Monday, April 30, 2012

My Bum Toe

I am one of those people that always has random ailments.  Or maybe everyone does, they just aren't as big of a baby as I am and don't complain about it.  Or write blog posts about it.

A few months ago I started getting these weird shooting pains in my left big toe every time I exercised (which I did for three weeks or so.  Now that's done).  It probably didn't help that I was wearing the same sneakers I had worn when I went to Australia six and half years ago.  I AM SERIOUS.  That's how little I exercise - six years, same sneakers.

In any event, I noticed it was hurting, but then my life kind of fell apart.

I stopped thinking about my big toe.  And stopped thinking about my health generally.

Things just started to fall to the wayside.  Exercise (okay, I wasn't really doing that anyway).  Eating three meals a day.  Eating vegetables.   My one weeknight a week wine policy.  My no regular soda policy.  My no caffeine policy.  My vitamin intake.  My sleep schedule.  My leg shaving habits.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Would Have Been Me

One of the cases I worked on at one of my prior jobs is finally going to trial.  Years of discovery and research and depositions and settlement starts and stops and motions back and forth and Judge reassignments - my life for a long time - are finally coming to a head.  

And I'm not there.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm pining to be there.  The trial is in another state, and is going to last weeks.  The preparation is brutal.  The nights are brutal.  Life, outside of the trial itself, screeches to a halt.  You live and breathe transcripts and documents and witness prep sessions.

How could I have done that?  Left my children and put my life on hold for months in preparation, and weeks in court?  I couldn't have.

But I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a small part of me wanting to be there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pretty Bird

Assuming the weather isn't treacherous, I try to take the kids on a walk every night after dinner.  It breaks up the final "witching hours" of the day, and it's good to get outside.

Last week we were doing our general routine, and I was outside trying to get Casey strapped into his stroller.  He wasn't being cooperative and the straps were all tangled and in the midst of all this, I hear Braden: 

Mommy, look at this!

Hold on Braden, Mommy's busy trying to get Casey in his stroller.  

But Mommy, look now!

Braden, please be patient!

And so on and so forth until finally, after about 90 seconds or so, I could look at Braden.  

And then I screamed.  Loudly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Humbled by a Shot (at Life)

Casey's 18 month birthday was last Friday.  And with it came pride, some bittersweet tears as I entered stats into the baby book, and then the dreaded well check up at the doctor's.

Why the dread?

It's the vaccines.  I always opt for them, but it always makes me nervous.  I can't pinpoint why. Perhaps it's a mistrust of all powers that be or modern medicine or memories of being held down for shots as a child myself.  Perhaps it's my autistic cousin and the big question mark that surrounds the why (and yes, I know there is no proven link).  Perhaps it's just the angst of being a mom and having something injected into my baby.

Casey was set to get the MMR this go round.  You know, the big one.  The one that's controversial and has all the side effects and potential for fevers, rash, etc.  I was stressing about it.

And then came Friday night.

I attended an event hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Monica Sakala, (if you haven't read her blog, Wired Mama, you should check it out) and UN Foundation Specialist Anastacia Dellacio. The event was  to benefit the UN Foundation's Shot@Life campaign, which aims to ensure that all children worldwide have access to vaccines.  It was held at Dolci Gelati headquarters, which Anastasia and her husband own (Yes, she's a do-gooder and owns a gelato company.  I wanted to hate her, but I couldn't.  She's just that awesome.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Your Turn - "Alice's" Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally.  If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at, or click here.

So a lot of people have asked me what it’s like to be a working mom.

Actually, that’s not true.  No one has asked me that.

But you know, I bet people are somewhat curious.  Because when I was considering whether to go back to work after maternity leave, I desperately wanted to know. 

What is it like to leave your baby for hours at a time in a stranger’s care?  Will you feel sad for missing all the ‘firsts’?  Will it weaken the bond between the two of you?  Will you be replaced as the most important person in your baby’s eyes?

I especially wanted to know what it would be like for a corporate attorney working mom.  My job is notoriously unplannable.  We are on-call 24-7, 365 days a year, resulting in many cancelled vacations and telling my family every year--I might have to miss Christmas, start without me!  When a deal is on, it is ON and you work night and day like kids in a sweatshop until the deal is done.  If you need to fly out to another coast 3 weekends in a row to bash it out, you do it.  Heck, if you need to fly to another continent to bash it out, you do that too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stay at Home Survival

I've received a lot of emails from women who are considering staying home.  Women who are like I was - struggling with the balance between work and family in a stressful job, but who never considered or planned on becoming a stay at home mom.  These women aren't crafty.  Aren't good cooks.  Really have no desire to clean a house or do laundry or become a room parent.  But they, like I did, are considering throwing in the towel on a career nonetheless.

These women are nervous.  They ask me questions like, what do you do all day?  Does it get boring?  How do you keep from feeling completely isolated?  How do you meet people?  Do you still shower daily?  Am I about to make a huge mistake?

