It’s been almost seven months since I wrote Babe-in Forever, just before Aliya’s third birthday, and I’m happy to say, Babe-in is still going strong. Not just as an amazing little person, but with her nickname as well. We’ve been wondering on and off how long it will be before she forbids us to call her that, but so far, she’s more than happy to keep the name going.
Our reluctance to let the nickname go, and us hoping she won’t make us stop calling her Babe-in, points to a sort of deeper issue: she’s our baby. The last of three. The only kid in the house left that still has a little baby fat and that way of talking that is so adorable:
She still refers to herself as Babe-in.
She makes up stuff like “Huna Scala” which we have no idea if it has meaning. She’s used it as a name like, “Huna Scala Mama.”
She still has very little concept of time, and it’s getting better, but if you say, “Why don’t you go pee before bed, Babe-in,” she’ll respond, “I went pee last night!”
She still drops her Ls and Rs sometimes, “Riving Woom” for “Living Room.”
We took a day trip to Santa Cruz today as sort of a last “hurrah” of winter break. I think we’re all agreed here at Team Hokama that the beach is pretty much our favorite place. No matter how cold the ocean, the kids are drawn to it and absolutely love running around in it (when their parents forbid them to actually go all the way in due to outside temps).
Since both Sarah and I went to school at UCSC and stayed by the coast for a few years after graduating, I think it will always be a place that feels like home. The whole family is just happier and more at peace there and there’s something rejuvenating about being by/in the ocean. We don’t know when and we don’t know how, but I think it’s safe to say we will live there once again. Mark my words.
We’ve finally (sort of) settled into a vacation groove, and one thing that the girls have really been enjoying is making. Through my job I’ve been exposed to the whole maker movement and it’s such a great way to engage the kids, get some learning in, and create with our hands.
The first project was building a bird house we had on the shelf since summer. Sure, it was a precut “kit” with only assembly required, but it was a great start for Maia and Aliya. They both loved hammering, and Maia especially was really into using the screwdriver. Of course we had to decorate it after, something the whole family enjoyed doing.
I thought we’d get some time to relax after Christmas…and we have…sort of. We’ve had some time to play games together and the girls have really been enjoying all their Christmas gifts—oh, and today we built and decorated a birdhouse that’s been on the shelf since summer—but it’s been kind of stressful for me (and of course when I’m stressed out, it’s not all bubbles and cookies around these parts). I may not have had reasonable expectations as to how much time I’d need to recover from Christmas and visiting with family.
The biggest thing I’ve been struggling with is that it seems that nearly every activity includes some amount of complaining, fighting, disappointment, and/or crying. Soooo, maybe I’m not the only one that needs a recovery period. We sort of tumbled into Christmas break—recovering from being sick, finishing the crazy Nutcracker week, me back from a work trip—into a trip to Sacramento to visit my family and time around here with Sarah’s family. Now we’re floating in non-structured time on a sea of expectations.
It’s hard not to have expectations about what vacation should be: it should be fun, we should have lots of time together, we should enjoy said time together, we should get to sleep in, we should get out town, we should all be more relaxed and rested, and on and on and on. The reality is…something not quite like that…and I’m struggling with accepting this. Yes, there is some fun and maybe a little more down time. Maybe we can get out of town to the mountains for a day, but we really can’t afford to go away for a night or three. I miss the beach, a lot, but maybe that’s not in the cards. Air quality is shitty right now so there are actually large chunks of the day where we need stay inside.
Basically, this is life and I need to get over it—we all do. Tomorrow morning we’ll have a little family powwow and see if can regroup and figure out how to make the rest of this break a little more fun and relaxing for everyone. And I’m going to take an acceptance pill tonight and have a better day tomorrow.
I’m not sure how to put this, exactly, but…we survived our first Nutcracker. Way backin September, when it was still hot and Christmas seemed like a life-time away, Keana auditioned for the Nutcracker. It was her first real ballet audition and low and behold, she got a part as a “little mouse.” This last week was the culmination of many hours of practice, driving, fundraising, and preparation, with four performances in the Central Valley’s Nutcracker.
Sarah helped out behind the scenes throughout the week and I did a couple drop-offs and pick-ups as well. It really was a big time and energy commitment for the whole family, and Aliya and Maia were on the single-parent schedule most of the week. Add to this that we were all sick with a cough/cold, and you have a pretty rough week. Keana was a little nervous, especially not knowing what to expect for dress rehearsals and adjusting to staying up late for the rehearsals and performances. She became good friends with the other three little mice though, so they kept each other entertained backstage. After her final performance today she said that she wished there were more, so I think that’s a good gauge as to how the experience was for her. She’s also excited to audition again, so there you go.
Like just about everyone else, the holiday season is always busy for us. This year, though, it seems even more so. Maia’s birthday has gone on for what seems like weeks now. We celebrated it here at the ned of November, on the day of, quietly, then up in Sacramento with The Petersons after Thanksgiving. Then again, yesterday, with her friends from school. Oh. My. Lamb. We had a house full of about 10 kindergartners and their lovely parents. Throw in a cousin and a couple more from ballet class, and you have the energy for an actual whirlwind.