Tag Archives: holidays

Photos from December 2013

Why Hello, 2012

We’re starting fresh. Not just this month, in this new year, but every day. Every day we start fresh and what I’ve been noticing is that even multiple times a day I remind myself to start fresh. Or at least I try. Sarah and I have been steering our family on a new journey and really trying to be in the moment is one of the main focuses.

With this new journey came a slightly new kind of holiday this past Christmas where we tried to focus on what was best for our family, the family we have control over, and I think we did a pretty good job. In the past we’ve worried and stressed over trying to make everyone else happy and squeeze our own wants in there somewhere too. It was never quite right, and even though this past Christmas wasn’t perfect (what is?), we were definitely on the right track and look forward to continuing the creation of a peaceful tradition for ourselves and the girls.

This month we made our last payment for all the medical bills from Aliya’s birth, which was pretty amazing to say the least. 18 months, a chunk of change, mounds of paperwork, several appeals, many hours on the phone, and a few miracles later, we can finally move out from under that burden. Fittingly, we also traveled back to UCSF for her evaluation for the birth asphyxia study she’s in. After meeting with the neurologist and psychologist and performing a round of tests for each, they determined she’s not only on par with “the norm”, but may even been advanced for her age. We knew this, but still, it’s always good to hear it from the professionals. We made the trip a mini vacation at the end of our winter break, and it was fun staying in Japan Town, going to sushi for Sarah’s birthday, showing the girls around a little, and enjoying all the fun Japanese designs, art, trinkets, and most of all, fresh mochi with azuki bean! On the way back to Fresno, we spent a little time catching up with our good friends from the old hood in Richmond. Two nights in one hotel room with the five us, and an emotional visit back to the hospital, was certainly enough to challenge our sanity, but it was still a great way to end our winter break. It never felt better to return back home though, with many rooms for us all to seek refuge in.

And today we returned to The Routine. I to virtual piles of work, Keana to school, Sarah to putting the house (and our life) back together (and entertaining Maia and Aliya), Maia to play without her big sister, and Aliya, well, nothing really phases her. She just kept on doing what she did all break: climbing on the table, redistributing objects all over the house, snuggling and chasing kitties, playing, asking “what’s that?”, and just generally being the cutest damn Booshki alive.

As promised…and a little extra

WARNING: This blog post may be boring and disgusting but you might actually like it if you stick with it. For those that don’t have the patience, here’s an outline to assist in skimming:

  1. Following up on Keana’s 5th birthday/visitors (Iana and Olivia)
  2. Easter weekend Part I (The Rogers Gathering)
  3. Projectile vomit (Best Friday Night Ever)
  4. Easter weekend Part II (Rough Start with a Strong Finish)

1. In my last post I said I’d let you know how Keana’s birthday party went, so here it is. Let’s just say it turned out better than we imagined. For one, we thought that only one friend was coming, but it turned out that the other two girls Keana invited showed up at the last minute; we were probably more excited than Keana was in some ways. As a parent you can start to see all those social perils unfolding, even at this young age, of who gets invited, who doesn’t, who shows up, who doesn’t, and what that might mean as far as whether or not they like you, etc. And in this case, there were competing birthday parties that day, so we weren’t sure the best way to explain that one. Keana seemed fine with just having one friend there, but I think deep down inside she was disappointed and Sarah and I felt especially bad because maybe if we had sent out the invite sooner the outcome might have been different. Luckily, in the end, all turned out well. The girls, even Maia and the other 2-year-old, all played really well together and enjoyed our little treasure hunt and piñata. Sarah had to give it a good bashing first though, cause there was no way these five-year-olds were going to even make a dent in that thing. I sat video-taping and laughing wondering how many parties in the world had the same unbreakable piñata. And of course, The Cake. The Cake was amazing. Grandma Jennie picked it up from La Boulangerie and upon request, it was chocolate, and not too sweet, but still rich, moist, and overall scrumdiddidlyumptious (as we say in our house). Our guests stayed from 11-after3 and we were exhausted, but Keana was happier than ever.

