Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween 2012

Yeah, not a very original title, but it is what it is. Like youngsters all across the country, Keana, Maia, and Aliya (sort of), were really looking forward to Halloween. This year we made it out to a true pumpkin patch where the girls could cut their chosen pumpkins straight from the vine and go on a real hayride pulled by a tractor. Yup, gotta love Fresno for the rural experience in a big town. The farm was actually on the outskirts of town but not too far. We had a blast and the temperature in the upper 70s didn’t hurt either.

Choosing costumes was pretty easy for Keana and Maia as they still seem pretty enthralled with the whole princess-fairy thing. Maia thought for a minute she would be butterfly girl, but switched to a fairy princess, maybe because that’s what Keana was doing. Aliya tried on an old pig costume we had but seemed more comfortable in the ballerina get-up, so that’s what she was. She’s pretty easy going but does like to do what her sisters are doing too. The girls really want us to dress up each year and we’re still at that phase where no matter what we do, they love it. So Sarah threw on a black wig and some make-up and was a sorceress, and I got out a cape and the tried-and-true foil and was Lightening Man.

Continue reading Halloween 2012

Halloween: Live

Well, live-blogging Halloween proved to be pretty tricky, but I did my best. It’s always a balance between bringing you all the tom-foolery of Team Hokama in a timely manner, and being in the moment with this amazing family. But here you go, the day’s log:

08:00: Aliya tries on her little bear ears at breakfast and loves them:

10:00: Maia and Sarah get her ballerina bunny costume together and Maia is so thrilled, she’s speechless and is driven to pose in a submissively adorable pose whilst showing off said costume:


13:00: Maia lays down to charge batteries for later excitement:

16:02: Maia decorates her trick-or-treat bag:

16:03: This doesn’t look “Halloweeny” but Keana does have to finish homework before we get down to business:

16:22: This isn’t Aliya’s costume but I can tell she’s ready:

16:42 pumpkin carving time!




17:00: As designed by Keana and Maia and cut by Papa:


17:12: The girls wanted to be more hands-on so they’re drawing on a pumpkin. I’m okay with that.

17:23: Mama bear and an emerging baby bear.


17:30: The finished “pen” pumpkin and eating, anxious, excited children:

17:48: Almost ready




18:00: Really almost ready to go get some bounty, but first, the obligatory porch shots. Included here are Tia, Uncle Ryan, Cousin Olivia, and Grandma.

I know it's blurry, but it's the only one I got.

18:00-19:00: We were out. They were cute. We got lots of candy, the girls had lots of fun, I got zero pictures. You’ll just have to trust me.

19:00-20:00: Candy eating commenced, then bedtime. And these were some tuckered out girls (even with the pre-bed sugar infusion):

21:08: Mama and Papa delicately pick through the booty.

Happy Halloween

When Papa got a minute

We got the kids to bed kind of early tonight so here I go…

Last week Aliya was still just figuring out grabbing things well with her hands and now, seven days later, she’s so much smoother. Yeah, she still drops things and doesn’t always rotate them smoothly, but she is so much more dexterous and accurate with her grip, it’s scary. These damn babies develop so fast and we are beyond thankful. Aliya still laughs hysterically at her sisters, so much so it almost sounds like something between a smoky bar laugh and baby’s cry. First time she did it I wasn’t sure she was actually happy until I saw her big smile at the silly things her sisters were doing. She’s also figured out how to thump her leg in her bouncer to back it bounce and once it stops, she thumps again to get it going. Brilliant.

Maia is still struggling with sleeping through the night. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn’t, but she always wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. People are always saying not to look forward too much to the teen years, but I have to say right now, I’m ready to get back to sleeping in until noon. I think Maia is still really struggling with not being the baby anymore and she wants to grow up and be independent like Sissy (Keana), but she’s just not quite there yet. It’s a big step and although we’re quite frustrated with her, I have a soft spot for what she’s going through. I remember feeling exactly like her at several stages when I was coming up.

