Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Reluctant Juror

(this has nothing to do with my post, but I needed a pic and couldn't pass up a 30 Rock reference for laughs)

In June 2014 I walked out of a courthouse lugging my briefcase and sighed a huge sigh of relief, because I was SURE it would be the last time I would ever have to do so (if you've never heard me explain why being a trial attorney was never my bag, baby, then come find me later). But fast forward to July 2016, and there I was waiting in line for the metal detector clutching a jury summons.

To say I was not excited to be serving jury duty is a gross understatement. Just being in the courthouse itself brought back those same feelings of anxiety and dread. And you can imagine my stomach tightening when my number was called to report to a courtroom upstairs. And tightening some more when I realized the "lottery" had placed me in the front row of the jury box. I was going to be on this jury unless I could give them a reason not to. I tried, folks.

When I heard it was a first-degree murder trial and was expected to last at least a few days, I explained that my schedule would make that problematic, as I didn't have anyone to stay home with my kids toward the end of the week. The prosecutor quipped that 'surely someone else could watch my children for a few days,' and the judge not so subtlety assured me that we would be done by mid-week (for a murder trial?!). Then, I figured the info on my juror questionnaire would make me an unappealing juror. Some of you might not be aware but even licensed, practicing attorneys are eligible for jury duty, but I personally would have never allowed a fellow suit in my jury box. Well, since I am technically still licensed to practice law, I listed my current occupation as creatively as possible: executive assistant at The Gathering UMC/licensed attorney. Surely that would raise enough eyebrows for them to at least question me during jury selection. Wrong! Either they didn't notice or didn't care, because no one asked me a thing about what I do (or used to do) for a living. You should have seen the look on my face when my number was called to remain in the jury box.

I won't go too much in depth about the case we decided, but I'll give you the overview: it was a first degree murder case. There was a dead body found weeks later across the river, blood DNA in an apartment, a bullet, and the testimony of criminal informant. No confession. No gun. No motive. Lots of unanswered questions.

It was a tough case, and it was a challenge to be on the other side of the jury box. I had always wondered what went on in the jury room and now I was getting the chance to experience it for myself. But I will admit that going into jury duty, and even as the trial began, my attitude was horrible. Those who know me well know I have a tendency to approach things with cynicism, sarcasm, and snark, and while that would be an easy posture to assume for the duration of the trial, I knew it wouldn't be right, that the fate of one man and justice for a grieving family was hanging in the balance, and they all deserved better. So the morning the trial started I sat in my car in the parking garage and said a quick but sincere prayer that God would change my attitude and help me keep in mind the responsibility that had been given to me. And I absolutely felt the weight of that responsibility through the rest of the trial. [Full disclosure, I may have openly sighed with frustration when the cross-examination of the state's main witness crossed over into the FOUR HOUR mark, and there may have been a slight eye roll or two when some particularly egregious cliches were dropped in closing arguments... (some things will never change!).]

And apart from a better attitude, I noticed and appreciated things that my usually pessimistic self would have ignored or missed. I noticed how quickly twelve strangers can bond when they are forced into an uncomfortable situation together. How twelve people from such different and varied backgrounds can civilly discuss and disagree and find common ground. How every bailiff, clerk and other court employee treated me and those around me with the utmost respect. And how sincere the judge was when he thanked us for our service.

Just before we were excused at the end of the trial, the judge shared something that really struck me. He explained that he often has international law students who intern in his courtroom. They come from China, South Korea, Kazakhstan and everywhere in between. And he said that hands down the one aspect of the American judicial system that they just can't get over is that we would entrust the fate of the accused to twelve 'ordinary' citizens. That's pretty awesome when you stop and think about it. When I was a trial attorney, I often assumed that once a jury disappeared to the jury room all bets were off--that they ignored instructions, went with their 'gut' and argued like petulant children about irrelevant facts with rampant speculation, but that's not what happened in my jury room this week. While no one felt good about the outcome: a woman was dead and her family may never receive the justice that they are so desperately looking for. We felt like we gave real meaning to the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof, and we can be proud of ourselves for that.

