Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Farewell September

Fall, and especially early Fall, is my favorite season. Even when I was little, I loved this time of year even though most kids favored the Summer. I looked forward to school starting (Yes, I admit I am a nerdy dork) and getting to buy new school supplies, and new school shoes and starting a new year. In college, Fall was the time for great Notre Dame football Saturdays. Saint Mary's had so many trees and with the leaves changing and the cool, crisp air, it was such a beautiful time on campus.

Early Fall days with blue skies and big puffy clouds, sunshine but moderate temperatures and low humidity. Leaves starting to turn colors. That's Fall perfection. This September was an exceptionally good one in Western Pa. Lots of great days and minimal rainy ones.

A Fashion Don't

Pittsburgh Dress Shirt*

1. an athletic team jersey worn during non-sporting events in and around Pittsburgh, usually a Steelers jersey (can also be a Penguins jersey, and rarely, if ever, a Pirate jersey).
2. a man's sports team jersey, with player name and number on the back, worn for all occasions: casual, business casual, semi-formal and formal.

Men typically wear the Pittsburgh Dress Shirt out to bars/clubs in the Southside or the Strip District. However, I have, with my own eyes, seen a Pittsburgh dress shirt at a wedding reception!!! The look is usually made complete by sporting a mullet. (a style that remains popular with "Yinzers").

Is this a "Burgh thing" or do people in all major sports town follow this trend?
*ETA: I have to give credit to Rob for coining this phrase/new noun.

The Great Debate...

Bobby has recently started watching a few shows on Noggin. I'm not against t.v. completely, I just think he should be limited to a few appropriate shows. I don't want him plopped in front of a t.v. all day...anywho--
He has started to watch "Blue's Clues", which I think is a fun show and totally approve of. Now, there are 2 versions. The "Steve" episodes and the "Joe" episodes. Of course Steve was the original but I do find myself liking Joe more and more. Forget Obama-McCain. Where do you stand on the great Steve-Joe debate?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Assault and Battery on my olfactory nerves??

A West Virginia man has been charged with Battery after farting near a police officer. As the officer prepared a breathalyzer machine, the "alleged windbag" lifted his leg and loudly passed gas, then fanned the gas toward the cop.

A certain someone in my life does this move to me-He waves the gaseous emissions with his hand to waft the odors toward me. I have been dutch-ovened. I have woken up shrieking, "Our room smells like a toilet!"

I have to go consult with my attorneys--I think I have a claim here...


Is it 2008 or 1808?

There was a "Wild West" Shootout in Pittsburgh yesterday. Seriously.
It was reported that a gunman was walking down the street looking for someone when he "just started shooting aimlessly from behind his back." Nice, huh? But wait, it gets worse...

Eventually, the gunman found who he was looking for and the shootout began. Of course, neither of the shooters were hit with any bullets, just 3 innocent bystanders in the neighborhood. A grandmother, sitting on her porch, was critically wounded with a bullet in the head.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's a Pleonasm?

Reading my last entry, I've been contemplating the term, "working mother." Is there any other kind? Mothers everywhere work. Sure, some of us leave our homes everyday and go to "work" in an office, school, factory, etc. (either because we want to or because we're up to our eyeballs in student loans, like me!). Others may be lucky enough or so inclined so as to stay home with the kids--but every mother "works" regardless.

I work as a lawyer by day, but I'm a mom 24/7. Whether I'm in my living room, at my office, or in a courtroom, I'm a mom. Juggling the day-to-day and trying to keep balance in my life and the life of my family.

Working Mother. It seems redundant to me. It's sort of like saying, "I'm going to an afternoon matinee." By its very definition a matinee is in the afternoon. Likewise, a mother is always working. The former teacher in me had to learn the correct grammatical term for such a redundant statement--

It's the opposite of an oxymoron--it's a Pleonasm defined as:
1. the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
2. an instance of this, as free gift or true fact, wet water
3.a redundant word or expression.

Here's to MOTHERS!! We are ALL working our butts off!!*

*well, not literally, I think mine has gotten bigger with motherhood!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green-Eyed Monster...

I was recently reading "Working Mother" magazine and their article on the 2007 100 Best Companies. I know I should have been psyched to read about these great companies with their lactation rooms, daycare, 12-18 (yes 18!) weeks PAID maternity leave, flextime schedules, paternity leave, and other great perks and programs for working moms and families. Instead, I found myself just bitter and resentful that I didn't work for one of these companies and instead had to deal with arrogant, egotistical men when I was pregnant and especially after I returned from maternity leave. Hopefully my EEOC claim will be sweet vindication for the garbage and harassment I put up with...and at least I'm now working with decent family-oriented people (men included) who appreciate the fact that I'm a mom!

The wonderful thing about Tiggers...

