Sunday, August 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I'm home from camping. We unpacked the 5000 pounds of crap stuff that must be packed when one camps. I have laundry stacked to my ceiling. It's midnight and I'm on my fourth load with no end in sight. I've showered all the camping germs off me and am ready to sleep in my own comfy bed, but first a little blog post...

Here are my top ten reasons why no human should ever go camping.

1. There are hotels.
2. 52, 398 mosquito bites
3. Have you ever tried occupying 10 kids while camping in a monsoon?
4. The campfire smell that doesn't ever come out of your hair
5. There are hotels.
6. Showering with the water pressure of someone spitting on you
7. Having to cook like the pioneers
8. Having to sleep in cramped quarters with family members who snore and/or fart all night long
9. Having to walk 18 miles to the bathroom
10. There are hotels!

OK, OK, so some of you have accused me of actually (gasp!) liking camping. I don't. I swear I don't. But, in all fairness, I do like to look at the glass as half-full, so here's my list of reasons why camping doesn't totally suck.

1. Sleeping in a small space together promotes family bonding.
2. It's inexpensive (until you factor in the movie tickets because it rained all weekend, the carpet extractor rental fee from when the kids flooded the camper, the prescription cost because your daughter had a terrible allergic reaction to peanut butter thanks to the stupid Meehans for not being more careful (SORRY EMMA!), and the bazillion quarters for the laundromat because towels left out in the rain do not dry - ever.
3. All the walking to the bathrooms helps you to work off the 42 2 s'mores you ate.
4. Speaking of - s'mores
5. It's fun to laugh at your Eagle Scout husband who uses lighter fluid to get a fire going.
6. When the kids flood the camper, the carpet gets cleaned for the first time in 5 years. (THANKS JOE!)
7. With no TV or video games, it's fun to see the kids make up games like "Name Methods of Torture from A-Z"
8. When you eat outside, you don't have to worry about crumbs on the floor.
9. Sitting outside, seeing the stars (and quite possibly a UFO. The verdict is still out on that one.)
10. And finally, you get to see the kids do stuff like this... (Esther Williams, eat your heart out)

Actually, besides our friends' daughter, Emma, having a bad allergic reaction after coming in contact with peanut butter, Jackson scraping the skin off 2 toes, me breaking a toe, Jenny spraining her ankle, the never-ending thunderstorms, and the toilet overflowing and flooding the camper, it was a pretty good trip. (That kinda tells you how bad our trips usually are.)


Scrapingirl said... be a fly on your camper wall.

noexcuses said...

Welcome home! Yeah, camping is a pain in the butt! Your kids, however, will be talking about it for years! At least you are done until next summer, right?

Bailey's Leaf said...

We went camping last year and had a few good stories. In all of your spare time, come on over and read them. They are in the label of Vacation 2008. It involves a disgusting Dairy Queen, a pencil sharpener museum and doing 5 huge hikes in 95 degree heat (okay, I know others out there have hotter, but still . . .)

You win, though. See, we tent camp. If it floods, we hang our house to let it dry then start all over.

Amy in Douglas, NE said...

OMG -- this is not making my upcoming camping trip sound like too much fun. Acutally, we're only going overnight, so I don't know that it counts as a "trip", but it's a test to see if our 7 and 3 year olds can survive before investing in a camper next year.

And, lets be perfectly honest. It's a test to see if I can hack it without the comfort of a hotel.

The Mommy said...

I particularly like the game they made up...we'll have to use that one!

Jen K. said...

OMG! ROFL!! See we do like camping!!! Thank you Dawn for getting me laughing this morning. I'm so tired from being up late doing laundry and still not near done. Don't forget another theatres with group rates or not? Maybe just a very nice guy? So, ready to go again over labor day weekend??

Anonymous said...

I have to show this to my husband!!! I can never explain to him in kind enough terms why camping with five kids eight and under is unnecessary torture. :) And I thought we were the only ones who had trips like that!

Anonymous said...

I've never understood camping as a relaxing vacation. You have all your normal jobs (cooking, cleaning & Child care) but they are twice the work. It might be fun for the rest of the family but not for the mom (BTW, it's Name Ways to Torture Mom from A to Z). So when do you get your vacation or was BlogHer it?

CJ said...

Remind me never to go camping with you guys!! (Oh, that's right, I will be in one of those HOTELS!)

Raynore Jones said...

I don't camp, after a bad experience with my daughter when she was like 5. Rain in our sleeping bags and more bugs than you can imagine! Yuck. Glad to hear you found some positive things to say about the experience.

Slatsette said...

Ok. I love camping. Then again I have only two kids and live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country, and it hardly ever rains :-)
Sometime y'all should pack up and go camping in Yellowstone. The facilities are awesome, and the sights will keep any kiddos intrigued.

Just keep them away from the hot pools. (

And the bears: (

And well, lots of things:

But we love it there, in spite of the various things that can kill you. ;-) I mean, a CAR can kill you much more easily.

