My Youtube Adventure

I have made a few YouTube videos off and on over the years. My oldest videos are from when we lived in Japan the first time in 2008. Those videos were made more to show my family the cool things I was doing, and there was little production involved. My more recent videos I have been making have been cut and pasted together to create awesome videos. Well maybe not awesome yet, but I’m trying, and learning. I love to share and for me vlogging, and youtube is a great way to share.

I also like that making videos helps me out of my comfort zone. I did vlogmas this last year. Vlogmas is where you make a vlog for every day of December, or for the 12 days of Christmas. I should have done the 12 days of vlogmas instead of trying for the whole month because I think I put out about 12 videos. But I tried. And some of my videos were super fun for me to film. Making videos helps me do things I may otherwise not. I’m gonna “do it for the vlog”. There were days that I did more interesting things than I would normally do, just so I could vlog them.

One of the main reasons I am doing this though, goes back to the whole reason I started my YouTube channel so many years ago; We are very far from our extended family, and I want them to be included in our lives. We have family on the East coast, West coast, and several places in between. I want to document our travels for our family, we are moving abroad soon and I want to share our adventures. I hope that they enjoy them as much as we do. I also hope to look back at my adventures some day and smile. I hope they bring me happiness for many years. Also if My adventures help anyone else along the way that’s a huge bonus.

mommy guilt

Every now and then over the last year I have come here to write. I start something and I get detracted and almost never finish. But I feel like right now I may need an outlet, somewhere I can just blabber. I don’t know if anyone is out there anymore, but here goes.

Evelyn and Paul
Evelyn and Paul

Being a mom of more than one is hard. Right now I can’t imagine having three or more. I sometimes feel guilty that I can’t devote all the extra attention to Baby Paul that I did to Evelyn. Because now I need to care for and interact with both of them. Also I feel guilty because I feel like Evelyn isn’t getting as much of me as she should be, as she wants. We don’t play much anymore. I’ve got school work, I’m tired, I need to shower, I need to clean. There is always a reason. She understands, and she is really good at occupying herself. But I feel mom guilt. It doesn’t help that I’m not really sleeping. According to my fitbit last week I averaged 4 hours and 7 minutes a night. That’s nuts. I don’t think that’s healthy. It’s been like that for over a month. I want to play with my babies, I want to have fun, I want to have energy. But I’m tired and I have work to do. I feel like my poor husband is getting shorted too. We don’t have alone time. We don’t really trust anyone but family with the kids, and we have no family here. He is very busy too, with us getting ready to move, and some staff changes at work he is working long hours and often brings work home.

Schools is going very well I am pretty sure I finished my Associates in Child Development last semester, but I didn’t get my application for graduation done on time so I have to apply this semester and I wont get it until May/June. I am getting closer and closer to my Bachelors in History. I should have that completed this fall. I could do it sooner but we are moving overseas in May/June/July and traveling to visit family this spring, so I am keeping my spring semester very light. I am hoping to pick up one summer class and then finish in the fall.

I have been trying to prepare for moving, I have been listening to the Konmari method book (sorry the name escapes me) on audible. I want to finish the book before I start tidying up my life, but it’s been slow. Plus my house is just messy, I am working on dealing with it. We need to downsize before we move, I would rather just get rid of so much of our stuff before, instead of storing a bunch. I want to be a tidy person, I just have too much stuff.

We have been working on our medical preparation for Japan. That’s really the biggest hurdle, showing that the whole family is medically fit to go there. They have medical available, but there are certain conditions that they do not treat, or do not have the facilities to treat, so if you have a chronic condition that requires followup medical care they need to be sure you can get that care. I don’t think we have anything that will hold us  back but there is still a lot of paperwork and appointments.

I have also been dabbling in Vlogging. It’s fun to make videos. It’s fun to edit them. But I am self conscious so I am struggling with them. I think that is part of what is holding me back and motivating me. I want to be more comfortable in myself. Also with us moving overseas soon I want to have a video record for my family, and maybe I can help someone else along the way.

I think I am going to try writing again, even if it’s just once a week, just to empty my brain. This felt good.

You know what’s hard to do?

It’s hard to be a full time student, and stay at home mom of 2 kids (the youngest of which has just found himself mobile!), and take my daughter to school 3 days a week, and keep my house in some sense of liveable, and keep meals prepared, and sleep…

and blog.

