Monday, June 30, 2008

We May Have to Ask Netflix to Pay for Marriage Counseling

Husband told me this weekend that Neflix is going to forego the feature that allows you to have separate queues withing one account. Husband and I have been using Netflix for years - since we moved in together in the summer of 2002. When the separate queues were introduced it was great for both of us. That way I always had 1 choice (usually a TV show disc) and Husband had 1 movie for himself and 1 joint one (although he often hijacked the joint one too). I watch TV shows on a portable DVD player while picking up the bedroom, doing laundry, cleaning kitchen - well, when I do those things anyway.

Now Husband will have to work extra hard to keep the queue straight so that I always get my 1 disc. I have a feeling I'll get pretty irriated if we have 3 war movies out at a time. Netlfix won't even combine the queues for you so I have to print out my existing queue to add to Husband's.

Sometimes I think I should just "give up" TV but honestly I love it - more than movies and it fits my attention span. Maybe I'll feel differently after the tykes arrive.

Late Breaking News: Husband says I am all Web 2.0 with my blogging effect because Neflix just announced they will NOT be getting rid of the multiple queues. Who says complaining doesn't work? I suspect those people who use the queues are the biggest users of new technologies ("early adopters") so sure to complain the loudest.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sleeping Sweethearts

I've been reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. Last weekend when my in-laws were in town I mentioned how I am going to get "blackout" type shades for the nursery so it can help then sleep during the day and my mother-in-law looked at me like I was crazy.

But you see I am hooked on Dr. Karp's philosophy that for the first 3 months they still want to be in the womb - with the same noise, movement and darkness. That means Husband (who I am going to force to read AT LEAST this book - he's read nothing) and I will be meeting all our tykes' whims. I prefer the idea that I could get them on a schedule (so no feeding on demand and sleeping at the same time) but I'm not sure that will work since it isn't their fault when they are hungry or tired. I am, however, determined to try to do both at once. So if one is hungry I feed both. If one wakes up I will wake up the other. I can't imagine not going insane otherwise but moms of twins please let me know if I am off-base.

My biggest criticism of the book is that it assumes 1 baby. When Dr. Karp talks about cultures where moms hold their babies 24/7 all I could think of was - what do you do with two? Never mind how my mind jumps to my mom with 3 at once - love you, mom!

I need to practice the swaddling, shushing and swinging so I feel prepared. I know my baby nurse is a big fan of swaddling so I'm sure she'll help me get all the techniques down.

I'm also afraid because this book seems to be geared toward the first 3 months - then I have to figure out what to do next with them. This all goes back to how a few generations ago moms often raised kids together and shared techniques, etc. Now moms have the internet (and their awesome MOT groups) but it is just not that same. I feel like so many moms worry more about whether their children have met certain "standards" they found on the internet rather than figuring out what works for their particular baby(ies). Since I will have no time for reading after they are born (or so I keep being told) tell me what books you like for the next stage in their development - especially because at the end of the 6 months I'm going back to work. I think that will be harder to transition then bringing them home from the hospital.

Rant over. I'm sure you're shocked but I have to work this weekend so now that Husband and I just met with our landscaper to get our landscaping starting we are off to Babies R Us so I can be home in time to review documents. And trying to get a nap in since I think I'm hitting that "wall" my doctor said most MOT hit around 28 weeks.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fun couples game!

No, not that kind of game, you perv.

Wife Esq. and I just played a fun game. (Goddess, I think she was inspired by your great post on finances.) She came across an article that said couples often weren't on the same page on financial topics like expected retirement dates, net worth, etc.

So, I whipped out two pads of post-its, and we played the Financial Newlyweds Game. (Not actually very newly, but whatever.) Each of us wrote down the answer to the following questions:
  • How old does Mommy Esq. expect to be when she retires?
  • How old does Husband expect to be when he retires?
  • What's our net worth, including the house?
  • What's our combined gross base salary, before bonuses?
  • How much debt do we have, including the mortgage?
We actually did really well. We were within a couple of years of each other on the first two, and a few thousand either way on the others. Our quarterly "Finance Committee" meetings pay off, apparently.

We did so well, in fact, I thought I'd try something harder. First question: "What number am I thinking of?" Wife did poorly, guessing 7 instead of 4. (Duh.) But she shocked me with the second question: "What noun did I just write?" She guessed "cat." She was right! It was freakin' amazing.

Cool as CSA Cucumbers

As I sit waiting (again) for documents on this never-ending deal I was checking out some friends' blogs and standard mom blogs I check and it is official - the cool people do CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture"). Dandelion Garden, What a Card, New England Mamas are part of the "in crowd".

I will never be a part of the "in crowd" because: (1) I do not cook; (2) Produce goes bad in my fridge; (3) They give you weird vegetables. I am not a "weird" eater (or, as you foodies prefer, adventurous).

My foodie friend T who has a great blog on restaurants and recipes loves to cook and loves to talk about food. Most days I'd be okay with hooking up an IV of fluids so long as I never felt hungry. I love restaurants but for spending time with friends and interesting wine lists.

How do you feel about the CSA movement - worth it or rip off? Delicious or disaster?

Pour Some Insulin On Me Now

This morning Husband listened to our answering machine (we are terrible about checking it) and I had a message from Dr. Whatscooking's nurse Toni. She said my blood sugar test came back a "little high" so I have to come in for the 3 hour blood test. I have to fast for the test so I will try to get a first thing in the morning appointment early next week. Even before I was pregnant I would get cranky when I didn't eat so fasting will not be fun.

