Are you ready to see the flyest boat on the water?
Seriously. You don’t know cool like Old Skool. Yup…that’s the name my brother gave this old boat.
So let me explain. My Pappap lives in Pennsylvania in a little town along the Monongahala river. He loves fishing and this boat was his ticket to a good time on the water. Well he passed this boat to my uncle who then gave it to my mom who gave it to my little brother who then passed it on to us a couple weeks ago. Follow that?
By the time it reached us it needed some minor repairs and this past week we baptized her once again.
Jeremy and I are both water people. BIG time water people. I grew up with pools, year round competitive swimming, lifeguarding at lakes and pools and teaching swim lessons. For us both, a vacation isn’t a vacation without water. Jer owned a boat when we first met and we spent much of our dating lives on, in and next to the water. In fact, Jer can still throw a back flip on his knee board. And he is kinda old 🙂
So to say that we weren’t excited about getting back out there is an understatement. It’s been a while since we went boating. But there was no one more excited than this guy…
He talked about it for days. He hung out in the boat when it was parked in our driveway for hours in the Georgia heat. And he told everyone (including the grocery checkout girl and our mail lady) that he was going on his ‘speedboat’ tomorrow. And if this smile tells you anything it should be “this boat floats my boat”.
We went to Lake Jackson which Will claimed was his lake because OBVIOUSLY it was named after him. His middle name is Jackson. Therefore and henceforth.
We still had our old gear from Jer’s boat so the tube was old but we did have to pick up three much smaller life jackets. We found all three at Walmart and I must say…LJ was not a fan of his but after I explained safety first to him then he stopped crying. #not
It was both Will and Weston’s first time on the tube and it was just plain awesome.
I don’t think we could have had a better first time with them…except the fact that we should have changed Weston into a swim diaper before putting him in the water. Absorbency does not help with buoyancy.
The boat is a true 1983 fishing boat. It’s in great shape and still has the original everything and a whole lot of brown indoor outdoor carpeting.
While Will was doing a little float jumping, both the little guys fell asleep. I didn’t think it was possible with those life jackets on but somehow they managed to do it. It must have been the motion of the ocean…err…lake.
Here are some of our biggest tips about boating with little ones on board…
- change them into swim diapers before getting onto the boat
- put on sunscreen before getting onto the boat
- don’t have things available for them to throw into the water. lesson learned.
- bring plenty of drinks with straws (the rocking makes it hard to drink out of a cup!)
- make it a rule that the boat doesn’t work unless life jackets are buckled
Also – I know that boating with infants is controversial (isn’t everything these days?!). We did what we feel comfortable with. Life jackets need to fit correctly. The ones we got for the boys are very snug, LJ’s supports his head and we tested them all out first in the pool before committing to bringing the boys on board. Also…we brought LJ’s car seat on board for him to sit in unstrapped while the big boys swam but you should always hold an infant if the motor is running. You moms trust your gut on this one…if you don’t feel comfortable with your child’s life jacket (it’s old, loose, broken, not US Coast Guard approved, etc.) or if the area you are boating in is really busy or tends to have unpredictable drivers or irresponsible boaters, play it safe and stay on dry ground. It is always best to teach safety first and trust your gut.
Chosing to go on a weekday is helpful too. Most times lakes are much less busy during the week and its the perfect opportunity to teach kids some basic safety techniques…like how to rotate and float on their backs with the jackets on, how to wave their hands in the air to get attention, and how to hold onto a rescue floatation device as it is being pulled in. The swim instructor in me wants everyone to seize the moment 🙂
At the end of the excursion, Will was definitely sad to leave. He told me that his funnest time was jumping off the little boat (the tube) and splashing Daddy. And then he told me that I needed to find a different way to get off the tube so that I didn’t flip him too. Thanks kid. I’ll work on that.
It’s funny how I feel very full-circle about these kind of moments. When Jeremy and I were dating, we talked about how we wanted our future kids to be ‘water-babies’ and now they very much are. All of them love it and we can’t wait to see them grow up with wet hair and smelling like that magical fragrance of sunscreen and lake water. Heck…Will will probably be able to throw a back flip on a wakeboard before I know it. And don’t get me started on the other two….I suspect they will be driving the boat 🙂
Kristen H says
this. is. awesome! growing up in Michigan, I’m a watergirl myself, and seem so much more at home on the lake, ocean, pool, bathtub! 😉
I’m also the lifeguard/swim instructor, so teaching them early and properly makes me smile. I go to the pool in my neighborhood and seem to always be on ‘high-alert’ because of what I see. UGH. Thanks for doing it right. And as for LJ being in the boat- I probably would have taken him tubing too! 😛
I’m 29 and my dad STILL has the rule that the boat doesn’t work unless all life jackets are buckled. haha! I grew up in Michigan just 30 minutes from Lake Michigan and surrounded by lots of inland lakes. I grew up on the water and everyone in my family is a decent swimmer but it’s always good to be safe!
