Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Michigan

Ivy had a blast in the UP. It was great fun all around, and the pictures show it all. We're happy to be back to be with daddy, but we're definitely missing grandma, grandpa, auntie and uncle, and cousin Eli. Happy Holidays everyone!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wingaersheek Beach

Life is busy, and we haven't had time to update in quite some time. Between the baby, working from home, trying to make healthy meals, preparing Madrigal for winter, working on Creeky when we get a spare moment...well, you get the point. Busy busy.

Sadly, the blog gets put on hold at times like these - times when we should be writing the most and cataloging our adventures of life.

Ah well, so it goes.

In the meantime, we went to Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester with some dogs and some friends and took a few photos. Willie had a blast and it was a beautiful day.

The weather has been unseasonably warm, hot even. We've had more days in the 60s than I can even count, and only a small handful of days below 50. It has been nice for the heating bill, that's for sure.

Ivy is growing by leaps and bounds. She's taking a step here and there now (unassisted, without holding onto anything!) and mastered crawling long ago. She's in swimming lessons now at the Y and enjoying those immensely. She really seems to love the water.

Madrigal is doing well and keeping us dry and toasty on those few cold days that we've had. The rug heater has done wonders for us, keeping Ivy nice and warm on those cool mornings when she wants to crawl and practice standing.

Willie is doing well and gets along fantastically well with Ivy. The two of them are so fun to watch together, and it's nice to be able to trust him so much with her.

Creeky's projects are few and far between, but Justin is still making progress. Currently he's working on the rudder and he's getting close to finishing that project up soon.

And Justin and I are doing great. We're both quite possibly a bit overwhelmed with everything going on in life, but Ivy helps remind us to stop and enjoy every moment. It's just so fascinating to watch her progress day to day, week to week. She changes so quickly and it's so happy and sad to see. I can't believe that little baby we had just 8 1/2 months ago is now this little girl, and I sort of wish that she had grown up just a wee bit slower. At the same time, I am looking forward to everything to come. Bittersweet, for sure...but mostly just sweet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Living Aboard a Boat with a Baby is Hard Work, or, Why I Spend a Lot of Time in Bed.

Living aboard a boat with a baby is hard for a few reasons - one of which doesn't really begin until they begin crawling. Crawling babies get into everything! And when everything is a matter of inches away, they get into everything fast. We've gone to great lengths to try and keep the boat as safe for Ivy as possible, but some of it comes down to just being attentive with her.

Ivy started pulling herself up the same time she began crawling, although it hasn't been until this week that her balance is really top notch. I've spent a ton of time hanging out on the floor with her, because one fall was enough for me to realize that I needed to be down there with her so that she didn't do any major damage to herself.

But the other hardest thing about living aboard with a baby is that babies sleep, a lot. And if a baby sleeps a lot, you have to make sure that she doesn't get woken up. This is a very difficult task on a boat.

Ivy takes roughly 3 naps a day. Her first nap comes early - around 7:30 or so. I often keep Ivy quiet enough before that time so that Justin can get some well deserved sleep, so her first nap is an Ergo nap. Ergo naps are easy. Throw on some techno, dance back and forth, and she's out in five minutes. Her second and third naps tend to be Ergo naps as well, although we're transitioning lately to get her to sleep a bit more frequently in bed. I try to switch naps up a bit, so I stick our heads at the other end of the bed and play her children's music instead of techno. It seems to work, sometimes. But if she's teething or sick or has a belly ache or just feels like hanging out with Justin, the naps in bed become non-existent.

And then there's nighttime. She goes to bed early - between 6 and 7 pm. I had always been a night owl, but since Ivy wakes up around 6am, I tend to go to bed pretty early these days. Honestly, I'm usually just calling it a night by the time I get her to sleep and don't even bother getting up after she's passed out. Ivy likes to sleep on me, so it's really hard to get away. And even when I do get away, there's not much to be done. Justin's at work, and I have to be nearly silent in order to not wake her.

