December 30, 2014

Cunningham Christmas 2014: Yokota hotel style

This Christmas was a weird one and one that if I'm being completely honest almost didn't happen. We arrived on base 4 days before Christmas with no tree, no presents, in a hotel room and no Japanese licenses/car. Thanks to our wonderful friends both new and old this Christmas was a success, nothing big like past years but just enough that Logan knows Santa can find him no matter where he lives....and he really needed that with all of the change in his life this year.

After Christmas shopping and a marathon wrapping session I ended up with this pinterest fail that thankfully even though it didn't turn out like it was supposed to Logan loved it! He ran into our bedroom screaming "HE CAME HE CAME MOMMY, DADDY SANTA FOUND US IN JAPAN!!" So worth it!

Since we were moving before Christmas both sets of grandparents sent their gifts right after Thanksgiving so he opened what I thought would be a couple of presents but ended up being about two moving boxes full of presents before we left (they spoil him against my wishes every chance they get but I guess that's what they are for haha)  Thank goodness they sent them before the movers came! 

We didn't get him much since we are in TLF and he has so many toys coming. Just enough to have fun until our things get here. He got the Grill that he's been asking for, a train set, lego duplo planes set, nerf guns, pajamas, a planes guitar and April O'neil and Casey Jones to add to his TMNT action figure collection. In his stocking he just got bubbles, a few coloring books, a Japanese candy, sunglasses and something else that I can't remember (FYI Logan went on strike against pajamas this Christmas so he just had his night time pull up on until we left the house lol)

The pajamas he should've worn Christmas Even

Nerf guns for everyone! 

Planes guitar

 Remember the train set from BorneLund? He got it and was super excited! It was very expensive at the store ($90) but we found it at Toys R Us for about half the price and got it. It is way to big to set it all up on the table in TLF but once he gets his toys back and we have his train table we will set the entire thing up for him to enjoy

We spent the rest of the morning eating breakfast, playing Nerf guns (it got pretty serious at one point between Isaac and Logan. I'm talking major show down!) and watching A Christmas Story in our Pajamas (or lack of pajamas)

After we spent our Christmas morning family time we headed over to the Masters' house for play time and Christmas dinner. I didn't get a picture of it but it was SUPER YUMMY! Savannah and Logan exchanged gifts with the sweetest hug (that I also slacked on getting a picture of) and then played with her Christmas gifts. It was so sweet to watch!

That Smile!!!

He wanted a roll so badly and when he got it it was so hilarious to watch

It is so nice to hold a sweet sleeping baby who isnt half of my size. 

We don't have a little girl so I don't see this side of Isaac very often

"I hope this doesn't ruin my manly man reputation" lol

Silly kids

The day after Christmas we met up with our new friends Brittany and Korey for lunch, laughs and a little bit of BX shopping. It still felt like Christmas since it was Christmas in the states

I hope that your Christmas was filled with family/friends, fun, laughs, joy, yummy food and an overall awesome day with those that you love and love you! 

December 28, 2014

Our first off base adventure

Arriving to a new base the week of Christmas is as stressful as it gets. It is hard to really do anything because the hours are weird everywhere thanks to holiday time off. With the stress of not really being able to in-process the base and Logan not knowing if Santa will come it started to get to us. Thankfully Brittany saw that we were going crazy and whisked us away for our first adventure in town. It wasn't a big one but it was really fun and she even convinced us to set up a little for Christmas so that Logan will know that Santa can find him anywhere we go. Christmas fun will be posted later on so for now here is our Christmas Eve adventure in town!