Alice H says
we have always grown up with boats, seadoos, etc and been lake-rats!! My oldest daughter had a teeny-tiny little Seadoo life jacket and at 3 months old I would ride around with her close to the shore, never pass the buoy. I still make my older 2 kids (13 and 15) wear a life belt while swimming in the dirty lake. They hate me for it but they get over it! LOL!
So fun! I see many fun days on the water in y’alls future!
So awesome, love this! Our family is, aswell, a water/lake/boating fam. We had our youngest last July and it wasn’t long before we had her out on the water with our other 2. I find it also depends on how comfortable you are with the water. We didn’t give it a second thought, whereas we have friends who are very leery about bringing their 6 month old out on the water. They are not big water/boating people. Each to his own I figure!
I always put sunscreen on the kids before we left the house. Sunscreen needs to absorb into the skin before it starts protecting. Also they wanted to start playing once we got to the beach and didn’t want to stand still for the application.
It looks like you had a great time on the lake.
That’s so great that they loved it! We have 2 boats and unfortunately my 3 year old loves the boat when it’s parked at home but not when it’s going down the river. He is scared and thinks it’s too fast even when we aren’t really going that fast. I hope it’s just a phase and he learns to love it. He does love bank fishing though so at least there is that.
Vickie M says
This brings back memories of our boating days when our three kids were small. The youngest was and still is the biggest lover of water. We waited until he was 15 months old before taking him on the boat, and a rule we had was he had to have a life jacket on while still in the parking lot. Learned that after he jumped off the dock once. Yikes!! One time we anchored in a cove to eat lunch and after we ate I removed his lifejacket to change his diaper and reapply sunblock. That little toot jumped overboard! Scared us to death, but we quickly learned that, yes, he really did know how to swim and it wasn’t just the lifejacket doing all the work. Maybe we shouldn’t have encouraged his love of the water … he is now beginning a career as a commercial diver. 🙁
All this to say … you will have a blast with that boat!!!
Awesome excursion!!! I had a near-drowning incident as a youngin, so I had an immense fear of water (and didn’t learn how to swim until I was 12); still can’t put my head under water. So, I’m choosing to put the fear behind me and take my LO to swim classes when he’s a bit older. I’m sure I’d be anxious to go motor-boating with him, but with your and Jer’s experience, I think it’s awesome that you’re getting your boys used to it now! Just think of all the memories you’re creating. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Loved this post! Will is so cute, you can see how much he loves it! What a smile! I love that last photo too. I spent my summers out on the boat before I moved to San Francisco, and I miss it so much! Thankfully my sister and her husband have a boat so I get to go a few times a year. But I hope to someday have a boat and share that experience and love of the water with my kids someday!
I’m guessing you’ll get some “omg, you put kids on a boat” comments and I’m here to say, I’ve done it and will continue to do it. My mom grew up in St. Louis on the Mississippi River and her dad, my grandpa, had a lake house while I grew up. Water is our genes. We’ve been around water my whole life. Kids need to know how to be safe and that water can be dangerous. I live near the Missouri River and teens always go swimming but we’ve had a few deaths. I am not a fun of swimming in that river but people know their own strengths. I do, however, plan on taking my 7 month old out on my parents’ boat this summer, plus my 5 year old who has gone on it every single summer since she was 7 weeks old. And yes, we have a boat that only goes when life jackets are buckled too. Their boat is a pontoon, which is super family friendly. My aunt and uncle have the jet skis, which they’ve had since their kids were tiny babies, and we all know how to swim. I look forward to our yearly boat outings. Safety first but fun is definitely up there too!
Congrats on the boat, I love her “old skool” style. I’m sure Will is just like my daughter and talks about it forever!!!
Julie B says
I grew up on the lake too…and now my 3 LOVE the lake and the boat, and the wave runner. Last year my third was a new born and we took him on the boat too. He obviously wore a life jacket, but I felt perfectly safe with all 3 on the boat (they were 4, 2, and newborn). Congrats on the full circle. That’s how I feel about our boating adventures too.
