So it’s been a while since last I wrote. Much has changed. We’ve moved to New Jersey and are adjusting to life in an area that worships pinstripes more than, let’s say, red socks.

We have a nice 3BR townhome apartment in northern New Jersey about 30 minutes from New York City. I was skeptical at first to live here, fearing that Olivia would be the only kid in the complex and the only kid at school that doesn’t live in a regular house. But we chose this place deliberately because of the school system and were willing to make that sacrifice.

As it turns out, there are tons of kids here. And what I love most is that they’re from all over the world. We’ve met families from outside the US – Africa, India, England; and some from other states like North Carolina, New York and Florida.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment – finding the right grocery store. The nearest Target. The park. The way home.

But all in all it’s been quite an adventure thus far. I love that we are so close to New York City. We’ve gone a few times to visit Central Park, the Apple store to get Olivia’s new iTouch, the Guggenheim and a kid’s production by the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House. I love the city, but at the end of the day, it’s nice to hop a train and be home in 40 minutes.

The elementary school here is fantastic. Her classroom is colorful, friendly, and very committed to academics. They study a rigorous math and writing curriculum and in the first six weeks she’s mastered counting to 40 in Spanish. She’s struggling a bit with math concepts that hadn’t been covered in her old school yet, so we’re working on that. But I’m confident that she’ll do well.

At our old place, we lived on a cul de sac street with mostly empty-nesters. Translation = no kids. Play dates had to be strategically arranged. There was no hopping on your bike and riding up the street to see who was home. Olivia felt like an outsider and it broke my heart to see her physically so far away from all of her friends.

But here, and in a matter of a few short months, she’s had tons of playdates and gotten to know lots of kids that are within walking or biking distance from our home. And I love that.

Today, she bounced off the bus and announced that two girls wanted to come to HER house! Is that OK, mom???!!!

Finally, my little bug was the popular one. The cool one. The one at whose house everyone wanted to play.

Yes I know it’s shallow. And I know this is a precursor to becoming one of those crazy batshit cheerleader moms on Lifetime that kills to make sure their daughter is head cheerleader. But still, I’m enjoying the moment for what it is. My daughter is making friends and her social life is flourishing. And I’m happy.