Musings of a Marine Wife

Income Tax Purchases

The Bagpiper and I enjoying a dance.

The 1940s Sweetheart Dance was tons of fun.

Everyone looked amazing, and though I didn’t wear the heels all night, I did get a few compliments on them.

The Marines all looked handsome in their uniforms and Cupcake was very well behaved so the night was a big success.

I got to dance with Bagpiper a few times, even though he was running back and forth onto the stage to run sound. It was nice to be able to dance a couple of songs with him.

Yesterday I was so lazy. I kept meaning to do dishes and laundry, but it never got done. I just kept pushing it off until finally I just gave up on trying to clean and declared Sunday a lazy day of doing nothing productive.

Bagpiper was more productive than I was. He bought a riding lawn mower with the income tax money since our yard is a bit on the large side (and because he’s always wanted one) and yesterday he got to test it out.

I’m pretty sure that mowing the lawn on a riding lawn mower while drinking a beer was on his bucket list, so that’s something he can cross off. He had way too much fun doing the lawn…

Bagpiper was off today and is off again tomorrow, which is nice.

Today I went walking with a friend and our daughters. It was really nice (and definitely motivating) to meet up and walk around base pushing our strollers and having a nice chat. When I got home I ordered my jogging stroller. Bagpiper agreed that since he made a big purchase for himself, I could make one too. It’ll probably be about three weeks to a month before it arrives, but that’s OK. I can’t wait til it arrives!

Since the jogging stroller I decided on was only $135 on Amazon (much cheaper than other brands that were upwards of $300), I’m also ordering (finally) the Knit Picks interchangeable harmony set. SO MUCH FREAKING SQUEE. I’ve always wanted this needle set.

I love income tax season.

 


Amazing heels and an angry strawberry Cupcake.

Tonight the Bagpiper has a gig that’s 1940s inspired.

I found out about this kind of at the last minute, so it didn’t leave me with enough time to order an awesome vintage-inspired dress online. Instead, I’m making do with what little I can find around me: a khaki pencil skirt, a black top and some amazing heels.

It’s a little hard to see, but those heels are a lilac-purple with a cream trim and big fluffy flower bow. So awesome. These are half a size too big, but that’s an easy fix. They didn’t have my size available and come on. I couldn’t NOT get these. Only $40, too!

So that’s tonight, so hopefully I can get a lot of pictures taken, cause I’m kind of excited. The uniform the Bagpiper is wearing reminds me of the WWII type uniforms so he’ll look super handsome.

I’ll be bringing Cupcake with me (since it’s probably too late to find a sitter that I trust/know and she’ll be asleep for most of it anyway). I have a cute little dress for her to wear and all I need is to go buy little white tights since it’s a little cold out.

Speaking of Cupcake, yesterday was her two month wellness check up. She’s definitely grown! Right now she’s at nine pounds and seven ounces and is 22 inches long. She received four vaccinations yesterday too. One was oral and the other three where shots in her chubby thighs.

Angry Strawberry Cupcake is still not happy about receiving those shots yesterday...

She cried so loudly. I’ve never heard her “I’m in pain” cry before and it broke my heart. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got teary-eyed at the sound. After about 10 minutes of cradling her, she calmed down and was pretty quiet for the rest of the evening. Her next check up isn’t until four months, and she’ll receive the same set of immunizations then too. I’ll probably also schedule that check up so that Bagpiper can go with me.

The rest of the weekend is going to be spent cleaning house, because the mess definitely piled up this week. I used all my extra free time knitting, reading and writing, so housework got out of control. I did manage to do all the laundry though (that was on the day of the poopy panda shirt, which, by the way, is clean and good as new). Bagpiper did the dishes this morning (go him!) so all that’s left are the bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathroom, floors and the lawn.

Bagpiper bought a riding lawn mower, so I bet he won’t mind doing the lawn tomorrow…

…I still can’t believe he bought a riding lawn mower. Whatever. I’ll remind him of that when I buy a jogging stroller and a set of Knit Picks interchangeable needles.

Monday I start Couch to 5K….but more on that later. I need to take advantage of the fact that Cupcake is asleep.


Adventures in Mommyhood: Poopy Panda

Today was one of those days where I really got a glimpse of what being a mother is all about.

Cupcake and I had a pretty relaxing, yet productive morning. She slept most of the morning, so I took the time to get all the laundry washed and folded. By lunch time she was awake, so we had our lunches (and Bagpiper came home for lunch too, which is always nice). As she was being burped, she spit up on her clothes, so I took her to the changing table and put her in a onsie. RIGHT as I get the onsie over her head, she spits up again. On the onsie.

So I get a new onsie and put her in that. Then she took an hour nap. Afterward, I held her while I sat at my computer and watched “Ghost Whisperer” on Netflix (I’m so addicted to this show).

She’s being calm, just enjoying being in Mommy’s arms, when suddenly, I smell poo. OK. So she pooped. No big deal. I get up and take her to the changing table. It’s when I set her down on the changing pad that I realize that the poop not only leaked out of her diaper and soaked her onsie, but it’s all over my shirt.

If this doesn't wash off, I'm buying a new one. >.<

Let’s repeat: There is POOP all over my v-neck PANDA shirt.

POOP. Panda shirt. JUST BOUGHT IT A WEEK AGO.

Thankfully, it did not go down the v-neck part and onto my boobs, but still. Gross. So I carefully take off my shirt and toss it to the ground. Then I carefully take off her onsie and toss it to the ground.

So here I am, in my bra, changing the baby while our poo-stained clothes are on the floor.

Bath time (for her, not for me. I don’t have time at this point, and I decide I’ll just take a shower when hubby gets home). I throw on another shirt. It just happens to be a v-neck as well.

After that, the rest of the afternoon went pretty smoothly.

And then Bagpiper comes home and decides that today of all days he wants to try to motorboat me cause I’m in a v-neck shirt (is this tmi?). I fall to the floor laughing and then tell him the poo story…

So yea. That’s was my day.

 


Exhausted.

Today has been one of the longest days ever.