While a small part of me still wishes that I could get those three days of my life back, I'm mostly glad for this experience, because it taught me a lot more about the criminal justice system, and myself, than I expected.

And for those of you who are still not convinced of the merits of jury duty and are wondering how to avoid a similar fate, I recommend quoting the Bible (start with "Judge not, lest ye be judged..."), wearing a politically-charged tshirt, and/or voicing an opinion on every question the attorneys ask the panel, even if they don't apply to you. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rock 'n Roll Anniversary

Since the birth of baby Sanders no. 2, I managed to get back into exercising (and back into my jeans) fairly early. (I'm sorry for those of you that have to workworkwork to lose the baby weight. I really am. I think I just have genetics and breastfeeding side effects on my side. It honestly didn't have much to do with the running. Sorry!) My husband had fallen out of regular exercise, and this summer, he decided that he needed motivation to get back to it. Motivation in the form of paying $100 to run a half-marathon some few months down the road. I usually run one once every two years or so, and I was due, so we started researching races together. We landed on the Rock 'n Roll Half-Marathon in STL, which neither of us had done before, and it happened to fall on the weekend before our anniversary. It was meant to be!

Some eight years ago when I was finishing law school, Steve was finishing grad school, and we were planning a wedding, we decided to run a half-marathon together as a way to jump start our plan to get in great shape before the wedding. I'll give you the short version of how that went down: running comes easily to Steve, I have to slog through every mile, I forgot my Ipod in the car, neither of us had a Garmin-like device to determine pace, and we were both sore for days following because it was our first half and WE JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE DOING. We both swore that we would never run one together, if at all, again. the amnesia that women develop surrounding their childbirth experiences, we forgot all about our previous complaints and dove headfirst into training. The first six weeks or so were great. Then, Steve contracted some mysterious virus that sidelined him for two weeks. Then on Labor Day weekend, I sprained my ankle and stayed off of it for two weeks. And in the month leading up to the race, our entire household came down with sinus infections, bronchitis, ear infections, and more, so interval training (yeah right) and speed work went by the wayside, and it was all we could do to get it together for our long runs on Saturdays.

Despite the setbacks, we were hopeful going into that COLD October morning. No body parts were hurting (yet), we timed it perfectly to hit the port-a-potties with about five minutes to start time, and I had my Ipod securely in hand and my trusty Garmin on my wrist.

Look at us: cold but confident!

We waited about ten minutes after the gun went off until our corral was released. Miles 1-3 can best be described in the words of my husbands as 'running like chickens with our heads cut off.' Basically, there were too many people who were in the WRONG CORRAL (don't get me started on that one) and my nerves caused me to run an 8:30-9 minute pace when our goal was to stick around 10. Once the 10K'ers turned off the course, things quieted down and we thought we had it made. WRONG. Then we encountered the first of several loooooooong sloooooooow hills, while staring directly into the surface of the sun (without sunglasses, because Hey, it was dark when we started!). At mile 6 I had a hot flash and needed to get my outer layer off fast, which involved me accidentally ripping out all four safety pins of my race bib (oops). We recovered and moved on. Miles 7-10 were fine. I wouldn't say they flew by, but our pace slowed and there was plenty of water.

After mile 10, my mind said, 'hey, you are less than half an hour away from being done with this thing. So MOVE IT and be done already.' And my body said, 'let's play a game where we take turns pinching and cramping various joints and body parts to make sure they still feel pain.' The highlight of the entire race might have been at mile 12 when Steve was trying to signal me to slow down (headphones were blaring), and I screamed at him, 'I do not want to hold your hand right now!' Good to know we still have the magic 7 years in.

We were SO HAPPY to be done at the finish line, and I had no clue how we finished at the time, because downtown STL was just too much for my trusty Garmin and we lost reception. We learned later that we came in about half a minute under our goal time, so that was okay. Post-race we also stumbled upon free stretches from licensed athletic trainers (nice) and enjoyed a nice cold sip of our complimentary Michelob Ultra (no thanks). Would we do it again? Steve says no. I say 'it's too soon,' which means probably in another two years.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite inspirational signs held up by cheering fans during the race:
-Who's idea was this?
-You paid $$$ for this?
-Hurry, your student loans are catching up to you!
-Chafed nipples turn me on!

