for your viewing pleasure.

A few new videos of the dude.

http://m.youtube.com/#/profile?user=Rudderstx

We are in the bvis.  Its pretty awesome.

Except the boat is hauled out so its buggy.
And we have to climb a really tall scaffolding ladder to get on and off the boat.  Takes some skill with a twenty-some pound squirrel on your hip.
And all potty business has to be done off the boat.  I’m thankful the facilities are really nice and clean here.
and the little goob and I have head colds.  So he’s been napping like a champ.

Other than that, beach, pool, nice grassy spaces.  We will be clearing our sinuses in the sea (as the little British kids call it) and maybe add a dose of germ killing chlorine with a dip in the pool this aftahnoon.

‘Til then.

we found santa.

we found santa!!!

we went to the childrens event at 2pm today at the colmada milka and santa was there.

at first we didn’t know what we were supposed to do because of our lack of spanish skills.

there was a guy with big speakers in the back of his truck and he had his caribbean christmas music pumping and he kept talking to the kids on a microphone.

then everyone started chanting for santa – about 40 or so babies and kids (the island is smaller than my hometown island). SANTA! SANTA!

and then santa appeared. IMGP9633.JPG

rudder was very excited to see santa and was clapping – at first. he has this new thing with clapping. if he knows there is going to be clapping (on a toy or live song), he will put his hands together before the actual clapping happens. i think he thought the music was live or something because after every song, he put his hands together.

and then we took him up to see the man in charge. he was ok at first, but i think we should have let him get a good look before i just plopped him down. it probably didn’t help that santa was speaking spanish to him in addition to being a stranger and looking weird (he had white makeup paint over his eyebrows).

look at that face!IMGP9635.JPG

his comfort level dropped as the seconds ticked by.IMGP9636.JPG

so he was saved by me before a big freak out happened and we stepped back to take a good look at santa. then santa wanted to shake his hand, and i tell santa, “he does high fives.” rudder gives a smile and a high five. i think rudder totally redeemed himself and is back on the good list. 🙂

then some sandwiches were passed around. i tried rudder’s and can not identify what was in it. white bread with some sort of spread with a little bite. he seemed to like it.IMGP9639.JPG

and he also scored a big cheesy puff and a cup of juice.

and then there were more announcements and music, etc.

adults with babies started lining up and then someone informed us (in english) that babies were supposed to go up to see santa. i see all these parents coming back from santa with toys, so i ask the english speaking guy if it costs something (not that i really cared) as these were real toys, not just a bag of cheap candy and a candy cane like my childhood experience.

i saw a girl go by with a brand new cabbage patch doll. they even had toys for new born babies.

then rudder starts seeing these young kids with new toys in boxes and of course starts pointing(yes readers, they start that young!). so we get in line and santa’s helper takes a look at rudder. i plop him on the stage, and this time he was not shy – i mean, come on, santa was handing him a shiny new toy AND a bag of cheap candy. he practically ran.

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he was a happy camper.IMGP9651.JPG

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and he played with it all the way home, even in the dinghy – he is usually standing at the front waiting for spray, or the in back “driving.IMGP9656.JPG

and then he found the wafers in his bag of treats from santa.IMGP9657.JPG

’til then.

no santa.

so, i’ve been slacking in the ‘foto friday’ department, and pretty much on the blog itself.

hopefully this photo heavy post will make up for it.

ah well. we’ve been busy:

picking and eating carambola (starfruit).IMG_20111127_082738.jpg

dancing with mocko jumbies at jump-up (sorry, crap photo, they move too fast).IMG_20111125_201457.jpg

dinghy riding around the anchorages in puerto rico.IMG_20111206_124444.jpg

bathing in the cockpit with cookie monster in ensenada honda in culebra.IMG_20111206_123707.jpg

carrying mom’s water bottle with a goggles strap.IMG_20111209_144707.jpg

playing with the best toy from auntie kiki.IMG_20111215_085013.jpg

practicing “sticking up his dukes” for when he meets uncle john and his grumpa again. and has also acquired several muscle tees after mom cut the sleeves off most of his t-shirts. IMG_20111212_173715.jpg

