Thursday, November 29, 2007

Le Baptism

Because I can't really focus on International Law while waiting for our lawyer to call with the results of the DCFS expert determination, I thought I'd post a picture of the baptismal outfit. As I wrote earlier, we weren't sure we'd be able to fly to Houston, so I never bought anything for the baptism. Landon was supposed to wear JP's baptismal suit, but his head and belly were too big. His godmother offered to buy him one and this was the adorable result:

He also had white knee socks and little white sneakers, but all the pictures on Sunday feature JP and I too prominently to post them. This picture was taken Wednesday when he was modeling the different options. Thank goodness he seems to really like having clothes put on him- there was a lot of pulling stuff over the head going on that day!

The baptism itself was really wonderful. It was performed by the same Pastor who baptized a few of my cousins, confirmed me and my siblings, and married JP and I. Landon was perfect during the church service right up to the point we had to come up to the front for the ceremony. He then decided he was starving and proceeded to tell the entire congregation about it. Luckily, the water that was eventually poured over the top of his head distracted him from his hunger and he gave everyone a giant smile. He's totally going to be a swimmer- he loves water. He listened carefully to the children's message (we were in the front pew, so he was able to see all the little kids up close- he was probably relieved to discover he wasn't the only mini person in the world) and never made a peep during the sermon.

I realized how much I've missed my old church. We've been bad about finding one here in Chicago. This is partly because I was spoiled by my amazing church back home which my family has attended since it was founded in the commons area of a local middle school. It's Lutheran, but a very contemporary Lutheran (the church "band" has electric guitars and a drummer) and I haven't found anything that fits me nearly as well. The other reason (or excuse) is that 1L was so demanding I didn't really have time and now we're just in the habit of sleeping in on Sunday morning. JP grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school until college. He's not particularly religious, so he's fine with us not being Catholic or raising our kids in the Catholic church, but he's also not going to be the one out finding an alternative. Once we get to Austin I really want to try harder to find a church home. I think it's important for kids and I miss it for myself. Some of my best friends today were in my Sunday School classes back in elementary school and I loved the Sunday morning church routine growing up (if we got up for the 8am service, that routine involved donuts). Beyond the spiritual aspect, it's also just the best way to meet other young families and offers an amazing support system for whatever life throws at you. And life can throw some pretty crazy stuff.

Exams, Round 7

Yesterday was the last class of my last Fall quarter. I'm a little sad- I feel like I've completely missed it. I'm only in two classes, one of which is a seminar where our final is to be treated by our professor to brunch at The Peninsula hotel tomorrow. So I'm not too worried about that one. My other class, International Law, has a real final in 8 days. I haven't read for this class since October 3rd, the night before all this drama started. I did make myself attend, so I have pretty good notes- even if I have no idea what they mean. For the first time this quarter I am in the library. I'm surrounded by my casebook, course packet, printed-out class notes, laptop, and a big cup of tea. I am ready to begin acting like a real law student and trying to care about this exam.

And the person in the library carrel next to me is snoring. Rather loudly. If this was JP at night I'd be hitting him in the arm, ordering him to wake up, informing him of the offensive snoring, and then making him roll over. (Yes, I could just make him roll over without the waking, but I feel he should be aware that I'm not sleeping). However, I don't know this person, so I'm pretty sure I can't hit him in the arm. Argh! Snoring has got to be one of the most grating noises in the world. Maybe I'll take an early lunch and when I return, he'll be up from his nap.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I adore margaritas. Actually, I adore tequila, and margaritas are a convenient way of delivering it. JP's birthday was largely overshadowed by the fact that we had just gotten Landon home from the shelter and were terrified of what else DCFS may do to us. Our lives may still be in DCFS's oh so incompetent hands, but my parents sent JP and I out for a belated birthday celebration tonight while they babysat. We went to a very delicious Mexican place where our bar bill far exceeded our food bill- in the words of my grandpa, "that's a successful evening out!". JP and I were able to dress up, drink, flirt, eat, talk, and drink a little more. And because you can't go anywhere in my hometown without running into at least 3 people you know, I ran into seven at the restaurant. It was wonderful to see familiar, caring, and supportive faces. It was a great night for us.

