Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Old time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying. (Robert Herrick) So true.
How is it possible that just a few short months ago, Dani was this tiny, little fragile thing:

And now she is this strong, vibrant, smiley little person!

It is really becoming so much fun! We had some peas, sweet potatoes, and cereal this evening--and she's getting much better with the swallowing and not making such a mess. I did have to pull the bib out of her mouth every two seconds--I would be filling the spoon, and she'd be sticking the bib in her mouth to suck on it!

I am blissfully unaware of current affairs. I spoke to my mom tonight, and she asked me what the weather would be like for the Alzheimer's walk this weekend (no idea), if I heard about the new tattoo Barbie (nope) and what I thought of Joe Biden's comments this morning (are you kidding me? the closest I get to current is the newsweek magazine in my bathroom, so by next week, I should know what Joe Biden said today!) I am, however, aware that Elmo likes squares and puppies, and that Grover prefers rectangles, while Cookie Monster is more of a circle guy. At least that's what the shapes book I seem to read daily has taught me.

I don't miss the real world too much. I miss my friends and wish they'd come over at night more, as I'm usually stranded at home with a sleeping baby by 7pm, but that's about it.

Someone close to me, who wishes to remain nameless, is pregnant, and I'm looking forward to that! And, we are working on baby number 2. No word on that yet, but working on it when we ships passing in the night aren't too exhausted!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Trip to CT.

Very warm weekend--Dani finally got to wear shorts and have bare feet, once she got up Saturday morning.

Dani, Daddy and Grandma went to Connecticut on Saturday. Mommy stayed home. It was a long trip but Dani had lots of fun. Here's the whole gang:

We had some more fun with the video camera today-Dani is getting good at rolling over:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grandma's visit.

Dani, helping Daddy respond to calls on his police radio:

Grandma is visiting this week. Dani's having lots of fun.

In yet another development with our house on the market, the hot water heater decided to die today. Big Man called to ask what plumber we've used in the past--had to make an emergency call at 5:20 because the hot water was leaking onto the basement floor. Right now, a new one is being installed. They literally came within 1/2 hour.
I will have to call our realtor to add "new hot water heater" to the recently added "new stove" addition to our listing. GAH!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow week.

I've got to head to family court tomorrow. I hate family court. I swear, this cartoon is right on point:

My mother in law is visiting from Chicago, so it will probably be a light week post-wise.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Long weekend.

It was a long weekend of political goings on. Dani was particularly happy and friendly at the events we took her to and Big Man was a good sport too. I won't bore you with more political pictures. Rather, here's Big Man, lifting Dani up (and down and up and down) for lots of giggles!

I was charged with the task of cooking dinner tonight, and thought I would grill. Being a charcoal grill novice, I heavily emphasized the "char" on the chicken and sausage--seriously, it was black. Good thing I made 5 chicken thighs and 6 sausage links, because once we cut off all the char there wasn't much left. Oops. Maybe I should leave grillin' to the Big Man.
My kid can now prop herself up, and roll herself to all degrees (up to about 178 degrees for you nerds) at will. Basically from her tummy she can flip to her back. From her back, she can roll to her tummy, but she keeps her top knee bent so she isn't flipped over all the way. Here's her, propped up like a big girl--all she needs is a cordless phone in her hands!
Dani has been super fun these days. I'm really starting to feel comfortable in this whole mom-ness. I'm sure I'm not supposed to actually admit that it was kind of a relief to be back at work, when I went back--I know that having Daddy at home during the day made the transition easier! But, now Dani is happy, almost all the time, and smiley, and fun and giggly, and it's just so much fun.

I'm not pregnant yet. Found out the old fashioned way that I wasn't pregnant on Friday, so we will mark the calendar and try again in May.
Big Man's mom is flying in tomorrow for a week! She's going to have so much fun with Dani!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

As promised, here's the link to the personalized books website:

It's also to the left. These books really are great, and will now become one of my staple kids presents.

Democrats everywhere!

I went to the spring meeting of the Democratic Rural Conference of the State Democtratic Committee this weekend. Fun! Big Man brought Dani for a few hours so she could meet lots of people. Then they went home and I got to stay and mingle with the politicos, enjoy the plentiful food and open bar, woo hoo! Mommy's first night without the baby!
Her jeans were such a pain in the ass to get on and off, but were absolutely adorable!
A big shout out to Nancy who gave Dani the "Tiny Democrat" onesie.
Outside the Gideon Putnam:
With Senator Schumer:
Last night with Governor Paterson:
I had a nice sit down with the Governor today, with three other county chairs. We took some photos afterwards.