Had to take the dog to the vet on base to get her bordatello vaccine so that the groomers would continue to see her. This may not seem like a big deal, except that the vet on base apparently only does vaccincations on Wednesday and only as a walk-in. Yea. I know. Doesn’t make ANY sense.

Because this would be trying enough if were just me and the dog, I enlist the help of a friend because Me + Dog + Baby = disaster waiting to happen. So I was joined by a friend and I am eternally grateful that she was with me, cause wow.

We arrive at the vet just before they open (10a). There’s already a line about 20 people long. This line is out the door. So we’re out the door. We sign in and stand in the back (there are no seats available). After about an hour of waiting, we get seats. Baby is asleep for a lot of this (thank goodness), but of course at some point she gets hungry. I feed her, burp her and then go into the one bathroom to change her.

Oh. There’s no changing table.

I leave my friend with the dog so that I can change the baby in the car.

We waited a good FOUR HOURS before they finally saw us in the exam room. FOUR FREAKING HOURS.

While in the exam room the vet techs ask if I want to give Sushi some other shots cause she’s due for them in April. Not wanting to go through this ordeal again, I agree. They quote me a price, I say yes because I’m POSITIVE I have that amount in my checking. But then they had to give the dog some Benadryl, and neglected to tell me that was extra money, so then my card didn’t work because I didn’t have those few extra bucks in my account (silly, stupid me did not think to transfer money before I left this morning).

The vet is nice and says I can leave the dog, go get money and come back because they don’t close until 4:30pm. I’m about to do this, when my AWESOME FRIEND says she’ll pay and I’ll just pay her back later. So she pays. I’m SO grateful for not just her help today, but for that too because I really did want to go back to Foster just to come back to Kadena and the vet. So she pays and we hit up the Burger King drive-thru because neither of us had breakfast and it’s now nearing 3pm and we are starving. We get huge Whoppers with cheese and bacon, and basically have the most orgasmic lunch ever.

Afterward, we hang out at my house for a while because the husbands are not off work yet. She crochets Cupcake a cute pair of red booties to match a little dress I have for her.  She leaves and I decide to nap (Cupcake is knocked out in her crib by now — she had a long day too!). Just before 7pm Bagpiper calls and I go pick him up and we pick up some more fast food (cause I was not cooking today) and now here I am. Exhausted and sleepy.

Tomorrow I relax as much as possible. Maybe get some laundry done cause I’m running low on clothes.

Friday is Cupcake’s 2 month check up.

Next week I start a new work out program with a group called WOOP (Women on Okinawa Pavement). It’s Couch to 5K (C25K), and I’m going to be walking/running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Friday with the Stroller Warriors group) and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll do my Zumba.

Here’s hoping I  have no more long days at the vet and also that I can keep up with the work outs.


Happy Valentine’s Day!


Moved.

Finally!

We’ve moved to on-base housing and love it so much more than off base. Our off-base house was gorgeous and had lots of room, but the staircase was so narrow and steep that we’d been sleeping downstairs since Cupcake was born (and after buying a king-sized mattress in November, sleeping on the couch seemed like a crime!)

So Bagpiper looked into switching us to on-base housing and we moved in a couple of weeks ago and we’re all settled and unpacked now. We have cable TV (we didn’t have that off base) and yesterday the internet was connected so I can play online again.

Our on base house is definitely a little smaller than our off base one, but it’s still plenty of room for us and the best part? AMERICAN APPLIANCES. It feels so so so so so good to have an American oven and American washer/dryer. We’re also a lot closer to Bagpiper’s job. So close, in fact, that he sometimes runs to work in the mornings. He’s even been coming home for lunch! It’s nice and we’re all happy.

Except maybe the dog.

She does really good around the baby, but I think she’s starting to get jealous of the attention the baby gets. Bagpiper and I make sure to give the dog plenty of attention, but Sushi doesn’t seem to think it’s enough and wants more and is acting out….by pooping in the house.

Yesterday she even pooped on the couch!

I was livid.

We take her out just as often (and maybe even more so) than before and she’ll pee and poop outside, but she’ll also poop inside, too. It’s becoming less frequent so hopefully she’s adjusting to having a baby in the house, but UGH! I hate it.

Cupcake is getting so big! We’re fitting into newborn size clothes now and started to smile and even giggle. I keep trying to catch that giggle on camera, but so far I haven’t been able to capture it.

She’s been sleeping through the night for a couple of weeks now and that has definitely been such a blessing. Everyone told me that babies didn’t start sleeping through the night until they were about three months old. Cupcake started sleeping through the night at just six weeks! We’re definitely very lucky!

Since I’ve been getting more sleep it’s given me more energy to get things done during the day. I’ve started writing again — I’m currently working on the first draft of a romantic thriller and I’m also editing a novella that I keep ignoring (I’m not a fan of editing/revisions). I’ve done some knitting — I made a beanie for the Bagpiper, some hats for Cupcake and I’m working on a small sweater for her. In a couple of days I’m starting a Knit-A-Long with Allyson from The Sweatshop of Love. I’ll be knitting a gorgeous cardigan for myself. I’ve ordered my yarn and it should be arriving this week.

I’ve also started a work out program. I started yesterday (Feb. 1) with Zumba 2 for the Wii. It’s a lot of fun and definitely burns the calories. I like that the game tells me how accurate my movements are and how many calories I’ve burned. I’m tracking my eating and work out habits on Lose It! I’ve used the site before and liked it, so I’m starting again. My plan is to do Zumba every day and also walk around the neighborhood every day. Next month I’m hoping to start P90X in addition to Zumba and walking daily.

P90X is a tough, tough workout, which is why I’m not starting with that. I’ve done it before and I know it works, but since I haven’t worked out in a looong time, I figure it’s best to start with walking and Zumba before jumping into P90X. I may not even start P90X in March. I may wait until April. We’ll see.

And that’s about covers the news.

Now that there is internet in the new house, I hope I can get more regular with my blog updates.


Wordless Wednesday: Cheek Love


Ch..Ch..Ch..Changes!

To say that I’ve had to make changes to my life and daily routine would be an understatement.

With Cupcake’s arrival, everything changed.

