Friday, December 4, 2009

Please Obey the Rules

I wrote about our new family tradition of the visiting elf here. He has returned again this year, and Bobby is now old enough to be cognizant of him. I re-read the story to him and explained the "rules" of the elf visitor. We can talk to him, but he can't talk to us, and we must never, ever touch him because he's magic.

Well, Bobby is a stickler for the rules. When getting his Christmas photo in front of the tree this year, I suggested he hold Yahootie for the picture. Bobby quickly reminded me that we can't touch him. Oops.

Later that week, Yahootie was "hiding" in Bobby's room, right on his hamper. Bobby was excited that he found him in his room. However, the day before Yahootie had been in our bathroom and Bobby wanted him to go back in the bathroom. Without thinking, Bobby picked up Yahootie to move him. Almost instantaneously, Bobby realized that he had broken the rule and tears started welling up in his eyes and he was frozen. I could tell he wanted to drop him but he was afraid to. So we apologized to Yahootie for picking him up and then we quietly asked him if it would be Ok if we moved him to the bathroom. Yahootie indicated that it would be ok.

Crisis averted.

I hope Bobby believes in the "magic" of Christmas for many more years to come. It's so fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

Hoping you and yours enjoy a special day remembering all the things you're thankful for.

I'm thankful for: the health of myself and my family; the good weather we've had; Bobby's laughter; the love of my friends and family; finding a tube of chapstick in my pocket when I need it; the support and love Rob gives me every day-even when I'm stubborn; and so much more!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween-Step 2

This is the" Step 2 Car" Bobby got for his birthday in May:

He loves this car. He drove it-and parked it-all summer in our driveway. It was the best gift ever for a kid that loves cars. So, I decided he would be a Step 2 Car for Halloween. I thought of using a box, then I thought to try something softer. With the help of my sister, we made him the best costume and HE LOVED IT!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade." Abraham Lincoln

Sitting here in my office today, I just noticed that the big, framed "Supreme Court of Pennsylvania" bar admission certificate indicates that as of October 27, 2009 I have been a practicing attorney for six- SIX- whole years.

I still remember that butterfly-excited/dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach while I scrolled down the on-line list of applicants that had taken the Pa. Bar Exam that July...and the utter excitement and jubilation I felt seeing my name on that screen! I honestly don't know if I could have lived through another exam season if I hadn't passed. Of the 5 associates I worked with at the time, we all passed but one.
If it's any indication of the stress of not passing...I am not lying when I say I never saw or heard from that girl again. She left work the day the results came out and never returned. She didn't call in sick, she didn't quit. She wasn't fired. She just went home and moved onto a different non-lawyering life. She didn't even clean out her office before going.
When you pass the bar exam, you still have to have a practicing attorney "Sponsor" your admission. Some associates kissed up to their bosses or partners and asked them, but I wanted someone that I really admired and looked up to in the legal profession and who taught me that a lawyer can be human.

I chose my favorite law school professor: W. Edward Sell, "Dean Sell". I took his Corporations class my second year. He had a reputation for NEVER canceling class, and being very difficult. Many 2nd and 3rd year students advised me NOT to take his class because another professor was an easy "A". But, Corporations was on the bar exam and I wanted to learn it--he was the foremost expert and actually authored the textbook. He also had a bust and plaque dedicated to him in the law school after 50 years of teaching. Do you know how daunting it was that first day of class, passing this on my way:It was a great class and he quickly became my favorite teacher of all time.
After that semester, he often persuaded my 2 friends and I to enroll in his other classes--and we did- in legal topics that we were not too interested in: Agency and Partnership, Sales etc. but we always looked forward to our hour or so a day with Dean Sell. We relished the stories and tales he would tell. Some students were very adept at probing questions to get him off topic and telling some colorful tales...(and he loved to tell slightly inappropriate jokes, with a wink, of course).

Dean Sell passed away the year after I became a lawyer. The day I dreaded had come. There was always some comfort in knowing he was only a phone call or short drive away. Over the past 6 years there have been some rough waters and some times that I have questioned what I was thinking when I applied for law school, but on those days, I look at his name on the certificate on my wall and I think back to how proud and honored he was to sponsor my bar admission and I try to remember that I have his legacy to fulfill. He saw something special in the quiet, frantic note-taking student that was afraid to raise her hand...and he seemed to instinctively know when to call me out and force my bluff...

