Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Outdoor Gear for Baby?

Ah, June. Well, almost. It is time for camping trip #2. So much to do in order to get ready.

Anyhow, for our second trip, I am planning some better meals. I am still doing our obligatory pizza on the night of our arrival, but I will load up the slow-cooker the night before we leave in order to make pulled-pork sandwiches the second night.

And, in order to get ready, I felt it was only appropriate that Kyra have some good 'ol fashioned outdoor gear. So, I left work a few minutes early and headed up to REI to check out what they had in the way of warm clothes for tots. These clothes would, of course, need to be functional. I mean, Kyra needs warm clothes for chilly mornings/evenings. Being cooped up the camper can be so very difficult. I also believe that Kyra needs to grow up doing things outside. So, she obviously needs "gear" in order to do that.

Ah, gear. How I love trying to keep up with all of the latest-and-greatest in outdoor performance wear. My ultimate clothing wish? A water-resistant down coat. Mmmmm. One with a huge, fluffy hood. Why, you ask? Well, while we were in Peru a few years ago, we had a couple very cold nights (especially while we camped at 17,000').

A friend of mine came out to the dinner tent wearing a fantastic Mammut Down Coat. The huge hood engulfed her face and she seemed to disappear into its massive warmth. Aaaa, I was jealous to say the least. In the picture to the left, you can see Kris in her big down on the left side of the pic, while I sit shivering in my yellow wimpy down coat on the right.

Of course, if we were camping anywhere with little Ms. Kyra in weather that warranted that extreme of a coat, we would definitely need to pack it up and head home.

So, what do I feel my little girl needs to make it outside? What does her "gear-savvy" mom believe that no little munchkin can live without? Well, nothing too fancy. Kyra hasn't learned how to rock climb, so little harnesses are not yet needed. She doesn't walk yet, so I don't even need to find little hiking boots for her tootsies. No, just a rain jacket, a fleece coat, and some fleece pants. I think that should do. I found a set of "expedition weight" fleece underwear (I so wanted to find the same thing for me) and a nice water resistant coat with a fleece liner and a hood. I snuck in some Smart Wool Baby Booties (don't tell Darin).

Of course, my main wish is to get just a little more shut-eye this go-round. That is really all I need. Pictures to follow of how our next adventure goes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lance + Baby = ?

The day finally came. The moment we had been discussing since that fateful day in January of last year when we discovered that our lives would change forever has finally come. We are taking Kyra camping. Diapers? Check. Toys? Check. First Aid Kit? Check. Sleep sack, warm clothes, cool clothes, baby backpack, bumbo, baby food, spoons, bibs....check, check, get the picture. Are we nervous? Oh, yeah.

So, we spend a good portion of Friday packing up the Lance camper for its maiden voyage with its new occupant. We are unorganized. Planning has been sporadic...which is made painfully obvious in the middle of the night during our trip when we realize that we forgot pacifiers... But, that comes later.

We made it to Rocky Mountain National Park at around 3:30 PM on Friday, May 15. Kyra (who is currently about 7 months), slept the entire 2 hour trip up to the park. The weather was nice outside, so we quickly found a spot, set up camp, and took Kyra for her inagural campground walk. Of course, our trip to the Moraine Park Campground would not be complete without an obligatory picture of Longs Peak:

As the evening draws nearer, along with Kyra's bedtime, our little camper is a confused. Why are we doing this? Is this fun? Why are we not home...where my crib is...where my other toys are? Her concerns are quickly enunciated by her growing fussiness.

She zonks out the first night. Where did she sleep? We had no idea where she should sleep. On the dining room table (turned into a bed and with me, of course)? Between us on the bed over the cab? Well, we decided it would be warmer with me up above the cab. Kyra zonked out after nursing and we fumbled around to get her into bed without smacking her head or dropping her. That was no easy feat and our clumsiness in getting her into and out of bed during our trip would almost lead to our demise.

The temperature dropped to around 37 degrees that night. We got a little chilly, so we had to turn the heat on. In all, Kyra did very well the first night. We woke up to the sounds of birds singing, trees rustling, and neighbors chatting by a breakfast fire. What beauty. And, look who crawled into bed with us...

We had breakfast and went for a long walk, followed by some fun in the sun for much of the afternoon. The weather was nice and we were so glad to not be cooped up in the tiny Lance for too long.

Then, the second night came. We put Kyra to bed awake, this time and she flopped around on the bed for a few minutes before zonking out. Sweet baby. We read, relaxed, made plans on future Kyra-Lance adventures. Then, we turned in for the night. I slept for one hour...and then...Kyra decided that she wanted her crib.

Two and one half hours later, Kyra finally fell asleep. It took a nursing session and some serious rocking. I found it so interesting that she had such a time the second night. I thought she was supposed to have difficulty the first night? What happened? Was it too much fun in the sun the day before? Did she have a headache? Could it be something to do with altitude sickness? Sigh. We gave her some infant tylonel and she seemed to relax after that. Maybe too much sun. Altitude sickness shouldn't be a factor -- we were only 2,500 feet higher than where we live. So, yet another night with no sleep.

We awoke to the sounds of our new German neighbors chattering in the morning. I wanted to say Guten Morgen to them, but I was worried that they would assume that I knew German and I don't know how to say I don't know German, just kidding! -- in German. So, I just smiled as we did our final walk around the campground.

So, that is our first trip report. Was the trip a success? Yes! Of course it was. It's easy to be successful when your expectations are somewhere near "This could be the worst and longest weekend of our lives."

We are already planning our next one. I think it would be easy to trade in our hiking boots for our slippers or our camelbacks for sippy cups and allow ourselves to live a life at home. But, where would the fun be in that? I'll keep you posted on our plans for our next trip.