Monday, June 7, 2010

The Amazing Race

My dad warned Tom at our wedding, "Tom, Caralee can be a hippie, but she can also wear a dress." He knows me too well. I'll never turn down a five star, but I can go hard core with a hand shovel and a doggy bag if you know what I mean. When it comes to camping with my kids, I'm a little schitzophrenic. I want to camp in the spots that are remote, beautiful, and a little adventurous, but I want to take ALL MY CONVENIENCES with me. 'Cause there is nothing like dealing with an 15 month old, when your both going on just a little bit of sleep and half fully tummies. This point brings me to my story.
Three months ago when my sister, Chandra, came to visit Costa Rica, I decided to take her camping. She loves to camp, and will pretty much never turn it down. So, in my little Kia, we packed 2 adults, 6 kids, two tents, a couple of large coolers, a few surfboards, a bunch of beach towels and toys, all the needed kitchen supplies, bug spray and sunscreen, changes of clothes, baby bottles, diapers and wipes, matresses, the porta crib, get the picture (I don't think it's even legal.) Of course we chose a really remote camping spot that you could really only get to by either A) Trekking down the beach for 20 minutes with all of the stuff or B) Parking across what appeared to be just a little stream and hiking the stuff into the spot via the knee high water. The stream had to be crossed at two points, with a sand bar in between. We went for option B, thinking that walking through the water would be the more refreshing choice. I put Elle on my back in Baby Ergo (the best investment I have ever made), and the kids camped out on the shore line with their sand toys while my sister and I played conveyor belt; I unloaded the car and walked the goods across the stream at the first point and passed them to her. She would then walk them across the stream at second point and drop them on the shore. She got the harder leg of the journey of course, as she is often times referred to as an 'ox' or 'pack horse' with her 3 boys and 1 girl in tow on the most incredible undertakings.
All was going as planned, at first. I am not brilliant at times, thats for sure, and I neglected to put two very important facts together. Fact one, the stream was coming in off the ocean. (and if you are a surfer or beach bum, or know anything about the ocean and I mean ANYTHING, you probably know the second fact and where this story is heading.) Fact two, the ocean has two tides. It's just not rocket science.
We arrived at the turn of the low tide, when the stream was just a stream. But we packed A LOT of stuff, and it was just my sister and I and 6 little kiddos. So, by the time we finished unpacking, we were both wading across shoulder deep water with the goods above our heads, I being determined not to let my down pillow get damp at all. We finished unpacking just in the nick of time. Seriously, our last load was the surfboards, and I paddled them all the way across, the sand bar having disappeared minutes before.
The whole experience was completely entertaining, and a full body workout. The fact that we thought the whole experience was just great, must mean she and I are destined to compete in the Amazing Race or something. Tommy, my hubby, was a little less delighted when he swam across the river to take the car to get some more ice, and quickly realized it was trapped on the highest spot until low tide again. I guess the remote little path I drove in on, was actually the high tide river bed...eeek. Next time I'll do a little more research on the spot we choose.
All and all it was a lot of fun. The weather was hot and sunny, we had shade for our tents, we ate yummy yummy food, enjoyed scary stories around a campfire that was just for looks cause it was far to hot to get near, and got a relatively good night's sleep. Yes I said, a good night's sleep....all that work for just one night! It was totally worth it. The next day we had plenty of sunshine, played on the beach, and packed up the car all over again...this time during low tide.

The Kia was a little overloaded, I just haaaaaad to take my Tiki torches filled with Citronella to keep the mozzis away...hey, it worked!

Clark and Brody were excited to go, and so got in the car a little prematurely. Brody has fully adapted to the climate here, but Clarky (on right and very grumpy) was a little overheated. WATER!

You can see Elle's white leg hanging from my back. Yep, she hung out back there for the entire 1.5 hours of unpacking. She was 15 months at the time, but has always been keen for adventure.

Elle liked trudging through the water, it was quite refreshing. I was worried she would get a sea salt rash on those chunky thies, but they were just fine.

Here is Kate and Elle. Elle is airing out those thies :)

It was an amazing sunset

Notice no one is actually sitting in front of the was totally just for the visual effect.

Baby Yoga

Elle was minding her own business, eating her steak and rice. I became occupied for only a few moments and when I turned back around she was literally doing downward facing dog on the tray of her highchair. Of course I had to ask her to reproduce the pose for the purpose of recording the moment, or no one would have believed me! Elle was only 16 months at the time.

The stuff nightmare's are made of.....

This bug was found on the floor at the foot of Brooklyn's bed. It is a very poisonous centipede. Also found in the picture are Brooklyn's bright pink panties. I am just glad he was next to them and not INSIDE of them, because....eeek! The bite on these is just as sore as a scorpion, or so I hear......

Primaria de Santa Cruz - Fiesta de Nadando

We had a church primary party at our house last week. A member of our ward, graciously donated the funds to have the kids transported in an air conditioned van from Santa Cruz to our home, about a one hour drive. We BBQ'd, played with water balloons, and of course we swam. None of the kids actually knew how to swim...NONE OF THEM. Which leads me to my next venture...non-profit organization to help low income families enjoy the beauties and activities of Costa Rica that people travel from all over the world to see. We will be looking for families who wish to sponsor children and families down here to experience or learn to swim, surf, 4 X, participate in local art workshops, play and instrument, zip line, raft, etc.....These kids need some opportunity. We will be starting with swimming lessons in August, it's free and easy, and....well, it's a start.

Tommy on the you babe!

This girl loves to swim...just taken a break I guess.

None of the kids ages 3 - 14 actually knew how to swim. Good thing the pool is shallow. Brooklyn was giving swim lessons by the end though, and they were making some progress.

Elle (18 months) sitting next to her primary companion of 3 years! What a fatty eh?

That Aint No Cookie

This short story contains a man, dog poop, a kitchen spatula and an angry wife. It might not be suitable for all audiences, as it contains mildly explicit language....Our dog Monster left us a 'surprise' on our patio while we were out. When we came home my hubby said, "I'll clean that up." Moments later I walked onto the patio and shuddered at the sight of my husband scooping up the smelly doggy 'treat' with my KITCHEN SPATULA. No joke. "What the hell are you doing???" I shrieked! "What? (he replied oh so innocently) I'm just cleaning this mess up." I watched in horror (I'm a little OCD) as he then proceeded to launch the load from the spatula into the trees, hose off the spatula, and then bring the spatula inside to "disinfect" it with some dish soap and the kitchen sponge. OH NO HE DI'N'T! (said with three snaps and a whip of the head.) I relieved him of his duties at that point, and got the whole situation under control. I have been laughing spontaneously since then...MEN! (Said to myself out of the pure hope that my husband isn't the only man who would pull this stunt off.) Thanks for letting me share the story babe, your are the best, love ya!