Back home and chillin' on the couch:

And, Big Man has the night off. Tomorrow's our committee's brunch with Congressman Tonko. Then, we rest, and Big Man's mom flies in on Monday for a week. She's going to have so much fun with Dani!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Big Time Lawyerin' I did!

So, I got on the train to Manhattan at 5am.

I was at Jackie's with Dani around 5pm yesterday to get Dani settled and get ready to prepare for my biggest day of court ever. Unfortunately, Dani had other plans.

Monday night, Dani had 4 shots at her 4 month visit. Apparently they hit her like a wall about 24 hours later. That means when I arrived at my friend Jackie's, Dani started to cry, and continued to cry, and wail for about 4 hours. Her right thigh had become swollen and warm at the injection site, and she had been "off" all day, but had gotten much worse. She had no fever, but threw up everything I fed her when we arrived, including the tylenol. Mommy was ready to have a breakdown.

Nevermind that I was completely unprepared for oral argument. We had arrived at Jackie's early so I would have the entire night to work. No dice. Even though Jackie was super-helpful, I was not capable of being even remotely productive while my baby wailed unconsolably.

I finally got Dani to sleep and got to work around 8-ish, I think. Had over 1,000 pages of trial docs to read as well as cases, etc. I called it a night at 11, as I had to get up before 4am to get to the train station.

Hey, I told myself, I will arrive in the city at 7:35am, and my argument's at 10am so I still have time. Reminder for next time: It's really hard to write with a pen on a moving Amtrak. I arrived at Penn station, and it was barely 8am. I walk in and go through security where I am told they will take and keep until I leave all electronic devices including cell phones and cameras. I step out to call Jackie to remind her that Big Man is now the go to emergency guy, and I turn my three (yes, I am an asshole, three but really one is my old cell with my phone book still in it because I haven't made it to a Sprint store yet to switch over my contacts so I have to bring both for now) and the other one is my work blackberry. Here's the courthouse. (outside pics are okay)

I get to the court's cafeteria and get breakfast, and then find in my purse, oops, my digital camera. I have a moment of panic--will the security guys know if I just keep it in my bag and not use it? Will they somehow know? Am I subject to arrest if I am in this courtroom with recording devices? I panic and go back to security in tears to confess my camera sin, and give it to them to keep with my other stuff. They thank me for being honest and probably mock me when I leave.

The rest of the time I spend trying to navigate the three, not really differently labeled, different, although closely located banks of elevators which each only go to certain floors. It took me 20 minutes to find someone to tell me how to find the clerk's office to file my appearance.

Then, I thought I was at the right courtroom, as I saw another lawyer there, and he said he had been waiting for some time but still no courtroom deputy. And, wasn't it odd that there was no seating etc., he said. But, hey, there was a sign that said "ceremonial courtroom" and that is where my notice told me (and him) to go, and it told me to be there by 9:30. It was now 9:20. and there was a full calendar, but where was everyone? I asked the first person that came out of a secure area when there would be a deputy, and he informed me and the other lost lawyer that we were totally at the other side of the ceremonial courtroom and needed to drop floors to switch elevator banks to go back up to the original 9th floor courtroom that I saw when I first got there.

Motherfuckers. Early on, I asked someone for directions and he was quite nice (and cute and Asian) and he also turned out to be the courtroom deputy during my argument. One of the high points.

Let's suffice to say that, prior to even getting to the courtroom, I had to file my notice of appearance, and I couldn't find the clerk's office, and then I did, and then they told me the weren't open yet, but were all at their desks, and ultimately, there were tears in the clerk's office (mine), and no phone for me to call Big Man for strength, so I just looked at the ring I was wearing on my right hand (my dad's old star sapphire ring) and took a deep breath, and thought of my dad, who is capable of handling himself in any and all situations, and got my shizzle together. And it was ON.

Then on to the courtroom, where my case was FIRST. Yep. Since my firm appealed, that meant I was going to be the first lawyer to speak. So, I couldn't see what anyone else went through before I had to go. All advice I had received was that it was a hot bench, which means that they don't let you give a predetermined argument, but rather pepper you with questions. So, I had prepared for that. And only that. Clearly I didn't have too much prep time. I stood up, and none of the judges said anything. So, I had to begin, and formulate a potentially 5 minute argument, instead of answering 5 minutes of questions in the first round. FUCK!