drilling at our mooring in pela.IMG_20111215_163924.jpg

acting like cookie monster – and growing teeth (9 total now, including two top molars!).IMGP9502.JPG

eating snacks at flamenco beach.IMGP9506.JPG

swimming with dad at flamenco beach.IMGP9507.JPG

checking out the tanks at flamenco beach with mom.IMGP9540.JPG

reading lots of books with dad and shaggy (rudder’s favorite thing to do, especially when teething).IMGP9586.JPG

going snorkeling with the turtles and barracuda at culebrita.IMG_20111213_151019.jpg

hiking to the culebrita lighthouse and geocaching.IMGP9566.JPG

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trying to get a good family self-portrait up at the culebrita lighthouse since it has amazing lighting.IMGP9577.JPG

getting back rides from dad.IMGP9579.JPG

making tortillas from scratch with our new (6 months ago) press.IMGP9548.JPG

rudder eating black olives from his fingers like his mom used to – okay, she still does.IMGP9552.JPG

making our christmas tree out of a hanging fruit basket we were about to throw away. like that storage on the inside?? 🙂IMGP9562.JPG

buying new $40 kicks from journey in fajardo since we haven’t gotten our boxes with our tennis shoes from tucson yet.IMGP9608.JPG

running around in his new t-shirt-turned-muscle tee. he thinks it’s pretty funny. mostly because he loves ketchup, and knows there is ketchup on his shirt.IMGP9627.JPG

so yeah, we’ve been busy.

internet is always spotty when we are here (in salt river in st. croix, not in culebra – 3G is amazing in culebra)and if there is no wind, the batteries don’t get charged…..when the batteries don’t get charged, no computer!

we have been in puerto rico since early december and the christmas winds have been around, meaning there has not been a lack of wind this month. which i am mostly grateful for since we get to run the fridge.

yes, we have a fridge. and it’s awesome. it makes ice. and freezes otter pops for teething toddlers. IMGP9591.JPG

and you can put magnets on it! i was giddy about this discovery.IMGP9488.JPG

there were a few days where i was wishing for the wind to at least mellow out since it makes for really wet and crazy dinghy rides.

oh yeah, the title of the blog.

rudder has not seen santa yet this year. i’m bummed.

we are in ensenada honda (an anchorage near isla de culebra) near the town of dewey. there is a christmas gift thing for the kids today at 2pm, so i’m hoping some form of santa claus will be there. i had a few opportunities when we were in st. croix, but one i forgot about because we were doing this:IMG_20111127_160728.jpg

and the other was at the botanical gardens, and i didn’t see santa anywhere. IMG_20111204_155235.jpg

so that’s what we have been up to the past three weeks. pretty fun stuff. we plan to be back in st.croix before january 7th to watch the crucian christmas adult parade.

though i could stay here forever.

it will be a nice laid back christmas. i have plans to make some sushi tonight and possibly a pumpkin spice cake (because s/v willow has an oven!) today or tomorrow.

oh, and bacon wrapped water chestnuts! these were a favorite of my brother john at christmas and one of the things that he would make. i felt i needed something to remind me of home other than the canned smoked salmon (which we do not eat at holidays).

no pierogis this year….the dough has never held up in this weather, and with only three of us eating them, seems like too much work!

merry christmas.

’til then.

foto friday.

we can’t wait to get back to this:

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bathing in the ocean.

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hanging on the beach in f’sted.

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rides in auntie bda’s jeep.

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watching the floaties in the water.

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chillin’ with other liveaboards.

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chillin’ at the kiteboard shop in the stroller.

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hot chicks.

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hula hoopin’ with dad.

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getting rocked to sleep by the boat in the airchair.

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’til then.

post earth day post.

i’ve never been super concerned about the size of my carbon footprint.

i don’t even recycle (gasp!)unless the bins are there in front of me.

sad, i know. BUT, while living aboard, our footprint is very small, much smaller than when we are living in the states.

on our old boat, it was even smaller because we kayaked or rowed to shore. our new boat came with a deflatable (inflatable little raft) with a little kicker. which is really nice to carry around all of rudder’s baby crap.

