Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kinder pickup does NOT equal meek Jessica.

(okay i just finished writing this and it's WAY longer than i expected.  so grab a snack.  pff. i guess i'm back to my old rambling self)

So.  In the LDS church, we all gather together twice a year to listen to our current prophets speak at something we call General Conference.  It actually takes place in Utah, of course, but they also broadcast it on television everywhere in the world.  You can watch it online, or read it online, or even download the talks as podcasts on your iPod.  ok that sounds kind of cultish but i swear it's not.  it's actually pretty awesome.  and super inspiring.  
if you wanna learn more about this whole shebang, go HERE.

well, this year, there were many talks that stood out to me as answers to prayers, but there was one in particular that has really been weighing heavily on my mind.  the talk was called
Be Meek and Lowly of Heart
by Elder Ulisses Soares
a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.

ok i know what you're thinking.  this is religious hoohaw and i don't wanna read anymore.
NO.
it's not, i promise.  you know me better than that. i hope.
i'm religious, but not a preacher, i just have to preface this story so you understand WHY the situation bothered me as much as it did.  

i'm not a meek person.
if you've read my blog for quite some time,
you know that i frequently find myself in hot water because i lose my temper a lot.
i get really annoyed with annoying people. i can't help it. 
actually i CAN help it.  i just don't know how.
and that's why this talk stood out to me.

especially this paragraph:

"Meekness is the quality of those who are “Godfearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering.”3 Those who possess this attribute are willing to follow Jesus Christ, and their temperament is calm, docile, tolerant, and submissive."

and then this

“Christlike attributes are gifts from God. [These attributes] come as [we] use [our] agency righteously. …With a desire to please God, [we have to] recognize [our] weaknesses and be willing and anxious to improve.”

BAM.
it hit me.  
i need to stop being a crazy woman when people piss me off.
i need to learn how to control my actions and not end up doing something i'll regret an hour later.
so i decided to pray asking Heavenly Father for situations that would allow me to strengthen my weaknesses.  

what in the CUSS was i thinking?
i'm an idiot.

the VERY. NEXT. DAY.
i was faced with the challenge. 

so.  if you have a child in school (which i do, i don't homeschool my kindergartner) then you are all too familiar with the mayhem that is:

SCHOOL PICKUP LINES.
dum dum dum
everyday i sit in my car and i seriously look at the chaos and think to myself this very thing.



why are people so dumb?
ok. so i've hand drawn the kinder pickup system to be able to get my point across clearly.
yes i wasted 20 minutes of my life making a diagram for you.
hush.

the pickup circle at the school is for kindergartners ONLY.  every kinder parent is issued a special pass to put in their window to show that they DO belong in this line.  i say "issued" but seriously it's just a yellow piece of card stock with the school and teacher's name on it.  real serious, people.

so this is how the system works.  bear with me.
the cars wait in line as i've shown below. 
the teachers, who are standing with their car riders, bring the students TO THE CARS and put them in.
all the teachers come out at different times each day so some cars in line waiting, will continue to wait until their kids' teacher comes out.  
now you're saying,
"but wait!  that blocks up traffic!!"
no no no.
here's the genius part.
you see those red stars?
THAT lane is for cars who already SEE their teachers out standing.
they can get out of the slow lane
and into the fast lane which should be continually moving since you're 
only allowed in that lane if your teacher is OUT.

no one is supposed to get out of their cars.
but they do.
and they clog up traffic.
no one is supposed to get in the fast lane unless their teacher is there.
but they do.
and they clog up traffic. 
why?
i don't know.
i wish i did.
moms are annoying and they talk about stupid things for way too long.
but that's another blog post.
and besides the point.


now.
you see that little pink area marked off by the crosswalks?
everyday, the principal of the school stands in that area and basically does a little traffic directing.  and by traffic directing, i mean this:


i'm gonna be completely honest here guys.  i don't necessarily LOVE this woman.
i have personally watched her almost cause about 3 car accidents.
seriously.
she has absolutely NO IDEA what she is doing.
she's directing cars from all three directions all at the same time 
WHILE
trying to read all of the kinder passes in the windshields with her terrible vision
and directing certain cars to get out of line and into the fast lane.
it is a cluster cuss to say the least.

her daily routine includes her coming straight up to your car,
with her outstretched hand like so,
as she squints so hard, she's revealing the entire row of her top teeth.
you're making the face right now, aren't you?


