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The Peterson BBQ and Other Events

A week ago, last Saturday, Keana went to her first Peterson BBQ- the Peterson’s being the “lighter” half of my half-breededness. Come to think of it, this might have been my first Peterson BBQ. The BBQ was set up solely for the purpose of meeting family for the first time- and of course seeing family again- but as these things go, the planning was a little tricky. My Aunt, Janet, is a nurse so we scheduled something that worked for her, but the time didn’t work for my Uncle Vic, Aunt Kristie, and three cousins. We went ahead with the plans and had to settle for “catch you guys next time”. We had a great time with those that did make it- Great Grandma and Grandpa Peterson, Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sam, my bro Peter, and Aunt Janet- and several non-Peterson special guests made appearances too, including Tia Lucik, Rhonda, Baptiste and one of their friends from out of town. Grandpa Sam grilled up some tri-tip for the first time and it was pretty damn good. Tio Pedro was also there and we got the latest on his upcoming trip to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and other places in the region. He leaves July 11 and will be gone for who knows how long, so it was good to see him. Keana had mentioned it’d be cool to see him one more time before he leaves, so I told her I’d see what we could do.

On Sunday Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin came to visit bearing gifts! The gift was a very nice, very perfect area rug for our wood floored living room. Keana enjoys practicing her calisthenics on it (i.e. messing around) and thinks it will be great for when she starts to crawl, so we’re very thankful for that. We had a great time with them and had a very nice breakfast/lunch too.

It’s really amazing what a baby will do. I mean, up until this year, some of our family Sarah and I only saw once or twice a year. But now, we’ve already doubled that- at least– in just 3 months. We are very lucky to have such great family and friends and we’re very thankful for all the support and love we’ve gotten.

This is the first time Aunt Janet has met Keana!
Keana and Aunt Janet

Tia Lucik with Keana. Keana likes the “dark hairs”.
Lucik and Keana

Keana Mama and Lucy

Keana Mama and Papa

Wait- There’s no baby in this shot! (our hosts, Grandma and Grandpa Fouquet/Peterson)Mom and Sam

Keana with Mama and Aunt Janet

Checking out the flamingos Tio Pedro brought.Keana with Grandma and Flamingos

They almost look REAL.Keana with Mama and Flamingos 2

Checking out Rhonda for the first time.Keana with Mama and Rhonda

Taking a closer look.Keana with Rhonda

zOniNg OuTKeana with Grandma

Learning some French from Baptiste- and loving it!Keana with Baptiste

Keana and Tio Pedro.Keana with Uncle Peter

Grandpa Robert and The Girl.Keana with Grandpa Robert

Testing out that new rug.Keana with Grandpa Robert on Rug

Grandpa makes a pretty good throne.Keana with Grandpa Robert on Rug 2

Nana Cin is pretty comfy too.Keana with Nana Cin

Out at lunch.Keana sleeping in moby wrap

Saying goodbye.Keana with Nana Cin at lunch

Mabye Now I’ll Remember

Today is Father’s Day- but more on that later. Keana is getting huge. We think she was around 15lbs. two weeks ago, and it seems like she’s way more than that now. Whenever I hold her for any extended period of time, the next day my arms feel as sore as if I had been lifting weights for an hour- so she’s definitely growing every day. Keana also started to teethe last week if you can believe that. It’s too soon for her to start having teeth! Now those words, “Oh, they change so quickly,” are really starting to take meaning. Her eyes remain a bright blue and her hair is pretty dark in the back at the bottom and on the very top. She has hair in between the dark patches, but it’s almost strawberry blonde so it doesn’t stand out as much.

Mama and Baby went to their first Mother’s Group of our homebirth class, and just about every mother and baby were able to make it. Sarah and Keana had a great time and found it very therapeutic to converse with people going through the same process as themselves. The rest of Keana’s week went by fast with the usual hard work of eating, sleeping, growing, eating, laughing, sleeping, talking, eating and eating some more. After our trip to Fresno last weekend, it seemed like it took all week to get back on track. Now that the weekend is coming to a close, we’re finally starting to feel normal again- except for that teething thing.

