Friday, October 29, 2010

~this moment~ sibling snooze

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Thursday, October 28, 2010

pumpkin moonshine

As I mentioned earlier, we're doing Halloween "lite" this year. No freakish gourds. No fancy carving patterns of haunted castles and vampire faces. No rows of mini pumpkins up and down the docks on the tops of pilings. And no Halloween party like we've done for years. But we got a special pumpkin delivery from our amazing neighbor SuperJen. Along with some homemade sqaush soup and cornbread (which I would have taken a photo of, but devoured instead)... she left us this.
So stinkin' sweet! SuperJen was with me when I went into labor and helped me walk up the dock to the boat between contractions. She said she went home and knit that up right away waiting for news.  :)
And then of course the one pumpkin we managed to carve... with a simple jack-o-latern face. I was worried the boy would be disappointed since normally we make a huge deal out of Halloween. But he beamed over his glowing gourd like it was a whole field of pumpkins. He stayed outside by the glow of the candle light way into the dark hours. "Mommy, I just LOVE my pumpkin moonshine!", he gushed (while reading the Tash Tudor book for the 100th time this month).  I was so relieved.
He wasn't worried about what we weren't doing, he was just so grateful for what we had. Another good lesson from my favorite teacher.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


One of the magical things that happens when you are out cruising is the shift to a natural rhythm. Gone are schedules and appointments and alarm clocks and commitments of the land lubbers life. Days are ruled by the sunrise and sunset, by the change in the tide, the direction of the current, the shifts in wind, the whims of your own sense of adventure and curiosity.
Living aboard is a curious combination of both worlds, still tied in to the tidal cycles and wind shifts, but also needing to make our classes and appointments and weekly schedules on time as we keep one foot firmly on land in "reality".

Until a new baby comes. The last 2 weeks have been a blissful fog. Once again, the real world slips past and now our days are ruled by nursing and diapers and cuddling and quiet alert times and more nursing and even lots of sleep. Daddy is here everyday, neighbors and friends bring us amazing dishes of food, well wishes come streaming in like sunshine via cards and emails and lovely comments here on the blog. The tiny little person, this sweet little soul has managed to undo the whole structure of the grown up world and bring us all into a milky sweet rhythm all her own.
I remember what a rude awakening it was coming back from cruising. After living life at 7 knots I remember thinking I would never be able to drive 75 miles an hour while making a business call and drinking that latte. But I did. And I do. Right now I can not imagine getting out the door with these two little people on my own, or keeping up with the cooking while they both need me, or wearing a full set of clothes all day long. But I will. And I'll probably look back on this time and miss it, in all of it's exhausting sweetness, I will miss it.
 It's something I try to remember when I am covered in poo.

Monday, October 25, 2010

x-ray vision

Usually Halloween is one big fiesta around here chock full of crafting and planning and decorating and gearing up for our annual party we like to throw for all of the little ghosts and goblins in our life.

Not this year. With the Miss Naia showing up so late and me with the gimpy ankle and just plain newborn brain fog, we're barely able to carve out one pumpkin. No party. No boat covered in lights and decorations. And the guilt sets in.

The good news is, Naia is an Olympic gold medal sleeper, so I am trying to sneak in a few last minute crafts and surprises for Zach while she snoozes.
(Hey Lily, recognize that pillow?)

Behold, daddy's brain. It's an old scan from a long ago appointment and for some reason we had it stuffed away in the trunk of our car.
I traced out the rough triangle shape from another banner we had and cut the film with pinking shears.
If you don't have a brain scan laying around... ask at your local vet or your doctor's office for old x-ray films. I hand stitched some orange ribbon along the top, but those who don't fear the sewing machine like I do can probably whip this up much faster on the machine.

