I never knew how drawn I'd be to a dusty desert until going to BM. The landscape is beautiful, and is one of the top things that draw me there. I love the dust storms, the colors, the smell.
This video captures some of that beauty.
I hear it rained and gates are closed. Dav's been there several days now inside, while many have to patiently wait outside for gates to reopen. I admit now I'm jealous of Dav. I love arriving early (to set up a theme camp) and savoring those few days before the huge crowds arrive. Before, arriving on Monday would suffice, and the parties started on Wednesday. Now, on Monday things already seem full on. So I'm jealous that Dav had not only a few early days before gates officially opened, but he's got a few extra days of the calm where neighbors really meet and enjoy each other, and there are a few smaller parties but consisting of theme camps set up crews or artists. And especially to be there when it rained and stormed with lightening...
Dav left for the playa last night; I'm staying home with the kids since I went last year with my brother. He's going early for the "Harajuku" camp he's part of, but even earlier in case our unpredictable monster RV has yet more problems and he needs to fix it in Reno. So far all is good!
I miss him already, and I'm sick with a bug, so had been feeling particularly sad. BM is where we got married. This Wed (we use Wed at BM as our anniversary, no matter what date it is) will be our 9th!
And just now, someone rang our doorbell and delivered this beautiful bouquet. With a love note : )
Delayed but we pulled off a perfectly Tesla bday party. A private horse riding session thanks to our Auntie June in Pacifica, followed by a sleepover. Dav was in NC; I thought I could handle all. Luckily Michelle helped tons, and Lizzie came over to help for the sleepover.
As soon as we came home from horse riding, the gals were ravished. I cooked as fast as I could while they milled around for food. 1 min into dinner, Aila promptly spilled an overfilled cup of milk all over the table and onto the floor. Next I had to be a dictator about what movie to watch, then while snuggle bedtime was at 9, I monitored whispering til 11:30! I was veritable shushing old lady to get them to settle down. Aila slept amongst the 8 year olds. Then, at 6am, they woke up and squealed about the sunrise while I tried to crack open my eyes.
Mama tired, but T said, "best birthday ever" so worth it. Many thanks to June, Lizzie, Rachel, Michelle in helping out the weekend while my gas was running low.
T has taken a lot of horse riding lessons so got to ride on her own. Aila never has, but by sheer personality, got on the small, then the biggest horse, and while the horse was led, she was on the horse by herself.
[pic is Tesla's "Welcome Kitten" sign on our sidewalk.]
I've been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Not living with animals is just weird for me. They bring a special dimension to daily life. When beloved Kats and Waka passed away, we decided to wait until Aila was a bit "stable" as in we could ask her to be gentle etc.
And today, tada! We have 2 new members of the Yaginuma family. We almost got 3, but my practical side won.
No names yet. Spanking new sibling kitties. Per SPCA advice, we are keeping them in our smallish bathroom to first settle in. But they already show a socialness and openness that I had to cultivate in Waka and Kats for like 2 months before I got to touch them. I've already recieved kisses from these ones, and they totally let Aila hold them too. I'm pleased to bits that we have 2 cats who are part of our family now.
Aila's birthday is May 20th. We did have a party! I'm just late posting about it (so I can later show her that many people celebrated!)
I can't believe my baby is 3, and just months away from entering preschool. I vividly remember Tesla's first day at preschool. It was such a shift not to be with her during the day, her creating bonds with other kids and adults, creating a whole new world on her own. And now Aila will take that step. Time really really zoomed by. I treasure all of it, and I'm so happy she is part of our family.
The bounty: it's fun to see her delighted, knowing everything is just for her : )
When the cake came, she was so serious. We sang the regular birthday song, then finished with the Callaghan traditional addition. T knows it well. Aila is certainly learning it.
I love this pic of Lizzie and Jonathan, doting on Aila. They made a necklace for her.
Three generations of the Callaghan family. Every week, Aila spends a full day with her grandma Marie and great-grandma Maria. Tesla did too. This is the reason I didn't send Aila to daycare. We very are lucky.
My brother and I skyping my parents in Japan to include them in the merry making:
Before I started my new job, I took Tesla out of school for a mommy and Tesla day. I had full support of her awesome teacher who gave me a wink-wink, because he knew how happy it would make Tesla.
We started by a horse walk down by the beach since Tesla loves loves horses. T has taken lessons before so she got to ride all by herself. My horse kicked hers when we were on the beach, and there was a little bit of galloping. I was impressed that T kept her cool and quickly regained control.
Much to catch up on since the move, but we're slowing settling in. Now that we have hardwood floors throughout the house (a big positive yay!), Aila has been riding her tricycle around in the house. Recently, I found her using her lego car parts for makeshift roller skates, so we went to go buy her a set. She was so pleased to have knee pads too, and basically wore the gear all the time, even for sleeping.
She's pretty good hobbling around the house on her skates now.
Exploring the Mission: there are times when I'm walking around with Aila (usually on errands), and stop to appreciate simple moments like walking down Mission in San Francisco. City girl : )
Bonus: Aila wanting to be "baby" so Gran Marie made a comfy napping basket for her.
When we moved (another blog post that's coming), Aila found her old elephant outfit in a box, and took a new liking to it. It barely fits her, but she loves it. However, when she wears it now, she becomes rather annoying, so we started calling her Aila the Annoying Elephant when she's in it.
But then...refusing to eat dinner until dressed:
When I had to take her to school with Tesla one morning, she refused to leave unless as an elephant. Fine. But she wailed all the way there, and when another small child tried to comfort her, Aila said, "don't come near me, go away!" At least I got a sweater on her.
Another morning while Dav was trying to eat breakfast, she demanded some attention.
That's some character : )