CMU had a memorial last night in honor of Randy Pausch. I think his message of being a "Tigger" rather than an "Eeyore" is sinking in.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Small Town U.S.A.

I had to go into Pittsburgh today for a proceeding in Federal Court. It truly made me appreciate the fact that I'm now at a small firm in Beaver, PA. I used to work in the U.S. Steel Tower in Pittsburgh, and I had an awful rush-hour commute each day--and that was even taking public transportation. Parking in the Steel Tower is $22/day.

Beaver has a population of roughly 4,700. On the main street there are no fast food restaurants (but we did just get a Starbucks) and the streets are lined with mom and pop specialty stores. Outside my office I have not one, but two parks. I see squirrels running on the tree branches, kids playing in the park. I do not see any pigeons, traffic, or litter.

I work in "Mayberry". I hope my visits to "Mount Pilot" are few and far between.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live and Learn

Here's our lesson for today:

(Carrying + Lifting) X 30lb. 15month old / Sitting (at work + in a car) = LOW BACK PAIN

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Bobby had his first trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium yesterday. (I am determined to make him an animal-lover like me!!) In spite of the near record heat and almost unbearable humidity, it was a great day. He's still too young to enjoy all the animals (a lot of them were sleeping and/or not moving due to the heat/humidity) but he really seemed to enjoy the Elephants (aka the "Dumbos") and the sea life in the aquarium. One of the new experiences is the "Water's Edge" exhibit where the polar bears and sea otters are. There is a tunnel part that allows you to go under the water and see the Polar Bears in the water. The Zoo website describes it as follows:

"The new Underwater Polar Bear Tunnel is one of the most exciting features of Water’s Edge. Experience the thrill of seeing an 800-pound polar bear diving into the water above your head. You can hear the thunderous impact and almost feel the vibration of the waves as he swims overhead or dives beside you for a look.
Experience Water's Edge, you'll be glad you did! "

We got to the tunnel part, and the polar bear was nowhere near the water. Then we read the sign that the polar bears spend only about 10% of their day in the water. We figured that our chances of timing it so we were there during any portion of that 10% was slim to none. However, given that the tunnel area was air-conditioned, no harm in waiting for a bit.

Lucky for us, the Bear's toy fell into the water. We saw him approach the water's edge...then turn away. Then he came back...the anticipation was killing us, until finally

*SPLASH* that magnificent animal dove right in, practically on top of my niece, Aislinn's head. We all cheered and clapped--even Bobby!
Here's some of what we saw:

Things that make you go hmmmm...

I went to a "girls night" party on Saturday to celebrate my friend's upcoming nuptials. As the activity for the evening, my friend hired a psychic to do readings. Now, I am by nature, very skeptical of "psychic readings" and all that mumbo jumbo. However, for pure entertainment value, I was excited and thought it would be a fun night.
We had our choice of a tarot card reading--which would tell us about our past, present and future or we could have a crystal ball reading that would examine our aura and the angels and spirits around us. I opted for the tarot card reading, it sounded more interesting.
I have to say, she was eerily accurate with A LOT of my reading, and was very specific with certain facts and events in my life. After hearing some of the other girls' results (of course we shared the details after our readings) it was apparent that this psychic was not giving vague readings applicable to any number of people--they were rather individualized. Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to consult a psychic for major life decisions, but even my mother remarked yesterday that I seemed very peaceful. Maybe hearing that some things that I've been stressed about are out of my control just gave me a new perspective.
Here's a sampling of some of the eerie insights she told me (and the reality it applies to):
1. Rob is very stressed about our finances, but we're really OK, and he doesn't want to be the "bad guy". Rob and I just had a bit of a blow-out a few weeks ago over finances and Rob often uses that very term, "bad guy."
2. I'm not getting as much sleep as I'd like but I was not sleeping well before I had Bobby so he's not the cause. My family can attest that I am perpetually needing more sleep-even if I sleep 8hrs. a day, and before I got pregnant, I actually went for a sleep study to try to see what the cause of my sleepiness was...
3. Rob is miserable at his job, and it's not the right place for him. He feels held back and wants to move on with his career. He will have a new start in Feb. or March. Rob is a 6th grade teacher, unhappy in his district, and is trying to make the jump to administration as a principal or asst. principal. (If he gets a principal job in Feb. or March, I just may have to go for regular readings).
4. I had stress and discord at my last job which is unresolved but my new job is the right place for me and where I'm supposed to be and was the best move for me and my family. Everyone is pleased with me at work and happy that I joined them. I had a horrible experience at my last firm once I announced I was pregnant. It only got worse-much worse-after I returned from maternity leave. I quit and started this job, but I actually filed an EEOC charge of discrimination against the old firm--which is still pending and unresolved. Also, I tell my family all the time that joining the firm I'm at now was the best thing that I could have done for me and my family.
Now, the 2 creepiest things that occurred were at the end. The psychic said I could ask any questions I wanted.
First, I said, "Can you tell me about my sister?" She asked her name and age, that's all. She said, "your sister recently had blood work done." I said "Yes, she is having surgery on Tuesday." She then went on to tell me that she'll be fine after surgery. Good News to hear!
The second question I asked was "Can you tell me anything about my grandparents?" I did not tell her that I have only known my 1 grandmother in my life (and she lived with us when I was growing up)--she's the only one still living--her husband died before I was even born and my other 2 grandparents died when I was just a baby and I have no memory of them.
Immediately, the psychic said, "3 of your grandparents have passed on. The other one has been a strong force in your life." She then added, "the other 3 grandparents are with you too--they are not just angels, but they are your protectors." She told me they have been with me at times I found myself needing help or was in trouble and that they hear me when I speak to them. (which I do). She also said that Bobby is very connected to them and that they were in the labor room when I was having Bobby. She added that when I see Bobby babbling or seeming to talk to an invisible person, he is talking to them too, just like I do.
Now, again, I'm not saying I'm a full believer but it does make you think...and in some way it's nice to believe that I have a connection to my grandparents and that somehow Bobby will too...
ETA: Also, she confirmed what I already knew, that Rob and I are soul mates--so we've got that going for us. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget...


