Saturday, November 13, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Spending the vast majority of my time with Henry has been a very rewarding experience. He has taught me so much!
Another name for toddler should definitely be Dawdler! Henry spends a lot of time riding his car around the island. He seems to have two speeds...fast and stop! Some days I carry a book with me so that I have something to keep me occupied while he is stopped, but the other day I thought, 'why not stop and take it all in, too?', so I looked at the sky, listened to the rustling of the leaves, and smelled autumn on the wind. It was so rejuvenating to take the time to just be. Henry has taught me that old cliche, stop and smell the roses!
Over the past six months Henry's imagination has really taken off. It is so much fun to just pretend together! He has the language skills now to explain what it is we're playing, whether it's that I'm the Algonquin Queen (QCYC's Tender) and he's sitting on my lap driving across to the city, or he's making me eggs in the 'kitchen' we've built at the park, oh and 'here's your fork, Mum!' I chose early on to keep Henry's TV time to almost nil, and I feel that these are the times that it really shows. He keeps busy all day with his various games and made up adventures. I think it's truly wonderful!
I really can't believe how quickly my little man is growning! He looks and acts like he's well over two, and has such a quiet, thoughtful demeanor. Sometimes it feels like he's a wise old man in a toddler's body. I don't know if this is a Capricorn trait, or if it's just Henry, but he's an incredible little man. I love being in his company. You never know what he'll say next!
This is such a wonderful time in our lives. I'm so lucky that Andy has worked so hard to make sure that I can spend the formative years with Henry. Sure, we'd have more money if I went back to work, but living the simple life and sharing it with Henry has been invaluable!
I just feel so blessed.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Day one was fairly uneventful, we got an early start, did the first seven locks with little incidence, and arrived at Lock 8 to find it closed as they were having technical problems with the lock. We tied up for the night on the wall below the lock. It was in a very secluded area, so we enjoyed a quiet evening and dinner on the boat. We really noticed the seclusion, though, after dark when every bump in the night had us jumpy! It's amazing how you get used to the noise of civilization!
Day two we travelled from Lock 8 to Lock 16. We had initially worried about doing the locks without extra crew. Our worries were unfounded, as we handled the locks like old pros. We had Henry in his lifejacket with a tether to the binacle, and he was told that in the locks Henry's job is to look after Henry so Mommy and Daddy can look after the boat. It worked! He's getting to be such a big boy! We tied up for the night on the wall below Lock 17, the biggest in the canal system. We were next to the town of Little Falls, and set out to walk to the nearest store. After about half a mile, though, we discovered that it was unrealistic to go that far without a stroller. Henry likes to walk, but not when you need him to! We met a rock climber, though, who offered to drive Andy to town after he conquered his rock. He was really nice, and Andy was able to pick up a few essentials and bring back MacDonald's pies and sundaes to boot!
Day three was to be Lock 17 through to Lake Oneida...didn't happen as planned. There must have been a lot of muck in the water around the lock because we sucked enough of it in to clog both the engine strainer and the thru-hull. The raw water intake was clogged enough that the pump ran dry and caused the impeller to fail. After Lock 17 we managed to go only a mile to the nearest marina, where Andy spent the day travelling around searching for a replacement impeller, then installing it and a T valve so he could flush out the thru-hull and get us up and running yet again! He had a few choice words for the boat by this time! He even threatened to burn her to the ground. Not our best day, but, on the bright side, they had hydro hook-up and nice hot showers and Henry and I got a quiet day to rest and recover from our colds.
Day four we were underway and running beautifully. We got through Locks 18 - 22 and stopped for the day on the east side of Oneida Lake. We had dinner at a little bar and grill with some fellow Canadian sailors. Of course they are headed in the right direction for this time of year, South!! After dinner Henry and I took a walk and found a little park to play in. It was a lovely day until I had to retire early with a migraine. The cloudy unsettled weather is getting to me.
