Sunday, September 30, 2007

In My Shopping Bag

Walgreens, 10pm last night:

- Unflavored Pedialyte: to rehydrate our screaming baby who had been on a hunger strike for the past 12 hours
- Fruit Flavored Pedialyte: in case Landon rejected the unflavored variety and we needed to sweeten the deal
- Enfamil Nutramigen: in case the problem was our formula
- Dark Chocolate M&M's: because getting drunk wasn't going to help the situation

Yesterday Landon screamed for a solid 12 hours. By 8pm he had only eaten 6 ounces and looked like he was in almost constant pain. At 9pm, worried that he was going to get dehydrated, and at a total loss on how to make him feel better, I called the pedatric GI office number. I expected to go through some automated stuff, leave a message, and finally hear back from a doctor- instead I was transferred directly to the on-call doctor. Apparently having the number of a specialist makes you some kind of VIP. Anyway, the on-call doc suggested we give him an additional half-dose of Prevacid, some Tylenol, and buy some Pedialyte. He took 3 ounces of Pedialyte, enough to make him sleep, and JP and I collapsed in bed. At 2am we tried to give him formula again (hoping the extra dose of Prevacid would have helped the reflux) but he freaked out and refused all liquids. At 6am he took some more Pedialyte, and at 10am he was refusing everything and screaming. We called the GI doc again and she said to head to the ER. So that's where we are- again. And he's now smiling at me from his dad's lap. Again.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Reflections on the First Week

Today ends the first week of a lifetime of balancing work and family, and I can only hope that the future is full of weeks as good as this one. The mornings, drop-offs, and pick-ups all went smoothly and Landon was a "very good boy" for Maya during the day. Despite many warnings to the contrary, I'm okay with the fact that Landon and I are separated during the day. After a few too many conversations with people telling me that "it was okay to be sad," I wanted to respond "I know that, but you need to be okay with the fact that I'm not." It was almost as though they needed me to admit I was sad to fit into their idea of what a good mother should be, and that made me sad.

I'm excited when I go pick Landon up, and there's a smile on both our faces when he's in my arms again, but I don't actively miss him during the day. I can focus on my classes (all of which I really like this quarter), my friends, and my work because I know he's in Maya's warm and competent hands, and then I can go home and focus on him. The first day I brought him home I was happy, and almost relieved, to find how much I enjoyed him. I felt guilty while I was staying home because I spent so much time just wishing he would go to sleep. I resented the nagging feeling that I wasn't doing enough to stimulate his brain and promote language development (or whatever the parenting magazines say you're supposed to be doing). We weren't singing enough, reading enough, or interacting enough- it was worse than the pressure of law school hanging over my head before exams. There were days I'd get in bed and want to do the day over so that I would play with him more, but the next day would come and I'd go right back to wanting him to sleep so that I could accomplish things like brushing my teeth and eating breakfast. I hated that I was wishing away his babyhood- especially since everyone tells you how fast it goes and how much you should enjoy it.

I now know for certain what I had always predicted: I need a family and a career. So many people told me "just wait until you have a baby, you might change your mind." I understand why they said that, but I don't think that having a baby fundamentally changes who you are. It can certainly cause you to adjust your priorities and modify career plans, but the things you've wanted and worked for your whole life don't just stop mattering.

So things are good. There will be days when it's not good, but right now JP is happy, I'm happy, and Landon is happy. This is the right balance for us right now.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Smile Caught on Film

I think it's a smile. It's definitely a big expression of happiness!

Soliciting Advice and/or Horror Stories

Sleep. I think it has to be the issue most frequently googled by parents of an infant. At first I was curious to see when we could hope Landon would sleep through the night, then it was to see when we could start encouraging him to sleep through the night, and now I just want to hear other parents talk about how long their baby took and how exhausted they were so that I can feel better about our present situation. Here's the gist of what I've gathered so far: Formula-fed babies usually sleep through the night sooner because formula is denser and keeps babies full longer. Metabolically, a baby that is over 11 lbs. is capable of fasting 6+ hours at night. At 2 months, babies can be expected to drink approximately 6 oz. at each feeding for a total of 30-40 oz. a day. You shouldn't do much to "sleep train" a baby until he is 4 months old because that is when they are neurologically capable of soothing themselves, any sooner and crying just gets them worked up to a state they can't recover from; however, you can start setting up a bedtime routine and take some measures to encourage your baby to want fewer nighttime feedings.

