Monday, August 18, 2014

One Day Down!

I wish, wish, wish I could talk about my trial. I just finished day one and it has been an incredible, informative, amazing, and challenging experience.

30 weeks. A ridiculous sight:

Coming home and taking off my tights and my suit was the most amazing feeling EVER. Now, after a ten hour day, I get to unwind and do nothing trial related for an hour before I have to dive back into preparing for tomorrow. I forgot how much work this is! My brain feels like a large puddle of goo from all the thinking and strategizing and analyzing it has done all day. It's true what they say: your brain is a muscle! Wait, do people say that?

And now I must don a cloak of silence and not talk about my exciting trial adventures. But take note, they are VERY EXCITING!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Kids-Chores-Work Omelette

After today, I seriously need a weekend from my weekend.

This morning Jacob asked if we could go to our favorite breakfast place, The Pancake House. My husband wasn't interested but when I realized I wouldn't have much quality time with the boys this week (trial!), I decided it might be a good idea. So I took the boys on a mommy-son breakfast date.

We colored the kid's menu. We played tic-tac-toe. I coaxed Ryan off the floor five times. I stopped Jacob from drinking approximately 15 half-n-half shots. I picked up a pancake that Ryan threw into the booth next door. I mediated about a dozen fights, one involving Ryan shooting a rubber band in Jacob's face (no idea where that came from). I finished a cup of coffee, picked all the berries off the kids' face pancakes (seriously? the berries are the best part!). So...overall, it was a successful (although not relaxing, by any means) breakfast.

After breakfast we went to Target for Jacob's first back-to-school shopping experience. And my first one in probably 10 years. There is nothing more excited or elating than brand new school supplies! Ahh, the memories! I splurged a little and let Jacob pick out a new Ninja Turtle backpack and matching lunchbox. Then I was a softy and, after several puppy-dog-eyed-glances and sad pace pouts, let Ryan have a Ninja Turtle lunchbox as well. It was a fun experience...until we got to the checkout and I saw the price tag for everything...YIKES. I did also buy groceries and clothes for both kids (including Jacob's uniform outfits), so I guess I didn't make out too badly.

We got home at noon and the rest of the day was a huge whirlwind of chores. I sterilized and scrubbed the boys' mattresses (they smelled like pee- ew!), washed all their bedding and dirty clothes and ended up doing four loads of laundry in total. I haven't even done MY laundry yet, ugh.

Then I logged into my computer and hammered out two hours of work. Not uninterrupted, of course. I finished a motion for directed verdict (yay, trial!) while mediating several fights over toys, issuing time-out warrants, preparing lunches and snacks, switching my four loads of laundry from the washer to the drier, and cleaning up after the kids.

Then I got to put away all the laundry and make all the beds and tidy all the rooms and direct the kids in the cleaning of ALL THE TOYS (no small feat). Then prepare dinner (during which I spilled boiling butter all over my belly and nearly melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor). Then serve dinner. Then clean the dishes. My stretching abdomen muscles started acting up during all of this so while I was working I was holding my belly up and wincing in pain. I feel like such a wuss, but simple every day tasks (anything that involved bending over) take so much effort when you are 30 weeks pregnant.

The boys playing "dress up"

Now, we're getting the kids ready for bed and I'm hoping to rest for a minute or two before I have to hit the computer again.

In other news, tomorrow is the first day of a big civil employment law trial that I am co-chairing. The trial is in federal court and I'm both thrilled beyond measure and dying from anxiety at the same time. We had a pre-trial conference last week and just sitting in the big fancy, marble courtroom in front of a Ninth Circuit judge started to make me feel giddy. I've been tasked with voir dire tomorrow and after that, I won't have much of a role (other than jotting and passing notes) until Wednesday and Thursday when I'll be examining my five witnesses.

Holy moley, I'm so excited. I still can't believe my boss and colleagues have entrusted me with such big tasks for this trial. In my experience in private practice, most associates don't get much trial experience because the partners like to take all the fun and glory. So the fact that I'm a fourth year (and just a temporary employee at that!) who is co-chairing a big deal trial in federal court means a whole lot to me and I totally appreciate the opportunity that my bosses are giving me. I just hope I don't royally screw up and lose the case for us- which is actually a possibility if I bomb my witness examinations! YIKES!