So, I decide to focus only on the one point I think we can actually win, and spend my first 3 minutes on it, and then, finally a question (after a technical problem where my light/timer thingie wasn't working and the court officer had to bang on it to get it to work). So I make my pitch and try to answer the questions and BAM, time's up. So then my adversary starts, and again, no questions, so he just starts addressing his argument, but he addresses a different argument, to the points I didn't discuss (because they were losers for me and I had appealed) and after about 3 minutes (of his 7 total) one judge cuts him off and says, "Aren't you going to address anything she said?" So, he did for his remaining minutes. Fortunately, I had saved 2 minutes for rebuttal, so I got to try to refute my adversary's points, answer a few more questions, and offer to submit a reference, to which the judge said I could submit 2 pages by tomorrow. So, I get to bolster my argument on paper tomorrow. Maybe we might get our rehearing? Ah, I came. I saw. I argued. And, I met a really cool cabbie on the way back to Penn Station.

Anyway, got back to Penn Station early and got an earlier train. Since it wasn't dark on the way home (it was on the way down!) I took some pics.

Also, a quick shout-out to Amtrak Business Class! The tix are only $20 more, but the seats and legroom were almost too much! Seriously, so much room I had to sit on the edge of my seat to use the table! Awesome. My only beef was the cafe car was never open!
There were lots of interesting places along the Hudson, including this "warehouse". Very early and not that far from Albany the train slowed down to drive through some kind of quarry/rock crushing place, and at that moment, I didn' t feel as bad about being a lawyer, because working hard at a dusty quarry seemed way harder.

Closer to NYC, just a neat bridge, taken from my train window.

Home now, had dinner with Big Man.

We have a hectic few days of meeting and travel, so maybe no updates until the weekend. We are headed to Saratoga Friday for the Democratic Rural Conference of the New York State Democratic Committee--which means another overnight for Dani away from home, but with us this time--I think we are going to need a Sherpa to help with all the stuff. Sunday's our committee fundraising brunch with Congressman Tonko. And, I could use some sleep.

All in all, trip to NYC was good. Felt like a career woman and power lawyer and a good mom and wife all in 12 hours. Rare. Awesome.

More Easter pics.

Dani got tired of being in her dress and tights. Well, maybe we got tired of dealing with it, so we put her in an awesome hand-me-down from my pal Janine! Here she is, chillin' before dinner.

Everyone had lots of fun with her, and dinner was, of course, yummy. Aunt Renny made tasty lamb shanks, turkey and fabulous pies! Here, Uncle John's giving Dani the once-over.

And, to show she's a big girl, Dani sits at the table, with Daddy's help, of course. However, she was ever so engaged in the conversation.

Mommy needs to get out of the habit of drinking too much when other people are paying attention to the baby! I never have free hands these days, but when I do, watch out. I suck!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Four month visit.

Dani's four month visit was today! How time flies!

She is 13 pounds, 8 ounces, and is 25 inches long. (50th and 75th percentile, respectively). First thing I said to Big Man when he told me, was to point out that we could have kept using the bassinet after all--it's rated to 14 pounds! Big Man also proudly pointed out that she got four shots, and barely even cried.

And, when I got home from work, Big Man brought me into the living room, where Dani was, sleeping on her tummy! She rolled over from her back to her tummy today, and decided it wasn't so bad, or at least that she was too tired to flip back over, so she popped in her thumb and went to sleep.
Today was the Cubs home opener. Dani decided she'd rather represent the South Side, and wore her White Sox hat instead.

In other news, I am getting admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second on Wednesday. I'm taking the 5am train to Manhattan and will get sworn in just before I have an oral argument at 10am in the case Curry v. City of Syracuse et al. It is exciting (but mostly terrifying) to be taking this trip by myself, with a case with which I am (at the moment) unfamiliar, to argue a federal appeal. I've really got to get to work now, and stop blogging! Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My First Easter, by Dani.

Hi! Dani here. First I'd like to lodge a formal complaint that mommy ate all the chocolate that grandma and grandpa sent and wouldn't give me ANY! And, I had to wear TWO different outfits today! Both were dresses!

Mommy and I got up early, and then we went to church. I was really good and only cried a couple of times when a bunch of ladies crowded around me. They were all really nice though, I just don't like when strangers get all up in my grill! This is the outfit I wore to church:
When we got home, I was hungry so mommy mixed some apples and cereal for me! It was yummy. I followed it up with a little bottle--I'm a growing girl you know!