Notice how red my face is, and how not-red my husband's is...grr.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Parenting Advice From An Expert

There are certain conversations that every parent will need to have with their child at the appropriate time. Thank God that I have at least a five year window before The Talk!, but the opportunity recently arose to have the 'death' talk.

My human family has been extremely blessed in the health department, so my children have not yet experienced the death of a close family member. But in the pet department, it's been a bad year. My parents lost their dog about a year ago when Forrest was just 2, so naturally, we left things at 'Stu doesn't live with Grammy and Grampy they have Sid!' No questions were asked. Easy! And my in-laws took the same basic approach when they lost their dog earlier this year, but this time he noticed. So, I decided that when my parents' cat passed away last week, it needed to be addressed before we visited them the following weekend.

Here's how it went down:

Me: Forrest, Mommy needs to talk to you about something really important.
F: --
Me: Forrest, are you paying attention?
F: What Mommy...
Me: Forrest, eyes on Mommy. I'm gonna pause cartoons so we can talk about something important.

***10 Minutes Later After Screaming Fit Subsides***

Me: Forrest, remember how I told you that Bitty got into an accident?
F: Yeah.
Me: Well, I'm really sorry, but she's gone. She's not here anymore. She died.
F: --
Me: Forrest, do you understand what that means?
F: What what means, Mommy?
Me: That she died.
F: Where is she?
Me: She's not with us anymore, she's gone.
F: If she's not here now. Then, where'd she go?
Me: Heaven. She's with God now.
F: Where's heaven?
Me: Well...that's a good question. It's not here exactly. It's a different kind of place. Sort of like... Um.... ... it's up in the clouds.
F: Up in the sky? Or down here on the ground?
Me: Up in the sky.
F: Oh. Okay. We need to get more dogs and cats and bring them to Grammy and Grampy's house!
Me: Uh, ok. Why?
F: Because they need more.
Me: Forrest, do you understand that Grammy and Grampy are sad that Bitty died. I'm sad, too because she was my kitty when I was a little girl and lived with Grammy and Grampy.
F: Then I'm sad, too. And angry. And frustrated. All those emotions. (Proceeds to make faces demonstrating all the various emotions).
Me: It's okay to feel sad. Do you want to say a prayer for Bitty up in heaven.
F: No, I don't think so.
Me: Do you have any other questions?
F: What are we having for dinner?

Good talk.

Bonus Material (just so I can solidify your opinion of me as the Best Parent Ever):

One night before bed Forrest was flipping through Avery's baby book and kept asking if the baby in the picture was him or Avery, so I got out his baby book to show him pictures of himself as a baby. We landed on the delivery room picture of Steve poised with the giant scissors, ready to cut the umbilical cord (is that weird? I feel like it was a Basic Parenting Requirement to have a cut-the-cord picture? please don't tell me that that is not a thing!). You can tell where this is going, right? 

F: What is Daddy doing there?
Me: He's cutting your umbilical cord. (Duh! What are you learning in pre-preschool anyway?!)
F: He's cutting me???
Me: Yes, but not you. It's your umbilical cord.
F: What's an um-bee-lick-uh cord?
Me: It's a tube that connected me to you while you were growing in my tummy. That's how you got your air and food when you were in there.
F: Why'd he cut it off???
Me: You didn't need it anymore. When you came out you could breathe on your own and you got your food through your mouth.
F: I don't want Daddy to cut my um-bee-lick-uh cord! He hurts me!


And that folks is how you conduct age-appropriate conversations with your children about big picture topics such as the funiculus umbilicalis and death. Bring on The Talk, I'm ready! Gulp.

