Monday, February 24, 2014

Camping In

We are still making progress on our Winter Bucket List, slow progress but progress just the same. After splitting up Jacob's birthday celebration on Thursday and Friday we spent most of Saturday catching up on some reading, homework, and housework. Actually I was so wrapped up in a book that I was reading that I spent most of Saturday reading and finished the book within one day. Sunday was the Blue and Gold Banquet for the younger two through scouts when they officially earned their wolf and bear badges. With such a busy weekend, I'm glad we ended Jacob's birthday with a bucket list activity (otherwise we would have had nothing to report this week).

Last weekend while visiting with the grandparents we borrowed their camping tent. All week it drove the boys crazy knowing we would be setting it up over the weekend. I have a rather large but odd shaped living room, it's more like a carpeted bowling lane. I had hoped by turning the tent to just the right angle that it would hopefully fit. Our backup plan was to haul in the kitchen chairs and multiple blankets and create a tent somehow.

After cleaning up from Jacob's party, we pulled the tent out. Indoors the tent was much larger than it looks set up outside at the campsite. After moving a couple pieces of small furniture we were able to get the tent to fit. After some maneuvering, the poles were in place and the tent was upright, mostly. We were fine as long as Jordan stood at one end holding the poles and Joey stood at the other side holding the poles. We had to get creative to support the tent as I was not anchoring the tent down into my carpeted floor. The Lego cart worked out well for one side of the tent and the other was a combination of the "kitty condo" and the computer desk. It was up and didn't seem like it would collapse on us. The tent ended up leaving us less than a foot between the back of it and our couch and about two and a half feet between the tent entrance and the entertainment center. There was no way to get around the tent without having to walk around the hallway through the kitchen.

With the tent in place the boys started filling it the essentials for sleep. For Jordan and I that meant a pillow and a blanket or two. The younger guys apparently need much more than that. Joey came into the tent with his arms loaded up with a sheet, two blankets, a pillow, and a stuffed animal. Then came back with another armful of stuffed animals, not all that he has just the ones he has to sleep with (that would be 8 stuffed animals), also his collection of baseball card (your guess is as good as mine as to why he needed them to sleep). Jacob brought down a little less than Joey. Jacob's essentials were 2 pillows, a pillow pet, a blanket, 5 stuffed animals, and his binder of Pokémon card (he was still in the process of organizing his cards from earlier). After finally figuring out how we were going to all fit into the tent with all the other goodies in there we settled down for popcorn and to watch Jungle Book.

Getting the tent set up and filled with our belongings took a bit of time and we ended up starting the movie later than we would have otherwise, so at 10:00 the movie ended. I had expected some chit chat from the boys as they settled down to sleep but figured it would die down quickly as Joey and Jacob tend to do this every night before bed and Jordan is no-nonsense when it comes to getting his sleep. After settling who has how much room as "their spot", hunting down many stuff animals that tried escaping the campout, and find a suitable compromise for "I can't sleep in the total dark" and "Well, I can't sleep with a light on" around 11:00 they were all finally asleep.

Sleeping on the ground inside our house was as comfortable as sleeping on the ground outside. I'm not actually sure how much sleep any one of us really got. I did notice that my kids don't hold still, even when they are sleeping. Being in a tent you could hear the crinkling every time they tossed and turned. I'm sure part of their restless sleep was due to the fact they were trying to get comfortable on the very uncomfortable floor. Sometime around 4 am my spine declared that it had enough of this and woke me with a searing pain, I was "forced" to sleep on the couch for the remainder of the night.

Much like camping my boys were up before the sun asking for breakfast. I could have sworn that I had just relocated myself to the couch when they woke me. I questioned the time, "Ummm, it's 5:30 mom.". They were sent back to the tent as breakfast wasn't going to be prepared until seven at the earliest. That's when I noticed that Jordan had also snuck off to find a softer place to sleep for a few hours.

After a few hours of hanging out in the tent playing (and sorting their cards) we were ready to take the tent down and reclaim our living space. I had expected the boys to protest about giving up the tent after only one night, but it was interfering with the Lego space and they had even helped pack it away.

So that's it our one on only item completed this past week. We had tried our candy icicles for the second time and this time I think the solution was under-saturated and the crystals never climbed the skewer. I think we may attempt to grow an icicle one last time before throwing in the towel, third times the charm.