Monday, March 31, 2014

Wherein The Gravity Of The Situation Sets In

Oh. Em. Gee.

Sometimes, being a working mom with two kids is really hard. Not just hard....painful. Like having your wisdom teeth pulled kind of painful. Or having 10 paper cuts on your lip. Or the one time you go to the grocery store looking like a creature from the swamp (who am I kidding, that's every time!), and the guy in line in front of you is incredibly hot and he gives you a look like, "oh, a street urchin" and you want to reply to his unimpressed glances by saying, "no, I swear, I really look good when I try...I promise. Just yesterday a 45 year old man at Red Robin couldn't keep his eyes off me!" Then you realize you will be turning 30 this year and you already regularly shop at the grocery store wearing yoga pants and a baseball hat just like all those OTHER moms you swore you would never know, the kind that simply have given up. Yeah, that kind of painful.

Tonight, I was grilling corn, boiling potatoes, and cooking pork chops all at the same time, when a smell erupted from the living room. Ryan had pooped. Third time since we arrived home an hour earlier. I stepped away from all three cooking items to change his diaper. While I was changing his diaper, I was trying to keep him from wriggling away and I was also handling a temper tantrum from Jacob who was pouting because Ryan was holding the TV remote.

After things were...managed (but not quite settled), I returned to the kitchen to watch as the buttermilk in my gravy was curdling before my very eyes. I dumped it out to start from scratch when I could smell burning coming from the grill, with the gravy pan still in my hand, I rushed out to salvage the corn. As I passed the living room Ryan was kicking Jacob (who had stolen back the remote) and Jacob was screaming in return. Right at that moment, I looked at my life and thought, "How the hell are we going to have a third kid?" (Tonight was my husband's gym night, which is why I was fending for myself).

Between a five year old's stubborn insolence and a two year old's violent tantrums, how are two working parents going to handle a newborn?! Some days, I'm so rushed in the morning, I forget to put on deodorant. Some days, I'm so exhausted at night that I lay on my bed to rest my back and wake up seven hours later. That would be a rare full night of sleep (most nights, I only get 5.5 hours). Some days, I'm so frustrated with my children that I gleefully entertain the thought of creating a child'sized jail cell in our basement. Today, I was so exhausted that as I was standing at the gas pump, I totally forgot my phone number for two whole, long minutes. Then I forgot how to put gas in my car and ended up spraying gasoline all over my shoes and my (better believe it!) yoga pants. At least I had the common sense NOT to blast my seat warmers on the way home. I don't know how I would explain the spontaneous combustion of my gasoline soaked butt to an insurance agent.

Today at my office desk, I was knee deep in a complex motion and just had my ear yelled off by a very angry opposing counsel. Then a miracle happened. My OB's office number appeared across my cell phone. They were answering a voicemail I had left earlier about some weird symptoms I had been having. The lady on the other end offered me a proposition, "Your symptoms are generally harmless. But to put your mind at ease we can have you come in to do a check on your thyroid."

I thought about the long motion in front of me. "Will this involve taking my blood?"

"Yes, we'll have you come down and we'll take a vial or two of blood. It's really simple."

Hmmm. Sit in front of my computer while employment law causes caverns of my brain to implode inside my head as my inbox fills up with threatening emails from opposing counsel or sit in a quiet room at my OB's office while they poke my arm with needles? It was not a hard decision. I told them I would be right there.

I arrived at the office and was taken to the back room. And for the next 10 minutes, I was the center of attention. It was all about me. Wow, when was the last time everything was all about me? I mentioned that I was a fainter (which is true but I've learned that if you say this, you get special treatment) so they nurse took me to a quiet room in the back with a giant, overstuffed leather recliner. I sprawled out on that chair as if I were a queen at a day spa. The nurse brought me crackers and a juice box (for my blood sugar, wink). I sipped that juice box as if it were a fancy umbrella drink and munched those crackers delicately as if they were mini cream cheese sandwiches or asparagus wrapped in a fine prosciutto.

I took a deep breath, looked up at the ceiling, and enjoyed the peace and quiet as I felt a sharp prick in my arm. The pain of the prink lingered much longer than I had anticipated as the nurse filled not one, but two, vials of my blood. And then, all too suddenly, it was over. "You're good to go," the nurse said.

