Thursday, April 29, 2010
And this is right after I had a long talk with Brady about how the dogs are not allowed on our couch anymore because they are ruining it with their dogness. And here they are, in my spot, using my blankets, completely passed out. I am such a pushover.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Whether or not you believe in the Holy Spirit, the above traits are good ones to have in your life and I'm sure we can all stand to work on some of these traits.
Sidebar: I got called on in the class to read from the Bible and share my thoughts and I turned bright, bright tomato red. I do not know why I turn so bright red when I get called on, it's embarrassing. I mean, I'm a lawyer, I talk in front of people for a living and yet I can't read two lines without gallons of blood rushing to my face.
Ok, back to my original thought, here is my breakdown of the above-described traits, the ones I see in my life and the ones I need to work on. Call them traits of the Holy Spirit, traits of a happy life, important traits, whatever you want:
Love: I've got a lot of this in my life. I love my husband, my family (even though they drive me consistently crazy), my bullies, Baby Brady, my friends, my job, the $1.99 piece of carrot cake I got from Albertsons, my maternity yoga pants. I love lots of things in my life. I think the thing that I would need to work on is making sure all my loved ones know that I love them.
Joy: I am very joyful about being pregnant. Even though my back hurts and my heartburn is about to sear a hole in my chest, this is a very joyous occasion. I think with joy it is important to remember to find the joy in the little things in life when you are having a bad day. That is what I need to work on.
Peace: This is one that needs work. I often question my decisions even when I know I am making the best, informed decision I can make. I need to find peace with my decisions and trust myself.
Patience: Ok, this one needs a lot of work. I have zero patience for stupid people, people who come to a complete stop before making a turn while driving, people who stand in front of the Redbox machine at the grocery store forever choosing a movie, bad service at restaurants, and for my husband when he doesn't do what I ask right when I ask it. I definitely need to work on being more patient.
Kindness: I would like to think that I am kind to others around me. I try to be as kind as possible (unless you are one of the people that I have no patience for). I definitely have a lot of people in my life who are kind to me and for that I am very grateful. I think that we could all stand to be a little kinder in our daily lives.
Goodness: Oh goodness, sometimes it is just so hard to be good. I try to be a good wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee. I try to be good when eating. Goodness is present in my life and I'm always trying to be better.
Faithfulness: I have lots of faith in my life. I am faithful in my religous beliefs, to my husband, family and all my loved ones.
Gentleness: Ok, this is another one I can work on. I don't know that anyone would describe me as gentle. I can be very demanding and have high expectations of those around me. I am typically not afraid to tell people what I think and not always in the most gentle of terms. I probably could stand to be a little more gentle in my life.
Self-Control: This one is both present in my life and needs to be worked on. I have demonstrated massive self-control lately with spending. I have been budgeting and saving and spending money wisely. That is definitely new for me. I didn't even have a savings account until I got married in 2008. Now I have one and it even has money in it! I could use a little more self-control when it comes to desserts. Although after I am done typing this I'm going to go eat some of that carrot cake, but I think that counts as a vegetable.
So there you have it, the things I see in my life and the things I need to work on. I feel good after that little reflection. Sometimes it just feels good to take a hard look at the important things in life and whether you have those present in your life.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I can't see my feet or the ground immediately beneath me. The belly is getting huge people. I'm actually kind of surprised I can't see my feet because they are so big. I wear a size 6, but a 7 feels so good, I buy a size 8. Ok, ok, I actually wear a 9 1/2. I've got some damn big feet.
It doesn't concern me that I can't see my feet. What concerns me is that I often can't see this:
This is how big I am, I can't even see my 65 pound bulldog. Frank is a lover and a momma's boy which means he is constantly right at my feet. This has never been a problem but now that I can't easily see him I keep running into him. I am continuously kicking him, tripping over him, stumbling into him, running him over, and knocking him in the head. Running into Frank is like running into a sofa, it just doesn't budge. It's a good thing he's tough. You think he'd learn his lesson and stay away from me, but Frank loves his mommy so much he's willing to take the abuse.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I'm actually considering cutting the cable. Not only would it save money but it would force us to spend more time talking and interacting (Brady: aren't you excited? More time to talk!). I wouldn't go totally crazy and get rid of the t.v. so we could still watch movies and such. But there really is no need for us to constantly mindlessly stare at the damn t.v. And I can always watch Glee and Gossip Girl online.
