Colds, Caffeine and Camping


Remember how I detailed my brilliant plan for keeping busy when my husband travels for work?

And how it involves lots of play dates, outings, and kid fun things?

Well he left this morning and Henry has a raging cold. Like one of those gross, booger face ones that always disgust me when other kids have them, but not my own?

So now I don’t know what we will do. My other plan to leave him with a babysitter to work out didn’t work so well. I went to the gym for an hour on Monday and he cried himself to sleep off and on the whole time with the hysterics breathing.

Oh the sadness of not working out whenever and however I please! My life is so hard.

But the problem here is that he’s not sick enough to be, like, laying around all day and Anna feels fine. We spent almost all Monday home (it rained) and we were all stir-crazy and couldn’t stand one more minute inside. But we couldn’t go around friends with babies and apparently all I have are friends with babies. So we  did errands and went shopping for entertainment (I never do this! I hate this!) and Anna got a shirt with a glittery mermaid on it. She’s obsessed with mermaids, if I haven’t already mentioned that. I bought shorts at Old Navy simply because I enjoy Old Navy being the only store on the planet that I fit into a size negative 12 in. Never change, Old Navy!

Note to self: make more friends without kids.


I’m a huge coffee drinker and I’m almost immune to the effects. When I was in college, I worked at a Starbucks (yes, I was annoying, and yes, I wore nerdy glasses and had a piercing, sorry you hated me) and I would do many shots of espresso at closing time when we were cleaning up at like 11 p.m.. Then I’d go home and close my eyes and go right to sleep.

I’m not THAT tolerant now but I figured I was safe to have half a cup at 7 p.m. (I know, but I needed energy to run and I didn’t have any the natural way like from my body) and then I was awake until midnight which sucks when you sleep in 45 minute increments until seven a.m. And also, when you’re an ogre who needs like a million hours of sleep at night.

So yeah. I have to balance needing to caffeinate for late evening workouts and needing to sleep. Maybe 6 p.m. should be my cutoff. Cause that’s normal.


So besides my sob stories, this summer has been really fun. Every weekend we do a baby buttload of really nice things, lots of outdoor exploring, eating out, kids stuff, parties, BBQs, beaching, pooling, parking.

The only thing missing is…


My husband and I have never gone camping together. We traveled a lot before kids, but he never relented to my whining to “take me camping.” He wasn’t that into it, and we didn’t have gear, but I want to go every summer/fall.

I’ve only gone once in my life, anyway, after college, when my then boyfriend and I drove to the Adirondacks in his breaking down truck to get his crazy Russian survivalist father’s gear, along with a lecture from him on the evils of CARBOS, repeated in a thick accent all weekend.

“What’s CARBOS???” I finally whispered in an aside to my boyfriend.

“Carbs,” he said, obviously. Oh. This was 2001, no one was really talking about low-carb diets in my circles, except this man in Utica, N.Y. who was a doctor and studied heart damage from CARBOS and who had just married his second wife, brought her over from Russia, and then promptly had a baby boy who he…gave the same name as his older son to.

Anyway, my boyfriend’s truck broke down, and we had like $100 to our names and we had visions of working off the repair work in this dismal upstate town (I figured I could sling coffee at the truck stop diner) but then his dad dropped us off anyway, with all our gear, on the side of the road in the middle of the state park, with a map and $100 and said he’d pick us up in five days. I do think we had cell phones but probably no coverage.

So then we hitchhiked (also the only time I’ve done this) to a campsite, but then decided after one night it wasn’t remote enough, so we walked to a further one down a trail for a couple of hours, carrying all our water and everything and made camp next to a lake that was awesome except apparently all the fauna of the Adirondacks would come drink out of it at night and we heard everything from what sounded like the rustling of adorable bunnies nibbling grass outside our tent to the deafening homph-gomping of stampeding (what we could only imagine) was a horde of wild boars in the night.

That’s when I learned I was irrationally scared of wildlife. We had our food in the tree for bears and I was terrified to go pee next to the campsite. I was sure there were lions, tigers and bears lurking in the immense darkness. I grew up on Long Island. There’s no real darkness at night here. My parents never took me camping. I loved everything about camping, except at night….when the darkness and the ANIMALS came. Or came in my mind at least.

So then one day we were hiking around and we must have surprised a giant turkey who started charging me. I guess he figured we were equitable opponents. I’m 5 feet 4 inches. He was… a turkey. My boyfriend had to throw rocks at the turkey’s head to get him to retreat. I was attacked by a turkey! I knew this was dangerous.

But I want to camp again. I’m fully confident that my husband can also protect me from giant fowl with impromptu missiles but I don’t want to be freaking out with my irrational fear that bears are going to paw down our tent at night, especially with the kids.

Don’t they always go for the kids?!

Have I mentioned they smell like cupcakes? Bears love cupcakes!

We are looking at some campsites in the Catskills that look perfect, except all the Yelp reviews say that there are tons of black bear that roam around and even bringing dogs doesn’t keep them away.

I don’t know if I can handle bears. I know, I know. But…the turkey…the boar hooves…

Have you gone camping with babies, toddlers, or preschoolers? Am I insane? Should I stay on my sea level island with extirpated wildlife?





Filed under Life & Style, Parenting

4 Responses to Colds, Caffeine and Camping

  1. I think your blog needs more ex boyfriend stories. I feel like you probably have lots of interesting ones :)

  2. Barb

    so funny!
    also, weird timing – my husband and I were very into camping before my son was born…but last year things were a bit too complicated to take a 4/5/6/7 week old camping… that said – we’re taking L camping tomorrow! :)
    We’ll see how it goes. My biggest fear now is ticks and tick bites.
    But I’m also wondering how to deal with bear potential when I need to have a bottle on hand for night feeding in the tent….yikes! 😉

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