Category Archives: New Jersey

Tearing up…

I never thought my heart would grow roots in this foreign place.

New accents, new manners, sidewalks full of cracks, twisty limbed trees, the endless cry of seagulls. These features were not homey to me. They were daunting, intimidating, uncomfortable. I longed for mother, and a glimpse of prairie sky.

Then I met you, Moms like me, trying to fit all your roles, past and future, into a single pair of pants. We made playdates, we drank wine, we ate fondue. We spoke of birth, poop, lonliness, contrary natures, arguments, and the silliness of men.

You opened your hearts to me, and in doing so opened my heart to New Jersey.

Now here I am, tearing up again. I will miss the organic smell of spring, and the patter of heavy rain. I will sigh when none of my parks are near water,  and weeks pass without me hearing someone say “Yeah Right?” Most of all, I will miss you.

The saying goes, home is where your heart is, and it’s true. My home is back in Denver, but now, it’s also here with you.

A whole lotta love…

The closer I get to returning home the harder it gets to go. I never thought I would say this but New Jersey isn’t such a bad place to be. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the proximity to NYC, but being here doesn’t have the sting it used to.

Tonight I went to see Sex in the City with Ellen and Tiff. We had dinner, drinks, a fantastic movie about love, and lots of laughter.

On the way home I thought about family. How lucky am I that I have people I love so much, both here and back in Colorado? In the past two years I have found this amazing group of people I can call my own. Some of them came here with me, and our bonds were strengthened in the move, but some of them are new to my heart. These people love me when I am noisy and obnoxious, forgive me when I hermit away in my house for days on end, and are willing to overlook the fact that I wore cheap high heeled red flip-flops to go see a movie filled with Manolos.

I am sad that returning home means leaving… home. In the not too distant future I will not be a train ride away from Broadway. I will no longer go down the shore. I won’t here people say “whattaya gonna do?” and “fahgeddabowdit”. I won’t go berry picking with the Moms Club or shopping at Wegman’s. No around me will know what a pork roll is. There will be no more super fresh fish, and no more Sunday gelato. Everyone will think I am the pushy asshole when I get behind the wheel of my car.

Living on the East coast is all about surviving on the East coast. No one meanders through life here. It’s rush, and push, and get the fuck outta my way you stupid ass what on earth do you think you are doing!! It’s an attitude I have learned and adopted through two years in one of the most populated States in our nation. I have found the checker at the Wegman’s who will sneak me into the express lane, the waiter who will pour me the strongest drink, and great friends.

Somehow, out here in the last place I ever wanted to be, I found a whole lotta love.

Leaving is going to break my heart.

Mocking NJ

I know I said I wouldn’t, but I have to!!

Last time I mocked the citizens of Red Bank for closing school said mocking was followed by a horrible ice storm that left the city without power for the better part of a day. I swore I would not mock them again, as I, the ignorant Coloradan, had obviously no clue what I was saying.

However, last night there was no ice storm, just a little snow. A little being not enough to coat the streets, barely enough to coat the lawn. This morning her school has a two hour delayed opening. Two extra hours when there are no cars to shovel out or icy streets to handle. A little mocking must occur.

It’s already melting off my roof and it’s only 9 am. I am wondering if the reason this school district has such short holidays is so it can call no school or delayed school each time the sky spits.

Of course, now that I have mocked, there will be another ice storm and she and I will be shut up in the house for another week of madness. Interestingly, I have found many web resources for the locked inside, including which has great ideas for indoor crafts, has lots of coloring pages to print out, and other neat stuff to do when you are tearing your hair out with a bored child on the umpteenth consecutive snow day.

Well, off I go to lament the weather, and wish that I was home in a state where the school closure policies make sense.

100 and counting…

100th post!!

Today is my 100th post on this blog! I wish I had something very interesting and important to say for this momentous occasion, but I don’t!! I do however have pictures of the frozen foliage in my front yard, news about the health of my little girl, and pregnancy jabber.