"That's it?" I asked, trying to mask my disappointment. "That was fast. Are you sure you don't need anything else while I'm here? Can I do a glucose test? Do you need to give me a rubella shot?" Whatever the price of admission for ten more minutes in that chair, I would have gladly paid it. When it was clear that there was no convincing the nurse, I popped up out of the chair and went on my way. Back to reality. I would have gladly been pricked ten more times if it meant resting in that quiet room and reclining in that comfy chair just a little longer.

So yeah, I'm slightly over whelmed at times. Luckily, while no day is 100% good, no day is 100% bad either. Even hard days are interspersed with shining little moments that make you swell with pride, that fill your eyes with happy tears, that make you bust a ligament from laughing too hard.

Like when your two year old eats his corn like this:

Or when your five year old sings you a song that he made up.

Or when your baby eats a sandwich like a big boy.

Moments filled with cuddles.

And bonding.

And silliness.

And, yes, even bath tub popsicle time.

Those little moments are the rich fuel that keeps me going through all the moments of frustration and exhaustion. They are so powerful that suddenly, everything is forgotten. Clenched fists and tight jaws turn into hugs and smiles. The strongest anger is flattened in a second. It's hard to stay mad. The innocence and uninhibited play of children evokes a power that is greater than any grudge or negative emotion. A child can make you smile even through the the most haggard exhaustion. What a power to wield, especially coming from such a unwitting and unaware master.

Still, I'm not naive. I know with a third child, the hard moments are going to get harder, and much harder. But I take comfort knowing that the happy moments will, no doubt, get happier. The love will continue to overflow. And I know that while routines will change, and work loads will shift, and emotions may get crazy, we can handle it. We will take it just the way we handle things now: one day at a time (and with a boatload of ice cream sandwiches and very strong margaritas).

Still, I'll never pass up a moment to give blood at a doctor's office. If it means a brief escape from the craziness of life.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Gifts of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the gift that keeps on giving. It gives and gives for nine months. Stretch marks, morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia. Then after nine months (let's be real, more like ten), it gives you the grand finale, mother-of-all gifts: a tiny shrieking human that shits and spits uncontrollably and demands your attention 24/7 with no regard to the needs of others for whom you will likely end up paying tuition (or bail).

Oh yeah. Did I mention that tiny shrieking, pooping, spitting human would be damn cute? That makes up for it, right?

Even though this is my third pregnancy, there are many things about pregnancy that I had forgotten (thanks to another fine gift, the gift of mommy-amnesia).

1. Poop. I said it. Poop. POOP (I live with three boys). It's on every pregnant mother's mind. Because when you are pregnant, every single poop, right down to the smallest bunny-sized turd, is a victory. And hell no....I am not ashamed of doing victory dances in the bathroom.

2. Boobs. OMG, boobs! I'm not shy. I'm going to come out and say it, I LOVE boobs. My entire life, I have been plagued by boob-famine, thanks to my eleven-year-old-boy shaped body. But when those pregnancy lines appears, it's like...boob-ageddon! It's raining boobs! All you need are boobs! Boobapalooza! Sometimes, I'll be sitting at my desk at work and I'll suddenly feel my chest and think in amazement, "boobs!" Then I just cross my fingers that my boss is not walking past my door watching me grope myself.

3. Morning sickness. HA! What a joke. Nothing "morning" about it. With all three of my pregnancies my nausea will strike at any moment, without warning and without any pattern. Yum, I'm licking all the cream cheese off this fantastic bagel one moment. The next, BAM! Sickness. And I'm suddenly laying on the floor with a half-creamed bagel stuck to my forehead.

4. Magic wands. Sorry, these are not "good" magic wands. Ha ha, did you actually think there was something POSITIVE about the first trimester? These magic wands are awkwardly long, cold, covered in goo and will be used against you by a trained professional. Did I mention, this magic wand will be inserted roughly up your girl parts so a complete stranger can see what your insides look like? No foreplay. (P.S., If you ever hear the words "vaginal ultrasound," you should run away.)

5. Iron deficiencies. Hang on, let me recover a moment. I just used a big word. Phew. Ok. You know those goats up in the mountain that spontaneously pass out and fall to the ground? That will be you, unless you take your iron. Yes, a pregnant woman has a lot in common with the beloved fainting goat. You just look less cute when you do it. Oh and be forewarned, iron pills = no poo for days and days and days. (See No. 1).

