youtubeHaving small children has brought me so much joy. When we had our second child one year ago we gladly welcomed all the baby snuggles, and adapted again to having a baby often on a hip. But with the fun of a small baby also comes night wakings and nursing. This meant less freedom for mom, me! For quite some time I’d had a two-day long project to work on with a friend who lived over two hours away. Instead of putting it off until my daughter was weaned, we used our trailer to our advantage. My husband, kids and I all headed to Arlington, WA with our RV to let mom get some work done. Bringing our trailer allowed me to come between work to help my husband with the kids and to nurse my daughter.

We started our trip with an overnight stop at Grandma and Papa’s to break up the drive and give us an earlier arrival in Arlington the following day. We parked our trailer in the backyard and then we all went for a fun visit to my see my Great Grandpa who lived nearby, for the first time in many months! The kids loved spending time with Great Bob collecting pinecones outside and exploring the grounds around the property. After sharing some dessert together we headed back to my parents’ house and then enjoyed more time playing with Grandma and Papa, sharing dinner together and then putting the kids down. Once the kids were asleep, my husband and I took advantage of having free baby sitters (thanks mom and dad!) and left the baby monitor with them, while we headed out for a casual date night in town. We didn’t go to any restaurants or stores due to corona virus precautions in a bigger city. We had a great time walking together on trails and thinking of memories on these same trails many years ago when we were first dating and lived with our parents back in that area. After our walk we headed back to visit with my parents a little before calling it a night and heading into the trailer.

Visit with Great Grandpa Bob

The next morning we all shared a quick breakfast together before heading out to Arlington. Thankfully traffic wasn’t a problem at all and we made it there around 10:30. My friends property had a good place for trailer parking, but not great play space for the kids. But with plenty of play space in the trailer and the small outdoor area, the kids still had a great time. Once we were parked, got jacks down and were settled, I met up with my friend and started on the project and let my husband be Super Dad for a while.

Breakfast Before We Go

Daddy, Nolan, and Molly had fun on the big bed in the trailer making forts and playing with the windows. Molly loves crawling on soft things so she was totally in her element. Next, they enjoyed taking a short walk on the property and along the long driveway/dirt road in.

Exploring the Neighborhood

By this time the kids were ready for lunch. They gathered around the dinette and got finished up just as I came back in for a break. I helped get the kids changed and brushed for naptime and nursed Molly. Once they were settled down I took a little time to visit with Brad before heading back out. We were making great progress so far, but wanted to keep moving if we wanted to get done in the two days we had planned for.

Lunch in the Trailer Makes it Easy

While the kids napped, Brad also took time for a brief nap and some down time in the trailer. After naps Brad and the kids pulled out the trucks and sand toys and spent time playing outside. Without much space for Molly to safely play without trying to crawl in the mud or put rocks in her mouth, they migrated up to the truck bed of all places. With plenty of space in the truck bed, we had brought along the kids’ water table and with Brad up there with them it turned out to be a great, safe, gravel free play space.

When it started getting hot, they headed in for some more playing and “rough housing” on the big trailer bed. It is the hub for all play time of every camping trip for our kids. Before long it was already time for dinner, so I came back and got some family time in before helping get the kids down for the night. With the kids settled in, Brad and I grabbed the monitor, took a short walk and spent some time visiting. I headed back for another hour of project time, and then came back to the trailer to share some ice cream with Brad (one of his favorite perks of traveling with a trailer), relax a little and then get an early bed time ourselves.

Dinner Time

The next morning Molly woke up before Nolan, so to keep from further interrupting him, Brad got up with Molly and headed out of the trailer to take a walk. Once Nolan was up I texted Brad and we all got some breakfast before getting changed and heading out for a walk as a whole family. The neighbors had some farm animals and we all had fun seeing the horse running, the chickens milling about, and hearing the odd sounding donkey from a far.

The terrain in Arlington had much “wetter” vegetation than we were used to, which gave it a rain forest feel. It was fun showing the kids the ferns, moss, and greenery that they were not used to seeing. Nolan had fun pointing out his discoveries and gathering precious leaves. Another interesting aspect was watching the slugs and snails- something I don’t think Nolan had ever seen before and something we don’t typically see around Cle Elum.

Prevalent Snails That We Don't See in Eastern Washington

After our fun adventure walk, the cold rainy morning was getting to us, so we headed back for some inside play time in the trailer. Nolan had fun playing with his kinetic sand at the dinette, while Molly crawled around playing with our “Take along town” (aka road case) – a travel case with roads, cars and traffic signs. Both the kinetic sand and road case are so easy to travel with because they’re self-contained in their own cases. After some play time I headed out to finish up working while Brad read books to the kids.

Adventure Walk

The day flew by and my friend and I finished up just in time for the kids to wake up from naps. We said goodbyes, buttoned up the trailer and hit the road towards home. On our way through the “big city”, Brad had to pick up a few things at the hardware store. We took the kids in the trailer and while Brad ran inside the store, I got dinner ready and fed the kids. It was a perfect way to break up the drive and ward off any “hangry” feelings down the road. The kids were just finishing up when Brad returned and grabbed some food himself while the kids got changed into pajamas and got some wiggles out. Then we went back on the road to get home for bedtime for our two little wakeful passengers.

I was so glad for such productive time without having to even leave my family, and so thankful the trailer enabled us to bring the kids easily along. Places to nap, running water to wash after diaper changes, and breaks to stretch and regroup in the trailer were once again thoroughly appreciated. The next time “business” takes you out of town, bring the trailer along and make it easy on yourself. #smarternotharder Happy camping!

Emily Helgeson
Author: Emily HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Emily Helgeson lives with her husband and two children in Eastern Washington. They enjoy adventuring together and are learning how to use their RV to continue this lifestyle with their growing family.

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