and everyday i'm like, 
"seriously woman.  you don't have to put your hand up like that because i'm not going anywhere.  i'm in a line.  that is stopped.  bumper to bumper.  i promise you i'm not going to try to drive away quickly because i'm actually a kidnapper trying to steal kindergartners.  on a military base.  that is guarded with guns.  in japan."  

needless to say she takes her traffic directing seriously.
and i have to admit that i kind of enjoy pissing her off and a watching her feathers get a bit ruffled.
so on most days, when i see isaak's teacher come out, and i can slip into the fast lane,
i'll do so.  
and of course,  
here comes the palm.
but since i'm kind of a ninja (being in japan and all)
i can sneakily drive right past her and not stop.
and that makes her REALLY MAD.
some days i'll even smile real big at her as i drive by.

and then on some days when she's breakdancing in the middle of the street
and she's telling me i can't go because no one else is going either and that makes perfect sense, right?
i still just go.

well.
yesterday i went to pick up isaak from school and heavens to megatron,
I FORGOT MY KINDER PICKUP PASS.
i had taken it out of my car to give to my neighbor to borrow 
when she was picking up isaak for me a few days before, and i had forgotten to put it back in the window.

well i get up to the spot to turn into the pickup lines and there she is.
breakdancing.
as usual, i just ignored her and started to turn in.
and then the palm went up and the squinting began.

oh no.
here it comes.
i roll down my window.
"yes?"
and in her best mrs. trunchbull voice she growls:
"THIS CIRCLE IS FOR KINDERGARTNERS ONLY!!"
"i know.  i have a kindergartner."
"YOU DON'T HAVE A PASS!!"

at this point, cars are trying to come from the other direction and here i am, being blocked in the middle of the oncoming traffic lane, because yoohoo wants to be all club bouncer on me.
 so to avoid causing more havoc than she has already caused, i just drive past her.

ohhhhh mommmaaaaaa.
this makes her EXTRA angry.

someone has slipped past her security?!?!
NEVER.

so i circle around. 
isaak's teacher walks him to my car.
and puts him in.
shuts the door.
i mean CLEARLY i have a kindergartner.
right?

well before i can drive out the same way i came in,
here comes the angry beaver.
hands on her hips
eyebrows high.
here it is. 
this is my moment to SHINE and be MEEK!


she gets up close to my car and begins to do this gang sign type thing with her hand and i realize she's trying to tell me to roll down my window.
i roll it down.
"yes?"
"THIS IS FOR KINDERGARTNERS ONLY!!"
"lady.  i have a kinder pass. calm down."
"WELL I DON'T SEE IT!"
"because i forgot it today and…"
"I THINK YOU NEED TO STEP INTO MY OFFICE TOMORROW MORNING SO I CAN TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN!"

oh no she di'nt.
at this point i've begun to get hot and angry.
blotchy red face and neck.
hands are shaking.
adrenaline is pumping.
here it goes, 3, 2, 1…

"ok two things.  number 1, i don't see how me forgetting my kinder pass ONE FREAKIN DAY is unsafe for the children of this school.  you see me drive through this place every day.  how do you not know that i belong?!?  number 2, NO, i will NOT step into your office in the morning to discuss safety because I AM NOT A STUDENT!!!"

and then i drove off.  dust in her face and all.

and in the rearview mirror i see her shaking her fist at me screaming, 
"OH WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT!!  WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT!!"

ten minutes later she calls austin at work.
because he is OBVIOUSLY my father and can put me in my place.
except he isn't.
and he can't stand the woman either so he just deletes her message.

but then i go home feeling like dookie the rest of the night because
I BLEW THE OPPORTUNITY I PRAYED FOR!!!
ughh.
colossal fail.

for the rest of the day, evening, bedtime, middle of the night bathroom trips, early morning, next day, etc., every time it would pop into my mind i'd get this sick feeling in my gut.  i knew i had to make this right.  
i HAD to prove that i can keep my cool.

as the hours inched closer to today's pickup time, i started to get really nervous.
i kept thinking of all of the scenarios that could possibly go down.
i somehow conjured up in my mind that when i got to the school, the principal wouldn't give me isaak unless i came into her office to talk to her.  like he would be held hostage.  i wasn't even at the school yet and i was already getting angry.  i had to calm down. 
no.
i had to think of an alibi.
some reason i wouldn't be able to come in.
maybe i wouldn't wear shoes. i could say i forgot my shoes so i can't walk in.
WAIT. no.
PANTS!
i could just not wear pants.
that's even better.
i can't come into the school without pants on.  no way.
or i could tell her i was late to pick up my older three kids.
which wasn't false.
i really would be late.