And here it is... one creepy looking brain banner for Halloween!
Here are some linke to other Halloween projects we've had fun with in the past:
Mummy Gnomes
Mummified Potato

Friday, October 22, 2010

~this moment~ First Bath

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

since I can't knit

*** So I wrote this post the morning I went in to labor and never got a chance to zap it out. The little miss is not ready for a fashion show yet, but I am happy to report the little booties actually fit just right! ***

I have to do SOMETHING with my idle hands and overactive imagination. I have been drooling over these baby booties on etsy. They are gorgeous... but I am having a hard time indulging like that when babies don't really NEED booties and they're only going to get used for a few months. So I googled up a pattern and decided to try it myself.
For people who are used to actually reading sewing patterns, this is easy stuff. But I got stuck many times interpreting certain steps. I blindly forged ahead and I am happy to report it all made sense in the end. I used 100% wool felt and hand sewed the whole thing. I made a simple little mushroom embellishment to match the fabulous onesie my Martha Stewart friend and neighbor SuperJen made me recently (she just ROCKS!)
Zach wanted in on the fun and made these two little gnomes to match the set.

If anyone has anyother easy bootie patterns to share, post a link in the comments. I also want to try making wool longies from old felted sweaters and looking for some ideas there too... it's getting chilly outside!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome Aboard Naia!!

As you may have guessed from my sudden disappearance from this space, the little miss finally made her entrance. Naia Virginia Wallach was born October 13, 2010 at 42 weeks, 2 days of cooking and she's just right!
Somehow I managed to sustain the oddest childbirth injury ever... tearing some cartilage in my left ankle that's left me barely able to walk. Big brother and daddy are stepping up to the plate and hanlding anything and everything around the boat while mama and Naia (rhymes with Maya by the way) spend their days nursing and sleeping and staring at each other in awe.

I can't thank you all enough for checking in, sending such caring and encouraging emails, and generally sending good wishes our way. We are slowly, SLOWLY catching up with the real world, but savoring our babymoon just the same.

Monday, October 11, 2010

it's show time -- BOAT show

I THOUGHT it was show time for the little miss. Last night at the dawn of her 42nd week I had many hours of labor and we thought it was time. But it wasn't. Psyche!

So we go back to our regularly scheduled mayhem, and around Annapolis that means it's the annual Sailboat Show. It's a big hairy deal around here as this is a sail boat town, so it's a party and a festival and a show and a shopping and oogling frenzy rolled into one. We missed out on a lot of the parties and get togethers, but I managed to waddle myself on to the water taxi and spend an afternoon wandering the show.

We drooled over the newest luxury catamarans fitted out like condos...
And we laughed that even on boats that cost $1.2 million they still use the same cheap plastic light fixtures that came with our old boat (and promptly replaced!) Come on guys, lighting is key!
Zach liked the "go fast trimarans", playing captain, and of course, once again, dreaming about owning a cannon.
I liked coming home and resting my swollen feet after a long afternoon of walking the docks and jumping on and off show boats. I think I scared many a dealer when I hopped aboard and explained I was 42 weeks pregnant. They all said something along the lines of, if your water breaks on board you buy it. Here I thought we'd be seeking out places to change a diaper come Sail Boat Show time, but alas it was me who needed the diaper and a nap. Such is the life of a sitting hen.

Friday, October 08, 2010

this moment ~Wooing Her Out~

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Thursday, October 07, 2010

wax and wait

Week 42 on the near horizon I am trying not to watch this tea pot too closely. Trying to stay busy. I SOsoSO get why people knit when they're pregnant now. Oh how I wish I had learned to knit. To keep my hands and mind and spirit busy with a sweet little project in lovely wool rather than surfing the web and re-tidying the junk drawer.  *sigh*

In one of my tidying fits I scraped, peeled, and hacked every stray piece of beeswax from the boat. Some melted votives in jars and cups, holiday decorations that have cracked and chipped, candle holders coated with drips of beeswax. I gathered them all up and melted them into fresh possibilities.
(We got these cups at a thrift store, the whole lot of them for $1! We've used them again and again for candles, each time scraping out the wax and using it all over again.)
I have a confession to make. I am officially addicted to the smell of beeswax. Nothing makes me happier. I would bathe in it if possible. But I settle for melting and making new candles for this lovely cooler weather we're having. Zach gathered some sand from the shore and created molds using everything from other votive shaped candles to branch blocks from his toys.
We pre-waxed our wicks, cut them to size, and held them in place with clothes pins after pouring the wax into the sand.
A short while later - voila! They are irregular and funky, but they do the trick nicely. After a few nights of enjoying our recycled candles I realized a grave error in our project... using sand as a mold means you get sandy candles. They're cute, but the wax can't be recycled again now because it's all grainy. Whoops.
(Zach couldn't resist pouring some wee candles into our vast shell collection.)
 So, we'll head off to our local natural foods store and buy more beeswax. One more thing to keep me busy while I wait.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Tea for Three?

