Good Morning

Hello. It is Saturday Morning. Well, afternoon technically. It’s 12:05. So far I have survived Baby Beez’ ballet class, got a little coffee, and got a little work done. None of this has been easy. Baby Beez is in the “Fighting about Every Darn Thing” phase which involves a lot of screaming and flailing. Plus she’s aggressively cuddly, meaning that she throws elbows and knees in a crazed race to climb into and monopolize my lap. That makes it very hard for me to any work. I got so unbelievably frustrated and irritated that I was yelling too, and had to hide up in the bedroom to get my work done.

I hate being so angry in response to her WANTING to be close to me. I know that the time for her cuddles is limited. And I never want her to feel like I am pushing her aside to get work done. But sometimes I just need a darn hour to revise a Complaint, and she just needs to WAIT one darn hour (watch Tangled again for goodness sake!) and she’ll get all the cuddles she wants. I am thankful for Mr. Beez running interference today. I try to be patient. But try is not always the same as succeed. And when I don’t do as well as I would wish, I’m glad he is there to help out.

So the remainder of today involves holiday parties and writing briefs. I have two very big filings at the end of the year, which is unusual because December is usually a slow month for litigation. Truth be told, I would rather work hard and bank the hours now, and have a little more room to breathe in the warmer months. Winter is not my thing and I don’t mind spending the hours in the warm indoors takin’ care of business.

I’ve been looking forward to the release of the BlogHer Food agenda, ever since BlogHer announced that the conference will take place in Miami this year.  It was released earlier this week, and after much thinking and talking with Mr. Beez and thinking some more, I have decided I am not going to go this year.  This year’s conference has a much more commercial focus than last year. Most of the sessions are tailored towards brand/blogger relations, and people who want to turn their food blogging into a career, whether through a book or company or what have you.  It focuses a lot more on the cooking side of food blogging, and has nothing on the restaurant/food enthusiast side of blogging.  This is not a criticism in the least. The conference provides a totally valuable forum for a huge number of people. It’s just not the right emphasis or approach for my interests, so I decided that my time would be better spent just picking my own weekend to visit Miami at another time. I was considering buying my ticket earlier, but now I’m glad that I held off, because I think the event would not be the right fit for me. Big Summer Potluck is still TOTALLY in the cards, and now that I see that Big Traveling Potluck is only a bit of a drive from my Mom’s house, that too is a possibility….gotta choose FAST though, because tickets go on sale Monday!

During the last few weeks I have gone a little crazy with Amazon purchases (lots of sales!), so I’ve got the following books locked and loaded: The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt). And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini), Burial Rites (Hannah Kent), Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman), Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), Books 2-5 of the Song of Ice And Fire (aka Game of Thrones) (George R.R. Martin). I am also 2% into Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace), but I can only hope to get that read by the end of my life, forget the end of this year.
What do yinz guys have on your nightstands?


Imaginary Mean Mom

In my imaginary world where I’m perfect at everything, I am a mean mom.  Not gratuitously cruel, just very strict. And as a result, my child behaves impeccably.

In the real world, I’m a pushover. I never in a million years thought I’d turn out to be a pushover parent.  In those years before-child, I had a sharp tongue, quick to judge any parent who showed the slightest inclination to cave to the whining of their offspring.

Then life happened. A life in which I am quite literally paid to fight with people all day. All very long day as a matter of fact. And by the time I get home, for the love of Pete I just don’t want to fight with people any more, can we just let it go?

And consequently, I let my kid get away with a lot of nonsense. I feel like a lame parent about it, but we’re talking about me letting her slide for jumping on the couch when her dad’s not looking or letting her eat noodles with her fingers, it’s not like I’m letting her smoke crack in the closet.

Then, of course, Tuesday happened.


Baby Beez was in quite a pathetic sickly state when I picked her up from daycare Monday. She was actually laying on the floor, moaning. She didn’t have a fever, but she clearly did not feel well. And then we went through Monday night. She kept me up almost all night, alternating between coughing her head off, whining to come into bed with me, me caving and saying “fine, just climb in my bed” and then after 20 minutes of her spinning around in the sheets like a whirling dervish, I snap “GO BACK TO YOUR BED, I NEED SOME REST.”

