Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Morning Near Maine

There were no coffee beans this morning. I slept only 5 hours. If SeaHusband were here this would never have happened. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

A couple of "Firsts"

Summer is speeding by!  SCHOOL is open and I know this because the school bus has resumed ripping through our quiet residential street at 40 mph. Also the ice cream truck has given it up. Thank God.

SeaHusband finished a three-week hitch and headed to a Mid Atlantic location to study for his Chief Mate/ Master exam. The plan was to study there for two weeks but he came home early and completely surprised me - walked into our bedroom while we were talking on the phone. Actually, he gave me a pretty good scare!  Luckily I was NOT eating cupcakes in bed or watching Jersey Shore (either of which could be plausible), I was at the desk working. It was a great surprise and the first time he has done this.

He spent the next 5 days at home studying about 8 hours a day. It was so nice to have him here: the family together at home for 5 days in a row. It was the first time he's been home and occupied completely by something other than us, so it was a little strange. Our daughter, who is 2, was quite perplexed as to why Daddy could not play constantly, but he enjoyed her interruptions and tried to include her as much as possible.
(Oh look, first Blog Photo!)

Then it was off to Boston where he spent three grueling days and came home a FIRST MATE. I am so proud.

And while he was taking exams we had one more "first", the kids first ride on a tugboat.
Here's me and the SeaBabies with our dear friend Capt. Dave, aboard the Rowan in Portland.

Happy first week of September to you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fish or Cut Bait

If I read one more parenting article or mommy blog that suggests I lower my standards and "let the house be messy" as a solution for dealing with how-the-hell-will-I-get-it-all-done stress, I will spit. A toy-strewn living room and piles of un-folded laundry do nothing to lower my blood pressure - quite the contrary.
Staying at home with the children is a dream-come-true for many hardworking Moms out there.  Our decision for this sort of arrangement was easy to imagine, easy to execute, but remains difficult to master. It was easy to imagine because it just made sense for one of us to be home full time since SeaHusband is away so much.  The transition was pretty simple.  My little home office in our bedroom has a nice Ikea desk, and all the necessary tools I need to edit cruising guides. I work when I can - when I have child care or when the children are sleeping. It is a very nice situation for which I am very grateful.

And yet...

The dishes, the cleaning, the laundry, the chapters due to my editor, the blog, the lawn mowing, the bills, the laundry, the laundry, the laundry! Not to mention the downtime needed for my sanity.
So I've been lured into reading some of the "Mommy Blogs" and have actually found a few keepers which offer some great simple ideas for ways to get ahead of the piles of work, and stay ahead.

I think this one is my favorite. The message is simple, Get it Done Early or as we like to say here in New England, "Quit friggin around! Fish or cut bait."

I've been making an attempt in the past few days to apply this theory and so far it's working. I am slowly gaining ground on the to-do lists and my living room is not a fall hazard... for now... because they are sleeping. But the good news is that I will have a full 9 weeks to put these good suggestions into practice - because that's how long he's going to be gone this time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

best day/ worst day

Saturday was the BEST DAY; boating, kids, sun, swimming, beer, great friends.
Sunday was the WORST DAY; him packing, tearful two-year old saying "stay home Papa", the long drive to the airport, goodbye for 3 weeks or maybe as long as 9 weeks.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

alone and still

This quote from a thread on gCaptain,

"...you have to find a strong spouse who can be okay alone and still be okay to allow you into the world she has had to create, when you are there..Thats a hard thing to do..it's hard to find a person that is willing to put up with that..."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Numbers

I have been avoiding this for quite some time because I know I will not like the results. Also, because I know there are many families whose numbers look "worse".
In the past 180 days (six months) SeaHusband has been at home 40 days.
It's true that he has had much more time than that "off" his ship, but for much of the "off" time there is required training that takes him away from home.
We were fortunate these past 6 months to have the opportunity to travel with him on two occasions while he was training.("We" meaning myself, the two-year old, and the baby.) Though not exactly a relaxing vacation, it did mean we could eat dinner with him every night and breakfast together every morning which adds an additional 21 days of time spent together.
So, 61 out of 180 days. That's not too bad. I wish I knew where military wives find the strength to say goodbye for much longer than I have ever had to.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things that happen while he's away.