As I type this, Ivy is actually asleep in bed without me. This is incredibly rare. But like I said, there's not much I can do now that she is asleep. I can't do dishes (which always need doing around this time of night). I can't leave the boat, for obvious reasons. I can't make a phone call - she's less than 10 feet away from me. I can't close the door, because then it will get too cold in the v-berth for her. I can sometimes get away with watching a movie, but I can get away with that a lot easier when I'm laying in bed with her, because she sleeps a lot more soundly with me laying next to her and I can get netflix streaming on my phone!

And then there is the matter of the dog. The oh-so-protective dog. Living in a busy marina, he tends to bark at every passerby, every strange noise, etc. And then there are the people who don't think about the fact that there could be a sleeping baby aboard, so they knock on the hull, get the dog all riled up, wake the baby, etc. You get my point.

So when people ask me how it is to live on a boat with a baby and I tell them "it's no different, really", I'm totally lying. It's so different!

But there are awesome things too. I actually love being "stuck" in bed with Ivy all night, if I've planned on it. She has started throwing her entire body around while fast asleep, and it cracks me up. And I'm so happy that we're in such a small space with her. I actually think it's helping her learn balance and will eventually teach her how to walk, because there are so many things to hold on to.

And the most important thing, to me, is being close to my little family. I try to imagine living in a big house with a little baby. There are baby monitors. Video monitors, even. Parents are not only rooms away from their sleeping babies, but they are sometimes entire floors away!

I was worried that I was doing things "wrong" one day with naps and sleep in general and asked another boat mama what she thought. She gave me the best advice that I've gotten since becoming a mother. She said "When I don't know what to do, I ask myself 'what would a cavewoman do?' and I try that." And that's what I do now, with pretty much everything. This mantra keeps me much more calm and focused, and makes me realize that I'm doing an awesome job with Ivy.

So there you have it, the dirty truth about the difficulties of a baby aboard a boat. It's so totally worth it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Out for a Stroll

Willie has a pretty good English vocabulary for a dog from Puerto Rico. First and foremost of the words he understands is "Walk". For Ivy's six month birthday that just passed we finally bought a stroller, which means our frequency of going for walks has increased dramatically. However, energetic dog, stroller, baby, and traffic don't always mix well, so unless we are going to a big park we tend to leave Willie behind (sorry buddy!). Thus, it has become common language for Jenny and I to use the phrase "go for a stroll" when we want to go with the stroller and leave Willie behind. The language change is just enough to save him the roller coaster of emotions at hearing the word "walk" and then be left behind. Ahh, the difficult life of a dog.

Willie, asleep sitting up.

Buying a stroller is a huge deal for us. This little boat of ours is completely out of space. We really can't put anything more into it. Our car is a Kia Soul. I love the Soul. It is incredibly safe and has made a surprisingly good boatwork vehicle. Nonetheless, it is not the biggest thing on the road--at all. That means, in shopping for a stroller we are far more limited, size-wise, than most people. Most strollers that have any substance to them are of enormous size. Seriously, have you ever looked at one of those JEEP strollers? Or the giant Graco pieces of junk? They are huge, and their "folding" hardly makes them smaller... really just changes the shape of the space they take up. So, casting out all those huge strollers really left us looking at some umbrella strollers... you know, little ones that fold up like an umbrella. The MacLaren Volo is the gold standard of umbrellas (its amazing what I now know about strollers). But in all seriousness, those tiny little wheels just suck. We go to parks and beaches regularly. Just to get home we have to go down gangways and walk boat docks. Those tiny wheels going klangity-klangity-klangity on the docks would drive me crazy, not to mention getting stuck on every root and rock we come across in the parks.

Lucky for us, we discovered the City Mini, from BabyJogger. It's a bit of an odd stroller, with midsize wheels, but it folds down quick and easy and it gets seriously small considering how big the stroller is when it's in go-mode. It folds down flat enough that it fits nicely in the trunk space of the Kia or tucks nicely under the nav station on Madrigal.

I just happen to have a pic of
the Kia and the Stroller all at once.