Monkey has recovered nicely from her role in “The Exorcist: Satan takes New Jersey!” and slept through the night, waking this morning with a voracious appetite and good spirits. My spirits have improved as well, since I was not up all night alternately holding her hair back and washing vomit covered bed-clothes. Yay!! No more vomit! (Thus far, Lee is not feeling very well, so we shall see if the saga continues.)

Today I am studying for the bar, Monkey is playing around the house, and we are enjoying the rising temperatures and melting ice. Things are beginning to move in the wind again, instead of just cracking in half and falling into the back yard.

Here are some pictures of the perfectly iced over tree and bush in the front of our house, these were taken this morning, so there has been some melting, but they still show how eerily the ice covered everything. It looked like a set for some mythical movie, every single thing had a fine coating of ice on it. All the fences, trees, bushes, flower stems, etc. Even the house has a shiny thin coating of ice on it. And the snow on the ground was so hard and frozen no footprints were left in it when you passed by.

The pictures don’t show the detail very well, as my camera is limited to the abilities of a point and shoot, but the tops and sides of each branch and leaf is coated in a thin sheen of ice. It still feels like a winter wonderland, as long as you don’t have to go anywhere.

However, the neighborhood and surrounding town is recovering, the downed power line outside our house was taken care of yesterday evening and the plows have been through so it is easier to get around the town. We may even venture out today! I think we are both a little stir crazy, having been stuck in the house for a few days in a row with no school or guests. Of course, nothing beat the day with no power for sheer stir craziness, but I have to say I am grateful that did not coincide with the 24 hours in which she forcefully expelled everything in her stomach. I am so glad that is over!

Otter has moved into position in this 33rd week of pregnancy and has begun to move around low in my womb. He moves around a lot still, and now has the size and strength to move my stomach with him. Last night he was rythmically kicking me while Lee and I were watching my tummy jump in time to the baby. His nickname is Leviathan Baby, as he rolls my stomach from side to side and causes parts of it to stick out oddly.

I suffer from this odd belief that I am going to give birth early, even though I logically know that chances of it are slim to none, and that he will likely be born closer to the 15th of April than his due date, the 1st. However, I am taking the bar exam at the end of this month, and am positive this is the cause of my concern. The thought of going into labor while taking the bar with complete strangers an hour’s drive from my husband and house is horrible. I remind myself that the worst case scenario has Lee and Ellen driving to a hospital in Somorset, but I still worry. It is par for the course for bar exam takers, we all become obsessive about one thing or another while we prepare for licensure. (Okay, more obsessive.)

I will post more updated baby belly photos sometime this week. I have gotten a lot bigger and now have an outie instead of an innie. (Or as Lee so poetically puts it “Look honey! You’ve popped!)

Well, it is back to studying for the bar exam for me. Thanks for spending your valuable time reading the various things I have said here, I appreciate the connection. It is hard not to feel homesick, but connecting with everyone from time to time in the comments section really helps. Blessed be to all of you!

P.S. This is an awesome shirt! I have to have it!

I take it back…

Okay, so the snow/ice/slush storm was no joke.

Let’s see, we were out of power all day yesterday until 9 pm at night, a power line fell outside our house, and the entire city was shut down for most of the day.

Apparently the few inches of wet slush was more debilitating than it looked. It froze and got cruchy almost immediately, and every branch, leaf and bud on every tree and bush was covered completely with a sheen of ice. It was unbelievable. Monkey and I took a walk and were enchanted by the icy splendor even while we dodged falling tree branches.

Then we spent the whole night with Monkey waking up every half hour to an hour throwing up. So thank god we had power and heat. The poor girl is still having a hard time keeping food and water down, and is lying in bed with Devon’s little dog Fitz curling up beside her.

Ugh. It was a hard night.