Then, I took a nap. I hate naps. I try to let mommy know I don't want to nap by screaming, but she ignores me. So I eventually stop, and just pretend to sleep. I close my eyes and suck my thumb, and mommy actually believes I'm sleeping. Then a few minutes later, I start to make cute noises so she comes to get me. Man, I hope I'm smarter than mommy when I grow up.

When I got up, I had a bath. Mommy had a pretty Easter dress to put on and a sweater and bonnet. Apparently the bonnet was made for my daddy. He has three older brothers and was a March baby--I guess everyone thought he was going to be a little girl, so they made him an Easter hat and bonnet. Then he turned out to be a boy, so he never wore it. But grandma saved it for me!

I'm getting a little tired of having to look so cute all the time for pictures. Here's one--mommy kept trying to get me to look at her, but I was looking at the cat instead. The cat doesn't seem too interested in me, but I am sure when I can crawl we will be friends.

I was really getting tired of posing for pictures, so I figured if I gave mommy one really good smile, she'd let me get back to playtime. I was right. In a little while we are going to Aunt Renny's for Easter dinner. I will get to see all my cousins! Yay!

That's all for now folks. Mommy wants me to play with her so I have to go.

Love, Dani

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crazy teething baby.

Dani is gnawing on everything she can get into her mouth. Her top and bottom gums are hot and you can feel the teeth trying to get out! She never takes her hands out of her mouth. Her cheeks are getting chapped!

At long last, here's Dani in her porta-crib! She looks so little in it, but it's about 2/3 the size of an actual crib, and it buys us time from not having to put the actual crib together. Every morning she wakes up so happy and smiley!

Happy Easter peeps! We are headed to Aunt Renny's for dinner tomorrow. Will probably take Dani to church in the morning. Have a super cute dress for her to wear...sleeveless, a gift (9mos size) from Shay, but will fit now. Will keep Dani warm with a knit bonnet and sweater that was made for Big Man--he's the 4th boy, and word is he was supposed to be a girl, as evidenced by the Easter bonnet and sweater made for him before birth! (He's a March baby.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hoppy Easter!

Here comes Dani Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail!
(Well, technically not hopping. She's only 4 months old!)
Dani would like to wish everyone a happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This will have limited appeal.

This video is really, really, really, not of interest to most. Just me and Dani being silly for 2 minutes. ***If you have a delay or skips in the video, the trick is to hit play, the instantly pause, and wait for the long tube to the right of the play button to turn from white to light grey--at that point the video is downloaded and will run without skips, delay or buffering--then hit the play button. Seriously, unless your DNA is in my body, you will be utterly bored, and will never get these two minutes of your life back. That said--fire it up dad. Please enjoy the TV sound in the background! GAH!

This has been a batshit crazy week. Up super early to get to work and Dani situated. Working super late. Boss just left for vacay, so might have some peace Friday, when my secretary is also taking the day off. Need to get caught up on everything.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ready for Easter.

Grandma and Grandpa B just sent Dani some Easter goodies. A purple bunny and lots of candy for mommy. I've got some hella cute Easter pics of Dani, but I'm going to wait a few more days to post them.
I got the coolest gift today for our little nephews. They are personalized hardcover books. You pick the book, and then supply names of the people in the books and other personalized info and it's a real, hardcover kid's book. I got a Spiderman book for Jason and a Batman for Justin, and a Mother Goose book for Dani. They are great looking and made locally and are going to make a super gift! The site for the books is under construction, but when it's done, I will post a link. My parents had some of these books made for my brother Todd and I when we were kids and we LOVED them. The ones I got today are even better!

This a (redacted) example at how they put the names and personal info into the book.I think they are going to be a big hit!

Dani and I went to visit my friend Janine who was in town visiting her folks tonight. Janine has a one year old, and two other kids, and her sister Julie's two little guys were there--it was really Dani's first time with little kids--so cute!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just another manic Monday.

Wish it were Sunday. That's my fun day. My I don't have to run day.
I'm tired. I realize that I haven't taken a day off since I went back to work 3 months ago. Could use a break! This was the first weekend in a LONG time that I didn't do any work. Instead, I was productive at home, and I enjoyed my kid. Ain't she cute?

Big Man was home for a rare Friday night, and I slept too little all weekend. I rolled the dice Saturday and stayed up late, and then Dani decided to get up much earlier than usual. Today, I'm just feeling mediocre, and trying not to get sick or get Dani sick. She was in her pack and play on Sunday, and was supposed to be napping and instead decided to try to hide under her mirror.

Getting ready for easter, but this pic is the only one I'll post until the weekend. The Easter pics are waaaay cuter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dani's first fruit and mommy's golden shower.