So far, we couldn't be happier with it. We've been on all sorts of terrain and we've only had a wheel catch and stop maybe twice. Ivy thinks its the greatest thing ever. She falls asleep in it easily and reclines nice and smooth so she can keep sleeping.

As an added bonus, we sent a picture of Ivy to the BabyJogger company and she won their monthly photo contest! The prize is a free rain cover (which would otherwise cost us $45 we weren't looking forward to spending). That's awesome for us. We'll really need that cover as it gets colder out and we take Ivy for walks around the Charlestown Navy Yard. Go Ivy go, thanks for being so cute.

Here is a copy of the picture for when they remove
it from the BabyJogger website

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summer 2011

Wow, where to start? It was such a... different summer. There were opposing forces at work: Ivy and Creeky. That made it particularly difficult. I love this little girl like I love no other, and I find it strange that I still manage to grow more attached to her each and every day. Creeky, as we've affectionately come to know our Creekmore 45 project boat as, owns a love of a different sort. Creeky stokes a fire in me that keeps a dream alive: we can live on a boat, as a family, having enough personal space to move around and live comfortably and we can do it on a budget while raising a family and enjoying ourselves. That is something we really believe in. Making that dream come true is a mightily oppressive task. The dilemma is that in order to work on Creeky, I (Justin) have to spend time away from Ivy. Time away from Ivy is a sad thing. To make it worse, time away from Ivy equals time away from Jenny. As one last bummer, all of that time away from them is being spent on a project that eats a tremendous amount of money, which means I have to work full time plus overtime in order to make it happen. All told, I lose a lot of time at home.
This is what time with Ivy looks like

This is what time with Creeky looks like

We know all the headache and hardships are worth it though. If all goes well this boat is going to provide a beautiful and lovely home for DECADES. And it will be a home we can take anywhere, even back to Michigan to live near family for a while. That is something we would really enjoy. So, we plod on, with me in the boatyard and Jenny at home watching Ivy by herself.

Now, I know I'm painting a pretty bleak picture here, and it just isn't true. Things aren't all that bad, I just want to make sure the blogger world knows what all this entails. I don't want to gloss it over and make it look easy for any would be amateur boat builders. However, I certainly take days off of the boat. We simply can't afford to have me work on it every day. That means I can kind of take my time. We get plenty of weekend days together, and very often we have splendid mornings together before I go in to work my afternoon shift at 3pm. When Ivy wakes us up at 6am and I don't leave for work til 2pm it makes for a very long morning--in a good way. We go to various parks and beaches. We take walks around Weymouth. And one of the great bonuses of this year is that we seem to have acquired our very own back yard.

The Yard at Thayer's Landing

Thayer's Landing is great for many reasons. This year, it improved mightily over last year. Jeff, the ever gracious and generous marina owner decided to make a few improvements. First, he purchased a 10 foot picnic table with a large umbrella. Shortly after that he went and purchased a huge Weber grill. On top of that, our friends Jon, Kelli, and Seth docked here this year. So any time I did get to stay home was great. It was a strange sort of achievement of the standard American dream: We had lovely place on the water with a fenced in back yard complete with all the picnic and BBQ equipment one could want. Many many hours were spent in the lawn enjoying a beer and eating at the picnic table. Ivy learned to crawl in this yard. That means a lot to me. Mind you, she's still a sloppy crawler, and it is really more of a belly flop/scootch/clamber/fall/crawl/giggle/wiggle and scoot. Nonetheless, we'd spread a blanket on the grass and set her down and she'd do her best to get across the blanket and pet Willie. Very cute, and a very effective learning method. After all, with such a small boat, a blanket on the grass really is the biggest crawl space we have.

This is the exact spot where Ivy spent hours trying to make her limbs propel her forward :)

And now fall is in the air. In between the boatwork and playing in the lawn with our sweet little girl, the summer has slipped away. In 2 weeks time we'll be back at Constitution, ordering shrink wrap and tying the boat in for the winter.

The picture doesn't show it, but it is cold and crisp,
with stiff north breeze. It's beautiful this time of year.