The day was good too. Mom and I left the boys at home and went shopping. We had a terribly successful Marshalls trip- terrible as in, we found way too many "so perfect I had to buy them" items. I found not one, but two, dresses to wear on Sunday, a gorgeous pair of black leather boots that mom bought me as a Christmas present, a super cute sweater, and a pair of black pinstriped capris that I can wear to work (my new test for whether or not I can buy a new piece of clothing: can I wear it to work?). The marvelous thing about Marshalls is the capris were Limited, fit perfectly, and only cost $14.99. The two dresses were over $100 regular price, around $60 Marshall's price, and on clearance for less than $40. I love that store. Someday when I'm a lawyer and not a student living off loans, I wonder if I'll stop shopping at places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross. I kind of hope not- I get beautiful clothes for amazing prices. But shopping there takes time and patience- two things I may have in short supply as a BigLaw working mom. We'll see. I hope I never think $200 is an acceptable amount to spend on a single piece of clothing. Landon's godmother brought over an adorable Christening outfit complete with white knee socks and shoes, so we're all set for Sunday. Our family portraits turned out great yesterday. We spent way too much- they must love the new parents that come in with their babies. The little guy totally hammed it up for the camera. He finds flashes hilarious, so there were some good smiles.

Well, I think I've managed to type a coherent blog post after drinking two giant top shelf margaritas and while watching Die Hard 4. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Our flight was delayed by three hours, Landon didn't sleep At All, and we ended up with nine pieces of luggage (not counting Landon himself), but we're here! While the little guy did not have any interest in sleeping at the airport or on the plane, he behaved pretty well. We had two seats in the bulkhead and the woman next to me was very nice about Landon occasionally squirming his way into her personal space. It was about a million degrees on the plane, which made having a furnace of a baby in your lap for over 2 hours all that much more fun, but we survived. Landon cried a few times, but there were other kids making more noise than him so I don't think we weren't the most hated parents on the trip. He's now asleep upstairs with my old monitor beside him. I'm pretty sure that chunky old Fisher Price model one works better than the fancy one JP and I have now.

It's so nice being home. We moved to this house from L.A. in 1988 a few weeks before my little brother was born. I was 5 and almost all my memories were made here. It will be devastating when my parents move someday. Getting married, moving across the country, and starting my own family haven't changed the wonderful feeling of "coming home" that I get when we pull in the driveway.

Texas Bound

I don't think I've ever looked forward to heading down to Texas more. It's like a sanctuary from our DCFS-ridden lives in Chicago. I was up late last night packing- it's a whole new ballgame now that we have Landon along for the trip. There's bottles, wash cloths, bibs, blanket, toys, and clothes to think about. His outfit selection process was much more involved than my own. He has so many cute things and we're planning to have family portraits done tomorrow morning at a place recommended by a commenter, so I had to figure out our casual and holiday ensembles. Very tricky- you want to blend together without being too matchy-matchy. JP couldn't understand the dilemma and suggested outfits that would have clashed horribly. Packing for me is always tough because I have way too many shoes, necklaces, earrings, etc. It's very hard to only pack one pair of black heels for 4 different outfits when I have others that would be even more perfect for certain tops, but I sacrificed for the suitcase space. Another layer of difficulty was added by my lack of a baptism outfit. Mom and I looked as hard as we could, but it's impossible to find a young-looking, church appropriate dress right now. It's either holiday cocktail dresses or super matronly shapeless ones. I'm 24, not the grandmother of the bride. So we're going to look in Texas- but this means I need to bring a few extra pairs of shoes and some jewelry just in case I find something that doesn't match the shoes I brought. Do you see the challenge?!

Anyway, all that is left to do is arrange our carry-ons. Our carry-on list includes: Landon, his gate-checked car seat and stroller, my purse, his diaper bag, and another bag with my laptop, JP's magazines, Landon's extra clothes, and extra tops for JP and I. It almost seemed excessive until I realized that if Landon were to spit up or have an explosive diaper, the ejected materials would be all over us and we (and whoever gets stuck next to us) will be very grateful for the change of clothing. I'm hoping Landon will sleep on the plane, but he's been doing this thing where he screams and cries right before falling asleep. I'm sure the other passengers could do without that little routine (as could we). Oh, well, we'll do our best. We have the bulkhead, it's only a 2.5 hour flight, and Landon is so cute maybe people won't send too many evil glares our way.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Baby Milestone: Starting Solids!