Friday, October 2, 2009

It is a mathematical fact that fifty percent of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class.

I got a card in the mail reminding me to make my yearly ob/gyn appointment. What fun. I know it's important to do, but not one of my favorite things to do. Knowing that they get booked up fast, I called to make my appointment for December only to be informed that the Dr. I really liked is no longer with the group. The Doctor I saw last year is out on maternity leave. So, it looks like I'm going to have to see a new physician. I chose the day and was told that Dr. Michael Bummer would be in the office that day.

As any Internet-savvy person would do, I googled Dr. Michael Bummer. I have never met him so I just wanted to see his credentials and what he looked like. Unfortunately I got more than I bargained for. Watch this clip and I'll let you see for yourself:

So, Dr. Bummer, as a licensed medical professional I would expect that you have enough money to buy a jersey and have your name stitched on the back like a real uniform if that's the look you're going for on a nationally televised game show. The DIY jersey you were sporting is just pathetic.
Second, Sixty-Nine. 69. Really? How am I going to take you seriously?

So, I guess I would be more impressed if he were on Jeopardy! but I suppose it takes some skill luck to make it to the Showcase Showdown...

I just wish he had been on with Bob Barker instead, at least then I could talk to him about Bob and the Barker Beauties while he's down there checking out my bits and pieces.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Male Influences

So I was shopping at Wal-Mart yesterday with Bobby. He was happy as usual and talking up a storm. Because I couldn't help myself from laughing, he just kept saying the same 2 things over and over:

1) "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" THANKS, Dad. I don't know what the conversation was, or why my dad was talking to Bobby about this Egyptian diplomat, but when I picked him up on Friday, this is what he learned from PapPap.

2) "It's a Man's World" THANKS, Rob. Twice a month, I have to go to meetings at night for work. I get home, have dinner, play with Bobby, give him a tubby, get him ready for bed and then leave him in Rob's capable hands. Rob tells Bobby they are having "Man's night" then they sing "It's a Man's World"... paying homage to the godfather of soul, James Brown:

ahhh, Men.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Non-Political G-20 Observations and Ramblings

So the G-20 is here. Protesters have been less in number than anticipated-which is a good thing. Although I think the local media would rather have the worst case scenario to report on. They have been gearing up for this for months.

The local news has had their "continuing live team coverage". They have been covering the G-20 like they cover "severe weather": if you watch the local news regularly, you will see that this city loves the threat of torrential downpours and possible flooding as well as blizzard-like snowfalls. Basically anything to show off all the "Stormtracker" and "Live Pinpoint Doppler" gadgety doodads and to get people to stock up on milk, bread and toilet paper.

The G-20 has brought that same newsy-enthusiasm for possible anarchist-led protests and violent run-ins with police. Now on our news instead of weather maps, we see digital maps of our city with restriction sites:
It was also only a matter of time before someone thought to use the City's beloved Steelers and our obsession with all things Steelers related to get some publicity for their cause:
Oxfam activists staged a mock football game to bring attention to world poverty. Unfortunately, their message was somewhat lost because as soon as Yinzers see a football game with the black and gold involved, they just start waving terrible towels and yelling things like "Cleveland Sucks" and "Here We Go Steelers!" In the 'Burgh, I imagine people were really just watching this game thinking "Hey, I bet that Singh dude won't miss two field goals like Jeff Reed did..."

Finally, in the midst of the news last night, a strange thing happened. Protesters and police forces were forgotten. For a brief fleeting moment, it was like we were on the red carpet at the Oscars. The President and First Lady arrived at Phipps Conservatory for the G-20 Welcome Dinner. Sally Wiggin broke from the serious news journalism to squeal like a school girl over Michelle Obama's outfit:"Oh, she must have been to Phipps before...she clearly chose her outfit because of the humidity inside there. Just lovely."

As I look at that picture, I say to myself, Self: You need an appointed umbrella holder!! How cool is that?
Then I wonder to myself: How did he get that job? Is there an umbrella-skills competition among the troops? Can he twirl the umbrella? Does it have a push button open and close feature? Do you think he sings that Rihanna song to Michelle: "Under my umbrella ella ella eh eh eh". Cause that would totally rock.

