What we learned at the Camping circus

img_1761img_1763We had a great trip!  I am not going to lie, we were riddled with anxiety before hand.  Would we be able to keep them {Nolan} entertained?  It is supposed to rain, do we have a rain plan?  How hard will it be on us to be “different” than our peers in what we have to do?  Turns out, this trip went well, we played in the rain, and though different, we made it work.

img_2385We learned is the value of bringing sensory activities to meet his need (plus other kids think its cool too!)  We had a sensory corner set up which did it’s job.  I do apologize to the campground that is going to have a bunch of bean stalks growing after our sensory bin came through!





We learned if you dip Nolan he will smile, but then all of Stella’s photos will be of her leaning back to dip. So if we synchronize our dipping, we get two smiling kids.


We learned to accept looking at the camera and not crying as a sign of tolerance and growth. We say a good picture is the front of his face.  This little change in mentality gave us way more confidence in child, photos, and the  whole photo taking process.  This is our kid, heimg_2140  was there, and he totally tolerated the photos that day, yay! We also learned the art of getting 20 people to look at the camera is a feat, but we CAN do it!


img_1786img_1789We learned that we can make them smile with tickles as well as bribery.img_2142img_2143

Girl Photo
Boy Photo

img_1813img_1815Sometimes the sibling bond between these 2 is all we need.  Stella was a great helper knowing when to hug Nolan, sit with him, tell on him, go get him, tattle on him, etc.  This little girl is a great sister and Nolan doesn’t show it nearly as often or in the same ways, but he loves her, too.


img_1822img_1840Turns out the kids love water!  I knew they liked a bath, but the whole swimming and such was not quite as common.  Stella likes the sand better than the water, but she also doesn’t get the same float stuff as kids her age because of her size. We are working on finding her a puddle jumper that fits so she can play the same way as other 2 year olds.  She did like her unicorn!


img_1862img_1868We learned the kids loved playing in the rain. Stella loved the umbrellas and Nolan just loved the water.  They had all their gear so they were ready to play.


img_1881img_1897We also learned that both kids like wagon rides this year!  Actually all 10 kids liked it this year!


img_1908We learned Stella liked her first corn on the cob.   She also still does really well in a cooler bath!  (Nolan did well too, he just didn’t get a photo).

img_1921img_1925We learned the water (deep where Nolan can’t touch) is his happy place.  He will float for long periods of time and he is just happy.  His stimming is drastically reduced during and after.  The smiles we can get out of him in the water!  He is also learning how to swim!  He is kicking, paddling, and doesn’t need anyone holding him!  Stella is comfortable blowing bubbles and putting her face in the water.  These kids are doing so well!

img_1939img_1987With so little body fat, Ms. Stella gets cold pretty easy.  She snuggles with mommy while the puddle jumper crew all swam with the daddys!  She also makes an adorable walking unicorn towel!


All the little ones in their puddle jumpers!  It was warmer in the water.  We need to find a jumper that Stella can fit in so she can be in the water learning to swim too!

Jumping in for all the puddle jumpers!

img_1994Stella’s favorite thing was the sand.  Getting little kids to hold still long enough to be buried is pretty tricky!


She is also a little diva.

img_2004img_2012Stella loved playing with Luna (11 month).  Nolan and Luna got a long really well because they both enjoy teething/sensory toys!

img_2026img_2033The kids don’t get a lot of time by the fire because fire usually comes so late, but when we started one sooner one night.  Turns out both kids love their chairs and sitting by the fire.

We also spent a lot of time perfecting this–the letters, the hash tag, the photography, the lighting the sparklers in time with 2 little lighters….but we did it!

Our little boy, who, just earlier in this vacation, would sit on the side and slide in when you told him to jump started actually jumping….and then started jumping with nobody catching him and going under!  this kid is amazing with what he learns!

His kicking and paddling is getting better every day, too!  Sorry for the mom voice.

img_2054We also learned Stella is not allergic to bees.  She stepped on one as we were packing up to change, eat lunch, and leave.  She took it like a champ as daddy pulled the stinger out and mommy took her drying suit bottom and used it to hold on the ice pack.

img_2069img_20734 days camping is a lot.  We were tired and ready for normalcy…though now we are thinking we need a pool!

img_2072On the car ride home, when Nolan got sick of being in the car, we even got him to work on some activities, which has never happened!  Big milestone here!

Long post/story short, we learned a lot this vacation. Mostly, I would say when we take a step back and learn from the kids vs. having a plan and being disappointed it isn’t working, we have a lot of fun and so do they!  These kids surprised us with their adaptability and showing/telling us what they want and need to have a fun trip! We are definitely taking what we know and adding it to future trips!

Photos: Me and EllieFay Photography & Design
Stella Camera Toy: Pug & Pine Toys
Stella Bows: Goose & Mills Farmers Market Collection
Stella Rain Coat: Old Navy
Nolan Rain Coat: Amazon
Nolan Peg & Rings Toy: Babe Rock
Sensory Jumping Hippo: B. Hankypants
Letter Board: Letter Board Club–Letter Chalk
Light Board: Hobby Lobby

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