right before i was about to leave, i messaged my friends to ask for prayer warriors.
i needed as much help as i could get because i didn't trust myself in a heated situation.
not for a second.
and just for the record,
i despise the phrase "prayer warriors". 
so of course i had to use.

i was able to get some good advice and you better believe i took it.


well.  kinda.

i got my boots out.  
and rubbed them like a genie lamp.
but i didn't wear them.
i didn't think it would be appropriate to wear boots AND no pants.


and then after all that stressing and imagining outrageous things, and sweating and having anxiety attacks for days on end (okay maybe just one day),
i pull up to the school and turn into the pickup lane,
aaaaaaand…

she completely forgot it even happened.
seriously.
she gave me the usual palm, eye squint check, and then went on her way.

all that stressing for nothing.
or maybe it WAS the boots.
or maybe she realized she WAS in the wrong after all.

or MAYBE

Heavenly Father decided i wasn't strong enough to be tested quite yet.
yeah.
that's probably it.



Friday, November 22, 2013

10 things no one ever told me about homeschooling.

as most of you know, i've pulled my three oldest children out of public school and have begun to homeschool them.  huge.  i know.  there were many reasons, inspirations, prayers, etc. that belong to that decision, but that's another blog post.  one that i'm not in the mood for right now.  right NOW, i'm in the mood to be snarky.

before i began homeschooling i had MANY friends and family give me advice, ask questions, or give warnings, but, here is a list i've compiled of 10 things that no one ever told me about homeschool.

1.  my Lover will still come home at the end of his work day and ask me what i did today.  "what did i do?  uhm.  how about teach three different grades and 8 different subjects to three kids, grade papers, give homework, clean house, do laundry, make lunch and have dinner ready by 5:30?  why?  what did u do?" butthole…

2.  there will be tears.  lots of them.  probably every single day since i have one child who is hyper sensitive and interprets every suggestion and all positive redirection as a fault.  seriously.  it's like this, you forgot number 4.  TEARS.  can you try to use better handwriting?  TEARS.  make sure you are always indenting new paragraphs.  TEARS.  time for a potty break.  TEARS.  it's lunch time!  TEARS.  it's just never ending.

3.  regardless of how unimportant something is, i will forever be self conscious about people judging my grammar.  should i capitalize that?  i wonder if a comma should go before AND after that word.  if i  screw this facebook post up i swear everyone is going to think i'm messing up my kids!!  i know you all are!!  you're judging me right now with my non-capitalized words and fragment sentences!!  shut up!!  look away!!  look away!!

4.  i will probably learn way more than my kids will learn.  this is a big one.  and it's kind of cool.  not only am i learning school stuff, like historical events (i never paid attention in school so everything is new to me), and things written in the book of mormon, but i'm also learning so much about my kids.  i'm learning that jake LOVES to learn.  he loves to just accumulate knowledge.  and kora loves being praised for doing well.  she loves awards and certificates announcing how smart she is so she can hang them in her room and be proud of herself.  and miah loves teaching his younger brothers.  he loves knowing something that they don't know and showing them how to do it or telling them about it.  especially when it's something he just recently learned.  i love these moments in their lives.  i love watching them be THEM.  all of which i would never have been made fully aware of if they were gone all day!

5.  i will become a book hoarder.  i don't like reading.  i really don't.  i wish i did.  i watch my friends that read and i wish i could be just like them but i'm not.  i can't pick up a book and just delve into it and have it consume my life.  although recently, i HAVE discovered that i do enjoy reading with my kids out loud.  we look forward to this time each day more than anything.  i also love collecting reference books.  usborne has become my addiction and i want every single book they've made on my shelves!  for some reason i feel like having all of those books will make us smarter, even if we never look at them.  they just look pretty and they're full of knowledge.  like we can just rub them all over our bodies and the knowledge will magically soak into our brains.  mmmm.  i like that feeling.