In order to address our addiction to media outlets, on Saturday I dragged Brady to the park. I have these wonderful dreams of taking the baby and the bullies to the park for play time and a picnic. I thought it was time to get Brady used to the idea of going to the park on Saturdays.
It was a beautiful day and it felt so good to be out of the house. The bullies loved it, of course, and Brady looks pretty happy too.
This trip to the park made me realize that a trip with the bullies and the baby might be taking on a little too much. We spent most of our time making sure the bullies weren't eating junk they found on the ground. I don't know if I can monitor two bullies and a baby who are all trying to eat the stuff they find on the ground.
My hidden agenda for the trip was the park was to get my white ass in the sun. I am translucent right now. I tried to adjust the brightness on this photo and I'm still blindingly white.
It was a lovely day at the park. We will definitely do it again. If Brady agrees to consistently go to the park with me, I just might let him keep the cable. But he needs to simmer down with the fantasy baseball.
I have gotten a few facials before so I knew what to expect. I let them know that I am pregnant so they could adjust the products accordingly. I was very excited for my facial, I looked forward to it all day on Saturday like a kid on Christmas Eve. And then it turned out to be a total fail.
The Spa was very nice and swanky. My facialist (I'm not sure what you call the person giving the facials) was extremely pleasant and accommodating. And I can assure you that accommodating an 8 month pregnant woman is no easy feat, just ask my husband. But I just could not get comfortable in the spa chair thing. My back was throbbing and despite having her adjust the chair numerous times, it never stopped. I really wanted to lay on my side but that doesn't work so well with the facial. I kept getting really hot and having to stop to get some water. All the aromatherapy smells, which usually I love, were making me nauseous. And Baby Brady was holding a dance party in my uterus. Feeling the baby move is an awesome experience and I love it, but as he gets bigger and stronger it is starting to feel more like a punch in the gut rather than cute little baby movements.
I almost ended the facial early, but for the sake of my pores I stuck it out. And now I'm all shiny and clean. So I didn't exactly have the relaxing experience I was hoping for, I hope my hair appointment is more successful.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
We were very far apart in what the other side wanted and what my client was willing to offer. Once we realized that we were not going to settle, my caucus with my client turned into a bit of a chit chat situation while we waited for the mediator to come talk to us. I was with a few other women and, as women do, they started gossiping about people they work with. Women A and Women B started arguing about the hair color of one of their co-workers. Women A insisted it was brown, Women B argued blonde and said, "don't you know what blonde is? So what color is Courtney's hair?"
And I froze. In utter embarrassment. Because truthfully, my hair is both brown and blonde. The top part is brown, the bottom part is blonde. I have some mayjuh roots going on. And I'm not happy about it. I have naturally brown hair but I was just meant to be a blonde, it's in my blood. So every few months I pay a lot of money to be blonde. So Women A is staring at me and I'm thinking, "this is horrible, she can't decide which color it is because it's both, I'm such a mess."
And then Women A says, "brown." Ahhhhh! Stick a knife straight threw my heart and turn it a few times why doncha ya!?! I replied, "it will be blonde next week, I have an appointment." And thank heavens I do.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Lately, I keep coming across lots of opinion pieces regarding the "mommy wars." The working moms v. the stay at home moms. Breast feeding v. formula feeding. Baby wearing v. strollers. The list goes on and on. I have written about the mommy wars before, I think they are unnecessary and silly. Women should not bash each other because they happen to make different choices.
I think the working v. the staying at home is probably the most heated argument in the mommy wars. I hear lots of comments about both these choices and most of them annoy me. I hate when people say "you can't put your kid in daycare, they'll get sick" because I know plenty of babies that have stay at home moms that get sick. Kids get sick. It happens. I also don't like when people say that stay at home moms don't work. If stay at home moms don't work, then why do I need to hire someone to take care of my kid while I'm in the office?
Like most pointless arguments, I think the working v. staying at home one stems from ignorance. Stay at home moms don't understand the working moms and vice versa so they lash out at each other. And I have a solution for this ignorance, a reality show. Starring me. Ok not just me, but me and my stay at home mom best friend. We've already made a pact to not judge each other for our choices. And we are cute and interesting. So we would make a great reality show. It could chronicle her at home, raising her son and me going to work and raising my son. Ok, I need a son first. This show will have to wait till September when I have a son and I go back to work. This gives me plenty of time to develop the show and pitch my idea to producers. And get my friend to agree to be on the show.