I can't wait until next week, when my part of the trial is over and I can coast through, not just the rest of the trial but the rest of my work assignments until baby gets here. It will be SUCH a relief and I'll be able to really enjoy the rest of the summer, stress free. Well, until the next big case comes along. Hopefully when that happens, I will be a permanent employee (fingers crossed!).

I've helped prepare for several trials in my short legal career. I've just never been that involved in the actual trial part (except for a minor role examining one witness in a small personal injury case). This whole process has really solidified my passion for litigation. I'm actually worried that when the trial is over, I'll experience a huge letdown and become really bored with my day to day legal work. I love the rush and strategy of litigation. When I applied to lawschool I NEVER imagined in a million years that I'd be a trial attorney (much less enjoying being a trial attorney), I can seriously see (after more experience) myself doing just trials and trial consulting for the rest of my professional career.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


My former boss is a 60+ year old man. He is married but has no kids. He's frequently inappropriate. I didn't realize just how inappropriate he was until I started working for someone else.

You know, someone who doesn't ask me casually whether I've tried illicit drugs. Someone who, when we are out to lunch, doesn't ask me if I think the waitress is hot. Someone who would never ask whether I've ever made out with another woman.

Anyway, I thought I was used to his behavior. But after several months of no contact, I get this string of text messages:

Him: "Hey, I'm in trial with that client who things you're hot. You should send us a baby belly photo."


Me: "Good luck with the trial."

Him: "So when are you sending that belly photo?"

Ignore. Five days later...

Him: "Where is that f****** baby belly photo?!"

I'm not just grossed out, I'm genuinely offended. Maybe pregnancy is making me soft.

At work yesterday, I overheard a male coworker complain to another coworker about the fact that two of the attorneys in our office will be out on maternity leave at the same time. This male coworker is also 60+. He is single. He has no kids.

Him: "So when they both go on maternity leave, we'll probably have to take over their work. That's going to be a pain. Two attorneys out at the same time! How long is maternity leave anyway? Two weeks? ...What? Three MONTHS? Why the hell do they need three months?!"

Wow. Just wow. It never surprises me that office policies are not more family friendly. Because people like HIM have absolutely no clue about what it takes to make/have/raise/care for a newborn/infant/toddler/child. And sadly, people like HIM are most likely to be the ones in charge.

My husband has seen me go through three pregnancies. He's seen me experience labor, an emergency C-section, a planned C-section, and post-partum stuff. And yet, it frequently crosses me mind and becomes clear to me that even HE doesn't quite understand everything.

Pregnancy and birth is not something you can understand as an observer. It's an intense, constant, physical, and emotional experience that can only fully be understood when you actually experience it yourself. It's a common thing (duh, procreation), but when you actually stop to think about it, it's insane. It's mind boggling. It's miraculous. It's down-right ridiculous and so not very pretty. For an experience that is so common and such an inherent part of the human race, it's also extremely personal, unique, mystifying, and also misunderstood by about half the world's population (men).

And while I'm not opposed to sending belly photos. I AM opposed to sending them to men who are former bosses, with whom I rarely ever communicate, who have no kids of their own, and who demand belly photos aggressively and through explicit language. Seriously, why does he want a photo of my belly so badly? What is he going to do with it? WTF!

Monday, August 11, 2014

More On Names/Hurry Up But Slow It Down

Thanks for all the name suggestions. I really liked so many of them. Several of them I liked but we can't use because they are already in use in our family or for other reasons.

Here are the names (in no particular order) you all suggested that I've added to my "maybe" list:

