Thursday, March 25, 2010

FAQ Baby On Board

I can't thank each and every one of you enough for the sweet words and well wishes on the impending wee member of our crew. It was very heart warming to read all of your thoughtful comments and it truly made my day!

It certainly brings up some questions from those who don't know us well and even those who do... so here's my best attempt to cover some bases:

* Yes, we'll stay living on the boat. This has been our life since 1998, we can't imagine living any other way.
                                                        (one year old Zach staging his first mutiny)

* No we won't be building an addition to the boat, nor will we buy a bigger boat. This boat has PLENTY of space. We just need to do some major reshuffling and reorganizing and rehtinking of how we use our space.

* No, this doesn't change our plans to go cruising again (traveling by boat full time) in a couple of years. The only thing dictating our cruising timeline is finances, not family size.
                       (Just 3 days old, first day home aboard the boat. Man was it ever clean and organized back then!)

* No, we didn't save a thing from when Zach was little. One little onsie is it (the outfit he came home in, seen above). There is no space for that kind of storage aboard and we don't keep any land based storage space. So in that sense we're starting over, but we also know that babies don't need anything more than a loving family, mama's milk, and loads of dipes... the rest is just icing. 

* I don't plan on a home/ boat birth. But I am not 100% ruling it out either. My friend Laureen is a rockstar and she birthed her third at home aboard her boat. With Zach I had a c/s because he was transverse. So although I have never been in labor, my gut feeling is I will want more space to labor and birth this baby. And the only thing less private than a hospital is a marina in the high season. So a VBAC with a midwife off the boat is the plan as of now.

* No, I didn't realize I was pregnant when I climbed down that cliff in Hawaii. But I sure started to feel like it on the way up.  :)

* How do you handle a baby on a boat? I guess my answer to that is, how do you do it in a house? Babies are raised a million different ways all over the world. I've never known any different as far as parenting goes, but to me a house seems endlessly more challenging. Stairs to fall down, furniture to tip over, and all that space to get lost in. We only have 3 steps from the main salon down to the hulls. All of the furniture is built in. And on board a boat, the little ones can't get away from you -- literally. You hear/ see/ smell/ feel everything. For me, a kid falling down a flight of stairs is a much scarier prospect that falling in the water. Truly, every walk of life has its risks, there is no "safe" place to raise a kid. Again, a loving, attentive family is all that matters.
... ok and a life jacket.

* The blog name. Yeah. That is probably something I should change huh? I mean I know the baby isn't going to know or care, but it seems weird to keep it Zach Aboard. I think I am going to need some help on this front though. Any ideas? I am OPEN to suggestions! I think maybe I should make a full blown contest out of re-naming the blog. Heck, we need baby names, and a boat name (the boat came with the name Majestic and we've never been fond of it), so why not?! I will have to think of an appropriate prize for naming the blog (or baby or boat!)

And if anyone has any other questions, always feel free to ask at any time. Truly, thank you once again for the well wishes!


Mimi Hornberger said...

Congratulations! To you and your family. You sound like a wonderful, hands on and attentive and loving family and this baby will have more than many others just with your love. I love reading your story every day. Blog name suggestion: "Our Family, Afloat". XO

Joy said...

Thanks for the FAQ list. :) I wondered about sleeping arrangements, but that didn't make the list. Will you still have a family bed or is Z getting his own space? (Not that it's really any of my business. ;) Ill have to think on the name. A Family Afloat or Life Afloat seems similar to what you have but includes everyone. Boatbabies is also cute and similar to what you have as a screen name. Check out which gives you sibling suggestions based on your first kids' name: ((hugs)) I'm just so excited for you guys! :)

gardenmama said...

eek i am just so excited for you!!
your an awesome mama and i loved seeing these sweet photos of zach! i immediately thought of 'boat babies' this will be fun, i will have names on my brain! i can only imagine a boat would lull a baby right off to sleep with the sounds of the waves and the rocking of the boat, sounds perfect to me! and i agree, all you need is family togetherness no matter were you live xo

Seven C's said...

"babies don't need anything more than a loving family, mama's milk, and loads of dipes... the rest is just icing".... So True! After five of them, I can attest to that fact!
I completely agree that raising babies in a house is no cakewalk as to safety.
You have it spot on! Zach is going to have such a great time with the new baby!
For anyone interested, here is a series of short youtube videos of a family that is cruising with their baby, about one year old.
I won't even attempt at a name - I'm horrible at names :)

Naturalearthfarm said...

Oh, it was so much fun to read all your replies! So true, how very little stuff we all need. When our family of eight lived in a small mobile home for over two years we learned that lesson very well.
Anyway, congratulations and how very exciting.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Barney said...

Congratulations. Can you hear our huge smiles? Yeah for staying on the boat! I remember when I learned I was pregnant with my second. I thought, "Oh no, what have we done? The first child was so awesome, how could we be so blessed a second time?" Silly me, we were blessed a second time. As you and Doug will be.

Last Paradise said...

From one boat mama to another- a huge congratulations! Also, thank you for this post and for clearing up some of the fuzzy parts for land-people about kids aboard!