I am by no means a pro at this.  But after a year plus, I have learned some things.  So here is the post where I impart my survival techniques onto you:

SAHM Survival Tip #1 - Download "Words with Friends"
To answer one of the above questions, yes, it does get boring sometimes.  Very!  Days are long.  Yes, I play with the kids.  I engage.  But a person can only do so much for so long.  So what can one do to pass the time?

Words with Friends, people.  It has changed my life.  Just when I think I can't take another five minutes of listening to my kids fight over a matchbox car, I reach for my Iphone and there it is.   I have multiple games going at once, so there is always a play to be made.  It is the perfect distraction.  And it keeps the mind sharp, just like legal research!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Working Women

Maybe I'm getting overly sensitive.

But this comment by Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen kind of pisses me off:

"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what?  His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,"  Rosen said.

Ann Romney's reaction?

"I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys," Romney tweeted.  "Believe me, it was hard work."


(And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a Democrat myself).

My first reaction is to go all Ann Romney on here and to yell and scream and preach that yes, raising kids is HARD WORK.  Yes, work.  If I was not staying at home with my two children, I would be paying someone else to do so.  It's a job for them, it's a job for me.  I may not receive societal recognition for it - no 401ks or social security contributions - but it's work nonetheless.

But at the end of the day, that's all just semantics.

What's more concerning is the notion that women without paying jobs shouldn't have a voice in the debate when it comes to economic issues.

Women that stay at home with their children may not receive traditional monetary rewards, but many of these women manage finances.  Go grocery shopping.  Fill up a gas tank.  See firsthand the state of public schools.  Many of these women have advanced degrees and read the newspaper and know something about something.

I'm not saying that women with paying jobs don't do or have these things.

I'm simply saying that women without paying jobs do still have something to say.

And I think it's a sad state when those in politics think it's okay to insinuate otherwise.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Your Turn- Amy's Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally.  If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at or click here.

I am mother of two wonderful (and exhausting) children, a Navy Wife, a part-time attorney, a daughter, a sister, a friend- like many of you readers, I am trying to do it all.  Which I believe only multiplies the amount of guilt I feel!

I am a lawyer.  Though I often wish I could talk to my 20 year old self and tell her to really reconsider her career choice.  At the time, I just was not ready to be done with school and I wanted to know I could always support myself.  I was not thinking like a mother and certainly not like a Navy Wife (i.e., I have already taken 2 bar exams and will probably have to take at least 2-3 more before it is all said and done).  I just don't believe that at 20 we should have to decide what we are going to do for the rest of our lives.  I luckily have found a wonderful nanny to love my children when I am not there and a small law firm that allows me to work only 4 days a week and recognizes the importance of my family and how that will always take precedence.  But this unfortunately is a rarity in the legal field, and in 2 years time I will be moving again, starting over again, building a reputation again, all the while trying to make the move as seamless and easy on my husband and children as possible.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flying High

Scotland has come and gone.  And it was amazing.

But no trip to Europe starts out great.  Why?  Because it inevitably involves this (hopefully minus the lightning).

Photo originally used in this post where I similarly rant about my flying phobia but similarly survived yet another trip.  
So I do my normal thing.  Pop a xanax before the flight.  Pop another one right before take off. Pray that the drugs have enough effect to put me to sleep so that I can sleep through all the inevitable turbulence and anxiety and potential sudden death by fire bomb, if it comes to that.

Needless to say, when I arrived in Edinburgh I was relieved.  The flight was over.  My friend, Nigel, was waiting at the airport for me with a huge smile.  I was on vacation.  I had made it.  My children were not rendered motherless.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Your Turn - Leemore's Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally. If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at, or click here.

I have been practicing as a litigator for nearly ten years, and I can't even believe it's been a decade. When I was a budding associate at one of the big firms, I thought for sure I would be out after year five. But here I am, ten years later, reevaluating my life and career choice.

I don't have regrets - I received a fantastic legal education that has not only benefitted me career-wise, but has been incredibly useful in life.  My salary paid for a nice house in Los Angeles.  We take nice vacations.  My son goes to my preschool of choice.

I've worked at a big firm, at a small firm; for complete assholes, for lovely mentors. I've pulled countless all nighters.  Most years I made - and far exceeded - my billable hour requirement, and last year, for the first time, I fell short.  I was in trial until the day before my due date (I am probably the only woman relieved that my son came a week late because I needed the rest). I breastfed for a year and pumped in the most interesting of locations, including in a public restroom, during a break while deposing the plaintiff in a multi-million dollar case.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Anthem

It's no secret I've been having a rough time lately.

I have had some bad days.

I have had some people in my life not treat me so great.

And not be so nice to me.  

I have had people who read this blog leave some pretty nasty anonymous comments (seriously, if you're going to leave a nasty comment, at least have the balls to leave your name).

And the random stranger who shushes my child for crying at a public park (a park, people!) is getting to me more than normal.

But you know what always seems to lift my spirits?

Ms. Kelly Clarkson.

I'm normally a country girl, but how can you not want to kick some ass after listening to this song?

So take that, world!

Copyright ©2011 Small Bird Studios| All Rights Reserved |Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studios