Monday, December 30, 2013

feed the birds

Each afternoon Naia comes to a point in the day right around 4pm where she looks at me and says, "Why is the sun going away AGAIN?!" She feels it. We all do. Our daylight hours are so fleeting and precious. But so far the days are smooth going and we manage to make time for an outing, our chores, some school, some down time, time with friends, and all the things that make the world go round.

One thing Zach and I have always done this time of year is make a bird tree... and now with a toddler involved it was a bird seedy peanut buttery mess. But fun just the same. And Naia, who is a little bird crazy, was very excited about feeding her feathered friends, and herself.

Most years we walk into the little woods to find a tree, but with the sun setting fast and the temperature dropping we decided to adorn a tree right smack in the middle of the marina. We get quite a bit of wildlife coming through the marina, deer, fox, loads of squirrels and birds, and who knows what else lurks through. So we knew whatever we hung from the tree would get eaten by something.

... or someone!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


We had our usual small family Christmas here on the boat. We flat out refuse to hit the roads during the holidays, and make it a point to visit any driveable friends and family before or after because during we hunker down and stay put.

Zach was incredibly mature about waiting on Christmas morning, I was floored. He was the first one up literally at the crack of dawn, he came in to whisper Merry Christmas and then tip toed out to read and wait. I got up and told him Naia and daddy were out cold, so how about we cook up a nice breakfast while we wait. My boy LOVES any chance to play the chef, so he was happy to kill another hour or more whipping up breakfast. Finally the two sleepy heads emerged and the opening of gifts began.

Naia is the easiest and the hardest to get gifts for. Hard in that she really doesn't want or ask for anything. Easy in that I can and do just take little things already around the boat or that big brother has outgrown, wrap it up, and voila! A gift! When informed and prompted by big brother that she HAS to ask Santa for something, she wanted a snow globe and a doll. More specifically, a reindeer snowglobe and a "Charlotte dolly", meaning a cloth doll with brown hair just like Laura in the My First Little House books that she loves so much. The doll was easy to find. I was determined to make a snowglobe rather than just trot down to the Dollar Store and buy one. Why? Because of Pinterest. So many lovely tutorials on how EASY it is to make a snowglobe I was SURE I could do it. Really long story short, I failed. The reindeer was nearly impossible to find, the glue wasn't waterproof enough, and the thing leaked like a sailboat. In the end, she had a snowglobe on Christmas morning with a reindeer. But it lasted about 10 minutes before getting her soaking wet. It's in the "repair shop" now...

... until I can get to the Dollar Store. Sigh. More than anything Naia loves anything little. Buttons, acorns, little animals, and cotton balls. So when her stocking had a bunch of colored cotton balls, a little jingle bell ring, and a little nesting Matryoshka doll she was in heaven.

Big brother is savvy to the gift giving and getting this year. He sewed each member of the family beautiful tiny little pillows out of vintage hankies. I didn't take photos, but they are all being put to good use and he managed to do it all as a surprise. He of course wanted making things, so some Lego-type sets and a duct tape craft book with loads of crazy looking duct tape (back in MY day duct tape was always grey!)  will keep his hands busy on these long winter months.

Naia totally ignored the HUGE gift on the cockpit floor. She was so happy with her little things. But big brother Zach couldn't take it and made sure she opened it to see what it was. The hardest part was keeping it hidden until Christmas. I had it in the box it was mailed it (found it second hand online) just sitting on the guest cabin bed for a month. Then a few days before Christmas I wrapped it in a tablecloth and put it in the guest cabin bath tub where we throw our dirty laundry. It managed to stay hidden.

We needed to clean out the "baby toys" and find a place for the collection of animals that has grown since Zach was a tot, so a barn that just barely fits the space came aboard from Santa. It's good and sturdy and has already had a lot of love.
(Her corner! Wedged under the nav table this is about everything she has to play with except some blocks, balls, silks, and board games under the salon table. )

Normally Doug and I don't exchange gifts, we really feel Christmas is for the kids. But I got him a little something and he was sweet enough to have my ukulele restrung and buy me a new tuner (lost mine over the summer) and also got my favorite shampoo from LUSH. Mmmmmm. Now if I can just get Santa to allow me long hot showers every single day... alone.  A girl can dream.

Monday, December 23, 2013

the longest night

It was difficult dragging the kids inside after such a glorious warm solstice day. But the wind shifted and started blowing from the north with a cold whiplash reminder that it's still December despite the day at the beach.

We said goodbye to the sun and returned to the boat for our traditional solstice family time.

Wishing everyone light and love!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

the shortest day

Winter Solstice brought us the opposite of cold, dark, and turning inward. The sun shone strong and clear, the temperatures soared to record highs, we ran around all day without jackets. Totally not traditional, yet totally fabulous. We took advantage of every moment of the brief hours of glorious daylight. It felt like the story All Summer In A Day.

I think if we can have days like this every 2 weeks, all winter long then everything will be ok.

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