It'll be a very good winter, I'm sure. Creeky will be down on the South shore, too far away to run to every morning. And we really have to save our pennies for lead ballast, so I'll get to stay home a lot. Ivy will be walking soon, I have no doubt, at least by midwinter. We'll get to plod through the snow and chase Willie as he runs after snowballs...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Safety First

Ivy is learning how to crawl now and has been sitting up on her own for about a month now, so we realized it was time to get serious about getting some safety features into the boat.

The most important one is some safety netting in the v-berth. It's the safest place for her to crawl around without getting into trouble.

I had planned on sewing up some lee cloths, but we had a bunch of leftover netting and we were able to make that work for us. We put pillows and blankets in front of it so she doesn't fall in between the netting.

Once she pulls herself up, it may not work anymore. I'm not sure. But at least we have something that works now!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ivy at the Helm

A moment I want to forever remember:

Leaving Peddocks to make our way back home, late in the evening. We had the perfect weather - a bit of chill in the air, *finally*. Ivy had just curled into the Ergo for her nap. She scratched at the strap around my waist with her little hand. *scritch scratch scritch scratch* and then was fast asleep.

I clipped the GPS to the ergo to have easy access - we were leaving the anchorage and I didn't want to suddenly run aground. Justin was forward at the bow, pulling the rocna out of the thick, black mud. The dinghy trailed behind us. Willie was already hiding in the v-berth, shivering and shedding from the fright of his home moving.

Having Ivy around definitely made things harder, and an extra set of hands would have come in handy a few times while we were out, but it was good to see that we were capable of handling the boat even if I was mostly incapacitated.

The sail home was quiet and peaceful and the wind was perfect. It was nice to finally be out sailing, but we weren't sad that it hadn't happened earlier in the year and we won't be too upset if it's the only sail of the season.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Sail of the Summer

Well, we did it! We finally took Madrigal out for a sail.

Infants definitely make things much more challenging, but it can be done and we proved it!

We went to Peddocks and met friends. They rafted up together and we chose to anchor separately, close by. We hung out with them, grilled, etc. It was great seeing everyone again - Mark will be heading south to the Carolinas in a few weeks and we learned that Mike will be sailing with him, then going to school down in Florida. This will make for an entirely different scene at Constitution Marina this year, and our good friends will be missed.

We had planned on staying out two nights, but learned that Peddocks has changed greatly. Signs litter the shoreline - "No Trespassing: Police Take Notice". And take notice they did. Thankfully they didn't bother us and we were able to get Willie to shore without anyone noticing, but they were out and about with the boats, stopping people who were close to shore.

It's really upsetting to see our favorite gem of Boston closed off to the public. Earlier in the year, I had heard that they were destroying some of the buildings on the island in order to create a campground. The news was published in the Boston Globe just a few days before it happened, so there was no chance that any action could have been taken to stop such a thing from happening. Instead we tried to take the news as a good thing - more people would get to visit the island and see what a wonderful place it was. But instead, it has come to this. To go to Peddocks, you must (apparently) have to pay to take a ferry, then pay to stay in the campground. I'd like to hope that this is not true and that we will get to visit the island again with our boat without fear of getting ticketed, but the array of signs has me assuming the worst. And even if we can visit it again, how much of it will be left? How much has the campground changed the island? How much destruction has taken place? How many buildings were left standing, and how did they change those buildings in order to allow camping to take place? I can only guess that Peddocks is a very different place than it was just a year ago, and that's a hard change for me to accept.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Fury of Storms

Why is it that no one is ever satisfied with a storm? Either the storm is "too small" or "too big", but rarely is it the perfect amount of fury mixed with little damage to satisfy a crowd.

Hurricane Irene turned into a tropical storm before she reached the Boston area. The night before the storm, everyone was "hoping for the best". But after many many hours of preparation, I suppose people are hoping for a little bit of weather to prove that their hard work paid off.

Our spot at Thayer's Landing seemed to be quite protected - more so than our friends in Winthrop and Boston who were battered a bit more than us (although I did find out later that Weymouth did see a fair bit of tree damage).