I have been sucking at it.

For that I am sorry.

But if you are still here….

I have an exciting announcement.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already may know.


New adventures are on the horizon.

I am going to do my best to write about the experience. I also have been making some videos lately if you find yourself on Youtube you should check me out!


Birth Story

I suppose I should jot this down before I forget. This will get a teeny  bit TMI, sorry.


I would say my first signs of labor started on May 24th (my due date was the 28th). I was up early (about 6am) and I realized I had started to lose my mucus plug. So I called my mom, she was set to come out the following week, so she could watch Evelyn if I went into labor. I was more calling her out of excitement, but I was also a little panicked because I was afraid I would go into labor that night and we’d have to take Evey with us. By noon my mom had made the decision to head to us, just in case. Unfortunately I just had mild contractions, and mucus for the next few days. But we got a lot done, got the house picked up, had a nice time visiting. On Thursday and Friday mom and I went and got acupuncture, her for neck pain and me for labor induction. It was really one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. I fell asleep during my first session. I am not sure if it helped, but it sure felt good.

Friday the 27th I was so sick and tired of being pregnant. I was having intermittent contractions, I was peeing myself every time I coughed or sneezed, I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and I was sick with toddler cooties. I cried to Paul that night. I told him I was worried about ruining Memorial Day weekend, I was worried about having the baby and not being ready, I was worried about him not being ready. He had jokingly been telling me that he wasn’t ready all week. I took everything he was saying to heart, so that night I cried to him. It sounds silly now but I was asking him for permission in a way, to tell me it was okay for me to go into labor. He reassured me he had only been joking and he was ready for me to have our baby. I cried myself to sleep that night, I was so hot and uncomfortable.. and ready.

I awoke very early the next morning, on the 28th with contractions again. But this time they were more serious. They continued to get more and more serious throughout the day. I spent the day moving from the couch to my bed, trying to rest, having serious contractions, timing them, and wondering if it was real. I really think  until we left to go to the hospital I thought it was false labor. But that shit was real. And it really hurt. Through the day since I was still unconvinced that I was really in labor, between contractions I told Paul to go ahead and make dinner, he was going to smoke a tri-tip on the grill, a several hour process. My mom had to take it off the grill when it was done, because we were already gone by then.

Shortly before we left for the hospital. I’m mid contraction, this one I think came as a surprise because I am on the floor, leaning on the couch, holding Aiko, while Evey holds me. I am pretty sure I am crying too.

I was a champ though, I think so at least. I labored at home all day, it wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that I couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted to go to the hospital. We got there and I quickly was evaluated and placed in a room. I was already at 5+ centimeters. I got settled into my room, got my monitoring set up and continued to have contractions for a little while, within about an hour I gave in and asked for pain meds, I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Our hospital has recently introduced nitrous oxide as pain management for labor. But there’s a trick to it, You cant just strap it to your face and breathe, and you can’t have anyone else hold it to your face. You have to be able to hold it to your own face, with your hands and you need to remove it between contractions. Also the timing is tricky, you have to start breathing it in just when the contraction starts, or it doesn’t really take full effect during the contraction. It doesn’t fully eliminate the pain, but it dulls it. Through my tears I requested to try the nitrous for pain management.

This only lasted a few hours, by 7 I requested an epidural. Looking back the laughing gas would have been great in early labor, like while I was at home, and when I first got to the hospital, when the pain sucked but was still barely bearable.

Unfortunately by the time I requested the epidural, I was already having contractions that were very close together, and for an epidural you need to sit completely still long enough to get a needle shoved into your spine. I was also already 8 centimeters and I was getting close to time to push. But we went for it, it took two tries and the guy did a spinal block first, but he got it in. within moments I was completely numb from my belly button down. Also shortly after the epidural they ruptured my water sac.


The numbness was pretty awesome, I couldn’t feel anything, which also meant I couldn’t feel my contractions at all, so I couldn’t push when it was time. In hindsight I should have either gotten the epidural earlier, or just gotten the spinal block and no epidural. I had to wait over an hour to get feeling back in my legs enough that I could start pushing. During that time we just laid around waiting, and resting, at one point all the staff came rushing into the room because Baby Paul’s heart rate had dropped, they moved me onto one side, and then the other, gave me a shot to temporarily stop my contractions, this shot gave me horrible, uncontrollable shakes, it felt like I was shivering uncontrollably, this let up after about half an hour or so, but I continued to have short bouts of trembling through the night. But they got his heart rate back up and soon it was time to push. And at about 10 pm the nurse came in and I started to push.

