Weekly Blog posts…obviously not happening

I had big goals this year, lose some weight, blog weekly, and work on my photographer skills.  I am sad to say that is not working out like I wanted.  I don’t have a purpose for writing yet, but I think I am just going to focus on documenting my family and life.  I am already taking weekly photos with my 52Frames challenge so might as well post them.  At the end of the year, I can make a book of our memories.

Here’s my photo for last week – the challenge was Depth of Field – I do wish I would have used one more block to make it an odd number. week9-10



Beginning of February


What have we been up to? Well the last two weeks just kind of snuck on me. We have been moving in.  There are still boxes around because we don’t have enough places to put things.  I feel like we are going to drown in boxes.  The last time we moved we didn’t have kids so we could just knock them out whenever we felt like it.  Now, not so much…  My goal is to go through two boxes a day.  It’s not a lot but it’s doable.  Normal parents would do this when the kids are in bed.  The girls used to go to sleep by 730.  It has turned into a fight and now the normal time for them to be sleeping is about 830.  We start the bedtime routine at the same time but it just takes longer to get them into bed.

By 830, I am ready to go to sleep as well.  With the changing of the school schedule in January, we are required to be at work at 7am.  I need to be out of the house by 630am.

Dani caught a stomach bug.  It pretty much started when we first moved and took a whole two weeks to get out of her system.  She lost a whole kg.
IMG_2340She’s finally back to her normal eating self and starting to put on those pounds back.  Her head looks huge when she’s skinny like that.

We also explored our little area and have been to the local park a few times.  It’s not in the best shape but there’s enough to do to burn off some energy.
IMG_2368 IMG_2374 IMG_2376

G has only napped one time in the three weekends she has been in this new house. She needs it as she’s a monster in the evenings she doesn’t nap. It has turned into “quiet time” as a friend called it. Quiet time is not enough for my almost three-year old.

playdates-9 playdates-4

Moving with two toddlers

I am no stranger to moving.  My father spent 30 years in the Air Force and most of his career we spent overseas closing down bases.  As soon as I graduated high school, I joined the Air Force and moved some more.  Then I went back to my roots and combined my two loves, teaching and military and now teach for DoDEA and now I move more.  We have been on Okinawa for 6 years now and with the expansion of our family in the last three years, we have decided it is time to move to another house.  Husband wants to have a home shop for his woodworking and we need another bedroom.

We had been looking for a new house for MONTHS.  It seems like every time we got close to one another obstacle would get in our way.  We even cut our summer in the US short just in case we could get in before the new teachers moved to Okinawa and pick up a perfect house.

Finally all the stars aligned and we were offered a 4 bedroom, one-story (which is magic to a toddler mom’s ears), with a two-car garage.  The bad part? It is 6 miles away from our work/girls’ daycare.  6 miles is nothing, right? Not in Okinawa – that’s 25-45 minutes.  I could almost throw a rock from my house to my school but not anymore.  First world problems, right?  It’s just going to take a little more getting used to.  We are going to have plan our days a little better since running home to pick something up is no longer an option. Dani understands my frustration in the picture below.


But we did it, we signed the paper and decided to move.  It took 30 days, 5 bags of donated clothes, and a few meltdowns to finally get to the new house.  We paid extra for them to pack us up and unpack our boxes, but there are still some boxes around. There is still a lot I need to get rid of.

It’s going to take a while for it all to come together.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be with the toddlers.  We really can’t wait until their naptime because we need to be quiet since they haven’t quite adjusted to the new place.

It will come together, I have faith.

moving-3 moving-4

Tres Reyes Magos


Growing up in a Puerto Rican household, our winter holiday season didn’t end on the 1st of January like in most American households; we finished ours after Three Kings Day or El Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos on January 6th.  In our house we would get presents from Santa Claus and our family on Christmas but on January 5th my brother and I would collect grass from outside and put it under our beds for the Three Kings’ camels. The next day there would be an extra present under the tree.  This holiday celebrates when the Three Wise Men followed the star to Bethlehem to receive the King of Kings, Jesus.

This is something that I wanted to make sure that I passed on to my children.  Last year we just kept the tree up until after the 6th with no presents but this year I found a post about a Tres Reyes party for Puerto Ricans living on Okinawa.  My Spanish is terrible but decided that I would make some arroz con gandules and take my family to the Reyes party on the base.  I invited the only other Puerto Rican I know, since he’s married to a friend of mine so at least I would have someone to talk to.
reyes-8  reyes-4

The food was fabulous and I was happy that my rice was eaten as I don’t have a lot of practice cooking it.

reyes-3 reyes-2

The hosts had activities for the kids and even rented a jumpy castle for them.  G had a blast running around yelling at all the kids in English.  She unfortunately only knows five or six words in Spanish.

reyes-11 reyes-10  reyes-7 reyes-5

Dani just practiced walking all over and melting hearts along the way.  They were both exhausted when we got home.


