Any other moms feel so overwhelmed sometimes? I have been trying to get a new post out for days but both of my kids have sabotaged my one time in the evenings to get some writing done! Hayden Renee one night decided she wanted to wash her hair with play doh. Yes, you read that correctly, play doh! It took a 30 minute soak in the bathtub with conditioner, than me slowly combing through her hair for probably another twenty minutes before I got It all out! So after that situation I spent the evening (what was left of it) and drank a glass (or two) of wine and thought about my life decisions of allowing play doh into my house.
We are currently planning a family camping trip and are so excited for it so I thought for all you fellow campers (or fifth wheel) like us I would just do a tips and tricks I have learned from having just Hayden Renee to camping with Kasalina Grace as an infant who is in cloth diapers!
I love camping and we are so incredibly blessed that when my in laws upgraded their fifth wheel they allowed us to take over their old one! We have on occasion taken their’s but my father in law usually enjoys going with us so we take both! I absolutely love our times in the fifth wheel as a family, they recenter and re-energize us. If you are wanting to have just times together as a family I really recommend camping and exploring, even if it is just your state! We made a list at the beginning of the year of places within two hours of our house that we wanted to explore and we try to go one of those places every two months.
The best thing I have found when it comes to these trips is planning ahead is key! When it comes to meals, clothes, toys, everything pretty much I plan ahead. I have made my life easier and there are certain things that I have already in the fifth wheel that doesn’t have to be moved back and forth. It can be expensive to essentially have a second of everything, a lot of things I got on sale or on black Friday deals! We keep a sound machine in the camper because both of my girls sleep with one! I also have a toy box in the camper that is just for the camper. Hayden Renee loves this because she has exciting “new” toys that she gets to play with when we go explore! After each trip I wash all the sheets and towels than put them all back into the camper so when we go to leave the next time its one less thing for me to do and think about!
Now as far as meal planning goes when we are exploring, I tend to be a little less strict with what we eat while out. BUT I still make a meal plan that I can for the most part do all the preparation before we leave and it makes my life so much easier! I absolutely love foil meals for dinners! I can pre marinate and make all the vegetables and meats that go in the foil packets and have them in bags ready to be put into the foil! So much easier than having to do it all in a small area with little to no counter space! Lets be honest campers do not have much extra counter space to spread out and cut everything! Lunches are another fun experience and my first couple trips I would bring ALL the sandwich supplies and make them at the time. Not so much anymore! The best thing i’ve done is to take the Hawaiian bread rolls (which are amazing) cut the whole slab in half sideways, and put all the meat and cheese on them. I usually do a packet for every lunch we are there and do half ham and half turkey. They packages just sit onto of each other on the shelf in the small fridge in the camper (which anyone else who camps wish that you could fit a full size fridge in them!) I stock up on all those tiny packages of mayo and mustard and ketchup and those go into a plastic bin labeled condiments on a shelf in a cabinet because there are ATON of those! Now this all took me about five or six times of camping before I figured it out! The first couple solo trips kinda got rough and thank god for my amazing mother in law who has does this a lot more than me and has a fifth wheel stocked better than my house! I promise you as much preparation as you can do ahead of time will allow you to feel like you are on vacation. I do a lot of things that can be put on the grill because that is my husbands area and I get to sit down and relax while he cooks!
Another huge help for me is to put my kids clothes for each day and pajamas in pre labeled bags (that I reuse every time!) All I have to do is reach into the cabinet and grab the bag I need and don’t even have to think about it! The less I have to think about in the moment and the more I get to relax and have fun the better! Now I have a dock-a-tot for Kasalina that I take EVERYWHERE! She sleeps all night in it and as all moms know taking that away is not an option if you want to maintain your sanity! I love organizing, I love having things organized because it allows me to have fun outside and truly enjoy the time away because everything is already done!
One big thing thats hard in a camper is there is no bathtub, so with little kids we have a sprayer shower head with a long hose! Hayden Renee is easy because she can just stand in there and I can just spray her down, she thinks its so much fun! The sprayer turns on and off so I don’t have to readjust the temperature each time! Kasalina is a little tougher but we usually just have one of us in there holding her while the other stands outside of the shower ready to take the baby. I have a wash cloth for each girl in the camper and a hook for them in the shower so I can just let them dry in between uses! One thing you will learn fast when camping is minimalism is key. A towel for each person is enough for the short amount of time you are gone! It’s so incredibly freeing to not have so much stuff around you and just have people!
Now for you cloth diaper mommas or those who are considering cloth diapers! I absolutely love our decision to cloth diaper. It was a slow decision to get to this point because I barely have time for myself now and to add in one more thing I needed to do seemed daunting. But, both of my girls are allergic to the bleaching in both diapers and now Hayden is potty trained and I have to use a certain brand of toilet paper to keep her from reacting! So needless to say this switch has been an amazing option for me! At home I have an easy setup with a can with a liner for the diapers and it works well for me! In the camper I had to get a bit creative because I couldn’t have a bulky bin sitting around for many reasons. I found on amazon reusable liners that were large and zipped shut. I also have seventh generation spray and that handy sprayer in the shower that helps me deal with the number two diapers! I than use my amazing mrs. Meyers spray to spray down the floor of the shower! This system works well for me and I bring enough diapers for all the days we are gone. If you cloth diaper you know that you know how many you use a day! We also use cloth for Kasalina Grace’s swim diapers and I have three of those on hand because she doesn’t tend to stay in the water if we do go swimming for long so she doesn’t soil those as fast as her cloth diapers!
I will always encourage having a salt lamp and diffuser with your favorite oils taken with you! I love to keep my family in the same routine of there oils and if you don’t believe in a salt lamp you should!! They are the most amazing way to clear the air of negative energy and get rid of anxiety! My diffuser in the camper is a smaller one because it is a small area but my oil collection is just as big as in my house because you never know what you may need for what ailment! The bug spray I use on my girls and the bug bite balm are all made from my essential oils. I try to use as little of chemicals as I can. Hayden before bed every night asks for her essential oils (rollerballs) on her feet and chest. I LOVE that she loves to explore but with exploring comes with bug bites and bruises! I love doterra Terra Shield in both the oil and spray! The oil can be diffused to keep the creepy crawlies out of your area, while the spray can keep them off of you! Lavender and Cedarwood are amazing separately but together are great for restful sleep! I diffuse this while getting my kids wound down for a nap or bedtime or use it in a rollerball to clam them down! I never go anywhere without these oils.
My last tip to getting away with your family is to put the electronics down! The phones, the tablets, the laptops, all of it goes into a bin in the camper and we may check it at night once the kids are in bed but during the day we don’t pick it up! It gives us a chance to unplug and get away, it gives us a chance to truly reconnect as a family! I find it gives me and my husband and chance to just be with each other and talk and not have one of our phones blowing up or facebook open or instagram! I love these trips and one weekend every two months won’t kill your following, and your facebook won’t disappear! What it will do is allow your family to truly reconnect with each other and have fun! These memories that you will make will last forever!