Two Weeks In Paradise

I’m baaaaaaack! I’m sure you were all impatient for a blog update. *All the lols.* So! Here I am at the end of two weeks of camping in a trailer with 4 kids and I have not, in fact, died. It has actually been a really fun (if not slightly more chaotic than usual) time! Clinton has been trading off with his brother and doing two week shifts on Vancouver Island since sometime in April (or March…? It’s all been a blur tbh). He was scheduled to return home on June 16 for his two weeks at home, but got a last minute (like on his way to catch the ferry kind of last minute) call that he needed to stay. He called me at 5:30pm to give me the news and my immediate response was ‘Well, I’ll just bring the boys up there tomorrow.’ It was two days out from Father’s Day, notwithstanding the fact that he had already been gone for two looooong weeks. I hung up the phone and got down to business organizing all the clothes/toys/bedding/etc etc etc that we would need. I had a knot in my stomach and chalked it up to stress because HELLO! Packing last minute to drive 8+ hours with 4 kids is no easy feat. I finished up most of the packing at about 10pm and literally passed out asleep, feeling increasingly nauseous and dizzy. 

I’ll spare you the details, but I was up most of the night utilizing the bathroom. I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed at 6:30am to shower and get the rest of the items we needed packed up into the SUV – all the while taking short breaks to lie down. I still assumed my symptoms were stress related, as I have a loooong history of heartburn/acid reflux and am no stranger to an upset tummy. Also, PREGNANT! So, I pushed through and got the kids up and ready to go and we pulled out of the driveway at 8am. The drive was uneventful, mercifully, and we arrived at the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal juuuust in time to miss the 1pm ferry. I bought tickets for the 3:15pm and unloaded the kids to pee/eat/run around while we waited. Time passed quickly and we were on our way across before I knew it. We arrived in Lake Cowichan around 6pm and met Clinton at his parent’s place. The first thing they all said was how pale I was and I told them my reflux was acting up and that I thought a good nights sleep would have me back to normal. Well, turns out I was very wrong, as I was just as sick for the next 3 days and finally had to concede that I had some kind of flu. Ha! But, no regrets. We were so happy to be together again as a family.

Surviving and thriving at the beginning of week one!

Before I continue, let’s rewind a bit to last Summer. We bought our trailer so we could be with Clinton while he worked a couple hours outside of Revelstoke. There were no campsites, so we were just camped on an old airstrip on the side of a logging road. There was no electricity, running water or sewage hook ups. We had some solar panels and could use the lights and bathroom fan, but not much else. I hauled water up from the lake everyday to fill the tank in the trailer, so I could wash dishes and shower. It was like half glamping/half roughing it. I’m definitely a city girl, so this was a shock to my system big time. Also, Jasper was only 7 months old when we started camping, and he basically didn’t sleep all Summer. Needless to say, I was very very VERY anxious about how this Summer’s camping experience would go. Thankfully I can report that it has been nothing like last Summer, in fact we have had basically a polar opposite experience!

The camping resort we are staying at (yep – resort!) has full hook ups, meaning unlimited electricity, running water and a sewage dump. Hallelujaaaaaaah! I have been taking FULL advantage of the amenities and even bought a second hand Tassimo coffee maker to fulfill my caffeine needs. 

The epitome of glamping.

There is also a communal shower/bathroom/laundry building, which has been so convenient. We have a shower in the trailer, but the shower stalls in the communal building are much larger – which makes it easier to corral the boys and scrub them down all at once. None of them are a fan of the shower, so it’s a bit of a process getting them all clean, but still worlds easier than trying to do it in the trailer! There are also a bunch of sinks in the bathroom area, which is perfect for teeth brushing time. I feel like we need this kind of set up at home to be honest! 

A post-bath Jasper looking like a cherub! Those currrrrls!

Photo tour!

I took some pictures of our humble travelling abode, so you can bask in all of its 28 feet of glory! 

The view of our site from the doorway of the trailer. The older two boys are having their quiet time with a big ol’ bin of Lego on the picnic table. There is also a small tree on the grassy patch to the right, which throws some decent shade for the kids to be able to play during these hot Summer days.

Gratuitous selfie in the pantry mirror!

Kitchen/dining room/living room – as seen from the back of the trailer.

The kitchen (with a working microwaaaaave!) as seen from the living room.

Dining room/living room as seen from the doorway. Also, the sleeping area for Corban (on the folded down table bed) and Desmond (on the couch).

Our bedroom – directly to the right of the front door, and sporting its own double doors to separate it from the rest of the trailer. Also, where Rowan has his quiet/nap time and where he initially gets put to bed at night, before being transferred to his bed in the bunkroom once Jasper is asleep.

Jasper’s spot in the ‘bunkroom’ at the back of the trailer. Also note the ‘MAN CAVE’ pennant – which I thought was extremely fitting for this particular room!

The rest of the bunk room! Rowan sleeps on the top bunk.

The bathroom – during the dental hygiene portion of the evening (Rowan is in there too – perched behind Clint on the edge of the tub!)


