Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 15 of 34 Days of Jack

Today started out nicely. sleeping in with my little bean.  I woke up to my Ombudsman phone blowing up with a stressed spouse on the other end.  As I worked to get her the help she needed I got a phone call via Skype from a seaman recruit that is reporting to the ship in the next few months.  Next thing I knew it was 1pm so I had to get started on the cake I was making to to donate to the USO for their monthly birthday bash event.  I took the high road since I have been so busy lately and made a stacked cupcake cake.  It was fun to make and good practice since you do not see many of this style in the world of cakes.  They put them on stands usually but I rarely see them actually stacked on one another.  Jack was upset that none of the cupcakes were for him but that kid has had more cake in his life so far than most 10 year olds.  I make 3-4 cakes a week these days and my little monkey is always munching on the scraps.  After delivery we ran into the Gagen's at homes and caught Erica falling in love with a puppy.  Then we went out to dinner at Family Garden and had super yummy white pizza with Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert. Yum!
USO cupcake cake
Erica holding a super cute ball of fluff (although the $2000 price tag makes him not so cute)
Jack watching UP on his iPod while I shopped for his diapers
Jack loves Strawberries and Cheesecake!
The "Jack" way to eat efficiently 

Day 14 of 34 Days of Jack

Monday made up for Sunday - we did absolutely nothing, including not taking any pictures.  My classes ended on Monday so I spent the morning making sure I had enough points in each class and then we vegged for the rest of the day.  Sweet.

Day 13 of 34 Days of Jack

Sunday is usually our super lazy day but this week I attempted my first food competition.  The CFAY Spring Festival on base had a chili cook off competition and I thought I made a worthy chili.  There were 11 competitors and prizes for the top four.  Unfortunately the judges didn't appreciate the refined ingredients and gourmet pallet of my chili.  I didn't place but I think I gave it a heck of a shot.  This is my 30 minute chili, give it a shot and tell me what you think:

1 medium onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP dried dill
1 TBSP medium chili powder
1 C sun dried tomatoes rough chopped
3 TBSP tomato paste
1 lb lean ground beef
1 Honey Lager Beer
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14oz can of light red kidney beans
1/4 C heavy cream

Cook ground beef until no longer pink over medium high heat.  While the beef is cooking heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes.  Add salt, dill and chili powder and cook 1 minute until fragrant.  Add sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste cook for 1 minute.  While cooking drain cooked beef and rinse under hot water.  Add beef to onion/herb mixture and then add the beer.  Cook for 8 minutes or until reduced by half.  Add canned tomatoes with their juices and the kidney beans.  Simmer for 5 minutes then add heavy cream, remove from heat and serve.

I thought it was a winning chili...oh well.  It did get me motivated to enter more competitions though...oh no what have I started now!
these were the judges who chose traditional over unique
hey look!  My artwork made it on to a banner!  It is so cool to see the logo I created on something so official!

Day 12 of 34 Days of Jack

On Day 12 I partnered up with Joy Jill Photography to host a portrait party at Mikasa Park.  The Cherry Blossom are in bloom so we scheduled 6 - 25 min sessions in the morning and 7 - 25 min sessions in the afternoon.  Jack thought it was awesome because he got to run around at the park all day.  Our clients were happy to get a great session with a professional photographer for $60 that included three prints.  I delivered the Spiderman cake during our break for light mid afternoon and Joy went with me to take pictures of the cake for me.  Then we went into Yokosuka city center and had Pepper Lunch for lunch.  (***Bebe remember the sizzling plate of meat and rice we had in Hong Kong? Same place.)

Day 11 of 34 Days of Jack

Day 11 was all about prepping for a big Spiderman Cake for Saturday delivery.  Tonia and Vann came over for dinner while I baked and the boys had a really good time playing.  Vann is a few months older the Jack and it is so cute because they play like they have known each other forever.  We will be sad to say goodbye to them next month but we will definitely be visiting Washington State to see them again.

Day 10 of 34 Days of Jack

If you could be in my shoes you would understand why I have built 5 days into 1.  I feel bad that Keith doesn't have days full of Jackisms like I do but I really feel his pain lately.  I have been so busy and Jack has been so cooperative I feel like I haven't really seen him for the past five days.  Tomorrow is a play day with pre-school in the morning, meeting Tyler Florence in the afternoon and an evening viewing of the Cherry Blossoms at Sankein Gardens.  Here is where I start to play catch up...
Jack eating pizza at the laundromat while I did 8 loads of laundry
Jack using magnets to build towers
Here is the video of Jack building towers:

Monday, March 29, 2010

catsup...ketchup...no CATCH UP

really, I did not forget about day 10-11-12 and 13...I have just been stupid busy again this weekend.  I did get a lot of great pictures and have a bunch of down time tomorrow.  Will catch up soon...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 9 of 34 Days of Jack

Wednesday's around the Webber house always seem to get a little crazy because for some reason everything wants to fall on a Wednesday.  Jack's new pre-school falls on Wednesday mornings from 9-10:30 and every week at 11:30 we either meet-up with our friends Noriko san, Hiro san, Mieko san and Sadami san or they come to our house.  We have been meeting pretty much every week for almost two years now.  They have definitely become more than friends; they are family.  Today the weather was horrible so they came over and I made a simple lunch:
Mixed greens salad with Poppy Seed dressing and kumquats
Gnocchi and garlic bread with homemade garlic-eggplant tomato sauce

