Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Camping Bug

So we were bitten by the camping bug this weekend, and, fortunately, that is not literal statement.

The odd thing is that this wasn't a "perfect" camping weekend:  Dave and I were dehydrated Friday night (a bit too much wine and WAY too little water; I see why beer is the preferred camping drinky-pooh) and a couple of pretty big storms on Saturday night/Sunday morning should have made us less enthusiastic about camping.

But that is not what happened.  Instead, we spent most of Sunday night searching for tents and camp cooking supplies.  Check our Amazon wish lists, should you want to contribute to our new family hobby.

So why so much fun?  Well, the kids were crazy excited.  And they are way into nut collecting now, so at one point there were 100 nuts stored in our borrowed tent's mesh pockets.  And there was a big rock by our campsite that Conor immediately climbed and didn't come down until he had to go to bed.

My brother and sister-in-law came with us and served as camp mentors (otherwise, I would have had no idea about heating the water on the camp stove to wash dishes).  There was also the 8 year old twin boys with whom Conor became best buds and constantly stalked us over the big rock.

There was the day trip to the zoo in which we fed the giraffes, a pretty dadgum amazing experience.

There was the fire and the roasting of hot dogs and s'mores.

And then there was the storm.

Just a few things here.  First, and accuweather?  If you think what happened Saturday night was a 30% chance of .04 inches of rain (respectively), we need to review probabilities and measurement.  My brother kept citing the NOAA prediction, which I pooh-poohed.  When from about 12 to 1, it began to rain steadily and with vigor, I realized the sky was pooh-poohing on me.  We stayed dry, though, until 1ish, when the rain started coming down hard.  Water started spritzing into the tent. Occasionally, a big drop would plop on our heads, but it was mostly just spritzing in the tent.

Dave and I debated spending the rest of the night in the car. Then I remembered my cell phone and checked the radar. We were at the end of the storm and there was nothing anywhere between us and Nashville.  OK, I thought.  A few more minutes and we'll be fine for 6 or 7 hours, if that storm even comes over the mountains. We waited a few minutes, the rain stopped, and all was fine. As I was falling asleep, I started doing a little math, because that is what I do, and realized that the next round of rain, should it come, would arrive around breakfast. Fine....zzzz..zzz.zzz.zz.

When I woke up at 6:50 everything was still fine.  Dawn was starting to break, and it was brisk but we were all warm in our sleeping bags.  I thought, well, hey, let me go ahead and check the radar to see if that storm is anywhere close.

And that's when I saw an enormous swath of red and yellow just to the west of us and heading east.

"DAVID!!! We've got ONE HOUR, and then we're going to get a BIG ASS STORM! EVERYBODY UP!"

I ran down to tell my brother and SIL, and then headed back to our camp to bug out. (That's a phrase that we campers use that means pack up and get the heck out of dodge) That's, of course, when the whining began.  The kids didn't want to get out of their warm sleeping bags to get dressed.  Blah, blah, blah blah-dee blah.  After so many years, it's not effective.

It's not effective, that is, until one hears one's spouse say "Oh, Conor!  Oh, no!!"

Conor wasn't just cold:  Conor was sopping wet.  While the rest of us had just been spritzed with water, he had been soaked.  Apparently the rain fly had just directed all the water through some seam and onto our son.  His clothes were so wet, he might was well had been standing out in the rain storm.  And he had slept that way for 6 hours in 50 degree temperature.

Shitty parents of the year award!  We win!!

We still had to convince him to take off his wet clothes in the cold and put on dry ones and that took entirely more time and energy than it should have. But fine.  We got him taken care of, got the rest of the family taken care of and, with the help of the rest of the adults, got the gear stored mostly neatly in all the right places.

Dave put the last thing, the tent, into the back of the van, got into the driver's seat.  "I just felt a raindrop," he said. And indeed, by the time we pulled the van out of the camp site, it started raining. And by the time we pulled out of the campground, it was crazy raining. 1 hour and 10 minutes after I checked the radar, we packed up and that big ass storm started.

Maybe it was all that drama at the end, but we were cheering and hooting as we pulled out of camp.

So, uh, yeah. That is apparently what my family thinks is fun.  We cannot wait to do it again. Chickens. Camping. Craziness and fun.  That is apparently how we roll.

Monday, October 01, 2012


I saw a friend over the weekend and we were talking about how well written Julia's blog Here Be Hippogriffs is. I particularly like how she can come up with a turn of a phrase which is unique but right on what she is trying to explain. "Yes," my friend pointed out, "she spends a lot of time on her writing and working on her craft."

Alas, I do not have that time.

I would love to spend hours on each blog post.  Or, actually, I would love to live a life in which I had a couple of extra hours a day to spend crafting an informative and witty blog post that would thrill and inform my readers.  As someone who has recently started running at 5:30 am (again) I am fully aware that we choose to spend time on what we want to do.  And it's obvious, I don't spend time on cleaning my house and probably spend too much time on facebook.

Nonetheless, I don't have enough time to write as much and as well as I'd like here.

What I NEED, however, from this blog, is a space to work through pressing issues in my brain so I can process them, get them out, and move on.  Indeed, I want to work through my evolving feelings about my body, now that I'm done with childbearing, but have an extra 15 to 25 lbs on me.  (The difference depends on how ambitious or pitiful I'm feeling in my goals at any one time)  I want to work through the fact that our house IS A MESS, and I cannot figure out how to keep the mudroom clean (ironically!) much less the rest of the house.  The mudroom is the goal because it's the smallest room in the house.  I can't even keep the extra shoes picked up off the floor in there.  There's lots evolving in our lives and that has been what I've been cogitating on for this blog post.

And then, Christopher went ahead and finally got his diagnosis of asthma, and I'm sort of cogitating on that.  We've known it's been coming.  As I pointed out to Dave, when Christopher got his first respiratory illness around 7 months old or so and was suffering from massive eczema, asthma started coming up.  (But the doctor said he was too young to have allergies, blahda blahda blah, yeah I was right).  Then last winter's horrible RSV hospitalization, all the docs and nurses kept saying, "You're on the path to asthma."  And I'm pretty sure there were a couple of other pneumonias and ear infections in there in which folks kept saying "Asthma, meet Christopher.  Christopher, meet Asthma."

And thank goodness for friends and colleagues as well as relatives who have been with us down this path and have let us know what to expect.

I'm actually not really feeling anything right now.  I don't know if I'm supposed to be upset or neutral.  I'm glad we FINALLY got a sheet from the doctor about what to do with asthma (green light, yellow light, red light) and have a referral to a pulmonologist.  (Really?  Blogger spell check wants to change pullmonologist to Kremlinologist? Really?) I'm also reassured that the doctor said I was intuitively doing the right thing before I even got my green/yellow/red state check list.  (We were in a Yellow State)

I think we finally got the diagnosis today because there is no other underlying reason for Christopher's wheezing.  He doesn't have a virus-that-has-progressed-into-lung-funk, pneumonia or RSV.  The wheezing seems to be pretty independent of anything else.

And people, here is one thing you really need to know about lung sounds and when to worry:

If you hear gurgling/funky sounds when a child breathes,

1) If it's when s/he begins to exhale, it's probably snot and there's nothing you can do.
2) If it's at the END of the exhale, it is wheezing and you need to do something.

The first gurgling sound is the louder one and sounds awful.  But it's the last one, sometimes quite soft, that's the bad one.

Anyhoo.  He's sleeping now and I had a few free minutes.  I can think about this and think about this.  Or I can get it out and move on to doing what I really need to do.