While I like Benjamin and Max, I would kind of prefer a two-syllable name. I've looked at a list of names for which Max is a nickname and I'm not really a fan of any of them. And the more I ruminate over Max, the less I like it. But I have that problem with every single name.
At first, I don't like a name at all. Then it kind of grows on me. Then I love it. Then I hate it. Two days ago, I was sold on Owen. The next it was Bradley. But now I just kind of feel "meh" about them both. (I still haven't asked my husband what he thinks of them so it could be a lost cause anyway).  It's a strange phenomenon that I've never had with my previous boys. Maybe because this is likely my last. No pressure or anything!
Also, I hate being pregnant. So, so much. I hate absolutely everything about it. There is not one single thing I enjoy- except for the fact that it ends. I hate being uncomfortable 24/7. I hate being large and cumbersome. I hate being gawked at like a freak of nature. I hate the unsolicited attention and stupid questions (No, it's my third. No, it's a boy. No, you can't touch my tummy.) I hate not being able to sleep on my tummy. I hate that it takes five minutes to roll over or get out of bed. I hate all the stupid doctor appointments. I hate maternity clothes (with a passion!).  I dislike feeling the baby kick. (I like it for the knowledge that he is still alive but other than that, it feels creepy and painful and weird). I hate C-sections. I hate giving blood. I hate feeling like my bones are being kicked and constantly rubbed up against.  
Nearly 30 weeks. I already feel like my frame cannot withstand the mass of bones poking and rolling around inside. My poor baby must be so smooshed!
UGH! Make it end! And you guys, I'm only 29 weeks (almost 30). I still have over 9 weeks to go. Imagine how horrible I will feel by THEN. For the record, as much as I hate being pregnant, I'm a pretty damn good sport. I rarely complain. After work, after kids are picked up, after dinner is made, after kids are in bed, after dishes are done, I go straight for my bed and just lay there. I do my shit then check out for the rest of the night. As hard as it is to be a working mom, it's like uber hard to be a working, pregnant mom.
Lately, I've had this horrible pain on the side of my tummy. It feels like muscle tissue slowly being ripped apart. I had it with my second baby and it's returned this time around in the exact same spot with more intensity. It's not just painful, it's nearly excruciating. It starts a couple hours into my morning and continues all day long. Every time I stand, roll over, touch it, rest something on it, laugh, cough, or run, I can feel the muscles tearing apart. Basically, it hurts until I lay down and take any weight/pressure off my belly. I've never met anyone else who has had this pain. I'm beginning to think I'm defective.
All the horribles aside, I am so excited to meet this baby. I feel like it's taken until baby number three to fully comprehend just what it means to make a person. Watching my two older boys grow from babies into wonderful unique people and recognizing just how fully and deeply I am enamored with them, I can finally appreciate to the fullest extent just how amazing it is to make a person. I'm so excited to meet this baby and to add another person to our family. Moreso than I ever was with my other two kids. I think this may have something to do with being less worried anxious about medical procedures and actually having a baby and more focused on the actual baby himself.
In this regard, I can't wait for October to get here. I'm obsessively checking my calendar to see just how much closer I am to October and checking and rechecking my countdown app and figuring out all the different countdown configurations- how many days, how many weeks, how many doctor appointments, how many paychecks, until baby gets here. I don't think I've ever been this excited for anything in my life.
But I'm stuck in a weird dichotomy. As much as I can't wait for pregnancy to end and my baby to get here, I look at my other children and just BEG time to slow down. Jacob will start kindergarten in a matter of weeks and those precious, pre-school years with him will be over for good. Ryan is just the king of my heart and I hate to see him grow out of whatever toddler-hood he still has and transform into a big kid like his brother.
Drinking pool water from his shoe.
I want to freeze my kids just how they are so I can always remember how sweet and crazy and hectic they are. Ryan loves to give me kisses. He will randomly start kissing me everywhere, but he always announces where he will kiss me first. "I kiss your ear." Kiss. "I kiss your hair." Kiss. "I kiss your hand." Kiss.....etc. After each kiss, he makes eye contact and giggles at his little game. I love being showered with his love. 
Every night, Ryan wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our room. I let him sleep on the floor next to my bed. He has a permanent little nest set up there. He will frequently wake up at random times in the night and ask to hold my hand. It's so freaking sweet and I almost don't mind the numbness and loss of circulation as my arm twists into all kinds of contortions in order to reach his soft, little hand.
Sleeping like a baby.
For all the things he does that totally drive me nuts, he is perfect. And I don't want him to change. My heart breaks with each passing day because I know he is one day closer to big-boyhood. Not that I should be too sad because as Jacob has shown me, big-boyhood is pretty awesome. Watching Jacob learn to spell and sound out words and count to a hundred and ride a two-wheeler and build Legos sets exactly according to the instructions and add numbers, has been amazing. These are all little accomplishments in the grand scheme of things, but watching your kid master a new task, no matter how small, is nothing short of amazing.
Cool dudes.
Jacob's so caring and sympathetic. I see him genuinely care for other people and act on those feelings. The other day he was playing the board game Sorry with my mom and her friend. They had gone through several rounds without anyone scoring a 1 or a 2 to get out of "home base." When Jacob finally got a 1 card, he kindly offered it to my mom's friend because he saw that she had been getting frustrated.
I'm so thankful he has developed these characteristics. I feel like awareness/caring for others and their feelings is something you can't really learn when you are an adult. I'm just so dang proud of him and I hope I adequately show him that in the hectic hustle and bustle of each day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Help Name My Baby!