Towards the end of their visit Jack crashed from all of the excitement and food:
and two hours later he was in the same spot...just a little more curled up:
Overall it was a good day and turned out to be one of our more relaxing versions of a Wednesday.  Mata ne.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 8 of 34 Days of Jack

Since this series of blogs is primarily for Keith...he'll understand that Day 8 was a "do absolutely nothing day except catch up on that pile staring at me on my desk" day.  Jack decided to play in the closet creating new messes for me to clean up:
So, I got through all of the piles...on to Day 9.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 7 of 34 Days of Jack

Today we had lunch with friends and then went to the doctors for Jack's 2-1/2 year check up.  Jack is a very healthy and happy boy with a head circumference still off the charts.  Afterwards Jack had to update his vaccines with a HEP-A shot.  He was a trooper and only took a few seconds to recover.  Once he found out there were stickers as reward the pain instantly disappeared.  Four stickers and a cookie later he was right as rain.  After that we checked mail and headed home.  I have been in my classroom since 4pm so I didn't get a lot out of my camera today.  Today we will have to be okay with a quick PhotoBooth pic:

Day 6 of 34 Days of Jack

Sunday was very lazy for us since Thursday, Friday and Saturday were sooo busy that Sunday we chose to do absolutely nothing:

We ate apples and shared snacks while watching movies and being lay-zee.  It was a good day.

Day 5 of 34 Days of Jack

Saturday we had a blast at the Saint Patrick's Day Festival in Motomachi Yokohama.  Okay I lied, Lauren and I had a blast, Jack was irritated that I wouldn't let him out of the stroller.  If I had he would have inevitably ended up on the bottom of a bagpipers shoe:
or smacked with a baton:
or under foot of one of the many other performers
loved this guy - don't know why - I just thought it was cool that he was a professional washboard player
this guy tried to bite me
eventually Jack gave up the fussing and fell asleep - this was in the Yokohama station waiting for our train. 
later that evening we met up at a friend for dinner and saw this at the grocery store:
It was a package of tissues attached to a large bottle of alcohol - not sure why or why they had such a crazy name.  Either was a super fun end to a super fun day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 4 of 34 Days of Jack

I can't complain.  I have a very patient two year old.  Yesterday he hung out all day while I made this:
Then delivered it to the party and set up at least 200 cupcakes:
(There were still at least 200 under the table at this point) Then we came home and I finished this cake:
Currently Jack is doing this:
Don't you love the hand in the pants?  He sleeps like that almost every night.  My little angel deserves another Jack day, maybe we'll get to Disney Sea soon.  He is certainly not the most well behaved two-year-old but he blesses me with the time to do a hobby I love and in turn might become a baker himself.  When I am working on  cake he takes miscellaneous household items and food and stacks them on his play dishes.  He brings them to me and says, "look mama this is my cake, it's delicious".  He pretends to eat it and says, "mmmm yummy".   Any time I am in the kitchen these days he grabs the stool and says, "mama I want to help you".  He is quite the little helper.  He helped me unwrap 100 rolo candies for the cupcakes I made (and he didn't try to eat any!  Unfortunately, when I am working with fondant I have to watch him closely because he eats fondant like Will Ferrell eats cotton balls in the movie Elf.  If I turn my back I will hear, "oooooh these flowers taste good".  Day 4 was busy busy busy and Day 5 is the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Yokohama.  "May your blessings outnumber The shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 3 of 34 Days of Jack

Last night Jack went to bed late, this morning he woke up early so by 5:30 he was passed out:
Today we took our friend Yukari to the base for some Easter shopping and then went to a great Japanese restaurant for lunch (I know that sounds silly - it would be like being in the US and saying "I went to a great American restaurant today").  What is funny is that most of the restaurants around here do not focus on Japanese cuisine.  Sure there are tons of ramen and udon bars, sushi restaurants, yakuniku and okonomiyaki...but then there are tons of Italian, Chinese and Japanimerican (pseudo American food).  Weird hamburger patty's and steaks that are what Japanese think American food is like.  Similar to how most American's think Benihana is Japanese...soooo not the case.  Yukari and I split some katsudon (breaded pork with egg and onion over rice in a sweet soy sauce) and negitorodon (raw fatty tuna over rice with onion and nori) YUM!  Jack inhaled two bowls of miso soup as usual and ate a few bites of everything else on the table.  The thing I love most about Japanese food is that it is never just one dish.  There are always a bunch of little side dishes containing pickled vegetables and very interesting salads that and Japanese person will tell you, "it is healthy for you."  I am a sucker, I love it all and I am glad I am brave enough to try anything once.

On a positive note I saw my graphic design work on public display today...a totally awesome feeling.  Nothing too fancy, just a flyer for the chili cookoff coming up in a week...but exciting none the less:
In this picture you can see Tyler Florence's eye to the right of my poster...yes he is coming to Yokosuka in a few weeks, I am so excited!  He will be signing autographs and hosting a dinner where he will be the chef.  I cannot wait!  I missed the Kitchen Confidential guy when he was here so I will definitely be in line early for this one!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 2 of 34 Days of Jack

Today was fun, Jack attended his first day of Tyke Tots class, then we had lunch and playtime with his "best friend" (those are Jack's words) followed by meeting up with his neighbor friend Rick for some daredevil bike riding up and down our street.
Playing with the parachute
LOVES the swings
Jack says "wee-ha!"
This is Jack's favorite spot at the park.  He sells ice cream and cheeseburgers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 1 of 34 Days of Jack

Keith misses a lot being away so I want to start this project so he can get a little glimpse into our world when he is away.