Wednesday, January 28, 2015

forgotten moments

We had a memory card that we took all of Joseph's first pictures of, but my macbook wouldn't read it and our pc decided to crap out after we had loaded them on there. We finally got the pc fixed so I could access the photos and it was so wonderful seeing all these moments that feel like forever ago. Such happy days. 

Indulge me, because I never blogged these moments. Not just because I couldn't get to the photos, but because I was in that "I just had a baby and am trying to figure things out" stage. 

First real bath after his gross belly button thing fell off. How far we have come! He hated it. Now he loooves it. 
My chunky newborn. I look at regular 7 pound newborns with a sigh. My baby was never that small ha ha.
It's fun looking back and recognizing how he looks. I know that sounds weird, but newborns look different in every picture I feel like, so I like seeing these and being all, "yeah, looks like J!"

I just love these moments. Aaaaaand they're making me baby hungry. I never ever felt baby hungry until I actually had a baby. Now I feel it all the time. Crazy, because it's only been five months!

Anyway, thanks for indulging me. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sakura Sakura

We've been hosting our first visitor of 2015 this past week, our mission friend Alicia. We've had a great week showing her the best of the island. The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom so we headed up north to check them out this weekend. Some of the trees were still a little sparse, but we still saw some beautiful blossoms and enjoyed perfect weather. Okinawa in January is heavenly. 

It makes me sad this is our third and final cherry blossom season in Okinawa. We are getting to all these lasts and it's bumming me out! I'm soaking it all up. 

 Beauty everywhere on this island. Love Okinawa flower season!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last Year, This Year

I'm such a sentimental person. I've done posts like this many times. (see here and here) But I can't help myself! Look what's happened in a year!

I visited the cosmos field with friends the afternoon after we had our very first ultrasound. We saw this tiny thing, and got a cute little photo of him fist pumping.
 The cosmos are in bloom again, and now look!

He is an absolute joy. Joyful Joseph, I like to call him. I never imagined a year ago I would feel like this. 

I love him. And I just love Okinawa flower season. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Two Years in Okinawa

I love looking back on what we have seen and done this past year, but it's bittersweet because 2014 is the last full year that we will spend on Okinawa. We are still waiting on exact plans, but we know we are leaving the island this summer, and it breaks my heart!

So we will try to do as much as we can with the time we have left this year. We have A LOT of visitors coming. The Hotel Castro is booked every month until May! So we will be doing a lot more Okinawa site-seeing. And depending how long we stay, maybe we can take one last trip together. 

We are so grateful for the chance to live in this wonderful place!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Traveling with Baby Lifesavers and Tips

^^diaper changing on the go. no changing tables to be found in Vietnam ha^^

Traveling with our baby has been really fun for us. We are really hoping that traveling with him this early will condition him to be a good little traveler. Fingers crossed! Since traveling to Tokyo, we have taken him to three other countries in Asia, but these items make for easier traveling anywhere, really. 

1. Ergo baby carrier, or any structured carrier. I still love my wrap and bring it traveling, but the ergo has been better for us in everyday traveling. It's quicker to put on, and for places like Bali, not as hot to wear. In Asia as well as places like Europe, a baby carrier is the way to go for babies since most countries' sidewalks may not be so stroller friendly. Also, the carrier helped not having tons of people touch the baby (which they totally would have if we had him out. Tons did anyway, and that's why we had number 3.)

2. I didn't use a pacifier clip until we first traveled at three months, but it's the best. First I had these cloth ones but the baby would drool all over them making them wet and gross. So, I got these way cute leather ones from this store on etsy. Funny story: when they came in the mail I was excited and was being all cheesy as I clipped it on J saying, "oh J look how cool you look!" Victor joined in on the cheesiness, chiming in, "yeah J, you are going to be so cool at the........mommy hang out groups!" Hahaha. Cracks me up.

3. Face and hands wipes. Great to keep germs away after he's been touching who knows what. Also, like I said, people were touching his face all the time, and he even started breaking out again on his cheeks. Starting to wipe his face with these helped clear it up really fast. 

4. This thing has been so handy and easy to get to. Even though the changing kit (number 5) has a wipe container, I thought it was still easier to have this handy for things like spit up. 

5. I got this changing station from a baby shower put on by the USO (love me some free events!) and it has been great for traveling, since I don't bring my usual diaper bag. It's also seen in the photo above. It has definitely been a lifesaver in our trips outside of Japan, since we've had to change the baby in some random places like in the middle of the bustling market in Bali, or at a janky rest stop on our way to Halong Bay. 

6. All of these things I keep in a basic backpack instead of my diaper bag. It just is so much easier when you're running around or wearing the baby. But be warned! I usually prefer an over the shoulder bag when traveling for my wallet and stuff so I can keep it right in front of me to avoid pick pocketers. Like I said earlier, I caught an old man in Hanoi trying to open my back pack and if I hadn't, he would have gotten my wallet. After that I made sure to put my wallet under stuff, and right next to my back to make it harder to get to. 
^^happy little traveler!^^

As far as packing, we all share a checked suit case, so with the baby's stuff, I divide up clothes and pajamas and pack them in grocery bags so they don't get all mixed up with our stuff. It's been really easy this way. My carry on bag is this bag  and that bottom compartment is just for baby's stuff. It makes it so easy to keep stuff separated. 

So there you go. Hope it helps! 

Now if you have any advice for dealing with a grumpy baby on a plane, I am all ears. Unfortunately we are starting to experience that more as the baby gets older. I think it's signs he is getting bored. Yikes. But thankfully, those have really been the only super challenging times. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunrise over Halong Bay (and part 2)

Our last day on the bay started with a very early morning for me feeding the baby, so I figured I might as well head up on deck and see the sunrise. Victor was happy to continue to sleep peacefully snuggling with the baby. It was so serene and so beautiful to see the colors change. 
 We spent the rest of the morning on a small little island with a fantastic panoramic view of some of the bay. There was also a small beach that people were laying out and swimming in, but from our experience the day before, we opted not to get in the water, and just enjoy the views.

After that, we sadly had to start sailing back to Ha Long city. I was sad to leave this peaceful place. A world away. Grateful to have had the chance to see it!