6. Weight. What's the big deal? Weight is merely mass times gravity. It doesn't define us. If we lived on the moon we would weigh 1/6 of what we weigh on earth. (I'm not fat, I am just currently experiencing an abundance of gravitational forces.) I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm pregnant, I oscillate between: (1) OMG, I'm pregnant. LICENSE TO EAT. I'm going to eat everything. Doritos, check! Honey buns, check! Pretzels dipped in mustard, check, check, check! See this bulge? That's all baby. Oh these love handles? just gravitated towards my hips. AND (2) OMG, I'm pregnant. I cannot show until I'm 18 weeks so that I don't have to tell my boss. Will not get fat this early. Will not! Baby is the size of a freaking cherry, why am I so lumpy?! Do not give in to The Cravings!

So yeah, life is fun right now.

I figured that I had better document all these things and do all the women a favor who are currently under the heavy influence of mommy-amnesia and need a good reminder about the wondrous gifts of pregnancy. You're so very welcome!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Planes, Trains,* and BBQ: Our Tennessee Adventure

Our trip to Tennessee was interesting. It was my first time in the South (other than a week I spent in Alabama for Space Camp in high school but that doesn't count because I spent almost all my time in a mock space shuttle- coolest experience of my life!). So the South is.....different.

Getting ready for airplane rides (and according to signage, "beer ahead!").

Waiting. Lots and lots of waiting. Also: sammiches!

It blew me away how polite everyone is. Like genuinely polite. In Seattle, we are passive aggressively polite. We say things we don't really mean just for the sake of appearing nice. In Tennessee, complete random strangers will pass you on the sidewalk and ask, "how is your day?" And they will actually wait for you to respond! The first time it happened, I can't lie, my knee-jerk reaction was "what do you want?" In Seattle, the only strangers who ask you about your day are panhandlers and over-aggressive college age Green Peace volunteers who lure you in with platitudes only to ask you to sign your life away (and make you feel guilty when you refuse... "can you spare one minute for the starving babies in Uganda?"). So that was nice.

Also, everyone call you either "sir" or "ma'am." The first time someone called me ma'am, I wanted to shout, "seriously, do I look like a ma'am?!" To me, a ma'am is a fifty plus year old woman with grey hair and failing memory. But in Tennessee, people of all ages will call you ma'am. Even people older than you will call you ma'am. After a while, I kind of got used to it. In fact, I kind of grew fond of it-- a verbal manifestation of the politeness all around.

For our trip, we flew into Memphis and immediately drove to Nashville (3+ hour drive with traffic) where we stayed for two nights. We then drove back to Memphis in time for my sister's wedding. I have to say that, compared to the Pacific Northwest, Tennessee was not much to look at. I had been really excited about spotting the Mississippi river (Mark Twain!) but I was kind of disappointed to discover that it was brown and mucky looking.

At the end of winter, there are no leaves on any of the trees in Tennessee. This is in stark contrast to the flourishing green of the pine needles everywhere you turn in Washington State. The ground was flat everywhere. Unlike Washington, there were no majestic mountains around every corner to take your breath away on a surprisingly clear day. Everything was brown: the trees, the river, the grass. I'm spoiled to live in Seattle, a metropolis of color ranging from pink sunsets behind purple mountains over deep blue water to crisp green forests surrounding white-peaked dormant volcanos to the rich blue and green of the salty Puget Sound. Yes. I am spoiled. Puget Sound has ruined most of the United States for me.

Although I was ready to take on new culinary adventures in Tennessee, I decided that I was not a huge fan of southern food. The bbq was good. But I really only need to eat pulled pork once a year. The fried chicken was good. But I just don't eat a lot of fried chicken. Huge fan of hushpuppies. Not so much a huge fan of collard greens or fried catfish or okra.

I remained adventurous and didn't let my lame palate spoil the trip but for the last night in Tennessee, I convinced my husband to take us to an Italian restaurant. I'm ashamed to say that that Italian meal was my favorite and most memorable meal in Tennessee. I sat there and savored every bite of the rosemary bread with olive oil dipping. I finally got my hands on a real actual salad, complete with tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese and savory balsamic dressing. OMG. I never thought I would have felt so close to heaven eating a plate full of leaves.....but I wanted to die right on my plate and pass into the afterlife. The crunchy pizza topped with rich sauce, cheese, and sausage was soul soaring. I had never in my life been so excited to eat something other than items of food coated in fat or bbq sauce. After enjoying my Italian food so much, I felt really guilty. Like I had cheated on the South. But, nonetheless, that meal will forever live in infamy.

