Saturday, September 22, 2012

Camping: as seen by my little girl.

I finally found Emma's camera. She actually took more pictures than me while we were camping. And the pictures are pretty awesome.

Emma's idea of getting ready to go.

Mommy saying goodbye.

Menard's: Our second home. Getting camping supplies.

Mack in Emma's lap.

Checking in at the campground.

The fire.

The fire with a flash.

Reflection in the car window. I don't know how she accomplished this.

Our Dodge Nitro.

The smoking excuse for a morning fire. I really didn't bring enough wood for a second fire.

Emma really loves our Nitro.

So I have to go out of town for work next week but I have the following week off. I'm hopeful if the weather hasn't turned too cold that we can try another camping excursion... but with more planning.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Part II - In which I haphazardly take my 3 year old tent camping.

Earlier this week I promised to take Emma to Pokagon on Saturday. Which I ultimately did - though not as anyone had expected.

Emma on Trail 3 (maybe?) - Pokagon State Park 4/2012
To date, our concept of a day-trip to Pokagon consists of lazing around all morning, realizing the day is going fast, hastily getting ready and finally leaving the house around noon. Once at Pokagon, we park and set out on an easy trail. After finishing the "easy trail," we reach a point of return and I realize we've not really walked very far or taken very long to do it. So I choose a series of trails which should take us a little farther and a little longer. At approximately the halfway point of the new series of trails and after an hour or two of walking, my daughter is exhausted and I realize it's dusk and I'm about to carry my preschooler on my shoulders the three miles back to the car with nothing more than a trail map, a mostly-empty bottle of water and the shirts on our backs. God forbid we take a flashlight. But seriously, how much danger can we really be in? It's Pokagon! If you walk more than a few miles in one direction you'll either come to the highway or fall in a lake if you don't reach a house or some other sort of civilization first. Ultimately we always make it back before dark, no worse for the wear.

The other form of a Pokagon trip involves the whole family at the playground for a few hours. Not as much drama but she still has fun even if it's just the two of us.

Either of these would have been fine. Either would have sufficed. Even a shortened version of the "never-ending trail" would have been more than enough to make my little girl happy. But at some point on Friday my brain short-circuited and I decided we should go camping. Just the two of us in the little two person tent. Just for one night. And that's what we did.

I'll spare you the details. From my point of view it was a near-disaster. However, she's told everyone so far that she had fun.

Lesson learned: "PLAN" - Plan ahead now to be able to relax later.

When camping with a preschooler: HAVE A MOTHER-PLANNING PLAN. Like more than the night before.
And maybe get a camper.
But definitely MORE PLANNING!

Emma at Pokagon State Park Campground Site #227 - 9/2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Part I - In which I realize my hobbies don't involve my family.

As some of you may (or may not) know, I'm a confirmed guitar nut. I have something on the order of a dozen guitars. I'm really not sure on the exact number right now. I don't even have them all at my house. Not as many as some guitar nuts but it's way more than anybody really needs. I get a little light-headed when I think about the combined MSRP of my "collection." Thank God most of them were bought used and therefore fairly well-discounted. But still, there's a lot of money in guitars here.

At any rate, I'm finding that the longer I play, the more I favor just a few of them. It therefore seems rather silly to have so many when all the majority does is collect dust. Not only that, but my kids are little and they really don't care much about guitars. I mean, they might think it's fun to watch daddy play but... it really is just another thing for them to break. (I type this as my son gets tangled in my laptop's power cord.) They're my kids and they're clumsy: guitars aren't going to factor into their equation for like another 10 years - if ever. Besides, my son likes to beat the crap out of things and would probably enjoy drums more. My daughter seems way too analytically-minded - she might make a better composer.

So I decided to start selling off some of my old stuff and get into a new hobby that my kids can be a part of: RC airplanes. Because RC airplanes are cheap, safe for kids of all ages and virtually unbreakable. Yeah. I didn't think that one through.

Try again.