It will be great, we'll have the show and then we'll write a book and go on a book tour and then we'll be on Dancing with the Stars and then we'll develop our own line of clothing and maybe a perfume. This is genius!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
First, we are in class at church for her confirmation. The teacher lectures for a bit and then tells us to discuss the topic with our partner. I ask her what she thinks about the topic. Her response, "oh I don't know, I zoned out, for the past ten minutes I've been singing Lady Gaga in my head."
Then after class, she wants KFC, so I take her through the drive-thru. She wanted a KFC bowl but without corn. Her response to the question of why she doesn't want corn, "corn is bullsh*t, just like peas and capers."
I may be the only one that thinks she is funny but she definitely cracks me up.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I like this quote. I think it sums up marriage perfectly. Marriage is work, a lot of work. And when you spend all your time with one other person it can be hard to remember to love them every day. Particularly when they leave plates with food stuck on them on the coffee table over night and keep boxes of unopened mail from 2005.
So even though Brady does many annoying little things, I am going to remember to work at loving him every day. And I made him promise to do the same with me because I know I do a lot of little things that annoy him. Marriage is hard, but as long as you remember to love your partner every day, it is great. And having cake and beer help a lot too.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Let me give you an example. We ordered custom fit blinds from 3 Day Blinds (oh yeah, I'm naming names here people) for the nursery. A very nice lady came to our house, measured our window, showed us samples, and we ordered them. It was a little pricey but so convenient that I just didn't care.
Then the blinds arrived. And they were scuffed but Brady tried to install them anyways, but some of the hardware was missing and the freaking blinds didn't fit. Our custom measured blinds didn't fit! I was super annoyed. So Brady called the sales lady and she said that we weren't supposed to use the center bracket to install them and they would fit (even though the directions said to use the center bracket). Brady tried it and they still didn't fit. So I called customer service on Monday to explain the problem.
Customer service wanted a picture of the scuff mark. So I sent them one. They said we could re-order the blinds. So I sent the picture and never heard back. I called again on Friday and had to forward my picture to another representative. He was going to call me back by the end of the day to schedule someone to come out to the house and re-measure the window. I waited and waited and he never called. So I called again and asked to speak to him. He was on another call and I was told he would call me back before he went home. So I waited again and at 5pm I still hadn't heard anything. So I called again, explained my problem to someone else and she said she would help me. And then she transferred me to voicemail and I never heard back from her again.
So I called again. By this point I was beyond livid. I got a hold of yet another customer service rep and basically read her the riot act. I demanded a refund. In recounting my story I got myself so worked up that I was on the verge of tears. I could hear my voice quivering and my heart rate increasing. I kept saying "they told me they would call and they never did" like some teenage girl waiting for a boy to call. I wanted to yell "I am almost 8 months pregnant, I can't deal with this!" But I held it together, sort of. The rep said I couldn't get a refund, but said she would give me a 20% discount off my order and make sure someone would re-measure the window and the blinds would get ordered.
I gratefully told her that she was the most helpful person at the company while I was still on the verge of tears which were now happy tears because someone had actually helped me. I can't believe I got so emotional over blinds. The next kid is getting curtains. And the new blinds better freaking fit or heads will roll.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
- God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Kurt Vonnegut
This is my new favorite quote. I think I'm going to have it framed and hang it in Baby Brady's nursery. Does it make me a bad mother to but the word "damn" in my baby's nursery?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Tonight, Brady is watching the t.v. intently. And what is he watching? Sports? The history channel? A travel show about Las Vegas? All very likely possibilities.
But no! He's watching Dancing with the Stars with me! Ok, it also happens to be Erin Andrews' performance. That certainly helps his interest in the show. But he totally gets into the show and critiquing the performances. He did go to cotillion so he knows a fair amount about ballroom dancing.
I love this about Brady. He is such a tough guy, totally macho, into sports, and cars, and tanks, you know guy stuff. And then he'll watch and enjoy Dancing with the Stars with me. What a renaissance man!
And don't make fun of our tiny t.v. We were just about to buy a giant flat screen and then, well, we got pregnant. And babies are expensive. So the t.v. will have to wait. It's not like we'll have time to watch it when the little guy comes anyways.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
In order to avoid completely cracking under the pressure, I developed a very specific attitude about the bar exam. I told myself that I was going to pass it, no matter what. Failure was not an option. I knew that I could not put myself through taking that exam a second time, I knew the work that had to be done, and I gritted my teeth and got it done. It was hard, it was stressful, it was exhausting, but I devoted myself entirely to it and I passed! I didn't allow myself to get caught up in the anxiety of the task at hand, I just did it.