I hope to continue this each year.  If there is no party next year, I will make sure that I make Puerto Rican food to make up for it.  My husband loves pernil.  The girls LOVED the arroz I made, especially the little one. She loves to eat.

Christmas 2017


We are still trying to figure out our family Christmas traditions. My husband grew up in a traditional Korean household so Christmas doesn’t mean a lot to him, but now as we have kids it’s fun to see how the girls’ light up for the Christmas magic. Since I am a teacher, school is off for two weeks for Winter Break and that means I don’t have to work.  It works out perfectly since the girls’ daycare is off from the 25th to the 3rd of January. I was hoping for a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas (Eve?) dinner.  I was planning on making pernil and arroz con gandules.  This first week of my vacation flew by and with the prospect of moving next month I couldn’t plan ahead to get the ingredients to make the meals.  The girls won’t eat it yet anyway. We spent Christmas Eve at American Village in Chatan eating Thai food.  The baby had an accident due to the extra fiber that the doc told us to put in her diet.  Thank goodness Japan has the best baby amenities to make changing diapers a team effort.  I couldn’t imagine trying to do this in a tiny bathroom alone!IMG_2123 My husband’s friends came to visit from Korea so they treated us to Yakiniku, which is something the whole family loves. Gigi can eat ramen all day every day.  She loves how it’s free rice and ice cream too.

IMG_2139 Here are some photos of the festivities.  The girls have matching shirts with their names.  I think we will go back to the matching pajamas next year.

Christmas2017 Christmas2017-32 Christmas2017-8Christmas2017-2 Christmas2017-29 Christmas2017-27 Christmas2017-26 Christmas2017-23 Christmas2017-16

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Watching Santa come up from a dive

I think it was three years ago I was walking along Sunabe Seawall one morning and saw a whole bunch of people and kids waiting on the seawall steps looking into the water.  It wasn’t until I walked back that I realized that they were all looking at Santa come up from a dive. I had forgotten about it until a few weeks ago when a “suggested” post came up about the 5th Annual Santa Dive by OkiDiveZone came up.  I found it!  That was it, and Gigi is just old enough to enjoy it.  I rushed to the Seawall at 8:30 thinking he got out of the water at 8:30, not that it when the event starts.  Luckily, there were tons of activities for Gigi to do before Santa made his entrance.

They had the biggest tree on the seawall.

They had games, prizes, musicians, and even a dressed up doggy that Gigi couldn’t get enough of.
santadiver-12 santadiver-14 santadiver-19 santadiver-10 santadiver-26 santadiver-29

You can see Santa in these next shots. It was so much fun. Gianna gets so amazed seeing Santa everywhere even in the water.

santadiver-35 santadiver-36 santadiver-37 santadiver-38 santadiver-39 santadiver-40 santadiver-41 santadiver-42 santadiver-44 santadiver-46

Below is Gigi not getting too close to Santa as he was “too wet” but she did enjoy talking to him.  Not enough for mommy to get a good picture of him.


It was nice of OkiDiveZone to set up this free events for families.

Pictures with Santa!

I have to get the pictures with Santa – we missed last year as I had just had a baby and was in no position to go track down Santa.

This year the Torii Station Library hosted a magical storytime with a real life Santa.  I was able to go with the girls.  There was a professional photographer, cookies, juice, and even coloring activities for the kids.  It was amazing that this program was free to the community.  I received some really cute photos.
Santa2017-5 Santa2017-4Santa2017

I am glad to hear that this Santa will be on Okinawa for at least another three years.  He really is larger than life.  I met his wife today at a playdate and he is 6’8.”

New Year and New Goals

Ha! So my goal is now to do a weekly blog.  Blogging is very therapeutic for me and I really want to document my life this way.

I can’t believe my youngest daughter is already a year old.  Here is a picture of her in a traditional Korean outfit, a hanbok.

Dani in a hanbok

Last week of School

This last week of school was a blur like it always is.  It is crazy to see the changes these kiddos go through from babies in 6th grade to the end of 8th grade, on their way to high school.  Of course there are one or two that I can’t wait to see move on.  Poor high school…

Day 13 – Here Gigi is trying out the stroller. She loves it and we need to use it more when we get back home after our summer vacation.


Day 14 – Pizza In – It’s one of our favorite family eateries.  It’s super toddler friendly and I like pizza.  You can find the amazing cheeseburger pizza which has ketchup and mustard on it.  It sounds gross, but it’s amazing.