So…Father’s Day. I must admit that I’ve been pretty bad about remembering Father’s Day in the past- sorry Dad. But today I called my dad back and I did talk to him on Father’s Day, the first time in a long time. Maybe it had something to do with waking up and staring straight in the face of my own amazing, beautiful, gurgling daughter. Maybe now I understand something- that raising this little thing, and growing up with her and learning from her is one, if not the most important thing a person can do. Maybe now I’ll remember when the hell Father’s Day is. Lord knows I need no excuse to fire up the grill and open a Guinness. I also understand that maybe she won’t always remember me on this day and she may not call or send a card. It doesn’t matter. On Father’s Day I’ll always be bbq-ing in her honor and raise that Guinness in my own private toast to my perfect little girl. I’ll always be her papa and I’ll always love her- any day of the year.

Keana and Mama with homebirth mother’s group
Keana and homebirth group

Chillin’ on the couch amidst the clutter
Keana on couch

Keana on couch 2

Keana with blanket

Keana with blanket 2

Keana with blanket 3

Another Trip to Another Graduation on Another Weekend

Intro side note: Another. That word’s weird. Anyways…June 9th we found ourselves packing up the old Pathfinder once again to make the trek back to Fresno. This time Uncle Michael was graduating from high school. Remember that? It’s been 8 years for Sarah and me, and I can’t believe it. We can’t help but imagine Keana being in that same spot, what seems like forever from now- 18 years- and knowing when the time arrives it will have gone by in a flash. All that aside, it was a quick journey, only stopping once to feed Baby (and Mama and Papa too). When we arrived Michael had his graduation gown out, ironed and hung in the doorway, and was thinking about getting ready. The graduation wasn’t till 8 p.m. and I was certainly hoping to avoid some of that crazy Fresno heat.

The graduation was classic. The band warmed up- out of tune- as all the excited relatives and friends found their seats among the bleachers and chairs that had been laid out on the track. The lights to the football field were on and the sun set on the rocky hillside as The Time approached. When all was ready the band started Pomp and Circumstance– out of tune- and the graduates walked in. Keana nursed and slept, slept and nursed and we readied our cameras. Once all the graduates had filed in we picked Uncle Michael out from the crowd of burgundy and gold and took some bad photos. There was a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that was severely unpatriotic by musical standards, but no one cared and cheered anyway. Some bad speeches happened, then a really good speech happened fashioned after a baptist preacher from the south, even though there wasn’t a single African-American in the graduating class. Nonetheless, it was entertaining and had a point. Then, right when the diplomas were going to be handed out, Keana needed a serious diaper change. Papa stepped up to the plate so Mama could watch her brother graduate. After the diaper change the seats were just too loud- too many air horns, homemade noise-makers and screaming- so Keana and I hung out behind the stadium. It was kind of ironic, me being a dad with a baby, behind the stadium with all the delinquents. Two cops walked by and they didn’t budge, but I showed up with a baby and they all quickly moved to a baby-free zone.

On the way home, around 10:30 p.m., Keana got hungry, so Sarah recommended we stop at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. This particular gas station happened to have a bar attached to it (go figure), and a weird looking guy was dropped off from a mini-van and started talking to the gas guy. We became a little nervous he would soon be occupying our space, so we quickly strapped Keana in and drove off. It’s amazing how protective you get when you have a wife AND and kid.

On Friday we had lunch with Grandpa Robert, Nana Cin, Aunt Mary, Tia Iana and Great Grandma Bev, then headed over to Uncle David’s for a swim and visit. Right after that was dinner with Uncle Jim, Aunt Christina, Aunt Ruby, their cousin Nicole and Great Grandma Bev. And, of course, Grandma Jennie, Grandpa John, Tia Iana and Uncle Michael were also in attendance. So you could say we visited some family. “Popular” seems like a mild term for the this girl.

