I remember six years ago, Kaio was one year old and we had just moved into our house (which was a townhouse, actually). I think we celebrated his birthday at Dave and Buster's with some friends, (who didn't have kids). I missed giving my step mom a birthday present for her December birthday and that brought a disproving talking-to from my dad. I barely understood what the big deal was. At that point presents seemed so trivial, like formalities of a world ticking around us. I was so distracted by the moment at hand; working, cooking, keeping alive this little being, that I didn't see the days passing outside of my inbox and diaper bag. "What? It's Christmas?"
The next year things didn't get any better. Leading up to Christmas I was pregnant with Nala. I didn't even want to think about presents because I just wanted to be done being huge. Kaio's birthday passed in November. I don't remember what we did. I think we went to Chuck e Cheese, maybe? I managed to get a present for my step mom's birthday, I think. We didn't have a Christmas tree because Kaio would have climbed up it, but I decorated the doorway of our townhome with multi-colored lights. I sent Christmas packages to my college friends by mid March.
2009, this was the first year we had our own Christmas tree. A potted one from Giant, that we strung a set of blue snowflake lights on and decorated with only two ornaments (a painted tree and a popsicle stick reindeer that Kaio made at daycare). I loved having days off of work to spend with the family. It's amazing to me how much our Christmas time tradition has evolved since that little tree. But that feels like the natural cycle of life with a family, and I know they will continue to evolve, and the number of ornaments on the tree will continue to grow with the years. I wish I could say the tree was still alive, but it didn't make it through the winter. It would have been a sweet gesture. I really wasn't very good at keeping plants alive back then. I remember a friend gave me a Japanese maple tree to plant when Kaio was born, and that didn't make it either. man. I wish I had been more conscientious.
With all the birthdays, holidays and events in November and December, the only reason I even have time to catch up on this blog today is because Nala's school is cancelled this morning due to a 2 hour county delay. I wanted to write. I love going back and reading, so I wanted to write.
Kaio's 7 now, which I think was the hardest birthday for me. I baked a cake for breakfast on the day, sobbing and trying not to tear up into the batter. How did this baby get so big?
She makes things, like she made this monkey into a super hero, with mask, cape and badge. No help from me whatsoever. Just comes up with it.
She plays in a deep world, textured with layers of imagination. I love stumbling upon the scenes she leaves around, like this clay birthday party with a clay bed and clay stuffed bunny toy.
If I ask her about it, she knows what each little clay piece is, "These are some candies, these are some peanuts, and this is a dress."
Mariano became a citizen in an emotional ceremony of 500 new Americans.
The kids found it a little boring, but I know they will remember it and they realize something important happened.
When you ask a kid to take your picture:
We're leaving for Europe in less than two weeks and I'm trying so hard to keep on top of everything like a project manager. So far so good, but it took much planning and organizing. Everyday has a to-do/must-do list.