Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Camping with Charlie

Hey everyone.  Sorry I was MIA yesterday.  I just needed a day to decompress after all of the craziness of our camping trip.  That, and it pretty much took me the entire day to catch up on laundry. :}

We had a really great time overall.  On the first day, though, I was seriously wondering if we should have gone.

As any of you who have camped with children will know, camping as a parent is not the fun, relaxing thing it is for youngsters.  As a kid, you get to play around in the dirt and leave the tough stuff to your parents.  When you're the one suddenly responsible for setting up camp, keeping kids safe and fed and not too cold or too sunburned or too covered with mosquito bites, camping becomes much more labor intensive. ;)

On the first day, we arrived about an hour and a half before the big group dinner was scheduled.  In that time, we had to prepare our bread for the meal, set up our tent, and get at least partially unpacked so that bedtime would be as easy as possible.

Everything went pretty smoothly except for the fact that we were a bit late for dinner, and the scheduled time for dinner was already later than we were used to, so all of us were getting pretty hungry.  Then Middle Gal, who unbeknownst to us was walking around on the big rocks that surrounded the (thankfully) empty campfire pit, lost her balance and fell.  One of the rocks hit her right in the solar plexus (it took her a little while to catch her breath).  Another rock took a good layer of skin off of her left thigh.  I had to rush to find the bandaids and Neosporin.  I was pretty shaken up, I have to admit.  Being hungry and late for a church function just added to the whole situation.

So we finally got to dinner and helped ourselves to what was left.  I stuck with Middle Gal, who was still feeling pretty lousy.  After the other girls were finished, they headed over to the playground right next to our eating spot to play with the other kids.  Before long, Middle Gal was feeling good enough to join them.

And once again, my normal attentive parenting was somewhat lacking.  Little Gal walked right in front of someone on the swing set and got kicked in the eye (her right eyelid was puffy for the rest of the weekend).  As you can imagine, she wasn't exactly thrilled with this turn of events. :{

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Oldest Gal had slipped and fallen earlier that day while helping Hubby load the truck.  She also had a huge scrape on her thigh.  So apparently, this was a day of injuries for the Beast'sbelle family. :}

Things started to calm down after a while (it couldn't get worse, right?).  We let the girls play on the playground a little longer.  Then Hubby headed back to the campsite to get the truck.  We had some groceries that we needed to run up to his parents' cabin (on the other end of the campground).  I planned to walk with the three girls and meet him there.

As we left the playground, Middle Gal suddenly gave out a little "Ouch!" and said that she thought a bee stung her.  I figured she must have just run into something pokey...she didn't seem to be hurting enough for it to be an actual sting.  (I felt really bad later when I found out she actually had been stung.) :(

Just a few minutes later, as we passed by the General Store at the entrance of the campground, a meat bee landed on Middle Gal's head.  And would not fly away.

Now, you have to understand something about my middle child.  She is terrified of bees...to the extent that if she sees one in our yard she goes inside.  So I was trying to figure out how to keep her from panicking but also keep her from moving around too much.  I told her to stand very still and hoped that the bee would just go away.

It didn't.  That stubborn thing was making itself quite at home on her head.  It was almost getting tangled in her hair.  It didn't sting her, though.  I tried feebly waving it away a few times, but was worried that it would get angry if I did too much.

When it finally flew off of her head, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then I watched in horror as it landed on her shoulder, climbed down around her arm and crawled into her shirt through the armhole of her sleeveless top.

I really tried not to panic.  The whole time I was just praying, Dear Lord, please don't let it sting her!  She wasn't allergic or anything, although that does run in our family, but I knew that it would scare her half to death.  I felt completely helpless.  As a parent, I felt like I should do something, not just sit there and wait.  But I didn't want to make the situation worse.  I was afraid if I tried to get the bee out of her shirt I might aggravate it.

There were a couple of times that Middle Gal let out this completely terrified cry.  I was sure it had stung her, but it hadn't.  I think she was just reacting to the feel of the bee's feet crawling across her back. (Can you blame her?)  By this time, all three girls were crying, and I was close to it myself.  I called Hubby on the phone, explaining the situation and asking him to get there as soon as he could.  He jumped right in the truck and headed up.  But just then (thank you, Lord!!) I carefully lifted up the bottom of her shirt and the bee flew away.

Seconds later, Hubby arrived.  Middle Gal promptly climbed in the truck, still in tears, and begged her Daddy to roll up the windows.

She was really a trooper through the whole thing.  She never moved once, even with that bee crawling all over her back.  I believe that her obedience to my instructions ("Hold really still, Sweetie") was a big part of why she didn't get stung.  And I'm so thankful she didn't!  If she had been stung as a result of that whole episode, we probably would have had to take her home that night.  I am not exaggerating.