Tonight was the night to attempt spoon feeding with rice cereal.
Landon was ready to go.

He took to it better than expected.

Mmmmm tasty!

Everyday Things

I keep writing about the investigation- and it's definitely the biggest thing in our lives- but there's so many every day things that are missing in my posts. So I'm going to ignore the whole "my child was taken by DCFS and we still don't know what's happening with our case" thing and share a few of the more superficial but happy things that I would have been blogging about during the past month and a half.

Like despite the fact that the gym regime I started on Sept 24th came to a screeching halt on October 4th, I fit into my smallest pre-pregnancy jeans (that didn't actually fit before I was pregnant) about a month ago. Very exciting. My stomach is still not the same, but the 4's fit and I'm quite happy about that. I can finally reclaim my wardrobe- which all feels very new after not wearing it for a year.

JP got an interview for UT's MBA program- even more exciting! He's meeting with an alum in Chicago for the interview and then we're hoping to hear back from the school before the end of the year. The application process was very stressful (applying to b-school is way more involved than law school where you can send the same personal statement and rec letters to everyone) and we're all hoping to get good news soon.

Landon just rolled over this morning- and he did it in both directions! The pediatrician gave us a soft scolding for not giving him more tummy time. With all the doting visitors we've had staying with us lately, he's been held 90% of the day. We're supposed to encourage a little more independent time. Mom put him on his tummy this morning and he just flipped himself over! He looked quite surprised by the new view and then gave me a big smile. He's such a cutie.

We've called the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania to get a second opinion for him. The unexplained rib fractures, cyst on his eyebrow, reflux, prematurity, breathing trouble, etc. all make it seem like something else could be going on. Our pediatrician said, "I just can't shake the feeling that we're missing something with him." I think it will be good to have an entirely new doctor (who is one of the best in the US for pediatric bone disease) review his medical records and examine him. We'll be in DC for a few days in December for JP's holiday party, so Landon and I can head over to Philadelphia during JP's day of meetings. One of the many reasons I want this investigation to end (I know, I said I wouldn't talk about it in this post) is so that we can finally put all our emotional, physical, and financial resources into figuring out what's going on with Landon rather than defending ourselves. OK, back to superficial...

Mom, Landon, and I are about to go downtown for some shopping. We need to get Landon a baptismal outfit (he's being baptized the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the church JP and I got married in) and a dress for his mommy to wear. I had previously been afraid to shop in case we weren't allowed to go and now there isn't much time. Landon was supposed to wear JP's baptismal outfit, but his head is so big we couldn't get it on. I don't think there would have been room for The Belly either. Too bad because JP's little white suit was adorable and had obvious sentimental value. Oh well, just gives me an excuse to buy him something new. I love shopping for baby clothes- they're so inexpensive compared to big people clothes, I don't have to try them on, and he doesn't protest my selections like his dad does. Such an agreeable fellow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

4 Months!

Landon is 4 months old today. Mom (new Safety Person, she flew in this morning before dad flew out) and I took Landon to the pediatrician for his check-up. He received 4 shots, which made him Very Angry, and some new stats:
  • Length: 24.5 inches, 25th percentile
  • Weight: 15.5 lbs, 50th percentile
  • Head: can't remember the measurement, 75th percentile
So we have a short, slightly pudgy baby with a large head. The perfect proportions for cuteness! I love that his head waited until after he was born to move up percentiles. At delivery it was only in the 25th percentile (thank god), but now, I'm sure due to JP reading Landon the Economist and Newsweek each night, it's gone way up!

