Saturday, June 25, 2011

summer camp

Dearest Lily,

There are suitcases piled in the living room, and bags of food, paper plates and marshmallow sticks lining my counters. It sort of looks like a bomb just went off in our house, but actually... we just got home from three days of camping. It was only ten minutes outside of town, and wasn't "real" camping- just a cabin and our pop-up trailer at the KOA. But with Daddy and your older brother and sister working, it's the easiest way to squeeze in a vacation for all of us during the summer. Over the years we've developed a pretty decent system for getting packed and unloading at the campsite, and thankfully you are very good at going with the flow.



You were a happy little camper the whole time, playing on a blanket in the sun and taking your afternoon naps in the cool of the cabin. You ate bite-sized pieces of whatever we ate- burgers, sandwiches, bacon-egg-and-cheese biscuits and s'mores. And lots of ritz crackers. And grass. And dirt.


That tell-tale sign of putting everything in your mouth had me checking your gums for any red swollen bumps..sure enough you're working on not one but two molars on the bottom, and a top tooth right in the front. Thank God for tylenol, because for the most part it kept teething troubles at bay.


You did have that annoying nasal drip that so often accompanies teething, and you're a little drama queen when it comes to having your nose wiped. Complete and utter meltdowns every.single.time.



I don't know why the grass was so fascinating to you, but you just kept ripping out handfuls and either sticking it in your mouth or throwing it down and starting over again. You would stare at each handful like you'd never seen anything so mesmerizing. I brought your favorite toys, but I'm pretty sure you would have been totally satisfied to just sit and play with the dirt and grass.


Well, maybe not.


Your brothers and sisters must have walked up the gravel road twenty times a day to the little KOA general store. Lily, honestly- you would think we never stepped foot in a store before, the way your siblings talk about this little place that makes a fortune off of ill-prepared campers who forgot toothpaste or plastic cups or ran out of milk (not that we would know). For some reason it has all the allure of a department store at Christmas time- and I'm pretty sure they see dollar signs when our family pulls into the parking lot. I lost count of how many items your brothers and sisters purchased in three short days...Izzies drinks, popsicles, candy bars, lollipops...and it's not like we didn't come loaded with food and snacks. There is just something thrilling to them about spending their hard earned money on a food item, even if they paid three times what it's worth.

Somehow you convinced your brother Noah to share his treat from the store with you...





I think you forgot you two were sharing.



It's late now, and you're sleeping soundly in your bed next to me, your tiny shoulders a fragile shade of sun-kissed pink. We're all pretty tired, but in that good post-vacation kind of tiredness, and even though I love to get away for a little bit, it is so nice to be home in our own beds.
I have to say, there is something rewarding for me about pulling off camping with a family our size. The bags are unpacked (for the most part) the laundry is caught up (sort of) and our kids have happy memories tucked away, to be pulled out and savored over the years. They rank right up there with Disneyland in your siblings' way of thinking, and I have a feeling they will for you some day as well.

Sweet dreams,

Mama oxox


Unknown said...

patti camping with so many! you are an inspiration...i thought camping with 3 under 5 and a mad irish terrier was pretty fab but you win the prize! xxx beautiful pics, i love to see ones of you with lily x

JC said...

I swear Lily just gets cuter by the day!! I lover her little pigtails...Such sweet pictures Patti :)

cathy said...

Patti, that is what life's beautiful memories are made of--

Seriously, Lils looks SO much older & grown up, the way SHE looks at things, hard to explain but she is growing up, changing ,LEARNING & engaging-- those "specialists" should see her in her own environment.I am saying this just from seeing these pictures.
I should have emailed this to you!!

She is absolutely beautiful (just sayin")


Education: Exploring Online Learning said...

Loved the description of the grass. Loved.

amyl4 said...

I love reading your blog! Lily is just a doll:)

nicole said...

Lily was made to wear pigtails! Oh, and I love how she "forgot" she was sharing Noah's sucker.

NikkiB said...

Lovin' the pigtails!! LOVE!!! So wish I could do Laura's in pigtails... but I'm still waiting!!! :)

ch said...

oh...that last sucker shot is MONEY. LOVE IT.

cara said...

Oh, I am beginning to really see Lily's personality coming out through the pictures!! She is just a little doll. Her different faces are SO sweet. LOVE her pigtails.

Looks like a FUN weekend and FUN memories for sure.

Anna Theurer said...

Lily has some spunk! I just love her budding personality :-) The pulling and mouthing the grass cracks me up. You described it perfectly. . . I know because Ellie does the same thing. seriously, who needs toys? Lolly pop thief!

Leah said...

Those pigtails are killing me! So cute and I can't wait till Cora has enough hair to rock them like that. Sounds like a wonderful family weekend.

The Southland Life said...

So adorable! And what a beautiful Mama!

Lori said...

Oh I love all the pictures....Elli kept pointing at the pictures and say Yiyi (Lily) - she is mad at me for making a comment right now as the pictures are being blocked ;)!! So glad you had fun and rest!!! Love you and miss you!!!!

Lori said...

I miss you Lily! I love the picture of you sucking a sucker. From Reagan

You can come to our house any time like Friday or Saturday.

From Jason

Unknown said...

Thanks Patti!! Those photos are so cute!! I completely understand the general store thing. My kids were down the shore this week and a trip to Russo's (the local deli) with the older cousins is the most memorable thing!! Spent way too much on junk they didn't need, but the independence is all they want. So sweet. Love the photos with the lollipop - no question she loved it! So nice of her brother to share!

Twilson9608 said...

What a proper thumb sucker she is! Oh and the tears and those big beautiful eyes how could you ever say no to a face like that!

Heidi Ehle said...

So darn adorable! :) And you take the most amazing pictures. Obviously Lily has no aversion to the camera. lol So glad that you had a wonderful little vacation. Those little breaks make it possible to get up and keep moving every day! :) Much love to you and Lils of course! XOXOXOXO

Mama Keene said...

How fun! Such beautiful pictures, Lily is so adorable, I love the lollipop pictures the most! What great memories to make!

Jenn said...

Jack got molars first too and then the top front two. He doesn't like to chew on anything but his own fingers. It took a long time. Now at two and a half he still has eye teeth and two on top and bottom to go. But oh how his smile melts me. Lily's too!

Mrs. K said...

OH so sweet!!! Noah you are such a neat, generous, handsome, big brother. Jackson, you are so cute. Loved all those smiles and even the tears Ms. Lily. So happy you all are getting so much use out of the pop-up. Love, Grammi

Rose said...

Loving her pigtails, and her cheeks!!! So cute! Her face is changing and getting that toddler mischievous look. Too cute

Sarah said...

Patti, I'm so impressed you plan a camping trip for your family!!! That should be a post on how to organize it all!! So, there is this little boy in our neighborhood who is 2 and half and has two older siblings...doesn't talk at all. He communicates with gestures and his eyes, but just doesn't talk. And, he is "typical." :)

Gretchen said...

Are you KIDDING me right now?! The lollipop pictures?! Seriously?! Cuteness overload.

Ginger said...

I only have one thing to say: always do pigtails. Always. Oh my goodness, so adorable!! Nothing as cute as a little sprig of hair in a pigtail.

Heidi said...

adorable pics of Lily!!

Melissa said...

Claire has some serious melt downs when it comes to wiping her nose too. Love Lily's crazy little pigtail! Hope the teething is over soon. I'm glad we seem to be in a teething break right now.