Monday, August 11, 2014

a day in our lives...

Just so everybody back home doesn't think my life is ALL fabulous adventure- here's a blog post (filled entirely with cell phone pics) of my regular day to day activities so you can see how we really live.    Although- I will admit that for now every day is still an adventure as we navigate the wrong side of the road and try to learn japanese :) You know they say the happiest people don't have the most of everything- they just MAKE the most of everything. 

I am trying to reestablish my routine from Ohio- and for the most part- things are plopping into place.  I knew my hardest adjustment would be my gym time. and it is.  I go the base gym where there's a room where I can put my kiddos in the corner while I run on the treadmill in front of them!  a major downgrade from the YMCA childwatch :) but- my kiddos are super good while we are there and besides being a little boring- it works.  Other mornings I get out and run before Kent heads to work.  This past Saturday morning I went on a run across the flight line (runway) without realizing there were flight exercises happening that morning.  Giant planes were taking off and landing right in front of me!  it was pretty cool.  Half way through my run- the typhoon that hit this weekend set in a couple hours early and the rains and wind DRENCHED me.  It was a lovely run- with the exception of running past the line of Japanese photographers :)  On busy flight days they line up at the fences with their giant lenses to take pictures!  I'm sure they got plenty of great pictures of the crazy sopping wet pregnant lady who ran no more than ten feet in front of them.  they love to take pictures.    

We've got the regular playgroups and library storytimes to keep us busy, too.  
Just last thursday we went to the end of summer reading program party and it was pretty fancy!  we only participated a few weeks but got lots of great prizes and free dinner!?  it was catered with all sorts of fruits and food! 

For playgroup last week we went to a local Japanese swimming pool.  It was a mini adventure for sure.  Japanese roads and parking lots are SO SKINNY and SMALL!   and then the pool itself had all sorts of crazy rules!!  
1. no sunscreen allowed (we had to apply it outside the gates!)
2. no life jackets (you could use cheap floaties, though!)
3. no sunglasses
4. no shoes at all allowed anywhere (had to bag them up in lockers)
5. no swim diapers (or regular diapers for that matter) allowed. I was so worried metta was going to poo!!
A lot of Japanese people wore hats and long sleeves and hoods and jackets swimming, too.  so strange!  but all of the kids had a blast.  there was a lazy river and great shallow kiddie pools.

A great thing about Japan is the necessity to shop around for stuff.  I love going to the store- so it's perfect for me!  I buy regular groceries at the commissary on base- but get veggies and fruits at fruit stands and local grocery stores.  That means we go to 3-4 places a week to shop.  and I love it.

here's one of the great local produce markets. It's called F1.  they name their stores strange things.  There's a great place to get socks called 'Sexy Miser'?!  
this giant pickachu is at another of our favorite local stores- the 'daiei'.

We go over to the hospital a lot. and metta likes to eat the tissue paper there.  she's so weird.

 we visit kent. or pick him up for work.  I'm helping decorate the peds office to make it a little more friendly. I've also been trying to get OB stuff and blood work done.  getting in to the OB was a little ridiculous here.  they told me I needed to take a pregnancy test and get a referral from family medicine.  umm. I'm 7 months pregnant.  It took forever- but I'm set up now.  More importantly I spoke with anesthesia and they know the only important item in my birth plan is an epidural :)

Oh yeah- and we still visit the 'daiso' regularly.  It's the 100 yen store.  they are everywhere so we like to visit new ones every time.  this one pictured is two stories!  we could have stayed all day :)  the boys keep begging to do chores just so we can go shopping at the daiso.

One night I went to this creepy old hotel and we (friends from church and the base) rented out a room and did karaoke!  it was nuts. Karaoke is one of those things that I enjoy watching- but not participating in :)  I think if I could have a few alcoholic drinks- it would loosen me up- but since I don't drink alcohol- I'll never know :)
this week we also found the japanese 2nd hand store (named 'Hard Off"??!) and bought a few toys to keep the kiddos semi entertained! the boys chose legos.