Day five...today...We crossed Lake Oneida with 3-4 foot following seas. The boat handled it with ease and we arrived at the west end of the lake ahead of schedule. We decided to skip the fuel stop after the lake and just get through the Oswego as we thought we'd be hard pressed to make it by the five o'clock lock closing time. Oops! We ran out of fuel between the first two locks on Oswego. Luckily Andy had 12 gallons on deck in geri-cans. He fueled us up in the pouring rain and bled the system like a pro. We were only drifting for about 10 minutes in total. I really am proud of my Handy Andy! Don't know what I'd do without him. So we got through the rest of the locks, turns out they were closer together than charted in the canal book so we were done by 4:00! We tucked into the Oswego Yacht Club and called it a day. Dinner was delivered by a local Italian restaurant and we are all tuckered out and ready for bed.
Tomorrow we have an appointment at the Marina across the channel for mast stepping, and then it's off across Lake Ontario. We have a two day window of fair weather, so I think we're going to skip the originally planned stop in Cobourg and just head straight for Toronto. It's about 125 miles across, so if we do an overnight Friday night we should be in mid-day on Saturday and have a day or two to rest before it's back to work for Andy.
When we started this journey Andy said we'd be two weeks, which to me meant three...and he says to him meant probably four. It will be four weeks on Tuesday since we left. Not too bad, I guess, and we got a new home out of it, not to mention a whole lot of memories!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Sassy II sold a little over a week ago, and with the money in the bank we packed up all of our things (some in storage, some into a van) and once again set off for a great adventure. We left Toronto on Tuesday, August 24th at 12:00pm. Andy, Henry, Buddy and Charlie and I all climbed into our friend Doug's van, along with Doug and all of our belongings for the trip. Doug drove us to Buffalo, where we had a car rental reservation to take us the rest of the ten hour drive to Annapolis, Maryland where Island Eclipse, our new Gulfstar 44 awaited our arrival.
The trip was a little rough. Our rental car was an SUV with an incredibly squishy suspension. The constant roll made Henry car sick. The poor kid couldn't keep much down. With his budding vocabulary we were hearing a lot of, "sick!". Unfortunately, for one of the first times ever, we were very organised before embarking on the adventure and we prebooked a hotel room online through the inexpensive, but non-refundable Hotwire. This meant that we had to press on to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the first day despite Henry's car sickness. With added stops for fresh air and clean up we didn't arrive at the hotel until almost midnight! Poor kid!!
Wednesday was a better day, as we only had two hours left to drive. With a continental breakfast in our freshly showered bellies we were feeling rejuvinated and ready to go. Henry got sick, yet again, but he is such a trooper that we were able to press on and arrive at the boat yard before noon.
Island Eclipse had been out of the water for three months, ever since we told her owner George that we wanted to buy her. He had a fresh coat of paint applied to the bottom following some blister repairs, and there she sat on her jacks looking pretty.
Three months worth of dust and dirt, combined with a bachelor's housekeeping habits left us with quite a load of cleaning to do. We spent the next two days working nonstop, between scrubbing and shopping for our trip we fell into bed each night!
Today the work was finished, Island Eclipse was dropped back into the water, and we were able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour. She really is a lovely boat. Sassy II was great, and I loved her, but she was pretty small for a live-aboard. I didn't realize how small until now. Our new home is just that, a home. We have two bedrooms, not just two beds, but actual rooms! We have two bathrooms, ensuite to each bedroom. Andy tells me that he'll share Henry's so I can have my very own! Wow, living with a man, a boy and two male dogs on a boat I never dreamed I'd have a ladies' room! The kitchen is much larger than Sassy's, and the fridge is a dream! If there was one thing I hated about living aboard Sassy II it was the itty bitty little fridge! My new fridge is 4x the size and so much more accessible! If you live on a boat you'll understand the luxury of this. I also no longer have an icebox. No more ice, no more drainage, no more smell! Hooray!! The main salon (livingroom) is quite large, and quite cosy at the same time. As you may have noticed, I'm extremely happy with our new home.
We did have one minor hiccop today, though! It could have been major had Andy not been the smart and resourceful problem solver he is. About an hour after being launched this morning we noticed that we were taking on water! The bilge was filling quite rapidly, and the bilge pump wasn't coming on...yikes! Andy was able to find and solve the leak and install a new bilge pump within a very short amount of time. Thank goodness, sinking our new boat on day one was not an option!!
