Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The belly busts out

Just sneaking this in.  Boy am I getting huge.  Or, as Rich says, "Holy sh*t, what have we done?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shinkansen to Karuizawa

This past Saturday, we rode the "Awesome" Asama Shinkansen to Karuizawa.  This is one stop prior to Nagano, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics.  It was great to get out of Tokyo and it's always a plus for Max to broaden his knowledge of the Shinkansen trains so he can then beg for the models for his "blue tracks".

Here, Max and Rich pose in front of our train.  In just 65 minutes, we traveled 90 miles.  But perhaps more impressive than the speed, we felt worlds away from Tokyo.  

Karuizawa is a mountain resort town with an active volcano (Mt. Asama), hot springs, and tons of outlet shopping.  While Rich and the other dads we met there played with the kids, I went to a concert with two other women to hear famous Japanese tenor Shigehiro Sano accompanied by a solo pianist (also famous, apparently). Not normally my interest but it was lovely and a great escape.

Here's Max and Daddy waiting to board our train.

We lucked out when a Max train pulled into the station on the track opposite ours so we got a family shot in front of it. 

Here's Max from inside the Asama Shinkansen with the Max train in view on the opposite track.

Here's Max with the three little girls he spent the day with.  He was at a bit of a loss with them.  The language and gender differences are starting to become more of a social stumbling block.

But you can't go wrong with ice cream.  In this picture he looks pure Puglisi. Those of you who have seen pictures of me as a child will understand.

Have you lost your marbles?

This summer Nannu gave Max a gift of a marble maze construction toy.  How else to explain it? You stack up the chutes and channels to make a run for the marbles.  Well, we play with it every day.  Rich wanted me to leave it in the US but I was convinced Max would pine for it.

I like the following picture because it shows Rich covered in calamine lotion from bug bites likely from the notorious bedbug experience at our shore house on Long Beach Island.  A most uncomfortable end to a nice vacation. 

Oh, and the blocks are also handy for stacking and making a place for the Cars to rest.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to basics

It's time to get back on the horse, so to speak and post something.  

We've been home (as in Tokyo) for 2 weeks now and are settling back into a routine.  Max has a new preschool that he attends M-W-F from 8:30 - 2:00.  He's adjusting fine and I am grateful to have some free time.  What to do with that time remains the question.  With no plans to continue my Japanese and Ikebana lessons I have to put together a routine that includes more than meeting friends for coffee or lunch.

Part of the reason for not continuing the Japanese lessons is that it's looking like we'll be moving back to the States in December.  Yup.  Our sojourn in Japan is almost over.   Perhaps I'll go into more detail later... but I think we are all ready.

I close with a few shots from summer vacation in the US.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Countdown 'til the States

Just four more days till Max and I fly off to Newark to set foot on New Jersey soil/pavement. It's been a rough few weeks for me with school out for Max, the awful humid weather and Rich working 16 hour days.  

I am looking forward to being with family and catching up with friends. Whereas last year I was worried about reverse culture shock, this year I know that baring jet lag and living out of a suitcase for 6 weeks, the transition will be easy and all will be very familiar.  

I hope that my family enjoys Max and he gets to spend some solid and memorable time with his cousin and aunts, uncles and grandparents.  It will be good to spend time up in Vermont where I can walk outside in the morning to see not a building or soul but rather just the green mountains. Max and I will pick blueberries at my mom's and tomatoes and beans and whatever cornucopia of veggies my dad is growing over at his place. I expect to take Max to some tractor sales places and a good smattering of real farms. If I get my act together, I'll reach out to a couple of high school friends that I have been in touch with recently through Facebook. Seems like most of the people I knew are still in VT and living in the boonies with dogs, chickens, bees, rabbits and other such wildlife. My life couldn't be farther from that at the moment.  

Who's happier I wonder.

Signing off for a while,

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Late this morning, I made Max come with me to the Starbucks because I desperately needed a coffee.  I have a headache, I told him, I need to get a coffee.

Tonite, as he desperately tried to extend the bedtime routine which included tickling him as he lay in bed, I said, I can't play anymore, I have a headache.

He fired back, You need to get a coffee at the coffee shop, Mommy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Major Train set-up

video  Quick shot of the ever-evolving train set-up that has taken over Max's room.  Rich was impressed that I constructed this.