Friday, July 29, 2011

Why I Heart Baseball

As you all know, I am outnumbered at home.  Three boys, and me.  (I guess there are two girls, if you count my dog, Couscous, but let's leave her out for the moment).

Coming from a family where there were two daughters, this is a new thing for me.  I was never one that was dead set on having a girl, but I have wondered:  Will I be sad when I don't have anyone to share a spa day with?  Someone to get go shopping with?

As my boys get older, I realize the answer is a resounding NO.

This weekend, my husband is taking Braden to a baseball game.  You know, a real guy thing. Someday soon, Casey will be able to accompany Braden and Daddy on these excursions.  And I will be left home ... alone.

Do you know how marvelous that is?

A day to myself?  To do whatever it is I want?  Yes, I'll take that.  A shopping and spa buddy is nice in theory.  But for now, what I yearn for is a bit of peace.  Quiet.  Alone time.  Wow, alone time.  I never thought it would be so enticing!

So, see, having all boys isn't so bad after all.  Now we just need to get our own master bathroom, and I'll be set.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Un-wined of the Week - "That Family"

Last night my husband got home from work early (aka, 5:30!).  We decided to take advantage of our vast evening hours and go out to dinner.  We went to Listrani's, a casual Italian restaurant that is pretty family friendly.

When we arrived we realized it was half price wine night.  Jackpot!  We ordered a bottle of:

Diseno Malbec 2009

The normal restaurant selling price was $28.00, so we got it for the steal of $14.00 (which is probably more than you could purchase it for in a store anyway).

About a glass in, all hell seemed to break loose.  Casey started screaming.  Braden started whining and running around the restaurant.  We shushed, we scolded, we pleaded, we bribed. Nothing worked.  Pretty soon every other patron of the restaurant, including those who brought kids themselves, were giving us the stink eye.  We were definitely "that family."

We needed to get out of there, and quick.  We asked for the check and to go boxes.  Then we realized - there was still more than half of a bottle of wine left.  Sure, we were making a scene.  But leave wine in a bottle at a restaurant?  Never.  Ever.

My husband and I chugged down the remainder of the bottle in record time.  I tell you, people, we are classy.

We are lucky that the wine was actually easily chuggable.  It was medium bodied and acidic, but not overpowering.  It had a long finish to it, which was nice, given that our enjoyment of it was so brief.  It was dry and went well with our Italian food.  I have to say,  Malbec is quickly becoming my new Pinot.  I haven't had too many that I don't like.

Overall rating: 8/10

(*Author shout out - I want to welcome my nephew to the world, Mason Elias, born earlier this morning.  I can't wait to meet you, and have a long overdue glass of wine with your mommy!*)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watch Out World - I'm (Almost) Off My Meds!

Last week, Casey turned 9 months old.  Each month birthday is documented by a picture of Casey holding a sign ("I'm 9 months old today!"), an entry in the baby book, and the checking off of various milestones.  But it also is a darker anniversary for me.  With each month, I think - "It was [9] months ago that I almost lost my mind."

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I had a serious bout of post partum depression with Casey. Serious in that it came on fast and strong.

The pregnancy had been uneventful, and the delivery surprisingly easy and fast.  I checked into the hospital at 3am on October 20th, and Casey was born by 8:50am.  I was up and walking around a couple of hours later.  He was perfect.  During those days in the hospital, I was a little weepy and very sleep deprived, but nothing out of the ordinary.  I had done this before, and I remembered the "baby blues" that pretty much everyone experiences those first few days or weeks.

When I arrived home, things quickly took a downward spiral.  Braden was very upset at the arrival of his new baby brother, and I remember coming home and holding him as he cried, and crying myself.  Not tears of joy, sleeplessness, or frustration - scary, sad tears.  I didn't know why.  That night, my mom stayed over ready to take on overnight baby duty, and I showered and got in bed at 9pm, ready to get a few precious hours before feeding time.  The next feed came, and I hadn't yet fallen asleep.  This pattern continued all night.  By 9am the next morning, it was official - I had not gotten a wink of sleep.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pic of the Week - A Postponed Anniversary in Tahiti

Almost five years ago, my husband and I honeymooned in Tahiti.  It was amazing, complete with one of those huts over the crystal clear water.  We promised ourselves that we would go back for our five year anniversary. 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

That is obviously not happening for so, so, so many reasons.  As we were laughing about it this morning, my husband suggested that perhaps we can go back after the kids are in college.  Ugh, how depressing!  So the next time I am in Tahiti I am going to be fat and wrinkly and post-menopausal?  I hope not.  My sights are set on our ten year anniversary. 