My sleep pattern is shot to hell (though last night, Bagpiper was amazing enough to take over and let me sleep all night long), the majority of my shirts have spit up on the shoulders because I haven’t had time to do laundry (or any housework) and the only meals I’m making are the quick-easy and often frozen kind (thank goodness for Bertolli meals!).

But all of that was expected.

Now that we are past the one month mark (time flies!) the new daily routine is starting to become a bit clearer and more steady.

On Monday, I Skype-chatted with my writing buddies back home (and a new one from Australia — Hi Jodie!) and we discussed our writing goals for 2012. Now, I put together some fairly lofty goals, but I’d rather aim too high than too low. And though I meant to start writing on Monday, it didn’t happen.

First, it was my birthday so I went out with some of the wives out here and celebrated. Second, by the time I got home Cupcake was waking and I had to take care of her. Third, I haven’t written since NaNoWriMo and I’m finding it hard to get back into the writing habit.

Now it’s Friday, and I haven’t written all week.

I’m beginning to realize that my normal writing habit has got to change to adapt to my new life style. I can’t just open a work in progress and spend hours writing this scene or that scene. For one, I don’t have hours to write. I have fifteen minutes here, half an hour there…

Which means, I’ve got to start being more organized when it comes to my writing. I’ve got to make a plan of action for the day/week. As in, “Today, the goal is to write THIS scene. If I finish then I will do THAT scene or plot for tomorrow’s scene.”

People, I have never been a plotter and my writing could never be described as organized.

This is a hard change, but I’m determined to do it cause I miss writing! So since I didn’t write this week, I’m using the afternoon to make daily writing goals for next week. Thank goodness for OneNote…best program ever.

Also?

I had myself a baby photo shoot…and I didn’t even wake her while trying to pose her and stuff. Go me.


Wordless Wednesday: One Month

Wow, time sure does fly.

Today, January 11, 2012, the Cupcake is one month old! Seems like we just got home from the hospital a few days ago, but it’s already been a month since she entered this world and changed my life forever.


So yea. A lot happened.

Yikes, y’all.

My last update was in October.

However, in my defense, a lot of stuff happened that prevented me from blogging. Actually, stuff happened that made me forget I even had a blog to update.

So…recapping:

November 2011

It was birthday ball season for the USMC, which meant the Bagpiper was super busy playing gigs. This was month eight of the pregnancy and I found myself sleepy a lot.

Also? NaNoWriMo — I won, but just barely. JUST BARELY.

Cooked my first ever Thanksgiving meal on my own. Since it was just me and the Bagpiper, I cooked a turkey breast rather than an entire turkey. Besides, an entire turkey would not have fit in my countertop oven. 😛

December 2011

The big month.

Bagpiper had some Christmas concerts early on, two of which he almost missed due to my almost being induced.

I was induced a week early, and on December 11, 2010 at 10:12pm, the Cupcake was born at a whopping 5lbs 2oz. Twenty-seven hours of labor (for which I slept through most of it thanks to the magic of an awesome epidural) and less than eight minutes of pushing.

I’m a mommy, y’all!!

Even though I was full term (38 weeks) when I had her, she was so tiny! I had to have my mom send me some preemie clothes for her, because none of the clothes I had ready for her (and there are a lot) fit! And finding preemie stuff out here was pretty impossible. Not even the newborn hats fit her, so I had to do some quick knitting and make her some teeny tiny hats.

Now, however, she’s pushing close to 7lbs, so the preemie stuff is almost outgrown and we’re almost fitting into newborn stuff! LOL

Granted, most of you (if not all) who read this blog already know that Cupcake made her arrival (I’ve only been tweeting a photo everyday…lol). But on the off chance you haven’t seen the pictures on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook…

Brand new!

Brand new!

 

So pretty...just like mommy!

OK, so I’ll stop there, because I could fill this post with HUNDREDS of pictures of Cupcake.

So after her birth, I was stuck in the hospital for a full week due to my elevated blood pressure. Not high, but higher than normal so to err on the safe side, I was kept in the hospital with nurses checking my BP every 2-4 hours. It sucked.

The bright side was that Bagpiper had two weeks off for paternal leave, so he was home with me and Cupcake. Even better? Paternal leave ended the day after Christmas, but the band was still on leave, so he had another two weeks off of work with a few half days thrown in — so basically, he had almost a month off. It was glorious.

So we had the best Christmas present of all, and we didn’t even mind that we weren’t getting any sleep.

We were able to trade off on sleepless nights and night feedings, which worked out great. Now Cupcake is eating pretty regularly every three hours.

January 2012

And that brings us to the new year!

Today is my birthday (Jan 9) and Bagpiper gave me the best present yesterday. He gave me an afternoon and evening of sleep and he took care of dinner. He wanted to take me out to dinner, and that was the original plan, but I fell asleep on the couch and he let me snooze.

When I woke up he asked if I still wanted to go out or if I wanted him to pick something up. So no glamorous birthday meal, just a chicken nugget meal from McDonald’s, but it was still an awesome gift, I think!

Yesterday I also wrote out all my writing goals for 2012. A lot of them focus on editing and revising some finished stories I have. I tried some editing/revising last year and I failed miserably. Not just because of being pregnant and moving to Japan, either. I just kept pushing it aside in favor of plot bunnies. Pregnancy and moving were just bonus excuses.

This year, however, I want to finish and be done with my finished stuff. Ideally, I finish (as in write, edit and revise) at least three manuscripts. Maybe even think of submitting one or two somewhere, but I may save that for 2013.

Other goals include finishing two or three unfinished stories, planning for NaNo 2012 (no it’s not too early) and learning to juggle mommyhood with writing. I’m also aiming for writing 5K a week.

For me these goals are kind of lofty, but I’d rather aim too high than too low.

And that’s about it…

…ooh! I just found out my best friend from high school is being stationed to Japan later this year! Huzzah!

OK. Now for real that’s all. 😉

I promise to try to update regularly from now on and not just with pictures of the Cupcake.


I knew he’d cave in eventually.

I WIN.

This happened a while ago, but with the dog finally arriving and MIL visiting, I haven’t had much blogging time (so don’t expect much from me this week).