Thanks, Mayo Clinic, for the information you provided me on my Blackberry this morning while Husband drove us into work. I'm a bit of a worrier by nature but I really don't think I have any problem (although the information said there are no symptoms). Somehow I just knew I was going to have to come back for the 3 hour test. I hear there are lots of false positives on the first test. After reading the Mayo Clinic summary I also wonder whether moms of multiples are more likely to have issues since the are 2 placentas working against insulin production.

With respect to the blog title I couldn't come up with anything funnier. I also have this vivid memory from when I was in elementary school and we did a 5th grade talent show (our class was the first 6th graders to be in middle school instead of junior high for 7th and 8th graders so we did this as a little "graduation" fun). One group of boys - the "bad" boys - did a lip sync to Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me Now" and one of the worst of the bunch (now he'd probable be diagnosed with some sort of social disability) stuck his elbow through his shirt so he could be the one armed drummer. My friends and I wrote a play - a fairy tale - using all the 5th grade teachers as characters (although we portrayed them) in the story. It was a riot. I played "Dopey Donovan" and used his catch phrase - "Let's go, let's go, let's really go, let's get [going] and go, go go!"

This is big for me since I basically remember basically nothing from my childhood. My sister Allie and my friend Helen have memories like elephants so sometimes I get them to tell me stories. Maybe they can fix my catch phrase I mentioned above since I don't think it is 100% correct.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who Thought This Realty TV Show Was a Good Idea?

I basically haven't seen TV in a few months because of my job (I miss you, TV!) but I did manage to catch Flipping Out and Kate & Jon Plus 8 last night when I got back from my work dinner (for summer associates). How did we survive without DVRs? I certainly never learned to "program" a VCR.

Today I was quickly skimming The Washington Post Style Section for my favorite advice columnist Carolyn Hax who publishes new advice on Wednesdays (and Fridays and Sundays) when I came across this article on a new reality TV show called the "Baby Borrowers". (After all, when you have a DVR you don't actually watch commercials.) While I applaud the idea that "kids" should learn being a parent isn't easy I shudder to think what parents allowed their babies, toddlers, etc. to participate in the show. I also assume the teenagers begged mom and dad so they can say they were on a reality TV show.

This brings to mind the recent media attention directed toward Gloucester, Mass where girls 16 and younger entered into a pact to get pregnant so someone would love them. I grew up in an affluent town that was right next door to a very poor one in Massaschusetts and even in the early 90s girls in that town were bringing their babies to school where daycare, etc. is provided. I think it is great that to the extent a girl (can't call these girls "women") has a baby the school supports her continuing her education. But the parents (see, H, I didn't blame the schools) should teach their kids that having a baby does not equal unconditional love.

Maybe this reality TV show will help stress that message but I suspect many people (me included) won't be tuning in.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So That Explains the Backache

Today was doctor visit day that included a glucose screening (no results yet) and an ultrasound. As soon as I checked in I was told that Dr. Whatscooking was about eight patients behind - and it wasn't even 11 am. I let the reception know (a) I'd see someone else (which she said she couldn't do) and (b) if I was going to be waiting long I'd need to reschedule for another day (which she said if I did she'd have to call the nurses - like that is a threat? Um, okay).

After two prior excruciating visits where I had to wait almost 2 hours I was not putting up with this crap. If he is always this far behind then they have to fix the number of patients they schedule him for. When I only see him for 5 mins how could he ever get 8 patients behind? I can assure you he isn't asking questions (other than "What's cooking?") or giving you any in-depth information.

I had to go back to receptionist to ask again for my glucose drink which they brought out and then we had an ultrasound.

The ultrasound was good but I've given up trying to identify anything - I can usually see the heart chambers and that is about it. I guess once the fetuses are bigger you can't really distinguish anything - our 18 week one was definitely the most fun. Baby A (boy) is on my right side and is breech. Baby B (girl) is head down/slightly vertex. Her feet are what I usually feel right above Baby A's head. I think Baby A has head-butted me a few times. They were jumpy from that sugary glucose drink.

Baby A is 2lbs, 6 ounces - the same as when I was born! He is in the 25th percentile (since that is what I weighed at 30.5 weeks I shudder to think what percentile I was in). Baby B is 2lbs 12 ounces and is 40% percentile. That is about 4.5 lbs of babies for about 30-35lbs of weight gain. Sigh. I actually continue my average weight gain of 1 to 1.5lbs a week (with only a 1lb average these past 2 weeks) so that is really not that much weight gain. My blood pressure was 106/60.

Husband came for the ultrasound (although he might stop coming since I've had so many) so we went back into the waiting room and re-checked in for Dr. Whatscooking. Husband made a call and did some work on his laptop, I jumped on a conference call for work - out in the hallway so we wouldn't disturb other patients. A nurse came out to say that Dr. Beard (he has a beard so I'm going with it for his pseudonym) would see me instead. I didn't even have to complain, break down in tears, try to reschedule or anything. I guess Dr. Whatscooking was REALLY behind.

Dr. Beard is calm, asks questions and gives me useful information without prompting. Apparently because Baby A is smaller than B we will have to come back sooner to check on his growth - and if it continues to be out of wack from Baby B we will have to do stress-tests, more ultrasounds, etc. Eat up, little guy! Dr. Beard even measured my stomach which Dr. Whatscooking doesn't do (Dr. Beard says he never does). I measured at 36 weeks - no wonder my back has been aching. I'm already carrying a uterus the size of a full term singleton.

Dr. Beard also said that if I got to 38 weeks they would "not let me go any further" - I suspected that might be the case but first anyone has mentioned it to me. They must be thinking I'm going to have no problem getting past the 32+ week mark. So I am officially changing my due date to September 2nd. Consider yourself informed. I can also still fly (we are thinking of going to DC to see friends) until 34 weeks since my pregnancy is going so well. Dr. Beard basically said I've had a very good pregnancy so far.

