We took the nugget to the annual Humbert Family Camp-out Extravaganza this weekend and I have to say, it was an amazing time! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about taking a baby into the woods for a day and a night without any cell phone reception or running water. I briefly considered just driving down with her for the day, then driving the three hours back home and leaving Sylvain there to play with the boys. Then I remembered the campfire, the food, and the sing-alongs and decided we had to be there. Besides, Dad was there. He's good in emergencies, right? There's not a whole lot that good ol' Grandpa can't handle, especially when it comes to camping, so we packed her up and headed to Laurel County for the greatest weekend of her life!
When we arrived, we unpacked the car which included four bajillion baby things, including the baby. I sat the bumbo down on the picnic table with all the other camping gear, and then decided that was as good a place as any for her to hang out. I plopped her in there, shoved a toy in her hand, and she was good to go!
She sat there for over an hour just staring at all the uncles, the trees, the fire. I've never seen such wonder on her face before and I thought it must be remarkably exciting to be in a place like that for the very - first - time.
Then we ate. Ohhh, did we eat! There are no designated meal times when we're camping, just a steady stream of culinary delights coming from the fire. No "lunch" or "dinner," those are for wimps! We just constantly eat and clean, eat and clean, eat and clean. After round one of good food, we took a little hike. Except there is no such thing as a "little" hike when you have a 15 pound baby strapped to you. One mile, straight up the side of a rocky hill, to the sweetest lookout spot in Kentucky. Totally worth it.
Sylvia loved hiking in the Moby wrap. John helped me carry her for part of the way up, but the way down was much easier and she even fell asleep while I was carrying her! LOVE that Moby!
After our hike we returned to camp for some more great food and some play time. Dad wanted to get a good picture of him and Sylvia by the campfire, and as I snapped this photo, my heart just melted. My Dad is a happy man to begin with. Always positive, always upbeat. But the smile on his face when he's holding his new grandbaby - well, it's just priceless. How do you make a happy man happier? Put a baby in his lap!
Finally it was time for the Nugget to go to bed, and although I was nervous about skipping the bath, I was able to get her into her pajamas, give her her vitamins, swaddle her, nurse her, and put her to bed without any fuss. Here's her crib in our palace of a tent. I used to camp in a one-person backpacking tent. Now I sleep in "The Condo." It fits eight people - or two people on a queen-size air mattress and a baby's crib. Who says you can't "rough it" in luxury?
The little girl slept just as well as, if not better than, she does at home. Once she was down and I returned to the fire, I couldn't help but feel extra warm and cozy while Jordan played some songs for us on the guitar.
I've always loved listening to the family sing around the fire, but singing together and knowing that our baby was sleeping soundly...well, I just felt really proud of us. What a special trip.
The next morning we woke to find chillier temperatures than we've been used to, which amplified that cozy, "I love my family camping trips" feeling that accompanied pulling on my sweatshirt. I also got really excited about the hoodie and knit cap I packed for Sylvia. Isn't she the cutest little camper you ever did see?
She really did remarkably well for her first trip in the woods. She's always loved being outside. When she was a newborn and cried for no reason, I would rock with her on the front porch and she'd immediately calm down. I knew she'd enjoy our camping trip, but I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy watching her. Aside from a few pesky neighbors in the adjacent campground (don't even get me started on the nerve of some people), the whole trip was a roaring success! I'll leave you with one more important picture - the guy with more camping experience than all eight of us combined and the sweet little nugget on her very first trip. The things he has to teach her...what a lucky girl!
I'm Rachael. My occupations include, in this order: daughter, sister, friend, teacher, wife, and mother. I may seem like a grown up, but don't be fooled - I have no idea what I'm doing. We have lots of family around the world, so this blog is our way of saying, "Here's what's going on in our little corner."