Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kaila! Jordan! Kevsther!

Quite a bit has happened since the last time I rapped at ya.  Kaila, against all odds, managed to survive the chaos and craziness that is her brother.  And he in turn has grown to be very careful around her.  She'll be crying a little in her room and Jordan will run to her and pat her gently, whispering "mei mei", which means "little sister".

As a family, we've had a pretty massive life change.  I took an exciting job as Marketing Director with the Beijing-based Great Leap Brewing, which means we've moved back to Beijing as of August 1st.  We are settled into our new life here and we found a really nice apartment on the top (19th!) floor of a nice apartment complex just a few minutes from work.  We have a full-time Ayi living with us to care for Jordan, cook, clean, do shopping, etc, which makes things quite a bit easier.
Here's our living room and the view:

But let's get real.  You don't actually care about that stuff.  It's all BABY PICTURES GIMME GIMME with you people.  So without further ado, here are some super rad shots from a photo shoot my friend Frank Xu did while we were still in Hangzhou.

So there it is.  Enjoy!  Hopefully that's enough to tide you people over for a little while.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kaila Esther Reitz

At 2:14am, June 12th, 2014, my daughter was born 7lbs 9oz.

Already one week past her June 4th due date, Esther and I were on heightened alert.  Even so, Kaila was almost born in the car.

June 11th - We went to the hospital after Esther had some mild contractions around lunchtime.  We decided to head back home after they subsided and she felt normal.  That evening, we put Jordan to bed as usual, watched a movie, and went to bed.

June 12th, 1:10am - Esther woke up and said, "It's time."  We got ourselves ready quickly, grabbed our bags, and took off.  We were borrowing a car from a friend and someone had double parked, blocking us in. Fortunately, the security guard was able to track down the owner and get the car moved.

1:31am - I texted my friend at the hospital to let her know we were in the car and on the way. Her contractions are STRONG.

1:40am - We arrived at the hospital and they take her into a prelabor room. 7cm dilated.

1:50am - Esther is moved to the labor room and is on the table. No time for waterbirth.

2:14am - Kaila Esther is born after about 4 good pushes. No complications, everyone healthy.

While Jordan may not completely understand that Kaila is here to stay, he is surely intrigued. 

Kaila's Chinese name is Wang Kai Le, 王凯乐, meaning Triumphant Happy Queen*.
Jordan's name, Wang Kai Sen, 王凯森, means Triumphant Forest King.
Esther's name is Wang Lei, 王蕾, which means Budding Queen.
My name is Kai Wen, 凯文, which means Kevin.

We are destined for royalty.  Well, at least they are.  Maybe they'll let me tag along.


*Chinese scholars out there, i know king is 王, and queen is 女王, but i'm pretending the woman character is implied in her name.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More Jordan

Let's be honest for a moment.  Everyone here just wants to see more pictures of Jordan.  And who can blame you?  I mean, sure, maybe he's handsome, sweet, and funny, but he's also kind and warm-hearted.  When people ask me to pick one adjective to describe my son, i usually go with poop-machine.  Now i know what you're saying: Kevin, that's a noun.  Ok, you got me there. 

Anyway, this spring, the China Reitz's spent quite a bit of time checking out new restaurants with Jing Jing, the incredibly talented photographer and manager of More Hangzhou.  She, as people are wont to do, loves Jordan.  As such, we usually get a dozen or so photos of J-dizzle every week from her.   Yeah, it's nice having lunch with a professional photographer five times a month.

But look!  I've been busy capturing the life and times of our first born as well!  I call this video: The Expression on Jordan's Face at the Opening of This Video is Priceless, and the Rest Is Pretty Fun Too.

In other news, I went to the annual Jeju tournament in South Korea, my favorite frisbee tournament in Asia, with some friends from Hangzhou and Beijing.  We played very well, losing only to the 1st and 2nd place teams.  But most importantly, we won the party award with our rendition of Super Mario Kart.  I got to be Mario.

And them's the highlights!  Hopefully i'll rap at ya again soon with a big, big announcement!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Miami and Jam Cruise

In the fifteen months Esther and i have been parents, we've only left Jordan twice for any significant length of time. The first was the Philippines in November, and Esther's mom said he did great. No problems, no fuss, no major events. Our second was to Miami for a few days before Jam Cruise, and my parents took care of him.

We left on January 1st and spent three days in Miami, escaping Chicago just before the polar vortex (it even has a wikipedia page).  We spent most of our time in South Beach, enjoying the vast selection of delicious food and expensive shopping. It's a very trendy area, filled with beautiful people, nice cars, and tourists. The only time we ventured out of that bubble was an afternoon in Little Havana. The people we met there were incredibly friendly and i spoke a little Spanish, which came more easily than expected.

On Jan 4th, we embarked on our real vacation: Jam Cruise.  Neither of us had ever been on a cruise, but after this, i couldn't imagine any other kind.  Imagine a floating five star hotel with a music festival attached.  The boat had a gym, a casino, a spa, a few dance clubs, and 7 different music venues scattered around the ship.  Roughly fifty bands played several shows each over 5 days.  There was music from 11am until 6am daily, often two or three shows happening simultaneously.  The buffet was excellent, diverse, and available around the clock.  It was so good that i was literally never hungry.  Even when it was time to eat, i was still full from the previous meal, but i would join Esther who is once again eating for two (see what i did there?).
Pool stage from the second level.

Keller and the Kimocks in the Pantheon Theater
Piano Sets in the atrium
The Infamous Stringdusters
John Popper, DJ Logic, George Porter Jr., Stanley Jordan, and Adam Deitch 
Thievery Corporation 
Cruise Day 3, we stopped in Falmouth Jamaica for an afternoon and found some friends to hang with for a few hours.  We shared a cab for $20 R/T per person to a beach about 10 minutes away.  Once there, we all paid $10 a person to stay at the beach.  Add the $3 for each red stripe and we spent about $80. Many people just slept in, but now at least we can say we have been to Jamaica.
Rainy, but still kinda Jamaizing™
On Day 5, we pulled up to the Bahamas for a day.  The intention was to actually get off the boat and pile onto a private island for a solo set from Warren Haynes, but the waves were too choppy.  Instead, we just gazed upon what appeared to be a really, really sweet island.

We met a lot of interesting people on the boat.  By far the most random coincidence was meeting these two, Emily and Steven.

So we were dancing near each other at a show and she leans over to ask me who i play for. I wonder if she thinking i'm a musician, but i quickly realize i'm wearing an ultimate frisbee shirt so i tell her, i play in China. We get to talking more and it turns out we have a lot in common: they live in Colorado, about 15 minutes from my house; she plays frisbee with a bunch of my friends from Boulder; he has a sister living in Hangzhou and will visit her this year. Small, small world. We proceeded to party over the next few days.

Oh, and when we returned back home, our little boy was so happy to see us, but he had been totally fine with his grandparents while we were gone.