Nina said...

my reasons 1-10 would be.
THERE ARE HOTELS. if God had wanted me to be a pioneer I would have been born at that time, therefore I am open to all sorts of pain medications epidurals - (didn't work) and tylenol people - not the heavy stuff...but how many people are like "oh I don't like taking medication" well then you should have been a pioneer...even with a trailer/tent I prefer a hotel. or my bed. or a hotel. yay for hotels!

Marlene Byrne said...


I love to hear that your kids were making up games on the camping trip. I am the author of a series of books under Project Play, My books use stories to teach kids to play nostaligic backyard games like "Kick the Can" and "Treasure Hunt" that require their imagination and creative skills. I believe that kids are far too organized in their activities and I hope that my books will help get them out doing what your family did - just playing outside.

Thanks for the great blog.

Marlene Byrne
Author, Project Play Books

Marie said...

OMG - that video is so cute!

Winona said...

Hotels, indeed. I agree 100%. My idea of "roughing it" is a black & white television and no curling iron.

That being said, the Ziegfeld Follies of 2009 video was worth the entire trip!

Brian said...

You left one thing out on your "Good List," Blogging material or future book material. This stuff is comedy gold as some would say.

Just think, you will do this again NEXT year. I think every time that your vehicles don't catch on fire makes it a good trip.

Tina said...

My 16 year old son's idea of roughing it is when our hotel room only has one tv...

Diagnose Rachel said...

welcome home.
your washer and dryer have missed you so much!

I'm very very very in love with camping when I am 14 years old. It WAS great.

Now that i'm in my 30's with 4 kids, camping is torture.

Since my inlaws don't know about you (i hope) I can say here that our 2010 camping reunion has already required therapy visits. I might need to "schedule" an emergency surgery to get out of this.
The first camping reunion I was optimistic (2007). But now I know. If you can't afford to do any reunion besides camping, DON'T DO A REUNION!

Or better yet, my idea, let those with extra $$ foot the bill and shut up and go!

Now, I've said my piece/peace. And now I really hope my inlaws don't read this, or atleast the comments.

Oh, SOS, What should a large family do for a reunion when some siblings have $$$ and other siblings owe $$?

Thanks for listening Dawn. You're my sister in Chicago that my Denver mom never knew she had!

Laura said...

My Dad use to light campfires with lighter fluid too but he called it "Boy Scout Juice" :)

Marly said...

I don't know how you manage to have these kinds of camping trips. Mine are never that eventful. I'm glad you survived though and you now have clean carpet in the trailer. What a blessing!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I just love listening to your cackling laugh during that video!!

Jen said...

I'm a longtime lurker of your blog. Just wanted to say I've enjoyed your entries and that it's good that you're retaining some sense of humor.

In years to come, your kids will remember these trips and all the misadventures they had. My siblings and I still talk about the trip we took to Maine when I was about 7.

Keep writing!

Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe said...

You are absolutely hilarious and so right on! I love the way you approach the tough challenges of mothering with a candid sense of humor. What an inspiration!

The Women's Colony said...

I think camping's probably one of the best things you can do with your kids. Unfortunately, it's probably one of the worst things you can do for your sanity!

Hopefully you at least used the immortal phrase "It builds character", so that when your kids grow up they can recall it with fondness when they realise they just used it for the first time.

Nancy B said...

I LOVE your video! That is hilarious and so creative! Enjoy the laughter before school starts again! :)

My Semblance of Sanity said...

...and this is why my mantra remains...




Love ya sistah!

Dayna said...

wow. you guys camp in civilization. not my husband...he drags us all out to the deep corners of the forest. bathroom? well, there's a tree!

as for laundromats and movie theaters...yeah right.

so remember, it could be much worse. much, much worse.

Anonymous said...

Surely, I'm not the only one noticing the kids are diving into a 4 foot pool? My husband and I have a friend who is in a wheel chair because of a dive accident. Diving in the shallow end of a pool caused a spinal cord injury which has made him parapalegic. Not that I didn't notice the great talent, just CRINGE watching it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how funny. This sounds like our recent family camping trip. Only ours included pink eye, vomit and diarrhea. We also had lots of rain (and some hail) and my eagle scout husband bought some lighter fluid too! I hope you recover soon! We aren't planning on camping again, EVER!

Thanks for the laugh, Kathy P.

mav said...

I want to go camping :)

Gloria said...

My granddaughter is allergic to peanuts, nuts, and other such stuff. There have been several times that I have offered her food that has one of her allergens in it. It is so very difficult to remember when you are dealing with it on an intermittent basis.

She, however, is hyper vigilant and has caught my mistakes. I don't know how old your daughter's friend is, but she must be hyper vigilant as well. Many times it truly is a matter of life or death.

My parents were campers, but I am so NOT a camper. Yes, I'm spoiled and there ARE hotels.

Mom of Six said...

I just got back from camping last night. I keep thinking, "How is this a vacation?!?!!?" I had to work my butt of to pack up, then to unpack at the camp site, lots more work camping with 5 children (one being a toddler), work to pack the car up, work to unpack back home, and work to clean up the mess after. Yeah, again, "How is this a vacation?"

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