Earth's Best Organic First Bananas $0.65
Plastic baby bowl $1.99.
Capturing the look on Dani's face the first time she tried fruit: PRICELESS!

In other news, Dani slept in the porta-crib last night! She was definitely getting way too big for the bassinet, but we weren't ready to commit to assembling the crib since she's still pretty little, and the thought of someday disassembling it to move is a huge deterrent. So, we busted out the porta-crib, and set it up in her room. Big Girl!

And finally, the great diaper debacle. We were really low on Luvs. I went to Hannaford to pick up some diapers, as the replacements from weren't here yet. I was armed with a huggies coupon, and determined to get the smallest package possible. I examined the diapers, and the huggies 48 pak was $10.99, but the Hannaford Premium 48 pak was only $6.79. I thought, hey, store brand stuff is pretty good, and these even say that they arepremium diapers. They will be fine. Right? Anyone?

The fact that the kid on the package wasn't even cute, or happy looking for that matter, should have tipped me off. If an unhappy, unattractive baby is the best you can get with your advertising budget, maybe it's time to put the product development on hold.

I came home, and thought I would try one out, so I held it in my hand and poured some water in. It was definitely a different style, with none of the wicking qualities and no gel. (for you non parents and old folks like my Dad, modern diapers are made with awesome chemical properties and rarely ever feel wet--there is some magic stuff in there that turns the baby pee to gel.) Still fine I figured, we just wouldn't put her in them for the overnight, but the short term daytime diapering would be okay for a few days. (And, secretly I was already calculating how much money I would save on diapers if I always bought the store brand!) So, I diaper Dani up, lay her down and she takes a brief nap. When she wakes up, it is on to the changing table; diaper is dry. I know it's dry because I open it up and touch it, so the kid hadn't peed yet. So I refasten the diaper, snap her onesie and begin snapping up her sleeper. And then I feel the warm. Typically, when your kid pees in a diaper, you feel the diaper and it's warm. But this was a different warm, a wetter kind. Yep, the kid peed right through the diaper and all over herself and me. The other 46 are in the garbage. Stupid store brand diapers.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Daddy and Dani

Kid loves the camera. And daddy.

Quick side glance of Big Man in this one--don't tell!

Baby's first cosmo.

Not really. That would make me a bad mom. Plus, she can't really hold a martini glass without spilling.
But baby's first trip to a restaurant/bar!

You know it's been a HELLISH week when I don't post all week. (Sorry Dad.)
Workwise, life has been so hectic and stressful that my tummy aches. I've been in the office around 7am, and have gone non stop (so much for more family friendly!). Stopped home after a city court trial yesterday to have a mini-meltdown, while Big Man tried to get Dani to smile so I would stop crying. But on the flip side, I've gotten some great referrals from a local businesswoman, and it looks like she and I are going to have a good working relationship, and that, ideally, a number of shared clients! That feels good. And, there's a class action our firm is working on in Phoenix--and looks like Dani and I will get to travel there for work later this year, which means she will get to meet Uncle Todd, Aunt Amy and other Phoenix family! I can't wait!!!

Last night, we took Dani to the city's municipal golf course clubhouse to meet David, Gail, and a bunch of peeps. Wasn't sure how Dani would do in a large, somewhat noisy open space, but we gave it a try. Two minutes in, before Big Man had even made it in from parking the car, the bottom lip was out and quivering. So, I strolled her around to a quieter spot, Big Man came in, a few tears were shed, but Dani did okay. She really needs to be around someone for awhile before she will let them hold her. Well, obviously, she has no control over who holds her, but she will scream and cry if she's unhappy about it. When she was really little she would let anyone pick her up and do anything. Now, if it's not mommy or daddy, be prepared for some tears, and screams. I am determined to remedy this, so I told Big Man we need to take her more places, and have her around more people. Truly, mommy needs this too! I love the Big Man and my little bean, but I need, need, need to be around people more socially.

Within around 20 minutes, Dani was cool with Gail holding her. Gail held her for an hour while mommy enjoyed cosmos, and we ate burgers and wings, just like grownups. Here's Daddy, trying to coax a burp out of Dani, with Gail's encouragement:

In other news, Dani's growing like a weed. She's really getting big and so long--looks like she won't be a midget like me! Grandma McGhee is coming to town in two weeks for a visit. We're planning a Michigan-Chicago road trip in May, and working on the conception of baby number two; stay tuned for news on that. She loves the jumparoo, and it's just another place for me to take a million pics!