Beth Ann says
We have boated with all of our children as infants, we always just took it much slower and only it good conditions (i.e. un-choppy water), lots of sun screen (esp around the eyes), baby hats, Bimini top up. We also kept an old school super basic bouncy seat in our boat to set the baby in while we were trolling or anchored (I held them if we were going faster than about 5 mph). The waves, rocking & bounce = lights out for the baby. One thing, I wouldn’t recommend, swim diapers before you get in the boat…. they are meant to NOT hold water/pee so if your kiddo pees in them they pee in the boat (fun times). We always just changed them into the swim diapers before they got into the water. And make sure you change them out of them before you buckle them in the car when you leave. Major fail on our part and there was pee everywhere in our car, oops. Have fun and enjoy! We feel like boating is one of those activities that the whole family can enjoy!
Love that you mentioned Water Safety 101 lessons! Just an FYI to those who don’t have a lifeguard in the family, all YMCAs teach water safety as a part of every session of swim lessons from age 3 (first independent/without parent in pool lessons) on up. They cover everything you did and more. As the kids progress, they also cover how to hold onto a lifeguard float/life ring to be pulled to safety, how to sit in a lifeguard raft/paddle board, and as they get old enough, how to pull someone to safety from shore with a ring or even a pool noodle. Look for swim lessons that include this information.
I love this post! My parents were big time into water skiing so we were at the lake 1-2 times a week during the summer. I felt so important knowing it was my job to hold up the bright orange flag when someone fell in the water. I learned to ski when I was six! Now my husband and I don’t live near any nice boating lakes and he didn’t have that experience and has never driven a boat. It makes me a little sad my 3 boys won’t have the same water time I did growing up. As far as the baby in the boat issue- you’re right on! Thanks for making me smile today. 🙂
My son has been on a boat and tubing since he was about 16 months old. He hated his life jacket, but he always wore it. The rocking on the boat always puts him to sleep.
Looks like a fun trip!! Glad the boys had a great time!
This brings me back! We used to go tubing all the time and I loooooved it as a kid. Your kids are going to have great memories!
Love the retro boat! It’s great to see you advocating for safe boating with children. There are so many idiots out there on the water.
They look like they are having the time of their lives! And I love the photos – you’re so talented.
Do you have the boys in swim lessons? How young did you start them?
I love that you are making water memories with your kids. They are some of my most treasured memories from childhood. Was not aware of the controversy, not sure I want to know about it:).
I love this! My parents had a boat when I was a kid and I have a ton of fun memories out on the river in that thing. Your kids will too!
I started with Will in the bathtub when we moved (he was ten mths) and he started basic pool lessons with me when he was three. My mom has a pool and he has to do them before doing any fun stuff 🙂
xo – kb
Michelle | Birds of Berwick says
We spent all our summers growing up out on a speed boat and pontoon boat! Great safe boating tips and great for you guys for getting out there. I LOVED knee boarding as a kid!!!
That is awesome that your boys love the water! How did you get Weston use to the water at such a young age? My son is the same age and I am wondering how I can get him use the water. I want to take him kayaking with me this summer. Does Weston swim in the water with the life jacket? and has he put his head in yet?
Mary | Lemon Grove Blog says
Man, this post makes me miss the water! My husband and I spent many summer days out on his parents boat. How fun to make summer memories with all your guys!
Stephanie A. says
Who held Leonard when you were on the tube with Will? Wouldn’t Jeremy have been driving?
Ah! My neck of the woods. It’s the Monongahela. Not to be confused with Monongalia. Or Youghiogheny. But anywho, it’s nice to see a little part of the mid-Atlantic down South.
Kristen H says
I used to teach YMCA, and even in Shrimp/Kipper and Inia/Perch, they instructors should be teaching the parents what to do if something happens and everyone ends up in the water. Also safe parent water entry. They should also be teaching the kids in the second level when/how to jump in – only when parents say it is ok. If this isn’t happening, mention it to your aquatics director. 🙂
Kim A says
While dating and after marrying my husband, we would go stay the weekend at his uncles camp on Lake Maurepas. Continued to do it even after having the kiddos. When the oldest was just a year old, and we would go fishing, I would set up his playpen in the bottom of the boat and give him his toys, while we fished. One time the boat motor broke and we had to idle out to the landing. Turned a 30 minute trip into a 2 hour trip. Opened up the playpen and put my kiddo in and he took a nap while we put, putted out.
Hey Katie. So, seriously jealous you have a boat!!!
My question though is what ever happened to that chocolate milk sponsored post??? It came out around V-day I believe? It was sponsored but you had table ideas in it and it featured your boys.