First things first! We had to get some yen. On base dollars and debit cards are widely accepted since its just like being in the states but off base we can only use yen in the smaller stores and the restaurants and your card is accepted in the larger stores. The exchange rate varies (on this day it was $1.16 or something very close) but to make it easier for myself I just use $1. If something costs 5000 yen I just assume it's $50 and then if it works out to being less in dollars then I'm saving money haha Anything under 1000 yen is in change and above is paper money. It's so weird to get used to because we used to give Logan our change but now we can't do that. he can be walking around with $20 if we aren't careful! He doesn't like this new change but we will work something out for him I'm sure

Next up we headed to the Aeon Mall which is literally less than 10 minutes from the base. There is no train that goes there so you have to drive, or walk which wouldn't be so terrible since they have vending machines on what seems like every couple of blocks with everything from plastic gloves to ramen noodles. When we got to the mall I was excited and pleasantly surprised! There is a movie theater that plays American movies in English, a Mcdonalds, Gap and Gap Kids, H&M, and many more stores that were very familiar to us. Once we got there we sent the kiddos to use the restroom. Even the restrooms in the mall are cool! There is an everyone's toilet, which is more for the handicap and elderly, a women's toilet, men's toilet, and Logan's favorite the children's toilet! It is a restroom with a children's size sink, urinal and toilet just for the littles. Japan seems to be very child friendly. They even have a baby room on each floor next to the restrooms with a nursing area and changing table and in the food court they have a hot water dispenser for mom's using formula to feed their babies and a children's eating area with small tables and chairs so kids can feel comfortable eating. I wish I would've taken more pictures of it all!

Next up was our whole reason for coming to the mall....BORNELUND! Bornelund is an AMAZING play place in the mall that I now have to come to at least every other week. Logan fell in love! I of course threw away my receipt and can't remember how much it costs to get it but i do remember it was 600 yen for Logan and Isaac and I had to pay to get in as well. It was a bit pricey for only 30 minutes of play but it was so worth it. They have a dress up area, a train set (That we ended up buying for Christmas), a huge ball pit, bounce house, a rock wall, magnets, and an infant area that they are very protective over and make sure that it is only for the 6-18m olds (which i happened to love. So many times they aren't monitored) and a vending machine and drinking area for when the littles got thirsty

I was very proud of myself because Bornelund has everything that they offer for the kids to play with in the store for purchase in the lobby and I didn't buy anything! We played for our 30 minutes and then headed off to eat. We went over to the food court area and decided that the best thing to try would be the noodles since that is a very Japanese go to meal. In Japan it is not polite to substitute things in your meal like it is in Japan and so you have to order your food and hope you like it. When you can't read the menu and don't eat seafood that is risky but I am all about the experience and trying my best to live as the locals do so I'll go with it. We all got noodles and dumplings, which thanks to Ni-Hao Kai Lan Logan is obsessed with. They only offer chopsticks for adults and of course I didn't know how to use them. I learned that day!! A combination of Isaac's and Brittany's methods was the golden ticket! Logan got a kid fork and a spoon for his dumplings. (when we left he decided he was never using a fork again and we got him some training chop sticks which he has now mastered) Once we started eating there was a weird taste that I couldn't put my finger on. I mean the noodles were good and I still ate a bunch and then I got it! FISH SAUCE! I was done immediately lol It was good anyway but I couldn't get past it now that I knew what it was. Next time I am going to try something else since they had a ton of options (but not KFC which they also had) Oh and before I forget CC Lemon is NOT I repeat IS NOT Lemonade! It is more like a carbonated Lemonhead! 

After lunch we set out to explore the mall a little and ended up in the sporting goods store where the kids saw a huge moose and loved it and I saw orange coke which I had never seen before. 

On the way out once we got in the elevator Brittany told me that the elevator had seats! You know I love place to sit down in the middle of nowhere so an elevator where I can sit down...yes please! 

After that it was time to head home, drop the kids off with Isaac and head out Christmas shopping for Logan and get some last minute gifts for Savannah and Jaxon. That ended it an epic 1am present wrapping party. 

Then it was time to head home and prepare Christmas!!! 

December 24, 2014

The journey begins!

