Summer Adventure

With my photography business growing this year, we’ve spent a lot of weekend time like this: Joy working, Benjamin and Jax hanging out.  It’s good for us that I can have a part time job that doesn’t require Jax to be in daycare.  But I also wanted to be sure we did fun things this summer as an entire family.  I want Jax to experience the fun of all three of us enjoying each other’s company, not just one parent or the other, while the other is at work.

There’s a lot we’ve done that I don’t have photos of, or that we have iPhone photos of!  Here’s a few on the “good camera” from our annual October camping trip, and an afternoon jaunt to Brackenridge Park.  I’m including them in the same post primarily because one day I was taking the photos and the other day Benjamin was taking the photos, so there’s an imbalance of one or the other of us in the images!

One of the reasons I married Benjamin is because he is fun to be around. Jax is possibly even more fun to be around, and keeps us both busy and entertained with his needs and antics.  What began as our anniversary camping trip has evolved into a family trip.  One day we’ll take back our anniversary at a separate occasion, but in the meantime, it’s always fun to be together in God’s beautiful world.

While I was growing up, my dad was the king of vacation (and my mom the queen).  He would have everything flawlessly planned, and my mom would faithfully pack up a household of stuff we would need for the journey.  He made sure we camped a few times a year, and took at least one big vacation most years.  I cherish those times so much, and have wanted to carve out the same experiences for my family. We didn’t do very many flashy things like Disney; there were a lot of road trips (without car seats which was so much more fun!), lots of visits to historical or beautiful locations, lots of games and card playing, lots of campfires and roasted marshmallows, and lots of uninterrupted time together.

I was actually a bit bummed that our camping location this year had decent cell phone signal, because it meant we weren’t actually technology-free.  We also had our first DVD-in the car road trip experience.  It was a lot different for kids on road trips when they could play endlessly in the back seat or the flat back of the van.  Being stuck in a car seat without even enough space to rotate the weight of your body and hips, for hours upon end, well that’s just misery if you ask me, and while we do play and read books, we also broke out the DVD player.

The funniest story of the trip was the night we roasted marshmallows.  Jax is not a fan of hot food, in general.  He usually requests frozen bread at breakfast time, and likes anything else cold or frozen like smoothies, frozen grapes, popsicles, frozen veggies, etc.  So it was no surprise that he just wanted to eat marshmallows plain, without having them first roasted over the coals.

It is possible he ate something like 5-7 marshmallows, followed by several small pieces of chocolate (for s’mores).  An hour later as we moved into the tent for bedtime, the sugar high escalated into a true frenzy.  In our large tent there are three sections.  We had our queen air mattress on one side, and his twin air mattress on the other side, with bags of clothing in the middle section.  Jax started running from one side of the tent to the other, throwing himself in mid-stride, onto each air mattress.  Then tearing himself up, running and laughing pell-mell to the other side of the tent, throwing himself on the other mattress and climbing off again.  He spent perhaps 20-30 minutes in this activity, non-stop.  After that, he began throwing himself against the walls of the tent, sliding down and falling onto the floor or bed, climbing up, and throwing himself into the walls again (is the phrase “climbing the walls?” or “bouncing off the walls?”), regardless, here we were, with a two-year old on a sugar frenzy.

Benjamin and I sat in a corner of the tent the entire time, watching in awed silence punctuated by the periodic giggle or knowing glance of what the heck!!!

It certainly made me wonder how many kids appear to have attention or behavior problems when in reality they just intake too much sugar (soda, koolaid, sugared cereals, sugary yogurt, etc.) over the course of a day – and these insane antics we experienced from Jax are some other children’s “normal.”  I’ll never question a true attention disorder, since I live with a husband who has a true diagnosis.  But I’ve seen Jax hyped up on sugar before – frozen yogurt, or the other rare occassions we allow him to have dessert.  But clearly, marshmallows and chocolate sent him into an entirely other realm.

We kept waiting for him to crash, but it never happened. So perhaps forty minutes later, we somehow wrangled him into pajamas, and he cuddled and nursed, and did eventually calm down enough to fall asleep.  Whereupon Benjamin and I had a good laugh and reminded ourselves to prepare ourselves in the future should we ever allow him another marshamallow!


^^  That is the “nooooo!!!!!” face.


And feeding ducks at the park in San Antonio….. a magical cold front came through that day.

| Filed under camping, jax reilly

Camping Bath Time at Four Months


Our family went camping this month at Inks Lake State Park, about two hours from home.  At the time, Jax was bathing in our sink at home.  He was too big for the baby bath, but too small for the big bath since he can’t sit up yet.  So the kitchen sink it was.  Thankfully, even though we were camping, we had a kitchen sink.

When my family camps, we get asked pretty much every day where we got this kitchen sink and counter.  My dad proudly responds that he made it.  It is a plastic six foot table from Sam’s Club, a stainless steel sink from Habitat for Humanity, and a faucet and plumbing.  A hose extends from the drain to a spot about twelve or fifteen feet away from our “kitchen.”  We use eco-friendly, biodegradeable dish soap, so we don’t worry about the leftover food and soap draining down the hose into the earth.  We don’t have hot water, just whatever comes out of the “tap” at the campsite.

My dad totally needs to manufacture and sell these.  We could be millionaires.