I imagine at some point he called home and said, "Mom! Guess what, I won't have to do another tour in Iraq after all. I won the 'Brella Bout in my unit! My umbrella skillz are the shiz nit." And then I wonder why he is talking like a west coast rapper. Which brings me to my next point.

It was reported that during the illegally planned protest march yesterday the Anarchists
"clogged streets, banged on drums and chanted":

"Ain't no power like the power of the people, 'cause the power of the people don't stop."

Come On! How can I respect you and your protest rights when you just ripoff Coolio like that?

"Ain't no party like a west coast party 'Cause a west coast party don't stop"
-Coolio, 1-2-3-4 (Sumpin' New)...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pray Big For This Little Child

Kelly Frey, a local news anchor here in Pittsburgh was featured in the newspaper regarding her difficult pregnancy with her first child, diagnosed with holoprosencephaly. It was a touching story and really showed the love that these first-time parents have for their child and the difficult journey they were on.

Their son, Bennett Ryan, was born this week. They had a photographer present to document the delivery as they were not sure how long, or if, their baby would survive. You can see the beautiful pictures here and read the touching and miraculous birth of this special boy. Baby Bennett is now at Children's Hospital. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Miracles happen every day. You just have to believe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair. -Hillary Clinton

"Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,Streaming, flaxen, waxen"
-"Hair" the Musical.

I have an on-going war with my hair. And I'm losing. I have pretty straight, fine but heavy hair. No body. No volume. No Oomph. Just straight, bleh hair.
I have colored, highlighted, lowlighted, permed, and body waved my hair trying to force my non cooperative hair into submission. I have had super short styles, mid-length styles and long tresses. I have tried bangs, no bangs, layers, side parts, middle parts and no parts. I have used curling irons, flat irons, hot rollers, blow dryers, blow dryers with diffusers and nothing seems to give me that elusive perfect coif.

I recently saw a commercial for Herbal Essences new product line "Tousle Me Softly".

and the model that had that perfect messy but styled look:

So, I decided to try these products. I got the shampoo, conditioner and spray gel. I was set. I was going to wash, rinse and repeat my way to the ultimate low-maintenance, high impact hairstyle...My hair was going to raise the white flag. Victory would be mine.

Or not. As good old P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Let the Indocrination Begin...

I have now successfully taught Bobby that this:

and this:

translates to: "GO IRISH".

Here is my future "Domer", Class of 2029

"I'm gonna marry a SMC chick like my mommy and Aunt Erin!"

Pittsburgh Welcomes the World...Now Get the Hell Out!

For those of you not from the greater Pittsburgh area, The G-20 Summit is heading to the Steel City, the City of Champions.

In honor of this prestigious event, the city is welcoming the world leaders and showing our economic progress by shutting down. Closing up Shop. Hanging up the proverbial "Will Return" sign:

Schools in the city are shut down. Businesses are closing, the courts are shutting down. It's gotten so bad that the Pittsburgh International Airport had to issue a press release that they were NOT closing. Public transportation into the city will be limited. Parking garages will not be open for the regular commuter traffic...blah blah blah. In other words, STAY HOME BURGHERS!

Even though I no longer work in the Greater Pittsburgh area, hell I don't even work in Allegheny County anymore, I think I should do my civic duty and stay home. In my pajamas. All day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Phriday

See that picture up there in the banner...that was Bobby at about 4 weeks old during his first trip to the beach. Here is this year's version: My how you've grown!

Friday Funny

Maybe I won't win "Mother of the Year" awards, but if Bobby came home with this detention slip, I'd have to laugh. "That's what she said" is just a classic, and I use it frequently myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jonas Brothers Mania

My brother, although I love him dearly, has an almost unbearably large ego. But he's not arrogant or cocky. He just thinks he's the best. At everything. Growing up he used to like to tell me, "If I killed you? Who would notice?" The brother that put me into a figure-4 leg lock and then kicked me in the mouth (purely by accident, we weren't trained professional athletes, after all). He did this the week after I had my braces off. The result? My bottom teeth were straight for one week. Although we're technically adults now...he still likes to torture me. He still likes to say and do things to get under my sister's skin and drive her crazy. Yes, this is the brother I idolized. The brother I cried all day for when he left for college. Call me crazy.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, recent events will probably only add to his "charm." He has 4 daughters ranging in age from 20-11. His youngest 2 daughters REALLY REALLY like the Jonas Brothers. As any good father would, he got them tickets to the recent concert here in Pittsburgh. But he went one step further, he got them VIP tickets to the Jonas Brothers Sound Check Party before the concert. While they were there, the Jonas Brothers asked for 4 friends to come sit on the stage while they performed. My nieces and their 2 friends were picked. It was totally random, but now they will think their Dad is "the man"and had this all arranged, as he's taking full credit:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I guess you could say I've been on summer hiatus from blogging. Rob and I took a 5 year anniversary trip without Bobby. So, needless to say after being away and not seeing "Mr. Snuggables" for almost 2 weeks, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him. But as Bobby says, "I'm Back, Baby"--yes, he is quoting George from Seinfeld.