Henry seems very happy with his new home. He has slept with me for way too long now, and so a couple of weeks before we came on this adventure Andy and I started to tell Henry all about it, including his very own new room! We took him shopping on Tuesday and bought his Cars bedding, then set all of his toys up on his shelves. We installed a bed rail and a monitor for safety, and Henry was all set to have some new found independance. His transition into his own bed has been unimaginably easy. It has only been two nights, but he has slept right through, not missing me a bit, both nights! Hooray! I'm finally back where I belong, with Andy! The dogs have been kicked out of the bed for good, too. Our bed is too high for them to jump onto, and so we've been able to easily enforce our new 'dogs in their own bed' rule. Life is good.
Tomorrow George is meeting with us to go over all of the boat's systems before we embark on our two week journey home. I don't know how often we'll have internet access on the trip, but whenever I can I will give you an update, and failing that I will have plenty to tell in two weeks when we get back to QCYC.
So for now, signing off from Island Eclipse.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I continue to enjoy every moment of the freedom Andy has provided me with in enabling me to stay home with Henry. I feel so very priviledged to be able to raise my own child in a day and age when 95% of children go to daycare. Henry's capacity to learn is incredible. He is just shy of 18 months old and can say approximately 50 words appropriately and well enough for me to understand him. It is amazing to watch him turn from a dependant infant into a very independant, free thinking, problem solving little boy. He has a great sense of humour, a very active imagination, and a love of the great outdoors. He is sweet and loving, even kissing his stuffed monkey better when he falls on the floor. Henry has just started to try to say, "I love you" and it melts my heart everytime he leans in for a hug and utters these three precious words. Being a mother is more than I could ever have dreamed it would be.
Our search for a new home continues. Andy is hoping to fly to Florida quite soon to look at our latest interests. There is a 50ft Gulfstar that he has his eye on. Everyone is saying that 50 may be too big, but what a home it would be! I will keep you posted on that front.
Having recovered from my recent miscarriage, Andy and I have been talking a lot about the possibility of having another child. We've decided we would definitely like to and so we will try again. I will, of course, keep you posted on that front as well.
Henry is just waking from his nap, so my blogging time has come to an end for today. I will try to write again soon.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It has been an incredibly difficult week. I thank God for the strength and support I get from my wonderful husband, and feel so blessed to have our one perfect child.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Our friend Kim invited us out for an afternoon at Riverdale Park and Zoo with her three month old daughter Sarah. What a great day!! I had no idea this little treasure was buried in the concrete jungle. We had a wonderful time, Henry loved the freedom to run and got a real kick out of the animals that we'd only read about until now. Thanks Kim!
We have officially moved back to the island for the summer. We came over on Friday and enjoyed the weekend at the much more enjoyable island pace. I will miss the convenience of living cityside, but the tranquility of island life makes up for it ten-fold.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
I hope someone can give me some insight into Henry's sleep issues. Here's the story.
I never thought I would share a bed with my baby, but living on the boat it has just ended up that way. When Henry was six months old and could stand up we felt that he was no longer safe sleeping alone in the v-berth with the railing we built for it. Rather than risk him falling out, I opted to sleep there too. Eight months later I still do. So, maybe that was my first mistake.
Henry starts his day between 7:30 and 8:30am, depending on his night. He normally naps just once a day now, usually from about 1:00pm-3:00pm. By 8:00pm he is ready for bed. He usually goes to bed quite easily, falling asleep within half an hour. I lay with him in the bed until he's asleep.
About an hour after he goes to sleep he wakes up and fusses. We pat his back and he goes right back to sleep. These awakenings can happen anywhere from 2-10 times a night. I'm used to this now, and as long as he settles right back to sleep I'm hardly disturbed at all. The major issue is that quite often, probably almost half of the time, he will wake up in the night and stay awake. He is perfectly happy most nights, just tossing and turning, and tossing and turning...for up to three hours some nights!! Why can't he go back to sleep?!?
