Sunday, October 30, 2011

So many boxes!

No adventures this weekend, unless you count unpacking spices and sorting linens.  And if you do count those as adventures then I feel very sorry for you, my friend.

At least the movers wanted to keep things interesting for us, like surprise! we wadded up a ball gown up and shoved it into a turkey fryer.  And what's this?  Your Mario Kart disc just thrown into the bottom of a box?  Wheeeeeee!!  Isn't this like playing Where's Waldo but with your valuables??  Ha ha, suckers!

Chris's trip to Bangkok was canceled.  So he gets to spend this week living like rejects from "Hoarders: Buried Alive" with me.  Yay!  (And by "yay", I mean "fml first world problems")

Thursday, October 27, 2011

65 days later

Shipment 2 is here!

Watching the movers un-crate our stuff 

Where to start??
The house is once again piles of boxes and random bits.  But tonight we're sleeping in our own bed again - cannot wait!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Surprise! Our pumpkins were full of sprouts

Owen checking out the jack-o-lanterns

Not the greatest but carved in the 20 minutes between dinner and bathtime

Spooky Isaac

Monday, October 24, 2011

One year ago

Can't believe how much I miss fall!  

It always strikes me as utterly fascinating how much a person can change just by living somewhere different.  You think, oh there's certain things about me that will never change, like my favorite food or favorite season. But change up the scenery a little bit and be amazed at the new details about yourself you'll discover.

In Oregon, the best time of year is winter.  Holidays with family, snuggling by a fire while the rain drizzles down, hitting the mountains for some skiing, white chocolate peppermint mocha's, Chris drooling over the latest batch of seasonal micro-brews.  When we lived in NC, I was a summer girl.  Flip flops and mini-skirts, driving down to the beach, sitting on a porch drinking and laughing with friends, fireflies, lightning storms, getting a gorgeous tan.  Virginia made me a die-hard fall fan.  The beautiful leaves, just enough sun and breeze, light jackets and ballet flats, a break from the ungodly heat and time to savor the days before the snow arrives. 

I also can't believe how far away last October feels.  Chris graduated TBS.  Jason and Erin came out to visit us in Virginia (and surprised us with the news of baby Linnea).  One year ago today, we dropped our friend Chelsi off at the airport when she needed to scout out homes in California and we took a hike in Shenandoah Valley

About 5 weeks pregnant with Isaac.  So tired
that I took a quick nap on the side of the trail!

Owen looking so cute in his overalls

The famous colors

Makes me wonder what Okinawa has in store for us and where we'll be this time next year!

Breast Health Center 5k

Ran my first Okinawan race!

Saturday morning was the Naval Hospital's Breast Health Center 5k.  Chris stayed home with the guys so I got to enjoy some alone time.  This race definitely had a fun atmosphere - families, dogs, lots and lots of pink!  The weather was also beautiful - just enough sun and breeze.  I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera!

Since I'm still on week 7 of the C25k schedule, my plan was to run as close to 2 miles as I could manage then walk the rest of the 5k.  I've been struggling in my regular workouts on the treadmill.  I thought for sure I'd barely be able to run a mile.  Instead, I was able to finish the entire 5k without walking!  Oh, the importance of not listening to the nasty voice of doubt (why is that a lesson I need to keep learning over and over again!  lol)

The course started at Camp Lester's gym, took us by hospital, next to the school and through some of the base's housing.  I kept my pace nice and slow and the next thing I know we're getting close to the finish line.  The last couple of hills weren't easy, I definitely wanted to walk, but I stuck it out and finished running strong!

Not sure how fast I was (no clocks on the course and I didn't have my watch).  I'm estimating my time was around 30 minutes (it was 7:36am by the time I got back to my car and I guessing it took me about 5 or 6 minutes to grab an orange, drink some water then walk back to the parking lot).  Regardless, it just feels good to go from barely being able to waddle my big pregnant butt around the house a few months ago to feeling like I'm getting some of my regular body back  :)

The rest of the weekend was less exciting.  Saturday after dinner, we set out to explore the neighborhood.  We walked down to the major road near our house and went into some shops that caught our eye.  We ended up with the most random purchases - a chocolate pastry, roach traps, a calendar, some alcohol and a bag of Cheetos  lol  Sunday we tried going to the Southeast Botanical Gardens but apparently they're no longer in business and haven't been since last December.  Bummer.  Hopefully some more exciting adventures this week (Sesame Street is coming for a visit on Thursday, so at least Owen will be having a good time!  lol)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ball preview

It's that time of year again - time to start thinking about the Birthday Ball!