We practically slept all day Saturday and drove home at night. Keana slept the whole way and I think we are now converts to the midnight ride. Papa’s a night owl anyway, so I think it’s a perfect match.

On the track at Uncle Michael’s Graduation
Smiley Grad

Peekin’ at Mama
Peeping Nurser

Surprised with hat on

On the field with Mama and Tia looking for Uncle Michael
On the field looking for Uncle Michael

Blue skied cafeteria with Grandpa John, Grandma Jennie and The Grad
Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle

With Grandpa Robert saying, “My parents already dress me like a dork.”
Keana in yellow hat with Grandpa Robert

Nana Cin with Keana discovering ceiling fan
Nana Cin and Keana

Papa changing me Phase I: clean slate
Keana changing

Papa changing me Phase II: onesie necklace
Keana changing

Papa changing me Phase III: half and half
Keana changing

Papa changing me Phase IV: completion
Keana changing

Keana being held by Uncle Michael while Grandpa John flatters her with imitationHeld by Uncle Michael

Holding courtCenter of attention

Keana holding her first toy with Tia and GrandmaTia Iana and Keana

Hanging out on Grandma’s lap watching a hugGrandma's lap

Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Normal Day

Last-last Saturday, May 28, Memorial Day weekend, we headed down to our old stomping grounds in Santa Cruz to celebrate a late Mother’s Day with my Mama, her relatively new husband Sam, and Uncle Peter. We hadn’t been to Santa Cruz since Keana’s birth and were excited to be back. This was Keana’s first visit to Santa Cruz, so we had to “do it right” with a trip to Harbor Cafe for some biscuits and gravy- formerly known as our S.O.S. breakfast- and a visit to a “typical” SC house. What I mean by “typical” is a bunch of people sharing a house, not related, with at least one member who’s crazy, one member who’s an artist, someone sleeping in a back shed, and one member who has what the rest of America would consider a “respectable” job- the latter not really being a requirement. This is where Uncle Peter is currently living. The crazy guy sleeps out back in the shed, filling two roles of the typical SC dwelling, Uncle Peter being the artist currently working in book arts and prints, and the “respectable” job holder being Dave, who’s a flight nurse that brings home gnarly accident photos for the house to scream at.

The day was pretty mellow with Grandma Linda getting as much holdin’s as possible. The biscuits and gravy really hit the spot. No where in the East Bay have we found biscuits and gravy to soothe our inner beast. I’m sure there’s a great joint in the ghetto somewhere with some down-home cookin’, but we have yet to wander through that particular one. We missed the real Mother’s Day due to traveling from the Chico wedding, so we opted for this three day weekend to make sure we at least hit the right month. After breakfast we pretty much hung around Uncle Peter’s with just one outing to “the strip” to get some food and coffee. The usual sights, sounds, and people were about, including students, annoying tourists (which we had become), and the guy dressed up as a pink clown, parasol and all, practicing his “slow walking”. Good times.

On our way home from breakfast we drove by our good friend Joscelyn, who happened to be with Tia (Iana), so later in the day we had a visit from them at Uncle Peter’s. Gotta love the small town. All in all it was a great trip and time well spent with family and friends. As if there was ever time that wasn’t well spent with the ones you love.

Since then, we’ve been pluggin’ away. Mama and Keana spend the days feeding mostly, with occasional walks with our friend down the street, whose baby is just a week younger than Keana. Papa’s been working and teaching, getting his students ready for recitals and summer madness (i.e. not practicing). At this point Keana falls asleep around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. for at least three or four hours, during which time Papa comes home, gets some time to catch up and eat with Mama, and gets ready for the next day. Keana wakes up again around 11 p.m. or midnight, gets a diaper change, eats, and goes back to sleep. She’s been sleeping really well at nights, just waking up once or twice to eat. She smiles all the time and has been adding many new sounds to her “vocabulary”. It’s amazing how big she is, yet remains so small too! We have no idea how much she weighs, but it’s more and more every day. One of these days we might go to the pediatrician, but she’s completely healthy, strong, and beautiful, so there’s really no rush.