In non-food related adventures, we visited the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. It was pretty cool. At least I assume it was pretty cool. While my husband was perusing (ever so slowly!) the exhibits, I was wrangling, shepherding, and chasing two children who preferred to run around the maze of a museum.

Enjoying music in the Johnny Cash Museum

Sent to baby jail for running through the exhibits

Ryan very much enjoyed this museum...can't you tell.

The second day in Nashville, we decided to reward the kids' almost-patience by taking them to an indoor trampoline park. 50,000 square feet of indoor trampolines. They were in heaven. Jacob spent most of the time jumping or swinging into a giant foam pit. Ryan was content to keep it simple by jumping straight up and down on the trampolines (and landing on his butt). That place was so much fun. If I hadn't been experiencing intense all-day sickness, I would have jumped my heart out too.

Back in Memphis we visited the Civil Rights Museum. Well, we TRIED to visit. Most of it was closed for renovations. At least we got to see where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and marvel at the outside of the motel where he had been staying that very night. I'll say this about the South, it's very cool to walk the ground where so much history has occurred. Parts of the Civil War were fought on the land we walked! Can't say THAT for Washington State.

MLK was shot at the balcony of the Lorraine Motel (precise location marked by a wreath)

One day we spent exploring downtown Memphis and walked down Beale Street (home of the blues, I think?). We passed several old school shops with soda fountains and dime candy. We stopped to use their bathroom and get warm and the kids were lured in by hot chocolate. So I let my husband continue down the street while we parked our buns at the soda fountain eating Lemonheads.

Obligatory pose with the Elvis.

Ryan enjoys floors.
It's awesome being a kid when your dad carries you everywhere.
Also visited in Tennessee: amazing Children's Museum of Memphis (a MUST SEE for anyone with kids), Graceland (Elvis' home and also a MUST SEE), and the Grand Ol' Opry (over-rated and way too expensive - we chose not to go in).

Outside the Grand Ol' Opry.

My sister got married on the Saturday of our trip. The wedding was small and intimate and beautiful. Wow. Southern boys can dance. All us rhythm-lacking, foot-stepping white folk watched from the side of the dance floor as we were schooled and put to shame. This did not stop me from shaking my booty in ridiculous fashion to Robin Thicke. My sister was so very happy and I was so very happy for her. After spending 12 hours getting pretty and setting up and posing for photos and being a bridesmaid and making a speech and chasing children around a nature preserve, I was glad to walk into the hotel room and collapse on a bed at the end of the day.

As I mentioned before the kids were absolutely amazing during our travel including four airplane trips, a delayed flight on the last leg of our journey home, and two 3+ hour road trips. I was so very proud. Especially because their good behavior required very little bribery.

The kids' favorite part of the entire trip occurred during our 2 hour wait for our delayed flight home. They spent the entire two hours riding moving sidewalks up and down the airport. And by riding, I mean laying on their tummies (surfing), sitting on their butts (driving cars), and trying to walk backwards (Jacob). I only allowed this behavior because there were no people around us and because it was keeping them incredibly quiet and occupied. Not to mention it was pretty funny (don't worry, I was carefully supervising).

Ryan discovered that he is very fond of airplanes. He could not stop talking about riding in an airplane for days afterwards.

As adventurous as our trip was... there really is no place like home. Seriously. My house was such a mess when we got back. Laundry everywhere. Luggage littering the hallways. Toys sprawled everywhere. I had never seen a place like it (except maybe on an episode of Hoarders).

*My post title did not lie. We did in fact see trains. I convinced my husband to follow signs for a Railroad Museum which turned out to be one tiny room full of model trains and no actual, real trains, must to the kids (and my!) disappointment.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Little Weekend That Could

Jacob is officially registered for kindergarten for fall. AHHH! He's so excited. And I'm so excited for him. Luckily, our school district has free all day kindergarten which will make our lives a little easier. I hope kindergarten teachers have enough patience and understanding to handle six year old boys who would rather be running around outside than sitting in a desk for an entire, full school day.

We are trying to get into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) school that has a Montessori program. I don't know much about Montessori but I hear good things. And they require uniforms. I am very excited about this. I wish all public schools required uniforms.