To save a little money, I'm reusing a gown from two years ago:

I also found some deliciously tacky shoes in the PX's clearance rack:

I've been breaking them in while I hang up laundry outside - totally makes me feel like Betty Draper!  lol

Speaking of Mad Men, I'm thinking about a retro up-do.  I have a mega-girl crush on Joan Holloway.  I was going to go as her for Halloween last year (making Chris be Roger, of course) but I was too morning sick and exhausted to dress up.

My hair might be too long to pull off a Joan 'do (and I don't have bangs), so we'll see what I end up with.

I need to choose a nail polish.  I think I have it narrowed down to Sally Hansen's Pedal to the Metal (a metallic purple shade) or Sinful Colors' Crystalline (silvery light blue):

I worry the Petal to the Medal will look too conservative/goth-y with the black dress but I'm not sure if the blue is dressy enough for the ball.  Maybe I'll go crazy and do my toes in one polish and my fingers in the other!

Our ball is still several weeks away, but it's so much fun putting together a different look each year  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Foster Fest

This weekend we decided to check out Camp Foster's festival.  The weather wasn't cooperating but we didn't let the wet, gloomy day stop us.

One of the food booths - Chris tried some fried chicken skins

Enjoying rides with Dad
Eisa performance

On the way home from Camp Foster we passed Blue Seal.  I've heard amazing things about their ice cream - we just had to stop!

Mmmm ~ pistachio! 
My scoop of beni-imo (Okinawan sweet potato) - delicious!
A rainbow of flavors ready to come home with me

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yoko meshi

I always feel like an idiot trying to speak in Japanese, especially with the handymen who work on our house.  I'm either left seriously doubting what I said or with l'esprit de l'escalier (thinking of the right thing to say after the conversation has ended).

For example, an exterminator came by to spray for ants today.  I was doing pretty well (I think, maybe, hopefully) explaining that there isn't a lot ants now but there was two weeks ago.  I wanted to show him that the ant's nest seemed to be in a planter/wall of our driveway.  I remembered "niwa" means garden, so close enough there.  But I don't know the word for "nest".  I went with "ari no uchi", which I think means "the ant's house" - but maybe it means "my house of ants"  :S

A couple weeks ago, the boys and I were in the front.  I was working on the garden (aka the weed patch) and Owen was running amok (aka same toddler shizz, different day).  The Okinawan neighbor came over to introduce herself in Japanese.  I was getting the gist of what she saying until she offered Owen some sort of cookie/bread thing and asked if "reizun" were okay.  Looking like an utter dumbass, I asked 「レーズンは何ですか」(what is reizun?)

The second the words came out of my mouth I realized - duh! raisins!!  The one English word in the entire conversation and I don't know what raisins are - d'oh!!

She hasn't tried to speak to me again  lol

I recently came across the Japanese phrase 横飯 - yoko meshi.  Meaning "a meal eaten sideways", it's used to describe the stress of speaking a foreign language.  Perfectly fitting because it reminds me of the English phrase "fuck me sideways" - usually what I'm thinking while trying to figure out how to ask the handyman if the water filtration system can be repaired.

btw, I also came across the phrase 上げ劣り - age-otori, which supposedly means to look worse after a haircut.  I've been hesitant to post pics of Isaac's awful haircut, but in honor of learning new phrases, here it is:

Before: sweet baby shaggy goodness

After: uneven buzz attack
My poor little dude.  Sigh.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Small victories

This week has been all about getting back into the groove of working out and eating right.  May not seem that adventurous on the outside, but to a person who is naturally shy and lazy, lots of bravery required!

First, the kiddos and I are getting settled into the gym co-op.  Getting down to Camp Foster is a bit of a drive (about 35-40 minutes - ug!!  And imagine streets like Powell Blvd in Portland but without left turn lanes and people randomly stopped in the right hand lane.  Now throw in some aggressive taxi cabs that know if you hit them it's your fault no matter what and you'll have to pay for their lost wages - that's my commute.  Good times!)  But the co-op means free childcare while I work out and Owen gets to socialize, so the drive is definitely worth it!  (Here's a post on There She Goes about the co-op if anyone's interested.)

So far, I've only used the treadmills in the gym.  I'm hoping to start kickboxing classes soon (oh lord - my abs are a hot mess!) and eventually get back in the pool to train for some triathlons next year (the thought of putting on a swimsuit is frightening right now).

As far as running goes, I'm just focusing on getting back into running shape with the Couch 2 5k program.  Then I'd like to focus on building a base for a while.  Eventually I want to do marathons again (there's at least the races in Okinawa and Naha that I have my eye on).  For now though, simply getting back to basics.