I kept the sicky child home on Tuesday.  She spent the morning resting calmly. As the day wore on, she was clearly feeling better, because she went from resting on the couch to climbing on the ceiling.  Before bedtime, I spent an hour with her playing “scaring simulator,” which involved putting a stuffed animal on the recliner, and then we snuck up and ROARED. Six hundred times.

Then it was bedtime, and she roared her terrible roars and showed her terrible claws and gnashed her terrible teeth. But I tossed her in the bed and said “SLEEP” because I was desperate to get some exercise in. And I went downstairs and plugged my earphones in my ears and hopped on the treadmill and jogged jogged jogged and then…..there is Baby Beez. Downstairs. Coloring at her easel. Because naturally, what else would she be doing when she didn’t feel like sleeping?

I feel like if Regulator Daddy were home she wouldn’t have dared sneak out of bed. But he’s not. And so she’s under the supervision of a sucker. And you know what I did…of course I said “Hey kid, I’ve got 20 minutes left in this workout. So enjoy the time while you’ve got it.”


Once my workout was over, I hauled her back upstairs, put her back in bed. And a few moments later, the door creaked open. I scolded her to get back in bed. She started the whining about “But I want yoooo” and dear lord I wanted to take a shower and I needed just one minute away from whining and I stirred up a deep roar of “GET. BACK. IN. YOUR. BED. NOW. AND. GO. TO. SLEEP.”

And that room was silent the rest of the night. I need to try this enforcer stuff more often.


A Big Bed for a Big Girl

I feel like we’ve been in potty training limbo forever. Probably because I first started getting worried about getting Baby Beez potty trained when she turned 2.  She then turned 3 this past September. Still not potty trained.  I’ve been assured that she’s still in the “average” range in terms of age of potty training. But she’s at that point where we can tell she is physically capable of using the potty, it’s just tipping the scale on the motivation.

We’ve tried putting her in undies a few times, with mixed results. We’ve bribed her with chocolate, with mixed results. Following the advice of multiple people I’ve vented to in the last few weeks, we’re going “cold turkey.”  This weekend we announced “no more diapers.” All underwear, all the time. And she’s had a few accidents, but generally it’s been OK.

Even though she’s 3, Baby Beez has still been in a crib. Mostly because it’s easier to keep her in one place, instead of giving her free reign to walk about.  We then realized that if we expect her to get out of bed and use the potty, she has to actually be able to get out of her bed.  It was time to put the crib away and go shopping.


We let Baby Beez pick out her own bed.  As much as I hate princesses, I decided that if she wanted princesses, she could have princesses. Or better yet, maybe she would not want princesses? There were plenty of options: Sofia the First, Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, but when she saw the Monsters University bed, her mind was firmly made up: Mike and Sully it must be.  A fine choice.

I’m not much for nostalgia.  Seeing Baby Beez get bigger does not make me sad. It makes me excited and happy. She was cute and squishy as a baby, but I love being ale to do things with her and talk with her. As she gets bigger, we are able to do more and more together. I get excited for all the future milestones.  Still, it is strange to compare her now to pictures of her as a tiny thing. To think how there was a time when all she could do was cry and grunt, and now she can announce “I’M GOING TO BE A SCARER!”

On the topic of my big girl, we went to the library this week. Baby Beez wanted “Pirate Books.” Baby Beez asked the librarian politely for assistance, and the librarian returned with a nice big stack.  We sat down on the reading cushions and cracked open a book.  I asked her “Would you like me to read a book to you?”  She replied, “No. You read it yourself.”  Smartypants.


And like her father, she loves the computer.


But back to the crib.

Goodbye, Crib.

Goodbye, Crib.

It is strange to watch these baby things go obsolete. We do not plan for a second, and now we have this perfectly lovely crib, a kind gift from all the grandparents, and have no idea what to do with it.  Cribs are such a symbol of a new baby, so many parents want to get their own new crib for their first baby and hand it down to subsequent ones.  Although I have many friends who are having babies right now, a crib is not the first on their list of hand-me-down wishes.  I would like to see it go to someone who will use it, and will likely send some emails to various women’s resource organizations, to find a new mom who can use it well.