This week was rough for me. I'm still recovering from my thrown out back- it's been brutal. I move slowly. I can't lift anything. I struggle to bend over to do necessary things like dishes, and wiping counters, and picking things up off the floor. This makes me very angry because I was just getting back into a regular running routine. Between my back and my all-day sickness, I feel like I haven't been the best mom. It was a nice sunny spring day and I felt too crummy to even take the kids to the park. As a result, they were cooped up inside all day, getting on each other's (and our) last nerves. There was more yelling than there should have been.

Silver lining re: all-day sickness....I've lost about four pounds. But don't worry, I'm sure to make it all up soon enough.

But this didn't stop Jacob from being awesome and Ryan from being adorable. Jacob passed the next level of his swim class. He was the only one of his class to move on to the next level. He is now an eel! When the instructor asked the kids to jump into the deep end and swim 15 feet out and back, Jacob nervously sat on the edge of the pool and slowly slid into the deep end. But he swam farther than he was required to do (overachiever!). Later today, Jacob told us that if we have a girl baby, we should name her Zoran. If we have a boy baby, we should name him Ryzan. I told him I would submit those named to the Naming Committee.

The adorableness of Ryan is just too difficult to put into words. It isn't anything in particular that he does, it's simply HOW he does things that has my husband and I catching each other's glances as if to say, "isn't he so freaking adorable?!" He insists on doing everything Jacob does. He also wants to do everything himself. From putting on his pants, to brushing his teeth. "I do it self," is a phrase we hear frequently. When my husband came inside today from working on his new motorcycle (ugh, don't ask), Ryan met him at the door and said repeatedly, "cycle too loud! Cycle too loud, daddy." When something startles Ryan, he will say very calmly in the most matter-of-fact and unconcerned voice, "care [scare] me. That 'care me."

So...hopefully next week will be better and we will actually leave the house. In fact, I'm planning an epic outing for the near future. I just discovered a museum nearby that has a dinosaur skeleton on display! I've lived here my whole life and never knew there was a dinosaur skeleton in all of Washington State, much less in my backyard. Jacob has been begging to see a dinosaur skeleton and I was afraid we would have to wait for a trip to Chicago before we could make that happen. (Living in Chicago, I took for granted that Sue the dinosaur was within miles of my apartment. I didn't realize that most people don't have easy access to full-scale T-rex fossils.) So, as soon as work slows down, I'm using all the comp-time I've earned to make a Thursday (free day!) trip to the museum to bring Jacob face to face with a dinosaur. I may be just as excited as he is....

Friday, March 21, 2014

I'm Baaaaack!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind! We got back from Tennessee on Tuesday (at 11:00 pm, thanks to a delayed flight) and woke up bright and early at 5:45am to get ready and drop the kids off before work.

The kids were AMAZING during all four of our flights. We had a lay-over in Denver for both legs of our journey. I had major concerns about sitting in a tiny, enclosed space with an always-moving, feisty five year old and a no-attention-span, defiant two year old for hours on end. But, like I said, they were great. Jacob kept busy coloring and playing on his tablet and Ryan sat patiently on my lap eating snacks and dozing on and off. There was no crying. No fighting. No whining. No running wildly up and down the aisles. It was like they weren't even my kids! Other children did not fare so well and cried or screamed for most of our flights (I felt very badly for those parents because that just as easily could have been me consoling and pulling my hair out). But my kids, were uncharacteristically angelic (if you ignore the multiple hours they spent riding moving sidewalks back and forth at all the airports we passed through).

As soon as we pulled up to the house, I lifted a sleeping Jacob from his car seat and carried him to the house. Five minutes later, I felt a pinching in my back and an hour later I was doubled over in pain. I had thrown my back out. AGAIN! I threw my back out three weeks earlier after doing squats at the gym. These past three days have been excruciating. I went home from work early the first two days because sitting, standing, walking, moving, resulted in pangs of intense, focuses pain in my lower back. Even just turning my head to look over my shoulder while driving or trying to get out of my car leaves me crying like a baby. This is the fourth time I've thrown out my back since Ryan was born two years ago. I'm pretty sure it's related to my separated abdomen muscles. Thanks children for destroying my body for life!