Inevitably "Shit Happens" when SeaHusband is away. These things happen when he is here too, its just that, well usually he's NOT here. (Actual number of days home and away is being saved for another post)
The events vary greatly in intensity and in category... depending on the seasons and the stages that the children are in. Here are a few of the things I've dealt with most recently:
Cleaning out a Gutter. During a rain storm I noticed one of our breezeway gutters was spilling over the top, meaning that the spout was totally clogged, the gutter was full and could fall off the roof at any moment. Leaving the baby and toddler inside I climbed up a ladder in the wind and the rain and poked a stick down the spout to free it up. It worked and the kids were still alive when I went back in, SUCCESS!
Repairing the Sump Pump. The pump was running continuously during dinner one night so I went to take a look. The uptake hose had separated from the pump so that the water was being just recirculated and not pumped out! It was raining hard, there was a lot of water coming in and we do not have a backup sump pump. The toddler was fastened safely into her highchair and the baby was asleep so I reached three feet down into the sump hold to locate the loosened hose clamp. Holding a Mag light in my mouth I found where the clamp needed to be placed, tightened it back up and TaDa. Success.
Hornets Nest in the Mail Box. Well it took me about three days to deal with this because I was so scared. But finally I grabbed the garden hose and gave the nest a good hard blast for a few seconds and then ran inside hoping not to be stung. I didn't get rid of the whole nest, but I also did not get stung. Partial success. (SeaHusband can remove the remainder when he gets home.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Social SeaWife Check-in

Socializing with immediate family does not count. Though they are wonderful and a very important part of my life, family sometimes have a tendency to leave us all exhausted, don't they?
So, here's my Social SeaWife recap for the past week:
Tuesday - No socialization.
Wednesday - No socialization
Thursday - Got a babysitter and had dinner out with MIL, SIL and a friend. Good time, great food, but being with family doesn't always give you the outlet you need.
Friday - went to playgroup, met new "mom" who lives in the area and her husband is military and away much of the time. Super hopeful that she and I could become friends.
Saturday - Visited with Aunt and Cousin in a place I've never been before. Points deducted for hanging with family, but points regained for getting out of the house with both kids and dog and going on an adventure to a new place. ( It was a not-yet occupied kids summer camp on a lake and it was SO fun!)
Sunday - Dragged a Mommy friend to a 5k. Had a great time, walked 5k, ate a hotdog, listened to live music (ok, so it was kids music).
Monday - No socialization

Not bad for my first week really putting effort in. Now, to keep the momentum going. More dinner plans this week with non-family members.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You know you're a SeaWife when:
your husband offers to take you sailing in the Caribbean, but you would honestly rather just spend time with him at home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Things that bring me inspiration include the every day beauty of the world, my children, and my husbands dedication to his job and family. But sometimes I look to other people for support and inspiration. Here are links to a few of them.

Megan the Nautie Mermate is a classmate of mine from Maritime Academy. She ships, she blogs, and she is great.

Deep Water Writing I'm sure I've mentioned before. His observations at sea and ashore are full and vibrant, a pleasure to read and someone who understands the Life of a SeaWife more than most.

Something else that inspired me recently was a book, The Sea Captains Wife by Beth Powning.  Though it is a novel, the clarity of detail about shipping and the hills and valleys of emotion that are a part of all Seawives, were all captured and presented so well I found myself glued to the pages.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Social Sea Wife

Not wanting to admit how long it's been since I wrote, I won't number the months, but it's been quite a long time. Time enough to have a second baby, renovate the kitchen and to look ahead towards What The Heck We Will Do Next. Time for the excitement of a new home and the terror of new parenthood to calm enough that we can begin to look ahead to the next step in our lives. The next leg of our voyage.

The social life of a Sea Wife is a bit complex. When he is home the social gatherings are squeezed in between other necessary things like his training and studying, home maintenance and of course spending time with me and the children. There are all sorts of family gatherings; BBQ's (or cookouts, you might call them), birthday dinners, graduation parties and whatnot. We attend together and juggle the children and pass them around to various aunties and uncles. Friend gatherings are less frequent partly because of limited time and family coming first but also partly due not having found a regular way to socialize as a family with young children. When he is at sea it's the friend gatherings that I crave and that only rarely happen. And so, I feel a bit lonely.

There are all sorts of excuses for why I don't engage more with our friends, the top two of those excuses are a Two Year Old and a Six-Month Old. But I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, drop the excuses, call the baby sitter and go out for a night with the girls, send out a text for a cook-out invite. So what if the house is not in perfect order. Forget trying to cook a perfect meal, I'll tell guests to bring a dish to share and I'll throw together a salad. If the kids are having a rough night, well the guests will have to understand, and will probably take pity on me and do a few dishes. Too often I put off socializing with friends for "...when he is home to help." No more! Socialize or bust! Besides, I have a new kitchen to share!

Sea Husband and I often spend time dreaming of being somewhere "else". A different house, a smaller town, closer to these friends or further from those family members. If I could redirect that effort spent dreaming of greener pastures, and point that effort towards socializing, perhaps I would find that where we are is a wonderful place after all.