Camping with the Taylors! Stonecreek - Mt. San Jacinto
Well, we attempted another camping weekend with the kids, all 3 of them this time. We figured the more we do it, the more comfortable the kids will be. So, the 2 hours drive goes without a hitch except for a little whining from Amelia on the curvy mountain road. We get to camp, get set up and have lunch. Amelia has been high maintenance lately so why would she be any different camping. After hanging at camp a little bit, we took all the kids on a 1 mile loop nature walk. They LOVED it. They climbed rocks, collected pine cones, hunted for lizards, etc. Amelia was in the backpack and Mabel took a nap in the Bjorn. She's getting a little, or a lot big for it but I wanted her to nap. We had 3 sites all to ourselves so the kids did lots of exploring. Simone, Blaise and Jbird that is. Amelia was like glue to me most of the evening. Last camping trip she woke up at 2 am screaming so we were hoping for a better night. Did I mention that Mabel was great and even though she only had 2 hours of nap, barely made a peep. We fed the kids dinner, put Mabel to bed and then ate our own dinner. Yummy brats prepared by the Taylor family. Amelia went to bed early, soon followed by Jbird and then the Taylor kids. The adults enjoyed wine by the fire, s'mores and adult conversation. We had to move Mabel from her own tent (we brought a tent for the kids to play in so they wouldn't track dirt into the sleeping tents) to our family tent and she was not happy. She is so used to moving, rolling, etc that she was crying because she had a small bed. Plan B? Move Mabel back to the "play" tent but put the tent right next to the family tent and Mommy would sleep in the tent with Mabel and Daddy would sleep with J and A. Okay, we're settled but now Mabel has the whole tent to roll around. She enjoyed that but was so tired that she kept crying and grabbing me, playing with my hair and wasn't falling asleep. To be considerate to those around us, I thought of Plan C! We had started this process at 10:30 and it's now 11:30. Plan C you ask? Clear out the back of my car and make it a bed so she can roll around. Where does mommy sleep? Ugh...in the reclined passenger seat. Hello no privacy and windows ALL around. 6 am rise and shine for Ms. Mabel and mommy so we played, ate and hung out in the back of the car for an hour and a half until the crew woke up at 7:30. Ryan cooked everyone a yummy breakfast and then we packed up and headed home. The drive home was interesting with Amelia crying on and off the whole drive with some slight fussing from Mabel. All in all, a 5 out of 10 on the camping scale. Thank you Taylors for the pics below!
Since it was so nice and hot today, a bunch of us took the kids to the Hilltop park in El Segundo for a swim! Jbird had a blast, Amelia liked it for a little bit, Mabel enjoyed the scenery, William almost drowned a couple times and the rest had fun. And by the rest I mean, Louise and her kids Emily and William, Nicole and her kiddos Simone and Blaise, Jamie and Olivia and Hudson and me and my kids!
We came home, had some quiet time and then Jbird headed to the beach with his daddy, daddy's friend Joe who is visiting from KC, Jack, Annie and David George to fish and enjoy the warm weather.
Amelia, Mabel and I met them there when the girls woke up.
Second catch. The first catch was a little shark but I missed it. I brought the kiddie pool and it was a perfect home for the little sting ray until we set him free.
Everyone watching the little sting ray.
A baby in her pool
Once the sting ray went home, Mabel loved sitting in the cold ocean water. She sat there for a long time, splashing and watching everyone around her. My happy baby girl.
A girl in her backpack
Amelia was scared of the waves crashing so she spent most of the time in the backpack.
Ryan went to Vegas with the South Bay guys and so mommy planned lots of playdates and time with her friends to pass the time.
"Sleepover" on the front yard with Jack and Annie
We spent Saturday at Natalie's house with the South Bay wives left behind. 7 kids, 5 ladies, good food, coffee and Sangria.
From left: Mommy and Mabel(8 months), Natalie and Shiloh(2 months), Christy and Jolie(4 1/2 months) and Jess and Bella (almost 10 months old). All of us had girls within 9 months of each other. Who's next?
Water breakfast at the Taylors! Slip n slides, baby pool, sprinklers, big kid food, bagels, champagne, ice cream....all you could ask for. Oh wait, my kids were a disaster at the breakfast so I guess I could have asked for more :) My fault, they've had a couple late nights in a row and shorter naps at Natalie's! Well done Mommy!
I took Jbird, Amelia, Jack and Annie to Loyola Marymount University this morning on our bikes! My kids in the trailer and the big kids on their own bikes. It's amazing how much fun kids have when you park your bike on a huge grassy lawn and say, "play".
They made their way all over the place. Good times.
Uncle Jeremy, Auntie Megan, Nellie, Beck, Missy (Megan's sister and two boys Keegan and Quinn) took us to the Morton Arboretum. It was a beautiful day and there was tons to do. We spent most of the time in the children's garden which included water streams, tree houses, rocks to climb, pools of water, bridges, plants, flowers and art projects. The kids had a blast. Jbird got soaking wet in the water but dried off quickly due to the heat. Amelia followed Jeremy all over the place. Once home from here, we had a bbq and made s'mores in the backyard fire pit. Jbird and Amelia hunted for bugs, Mabel was in bed and Ryan and I got to have a few cold beers fireside. Good times. Thank you Chicago Meinhardts for having us and being such gracious hosts.
Playing in the tide pools
Amelia was right up there with all the boys climbing the rocks. I got a little nervous because she was pretty high up but she did great! Jeremy didn't want to stick around for the picture!
Daddy and Mabel in the tree house!
We've had a great time in Chicago visiting the family and we're sad to head home in a few hours. Until the next Meinhardt adventure!!!