Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hey Mom, what cha' up to?

It doesn't feel like we have been in Japan for over five months, wow how time has flown. Jack is twenty weeks now and will be five months in 11 days. Every day he has a new facial expression and he is working very hard to sit up on his own. When we lay him on his back he strains all of his stomach muscles to try and sit up. He needs less and less help each day to stay balanced, my camera will definitely be put to work when we hit that milestone.

My parents visit to Japan was fantastic, we enjoyed every second of them being here. Jack sure did love all of the attention, it took a few days for him to get back to playing on his own. During their visit we ventured to Kawasaki, Kamakura, Odawara, Hakone and Tokyo. On January 2nd we went to the imperial palace and participated in the Emperor's New Year's greeting. It was especially cool because January 2nd and the Emperor's birthday, December 23rd, are the only two days that the public is allowed on the palace grounds without an official tour. In Kamakura we saw the Great Buddha, In Odawara we saw an imperial castle and in Hakone we took a series of different trains that climbed to the top of the mountain. At the top we saw a cloud covered Mt Fuji and Jack had his very first experience with snow. It was just a few flurries but it gives you an idea of how cold it was up there. It's always an adventure when traveling with Jack especially because it seems to take twice as long to get anywhere or do anything. My parents were troopers though and didn't mind that we needed to stop constantly to nurse or change a diaper.

Last week I started back at school at the Art Institute. It's much harder to manage my time when Jack requires so much of it. Thank goodness I only have one class per 5-1/2 week session. My first class back is life drawing, basically a crash course in anatomy. Sketching has never been my strong suit so this will definitely be a challenge. I have to draw a lot of skeletal and muscular sections of the body and in the coming weeks I will be required to to a nude self portrait. There is an option for partially clothed...I will definitely be exercising that option. Or I will have some virtual plastic surgery and obtain Charlize Theron's body. Ahh, the benefit of an on-line classroom. Needless to say I am much more excited about the math class I have next session...much more my speed.

...this was Jack's first restaurant highchair experience at Moomin Cafe in Tokyo...

Keith is back on a regular work schedule and will be around for another month or so, it sure is nice to see him every day. On the days he has duty he has to sleep on the ship so Jack and I go visit him for lunch or dinner, that way we never have to go more than 12 hours or so. We are doing everything we can to make the best out of our experience here, especially since it's no fun when we have to be apart. Luckily it's not for more than a month or so at a time, way better than the six months apart when I was deploying.

I have an appointment on Friday to start the paperwork for Jack's passport on Friday, that way we can start planning a trip back to the states. Woohoo, Jack's first plane ride!