Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Packing for San Juan Sailing

It could be said that packing for a sailing trip should just be like packing to camp, right?  Light and tight?
Well, not so fast.  Take the medicine bag, for example.  How do you not pack the bandages, ointment and tape?  What about the random splinter/hangnail that must be dealt with?  And don't forget about a middle of the night onset of croupy cough, the pesky headache that won't go away or the trip ending earache?  Can't forget the tylenol, the ibuprofen, and the prescription strength cough syrup for such an event.  Add to that Tommy's migraine meds.  Don't forget the sunscreen and the aloe vera gel in case of sunburn.  After all, it can happen quickly out on the open water (dare we think there will be sunshine out this time of year?)  Did we get the earplugs, because Thomas can't swim without them.  And on top of that, John and I tend to enjoy a good night's rest on a cramped boat courtesy of a bit of melatonin/benedryl combo we have to pack in this mess.
Light and tight?  Not quite yet.  However, it is a blessing not to pack the diaper/bottles/formula and other assortment of "baby gear".

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cooper at 5

Cooper loves to dress up. If he watches a show on tv, inevitably he wants to dress up as a character or a player for that particular spot.  So if he wants to watch soccer, he will try to find as many of his clothes as possible to get just the "right" look to be exactly the player he wants to be.  Right now he is in to being a baseball catcher.  What that means is that not only does he get a uniform on, consisting of dark blue fuzzy pants, a jersey top, soccer high socks, shin guards and a helmet, but he must also find his mouthguard.  Now, though, he sees that baseball catches look "puffy" with guards, so he has taken to finding a life jacket and then putting the jersey of the jacket so that it looks exactly like a catch.  Then he wants to know what number he is wearing, then you must go to that particular sport and find a player with that number and tell him the name.  Then he "is" that player for the rest of the minute, hour, half day or whatever time frame he has until he switches to another character.  The other day he was on to White Sox, and he had me searching Google for images of what White Sox players wear so that he could find just the right outfit in his dresser.  Minutes later he was a Sounders player, heading down to grandpa's to play him in a match.  Later, he was a Mariner, complete with new uniform.  Then he came out of the garage with his little work out tight shorts and big puffy mittens, saying he's been "working" out boxing.  Then he punched me in the gut and asked if he had a six pack.  A while back we had to get a number put on his Sounders jersey, after days of begging and fussing about it.  Cooper can be relentless, and he will wear you down and out some days.  He loves to talk, and will carry on and on about the stories he has going on at that particular moment.

Lopez Island Sailing Trip 2012

With the weather as nice as it's been, we decided to run away for a sailing trip.  You can't take nice weather for granted when it comes to the islands, so we jumped on the idea to sail away for a quick adventure.  The key to an island sailing trip is a great pool.  Last year's adventure to Roche Harbor's pool was a success, so after seeing that the Lopez Islander had a marina with a pool, we decided to head there instead.  Grandma Lillian is the queen of inside cabin activities for the boys, and while the weather outside wasn't all that thrilling for tanning, the boys were having a blast down below.  Every now and then they would peek out to see what was going on up on top, but quickly headed down for more journaling, books and games with grandma.  The trip over to Lopez was fabulous, and we were even treated to a dolphin sighting that Thomas spotted on his trip to the front of the boat.  The water was dead calm at that time, so it made for a marvelous sight.  Shortly after that, though, the adventure turned sketchy, as we entered a fog bank.  With John and I scouting out the side, and Bruce manning the instruments and front, we slowly crept through a thick, scary fog bank.  It was disconcerting to hear a fog horn, yet not have a clue where it was, or how far away it was.  At one point, Bruce motioned for me to see a large, yellow dot on his radar, and I switched from watching the side of the boat to scanning the back.  I can't tell you how amazing it is to see an enormous ferry emerge out of the fog right on your tail!  It was like a scene out of a movie.  "Bruce!  Bruce!  It's a ferry!  Right behind us!" I yelled.  That yellow dot was not just any old boat coming up on us.  I am sure Bruce thought I was nuts when I said, "Can you just pull over?"  Uh...pull over, like a highway?  Hmmmm....

Can't really do that on the open water, now can you?  However, Bruce did change his direction just a tad, and instead of the ferry overtaking us (sailboats have a tendency to just disappear out on the water), it also changed course just a bit.  I prayed and prayed that the sun would break through the fog so that we wouldn't be in such a sketchy sail much longer.

Lopez Island treated us well, and we found that the laid back marina was much to our liking.  There was nothing fancy about it, no mega-bucks boats and their parties to contend with.  We spent the majority of the afternoon playing up at the pool and hot tub, then had dinner out on the deck of the restaurant.  We timed it just right, as the thunder and lighting that we could see on the horizon all day finally overtook our little slice of heaven and the storm hit.  It was an amazing thunder and lightning storm.  It's an interesting situation to be inside a sailboat, out in the water, with lightning strikes all around and pretty continuous.  Normally you would run from such a situation, but when in a marina, all we could do was hunker down and enjoy the show.  And what a show it was!  We played Scrabble, the boys played with the Ipad and cards, then when the power in the marina went out with one powerful burst of lightning, we all settled in for the night.  I loved this trip.  It was a perfect, amazing little adventure, and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to do this with our family.

Summertime Fun 2012

Finally, summer is here.  Although the weather did not cooperate much in June, we finally managed to get the cousins here for some tubing fun!

Cooper Turns 5

Cooper had several birthday parties this year.  He had a preschool friends birthday party at Jump Around Fun Zone.  He had a Whipples/Lawrences birthday party at Red Robin, our standard birthday celebration.  Followed up by a birthday party at home complete with presents, Georgia-decorated streamer and balloon fest and ice cream cake.  It is hard to believe that this little guy is already 5 and what life he has brought to our home.  He continues to amaze us with his big talk, his big plans and his even bigger than life adventurous spirit.  We love him dearly!