Keana continues to be our extraordinary pioneer. Her parent/teacher conference was amazing and her teacher said that she is well beyond where they expect at this point in kindergarten. We, of course, try not to put too much weight in evaluations like this, but I have to say it’s what every parent wants to hear. There’s a little boy in her class that has been trying to kiss her and/or talk about kissing her, so that has been interesting. Keana and this boy played all the time together but when he started this behavior, she was done. Thankfully the school is taking it seriously and wants Keana to be comfortable, so we’ll see how everything turns out. Sarah and I know that this little guy just likes her a lot, and perhaps doesn’t have great modeling at home, so we’re just rolling with it for now and letting her teacher deal; don’t want to make it a bigger deal than it is. I guess the whole “boys and girls can’t just be friends” starts early (just joking…sort of).

Last weekend we went down to Long Beach to visit Tia, Uncle Ryan, and Cousin Olivia. We hadn’t been down there since last Thanksgiving, so it was time. It was a lot of fun, minus the 6+hour drive to get down there. But Iana and Ryan were very good to us and the girls had a blast with Olivia. She’s starting to walk, so Keana had fun leading her around by her hands, and both Maia and her had fun torturing her with as much love as she could take. Honestly though, I think Olivia really enjoyed having her boisterous cousins around for a couple days and it was fun watching them together. Of course the World Series was on so some time had to be spent rooting for our Giants, and there was the costume/trick-or-treating-candy-eating-mayhem on Halloween, but all-in-all it was pretty restful and great to get away. (SO many pics from October/Halloween, not enough time tonight, so I’ll get them up tomorrow.)

I can’t believe we’re already entering into the holiday season, with Maia’s birthday falling on Thanksgiving this year. This month is going to be crazy, especially with me having a work trip the week before Thanksgiving, but we’re looking forward to it. Today we had a very productive day around the house and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed raking leaves off the roof and cleaning out gutters. Why is being on a roof so much fun? I do not know. But it did feel good to get give away some things, clean up a bit, and prepare for this great month we’re about to have.

The 10/31

It sort of started Tuesday night, October 27 when Keana and I headed to the fabric/craft store to complete her costume. Sarah and Maia were taking a late nap, so we crept out of the house to complete our mission. Weeks before Keana had decided she wanted to be a Superhero Ballerina, then added “princess” to the title for good measure, but that part came and went, so we stuck with Superhero Ballerina. Actually, I guess the costume assemblage began on the Saturday before that when we bought the ballerina-leotard-outfit-thingy and a pair of pink, high-top Converse (Keana needed new shoes anyway), and a crown that just happened to come with matching clip-on earrings. Maia, of course, wanted a ballerina-leotard-outfit-thingy too.

Anyway, Tuesday night before Halloween Keana picked out the fabric she wanted for her cape, some pink ribbon for the tie, and the jewels/flashy business for the lining and emblem (which was really just the letters “SB” for “Superhero Ballerina”). instead of actually sewing anything, I just picked up some fabric glue, which I didn’t even know existed and was a phenomenal find my book. Keana wasn’t really interested in making the cape, so Sarah and I went to work after the girls went to bed. It was our first real venture into costume making and i think it was good we started with something simple like a cape. We think it turned out great though and it was a lot of fun.

The next day, Wednesday, Keana had her costume parade at school which was so much more fun than I remember costume parades ever being when I was a kid. The kids paraded with percussion instruments and did some songs. Having a flexible job and working from home allowed me to be there for this pinnacle moment in Keana’s costume career.

On Halloween we carved pumpkins which was definitely entertaining in and of itself. Keana named her little pumpkin “Punky”, and although she originally wanted to just draw pictures on it, she ended up wanting to carve it. So we did a simple, happy face, and then Keana proceeded to pretend Punky was alive and fed her the pieces we had just cut out. The funniest moment was when she said something like, “I’ll put one in my eye-hole.” At 6-ish, we had Keana’s friend Maya and her family over to trick-or-treat on our street. I think everyone was glad that the girls didn’t care about hitting a hundred houses or getting a metric ton of candy. They all got a basket full and that was plenty. Little Maia decided she wanted to wear a chinese style suit that Sarah had when she was little, and enjoyed the trick-or-treating experience with the big girls. Every now and then though, we had to stop when Maia yelled, “Oh! My pants!” as her pants slid down to her ankles.

After the bounty was acquired, the adults gathered for some tea/beer, talked, and watched some World Series goodness, while the kids sampled their spoils and played with each other. Grandma Jennie also stopped by to see the girls in their costumes and say “hi”. Eventually the night wrapped up with the discovery that big Maya’s little sister, Lily, had dog poop on her shoe, shortly followed by the same Lily smacking our Maia in the face for no good reason. Not the best way to end it, but hey, it was Halloween, it was late, and there was too much processed sugar coursing through veins to have things end smoothly. All-in-all though, it was really fun having Keana be more into what was going on (and not changing her mind about her costume 10 times during the day), and of course have little Maia more excited about the whole shindig as well.