(Other sound parenting advice: take two kids under the age of 4 to a Cards game in the nosebleed seats when the sun is setting directly into your faces. Enjoy that lukewarm Budweiser!)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Top Eight Craziest Types of Posts Found On Mommy Boards

Well, it's been awhile since I last posted, and a lot has happened since then.  The short story is that I gave birth to a healthy baby girl and am currently staying at home where I'm working for a dynamic duo that I've affectionately dubbed "the terrorists."  Ah, the stories I could tell!

I'm not going to regale you with hilarious stories of my children; instead, I'd like to share with you a phenomenon that I've recently discovered as a stay-at-home mom with WIFI:  mommy boards.  Particularly, Facebook mommy boards.  These are Facebook groups set up by some random mommy who then allows anyone who has the wherewithal to click "send friend request" to join and post at will.  What began as a place for mommies to connect with each other and share tips for where to get the best deal on diapers has quickly devolved into a place for delusional women to fill the emotional voids in their lives with the advice and support of complete strangers.  Don't get me wrong--there are still completely normal, mostly sane, women such as myself who use these boards for solving debates such as Costco v. Sams, but those posts aren't nearly as entertaining.

The worst offenders have to be those groups centered around the parenting practices of breastfeeding and childwearing (DISCLAIMER:  I have breastfed and Baby Bjorn'ed both of my children, so don't think I'm unfairly picking on these groups as an outsider).  With no further ado, I give you the top 8 craziest things you'll find on Facebook mommy boards:

1.  Requesting (and giving!) Medical Advice:

Would you ask the random blond-haired thirty something that you are standing behind in line at the grocery store whether you should give your six month old ibuprofen for her fever?  Of course not!  But believe it or not, mommies are relying upon other mommy board followers to figure out everything from how to treat the latest respiratory virus going around to alternative schedules for vaccinations.  Keep in mind that none of the posters identify themselves as having any sort of medical training whatsoever, but that doesn't stop the ignorant and entitled from using the board for diagnosis and treatment of actual medical conditions.  The worst offenders are those who post pictures of rashes, bug bites, and other skin conditions so that others can weigh in on what they think is wrong with the kid.  Just today I saw someone post a picture of the eye crud that she dug out of her kid's eye to ask if it "looked normal"???  Go to the freaking pediatrician you crazies!!!  An internet connection and the ability to type something into Google does not an M.D. make!

2.  Seeking Marital Advice:

Well, the subheading is a misnomer, because these women are not, in fact, looking for marital advice.  They are using the mommy board as a substitute for venting to actual in-person friends.  "My husband is so lazy.  He never helps around the house--anyone else relate?"  Of course we can all relate, because all men are lazy, selfish, ignorant, and stupid sometimes (but guess what, we're not so hot ourselves--hence the public shaming of the significant others online).  Instead of divulging all the intimate details of your not-so-great romantic life online, why not invite a friend to coffee and get it out of your system in a fashion that can't be permanently accessed via the internet?!

3.  Seeking Legal Advice:

This one may just be a personal issue for me given that I am a licensed attorney, and thankfully, the legal advice requested on mommy boards only extends to custody battles and traffic tickets, but for real people--do not take the advice of complete strangers when the ability to live with your kids, your driving privileges, and other important interests are at stake!  Go see the mediator, pay the darn speeding ticket, and just try to get along when and where you can.  

4.  Seeking Financial Advice:

"HELP--hubs and I are over 10K in credit card debt, officially behind on our mortgage, and it looks like we won't be able to cover our bills again this month--any advice on how to get out of this mess???"  Yes.  Log off of Facebook, put down your smartphone, and run to the nearest financial professional, because believe it or not, the couponers on the mommy boards are not going to have the necessary knowledge on interest rates, debt-to-income ratios, or financial assistance.  And I actually saw someone with a similar crisis turn down advice to follow the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program, because "it involves religion and stuff." 