But I thought I’d share this. Remember how I was in an epic battle against the Bagpiper for a Doctor Who game with sonic screwdriver? Yea. I won.

I didn’t even have to hit 100 comments to make this happen.

He still thinks he’s right about my not playing the game for more than five minutes, but you know what? Who cares. Even if through some divine miracle he is right? I still have the game which means I won — and really, that’s all that matters in the end, right? Bwahaha!

Next up, that $95 Tardis-shaped tea pot I saw on Pinterest…

…I don’t even drink tea, but I like to think that I would if it came out of a Tardis and was tea from all of time and space.


Sonicing my husband into acceptance.

Last night, I was a good wife.

I introduced my husband to a new show, “The Colony”. I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with garlic bread. I got my husband a beer when he asked for one. I carefully and lovingly put the leftovers in a plastic container that my husband could take to work for his lunch.

This morning, I was a good wife.

After asking my husband last night to wake me up so I could have the car today, I woke up without being grumpy. When my husband was in the shower, I did not bang on the door to scare him like I did the other day (man, that was a really fun morning, too). I agreed to wash his uniforms while he was at work, since he forgot to do it last night. I made him breakfast.

While he was eating breakfast, I poked around on Pinterest, to see what was newly pinned.

I found gloriousness pinned. Awesome, amazing glory pinned in the form of a sonic-freaking-screwdriver Wii remote. I clicked. It wasn’t just a Wii remote, y’all. It was a SONIC SCREWDRIVER Wii remote. WITH A DOCTOR WHO GAME.

Let that sink in.

A Doctor Who game. Sonic screwdriver remote. I’m pretty sure it makes “the noise” too.

All at once, all the fun I was going to have with this flash in my head.

I would become a female reincarnation of the Doctor. I would put on a bow tie and wave my sonic screwdriver at the TV and do all sorts of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff and save the world on an hourly basis.

My TV would turn into my own personal Tardis, zooming me around all of time and space. I’d get to yell out things like, “Come along, Pond!”

Basically, my life was going to be awesome.

My life was going to be complete.

Being a good wife, I wanted to share my joy with the Bagpiper — who, I would like to add has FINALLY started getting into Doctor Who. He started with series five (not one, like I want him too, but we’ll get there), and he’s really enjoying it.

So I do the only thing possible at this point. I turn around and squee, “OMG OMG OMG!”

Bagpiper: “What?”

Me: “There’s a sonic screwdriver Wii remote. WITH a game! I must have!”

At this point, I’m already looking around for my wallet and debit card.

And then, tragedy strikes my happy marriage.

My reaction:

I didn’t understand. Like, I really didn’t. I must have misheard him. Surely. I tell him again exactly what it is. Sonic screwdriver. Doctor Who game. Sonic screwdriver remote. Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

He was really saying no to this. After all the goodness of my wifeyness in the past 24 hours, he was saying no to me. He was saying no to our unborn child. Because surely, unborn baby would feel mommy’s euphoria in playing such a magical game.

It was time to take some drastic measures. I did sad panda face mixed with puppy eyes. I wanted him to know I was hurt. Emotionally scarred, even. I reminded him of the good things I’d done, like make him the breakfast he was enjoying.

I told him that I would play because it game with a sonic screwdriver. How could I not play?

I begged.

I pleaded.

I had to make him see that this was important.

He still was not budging on the issue.

I was flabbergasted.

Freaking flabbergasted.

What happened to my husband?

The one that loves me? The one that wants me to be happy? The one who re-enlisted into the military to provide for his family.

Doctor Who game with sonic screwdriver falls under the “providing for you family” umbrella. It’s even under “necessities”, just below “roof over your head” and just above “groceries”.

I tried one more time.

He had to say yes. My husband is a nice, loving, caring man.

He could say no to anything else, but not this. I was willing to give up yarn buying for a week! Book buying for a day! Anything to make him say yes.

But no.

Clearly, I did not marry the romance hero I thought. My kilt-wearing, bagpipe playing Marine husband was morphing into a Cyberman, deleting all my requests for this game and all my chances of happiness.

He became an Evil Husband of Doom.

So, I sat quietly for a minute, thinking of what to do next.

I came up with the perfect and most flawless of counter-arguments.

“It comes with a sonic screwdriver. So really, all your “reasons” are invalid. INVALID, I SAY.”

If I had a pair of gloves, I would have slapped him with them as if I were challenging him to a duel. Because I was challenging him. There is no argument better than “It comes with a sonic screwdriver.”

I had won. I knew it. And he knew it.

But he just rolled his eyes as if it were nothing and went back to his coffee.

Clearly, I have to play hard ball.

For now, I’ve “let the matter go”. My dog arrives tomorrow night, so it’s not like I would play the game this weekend anyway. Even if my dog wasn’t arriving tomorrow, mail takes like two weeks to reach me, so it’d be awhile before I could play anyway.

But mark my words…I will order this game and get the sonic screwdriver. I will be the female reincarnation of the Doctor and I will do wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. Instead of saying, “Come along, Pond!” I will say, “Come along, Sushi!” because my dog will be here and she will be my companion, because clearly my “loving” husband has no desire to fill this roll.

And when the game arrives and my dreams are fulfilled, he won’t be able to do anything about it. Because games are like DVDs. Once you rip off the plastic wrapping you cannot return it. He will simply have to sigh and accept that I won. And if he can’t, then I’ll just sonic him into acceptance.

Or silence.

Whichever.

Bwahahaha!

Take that, husband.

You know, I bet Rory would have given Amy the game without all this fuss.

ETA: Somehow, I’ve gotten into my head that if I can get 100+ people to comment on this blog post, each comment will equal $1 my husband will have to put forth toward the purchase of this game.

I’m not sure if this will really work, but it’s worth a shot. Help a girl, out…comment. Share. Tell your friends to comment. Show my husband all the reasons that having this game is necessary.


Wordless Wednesday: Getting ready for Sushi!

I’m SO ready for my dog to be here! Just another day and a half until I bombard you with puppy pictures!


Breaking a husband’s bad habits.

