Sunday, October 5, 2014

waiting it out....

I'm sitting here - alone- waiting for Phanfone to hit!  Kent is in Tokyo for his pediatric boards.  and I'll be mighty mad if he doesn't get to take them!  tomorrow is a 'typhoon day" so if he were here- he'd have the day off to spend with us!!!  and if the testing center has to close- we aren't sure what they'll do.  it's a nationally certified medical board exam and there are very specific  rules about the day it can be taken!!
I can't believe the timing of this huge storm.  It's the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane.  which is huge. and It's set to hit Tokyo between 6-8 AM.  literally the exact time he'll be trying to get to his test and get started.  As soon as it's over- it will be a great story.  the time he had to take the biggest test of his life in a giant typhoon!!  for now- it's a little stressful. 

 Luckily - he's with another pediatrician friend from Dayton and they are checked into the New Sanno hotel and all hunkered down for the night.  Send some prayers their way that everything will work out.  
my job is to not have a typhoon baby.  I'd have to give it some outrageous name like 'stormy' or 'phanfone'- and I don't really want to do that.

So- I'm blogging to keep me distracted and pass the time!

I've had these pictures on my computer for a few weeks now and just haven't gotten around to getting them posted.  We had some great adventures yesterday and maybe I'll get those posted during our mandatory stay inside day tomorrow.

A few weeks ago- the base had their annual friendship festival where they invite the Japanese community to come on base and see our planes and eat american food!  the line for the steak and corn on the cob meal was INSANE!  an we were there at 9 in the morning!  It was such a hot and muggy day.  and there were so so so many people.  we didn't stay long!  heat, humidity, and long lines are NOT my thing. 

 the kiddos got to sit in a few helicopters and were happy.

 metta loves to give thumbs up and peace signs- but it still requires a lot of concentration and effort on her part.  it's adorable.
 later that day- things cooled off and we finally checked out Showa Park- an amazing gigantic park nearby.
 the only unfortunate aspect of Showa is how LARGE it is.  we WALKED and WALKEd and WALKED.  next time we'll rent bikes!  the kids got pretty irritated and exhausted until we found the playgrounds.  and then suddenly they had plenty of energy and their legs were functioning perfectly.  I don't blame them.  It was awesome.

the Japanese have figured out so many ways to make slides.  They use every material imaginable.  It makes every park pretty exciting and new.  

and these giant bouncy nets?!   it's like a giant game of spiderman.  so so cool.

 I LOVE this picture.  they had a lot of fun playing with the Japanese kids. look at their faces!! Laughter is a universal language.
this park had some spots that were reminiscent of mayan temples.  never fail- every single place we go- has  ZILLIONS of stairs.  I love it.

look how tropical it is!
 after the nets - we stumbled upon the dragon playground. can you see metta??  these things are HUMONGOUS.

and probably pretty dangerous!  but- super fun.  I'm a very non helicopter type parent so I just think all of these places are pretty neato.

and yet another amazing slide.  we passed this one after we'd already been there for several hours and were finally headed back to the car.  the kids begged to stop and play more!  at this point Kent and I were exhausted.  I can't believe how much energy they have when the fun stuff shows up.

these last pictures are of miss metta early this week. she's done this about 3 times in her life- but this week was the worst. I try to wake her up in the morning and I CAN'T! She will not open her eyes for anything.  she slept until noon this day.

 she does this creepy half eye open sleep.  she's done it since she was born.
 we took the boys to school and she slept in the stroller.  I even went on an hour run!!

I dressed her.  and tried to feed her and get her to use the toilet.
kent came home at lunch to check on her just to make sure nothing was really wrong!  I wasn't terribly concerned- but it was time for her to get up!

he finally got her up and she was just a little groggy.
I think she's going through a growth spurt.  she's been eating like CRAZY, too.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

weekends and COSTCO!!!!

Parenting is tough beans.  definitely the hardest thing I do.  and I feel like I've had a rough couple of parenting days.

Zeb told Kent that I try to starve them while he's at work!  ha!  that one made me laugh out loud.  he's also REALLY good at finding any contradictions in the things I say or do.  It's terribly obnoxious and I have to remind him regularly that I'm the adult :)  He actually told Kent and me that we are training him to be mean to his kids!!  I told him he was right!!  that's EXACTLY what we are doing!  and Ike is a rascal in his own right.  He's our defiant kid.  Just says 'no' when we ask him to do anything he doesn't feel like doing.  even simple things like:"you need to eat breakfast before school".  it's beyond aggravating.  although - I still prefer the mouthy bratty kids to a newborn screaming and keeping me up all night!!  have I mentioned that's coming in three weeks?!  EEEk.  maybe that's why parenting is getting to me this week.  I'm a little anxious.

Luckily metta has been pretty great lately. she doesn't point out my weaknesses quite yet!!  She potty trained herself completely.  I can't believe how easy she was.  and how she'll even keep herself dry at night now.  she's a toilet champ. It was all in a matter of two days. I was keeping her in diapers and pull ups when we went out and about because of the japanese hole toilets and just being busy- but she's totally fine.  no accidents!!

so- this weekend- we went shrine and park hunting.  We found this fabulous shrine super close to base!  we'd passed it weeks ago and finally made the time to go back.  it was huge. and lots more amazing than we could see from the road! We are trying to understand the culture and religious aspects of the shrines here - but there's a lot we still don't get!  I'm always worried about the kids running around and being inappropriate- but there are usually Japanese kids running around doing the same things as our kids so it isn't too bad!!
 this shrine had HUGE LONG dragons winding all over the staircases and the buildings.  the kids really loved them!  Japanese art and style is so unique and so amazing to look at!  and their architecture always includes LOTS of stairs.  which I love.  tires out the kids and keeps us moving.
I LOVE the colors in their buildings.  they are so visually stimulating!  this giant orange pagoda was stunning.

we never really know what all of the statues and idols at all of the shrines are.  This shrine had a huge mountainside covered in miniature statues.  and the people cover them with toys and trinkets and fruits and tea.  We don't know if they are dedicated to the statues- or in memoriam of people.  and the Japanese really truly do LOVE little character and cartoons and anime.  they are EVERYwhere.

here is the huge hillside covered in statues.  
some of them had bibs and raincoats on them!  there were race cars and stuffed animals.  and flowers and food.  