We stayed at Jeff's house and spent much of the day out on the porch, waiting to see the gust that would make our hearts race. Had the boats not been prepared, the amount of wind that we had seen may have done more damage. Jeff's docks may not have held up so well had the majority of the boats not hauled out. With the low profile of our sailboat, we were able to stay in the water with being less of a threat to the integrity of the docks. Our boat was one of the few to stay in the water at Thayer's Landing. Other marinas who did little preparing saw more dock damage - we saw none. But without that preparation, Madrigal may have hit the docks as she heeled with the wind. Our things on deck could have been easily picked up by the wind and thrown into the water had they not been stowed.

We heeled a bit.

Ivy entertains us all.

Both north and south of us saw far worse damage - New Hampshire and Vermont were hit very hard, as were places on the Cape.

We were lucky. So lucky in fact, that we even attempted (and failed) to fly a kite.

I'm glad we made it out of the storm safely with no boat damage. Both Madrigal and Creeky were fine. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was hoping to see a bit more weather, but I'm thankful that we aren't dealing with a terrible aftermath. Many people are still without power and many are still dealing with downed trees and flooding. A boat sank in Winthrop and quite a few boats were ripped from their moorings and slammed against the rocks. I'll take our undamaged and "boring" view of the storm over that outcome any day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Things are abuzz as we continue to prepare for the hurricane. We will be staying at the marina owner's house, where we will be able to watch everything unfold while staying safe.

There's a lot of preparation to do (especially with two boats) but Justin has been making good progress with everything. Our marina is over half empty now, as most boats have hauled out to be on dry land. Madrigal will be strung between two finger piers to protect it from hitting against the docks. Our sails are off and all our gear will be stowed inside. The lines are all protected with chafe guard. Creeky is as prepared as possible.

Thayer's Landing is probably the safest place for Madrigal right now, as Jeff is meticulous with everything, especially hurricane prep. He installed some new chain for the docks yesterday (massive chain) and we'll all be throwing anchors out later on today to secure things even further.

I've started to pack our bags, as we'll be staying at Jeff's house both tonight and tomorrow night. I am very thankful that he offered to let us all stay there - Jon (aboard s/v Fattycakes) will also be staying with us and I'm sure we'll all enjoy the safety of the house.

I'm charging the batteries on my camera and plan on taking as many pictures/video as I can and will try to post it as soon as I can next week.

The eye of the storm is set to hit North Carolina around 2pm today, which is when we'll get a bit more information about how the storm is going to react. It's cloudy this morning, which is the first signs we've seen of the hurricane coming our way. The forecasters say it's the size of Arizona and only moving up the coast at about 14 miles an hour (or 11? somewhere in there). Much of New York City has been evacuated and the city of Boston has declared a state of emergency.

We're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Living Aboard a Boat with a Baby

Well, I've waited four months to write this post. I wanted to get used to living aboard the boat with Ivy before jumping to any conclusions about what living aboard a boat with a baby was really like and how it might differ from living in a house or apartment with a baby.

When people initially ask this question (and they inevitably do), I tend to tell them that it's not that different. In some ways it's true, but the more I think about the question, the more I see the differences. Let me explain.

Madrigal's head is pretty small. Our shower is the sink faucet that extends out to be a shower head, and we essentially shower with the toilet. It's certainly not glamorous, but it gets us clean. I've given Ivy a couple of showers in there, but it doesn't work out as well as her tummy tub. We are thankful to have hot water, so we don't have to heat water up on the stovetop to get her water warm. The bonus? We can give her a bath out in the cockpit on a nice day (which is what I plan on doing when she wakes up from her nap!) I don't feel like she's missing out on anything here, and I'm actually very pleased with this tub. She loves it, we love it.

Cloth Diapers:
Cloth diapers are definitely more of a chore for us than if we lived in a house with a washer and dryer. No doubt about it. We keep them in wet bags so they don't stink (which works great) and wash them by hand every few days. Disposables would have been another option, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. We spent $100 on her entire stash of diapers, and every one of them is going to last until she's potty trained. It would be easier to have a washer and dryer for them, but I'm happy we don't. I enjoy washing them by hand, I love hanging them on the lifelines, and I love how much money we're saving by doing so.