In the meantime, I can reflect on the memories.  How beautiful is this? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dust Starts to Settle

It dawned on me the other day that my life is finally calming down a bit.  It's been a crazy year.

A year ago today, I was 6 months pregnant living in our basement while our kitchen was being renovated (a nightmare, nightmare, nightmare).    Once our upstairs was ours again, Braden turned 2 and started preschool.  A month later, I had Casey.  I went a bit crazy.  Braden went a bit crazy.  My husband stayed fairly sane, but his workload didn't.  Sleep deprivation hit big time.  My meds kicked in.   We spent two nights at Children's Hospital when Casey spiked a fever (he was fine).  The holidays came, with lots of fun and family time, but were followed by a lot of cold and dark days.  The anxiety of my impending return to work festered.  I decided to quit.  I quit.  I adjusted.  I blogged.

Somewhere in there, Casey started sleeping through the night.  Braden got used to his new sibling.  Spring came.  The weather got nice and the sun stayed out longer.  My husband's workload normalized a bit.  The case I worked on for 3 years at Dickstein settled.  Life went on without me there.  I started getting more used to life at home.  After living for a year on adrenaline, and anticipating the next big shake up, things are settling down.  Normal life is starting to creep in.  In so many ways, it is refreshing.  In other ways, it leaves me feeling empty.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Part Time Job Opportunity

Since becoming a stay at home mom, I have often wished that I could find the perfect part time job. Something where I could work flexible hours, work from home, keep my legal skills sharp, and actually make some decent money.  Unsurprisingly, I have not found this dream job.  I had assumed it did not exist.

Well, it does.  An attorney from Becker Legal Group LLC contacted me last week to see if I knew of anyone who would be interested in such a part time position.  He is looking for someone with a corporate law background (otherwise I would have swept it up myself and not shared it on here!). So, to all you former corporate lawyer stay at home moms out there, this is my weekend gift to you. If you are interested, the description and relevant contact information are below.

Also, if anyone else knows of any job opportunities that would suit a lawyer turned stay at home mom, please send them my way.  I have just started a new page for job listings.

Part-time Corporate Law Associate

We are a small NYC corporate boutique focused on corporate formations, VC/equity financings, general corporate (minutes, option plans, employment agreements, etc.), M&A, licensing transactions, fund formations, joint ventures and strategic transactions. We currently are seeking a P/T flexible schedule corporate associate to assist us on an ongoing basis with respect to drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements. The vast majority of work associated with this position could be done on a telecommuting basis. Flexibility of work schedule and hours makes this position ideal for stay at home parent looking for intellectual challenge and extra income. Ideal candidate should preferably have 3-4 years of solid transactional/drafting experience. Excellent drafting skills are required, including experience drafting purchase agreements, licensing agreements, equity financing documents and similar contracts. Please submit resume, cover letter and ideal average number of hours per week/month. All submissions should be made via email at

**The potential employers listed on this site are in no way affiliated with But I Do Have a Law Degree or its author and we make no representations about the listings or their content.**

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Un-wined of the Week - Bachelor Style

It's hot in DC.  REALLY REALLY HOT.  So a white wine was definitely in order last night.

This week's wine is:

Firestone Sauvignon Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley 2009

For those Bachelor/Bachelorette fans out there, does this wine sound familiar?  That's right, it's the wine of the infamous Andrew Firestone, who was the Bachelor back in 2003.  Remember, he chose Jen Schefft, and then they broke up a few months later?  Which was hugely surprising (please note a hint of sarcasm here).  In any event, it has been 8 years, but I never forget a Bachelor.  This review is dedicated to Andrew and his long lost love, Jen (who went on to star as the Bachelorette and also came out empty handed).

This wine was refreshing and crisp.  A bit fruity, with a hint of oak, which I usually don't like, but it seemed to work well here.  It would be good with seafood.  We had it with pretzels.  My only complaint is it a bit acidic for my taste, but not too much ruin it for me.  At $11.99, it is a good buy.

Overall rating: 7/10

*Author's note - Keeping with the theme of reality star wines, has anyone been able to try the Ramona Pinot Grigio?  If so, let me know how it is!  Or better yet, send it to me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friends and Colleagues

When I decided to leave my job and stay at home, one of my first concerns was that I had no friends.