Now, let’s talk about the bunkroom. When Clinton and I embarked on this family camping adventure last year, our first task was to find a trailer that would reasonably house 6 people – with room to potentially grow with our family. I was extreeeeeemely skeptical that this could be done, but spent hours scouring the classifieds and hunted down every available option. The vast majority were simply too small, as we would need to ‘live’ in the trailer for weeks (or possibly even months) at a time. The first trailer we looked at ended up being the one we bought – and the main selling feature was the bunkroom!! I had never seen anything like it before and it has been such a game changer for trailer survival with four kids. Most trailers have a bunk area that is separated from the rest of the trailer by a curtain, or occasionally an accordion door/screen. This trailer has a slide out BEDROOM at the back that has a bunk bed, along with ample floor space for a playpen or twin sized foamie AND it has its own DOOR. As in a real, wooden, sliding door. As soon as I saw it I knew this was ‘the one’. And I have zero regrets. Since the kids are all so young, we have them spread out as much as possible right now. Desmond sleeps on the couch, Corban sleeps on the folded down table-turned-bed, and Rowan and Jasper sleep in the bunkroom (Rowan on the top bunk, Jasper in the playpen). Once they get old enough to not wake each other up at night, they could easily fit in the bunkroom altogether – especially if we had another mattress on the floor. In short, the bunkroom saved us from potential camping disaster and for that I am forever grateful. 

Okay enough about the bunkroom already! Sheesh you guys. Onto:

Week one!

After slooooowly recovering from the flu, we embraced the sunshine and spent the whole of week one in vacation bliss. No schedule, no school runs, no problems. The boys somehow slept through Clint getting up at 5am to get ready for work, and we had a campfire almost every night! Everyone was happy to spend some quality time with Daddy and he was very grateful that we had come to rescue him from his life of solitude. 

Rowan relaxing in our bed before being transferred to his own for the night. He hasn’t napped since we got here, so he is sleeping reeeeally well at night!

Mommy and Jasper at the camp playground.

Yahtzee with Daddy.

Jasper – snug as a bug in his playpen. He has been sleeping 10-12 hours a night and napping 2-3 hours during the day! A stark contrast to last Summer lol.

 

I bought a couple of toys off one of the local swap sites for super cheap and they have been a HUGE hit. Never underestimate the power of novelty.


Taking a break from the heat inside the AIR CONDITIONED trailer! We couldn’t use the A/C last summer (since we had no electricity) so it feels extra special now!

Breakfast time! I love these IKEA high chairs – easy to clean and lightweight! We have one at home as well.


Week two!
My one concern with heading up here at the last minute was that my 20 week detailed ultrasound was scheduled for June 23 – in Salmon Arm. These types of scans are always booked weeks in advance, so I didn’t hold out much hope that I would be able to reschedule it in a timely manner. Then I remembered that there is a private ultrasound clinic in Nanaimo (we used to refer patients there when I worked at a doctor’s office in Duncan). I called them up and rescheduled my ultrasound to June 26 – not bad for a week’s notice! One side effect of this change up was that we had to cancel the gender reveal party we had planned for that day – as we obviously would not be home! I was (and am!) super disappointed that we had to postpone it, but the ultrasound went well and the tech WAS able to determine the gender! He was also kind enough to write it down and place the paper in a sealed envelope – which is safely tucked away in my suitcase. I have found some hitherto unknown reserves of willpower apparently! We are planning to reschedule the party for when we are back home, but it is getting harder by the minute to put it off!! In the meantime baby seems quite comfortable and is busy kicking up a storm on the daily. 

The rest of the week went much the same as the previous had, and we enjoyed even warmer weather to boot! We spent Tuesday at the beach with my sister in law, Morgan, which was amazing. It was windy, but the water was lovely. We also went to Victoria and had a picnic at Beacon Hill park, but I neglected to get photographic evidence. Oops! But it was a fun day. 

Our precious baby number FIVE at 20 weeks.

Jasper in a tiny camp chair is pretty much too cute to handle. He loves sitting in it like a big boy!

20 weeks pregnant! At the beach with my boys.

Rowan!

Desmond!

Jasper doing some beach lounging.

Desmond reading to his brothers while Mommy made breakfast.

Another shot of Jasper in a camping chair! Look at his ‘cheese’ face!!

At the playground- the kids cannot get enough!

The bump at 21 weeks.

Eating s’mores- this looks like the middle of the day, but it was around 7:30pm!

Jasper has fallen asleep every single time we have driven somewhere. He is getting lots of fresh air and is plain old tuckered out every day!

This looks so staged, but it isn’t! Desmond saw me taking a picture of Jasper and just had to get in on the shot. My oldest and youngest ❀


And that’s our trip so far!  It hasn’t all been rainbows and lollipops, but the good has far outweighed the bad – and for that I am eternally grateful! I have no idea when we will be home, but am hoping it will be within the next week or so – mostly so I can start planning our gender reveal party!! It honestly isn’t that tempting to peek at the envelope. I feel like it would be really anticlimactic to spoil the surprise now! I also need to follow up with my doctor and get a prenatal check up, as it has been 6 weeks since my last one. But for now we are happy to be together and enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy your weekend, friends – and Happy Canada Day! 

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