Sesoko Beach and a 5-month old

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Though our living situation remains the same, our "Upon arrival in Japan" to-do list is finally accomplished, suddenly leaving us with time to get out and explore. This last weekend, we hopped on the Expressway and headed north and found ourselves a small piece of perfection.

The view inside the beach cave
The view from the beach cave

We set up our things in little open cave we found on the beach, which provided us ample shade and privacy.  As a bonus, Avery actually liked the opposed to the ocean, which apparently she hates. Although, on second thought, this might not be such as bad thing since nuclear waste is leaking into the sea. Good thought, Avery girl.

Not too shabby, right? If only Avery had let us go snorkeling!

In other news, Avery is now five months old. She is sitting up on her own, and doing her best to get in to everything. She still isn't very good at scooting, but the motivation and desire are there! Her fiercest obsession right now is with paper (eating it, of course), but banging and shaking things that make noise is another favorite. 

Bath time is still a daily favorite, although these days she spends most of her time trying to eat bubbles and climb out. Is there anything cuter than a naked baby??

Two weeks on Okinawa

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We made it!

So what is Okinawa like? Picture the beaches of Jamaica, the flora of Hawaii, and all of the nicest people you've ever met. Palm trees, tropical flowers, turquoise waters, sparkling beaches, a fresh ocean breeze, golden sunsets: what's not to love? I think the adjustment here will be smooth. I have already lived overseas before, so I am comfortable with the idea that the American way isn't the only way; I have encountered more than a few toilets that I couldn't flush before; and I am not a stranger to using hand gestures to communicate across language barriers. In fact, I think I am experiencing more culture shock as a result of living on base full time than I am from being out and about in Japan. Full-time immersion in the Air Force life is ... different. But at least the AFN commercials are awesome (wink), and whenever I feel overwhelmed, I can hop in the car, grab an iced coconut latte, and go to the beach -- a drive that only takes about 5 minutes, if you were curious.

We are far from settled, however. We are living in temporary lodging on base. It's an old, small, slightly moldy hotel room, but technically it has everything we need. There are some washers and driers down the hall; half of them have "out of order" signs, and the other half are about 3 loads of laundry away from "out of order" signs. We have two pots, one pan, two casserole dishes, and the world's largest toaster; the stove mostly smokes, but the oven works; in short, everything is just functional enough to get by, even if not very lovely. Apparently, as a result of all of the budget issues and sequestration, the housing office recently had to let go 200 of their maintenance employees, so it is now taking them 1-2 months to turn over a house after someone vacates it. But--also as a result of budget issues--they are not allowing anyone to live off base any more, so we are stuck here until we hear otherwise. We are doing what we can to make the best of it, mostly by avoiding being here except for to sleep. It's really not terrible, but after being in limbo for so long (we moved out of our house on June 25th), it would sure be nice to have a house and start unpacking and getting settled.

We did finally make it to the beach this weekend, though! I suppose having to leave the hotel room isn't so awful.

Avery's first dip in the ocean. She didn't love it.

 This kid is such a ham. She was whining and trying to eat handfuls of sand, until the camera came out. Then it was nothing but smiles.

The other rough part of the move is getting this (adorable) baby to sleep. I'm not sure if it is the time difference, teething, or just the combination of all of the new changes in our living situation, but this girl has been sleeping poorly. Prior to leaving Tucson, she would sleep from about 8:30 to 4:00am, then eat and go back to sleep until 7. It was beautiful. Now? Not so much. Have you ever been playing a board game, and you are really close to winning, and then you draw a card that sends you back to the very beginning of the game? That is basically what happened when we moved here. She is now waking every 2 hours at night, just like she did when she was first born. Not to eat, though, just to snuggle. All. Night. Long. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I am exhausted.

Anybody have one of these? I'll pay!
Ok, but enough complaining. Besides being tired and stuck in a stinky hotel room, life is good. No, life is great. Paul has been able to come home for lunch every day and we've all been enjoying our extra time together. Paul likes not having to commute. Avery is enjoying the opportunity to go outside every evening to pick grass and watch the airplanes take off. I just like drinking iced tea and looking at the ocean. We all like two-digit temperatures.

Lots more to share with y'all (like what it is like to drive here...yikes!), but for now this is all I've got time for. Missing all of you!


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