I've tried giving him a bottle, which he drinks happily, then tosses and turns for a couple of hours anyway. I've tried changing his diaper, not changing his diaper, giving him Tylenol, rocking him, singing to him, not talking to him at all, getting him up, leaving him be...nothing seems to get him back to sleep any sooner.
My only idea is that it could be diet related, so I've started to keep a food journal to try to see a correlation between what he eats and whether we have a good night or a bad night. Henry also seems to be allergic to dairy. He is still drinking his milk-based formula, but can't tolerate homogenized milk, goat's milk, or soy formula. All three made him spit up. Also, when I first gave him milk and realized he was having issues with it I stopped giving him yogurt and cheese. This seemed to clear up the patches of rough skin (eczema?) on the backs of his arms.
When I asked our MD about his sleep he just said that if he didn't wake up crying or in pain he wouldn't worry about it. Easy for him to say, he gets to sleep all night!
Any suggestions? Thanks!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Andy has been encouraging me to try to write every day. He says that people will be interested in the normal, everyday stuff too. I'm not sure if that's true, but I really enjoy writing, and do have thoughts and feelings that are note worthy to me, so to that end I'm going to try to get back to writing every day.
Henry takes up the biggest part of my days, so you will probably be hearing a lot about him! We have a lot of fun, a few frustrations, and learn from each other along the way.
Henry is walking very well now. He loves to walk outside, and it's hard to get him to keep hold of my hand. He's a very independent little soul. After breakfast every morning we get dressed, boots, coats, hats, mittens, and all, and go out to walk Buddy and Charlie. I used to put Henry in his stroller for this morning walk, but he really prefers to be on his own two feet, so for the most part we all walk together.
Henry doesn't like to do things the easy way, preferring the piles of snow to the flat sidewalk. He climbs up, trips and falls onto his knees, gets wet, then does it all again. This makes it very difficult for the dog walker. But hey, the fun way isn't always the easy way.
We have turned a corner with Henry's need for Mommy. Over the past few weeks he has been playing more and more independently. He only really clings when he is getting tired. For a while he would have Mommy, and no one else...not even Daddy. That was hard for me to see, so I can only imagine how it felt for Andy.
Two days ago Henry and I got back from five days in Peterborough visiting my parents. Andy picked us up at Union Station, and the three of us went to get groceries. It was wonderful to see Henry not wanting Andy out of his sight for a change. Every time Andy went around a corner Henry would point and do his little, "oh, oh!" until he could see him again. Then his face would light up with a huge smile and a giggle.
Last night Andy and Henry ventured out on their own for a couple of hours. I packed Andy a 'man purse' with diapers, wipes, snacks and such for Henry. Henry went to Andy eagerly and waved bye to Mommy. No tears, no fuss, "bye Mom!". Off they went. They had a great time! Andy reported that Henry was bobbing his head and kicking his feet in time with the jazz playing in the truck, he giggled as he jiggled over bumps in a parking lot, they enjoyed visiting our friend Kim and her two month old baby Sarah, and Henry fell asleep in his stroller on the way home from downtown after they parked the truck. Everyone returned in high spirits.
While they were gone I enjoyed a snack and a hot cup of tea while I did some painting! Andy and my brother Dave made some doors for the boat in Dave's workshop. They turned out great, and Andy asked me to paint Sassy II and Jessica Rabbit on them, the same as is on the transom. It was fabulous to sit down uninterrupted for two and a half hours and do something creative!!
Now that Henry is a toddler I think we will both gain quite a bit of independence. I'm looking forward to delving back into some hobbies.
In other news, we have decided to sell our condo. With finances as they are, we are better served by selling and paying off all of our debt than by holding onto the condo and struggling to make minimum payments and never paying off any principal.
Being broke is quite a humbling experience. The best things in life are definately free, but having money sure does reduce stress!! My Dad always says , 'money can't buy happiness, but it could rent it for awhile!'. Well said Dad! We still have lots of happiness... in each other, Henry, and every time we step out onto the dock and see the sun shining, the ducks quacking, and another beautiful day. I just hate to see Andy working so hard and not getting ahead.