March 25, 2010

When Kids Steal the Video Camera...

Presenting...Lauren. "The best dancer in the world."

(And while we're at it, this is also an oldie but a goodie of Lauren singing my sister Lisa's original music!)

March 8, 2010

The Solo Daddying Bloglet

As adapted from Mike's rambling Facebook postings over a five day Ilena-less period, where she went on a girl's weekend to Florida that ran from a Wednesday morning to a Monday night. Quite the weekend, eh?

  • Day One of solo daddying (with help from Aunt Heather and Uncle Dave). Kids down. Check. Lunches made. Check.

  • Day Two of solo daddying (with help from after school playdate friends). Dressed in themed school shirt. Remembered lunches. (With icepacks). Kids to school. Me to work.

  • Day three of solo daddying...feeling pretty outnumbered by all the moms at drop-off and around town...

Comment 1: Are they flirting with you? LOL

MK Response: For goodness sake, are you trying to get in trouble? I am just trying to get through this so I can safely bank my "boys weekend getaway" to Vegas...Let's all keep that in mind, alrightee? :)

Comment 2: Just wear a pair of Uggs with your jeans/sweats/pants tucked in and you'll fit right in. Don't worry.

MK Response: Thanks for the tip. Do I need special "Lucky" brand jeans or can I just wear my Levis? (This is kind of fun. If I had more than five days of solo daddying, I might bring back the KasdanFamily Blog to chronicle it all...)

Comment 2 Response: Sorry. Levis won't work. You have to try to look like you're 18.

MK Response: I don't know what to do. I totally missed the boat on Ed Hardy fashion, can't find a pair of jeans that *really* fit me, and I have no Uggs. Guess I'll be going back for pickup in the same ratty Penn sweatshirt that I wore for drop-off. I'm so ashamed.

Comment 2 Response: Hang your head in shame. There is hope. Short Hills Mall shopping spree followed buy Iced Quad Venti with Whip Skinny Caramel Macchiato @ Starbucks, a chit chat and mani & pedi.
  • Day four of solo to the Statue of Liberty this morning (I've never been and the kids are so excited!)...See - I am perfectly capable of having good, fun ideas. Sometimes.

  • And on the fifth day of solo daddying the Lord said "Thy shalt send thy children to Hebrew school between the hours of 9:15 and 11:45 and thy shalt rest." And I did. And it was good. (Shopped, Cleaned, Laundried, read the paper, and welcomed the spring-time weather by going on the first bike ride of the season in the Reservation.) And from what I understand, Ilena is still sleeping :) Later, turned out to be my proudest sports related day as a daddy; Jacob raked at little league try-outs trying to play-up into the 9 year old league, and then at his basketball game played his best game yet - 5 buckets, hustle, defense, rebounding, and being a great team-mate. (Beaming!)

On on the sixth day, Ilena returned. And on the seventh, rest?

March 7, 2010

Well. It HAS been a while hasn't it?

Hello loyal readers. Sorry for leaving this blog completely abandoned for the past 8 months. We feel bad, really we do. It was so abrupt. So unexpected.

At the very least, we owe you guys (and ourselves) a wrap-up entry, a finale, a last episode of Cheers! if you will....Something...

As it turned out, transitioning back to life at home was a heckuva lot harder than transitioning to life in Japan. Which is strange. And which was completely unexpected. I mean, how hard could it be? We were the same people, returning to our same town, our same house, and our same jobs. Or so we thought.

How to explain? It wasn't hard due to any real cultural transition. Its not that we missed rice or noodles or really extraordinary sushi to such a degree that it made us sad. No it wasn't that.

As best as we can figure it out, it was more of a coming down off of a high, of being different, of everything being so intoxicatingly new. Think about it. In Japan, being able to make a dinner reservation on the phone was something that absolutely made your day. Here. Well. Not so much.

There was also a bit of feeling disconnected from our local community at first; it was like starting over again to a degree with local friendships and school connections. And juxtapose that next to missing our many friends that we made while in Japan.

But the proverbial Stella has got her groove back. Or something like that. We are back in business, happy and re-energized. It just took a little while. The fact is, with good friends and a sense of humor and interest in living life to the fullest, life can be an adventure wherever you are. Even if you are in New Jersey! (check out that link!!)

(Hopefully, this spewing forth of thoughts will help out other recovering ex-pats!)

And now, without further ado, or depressing ramblings on, here is the BIG (drum roll please...) catch-up summary of the past months:
  • Yankees games at the new Yankee Stadium
  • Cooking back in our old kitchen - oh how we missed you!
  • Relaxing back at the Lake House
  • Visiting New York (and hanging with Japanese tourists)
  • Back to School!
  • Bike Rides
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Enjoying Maplewood
  • Town Soccer League
  • Shabbat Shabu Dinners with Family
  • Sailing with Our Cousins
  • Halloween, Jacob's Mohawk
  • Homecoming at Penn

  • Lion King on Broadway
  • Jacob's Sleepover Birthday Party
  • Friends Visit from Japan - Idyllic Wintertime Maplewood
  • Winter Snow Fun
  • New Year's Family Vacation to Puerto Rico
  • Mike and Lauren Hit MoMa
  • Vermont Winterfest Weekend

  • Superbowl Party
  • Town Basketball League

Man. That was a good exercise. We did a ton of great stuff!