Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why, Why not?

The "why nots" far outweigh the "why's".

Why Not
1) Four is an easy number.  Two parents, two kids.  Perfect for cars, amusement park rides, hotel rooms.
2) I am finally reaching the point where I don't have a child to constantly run after.  I can leave the kids downstairs by themselves for short periods while I cook, clean, or watch episodes of Breaking Bad.  By the summer, I may be able to sit outside on the deck with a margarita while they independently play on the swing set.  Heaven.
3) I enjoy not having to share my body with someone else.  I can drink what I want, eat what I want, and sleep more than 4 hours straight without having to get up to go to the bathroom.
4) I still have not lost my "Casey" weight.  I recognize it's been two and half years out, so perhaps it's just my weight.  But still.  Not a good place to start.
5) I really don't want to get fat again. (This deserves its own bullet, although it is closely related to #4).
6) Our house is small.  With three bedrooms, all of which share walls.  Oh, and I should mention we have NO MASTER BATH.  We're kind of on top of each other as is.
7) Our bank account is small.  Well, not we're broke small, but small in that we are just getting by, between preschool and 529 accounts and 401ks and mortgages and the occasional splurge on a ridiculously expensive meal.  We get by, and we live well.  But only just barely.
8) That career thing, remember that?  That thing I left behind?  Well, I wouldn't be getting back to it any sooner.  Not at all.
9) 2012 was a really hard year for our family.  2013 promises to be better.  But still... why complicate things?
10) Less than a year from now, I will be 35.  AMA, baby.
11) Remember that whole PPD episode I had back in 2010 when Casey was born?  The one that reared its ugly head once again this summer?  Yeah, that sucked.  I really don't want to go through that ever again.  Ever.
12) Most days, by the end of the day, I am barely hanging on by a thread.  I am exhausted, spent, and impatient.  Motherhood is hard, simple as that.
13) I have two amazing, healthy, perfect little boys.  Can anyone really be this lucky? Am I rolling the dice?  Who am I to rock the boat?

Because I want it from somewhere deep inside.
Because I feel it in my heart.
Because, beyond all rationality, it feels right.
Because I love being a mother more than anything else.
Because maybe there is one more miracle out there for me.  
I guess we'll see.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Weekend of Medical Maladies

It's not a normal weekend unless it involves blood, a visit to the pediatrician, and an ER visit.

Lets take it in reverse chronological order, shall we?

Saturday/Sunday: Braden
We used to have the most amazing neighbors.  They still are amazing, they're just not neighbors. About a year ago, they moved 40 minutes away.  We've kept in good touch, and this Saturday we went to their house for dinner, armed with dessert and a bottle of wine.  

Between their three boys and our two boys, it was a houseful of boys.  It shows how far I've come as a parent that I basically sent the kids to the basement and then sat in the kitchen enjoying wine, good food, and conversation.  I occasionally would check on the kids, but lets be honest, it's probably best that I didn't always see what they were doing.  As long as no one gets hurt.

But then someone got hurt.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Breaking Bad Break

I tend to write blog posts in my head before I ever put them on paper.  Do other bloggers do this? Something will strike me in the car, or the shower, or just throughout the day, and I'll come up with a post in my head.  Occasionally I'll do this and later forget the idea, which is completely infuriating, so I have actually taken to writing ideas down.

All this to say that I have about ten posts with just the title drafted, with a few notes and ideas, but I'm not writing any of them today.  I can't - I just don't have the time.

I am totally obsessed with Breaking Bad.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Going Home

When I worked in biglaw, one of the great questions was always: When can I go home?  

It's never a clear answer, and many factors are involved, workload being the least important. Rather, the pertinent issues are:  Where is your office located and what is its proximity to the elevator?  What offices must you pass on your way to the elevator?  Who else is still in the office? Who might you run into in the elevator?  If you leave your office door open with the computer on, can you create the illusion that you are just stepping out for a cigarette?

I'm not doing this conundrum justice.  It's a delicate dance.

Suffice it to say that in my first job, I would at times take the fire stairs five floors down to a different floor, so I could take an elevator in a different elevator bank.

For a true depiction of the complicated thought process that departing your biglaw office entails, check out this blog post I randomly came across today, entitled "Lawyers, Can You Go Home?".  It features a flow chart that is so accurate, it's scary.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sugar Bowl

About six months ago Casey broke our sugar bowl.  It wasn't fancy or anything, but we haven't replaced it since.

Instead, every time I put sugar in my coffee (which is pretty much every morning), I simply dip my spoon into the giant bag of sugar in our pantry.

Classy stuff.

This morning I desperately needed a coffee.  My kids are usually great sleepers, but last night was not representative of such.  Casey was up pretty much every hour on the hour.  And why?  He's not sick.  He has no fever.  He was just being an ASSHOLE (though a very cute and adorable one).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Love Bed

I can still remember the appeal that my living room couch had when I was working full time at a law firm.  I would be in the office, exhausted, reviewing my thousandth document and wondering if I would ever get home.  I would daydream of that light green cushy beacon of comfort in my living room.  When would I get there?  What would I watch on TV?  What would I snack on?  What kind of red wine would I pour myself?  

