Howdy friends and family,
The days after camping were so hectic I didn't even have time recover on sleep so blogging took a back seat. I wanted to blog as soon as possible while the details were fresh in my mind. Easton and I had an unbelievably awesome time together. My expectations were already really hyped, but the trip was so great it even exceeded the expectations. Camping was always fun growing up, but watching Easton experience things is so much more fulfilling.
I won't get through our trip in one post so let me get started by sharing what the girls did recently. Kendra's New York trip was well worth it. The spa day relaxation and night life excitement proved to be a good recharge for her batteries and time away from our house. I know she says she missed us, but i was hoping she could completely forget about us and just have a good time. Here she is in central park with the tall buildings framing the green trees.
Layla wanted to go camping with us so bad. She cried immediately when I was explaining how it was a boys only trip. Kendra had to come up with some creative things to do so her girl's time balanced out with our trip.
Tea parties are a great way to have some mother-daughter interactions. Layla enjoyed the dress-up part and getting ready as much as the event itself. Kendra obviously taught her the basics well. Check out the pinky finger and proper form!
I didn't approve of putting on fake nails, but then again... I wasn't asked. I'm just kidding. It was Kendra's right to make the executive decision and Layla loved every minute of the pampering.
They went on a few outings, but mostly spent the time playing games indoors.
The camp out was action packed from the moment we left the house. In the middle of our 2-hour caravan drive to the desert we stopped to eat In-N-Out burger.
I would never advocate allowing a 4-year-old boy to drive a car. Not even on a dirt road in the middle of the desert where it feels like a bumpy roller coaster. Not even if he would feel like Lightening McQueen drifting across a dirt track. Hmmmm....
Easton is a true city boy. On the dirt roads he asked, "Why is the dirt in the air?" I had to explain how dust from the tires is kicked up and covers the cars. Seems odd to me being a hillbilly, but if you've never seen a dirt road I can understand why that would be difficult to comprehend.
We arrived at the camp site safely and then set it up. The dads set up camp and kids ran around like crazy chickens. They had to be careful to avoid the copious number of ants and many cacti. Chad dug a monster fire pit.
The boys were given a squirt gun and the adults took turns filling the guns.
Jaden brought a battery powered dirt bike. I was impressed by how long the battery lasted and how well the other boys did in riding it. Easton was the youngest by 6 months to a year from the other 3 boys, but he fit in great. Jaden gave Easton a ride on the back of the dirt bike and I'll post the video of it in a few days.
I took a picture of the heart-pounding joy ride. You can tell by the huge smile on his face that he loved every second of it. What I learned from this experience was that his risk taking capacity is greatly influenced by his peers. God help us....
Snack time was drastically different than sitting around the kitchen table at home. He learned it is OK to throw food on the ground, spit tooth paste on the ground, pee on the ground, lay on the ground, and many other useful "camping only" situations. Easton sitting next to me in his camp chair was priceless.
Here's a picture of our campsite with the fire pit and scenery in the background. The foliage was NOT friendly, but desert camping isn't about being comfortable, it is about adapting and finding a way to function in the environment.
The boys took several long hikes and this particular hike was down the trail to an area where we shot our guns. We brought several ranging from 22 rifles to Glock 9mm pistols.
The amount of animals we encountered in the wild was phenomenal. Most people wouldn't think much of seeing a cow, but this was Easton's first time to see animals roaming wildly. We saw spiders, lizards, cows, birds, ants, beetles, and many other creatures we won't find around our house.
Easton fired off an entire clip of 22 bullets in quick, semi-automatic fashion. He earned his big-boy badge of bravery right then. No fear, no hesitation, just an excitement to shoot at the targets and handle a real gun.
Even though Layla was a hundred miles away, Easton still had to share because the other 3 boys liked his dual-seat camping chair.
One of the benefits of sharing was that he played with several toys he otherwise would not have seen. He ran the batteries down on the remote control truck as he drove around the camp site. He has one of these in a box at home. I've just been waiting for the right time to give it to him. After seeing how much he loved driving this one around I really want to give him his own soon.
The desert cooled off quickly so we bundled up with clothes and gathered around the fire for dinner.
The sunset was glorious. As soon as it dropped below the horizon we started hearing noises never heard around our urban neighborhood.
Coyotes, cows, and strange birds made the evening interesting because Easton was constantly listening for the next creature in the distance. For the first time I can remember Easton said, "Can I go to bed?" He consistently is in his bed around 8:00-8:30 at home. This day was so incredibly exhausting that he requested to go to bed right on time, 8:15. I could tell he wanted to stay up with the rest of us, but he ran out of gas. In our tent we each had an air mattress and sleeping bag. The sleeping accommodations were well planned and well used, but I didn't get into a deep sleep for even one minute that night. Such a strange environment with strange sounds... Easton woke up with the sun at 5:45 AM. Nooooooo! I just wanted to sleep, but he was refueled and ready to take on the world. I'll save that for the next blog post.
See you soon!