Now - how can I switch from Dr. Whatscooking who I don't like to Dr. Beard who I do? Any suggestions or is this off limits since they are 2 of 4 high risk doctors in the same practice?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Baby Shower

On Sunday, my mom generously hosted a baby shower for me. Although hot, the rain storms held off until we went inside to open gifts. It was so nice to see everyone.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were there from Ohio. My sisters were also both there and Allie brought my nephew. Lots of guests mentioned they read my blog (mostly family) so that was fun too since I love doing this blog. Also everyone was so polite to say I looked great. I think they don't quite realize I fully expect to double in size in the next two months. :)

There were gifts a plenty - including lots of clothing which is great because I don't really have much. I have never minded being the center of attention but I do hate that showers feel like a "grab" for gifts. Especially because I have seen my mom's friends at my wedding shower, my sisters' wedding showers and baby showers. They are very efficient - they come, they eat and drink and mingle, half watch gifts being opened and leave. Don't worry I always send thank you notes!

As I was looking through the gifts I did get an attack of the nerves. How am I supposed to know what to do with this stuff? I have to dress my babies in gift clothes and swaddle them in gift blankets and bath them in the gift towels with gift baby products. I can barely get myself ready in the morning.

And why is the mom the one expected to sort through it all, pre-wash and organize? I have no better idea than Husband about doing this stuff! I have a feeling this will be an ongoing complaint on my part. There is an interesting article that appeared a few weeks ago in The New York Times on co-parenting/co-chores. I want Husband and me to do a joint blog on a his/her perspective on this article - hopefully some time soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

House Clean? - Check (More or Less)

Just a quick post to let you know I'd be posting again Monday. My in-laws (parents and sister) are staying with us right now because my mom is throwing a baby shower for me on Sunday. I managed to leave work yesterday and get the house more or less picked up (why Husband can't ever pick anything up is a mystery). I waited all day for documents on my deal that didn't arrive until almost 11 pm last night so I got up at 4:30 am this morning to start working - although I'm leaving a lot of it for partner/junior associates. Hopefully I can spend time with the in-laws and my sisters (who both came up) this afternoon/evening. I have to admit I'm getting pretty tired of rearranging my entire life for my job.

Husband is in charge of entertaining his family today while I work. I think he's going to take them to a nursery to look at plants for our proposed landscaping. Then Husband will grill for everyone (my family too). Okay, that more than makes up for not picking up his shoes and tools. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Desperately Seeking Sleep

Yesterday the partner with whom I am working (who has 3.5 year old twins and a wife who was on bed rest while pregnant) asked me if I had gotten "any rest" the day before. This was the day of my 2 naps recovering from Game 6 and crazy work schedule. I said yes, but the truth is - you don't actually get that much good sleep when you are this pregnant. Which is exactly why I need more than 6 hours of sleep a night.
  • First there is the numbness from lying on either side for too long. I have one of those body pillows but it is pretty bulky so I've been placing a pillow between my knees and a FOM pillow (maybe now called "n-a-p") under my stomach. I may fall asleep quickly but I way up about every hour to figure out how to position myself. There is "ooffing" and having to crawl on hands and knees to arrange pillows. It is pretty comical and I don't know how Husband sleeps through it. [I am a former stomach sleeper but giving that up hasn't been too bad. I also cheat and sleep on my back quite a bit.]
  • Pus the heat - formerly a girl who insisted on blankets in August, I can barely stand a sheet on me.
  • Next are the trips to the bathroom. I only average about 2 a night which I understand is relatively few. When I get back to bed I try to drink some water since as I've mentioned I am terrible about hydration.
  • Occasionally there are the horrific leg cramps. I've had leg cramps in my shins - unbearable. Fortunately the additional hydration has helped.
  • Finally, the nightmares. About half the time it involves work - somehow I can't stop myself from marking up the contract and knowing I forgot something to include. The other half are baby dreams - suffocating a baby while breastfeeding, losing one of them (like I gave birth but can't find one). Where are these awesome sex dreams I was promised in my various pregnancy books? Lord knows that if I am not having sex at least I could have some fun dreams about it.

Some pregnant moms have told me that they are awake because they are "so excited". God bless them. As we get closer I think I'll be up all night figuring out chore lists for Husband and me instead of aglow with excitement. I hate not being able to move things around (furniture, huge loads of laundry) so that makes his list longer and we all know how male timelines work compared to female timelines.

As I was writing this my friend A who went to Game 6 with me e-mailed to tell me that after the game she had a dream that she had to draft a supplemental indenture to define the Celtics as "World Champions". I'm impressed with the combination of leisure activities with work.

What do my former pregnant ladies remember about their sleep patterns? How about my other expectant moms? And this "dreaming about work" can't be limited to preggies - I'm sure plenty of my readers have the same problem. Let me recommend a little Antiques Roadshow if you really can't fall asleep.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blog Tag - I'm It

Goddess in Progress tagged me this afternoon. Although it isn't a "chain letter" that will result in bad luck I was actually struggling with what to write today so here are the "meme" facts you know you were dying to learn about me.

Four Jobs I have Held
1. Barrista at Starbucks (actually Coffee Connection but they were bought by Starbucks (for the frappacino trademark) just as I started working). My friend Natalie will remember my infamous "I feel like a coffee bean!" statement when I just couldn't get that coffee smell out.
2. Intern for Senator John Kerry
3. Project Manager for the North American Association for Environmental Education - see, I don't just work for The Man!
4. Intern for Policy.com - basically "The Week" but way ahead of its time and only on the internet. They even had blogs back in 1998! I got Husband out of that job.