Maybe I should rephrase.  Yes, I did have friends.  Lots of them - just not in DC.  They are primarily scattered amongst Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and London, and derive from high school, college, and grad school.   Despite the distance, I am forever bonded to these friends through so many shared experiences: the trauma of leaving home and going to college, the stress of breakups, the joy of falling in love, the dilemma of choosing a career, more inside jokes than I can count,  and lots of cheap beer.  They are true lifelong friends.  So no need to feel too sorry for me.

With my friends across state lines, most of my socialization prior to leaving my job was with work colleagues.  There were work happy hours, work holiday parties, and the occasional dinner gathering.  And even if these weren't necessarily the people I would have been friends with in a college setting, we were also bonded by shared experiences:  the trauma of leaving our youth behind, the stress of long hours, the joys of a case settling, the dilemma of whether to leave a demanding career, lots of inside jokes (usually concerning annoying clients and/or asshole partners), and lots of free alcoholic beverages.

When I was still working and would daydream about staying at home, an overwhelming anxiety surrounded how exactly I would spend my time.  When I was working part time, I had two days at home with Braden, and even then, the days would get long.  I did have a few mom friends I had met through a new mom's group, and we would get together every other Friday.  But those moms worked 4 days a week.  With a potential five days a week at home, every single week, every other Friday wasn't going to cut it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pic of the Week - A Special Cup of Coffee

This morning, as I was drinking my coffee, Braden asked if he could smell it.  (It's french vanilla decaf and smells pretty yummy).  I obliged, and lowered my cup of coffee so he could stick his face over it and get the scent.

As he did, I watched a small stream of drool fall out of his mouth and into the coffee.

When he was done, I raised the cup of coffee back to my lips and continued drinking.  I never gave it a second thought.  Until now.  I guess that's pretty gross.

This is what it means to be a mother.

Monday, July 18, 2011


That will be the lowest temperature this week.  Gotta love DC.

I've written before that Mondays are daunting, but this Monday is especially daunting.  Braden is in between summer camps, so no designated morning activities for him.  My husband has a summer associate event tomorrow night that he claims he absolutely must attend (poor, poor thing), and then will be in New York for work starting Wednesday.

And it is going to be 92+ degrees EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Long mornings, long evenings, and it will be too %^%$#ing hot to do anything outside.

On weeks like this week, my one solace is the mornings - between 7:45 and 8:30.  That is when my husband has morning duty with the kids.  I have encouraged this, because it could be his only time with the kids all day.  Never mind the fact that it means I get to sit in bed for these 45 minutes, and doze a bit, watch the Today show, or play on my laptop.  That's just a perk.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Get Away!

Braden has proclaimed these words to me probably a dozen times in the past 24 hours.

Granted, my mom and step-dad are visiting right now, so this phrase has been used in the context of: "I finally have someone here to give me their undivided attention, so take my baby brother and get out of here."

I'm not taking it personally.  But still, it makes me think - is this just the tip of the iceberg?  Am I on the cusp of becoming embarrassing and annoying?  Does it really happen this early?

I can't help but marvel at how quickly time has gone by.  What happened to my baby?

Somehow, he became a little boy.

I realized the other day that it has been a long time since Braden and I have done anything just the two of us.  Since having Casey, when we adults divide and conquer, I am usually left with Casey, while my husband (or adult visitor) usually takes Braden.  This practice initially started because I was breastfeeding, and has continued a bit out of habit.  Casey still prefers to take a bottle from me, and at this point in time, I still know Casey like no one else.  I know his quirks, the meaning of his yawns, the face he makes when he needs to eat.  My husband is learning these, slowly but surely.  But still, the result has been that Braden and I have been missing a lot of one on one time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Un-wined of the Week - This One's a Freebie

This week's wine is:

Domaine Alfred Pinot Noir

I didn't actually choose the wine this week.  It was chosen for me, as it was the red wine served at my husband's firm event last evening.  It was nothing spectacular.  It was fine - full bodied, yet subdued, and non-teeth staining, despite its darker than normal color.  It went down easy.  A little too easy, in fact, as I ended the night on the dance floor - at a LAW FIRM summer event.  Never a good idea.  

