Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Zach's Cabin Makeover

Zach and Doug went off for a few days camping with the Boy Scouts recently and so Naia and I had some quality girl time. We ate green things. We danced, a lot. And we ripped apart Zach's cabin.

Now, about a year ago we moved Zach out of his little cabin in the aft section of the starboard hull and into the port side "guest room". And we transformed the little aft cabin into a room for Naia who had been sleeping with us and didn't have a room for her first 3 years. At the time we concentrated solely on making Naia's new cabin awesome so that Naia would sleep there. We succeeded in the awesome part, but failed on the sleeping. She still sleeps with us. Every single night. And we're cool with that. She's the last kid, and she's my teddy bear, so it's all good. But we never did anything more than unceremoniously dump Zach and all of his belongings into the guest cabin.

Until now.

Naia and I took apart the room completely. every book, every cubby, every single item in the room came out.

Oh so many books. Even though he has a library card and a Kindle paperwhite FILLED with books, we still have way too many books on board. And I fear we always will. My boy is not only a voracious reader, he's also a lover of vintage things, so he's a sucker (and so am I) for vintage books. You can't transfer those to digital.

Aside from culling and organizing books, there was just too much stuff. And garbage. Actual literal garbage. Mind you his bedroom door is like 4 feet from our galley trash can. Sigh, boys. Five huge trash bags later, we started organizing things back into the room... and then started to decorate. And here's what it looks like now!

(Friends, keep in mind that even though our space is "large" by everyday boat standards, this was all photographed with a wide angle lens. Never believe totally what you see!)

My boy is a certified Britofile. His taste in movies, literature, humor, and history all lean very English. So a huge Union Jack to cover the bland beige head board seemed to suit the room perfectly. Then I sewed a Doctor Who pillow (my first time sewing piping, don't look too close, it's a little rough around the edges.) And added a small Union Jack fabric panel to cover the Lego cubby.

Oh the Lego cubby. That was like a whole day of organizing. My kid falls in the free form build from your imagination school of Lego. If he gets a set as a gift, he might build it once, but then it goes into what I call "the heap". Inevitably he ends up not being able to find "the piece" needed to create whatever is blooming in his head. Not surprising since the Lego cubby was a swirling mass or chaos. We bought some plastic bins and I took advantage of my girl who LOVES to sort little things, and got to work. Minifigs in one bin, random pieces in another two bins, accessories in another. Eventually the fabric will be held in with bungees and eye bolts to make the cubby secure, right now it's just a touch of velcro to hold it in place and cover the Lego mess.

Other cubbies have oversized books with his extra quilt for cold nights.

And magazines along with his natural treasures in a special bin, things like rocks and feathers and shells and bits.

On the wall by his bed I put up some hoops with embroidery and fabric of favorite things, a Harry Potter quote, Star Trek, and a Tardis.

And then there's the closets. Oh man that was a chore. I bought some hanging things that I think are to store pantyhose and jewelry, but I put his odds and ends in there. Works perfectly! And his clothing, well I organized as best I could knowing it would be undone the first time he got dressed.

His door, well... he did his own decor job on that when he took over the room. Duct tape. Yeah, it's trashed, but it's his. One day if we ever sell this boat, we'll have to seriously refinish or replace that door.

And finally there is the head, or bathroom. I added a Doctor Who tardis shower curtain, and a friend gave Zach the tardis mug which is perfect for tooth brushing items. Behind the shower curtain is a small bath tub, which is where we store some off season items and also where we throw our dirty laundry. The tardis makes the perfect cover.

Zach came home and was thrilled with his room, and frankly quite surprised. He couldn't believe how easy it was to function in an organized space. He told me his favorite part was the Union Jack flag. Of course.

Now I just hope he can keep it this neat and tidy. Please.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

70's Summer

It seems to be the trendy thing to reminisce about the good old days when kids would run free in packs around the neighborhood all summer having unplugged fun during unscheduled days.

Every year I get a little nagging feeling, the little voice whispers "Camp. Classes. Make some plans!" But then when I research it never seems worth it. Why would I pay someone else to play with my kids? Why would I pay (and pay a lot mind you) for someone to take my kid out kayaking or hiking? We do that all the time as part of our every day. I then realized that we sort of live at day camp. Plenty of arts and crafts, pool, water sports, hiking, wilderness, and with better food.

So that's what's been happening the last month or so. Creative free time...

(upstairs/ downstairs boat style)

Spontaneous water and bubble fun...

Fishing, of course. Always fishing with my sweet boy. And monkey see, monkey do wants in on the fish action too. This year she is coordinated enough to handle a real hook. And she's learning to deal with the disappointment of not catching anything too. That's all part of that 70's summer thing, right? Letting kids fail, experience disappointment, not making everything ok all the time.

We've been hanging out in the woods as much as the ticks let us. Picking wineberries, following deer tracks, and having little fairy picnics.

And of course sailing when we can. Choo Choo had his first sail. He was a little... worried. He spent most of the time glued to me, right between my legs at the helm.  I am getting the feeling lately that Naia is prone to sea sickness. She's never complained about it or lost her stomach, but she tends to go right to sleep once we get underway. No complaints about a nap from my energizer bunny.

To me it's not a 70's summer throw back thing. It's just summer. Just living life to the fullest and chalking up experiences over accomplishments. I am not sure I could do it any other way.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

birthday, camping, and catching up

We are all together again and so there has been less time on the computer and more just hanging out, enjoying the summer, and doing loads of boat work.

And of course June was special not just because we got Doug back from the Middle East, but also it was Zach's 11th birthday. ELEVEN. That's very big and still so very little at the same time.

Celebrating was a low key gathering of friends for what was supposed to be a pool party at the marina. But thunder and lightening were threatening a storm, so they closed the pool. Not a worry, the kids made themselves happy with a big water fight, staying cool in the sweltering humidity.

(Zach is holding a plastic fake dog poo. This is one of his favorite birthday gifts.)

We had a little family celebration at home on the boat...

And then per the wishes of the birthday boy, we went camping up at Shenandoah National Park. It was our first time camping with Choo Choo, so we weren't sure what to expect with him. Thankfully Shenandoah is a very dog friendly park. But we found out that Choo is a bit of a prima donna.

We went to a local cave, did a little hiking, and checked out a bizarre local museum with old parade floats.

My baby boy is eleven, really? Sigh.

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