mill sits right on the river, so it provided another photo op of the four cute kids.

And because I love lists just a teensy bit more than the average person, imagine how excited I was to see Maryland's Ice Cream Trail! Of course I want to check off these. Number Five--check! I think Number Six will be next after our July camping trip.

Part 2
Remember my sister's excellent advice about lowering ones expectations because you have kids? I thought I did that. I mean, I didn't expect to get a good night's sleep; I just expected to sleep past six. I didn't expect to hike eight miles; I just expected to hike one or two. But apparently even these expectations are too high. Because even after an 8:30/9:00 bedtime, my boys still woke up at 6. And even though we took the flattest hike ever, my five-year-old still whined incessantly. Camping and hiking are two of my most favorite things, but the kids are ruining them for me. It's almost enough that I don't want to go. It's so much work and time and travel, and the kids are so exhausting. But of course I want to keep doing it in the hopes that they'll start to love it, start to sleep in past 6, start to be able to walk more without utterly collapsing. But what if they don't? What if kids take the joy out of camping, like they've done to so many other things I enjoy? Is this just where I suck it up?

Part 3: The Surprise Part
Consider it sucked up. We will continue to do things I like, but expectations will be lowered. Next time I'll be happy to sleep until 4 a.m.! Next time I will be happy if the kids do something they like without whining! Next time I'll be happy to hike anything! See, I can learn, I'm just a bit slower than most.


  1. I was impressed with the Susquehanna and the mill site! I love it when camping exceeds my expectations. Which, since my expectations are super low when it comes to sleeping in the ground and outdoors, whew! I made it this time!

  2. Last time we went camping Camilla was up until about 4AM. I swore off camping with kids forever but I just can't fight off the itch to go, so we might try again in a few weeks. Hopefully my expectation of not staying up until 4am will be met this time.

  3. yes, sometimes we just don't lower our expectations enough! blech. why don't you find someone to watch your kids overnight so that you and chuck could go camping and hiking all by yourselves. that would be awesome. or, arrange for a ladies-only camp-out - that would be super fun! or just go with your kids and your super-duper lowered expectations. :) you know, it will get better. trust me. it has for us. maybe make the hike like a scavenger hunt - rhett has to find certain items or colors and when he finds five he gets a high-five or an m'n'm or something like that?

    the pictures are way cool. that mill looks so neat.

    oh, why don't you just do smores for dessert? they are a pretty much no-fail thing. :)

    1. we don't like smores! we eat them in pieces, but not together. and we're doing a ladies's called the ragnar trail. :)

    2. crazy non-s'more likers! especially since you like all the pieces. that sounds a little chuck-ish or somethign . . . :)

      no, that ragnar is not a campout - it's a crazy camping-race. you need something relaxing where you gals can sit and chill. but i'm sure you'll still have fun on the ragnar.

  4. How about a perfected camp dessert patch? Yes! I'm glad you posted this as we are braving our first camping trip with six month old princess p this coming weekend (not my idea) and I'm scared to death. We already don't sleep at home so I can only imagine how bad it will be in the same tent together. My expectations are so low they are actually in the negative. Somebody help us, the always sleep deprived cranky mom will be morphing into a monster by next Monday.

  5. It looks like a good trip all things considered, but I understand about kids sucking the fun out of everything. arggghh. Brady and I have finally just decided that even if it is a ton of work to take the kids to do things and it's not very much fun for us, it sure beats sitting around the house every weekend. It's nice to be outside, and at least we're making memories. I think that when the kids are young pretty much nothing is fun for us parents. But we should still do things like this as a family to create traditions and have bonding time...and hopefully the kids will eventually get old enough to enjoy it, so it will be come enjoyable for us again too.

    what kind of camping desserts have you tried so far?

    1. YES! Memories! Traditions! This why I we continue.

      We've tried things like cinnamon roll in an orange (ridiculously hard to scrape out orange innards), banana boats, and the latest was a treat-filled ice cream cone. All end up burned.

  6. I love that you do things even though they are hard. They get better. I promise. I love reading your adventures.!

  7. Yeah... maybe time for a trip w/o kiddos. But the pictures are adorable! My cousin swears by giving the kids their own tent not next to theirs when they camp. I don't know if I'd do it when they're so little, but if my kids were waking at 6 perhaps!

  8. Super super pretty photos. I love the buildings and your cool tent! I wish I could camp w you guys. And yeah...camping w babies stinks....but I'll keep doing it and love it anyway.