I’d say that 98 percent of the time, my husband is the greatest man ever.

Usually, I can ignore and look past the two percent of annoying habits he has.

But lately — and by lately I mean ever since we moved to Japan five months ago — he’s developed this habit of putting trash in the kitchen sink.

Really?

I mean, seriously.

The trashcan is less than two feet away from the kitchen sink. In the five years I’ve lived with him he has never put trash in the kitchen sink. Ever. So what the hell, Bagpiper?

For awhile, I’ve been ignoring it. If I go to the sink and see a beer bottle, paper plate or an empty bag of chips, I throw it away. After all, he does so much that I feel bad complaining about his bad habits.

But this…

It’s aggravating.

This evening I did the dishes and found three pieces of trash in the sink. I threw it away in the trashcan, finished the dishes and then decided to take action. I have no idea if it’s going to work, but it’s a start. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to figure out more drastic measures…

Think it’ll work?

What bad habits does your husband/significant other have that just drive you up the wall?


Nursery: Completed!

We're ready for baby!

We’re T-10 weeks until the baby arrives, and Bagpiper and finished the nursery today.

It’s completely finished and ready for our bundle of joy. Well, I’d still like to put a rug down on the floor, but I haven’t seen any I really like yet. Plus, we put up the spare bed (remember, we just got this awesome king-size bed of awesome) in the baby’s room since Bagpiper’s mom is coming to visit in a couple of weeks — WITH MY DOG!

Still, even with the bed in the room, the nursery is done and looking pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself. Not too shabby for not being able to paint the walls or put up any wall stickers.

Cupcake crib bedding with dolls from abuela (my mom)

If you enter the room, the crib is on the right hand wall. Right hand corner has my desk area (which I did not take a picture of, because it’s really just holding a bunch of yarn right now). Next to my desk and against the window is the changing table and the rocking chair. Rest of the room is taken up by a full size bed at the moment. Eventually, the bed will go and we’ll put a little toy chest or something there. 🙂

We're ready for baby!And there it is! Completed nursery, ready for our baby girl.

It feels so good to have the nursery done and ready. Only 10 weeks left, y’all!


Feeling unprepared…

Last week I caught a cold. Or really bad allergies. I’m not sure, I only know that what normally would have taken me 24 hours to get over, has taken me a full week — because I’m not taking any medication…unless you count lots of sleep and orange juice.

The good news is that I’m finally on the mend, and I’m hoping tonight I can go to bed breathing and not spend two or three hours tossing and turning because I can only breath out of one nostril.

There is no bad news. Well, not really anyway.

Bagpiper and I are still struggling with the crib issue. We know what we want, we’ve seen what we want, but for some idiotic reason, the Exchange (think Target, but for the military) won’t ship overseas. We actually ordered the crib weeks ago, only to get an email a week later saying the item we requested does not ship to FPO addresses. Never mind that beneath the listing online, it clearly said: “FPO/APO Available”.

Anyway, so we’ve hunted around the BX on Kadena, saw a crib we liked, but it wasn’t in stock. They don’t know when it will be in stock again, but they did tell us they were having a big baby sale next weekend. The problem? Ninety-eight percent of everything in the catalog is only available online and only available for shipping to CONUS (continental US).

Again I say: What is the point of having the Exchange if they aren’t going to ship to overseas military bases?

Seriously, because if I lived in the continental US and the Exchange didn’t have what I wanted/needed, I’d have the luxury of going to Target, Wal-Mart or Babies R Us. I don’t have that luxury. While I would not trade the experience of living in Japan for a quick trip to Target, it would still be nice if the Exchange shipped to FPO addresses.

To be fair, there are furniture stores on base that do sell cribs, but they don’t sell the kind we want. And I’m sorry, I’m not going to pay for something I don’t want. The cribs in the furniture store are not convertible, and I don’t see the point in paying for a crib that will be in use for a year or so. I want a crib that converts into a regular bed. It just makes more sense.

So yesterday, Bagpiper and I decided to shop around Japanese stores to see if we could find a crib we liked. We didn’t find squat. New plan is to wait for next weekend and see if the BX on Kadena gets anything in that we like. If not, we’re just going to order off of Amazon and be done with it. Either way, by next weekend, we will either have a crib in our home or have one ordered online.

I hate feeling like we are totally unprepared for Baby. Only three months to go, and it’s going to go by fast. I want to have the nursery set up within the next month and a half. Even Bagpiper is feeling like we are unprepared, so that’s why we decided, next weekend (payday weekend), no matter what, we’re ordered the crib.

The paycheck after that, we’re buying the stroller and carseat. November we will buy baby items like diapers, wipes, baby powder, etc. By the end of November, we’re going to be as prepared as we can be.

My next OB appointment isn’t until September 23, and it will be the appointment that tests me for diabetes. I’ve been really good about my diet, and semi-decent about exercise. I don’t always go outside for walks, but I do make it a habit to go up and down my (steep) stairs several times a day. And other than being sick last week, I’ve been feeling good.

Baby is responding to sounds more and more now. The other night Bagpiper was practicing some music and Chopper (the band dog we were watching for the weekend) was singing along and Baby was dancing in my stomach. She’s kicking around right now while I type this blog…

…I’m still waiting on the yarn I ordered and mistakenly sent to my mom’s house in Texas. I really want to start some sweaters for the Baby. I have finished a hat, however. I’m going to start a pair of booties this evening and the rest of the week will be devoted to knitting baby blanket #1.

That’s all for now!


Mini Babymoon Vacation

Warning: This post is very picture heavy.

Last week, Bagpiper was on leave, so we took advantage of his days off to spend a few days in Nago (about an hour and  half north of us) and do some sight-seeing and beach bumming.

View from our hotel room.

He reserved us a few days at a hotel, and though the room was super tiny (it looked much bigger online), we weren’t in the hotel much other than to sleep, so it didn’t matter. Plus, we had a fantastic view.

The weather held beautifully the entire time we were in Nago (it’s been pretty nice all around, really). Mid-80s to Lower-90s, but with lovely ocean breezes sweeping through.

Nago. Day One.

