Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

Archive for January 2013

Hey, Hey, It’s His Birthday.

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Happy birthday to our very own JRS.  It’s funny how what you want in a significant other dramatically changes over time.  I have distinct memories of hanging out in my room at the sorority house with my friends (post-scantily clad pillow fight of course) and discussing the qualities we wanted in our husbands.  Even, if I didn’t remember that, I recently found a list of said qualities scrawled on the back of a receipt in my friend H’s handwriting.  And, oh it was a doozy.  Weighty things like “dresses preppy” made the list, as well as the ever-important “can be independent at social events.”

As I found myself married in my early twenties and in law school, my list evolved to include “tolerates excessive flash card making and obsessive, round-the-clock study habits” and “consumes mass amounts of baked goods made in order to relieve law school-related anxiety.”  As law school turned into law firm, the list turned a corner as well to include items such as “loves to eat dinner compiled from random items from the pantry” and “enjoys spending time with wife scheduled around latest brief deadline.”

Now that we as a couple have been living an entirely different existence for the past four years, four months, and eleven days, I have found myself with a list of “wants” in a husband that is unrecognizable from the circa 1999 list.  I smile involuntarily when I hear my husband use “potty” in everyday conversation (it comes up a lot), as well as when we’re talking without the presence of children and he spells D-A-R-N.  Is there anything more romantic than a man who utters the words “why don’t you go take a nap?” or “let me put the kids down tonight.”  The best soundtrack of all consists of shrieks of laughter spilling out from under the bathroom door when he gives the kids a bath, and the loudest laughter is his.  In 1999, I never would have realized that what I want is a man who walks in the door at the end of the day bearing cupcakes.  A man who wears a pink tie to match his daughter’s dress.  A man who knows the major characters in all of his daughter’s favorite princess stories.  A man who never says “no” to the zoo, the aquarium, Disney on Ice, or the latest princess movie.

Happy birthday, JRS!  I’m excited to see how the list evolves.  I’m thinking maybe “likes to watch kids while wife is on European vacation?”


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January 31, 2013 at 7:22 am

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The Crazy-Pants Chronicles.

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Crazy pants un Crazy pants deux

I’m sorry I have been such an absent blogger lately.  I would like to say that I have been busy doing something awesome, but the truth is that I have been busy chasing and recuperating from chasing my increasingly crazy CCS.  Although I remember 18 months being a challenging time with AJS, I had somehow forgotten all the insanity that comes with this age.  And Claire does her best to bring her own personal brand of crazy.   

When I get ready in the morning, I shut the bathroom door and try to get Claire to play while I get ready.  Fail.  She pushes her stool to the counter and turns on the water and spills it all over herself.  She climbs into the bathtub.  She jumps up and down in the shower.  She splashes in the toilet.  She tries to grab bottles of makeup and hide behind my clothes in the closet and open them.  One time last week, I found her behind my clothes with a handful of thick lotion in her hand en route to her mouth.  It takes me 30 minutes to slap on a coat of mascara and the least-impressive outfit ever.  I have always been of the “get out of the house and do stuff” with your baby mentality.  Epic fail.  Outings have become a bit thorny of late.  She bellows.  She twists her body at grotesque angles in order to wriggle out of my arms.  She can clear a dinner table with a swift sweep of her arm.  When all else fails, she stares at me from her high chair and chants “up” (which sounds like “hup”).  If you live around here and are out to eat and hear a baby shrieking, don’t bother looking.  It is us.  Even just playing around the house is a vigorous activity.  She runs from point A to point B.  She climbs on to any piece of clim-able furniture.  She eats crayons (fine, and dog food).  She rides the dogs.  No one is safe.

Last week, as she was sitting in my lap at a restaurant and banging my face with a spoon, for one of the only times ever since I’ve become a mom, I thought “I don’t think I’m doing this right.” 

Part of me wonders if Avery and Claire are in cahoots (also the name of country-western bar I frequented in college, fyi).  This age has made me seriously question if I could handle a third kid (score for CCS), plus Avery gets away with all sorts of stuff while I’m distracted with Claire (score for AJS).  A win-win for all the short people in my house.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I often wonder if they are evil geniuses in deceptively cute and smushy exteriors.

The upside is that Claire is sweet and extremely happy.  I also would be happy if I had my own personal human to torture 24 hours a day.  So I am trying to enjoy her amidst the chaos and repeat my parenting mantra “I will win eventually.”  Sometimes to get through the crazy, I hand out superlatives to my family in my mind (totally normal behavior).  This week, I have named Claire both “most likely to poop in my closet” and also “most likely to have cookie up her nose,” if that tells you anything about the state of affairs.  Maybe the crazy is contagious.

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January 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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This Girl.

