Monday, January 28, 2013


The stomach flu is running through our boat. Sweet little Naia got it first. She is such a trooper it truly floors me. She tells me every time she thinks she is going to lose it by saying, "Mama catch my mouth!"  That's my warning to find a towel, fast! And when she's gotten it all out she just blinks a few times and returns to singing and playing.

And this funny girl, she decided that her songs all need to contain the word vomit in some form or another. So for example, "Oh vomit tree, oh vomit tree! How lovely are your branches!" And of course "Jingle bells, jingle bells, vomit all the way." And my personal favorite, "Some nights I wake up, and I go and vomit and some night my Zachie does too." (my apologies to the group FUN.) That girl, just barely 2 and so full of character it cracks us all up.
My husband was the next one out. Grown ups always get it worse and he's pretty bad. Poor guy soldiered through as cleaning crew for Naia's sickies while I nursed her and then he was down and out in no time.
And in the middle of the night Zach went down. Poor little guy has always been SOsoSO healthy. Truly he rarely gets even a sniffle and so he's quite dramatic when he is sick. Weeping and wailing and collapsing into a heap of stuffed animals. He's not too impaired to realize the upside which is that he gets to watch movies when he's sick. He's been on a Paddington Bear marathon. He loves all things British, especially cheeky bears.

In the midst of it all we ran out of water, and the hoses were frozen solid which made things interesting and stinky for 3/4 of the day while the hoses got warmed and thawed. There's always something.

And that leaves me, last man standing. I am a heavy kombucha drinker and love my farm made yogurt (mixed with maple syrup and cranberry sauce that I make with maple sugar and fresh squeezed orange, YUM!) and I am hoping all those probiotics will spare me the downfall. Hoping. Fingers and toes crossed. In an ice storm, drinking kombucha.

Friday, January 25, 2013

a snowy day

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A little dress

Oh my. I just glanced back at my past two posts and saw all I did was blather on about the weather. Oh dear. Snore. I guess we can blame it on the cabin fever.

I wanted to take another shot at sewing a dress for Naia. I made my first dress this past summer, and it worked out ok, though was a little rough around the edges. And I did this little dress too, which works nice for summer, but didn't seem very versatile for the colder months.  So I tried again. I would share the pattern with you, but it was a Frankenstein of like 3 different patterns/ online tutorials.

After finishing it most of the way I chickened out on completing it and let it sit for a while. Then when I finally got in the mood to finish it, I held it up to her and it was now too small. So I winged it with the bottom strip of grey to add length. I figure I can get funky and add another strip of some fabric when she gets taller.

The main hold up was the buttons. Not only was I unable to make a decision from my crazy jar of random buttons about which one to pick, but I have never used the button hole function on my sewing machine and the idea of screwing it up after working so hard on the dress froze me in a state of denial. So I did the noble thing. No I didn't practice button holes on scrap fabric to learn how to do it and build up the confidence to make them on the dress, I just added velcro instead.

Besides it's easier for the wee girl to "do my big girl self" now this way.

N's favorite feature is of course the pocket. She made it known to me in no uncertain terms that next time she would like 2 pockets.

I put a matching button on the pocket because I royally messed up the pleat and the button covers my oops nicely. And I had three buttons so why not?

Now if it would just stay warm enough to wear a dress rather than 18 layers of wool and fleece... oh, whoops. No more complaining about the weather, I promise!

For now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

inauguration weather

In the Washington DC area we know it's time to pull out our woolens and crank up the heaters when inauguration day is near. There has yet to be in the history of inaugurations a warm and balmy day for the swearing in. Ok maybe one. But truly it's almost always biting cold and unfit for hours of standing out outdoors squinting at ant-sized figures on a platform a mile away.  I did it when I was young. Now we cuddle up to the laptop and watch from our heated floating home.