So here she is, my big girl, snuggled up in her big girl bed.  This morning, she woke up so proud. She didn’t wet the bed, she went right to the potty and used the potty. All like a big girl.  She’s our big girl.


When the cat’s away….

When the cat’s away….

I’m away this week, on a journey through Central Europe in a battle to the death vacation with my Mother.  We are actually getting along pretty well.  I’m keeping my brattiness in check, and either she’s come to her senses and finally realized that she should stop singing at random times because it makes me insane, or the din of the tourist crowd is drowning out her noise, but in either case, she’s not making me crazy, so that’s good.

Before we left I was looking forward to the trip but also had mixed feelings about it.  The mixed feelings actually weren’t about the trip itself, but about the effects of the trip.  I was out of the office (and incommunicado) for a week earlier in July, and then there were two weeks of ABSOLUTE INSANITY at work, and I worried about the effect being gone again was going to have in the office.  It turns out that it’s going pretty OK.  I’ve got wifi at the hotel and cell service to return calls as necessary.  The madness of last week has been followed by relative calm this week.

Most of my reservations surrounded leaving Baby Beez behind for a week.  I’ve had trips away before.  I was in Virginia for trial college in January and Mr. Beez and I were in Texas for almost a week in June.  Both times she was miserable.  She whined every day, she was begging for mommy.  I knew she would survive, but I felt so bad that she felt so bad.

She has a vague understanding of days of the week.  We talk about what day of the week it is, and how many days until the weekend, and what days she has to go to school.  She understands it well enough to be able to recite the days of the week, but I still think she doesn’t really get it, in terms of me being able to use the days of the week as a mitigation tool to make her feel better about whatever it is that is coming up.

So we arrived in Prague on Tuesday morning.  I talked very briefly on the phone with Mr. Beez and Baby Beez on Tuesday afternoon.  She sounded so cheerful.  She understood I am away but that I’m coming back (apparently she’s telling everyone “my mommy went away!” without further explanation…lets see what conclusions that brings about).

Then, this morning at breakfast, two emails came in from Mr. Beez that completely warmed my heart.  He made a train for Baby Beez, he hung it above her crib, and she’s counting down the days until Mommy returns.  This is not a new technique, but I didn’t expect that she’d comprehend it, but she really is getting it and it is giving her comfort, and that makes me so happy.  And Mr. Beez is not really an arts and crafts kind of guy, but he thought of this train and made it all himself for our little girl, and that makes me so happy too.



So Baby Beez is hanging in there, and the countdown-train is keeping her happy til I get home.  Of course, I did promise her I would bring back presents for her, so that probably helps too.


Last Minute Parent Duties

In case you were dying to know, the selections of Valentines available at the Iggle at 9:30pm on February 13 are: The Hobbit, Tinkerbell, and Scooby Doo.  I would have rather picked up the fruit snacks valentines, but those were long gone, and Sweet Tarts Valentines just aren’t age appropriate for 2 year olds.  I went for the Scooby Doo cards.  Even though I’m pretty sure Baby Beez doesn’t know who Scooby Doo is, she is even more clueless about The Hobbit, and I could not bring myself to buy Tinkerbell cards.  The Tinkerbell cards were rampant with all the usual sexism, but to top it off, included a card about being “Best Frienemies.”  No. Just No.

So in my role as Worlds-Best-Last-Minute mom, I did manage to involve a tasty treat in Baby Beez’ Valentines.  I picked up plenty of Cars, Toy Story and Monsters Inc. fruit snacks and taped them to the Valentines cards.  Baby Beez loves all of those movies, so her Valentines at least won’t be completely foreign to her.

They’re having a Valentine’s party at daycare tomorrow.  It will likely be the usual chaos of songs, snacks and small people dashing around.  When Baby Beez was 1, me staying for the party was so disorienting to her that she was always very moody and grouchy.  I was tempted to give up on attending these parties because they just seemed to make her moody.  We had a breakthrough with the most recent Christmas party, though, and she was happy to have me stay.


Hopefully this happy attitude will reappear tomorrow morning.