That's all from books or articles. From the few people I know with babies I've gathered the following: my siblings and I all slept 6-7 hours a night by the time we were 8 weeks old. My friend's 8 week old has been sleeping 6 hours at night for about 2 weeks. He drinks 6 oz. at each feeding, for a total of 36 oz. a day.

And here's Landon: he never drinks more than 4 oz. at once, usually every 3-4 hours, and almost never exceeds 24 oz. in a day. When we try to give him more he spits up. He's gaining weight properly (he's 12 lbs.) but he's not drinking as much as the guidelines say. He usually takes a 4 oz. bottle at 10pm and goes to sleep. He then wakes up at 2am for a full 4 oz. feeding, gets up at 5am but takes no more than 2 oz., and then gets up at 7am to take a few more. He had a few nights where he slept from 11pm, to 4am, to 7:30- and drank a full 4 oz. each time- and that was wonderful. Now, at the 5am feeding he's mainly just looking around- after a few voracious sucks (1/2 oz.) he's not too interested in the bottle. So can I try not giving it to him? I truly believe he only needs one nighttime feeding- when he gets up more than that his volume remains the same, it's just spread out. We have the approval (and encouragement) from our pediatrician to only feed him once at night, I just don't know how to go about doing that.

So, those of you who have kids (or have friends or siblings with kids), what did their time lines look like? What would you do? I'm not trying to get him on a strict schedule or anything, I just want to prod him in the direction of getting up once at night (or not at all, but I'm trying to be realistic). I've read that offering a pacifier or water at the one feeding you want eliminated can help, but we haven't tried it yet (partially because we're too bleary eyed to think of anything except sticking a bottle in his mouth). One guy in my law school class said his baby was still getting up every 2 hours at 3 months, so while I felt bad for him, it did make me feel good about us.

Sleep advice, anecdotes, and horror stories are requested.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So Why Did I Take That Class?

Last year I slogged through several classes that I hated from the first day but I stayed in due to a belief that I was supposed to take them. These horrors of 2L year include secured transactions, antitrust, and admin. By spring quarter I managed to suppress any lingering compulsion to take classes I didn't actually want to be in and I enjoyed that quarter more than any other in law school. I realized that even if those subjects come up on the bar exam, anything I learned in those classes was forgotten the minute I took the final. And judging from the grades I received, I didn't have much to forget.

And yet this year I again found myself considering classes in that "I feel like I should take it, but I really don't want to" group. Luckily Above the Law had a post that knocked me back to my senses. It cites a study that unequivocally found that there was no relationship between law school courseloads and a student's passage rate. And then the post closes with this little nugget of truth that all law students should take to heart: "So taking Secured Transactions really has no redeeming qualities after all."

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Day

Well, there were no tears. Landon and I left our apartment right on time- a miracle made possible by making JP feed Landon while I jumped in the shower. He was quietly content in his car seat during the ride to Hyde Park and fast asleep by the time we got to Maya's apartment. (Brief aside: I can't figure out what to call our childcare provider. She's not really a nanny because she watches babies in her own home. It's not really a daycare because it's small, in-house, and informal. She's not really a babysitter because it's a little more formal than that. So I'm just going to call her by her name.) I had to park illegally to run up to her apartment and since Landon was still asleep I didn't even hug or hold him, I just handed her the car seat and left. I think that made it much easier- if I was holding him and had to physically put him in her arms, I might have gotten a bit misty eyed. But I really like her and I know she'll take loving care of him.

My classes have been good. I loved finance- we have a real textbook with problems and answers- and I get to use a calculator again! So exciting. Public International Law was also great. The prof is visiting, but I liked him a lot and it's a fascinating topic. I feel like I should know more about international politics and law, so this class is really more about making me a better citizen than lawyer. It was weird to be in class and have to remind myself that I'm a mom. So far I've just been at home with the baby, so there hasn't been an opportunity to forget. I'm in class just like I was last year- same building, people, professors, etc.- but there's something in my life that's so different. It's hard to explain, but there were definite stretches of time that it seemed almost unreal that I had taken a baby, my baby, to daycare earlier that morning.

Anyway, I'm off to the gym for the first time in 5 months and then I'll be picking up the little guy for some quality cuddling time at home!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Already Behind

My first day is tomorrow and I haven't read my corporate finance or public international law assignments. I need daycare before school starts! JP worked yesterday and is at the office now, so I've had no opportunity to crack the books. Well, that's not quite true, the little monster does sleep, but I'm never sure for how long and MTV is playing a "So You Think You Can Dance" marathon that has stolen about 30 hours of my time.