It has finally begun! A new adventure, TOGETHER, in a new country! I don't think I've been so nervous, scared, excited, stressed and happy at the same time since we became parents. It was a very long trip and so I was extremely nervous (honestly both for us and for the rest of the plane) to see how a 3 year old would handle the trip. He's become mighty spoiled this past year since we were missing our primary disciplinarian (something on working on A LOT

We had to be at the airport  at 2am so we woke up at 1 and made sure we did a final sweep of the room to make sure we didnt forget anything. We took the shuttle at 1:30 and got everything checked and got through security. Thankfully Logan woke up so I didn't have to carry him through the airport with our 2 luggage carts but that meant he was wide awake so a starbucks stop in the terminal was a must. Luckily they were open. Seattle airport has a nice childrens play area and so we hung out there for an hour or so.

airport play time with daddy 

as put together as I can be at 2 am

Once we got to the terminal we had a long wait ahead of us. Even though we were there at 2 our flight didnt leave until 7:30 so we had a 5 hour wait. Logan was a trooper and hung out with us until the very last hour before boarding when he fell asleep. the wait was long but I am a people watcher and it was a people watcher's paradise! Isaac and I had a blast observing and laughing and joking with my husband.

TMNT play time in the terminal 

So nice to let me use him as a pillow (See how excited he is!) 

Flying with a toddler it is never easy flying but expecting a 3 year old to sit still for 10 hours on an airplane after sitting in a terminal for 5 hours and waking up at 1am is like expecting me to get his birthday party planning completely done before the day of. Not gonna happen! So, with that being said the flight went GREAT! LOGAN DID AMAZING! He literally sat on the plane watching movies, talking to us and coloring  and napping the entire time. I thought we would have to deal with a tantrum or a seat kicking issue but nope none of that. Isaac and I kept looking at each other and saying "Can you believe this?!" and when we heard other kids have meltdowns we were expecting one every time but it never happened. It was the best flight we have ever taken with him! he even ate the airplane food! I was so proud of him. I don't think I couldve been more impressed, seriously it is impossible. During the flight I mostly slept, read The Andy Cohen Diaries and watched the movie Blended that they showed and that was really good. Isaac pretty much tried to sleep the entire time and failed haha I owe my husband so so so so so much and I have to praise him! Even after flying from the pacific and back within a week all to escort us to Japan with a hurt knee he still sat in a tiny area so that Logan and I could spread out on the plane and sleep

We're all ready to go 

Movie Time

Nap time comfortably thanks to my awesome husband

lauged out loud the entire time I read this and people thought I was crazy 

When we finaly landed we had a little bit of customs stuff to do to enter the country and then we were officially done and residing on Yokota. It's the middle of December so I obviously expected it to be winter when we arrived but I didn't expect It to be 40 degrees. I was expecting much cooler. I was surprised at how the wind can pick up though and change it from a decent weather day to a pretty cold one in a second That year back in Southern California with basically no wind really spoiled me. Everything here is smaller than in the states, especially the cars! Even the biggest cars are tiny lol

Samurai Armor in the airport terminal 

right outside the terminal

We are so lucky to have a family here that we have known for years, basically our husbands were roomates and worked in the same office before we all got married and then we (Brittany and I) met after we became moms. If it wasn't for Brittany who has been here for a year and a half we would be lost! She has basically become my lifesaver during this first week. She picked us up from the airport, took us grocery shooping and took us to get phones. Thankfully Logan and her daughter get along very well and it makes me very happy to see him have a friend here already. She has seriously been a lifesaver and I don't know how we could adjust here with out her. I dont have a picture with them yet becuase I look like death but I promise one is coming haha

We've been here for 3 days now and we still haven't adjusted to the time, Every day Logan and I have gone to sleep really really early and wake up at 3am or so. It's crazy! We are trying to get adjusted but the time is kicking our butts! Isaac is luckier because he was in S. Korea and on the same time for the past year. Since this is Christmas week it is very hard to get things done and in processed because everyone is on holiday schedules. Hopefully we will get enough done this week to be able to go off base and then start really exploring. Outside of the time we have been walking around on base a little bit and trying to figure out what is near us and just taking it all in. 

Minute Maid apple juice, flavored water and a can of hot coffee from the vending machine!
Logan loves the bottles!

Speed limit sign- 30 km (about 18 mph)

Stop sign on base (the triangle threw us both off!)

Playground fun with daddy 

Now we're just waiting to be assigned a house, which we found out will probably end up being about a month....ughh!, and start settling in as much as we can without all of our furniture. I'm hoping we'll get our home before our stuff gets here but either way we will make the best of it and enjoy the beginning of this chapter because this journey is one that many people don't get to take and whatever happens from here on out we will chalk it up to it just being our life.