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
1. BBC's Pride & Prejudice (with Colin Firth, naturally)
2. 10 Things I Hate About You (poor Heath)
3. Clueless
4. Bring it On
Special Shout Out to Veronica Mars Season 1 that I have watched in its entirety 3 times. What are you waiting for - Netflix it!

Four Places I Have Lived (study abroad counts!)
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Barcelona, Spain
4. Somerville, MA

Four TV Shows I Like
1. Gossip Girl
2. Battlestar Galactica
3. House
4. Antiques Roadshow (nothing puts me to sleep faster on the couch, love it)

Four Places I'd Rather Be
1. In my bed
2. In front of my TV
3. Not working
4. Hawaii

Four People I'm Tagging
1. Boston Dish
2. Dandelion Garden
3. Helen
4. What a Card

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

E-Mail Signatures

I send all my personal emails from work. Terrible habit but so convenient. We have "automatic" signatures where our contact info pops up along with a ton of silly boilerplate - about confidentiality and tax advice, etc.

Today I saw a client had e-mail boilerplate to "Please consider the environmental impact of printing this e-mail." How likely do you think it is that the message will restrain someone from printing? Lawyers are death to forests - all my secretary does for me is print mammoth documents (I do try to double-sided but our color printer doesn't let us).

Do you try to conserve on printing? Do you use your work e-mail account or keep things separate? I bet my litigator friends are better at keeping them separate than I am.

One of the best e-mails I saw once had a person's title as "Human Being". Currently I feel like a cross between a "Vessel" and a "Work Horse" but I like the sentiment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do I Have Anything to Wear in Green?

Tomorrow night I have the following options: (a) working, (b) going to my MOT group COPE meeting, (c) having dinner with clients or... (d) going to Game 6.

Guess which one I picked? This is the first time I've "scored" something cool from the Firm. It is a "bonding" event for a few lawyers (partners-associates) so Husband has to stay home. I brought a pillow to work so I could nap tomorrow afternoon my floor. Hey, the game starts at 9 pm and we all know pregnant ladies need their sleep. I'll be paying for it tonight work-wise and sleep deprivation-wise but I just couldn't resist. Go Celtics!

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure I will admit I have not watched a single game this season. Also, I actually do not have any green maternity clothes.

3x5 Finances

Most mornings I manage to real Personal Finance (f/k/a Personal Journal) in the Wall Street Journal. At the end of last week I saw an article about keeping track of your spending on a 3x5 index card. Husband and I decided to give it a whirl to pinpoint where all our money goes every month. I think Quicken is too tough to keep track of all your receipts. I had a few friends in college who used Quicken and they'd write down when they bought a soda from the street vendor. This way we carry around our records - sort of like a food journal I always meant to do.

I have an idea where most of our money goes - restaurants/take out and "stuff". We've seen an uptick in "stuff" lately with the purchase of a home last August (few pieces of furniture, kitchen and bathroom remodel and planned landscaping and central A/C), not to mention the stuff we've bought for the babies!

I'll be taking some unpaid leave and we'll have nanny and other expenses (baby nurse) so this is a good way to try to determine where we can cut back so we can also try to save money even as our expenses grow (staying at Big Firm would help too if I can manage that). Of course I know we'll be eating out much less frequently with the babies at home!

Speaking of earning money, Mommy, Esq. will be very busy at work this week so it might be a couple of days until I can post again. I am a "blog addict" at this point so if I see something interesting or just need to rant you'll be hearing from me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Relaxing Surprise

Husband and I traveled to "Destination Maternity" in Natick on Saturday. I was looking for a dress for the baby shower I have next weekend (my mom is hosting for me) and because none of the pants my sister Allie gave me fit any more . Those "half" bands do not work - at the end of each day I felt as though I was being cut off in the middle since they'd roll down and dig into me.

The funny thing is I ended up buying stuff mostly at Motherhood Maternity which we have in the much closer Burlington Mall. This was because Pea in a Pod and Mimi Maternity do not carry anything other than a large. While I can fit in a large now there is no room for the additional 12 weeks I have to go and to say I looked "chesty" would be an understatement. I got some pants that have those really large panels - the kind that go up above your tummy. So much more comfortable.

In the midst of trying on a million items Husband informed me that it was time for my spa appointment. What a nice surprise! I had just been thinking about how once my deal was over I would find a place that specializes in pregnancy massages. Husband saw they had a spa (I didn't even notice it) when he went to their website looking for directions. I felt a little guilty since he had to entertain himself but he walked down Route 9 and found other ways to occupy himself since he knew it would take a while.

It was nice to be able to lie on my stomach - they have pads so you can. The masseuse was surprised I was almost 27 weeks - she clearly thought I was further along. She also asked if twins "ran in the family" after I explained I was expecting two. Not something one would expect from a pregnancy place. Still, very relaxing - maybe my hips will hurt less tonight when I go to sleep.

Speaking of stomach size, I have been receiving quite a few comments from women in elevator banks nicely asking how long the countdown is. I am so embarrassed when I say I still have 3 months to go that I have to tell them I am carrying two. Look, I know I am a little big (or as Dr. Whatscooking would say I have a nice size uterus) but I'm also 5'3 and don't have the room that my pregnant co-worker who is like 6'1 has for her baby girl. I just know she'll bounce right back after giving birth and I'll still be struggling to take the weight off before I go back to work. I also blame Hollywood - they always take a woman wearing a pad that makes her look about 7 months pregnant and send her in to labor. Notice you never see a starlet out and roaming around in her 8th and 9th months? Yeah, US Weekly - show us those pics! [Speaking of US Weekly, I feel very trendy with all the articles on "who's going to pop next".]

