Typical Day In Camp

Mornings start off nice and cool. Warm enough to leave Marin in her diaper without putting any clothes on her, but still cool enough to enjoy being outside. Later, (1/2 hour later) it has warmed up enough that a cold fruit smoothie is welcome for breakfast.

Grandpa is really good at sharing his breakfast smoothie with Marin
Grandpa is really good at sharing his breakfast smoothie with Marin

A couple hours after breakfast comes the first of 2 or 3 naps for the little girl. She just goes, and goes, and goes, playing with all her aunts and uncles so it’s no wonder she needs more nap time down here than she does up in Portland where she only has Seth and I to play with through the day.

Napping in the hammock is a win-win for Rinny and I
Napping in the hammock is a win-win for Rinny and I

In the evening we are all so dusty and dirty, that often times the family will drive into town for showers. When we don’t go in, or when I opt to stay at camp instead of going for the drive, we pull out Ann’s (Tim and Ann are the couple who’s land we are staying on) big blue tote bucket, fill it up with a bit of sun-warmed water, plunk Marin in it as her sophisticated evening bath, and scrub her down. After getting her all clean, she stays in the tub and plays while I get a quick outer-appendage scrub-down. It’s not as clean feeling as getting a shower and washing your hair, but it’s wonderfully refreshing after a hot sticky dusty day.

Kitchen spoons make wonderful bath toys!
Kitchen spoons make wonderful bath toys!

Later in the evening as the sun sets and the air starts to slowly cool down from the high 90’s or low 100’s, Grandma gets a little snuggle and play time with her little girl before I scoop her off to our tent for some more quiet wind-down playtime with whatever she can find to amuse herself with in my tent, which usually ends up as……. my tooth brush. Then it’s bedtime and the end of the day.

Kisses, hugs and fun playtime with Grandma before going to bed.
Kisses, hugs and fun playtime with Grandma before going to bed.
Favorite toy in the tent is my toothbrush. I just bought a new one today so I wouldn't have to keep digging dirt out when I want to use it!
Favorite toy in the tent is my toothbrush. I just bought a new one today so I wouldn’t have to keep digging dirt out when I want to use it!

Good night!

Exciting Cows

Marin has liked animals ever since she was just a few months old. I know, she still isn’t even quite a year yet, but she has liked them for well over half her life!

First it started with Lorax the dog. She would touch his shoulder and head tentatively and with some reservation despite her excitement. Another early animal fascination was the squirrels that she could watch running atop the garden fence when her dad would prop her up against the back of the couch with pillows and cushions.

Eventually she progressed to pulling herself up to a standing position all by herself to watch the squirrels, and most recently crawling over to Lorax while he is eating where she then tries to steal his food.

When we would take her for walks she would follow the flights of birds and tell us all about the dogs she could see. We would stop so she could watch a squirrel climb through the trees and chitter at her. She especially likes trying to get near our neighbour’s cat Toula, but felines will be felines and this one won’t let a baby get too close.

Last week upon arriving in Colorado, my younger siblings took Marin and I across a creek and through a field to a neighbouring plot of grassy land where three miniature ponies, a donkey and a miniature mule reside. We gathered lush grass on the way, which the mule greedily gobbled up while Marin watched carefully, not wanting to get too close to it, but yet fascinated. After maybe 10 or 15 minutes she eventually did reach out and touch the mule’s nose, then pull back and watch as the mule’s lips wriggled and pulled grass up out of the ground.

Feeding the pony
Feeding the pony

In the field beside the ponies there are a bunch of cows which Marin brings my attention to every time she sees them. Even from up in camp, she spots them on the far hill and touches my face, trying to make me look at the cows.

So…. last night while most of the kids were in town swimming and having showers, I took Marin across the creek to go visit the animals without distraction from the kids. First we pulled up grass along the creek, then called the ponies and mule over. This time, it didn’t take Marin long at all to get over her nervousness of such large animals. She was touching the mule’s cheek and I drew the line at her trying to pick it’s nose.

When all the grass was eaten up by the mule and it lost interest in us, we wandered over to the cows where I found out Marin LOVES cows! She got so excited her arms and legs were just a flapping and she squealed with joy. The cows started, turning to stare at us, not quite sure what to make of us. It didn’t dapped Marin’s excitement at all. She just kept squealing and flapping her arms only taking short breaks to see if she was getting any reaction from them.