I've also found a couple of running groups.  The first is WOOT - Women On Okinawan Trails.  The second is WOOP - Women On Okinawa Pavement.  I still haven't been out for a group run yet (thanks to my shyness and the fact that I don't have a double jogging stroller).  But hopefully I'll get out with those ladies soon.

Definitely looking forward to doing some more exploring of this island this weekend  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hiji Falls

 This weekend's adventure - hiking up to Hiji Falls!

The entrance to the trail
Banana spider
Crossing the suspension bridge

The falls
So many stairs!

Owen playing in the stream

Mmmmm ~ soba!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunny days are here again

Feeling better today.  Some sights during our walk to enjoy the beautiful weather:

(btw, the last sign says tea, coffee and tacos! lol)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rainy day.  And I'm sick.  Made lots of tea today and let Owen run crazy in the house

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday shoppers

The weather was not on our side this weekend.  Although the overcast skies and cooler temps gave us a break from blasting our AC nonstop, the lack of sun zapped our enthusiasm for outside adventures.

Inside of beaches or jungles, this weekend's mission was to conquer the local shopping scene and find some home furnishings (specifically, curtains for our bedroom, a table for the kitchen, and, if not too budget-busting, a couch).

Friday night, we hit up San-A (サンエー).  We were actually looking for another store called Make Man (マイクマン).  Supposedly Make Man is at the intersection of 224 and 85.  Ha ha island noobs!  Highway 224 is a loop and crosses 85 in two different spots (as we eventually figured out).  Since we weren't finding Make Man we decided to give San- A a try.  I was hoping San-A would be like a Target, but instead we got a mini-mall filled with clothing stores, an arcade, a bookstore, a grocery section and restaurants.  Unfortunately, we didn't find anything we needed and with the boys getting cranky, we left San-A empty handed.

Isaac in the San-A "baby car" (ベービカー)
We started off our Saturday with a stop at Make Man - at the correct intersection of 224 and 85 this time!  Outside was a wonderful gardening center (they even had lemon trees! Can't wait to add those to our yard) and inside had a little bit of everything else.  Pet supplies, lumber, curtains, bug spray, bath supplies - almost everything needed to set up a household.  So peeved that we wasted our time at Kadena's PX!

They had a limited selection of what we needed for the house (kitchen table and curtains), but we were able to score on other items, like pots for indoor plants.

Owen investigating at Make Man

A persimmon tree

After Make Man, we headed to to Nitori (ニトリ).  Again, so disappointed that we didn't find this place before the PX!  Nitori is very similar to Ikea (the second floor is dedicated to beds, couches, tables, ect and has showrooms set up exactly like Ikea does).  They had an amazing selection of curtains and bedding.  Plus lots of little gadgets for the kitchen and bathroom.  We scored items that are specifically for Japanese homes (like divided trash bin for sorting our garbage and the nets for catching food in the kitchen sink drain).  I have a feeling I'll be visiting Nitori frequently in the future!

That night we went out to eat at a little place called Dragon near Camp Courtney.  Chris has been on me to try more of the local restaurants (he's worried that the staff at Chili's on the Air Force base is going to start knowing us by name  lol)

Sunday we continued the search for a kitchen table at Yellow Box.  Yellow Box carries Ashley Furniture and the furniture stores on base directed us here for a bigger selection.  A huge hassle was their parking lot.  Maybe 15 cars fit into the tiny lot.  There were already 3 cars waiting for spots when we arrived, so we took a chance and parked about a block up the street.  The furniture at Yellow Box was a lot more Americanized than Nitori's.  Big couches, sectionals, beds, and shelves.  Most of the couches were too expensive and too big for our house, but they had a couple good tables we're considering.

We decided to make one last stop before calling it a day.  We headed over to the Aeon near the American Village.  (After we were already driving towards Kadena, we found out that there was an Aeon right next to Nitori - oops)

First stop - Starbucks!

Not sure if Sbux has them in America, but the Apple Crumb latte was delish!  We fought off the urge to destroy the Mister Donuts (mmmmmm - donuts!) and continued on to the serious business of shopping.

Aeon was very similar to San-A.  We didn't find furniture but there was lots of other shopping.  I bought a new pair of shoes (my feet grew about a half size from being pregnant - so much fun having absolutely none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit! ug!!)  Plus a little treat of some cute slippers:

We also came across the weirdness of the Hello Kitty/Elmo mash-up:

Hello Kitty dressing up as Sesame Street
characters and Elmo dressing up as Hello Kitty
Japanese Elmo also comes in a rainbow of colors

We ended the night with some bento from Hotto Motto.  My katsu don was amazing!  (Fried pork cutlet with fried egg over steamed rice with a sweet sauce and onions)

Glad we were able to do a different type of exploring this weekend!