The next day, Keana’s actual birthday, was pretty mellow. Keana went to school, though she did try and talk me out of it. They do a special celebration though, and I knew she would be upset if she missed it (all the special attention in front of her peers), so I persuaded her to go. I took the day off work though, and after school we enjoyed some time as a family, followed by Keana’s favorite dinner, roast chicken, and some of that awesome left-over cake. It was a little hard for me to relax because I knew the next day I would fly to DC for NWP’s annual Spring Meeting (where our teachers lobby for funding from their representatives). This trip was also a longer one- I got back March 28 in the afternoon- and when I returned, Iana and her baby Olivia were visiting. Keana had the week off school for spring break, so she and Maia got lots of good time with their little cousin. Olivia is really starting to grab things, roll around, and smile, so I think it was especially fun for the girls. And I’m not going to lie, it was pretty fun for Sarah and I too. Olivia adores Sarah and has the biggest smile whenever she sees her (and a cheerful squeal or growl isn’t uncommon either).

2. On Friday we had a Rogers’ get-together up at Sarah’s Grandma Bev’s house that overlooks Millerton Lake. In attendance were Great Grandma Bev (of course), Great Uncle David (who the girls don’t get much chance to see, but something we’re going to work on), Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin, Tia, and Olivia. It was a lot of fun, but the car ride home was NOT. About two minutes into the 40 min. ride, Maia began screaming and crying and nothing would comfort her. In order to not let the screaming disturb my driving and/or drive me totally insane, I often try to focus on a piece of music or some other train of thought. This particular night, I was thinking how it was Friday night, and once upon time that meant something. It meant around 5 or 6 you would start scheming the entertainment for the night. Who’s around? What’s the dinner plan? Would it be live music after? A movie? A bar then some dancing? Maybe even a night trip to the outdoors somewhere? Now it’s a mad-dash home before the kids melt down, and on Friday, it was already too late. Kid was melting down. Poor Maia was just plain pissed off. After what seemed like hours, we finally arrived home and both kids were hungry, of course. We fed them some left-over hamburger that we brought home and some yogurt, and put them to bed.

3. Then, not long after we got Maia and Keana to bed, Keana called out. I went into her room and she looked worried. Something’s wrong with her throat she said. I began to worry she was having an allergic reaction to something and attempted to assess whether or not her throat was sore or if it felt like it was closing up. I called for Sarah, then had her stand up to see if it was just the position she was in. In the span of three seconds, I saw The Look in her eyes…I grabbed her to move her to the toilet…and…projectile vomit spewed forth on my shoulder, arm, leg, and cascaded onto the cat, who unfortunately happened to be rubbing up against my leg at exactly the wrong moment. The nastiness continued to flow onto the rug, her toys, then eventually all over her little toilet we keep in her room for night-time convenience. Like waves of disgusting it seemed to just keep coming and coming. Oh man oh man. Luckily, after that one blowout of the decade, Keana calmed down and appeared to be completely fine. Sarah and I got to work like a machine, trading off cleaning up the worst mess in recent memory and sitting with Keana to be sure it wasn’t going to happen again. Long night doesn’t begin to define it.

4. Saturday Morning Keana was fine though, and we prepared to head up to “the round house”, a small round house up in the hills near Friant/O’Neals. It’s actually where we got married, so it holds a special place in our hearts. Anyway, Jacque (our current midwife) and Frank Moschella own it, and host an Easter celebration every year there. I guess it’s usually a two-day affair, but this year we just did Saturday. It was great to see all the old family friends and I think Sarah especially enjoyed catching up with everyone and showing off her pregnant belly. Tia (Iana) and Olivia left first to head back to Long Beach and it was almost a teary good-bye. I have to admit, I got a little misty looking at the little chunk-a-munk Olivia, thinking of how much she’ll have changed and grown before we see her again, and how seemingly small and vulnerable she and Iana looked heading out the door to the open road. Anyway, we tried to enjoy ourselves and be conscious of the time, having just endured the same car ride with Maia screaming the night before, and wanting to avoid another terribly long one. Ten minutes down the road, it began. Again, Maia screamed bloody hell practically the whole way home. I put on Kind of Blue and she screamed through So What and Green on Blue (it was on shuffle) before finally falling quiet to Flamenco Sketches. Sarah had to hold her hand too, a deadly combination with the subtle stylings of Miles.