Every day has new discoveries and new developments, even amidst the usual grind of work and life. It truly is an amazing time and we’re loving every minute.

The shirt says “Insomniac”. Thanks Neel=)

I think we took a sleeping picture every night this week.

Keana in Santa Cruz
Keana with Cute Hat In Santa Cruz

Uncle Peter teaching tongue tricks
Uncle Peter teaching Keana

Can you believe Sam’s a grandpa?
Grandpa Sam

Fight the power, suck a fist
Keana fights The Power

Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sam
Grandma and Grandpa in Santa Cruz

Grandma Linda and Keana
Grandma and Keana

Joscelyn was part of Team Hokama at birth
Joscelyn and Keana

This is the first time Joscelyn actually gets to hold her!
Joscelyn and Keana 2


Smilin’ for MamaSmilin

Not so smilin’ but clearerSmilin' but clear

Tia Iana and KeanaTia Iana and Keana

Papa’s finally home from workPapa home from work

Blue-eyed JapaneseBlue eyes

Grandma Jennie’s Graduation (May 21/22, 2005)

Well, we trekked it back to Mama’s hometown of Fresno to see Grandma Jennie graduate from CSU Fresno (and meet Grandpa John for the first time!). It was Keana’s second long car trip, the first being up to Chico to see a good friend from college get married. This girl definitely likes to be movin’. She was sleeping pretty soundly, but once we hit stop-and-go traffic outside of Livermore she woke up and said, “Hey, it’s hot, I’m bored, could I get a little milk back here?!” Had to pull over and hang out at the gas station while baby got some milkins. Tia, Mama and Papa feared a really long trip, but after that, traffic broke up, got the Environment Killer up to a nice cruising speed, and Baby greeted progress on the road with a long nap. Once we got to the house, we were greeted by Grandpa John and I think both were pretty impressed. Grandpa got Keana all riled up for, of course, some more milkins.

Saturday, May 21, we skipped out of the huge graduation at Fresno State and just hit the after party at Lorraine’s house. (We’ll get a picture of Lorraine up here some day.) Unfortunately, Papa remembered the camera but not the battery, so no pictures on this day. Everyone marveled at Keana’s poise and beauty, passed her around, and looked forward to every diaper change. Before we had her, I’d never thought anyone would actually want to be in on diaper changes, but I guess it’s a pretty popular event for baby lovers. Although, with this girl, every event is popular. It was really beautiful to see how much meeting Keana meant to everyone, and we were certainly very proud and grateful parents- so much love.

Sunday was the pinning ceremony for the school of nursing that Grandma was graduating from, and there was a luncheon in town to celebrate. Grandma J graduated with honors and was awarded a pretty snazzy looking award from the Navy. Grandma will have to give details to those interested, cause we were in the back, you guessed it, feeding. Grandpa John, Uncle Michael, Tia Iana and Great Grandma Bev were in attendance.

The drive home was relatively uneventful. A very busy weekend, but a great time to celebrate Grandma’s graduation and meet Grandpa John and friends too!

Grandma Jennie and Keana

Can’t get enough

Great Grandma Bev has the touch

Baby bird
Baby Bird

What was that?! I’m going to eat both my fists.
Eating both fists

Hmmm, yes…
Keana looks at GGrandma Bev

The Graduate and her soon-to-be graduate, Uncle Michael
Jennie and Michael

The tongue thing is new at this date
Tongue sticking out


Side shot of “Cute” with Mama
Cute and mama

Infamous group shot taken by stanger with cowboy boots and crazy facial hair
Group shot

Grandma J squeezing in time after the ceremony while Keana wiggles and thwarts focus once again
Grandma J

It’s so damn hot, it’s so damn bright…here…look at my milk tongue Papa
Milk tongue outside

One last hug for Great Grandma before we hit the road (as Tia looks on)