Anyway, I'm realizing that this quarter is going to be tougher than I planned. This always happens- I tell everyone "this year will be easier" and then it turns out to be pretty darn hard (ex: 2L year). My classes end at 12:05, but I'd like to get Landon before 5pm which only leaves 4.5 hours to eat lunch, do my reading, and hit the gym. I'm normally a terribly inefficient reader and case briefer so I'm going to have to learn to focus for longer than 10 minutes at a time. Luckily I do have Thursdays totally open- I think that's going to be my day to catch up on everything: reading, briefing, phone calls, bills, online shopping, etc. This year is going to be a good introduction into the fine art of balancing working and mothering, and I'm glad to have it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm Sorry, We're All Out of Kindness and Patience

alternate title: Why You Shouldn't Have a Baby to "Fix" Your Marriage

Last night, Landon was fussy, it was the end of a very long week, JP had been working past 10pm every night so I had received almost no help, and we were both exhausted. Any shred of sanity, calm, and love I had left in my body went to Landon. I held him, walking endless loops around the living room, while he tried very hard to settle himself- he wasn't crying, he was just making those noises that let you know that he could cry again at any minute- especially if you stop doing exactly what you're doing.

JP was annoyed that Landon quieted in my arms and not his, I was annoyed that JP refused to do the things that I had figured out, through painful trial and error, help calm Landon down, and Landon seemed upset with the universe in general. JP was sad and angry he had so little time with him this week and I was sad and angry that I had so little help this week. By the time we got in bed JP and I hadn't spoken a word to each other in about 3 hours- there was no actual fight, we were just generally pissed off. We both needed sympathy- for different reasons- and neither of us could give it. Part of me wanted to talk about it, more of me was too tired to care, and I fell asleep in such a tensed position that my back hurt when I woke up this morning.

The vast majority of the time having a baby has been amazing for our marriage- seeing JP so in love with his little boy and sharing our utter delight in his every more has been our greatest bonding experience so far. But sometimes, when I have so little warmth and patience left, JP bears the brunt of it because Landon can't.

Luckily, we can go to bed mad because underneath all the tension we are both secure in the certainty that our marriage is much stronger than one crappy night- and when you're that tired, talking it out seems to end in us falling asleep madder. This morning Landon's cheerful, JP is swimming, and I'm well rested- we'll all be fine.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Last Day

This is Landon and my last weekday together before school starts. Beginning Monday my days will no longer just be about playing with him and trying to squeeze in some housework while he's sleeping- there will be reading to do, a paper to write, and the MPRE to study for. I'm mostly excited for school to begin. I've missed adult conversation, intellectual stimulation, and having a reason to get dressed and leave the apartment. But I'm a little sad- from now on I'll be a working mother. Whether it's being a student, studying for the bar, or being a lawyer- there's always going to be something else dictating my schedule beyond Landon's wants and needs.

People keep telling me how they cried all the way to work the first day they dropped their baby off at daycare. They look at me expectantly to echo the same feelings, but honestly, I think I'll be fine. He's looking at me wide-eyed and adorable from his swing right now and I have no doubt that I'll miss him, but I know he will be held, fed, and loved at the little in-home daycare we found for him. And I know we'll be happy to see each other when I pick him up in the afternoon. I think it would be more traumatic if I were dropping him off on my way to a full-time job with little control over my schedule, but I know that I can go pick him up anytime after 12:05. We'll see how I actually do, but right now I'm more reflective and thoughtful than sad at the thought of putting him into someone else's arms for a few hours a day so that I can continue down my career path.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Putting the Law in Blawg

Even though my past 50 or so posts have been completely baby-focused, I am actually a law student and this blog is supposed to talk about law every now and then. UChicago's fall quarter starts next monday and I'm really looking forward to it. I've always loved the first day of school and law school hasn't beaten that out of me. I like seeing my friends again, getting a seat, hearing the professor talk about the overall view of the class, transferring the syllabus info into my planner, using my new pens (I always treat myself to a new pack of pens for the first day of school), and now, in this era of laptops, starting a new document for my notes. I also make solemn First Day of School Resolutions: I will start outlining a month before finals, I will never wait to do the reading until right before class, I will do a full practice test, I will go to the gym after class, etc. I've never been big on New Year's resolutions- my life has always been so dominated by a school schedule that the first day of school feels more like the start of a new year than January 1st ever has. I've never kept a First Day of School Resolution, but each year I make them just the same.