In light of the fact that our baby is nameless, I'm hoping to get some inspiration from...well, anywhere. I would love name suggestions, pretty pretty please!

I tend to like strong and traditional names. I prefer to avoid trends, the rebel in me does not want to be viewed as a bandwaggoner. However, I will give up this principle for a name i really love. And I'm not a fan of unusual, modern names. I like old fashion, timeless names but nothing too commonplace- no Matthews! (I sacrificed this rule for my first born). I have a list of names I love.....but I just feel like I'm overlooking one.

For reference, my other boys' full names are :

Jacob Jessie
Ryan Henry*

*I feel like this name is so awesome that coming up with this name will be the pinnacle of our parenting career...and I'm having a hard time finding one as awesome. 

Other names I like (not too crazy about though I could live with) that have been vetoed:


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Trouble With Names

Since we're having our third boy, there is very little we actually need to do to prepare for baby. Honestly, even with my first and second, I did very little to prepare for babies. Newborns pretty much just need food and diapers and clothes.

I'm completely dumbfounded by the mothers who go crazy with baby prep. We pretty much go to the hospital. Have a baby. And bring him home. No extra cleaning. No extra cooking. Ok, ok. I guess for my FIRST baby, I pre-washed all the new baby clothes before he arrived. But after I discovered that babies will poop and spit up on their clothes the second you put the outfit on, I kind of figured, "what's the point" and was quickly cured of that habit.

I don't even pack a hospital bag anymore. For my first baby, I used absolutely NOTHING I packed. I didn't wear any clothes until I left the hospital (maybe that's a C-section thing- because I barely walk for several days after a C-section, let alone put on pants). I didn't read. I didn't listen to music. I didn't eat any of the snacks I packed. I mean, pretty much everything you NEED is already at the hospital. Which, for the first four days is limited to mesh panties, hospital gown, food, soap, and lots of pain killers.

So this time around, when it comes to the wonderful world of baby preparation, my stress level is about 0.025 on a scale of 10.

The only thing I'm semi-stressed about (and I mean barely registering on the stress level), is picking a baby name. I have a list of about 10 boy names I like. I have a clear favorite but I would be happy with any one of the names on my list. My husband, on the other hand, only has a list of 2 boy names he finds acceptable. Of those, I hate one of them. The other one is good, but not one of my top contenders.

While I would be ok with the name on my husband's list, I don't want baby boy's name to become that name solely by default. And honestly, to be completely immature, I'm having a hard time swallowing that name on principle. In my mind, it's not fair that my husband won't have to compromise. I've thrown out TEN really good, strong boy names. My husband has vetoed them all. All for no good reason. And when I asked him to throw out the names he likes, he's only put forward a measly TWO names. I'll be a little resentful if one of his two names gets chosen just because I'm the only one willing to be flexible.

Also, one of the names on my list is a family name and it would mean a lot to me if we can use it. But my husband won't even consider it. I'm even willing to compromise on using the name as a middle name but, again, he won't even consider it. The whole thing just makes my blood boil. And I know it's unfair to use this card but....he DIDN'T EVEN WANT A THIRD BABY - while I desperately did! So why does he care so much about the name? This baby was a surprise but a surprise that I desperately prayed for. Shouldn't that give me a little authority on the name?

He's being choosy and picky. The toddler in me wants to be equally choosy and picky and go on a baby naming strike until he has no choice but to compromise. I keep imagining our nurses refusing to let us leave the hospital because we can't agree on a name to put on the birth certificate. And as each week passes, I'm starting to think more and more that this might not be such a far-fetched scenario.