As the weather cools Zach and I have jumped right back into our daily tea habit. I am downing insane amounts of red raspberry leaf tea (good for birthing, that is, if I ever get to birth) and he loves his "polar bear tea" (herbal kids tea that helps with colds but tastes good any time).

Except for actually lighting the oven to boil water (which on a boat is just tricky enough that even many grown ups can not get it right), he is able to set up tea time all on his own, which he LOVES doing. It's become his ritual and he wants to make it just right without any help. I am fetched when the tea is steeped and the sugar is in small china bowls (and suspiciously all over his fingers). He asks me in his fake English accent (which comes out more and more these days) how many lumps I'd like and which cup I'd prefer.
(The gorgeous dragon tea pot was a birthday present from his best pal Miss T. He cherishes it!)

Our sweet little tea set has been a work in progress over the years. Every time we hit a thrift shop or the Good Will I usually give him a $1 budget to pick out something for his tea set. These shops usually have rows and rows of mismatched china for 25 cents and 50 cents. He loves working with his budget, picking out something just right, and using the real thing rather than a "baby set from the store" as he calls them. Sure, sometimes bits get broken and cracked... but at less than $1 a pop, no worries.
 So we steep. And we pour. And an extra setting has even been added for the Little Miss, just in case she decides to come and make an appearance any time soon. I mean, who'd want to miss a tea time like this?

Friday, October 01, 2010

and rising...

You know that old Johnny Cash song... "how high's the water mama? Five feet high and rising..."

Well... we lived it yesterday and last night and still a bit this morning. I guess I wasn't weather watching as well as I normally would and we got the remanents of some tropical system or another passing through. The south wind and excessive rainfall made the Chesapeake Bay swell like my belly and creep over her banks... and our docks.
(That's a long way down. At least you splash if you fall.)

You see, we're a little old school here on the Bay. Go south to Florida or out west to Cali and they get that storms happen, so they have floating docks made of anything but wood. The boats and the docks move with the changing water levels. Here, we have fixed wooden docks with narrow walkways which means anytime the water levels change, we have to adjust the lines and such. I was out tugging our spring lines and adjusting like mad all afternoon. I figured, hey, strain away, who cares if it triggers labor at this point! (it didn't, by the way)

But then the water came all the way up and over the dock. And the power went off (again). And the solar regulator burped and shuddered and switched off. So I called Doug home early from work and we started getting ready for a long wet night along with our neighbors.
(Everyone was out taking photos, helping each other, staring in wonder.)

Of course, Zach thought it was one big, wet, party!

 (Doesn't every mama think thier boy walks on water? :) Hard to tell where the dock ends and the Bay begins.)
Playtime on the flooded docks went until we realized we had a small window to get back on the boat IF we were to get back on at all as all of these photos were taken at LOW tide.
The dock boards started to come loose and it was getting unsafe, so we climbed back aboard. I was thinking this would be the perfect time to go into labor, with the only way off the boat being a swan dive and a breast stroke. But alas, no action.

So with no power coming in from sun or dock plugs, and batteries slowly draining from the trickle charge we got in the cloud covered sky, we were grateful that we'd just made a batch of recycled beeswax votives (more on that another time).
(Zach peering out into the stormy night, waiting for daddy to come back from helping dock neighbors.)
(Looking in from the cockpit, it actually looked quite cozy.)

 A family drawing night, sounds of the storm guiding our imaginations, squinting by candlelight to see what colors we were actually using... wondering how high the water would get... Johnny Cash singing to me in my dreams all night long.
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