And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Island Life

Part of being on Okinawa is not only enjoying the beaches here...but also on the surrounding islands!  Since Grandpa, Grandma, and Jandy were here and they LOVE (is there a stronger word?) the water, we decided to head down south to the Kerama Islands...or more specifically, Aka island.

Aka Island is one of the smaller islands in the Keramas.  You can't take your car, and the only way to get there is by ferry.  There are two kinds of ferry's; the slow kind (the big ferry) and the fast kind (the small ferry).  As soon as TJ showed me the ferry we would be taking out I knew I was in for a "fun" ride.  We boarded the fast ferry and sat in the very front so we would have an awesome view of the waves splashing up onto the windows.  Unfortunately and unbeknownst to me, the front is the worst place to sit if you get sea sick...which I do...and I did.  I pretty much threw up the entire time.  I sat in between Mike who patted my back and Andy who fanned me for the entire hour long ferry ride.  At one point I started feeling better and Mike being the generous guy that he is, offered me some licorice...resume puking :(  But we eventually made it to Aka island...and all was well...and hey, I think I lost a pound or two ;)

Once we arrived at the port, we were picked up by someone from the bed and breakfast we would be staying at.  They picked us up in their little (emphasis on the word little) Dihatsu truck and Parker and I sat up front while everyone else and the luggage managed to squeeze in the back.  Luckily it was only a quick drive to the B&B. 

The bed and breakfast we stayed at was called Kawai Dive Shop and was really eclectic.  They had hip posters, fun Japanese drinks displayed, and a picturesque view of the ocean that was just steps away from their oversized balcony.  Our rooms were  traditional Japanese rooms with Futon's to sleep on, and we all shared a communal bathroom and shower.  The owner of the bed and breakfast cooked breakfast and dinner for us, and to say it was delicious would be an understatement.  They catch their own fish, and grow all their own vegetables and that's what they serve.  Dinner was a 5 course meal with fish prepared several ways and lots of pasta and fresh veggies.  Breakfast was homemade bread, yogurt and granola parfait, and some type of egg and Goya (the first time I have tried it and actually enjoyed it!). The best part about the food was that it was eaten on the balcony overlooking the ocean.  Very relaxing and the perfect way to begin and end our days.

Our days were spent pretty much in exclusively in the water.  Traditionally I try to avoid the ocean like the plague (I have an aversion to all things water and sand), but I decided that I needed to be more adventurous and I got right in there and did some "hardcore" snorkeling!!  We saw sea turtles, sea snakes, lobsters, and every kind of tropical fish imaginable.  It was so fun to float around with my family and experience all this beauty with them!  Dominik was even snorkeling...I'm embarrassed to admit it, but he actually taught me a few techniques to improve my snorkeling :)


The few times we weren't in the water we were playing games, hanging out, and doing our ninja training (Dominik's idea), and just enjoying one another's company.

When it was time to head out, I was ecstatic to see that we would be taking the big ferry home. Just as a precaution though, Jana gave me a Zolfran...cant be too careful!!  The only thing that made it easier to leave was to know that we still had two weeks left with family and a lot of things planned.

Friday, June 27, 2014

4 Months Old

4 Month Stats -
Weight: 14.6lbs (44%)
Height: 26in (83%)
Head Circ: 43.5cm (80%)

Parker is growing at a rapid pace these days.  Well...according to my standards he is growing at a rapid pace.  Due to the nature of the military hospitals, consistency in Parkers weight and height is pretty hard to come by.  Apparently he has already plateaued on the growth chart and is under "watch" for his weight.  At his 6 month visit the doctor will reevaluate his progress and then decide if blood work is necessary.  The doctor didn't seem too worried, but no mother wants to hear that her baby is under "watch."  Although, his chubby cheeks and rolley thighs tell me not to worry. 

Parker is doing so much these days.  He started rolling over at about 3 1/2 months old, as well as holding his head up pretty steadily, and tracking like a boss.  He is eating every 3-4 hours during the day, and then will supplement with a formula bottle right before bedtime.  He typically sleeps for 8 hour stretches at night...which makes for one happy mama!!  He loves to giggle, and smiles at just about everything.  If he is not hungry or tired he is pretty content to just chill.  He loves his play mat and his vibrating chairs, and has recently discovered his feet; more importantly his big toe...which he loves to suck on!!  He reaches for things and once they are in his grasp they are promptly placed in his mouth.  While Parker loves just about everyone, he loves his mommy and daddy and will follow their voice when he hears them. 

We are all so in love with this little guy and can't wait to see the changes during this next month!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Homage to the Fathers

This fathers day I feel incredibly blessed with all the amazing fathers in my life.  As I look at my sons I hope and pray that they can look to these examples and align their lives with theirs.  I have an incredible father for my sons, and two of my own fathers (one being my own and one being my father-in-law). 

TJ is just about as good as it gets when it comes to husband and father.  He is outgoing, fun, kind, playful, attentive...all the necessary attributes when you have two sons.  The way both Dominik and Parker light up when "Daddy" gets home is pretty indicative of the caliber of dad they have.  TJ provides for us, loves us, and puts up with our more eccentric features (by "us" I really mean me).  I'm so lucky that TJ had his father to look to as an example of what a father should be...and I feel so lucky that I would be blessed with him as my husband and the father of my children.


My father-in-law Mike is the strongest, most creative, kind, charitable man that I know.  I can't count the amount of times he has helped me create or build something that others probably saw as a little bit crazy.  He even built me a pallet wall shelf that I couldn't take on the he built me another one in pieces that TJ could put together when we got back to Portland!!  That's love.  One of the things I admire most about Mike is the amount of times I have seen him put the needs of others before his own.  I don't know what I did to get a father-in-law like Mike...but he is just like a blood related Dad to me...and I feel so lucky to have him in my life.

My Dad is definitely the spiritual giant in my life.  He knows the scriptures forwards and backwards, and can quote just about any scripture/prophet in order to answer any gospel question.  Growing up I always felt like everything was black and I know that he just wouldn't except anything less than the best for us because he knew our potential.  I owe my testimony to my dad and all the times I witnessed him praying and reading his scriptures in secret.  He has always been a pillar of strength in my life and I'm so grateful for his unwavering example of living a Christ like life.

To these fathers in my life I say thank you!!  Thank you for your unconditional love and example in my life.  I hope you know how much you are loved and needed and I hope you have the most amazing of Fathers Days!!!!