Friday, March 12, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Trip to NJ

We got home on Wednesday but yesterday was hectic with laundry, gym, cleaning out the fridge, etc, etc, etc.  Brian's parents are coming in tonight to spend the weekend with Monkey (I know, all this attention is going to make him unbearable) and he is sleeping right now so I want to try and get this post done for your reading enjoyment.

Monkey went to New Jersey this past weekend / week for him to meet all those people up North who are wondering about him. I went because Monkey can't travel alone (I know, can you believe that they won't let a 6 month old travel alone?) and because I wanted to spend some time with the family.

To synthesize our visit, I thought I would LOOSELY borrow the concept from a Clint Eastwood western and split the trip into the good parts, the bad parts and the ugly parts.  Since it's New Jersey, think more spaghetti western since there are so many paesans floating around...

The Good
  • Let's start with a surprise winner in this category: Philadelphia TSA.  I know, WHAT!!!  But it's the truth.  I know people like to bash Philly (the city of "Brotherly Love") but give it a chance.  People in Philly may make fun of you, they may even be snarky, but they will at least help you.  Like when I got off the plane in Philly and my stroller was already set up.  Or when, on the way home, a kind TSA agent (totally an oxymoron) let me handle Monkey while she took care of the stroller, car seat, and diaper bag.  Thank you Philly TSA for giving me the warm fuzzies and proving all those naysayers wrong (and of course my mom wants to be thanks because she believes all of this is due to her prayers - so... ummm... thanks mom).
  • The most obvious good is that Monkey got to meet people who are important in his life (even though he may not have been aware of that):
First he met his Uncle Joe and Miss Joanna (and scored the cutest little stuffed rabbit and the book "Velveteen Rabbit" which his Daddy will have to read to him unless he wants to see his mom become a bumbling crying idiot):

Uncle Joe had to leave the next day to go skiing with Grandpa.  But Grandpa got in some cuddles before he left too.

Of course, Maga was there the whole time.  She kept mumbling about some "pact" she had made with Monkey.  The pact apparently was about Monkey staying in NJ with Maga.  No worries, I've already looked into assisted living because, get this, 6 month olds can't talk and therefore can't make a pact.  I've checked into it.  (Look at his sleepiness, this was right before Monkey fell asleep in Maga's arms.)

He also met my friend for the first time.  By the way, my friend, who looks fabulous, is a mother of 3 (four year old girl, twin two year old boys, goes to nursing school full-time, has another job, and still had a few hours to see me.  Umm... I go to the gym with my non-mobile child.

I think Monkey liked her... and found her super cozy as well.

And of course, Monkey also met my friend's children and LOVED the little people (yes, I know there are only 2 children in this picture, be patient and you will meet the third).  Her kids are adorable and completely entertained Monkey.

Monkey also met 2 of my cousins (and he met their mother too but for some reason I don't have a photo of her with Monkey, I could have sworn I took a picture).  

People who also visited but somehow got away without a picture are my aunt, another cousin, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my sister's kids.  Listen, by the end of the week, I was so tired that I'm not sure I remember I had a camera. 

The Bad
  • Monkey's sleeping habits.  For some reason, my son who has NEVER had any problem sleeping (not in Cancun, not in the hotel when we first moved to the ATL, not in the loft) had problems sleeping in NJ.  This just meant that I had problems sleeping in NJ.  Of course, by the last day all the kinks were worked out and... we came home.
  • I feel like a broken record but... Atlanta TSA.  Man, they REALLY suck.  In Atlanta, when I went through security a TSA agent literally watched me while I struggled with Monkey, the stroller, his car seat, and my diaper bag.  Thankfully some other passenger stepped forward and helped me.  Then they were all snarky with me that I was "taking too long" putting my stuff together because they wanted to test Monkey's formula.  Seriously, I need to find another airport to drive to and fly out of.
  • And this one isn't really bad... it's more on your perspective.  In NJ, Monkey apparently has found his groove because he started to almost sit on his own, get his behind all the way up but still not crawling, and then my sister showed him another way to get around and he commenced moving the tricycle.
I mean, I'm a proud mother and all but I'm okay if he doesn't start crawling until he is 12 months old.

The Ugly

I only have one contender for this category and it's a doozy.  When we lived in Austin I didn't have a full-length mirror so I got used to not looking in one.  Even though we have one here, there are some outfits I hang out in that I'm sure I've never looked in the mirror when I'm wearing them.  Most of them consist of me "borrowing" Brian's clothes.  And, when I started this blog and wrote about my difficulty with getting pregnant, I made a promise to myself I would only censor if someone's feelings would get hurt.  Well, posting an ugly photo of myself won't hurt my feelings so I believe I need to share it because,, apparently wearing my husband's clothes is not a flattering fashion move on my part:

I mean, wow. 

But, on the not ugly side would be the 3rd child of my friend - he is a cutie patooty.

And, I feel the need to point out that while I am a "big girl" this photo adds way more to me than is already there.

And now I'm back in the ATL and it's raining (surprise) and you, my reader, are shocked that New Jersey didn't make the ugly list (it was actually quite beautiful while I was there).  I'm off to get ready for the gym (especially after that photo) and welcome my in-laws this evening. 

More on Monday.


  1. I have a reaction to the "ugly" section. I, too, can't look at photos of myself, it actually hurts...physically...I watch that show "Kendra" (I know...I know...) and in it, she breaks down in tears after having HER baby, exclaiming, "I don't feel pretty!" So, if that hotter than hot woman (and I'm straight) can feel ugly and fat, then by GOD so can I. What I mean is, no matter how we look, we ALL feel fat and ugly after having a take heart in that, my dear friend!

  2. Marilyn, who has been uncharacteristically nice lately, was just telling me it's an El Nino year. That explains all the rain... try not to drown!

  3. Ellen,
    I love reading the blog especially the trip to Cancun. Sorry I missed you during your trip to NJ. Come back soon.
    Florence Skaf

  4. @Mrs. Skaf - glad to know that people are reading and enjoying!