Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smiling Jack

Jack will be three months old pretty soon, wow how time flies. He is becoming so much more interactive and we are slowly finding our way into a better sleep schedule. For the past few nights we have been turning in around 9, getting to sleep between 10 and 11, then sleeping until almost 5. Jack wakes up a few times but a quick feed puts him right back to sleep. Then we turn back in for a few more hours and usually get up around 8 or 9. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, I had six guests and I cooked for twenty. No wonder I was exhausted today. "Luck is the by-product of busting your fanny." – Don Sutton. I think if anyone taught me this it was my grandma Liz. I totally believe that everything happens for a reason. Karma, "The effect of all deeds actively create past, present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to others". If only everyone lived this as truth, the world would be a better place. I think true "luck" only exists in a few places; when you are engaging in something dangerous, i.e. you know, we have all been there...hanging Christmas lights in the rain, standing on the top step of a ladder, accidentally changing the channel during the last few moments of a really good football game...very good chance of death in all of those situations. The other place I think luck exists is in a casino. I have never been much of a card player but you can't keep me away from a craps table. Craps is pure luck laden with superstition. I have never lost more than the $20 I started with simply because if I lose the twenty I walk away. "Luck"ily, nine times out of ten I walk away with at least double what I came to the table with. Superstitiously, I stack the dice and tap them twice before I roll...who knows what would happen if were ever to not do this, so I dare not try. "Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." – Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Today I am grateful for knowing...not by learning the easy way...that to reach your goals you need to bust your fanny and put your heart, mind, intellect and soul into every act. I have my Grandma Liz and my Dad to thank for teaching me to pursue these qualities every day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted on the Sistine floor."
– Neil Simon

Taking risks is part of everyday life when you live in a foreign country. Simple tasks become difficult with different customs and a language barrier. When applying for orders overseas, military members and their dependants should have to prove they are "worthy" of the experience. Why move to a new country for three years and never experience it? Why return to the states with three years of shopping at the exchange on base and going out to eat at Taco Bell? Luckily I have made a friend who is not afraid to venture outside the "gate".


Today we visited Kamakura, home of the Great Buddha. We also had a great lunch at a little cafe where I had an amazing eggplant gratin. Now I admit, eggplant gratin is not very Japanese, but some of the best food I have had has not been in it's country of origin. The best Indian food I have ever had was in Amsterdam, the best Thai was in Bath, England and the best Mexican was from El Burrito Jr on PCH. Now I have not been to India or Thailand but I have been to Mexico, and in my opinion, the Mexican food there is horrible. My extensive exposure to Japanese food has led me to this conclusion of why food is always better away from it's homeland. Traditional Japanese food consists mainly of rice and fish, inexpensive...raw...sometimes cooked...but mostly raw...fish. Japanese people do not sit down to a feast of Maguro (tuna) and Shime-Saba (mackerel) every day. The Japanese food we have grown accustomed to in the U.S. is of the Benihana variety complete with a fiery onion volcano and a chef flinging shrimp tails into his hat.



I do not think it is the most traditional items which grace the pages of menus in places foreign to the origin, but the best, or most widely palatable items that best represent the culture. For instance; when you think of Japanese, you think sushi or teriyaki...Indian, you think masala or curry...Thai, beef with coconut or lemongrass...Mexican, anything in a tortilla. Unfortunately the greatest representation of American food worldwide is McDonald's. I think America would be better represented by Boston Market...that's real American food.

To sum it up, today I am grateful for gratin in Japan, masala in Amsterdam, pad thai in Bath and super burritos in Los Angeles. Just think, if we were only exposed to the "everyday" food of foreign countries, would we enjoy it as much? Doubtful.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thank You Mom

"Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand."
– Baruch Spinoza

Today I am grateful for my patience. I spent too many years angry and mostly because I didn't take the time to learn the life lessons that were whizzing past. It's hard growing up but I am glad that along the way my mother taught me patience. Once I stopped to see the mistakes I was making, my life started on a healthier path. I can't say I wish I had done things differently, without the road I followed, I would not be who I am today. Thank you Mom for teaching me a skill that has made me a better person, a better wife and a better mom.

Thank You Comments

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just Another Day

Except....my neighbor Alice went into labor this morning...how exciting! She was seven minutes apart when they left for the hospital, I hope her labor went quickly. I have been thinking good thoughts for her all day and I baked some pumpkin bars with lemon glaze to bring to the hospital when Bruce arrives. The recipe called for dates and walnuts...yuck...I substituted toffee and chocolate...they came out fantastic! The lemon glaze added a very nice tartness to the smooth spice of the pumpkin, it was a surprisingly good flavor combination. But then again...anyone who knows me knows I love lemon anything.