Overall rating - 5/10

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Some Summer Extravagance

In this blog I've detailed many of the things I miss (and don't miss) about being at a large law firm. The prestige, the pay, the use of an education, etc.  One thing I haven't talked about - the summers.

For any non-lawyer readers, law students (if they are lucky) typically spend the summer before their graduation as a "summer associate" at large law firms, with the assumption they will receive an offer for a full time offer upon completion.

This summer is full of long hours, stress, and pressure to see if you can really hack it as a lawyer.   (Actually, I'm completely kidding.)

These summers basically involve throwing a ridiculous amount of money at law students, some of whom have never had a real job, and none of whom are yet qualified.  In a nutshell, they do make work, have a three course lunch at a nice restaurant every day, and attend weekly happy hours, dinners, Broadway shows, cooking classes, segway tours, boat cruises, sporting events, cocktail parties, dance lessons, and anything else you can think of that involves alcohol and a measure of fun.  The only rule?  Don't get too drunk.  When this rule is broken, it usually is not pretty (to see some of the best summer associate drunken mishaps from back in the day, click here).  As a full time associate (aka, adult with a real job), you can still partake in these activities.  Though lets be honest, work usually gets in the way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pic of the Week - Surprise!

I have to be honest.  I was a bit stumped as to what photo I should use for the pic of the week today.  I decided to wait to post until I was inspired.  Little did I know, inspiration would come knocking on my door.  Literally.  

This morning a dear friend and her son came over for a playdate.  We were hanging out in the basement, when I decided to run upstairs to get some snacks for the kids.  I glanced at our front yard from the kitchen and did a double take.  This is what I saw.

Um, yeah, there is a large backhoe in my front yard digging up my lawn.  (Are you impressed with my knowledge of the term, "backhoe"?  I learned it from Braden).

I went outside and said something like, "Um, I live here.  Can you tell me what you are doing?"  Okay, maybe there was a curse word or two in there.  I can't remember.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vacation Breakdown

Our vacation is now officially over.  Back to 100 degree DC humidity, bills, doctor's appointments, 5pm phone calls to my husband to ascertain his time of departure, and the forceful limitation of my alcohol consumption.


Real life will start soon.  For today, I'm going to bask in the reflection of my two week break.  Here's my vacation breakdown:

- Amount of money spent on vacation - Not yet assessed, but way too much.
- Number of pounds lost in crazy diet prior to vacation - 5
- Number of pounds gained on vacation - 3
- Likelihood that I will just accept this new weight rather than return to crazy pre-vacation diet - Likely.
- Sunny day to rainy day ratio - 14 sunny days/ 1 rainy day.
- The number of times the Cape Cod Gods have blessed me with amazing weather:  this summer, last summer, and our wedding in 2006.  I really am due for a hurricane one of these years.
- Average number of alcoholic beverages consumed each night of vacation - I'd rather not say.
- Average number of nights I would suggest we go to sleep early, but we'd stay up late drinking wine anyway - I'd rather not say.
- Average hours of sleep per night while on vacation - about 6.  It gets light in Cape Cod at effing 4 in the morning.  Why?  Why?
- Kids' milestones met whilst on vacation - Casey crawling, Casey pulling up, Casey clapping, Braden spending an impressive 45 minutes at his first movie and only asking to go to the potty 4 times in that time period.
- Paleness of skin on a level of 1-10 prior to vacation - 1
- Paleness of skin on a level of 1-10 after vacation - 1
- Number of times someone commented on the paleness of my skin after my vacation - 1, by my father in law, approximately 30 seconds after seeing me.
- Number of times I was asked my occupation while on vacation - 3
- Number of times I prefaced my answer with, "I recently quit my job as an attorney." - 3
- Likelihood that this answer will change in the near future - Very low
- Number of mean comments received on this blog over vacation - 1 (on the Betty post, very below the belt and not worth repeating).
- Number of comments deleted over vacation - 1
- Blog makeovers during vacation - 1 (it is still in progress - probably to be completed tomorrow, with darker font.  Do you all like it?)
- Number of votes on the Circle of Moms Top 25 family blog - 144 (and currently in 11th place!  If you want to be super nice you can vote for me here.)
- Number of times I pondered having a third child - several.
- Number of times my husband told me to shut up about it - every time.
- Number of doctor's appointments for myself on first day home after my vacation - 2
- Description of appointments - bone density scan and psychiatrist appointment
- Ricidulousness of being reminded of my ailing body and mental health immediately upon my return from vacation - Very high.
- Days before next vacation - 63
- Destination of next vacation - Santa Barbara, for a wedding - just my husband and I.
- Excitement level for a wedding in California with just my husband - Extremely high
- Overall rating of Cape Cod vacation - 10/10
- Likelihood anything in life is better than a vacation with two adorable boys and an awesome husband - None

Until next time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Best Video Ever

There will be no long, thought provoking post today.  Today is our last day of vacation, and I want to spend as little time on the computer as possible and relish every last moment in Cape Cod!  And pack.  And take Braden to go see Cars 2.