I am not alone I know - many of my friends who carried singletons were told they looked "so big" and were they "sure it was only 1"? And of course once I mention the twins it is the whole "are they natural?" or the attempting to be subtle "does it run in your family?".

Anyway, thank you, Husband, for a nice surprise. I hope this means I'll be less grumpy when I have to work all day and night on Sunday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Associate Struggle and Sacrifices

Yesterday a junior associate on a deal mentioned he had dinner plans with out of town guests. It had been quiet on our deal front all day so I told him to have fun. I too began imaging dinner with Husband and a good night's sleep. Not 10 mins after that conversation however (after 6 pm) emails started flying and partners calling. Then I got the dreaded questions from my junior associate, "Should I 'reschedule' [i.e., cancel] my dinner?" Also, some choice words from both of us as to why nothing ever starts on this deal until after 5 pm.

I never know what to say when someone asks if he or she should cancel plans at night or come in on the weekend since I know how hard we work and we all deserve to have a "life". I remember asking the same question in my first couple of years.

The sad truth is I basically do not make any plans during the week - even with my husband - up through and including Friday. Saturday nights are usually safe. This is how I have adapted to life at a Big Firm and to try to stop myself from going crazy about all the "normal" things I don't have time for. During the day my schedule is flexible so I am the one who meets with home repair in the morning, can go to lunches with summer associates, doctor's appointments, etc. Sometimes I even go in late just to do laundry or pick up the house. But my nighttime plans and sleep are always the sacrifices and would be even if I weren't using time during the day.

My dad was honored a few years ago for his transplant work and when he gave his speech accepting the well-deserved accolades he mentioned that his work means sacrifice by him and by his family and that there was a "drawer full of tickets" for events he's missed over the years. That was definitely an exaggeration since my mom would never allow a draw to contain that sort of clutter, but you get the drift.

The funny thing is that my parents think that since I don't save lives that somehow my sacrifices for my clients aren't at the same level as my father's. My sisters and I were always told and always accepted at face value that my dad couldn't be around because he was "saving lives". Husband is very sweet about the path I chose (in case you are wondering being a doctor it was not an option for me - I hated math and science) and points out that there would be no money for doctors if the economy wasn't chugging along. I should also mention that when my dad is home from work he isn't usually still monitoring what is happening at the hospital since he's only on a call once in a while - I'm "on call" all the time thanks to high billable rates and Blackberries. [We could get into a whole discussion why clients will pay top $$ for my work and hospital/surgery services cost much less but we'll save that economic discussion for another day.]

In case you were wondering my junior associate did go to dinner - but he logged back on after. I certainly wanted him to go so I'm glad it worked out and I was happy to monitor things in his absence.

I know I have other associates who read this blog - what was the worst sacrafice you've made so far?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Breastfeeding Judgment Day

Mommy, Esq. is not shy about sharing her many opinions so today I am turning to one of the most controversial topics among mothers (along with birthing plans and vaccinations) - breastfeeding.

Another fellow mom-to-be confided in me that she doesn't want to breastfeed. She'll try it for a few weeks (for the "liquid gold" of colostrum) but she doesn't fee it is natural for her to do and she wants to be able to have some time for herself. Let us all stand up and applaud her. My applause is because there are always going to be trade offs with having children and if it will make you a healthier and saner mom not to breastfeed or not to wash their clothes separately in Dreft or not to sanitize every bottle (you get the drift) then don't do it.

In case you were wondering about Mommy, Esq.'s plans, I do want to breastfeed but maybe not exclusively in case I need extra sleep to recover from giving birth or if I just need a break. My reasons for breastfeeding are primarily as follows: (1) I am too lazy to want to prep all those bottles, (2) God gave me large breasts and it must be for some purpose other than to create gaps in button down shirts, (3) I want it to be a bonding experience with my kids so I will hopefully feel less guilty when I abandon them to go back to work. You'll notice that the health "benefits" of breastfeeding didn't make the list.

I was formula fed - on my side with a pillow. How else was Grammy supposed to feed 3 babies at once? Plus I spent 2 months in the NICU. I know, I know - our moms also smoke and drank while pregnant and don't we know better today.

But really, what is so wrong with wanting Husband to help feed the kids too? With getting enough sleep so you have the patience to deal with crying babies? So many things could come up that require all my efforts (premature births, acid reflux, etc.) that if breastfeeding falls by the wayside so be it. Yes, I can "pump" but that seems even less "natural" to me - and do you really want to spend time after ever feeding (which you do every 2-3 hours after they are born) then trapped to a pump while your little darlings get to sleep? That said, of course I'm borrowing one, just not committing to using it.

My friend worries about the censure from pediatricians, nurses in the hospital, her family, other moms, etc. Mommy, Esq. also worries about "lo que diran" (a Latin American saying that means "what would others say" but has a much more social connotation than the words imply) but Grammy raised Mommy, Esq. to try to push off her people pleasing tendencies (hmmm...maybe not so successful with my career choice) and use her common sense and good judgment.

I think the biggest fear moms who don't want to breastfeed or who fail after trying is that they will be labelled "selfish". I've mentioned before that I think having kids is selfish generally and parents need to be prepared to make many sacrifices but somehow I don't think breastfeeding falls into the category of necessary sacrifice.

Bring on the comments - how hard was it for my already-moms out there? Any plans among my moms-to-be? And how does Husband feel about being shut out of the "feeding" part of "care and feeding" of the tykes?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kitty Sill

Our cat Scotia is finally using her kitty sill we got her because she kept trying to sprawl out on the widow ledge. Husband sprayed it with spray catnip. She'll only use it though if the window is open. Attached is a photo - a little blurry since I used my cell phone.


