Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Yep, I'm injured

Classic plantar fasciitis - heel pain in the mornings, especially in my right foot - and maybe something going on with my left hip/piriformis muscle (maybe my sciatica?? idk, too lazy to see a doctor).  Basically, it feels like the end of pregnancy pains.

These are my feet/cankles after having Isaac.  Yeah,
can see how this sort of thing might mess you up

I had these niggling, annoying pains before the 13k last Saturday.  But now it feels like I'd better take some time off and heal before it gets worse.

Boo  :(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

American Village

All my pictures were erased.  Not sure what happened, but as I was trying to open the pictures the laptop froze up and when I went to try again everything on the card was gone  :(

So just imagine us going out for sushi, trying squid and goya (bitter melon), then walking around American Village at night (big cool ferris wheel! Owen hugging Hello Kitty!)  Oh, and there's a park right by Kadena with these fun wheely slides.

Guess this means we'll just have to go back and get more pictures!  lol

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Perimeter Road Run 13k

On somewhat of a lark, I decided to do the Perimeter 13k on Kadena this morning.  A few nights ago, one of the WOOP ladies said she couldn't do the run and I was able to take her spot.  My thinking: I can do a 5k, so I could definitely do a 10k.  And 13k isn't much further than a 10k, so why not?  Oh, the logic of runners! lol

Me in the back of the pack

Slow and steady was my mantra.  I walked frequently and ate a Gu at the first water stop.  I treated this race like a "before picture" and next year when I'm (hopefully) trained, closer to pre-pregnancy weight, and acclimatized will be the "after picture".

Looking awful as I cross the finish line
I finished in 1:38:46 and set a PR!  (Yeah, it was my first 13k so of course it's technically a PR  lol)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whole lotta shaking!

Well, turns out I was wrong about our first quake in Okinawa

Chris and I were talking in the car tonight (btw, Bikkuri Donkey (Donkey Surprise??) is a pretty tasty place for dinner).  After we moved into our house in Okinawa, I remember being woken up in the middle of the night by what I thought was an earthquake.  I remember Chris telling me something along the lines of "no earthquake here, go back to sleep".  But now he's saying that I'm dreaming things up because we definitely did have an earthquake!

I checked online and sure enough, this website says we had a 5.0 at the end of September about 3:30am.

So that brings my grand total to five - one quake in Oregon (in 2001; we were at the coast during the infamous '93 Spring Break Quake and I didn't feel that one), two Virginian quakes (the main one in August then a 4.2 aftershock in the middle of the night), and two Okinawan.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Toddler cam

I found an old digital camera (we bought it in 2005 so I could email pictures to Chris while he was in Iraq).  It's a POS and ready to be junked, so I gave it to Owen to play with.  He happily ran around snapping pictures around the house.  Here's some of his "art":

Owen's self-portrait;
lonely cow

Toddler fingers in front of the lense;
poor Isaac fussing while I try to get lunch ready

Mom in the kitchen;
Dad says, not bad

Little brother and Dad;
Owen screaming as I take the camera away for the night

The end  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our first Japanese earthquake!

We're north of Naha

We were getting ready to leave for the gym, putting our shoes on in the genkan when I heard the rumbling -- earthquake!

I took the boys outside to our driveway.  Things seemed to calm down for a minute, then the power lines started bouncing around.

Although it was shorter and weaker than the one we had in Virginia, this earthquake scared Owen.  (This was recorded as a 4 in our city and the Virginia quake was a 5.8.)  I got out the sidewalk chalk and he was back to normal.  I'm just hoping this isn't an opening act for a bigger one - eek!

Monday, November 7, 2011

More birthday ball inspiration

Been surfing around Pinterest and watching old episodes of Mad Men - lots of ideas for the Birthday Ball!  If I were cool, I'd totally put together a rad inspiration board.  But I'm not.  Oh well  lol

Can't believe I forgot about this episode!
Been looking for a sleek little clutch like hers, but there isn't a lot of choose from at the PX.  Probably going to end up using an old purse from my brother-in-law's wedding a few years ago (this David's Bridal wristlet in champagne).

I'd love to dress it up with a piece of jewelry, I just haven't had a lot of time to go shopping and find the perfect piece of bling.

Found some pictures of sleek, modern bouffants on Pinterest.  My hair has started falling out en masse (another postpartum symptom that no one warns you about!), so not sure if I'll be able to pull off a look like this when I'm going bald.

I also solved my polish conundrum thanks to Pinterest!  

Fun, funky but still classy!  

Speaking of classy, going to keep my makeup low-key and try for a cat-eye.  

I probably won't be able to create something this dramatic (I've got zero makeup skills).  Gotta pick up some liquid liner and start practicing!