5.  Public Shaming (husbands, baby daddies, mother-in-laws, etc.):

Don't air your dirty laundry on Facebook people!  I don't care if the group is "closed" or "private."  No one fully understands how the internet works (just ask Jennifer Lawrence how safe those photos were that she stored on the cloud...).  I've even seen mommies vaguely accuse family members of sexual abuse!  NEWS FLASH:  we all have those times when we think our husbands are idiots, our mothers-in-laws are overbearing, and our bosses are complete jerks, but those trash sessions are best saved for happy hour with our girlfriends (you know, the flesh and blood people that you have conversations with face-to-face who would recognize you in a crowd despite the fact that your Facebook profile picture is your two year old dressed up like Superman).

6.  Intentionally Controversial Posts:

Pick any controversial parenting practice that comes to mind, and you can bet that there are those on both sides of the issue who will intentionally "stir the pot" by posting a one-sided article or comment on the mommy board just for the sake of watching other mommies devour each other.  It's like throwing a grenade in a crowded room and watching the chaos that ensues.  My favorite posts are when someone shares an article from The Onion, and ignorant mommies attack without realizing the sarcastic bent of it all.  So much for trying to be dry and witty, Momma!

7.  Stalker Posts ("hi" to the momma wearing her squish in the navy blue ergo at the south county Target today!"):

This is just creepy, and it mainly applies to the babywearing mommy boards only.  Yay, you noticed other mommies out in the world wearing their children.  Unless you intend to approach those mommies in the wild for actual human interaction, no one cares that you spotted four ergos at the zoo on Friday afternoon.  And just imagine the horror of coming home from the zoo with your two little ones and discovering that some crazy chick on the mommy boards was silently watching you from afar...most people would refer to that as stalking.

And finally,

8.  Posting Inappropriate Photos:

I have seen countless selfies taken of mommies wearing their babies (some post for tips on whether they are using the carrier correctly, which is fine, but others post their pictures just for the publicity, which is kind of sad), the aforementioned "rash" photos for diagnostic purposes, and even photos displaying recently pumped breastmilk (yes, really, either in an attempt to elicit sympathy or triumph, depending on the amount).  One has to wonder whether these ladies have actual friends and family on Facebook who would want to see their photos, but then again, even my own mother would be aghast if I posted my breastmilk online for all the world to see.

Karma may come back to bite me on this one, but I just couldn't help poking fun at this mommy subculture.  Truth be told, we all have a little crazy, crunchy momma in us.  Some of us are just better at hiding the crazy than others ;)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ace Bandages and My Sister-in-Law: 2 Things That Come In Handy When I'm Pregnant

During my first pregnancy, I continued to run on a semi-regular basis well into my sixth month.  I prematurely hung up my Asics after an unsuccessful 3 miler ended with a rolled ankle, scraped knee and hands, and a bruised ego.  

No, that is not a discolored ham with toes, that is my swollen, bruised cankle.  Lovely, isn't it?

Although it looks pretty horrible on film, I was able to recover fairly quickly with the aid of my trusty Ace bandage and the long-distance consultations I received from my sister-in-law who is a physical therapist.  (Her name is also Amy Sanders, she also comes from a small Misssouri town, and has a brother named is a weird, wacky coincidence that deserves a blog post all its own).

So fast forward to pregnancy no. 2.  I vowed that this time around I would avoid all injury and keep running as long as my back and bladder could keep up.  After a nasty bout of morning sickness then four weeks of bronchitis, then a record snowfall, I was itching to get back into a regular running routine.  So I had about two days in a row of pre-dawn jogging and was feeling good.  Then, this morning, as I was just easing into my first half mile, I started daydreaming about what I would eat when I went out to lunch with my coworkers (don't judge), and quite unexpectantly, my ankle rolled almost all the way to the ground, taking the rest of my body with it.

I caught myself just before eating pavement, but oh man, did it hurt!  According to my Garmin, I was exactly .5 miles from home and had no option but to get up, grit my teeth, and hoof it back.  Since it was a weekday, I also had no choice but to slap my trusty Ace bandage on, shove my cankle into some riding boots and headed to work.  

Like before, I got some recommendations and reassurance from my sister-in-law that I had indeed sprained my ankle and would likely need 4-6 weeks to recover completely.  It was like déjà-vu, only at five months instead of six.  