And today. Well, today was not a picture-perfect Easter. Maia was awake from 1 a.m.–3 a.m., followed by Keana waking up between 4 and 5. Needless to say, I awoke pretty grumpy with zero coffee to be found. Maia and I hung out though till 10, which was fine/fun, when Keana and Sarah got up, but Maia and Keana instantly began fighting over Easter bags they got yesterday. Papa growled, apologized, then had to head out for coffee before things deteriorated any further. We finally had our “special breakfast” of Belgium waffles and sausage around noon and the girls went out to look for the baskets that Grandma Jennie had carefully assembled for them, and that I had hid in the backyard. Sarah and I did not rally for Easter this year, so we were especially thankful for Grandma’s collaborative efforts with The Bunny. Sarah and Maia went down for a nap around 1:45 p.m., and after prepping the chicken with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper, Keana and I followed and had an amazing nap. This amazing nap was followed by an even more amazing dinner. Although the day started rough, with a little help, I think it was still a special one for everyone and we’ve certainly ended on a positive note.


Here’s a snippet I wrote Christmas day before “play bath” was over and, in fact, maybe I just need to start publishing incomplete pieces since I seam to be rarely having enough time to write down complete thoughts…

Sitting on the counter in the bathroom. Zooba’s in the bath playing w/ her super cool Little Mermaid water slide thingy. Flounder even squirts water; pretty awesome. Got my Dundee “festive ale” nearby, one of nine holiday brews in my stocking. Mamas and Maia are napping in the room next door. Poor little Scrimesties couldn’t sleep until she took care of her special Christmas poo. But after that “gift” was opened, she crashed like a champ. Uncle Peter’s visiting us for the holidays and he’s keeping Miko company in the living room, checking his email, even though he should probably sleeping. It’s good to have big brother in town, we’ve missed him here at Team Hokama Headquarters.

The festivities basically started last night at Sarah’s Uncle Jim’s house for their annual tamale feed. Scrumdidilyumptious. I matched my record of seven and I wasn’t even too full. Good or bad? Who knows? But the girls were perfect little pre-Christmas Angels and we all had a lot of fun. I think Keana and Maia were asleep by 10:30 with visions of Santa, smooth-sleighing through Fresno’s Old Fig area, ready to drop Team Hokama loot down the brick stack. Peter, Sarah, and I proceeded to wrap presents, a task which had been grossly underestimated. Luckily Peter’s elf-like wrapping prowess was at hand to help guide us through this arduous task. At the last minute I remembered Santa’s treat, and forced down a strangely garlic flavored ginger cookie, leaving just a bite for further dental analysis for proof of Santa, followed by a little milk, followed by a thank you note and a self-portrait; had to be sure the little scrubbers knew who ate their offering. Then we nodded off, finally, around 2 a.m., with visions of the impossibility of sleeping in past 8 a.m., dancing sadistically in our heads.

Keana woke first at a respectable 7 a.m., mostly because she had to pee I think. Maia followed about 30 minutes later, mostly because she was hungry I think. The urge to wake Uncle Peter, and check for evidence of Santa, overwhelmed all parental procrastination and reason around 8…

So I could give more of a blow-by-blow, but honestly I don’t have the patience. If you were involved in our holiday celebrations, don’t take it personally, we loved seeing you:-) Here’s the rundown:

  • 12/19-20, Peterson Christmas: Headed to Great Grandma and Grandpa’s in Los Altos to see my mom’s side of the family. It was really good to spend the night and have a little extra time there. The girls had a blast (as usual) with their cousins McKenna, Cassidy, and Riley. Also met up with Kacie, Larry, and Ksenya for our 6th annual Sagittarius Brunch!
  • 12/24, Tamale Feed: Went to Sarah’s Uncle Jim’s house for their annual Tamale Party. SO good. Stayed up till almost 2 a.m. wrapping presents with Uncle Peter.
  • 12/25, Grandma Jennie’s: Tia Iana, Ryan, and Cousin Olivia came up from Long Beach and we all gathered at Grandma Jennie’s. Great Grandma Bev made a special guest appearance which we all loved (of course).
  • 12/26-27, North Fork: Headed to Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin’s house/cabin-thingy up in North Fork. Really good to get away to the country/hills, and it was fun to have Uncle Peter along for the first time.
  • 12/28-31, I got hit with gut demons (gnarly) but Sarah, Keana, and Maia enjoyed a little R’n’R and extra time with Tia, Olivia, and Uncle Michael. Uncle Peter went back to the bay and Uncle Ryan headed back to Long Beach.
  • 1/1-3, Grandpa Jon: My dad came and stayed with us for a couple nights on his way back from visiting his parents in Honolulu. It was great to see him and Maia kept calling him Grandpa Robert (oops).
  • 1/4, Back to Work: Enough said.