Which brings me onto another topic - elimination communication, or infant potty training. That's right, Ivy's mostly potty trained. It's weird and I won't get into it too much, but I'd say she's about 75% potty trained. We still keep her in diapers at all times, but for the most part they're staying clean and dry now. Ivy loves it because she hates being wet more than she hates anything else, so it's also cut down on the crying about 75%.

Well, this one's pretty simple and would be the same in a house as it is on a boat. Ivy's 100% breastfed. We own a bottle (somewhere) but she doesn't use it.

Ivy's playtime is ever evolving as she gets bigger. She started using a johnny jump up at two months old. It hangs from a handrail and she can push off of the cushion and bounce. She has a bumbo, but she's never been a big fan of it. Aside from that, we don't have any fancy contraptions for her to sit in/lay in/play in. No playpens or pack-n-plays.

She's just about sitting up on her own now, with a few topples here and there, so I decided to start dropping the table down to make one big play area for her. It's safe, it's cushy, it's fun. And I can sit over there with her while she plays, so there's currently no need for any safety netting. I know that's only going to last us a few weeks, so I've started figuring out the best way to make it safer for her. We have some extra lifeline netting that I plan on putting up very soon. She'll be able to practice crawling and standing up there, and it's a really nice sized area for her to play in.

She obviously doesn't have a lot of space for a lot of toys, but I'm sure most parents would say "oh, you're lucky!" She still has a good amount of things to play with - toys of different sizes and textures. Toys that squeak and teething toys. Fabric toys and wooden toys. She's certainly not missing out on anything there.

Ivy sleeps with us in the v-berth. She sleeps like a champ. It's awesome. But there are times when it's harder to live in such a small space with her because of the issue of sleep.

For instance, she likes to wake up at 4am sometimes. I like to let Justin sleep, since that's only 4 1/2 hours after he gets home from work. Usually it's just fine - I can take her out of the v-berth, shut the door, and we're fine. But if she's having a rough morning and screaming, that door is pretty thin and she keeps him awake. When she gets up at 4, she's usually ready for a nap at 6. The easiest way to get her to nap is to take her back into bed (well, that or the Ergo, but at 6, I'm always hoping for a bit more sleep as well). If Justin's still in bed, then we end up waking him up until she goes back to sleep. It's not a terrible setup by any means, but I imagine that naps with a baby in a house go much differently than this.

And then there are the daytime naps. The time where I think "Yes! I can do the dishes and vacuum and clean up the boat!" Except...I can't. I don't dare do the dishes, because if I drop a fork, she wakes up. And if she doesn't get enough sleep, she'll be cranky. So either I do dishes when she's awake and happy and playing somewhere safely, or I do them when she's in the Ergo, or one of us does them when we're both home.

Another silly thing that we have to be very aware of is Willie's collar. We've discovered that Willie loves to do that doggy shake that dogs like to do. It makes his tags jingle SO loudly, and sometimes that wakes the baby. So we're always frantically trying to get his collar off before he wakes her.

I do turn on white noise for her, which helps with most things. It allows me to worry a bit less about waking her.

Naptime for Ivy is quiet time for everyone. It's the time when I nap with her when she's woken me up too early, the time that I do indexing, or the time that I update the blog. It's a great way to force myself to relax a little, because soon she'll be awake and needing this and that. Naptime is me time, and I am very thankful to have it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Great great news. When we got our Creekmore for free we had the option of buying an old Westerbeke W80 along with it for $1000. The westerbeke was not in the boat, it was just on blocks in Henry's garage. It is a 1981 model and had NEVER been started. Once. So essentially brand new, but 30 years old. And of course the w80 model didn't sell so hot or last too long. So it was a real gamble to buy the engine. We bought it anyway. Of course.

Monday, our friend Miles came down to help me try to start it for the first time. We rigged up a diesel day tank, a new starting battery and a garden hose to the engine, which is loosely mounted inside the Creekmore.

