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Brig’s First Sail

For the first seven weeks of Brig’s life we had a constant stream of visiting Grandparents. My mom arrived the day after he was born and stayed for just over a month.  Then my dad and stepmom arrived, then Peter’s dad and his aunt were here. We got a little bit of overlap in each visit and it was so much fun.

It was such a special time for us so we decided to take Brig for his first sail! He had already been in the dinghy a few times but he was ready to actually go sailing. Since we had moved our boat to the dock and secured her for the remainder of hurricane season it was much easier to take Aristocat instead. There were no charters scheduled that day so it worked out perfect. Jen and Mike from Three Sheets came with us and brought their friend Shakti. Mike has been running Aristocat since Brig was born so he and Peter took care of all the sailing. It was nice for me to be back on board but it was even nicer that all I had to do was take care of Brig ;)

This was the first time Dad and Stacy could see what we had been up to for nearly two years aboard Aristocat. The last time they had visited us in the islands was before we started working so this was pretty exciting for them. They had heard so much about what we did everyday and they finally got to experience it first hand!

Mom couldn’t be happier. We were headed to her favorite place in the entire world. AND, she was taking her grandson there! She was glowing the whole way!

We sailed over to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke for the day. Brig is still too young to wear sunscreen so I kept him in the shade with me on the boat while everyone else swam to shore and had fun on the beach.

We even took an afternoon nap on the boat while everyone else was having fun on shore. I think Brig, Betsy and Peter got more sleep than I did but I did manage to doze a tiny bit.

Jen, Shakti, dad, Mike, and mom… Stacy was behind the camera. They were clearly enjoying a few Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar!

I think the most memorable part of the whole day was sharing Brig’s first sail experience with both my mom and my dad. I can’t even remember when I was last around them both at the same time. Babies have a way of bringing everyone together! Brig sure is loved by a lot of people <3

 

Hello Baby Brig!

On June 13th, 2017 our sweet little boy Brig was born! He measured in at 6 lbs 9 ounces and 18.9″ tall.

You might be wondering how we chose his name. First of all, Peter’s dad was named Peter, and his dad’s dad (Peter’s grandfather) was also named Peter. They all have different middle names.. My Peter’s dad passed away many years ago and we wanted to continue the tradition of giving his name to our son as well. Though we wanted to pass down the first name, we planned on calling our baby boy by his middle name to help ease any confusion. In searching for a suitable middle name, we tried to find one that had something to do with the ocean or water, but many of the cute ones had already become fairly common.

It wasn’t until the very end of my pregnancy that I found the name Brig on a baby name website. As soon as I looked up the meaning, it was instantly my new top choice. A Brig is an 18th Century sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts (not to be confused with Brigantine rigged). It’s a little bigger than a schooner; and according to Wikipedia, Brigs were seen as fast and maneuverable and used during the Age of Sail as naval warships and merchant vessels before the arrival of the steam ship. The name itself is one syllable, strong and very unique, also qualities I was searching for. I had to hold him for about a day after he was born before I knew for sure, but after a little while, it became clear that Brig was his name. Absolutely positively without a doubt he looks like a Brig!

It’s almost been four weeks since we first got to hold him and I honestly have no idea where the time has gone.  We’ve taken a bazillion photos since then but I’ve been having issues with the internet here in BVI so I haven’t been able to post anything on the website :( Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still see all the photos I’ve posted on our public Facebook Page —HERE–.

My water broke at 6:30am the morning of the 13th and it took me a few hours to not be in denial that I was about to have this baby. I almost let Peter go to work that day thinking that nothing would be happening until later that night! Boy was I wrong.  At about noon Peter finally convinced me we should head to the hospital. He took Betsy over to stay with Jen and Mike from Three Sheets and then I carefully climbed down into the dinghy. Everyone had been so worried I wouldn’t be able to get into the dinghy but it was totally fine. By the time I got out of the dinghy on shore, things were finally progressing. Peter had gone to get the car but when I went to get in the back seat I was unable to talk through my contractions. I climbed in the back and put my earbuds in to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks. (More on this later). We arrived at the hospital at 12:45 and I walked from the parking lot in through the main entrance, into the elevator, up to the fourth floor and into the Labor and Delivery ward. Brig was born just two hours later at 2:44pm.

The next day, my mom arrived from the states. She was so sad she missed it by one day!! Mom, Peter, Brig and I left the hospital and made our way home on the 15th of June. We’ve all been falling in love deeper and deeper every day.

Fast forward almost four weeks… I’m so thankful mom has been here to help out. Brig wakes up just about every two hours to eat and fill his tiny belly, then goes back to sleep, which means I feel like a zombie 24/7. Each day gets a little easier though. I’m starting to get a little more energy and Brig is starting to stay awake a little longer.