I've decided to take this attitude towards my new role as a working mom. Yes, I have lots of emotions regarding working full time and raising a child. I know it is going to be a lot of hard work and will be down right exhausting at times. But I am not going to dwell on all that. I am not going to stress myself out prematurely with worrying about how I will feel when I drop the baby off at daycare or how I will feel if I should happen to work late one day. Instead I am focusing on telling myself that I will be a good working mom, a darn good working mom. Failure is not an option. I know what work has to be done (I need to care for my child, love my husband, be a productive employee, and keep my household in a functioning state) and I am just going to do it.
This new attitude has put me in planning mode, which I love. I'm already creating schedules in my head. For example, I plan on grocery shopping on Saturday night after the baby is asleep. Have you ever been to the grocery store at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night? I have and it's amazing! Yes, it is not the most glamorous way to spend a Saturday night but it is so nice to be able to shop freely without all the crowds. And I can always come home with a bottle of wine and a movie from Redbox and that makes for a pretty nice date night with the husband.
Since I have some time before Baby Brady's arrival, I am using it to try techniques that could save me time. Today I tried my first time saving technique, the freezer meal. The idea is to make a bunch of food at once, freeze it, and then you will have home cooked food that just needs to be re-heated. Sounds great for busy week nights.
For my first freezer meal I made gnocchi with spinach and white beans. This recipe is really good, pretty healthy, and really easy (I use jarred spaghetti sauce). So I cooked it all up.
While I was cooking this, I made a tomato and beef with a polenta crust casserole. It's a new recipe so we shall see if it's any good. My goal right now is to cook two big meals on Sunday. I'll freeze one meal and one will be for Sunday night dinner. I always cook a lot of food at a time so that we have lots of leftovers. So two big meals should cover us for four days of dinner and then we can have something quick and easy (like soup and grilled cheese) to fill in the gaps.
I make such a mess when I cook. And that wallpaper border is so ugly! It was there when we moved in and I've been meaning to get rid of it. It's been a year. Maybe someday it will be gone.
After everything was cooked, I divided the recipe into 2 gallon size freezer bags. Each bag should feed Brady and me for dinner (unless we are really, really hungry). I laid them out on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the freezer. I have heard that laying the food flat like this allows it to defrost quicker.
So far, so good. I'll have to see how this thaws out. Cooking the gnocchi and preparing the casserole only took about 2 hours. I think 2 hours of cooking on a Sunday in order to avoid cooking during the week is totally worth it. Hopefully this all works! And if it doesn't, there is always Del Taco down the street and the pizza place is on speed dial.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
In addition to my sister, I whine about being broke to my husband. In fact, he's pretty sick of hearing about it. He tells me to budget, watch what I spend, and I do, but that still doesn't put the extra $1,000 in my bank account to buy the new purse that I want.
Tonight, after work, I stopped at the grocery store for a couple of items. Right in front of the checkout line there is a table of delicious looking single servings of cake from the bakery. For $1.99, what a deal! A huge slice of chocoalte cake for $1.99? This prego lady says heck yes to that! So I buy one and bring it home, very excited, and share my deal with my husband who cannot believe that I spent an entire $1.99 on one slice of cake. He tells me this is why I'm broke, because I waste money buy doing things like spending $1.99 on one slice of cake. I don't think so. I'm broke because my jeans cost $200 and my tiny tube of tinted moisturizer is $50. Not because I spend $1.99 on a slice of cake.
So, while I cannot afford to to buy lots of extra fancy things right now (like a Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag), I am going to enjoy my $1.99 piece of cake and think of all the wonderful things I do have in my life, such as a great husband, family, friends, bullies, my health, and remember that I am not broke at all, but actually quite rich.
How adorable are these letters? A friend from high school hand paints them and she is really talented. They match my bedding perfectly. Click here for her website.
Leo is short for Leonello. Yes, I know it is a little different but that is one of the many reasons why I like it so much. Leo is Italian for lion-like, or that's what the internet has told me.
Leo is named after Brady's Grandpa Leo. Grandpa Leo was a very important and influential figure in Brady's life, he passed away in 1996 and naming our son after him is our small tribute to him.
Brady and Grandpa Leo.
