Wednesday, March 28, 2012

sunrise to sunset

I feel like we've been let out of a cage. Winter was so mild and lovely here, we can hardly complain, but it seems with the official start of spring we are living our usual outdoor life now in full swing.

I find myself scurrying back and forth inside the boat for snacks and diapers and books as we shift our everyday outwards. It feels amazing.

We linger longer at the beach... or in the woods... or on deck. Shoes are getting kicked off. Mud is part of the wardrobe (and ticks, sigh).

Naia is 17 months now. It came and went. One day someone asked me how old she was and I had to ponder and calculate and just couldn't fathom that my baby is just about a year and a half. "Sout-sigh!!" (outside) is one of her favorite words. She is full of determination and so stinkin' independent.

And the ducks now know her call as well as Zach's. Mrs. Quackers is back (we know her from her limp) and Zach has been loyal about evening feedings of the local Mallards.
Then the sun starts to dip down into the creek and I realize that it's the dinner hour. Most evenings find me at the coffee shop chained to the computer cranking on my current contract for the Food Network while Doug takes the evening kid shift... but I try to make an evening here and there to be present for dinner. My sweet boy sets such lovely tables how could I resist?

Sunrise to sunset we are savoring each day we have.
Even though sleep is scarce these days, I am going to bed with a smile. Kids are filthy and cheeks are sun kissed and shoes are caked in sand and mud. Yes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

This Moment ~ one year later

February 2011 Moment...

This week, just a little over a year later...
My how she's grown.

(That beautiful quilted pillow in both photos was made for me by my talented friend Lily at Block-a-Day {if you don't know her blog, go over. I don't know what's more amazing her words or her gorgeous hand work!?} Sweet Naia insists it be next to her when she naps. I store my tablecloths inside which makes it nice and firm to keep her from rolling off the settee.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

happy spring

The lengthening days are marked by a palpable energy boost in children. You can almost feel the hum of their little bodies awakening alongside the cherry blossom blooms and lanky daffodils.
We marked the equinox by gathering with friends in the park and planting grass seeds into baskets so the kids will have real green grass in their baskets by easter time.
Then the kids dug for worms, and generally acted like a typical pack of kids in a park. They were imaginative, industrious, intent, filthy, and free.
Wishing you all a happy start of spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back In The Saddle

My sweet boy has been moping around ever since we had to stop horse back riding lessons. It's been a year or so, I think. There were a variety of reasons but a little sister in tow was the major factor. The barn we were going to was too far away and required a level of parent involvement that wasn't possible with a wee one at my side. So we stopped. But a new riding opportunity that was close by and affordable and didn't require me to be near the stinky beasts horses materialized, so now he gets to ride.
"Mama, I would drop every other activity I have, but I would never give up riding," he tells me.
Little Miss Naia is tickled to death to play around the farm, chase the barn cats (squealing MEOW MEOW madly as they dash away), and jibber jabber to the horses.
It's a win-win on this farm. A fabulous mentor for my boy, loads of distractions for my girl. And I am happy just soaking up the beauty of the place.
And maybe, just maybe I'll start learning to love not to hate these horse critters so much.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catch The Wave

Imagine this. You are a 10 year old boy sitting on the cliffs of Santa Cruz, California with your dad watching the surfers on the Pacific Ocean. You are totally captivated. You want to feel the rush of the ocean, you want to know the power of a wave, you want to test yourself on a surf board, you want to tell your dad how you feel. But you can't tell your dad because you can't talk. And you can't go out to the beach because you can't walk either. This is what happened to a little boy named Brandon. He has cerebral palsy. But then something amazing happened. A mermaid came out of the water and walked up to Brandon. Ok, maybe she wasn't a real mermaid, but she was full of magic. She said, "Hey, I want to take you surfing." And Brandon's life was changed.

She was a pro surfer who was involved with this organization called Ride-A-Wave (RAW for short). These are all volunteers who work on the beaches of Santa Cruz and Malibu and work with kids who have cerebral palsy, cancer, blindness, downs syndrome, etc and give them the experience of a life time out on the ocean. Surfing is kind of a "me sport". You are on your board solo looking to catch the best wave all for yourself. But these folks are giving their best surfing days and best waves to these awesome kids. They have developed a system and a set of gear to safely get kids of any ability or disability up on a wave and surfing. Brandon doesn't need to talk for you to get what it feels like to surf. Just look at his face.

Julie is my oldest friend in the world. We have known each other since we met at overnight camp when we were 7 years old and have remained close ever since. She is also an amazing person with a huge heart. She's been working with special needs kids her whole life, has been a Ride A Wave volunteer for years, and she's been Brandon's helper and friend since he was a tot. She is following her film making passion and making a documentary all about Ride A Wave. She and two other folks working on the project have a goal of getting this film finished and on to the film festival circuit this year. They want to spread the word about Ride A Wave so that Ride A Wave can spread the love and teach folks in other coastal towns to do what they do with kids all over the world.
So they are raising funds to finish this documentary and get the film seen in film festivals and anywhere else they can spread the word. Please take a few minutes and visit their Kickstarter page and if you have some spare latte money this week consider donating to make this film a reality. And you'll help make Brandon a star too :)

Thanks! Here's the link

Friday, March 16, 2012

~this moment~

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


A ten day forecast of nothing but blue skies and temps hovering around 70F =  It's time to pop the bubble.

The sun is shining. The peepers are singing. Little Naia was in awe at the sudden new view we had all around us. Loving spring, it feels like we just hatched.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

finding her way

Hibernation time is over and this is the first season that Naia is a fully mobile girl-on-the-go. She has been spreading her wings, testing her boundaries, and taking her feet wherever she feels like toddling.
I know there's a lot of curiosity about how we manage this stage in particular, around the boat and the marina. And the short answer is, we do it much the same way you all manage your toddlers in a house with stairs, tipping furniture, and busy streets. We watch her like a hawk, we allow her to find her way and learn the turf, and we talk her through making the right decisions so that -- one day -- she will confidently go forth without mom or dad in our watery world and beyond.
It's a very Continuum Concept sort of thing. I really believe that little ones adapt to the environment they know when they are allowed to truly explore it without being caged up away from things perceived as risky. Zach really taught me this as a tot.

I use the word "edge" a lot, and she knows quite well what that means. Other than that I try to just keep my mouth shut and let her discover.
 Thankfully she is a good sport so far about wearing her PFD, and while she doesn't know to ask for it yet she's also not having a fit when I go to put it on. She's so ready, so sure, so excited about it all. A life jacket is not going to spoil this girl's fun.

I will sprout many more grey hairs this summer I'm sure, watching her stumble and fall and near miss and walk the line. But I know I will also swell with pride as I watch her find her way with confidence, strength, and joy.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

where's that boy?

I was browsing recent posts here and noticed there's a whole lotta little girl and not so much of the boy. Where is that boy? Well between his full homeschool calendar of outings he can be found most days right here...

... and most evenings here...

...and most nights right here...
See a trend? The weather has been lovely, but not quite frolic ALL day in the sand and mud lovely. So here he is. Once in a while he'll lift his gaze from the text and say something like, "Mommy, I think I wish I could  spend half the year in Narnia and the other half at the Little House in the Big Woods." And then he's gone again.
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