Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I've learned that progress cannot always be dictated or forced to happen. This lesson was taught to my by Eloise. A couple of months ago I was concerned that her sleeping pattern wasn't right. Now I look back and wonder what "right" might have been. I thought I was doing something wrong because I wasn't getting the product I wanted. With 3 months more of being Eloise's mama under my belt, I realize nothing was wrong at all. She was progressing and developing at her own pace and it just so happened that that snapshop of her progress didn't match what the sleep book said. Fortunately for her, I continued to be consisted in how I put her to sleep. We have a short routine and some predictable times. I sing the same sleepy time songs three times per day and avoid singing them during waking hours.

Now, she has a sleep pattern that fits what I like and fits the sleep book. But I've realized that doesn't mean she's more successful than three months ago. It means that's where she's progressed to this far and next week it quite possibly will change. If I'm consistent and stay tuned to her cues, with God's mercy, I'll be able to provide her with what she needs to contine to progress and develop. As it is, she just slept through the delivery of a very large load of gravel deposited outside of her door, large truck brakes and everything. Much to my shock!

It's good for me to be reminded of these things because my tendency in all of my life is to see that things aren't how I want them to be and immediately begin casting my eyes around for what I need to do differently because surely I can force circumstances, myself, others to be different if I just do the right thing. I wonder how much personal growth and progress (in myself and others) I've shortchanged by not accepting a certain stage of development. Perhaps, in concern, I've changed healthy patterns and situations because I didn't like how things looked at the moment. Sometimes growth takes place without manipulation.

I know this principle in gardening. If I plant a seed and nothing has popped up in the first few days, I don't dig up the seeds to see what is wrong. Instead I consistenly water and remove weeds. I do that at every stage of growth. From seed to flower. But I forget that the universe is wired that way when it comes to other things in my life. I'm grateful for Eloise's reminder. I'm also grateful for her two two-hour naps per day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Cuteness

Eloise plays peekaboo with herself! She covers her face with her blankie, then kicks and wiggles until the blanket comes off. She then repeats the procedure over and over.

When sitting, she has learned to scooch an inch at a time towards desired objects. And she still smiles like crazy when she meets new people or daddy makes silly noises.

The Great Barrier Island

I learned how to clean scallops. Eating them was even more fun than cleaning.

We climbed a very steep mountain with a 360 degree view and raced back down the mountain so I could be reunited with my baby.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Barrier Island

I don't even know how to summarize our experiences here. This large island is 33 miles from where we usually moor the boat. It feels like a sailor's playground. Dozens of coves face many directions and provide flat calm anchoring in any wind condition.

My favorite place so far has been Smokehouse Bay. Years ago, the family that owns the property ashore envisioned a place for boaties to build fires for smoking fish. The idea blossomed and grew into an area that has a bath house with a small woodstove outside to heat the water for a shower and a tub inside. There's also an outdoor shower/tub combo that has ho water plumbed to it. In the center of the clearing is a fire pit with picnic tables around it. On the other side of the clearing is the large fish smokehouse. Right next to shore in amongst some flax bushes are sinks with plumbed water and old-fashioned laundry wringers attached. Clotheslines are erected on a small rock outcropping nearby. Hundreds of people use the facilities here every week during the summer but, despite the absence of garbage bins, the whole area is tidy and well-kept.

Brian gave Eloise a swim lesson in the warm water of the outdoor tub a few days ago. She splashed and smiled and performed her drills with him quite happily.

Pictures are coming soon.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Baby is pretty darn amazing.

Well, the world might be all excited about a new year. But, for me the fireworks should be for my little one's giant grins or her little milestones. Brian, Eloise, and I have spent the last couple of weeks aboard Nomad with only short forays ashore or to town. We go to the beaches around the area and have Eloise splash in the quiet shallow spots. It's a far cry from Brian's solo days of chasing surf, but this family life stuff suits.

The week before Christmas, found us down in the Coramandel peninsula region exploring anchorages tucked in cattle grazing lands.

We spent Christmas with our good friends John and Annette and their family. One of my highlights was seeing octogenarian, Grandma Sheila, sitting on the floor next to Eloise, playing and chatting with her.

With the new year we have a friend from Santa Cruz, Tiffany Harmon, aboard for a few days before she heads off to road trip through New Zealand. She brought us a fresh infusion of diapers! ... as well as a few other treats from home. We're also really grateful to have Tiffany teaching us how to teach Eloise to swim.

Eloise continues to be a very contented baby. Her first tooth is still working its way in and upsetting her nap schedule a bit but all in all, she is happy. She delights in splashing water so hard that it covers her face makes her sputter. She figured out how to sit up (when we place her) right before Christmas, and now she plays contentedly on her own, sitting with pillows around her under the galley table. She inchwormed herself one morning about 3 inches. That was a big deal to me. ;) In the cockpit, when she's on her back, she can push her self backwards a few feet. And she continues to delight in bouncing in all forms. The term "bouncing baby" really is accurate. But her biggest accomplishment is to charm the hearts of all who meet her. She spreads smiles wherever she goes.

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