Metta chose the 'really really big pink doggy backpack'.  that's what she calls it anyway.  I think it's a rabbit.  the arms and legs attach to each other and she wears it on her back. She LOVES it.  it only cost 100 yen.  that's a dollar.

one of my favorite things to do is walk down the 'treats' aisle at off base grocery stores and choose one new thing to try out.  this was the day I found raspberry kit kats and tim tams. Tim tams are delicious cookies we discovered while in australia a few years ago!  

the grocery stores all have giant fried food sections where the food just sits out all day.  the japanese people love it.  Metta thinks it smells delicious.  kent does, too.  I'm not sure how I feel about fried warm meats sitting out in the open all day.
produce prices still shock me.  I just want a Melon!!  but they are SOOOO expensive!!  14 dollar honeydews?  1500 yen cantalopes? and 18 dollar watermelons?!  ahhhhh!!

there's a giant store called 'joyful honda' just outside of the base gates.  It's NUTSO.  it sells every sibgle thing you could ever imagine.  it's like a lowes/walmart/target/hobbylobby/food court/baby store all in one.  Oh- and it has a giant pet world.  and people carry their dogs in their carts all over the store.  and they pee all over.  Here's a picture a the food court of people with their two dogs in their cart.  metta LOVES going there.  
there's a giant pet grooming place where you can sit and watch.

they've got a ton of places to eat, too.  here's the mcdonalds menu.  I just have to point to pictures and hope I am getting the american equivalent!  a 15 piece nugget pack costs 565 yen. that's $5.65.
so many of their signs are translated into English and they are always a little funny!  they really don't try to proof-read much!  they just do a literal translation with their own spellings!  it keeps kent and I laughing.  my name is a nightmare for them.  leisy miller translates to 'reisy mirrer'.

Overall- the best part about living here so far has been our housing situation.  Even though we do't have any stuff- we live in a little kid paradise.  We live in a 4 unit 'garden home'.  and get this- ALL four units in our building are full of mormons!  not to mention- two of our backyard neighbors! and they all have 3+ kids the ages of our kids.  We have a giant open communal backyard and the kids play back there for HOURS a day.  It's amazing.  there are always friends. and it's safe and protected.  and lots of parents always watching.  I really love that the the kiddos are watching almost NO tv (we don't have one!) and are just adventuring outside all day.

Once we do get our stuff- I'll get some pictures of the inside of our place!  right now it feels spacious- but it's empty :)

Hopefully we'll have more adventure soon and I can post more pics!  kent is on call all week so we can't venture more than 20 minutes from the hospital- but there's still plenty to explore!


Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, Cora, and Josh said...

Wow, kids playing with endless friends and no tv. Sounds fabulous.

yaya said...

I love all your adventures! The dog thing is different but look on the bright side...atleast they're not eating them!

Julie Sacks said...

first of all I would not be able to go to a pool without sunglasses I can't stand it when I don't have my sunglasses with me. There is also a place here in Dallas that is dedicated to the Koreans. They have a karaoke place that is similarly creepy but also fun to go to. And as a side note, I am here in Utah and had some chocolate covered cinnamon bears, they were delicious and it made me think of you :)

dockters said...

Holy cow!! I loved this update and your photos. Love that you have a great yard and great always have the best neighbors though!! I'm not surprised one bit that you needed a referral to see an never look pregnant, you lucky woman!

Keep the pics coming!! And send me your new address...we want mail from Japan!! :)

Pat and Brent said...

Your day to day activities are certainly more adventurous than mine! Love the updates and pics. It seems like you are all adjusting very well. I'm so glad. Hope you get your furniture soon so you can feel completely settled.

Jill Pierce said...

That Pikachu is HUGE! And I think it's time to change the title of your blog from Ohio to Japan. ;)