Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bali or Bust

So you may remember how back in April we disappointingly had to cancel our dream trip to Bali the day we were supposed to leave. I was bummed, feeling like it was the last chance I had in my life to do something with just Victor...I was being a dramatic pregnant woman. So we had to cancel. We lost money. We started saving again, and Victor was diligent in renewing his passport. Then we had the baby and we were diligent about getting his passport. We wanted to make sure NOTHING was stopping us from having this vacation!!

(Funny side story: Victor sent me a picture of what his supervisor had written in to get his leave approved to go. It said, "Sir, Lt. Castro is attempting to take leave to Bali now that his passport has been updated. Last time he tried to go his passport was expired, his wife was not pleased." Hahaha, I guess that was necessary information for the Commanding Officer, oh jeez!!)

So, like I said, we were determined.

And then at about 5am the morning of our trip, I started feeling familiar pains from a year ago when I had a nasty kidney infection that made my life miserable. This could not be happening! By seven I was feeling full on pain and vomiting because of it so I knew we had to go to the Emergency Room. We woke up sweet Baby J and headed over, not wanting to address the elephant in the room of if we were going to have to cancel again. 

They did a scan, and I had a kidney stone that needed to pass. I asked the doctor if I should get on that plane and he pulled the whole "you're an adult and can make your own decision but if something happens and need care down there in Indonesia, who knows what, blah blah blah." So I decided to get on that plane.

And it was a pretty miserable plane ride to Hong Kong. I was a mess. Filling up the barf bags, having to have Victor feed my baby formula because my pain meds said breastfeeding was a no no and I was just feeling awful--I felt like a terrible mother but luckily I only had to do that once. But yeah, it was a hot mess!

We arrived late in Bali. My pain was kind of subsiding so I was feeling hopeful. And then, at about 6:30am I woke up to tropical birds chirping, beautiful light streaming in, and most importantly, I felt no pain! I got up to use the bathroom, and sure enough, the kidney stone passed. And it's amazing how when that happens you feel completely great again. The boys were still sleeping, so I walked around the beautiful little villa just taking it in. 

Bali, you couldn't keep me away! 
Views from our first morning there, all the more beautiful when you finally feel good again after the previous day of feeling like garbage. I am so grateful for health, and for the blessing we had to travel to this beautiful island. Can't wait to show you the rest!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Castro family on our rescheduled babymoon, celebrating with an actual baby!

We interrupt this amazing Bali vacation so I can be a little bit sentimental.

Last year right before Thanksgiving I found out I was pregnant. And since you keep it a secret for so long you kind of forget to tell people how you found out, how you tell your husband and how he reacts. But it's something special that I want to remember. 

I had suspicions something was different about a week before Thanksgiving, so I went to the store and bought a cheap pregnancy test that came back negative (the military exchange brand--of course it would suck ha ha), but then two days before Thanksgiving I just knew something was up so I bought a better brand and sure enough, positive. That sure was a crazy feeling and boy was I filled with anxiety! And I did another test to be sure ha.

I decided to just leave the tests on the corner of the bed for Victor to find. When he got home and went upstairs to change, I set up a bottle of sparkling cider and fake champagne glasses on the table. I should have just bought the more expensive test that clearly displays the word "pregnant," because Victor came down and was all "I'm not sure what this means? The lines are kind of weak? What do the lines mean?" Ha! He then quickly figured it out and got the biggest smile on his face. And then just started spewing off things like "I need to look at our finances" and "you should start working out. Swimming is good. And you can buy a pregnancy swimming suit." Love that guy! 

So it was exciting, but I still just had such anxious butterflies and feelings of nervousness for such a huge life change. It was nice to take a little trip to Kyoto to get my mind off of it. But it was so exciting at the same time, having this little  secret between just me and Victor. 

I just feel so incredibly blessed when I look back on the last year. And while I still get anxious thinking about having to continue to raise this baby and all that goes along with it, I look at him this Thanksgiving and know without a doubt that he is what is on the top of my thankful list this year. A close second is my husband, who is amazing and supports me and is so helpful with the baby, and just loves that baby boy to pieces. 

I am so blessed. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving as well. I am so thankful for you too! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

When My Mom Visited

When my mom visited, we had a ball! She purposely came a couple weeks before my due date so we could play. I'm so glad she did because we had so much fun doing things I wouldn't have been able to do postpartum--mainly the swimming stuff which honestly was one of the hardest things of those first few weeks haha! Nevermind my body healing and milk coming in: not being able to get in the water on those crazy hot days was rough.

