Thursday, August 15, 2013

Baby #2!

 Here are some of the photos we have been taking in the first trimester! We're trying to remember to take a weekly photo so we can watch this baby grow! 

We are amazed at how quickly this first trimester has flown by! Less than 2 more weeks and hopefully I will start to get some energy back and the nausea will be ending...fingers crossed! We had our first ultrasound at 11 weeks, it seemed an eternity to wait after we found out! But everything looks healthy and baby is soooo active we barely got a clear picture! Another busy one just like Cruise :) my guess is another Boy, but maybe that is just because I want Cruise to have a bro to wrestle with! Chris thinks its a girl, I guess we will find out soon! Obviously either one will be wonderful and so loved by our family. 

We got pregnant immediately with Cruise, and after deciding we wanted kids close in age we were starting to get discouraged that it took us almost a year to get pregnant with this sweet baby. So we are counting our blessings and overjoyed at the thought of bringing another little one into the world. Our little miracle is due at the end of February, 2014.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kurashiki Dam

We met some other mamas for a play date at the Kurashiki Dam today. Close to Gate 3 of Kadena, we headed out for a day full of fun in the sun. The water was so refreshing and cool. Cruise played the whole time, running in the water and then collecting rocks and things in his bucket. I think this might be a little boys dream!

The water was never higher than my calf, so he was very brave and didn't need to hold my hand at all! Such a big boy. We had a great time, I am sure we will be back, maybe with Chris next time too! This last photo is of the group of Japanese children on a field trip with their class, I love the matching hats they all wear!

Random Okinawa sights

Ordering at a restaurant. Pick from a vending machine, and it prints out a ticket that you give to the counter! So interesting!
Just some of the beautiful sights around town!

We are having the most amazing adventure. We'll post more soon! xo

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Okinawa Slides

Some of the wild slides at our local
Parks here in Okinawa! We love it here :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Japan lately...

Ok blog. I am going to update y'all on our life in Okinawa! Cruise is currently going on a 3 hr nap binge (what!?) and I am sure he will wake any moment. So lets see how much I can type before he yells for his mama!

Well lets see...we live off base in a beautiful turquoise house on a golf course. It is an American style home with 4 bedrooms, about 1900 square feet. Much larger than we thought we would find on the island. We have a washing machine/dryer, fridge and stove provided from the military for the duration of our stay, so we didn't have to buy anything. We also have a great yard overlooking the golf course and parking spots for about 3 cars, but no garage, or covered parking. We are loving the quiet and serene feeling of our neighborhood so far, and the drive to base takes about 10-15 min without traffic (mid day) and about 25 min during rush hour. We live north east of Kadena in an area called Uruma, close to Camp Courtney on the pacific side of the island.

The government gave us loaner furniture until we get our House Hold Goods (HHG) shipment which should be arriving shortly (next week!!!). So for now we have a full size bed, and Cruise has a twin. We have a kitchen table and chairs, a sofa and coffee table, a desk and chair, 2 chest/dressers in our bedroom, and one in cruises room. Some of the other branches on the island that were not allowed to move with a full weight allotment are allowed to keep the furniture for the whole tour over here, but we will be giving ours back since we were able to bring our whole house. So we are anxiously looking forward to the day our HHGs arrive!

Today we went on an adventure to the famous Churami Aquarium. The 2nd largest aquarium in the world. It was amazing. It's one of those places you have to see to really appreciate it. I have been to aquariums big and small before, but this one was stunning. The location had the most stunning views of the East China Sea, and since it was much too hot to be outside, we were able to enjoy the air conditioning and see the beautiful fish. It was a little crowded going on Father's Day weekend, so since we are now annual card holders, next time we are back we will try a weekday adventure.

The aquarium is on the west side of the island north of us, near Nago. The drive was relatively easy and took about 1.5 hrs. But we had great company- another couple from our squadron who are also new to the island. It was great to meet new friends and experience this adventure together. After we spent a few hrs at the aquarium, we headed to the "pizza in the sky" restaurant. It had such amazing views. The food was great and the wait was only about 15 min. Such a wonderful afternoon.

Some other adventures we've been on....

We found 2 amazing parks near our house with fabulous Okinawa slides, and a running track surrounding the park. 

We spent an afternoon at Torii beach with some other families from the 909th squadron, it was soooo beautiful and located on the military base of Torii Station. Living on base ain't so bad when the beach is your back yard, those lucky army guys!

Our sponsor and another 909th spouse took us to the Mini Egg Zoo. What an experience! It's a local place to buy the freshest and most delicious eggs-and they have a free zoo you can walk through. Cruise loved it. He was laughing the whole time and kept saying Oh WOW! And clapping. We saw monkeys, turtles, pigs, ostriches, birds, snakes, and tons more. Afterwards we went inside to buy our eggs, and saw the most amazing pies and cream puffs and treats for very little yen. I know where we will go next time I am having a sweet tooth!

We have spent a lot of time getting ourselves lost all over town, but that is helping us learn our way as we find short cuts and hidden gems all through this city. I finally have a car, that means Cruise and I will be out and about more to do some exploring. It's a yellow Toyota Sienta. So far we love it and the Mobilio that Chris is driving! After buying one car from the Lemon Lot on base and one from a dealership off base, we got a good mix of what it's like buying a car overseas!

We have visited our local grocery store a few times, and each time we try to buy something that we have no idea what it is. This last time Chris bought a milk carton that looked like some sort of chilled coffee, and it is heavenly! Tastes exactly like a Starbucks frappe! I am glad I can't read the ingredients or calories, because I am sure it is not good for us!

