Sunday, July 29, 2012


It's been a while. I wish I had some earth shattering adventure to report, but really what happened was I lost my camera battery charger, our little back up camera died, and even my cell phone died. I blame solar flares. Or something.

The thing I noticed while not hanging out behind the lens is just how very much my children are growing. Like physically changing day by day. Each morning I swear I wake up with a totally different set of children than the ones I watched drift off to sleep the night before.

But the best part of this past week or so was FINALLY getting Zach's little boat in the water and sailing. It's a long, weird, not very interesting story, but in short we've  been waiting on a critical little piece of the boat that we didn't have and it took a long time to order and get here. But here she is in all of her splendor. Turquoise on the inside, yellow on the outside, and still unnamed.

He has a bit to learn on handling this wee boat. The good news is that aside from mom and dad, Zach has a few little friends here at the marina who are confident sailors that he can learn from. Sometimes it goes smoother when they do something new with another kid. 

Naia loves her dinghy rides these days. She grabs her life jackets (we call it a "floatie") and says, "I ready! I ready! I ready go vroom vroom!" Her language is exploding and she spends most of the day talking and singing and talking and singing (her favorite tune is Elizabeth Mitchell's Little Bird. She likes to substitute the birds we have around here so she'll sing, "Night Heron Night Heron come my window!"  Cracks me up every time!)
(free printable birds found here via Pinterest)

The camera is back in commission now, so I'll try to stay a little more up to date... 

Monday, July 16, 2012

standing by

We spent a dreamy week out on Chincoteague Island, VA. It was a mix of beach and woods and marshlands. It was a blur of wild ponies and bald eagles and dolphins and snowy egrets and fiddler crabs. It was sunshine and Junior Rangers Badges and painting and quirky museums and classic movies and giant ice cream cones.

But none of it was supposed to happen. We were supposed to all be in Hawaii visiting my parents. I'll try to make a really long story short-ish. All the years we have flown out to Hawaii to see the grandparents have only happened because of the incredible generosity of my pilot friend Shannon. She generously gives us her friends and family passes whenever we ask and all we need to do is fly standby and pay the tax on the flight. Considering tickets to Kona from the east coast would be over $1000 each, we have always been very grateful for her help. Flying standby is more art than science, but all of the years past it worked in our favor and not only did we have no problem getting flights, but we only got stranded maybe twice and both times it was just for a half a day or so. Well, our luck ran out. The Cliff Notes are that we spent a couple of very long, frustrating, starting at 4am and dragging two kids through busy airport check-in and security days only to never get on a flight. Here's the kicker. Our bags went to Kona without us and spent nearly a week there.

I was tired and frustrated and angry at the universe and sad for my kids who haven't been out to see the grandparents since Zach was 5 years old and Naia was in my belly. I hate that they don't get grandparent time unless these monumental feats of finance and distance are tackled and I felt like I failed them in my parental duty to give them some family time with someone other than mom and dad. So since our carry ons were packed and we were in travel mode anyway, we pointed the car east and started calling around for a cabin to rent out by Assateague and lucked into a beautiful, spontaneous get away.

Sometimes you just gotta add that sugar and make that lemonade.

Monday, July 09, 2012


We have been in the thick of heat wave, summer storms, and loads of time in and on and around the Bay so far this summer. So many lovely memories so far...

...Building summer forts...

... too hot for clothes, dreaming of cooler weather...

...Grandpa Bob visits from Santiago, Chile...

...piles of kiddos sleeping late...

...sailing and kayaking with our friends from Puzzled and new RV'ing friends from MN...

... staying cool and busy inside...

... beating the heat outside...

And some more special memories to come... we're off on a little adventure. Will check in soon from over yonder.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

paper treasures

I realized that although Zach still likes to cuddle up and have mama read to him every now and again, 95% of his reading is hunkered down with his books all on his own. And so I often don't have any idea what he's reading (of course I do know what we have aboard, but I don't know what he chooses). When he is quiet with a book, I run around and do  mama things that mamas like to do when their kids are quiet.

But I felt a disconnect, so I decided to start peering into his bedside book sling and various piles of bed books to see what he's up to so we can chat about it.  Here's what I found recently.

(My pal Lily got him hooked on all things Enid Blyton, which is a very good thing!)

Oh that boy of mine and his wild and varied interests. He also keeps the book A Time To Keep by Tasha Tudor under his pillow. He has for years. He can't get enough of that wee book which thrills me to no end.
Books are such a treasure, and I love that he is so absorbed in his reading. But they are also bulky and prone to mildew and weigh a lot. These are real issue on a sailing catamaran. Our waterline would probably rise up a good 6 inches if we traded the majority of our books for e-books. But I just... can't... It's such a struggle for me. If it was just Doug and I, we could make the switch with a fairly clear conscience. But for the kids, I love the idea of having a favorite tucked under a pillow and a pile on the foot of the bed to paw through and pour over and ponder. You just can't get that experience with an e-reader. So we'll be weighed down and space challenged for now, but he'll be happy.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Strawberry Sewing

So earlier this summer I sat down with my foe friend the sewing machine and took a try at making a dress for the first time. I looked all over for an easy pattern that I could wrap my pea head around and came out of each one cross eyed and dizzy. So, I took a little dress Naia already owns, laid it out on some fabric, traced it with a crayon (oh yeah, I am a real pro!), and chopped it out with scissors. In short, I winged it. But it fits her, and from a decent distance it looks cute enough, so here it is.
I took my first stab at bias tape. I would have never managed without this excellent tutorial. It was still a challenge though. I think if I had a team of wee gnomes in heavy flat shoes standing along the tape and jumping off as I came through with the sewing machine it may have gone smoother. I know, I know, that's what pins are for, right? But the pins are pokey and not nearly as cute as a gnome. I was sober during this whole process, I swear. 

My pal Nicole made her first pair of pants for her little boy this summer too. We were chatting about sewing for the opposite gender kiddos and how much easier pants are than dresses. But what really tickled me is that Nicole ended up also using a strawberry fabric for her first pants too. Have a look here, now we have matching strawberry babies on opposite coasts.
(Here is a link to the fabric I used, from a seller on etsy.)

The dress is a little short, so I paired it with hand me down bloomers from Zach's best friend Miss T and the outfit it complete. I am not sure I am ready to crank out another dress. Maybe I will keep looking for an easy pattern... or wait until pants season is here again.

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