It has been exactly one month since we moved out of our house in Beaufort, SC. During this time, we have stayed in 6 different hotels or homes totaling 12 nights, docked in 5 different marinas/docks totaling 13 nights, and only anchored 5 nights in different locations (a source of embarrassment for Bryan) . We have crossed 8 different states either by way of our boat or rental car. We have definitely been on the move…it feels like a continuous road trip since we have yet to get settled.
We were planning on being “on the move” most times, but had envisioned meandering through coastal towns on our boat, staying out at anchor most nights and cooking our own food on the boat…living what we thought would be a simple life. Being on the move this much can be an adjustment for adults (at least it has been for me!), so for two little girls it has be quite an adventure. As we roll with the different directions our life is taking us, so have our girls. So, what exactly have they been doing this past month?
Using their imagination-We have few toys, so it gives them little choice but to use their imagination. So far we have had pirates and monsters onboard the boat and numerous Peppa the Pig games have been played. Baby(she does not have a name) and Clifford have also been on a number adventures created by the girls. It amazes me the games they create between themselves and at times can go on for hours…..definitely an advantage of having each other to play with!
Crying and Fighting–Yes, we have had LOTS of crying and fighting. I know pictures can be misleading with everyone smiling and happy, but I don’t typically snap a photo of the girls fighting and me pulling my hair out trying to intervene. I believe this just goes with the territory for this age. A day does not go by that I do not hear “Avery hit me or Leslie pinched me”, followed by crying. We work out each fight as it comes and cherish the times of happy play!
Chores-Leslie has been the only one to pick up and enjoy chores; Avery requires a little more prompting. Leslie helps me dry the dishes each time I do them, which is after every meal on the boat. When we get more settled, I hope to have some more structured chores for them and get Avery involved too!!
Reading-Avery has a set of Bob Books and has begun to read them. I caught her reading one to Leslie the other afternoon. Of course, we also do daily reading with both of them and have attempted to start “Boat School”. But, this is temporarily on hold while we are displaced. I have lots of books stored all over the boat, plus their kindles have books we can access online.
Going to the Library-The library has been such a fun place to visit and participate in different children’s activities. Libraries typically have many children’s events going on throughout the week. We have seen a play at the Georgetown library, participated in Storytime Olympics at the Bennington Library and completed a story walk with the Manchester Library.
Visiting places–While still in Charleston we were able to visit many friends and family. We also went to the movies (Finding Dory), rode on a carriage ride, and visited Charles Towne Landing. Since then we have visited the Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C, a blueberry farm in Vermont, Vacation Bible School in Georgetown, Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach and dozens of restaurants.
Eating.…lots of eating-My children eat all the time. They get plenty of exercise, so we have not curved this eating, but they are habitual grazers. We try to make this endless food eating healthy with fruits and vegetables, but chips and crackers are also consumed. When I need to help Bryan with the boat, I always make sure they have a snack and a drink in order occupy them for a few minutes while I am away!
Playing on their Kindles-Both girls have a kids kindles and they enjoy playing games, reading books, and watching short videos. While we are away from any Wi-Fi signal, they only have access to some of the apps and books. The Daniel Tiger emotions game is their favorite right now and I have heard the songs endless amounts of times…..just wished they would practice the lyrics when they are fighting (take a deep breath…. and count to four)!!!
Making things-I have not had a chance to get out even half of my crafting supplies on the boat yet, so I am excited to start making more crafts when we get back on the boat. So far the girls participated in a shark art contest by making a collage of a shark and of course daily coloring. Avery has also been drawing pictures for her preschool teacher back in Beaufort since they are going to be pen pals. The girls have also made cookies with their cousins and blueberry pie with the blueberries they picked.
Meeting new friends-In almost every town we have visited, we have meet new people or reconnected with old friends. It has been alot of fun see our friends kids who have never meet each other play together. I have been impressed by the way they girls connect with other kids and start playing almost immediately. If their is a child around their age, they seem to gravitate towards them. They have also had the opportunity to meet many generous and kind people who have helped out along the way.
Swimming-If it is a pool or a sandbar, the girls will be swimming. Avery is a little fish and never wants to get out of the water. She is learning to swim and just jumped of the diving board this last weekend. We have been lucky to have been to so many places that have pools and it is has been an easy dingy ride to sandbars.
Being outdoors-While on the boat, the girls will sit in the cockpit and help navigate or bring some of their toys to play with in the cockpit. While on land, we spend as much time as possible outside either playing games, swimming, at the playground, or walking around. Today we had a fun experience at the local park on a storybook walk.
Overall it has been very rewarding to be with the girls each day over the last month. It has also been tiring being on the move with a 3 and 4 year old, but I feel it is also tiring living with a 3 and 4 year old, it is just part of this time of our life. Each days planning (which is usually done the night before!) revolves around activities that would be child friendly, but we also sneak in some adult fun too! Just yesterday, between blueberry picking and story time, we went to a brewery! When we are back on the boat, we will continue to plan each day with time for them to either explore in the dingy or in a town checking out the local community events.