Husband loves Scotia. I really wanted a cat after law school was over but he is allergic. We went to a shelter one day and I convinced him to get a kitty - albeit a grown up one. She makes him sneeze but he doesn't mind and will continuously pet her while on the couch watching TV. She also climbs on his lap when he is at the computer. I actually wanted to give her back after we got her because she cowered behind the toilet for 3 days and I was convinced she didn't like us.
I know I am a heartless wife for making Husband sneeze but lots of things make him sneeze. He is allergic to grass, trees, pollen, rabbit ("fur not the meat" as he confirmed with an amused allergist), mold and probably some other items I am forgetting to list.
I think Scotia will be jealous when the tykes arrive - she likes keeping Husband to herself.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick Update

Mommy, Esq. is hot, tired and has cankles tonight so this post will be quick. I saw Dr. Whatscooking this morning. He said he was surprised he didn't find me in the hospital this weekend after what happened on Friday night. I'm not quite sure how to take that but since I heard their heartbeats again and no one seemed particularly concerned I'm sure all is fine. Interestingly my blood pressure was higher at the appointment - maybe because it was the morning?

I am a little worried I don't feel Baby A (our "presenting" BoyBaby) very often whereas BabyGirl is very active (our little "firebrand"). If any MOT's out there can chime in to reassure me that would be great. :) Dr. Whatscooking told me that so long as the ultrasounds show him to be fine I shouldn't worry. So now I'm anxiously awaiting the ultrasound in 2 weeks.

Despite the overnight growth of my belly I only gained 2 lbs in 2 weeks - I thought for sure it would have been more. My dad saw me last Friday and then Sunday and even he (who never noticed when I chopped my hair off) commented on the incredible growth practically overnight. I've been averaging around 1 to 1.5 lbs a week and I now officially weigh more than Husband. I do not waddle yet but I still have 3 months to go.

This odd feeling of complete exhaustion has befallen me lately - almost like I'm hung over. It is making it hard to work the 15 hour days that are required right now at my job. I've been drawing lines in the sand and getting to bed by midnight but frankly I think I need more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep - mainly because when I do sleep I have nightmares and weird dreams. I will try to drink more water before bed to see if that helps. Two more weeks and this work crisis should be over and I am not going to do any more bids. I am drinking more water which helps but it is too bad my expensive under-eye cream is not doing its job.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crackberry Rules

So many pregnancy/baby posts lately I decided it was time for another Big Firm discussion. For all those curious about my Big Firm plans I'm still mulling over proposals about how I'm going to juggle the tykes and this job and will blog when I've had time to give it more thought - they (the Firm) have just been keeping me too busy.

As anyone who has one can tell you - a Blackberry is a blessing and a curse. Yes, I can leave the office but I spend the whole time "checking in". Some items I can pass off and triage, others I need to take care of myself which can eat into your "day off".

I am a "Crackberry" addict. Everyone who has one is. And yes, I am not paying attention to you when I am reading while you are talking to me. It is unspeakably rude but I doubt that will change. You should see 2 or more associates at a lunch. At various points there is silence while we all peruse our messages.

It drives Husband CRAZY when I try to blackberry while walking down the street. Over time we've tried to institute some rules I thought I would share.

1. Do not put the Blackberry on vibrate. It will just annoy you. I feel less stressed when I see the "red light" than I do when it vibrates every 10 seconds while I sit on the couch at night watching Lost. You can also get rid of the "green light" which I find distracting but others love.

2. Leave the Blackberry downstairs (or in the other room) when you go to bed. I can't tell you how many people sleep with their blackberries (on vibrate/loud) or look at them as soon as they get up in the morning. The morning is the only time you can get away with not responding so I say enjoy brushing your teeth and doing your makeup and check it when you are heading out the door.

3. Only read/respond to Blackberry in the morning from the car. Husband HATES when I start reading/responding before we've left in the morning. It can wait until you get in the car (or office if you can be that good so as not to peak).

4. Do not look at Blackberry during dinners out. This is a rule I break all the time. To be frank if I'm out to a restaurant before 9 pm on a Friday I'm on call so I have to keep an eye on it but I keep it in my purse and TRY not to think about it (failing miserably).

Apparently babies/toddlers love the Blackberries because they can type and have it light up with nothing sent since they are password protected. Other older kids flush them down the toilet. Sort of like what I did with my mom's cigarettes when I was a kid. Hmmm...

Bottom line is that whenever someone tells me they are "thinking about getting a Blackberry" I tell them to resist the urge. Even if you assure me "no one will bother you after hours" I just don't believe it.

I welcome others tips or self-imposed rules on Blackberry usage.

Editor's Note: Within 4 hours of writing the above post I violated rule #2 and brought the Blackerry to bed since I told the partner I would be available until midnight on this deal (but no later - way to put your foot down, Mommy, Esq.). What did you think - these were black letter laws? I think the exceptions prove the rules.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Twin Article in Boston Magazine

My MOT group pointed out this article from Boston Magazine on twins. One interesting point was about number of eggs implanted during invitro. In Sweden (where a friend of mine just gave birth to a beautiful boy) my friend told me that fertility treatments including invitro are paid for by the government and they only allow 1 egg to be transferred unless it doesn't look viable. In Massachusetts it is covered (after jumping through numerous hoops as some of my friends can testify to) but in most states given the expense it makes sense to implant more than one embryo.

I found this article written by a mom who is pretty stressed about her situation and resentful about not being able to "juggle" her job with her family. While I am nervous about the tykes' arrival I am optimistic about our abilities to cope with them and I know that even if my career at Big Firm doesn't work out I can find other opportunities. Life is a challenge and having kids is a selfish decision so one should be prepared (or at least try to be prepared) for the ups and downs that come along with all kids.

