Friday, October 24, 2014

A Few Firsts

1) My first time taking a weekend vacation with my husband in a long, long, long time.  Definitely the first time since I've been a mom of 3.  I have been counting down the days until this weekend getaway to Miami, but yet, as I nursed my baby this morning before I left, I got tears in my eyes. What is with motherhood?  How is it that you can want a break so bad, but then when said break arrives, you are heartbroken to leave?  (Don't worry, I left anyway.)

2) My first time blogging from a flight.  Did you know that you can get wi-fi on a plane now?  Is it weird that I find solace in this, because then should the plane go down, I could live blog about it? And write out my last words?  (Yes, this is morbid.  Yes, I have a major irrational fear of flying. No, I did not have a drink or take any xanax.  Yet.)

3) My first post for the Netflix Stream Team.  As a blogger, I get a bunch of random emails to promote things, review products, etc.  Most of it is junk.  But when I got an email to promote Netflix (and it actually turned out to be legit) I jumped at it!  Why?  Because I am a Netflix junkie. And because, in the interest of full disclosure, I get a free year subscription to Netflix as well as a nifty I-pad mini to stream shows.

I discovered Netflix about two years ago.  It's an on demand streaming system whereby you can watch thousands of movies and shows (for the reasonable price of about $9/month).  At first, it took over my life. I put my books back on the shelf in favor of all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad, all available seasons of Mad Men, all available seasons of the Walking Dead, both seasons of Orange is the New Black, both seasons of House of Cards, and then countless documentaries and movies. It became my guilty pleasure - as soon as I put the kids to bed, I would retreat to my bed, get comfortable, and log in.  There was always something good to watch. I did go a bit overboard, sometimes staying up until 2 am watching something, or watching Blackfish, that Sea World documentary, with a bottle of champagne on New Years Eve.  (Very sad, infuriating documentary, and not really New Years Eve festive.  Don't go to Sea World!).

My kids have loved Netflix too, and unsurprisingly, can navigate it on the iPad better than I can. They love to watch back to back episodes of Handy Mandy and that asshole Caillou.  Of course, I do try and limit their screen time, but it is great to have in a pinch (for long car rides or doctor waiting rooms or any afternoon I just can't deal anymore).

The only problem with Netflix is it can be overwhelming.  There are SO. MANY. CHOICES.  So what I'll aim to do each month is give suggestions of what to watch.  For this month's post, see above.  You much watch all of those series before you move on to other things (seriously, they are all so good.  But if you have to prioritize, do Breaking Bad first).

I should touch down in Miami in about an hour or so.  Forecast is for rain - lots of rain.  But I honestly don't care.  Give me a hotel room and a bath and my Netflix and I will be happy as a clam.

Any suggestions on what to watch?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Four Years Ago You Rocked My World

Quite literally.

I thought I knew what it was going to be like having more than one child.  I was wrong.

I thought there was no way I could love anyone as much as your older brother.  I was wrong about that too.

Our first months together were HARD.  We both struggled.  We both lost a lot of sleep.  We both cried.  A lot.

And then we bonded.  Big time.  And before I knew it, I couldn't imagine a time when you weren't there.  It's as if I had known you forever.  As if you had been here all along.

I fell in love hard.

And the awesome thing is that it happens over and over again.  I fall in love with you every single day.  And I love discovering who you are.

You are unique, that's for sure.

You are the pickiest eater I have ever seen.  And yet you are obsessed with toy food.  You've been known to sleep with a plastic tomato or hamburger bun, and you are being a hot dog for Halloween this year (your choice).

Casey's Halloween Costume
You refuse to smile for pictures.  EVER.  But then sometimes, I can crack you, much to your own chagrin.

You are quiet - figuratively and literally.  Sometimes you speak in a whisper, and you are not one to gush with your emotions like your big brother.  But that means that when I do get an "I love you," it means so much more.  I melt when I hear those words.

What you don't say in words, you make up for in cuddles.  You are the cuddliest boy I know.  You always want to be close to me.  And even though I probably shouldn't carry you around anymore, it's hard for me to say no.  So I'll keep doing it until you stop asking.

You are so brave.  You have been poked and prodded by needles and sat in ER waiting rooms more times than I'd care to admit.  But you rarely cry.  And you are easily pacified by a lollipop in any situation.