My living room was my respite, my escape, my symbol of freedom.  I loved my living room.  I would sink into that couch and find my zen.

But now it's different.  Now my living room is my place of work.  It is my office.  

It's where I make meals (gotta love an open plan).  It's where I put on Nick Jr.  It's where my dog barks incessantly at passersby.  It's where my kids climb and fall and cry and fight and tantrum and scream.  It's where I clean up and then clean up again and then clean up some more.  It's where I do my professional work, when there is professional work to be done.

So I'm not loving it so much anymore.  It's not the respite it once was.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Falling off a Bunk Bed

I have found that in life you have good years and bad years, and the year 2001 was a really good year.  It was one of the years I lived in London.

I went there to attend graduate school at the London School of Economics, and I did not know a soul upon my arrival.  It was the first time in my life I had ever done that, and there was something exciting about it.  Starting new.  Starting fresh.  I had high hopes for a great year, but I didn't think it could compare to my days at Penn State.  I was wrong.

I think it was my second day there that I met Lauren.  She was a junior in college, doing a year abroad.  We lived in the same dorm.  At first I didn't know if our friendship would "make it," because at the time it felt like we were in SUCH different life stages - undergrad versus grad school. Never mind she was only a year younger than me (so she still likes to remind me).

She wasn't the easiest person to get to know.  She is shy, and at times stand-offish.  She is opinionated.  But one night we went out and ended up at some random flat, and there was a line for the bathroom.  We started chatting, and I said we should just go into the bathroom together so we could continue our conversation.  She balked at the idea of someone actually peeing in front of her.  She came in anyway.  We have been the best of friends ever since.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Existential Exercise

One of my best friends always says that she doesn't trust someone who loves going to the gym.  I completely agree.

I get it - feeling fit and healthy is good.  But you know what's better?  Sitting on my couch, watching TV, and eating Ritz crackers with peanut butter.

I did go through this weird stage of gym going.  It was when I was working at Skadden.  The New York office actually has a really nice gym on site (complete with uniforms one has to wear to work out - I'm serious), and three times a week I would get up EARLY (yes, early) to go work out, and then I would shower there for the day.  On other days, if I was slow, I would pop in for an afternoon workout or class.  I even ran a 5K.

If you know me well, you may be saying, "WHAT????"

Yeah, I know.  I can't believe I did that either.

I'm not sure the cause of my fitness kick, but it was the year before my wedding.  And it was also my first year of professional work.  Maybe I felt like if I wasn't going to get in shape then, when would I?

I got married.  Then I went on a two week honeymoon.  And I haven't worked out with any regularity since.

I go through phases. When we moved to DC.  Right after Braden was born.  And then a year ago, I spent a a month in Jillian Michaels hell on Weight Watchers.  I hated every minute.

And here I am again, in January, having gained five pounds over the holidays.  And I have decided to take up diet and exercise.  How freaking original of me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A First Day of School, the Second Time Around

There are few childhood milestones that are mandatory baby book entries.  First tooth, first step, first word....

First day of school.

Braden's first day of school was as traumatic for me as it was for him.  I remember there being such a swirl of emotions.  The anxiety - What if they lose him?  How will they know if he's thirsty? Will they be nice to him?  Hug him if he needs one?   The guilt - Am I starting him in school too early?  Will he ever stop crying?  Will he ever forgive me?  And a sudden realization of the passage of time - How did this happen?  He's still my baby!  How can he be going to school already?  

The first day that I dropped Braden off, two and a half years ago, I left him sobbing in a teacher's arms, and heard his screams all the way to the parking lot.  I can always pull him out if I want to, I remember saying to myself.  And then my own tears started.

That all seems like a distant memory now, and Braden loves school.  It was the best thing for him.

But this week, it was Casey's turn.

It didn't go well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mission Statement

I have never actually written down a formal list of New Year's resolutions, and I am declining to do so once again this year.  It seems so quantitative -  X amount of pounds, X amount of dollars saved, X number of drinks per week... It seems a huge set up for failure.  It's all a bit too cut and dry.

Instead, I woke up this morning with Jerry Maguire on my mind.  Remember how he did a mission statement?  Not a memo, a mission statement.


Instead of formulaic resolutions, how about a mission statement for me?

2012 was a hard year.  Damn, was it a hard year.  But it was also a year of immense growth.  And in keeping with that theme, how can I make myself a better person in 2013?  What can I do to bring serenity to my world?

I am no longer kidding myself - there's a lot out of my control.  2013 could bring challenge, bliss, and surprises of all kinds.  Who knows?

But, on this 2013 journey, my mission is this:

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