Lacking in color…

Everything here is grey…

Okay, so one nice thing about Colorado is the relatively high number of sunny days. For example, while it may snow for a while, be frozen for half of forever, and be generally miserably cold, the sky will show some blue from time to time, and the mountains will have a lovely pastel of colors shining down on the valley throughout the winter.

Here, everything is grey.

It snowed yesterdayl. So today, the sky is grey, the ground is grey, the trees are grey, even the people look a little grey today.

It reminds me of a lovely Ani Di Franco song, Pale Purple, which has always sent me off to a dreary dreamy place. I place the lyrics down here for your perusal, and urge you to buy the CD. (She rocks)

pale purple nipples
goose pimpled
she shivers shifts from a walk to a trot
alone in the city
infested with faces
immune to new friendships
interested in places she’s never seen
she says everything is gray here
and nothing is green
the girls from down the street
sixteen, seventeen years old
you can smell them getting pregnant
you can hear their rock and roll
that’s america
you have to be tough
like a glad trash bag
the government’s an old nag
with a good pedigree
but pedigree’s don’t help you and me
i see the precedent is gray here
and nothing is green
unless something unforeseen happens
i’m surrounded by the haves
they say i can have some too
just because of what i do
do they think a lot
about those who have not
or does it just distract them
from what they do
most of us have gray
except for those who can pay
for green
i’m torn
i’m torn
rejecting outfits offered me
regretting things i’ve worn
when i was still playing roles
to fill holes
in my conception of who i am
you know, now i understand
it’s not important to be defined
it’s only important to use your time well
well time is something nobody can buy
and nobody can sell you
so don’t let anybody tell you
they have the advantage
because all the gray people can say every day
doesn’t mean anything
if your mind is green

pale purple nipples
goose pimpled
she shivers shifts from a walk to a trot
alone in the city
infested with faces
immune to new friendships
interested in places she’s never seen
she says everything is gray here
otherwise i’d stay here
but i’m looking for green
just like every human being

Back in the saddle again…

We are back in NJ, land of beaches, soft fuzzy pets, and rude drivers. We really enjoyed being home, my only regrets being that I was too tired to visit everyone. I am planning a return trip this summer for several weeks, so I am hopeful that I will have time to visit those I missed this time around.

It was a very calm visit, mostly spent with Mom and Dad and a few others. I had lunch with a good friend/former professor of mine, and have gotten the exciting opportunity to work on several environmental law cases. I am happy that I can work in Colorado from here, it is a rare gift to have a career that allows one to commute from 2000 miles away.

We had a lovely baby shower, lots of friends and good food. Everyone was so sweet and I am so thankful to all for the lovely gifts.

I think we need a different house. The one we are in is so annoying that it is hard to imaging staying in it for long. I believe this contributes to my desire to return to Denver. It is often the small things that make or break an experience. For example, our bathroom door randomly locks itself about half the time in a completely inconsistent manner. Therefore it is often the case that I will reach for the handle to leave the bathroom and find myself locked in. Sigh. Monkey’s bedroom door locks from the inside when slammed. (A fact I discovered during an argument and remedied with a screwdriver and several minutes of cursing.) Our dishwasher turns off whenever you reach for a dish in the cabinet above it, the front door sticks shut, and it’s colder than a cellophane wrapped whorehouse in the klondikes in both bedrooms.

I believe if I lived in a house where none of these things were daily issues, I might find my life here more pleasant. However, there is something about the Rocky Mountains being in plain sight as you go about your daily business. It seems to provide me with a sense of home that is absent in this mountainless land. Maybe I will get a similar feeling from the ocean, or the mass of trees abound here, but for now, I miss my lady in the mountains greeting me each time I leave the house.

Monkeyis excited to get back to school, and I am pleased to be able to return to the office, so there is a sense of getting back to it. Please keep emailing and calling though!! I need to hear voices without jersey accents if I am ever going to avoid getting one myself!!