Hopefully the internet issue will get sorted out soon and I can get caught up on posting photos to share with you! In the meantime, don’t forget to check our facebook page for a steady stream of Brig pics :)

What Do We Buy For A Boat Baby?

Now that I’m half way through this pregnancy I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of things we’ll need to buy. Obviously living on a boat presents some challenges that most first-time-moms will never have to consider. Not only do we have a very limited amount of space inside our 42′ sailboat but we also have to consider the climate we live in.

Do we really need baby blankets in the Caribbean? 

Will our baby need pajamas?

We don’t wear socks. Will our baby need them?

If I need to use bottles, can I clean them without a dishwasher?

Are cloth diapers even possible with limited access to a washing machine? Where do we put dirty diapers in the boat?

What kind of baby-proofing do we need to do to make our boat safe?

How do I make a nursery out of the v-berth? 

How will I get myself and our baby in and out of the dinghy?

What kind of sunscreen is safe for infants?

If I order everything online, where can I have it shipped to?

The list of questions goes on and on…

 

Anyone can guess the internet is overwhelmingly full of baby registry ideas. I started by asking a few of my boat-mama friends what their must-have picks are for living on a boat and I made a short list. Eventually I decided to create a baby registry online to make it easier to save all the specific links for the products I liked.

Though I won’t be having a baby shower due to geographical limitations, a few close friends and family members back in the states have asked me what we need for the baby. Having a registry has turned out to be a very helpful planning tool to simply see what we really need and what we don’t, as well as how much it’s all going to cost.

We’ve already been given quite a few super helpful things from near-by boat mommas which helps tremendously! There are a lot of things we’ll still need to buy though.

Any gifts we do receive from family along with the items we buy ourselves will need to be shipped to a few different locations and brought down via pack mule (aka my mom, my dad, Peter’s dad and Peter’s Aunt Lucy when they come to visit and meet the baby this July). Baby supplies are few and far between here in BVI and shipping them in is no easy feat. Things often get lost in transit or held up at Customs, with no idea when you will actually be able to pick them up. It’s way easier to just have someone bring an extra piece of luggage for us.

My mom will actually be making a preliminary trip to visit us in March and help me get the baby’s room ready while I’m still able to get around so hopefully we’ll have all the basic necessities shipped to her by then ;)

There are probably a bajillion stores to create a registry at but I had seen another friend using BabyList and I really liked how it looked and how easy it was to use. You can search for any product from any store on the internet and by using a button in your favorites bar similar to the “pin it” button for Pinterest, it quickly adds whatever item and webpage you’re looking at to your registry. You can edit the display picture, the price, the description, add a note, and even select or create a custom category from a drop-down menu. The best part about it is that you’re not limited to one store. The possibilities are endless for shopping at any online store you like. If you or someone else ends up purchasing one of the items on your list, they just mark it as “reserved” on the registry and make the actual purchase on whichever website is selling the product (ie. Amazon, Babies R Us, Target, etc). It may seem like an extra step to manually mark it as reserved in a different place than where you purchase the item but this way I’m able to pick the things we really need. I mean, I’m not going to find lifeline netting at Babies R Us! 

For all of you experienced mommas and poppas out there, what were your favorite (read: must-have) items? Which things were not helpful at all?

Can you think of any boat-specific baby items that we should have? 

If you have a minute, take a look at what I have on the list so far and let me know what I’ve missed :) There’s two ways to view it… you can filter to see Available items, or those that are already Reserved, unfortunately not both at the same time.

Our BabyList Registry: Baby Pieschel

It’s A Boy

At the last ultrasound appointment (about a week ago) we anxiously waited for the tech to confirm our suspicions. Peter had been calling this baby a boy from the first day we found out we were pregnant, and I had a strong feeling it was a boy the whole time as well. Motherly instinct? Not sure. Lots of other moms claim they just knew in their pregnancies too. I made sure our intentions to find out the gender were known as the appointment started and it didn’t take long for the woman to smear the gel across my belly with just a few passes of the wand and suddenly announce, “OHH! It’s a boy!” She couldn’t have sounded more convinced.

Though I wasn’t exactly surprised, it was still a very real and monumental moment. A moment that would forever shape my view of this child for the rest of our lives. Whether it’s a boy or girl doesn’t matter – we would love them all the same – but my mind immediately started to validate the visions I’d had of what our life would be like with a little boy by our sides. Peter on the other hand, was absolutely elated ;) Finding out he’s got a little boy on the way called for a night of cigars and celebration with our buddies from Sunkissed Soeters!