6.  i will need an increase in my medication.  okay.  let's not totally blame this on homeschooling but maybe say that homeschooling opened my eyes to the fact.  i'm gonna be completely and totally honest about this because i think a lot of moms, especially stay at home moms, feel all of this pressure to be perfect.  and guess what?  we don't have to be.  with instagram and pinterest and facebook and all of these cutie moms who are always dressed to a T and have cute houses with cute furniture and cute meals and cute kids posting their pictures online.  BLAH.  thats what i have to say about that.  just BLAH.  maybe that works for them.  but that doesn't mean this is where ALL of our standards need to be and certainly not mine.  just be you.  be real.  who cares if you don't have a catalog house.  who cares if you need antidepressants.  who cares if you don't wear makeup except on sundays.  who cares if your baby isn't wearing suede fringed moccasins or if you don't fulfill all of your pinterest dreams.  guess what?  just be you and be happy with you.  homeschool is teaching me to be happy with me.

7.  i will constantly wonder if i'm doing the best thing for my kids.  let's put it this way.  i KNOW i've made the right choice.  100% without a doubt i KNOW this is what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. but each and every day i pray asking for guidance to allow me to know if i'm teaching them the way they need to be taught.  if i'm doing everything i can to help them NOT become dumb and dumber.  it's sometimes really stressful but it's a positive weight on my shoulders because if i weren't always questioning it, it would mean i didn't care.

8.  i get to make up really inappropriate sentences when i give spelling tests.  what the cuss people!!?  this is one of the best parts!  how in the cuss did u forget to tell me this part?  our spelling tests go a little something like this:  SPEAR.  a bratty girl threw a spear into a man's head.  EAR.  the spear went so deep it came out of his ear.  HEARING.  he lost all hearing afterward.  PIER.  shocked, the man with the spear ran all the way down to the lake's pier.  BEER.  he thought that if he drank a beer it would help him forget about the pain.  WEIRD.  instead, the beer just made him feel weird.  APPEAR.  then he started to have hallucinations and had past relatives appear to him.  SERIES.  after a series of these dreams, he fainted and died on the pier.  MATERIALS.  the girl who threw the spear gathered all of the materials she needed to cover her murder.  DISAPPEARED.  after lots of digging, she threw his body in a shallow grave and just like that, he disappeared.  EXPERIENCE.  she had concluded that this whole experience wasn't what she thought it would be.  BEARD.  so instead she just decided to grow a beard and go home.  let's just be honest.  you don't get that awesomeness in public school.  homeschool FTW.

9.  things will come out of my mouth that i would have never envisioned myself EVER saying.  let me just give you some examples.  "kora, go dig that rotisserie chicken out of the garbage and see if you can pull off a few bones to save for later."  driving passed the high school, "see that place jake?  you'll never go there."  "miah!  please stay on task!"  "we can eat our cells AFTER dinner."  "if you guys keep up the fighting we'll be doing school all day!!"

10.  this will be one of the greatest and most life changing decisions i'll ever make.  truly.  everyday i'm so thankful that i have made this decision to homeschool.  i wouldn't change it for anything.  i love the spirit that resides in our home all day.  i love having my kids near, YES, even when they're being total buttheads.  i love watching them learn.  i love going at their pace depending on their special needs.  i love being inspired by other homeschoolers i follow on instagram or facebook.  i love how close it has made our family become.  i just love it.  all of it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

maybe.

so many things.  so many new things.

maybe i homeschool now.
maybe i live on a tropical island.
maybe i'm learning a new language.
maybe i like sushi.
maybe i have japanese friends.

and maybe.  just maybe.

i'll start blogging again.
who knows.
maybe i'll love it :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

brothers start school aaaand i start being sentimental. blah.

so if you've read my blog for quite some time,
you've probably noticed changes in my mood over time.
slowly
but surely
i've lost control with each additional kid.
 
i joke with people now and tell them not to judge me by my last two children.
i used to be a good mother.  i really did.
i just lost complete and utter control of my life after isaak.
and there aren't even words to describe myself after august.
it's ugly.
like literally.
my brain fell OUT of my head.
onto the concrete.
and is probably somewhere
cooking like eggs on the cement.
cuz it sure as cuss isn't in my head anymore.
i mean do i even need to go into this?
i stopped blogging because of those last two rats
for crying out loud!
 
so since moving here Lover and i have discussed
putting the brothers in a preschool.
we've gone back and forth on the issue, debating, weighing the options.
until we finally decided to take the plunge.
never again will we be in japan
where the brothers can go to a japanese preschool
and learn the language and this incredible culture.
after searching for what has felt like YEARS,
 
(because japanese schools' calendar year is from april-march
and most schools didn't have any availability during this time of year
AND i don't speak japanese so i had to enlist of the help
of my really adorable friend, saori, to go with me to appointments
and make phone calls for me)
 
phew.
that was a long paranthesis.
okay now breath.
 