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we are always on the hook (anchored) so we have never used shore power. our old boat had solar, our new boat has a really loud wind powered generator which has been named the banshee.

we haul out all of our drinking and fresh water so we conserve like crazy. we have a foot pump sink for our fresh water so the sink is never left on. we also catch water for showering (or if it’s a raging squall we just step outside) and other fresh water tasks. all deck washing is done with salt water.

rudder does his part too. he is a cloth diapered baby (mostly). and it’s been easier than i expected.

i was against it initially because i knew we were going to be living on the boat and i didn’t like the idea of stanky diapers on the boat until it was laundry day – there is no diaper service in st. croix, and they definitely wouldn’t be picking up/dropping off to the boat.

but then i thought about our trash being full of stanky diapers out in the hot, humid sun until we hauled it off. and we already haul off lots of trash so i didn’t want even more.

$$ and then i learned how much disposable diapers cost. $$

and then i realized how fast you go through them.

so, i got on craigslist last summer and wow, anchorage was amazing for cloth diapers! i bought some from three different mothers for a total of $250. and they were all in great condition, none of the liners were stained and all of the velcro was in great condition, which if you have ever used cloth diapers, is very important! we ended up getting over 20 (they are around $16 or more each brand new) pocket style, mostly the brand BumGenius. click on the link to check them out. we have this style, but not the 4.0 version,.and he can wear them until he’s over 30 lbs! they came with liners that snap down to different sizes too.

we also have some medium sized fuzzibunz, but haven’t tried them yet because they are still a little large for rudder’s tiny butt.

we love our BumGenius diapers. LOVE them.

and they are really cute too.

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we had a couple gdiapers when rudder was really small and i’m sorry to say, they sucked. they were super cute, but that little plastic liner didn’t do anything for a wet diaper and they velcroed in the back which i thought was clever at first, but it just turned out to be really annoying.

in between laundry mat (laundromat, laundermat, laundramat?) visits we spray them with a water, vinegar (according to the book “where there is no doctor” it prevents/treats diaper rash), and tea tree oil (see melaleuca.com for tea tree everything) mixture and hand wash them in fresh water. then they get clothespinned to our life lines to dry/bleach by the sun.

i can’t believe the power of the sun. it gets rid of the urine smell and bleaches the liners pretty white. it will even get out slight poo stains.

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with the poo diapers, we shake out the poo, and do the same as the pee diapers, though we send them straight to the laundry bag once they are dry.

on laundry day, the majority of our diapers come with us to get a real washing.

i also want to mention that rudder has NOT had a diaper rash when using cloth diapers.

he has had only one small rash caused by our long drive from north carolina to arizona while he was in disposables and not being changed as often as he needed to be.

and this is what saved his ass: arbonne baby care herbal diaper rash cream. my aunt sells it (i think) and gave it to me as a baby shower gift. the stuff is awesome. if i see any little tinge of redness on his lower regions, i slather a tiny bit of this yummy smelling cream and it’s gone by his next diaper change.

despite the ease of cloth diapers, we always have disposables on hand for when we are on the go and don’t want to carry around wet cloth diapers.

so there is my shpiel in support of cloth diapers. use them. they are easier than you think and better for your childs buns. and i recently heard it takes like 250 years for the plastic in disposable diapers to completely break down in a landfill. don’t quote me on that as i’m sure it’s somewhat exaggerated. but think of how many diapers you go through in a week, and then picture that pile sitting somewhere for hundreds of years. yuck.

sorry for the tangent. we also use the boat for fun and travelling around the virgin islands and puerto rico. and it’s a sailboat. so the diesel in our tank lasts forever. we only fire up our engine when we are leaving or entering an anchorage.

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a 35 or so mile journey takes a good 8 hours, but it’s all free since it’s powered by the wind! and depending on the wind strength and the amount of swell, it can be really enjoyable. and we travel in our home. no TSA, no airports, no packing, no hotels etc…

living on a boat is not always easy. trucking water, hauling trash, groceries, a baby, can get kind of hectic sometimes. but it has caused us to live much more simply. there is just no room for things that you have in a house.

we have to work a little harder for internet (we have internet on our phone, but the cell phone signal is total crap on the north shore of st. croix and pretty much on the island of st. croix in general), showers, water – things that are super easy as a landlubber.

oh, and rent is free.

i enjoy this life much more than my life as a landlubber.

’til then.