Monday, June 12, 2006

Ah, Life on The Water

So, yes, I know, it’s been a while since I last wrote an entry for the Aidan/Ella blogs. Since last September you say, wow, really? That long? Well, what can I say other then it’s been a bit busy and while there’s been a fair amount to write about, not much of it has been all that entertaining – mostly sick kids, diapers, lack of sleep, more diapers, a two year old who is coming into his own as a two year old and all that goes with it, and a one year old who, well, is a one year old.

Rather then simply recount the various goings on and how life at the Stutz estate has been going, the following may sum it all up fairly nicely:

Dateline: Pleasant Harbor, WA, Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Initially the idea for our holiday weekend was to start out Friday morning and head out on our 1990 Sea Ray Sundancer 350, our little slice of the maritime family fun. We really had no departure plan and as such our departure plan moved to Saturday, which was fine as our little princess Ella had just thrown up all over her crib shortly before 10pm Thursday night.

This is how our story begins; Chunks of curdled baby vomit.

And it only got better.

As Princess Ella had shown she wasn’t the epitome of health we decided to move our departure to Saturday - assuming that Ella was feeling well enough to go. For the rest of Friday Ella seemed to do OK, or at least wasn’t providing cause for each item she touched to require laundry service.

Friday night my fine bride and I determine that, while Ella has been doing fine, if she’s going to be sick, she can be just as sick on the boat as she could be here at home and at least we’d be able to be on the boat for the weekend.

Friday night also brought us a new issue. Young Master Aidan , approximately forty-five minutes after being put to bed, started crying. Now this isn’t all that an unusual occurrence. Aidan will, at times, decide that he’s not ready to go to sleep yet and will complain until he gets tired and puts himself back to bed and to sleep. Upon checking on Aidan on my way to bed, I opened his door and started into his room when a wafting of a less then pleasant odor made it’s way past the dual oxygen input / output orifices which make up my fairly ample nasal facial feature.

Aidan had thrown up in bed.

Not just in his bed, but all over his bed.
Not only all over his bed, but all over his ‘bankies’ and his ‘bunny-bear’ stuffed animal, his pajamas and anything else that was within a 4 foot radius of his mouth. Then he’d fallen back asleep. Normally you don’t get this kind of experience until college – Aidan, it seems, decided to be a bit ahead of the curve.

So, my tired bride and I removed Aidan from his bed, stripped the bed, Aidan, the pillows, and everything else that had experienced the wrath of Aidan’s power vomiting and began rinsing off all the larger pieces and placed the items into the washing machine, cleaned up Aidan putting him in a new set of pajamas, and putting him back to sleep.

“We’ll see how he’s feeling in the morning.” we told ourselves. Besides, we had reservations at Pleasant Harbor and it was a three day weekend.

Saturday morning started with Aidan again rejecting his morning nourishment intake. “Well, Ella (his younger sister) got over this thing fairly quickly” we told ourselves. “ and even if he doesn’t we could either be miserable here at the house, or we could be miserable on the boat.”

Here, I’ll take pause to pass a long a note of advice to any newer parents who have not yet encountered this type of decision:

  • Rethink the decision.
  • More then once if necessary.
  • Rethink your decision until you finally realize that it will simply be better to stay home with your ailing child.
  • Life will be much easier for you and your ailing child once you've come to that realization.

It’s so easy to rationalize a poor decision when it comes to boating and a three day weekend.

On the way to the marina, about a 30 minute drive from Redmond to the Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, we had to pull over before we even hit the half way point as Aidan was complaining that his stomach wasn’t feeling well. We didn’t make it to a full stop before Aidan again purged his increasingly depleted nutritional content. So off went his no longer clean outfit, and on went a new outfit as I attempted to clean up his car seat by using an available towel and rain water from a near by parking lot puddle, grit and all.

“Well, he must be getting close to done.” we, and at this point when I way ‘we’ I’m really meaning ‘I’ as my bride was beginning to question our earlier decision that we could be just as miserable on the boat. She is the more intelligent one of the two of us. We pressed on.

