Musings on Life at 17 Months and 32 Years (in Beaufort, SC)

Zephyr turned 17 months and I turned 32 last week. I have to keep doing the math to figure out how old I am, which is one of those things I thought only *really* old people did, so not sure what to make of that 😉

Sailboat life in a dinghy with a toddler

We drove back up to Maryland last week (Zephyr now thinks of the truck as his 4th home), 12 hours each way from Beaufort, to look at a few potential “Brio II’s”. We’ve been looking for the “perfect” Brio II for about two years now, and honestly I’m not sure we’ll ever find her… but I think what we’ve both realized is that we are VERY EXCITED by the prospect of a bit more space, a couple cabins to spread out (and close the doors) on, new projects and a new empty canvas to make our mark.

I look around Brio and see a boat that has been completely transformed since we bought her 8 years ago… we’ve touched almost every system, refit almost every major component of her… but we just can’t make her any bigger.

Toddler climbing the companionway on a Nor'West 33 sailboat liveaboard

I realize what a ridiculous privilege it is to be able to sit here and complain about the size of our floating home while contemplating buying a second boat, so I have to acknowledge that our life has been blessed in so many ways already… a bigger Brio has just been a huge dream!

Shh baby napping

This is the “shhhh Zephyr is napping 4′ away from here!” face. Very well practiced by his parents!

In the interim, as boat shopping continues and the weather slowly, slowly cools down (now in the high 80’s instead of the high 90’s… a much appreciated change!), life marches on.

The latest baby updates:

Toddler and daddy in dinghy in Beaufort, SC near Lady's Island Marina

Zephyr is super into water right now, and will happily spend hours playing in the sink with a measuring cup and a spoon, or in the cockpit with the hose, or in the marina lounge’s kitchen sink.

It’s a fantastic way to keep him busy, right up until the point that you need him to do something else… hell hath no fury like a toddler whose water has been taken away!

He’s slowly adding words to his vocabulary, including a few of his own making… “ama” (airplane), “me-me” (milk), “ba-ba” (unknown but he says it very determinedly haha!).

He’s also getting better at navigating docks and decks on his own. I refuse to let him outside without a lifejacket on — the one “rule” I won’t compromise on, after a few too many tragic stories too close to home — but I fully expect he’ll fall in the water at some point, it’s just a question of when. At least with his lifejacket on we can haul him out and dry him off, and it gives us a handy spot to tie Kevin to (the elephant Z can’t live without).

And it’s nice to watch him race around the deck of a bigger boat, comfortably making his way around shrouds and sheets, popping his head down a hatch to peek inside.

The one thing we’re completely agreed on is that this is the life we want to give our little man… a life afloat, with lots of time together, lots of time outside and in tune with nature and the weather and the creatures around us, and without a ton of “stuff”.

Not that you’d believe the “stuff” part of you looked in the back of Jon’s truck right now… “like real gypsies” my dad exclaimed, when he saw the piles of our crap.

We don’t travel light, but we do travel often!

Lastly… In case you want to wait on pins and needles with us… we’ve got a Brio II in the works that I am REALLY hoping we can finalize and share more about soon 🙂

I’ll keep the Zephyr pics coming until the paperwork is signed, but then Z might have to share the limelight with Brio II…

Living the two-boat-dream,

– LMK

Summer Clichés (in BC)

It’s the cliché-est of the clichés, but the days really are long and the years really do feel short…

We’ve been in BC for two months, we fly back to the East Coast tomorrow, Zephyr turned 16-months last week, and suddenly Fall is just around the corner.

You’d think we’d have our life plans solidified for the winter, but you’d be wrong 🙂 Still working through the messy middle, still weighing pros and cons and boats and plans, and generally changing our minds every other day.

In an effort to make a concrete step forward, we did, however, buy the anchor for our new boat.

No, we haven’t sold (or even listed!) Brio yet, and no, we haven’t bought the new boat yet — but we love, *love* our Spade anchor on Brio… So when the bigger version of our current anchor went on super sale, we decided to play Cinderella and buy the anchor for the next boat before we buy the boat itself.

This, my friends, should tell you something about our current mental state 😉

Don’t trust these crazies!

Anyways, it’s all good and I keep reminding myself that we should be so lucky to have “problems” like these, and everything works out in the end — or it’s not yet the end!

Since I’ve taken 4000 photos and shared only 2000 of them (ha!), and I aim to update this little corner of the internet on some kind of as-yet-unidentifiable schedule, here are a few highlights from our amazing passed-in-a-blink summer in BC…

     

We had to weight-test the bike trailer (and my sister’s biceps) before we declared it totally safe 😉 …

We’ve spent as many weekends as possible sailing on Synchronicity, showing Zephyr mommy’s old home and some of our favorite spots in BC…

The grandparent bond is real. There will definitely be tears all around when we leave.

This little island is one we’ve been going to for as long as I can remember, and is now where Z got to experience his first hot dog roast too…

Still a boat kid, through and through…

We’ll be back, Vancouver!

– LMK 🙂

 

14 Months Old (in Bailey Island, ME)

A more organized mom might have recorded milestones monthly, but it’s never too late to carpe diem, right?!

14 months has brought some fun new milestones.

You’ve given up walking for running, in that full-force way only toddlers can. Edges? Stairs? Toys? Mere obstacles to be run right over.

I caught you yesterday trying to skateboard on your toy truck. You looked at me out of the corner of your eye, face shining with excitement as you planted one foot on the truck’s back and pushed off with the other.

This ended badly, as most toddler experiments tend to — but it’s incredible to watch you learn.

When your daddy turns on the radio, it’s like you’re hearing music for the first time. Your face radiates literal joy.

One of the parenting books I read said that toddlers can only feel one feeling at a time (hence the often inexplicable mood swings… “Cucumber! Cucumber! NO, not THAT cucumber!!”) but that’s part of why adults find them so charming…

When you’re happy, you are DELIGHTED.

When you’re upset, you are MAD.

You’ve added a few new words to your 3-word repertoire this week… “up” and “apple” are the clearest new favorites.

Intriguingly, when we ask for a word you don’t know, you reply with “die!”

“Can you say cucumber, Zephyr?” “Die!”

“Beach?” “Die!”

“Tub?” “Die!”

So maybe we’re pushing the new words thing a little too hard 😉

Despite having spent half of your life out of state, you’re definitely a Mainer.

We walk down to the shore and I can’t keep you from wading out into the water. While my tropical-favoring-toes sting from the chilly Atlantic, you’ll happily stand knee-deep, chasing ever-bigger rocks to pick up and throw until mean-mommy drags you back onto the beach to warm up and dry off.

You helped your daddy stack 4-cords of wood.

Sometimes you helped by not running into the road, but often you actually carried full pieces of wood from the pile, gleefully placing your piece on the top of the stack. You’ll be a great second mate yet.

(And we’re giving your daddy extra points for stacking all that wood while Zephyr-wrangling!)

I know people say having a baby changes everything, but I find it interesting how much stays the same, too.

Yes, the make up of our days are different (they start earlier, for one, and revolve around the needs of a 2-1/2′ tall creature for another) but at the core so much stays the same.

I still love hot coffee with my journal, especially in the peaceful moments when the household is asleep.

We still go on adventures (albeit, slower adventures) and I take too many pictures.

I still love to overshare, in the hopes of remembering these days and connecting with others who maybe relate.

We still enjoy each other’s company and we still dream big dreams for the future.

I still take selfies 😉

And I still wonder what kind of mom I’ll be, and what our family will turn out like…

Thanks for sharing this month with us, little Z.

– LMK

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