I've registered for my classes. An advantage of going to a very small law school (less than 200 in each year) is that there's no lottery system for classes- you just sign up and you're in. It hadn't occurred to me that other law schools were different until I started reading blawgs. We do have to lottery into seminars (which have less than 20 students), but I've always gotten my first pick. This year I'm taking corporate finance, public international law, and structuring, negotiating, and concluding complex business transactions. That last one has to be the most obnoxious class name ever, so it shall henceforth be dubbed "structuring transactions". There's a chance that I'll drop international law and take admiralty- it all depends on my impressions of the profs on the first day. I'm secretly excited about corporate finance- I finally have a textbook (not a casebook!) and it has numbers! and problems with actual solutions! I miss math dearly, it was always my favorite class in school. JP was a finance major at UT so I even have a live-in tutor. My schedule is fabulous: Mon, Tues, Wed, and Fri 9:45-12:05. No class on Thursdays and nothing in the afternoon. We're still paying for full-time childcare, so I have the option to stay in the afternoons to eat lunch with friends, get work done, and go to the gym. I'm now only 3 lbs. up from my pre-baby weight, but my body definitely doesn't look or feel the same- probably due more to eating dessert after every meal as a summer associate than having a baby- but whatever the reason, I need to start working out. It will also be nice to have Thursdays as a day that I can stay home with Landon if I want to (like if there was a snow storm the night before) or go to school and be productive. In addition to my fall classes, I have a paper from a seminar last year due in January and I'm taking the MPRE in November, so I'll have plenty on my to-do list!

2-month checkup

Landon's 2-month checkup was yesterday morning and for once a visit to his pediatrician brought back all good news. His weight remains in the 50th percentile at 11 lb. 13 oz, his length is in the 25th at 22.5", and his head is in the 50th at 40 cm around. His dad can't believe that he's only in the 25th percentile for length (I'm 5'8" and JP is 6'3"), but I'm pretty sure those percentiles don't mean a whole lot now. He has huge feet and hands, so like a puppy, I think he'll grow into them someday. He's finally gotten over the whole "I scream whenever I'm naked" thing and was quite cute while the doctor was examining him. He's been tolerating his Alimentum much better, so we get to stay on that, and the reflux remains much improved, so he'll remain on the same dosage of Prevacid. The visit ended with 4 shots and that was quite traumatic- he cried so much that the paper sheet they put over the exam table was soaked under his face. He shrieked the whole time I was making his 4-month appointment and by the time we walked out the entire waiting room was staring at him with wide eyes. The kid has powerful lungs. I'd been warned that the shots could make him fussy, feverish, and/or sleepy. He was fussy at first, then feverish (Tylenol fixed that), and then took the longest nap ever and woke up in a very agreeable mood. A good friend of mine came over and kept me company while we were housebound- it was actually a pretty nice day.

The pediatrician also told us to start "training" him to sleep longer at night and go longer between meals during the day. Because of the reflux Landon turned into a snacker- 1 ounce here, 2 ounces a little later, etc. At night he never went more than 3-4 hours between feedings. His weight is enough that he is physically capable of lasting longer, and JP and I are desperate for a little more sleep. She said to start making him go 4 hours between feedings during the day (which I did yesterday and he was fine- he even drank a full 4 oz. bottle for the first time in a month) which will in turn help him sleep more at night. If we could just get him down to one nighttime feeding that would make such an enormous difference. Already his second feeding of the night is just an excuse for him to look around and babble to us- he barely drinks anything. I think it'll be tough the first few nights we try to wean him off of it, but everyone will be happier when it's done.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Week of Waiting Rooms

Landon's rapidly expanding medical file grew a bit more this week. Last Friday we were in the emergency room for his constant screaming; yesterday we visited the pediatric urologist at Northwestern Children's Hospital; and today we traveled to the pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital. I wish adult hospitals were more like the ones designed for children- everything is so bright and colorful and the people who work there are generally very nice and smiley. At both appointments we were seen precisely on time- I've had a few doctor appointments in my day and I've come to regard that as something of a miracle. Both doctors were warm and obviously knowledgeable.