Cruise is our little local celebrity. People fawn over home and always say "kawaii" which means cute. Many want to touch his hair since its so blonde! He used to be timid and freaked out about this but new he high fives and waves to pretty much everyone! He really is Kawaii :)

The locals really appreciate when we give it a try, so here are some of the words we use daily. Its a small list, but we hope to build more and more soon!
Konichiwa- hello/good afternoon
Arigato goziamas- thank you very much
Sumimasen -sorry
Sayonara- goodbye

We miss you all very much! If you want to be pen pals, send me your address! We are going to send some post cards soon! Also, if you want to see tons of pics of our adventures, follow me on instagram @bknaute

xo-The Knautes

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We made it- part2

Continued from part 1:

The location of our hotel is awesome, we have been able to explore the city and eat at many wonderful restaurants! We are learning a few sayings in Japanese, but for the most part we just try to point and act out what we need. The people here are so wonderful and kind, they have been so patient with us as we learn this new culture! Everyone here thinks Cruise is a movie star, they all point and many have asked to take his picture. I always knew he was cute, but he has tons of fans here! We are currently living right in what is called the American Village, it has tons of shopping and tourist attractions. We are also on the sea wall which is a great running and walking path right on the ocean.

Cruise has been doing well adjusting to the time change. He is sleeping great and back on a schedule that works for everyone, sleeping 11-12 hrs at night with a mid afternoon nap of about 1-2 hrs. Luckily he is a fan of rice and noodles, so the food here hasn't been too strange for him. Hopefully he continues to love this new land that is our home!

We have started the process of looking for housing. We were given the choice to live off base (usually it is mandatory to live on base until they are at 95%capacity or above) since the homes we were rated for our rank are at 99%! We have met with multiple English speaking real estate agents and have seen some beautiful homes. We are torn right now between 2 that we love, and are waiting to see if they will offer us anything on base before we make our final decision. We'll have room for guests to come visit us- so if you need a tropical island get away with a free place to stay, come see us! :) we'll post pics soon of what we decide.

We are signed up for a 5k race this Saturday, so hopefully we don't melt in this heat and humidity! It's supposedly the rainy season here, but it has been beautiful and sunny the whole time, only a few rain showers one day and some clouds today. 

We will keep you posted on our big adventure, hopefully e can have some time to go see some of the amazing beaches and areas on this island before chris starts working. We feel so lucky to live in this beautiful place and can't wait to find our home. We miss everyone and send big hugs!

We made it!

II am currently typing this blog in our hotel room in Okinawa-hooray for nap time! We made the long journey over seas and made it in one piece!

 We were lucky to be able to visit friends and family for a few weeks as we took leave en route to Okinawa. We said goodbye to Kansas and off we went. Our first stop was to Houston, where we spent 10 days at Chris's parents house. We saw friends and Chris' aunt even flew over from California to spend some time with us before we left. It worked out nicely that my parents were also in Houston, (all the way from Alaska) doing Ironman Texas, so we were able to cheer them on and see them before we left the country. It was a fun and relaxing week and we were so thankful we got to see both of our families for a few days.
Our view from our hotel room!

Cruise with his Dove and Pappy
On our flight into Tokyo
Knaute grandparents in Houston

Visiting my cute siblings in Seattle

After our week and a half in Texas we headed up to Seattle for 3 days to spend time with my brother Hunter, his wife Morgan, and their son Cormac. Cruise and Cormac are at such a fun age that they were able to play together and we had so much fun with them! On Wednesday we drove to our hotel room near Seattle airport to start our adventure over seas.

Cruise and his cousins:

Our flight was going to be taking off at 8:45am on Thursday. The check in line opens at 2:30am, but we had read to be there before then, as the line starts forming early. So Chris set his alarm clock for midnight and was in line at the airport by 1:00am. Cruise and I slept in until 2am and caught the shuttle service over to the terminal. Luckily Chris got there early to save us a place in line with all of our luggage. We were the 6th family in line at this point. They separated the lines into family and single servicemen, so luckily we weren't behind the huge line of servicemen. After checking in for the flight and getting our seats, we found the SeaTac USO and slept for another 3 hours before boarding the plane to Japan.

Sleeping at USO

We were able to all sit together on the plane, (which is called the Patriot Express- a civilian Airliner that the military contracts out) and Cruise was comfy in his car seat, and we were off on our 11.5 hr flight. I had an abundance of snacks and books and games for the flight, but cruise slept on and off and watched movies on the iPad. The flight actually went really well, for someone who hates to fly, I was terrified of this portion of the trip, but it went very smoothly.

Upon landing in Tokyo, at Yokota AB, we heard that the plane was leaking hydraulic fluid everywhere. Awesome. So then it was a waiting game. We were scheduled for a 2 hour lay over before getting back on the same plane to take the final 2 flights into Oki. Buuuuuut it didn't turn out like that. We were on the ground for 2 days and stayed in a hotel room while waiting to get a part and for maintenece. When we finally boarded the plane for Iwakuni, continuing on to Okinawa, we were all delirious with jet lag and very grouchy. Both of the final flights went well, quick and easy. Finally we had made it our new home!

We were greeted by our wonderful sponsors, the Yeagers. They have been so helpful, we are very lucky to have them! They set up a beautiful beach hotel for us since the on base hotel was full. We have been living the high life at this swanky beach resort while looking for housing.

The first day on the island we bought a car! It's a funny little car (all the cars here are funny looking, similar to the Cube style car) ours is a red Mobilio by Honda. We had to pass a new driving test since the cars drive on the left side of the road, so everything here is backwards for us. Chris is doing great with the transition, but I am still terrified and have nightmares of driving the wrong direction into traffic! It's going to take some getting used to!