Grandpa Leo taught Brady many things. Things about history, politics, science, and life. I have heard many wonderful stories about this man and I am sorry that I did not have the pleasure of knowing him. Grandpa Leo also taught Brady many bad dietary habits, such as eating McDonald's for breakfast and bacon wrapped steaks for lunch, everyday, for an entire summer. We probably won't pass that lesson down to Baby Brady.
Grandpa Leo and Brady at his uncle Todd's wedding in Galena, Illinois, 1988.
So there you have it, our little lion will be named Leo. We hope he doesn't roar too much.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So can someone please explain to me why the hell my thighs are getting bigger! Seriously, my belly is huge, I know this baby isn't residing in my thighs so why on earth do my thighs need to get any bigger? I want to know where in What to Expect When You Are Expecting it explains the phenomenon of the ever expanding thighs. Oh pregnancy, you can be so cruel sometimes.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Brady is at a baseball game tonight which means I'm home, cleaning, playing on the internet, and watching Dancing with the Stars. During my time playing on facebook I see he is "friends" with a girl that we went to law school with, whom he had asked on a date before we started dating. I don't think they ever went on a date. And I think he had only asked her out to coffee. I can't really remember. All I remember is that her name used to really piss me off. But now I can't remember exactly why.
So I text him that I can't believe he is "friends" with this girl. He texts back that we have already had this discussion over a year ago and that our good friends were there to witness to it. Ok, now it is starting to come back to me. Brady even named the restaurant where the discussion took place. Grrr, I hate inefficiency. Now I have to think of something legitimate to yell at him about. You know, to save face. So I don't look entirely crazy.
These past four years have been beyond jam packed. We have experienced so many milestones together and really the beginning of our adult, grown-up lives.
We graduated law school together.
We took the California bar exam, passed the bar exam, and were sworn in together as attorneys. In fact our state bar numbers are only one digit apart. Awww, how cute are attorneys in love?
We got a dog, our little Miss Mickey.
We got married.
We bought a house.
We got another dog, our little (ok not so little) Frankie.
And now we are having a baby! You'll have to wait till June for a picture of him. It has been a crazy past four years, and it definitely has not been easy at all times. But it has been a great four years and I'm so glad that Brady was with me every step of the way.
Sometimes I wish we had started dating in college. We started dating right at the end of law school so we never had any "carefree" time together. We went from studying for finals to studying for the bar to getting jobs to becoming attorneys and slaves to the billable hour. We've never slept in on a Wednesday and then gone to the beach to have margaritas at noon. We've always had to worry about some major life decision. Since we did not have the relaxed experience of college together I can tell you that we are going to live it up in retirement. I'm talking vacation homes in Chicago and Palm Desert, martini hour starts at 3pm after he's done with golf and I'm done with shopping, and lots of traveling. We didn't have college together but we are going to be those crazy, fun loving old people, golf cart and everything.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
After church, I came home, finished preparing a breakfast casserole, piled the dogs in the car and took off to Brady's grandmother's house. There we had a huge breakfast and visited. Then we went to my grandmother's house and had another huge breakfast. Then we went to Brady's other grandmother's house and had a huge dinner. We managed to sneak out before dessert, which is good because we were in very real danger of exploding.
It was a good Easter, lots of food, lots of family. But now I'm exhausted. And full, really, really full. And for some reason I thought it would be ok for a seven month pregnant lady to wear 6 inch platform wedges (which are very cute) all day and now my feet seriously ache. I can't wait to do it all again next year with Baby Brady! Now our Easter celebrations will include an egg hunt and the Easter Bunny which will be fun. When your youngest cousin is 12 years old, no one is really interested in the egg hunt and bunny thing. But next year will be fun, I think I'll make Brady dress up in a giant bunny suit.
And since I work in special education, I should say that I don't "nag," I provide frequent verbal prompts and redirection. I know this annoys Brady to no end, but I just can't help it. I can't stand when there is a task to be done and it doesn't get done right away. Brady is much more laid back than me. I don't do well at all with having free time, I always think there is something more productive that I could be doing with me time. I want to squeeze every last ounce of productivity out of any spare minutes that I have so that none of my time is wasted. And Brady just wants to take a nap.
But, he finally built the crib and did a good job and it looks very nice. I'll post pictures when the nursery is completed, which will be soon, hopefully.
By the way, when husbands are putting something together, especially something with lots of little screws and a big instruction booklet, they love when you make them stop what they are doing and smile for a picture.