You suck your thumb and twirl your hair.  And it is adorable.

You are a boy's boy.  You are all cars and trucks and balls and superheroes.  You rarely play with girls, though you do have a soft spot for a girl named Lila.  You blush when you talk about her.

You acclimate to social situations ridiculously easily, because you don't overthink it.  You are just yourself.  For lack of a better word, you are chill.  You are already cooler than I ever was.

You love Disney World.  And roller coasters.  And youtube videos of both.  (But especially Disney World).

You have an innate talent for naming that tune.  You can tell a song after literally one beat of music. It kind of freaks your daddy and I out.

You cry every single time you take a bath.  Every.  Single.  Time.

You are an amazing little brother.  When Braden is at school, you sometimes cry and incessantly ask when he will be home to play with you.  Sometimes the two of you sleep in the same twin bed, just because.

You are an amazing big brother.  It took some time for you to warm to Colin, but you are coming around.  And as a mother, it is beautiful to see.

You are a momma's boy.  You and I have an inherent connection that only the two of us understand. Sometimes I will hear you cry, and watch someone else try to comfort you, but I know it's me that you need.  And when I pick you up and embrace you, I can feel you relax into me.  You and me, me and you.

You are such an individual.

You are such a character.

You are a such a source of infinite joy.

You rock my world.

You are Casey.

You are 4.

And today is your birthday.

Happy birthday, my baby boy.


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Monday, October 6, 2014

Why did YOU leave?

My very first post on this blog, a whole three and a half years ago (holy crap, that's crazy), was devoted to why I left a big law firm to stay at home with my kids.  (You can find it by clicking here). It was picked up by Above the Law, a legal news site/blog, which is why people actually started reading this blog.  It's still my second most popular post (behind my post on why lawyers are so miserable, which, who knew, is a very popular google term).  

I occasionally reread my introductory post myself.  I'm not sure why.  I suppose it's a reminder as to how I got where I am, though when I read it, I find it hard to reconcile it with my current self.  I've come a long way, and I've chronicled it as the time has passed (here and here and probably a hundred other places I have forgotten about in 3.5 years).   If anything, what I've learned in the years since I first started this blog is that my story is not that unique.  SO many women have faced the issues I have faced in the legal profession.  And a lot of them, like me, have left.  

So why did you leave? 

The freelance network that I am a part of, Montage Legal Group, is conducting a survey to collect information about what law firms can do to retain talented attorneys.  And while it is useful to talk to attorneys still working in law firms, the better source is probably those that have actually left.  

So, if you previously worked at a law firm or legal job and left due to dissatisfaction, or if you think your law firm missed an opportunity to retain you...

It takes five minutes, and your responses are anonymous and confidential.  (Just click here).

And, if you really want to share your experience, consider writing it out and sharing it here on my blog, via the Your Turn Series.  

Either way, put your "story" out there!  It's a freeing thing (I speak from experience!).  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clinical Trials and Emotional Tribulations

For the past two weeks, I have been living, breathing, eating, sleeping, and existing in all things food allergies.

I don't know quite where to start.

I guess the beginning.

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about how my son, Casey had been diagnosed with a peanut allergy.  (He has a RAST score of over 100 - the highest you can get.)  I haven't really mentioned it since.  In part because it's not always on the forefront of my mind, and in part because I didn't think it's the kind of thing that people want to read about.

But it has become part of our daily lives and then some.

We've had meetings with his teachers and his camp counselors about how and when to use the epi-pen.  Every time he goes for a playdate, I have to have a discussion with the parents first.  Same goes for birthday parties, soccer classes, babysitters, and pretty much any time there is food and kids around.  I have written a detailed plan for all family members whose homes we visit, which includes where they need to place their nuts, what they need to do at a restaurant, and what the initial signs of an allergic reaction may be.  I have more epi-pens than I can count, stored in all sorts of places - both cars, the kitchen, the school, and in various baby sitters' purses.

Notwithstanding all this, Casey, had an allergic reaction to macaroni and cheese from the Cheesecake Factory back in July.  (There had been cross contamination with peanuts).  We had to use the epi-pen for the first time, right in the thigh.  Then we sat at the ER for four hours to be monitored.

It was at that point that I decided enough was enough.

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