Sadly, we have just sold our home (boat) but are already planning the next adventure, this time on a multihull- its no fun when your toddler hates sailing because he gets seasick!

Can't wait to read more about your journey, if we end up in your waters we'll be sure to say hello!

Katie said...

You have totally inspired me, thank you. I love your site. I also love the beautiful flowers you have brought on-board. Congratulations on your impending arrival & thanks for the faq's. You are a beautiful writer. Have a great day, x

Anonymous said...

Definitely check out, my favorite name blog! (No, I'm not having any more babies, but I still dream of baby names. Dominic, Theodore, Declan, Eliza, Louisa, oh, the baby names I will never get to use!)

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

I honestly think your lovely boat is probably a lot safer of a place for a baby abnd little ones than houses!
Thank you for this fun read!

BoatMama said...

Thanks for a great FAQ, I think I will just refer people here from now on when they ask me. When we talk about the idea of a second it means getting rid of one berth's worth of storage for us. So if we ever add one more, it means less stuff. Kinda a funny concept for most people who add so much stuff when they have a baby.
When we moved aboard and I was pregnant people always asked me how I got up and down the companionway ladder? That was never a problem, but we did have to buy a step for getting onto the boat, and pumping the foot pump for the pump really killed with my loose ligaments for some reason. It is never the things that people think are hard that were the real issues for me.

I like "Family Afloat." What about "Family Aboard," or "Floating Family?"

The Leone Family said...

Thanks for the FAQ! I am thoroughly interested in everything baby/toddler/child aboard since we will be joining the live aboards one day. I found it really interesting that you said "For me, a kid falling down a flight of stairs is a much scarier prospect that falling in the water." because that is what I am terrified of most of all, I have been planning toddler proofing the heck out of our boat so I don't hear a splash one day and cant find her! How do you deal with that?

Amber Lee D. said...

Hi, just found your blog from SouleMomma. It is so inspiring. I have so many wonderful memories of summer vacations aboard my grandparents boat. We would go way up the inlets in BC, eat oysters straight off the beaches, Grandma would bake bread in her little boat oven. We would research edible ocean veggies and make salads. On calm days grandpa would hook up the little dingy to the "big" boat and pulls us for a while. I remember slipping into phosphorus studded sea water while the moon lite up the night. And most of all being rocked to sleep by the lap of water against the boat. Thank you for bringing these memories back to my mind. Your children get to experience all these things over and over, what a gift you have given them!
I wish you the best birth of your choosing. Oh ya,I like family afloat as a blog name.

eringoodman said...

what a fun read this was!!! thanks for taking the time to answer our (many!!) questions!!! ;-)


Little Lovables said...

I love your blog title "Zach Aboard", but I understand the reasoning behind it.

A Life Afloat- like in your tagline, I looove that

or you could just go with "Life Aboard" ???

love the faq answers and those photos of zac are precious!

Laureen said...


Thanks for the link!

I have to say, I *get* the nonprivateness of a marina. However... my next door neighbor was outside during my last hour of labor, mere feet from my laboring space, and didn't hear a thing. And I was *not quiet*. It's surreal, how much people don't see when they aren't expecting to. I found that unless I told people "I'm in labor!", no one knew. So I walked the docks and the fishing pier, and cruised around as I needed to. And no one had any clue. Because, you know, in our culture, laboring women are supposed to be in hospitals, not out in the world having a normal life or anything.

You might want to contact Kat Tanaka Okopnik, who had a boat birth too, out on your coast, to see what her experience was in terms of noise and nosy neighbors.

dlhfrisbee said...

Zach and more Aboard. Congratulations, but I have to admit I'm disappointed I won't get to read about you actually cruising for a while. We have a 3 year old and are considering cruising in several more years.

Katie said...

hey, I was thinking of 'The Baby Boat That Rocks.'

Erin J said...

Oh goody... we get to help think of names?

I second "Life Aboard." Cute.

There's the obvious: "Zach And [Baby] Aboard."

If a boy, "Brothers Aboard."

"Kids Aboard"
"Kids Afloat"
"Us Afloat"
"Four Aboard"

Oh, I could do this for hours!

Brittney Harmon said...

"rocking the boat"?
"two kids afloat"?
"the life of a boat"?

We're planing to be out on the water within the next year with our two little ones... I think if we have another we will name him Dakai, Kai for short (the sea in hawaiian)... and her namaste, Nami for short (wave in japanese).

You may be more of a "normal name" gal... we also have a daughter named Marleigh, pronounced Marley (yes like Bob) and we call her Mar for short (Ocean in Spanish). But then again there are zillions fo beautiful names that have nothing to do with water (ha!)

Brittney Harmon said...

... Continued

One more thought on the blog name
" little ducks in a big pond"
"little ducklings in a big pond"

and another "kai" name that I love is Makai or Makaiah for a girl.

We loved Marley as a boy or girl's name also. I kind of wanted a longer version like Marvella (spanish pronunciation) and to just call her marley, but my husband wasn't a fan. Marleigh ended up fitting her personality much better anyways.

Thanks for stopping buy!

Brittney Harmon said...

ha, sorry Marvella/marbella means beautiful ocean... love that

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