Rob and I went to Texas. We did a whirlwind tour of Dallas, The Woodlands (to see my friend, Melissa), Houston and Galveston (to go to Schlitterbahn Water Park). Bobby had a great vacation at the beach with my parents. So, at least he wasn't at home while Rob and I were frolicking in the 111 degree heat.

We stayed at the Magnolia Hotel in Dallas. It was excellent. In addition to a Manager's Reception from 5:30-6:30 with free hooch, they had a nightly "Cookies & Milk" Happy Hour. This was the sole reason I picked to stay in this hotel. MMM. Cookies. It was a nice touch. The hotel itself was gorgeous and we had a huge suite with a full kitchen (not that we cooked) and the staff was so friendly. I highly recommend staying there if you're ever in the Dallas area.

Now, when we decided to head to the Lone Star State, I said I wanted to immerse myself in the cowboy life. This of course meant that I was going to wear my cowboy hat and ride a mechanical bull. In my mind I envisioned myself looking all sexy and natural like Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy:

Thankfully, there are no videos of my bucking bull ride because I didn't look quite as good. The reality did not match my vision; after struggling to even get on the bull, this was me just hanging on for dear life hoping I didn't impale myself on one of the horns...

So, riding the bull was my vacation "to-do". Rob's was to visit "Southfork". He is a huge "Dallas" fan. I have the rubber bins full of VHS tapes of the show in my basement to prove it. I am the complete opposite of a huge "Dallas" fan. But, I willingly visited Southfork and took the tour. It wasn't as bad as I imagined. It was actually enjoyable because they let you walk around the house on your own and I even got some decorating ideas for our next house:

I think big oil paintings of Rob and I would be a good decorating scheme.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The great conversationalist

Bobby is at my parents' beach house for the next 10 days. Without me.

I miss him and think about him every minute. All my daily routines are missing the "Bobby factor".

My parents call several times a day to update me and let me talk to him. At 2 years old, he isn't a phone person. The conversation usually goes like this:

Me: Hello?

Grammy Pat: It's MAMA!!

Me: Put me on speakerphone. HI BOBBY. It's Mama!

Grammy Pat: BOBBY! It's mama. Come talk to mama.

Me: Bobby, are you at the beach? Did you jump the waves? Did you dig in the sand?

Grammy Pat: BOBBY! Get over here and talk to your mother. Say I love you Mama.

Bobby: I looove ewww mama.

Me: I love you, Bobby.

Grammy Pat: Ok, he's running away/playing/done.

Me: Alright. Give him a kiss and hug for me. Talk to you later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photo Phriday-Five Fantastic Years Edition

From a Miss

to a Mrs.

June 26, 2004
It's been 5 wonderful years since Rob and I celebrated our fun-filled wedding day! It's been a memorable and exciting 5 years...

In these past 5 years, I've worked at 4 different law firms and I've had 3 different cars--Good thing I don't go through Husbands as quickly! haha

Happy Anniversary, Rob. I love you more now than on that spectacular day 5 years ago. I'm looking forward to many more years of growing old together! Love, Mrs. Robert :)
(and thanks for not greeting me this morning with "Are you F***ing Kidding me?"--as you did on the morning of our wedding...)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Losing a piece of my childhood...

One of my personality traits is that when I am interested in something--I go ALL IN. Michael Jackson was the first Entertainer I loved. (He was a true entertainer, I can't describe him just as a singer, dancer, or actor....)