But as much as they have completely destroyed my back (and my front- hello stretchmarks), they are incredibly cute and lovable. I guess they are worth it in the end :)

Riding bikes at a skate park:

The boys in their wedding tuxes:

Holding my little man:

Thursday morning, I had my first ultrasound for baby #3. Up to that point, I had been having a very hard time being excited about this pregnancy. I hate being pregnant. I am a miserable pregnant person. I guess the constant all day sickness doesn't help much. For the past five weeks, I've been a constant string of endless complaints (the nausea, the throwing out of the back (two times), the other unpleasant things that shall remain un-named, etc). Getting my butt out of bed at 5:45am and heading off to work is very challenging when your insides feel like they are constantly churning. But then, I lay down on the medical table and saw the magical image of a sweet little gummy bear appear on the sonogram screen. The baby's heart was beating so fast. I could make out little arm and leg buds wiggling all over and I saw the distinct image of a tiny little person.

Even though I barely knew this little human inside me and I had been having a hard time getting excited about another pregnancy, I felt an amazing and uncontrollable urge to protect that tiny little person. I felt as strongly that that baby was part of me, a member of our clan, as I did with any other member of my family. I know this is controversial and I am often in the minority on this issue and many people don't agree with me, but I simply don't care. As I sat there and watched the little heart beat and the little arm buds wave around, I simply could not fathom how any doctor would purposely kill a baby, no matter how small, no matter how vulnerable. It amazes me how human-like even an eight week old baby looks. This baby was undoubtedly a person. This is not religious dogma. This is cold, hard science. There for the seeing and there for the hearing (heartbeat). While I understand the political policies behind allowing abortion, it is something I can never accept or agree with. It sickens me to live in a society where people refuse to eat meat because they are worried about animal cruelty, and yet they support and perpetuate acts of the most extreme cruelty against babies.

Stepping down from my soap box (sorry), I left the imaging center a little bit more excited about the future and also convinced this baby is a girl. I honestly don't care either way. I just have an unexplainably strong sense that we will be picking out girl names in two more months.

Although this work week has been short, it's been extremely full! I was roped in to helping on an emergency, last minute project which required 12 hours of legal research on an obscure issue. I now know more than I ever want to about the Fair Labor Standards Act (yuk!). Next week I get to help present the results of my research to a board of commissioners (the people I need to convince to hire me full time in a permanent position).

One of my bosses also informed me that she wants me to do some cross-training so that I can get more trials and court experience under my belt. In this effort, in the next couple weeks I will be helping prosecutors with some big-ish criminal cases and even participate in some criminal trials. I'm extremely nervous but very excited. Prosecuting criminal cases is something I've always wanted to try. I have always had an inkling that I would enjoy it, so I'm excited to find out if that is true. The thing I love about practicing law is that there is never a shortage of experiences which require you to go beyond your comfort zone and grow as both a person and an attorney. I always dread these experiences and look forward to them at the same time. I know that at the end of the terrifying experience I will be a much more experienced and skilled person. But getting to that point is definitely not easy!

Now if I can just shake this all-day sickness.....barf!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Up For Air

I'm briefly coming up for air before I have to dive back into the dark depths of what has become my very busy life lately.

At work, the case I have been pulled in to assist with has pretty much taken over. I'm rushing frantically to try to finish a partial summary judgment motion on this case before our family flies out to Tennessee on Tuesday. For some reason, no matter how much time I invest in legal research and investigating into the facts, the work never seems to end. I can't believe how much time I've spent on this one motion. I keep thinking that if I worked at a private law firm, I'd likely have to write off much of my time.

This is what I love about not being in private practice: I can invest as much time as I feel I need into a case without being bound by billable hours and worries about billing audits and capturing or constantly justifying all my time. It's so freeing. I spend more time on the case and less on what my billable hours or time entries will look like!

When I haven't been writing motions, I've been frantically laundering, packing, organizing, and planning for our week long trip. I'm so incredibly excited to spend a full uninterrupted week with my family, in a new city, staying in hotels, and not having to cook! Gah! It's too amazing. Most particularly the hotel part. I love hotels. I would be fully content to spend an entire vacation inside the walls of a hotel. It just feels so....pampery.....the smell of freshly cleaned sheets, the coolness of the sheets every time you change positions, everyone falling asleep in the same room, the promise of adventure around every corner, fun new travel-size shampoos to inhale. I'm so easy to please. It's almost pathetic.

Every spare second that I get (which is not much), I've spent watching Downton Abbey. One night I was brooding over the fact that the new Justified hadn't been released on Google Play. I randomly settled on the first episode of Downton Abbey and I was totally hooked. If I had countless uninterrupted consecutive hours of free time, I could easily watch the entire series in one sitting. I believe that is what they call binging?