Today I am grateful for my Japanese style shower. It is approximately 20 sq ft and has the shower and tub in the same space. I'll include a picture later on...Jack is asleep on my arm at the moment. There is a heater and an air conditioner inside so no matter what the temp is outside you can have a perfect shower or bath. The set up allows me to take showers and baths very easily with Jack. Otherwise I would have to wait for him to take a nap...not in my arms...before I would ever get a shower. A few times he has been content sitting in his papasan chair right outside the door while I take a quick one but I try not to push my luck. Sometimes that quiet-alert state only lasts a few minutes before he needs, or shall I say, demands some attention. Tonight we got ready for bed and put on our matching jammies (courtesy of Nona Julie) and probably for the last time, Jack is almost grown out of them! According to my baby book, he gains over 1/2oz a day! That's almost a pound every two weeks. At that rate we'll need a new car seat in three months...omg, jeez. I love my house and the shower is really just icing...all the more reason to design and build my own house when we get back to the states.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Quilts, Wreaths and Scrapbooking Oh My!

"Can anything be sadder than work unfinished? Yes, work never begun."
– Christina Rossetti


I like this quote, it makes me feel way less guilty about all of my unfinished projects. I have finally achieved a system where I can keep up with the housework, including the never ending laundry. Jack has great aim with number one and number two...luckily it takes quite a bit to gross me out. As he gets bigger so do the abominations in his diapers...Keith is so proud. Speaking of Dad, I got to talk to him today...twice! He got a calling card in port, it was so great to hear his voice. He is working really hard but fortunately for him that will make the time go by quickly.


As far as my unfinished projects go, they are next on my list. Now that my day to day chores are under control I can start to task myself with things I actually enjoy doing. According to Keith I brought so much "useless" craft stuff, I should be able to keep myself busy for the whole three years we are here.

Today I am grateful for my wonderful neighbors John and Alice. They are so supportive while Keith is away and the four of us have a lot in common. Alice is three days past her due date with her first son. She's the first 40 weeks+ pregnant woman I have met that is as happy as sunshine. I felt so alone when I was pregnant because all of the other soon-to-be-mom's I met were so angry and unhappy. It's nice to see someone else who is so happy to be welcoming their new addition in to the world. It's fun to watch John look at all of the baby stuff with the classic new Dad face of "what in the heck is that for?!?" It didn't take Keith more than 30 seconds after Jack was born to become a pro, it will be the same for John. Thank you John and Alice for giving me friendship at a time when it is needed most.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gratefulness

I came across an article that says "people who recognize what they are grateful for lead happier, healthier lives". Robert Emmons, a professor at UC Davis says: "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress, and to achieve a positive sense of self." Time Magazine notes: "People who describe themselves as grateful...tend to have higher vitality and more optimism, suffer less stress, and experience fewer episodes of clinical depression than than the population as a whole."


Today I picked up Women's Day Magazine and it had an article about keeping a grateful journal and recording what you are grateful for each day. I think my blog is a great place to journal what I am grateful for. It would be hard not to state the obvious; I am grateful for my wonderful family, my loyal friends and most of all I am grateful for Keith and Jack who truly make my life whole. Aside from those things that I am grateful for every second of every day, today I am grateful for the Stroll'n'Sculpt class on base. It gives me a reason to get out of the house and has increased my motivation in the exercise department. The "big" hill on the walk from my house has become a piece of cake. Pretty soon I'll be able to jog up it...okay...pretty soon being January..it's good to have a goal.


I like the idea of reminding myself what I am grateful for on a daily basis instead of the American tradition of once a year on Thanksgiving. So amidst the day to day adventures of the Webber clan I will share one of the innumerable details that make my life so beautiful and charmed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Strollin' Mama

Last week Jack and I joined the stroll'n'sculpt group at the gym on base. It is a motivated group of mommies that workout while pushing their little ones in strollers. It is challenging but exactly what the doctor ordered to get me back into shape and in turn, Jack gets a nice dose of fresh air. Today we met at the gym for a 5K run/walk to benefit Toys'for'Tots. The entry fee was an unwrapped toy so Jack brought one for a boy and I brought one for a girl. He is too young to understand "giving", and I imagine there will be a day that he will not be so forthcoming when it comes to handing over a brand new toy, but I hope he will learn by example with all of the charity work that Keith and I are involved in.

I do not feel guilty about walking the run/walk (or coming in last place)...at nine weeks postpartum, most are impressed that I have put my running shoes back on. I did my best to jog a little but my knees and ankles are still not fully recovered from being pregnant. I felt bad for the Marines that had to wait at each checkpoint until I pulled up the rear but I was proud to finish in under an hour...that was my goal. Slow and steady wins the race in my book, especially these days.