Wednesday, September 03, 2008

soliciting assvice

Two topics that spinning my brain in circles...

we are planning to take two babies out for 10 days on a 38 foot sailboat. Are we nuts?

For the last several years (except last year, as I was 9 months pregnant) we have taken a 2+ week vacation on our sailboat. Since we missed it last year, and our poor boat has been so neglected for the past 2 years, and I HATE the thought of becoming "those people" who own a sailboat that they never use, we really want to try to do it this year. Normally we go pretty far - across the straight and north in the San Juan Islands and into Canada and the Gulf Islands, we cover a lot of ground. But this time we have agreed to just do very short days and stay local to Puget Sound. No more than 2 - 3 hours of sailing/motoring per day. But still - there will be challenges. A few of the things I am struggling with:
  1. where / how to put Callie to sleep on the boat. She pulls up on everything, she stands up in her crib. If I put her down for a nap on the boat, she will immediately jump up. I have to figure out how to contain her and keep her in some kind of 'bed'. The boat is too small for a porta-crib. At night I think I could just take her to bed with me, but it's nap time that's got me scratching my head.
  2. where to feed them. I'm getting a couple of those booster seats with a small tray. I guess I'll just set them on the benches. It's not necessarily the most stable spot, but there isn't really any other room.
  3. what to feed them - they eat a huge variety of food, so this shouldn't be too big of a problem. I just want to try to give stuff that's will minimize the mess as much as possible (so no spaghetti!), while still keeping their meals interesting.
  4. what to do with them while we are anchoring and docking. Jim can mostly sail the boat by himself if necessary. But anchoring and docking are two activities that require both of us. so I have to be able to put the babies down somewhere safe.

We are determined to keep sailing as a part of our life with kids. I know there are people out there who do this, but I'm just not sure how. what are we getting ourselves in to? any assvice is appreciated.

Second dilemna:

My sister will be having a baby shower in San Diego in October. My options:

  1. don't go
  2. go alone - leave the babies with Jim for the weekend.
  3. take one baby with me
  4. take both babies with me - venture 2 airplane trips by myself with two babies.
  5. convince Jim to come.

I guess the reality is that option 1 will probably be the most likely.

Maybe Option 2 is doable - I'd just hate to leave my husband with his hands so full, and I'd rather not be away from them.

Option 3 would work better for him, but the problem is that I'd have to choose which baby to leave behind, and I'd be riddled with guilt for the one I didn't choose.

Option 4 - Oy. possible. but is it worth it? Me + two babies on an airplane for 3+ hours each way.

Option 5 - Mostly a cost issue. Buying two tickets, getting him to take a day or two off work.

What would you do?


Anonymous said...

My two cents...
The sailing seems complicated. My twins are 9 months and I don't think I'd attempt it, but I'm pretty risk-adverse and into keeping life a simple as possible right now--to maintain my own sanity. But, that's me...there are plenty of people who are able to do complicated things and remain very sane! From reading your blog, you strike me as someone who can handle having alot on her plate.

On the specifics, I'm not sure how you can do it without at least one pack and play, considering Callie's mobility. Maybe you can find a smaller travel play yard that will fit? Or is there a way to construct a small sleep area for her that would contain her? I have no idea what a bed on a sailboat looks like, but what about trying to use a bedrail?

Regarding the booster seats--I use them for my twins and they are not the most stable of things, even when they are strapped tightly to a chair. If you use them, may have to feed one at a time or put them on the floor/ground, if they can't be strapped down. If you can find somewhere to strap the booster seats, this could be an option for when you are anchoring/docking too...

On the baby shower, it would be so nice to try to go. Out of your choices, going alone would be easiest--you could be gone for only a night or two. I also think taking one baby isn't a bad idea. I understand the guilt, but how about a first mom and daughter trip together? You'll just have to keep track so Danny gets a fun adventure with either Dad or Mom by himself too...

Again, just my two cents...I have a feeling you will figure out a way to make everything work flawlessly!

BTW, the sailing sounds fabulous from a non-parent perspective. I have never been to the northwest, but seattle and the san juan islands are on my list of places to go. Maybe when my boys are a bit older!

Anonymous said...

The boat - no clue.

Your sister's baby shower? I think you should find a way to go, even if you fly in and out the day of the shower.

Rachel Inbar said...

I agree with D about most everything she said.

I took each of my older kids for special trips alone - Hadas came with me to Amsterdam & Paris, Lilach to Croatia, Italy & Slovenia & Matan was with me in Los Angeles this past summer. I think having one-on-one time is great. Take one this time and take the other the next time something comes up.

About the sailing, is it possible to have a backup plan where you cut the trip short, if necessary?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot to think about! Good luck with your choices. I also think taking one child along with you would make things the most manageable and certainly there will be other opportunities to take the other child on a later trip? It's funny how wrangling one child seems so easy to Moms of twins. I almost don't know what to do with myself when someone else is watching one of my girls.

There are some smaller pack-and-plays on the market, if one of them would fit on the boat it would solve both the nap and docking containment issue. I looked for the biggest one possible for my twins but saw some much smaller ones out there.

Good luck! Michele

cat said...

About sailing - I'm completely clueless. What about a gate containing them in the cabin, but leaving the door open with a hook when you are anchoring etc?

About the baby shower - option 2 - you go girl. You need some time out alone too. What about getting someone to help dad for the weekend?

Bea said...

Sailing - I think it's a fantastic idea and you should absolutely go. I think they'll love it. But! I think from what you have said there might be some alterations necessary, in terms of installing gates/guard rails on beds/something. Any way you can get a bed down to floor level? Not sure exactly what, but I hope you can get the ship kid-safe to go, because it sounds fab.

Shower - I would pick a twin and go. No doubt this will happen from time to time and the other twin can go next time. It'll come out in the wash. Choose randomly, name in hat, or something.


Marie-Baguette said...

I traveled with a 9 month old and it was hell. You have to wait forever in the airport, when you are patted and searched, you just don't know how to handle the baby, and my son got bored pretty quickly on the plane... I am not American, so I think baby showers are not that crucial to attend. Wouldn't your sister understand how difficult it is to travel with kids? Plus, you could offer to not come but to buy a very expensive item (a nice stroller or a crib). Or leave the kids behind... but it seems quite a trek just to watch your pregnant sister open her presents :-)