Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Our First Trip with our Baby and New Jersey Food

Last night we returned from our 10 day stay in New Jersey. It was quite an exhausting trip between being a bridesmaid in one rather hectic wedding, attending another wedding (each one a practically 3 day affair) the next week, introducing our new son to about a thousand relatives on both sides, and somehow feeding the baby every 2 to 3 hours in the midst of it all. The middle of the week we spent recovering from the first wedding, visiting with a few friends, and trying to store up energy for the next wedding. The baby was so good, though, he made it as easy as I think it possibly could have been. He is so precious and beautiful.

On the way to New Jersey, the baby sat on my chest and then on his dad's chest in his carrier thing for the first half of the plane ride. When it was time to change A.J., Andrew took him to the restroom where there was a changing table. After awhile, I found myself getting bored. Time wore on. I tapped my fingers on the arm rest. I know this is supposed to be a cliche, but...did they fall in? I turned around in my seat to look towards the restrooms. No Andrews. A long line to the bathrooms was stringing further and further into the aisle.

Finally, Andrew returned with the baby. "Where were you guys?" I said.

In the restroom, the baby discovered his reflection in the mirror. He stared at himself, then looked to the reflection of his dad, then back to himself, then back again to his dad. His eyes widened as he moved his hand, and the hand of the mini-person in the mirror moved correspondingly. He opened his mouth wide, making his sweet, toothless smile for the first time at himself.

Now that they were back with me, we put down the tray tables in front of us, unfolded the baby's portable changing pad with the soft side up, and laid the baby onto it. He smiled as we showered kisses, smiles, and soft, happy words upon him. When his awake-time was over, we turned him onto his belly (he won't sleep on his back), and he konked out until it was time to nurse him for the descent.

I can't even remember the baby crying the entire flight. When we arrived, Andrew and I were like: "I think that was the most fun we've ever had on a flight before."

On a separate note, other than finding the location of a good church and a job as the bare essentials for moving to a place, one might also wish to choose where one lives based on the food. Nothing can beat real pizza (No, not New York pizza. When you live in the New York area, it's just called pizza) We stuffed ourselves on pizza as often as we could for lunch or dinner. I think we actually bought pizza four different times while we were there.

And nothing can beat real bagels gooshing with real cream cheese (it's not necessary to toast them, because they're made fresh that morning. and the bread is just so dense!). Not to mention, I tend to prefer the coffee one can only find at those delis. My favorite bagel place is always so inspirational to me. I found myself soliliquizing again as we got into the car and I tried to internalize the experience: "Soh-w aye did sum reeel sow-l sehr-ching, end aye fow-nd that at haht, aye tr-ewly w-aw-nted sum caw-fee." Have you ever noticed that people with New York/North Jersey accents really emphasize their W's? My husband has a subtle New Jeresey accent, so if you listen, you'll notice that he pronounces the W in "Andrew" much more than your average person.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wanting to Go to Ballet

it's been 11 months since i last took a ballet class. someone from the ballet school that i had visited back then called a few weeks ago to see if i was interested in coming back. andrew told them that i had just had a baby. that must have been surprising to them, considering that i looked totally not pregnant the last time i came. in fact, it was at that ballet school that i had one of my first clues that i was pregnant. i was doing the petite allegro ("little jumps") section, and i was like, "i know i'm out of shape, but it's never felt like this before." i felt like a piece of lead, and i couldn't even finish the combination (the exercise). we had just moved to washington after getting married and traveling for three months, and i was willing to drive the 40 minutes to go to a decent ballet school to get a little bit back into shape.

well, after having been hit by a drunk driver during my 5th month of pregnancy, and then carrying a house on the front side of my body for the subsequent three months (and weekly visits to the chiropractor for the past 6 months as a result of such abuse), i am seriously out of shape and have had serious problems just moving like a normal person. so i've been really looking forward to having my body back, being able to walk down the hall again without having to limp from all the aches and pains, and being able to dance again. it only got my hopes up even higher when just what i had momentarily dreamed happened a few days after i had the baby - a good ballet school opened up down the street. when do things like that ever happen to people?

All week I've been super excited to visit the ballet school that's come under new ownership. it used to look like (as my old ballet teacher used to call them) a dolly-dinkle ballet school. the school's name was printed in pink letters in that dolly dinkle script, and i imagined it only catered to little girls, putting them into pseudo-tutus but not teaching a lot of actual ballet.

Now, however, there are blue signs with a respectable name like, Pacific West Performing Arts. it's funny how with ballet you can totally judge a book by it's cover. the name of the school and what it looks like on the outside is a total giveaway as to how good or bad it might be. when i walked in tonight, and saw the teachers, i thought they must be at least pretty good dancers. you can tell by their surface as well - the way they stand, the way they walk, how they do their eyeliner, how tight their hair is pulled back, and either their muscles and general build are like a ballet dancer with good technique, or they're not.

i was so excited to dance tonight, even if the ballet school hadn't turned out to be so promising. i was so excited even if it just turned out to be a dolly dinkle class. when they told me they didn't have enough people to have the class tonight, disappointment rushed to my eyes, and i found myself having to try not to cry. i smiled and instead of asking all the questions about their school that i wanted to, decided i'd have to do that when i wasn't feeling so silly, and rushed out.

well, we're going to leave for new jersey on thursday, because i'm a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding, and then the next weekend is andrew's sister's wedding. i'm excited to see my whole family clan again. i haven't seen them or my brother and his family since andrew and i got married over a year ago. maybe by the time i get back they'll have a ballet class i can go to.