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I know I’ve been a little missing in action lately.  Here I am checking in with not much of note to report.  I must tell you that this girl is especially full of herself lately.  I just want to drink her in before she’s big and speaking in full sentences and saying heartbreaking things like “no, mommy.”  Until that day, I’ll be here if you need me – obsessing over her fuzzy, fuzzy hair; her still slightly chubby baby cheeks; and the endless supply of sticky baby kisses.

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January 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

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Say Your Prayers.

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Silly AJS

Each night, when we tuck Avery in, we say a prayer with her.  Typically, she repeats after Jerrod as he says “now I lay me down to sleep . . .” and then Jerrod prays for the person of her choosing for whom she’s thankful.  For about a week, Avery has taken over her nightly prayers, which has produced many a sweet, touching, and funny moment.  This is my favorite prayer thus far:

“Dear Lord, thank you for every kid in my class at school.  I am thankful for them because they are so sweet and try to be so kind.  (long pause)  Except sometimes Jennifer* who is noisy during circle time.  Amen.” 

*The name has been changed to protect the accused party.

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January 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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Claire 1.5

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Claire Christmas Crazy Claire

In all the hubbub of Christmas, I may have neglected to mention that our CCS just turned 18 months.  As you may have noticed, I am a mountain of mush and mixed feelings when it comes to my babies getting older. The saddest of all events has occurred between 12 and 18 months – Claire has lost her baby fat. There’s nary a dimple on her thighs. And, no, I’m not taking it well. But I do have one thing to comfort me.  Although the rolls on her arms and legs are a thing of the past, and I can now see her neck, which was formerly obscured by chins, she still has a round belly. And here’s where you start thinking how creepy I am. I am obsessed with that baby belly. I pat it, I kiss it, I tickle it. And best of all, I have taught Claire to pat it when I say “where’s your belly?”   I have to get all the creepy, parent stuff out now before she learns to roll her eyes and say “Moooom, I need some space.”  In addition to being a thinner, sleeker Claire, Claire 1.5 is full of new tricks.  Most of all, she is busy.  She climbs the stairs in lightning speed, she jumps in the tub, and loves to hang out in the shower if allowed.  One day, I turned the corner to find Claire gleefully sitting on the toilet and splashing her feet in the water.  She got a special, midday bath after that one.  Claire lacks a certain delicacy that AJS possessed at the same age.  Less rose petal and more lightning bolt is our CCS.  She has a funny, quirky personality that manifests itself in many jokes that only Claire understands.  For example, there’s the time she refused to say “mama” and called me “bup” for a solid week with a twinkle in her eye the entire time.  She does enjoy tormenting her sister, who is somewhat of a perfectionist, by crashing through her perfectly lined up toys or sitting in the middle of any art project in progress.  On my birthday, I enjoyed breakfast in bed with a plate of food in my lap and Claire also in my lap, joyfully tasting each breakfast offering, despite the fact she had already had her own breakfast.  Whatever is going on in our house, Claire is in the middle of it.  Claire relishes her life.  And we relish Claire.

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January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

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So This Was Christmas.

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White Christmas Beadhead Baby Double Plaid Santa Baby

And here I am, back after a bit of a Christmas hiatus. As it goes with holidays with children, ours had its highs and lows.  If you were to review the stats of our Christmas, I am not sure if you would conclude that we came out on the winning side. We had a pre-Christmas bought with a virus; a Christmas Eve, profusely bleeding (but ultimately inconsequential) head injury; a Christmas Day stomach bug that affected seven members of our extended family; and one baby that was persistently fussy and out of sorts. Yes, on paper, it does not sound so merry. However, the thing about Christmas is that it is easy for me to describe all the tangibles – the presents, the decorations, the who was where- those same tangibles that we (or at least me) obsess over for months in advance. But it is hard to describe the intangible aspect. The “I can feel it but can’t see it” aspect. I can tell you what AJS received from Santa, but it is difficult to verbalize the awe and reverence with which she has regarded Christmas this year. I can tell you who was there but it is hard to explain how full my heart felt as I watched one daughter open her presents while holding my other (fussy pants) daughter in my lap in my parents’ living room with my husband, children, parents and sister’s family all under one roof for a fleeting moment. And lastly, I can tell you what we wore and what we ate, but it is ever so much more challenging to make you feel the poignant and acute joy I experienced when I saw my mom hug my daughters for the first time since September.  For me, that hug lessened the impact of the last four, anxiety-ridden months of surgeries and chemotherapy experienced by the person who had made the most impact upon my life.  Every not-so-ideal moment was made worthy by the mere togetherness of my family, by the simple presence of my mother.  So, to summarize, I cannot regale you with tales of how seamlessly everything went. But to me, evaluating the sum of all the happiness and annoyances, it was perfect and complete.  It was resplendent with imperfection, just the way all good holidays should be.

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January 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm

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