Urology update: his testicle has already almost fully descended on its own. The doctor said they don't usually make any surgical decisions until the baby is 1 year old and we have every reason to believe the situation will have fully resolved itself by then- which is good since the very mention of "surgery" and "testicle" in the same sentence makes Landon's dad and grandpa look faint.

GI update: he's staying on the Prevacid and we may be in for another formula change. The doctor felt that he definitely had a severe case of acid reflux and that Prevacid was the right medication for him (it's stronger than Zantac). He has improved over the past few days- no more screaming fits while eating- which means that not only is the stomach acid production down, but his esophagus has been able to heal. She warned us that reflux usually gets worse at around 4-5 months before it gets better at 6 months, so he may need a medicine adjustment at that time. While his esophagus is better, his tummy is still unhappy. The switch to Alimentum has nearly eliminated his gas pains but added diarrhea. If he's not doing better on Monday (which is his 2-month check-up, complete with lots of shots- poor kid), we're switching to Nutramigen. It's also hypoallergenic, but it lacks a protein contained in Alimentum which sometimes gives babies trouble. Apparently Nutramigen doesn't taste as good (our gastroenterologist was an expert in the baby palate- she ranked all the reflux medication and formula by taste), but Landon hasn't seemed picky so far. If that switch doesn't work, we have to try to the crazy "scientifically created in a lab" formula that makes Alimentum look cheap and Nutramigen taste good. Ugh.

In other news, my dad flies in today to see Landon for the first time- he's very excited and plans to teach his grandson how to fish in Lake Michigan. We also finally broke down and ordered the Fisher Price cradle swing, and I'm so glad we did. It's amazing. He was crying about an hour ago, so I stuck him in there and turned it on- he immediately stopped crying, got his suspicious look on his face, and within three minutes was fast asleep. Every now and then one eye pops open- I don't think he's actually tired- but after a few seconds he once again succumbs to the soothing rocking motion. I have a feeling he'll be spending a lot of time in there.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yay!

And now a nice superficial post to balance out the deeper one from this morning.

Today was the first time I attempted to wear a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans-- and they fit! True they're not my smallest pair, but they are jeans with a non-elasticized waist, a zipper, and a button. The little act of fastening that button pretty much made my day. Landon has been a big help in losing my pregnancy weight: when he was in the NICU I had time to make food, but no desire to eat it, and now that his very vocal desire to be held overrides my desire to eat, and so I have no time to make anything.

Remembering

Six years ago today I had just started my freshman year at U.T. I was sitting in my cell biology class waiting for the professor to arrive, when someone said they heard a plane had hit a building in New York. Like everyone, I assumed it was something small- an errant pilot- and continued to worry about how I was ever going to memorize all this new information for our first test. Class ran from 9-9:50am CST and I returned to my dorm to find every television in the lobby turned on to CNN. I ran up to my room, turned on our little TV, and sat in stunned silence with tears running down my face while I caught up on all the that had happened while I had fretted about the Krebb cycle.

My thoughts are no more profound today than they were then. I didn't know anyone in New York at the time, so I wasn't personally affected- and yet I was personally affected. I suppose we all were. The endless images of planes hitting the building, the buildings falling, rescue workers running in amid the smoke and rubble continue to haunt me. MSNBC is re-airing their 9/11 footage today and I sat feeding Landon this morning with tears running down my face again. He'll never know a pre-9/11 world. A world where we could meet our family and friends as soon as they got off their planes at the airport, where we didn't feel the threat of a terrorist attack looming anytime we're in a tall building or densely populated area, where the US felt safe and isolated from all the problems you heard on the world news. I mourn the loss of our innocence as a country.

One of the things I remember most about that day, and the days that followed, was that I had never felt more pride as an American. The rescue workers running up to the buildings, fellow citizens standing in line to give blood- wanting to do anything to help, and the general coming together of the entire country are what stand out in my memory. Since then the event has been politicized, memorialized, and used as motivation for things I don't agree with- but on that day, everyone was standing together.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Emergency Room Transformation