This morning, I vaguely remember Ryan sneaking into our room around 6:00 a.m., I was woken by the deafening creak of our door. I fell back asleep and was surprised to wake again at 7:00 a.m. to find Ryan sleeping on the floor next to my side of the bed. He reached out for me and said, "hand," then he grabbed my hand in his and fell back asleep on the floor. It was so adorable that I was tempted to continue holding his hand until mine felt like it was going to fall right off my body from having to reach so far.

Today was my husband's birthday and we had a nice, quiet day before driving to my in-laws for dinner. My niece and nephew were there and the kids spent most of the time outside riding a bright yellow tonka truck down my in-laws steep, grassy hill. At one point, my nephew was in the tonka truck, Jacob was behind him pushing, my niece was behind Jacob pushing him and Ryan was standing a few feet away looking very skeptical about the entire thing. The grownups watched from the warmth and comfort of the indoor sofas and voila! Instant entertainment for the evening.

I tried to snap some photos of the boys in their handsome shirts before we left...but as you can see....I was the only one who thought this was a good idea.

All my handsome (but not entirely enthusiastic) men:

Jacob waiting patiently to leave so he can play with his best friend and cousin. 

My handsome guys. Ryan is determined not to let a single smile slip.

And now, I really have to go to bed considering that it is past midnight and tomorrow night we have to wake up at 3:00 a.m. This whole 6:00 a.m. flight thing is starting to sound like a horrible, terrible idea (no matter how much money I saved)!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I'm still waiting for the feeling of excitement to kick in about baby the third. Oddly, I just kind of feel nothing. There is some annoyance at the constant nausea and a lot of annoyance at the stubborn pouch forming around my middle. I've never "shown" this early before and I'm frustrated that I never really made it back to baseline after having Ryan despite working out and watching what I eat (very carefully!). And I was really, really upset that day I thought my pregnancy had ended. But other than that.....I feel kind of "meh."

The lack of enthusiasm makes me feel bad. I mean, I wanted this baby right? Truly I did. But not exactly right now. And with Ryan's recent sleeping trouble and his nose dive into the land of terrible two, I'm realizing how incredibly overwhelmed I'm going to feel with three (and two in diapers). Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. But I wasn't thinking. I rarely make decisions based upon reason and logic (and this wasn't even a decision I made- it was more like a surprise).

I feel incredibly ungrateful for this wonderful gift of a child that I wanted so passionately, before I had received it. I know things will get better. I'm trying to wrap my head around the exciting things. Like names, and baby clothes, and the addictive smell of newborns. I mean, there's a reason why I really wanted another baby when Ryan shed his babyhood....and I am on a mission to remind myself of all of those wonderful reasons.

People in our house are starting to get sick. This means that people are getting cranky and crabby. And by people, I mean my husband. I made some homemade chicken noodle soup for all the sickies and now my house smells amazing! I know what I'm eating for lunch this week!

The kids have been really interested in making forts lately I love it because it's the one game they play together without any fighting. They take their piles of blankets and stuffed animals ans pile them in unique spots all around the house. Jacob is the leader and master fort designer and Ryan is in charge of quality control. He tests the strength of the fort walls with his brute force and renegade leg kicks. Then he sits patiently in the middle of the fort waiting for Jacob to make all the final last minute adjustments. Today there were at least three different versions of "the fort." The final one ended up like this:

Later, Ryan gave us a little fashion show.

When Ryan and my husband (the sickies) were napping, I took Jacob with my to the gym. He played in childcare while I ran and tried to lift some weights and do weight machines. I really didn't do many weights (I'm starting slow and trying to work really hard on my form) but somehow, I threw out my back. This is the third time I've thrown out my back since Ryan was born. I also threw it out once in lawschool after my one and only half marathon.

The pain is excruciating. I can't stand straight. I can barely walk. I can't sit. Everything except for laying down hurts. And with two little kids and a full time job, I'm not going to be doing much laying in the near future. I suffered through my pain long enough to make dinner, clean up, and help get the kids to bed. Now I'm going to snuggle in my bed with the space heater turned up to 95 degrees (shhh, don't tell my husband!) while I veg on the internet and get Wheat Thin crumbs all over the bed (shhh, don't tell my husband!).