campfires, rain, hot coffee and ocean

Oh, and some chocolate, yeah just a little…

Easter!

We’ve developed an almost-tradition of going away with some friends and one of my sisters for Easter weekend. Because this is just the second time we have done it, with a break in between, that’s why it’s just an almost-tradition. I think after next year we will be able to call it a tradition. One of the breaks was due to me giving birth so I’m sure it would be a definite tradition had that occurred on another weekend!

Easter means varied things to me, and I am not a religious person in the traditional sense, so it has mostly represented family time as a child and the Easter Bunny and going away and long weekending and such. Prince Charming was born on an Easter Sunday many moons ago, and it was also an Easter Sunday that little Nell came into the world two years ago. Since then it has become more significant to me.

This year we went to Waratah Bay and camped. We are ok campers having both grown up with it, and have done a bit since Baby (soon to be a very inappropriate nickname) was born, but every time we take way too much stuff and I get really pissed off with all the junk flying everywhere in the tent and not being able to find anything and coming home with too many clean clothes that need to be washed anyway because they are thrown in with dirty shoes and so on and so forth. Every time we go away I say to PC, let’s take less stuff this time, come on, I know we can! And the same old happens again… Yah. A gripe. A gripe, a gripe. Ok, now I’ve got that off my chest.

Soooooo. This time I said “Let’s take less stuff this time, come on, I know we can!” And we did! I wrote some serious lists, and I mean serious. Usually I write a list and then when I’m packing and going through my clothes I just throw in an extra this and extra that. Oh and I am a real offender when it comes to having a fully packed bag, then noticing a few ‘must haves’ on the clothes horse and shoving them in anywhere I can find any inkling of space whatsoever. This time, none of that.

I built up some motivation by looking at a few blogs who have kindly written up some family camping tips, mainly Ivy Nest and this post. (Tania, it was you who made me determined to do a camping trip with cloth nappies, I really didn’t think it was possible, but it is! And is really not that hard!)

Then with a deep breath I made these small but effective changes to my packing routine:

:: Serious, serious lists. If something is not on the list, it does not get to go. Seriously!

:: Serious lists also meant serious planning in regards to clothes. This sounds so nerdy but I made sure everything I packed matched instead of throwing in whatever, so that it didn’t matter what I put on in the mornings from my slim pickings, everything went with everything… not that this matters so much while camping but we had some plans outside of the campsite so I wanted to give a half-decent vibe rather than a bedraggled-frizzy-haired-mis-matched-polkadots-stripes-and-florals-crazy-pregnant-lady-who-has-eaten-too-much-chocolate vibe. I ended up taking one pair of leggings which I lived in for 3 of the 4 days away, a pair of trackies, and a pair of cords – which I thought was overdoing it in the pants department until the last day when we got soaked packing up and the cords were my only dry and clean clothes left for the trip home for which I was grateful! I packed two long sleeve tops as well as a thermal (go me, well needed!), two t-shirts and two long singlet tops. Then a jacket, beanie, gloves, socks, undies, etc. I did under-do the clothes for Baby though as I didn’t fully anticipate her innate need to sit and play in the puddles and dirt as much as more experienced mother of a toddler may have…

:: Meal planning. My friend and I organised all the food in advance and I packed only the food that was necessary as opposed to going through my pantry and throwing things in because I think we might find it useful while we’re away. In addition to this, instead of throwing in the whole bottle of tamari for example, I tipped the portion I needed into a little bottle and took that. Can I just add that the pregnant in me had great difficulty prioritising food, so I gave myself a lot of credit for sticking with this. If we had let her put her two bob in we would have ended up with many strange things in the food tub, let me tell you. Anyway, enough with the Gollum speak, my preciouses.

:: Tubs. Tubs, tubs, tubs.

:: A jar of washing powder for the odd wash if we ran out of clothes. I ended up just using this for nappies, which didn’t dry in the end due to weather and a dodgy old dryer at the campsite but we ended up having enough to get us through anyway.

:: Lastly, the thing that really made the difference was cheating a bit and borrowing the father-in-law’s trailer. But, we did have a toddler, my sister and one of our dogs in the car so figure we are allowed some leeway.

Phew! This post didn’t even get around to the bit where we gave Baby her first taste of chocolate… EVER! And the part where she initially wouldn’t eat it because it was a bunny and she wanted to take it everywhere with her and give it “big tuddles”. Check out the white-nailed grip she has on the little guy in the photo above. Ah well, next time.

What did you all get up to for Easter?

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