Judging from the constant screaming, yesterday was the worst day of Landon's 7-week long life. It was also my worst day as a parent. He woke up at 7:30am and shrieked continually until 6pm when I finally took him to the emergency room. Every time he took a suck on the bottle he would start screaming. He would scream until he exhausted himself, take a 10 minute nap, and then wake up screaming again. His back was constantly arched, his body stiff, and his face red. He didn't take any real naps and only drank about 4 ounces of his formula. He also had diarrhea. It was horrible. I talked to the pediatrician twice and she finally told us to go in and have him checked. I loaded him in the car, called JP and told him to meet us there, and headed to the University of Chicago children's hospital. He screamed the whole car ride there, but the moment we crossed the threshold into the ER he stopped- he looked around, he babbled, he freaking smiled at me. He sat with a contented expression while I signed him in and explained his "condition" to the triage nurse. We were taken to an exam room where Landon happily chugged down a 4 ounce bottle and thoroughly charmed his doctor. He was declared in fine health and I think everyone thought I was crazy. Even JP, who heard Landon screaming through the phone each time he called to check on us, was looking doubtful. We left the ER after about 2 hours and were told to continue with the new formula and medication and that it often takes about 48 hours for the body to mount a reaction and adjust to it. Landon resumed screaming on the car ride home and back at the apartment, but luckily fell asleep exhausted at about 11pm. We still have our appointment with the pediatric GI specialist on Thursday- the reflux continues to cause tears at each feeding.

So first I wrote off all his crying as colic and fussiness and it turned out he had a painful case of GERD. Yesterday I acted on all the screaming and the doctors said he was fine. This kid is making a mockery of my mothering skills.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I'm Employed!

I have accepted my offer with the corporate department of Austin Firm. In September of 2008 I'll be a full-time worker for the first time in my life and I'm really looking forward to it! I loved my summer experience at the Firm and I feel like it's a place where I can successfully have a family and be a lawyer. Yes, it will be difficult and some sacrifices will be made along the way, but most of the attorneys there are happily balancing the two. It's such a nice group of people. I received so many congratulatory and then concerned emails after Landon was born- and when a friend of mine had a callback there last week, everyone asked about Landon and I. It's also BigLaw and prestigious and whatnot, but really it's the people that sold me.

I never, ever would have thought I'd be a corporate lawyer. When I came to law school I thought I wanted to teach. But once I figured out that you have to be a legal genius and enjoy things like research and law review, I ditched that plan and had no idea what I would do with my JD. I didn't think I liked litigation and I'd never had a business class or any interest in business related things. My dad has an MBA and my husband has a degree in Finance and nothing they talked about had ever sounded interesting to me. During 1L the only class that I loved was property- I hated contracts, civ pro, and crim. Torts was acceptable only because most of the cases were so ridiculous they were funny. That summer I worked for the litigation group at Chicago Firm and found that while I didn't hate memos as much as I thought, I didn't like them either, and the thought of endlessly researching case law and writing documents for a case that would ultimately settle made me depressed. It's not that litigation is adversarial- in fact, most of them time you're kind of working on your own (at least as an associate), it's that so much of it seemed pointless. Yes, your amazing brief may have convinced the other side to settle, but I felt like a lot of the work and research was wasted. I also despised civil procedure and all the bluebooking and rules that come along with memos and briefs. So, I started 2L really hoping that I'd like my corporations class.

And I loved it. Corporations Law and Securities Regulation are the two most enjoyable classes I've taken since genetics in college. I found the topic genuinely interesting- I even started reading the Wall Street Journal and listening when JP and my dad talked about business. I have no idea why I enjoyed the SEC regs so much more than the civil procedure ones, but I did. I love the freedom and creativity involved with corporate law- you can do pretty much anything you want as long as you disclose it. Transactions are started and finished within weeks and months rather than years. You're creating something or making something happen rather than fighting claims or perceived wrongs. My corporate work this summer confirmed my initial thoughts- this is definitely the area of law for me. I like minutia and repetition and document review didn't bother me. I felt like the corporate associates had more client contact- when you're working with small companies (common in Austin, even for a big firm), you really become that CEO or president's legal counselor in areas beyond a certain deal. Of course there's parts of being a corporate lawyer that aren't good- the fact that transactions can be started and finished within 30 days means that you're schedule is unpredictable and clients can be demanding, but there's drawbacks to every area. I spoke with a young corporate associate at the firm who just had her second child (she had her first between 2L and 3L). She said that when she was a (very pregnant) summer associate several attorneys encouraged her to look at health law or other regulatory areas because they were more predictable and family-friendly. She said she tried them, but didn't enjoy them, and decided that as long as she was going to work and be away from her children for X number of hours a day, she might as well love what she's doing. And if loving what you're doing means you work X+1 hours, then it's worth it because you'd be gone for the bulk of those hours working at any job- but this way, it's more worth that sacrifice. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it really spoke to me at the time. Corporate law is also more in demand for in-house positions, and that's something I'm definitely interested in down the line.