I really enjoyed my experience at the Navel Hospital for the main fact that when I was in labor, it was just Paul and I. We were checked on periodically, but it was just us, quietly experiencing labor, you know quietly… except for my crying out in pain every 2-5 minutes with my contractions. Also when it was time to push we had one nurse (midwife?) come in and assist. It was her, Paul and I, she was helping and coaching me, as was Paul. All the way until it was time for her to get the doctors to “catch the baby”. When he was ready to make his appearance she went and got my doctors, who more or less caught Baby Paul.

He came out perfectly. 9 pounds 9 oz and 20 ish inches long. Just before 11pm.

Baby Paul Wk 1


Our Newest Adventure!

I’ve been MIA for quite a while now. But I have a good reason.

New Paul

It has now been a month since we welcomed Baby Paul into our lives.  We are slowly adjusting to having a new baby in the house, and another little person to care for. It’s been… Busy.

I have spend much of the last 4 weeks resting, this recovery has been harder than I remember it being with Evey. I’ve had a few bumps in the road that I didn’t have with Evey. At about 2 weeks postpartum I experienced some extremely heavy bleeding and was diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage, mine seems to be mild compared to things I have read, and thankfully didn’t require hospitalization, but it has slowed down my recovery quite a bit.  I think this week I’ve turned a corner and things are finally starting to feel better, but still far from normal. I’m hoping to get the all clear at my 6 week checkup coming up here soon.

With Evey we are working on our patience, helping Evey adjust to not being the center of attention anymore. She has always been pretty independent, but it’s certainly been an adjustment for her too.She hasn’t really been “acting out” but more just not listening and not following directions. But having a new baby is going to take some time to get used to for all of us, and she is doing well I think… most of the time. She loves being a sister though, she loves “her baby” as she calls him.

We are getting into a grove though, things are settling in and I hope to be back to normal soon. Well our new normal as a family of 4.

35 Weeks!


28 weeks

Thankfully this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful. I spend most of my time doing homework and caring for Evey. I’ve been very busy with school, I decided to pick up an extra class this semester to get as far ahead as I could before I take some time off for the new baby.

So lets see. I’ve had a lot of physical pain off and on, some days it’s terrible and I can’t get off the couch, and then there are days that I feel fine. But the headaches I was having a few months ago seem to have subsided, which is super because they were crippling. I’ve had sciatic pain off and on, I remember having it much worse with Evey, there were days I couldn’t walk. But I think because I go to school several days a week, and I have to walk all the way across campus things are less achy.


32 weeks and a fresh haircut

I have reached the point that rolling over in bed is a huge task, and usually involves sitting completely upright to shift my weight without throwing my hips out. Oh yeah, loose joints are totally a thing. As is pregnancy carpal tunnel. My hands don’t feel so bad this week, I suppose that’s another symptom that comes and goes, but for the most part my left hand just kills from my finger tips through my wrist. I wear a wrist brace about 80% of the time.

I just started getting stretch marks this week, and they aren’t too bad.. yet. But the baby is SUPER active, I don’t remember if Evey was this active, but he moves so much and so often that if I don’t feel him for a little bit I get worried. I’m not really craving weird things, But I am always hungry and can never figure out what I want. Or I want things that are totally obscure and unavailable to me. Like I keep craving Japanese fried squid. It’s different than fried calamari, it’s way better. I also really want a beer, I miss the cold, crisp taste of beer, I enjoy beer and I miss the flavor. I think to fill that void I have been drinking A LOT of soda. I never (rarely) drank soda before I was pregnant, now I am drinking about 3-4 a week, sometimes more if we eat out a lot. Which we seem to be doing because standing in the kitchen and preparing food is literally the last thing I want to do. So we’ve been eating a lot of shit food. Surprisingly my weight gain is not insane though. I weigh more than I did with Evey, but I started out higher too.