I'm also lining up help and resources as much as possible - the woman who wrote this sounded very isolated even though at the end she noted she belonged to a MOT group. With so many friends and family in the area, plus our baby nurse and my MOT group I hope I won't feel as out of control as she clearly did.

I imagine my friends carrying "singletons" are just as nervous as I am and they don't get the "special treatment" during pregnancy we pregnant moms of multiples do. Good thing we are all type A planners!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Scary Night

I took Friday off from work - slept in and hung out with my mom (I thought it would be nice to have Mom & Daughter time while we could) and even took a 2 hour nap in my old bed. All this relaxation, staying off my feet, and I ended up in the hospital on Friday night.

Husband came up to my parents' house for dinner on Friday - a belated one for my brother who turned 25 the day before. We were also there to borrow a trailer to drive around New England on our Craig's List jaunts. We had a nice dinner and I went to the bathroom before cake only to to discover I was bleeding. It was like a bizarre dream. I said "oh, shit" and went out to tell husband I needed to call the after-hours service. I made the call and instead of waiting for the call back I said "let's just head in" to the Hospital since I knew they'd probably send me anyway. It wasn't a ton of blood but it was more than just spotting. It took about 30 mins to get there(maybe a little more) and when they called of course they said to come in.

The whole time I was worrying about Baby A (our BoyBaby). I don't often feel Baby A (and never even sure when I think I do) - Baby B I feel all the time. Of course I kept hoping they were both fine and tried not to cry too much.

I felt better after we parked. What was surreal (although I should have guessed) is that they sent me to Labor & Delivery - for some reason I wasn't expecting that. They took me in right away and as other moms have said - the nurses were amazing. The doctor had a great bedside manner - concerned, warm and friendly and positive - just what I needed.

They hooked me up to 2 monitors and found both heartbeats. Which was incredibly reassuring as you can imagine. Both seemed strong (crazy how much faster they beat than mine which was around 90) - they vacilated between 145 and 165. My blood pressure was 102/56 - I know, I have incredibly low blood pressure which is one reason why I had hoped work stress wouldn't impact them. And I was way more stressed then I am when working late. The funny thing about the fetal heartrate monitors, which I had seen on various "baby" shows is that they (or the babies) move aroudn and so you'll see a "?" or no numbers often. I had to stop watching after a while.

After some "tracing" (tracking heartrates) the doctor and nurse confirmed both were doing well, I was not having contractions (which I said I didn't think so but I did have a slight backache). They also did a quick portbable ultrasound and then a vaginal exam. All told we where there about an hour and half - not bad at all. And most importantly everyone was fine - I had stopped bleeding before I got there and while they couldn't explain why I had beld they did say all "concerning" things had been ruled out. The placenta for Baby A was 2 cenitmeters from my cervix (it has been low lying all along) and my cervix was long and closed. Although they took the cervix sample for pre-term labor tests they didn't think they even needed to run the tests.

Husband was great. He did his usual "silence" thing he does when he is worried but since I didn't want to discuss my fears out loud that was fine with me. When it was over he said he was more worried about me than the babies. But I knew I was fine - it was my tykes that need special care and attention. The biggest worry was that if I was going into labor they would be 15 weeks early - that is too small to survive or to survive with any shot at a decent life. So here's to all our thoughts for them to continue to "cook" inside me for at least 10 more weeks if not 15.

In case you were wondering no one said anything about bedrest. I'll see Dr. Whatscooking on Tuesday so he may have other ideas. But the crazy thing is I HARDLY worked this week, I got lots of sleep and I ate well and drank lots of water. Somehow I don't see the link - Husband thinks maybe they prefer when I am all busy and stressed (and they may get their wish on that point due to recent work developments). Also, 3 months of bedrest would be quite daunting given how much we have to do to get "ready" (and loss of income since if I go on disability it will be at 65% salary). I know some of you are secretly rooting for me to go on it to tone down the job but we'll see what the doctor has to say first. Obviously whatever is best for them I'd do but I don't think they want Mommy, Esq. to go stir crazy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Three More Months!

Yesterday afternoon I had my first real "feeling crappy" pregnancy time. I had some sharp pains in the upper left quadrant of my abdomenal region (or I guess uterus at this point which is scary). Yes, I had been trying to drink lots of water. I was raised to not pay attention to aches, pains, etc. - I think other than annual trips to the pediatrician my only other visit growing up was for a leg broken in 2 places. When I would complain about something my dad (who is a surgeon) would say - "Well, we'll just have to cut that off...and did I ever tell you about my walks uphill in the snow with pneumonia never to miss school?" You get the drift.

Since this involves 2 others besides me I decided to call the doctors (after first trying a couple of fellow preggos to see if this was "normal"). It was 8 minutes after 5 pm so I felt even more "guilty" about calling. As one of my pregger friends noted - it isn't inconveniencing them - some is paid to be on call. A midwife called back to ask me if I was having "contractions". Forget the scary word - the more important thing is "HOW WOULD I KNOW"? I mean, seriously, even the books and online articles I've read have given me zero clue what I'm supposed to feel/notice when having a contraction. I of course downplayed things and she decided nothing was probably wrong - likely just my uterus pressing on my ribs. I basically lay on the couch all night and slept okay so probably it was nothing. We watched "Knocked Up" and I really related.

I already feel like I'm the size of a house and feeling more tired/lethargic so how am I going to keep going and getting bigger for 3 more months while working and trying to get our lives as ready as possible to welcome the tykes? Also, Husband not-so-helpfully pointed out that my round tummy is covered in stretchmarks. My sister Allie avoided them so I was hoping to but no such luck. My bikini days are over. I really only looked good in one anyway when I was 21.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Craig's List

Trying to buy items on Craig's List is a lot like shopping for our first home. There is a lot of crap out there in our target price range that looks okay in photos but when you go to see it in person it is horrible. And the good stuff goes fast so you have to be ready to jump quickly.