Check out all the photos.

Halloween: taking it to the streets

Halloween will never be the same. I know a lot of parents get their little ones out trick-or-treating as soon as they can walk, but in our house, things are different; or should I say things were different. Not to say anything is good or bad, but I think we always figured what’s the rush? The girls will have plenty of Halloweens to get cracked out on candy, so why rush into it? It wasn’t until this year that Keana even asked about trick-or-treating, so I think our timing was fine. We always had fun carving pumpkins and making Halloween music videos to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but this proved to be the year to step things up.

I came home from work not knowing what to expect. Sarah had been trying to see what Keana wanted to do all week, but the concept of Halloween was still a little vague for her I think. As we debated what to do, we just asked Keana if she felt like trick-or-treating. She replied, “Is today Halloween?” and once we said yes, she lit up and went about busying herself with getting dressed up. Sarah had already gotten together a princess outfit, but of course Keana wanted to dress herself. Needless to say the white, men’s undershirt she chose for the dress had to be supplemented a little, but it was clear we weren’t winning any costume battles. This girl had been dressing herself up since she was one and it wasn’t going to change now, especially not on Halloween!

The funny part was Sarah and I didn’t know what to do. Should we dress up? Is it not fun to be plain-clothed, or is it better to just dress normal and not to be the lame, half-assed-costumed parents? Keana seemed to think we should all dress up, so we went scraping around for something halfway decent. I decided to be a cowboy, but once Keana saw that cowboy hat, she had to have it. With that, the princess thing was kind of out the door and my option was gone. Sarah couldn’t decide, so we opted out of the costume, leaving the limelight where it belonged- on Keana. And of course, through all this, poor little Maia was left out. To be fair though, she didn’t show much interest and Keana didn’t dress up her first Halloween either, so she wasn’t exactly left out.

Anyway, as we’re getting things ready, the group of little neighborhood kids come to our door and we pass out candy and jump on the wagon. Keana wasn’t quite ready, and having no cowboy boots, she decided any boots would do, so she slipped on her pink, kitty-faced rain boots. Pretty awesome. I throw Maia in the sling, grab the camera and flashlight, and follow Sarah and Keana out the door.

Overall it was pretty fun and Keana seemed to really enjoy it. She was a little shy ringing doorbells and saying trick-or-treat, but she was so excited and had so much fun. We were really glad that we ended up going out and it was another example of how your kids will let you know when they’re ready for something new, and you better be ready to jump to when it happens.

Of course there had to be a little exploration into the night’s spoils when we got home, but it was really fun to see her face light up at her first Snickers bar. Even though we’ve heavily moderated the sweets in Keana’s life so far, there’s something truly delightful about how a kid’s face lights up when that sweet, savory, sugary goodness hits the taste buds.

Babies don’t care about holidays

Keana does not care about the holidays…yet. Some people out there may be getting a little worked up over that statement, so let me explain. Holidays are really for us adults and older kids. It’s for those who realize how important getting family together is, even if for just one day. But it’s also a time for us to express and recreate all the traditions and expectations that surround the holidays—for better or worse—that we’ve learned and assimilated for ourselves through our lives. I think Keana sees things differently. I think Keana is excited to see our extended family any time and there just happens to be some random pumpkin on the porch—which, by the way, someone totally messed up by cutting holes in it—or everyone makes a big deal about eating turkey instead of the chicken and rice she requested. But as a whole, I think she just takes everything and everyone in stride, at the moment, and enjoys (or doesn’t enjoy) things as they happen. There’s no expectations or sense of tradition and I think that’s pretty cool. It’s so fun to see Keana still really new to this world taking one day at a time, and hopefully she’ll grow to love and understand the traditions we create together. Or, I guess it’s always possible she’ll grow up hating our family traditions and once she turns 13, when November/December rolls around, she’ll dress in all black, swear she’ll disown us when she turns 18, and refuse to get in the car to go to so-and-so’s house for “one more stupid, pointless holiday celebration”. I truly hope it’s the former and not the the latter. Anyways…