I was just a few weeks into my 2nd year of law school. I remember sitting in Estates and Trusts class in the large auditorium classroom. Our professor was lecturing and posing questions when people started to talk amongst themselves and hushed tones started to fill the room. We wondered why people were so rudely talking when class was going on... Some students were on their laptops-connected to the Internet, and were whispering about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

The professor, a mousy, sweet woman was oblivious to the fact that nobody was paying any attention. People started to get up and just leave the room. Of course at the time we thought it was just a very tragic accident. As the class ended and we started to get more details, the gravity of the situation began to sink in.

Some people were on their cell phones trying to call loved ones who worked in the twin towers, or were in NYC. We didn't know what to do. Instinctively, we went to our next class--if nothing else, it gave us a place to sit and talk. I had Corporations with my favorite professor, Dean Sell, who had a reputation as a hard-ass with high expectations and one who never canceled class. In reality,he was the kindest and most caring teacher I had ever known in my then 19 years of education.

He walked in the room and updated us on the events as had been reported to that point. He then sent us home to be safe and with our families. With tears and a shaky voice, he hugged a few of us as we left and told us to be careful and get home. I went to the parking lot--which was chaotic, as the University had shut down. (Flight 93 had just crashed in nearby Shanksville, PA and the city was on high-alert). I called home on my way home and remember my hands shaking as I dialed. The feeling of fear and dread about what had happened and what might further occur, was overwhelming.
There are not too many world events (good or bad) that have happened in my lifetime that are burned into my consciousness. Those moments of "where were you when _____???" that I'll never forget.

9-11-2001 was one of those days.


Even though it will be a year in Nov. since I stopped breastfeeding, this still makes me smile every time I see it:
breastfeeding smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

RW/RR Challenge

Am I a loser for being so psyched for the premiere of yet another Real World/Road Rules Challenge on MTV tonight?

Can't I live vicariously through the drunken shenangians, the catfights, backstabbing and stupidity of these people that have made a living out of their 15 minutes of reality t.v. stardom?

Although this season's "Survivor"-like premise promises to bring a whole new level of drama! BRING IT ON, Beyotch!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

When is it MY turn?

Rob and I have had very different weekends...I think I need, no, I think I deserve a vacation, or at least a girl's night...

Friday Night:
Rob-went to the driving range then to a sports bar with his friend, Jason.
Me-put Bobby to bed, cleaned up the clutter in the house, and went to bed by 10.

Rob-went to a golf outing complete with drinks/steak dinner
Me-spent all day changing diapers (Bobby has a stomach bug) and cleaning clothes after the diapers didn't contain all the poop. Also went food shopping for the week at the evil empire Wal-Mart. Went to bed at 9:30.

Rob-went tailgating and then to the Steelers football game...
Me-again, spent the day changing diapers and doing laundry (Rob's included).

There is something that just doesn't seem right about this...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Just Say No

At 15 months, Bobby is starting to pick up new words each day and is really starting to parrot us. Sometimes when I say a word to him, I can see him studying my mouth before he attempts it. I guess we're about to enter the language explosion stage...

But, I have recently become somewhat concerned with his language development. He has about 12 teeth already. We've been medicating him with baby Tylenol and Orajel for what seems like the past 9 months. In addition to the constant emergence of teeth with accompanying swollen gums, he's also had between 2 and 3 vaccination shots at every check-up. I felt justified in giving him some medication to take the edge off. My mother is a retired nurse and often advises that he should be given Tylenol on "general principles."

Bobby now asks for the Tylenol by name. Well, sort of. He points at it and says, "Nana."