We are looking for a dining room (or as I usually spell it "dinning room") set and a dresser for the kids (low enough to diaper changes). We've been trying to be frugal about our baby purchases - tag sales, used cribs, etc. - a bit contrary to the "baby nurse" we're paying an arm and a leg for but we don't need the "perfect" nursery or baby stuff since we know it will just get beat up and spit up all over. I try to remember to check Craig's list every day but you end up driving all over Massachusetts to look at stuff that is a "Monet" in the posted pictures. [Please tell me I am not the only one who can quote most of Clueless by heart including the line about how Cher's rival looks like a Monet.]

This is strangely reminiscent of our househunting. Husband and I must have done at least 75 open houses over the course of 2 years by the time we bought our house last August. We knew the market was destined to go down and we probably could have done better if we waited until this year but I didn't want to play that game and we are both happy to be settled before we learned of the tykes' impending arrival. The number of homes in Massachusetts with weird layouts, falling down, etc. for $500-$600k is astounding. No garages, no 2 bathrooms, no A/C (a big complaint of Husband who is from the midwest). We solely used ziprealty.com -- checking all the time in our target areas - north of Boston. We had our realtor take us to THREE houses - that's it. We made an offer on the first one but didn't get it (charming farmhouse with a HUGE garage, corner lot but NO closets), the second one we decided against (abutted a commercial property and was hundreds of years old and need quite a bit of work) and the one be bought - new upstairs, older downstairs. I really feel like we knew we got a fair deal - at that point we thought we could put our own realtor shingles and could recite "comps" cold. Husband found the Mass Land Records a great way to check out recent sale prices. In the end we did not feel taken and that we got a fair deal (not a bargain but a fair price). We had to move quickly though since we have seen how quickly good stuff goes regardless of the market - if it is in good shape and a fair price in a decent town it will sell quickly.

Fortunately Husband and I were on the same waivelength about location, "must have" amenities and price. To be honest we spent less than I thought we would (if we were looking right now with 2 kids on the way I'd probably be pushing for more space and more yard and thus more $$) but we've made up for that with a remodeled kitchen and downstairs bath we did immediately upon moving room (or should I say paid someone to do). I'd love to have a mud room so we stop scattering mud and objects around and a 2 car garage but it is good to have something to aspire to in the next house (there is no room to add on in our small lot).

Husband thinks we're staying in this house forever which I nod along to in hopes of encouraging all his home improvement projects but secretly think one day we'll out grow it.

I still love watching House Hunters (the bigger the budget the more fun) but don't like "Property Virgins" since I think people make too many emotional choices and don't understand how much it really costs to buy a house (pre-approval is a ceiling, not baseline).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hydration

I find it unbearably hard to drink enough water. It is good for the tykes and makes me feel better (I've been feeling a little queasy/off lately) but I just have a hard time doing it. I don't like sweet drinks and know I shouldn't be having caffeine, so what is a girl to do? I must have tried a million beverage combinations by now - juices, seltzer, fizzy, flat, you name it. And I lug it around everywhere! All to no avail. I was terrible about hydrating myself before I got pregnant and knew this was going to be an issue for me but convinced myself that when it was for the kid(s) I'd step up to the plate but I'm not. I always used to wake up with leg cramps when I was dehydrated and these pregnancy nighttime leg cramps take it to a whole new level. And of course all the books have me worried about increased chance of preterm labor.

How much water do you or did you drink while pregnant - and how do you make sure you drink enough of it?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Playing Catchup

Yesterday I caught up on sleep and today is chore day. The weather is so nice and Husband and I are working in tandem so it's been fun - grocery shopping, yard work, picking up the house. Odd to think that soon we'll have to do some of that solo while the other watches the tykes - I'm going to miss hanging out with him being just the two of us.

Our cat Scotia (named by the shelter for Nova Scotia since the woman who ran the shelter went there on vacation) has been jumping up on the window sill in our office so we bought her a Kitty Sill at Petco since she's looked so uncomfortable. The jury is out whether she'll use it but if I can get her too I'll take her photo. I think she misses the bay window seat we had in our last rental.

I also went to see Sex In the City with two of my BFFs last night. They had fun drinks before the movie and I got the waitress to put my seltzer and cranberry juice in a martini glass. The movie had a lot to overcome since they had left each of the girls (and who doesn't think of herself and her girlfriends as "girls" regardless of their ages?) in a good place. They built up some good drama in the middle that made me feel for Carrie et al but the last hour or so was sort of dull - could have done with some more editing. For example, although Jennifer Hudson was sweet we could have done without the assistant part and figured some way around how awesome her apartment (organization, etc.) and how the "hidden" email came about. I don't want to give away too much.

It would be nice to have rich friends though - Carrie's friends took care of so much for her while she was down and out. My friends would always be there for moral support but I couldn't expect them to pony up for movers or pay for my honeymoon. Have I given too much away? I also wish Charlotte had more of a role but her "momma bear" routine with Big by the limo and on the street were priceless.

In pregnancy related items, Husband and I are confused why sometimes my ever-growing belly feels soft (like I'm just fat) but other times is round and hard and clearly filled with babies. Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe it is related to gas or water retention. I guess I'll ask Dr What's Cooking next time I see him.

Tomororw I have to leave work EARLY (yeah!) to make my 6 pm Moms of Twins annual dinner. I hope one of my favorite bloggers Goddess in Progress goes so I can meet her in person. Goddess, if you are reading this my friends found your blog and love it too.