Untitleddecorating mommys belly with stickers

Overall things are good. I am looking forward to these last few weeks, getting through finals and having a baby, We still have lots of getting ready to do. We currently don’t have anywhere set up for him to sleep, and I need to sort though his stuff and put away the clothes that he wont wear right away. I’d also like to get though Evey’s stuff (because I saved everything) so I nee to get rid of most of it, and pull out the unisex stuff. Evey is starting to get excited about the baby, I think she understands, but we’ll know for sure when he gets here.


34 weeks, & Date night! 

We did have one teeny scare last week. You are often warned about abdominal trauma when you get pregnant, if anything happens to the belly, contact your doctor ASAP. Well last week Evey and I were upstairs and I was laying on the bed, she decided to jump onto me and slide off the bed on my legs. She didn’t jump on my belly but her full weight of her butt landed on my pelvis. The doctor said that counts as abdominal trauma and they wanted me to come in for observation. I didn’t want to, but it’s a good thing I did because about an hour after I got there I started having contractions, and they were getting stronger. After lots of fluids they stopped, but there was about an hour while I was there (of 8 hours total) that I was pretty sure I would be leaving with a baby in my arms. Thankfully they stopped. I got to go home at about 2 am. I’ve been taking it a little easier and working to stay better hydrated. 


Belly monitoring things

I also have been eating dates every day, because there is a scientific study out there that says it can make things easier when labor happens, and labor is more likely to happen on its own. So yay for dates! (actually I don’t really like them, but women do crazy things to have babies)

I suppose with that I will end this entry. I’ve got lots of Evey pictures on my camera that I need to upload, I’ll try to get to those soon! Thanks for sticking around!



This morning on my drive into work I was listening to the podcast JQNA. It’s hosted by my favorite YouTuber- Kat from Kitty Does Japan. The episode was about homesickness. I couldn’t help but relate to her feelings about Japan.

Some beach on the Eastern coast of Okinawa, around Kin.
Some beach on the Eastern coast of Okinawa, around Kin.

I only lived there for a little more than two and a half years, but I felt more at home there than I have in anyplace we have been since. I frequently mention Japan, in my blog and in real life. It is a place that is very dear to my heart. Daily I find myself longing to return.
I think it’s safe to say I am homesick for Japan, specifically Okinawa. I think there are a lot of factors in this. First I feel like our time was cut short, we were about to ask to stay longer than the 3 years we were supposed to be there, and we suddenly found out we had to move, earlier than we thought. Also between Paul’s deployment and workups for his deployment, he was off the island for about a year, so I was there without him.

Our last night out with friends, we left a couple days later.

It’s hard to narrow down the way I miss Okinawa. I miss the food, the beach, riding my bike all over, our friends. But I just miss being there, I miss the way of life, I miss the convenience. I can’t really explain it, except by labeling it homesickness.
While I was there, there were things I missed about the states, certain food places, shopping in department stores (and finding clothes that were my size). I missed my parents, and my family. But I didn’t miss those things in a “I’m longing to return to them” way, it was more like “I wish I could get those things here, but I can’t and that’s okay”.
I don’t know if the military will ever bring us back to Japan. I hope so because that would be easier than trying to get there on our own, especially since we have a family now. But I feel like we will return someday.

Days after Paul returned from his deployment.

If you are interested in learning more about Japan, Check out Kitty does Japan on Youtube, Kitty Does Japan Blog, and JQNA, all are great sources of info for people looking for info, or those who just want to live vicariously though an expat with awesome adventures

*This is not an advertisement, it is just a post that was inspired by my morning podcast listening. Also it’s a great way for me to further procrastinate the massive amount of school work I need to do today.



And now we know!

Our next teeny terror will be a boy!

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. I know I said in my last post that I felt like it was a boy, but that was wishful thinking. It would explain how my symptoms have been increasingly different than last time. But going in to that appointment I was sure it would be a girl. I mean I have 6 Rubbermaid tubs of girl clothes stored away, expecting another girl.
But alas, nature has other plans. And now I have 6 tubs of baby girl clothing I need to sort through and sell. Because we aren’t going to need them any time soon.

I am getting more and more excited as each day goes by. We are working on getting Evey used to the idea of a brother, for the longest time she was convinced I was having bunnies. Multiple. Or at least multiple babies. We have her just about convinced there is only one. Now we are working on “it’s going to be your brother” to which she replies “no, my sister.”
It’s okay we will work it out eventually.