As usual, the two weeks blew by like nothin’, and we’re already two weeks into 2010! In fact, I had to work in Berkeley 1/6-8, so The Ladies came with me and enjoyed some time with good friends Caroiine, Jay, and Sage, and we got to meet up with all our homebirth homies from when Keana was born. (As well as the usual friends from work.) REALLY good to reconnect with bay area.

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.

11 weeks

What better time for a blog update than a hot, lazy afternoon off? We spent the morning acquiring sand (350lbs of it) and building the new sandbox Sarah bought a couple days ago. The girls had been really into digging in the dirt, and we have some relatively wasted space under the redwood, so we thought why not? As with everything, it took longer to build and fill than we thought it would, but it’s great and I can already tell it’s going to be a nice addition to our backyard.

Tomorrow we’ll be spending our first 4th of July in Fresno and will have been here 11 weeks. I can’t really believe it’s been that long, but at the same time that’s not very long at all. I must say I haven’t had any regrets about our move. I am still adjusting to the weather of course- a week of 100 degrees or more isn’t even easy for the natives- and the people are different here, not necessarily in a bad way, but different. Everyone actually seems more friendly and down-to-earth though, making eye contact and saying “hi” in public. Imagine that. The absence of gun fire and sirens is pretty damn nice too.

I think part of what’s made the time fly is how busy we’ve been. Some of the big events I haven’t detailed yet are as follows:

June 6-7:
We headed to Uncle Vic and Aunt Kristie’s in Orangevale for what I’m calling Peterson Clambake 2009.5. Everyone’s so busy on the Peterson side of my family that we usually only see each other once a year, around Christmas, which I think everyone would agree just isn’t enough. So Mom and Sam flew out from Texas and drove up with Peter, Grandma and Grandpa headed up from Los Altos, Aunt Janet bumped over from Folsom, and of course we drove from Fresno. The drive wasn’t bad and when we arrived we were happily greeted by cousins McKenna, Cassidy, and Riley. Keana and Maia were SO excited as they absolutely adore those girls. Uncle Vic and Aunt Kristie have a great house that’s kind of like an amusement park to us. Swimming pool, huge trampoline, chickens, massive garden, play set with swings and a slide, horse shoe pits, and a fire pit. How could we not have fun, right? So we stayed the night on Saturday and Keana had her first sleep-over of sorts, sleeping with her cousins in a studio with assistance throughout the night from now sophomore in high school cousin McKenna. On Sunday we went to this great, private park near their house, came back for lunch and had to the hit the road. But the fun wasn’t over then…

June 7-9:
Mom, Sam, and Peter caravanned with us back to Fresno so they could see our new place and hang out a little before heading back to Texas. Everyone was pretty fried, so we basically relaxed, hung out, bbq’d, and on their last day, Tuesday, we went to the Fresno zoo. It was my first time there and I was pretty impressed. There were these crazy birds that sort of looked like big cranes that were guarding some eggs, and when Peter stepped up on the curb to see them better, they freaked out. One tossed it’s head back and made the loudest sound you’ve ever heard and just about scared us to death. Poor little Maia was especially surprised and for the the entire visit kept saying, “Bird, bird.” in a low, concerned voice, eyes wide, sort of in shock. She still talks about it sometimes. Pretty entertaining. After the zoo we headed to the Tower District for lunch and then had our tear-filled goodbyes as Mom, Sam, and Peter headed back to the Bay Area.

June 21:
Father’s Day. Ahhhh, a glorious day indeed. Maybe not as glorious as Mother’s Day in this world, but a day I do look forward to. On this day we headed to the mountains, Shaver Lake to be exact. We got sandwiches on the way out of town and had a nice picnic by the lake, putting out feet in and hanging out on the granite.