I was 18.5 weeks at the time (as I write this it’s just one week later). We’re pretty much at the half way mark and it’s just now starting to feel more real. I’m slowly tackling projects and cleaning out the forward cabin of our boat to turn it into the baby room.

A few days ago we used up a roll of isinglass that had been stored in the v-berth for a good year’s time and finally fixed two panels of our cockpit enclosure. The sun’s UV rays had completely destroyed the zippers in two places so Peter helped me take the panels off, replace the isinglass and zippers, and reinstall it all. If I didn’t have my most awesome LSZ-1 Sailrite machine it probably would have cost us anywhere from $500-$1000 to have those repairs done in a sail loft. We’re both super happy to have saved the money as well as to have made a dent in the “garage”. There’s still a ton to clean out but it was a good start.

Just yesterday in fact we got rid of another large roll of material we’d been lugging around for the past three years. During our first year aboard we had replaced the carpet in the walk-through between the galley and the aft cabin, and ended up with enough for a second piece, though we knew we’d be storing it for quite awhile. Getting ready for a baby definitely sparks the desire to do some deep cleaning – including carpet replacement! I mean, three years aboard with dogs that both thought that was the most comfortable place in the boat will eventually render any material un-cleanable. On a nearby dock we carefully laid both new and old pieces face down, tracing with a Sharpie onto the back of the carpet where we needed to make the custom-shaped cuts.  This time I was able to use my Sailrite Edge Hotknife to make a WAY cleaner cut! I was a little worried about burning the edges but it melted perfectly and sliced through like butter.

I’ve got a ton more nesting – i mean sewing – projects to tackle over the coming weeks. It sure is a good thing babies take a whole 9 months to make their arrival! I cannot WAIT to set up the new crib. It was a gift from Brittany and Scott, now that their girls have gotten bigger and modified their sleeping arrangements. The best part is that it’s an exact fit for our boat (even though it was custom made) since the interior layout of our boat is almost identical to Asante’s. More on this exciting project later!

16 Weeks and Growing!

This baby coconut is growing faster than I could have ever imagined. I mean, 9 months seems like such a long time to be pregnant for… but the days and weeks really do go by fast.

It seems such a short time ago I walked into the doctor’s office for the first time with no idea how far along I really was. My guess was about 5 and a half weeks but the doctor decided to do an ultrasound that very day just to be sure since there was a possibility I was actually 9 and a half weeks. My mom knew it and the ultrasound tech confirmed it – 9.5.

I really thought the first ultrasound would have to be scheduled for another day so Peter wasn’t even there to see our little one for the first time with me. I looked up at the screen and was amazed at how much this little fetus was already so much more than just a little blip on the screen. There was a real baby inside of me. I saw the heart beating and I saw tiny little legs and arms stretch out in quick jolts. It was incredible.

We had been quietly sharing the news about our new little coconut with family and our closest friends and were even more excited to share the first ultrasound picture!

All-day nausea had set in around 7 weeks and continued all the way through the 11th week before tapering off. I never threw up but definitely felt nauseous and survived almost completely on crackers. My appetite had vanished and I had also become aware of my strong aversion to coffee – something that should have been an obvious sign for this Seattle girl.

Everyone wants to know if living and working on a boat makes morning sickness worse. Truth is, I actually felt better while we were sailing. When we came back into flat waters my nausea kicked back in.

At 12 weeks we got another ultrasound to make sure baby was growing properly and all was well. So much bigger already.

Fast forward to now.

At almost 17 weeks my baby bump has definitely started to look a little more obvious. I’m starting to feel less fat and more pregnant though its still hard to distinguish the difference. My energy level has not really resumed as most people say it’s suppose to in the second trimester, though my appetite is returning to normal. Orange juice is pretty much flowing through my veins and it seems hard to start the day without yogurt or some other kind of dairy. Sleeping through the night is already a distant memory and I can feel my belly starting to stretch even more.

Everyone around West End knows I’m pregnant so they constantly remind me to slow down and take it easy ;) I think about the days when getting on and off of our boat will be a challenge. I think about how we’ll prepare the forward cabin for our little one. I think about how our life is already changing and how blessed we really are. Our home is filled with love and the excitement that Peter and I share is growing stronger every day <3

In case you were wondering… we will definitely keep living on our boat. There are zero plans in our foreseeable future to move back to land. We love the life we’ve chosen and will do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Thanks to all the other amazing boat mommas out there I am absolutely 100% sure that we can do it too. Its an incredible and fortunate way to raise a child.

P.S.

In just two more weeks we’ll hopefully find out if its a boy or a girl! 

Any suggestions for names?