I FINALLY FOUND THE PERFECT SCHOOL.
enter singing angels:
"hallelujah!"
 
 
it really is.  it meets all my requirements. 
i love the teachers.  every one of them.
i love the facility.
i love the schedule and curriculum.
everything.
it's absolutely perfect for these brothers-o-mine.
 
so we got all excited!
and went out and bought all our school supplies.
 
p.e. hats
indoor shoes.
sweat towels.
all the japanese essentials of course.
i was finally about to meet the day i had been dreaming about for the last 12 years.
freedom.
say this slowly because it's pretty overwhelmingly awesome:
the day that
 ALL MY KIDS WILL BE IN SCHOOL.
 
holy crap. 
even typing it feels unreal.
 

i know what you're thinking.
how has this fantastic news not given me a heart attack from the sheer amazement alone.
it's glorious i tell you.  it really is.
 
but.
yes there's always that dadgum mother cussing BUT.
dangit.
 
something started to happen to me.
something awful.
something everyone warned me about
but i never chose to believe would be true.
 
i started to feel
sad.



all those years of these 5 rats,
 needing
wanting
holding
crying
teet sucking
peeing
pooping
screaming
dirtying up EVERYTHING.
 

 
and to think one day it will all just
disappear.
all of it.
 
mothers are so weird. we really are.
we want, we don't want.
we don't like, we like.
we hate, we miss.
 
it's quite irritating.
but ultimately, i began to freak out.
is this really what i want?
my last child?
no kids at home?
no one to take to the zoo or park or pool?


seriously i started questioning my ability to receive inspiration and
began confusing spiritual guidance with motherly instinct.
 
two VERY similar feelings i might add.
 
i'd spend all day talking myself into this decision
and finally feel good about it
only to find myself in a conversation with someone
mentioning how much i must wanna "get rid of those kids!"
and then i'm back to square one, feeling like a crap mom.
 
horrible.
 

 
anyway.
this has gone on for days.
DAYS i tell you.
it's hard on a mutha.
 
staring at my sweet babies little faces,
thinking about how much i'm going to miss them.
wondering why i'm giving up these precious years
just for a little free time.

 
and then there was the other side of the argument.
this is a great opportunity for them.
i need to admit to myself that i am not the same anymore.
i need time to be me again.
there will still be plenty of days off of their school
where i can play with them and take them on fun adventures.
if they were home everyday they'd just be fighting and screaming.
i'd never get anything done.
with them at school i might finally be able to clean the house
for the first time in 12 years.


it was never ending.
back and forth and back and forth.
praying and praying for an answer.
looking for guidance in every direction.
 

then tonight, i was stressing in the kitchen with kids doing homework
brothers running in and outside
and dinner trying to be prepared.
 
miah came to me with a book he chose from the bookshelf
to use for his 20 minutes of reading.
i don't usually read with him.
i just don't have the time.
i usually make kora or jake.
but tonight he was struggling particularly hard
and after a huge blow up on my part
that was completely unacceptably ugly of me,
i sat down with him to read the book.

 
the title of the book is
"if i could keep you little..."
by marianne richmond.
 
it's a book my mom gave me just recently
with a long note to me written on the inside cover.
 
i'd like to share with you some of my favorite lines from the book.
 
"if i could keep you little, i'd hum you lullabies.
but then i'd miss you singing, your concerts big surprise."

 
"if i could keep you little, i'd kiss your cuts and scrapes.
but then i'd miss you learning from your own mistakes."
 
"if i could keep you little, i'd cut your bread into shapes.
but then i'd miss you finding, "hey! i like ketchup with my grapes!"
 
"if i could keep you little, i'd tell you stories every night.
but then i'd miss you reading the words you've learned by sight."
 
"if i could keep you little, we'd nap in our fort midday.
but then i'd miss you sharing adventures from camp away."

 
and my favorite is the last line.
 