It started instantly on the first turn of the key. I was amazed. So so amazed and so incredibly relieved. It didn't leak a single thing. It seriously ran like a brand new engine... which really... it is.

The only thing we didn't do was run the exhaust water out (since there is no thru hull for such a thing yet). So don't mind the water blowing all over into the bilge haha. That was planned!

This week, we are very proud of our Westerbeke. Every once in a while it's nice to have part of the plan fall into place.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Working Aboard

Here we are in late July and I'm finally back to working again.

I did one project in May, when Ivy was going through the worst of her colic. It. Was. Hard. I finished up the work, but decided it was too early to take anything else so I took another month off.

Ivy is 4 months old today, and with that comes a few wonderful things - a happier baby and regular(ish) naps. She is full of smiles. She takes a couple of naps a day now and while I can't always rely on them, for the most part I can get a few things done again.

Work is going surprisingly well with having her around. I know that it will be forever changing as she grows, but at the moment I can work while she's eating or napping. Since I know I have limited time, I am really focused on the task at hand.

That being said - sometimes she just won't fall asleep in bed, so I put her in the Ergo carrier and let her sleep on me. It makes everything a bit more difficult, but doable. Whatever it takes, right?

Crappy picture of Ivy strapped to the front of me while I index a book.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One project at a time.

We're getting there....

We used the same 1/2 inch scratch resistant polycarbonate sheeting for the companionway drop-in board as we had used on the pilothouse windows. It is nice crystal clear and durable stuff. Very happy with it, despite the price! The upright posts are 3/8 inch stainless barstock drilled with 1/4 inch holes and through bolted to matching uprights on the inside. I think it should work out nicely. The hatch itself is a Bomar aluminum hatch made just for companionways. We boughtt that from Henry along with the rest of the hatches he had purchased for the boat nearly 30 years ago.

Fun stuff.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here Comes The Sun

It's been going on for a couple of months now, and somehow I've just noticed the pattern. Ivy goes to bed at sunset and wakes up at sunrise.

It's such a beautiful, natural thing and I hope it lasts, even for a little while. I love that she's already so connected to nature, and I'd like to think that living on the boat contributes a bit to this rhythm she's gotten herself into. We don't use a lot of artificial lighting and we have curtains that let the light shine through. Just last night I was thinking that we maybe needed to make the v-berth darker so that she'd go to bed sooner, but now I'm rethinking that.

Maybe I'm taking too much credit for it, but it seems that it's most natural thing in the world that we've all defeated early on in our lives with artificial lights to make the day longer and curtains to make the night longer. We stimulate ourselves with coffee in the day, then take a tylenol P.M. when we can't wind down at night. Then we wake ourselves up with terrible screeching alarms, but only after hitting the snooze button multiple times.

I have to admit that I've never been a morning person. Far from it, in fact. At my worst, I was going to bed at sunrise. I was in college and had scheduled my earliest class at 4pm because I felt so trapped by my horrible sleep schedule and decided to just go with it.

As I sit here at 6:30am, roughly an hour after being up with Ivy for the day, I realize that I'm really growing into this new cycle of sleep and awake. I admit, sometimes 5am comes awfully early. I also admit that coffee has been my friend lately. Even still, I'm far more awake in the morning than I ever would expect, even when I go to bed an hour or two later than Ivy. If I followed in her footsteps and went to bed at sunset I'm betting I could cut coffee out entirely, but those late hours are when I finally get work done so at the moment it's not an option for me. Best part is that she naps frequently, and I can always take one with her.

I love that this little girl is teaching me how to live a more natural way, and I have to admit that I'm glad I'm not too ignorant to entirely miss the point. I could easily be resentful of these mornings, but then I'd be missing out on so much.

I know it may not last, but for now I will work with it in hopes that she will always remember to pay attention to the rhythm of nature.

(If we lived in Alaska this would be an entirely different post). ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Creekmore Update

Creeky's Blue!

Before and After

Ivy's growing like a weed...

Gnawing. On. Everything.

And Justin cut my hair.