Whenever we take Nico to do something new or hopefully-exciting, we tell him we're going on a little adventure. This past weekend was packed full of little adventures, for him and for us. We planned to spend the weekend camping with BoMB, Nie, and some mutual friends - a couple and their girls, ages two and four. Imagine my dismay when I woke up Thursday with what I thought was a sore throat due to using the furnace for the first time this year and gradually realized was actually a cold. And since I was toddler-wrangling all day Thursday while unable to take any good drugs due to being pregnant, this meant I basically had a Man Cold. By that evening I was somewhat miserably stuffed-up and exhausted, and also cranky because we'd been planning this trip for six months and there was no way to postpone. All the adults had taken vacation days and we had already paid for our campsites. Luckily the list of approved medications from the OB included Sudafed, so I sent MB out in search of some on Friday morning - never an easy thing to find in the Meth Belt. He prevailed, though, and I decided to proceed with cautious optimism. We set out around lunchtime and drove down to Land Between the Lakes, a place I'd only visited for one overnight in college.
Unlike last time, picking campsites based on my best guesses after viewing an online map worked out well. We had three fairly large sites on the back loop of a tent-only section, within walking distance of a water spigot and an actual flushing toilet and within an easy drive of a place to buy firewood. Despite being literally sick and tired, I was much more patient and a lot less cranky than last trip, and we ended up having a really good weekend. Other than a spectacular nap failure on Saturday (which can probably be almost entirely blamed on flawed adult expectations), Nico was a champ. He minded mostly-well, he slept mostly-great, and he seemed to have a very good time running around with his little buddies. We all went to a working historical farm on Saturday morning and got to see sheep and the biggest cows I have ever encountered. Perhaps they were actually oxen? Nico's favorite animals were the two horses that were barely visible through the slats in their barn wall and he kept asking to go back and "see the horses peeking out." I really wanted to take him to the Nature Station as well, but we didn't have time Saturday and then it rained Sunday morning. We didn't make it to the drive-through bison prairie, either, so I guess we'll have to go back when he's a little older. I suspect Nico's favorite thing from the whole trip was spending almost an hour chucking rocks into the lake (and stuffing them down crayfish burrows). It was one of my favorites, too, admittedly. Other hits with the toddler set were blowing bubbles and running amok with glow bracelets.
When everyone started talking about this trip way back when, it sounded like we were going to camp near Nashville, so MB and I took off extra days with the plan that we'd take Nico down a few days early to do some pre-camping adventuring. By the time LBL was chosen as the official destination, we'd already requested the days off and it seemed silly to give them back, so on Monday we took Nico on a day trip to the Louisville Zoo. I was a bit of a documom slacker and barely took any photos (none of them very good), but it was a good day. Nico spent the whole ride there intermittently asking where we were going ("To see some animals!") and then announcing "Nico doesn't want to go." As I hoped, once we got to the zoo he was fine and seemed to enjoy it. He spent a hilariously short time looking at each denizen before announcing "We go see another animal!" Post-visit interrogations turned up little intel, but it sounds like his favorite animals were the bright blue poison arrow frog, the goat that pooped in front of us at the tiny petting zoo area, and possibly the polar bears. It was a very nice zoo and a beautiful fall day for the drive there, so I'm pretty pleased overall. Who knows if N will remember any of it, but I feel like we at least did some good stimulating of his tiny neurons.
We were still off work today (decadence!) and spent it slowly putting camping stuff away and lazing about. Nico also got to go to his beloved donut place for breakfast and attended the Tuesday version of the toy-bank-style playgroup that we frequent on Mondays. I would highly, highly recommend a day of basically nothing after a weekend of adventuring, whenever possible.