Amanda K. @ Living on Grace says
yay! so fun! i also grew up on the water and i actually feel like that makes me MORE cautious with my kids. i want them to have fun and be brave in the water, but i also know that there is a real danger.
your post reminded me of when we took my son tubing at 11 months. we’ve continued the tradition with the rest of the grandkids: http://www.thekriegers.org/2012/09/next-up-barefoot-waterskiing/
Ahh! nothing like water fun..
Would love to own a speed boat…..someday!!!
We live in Colorado now and all they have here are “fake” lakes. There are only 2 natural lakes in the state and the rest of their “lakes” are reservoirs. Growing up in Washington state, we were only 4 hours from the coast and had countless lakes within minutes of our home. It wasn’t till we moved to a state that is dry and dusty that we realized how lucky we were to grow up there. I spent every summer since I was 4 years old until I was 28 at the lake. Hopefully we will move back within the next couple of years, but until then I am looking forward to being able to quit my job next spring and we will be able to spend our summers back home on the lake. 🙂
Well…Jeremy drove while holding LJ and Weston sat in the seat next to him. But that’s a different time. When I was on the tube with Will, we were just swimming and I climbed on it to steady it and Will was jumping off it into the water (think trampoline into lake) but when it was time to go in, we were both on it and I went to get off and flipped it 🙂
xo – kb
It’s always good to start at a young age. He started by ‘practicing’ in the bathtub. It helps to have Will who can hold his breath under water and show Weston how. And yes, Weston swims in the water with a life jacket but we also practice in the pool without. And he does put his head in, face, jumps in, all that. He’s getting better but not Phelps yet 🙂
xo – kb
Amber P. says
I really like that you take your kids everywhere. I have three myself, a recently turned 5 boy, 3.5 girl, and 7 month old boy. I lug those monkeys everywhere and because I do they have learned to walk while I shop and respect not straying too far from me and since they are still young they will ask to get back in the cart from time to time and I oblige… Who am I kidding it is easier that way 🙂 And granted all kids are different (just like adults are) but I noticed with mine that the first born is the hardest about change and disruptions and the other two just aren’t but I think that has to do with the younger two’s exposure to noise and activity verses the first one who was born into a quite home. Even the baby gets bored when the other two go out with grandma and grandpa for a movie he just kinda whines and makes tons of weird noises and then big brother and sister come home and he is as happy as ever! Good job 🙂
Liz || Shopping My Closet says
Looks like you had lots of fun!
Liz @ http://www.shoppingmycloset.com
You don’t have to have a spotter in your state? We are a family of 5, and my husband and I can never ski when its just our family because the spotter in the boat has to be at least 12 years old. This is our first summer with a spotter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yahooooooo!
What life-jacket are you using for LJ? We have a new baby in the family and my sister-in-law is looking for life-jackets for the summer. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks.
Lisa E says
An ex-boyfriend had a boat and introduced me to that lifestyle. Fun times! That’s so neat that the boat you have has been handed down as well. Love the sentimentality of that. Love that the boys are learning at a young age. I’ve always thought that learning to swim at a young age was important. That last picture of Will is beautiful. Love it.
As long as you have a wide angle mirror we are good to go!
xo – kb
It’s a Stearns infant lifejacket from Walmart. That’s the one we found that is for kids under 30 lbs.
xo – kb
Props to boating with kids. We like to sail and we can’t wait to taking the boys on the water!
You’re such a good mama, rock on Katie B.
I think it’s SO great when kids learn early about water and water safety. This looks like such fun! We have a boat too, and our kids just love it. Will you teach them to wake board and ski? We see kids on our lake at 5 and 6 already knee boarding…yours still a bit young probably. Have a great summer!
P.S. is this the same lake the Petersicks pictured? jc
When I was little (about 8 months I think) my mom and dad went sailing. They did that a lot, both having taking the classes you need to officially drive a boat (in Sweden, that is). My dad grew up with a sailing boat, was the captain of a large motor boat in the military and owned his own boat long before I was born, so they knew what they were doing.
Back to the story. So, my mom, my dad and me went on a long sailing trip along a long canal in Sweden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6ta_Canal). When going through a canal one person has to handle the boat while the other handles the ropes – jumping from boat to land and back again…
So what do you do about a baby? Well, my mom (who was the one jumping around) put me on her hip and jumped around with me. Holding me with one arm and pulling ropes with another…
And no, I was not wearing a life jacket. And yes, my mom feels terrible about this now and probably a bit scared when she thinks about what could have happened. But it’s a fun story to tell. 🙂
(Sorry about the spelling, I tend to write faster than my non-english-speaking brain can handle…)
Haha! I wish we were all together! I think they were at a swimming lake (very different than a boaters) but hopefully soon enough we will have all these babies taking a dip together 🙂
xo – kb