Day one in Nago, we spent exploring. We drove around and found cute little shops and private beaches. We knew that day two would be spent at the beach and day three at the aquarium since our hotel gave us free tickets to go.

Note to self: Learn more Japanese.

So at the end of the first day, we walked into a restaurant next door to the hotel. It was the sort of restaurant where you take off your choose and sit on pillows at really low-to-the-ground tables. Unfortunately, no one in the restaurant spoke any English, and our Japanese is still limited to “Hello”, “how are you”, “excuse me” and “thank you”. The menu was written entirely in kanji, which of course, we have no idea how to read, but we made do with pictures and just sort of pointed at pictures to our waitress (who was really nice and laughed with us since we couldn’t really communicate other than pointing).

We ended up ordering small salads made of something (it was good, but I don’t know what was in it…lol), fried rice, potato wedges and pork skewers. The meal was delicious, unfortunately it wasn’t very filling. An hour later we were both hungry, so we drove up the road to the closest McDonald’s and shared a meal there.

Back at the hotel, it took us a good 20 minutes to figure out how to work the a/c and another 30 minutes for us to feel the effects of the a/c. We watched some really weird Japanese game shows on TV (still not entirely sure what it was we were watching or what the point of the game was) and watched some swimming competition.

Nago. Day Two.

Day two was pretty much spent entirely at the beach.

We drove around looking for a beach that offered fun stuff to do — Bagpiper really had his heart set on snorkeling and going on an evening cruise.

Eventually, we found ourselves at the Intercontinental Hotel. Super fancy place; it was where Bagpiper originally wanted us to stay, until the $900/night per person pricetag showed up. I don’t blame him. But, for 1,00oY we had full use of the beach and restaurants, so that’s what we did.

We rented a couple of beach chairs, Bagpiper bought a snorkeling mask and we just lounged around. Lots of fun in the sun. Day was bright and on the hot side (not nearly as hot as Texas!), but our chairs came with an umbrella, so we had plenty of shade. They offered a submarine cruise, which we really wanted to do, but their next opening was at 5pm, and we knew we didn’t want to spend all day in the same place, so we just enjoyed swimming.

Expensive hotel, but really nice beach.

It was a lot of fun, and I think going to the beach made us realize that we’re on this tropical island for the next three years. It was so surreal at times to look around and realize, “Wow. This is not a vacation. We freaking live here.” We made plans to find beaches closer to home to visit on weekends.

While at the beach, we also discovered the goodness that is taco rice. We’d heard about it before, but this was the first time we tried it. It’s basically  just white rice with all the innards of a taco dumped on top. I don’t know if it was hunger, my recent cravings for Mexican or a combination of the two, but it was really, really good.

All in all it was a really great day that left us exhausted and happy.

Nago. Day Three.

Part of the aquarium and the ocean behind it.

Our last day in Nago was spent at the aquarium. Even though we’ve already visited, our hotel gave us free tickets and there were parts of the aquarium that we didn’t get to visit the first time around.

We took our time walking around admiring all the ginormous fish tanks and we visited the shark research center. Bagpiper mentioned that the aquarium also had a beach area, so after walking around looking at fish, we walked down to the beach and did some more beach bumming.

The water was perfect and the weather was equally so. We could not have asked for a nicer day. After spending a couple of hours at the beach, we ate lunch at the aquarium buffet and had a lovely ocean view to boot.

Afterward, we drove home home and spent Friday and Saturday at home just being a bit lazy. We saw “Captain America”, Bagpiper got a haircut and we did a little shopping at the BX, since Friday we found out the big news: (of which I’m sure you’ve all heard by now)

It’s a girl!

Sunday was another busy day of sightseeing. Our landlords stopped by and took us to lunch (we ate a yummy yakiniku restaurant down the street from our house) and afterward they took us to visit Shuri Castle, the only standing castle on Okinawa.

As we first arrived, our landlords insisted that we dress up in traditional robes and get our picture taken. So, with a lot of giggling, we did.

Hello from Shuri Castle

From left to right: Girl in traditional garb, Bagpiper, Me, Sachi and Yuroshko (our landlords)

After a small uphill trek, we sat down for a show featuring traditional Okinawan dancers. This was really lovely, and I wish I had remembered to make a video clip, but I was too busy enjoying the show to remember to make a video. I did get some pictures of the dancers, however.

We watched four different kinds of traditional Okinawan dances.

The rest of the time was spent wandering inside the castle itself. I wish I had more pictures to show, but much of the castle was strictly “No camera” zones, so we didn’t get many pictures.

At one point, however, our landlords invited us to participate in a tea being held in one of the castle’s tea rooms. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical. I enjoy tea, but I know the Japanese typically drink hot tea, and it was about 92 degrees out. I didn’t fancy drinking hot tea. But they insisted, so off the shoes came and down we sat on pillows.

I was so wrong about drinking hot tea on a hot day. While it’s probably not something I will do often, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, the jasmine tea we drank was so refreshing and delicious (I drank two cups plain…I normally add lots of sugar, honey or lemon to my tea). Our tea was served with various types of Okinawan cookies — each of them really delicious.

After exploring the castle, our landlords had more surprises in store for us. They drove Bagpiper and I to a glass blowing factory — one that allowed Bagpiper to try his hand at making a glass cup!

This was a lot of fun. I had a blast watching Bagpiper learn to blow glass under the direction of a lot of finger pointing, mimicking and minimal translation from Sachi. He had a blast too, because he had a big grin on his face the entire time.

In the end, all the mimicking and translating worked out, because he made a really pretty blue and green cup that we will get in another week or so (it had to cool for 24 hours, and our landlady said she would pick it up and deliver it to us next week).

…and that was pretty much how we spent our babymoon vacation!

I know this post was really picture-heavy. Next time I’ll try to break it up into a couple of posts…

That’s all that’s new on our end, really. We’re having a little girl and I’ve starting building a registry on Babies R Us. You can search my name and Babies R Us will ship directly to me, which is why I decided to register with them — they’re one of the few places that will ship to APO/FPO addresses.

