A slice of life

Last week we went back up to North Fork and had a great time at Willow Creek (which is just down the dirt road from Sarah’s dad’s house) and Bass Lake. Of course we met some more…how should I say…flavorful locals there; in fact we do every time. I mean, I’m open minded, but you really can’t make these people up. They belong in a Cohen brothers movie. But the day at Bass Lake was great and Keana and Maia had a blast playing in the lake and mud, building castles and pretending to claw their way back onto the beach, trying to escape a shark or monster. The motor boats made nice waves so we could almost imagine being at the beach. Almost.

And today was a powerhouse day for Team Hokama. I returned to work after six glorious (minus the whole hospital part) weeks off. The morning began at 5:45 a.m. when Maia decided it was time to wake up. She was hungry, so I got up and fed her toast and milk. I contemplated scheming a way to lay back down, but decided I needed to get used to getting up early now that I was back working and early school days were looming a mere two weeks away. Keana got up a little later at 6:30 a.m., and as they watched Diego on the Roku, I got ready. When I got out of the shower I was greeted by a talking Aliya, babbling away on the bed while Sarah tried to sleep a little longer. Her little coos and peeps are amazing and once again we get to witness the beginnings of speech and formal communication; a privilege indeed.

Throughout the day Maia and Keana really played well with each other. They played chasing games, dressed up dolls, staged various interactions with the dolls, had a stint outside with the kiddy pool, and even had some quiet time (where they basically tore their rooms apart in imaginary play before settling down). I was able to get quite a bit of work done and so was Sarah, amazingly enough. When Aliya would stand being set down or was asleep, Sarah would catch up on the laundry or some other organizing project. Working at home allowed me to make all the meals for the day and waking up so early also allowed me to go for a run and get a jump on the dishes too. The day-to-day stuff to keep the house even a bearable mess is unbelievable.

Tonight while I was barbecuing Keana kept me company outside telling me the story of how her child was born. She was pretending to be Lothina the hunchback, Lothar’s daughter. Lothar is a crazy hunchback character I play where I pull my shirt over my head and limp around like a hunchback chasing the kids with a crazy accent. The kids love Lothar so much that Keana decided to model a character herself after him. She doesn’t have a hunch, but she’s still a hunchback and her name is Lothina. Anyway, her daughter’s birth story was exactly like Aliya’s except when she got to the hospital, her baby flew out of the incision because she was so light and the people in the room had to catch her. Then she had to go to another hospital to be cared for, just like Aliya. It was really good to hear Keana processing everything and it was definitely one of the most enjoyable, but heavy, burger cookings I’ve had.

Of course bath/bedtime was shear mayhem. I wrangled Keana and Maia into the bath and as they played, hustled some garbage outing and backyard clean up. Then I held Aliya as she slept while Sarah got teeth brushed and started story time. As Aliya slept I explained that her sisters are Masters of Mayhem and I’m sure she’ll be a part of it soon enough. Then as Sarah put Maia to bed, I continued a story I’ve been making up for Keana. I started it up in North Fork when we forgot her book, and she’s been requesting it several times a day since. Basically I’ve been combining pieces of The Princess Bride and The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. For shorter stories I just throw in “a day in the life of the princess” where she meets wild animals or learns how to make a chariot to be flown by giant eagles. You know, usual story stuff that papas come up with. It truly makes my day to see how into it she is and to look over and see her hanging on my every word during a tense part or to see her smile and laugh at some ridiculous part.

Anyway, now Aliya’s asleep on the couch as I type this and Sarah’s back in the bedroom doing stretches. What a day. I’ve been off so long that I had an “oh shit” moment earlier tonight when I realized that I still had to work tomorrow. Guess it all starts over in mere hours and though the general structure might be the same tomorrow, one can never guess the amazing things these crazy kids will come up with. Looking forward to it.