Unfortunately we just couldn’t see all the family this Thanksgiving. This year we drove to Fresno with Sarah’s sister Iana (Tia) to be with Sarah’s family. Thanksgiving day we saw Grandma Jennie, Grandpa John (our hosts), Tia, Great Uncle Jim and Great Aunt Christina, second cousin Shawn, Great Aunt Blanche, second cousin Shanti and his girlfriend Alysa…and I think that’s pretty much it. Uncle Michael got stuck in Olympia where he’s attending college because plane ticket prices sky-rocketed. It sounded like he was going to have a typical college tofu-no-stuffing-kegger-video game-potluck Thanksgiving—which I’m sure was fun—but we did miss him. My family (Grandma Linda, Grandpa Sam and Uncle Peter) went over to our friend Rhonda and Baptiste’s house for Thanksgiving in San Jose, so we had to settle for the holiday phone call instead of actually seeing them. I’m not sure what Great Grandma Jacquie and Great Grandpa Vic did (or the rest of the Petersons), but hopefully we’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with them next year.

Speaking of great grandparents, Sarah’s Grandma Ellie passed away very early Thanksgiving morning. It wasn’t entirely unexpected and we just imagine her somewhere wonderful and peaceful with the love of her life Charles and all the other family and friends that have gone before her.

The day following Thanksgiving we had a great visit with Sarah’s Dad Robert and his wife Cindy. They are always great hosts and Keana had a blast playing in the backyard and with all the little treasures that Grandpa found for her. Eventually she got so sleepy that she drifted off to Nap Land and had a nice two-hour nap which gave the rest of us a chance to catch up on the last year. Once again we were reminded of how fast time seems to be flying by.

Saturday we packed up and headed back to the bay. It was great to see everyone but we we were very thankful to be home. Then, tonight, Grandpa Jon flew in from Denver for business and took the three of us out to dinner in celebration of my upcoming birthday. It was fun getting caught up and we are thankful that he’s out here so often on business.

It’s been a week filled with family events, a little road trip, and great food. I think it’s safe to say Keana’s second round of holidays are shaping up nicely, even if she doesn’t know she’s supposed to care about them yet.

(look for November pictures in the upcoming weeks)

Creeping up on Halloween

Halloween is coming up in just a couple days and we’re definitely finishing out October strong. Last weekend we had the surprise portion of my mom’s 50th birthday party (two weeks after her actual birthday) and it turned out great. Peter stepped up and pretty much planned the whole thing with just a little input from Sam (mom’s husband) and me. The party was catered and the morning of, Sam took his parents (who were in town from Oklahoma) and mom out to breakfast as a distraction. While they were gone, mom’s mom Jacquie came over to the house and helped get things set up. Peter’s girlfriend Bryn and friend Ject (sp?) from Thailand also arrived early to set up while I grabbed beverages and last-minute supplies. Guests started arriving around noon and helped with set-up and decorating as well. Mom arrived right on time and seem thoroughly surprised. I think having this party two weeks after her birthday really helped with the surprise element. Halfway through the party Keana started getting really tired but wouldn’t lay down without both Sarah and I. So the three of us cuddled up in the spare bedroom in mom’s house and were able to get a little sleep. It brought back fond memories of when Keana was first born and we all shared a bed. And, just like old times, I was barely hanging on a sliver of the edge of the bed, with one arm underneath me falling asleep and Keana snuggled right up next to me. I loved it. Because of our little nap we missed the pie ceremony and birthday speech, but that’s just the way things go now.

Last week flew by, we fought off Keana’s cold that she had last week, and found this weekend arrive seemingly out of nowhere. Yesterday our little homebirth group got together for a little Halloween soirée. The theme was cross-dressing for the adults and I think the babies were a little confused but thoroughly entertained—or at least we adults were. All the babies were adorable in their little costumes of course, and we had a great time as usual. When we all get together, it’s always a little bit of mayhem, but always good to see everyone and get the babies together.

And now it’s Sunday. I bbq’d some chicken outside in the dark this evening, and Sarah padded the kiddy-pool outside with a little quilt and she and baby shmooped around in it staying just under the smoke. Then they danced around their shadows waiting for the meat to finish cooking, singing silly songs, and I grilled away and drank a beer. Now Sarah’s eating mochi ice cream while I finish this thing up. Fall feels like it’s really here now and life is good as usual.