"if i could keep you little, i'd keep you close to me.
but then i'd miss you growing into who you're meant to be."
 
and by then, of course, i was in tears.
heart pounding out of my chest.
 
needless to say these last 4 years have been very difficult for me as a mother.
very trying on me.
very trying on our family
because of me lacking as the mother everyone needs.
 
i love those two little brothers with all my heart and soul
but they're a bundle of tough
those guys.
 
i know that as much as i love THEM,
heavenly father loves ME and he wants me to feel NORMAL.
to feel productive.
to finally be able to volunteer at my older kids' schools
and go on field trips with them before they don't have any more
field trips to go on.
i know he wants me to feel like a good wife
who can keep a clean house
and can have dinner ready for everyone.
i know he wants me to find time for myself.
to exercise and meditate
and pray and read my scriptures for more than 10 minutes a day finally.
to be a happy and loving and PATIENT mom
when my kids come home from school
excited to tell me about their day
instead of being annoyed and tired and frustrated by that time of day.


reading that book tonight with miah was all i needed.
it was if heavenly father was speaking to me directly with each word.
an answered prayer.
 
i am so grateful to have been blessed
as a mother to these 5 sweet spirits.
goodness. aren't they amazing?
how lucky am i? really?!
 
it's not always a bad thing to have those babies grow up ya know.
it's sad.  it makes mothers cry and act like wieners.
it does.
but it's also kinda awesome :)
 
if i could keep them little.
all of them.
imagine all of the moments i would have missed
of them growing up.
 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Firsts in Okinawa!

well hi. 
my name is jessica and i'm a new old blogger.  i've decided to resurface and make like one of those sports players always do and come out of retirement.  Lover will love that i just made mention to sports.  he loves when i talk sports.  not. 
 
anyway.  i'm here.  i'm blogging and for now i'm excited about it.
probably not as good at it as i used to be but i'll do my best to keep you entertained as i document our life.  if you get bored with the new me, just scroll back through my old posts and get to know the old me.  then you might have a little more patience with the new me to get back to the old me.
OR.
you might just mourn the old me and tell the new me to shove it.
who knows.
 
so much has changed! man. we left NC in may, headed to texas for 2 months and now we're in frickin japan? whaaa...?  i know, right? 
 
so just before we left i had to say goodbye to all my fantastic friends (not pictured here).
wait.
these friends ARE fantastic but not ALL of my fantastic friends are pictured.
does that make sense?
ok.
 
 
leaving them was bittersweet.  i can't begin to describe how much fun i have around these toots.  but all good things come to an end and that's exactly what happened. 
no, literally.
  like the last they saw of me was my rear end.
don't ask what we're doing here, just note that we have become extremely intimate.
beyond the normal limits of intimacy in a friendship.
and unfortunately for katy's husband taking this picture,
he too has become intimate with our ends. 

 
ok ok.
enough already. i'm starting to cry again.
so we loaded up our suitcases and drove off.
 

 
first flight took us to seattle for just over 12 hours of a delay
 so we got out and saw the city.


indulged in a little fish and chip action
 


and spent way too much time on these nasty airport floors.
my favorite part was when we were waiting in the security line and isaak was asleep on the floor so we were just dragging him along like one of those furry mops used to clean big high school gym floors and then all of a sudden a nice yellow tinted puddle of awesome started seeping out of his crotchula area. 
my first thought of course was, wow.  i'm glad i wasn't holding him.
then i realized the line was still moving and i needed to either have a magical mom moment or this dude behind me who is already giving me the stink eye for dragging my kid on the floor is gonna blow his top.  thankfully i'm a rockstar mom and i seriously looked like wonder woman in a phone booth as i swapped his clothes out and then i sprinted across the airport for paper towels thinking i had pulled this off, only to come back and find airport security crowded around my kid asking me what liquid this was on the floor.
uhm. hi.
it's pee.
 

when we were finally able to board we blew a big fat kiss to america
and said peace out!!


the actual flying in the air wasn't bad AT ALL.  the kids were amazing.  no major meltdowns or vomit or uncontrollable bowel issues.  seriously i started to wonder if this was even my family.  embarrassment seems to follow me everywhere i go so i was sure it wouldn't disappoint on this adventure as well but lo and behold, it did.  and i can't say i was upset about it.
 

 
hours and hours and days of traveling and layovers later,
we flew into the island of okinawa.

 
it was late but we were excited so we all gathered around in our hotel to partake of some okinawan cookies.  our first japanese treat :)
 
and then i gave everyone high doses of melatonin and sent them all to bed.
no, really.  i did.


i used to love being in a hotel.  the feel of a trip!  excitement!  fresh sheets! ice from the ice machine and water bottles that cost $8 each!  so fun and new!
 
now?  after living in one for 27 days?
 
i might just cut ur face if you tell me i have to stay in a hotel with my kids.
not. awesome.
 ok this post is reaching that point where you feel like it should end soon so u quickly scroll down to see how much more she's gonna talk about boring crap and then after like 4 finger swipes of your mouse and your still not to the bottom you just say, i quit.
 
please dont.  i'll make the rest fast i swear!!
so since being here we've already done and seen SOOO much! in just this short time, i've experienced more new things, made huge decisions, and had to adjust to new ways of living more than i have in my entire life.  i love this place.  LOVE. IT. 
but i must warn you.
moving to a new country is extremely overwhelming.
in every way shape and form possible.
man.
 
ok are you ready?!?
 
