Sunday, August 28, 2011


Thought I'd start with the cute pictures we got from our backyard camping adventure on Saturday...
We decided to pitch a tent in the backyard, plan a menu centered around the fire pit and give Ellie a taste of camping out before attempting to go away somewhere for a weekend. Well, those camping plans may happen later rather than sooner after our escapade.
Around 5 p.m. Brian started to build up the fire and I took Ellie outside to start camping. She helped Brian gather sticks and (very green) leaves for the fire. We got the food cooking a little while later, but had to pen the dogs in the house after Muzzy attempted to pull a hot dog from the very hot grill top on the fire pit!
Dinner was delicious. I tried to teach Ellie how to roast a marshmallow, on a very long stick... but she was more interested in eating the raw marshmallow. Can't say I blame her. The love for marshmallows might be genetic. We also made a peach cobbler-ish dessert in Brian's new cast iron Dutch oven. It was great, although we left it on the fire a bit too long and burnt the edges.
Things started going downhill for us around 7:30 when Ellie was feeling the later-for-her hour and acting cranky. Closer to 8 we got into the tent and read some bedtime stories and laid her down on her air mattress. She popped up almost immediately and started crying. Laying down with her for a few minutes didn't make a difference, so we decided to get her up for a few more minutes of playtime.
Fast forward about an hour, after we've gotten the camping stuff cleaned up enough to call it a night in the tent. We penned the dogs up in the house and got into our respective beds. Ellie claimed she was ready for nite-nite, which we believed since it was about two hours past her normal bedtime. About 30 seconds after we laid her down we see a toddler climbing up the middle of our air mattress... Ellie said "hi" in her cutest, sweetest voice so we could hardly say no to her laying down in between us.
The next 45 minutes was filled with:
- the sounds of the dogs howling inside the house (because they could hear our voices through the open windows)
-Ellie periodically saying "hi" and poking one of us in the face
-Ellie making trips back down to her mattress to collect the babies, stuffed animals and blankets we'd brought out to the tent to put on our bed
-Brian and I breaking down in hysterics when the neighbor's motion-sensor light went on and blinded us all just as things had seemingly quieted down in our tent
-Police and/or ambulances driving nearby with sirens and Ellie popping up to say "wee-ooh, wee-ooh"
-And finally the "Hi, Ellie. Wanna play?" we heard from her Violet toy as Ellie sat up and unabashedly started dancing to some music.
We gave up on the camp out around 10 and put Ellie to bed back in the house. We heard nothing from her after laying her down and I'm sure she was exhausted as we were at that point.
If you consider camping-out to involve sleeping in a tent we failed, but there were plenty of laughs and good times still for us take away from this first "camping" experience.

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