He still was at the top of my list of performers to see live. (I was supposed to be front and center when he came to Pittsburgh in 1984 but the concert never got booked...). I don't care what went on in his personal life. When I hear MJ, I am a little girl again, singing into a hairbrush, dancing around my room, making up choreography with my childhood friend, Dana. Growing up, I shared a room with my older sister. She had to live with me decorating my 1/2 of the room in the latest and greatest MJ memorabilia:

I even had a Michael Jackson "Thriller" jacket. Because EVERYONE had a "Beat It" Jacket with the zippers and I wanted to show I was a true fan. I dressed as MJ for Halloween. Luckily, he was light skinned so it wasn't full on black-face at age 10...But I adored him. I wore the glove. I moonwalked. My mom even borrowed my costume for a work party, and she won 1st prize! I made sure I had every detail covered...

One of my fondest memories of my grandma was her sitting outside the outside shower at our vacation house in Ocean City, NJ listening to me belt out "BEAT IT" with reckless abandon as if I was singing to a stadium of cheering fans...

Rest In Peace, MJ

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My 2 Cents

So, let me start by saying that I am not a regular viewer of the show- I have only seen tidbits and snippets of the show, but it is really hard NOT to be aware of the Jon & Kate + 8 saga...
Hearing all the rumors that there was a "major announcement" being made in last night's episode--and knowing all the celebrity rags were reporting that the "news" was a separation and divorce--I tuned in.

Honestly, the announcement I wanted to hear was that they were quitting the show, getting some family and couples counseling and going to work on the relationship in real life, not on reality t.v. I was holding out hope that they fed the Insider, Entertainment Tonight and with some phony info. to throw them off the scent. They didn't. They announced their separation as expected and of course as Kate said, "The show MUST go on". Yea, because as if the kids don't have it hard enough, now they have to have the breakup of their parents' marriage and the fallout from that immortalized on t.v. and for sale on DVD...

Now, even if they had done what I hoped, their path may still have led to separation and divorce, but at least it would have spared the kids the very public spectacle of this very private issue, and at least Jon & Kate could have both slept well at night knowing they had done their absolute best for their family: that they had exhausted all possibilities, that they fought hard for each other AND their kids and that they did it the right way--privately.

Jon and Kate are famous only for being parents to a lot of kids. They weren't actors, singers or entertainers before this t.v. show. They were just a bunch of high school sweethearts who got married and wanted a family. They are not like Brad and Angelina. Their celebrity is like that of Paris Hilton (famous for her name only) or Kim Kardashian (famous for having a big ass and a sex tape*)

If they chose to go back to a normal, non-televised life, eventually the Paparazzi and their fans would lose interest. After all they are just parents raising their kids-just like all of us parents, whether we have 1 kid or 18.
In truth, I really hope TLC cancels the show.

*Credit: Joel McHale and "The Soup" for the apt description of Ms. Kardashian.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photo Phriday

My little Gilligan. He refuses to wear a baseball hat. The toddler bucket hats are too small for him, so I had to give him mine. It's a little big, but it keeps the sun off his face, protects his head from sunburn and most importantly he keeps it on!

How do I capitalize on this?

Bobby is car obsessed. Not with play cars or trucks but with the real deal. At only 2 years old, he can identify cars by their logo and knows who drives what. And he is not limited by color, model, or type of car. He notices and points out all the different cars while we walk along our street, while we're driving anywhere or just walking in a parking lot.

He knows I drive a Subaruand that Rob drives a Nissan. Grandma Pat has a Ford (or "sword" as he says it)PapPap drives a Mercury, Uncle Matt drives a Cadillac, EeEe has a "v-dubya". And he even knows cars that he doesn't see everyday. He knows his friend Nate's mom has a Chevy.

Roman's mom has a Honda. My parents' neighbor has a Dodge.Every car brand, whether it's a car, pick-up truck or SUV is identified correctly. He can even identify the keys by the emblem on the key!!

He loves to look at the cars and touch the logos...whoever he identifies the car with first is what he sticks with, so although my brother also has a's always and forever going to be "Matt's car" even though he knows which car is Uncle Brian's and which is Uncle Matt's.

Maybe I should print car logos like flashcards, videotape his "rainman-like" skills, post it on YouTube, become a viral video sensation, get on Oprah, and cash in on this talent...

Monday, June 15, 2009


Marian Hossa turned down a lucrative, long-term contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins in order to accept a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. He thought he had a better chance of winning Lord Stanley with Detroit. He thought Wrong! YOU LOSE!
Pittsburgh fans are nothing if not rabid. and loyal. That's why we'll never forgive Hossa for his defection.