Landon seemed to be retracting a little when he breathed laying down so the pediatrician gave us a prescription for an inhaler. She said to wait to fill it if he starts coughing along with the retracting, but labored breathing is why he was in the NICU so it's definitely something she wants us to keep an eye on. In other prescription news, we're going to try a few days without the reflux medications. I've forgotten his Prevacid the last two days and he's done well (he still drinks formula thickened with rice, and that was the change that helped him the most). The doctor said that reflux often starts resolving itself around 4 months, so it's a good time to test how much he needs the meds. We also got some more proof that Landon is a medical mystery in a very cute package. He has had a bump on his eyebrow bone for about three months. At first it was quite small, firm, and not at all tender, so we just thought it was a little cyst that would resolve itself. The pediatrician didn't even notice it at his 2-month check-up and I forgot to ask. (I did ask about it several times in the hospital, but since it was unrelated to the alleged child-abuse injuries, no one was interested in solving the problem.) The bump must have gotten bigger because she noticed it immediately this time and was somewhat concerned. She is going to refer us to a plastic surgeon to have it removed (more hospital time for the little guy) and then sent to pathology. I don't think she thinks it's serious, but she definitely wants it out- soon.

Solids (well, semi-solids) are going to be a new addition to Landon's life. He adjusted fine to the thickened formula, so rice cereal shouldn't be a problem for his tummy. Eating it off a spoon may be a challenge, but it should be good for a few pictures. He did great during the whole check-up and was very flirty with his doctor. He now loves being naked and gives you big smiles the whole time his clothes are off- I think his giant belly likes to be free. The pediatrician was dismayed, though not surprised, to hear we are still in the midst of this investigation (update on that coming tomorrow- no real news, just more frustration). It's been a crazy four months- parenthood has definitely taken me in directions I never previously imagined- but Landon is the light of our lives and hopefully this dark cloud will pass soon(ish).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tagging After All

After saying I wasn't going to tag people on the "7 Things" meme, I've decided to do so after all. Being tagged makes me feel special, so if the request to fill out the meme makes you feel anything other than that, please disregard it.

First, a few of the many new blogs I've found through the comments on my Nightmare posts:

1. Nini at Dear Diary, to distract her while researching renter's rights
2. Denora, because she already took the initiative
3. Someone Being Me, because it turns out we share a baptismal link
4. el-e-e, to help her out during NaBloPoMo

And a few people I've read for a long time:

5. Magic Cookie, because she's having blogger's block and maybe this will help
6. Citations, because I always enjoy what she writes
7. Transmogriflaw, because she was the first blog I ever read and her archives helped me survive two quarters of crim law

So, enjoy! I found it surprisingly difficult to think of 7 random things about myself- although, I just thought of a #8, which I'll put down as a bonus since I didn't follow the meme properly the first time around.

8. I always pronounce "photographer" "photo-grapher" in my head (and occasionally out loud). It's a complete mental block and no amount of knowing the correct way to say the word fixes the problem. Because I was a fast reader as a kid, I read far beyond my actual grade level. This meant I was introduced to words in books long before I was introduced to them in speech- there are many, many words I said wrong in my head for years before learning the proper pronunciation. Photographer just seems to be the only one I can't mentally correct.

Monday, November 12, 2007

7 Things

Elizabeth and Moo tagged me and I can't think of anything to write except what you've already heard 100 times before: I hate being in limbo, I hate what's happened to our little family, and I hate that I don't even feel enough emotion to be upset about it. So, how about 7 Things?

Here's the meme info:
- Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
- Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. 7 is my favorite number and 21 is my second favorite number. For some reason I have always loved the fact that 3 x 7 = 21. It just seemed like a surprising multiplication fact when I learned it.

2. I am an obsessive researcher. It now makes me uncomfortable to have to go to a restaurant before I can look up the reviews and menu online. I hate it when hotel websites don't have pictures of the rooms. I wonder what it was like when you couldn't learn every detail about destination before you went- I don't think I'd like it.

3. I adore lists. I frequently do something and then write it down just so I can cross it off. I bought a palm pilot when they first came out, but I abandoned it after a few weeks- checking a box just wasn't as satisfying as crossing something off. On a related note, I also get great pleasure from crossing out a day when it's over and this is why I still use a planner instead of Outlook or Google calendar.