There’s a typhoon coming tomorrow evening, so I’m going to bring some stuff inside and make sure all the storm windows are shut. Then I’m going to settle down to watch some movies and do some knitting. Bagpiper has duty tonight, so I won’t see him until tomorrow morning.


This time next week…

This time next week I’ll know if I’m having a boy or a girl.

I’m almost halfway through this pregnancy. That’s kind of crazy.

Also..

Bagpiper just landed in Okinawa after his short trip to Guam. Says he’ll be home in a couple of hours. Woohoo!


Earthquakes and Drums!

Today was both eventful and uneventful.

Sometime around 4am, I awoke to the entire house shaking. Half-asleep I couldn’t figure out if it was an actual earthquake going on or if I was just having some weird pregnant hallucinations. Turns out, there was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the Ryukyu island chain, of which Okinawa is a part of.

So. First earthquake.

Then, just before lunch, Shauna picked me up and we took her dog to the groomers and then wandered around American Village for awhile. We ate lunch at Freshness Burger (after going on a hunt to exchange dollars for yen, since I forgot my ID and we couldn’t get yen off base…bad Alice).

The exchange rate, btw, SUCKS. When I first arrived it was $1=82 yen. Now it’s $1=77 yen! But the exchange machine Shauna found was $1=71 yen. So yea. Yikes.

Anyway, we had lunch and then wandered into an arcade where we discovered and played this Japanese drum game. A friend from back home later informed me that the name of this game was Taiko Drum Master. 😛

It was fun, though it took a lot of energy. But that could just be that everything takes more energy for me nowadays.

I also saw a game that looked like you could win little bouncy balls, but the balls looked like the kind from Dragon Ball Z…

And what Japanese arcade would be complete without a huge Hello Kitty game?

The back of Hello Kitty opens up and has some sort of sit down/driving looking game. 😛

We were pretty much done wandering around at this point, so we picked up her dog and then Shauna grabbed her sewing stuff and came over (she’s still here in fact) and has been having an epic battle royal with a passport holder she’s making. I was going to knit, but after almost two hours of searching through Ravelry, nothing called out to me, so I gave up and just played on the computer instead.

Bagpipe looks like he is getting on Skype now, so I’m going to talk to him…he’s currently in Guam, but he’ll be home tomorrow and then it’s a week of leave!


150 beats per minute, Texas heat and my crazy cravings…

I had an OB check-up earlier today.

Doctor says everything looks good and we listened to Baby Bagpiper’s heartbeat. It’s beating at 150 beats per minute and I think it’s the coolest sound ever. Afterward, I scheduled my 20-week sonogram — you know, the one where Bagpiper and I finally get to know if we are having a baby boy or a baby girl! The appointment isn’t until July 29, but it’s perfect because Bagpiper is on leave that week, and I think that will be a terrific ending to a week off.

So that’s the happy news.

The sad news is about the dog. Because Texas is in a heat wave (no surprise — when is Texas not in a heat wave?) all the airlines are saying that until it cools down a little, there will be no dogs allowed on flights. They’re not even allowing dogs to ride in the cabin! So mother-in-law has decided to wait until September before flying out to Okinawa with the dog.

Oh my little Sushi-dog...I miss you so much!

September.

It seems like so far away.

And even though I know it’s for the best, I’m still bummed. I really do miss my Sushi-dog. But that flight is going to be super long and traumatic enough for her without adding potential heat stroke to the mix. So I will do my best to be patient.

In some ways, it’s a blessing in disguise because if my mother-in-law had come down this coming week as originally planned, we’d be really bored. Bagpiper will be in Guam next week and I am still not ready to tackle left-side-of-the-road driving. By waiting until September it gives me time to muster up some courage and take the plunge to get behind the wheel over here. Plus, hopefully Bagpiper and I will find some neat places while he’s on leave so that when she does arrive we’ll have lots to show her.

Otherwise, things are great. I still haven’t felt the baby move, but the doctor assures me this is normal and that I will probably begin to feel little flutters in the next couple of weeks. She said not to expect hard kicks, since the baby just doesn’t have the muscle strength for that yet. Still, I imagine the first time I feel the little flutters (and not think it’s just gas) it’s going to be a really amazing moment.

There’s not much else going on, except my out-of-control cravings, which Bagpiper is amazing about. A couple weeks ago it was chicken pot pies. This week it’s been chicken salad sandwiches, though right this moment I’d love some nachos with queso that they make at Chili’s (and thank goodness there’s a Chili’s on Kadena)…


Settling in…finally.

Yikes! It’s been almost a full month since I’ve updated here.

The excuse I’m going to use is that our furniture finally came in and I’ve been unpacking. The other half of that is that I’ve just been a little on the lazy side.

The furniture is mostly put away, with the exception of some stuff in the crafty room/nursery. We still have the loan furniture, so downstairs is crowded, but surprisingly, we still have plenty of space to move around.

Otherwise, there’s really not much new to update about. Bagpiper has been working a lot so we still haven’t had much of a chance to go exploring. He’s currently in Thailand with a few guys in the band doing sound for gigs. And with the exception of a few weird sightings, he seems to be enjoying himself. He won’t be back until the 10th, which is just in time for my second prenatal visit and the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Afterward, he’s off again, this time to Guam for about a week. Then he’s home in time for my third prenatal visit — the one that will tell us if we’re having a little boy or a little girl — and then he gets a week of leave, which will probably when we finally get to do some exploring around the island. I’m really hoping to go to the beach. I’ve been hear almost three months and I haven’t gone to the beach yet!

The other big news is that my mother-in-law is getting all the paperwork straightened out to get Sushi out here. It’s looking more and more like she (and the dog) will be out here around mid-July. I think this is right around the time Bagpiper leaves for Guam, so I’m hoping to get the courage together to get my license so I can drive her around while she visits. Driving on the left side of the road still has me a little scared though, so we’ll see. I know eventually I will want to drive, but right now I’m just not ready for it.

The pregnancy is going good. I just entered week 16. All the morning sickness symptoms are long since gone and now all I want to do is eat. Specifically, all I want to eat are chicken pot pies. I can’t get enough of them!