As it was, she was traumatized enough by the whole event that she spent the rest of the weekend either in the tent, in Grandma's cabin, or with an adult at all times.  Which, as you can imagine, made the rest of the weekend just thrilling. ;)

Later, when she was talking to her other grandma on the phone (it was so surreal to have 4 bars of cell phone service while we were camping!), she said, "I can't really think of one thing that I've liked about this trip".  I don't know where she gets her dramatics from. ;)

Contrary to Middle Gal's report, we did manage to have a good time over the course of the weekend and made some fun memories with my husband's family and the rest of the church members who attended.  We sang songs around the campfire, did crafts, swam in the pool, played board games, and visited together.  My husband and I even got to take a few walks together...all by ourselves...imagine! ;)  While on one of these walks, my husband encouraged me, reminding me that during this season of our lives, the camping is more for the kids.  There were all sorts of activities that both my husband and I would have enjoyed if our kids had been older or if we had been a newly married couple.  But for now, there were sacrifices we both had to make so that our kids could make some great memories.  I realized that this sort of trip would get easier and easier as the kiddos grew...and that was an encouraging thought. :)

So (for some reason) I didn't get nearly as many pictures of Charlie as I was planning to, but I still managed to get enough for a decent blog post (you can read Charlie's account of her adventures HERE) and a few nice shots for this post as well. :)  Here are a few of my favorites:

Charlie's camp site.  Yes, I did splurge in a moment of weakness and purchased the "My Life As" camping set.  Review to follow in a later post. ;)

Of course, Charlie doesn't go anywhere without her favorite boots. ;)

Hubby's parents' cabin.

A view from the screen door leading out to the back balcony.

There were several crafts we did while we were there.  The necklace Charlie is wearing is one that I made. :)

Charlie and Rontu exploring the campsite.

For some reason, I think of Narnia when I see this one. ;)

And I had to just share this one since it doesn't show any faces.  I loved how it turned out.  This is a shot of Little Gal,  their Uncle R (my husband's brother-in-law), and Middle Gal taking a walk to the General Store together:

While our trip had a pretty rocky start, we were all sorry to leave by the end of the weekend...well, except maybe for Middle Gal.  She was very ready to go home. ;)  I was reminded that even when things don't turn out the way we expect, when we trust the Lord, watch our attitudes, and open ourselves up to new experiences, we can make memories that will last a lifetime. ;)  And just maybe someday, Middle Gal will be able to laugh as she shares "the bee story" with her own children.  Either that, or she'll be a very compassionate mother. ;)

I have more posts to come.  A few reviews, more thoughts on movies and TV shows, and a few thoughts on life and such.  Stay tuned for more to come, friends! :)


Madeline said...

Hi Beastsbelle!
I don't know if this will interest you or not, but I found this African-American American Girl doll on Ebay:
I thought I'd just let you know because you seem to enjoy adding to your collection. ;D


BlackKitty said...

Oh God. I'm terrified of bees AND allergic. I'm a grown up woman who will scream when a bee enters the room, slam the door and not go in there until it's dead or out. I'm so sorry for Middle Gal! Give her a hug from me and tell her she's braver than a 25-year old who reads your blog. I so hope it will get better for her, because for me it was the exact opposite. I went from helping my uncle clean the hives as a kid to screaming in terror when a fly sort of buzzes like a bee.

Nichole said...

I've noticed you try really hard not to reveal your family's names so I wanted to let you know that I think you made a little slip in the (I believe) 6th paragraph.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Madeline, thanks for the link. :) She's a cutie, but I really need to back off on adding to the dolly family for a while, especially since I still have a new member to introduce. :} Thanks for thinking of me, though. :)

Black Kitty, I'll be sure to pass along your sympathies to Middle Gal. :) I'm sorry you have the same issues. I'm not a real fan of bees myself, to be honest. ;)

Nichole, thank you so much. Every once in a while I slip up like that. I've already gone in and corrected it. :)

Jordy said...

Aww! My mom and little brother are scared of bees like that too! I'm scared of needles...like the other day I had to get blood work done and I threw a full on tantrum in front of the doctor (and I'm a teenager!)! a couple of months ago I was at Disney land and a bee landed on my purse, well I assumed that when I picked up my bag the bee would fly away...it didn't...the little brat stung me! Lol... and that picture of your two daughters is SO cute! I wish I was that tiny again! And you are such a good mommy! Whenever I hurt myself my mom starts bursting out laughing! Well this is really long so I'll stop now!

Nina said...

Sounds like you had fun (except for Middle Gal) That last picture is just so sweet:)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for your sympathy, Jordy. Bees (and needles, for that matter) are no fun regardless of how old you are!

We did, Nina. I really love the last picture, too. The funny thing is that I saw them walking away and snapped the picture really quickly without taking the time to focus or anything. I wasn't sure it would turn out, but it did! :) It's one of my favorite photos from the trip. :)

Isabella said...

Oh my I LOVE the zebra blanket, the pink tent and the little brown cow-girl boots! <3


Michele said...

Enjoyed reading about your camping trip. You are such a good writer, I felt like I was there, experiencing the trauma of the bee, I would have cried too. I would say that Middle Gal is very brave! Not many children or adults could have stood still till you could get the bee safely away. Many memories were definitely made on your camping trip. Some of our best family memories are made on camping trips too. Enjoyed the pictures too, especially the last one, so sweet.

Toy Central (TC) said...

Poor Middle Gal:(

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Belle. :) The zebra blanket was a last minute addition. I didn't have a sleeping bag for Charlie and just happened to have it stashed away in my craft drawer. ;) I think it works perfectly, though.

Aww, thanks Michele. :) I do love writing, and my goal is to make my narrative posts come alive for my readers. I think that's why I enjoy Jane Austen and Unicorns and Belle's Bulletins so much. ;)

We did make some great memories, and Middle Gal is completely recovered from the ordeal with the bee. :)

Thanks, Toy Central. She's doing okay now. She even thanked God that we got to go camping during prayer time this morning, so I'd say she's doing fine now. ;)