A Pretty Good Food Adventure in Tokyo (a book review)

Okay, it’s no big secret that I am deeply in love with Japan. I love all things Japanese, and I have fond memories of the almost three years I spent living on the Southern Japanese Island of Okinawa. I frequently find myself gravitating to Japanese things. I love reading about Japan, following YouTubers in Japan, watching Movies about Japan, and I even have taken numerous Japanese language and history courses since returning to the United States. For Christmas I got an awesome Kindle, and with it comes one free month of Kindle Unlimited. Looking under the Travel section of the books available for free reading I found a book called “Pretty Good Number One- An American Family Eats Tokyo

Book Cover

My favorite things- Japan and Japanese food. Matthew Amster-Burton writes in a way that you can see yourself walking down the streets of Tokyo, you can smell the Yakitori, You can almost feel the sweltering July heat. Maybe it’s partly because I am familiar with Japan, and I have seen streets as the ones he is describing, and I have smelled the smells, and tasted many of the flavors. The writing really comes to life, it felt as if he were writing from my own memories of Japan.

Matthew takes his family on a one month adventure to Tokyo and eats his way around the city, writing all of their adventures and misadventures. With his daughter Iris and his wife Laurie they try new foods, and experience old favorites in their country of origin. If you are familiar with Japan you will recognize many types of foods, and places they eat. Including Mister Donut, where you would find both sweet and savory donuts. Numerous times foods were described that I had never heard of before, but he does such an excellent job with his descriptions that once I got around to googling the foods he was describing the photos that came up matched what was in my mind.

To say the book made me homesick for Japan would be an understatement. Countless times as I was reading this book I would laugh out loud, or chuckle and read passages to my husband who also agreed that the descriptors of certain places and scenarios are spot on. Specifically certain foods and grocery stores. In one section Matthew talks about the music in the Japanese grocery store, in fact most stores have similarly catchy melodies, that just become a part of the fun shopping experience, even though they play the same 10 second tune over and over again.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Japanese food or Japan. The book will bring out the adventure foodie in you and make you wish to hop a plane to Japan for some fresh tempura and udon.

this post is totally my own and I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I read this book because I found it on Kindle and it looked like a good read, oh how right I was.
You can find more information on the book, including where to purchase, here: Pretty Good Number One

Baby Number two 20 week Update


So here we are, half way through. We waited a lot longer this time around to make any announcements. It was hard at first, but once we were okay with the idea of announcing the pregnancy it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Not that the pregnancy wasn’t a big deal but, we were okay with not telling people, our families knew, and they had since we found out, but we didn’t need to tell anyone else. On Christmas we decided to make it facebook official. Things have been trucking along since then. I’m looking more and more pregnant each week. Evey loves to “see the baby” although I am not entirely sure she really understands what is going on. My neighbor had a baby last year and I have tried telling Evey she is going to get a baby like the girls next door. I can’t really think of another way to relate it to her.

I’ve not been sick in a while. I was having terrible headaches, everyday, and they were making me miserable. But I have started running a humidifier almost 100% of the time and I think that’s helping, I have had two headaches in about a week an a half, which is way better than my non stop headache for a month. I think that with winter, and running the heater on and off I have dried out the air in the house so much it was making my head hurt.

I’m not having uncontrollable cravings, but I wouldn’t mind eating appetizer food all day every day. Every time I go to the commissary, I have to restrain myself from buying the mega size box of mozzarella sticks in the freezer section. I have given in and bought a couple of small boxes though. I could eat my weight in Jalapeno poppers, french fries with cheese on top, potato skins, any kind of dip, especially cheese dip, nachos, fried pickles, and well just about anything fried, bonus points if it has cheese in or on it.

I have been very emotional too, I get sad a lot. Because of this I am trying to avoid facebook. Every sad story about some animal or child or anyone dying, brings me to the verge of tears. When I was having the headaches I was getting really angry too, I don’t know if I was angry because I had another headache or if my hormones were making me angry, but I was not a fun person for a couple of weeks.

I have only gained about 6 or 7 pounds, which is good for 20 weeks I suppose. But I am really struggling with my body image. I don’t know that I had this hard of a time with Evey’s pregnancy, but I can’t help but think I just look really gross.

We have the gender ultrasound next week. I am predicting a boy, just because I feel so different. We’ll see.