4. I was the fastest woman ever to swim across the Hudson River in 2000. I was a senior in high school and flew to New York with my best friend to swim the "Race for MS" across a 3-mile section of the Hudson. It was freezing, long, and a little scary (although I did have a kayaker next to me). I placed third overall, first for the women, and broke the previous record. I was interviewed by Meredith Viera and I think I was on TV somewhere. The day after the race my friend and I toured NYC. I still have my ticket for the top of the World Trade Center- it was Sept 11, 2000.

5. I grew up taking camping trips with my family and definitely want to do the same with my kids. It's the best kind of family time and a wonderful way to see the country.

6. Because of the camping, we almost never flew in airplanes or stayed in hotels. Now, even after years of frequent flying, I still get excited to fly on a plane and dress up for the ride. I feel the same way about hotels.

7. I am terrified of moths and have no idea why. I've had nightmares where one landed on me while I was sleeping and I spend the whole night tensed and too scared to move. I wake up sore and realize there was never a moth in the room at all.

This was a hard meme, it's must easier to answer questions. It took me two days to think of 7 things to write about myself- odd since I post nearly every day and the posts are filled with things about me. I don't think I'll tag anyone specifically, but if you want to do it- or you need to distraction from law school and/or life- please do!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Couldn't Help It

I know I've already posted pictures, but this one makes me laugh every time I look at it. A lobster clutching a blankey and eating his own leg- it kills me. I want to drive home, scoop him up, and hug him tight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


The MPRE was not good.

Last night was not good either. At 10:30pm I panicked about my lack of a passport sized photo. I printed out my firm mug shot from the summer, but then I noticed the admission ticket said: "photocopies of photographs will not be accepted." Well, what does that mean?! It's not a copy, it's color, and it's clear, but it's not glossy. I decided if I was going to drag my ass out of bed in the morning I was not going to be turned away because of my lack of a glossy picture. I googled "MPRE photo" and a post from Ms. JD came to the rescue. It pointed me to a site called where you upload a picture of yourself and the site creates a 4x6 picture with six 2x2 inch passport photos. You can download the image, send it to, and pick it up 1 hour later for 21 cents. So I got home from Walgreens around 11 and decided I needed to read all 150 pages of the bar/bri MPRE book. I finished that around 1:30am. Landon woke up a little after 2 and then every few hours after that. Luckily JP got up with him, but in a 2-bedroom apartment, we're all up with him in spirit. When my alarm went off this morning I don't think I've ever felt so tired. I took the el downtown, read my outline on the way, and sat down at my desk ready to consider this a practice for the March exam.

And I think it might have been. It's not that the test is hard, it's just bad. There were so many questions where I could have written in the rule of professional conduct that governed the fact pattern, but none of the choices seemed to fit. In at least 40 of the 60 questions I narrowed it down to 2 (and sometimes even 3) answers that I absolutely could not choose between- and sometimes they were very different answers. My multiple choice testing skills were useless. I actually counted up all the A's, B's, C's, and D's at the end and tried to even things out a little with the few I just couldn't pick answers for. I was so exhausted I got up twice just to walk around and run my hands under cold water. "Bleah" pretty well sums up the experience.

So we'll see. It's quite possible that I passed and it's quite possible that I didn't- it depends how many I guessed right after narrowing it down. I did laugh when I heard someone checking in to the test before me say to his friend, "Dude, you have no idea how tired I am." No, you really don't.

Friday, November 2, 2007

MPRE madness

The MPRE is in 12 hours. I have a screaming, teething baby and a bit of stress in my life due to a month-long, emotionally exhausting child abuse investigation.

I was never particularly worried about the MPRE, but it does seem like even the biggest slacker manages to read through an outline. Right now, I still have not read the outline or done a practice exam. I couldn't sleep last night (or really any night since Oct. 4th) and I just want to take a bath and go to bed. I know Landon will be up multiple times tonight because of his teeth- and his general refusal to go more than 4 hours without wanting to party with everyone in the apartment- so I hope I can force myself out of bed in time for the exam. Attendance rather than preparedness seems to be my goal for tomorrow.

I really hope I pass. I liked the comment on the last post about how the second most ethical answer is always the right one on the MPRE. I think I'll put that theory to the test.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Landon the Lobster

I haven't been able to go through all the pictures, but I had to post a few:

Making a lobster look this adorable is exhausting.