Pulling into the parking lot of the marina, Aidan again required a new change of clothes.

After cleaning Aidan up yet again, getting him and the two sets of clothes to the washroom to clean off the larger chunks and trying to get rid of the foul odor, getting Ella squared away, packing all the gear into two dock carts, and getting all of it and everyone on the boat, we were off for our fun filled weekend on the water.

Insert foreboding sounding music here.

The two and a half hour trip from Elliott Bay Marina to Pleasant Harbor was fairly uneventful. It’s easy when your mostly sick child is already worn out and sleeps the entire way and the other pretty much just is happy being up and looking around – until it’s time for her late morning nap and she’s just not into the idea.

Arriving at our destination we got situated - just as it started to sprinkle. Aidan, who continued to insist he wanted juice (crystal light lemonade flavor drink stuff), but would then purge it 20 minutes later, decided that he needed to, as I was holding him, purge himself all over my clean sweatshirt. It was time for laundry as we’d already gone through nearly a full weekends worth of kid clothes on the first day.

It started to sprinkle a little harder.

By the end of day one we’d realized that we’d made the wrong family fun time on the water over an extended holiday weekend decision. Being miserable on the boat could certainly be worse then being miserable back at home. And the weather wasn’t helping. By Sunday Ella seemed to be feeling much more like herself. Aidan had, for the most part, stopped returning each slug of juice he’d taken and there wasn’t much to do other then watch the weather. It would rain every once and a while, but it was Sunday, and Sunday was supposed to be a much better day then Saturday, weather wise that is.

It wasn’t.

Sunday was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday, with the only difference being that there was the oh-so-brief sun break here and there between showers and that there was the hold out of hope that Monday was actually going to be nice. It didn’t help the outlook when my cousin’s family, with whom we were spending this glorious weekend moored in front of, decided to pack it up and head home Sunday afternoon as their daughter was having her own issues and they determined it best to depart early.

Seeing as how there had been such a purging of the stomach over the past 24 hours, It made sense that Aidan and I venture forth to take a shower at the marina provided shower facilities. The facilities are provided on what can only be described as a converted houseboat tied to the dock, the back room of which makes for a large bathroom with shower and ample space for elbow room. Aidan has seemingly always liked the shower so this, it would seem, would be a quick win to get Aidan into an environment he enjoys and I get to become clean. We’ve also been working on potty training Aidan and are elated when he’s willing or offering to go potty. Aidan was willing to use the toilet in the shower room so I dropped his pants, removed his diaper and waited while he appeared to putting a fair amount of effort into his task at hand. Something didn’t seem quite right. I looked down and there was nothing but liquid, brown goo all over his pants, all over the floor, and to some extent, all over me. Oh, joy.

I spent the next 15 minutes rinsing off all the clothing items which needed it, more or less mopped the bathroom floor with the available paper towels and in general tried to remove all traces of the explosion which took place a few minutes earlier. That being completed, it was off to the shower! Aidan did not want to take a shower. He wanted nothing to do with it. Given the recent events however, there was no other choice for Aidan, he needed a cleaning – so to cleaning we went, wailing, screaming, crying all the way; before, during and after. Chalk up yet another ‘oh, isn’t it great to be a parent’ experience. I may need to get an additional chalk board and chalk given all these experiences. Having completed this wonderful task, Aidan ended up wearing the towel back to the boat which was fine - it helped absorb the rain on the walk back.

By Monday Aidan seemed to be feeling better and, of course, it was time to head home. The weather started to clear up and was actually sunny by the time we arrived back at Elliott Bay Marina in time to wash down the boat, pack all the gear and kids back to the car and head home. Two sick kids, a rainy weekend and $500 worth of fuel later we were back where we started and the vomit and rain filled holiday weekend was over.

So, that pretty much sums up the past 6 months or more. Sick kids, and bad weather. There were some bright spots in there, such as moving and going to Hawaii but those will be saved for later, makeup posts.


Anonymous said...

By the time you're a grandfather, you'll look back at this and laugh --- yes, really!
L, M

Anonymous said...

It was quite a story and hope next boating trip could be better than this.