June 26-28:
Iana came up to visit for the weekend and it was fun to see her and the every-growing baby inside her. Ryan’s studying for the bar exam at the end of July, so he had to stay in Long Beach. On that Saturday we headed up to Robert and Cindy’s new place just outside North Fork which was pretty cool. It’s a big house with an amazing view of the mountains and Willow Creek nearby. Robert cooked up some trout he had caught and tri-tip and we put it in tacos for a late lunch. Then headed down to the creek to cool off. There were some small snakes and turtles in the water, so that was pretty cool. Pretty much a little person’s paradise.

So that brings us back to now. It’s 98 degrees outside, creeping up to 104, and I have the day off. Keana’s watching Peter Pan, Maia’s sleeping, and now I hear Sarah digging up a snack. We have air conditioning. We have a sandbox. We have PBR in the fridge and stuff for homemade mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner tonight. Life is good. Life is busy. But life is good.

Happy 4th Everyone.

Fresno/L.A. Christmas: Done! (Oh, and Happy New Years too!)

Is it too late to say Happy New Years? I can’t believe that was almost a week ago! We headed to Fresno on December 26 and planned to leave “early”, but got on the road around 11:30 a.m. As I was saying in one of my recent posts though, Maia is really getting used to our world, and it showed in this road trip. She slept for the first hour-and-a-half and then hung out peacefully in the car until we stopped for lunch in Los Banos. Then we preceded to have a relatively mellow ride the rest of the way. Until this point, we hadn’t had an extended car ride like this where Maia wasn’t screaming the saddest sobs you’ve ever heard for almost an hour. We had a great afternoon with Grandma Jennie and Uncle Michael, and finished out the day by watching Pixar’s Wall-E. We’re probably some of the last people on earth to have watched this movie, and we all thoroughly loved it. It was amazing how much of story could be told with almost no dialogue, something that really appealed to Keana.

The next day we had Christmas, opening lots of gifts and enjoying a generally mellow day, followed by a great turkey dinner, courtesy of Grandma Jennie. Aside from being with family, one of the best things about traveling to someone else’s house for events is not having to worry about food. I feel like many of our days just consist of planning meals and eating, interspersed with sleeping. So with Grandma on all the meals, we actually had time to relax and just play and visit; it was great! Both the girls absolutely love playing with Grandma and Uncle Michael, and Michael is still in school up at Evergreen, and we rarely see him, so it was a treat indeed.

The next day we headed over to Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin’s to keep the Christmas cheer flowing. They are always very hospitable and we can always depend on amazing food and plenty of it. It was great to catch up with them and the girls had fun running around and playing while we visited. We probably could have used a couple more days in Fresno to spend with family there, but we had to hit the road once more for our last stop: Los Angeles.

Getting out of Fresno proved harder than we thought. MIchael took off early for wisdom teeth removal, so we had the house to ourselves to pack up and attempt to find everything to pack. We did pretty good packing and decided to just get breakfast on the road, and as we were putting the kids in the car, Sarah realized she locked her purse in the house and we didn’t have a key. So we called Jennie and luckily she and Michael were almost done, so we went to get a quick bite to eat and gas. Of course the guy at Starbucks forgot one of our sandwiches, so once again, as we got the kids strapped in the car, we realized this and I had to run back in to get the missing sandwich, which hadn’t been made, so it was five more minutes, which is about 2 hours in kid time. During this time Maia had decided this was all bullshit and began to cry. And at this point, none of us blamed her. We headed back to Grandma Jennie’s house and got the purse, and miraculously made it out of Fresno. This did not bode well for our 4 hour trip to L.A. But actually, it was another miraculous day of travel for Maia. She and Keana slept for a couple hours and we made it all the way to Crenshaw without having to stop. We grabbed a quick lunch and headed the rest of the way Seal Beach for Hokama/Uno/Yoshimoto Christmas.

