Sunday, September 24, 2017

Watch What I'm Wearing

Sorry guys I've been really slacking on my fashion posts.  We are still living out of suitcases and will be for the next couple of months.  I've just been rotating between the same three outfits that I've posted on here several times.  Please link up, I need to see your fun outfits while mine are so boring.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Beach Bubbles

One cool thing about Japan is that there are beaches everywhere.  The Navy Base is right on the coast so water is everywhere, even more so then when we lived in Bremerton.  We went exploring to look for different areas to live and found a beach.

We didn't find any houses, but we did find an area that was pretty nice.

There was this guy making pretty cook bubbles.  I wasn't sure what he thought about the kids running up to him popping all the bubbles, but after a few minutes he handed a bubble want to Leon. We had this whole interaction with a Japanese guy on the beach without talking.

I almost stepped on this bug, it looked just like a leaf, but it jumps like a grasshopper.
Let me just take a minute to complain about the bugs here.  I got some serious bug bites.  They puffed up really big and itch so much worse than anything I've had before.  Penelope got them pretty bad also and we have been putting on anti itch cream ever since.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Train Ride

A friend invited us over for dinner last Sunday so we got to go on our first train ride.  Scarlett actually went to preschool with one of their children back in Bremerton.  We knew their family a little bit from that, but now that we are both out here is has been great to see familiar faces.  Plus they were really helpful with any questions we had before coming out.  Anyway, we didn't have train passes so we stopped at the station.  Wait I should amend that, everyone except for Bob didn't have train passes, Bob saved his from 6 years ago and still had money on it.
The kids were kind of going crazy on the platform while bob tried to talk to the worker to figure it out.
We heard everyone school aged needed a pass, but after using it lots of times we found out that was actually 7 and up, so we were wasting our money on Scarlett.  We also found out that we needed passports for the kids to get a kid pass.  So we just got tickets for the train and back and went and got our many use reloadable passes the next time we were at the train stop.  The train is about a 15 minute walk from base, but we are on the opposite side of base.  So getting there usually involves us waiting for the bus to pick us up from the lodge and drive us to the gate, then the short walk to the station.
We had a talk about what to do if you don't get on the train and everyone else does and then we were off.
The kids liked to stand up.  We also had a big convo about how no one is allowed talking on the train.  It is considered rude to talk or be loud on the train.

Then the short walk to our friends house.  Their neighborhood is cute and close and I'd love to find a house there.

This next one is just a picture from near the train station on a different day.
And of course a fish from the bet store.  Why not share a picture of it?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blue Street and Aeon Mall

A couple days after getting here we decided to venture out in town and walk around on what everyone calls Blue Street.  On first impressions the kids did not like it.  It is crowded and smells.  Kind of a mixture of people smoking and all the restaurants.  I don't think it is so bad, but it is definitly noticeable.  I could probably get used to it but at first the kids were not impressed.
We walked around and looked in the windows of a few places to eat debating if we should stop.  The kids really didn't want to.  Bob wanted to stop and eat, I would have tried it but I was leaning with the kids.  We ended up going back to the commissary and buying lunchables for the kids and sushi for Bob and I.  The kids all really loved it.  We let them buy the biggest coolest ones that we normally don't get.
The reason we went out in town was really to meet with real estate agents.  We have been busy trying to find a place to live.  It is hard!  We basically want to try to find something in biking distance that is 1600+ square feet.  One agent actually laughed and seemed genuinely shocked when we told her this.  Usually the bigger places are farther away from base, but Bob wants to ride his bike and I've heard that we will be driving back and forth to base like every day, so we want it to be close.  In Washington I think most people would consider 1600 small for 7 people, here is not the case.  One real estate agent was showing me the apartments and saying how that is a good size for one military man, or one whole Japanese family.  

The real estate business is different out here because agents only show their houses.  Meaning we have to meet with different agents to see different houses.  This map shows the area pretty well.  We would like to live in zone one or two if possible and would go out to the edge of three if it isn't too hilly or too much traffic.  Oh and we also want to find a place that is close to the train stop.  Houses that don't have a train near by are not as valuable because many people don't have cars.  The Naval base is all yellow on the right about halfway down.

On another day we went to the nearby mall.  There is literally one just outside one of the base gates.
Hello kitty is big out here.
I have no idea what this vending machine says but the girls wanted to do it.  Some stores have lots of toy vending machines.
We stopped to go to the bathroom and it was kind of funny.  So most places in town seem to have some combination of "Western toilets" like we are used to but sometimes even fancier with seat warmers and spray options or what I like to call squatters.  This was their first time seen a squatter.  Scarlett walks into the western toilet on the left shuts the door and goes to the bathroom Penelope following just behind walks into this on the right, backs up and goes "huh?"  It was funny because to her it seemed like Scarlett went right into one of these and went to the bathroom.

I want to get everyone used to using these so we don't have to make the bathroom lines longer because we will only go into the one western toilet.  I haven't tried it yet, mainly because I always am carrying Calista and that just seems too hard.
The grocery store is in the bottom floor of the mall, something I learned last time we came to Japan.
We really didn't have anything to buy and were just walking around.  All of the sudden Scarlett had to go to the bathroom sooooo bad (this must have been much later from the squatter incident).  We did not know where the bathroom was and she was wiggling all around.  Calista was hungry and crying so things got stressful quick.  Bob was looking up on his phone how to ask in Japanese where the bathroom was and we were all just wondering around debating if we should just quickly try to go back to base and looking for a bathroom at the same time.  After about five minutes of that bob said just a minute and walked down the isle to find an employee.  Next thing I know he was gone.  We turned back to find him but couldn't.  Now I was really stressed.  I seriously couldn't find him and was just looking around with five kids in a foreign country, one crying hungry baby and one about to pee her pants.  A couple of minutes of that and Bob found us.  According to him he spoke Japanese so well the employee didn't question him at all and just got up and started walking him to the bathroom.  He didn't know how to say wait or anything so he just had to follow her to the bathroom.  Then he couldn't not go in after they walked him there, so once she left he came back, found us and we took Scarlett to the bathroom.  There was even some chairs nearby, so I sat down and fed Calista and the crisis was over.
The view over the water is pretty.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Calista Rolls

Calista can roll over!  She doesn't do it on purpose, but she did it three times in one day and a few times since so maybe in a little while she will do it on purpose.  Check it out.