Well, that’s really all that’s going on. Now that we’re more settled, I’m sure I’ll be updating more (and posting more pictures). Tomorrow I’m going to a BBQ with one of the other wives whose husband is also in Thailand. So it’ll be nice to get out of the house and mingle with real people for the first time in the past week, lol.

Take care and have a wonderful July 4th weekend!


Exploring Okinawa: Home Sweet Home, Cafe M and high-tech toilets.

Yesterday, the Bagpiper and I did a little exploring off base.

First we took care of “important stuff”, like getting internet set up for the new house (bonus, we get a US IP address, which  means I will have access to Netflix instant streaming!), and setting up how we’ll pay all the bills. We stopped at a convenience store (Family Mart — these places are everywhere) and I bought some of the most succulent strawberries evah. Too bad the cup only came with about four, these where some seriously good strawberries.

Then Bagpiper took me to see the house, which is more amazing and beautiful in person than in the pictures. I kind of went picture happy inside the house, snapping pictures of every nook and cranny in each room. Rather than bombard this post with tons of pictures, I used Picnik to make a pretty little collage…

Still can't believe this is our new home!

There is a bad thing about the house, the oven is SUPER SUPER tiny. Like, I’m not even sure what one would possibly cook in there, cause anything I’ve ever put in an oven requires much more space than the Japanese oven in the house. It’s definitely going to take some creative experimenting to bake goodies in that kitchen. But one really exciting/nerdy awesome thing about the house? It has a cupboard under the stairs. Like in Harry Potter. Bwahaha! So after seeing the house and imagining what it would look like with furniture (and also wondering how I would set up the nursery), Bagpiper and I walked around the corner and found a hold-in-the-wall place to eat called Cafe M.

Cafe M was really quaint. There were shelves and shelves of all sorts of manga and the tables were actually video games. The menu was in Japanese, so neither of us could read it, but the cook spoke English and he broke down the lunch menu for us. We opted for “Lunch A” which was some type of pork with veggies and wrapped in fried deliciousness. Lunch also came with a bowl of steamed rice, a bowl of soup, two types of noodles, an egg roll, a piece of sweet chicken and a cabbage salad.

The entire meal was delicious beyond deliciousness. Hole-in-the-wall places are almost always good, and I’m so glad we found this place and that it’s literally right around the corner from our house. It’s definitely going to be a favorite spot. We also got some very refreshing iced tea. I have no idea what type of tea it was, but it was really good. They gave us a small (very small) pot with a sweetner (it looked like sugar water, but more syrupy), and at first we didn’t know what it was for, but watching the other people around us we were able to figure out that it was to sweeten the tea. ^_^v

I had taken a picture of lunch, but I took it with my phone, and it doesn’t have a data plan so I can’t email it to myself. -_- Never fear, I’m sure I’ll have food pictures soon enough!

After lunch we used the restroom in the cafe. Who knew that this would become a mini adventure in itself! Even though the toilet was a little weird, I was able to figure it out no problem. Bagpiper on the other hand…

…well, afterward, I asked him what took him so long and he explained that he had no idea what the buttons on the side of the toilet were for. Basically, he discovered the bidet settings. He said he felt violated….but then he admitted to doing it twice! LOL I mean, I thought the pictures on the controls were pretty self-explanatory:

..at least we didn't have to squat!

Anyway, that was our day. Monday we will move into the house and Tuesday we will get some borrowed furniture to use until our stuff arrives. The only bad thing I can see in the near future is that it’s going to take a week to get internet set up. Boo.


Konnichiwa!

Konnichiwa!

I’m safe and sound in Okinawa, Japan! After two layovers and about 22 hours in the air, I landed in Okinawa around 10:30pm Wednesday (8:30am Wednesday in Texas). Bagpiper picked me up at the airport (he hitched a ride from a fellow bandsmen and his wife) and they drove us to the hotel on base.

We’ll be in the hotel for the rest of the week and then we’ll move into our off-base house. And in case you haven’t seen a picture of our house…

I'm not even joking. This is seriously our new home.

It’s a two-story Japanese-style home. Two bedrooms, an office and 1.5 bathrooms. Oh, and it’s about 25 yards away from the beach. How amazing is that? We get to move in on Monday, but the Bagpiper is going to try to take me to see the house this weekend.

Meanwhile, I have a lovely view of Camp Foster from my hotel window:

View from hotel room window.

I have not done any official site seeing yet. I got in too late last night, and frankly, after all those hours on airplanes, all I wanted to do was lay down comfortably in a bed and sleep next to my hubby. So far, I have not really experienced any  jet-lag. I’m now 14 hours ahead of CST, but I’m glad I got in so late last night, because (hopefully) it will help me adjust to the time difference.

That’s all I have to report now, expect more updates and pictures soon!


Less than two weeks to go!

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Bagpiper left for Japan. We talk regularly on Skype and on the phone (thank God for international plans!) and he’s doing really well out there.

He says it’s gorgeous; I can’t wait until I’m there to share it with him.

Surprisingly, the Bagpiper didn’t have much jet lag, even though there is a 14 hour time difference. He said he slept the first day, but after that he was good. I think this is partially because he’s anxious to get everything set up before I get there. Speaking of which…

…my flight is reserved for May 17! That’s less than two weeks away!

I’ll fly to Minneapolis first, then Tokyo and arrive in Okinawa late on May 18. It’ll be a lot of time flying, but I’m excited. I plan on filling my eReader with plenty of books so that I have lots of choices to read. I also have some knitting, so I can knit some baby bibs on the plane too.

I’m entering my 8th week (I think), and the nausea comes and goes, but overall I’m doing well. I’m sleepy a lot, so I’m taking a bunch of naps. Once I’m in Okinawa, I’ll make my first prenatal appointment and find out exactly how far along am and all that stuff. I just don’t want to start in Texas and then switch doctors in Japan. To me, it makes more sense to wait an extra week.

I also haven’t begun to practice Japanese. I’m waiting until after Monday — after I take my French final. Then I’ll start studying Japanese. It’s too much work to try to learn two languages at the same time.

Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot going on. Just waiting….and time is going soo slowly.

I’m ready to be with my husband.