So, I figured I'd give you something far better than I could ever write.  Ladies and Gentleman, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps has come out with a new music video.  Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Jill Zarin also make an appearance.

The result is nothing short of phenomenal.  Watch it multiple times.  It gets better with each viewing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Un-wined of the Week - The Big Bitch

When my husband arrived in Cape Cod on Saturday, he made a liquor store run to make sure we were well stocked on wine for the week.  He came back with six or so bottles (we have hosted a couple of family dinners, so not all the wine was for just us!).  Most of the bottles were in in the $12-$18 dollar range, and seemed to be decent.

But then there was the big bitch.

What is a "big bitch" you may ask?  A big bitch is one of those magnum bottles of wine.  You know, the ones that are the equivalent of two bottles and are generally cheap and mediocre at best.  It is just a small step above box wine, in my opinion.  The big bitch he selected was:

Woodbridge Merlot by Robert Mondavi
California, 2009

Last night we went to have a glass of wine before bed and realized that the aforementioned bottle was the only one left.   Ugh.  We each had one glass.  My review is as follows:

This wine is just disgusting.  Flat.  Cough syrup like.  Teeth staining.  Very bitter finish.  After a half glass, I could almost feel the headache coming on.  There really isn't much more to say.  Except that at this stage in my life, I shouldn't be drinking big bitch wine anymore, unless it is at some BBQ where someone else is providing the wine and I'm just trying to get drunk instead of enjoying my beverage.

Overall rating - 2/10

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Something Between a Midlife and Quarter-life Crisis

It's not a quarter-life crisis.  Assuming I live to be a hundred (which is questionable given my unhealthy eating habits), the quarter-life crisis was seven years ago.  And its not a midlife crisis either - I thankfully am still quite a ways off from fifty.  I'm not sure there's a term for what I'm "in" now.  Maybe it's because most people don't have a "crisis" at this time in their lives?

I'm not really in crisis.  But after you read this post, you may think otherwise.

I am seriously considering getting a tattoo.

Weird, right?  This idea had come and gone for me around the age of 22.  I thought it was over.  But since the idea's new inception, it is mustering and lingering and gaining momentum.

Where did this idea come from?  Our neighborhood pool.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pic of the Week - Swinging

Not as in the adult type of swinging.

As in the look at these two boys could they be any more adorable swinging next to each other kind of swinging.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Is It Really Worth It?

Last week a friend of mine forwarded me an article from Above the Law, regarding the recent death of a Skadden associate.  (To view the article, click here.)

It really is such a tragic story.  In a nutshell, a senior associate putting in insane hours died of a heart attack last week.  It is not yet apparent what the cause of the heart attack was, but it has brought up a lot of discussion about her work and stress level prior to the time she died.

The article is written by Elie Mystal, the editor of the Above the Law site.  He usually writes satirical articles or witty commentary, but this article is sincere, personal, and incredibly written.  He reflects on his own experience at biglaw working long hours.  An excerpt:

"On one case, a senior associate on the team . . . passed out in the office - right in the middle of the conference room everybody was working in . . . .  We had to call an ambulance and everything.  And when they carted her away, the rest of us went right back to work - because that's the mentality that had brought us through law school and into a job like that in the first place . . . .   When my colleague collapsed, I didn't think, 'Wow, there are limits.'  I thought: 'Oh nonononono, we're a man down.  I'm going to have to work even harder now.'"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

We are so excited for you to join us in Cape Cod tomorrow.  You deserve a vacation.  You have worked hard, long hours.  Your deal has now closed.  And though the kids have missed you this week, I can tell you that no one has missed you more than me.  I can't wait for you to really hunker down and get into our vacation routine.  Since you haven't been here this week, I wanted to give you a list of the things that you can look forward to taking over upon your arrival:

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