She has also been really into toys.  She loves to try to grab them.  She even gets so excited to try to hold one that she shakes a little.  It is funny.  She tries to hard to wave them around and use her arms and she gets mad when she drops them.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Base Life

Military life is pretty different than I'm used to.  Everything seems to be based off your rank or your husbands rank.  Random forms that we fill out ask for the rank or sometimes the command.  I didn't even know these things until I got here.  Everything also has to be done through the sponsor, or Bob.  I couldn't even sign up for a library card.

We all stayed on base for a couple days just getting used to things.  When we did venture off I had to get a pass so I could get back on.  In fact one time I left base without my pass or Bob and he had to come meet me off base with my pass so I could get back on.  It was a strange feeling to be stuck on the outside.

Here is Tucker testing out the headsets at the Nex.  If you want to buy anything non food is will most likely be from there.  I spent hours online trying to buy kids clothes only to find out they wouldn't ship to me.
One exciting thing about staying in the lodge is the food money we get.  Because Bob has such a big family, while living in the lodge we get over $200 a day to spend on food.  We have to turn in receipts and we can't keep any extra money.  So pretty much every day we go out to eat and then go to the grocery store and buy all the expensive food items we never buy.  It is so fun!  The kids love it too.  We are normally pretty stingy with what we spend so this is a real treat!
Our lives have been ruled by the bus schedule.  It comes about every 40 minutes and makes a big loop around base.  Mornings and nights there is one that goes the other direction making things much easier.  So all our grocery trips need to be based off when the bus can pick us up, and we can only buy what we can carry on the bus.  
After church on Sunday someone was very nice and offered us a ride home, not a small task considering we take up 7 seats.  But I was talking to someone who lives right near the Lodge and she said you have to either leave church a couple minutes early to catch the bus or wait around for about 30 minutes.  I'm sure we will end up waiting because I can't see me going around to all the kids primary classes pulling them out 5 minutes early every week.

It has been an adjustment for the kids to get used to the bus.  There has been lots of fighting over seats.  I keep trying to teach them to be quiet on the bus.  We have also missed stops and sometimes pushed the button letting the driver know we wanted off when we didn't' really want to get off.  That's happened more than once and it is always embarrassing and not always the kids fault.

 There are tons of playgrounds on base.  I think every living tower has one.  They are pretty cool too, and not ones that the kids are used to.  I think I've been to over 10 already.

Japan Flight

I still can't believe we moved to Japan!  The whole thing is kind of surreal.  When we first agreed to go I had no idea how it would all work out and how how to move to Japan in general.  But things just happened one step at a time.  The flight itself seemed like the last step in our moving journey.  In actuality it was probably closer to a middle step but that is ok.
I never really as nervous to come, ok maybe a little bit the night before, but just a little.  I think I was so calm about the whole thing because we've been to the same town before.  It was just a month but I felt like I had a good idea of what things would be like.  The morning of my parents drove us to the airport.  We filled up their car and ours with our 12 bags and 4 carseats.  Then after multiple trips bringing everything in they left and we were on our way.
The kids were so excited for the flight!  They had special treats and activities for the plane and so they couldn't wait.
First Japanese meal.
Our seats ended up being really good.  Scarlett, Calista, and I sat in the front bulkhead row so we had plenty of legroom.  Calista never used her seat, but I had a nice spot to put all my stuff through the ten and a half hour flight.  After take off the flight attendant came and set up a bed for Calista.  Here you can see it attached to the wall right in front of me and Scarlett.
She ended up sleeping about 6 hours straight!  I did feed her once in there but she went right back to sleep.  It was amazing!  Scarlett learned to just the screen and we both just watched movies the whole time.  I think I fell asleep for about 10 minute during Pirates of the Caribbean, but that was it.  Scarlett slept the last two hours.  The hadrdest part was probably that I did get a bit tired holding Calista but she never got upset or anything, and one time Scarlett spilled her large box of nerds everywhere.

Bob was in the very last row sitting next to Leon.  He had a space next to him and Penelope and Tucker sat right in front of him with a space between them.  Everything seemed to go really well for them also.  Bob did say he had to help them getting their shows started periodically throughout but that was it.
After arriving we hung out at the airport for what seemed like a long time.  We were exhausted and had to wait for the bus.
Check out all our stuff!
We got to the Navy lodge around 7 and went to bed pretty quickly after that.  People started waking up at 2am that morning and everyone was up by 4.  We slowly got adjusted to the time and stopped waking up at 4 in the morning.  We started letting the kids stay up late at night in hopes that they would sleep longer in the morning.  It worked.  By Sunday (one week) we were pretty well adjusted and I had to wake the kids up in the morning to get ready for church.  When I say we I don't mean Calista, she had been really struggling this whole time.  I feel like I feed her all night long and hold her all day long.

For now we are living in the Navy Lodge, which is a hotel, and looking for something more permanent.  We are also looking for a car.