I don't have a similarly grotesque picture of the ham with toes (at least not yet), but I was amused to find that at the end of a long day when I finally peeled the boot and Ace bandage off, my ankle wasn't swollen in the slightest!  Instead of a ham dangling from the end of my leg, my calf had apparently ingested it.

Seriously, this photo is a dream for the Ace company marketing team and physical therapists everywhere who preach about compression wrapping to minimize swelling in the affected area.  

Will I recover enough to give it another go? Or throw in the towel and take up pre-natal yoga instead?  Only time will tell.  Don't worry about me, though, I've got plenty of Ace bandages, ice packs, and FaceTime with my own personal physical therapist to get me through the next four months.   For now, it's R.I.C.E. (whatever that stands for) and sleeping an extra hour in the mornings.

Maybe I should invest in a treadmill.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year

So the throes of first trimester morning sickness got the best of me, then I got bronchitis, and then the holiday season got underway, yadda, yadda, yadda, it's been awhile since I've last posted.  But now I'm back with plenty of updates from the past few months:

--Morning sickness was much worse this time around with baby no. 2.  It should be more accurately described as morning/noon/night sickness, because it was with me always.  I only had one day of official upchucking (unfortunately, it happened at work, in my office trashcan...ew).  After six weeks of going from "this isn't so bad," to "why aren't the crackers and Sprite working anymore?" to "Mrs. Sanders--you really need to try and eat something", I finally regained an appetite, but the casualty was the eight pounds I lost in the meantime.  Don't worry about me, though, I recovered just a day or so before Thanksgiving, and my appetite went from "bird" to "truck driver" in time for all of the holiday calories.  I'm in the black now and tipping the scales, so all's well that ends well.

Here's a pic of my growing bump at Thanksgiving (12 weeks):

--And if you were worried that the end of my all-day-sickness would leave me without something to complain about, don't be.  Days after recovering my appetite I developed a deep, hacking cough.  No cold, no runny nose, just a cough.  So I sucked down cough drops and grossed out my co-workers and friends for two weeks before finally going in to see the doctor, and lo and behold--bronchitis.  My doctor is very "women have been having babies for thousands of years and you'll be fine," so his prescription was to "take it easy, keep taking Mucinex/Robitussin, and let me know if it gets any worse."  Well, after two more weeks of hacking, and then developing a sinus infection on top of the bronchitis, he finally caved and called me in a prescription for a Z-Pak.  Thank goodness for modern medicine.  Although my cough/cold is still lingering, it's nice to be able to breathe at night and not gag myself from coughing.

--Just days before Christmas, my soon-to-be-a-big-brother celebrated his second birthday.  As a fellow holder of a winter birthday, I understand better than most how depressing it can be to creatively try to celebrate your birthday when most of your friends get pool parties and picnics at the park.  So, this mommy decided to think outside of the box and take advantage of one of Forrest's loves--The St. Louis Zoo.  A quick google of the Zoo's website revealed that the package "official" Zoo birthday party started at $350 for just 20 people (yikes!), so I decided to take advantage of the free amenities available at the Zoo and improvise.  We picked a Saturday morning, sent out the invites, and told everyone to dress warmly.  My husband and I spent a few Saturdays beforehand scouting out the Zoo for free-birthday-party-friendly areas.  We settled on the indoor café, where even though the sign on the door says "no outside food or drinks," we figured that if we bought all of our party guests hot chocolate and coffee from the concession stand, they wouldn't notice the box of doughnuts that we were substituting for birthday cake (my son LOVES donuts, so he'd rather have a dozen donut holes than a three-tiered confection).  A little cold but a good idea, right?  So, as the weekend approached, the weather forecast wavered from cold, to icy precipitation, to cold rain.  Sure enough, the morning of his party was a washout.  But what can you do at the last minute?  We texted our guests and assured them that with umbrellas and heavy coats, we'd be just fine.  We walked into the Zoo and into the indoor café where we were greeted by Santa, about 50 patrons, and a lavish brunch spread...turns out the "Breakfast with Santa" was moved from the private event space to the public café last minute.  Oh boy.  Then, we were told by Zoo staff that the only other indoor concession stand available at the Zoo was not open to the public that day, and they didn't have any concession stands of any kind available.  We must've looked pathetic, so the wonderful people at the Zoo set up a mini concession stand in the welcome center, along with enough tables and chairs to accommodate us, and let us have our run of it.  They were awesome and kept apologizing for the inconvenience.  The kids ate donuts and ran around this huge empty space for an hour before we bundled up and headed outside.  We stuck to the indoor exhibits, and after all the hubbub, we only made it to the Primate House.  We had the place to ourselves, and the primates played their part while showing off for the kids.  As we were walking back towards the entrance, we realized that despite the weather, the sea lion feeding was happening.  We stood around the tank and watched while the handlers fed the sea lions, introduced us to all of them, and answered our questions.  Two of the more cooperative performers even "sang" Happy Birthday to my son.  Although may have wondered if I'd lost my mind, my son had a blast, and it was a perfect way to celebrate him.