I took a picture of this sign because Kent could read (at least part of) it.  It says something about 'hand wash and toilet exist to the right'.  At least that's what I think he said.  Kent is pretty amazing with these kanji.  Every time we go out- he astounds me.
oh- and speaking of Kent.  He's got his pediatric boards a week from today!  so send out some prayers for him.  I know he'll do fine!  but I think he's a little stressed :)

there was an entire complex of buildings here.  We don't really understand the significance of each building.  some are obviously dedicated to different Gods or entities- but we don't really know why or who.

The colored dragons are so amazing.  I'm really learning to love the Asian flair to things and can't wait to buy some great stuff for our house!!

I definitely want a giant buddha belly in our house.

 check out this building!!

zeb and ike under a dragon!

One large main building had a ceremony going on inside.  there were people chanting on the loudpeakers and the gongs were being gonged (is that a word??!).  People walk around the big building and roll their hands along these metal turning lanterns.  Other kids and families were doing it- so we gave it a try, too.

fall is just starting here and I couldn't be happier.  the humidity is almost gone and the air is crisper and cooler.  I can't wait for the leaves to change colors! and we lucked out with such a cool weekend on the volcano eruption day!  we had shut down our A/C units to prevent ash getting sucked in!  we didn't really even get anything. I was kind of hoping for a snow fall of ash but the winds died down and the ash didn't ever accumulate here!  the volcano that erupted  was a couple hundred kilometers away,


after our long day- we celebrated a little more of our ten year anniversary with putting the kids to bed, some takeout from "taj mahal" a new delicious indian restaurant we found with the world's friendliest owner who gave us all free "mango lassy", and a viewing of the latest episode of project runway.  even with crazy kids and hard parenting weeks- I'm happy to be married to kent!

and I totally forgot about all of these pictures from last weekend!   we made our first trip to COSTCO  when kent was on call.  I think it will be our 'call weekend' tradition.  Kent can't go further than 20 minutes from base- so costco is just about the exact distance. and it was so welcoming!  I felt like I was wandering the aisles in Utah with my family! it's the very same costco as in America!

well- except for the octopus:

oh, and the american ice cream is 17 dollars :)

and the pizza is covered in shrimp.

they do have LOTS of samples, though :)  we even ended up buying these udon nooodles!

but check out the line for the dessert samples!  and you thought the sample lines in Utah County were bad!! but the japanese people wait so politely in these long lines for their free taste :)
But, seriously- the store is very comforting and feels so familiar!

and lunch was lovely!!

the coolest part is the grocery cart escalator walkways.  They have them at ikea, too.  they are ramps to and from the parking garages that fit the grooves of the cart wheels so you don't fly down them!

 hooray for costco!! and their free samples.  and pizza and hot dogs.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

happy anniversary

Ten Years!!
we made it to the big 1-0.  and honestly, I can tell you it's been lovely! 
stellar. fabulous. fun. exciting.  and all around wonderful.
I can truly say that marriage is the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  and I've had lots of wonderful things happen :)
  Kent and I met in high school anatomy and physiology and became best friends almost instantly.   
After several years apart in college and on missions- we decided we wanted to be 'more than friends' and were married within a couple of months.

I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have found somebody so amazing as Kent.  
We are as opposite as can be and compliment each other perfectly.  
Had we looked forward ten years from the day we were married to today- I'd have to say we are exactly where we would have hoped!  we are so blessed.
every day has been an adventure and I haven't been disappointed yet :)

to commemorate ten years we decided to put our marriage to the ultimate test and see if we were willing to try for another ten:
So... we packed up our house and moved around the world to an opposite time zone with three young kids, a pregnant leisy, and kent preparing for one of the biggest exams of his life.  and just for good measure we bought four semi large pieces of Ikea furniture to put together as a couple!

and we made it.  without a single marital hitch.  no yelling about nails or screws.   no freak outs when we were up in the middle of the night with three kids.  no hormonal breakdowns from leisy.  We'll see if kent passes boards in a few weeks (I'm not worried!), and we'll let you know about kid #4 shortly after that.  But, so far- we are looking good.  I think we'll stick with it for another ten.

We've also been celebrating all day!
we went to a very fancy childless lunch at this super fun french restaurant called St. Marcs.

I only got pics of some of the food- not us!  but the food was divine.

and the most amazing part of the entire meal was the bread.  I LITERALLY ate 12 rolls! the servers walk around the entire meal with baskets full of steaming hot fresh french rolls and breads.  and they are ALL different.  here are just three of the many.  I could have stayed another hour just to eat more carbs :)  the croissants were the softest and flakiest and freshest I've ever tasted.  I want to go back.

we've spent our evening trying out new flavors of kit kats.  we celebrate big :)   pumpkin and strawberry were on the menu.  I preferred the pumpkin.  Japan seriously never disappoints.  Ever day is an adventure!

Really- being married makes me the happiest girl in the world.   I can't wait to see what our next ten years will bring.  

муж-  тебя люблю!