My First Foray into Japanese Cooking

For Christmas, I bought Ryan a Japanese cookbook, with the promise I would cook the things he found interesting. My first chance came tonight, for his early birthday celebration.

Some of the ingredients were familiar to me, but there was also a whole lot of new stuff in the dinner prep!

For his birthday dinner, Ryan picked pork gyoza with a spicy dipping sauce plus pork tonkatsu sandwiches, served with shredded cabbage, Bulldog sauce, and Kewpie mayo. We also found Japanese Sapporo beer to go with the meal:

There is definitely a learning curve to both the cooking and the timing of the dishes (not to mention the clean-up, which was super fun with our dishwasher out of commission!), but everything tasted great, so I think it was a pretty successful first attempt!

Turning Twelve!

Moose turned 12 today…can you believe it?!? I almost can’t!!!

He wasn’t thrilled about having to go to school this morning, but there was an assembly today, so that made it a little better. And as soon as he got home, he was ready to open presents. His Lego city is getting so big, I don’t know where he’s going to put it all!

He decided to make an unconventional choice for his birthday dessert…pie! This really isn’t surprising, because S’mores pie is his very favorite dessert, and Ryan has picked pie for his birthday before, so the precedent was there. It was a fun choice, even if I did miss decorating a cake for him.

Happy Birthday Moose!

A Belated Bunny Day

Since Ryan was in Scotland and Turkey was at camp on Bunny’s actual birthday, we waited to celebrate her turning thirteen(!!!) until today. I think it was worth the wait for her, though…she received a lot of nice gifts, including some gift cards, a Lego Elves set from her siblings, and a Harry Potter charm bracelet!

I think it’s very convenient that the “Happy Birthday” candles count exactly 13 in number, so that’s what topped her traditional bunny cake.

It might have been a little late, but it was a very nice birthday celebration! Happy (belated) Birthday Bunny!

A Birthday Trip to the Zoo

Since we don’t have too much school work left to do, we took the day off and spent Ladybug’s birthday at the zoo! I think just about every school in St. Louis was there on a field trip, but we still had a fun time, even though we had to battle the crowds to see anything. The animals were unusually active and playful today…we especially enjoyed getting splashed by the penguins! It was a fun way to celebrate a birthday!

An Early Birthday

Ladybug’s birthday isn’t until Tuesday, but we celebrated today…I can’t believe she’s turning 10!!!

After lunch, she opened presents…Lego sets with horses, which is pretty much Ladybug’s dream come true!

After Ryan’s Bach at the Sem concert this afternoon, and dinner at Seamus McDaniel’s (of course!), we came home and had cake. She wanted a lemon cake shaped like a music note this year, in her favorite colors of pink and purple…maybe if it had been blue and yellow instead, the Blues wouldn’t have lost their last shot at advancing in the playoffs! It was just like Ladybug wanted it, though, which is all that matters!

Happy (almost) Birthday, Ladybug!


As hard as it is for me to believe (do I start every birthday post that way?), Chickadee turned five today. These five years have gone by faster than any others in my life!

We spent the day at the St. Louis Science Center, or, as Chickadee calls it, the “Monster Museum.” We saw all her favorite exhibits, went to the star show, and saw our very first Omnimax film…Extreme Weather. And Chickadee and I even wore our matching Pinup Girl Clothing outfits, which feature her favorite animal: the elephant, in a fun Mary Blair print!

When we got home, it was present time. She received two Frozen Lego sets, which she loves, but the biggest hit was the Batcave, complete with a Batmobile, and some characters to play with!

She asked for a cake with a flower on it, which was super easy for me to decorate. The cake got pinker and pinker as the week went on. It started with pink frosting, then she wanted a strawberry cake, and then pink candles, and we even got strawberry ice cream to go with it. I’m pretty sure it’s the pinkest cake I’ve ever made!

Happy Birthday Chickadee!


As hard as it is for me to believe, Turkey is fourteen! It seems like just yesterday that I was freaking out over him being a teenager, and now he’s just two years away from getting his driver’s license.

I think he had a nice day. He received several new Lego Minecraft sets, as well as a big Star Wars set he’s been admiring ever since we saw the movie in December. I tried out a new cake recipe at his request, which included my first-ever attempt at a cooked frosting. I’m always nervous to make something new on a birthday, but fortunately, it turned out great! It’s so exciting to see him turning into a young man before our eyes…I feel very fortunate to get to be Turkey’s mom!