One hiccup in my mom's plan was that just a couple weeks before coming she tore her ACL and meniscus. Her doctor said no snorkeling because of the weight of fins and to take it easy meaning no hiking or anything. Well, we found ways around it!

First we bought an innertube and had Victor pull her around while she snorkeled. So funny! But hey, it worked and we had a fantastic time. We were able to go snorkeling a few times while she was here.
 Then one day, Victor took her sailing with some of his buddies he did sailing certification with. I decided to sit out since the thought of baking in the sun out in a sailboat being 38 weeks pregnant just didn't sound that fun.

Then one day we went to a waterfall with a pretty easy hike to get there which was ideal for both of us. We were quite the pair. A gimpy knee and a big awkward belly. Also it was a Japanese holiday that day and there were the sweetest Japanese families that we enjoyed talking to.
Another day we took her to my favorite place, the Tropical Dream Center. Man, I was so pregnant!

 We also did some glass blowing when there was a tropical storm coming through, so no beach.
 And on my birthday, I forced her to go get amazing Japanese pedicures with me. I don't know why she's such a hater of spa treatments (she says it's the whole strangers touching her thing), but even she admitted the leg massage felt good. A small victory!
It feels like so long ago that she was here and I already miss her so much. I hadn't blogged about it yet because we were having too much fun when it was actually happening, and then you know, a baby came and rocked our worlds. But it was such a fun summer enjoying all the awesome things to do here in Okinawa. I love my mom!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

It's the Marine Corps's 239th Birthday this year and we had a fun evening at its Birthday Ball. It's always great to have an excuse to dress up all fancy for one night a year! This year I was asking myself "what would Kate Middleton wear??" and was very pleased with the dress I found, and my man didn't look too shabby himself! ;)

It was our first date night without the baby and we had a great time even though the whole time I was hoping my babysitter wasn't hating life since Baby J sometimes gets really cranky in the evening. Victor and I aren't party animals anyway (last ball I think we stayed until 10:30? Ha) and this year we danced a few songs, and called it good! 

But overall it was a great evening. The special speaker spoke about the proud legacy of the Marines, with the message to pass on to new generations of Marines to "take care of our Marines Corps." I'm proud of my husband for being one of the few and the proud.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Japanese Shopping: Anthro Knockoffs and Must Have Beauty Products!

The Hundred Yen Stores (aka the dollar stores) are the best for dishes! I just want to do so much entertaining with all the awesome glassware they have there. These little milk jugs are some of my favorites. So cute to go with your cookies, and so one dollar a piece. 

(By the way, delicious Swig Sugar Cookie recipe found here!)
You know what isn't one dollar a piece? The little milk jugs Anthropologie is selling. $34 for six of them. Crazy. I could buy 34 jugs for that price! Like I said, Hundred Yen Stores are the best. 
 Side note: While Japan does have awesome cheap finds, they also have bizarre items with an outrageous price tag. $40 breakfast iphone cover, anyone?? Ha ha.

And then here are some random beauty products that are hilarious. I wonder if they actually work.

First is the cheek slim belt. I for one, would love to slim down my cheeks.
 And maybe someone could explain this "bust up roller" to me. Cracks me up.
Until next time! It's been so long since I've done one of these posts and I think it's because I forget to take pictures of these finds because you see them all the time.

Japan, you're the best.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Three Months of Baby J

Baby J is a sweetie.
He is a social butterfly.
He has attitude sometimes.
But most of the time is so chill.
He is a tough guy. Never cries from pain, like when I accidentally bump his head on his seat, or in the car, or in the tub, etc. I'm learning.
He is an adventurer, and a very direct people watcher. Meaning that he will stare a stranger down until they look at him, and then he will smile. Quite the charmer.
He is also an eater. Loves his food. And still rarely sleeps longer than six hours at night because food is that important to him.
He likes to stay up late and then sleep all morning (after he wakes up for breakfast, of course).
He wakes up happy in the mornings.
He smiles and giggles, and it is the best thing ever.

Baby J has us wrapped around his finger. Three months has been fun.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Snorkeling at the Blue Cave

^^snorkel goggles, always so flattering^^

We started the month of November with an incredibly beautiful day that was too nice to pass up snorkeling. I am so grateful for good friends who switched off watching J for us so we could go together. Snorkeling at the Blue Cave at Maeda Point has been on my to-do list for a while so I'm glad I finally did it and I hope it's not the last time.

Okinawa is so beautiful under the water! Even pictures don't do it justice. We just love this place and are cherishing our time here, which seems to be flying. Leaving this place is going to be rough. Such a special island. 

Hope your November first was a good one too!