GO!
 
In the first two weeks of moving to Okinawa, Japan,
we have:
 
had more than our fair share of 110yen drinks from the drink machines
on every corner.
 
we visited the ER and got 5 rad stitches
after the coral reef decided to jump up and bite isaak.

 
we've slid down the biggest most extreme slides i've ever seen in my entire life!


and even hung and dropped on a drop slide.
yes.  these are made for kids.
silly america and their "law suit" fears.  pshh.
 
i've accidentally gotten on the okinawan expressway!
and even took the toll tag lane when i didn't have a toll tag because guess what!?
i don't speak or read japanese.
who knew. 



we got new japanese iphones!
and we signed a contract that could very well have said, we promise to send our kids off to be sex slaves when they turn 16. 
 *shrug*
whadyado.

 
we had REAL ramen.
although i can't be certain the little japanese server didn't bust open the package in the back and just put it in a fancy bowl with chicken broth.  
 we were introduced to anpanman!
their most popular cartoon character whose head is a bun filled with bean paste
that he shares with his friends and just regrows a  new one
after they eat it all.
genius. freakin genius.


i got to see an asian man in camo speedo shorts.
just what i've always dreamt of.
and you know what?
it was better than i expected.
 

i took a test.
passed.
and was issued a japanese driving license.

 
so of course we had to buy a car for me.
stop laughing at my tiny tires you jerk.


and a car for Lover.
which we've named shane.
he's a ginger.
 
and what does that mean??
well it means that we started driving on the left side of the road and on the passenger side of the car.
eeek! i know.
but i love it now. 
it's like a video game everyday when i'm running errands or taking the kids to school.
will i get to the next level and save the princess?
i dunno. i just gotta keep driving!

 
we went to the most amazing aquarium in the WORLD.
holy crap people.
is this an aquarium or freakin sea world?!

 
i discovered my love of lawson and family mart and their delicious rice balls and spicy wasabi flavored potato strings that i MAY or may not be living off of.

 
i used a squatty potty!
and apparently i did it backwards because when i left my entire foot was soaked wet with pee and i DID question as to why the toilet paper was so far behind me. 
don't worry.  i'm a pro now.


 
i tasted my first beniimo.
the japanese purple yam.
and folks?
it's heavenly.  HEAVENLY i tell you.
i'm already sad about leaving it behind in 3 years.

 
after 27 days in a hotel
we were running out of things to do with each other.

 so we made new friends.
cute japanese ones.
 and tiny gooey ones.

 
that just so happened to help us find our new home.
that tiny little snail. 
 man he just kept on truckin and led us right to it the little booger.
that's why it took 27 days to find the place.
poor thing almost ran out of glitter dust.

 
so we signed a lease and moved in!

 
we learned how to recycle like mad.


and we were introduced to the awesomeness that is
translation fails.

 
each and everyday i feel us becoming more and more japanese.
the language is very difficult and very frustrating at times but i DO intend on learning it.
i WILL.
sometimes when i'm trying to speak to a japanese person i feel like if i just push in my chest hard enough and think about what i wanna say, it'll fall right out in perfect japanese.
unfortunately that never happens.
and pushing really hard in my chest always makes me push really hard somewhere else which results in something that surely is NOT
japanese altho it's understood quite clearly in all languages as rankity stank.
soooo,
i'll just continue to study my books and CD's instead.

 
but my favorite thing we've been able to do here is just explore this beautiful island.

 
because amidst all the fun and craziness of every adventure we seem to embark on,
there's always a moment where i seem to separate myself from the action and step back, looking at it from a picture's view. and i think to myself, this truly is a dream.  how blessed we are to be here in this paradise experiencing something we may never be able to experience again.  and because of those moments, we're able to cherish every. single. bit. of this adventure.

 
and we are LOVING it.