The final touch is jewelry.  Since my gown has a halter that covers my shoulders and chest, I'm skipping a necklace.  I'm not sure if I want to do a touch of sparkle by wearing some gemstone studs or keep with retro look by using some bronze-colored pearls (here's an example, and some others here and here).

Only about two weeks to go!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sorry Nablopomo

It's not you, it's me.  I'm just too busy for a real relationship right now.  I hope you understand, but Nablopomo, it's just not working out.

Maybe next year I'll have the time to sit down and post a daily entry.  But for now, there's wet towels that weren't brought in during the rain storm, boxes literally piled to the ceiling in the tatami room, kanji flash cards and grammar dictionaries taunting me, dishes collecting scum, and most importantly, two little heathens that need kisses.  (btw, Heathen Robert sounds like a good name.  If we end up with a boo-boo, that's what I'll call him  lol)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ice cream!

Since we were right off the 58 today, we deserved a little treat for taking care of the errands...


Ban-pa-co, Sugar Cane, Shiiquasa, Salt Cookie, Ube, and Beni-imo

I decided to focus on the Okinawan flavors than the traditional flavors (ie vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, ect) and get some to take home for Chris to share with us.  (Not all of the Blue Seal flavors are pre-packaged, so there's definitely a lot more ice cream cones to try!)

First up, Ban-pa-co!  The name stands for banana, pineapple and coconut.  Very tropical.

Next, Sugar Cane.  Reminded me of butter pecan ice cream.  Tasty!

Shiiquasa Sherbet - not sure what Shiiquasa means, but it looks like a picture of lemons and limes on the lid. A clean, refreshing taste.  I think I might like this with some vodka or champagne poured over the top a la this recipe (or this one.  Aw hell, it's Friday just pour me a drink already!  lol)

Okinawan Salt Cookie - so good!  Not too sweet, not too salty.  Loved this!

Ube - Purple sweet potato.  A little on the savory side for me.  The color is really fun but I'm not sure if I'd get it again

Beni-imo - Another one of my favorites!  Love how mild it is.  I can't really describe the flavor but want to keep eating it

The nicest part of the ice cream, the waitress packaged everything so carefully.  She even included two blocks of dry ice - which made for a fun surprise to keep Owen entertained!

Owen playing with the dry ice

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kadena vs Kaneda

I keep calling Kadena AF base "Kaneda".  And the only person who gets a nerd-chuckle out of this is probably just me  ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweating it out

So far, I'm not loving the gym on Foster.

I'm giving the ladies of the co-op the benefit of the doubt by saying that the unreliability was from mistakes in October's schedule.  But today's sitter was 15 minutes late.  So annoying!

Today I went to kick boxing class for the first time.  Not feeling it.  There was more dance moves than punches.  It's simply not challenging enough to get me where I want to go.  So I gotta put my big girl pants on and jump into the Warrior Training class.  (It's basically a group Crossfit work out.  My favorite class at Camp Lejeune was Combat Cardio taught by this Jillian Michaels type.  Hoping the Warrior Training is more like that and less like today's Sweating to the Oldies rip off.)

My running has been nonexistent this past week or so.  I absolutely can't stand running on a treadmill.  Hate being stuck on a little hamster wheel going no where.  But with Chris being so busy at work and the lack of a double jogging stroller, I don't have any other options than using the treadmills and the co-op at the gym.  The ad doesn't say, if you feel like it; it says, just do it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We took Owen on his first trick-or-treat!

I decided to take Owen on-base to Camp McTureous instead of trying off-base because I wasn't sure if Okinawans celebrated Halloween by going trick-or-treating.  Although I've seen decorations up around town and my neighbor gave Owen some cookies this afternoon, I know most traditional American holidays get a Japanese twist (eg strawberry cakes for Christmas, women give men chocolate for Valentine's Day).  (btw, jack-o-lanterns do NOT hold up to island weather.  Ours starting rotting/attracting ants right after we carved them.)

The cookies our neighbor was handing out
(Speaking of our neighbor, pretty sure I said "I've heard the cookies are delicious" instead of "The cookies look delicious" (oishii sou vs. oishi sou - darn extra い!!).  Sigh.  One of these times I won't embarrass myself when I talk with her....)

Owen saw the Yo Gabba Gabba Brobee costume at the PX a couple week's ago.  At $25, I couldn't argue.  A trip to The House of 66 Cents for felt, some hand-me-down red shirt and pants, and Isaac was transformed into Muno.

Brobee and Muno with Dad

Owen isn't sure what to think of all the spooky decorations and costumes

Base trick-or-treating was open to all military members and we could get guest passes for our neighbors too.  Students from a local school were invited to participate.  All added up to a busy experience!

The line to get some candy
Everyone was very friendly and we had a great time!  Already thinking about our costumes for next year  :)

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!