So I'm excited about what the next few years will bring. I feel lucky to have found a firm (and a city) that I can be this positive about. Several of the attorneys had babies in law school, so I'm not doing anything ground breaking by starting work with a toddler. In Austin we can buy a house, get a dog, raise a family, and work at jobs we enjoy. It won't be perfect, but I think it's going to be pretty darn good.

Magic Powder

The Alimentum formula has changed our life in 24 hours. It may cost as much as crack and we may have to take out additional law school loans to pay for it, but Landon is a whole new baby. After his first bottle of the magical, unbelievably foul-smelling liquid he took a solid 3 hour nap. He hasn't taken a nap for longer than 45 minutes during the day in weeks- usually he's writhing and screaming and fussy off and on all day. I got so much done! I almost had time to be bored again! Then last night he slept for FOUR hours between feedings. It was glorious. He drank his bottle with near ease- only a few instances of arching his back and crying (he still has the reflux)- and then went right back to sleep. I never would have thought that four hours of sleep would seem like such a luxury. When I woke up at 2:30am and realized we hadn't heard a peep from him in 3.5 hours, I immediately thought he must have stopped breathing and ran into his room to check on him. He looked like a little cherub in his crib- a pink, breathing, and peaceful cherub. And he's so much happier! He's all smiley and babbling and adorable- and a happier baby makes for much happier parents.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tummy Trouble Update

I was in high hopes after our appointment on Friday, but the Zantac has had absolutely no effect. Landon still has screaming fits during the day and continues to wake up every 2 hours at night to treat us to more screaming. I feel terrible for him and am starting to feel rather sorry for myself. We went back to the pediatrician today and she switched him to Pepcid and put him on hypoallergenic formula (Similac Allimentum). It's insanely expensive at about 2.5x what regular formula costs, but the proteins are already broken down so it's impossible to have any kind of negative reaction to it. She said we should see significant improvement within 48 hours. We also have an appointment with a pediatric GI specialist next week, but if he improves enough over the weekend we can cancel it. Next week also contains his pediatric urology appointment to hunt for his left testicle that's MIA. The poor guy- so many doctors, so much poking and prodding. Thank God for good health insurance. Our bills from the delivery and NICU have totaled over $35,000 and I'm sure these pediatric appointments and specialist consults aren't cheap either. We paid our family deductible earlier in the year thanks to all my check-ups, so we haven't had to pay a penny toward medical costs since June.

His weight is up to 11 lb. 8 oz., so physically he's capable of drinking 6 ounces at once and sleeping through a good portion of the night. Hopefully once his tummy troubles are under control he'll start working his way up to that. Waking up every 2 hours is killing us. It takes him over an hour to drink some of his bottle, scream a lot, and then settle back down, so we end up with about 45 minutes of sleep between wakings. Even with trading off, it adds up to very little rest. My classes start in 19 days and I can't imagine reading a case book right now.

With any luck, he'll be feeling much better soon and I can start writing about legal things- like the fact that I've accepted an offer, am registering for classes, and will be a 3L. At some point this blog will remember that it's a "blawg" and is supposed to be written by a mom who is also a law student :)

This Is The Life

Chilling on the boat

Monday, September 3, 2007

September 3rd

We just got back from a very impromptu trip to my grandparent's lake house in Wisconsin. At 12:30 on Saturday I realized we had beautiful weather and no plans for Labor Day Weekend. I called my grandparents and asked what they were doing for the next 2 days- they said to come on up! We threw Landon, his many accessories, and a few things for us into my car and drove the 8 hours to their beautiful cabin. It was a fantastic first vacation for Landon. Two nights is just enough to get away without having to pack too much and his great-grandparents thought he was absolutely perfect even with his 4am screaming fits (the Zantac takes 7-10 days to really help him). The weather was perfect, the food delicious, and the company delightful. I think Landon enjoyed all the fresh air and he loved the pontoon boat rides around the lake.

Today is also JP and my 2nd wedding anniversary. Our first date was six years ago yesterday. Who would have thought that the incredibly drunk junior who got kicked out of a bar the same time I did for underage drinking on my first day of college at U.T. would be my amazing husband and loving father to my child less than six years later??