I love all of the pomp and color displayed at inauguration time. And of course this year being Martin Luther King Day as well made it especially touching. Zach and I both sort of geek out over Presidential history and today was no exception. So much to talk about and write about and look up and discuss.  There are few things as fun as having him ask me a question about something and getting to say, "I have no idea, but that's a great question. Let's look it up and find out together."

We listened to the inaugural events and then when Naia finally had a nap we took some quiet time to listen to the I Have A Dream speech. There loads of good books out there to read with the kids about Martin Luther King day and all that this particular inauguration stands for. One of our favorites fro little ones is Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.  And for older kids we love People by Peter Spier.

But all that sunny discourse can't hide the fact that we are in the thick of the coldest part of the year. We're hunkering down (again) for a spell of below freezing weather. The good news is the sun is supposed to shine through the cold spell and high winds, so hopefully our shrink wrap bubble does its job and we'll have a little womb to hide in warmed by the sunlight.

There will be loads of reading and making the most of our inside time as the frigid winds sing in the rigging. And lots of dreaming of spring.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Loving the Twos

My girl is growing so much, sometimes she pops up in bed in the morning next to me and I swear she is taller, bigger, and older looking in her sweet toddler way.
 Like her big brother, she is a chatterbox. Her toddlerisms have me so charmed, I love those quirky twists of the English language. If I ask who is hungry, she chirps, "My am!" And when she doesn't want help with something (which is often) she requests, "Naia do it my big girl self." I always say, "You go with your big girl self, you CAN do it!"  And often when she is playing on her own I hear her mumble this to her big girl self, "I strong, I brave, I can do it." My brainwashing is working... so far.
But when she has nobody to talk to, she shifts into song mode. This girl has the music in her bones. She can hear a doorbell or a ringtone and she automatically starts moving to the beat. She picks up songs so quickly and has an odd array of favorites. Some Nights by FUN. Silent Night in Hawaiian. The Nutcracker. Buena Vista Social Club. And anything by Elizabeth Mitchell of course. If there is a pause between songs, she stops and demands, "Music come back here!"

Her imaginary play has taken off too. She will sit and play with the animals and gnomes and have little chattery conversations between them, complete with high and low vocal inflections And of course whenever I am near she thrusts an animals in my hand, "You be this one, I be this one. Ready?"

When I ask where we're going, her answer is always, "Going on adventure!" Her spirit has meant several trips to the ER and loads of near misses, but she seems to have a good head on her shoulders with all that spunk.

She loves to help clear the table after a meal. She's very fond of tidying up in general (yay!) And she loves to boss her brother around and pull his hair. At the same time he is often the one she calls out for in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. She will watch him draw a picture and say, "Bootiful picture Zachawy, I proud of you!"

Drawing and books and sorting anything small keep her happy, and nothing seems to make her light up like going for a walk and playing in the dinghy racks.

You can't imagine that you will possibly be as in love with your second child as you are with the first, and then whammo! So different, but so delicious. I love watching her change and grow.

"Mama, I adore you," she often coos. "Squeeze me!" And then I melt.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

winter bread days

Winter has us inside the boat more than we're used to the rest of the year. We're thankful for the bubble and the space this boat provides us. And we're thankful for things that keep us busy inside the boat in winter.

Doug is our bread maker, and for his birthday we got him a grinder. It's a really compact one that stores neatly away when we're finished with it, and the kids love getting the wheat ground up into flour during the day so they can make bread with daddy in the evening.

Somehow they both decided recently that it was hat day.  Yeah, I had to wear one too.

Anyhow, doing things the long, slow way is a great way to engage the little ones on long, slow inside winter days. Making bread from scratch and making butter from scratch use all of their senses, tasting and touching and smelling it all. Then it's all ready when Doug gets home from work and he takes over helping make the dough, gets the kids kneading and forming and all the rest.

Naia was amazed at the transformation of the cream into butter. It was sweet watching Zach, who's done butter making for so long now, talk her through it all and tell her what to expect.

Of course for her the tasting was the best part.

By dinner we have some warm bread with the imprint of little fingers and big hearts.

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