So, we had a baby. It’s not news any more, but indeed on November 25, at 3:11 a.m., Maia Ilani Hokama was born. Actually, “Baby Girl” was born as we didn’t have a name chosen yet, but it was beautiful. I will be writing all about the details of the birth in her birth story, but here’s the two second version: at midnight we called Cindy the midwife, and shortly after she called her assist, I woke up Keana and Iana—who was in town to help out with Keana during The Event—and three hours later Maia was born. It all happened pretty quick and she came out, arms springing into the air, reaching out to her new world. I know, exciting huh? But I don’t have time to get into it now, so you’ll just have to wait for her “official” birth story. I will say that the love and support our family, friends, and co-workers have shown us is amazing and we are truly thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives.

Anyway, I just got an urge to sit down and write here because it’s been WAY too long. Keana has practically grown up. She forms her thoughts well in wonderful sentences and gains new ways to express herself in words and other actions every day. Growling has been a great one lately, often growling to show frustration but to also tease. This isn’t exactly new, but she’ll growl a word or a name as a type of joke which is hilarious. I’ll be sitting upstairs after her bedtime and will hear a growling, “pApAaaaa!” through the monitor. We’ve been decorating for Christmas and her new word is “breakaful”. Don’t be fooled though, this is one articulate two-year-and-nine-month-old! Her physical activity has grown too. She now goes down all the slides at the park by herself, even the tall twisty one. She also likes to climb things and has even ventured to the top of the arched monkey bars (with my assistance though). In stores Keana refuses to hold hands but follows closely behind, often galloping or dancing down the isles. Everywhere we go, especially at the local natural foods store, she is truly the star. Some of her latest phrases also include persuasion, like “C’mon, just do it!” or “Maybe we can buy one?” Yes, she has discovered how we attain all the wonderful material objects around us. You can’t get through a store with stuffed animals without at least one very sweet, tame plea for a cuddly, furry friend. My latest way around this is enlisting a “finding friend”, just while we’re at the store, to help us get what we actually need. Two days ago it was a panda that helped us find the Christmas tree skirt. I find that a short relationship, with a hug at the end, often makes for a satisfying way around buying her everything she wants (or a very sad departure). Yes folks, Keana is growing up fast and we love her more and more every day, if that’s even possible.

Now what about Maia? Well, she’s two weeks old (two weeks and nine months I guess). She actually sleeps in three, four, and five hour stretches allowing us to catch up on sleep or other daily tasks relatively easily. What I’ve been loving are those mid-sleep and waking sputters and honks that babies make. Not to mention those adorable little baby stretches. Her eyes are getting lighter and I think we may have another blue-eyed beauty in the house. She’s got that serious new baby expression with that not-quite-focusing-but-looking-at-something-intently gaze, with unbelievable smirks and smiles while sleeping. At first her eyes crossed pretty easily, but with gentle reminders from Sarah that her nose wasn’t going anywhere, those cross-eyed moments are fewer and fewer. Maia also has the longest eyelashes anyone’s ever seen on a baby (but then maybe people didn’t see her sister’s). She’s gaining weight like a champ and is starting to get some chubby cheeks, so I hope their prepared for all the kisses and squeezes that they’re in for.

Sarah is feeling better every day and has been healing at a record pace. Two weeks after the birth she’s starting to feel normal again and says if feels great. She did a phenomenal job giving birth and amazed all those around her. Those at the birth not only marveled at the alertness and vitality of Maia, but also the strength and grace of Sarah throughout the occasion. She continues to be a great mother and nothing makes me happier than to see her caught up in one one of those loving, motherly stares at Maia or Keana. We are so lucky to have her holding down the role of Mama in our house.

Last but not least, me. I’ve been amazed, happy, tired, excited, frustrated, totally stressed out, and popping with love. It’s been hard adjusting to our new life, but I think we’re doing really well. I already feel like our fridge and our garbage can reflect our new number of four.

Which brings me to the title “Quadripod”. It’s a term I started using just before Maia was born, inspired by the word “tripod”. As we all know, a tripod is a three-legged device that usual supports a camera, but all the legs come to one point and in so doing also support each other. This is kind of how I saw Sarah, Keana, and I before Maia was born. Not knowing what a four-legged device would be called I just started saying “quadripod” and funnily enough, no one even batted an eye when I used it in sentences. Example, “Yup, this new little one will make us a quadripod.” See? Sounds almost scientifically correct. Anyway, that’s what we are now and for you conventionalist, we can also stick with “family of four”, though that’s certainly less glamorous.

What else can I say? It’s been a wild ride so far, already complete with ups and downs, and I assume it will continue on in this fashion more or less, but I can already see we’re up for it and ready to roll.