--Christmas was a whirlwind of activity, but over the course of the season we saw Christmas lights, decorated a gingerbread house, sent Christmas cards, visited Santa, volunteered at a local Christmas shop, hung our own Christmas lights, decorated the house, baked cookies, wrapped presents, attended holiday parties, and celebrated with family and friends.  And given the way Christmas and New Year's fell during the week, we were fortunate enough to have plenty of time off to enjoy it all.

--Now we are currently in the deep freeze of January, and I'm snowed in at home, hurrying to finish this lengthy post before my son loses interest in cartoons, tractors, trucks, puzzles, and blocks...that reminds me of my official New Year's resolution--to be a more patient mother who cuts back on her use of her IPad, IPhone, tv, etc. to be more present with her family.

--Things to look forward to over the next few months:  my 30th birthday (yes, I'm looking forward to it), Valentine's Day, and beginning to potty train my two year old.  Until then, stay safe, and stay warm!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Six Weeks and the Cat's Outta The Bag

Well, here we go again.  Six weeks pregnant.  I forgot how much fun it is to be exhausted and perpetually nauseated.  Last time I waited until I was into my second trimester before publicly announcing the news.  This time the announcement comes much sooner.

I went to the doctor's office and had my pregnancy confirmed just a few days shy of six weeks, and I decided to go ahead and alert the media at work as to my "condition."  My bosses took the news somewhat better than the first time around, which is saying something.

**I should explain that when I started my current job over two years ago, I was currently pregnant with my first child.  It didn't happen that way on purpose--it was one of those annoyingly long interview processes where it was a good month between my initial application and the first interview, and then almost another month before I sat for another two interviews before they offered me the job.**

Between both of my pregnancy announcements at work, I could compile a pretty dandy HR "What Not To Do" presentation.  I've had bosses ask me:  "Was it planned?"  "You sure don't look like you're pregnant."  "Does this mean that you're going to quit in nine months?"  And I've also received comments such as:  "Wow.  That's early..."  "Thanks for telling me, but it really doesn't affect me unless this is your way of telling me that you're going to quit."

I've had good comments as well, but you would think that given what these people do for a living, they would be more P.C. about the subject.

Anyway, we have tried to prepare our first born for what's to come, but he's still a bit young to fully grasp the concept.  We did get a pretty good preview of how he's going to handle "sharing Mommy" when our friends brought over their six week old to visit.  When he walked into the room and saw me cradling that little bundle, he lost it.  Big, fat tears rolling down his tomato-red face and sobs so franctic he could barely catch his breath.  It helped somewhat when I pulled him onto one side of my lap with the baby on the other, but his crying started a chain reaction which ended the experiment.  At least we have another eight months to get him used to the idea.

I apologize now for the fact that my pregnancy will likely take over my blog for at least the next eight months, but a pregnant woman's life with a toddler in tow has got to make for good reading, right?