This was the first time the Japanese side of our family was all together since our wedding, so it was pretty special. Auntie Helene and Cousins Helen, Stan, Riki had never met the girls, and Great Nana and Granddad Hokama (from Hawaii) had never met Maia, so it was a momentous occasion indeed. Grandpa Jon made this all possible by orchestrating the rendezvous, and his wife Susan and their girls Grace and Lilli also flew out from Denver. Of course Uncle Peter came down from Santa Cruz, so with the exception of Auntie Julie, Uncle Lance, and Cousin Sasha, we were all there. Oh, and due to crazy schedules we were unable to see Riki, so that was unfortunate too. But we basically hung out in Seal Beach until New Years Eve when we headed to Disneyland for the Keana and Maia’s first visit to the magical kingdom.

Disneyland was in-sane. By 2 p.m. the park had sold out and you could tell on the inside. Lines for rides probably averaged 60 minutes and you could barely walk anywhere. As you can imagine with a one and three-year-old, there were some stressful times, but as a whole it was a lot of fun. We all had to split up because there was no way to keep 11 of us together in that mess, so Maia, Keana, Sarah, and I set out for kiddy rides. We rode King Arthur’s Carousel, Keana rode the Casey Jr. train and the Dumbo ride with Grandpa Jon and Grandma Susie, then the four of us rode the Pirates of the Caribbean, and Storybook Land. Keana really wanted to go into the whale’s mouth and I think she really enjoyed it. Maia did great and was only slightly scared on Pirates. As the day went on, the park seemed to get impossibly more crowded. Somehow we all were able to get a table at the Plaza Inn for dinner, after which our Quadripod had to head home. The girls were so strung out from Disneyland they couldn’t sleep, so they played around in the hotel room to unwind and we rang in the new year with Uncle Peter. What a day.

On New Years Day we headed over to Great Auntie Helene’s house where we celebrated with Helen and her new husband John, Stan, Great Nana and Granddad, Grandpa Jon and Grandma Susie, Aunties Grace and Lilli, and Uncle Peter. It was a lot of fun and we all got caught up, remembered visits to L.A. that Peter and I had had as kids, and played music together. It was really a great time and made me realize how important it was to me to stay in touch with our Japanese roots. Sarah and I both think it’s especially important we make the effort for the girls so they can know about this important part of where they come from.

On January 2nd we hit the road once more, and it took us about 9 hours to get home. A very long drive but very worth it. And so ended Christmas Tour 2008. It’s a ton of work to travel so much with the girls being so young, but the great time we had with all the various family more than made up for it and we hopefully look forward to much more time with family in 2009. Happy New Year and good night!

Peterson Christmas: Done!

If I didn’t already mention this, we have six Christmases this year. You can’t have too many right? Or can you? Anyway, we all met at Great Grandma Jacquie and Great Grandpa Vic’s for Maia’s first Peterson Christmas on the 21st. Maia was around last year, but she was only 3 weeks old—and Keana was sick—so we had to skip out last year. But we were there in full force this year. Keana had a blast playing with her second cousins McKenna (9th grade), Cassidy (6th grade), and Riley (4th grade) and I think Maia had fun too. She wandered from room to room charming everyone in her cute little Christmas kilt. It was the first time Uncle Vic, Kristie, and the cousins had met Maia, so I think that was pretty special. It was a great time, as usual, and we had lots of laughs and of course the girls got tons of gifts. It’s great to have such generous family since we don’t really have the resources to buy Keana and Maia all the fun things they get this time of year. Aunt Janet had to work at 6:45 the next morning, so we all took off a little earlier than usual (around 8 p.m.). It was pouring rain on the way home and both girls fell fast asleep while Mama and Papa debriefed the night.

It was a lot of fun, but just as Keana and Maia were recovering from their flu/colds, Sarah and I picked it up and had tough days on the 21st—though I don’t think anyone really noticed—and yesterday as well. I think we’re all on the mend though, just in time for Christmas and our tour of lower-CA. Next stop will be Fresno for a little celebration with Grandma Jennie and Uncle Michael on the 27th, and Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin on the 28th.

Well, Keana’s been asleep since 7:30 and Maia is finally done unfolding laundry, trying on tank-tops, and rolling around on the ground with Miko, and has reluctantly fallen asleep as well, so I must hurry and enjoy some “free” time (read: update the rest of this website and sort pictures).