Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Days with Daddy

Ray and Chay were home with E for the past two days while I was at work. Since he's still not working full time, he is going to keep them home for a couple days a week, which is nice that the kids get to spend some good bonding time with him since they don't get a whole lot of time alone together.

I was quite jealous yesterday, though. It was my first, very stressful, day at my new job and what did they get to do? Go on a nature hike!

How pretty and peaceful does that look?

Ray found a pink tree:

Where are we -- in Seussville?

Much to Ray and Chay's dismay, they didn't get to see an otter in the otter pond, nor did they get to see a duck in the duck pond. They DID get to see an alligator in the alligator pond. Ray wasn't all that impressed though because, as she put it, there's an alligator in the pond at the soccer field. I guess she's all "been there, done that" with alligators.

But how cute is that? Its a baby alligator!

This is one huge Cypress tree (I think) that they saw:

How would you like to climb that thing?

And, from what I understand, everyone got along all day.

Sista and Brudder

Which, according to E, is more than I can say about today.

Apparentally, Ray was all about challenging daddy and fighting Chay today. They went to the fountains again, and Ray hurt her foot badly enough that it was bleeding. (Note to future Ray -- you won't make a good doctor). A fight soon ensued over the type of bandaids they were going to buy (Princesses vs. Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty was the same price as regular bandaids while Princesses warranted a $1 more. A dollar more? Seriously? Needless to say, daddy won.)

Then, as a special treat, he took them to McDonald's. Ray proceeded to throw a fit because there was ketchup on her cheeseburger. E only ordered her cheeseburger like that because THAT'S THE WAY SHE ALWAYS WANTS IT. I guess just not today, though.

She refused to nap, as always, but fell asleep at 4:30 on the way to Home Depot, and I'm guessing that only made the HD trip that much more difficult. Oh, and while he was folding laundry, she knocked over a pile of t-shirts. On purpose. Then laughed when she was punished. Challenging authority much?

As much fun (and challenging) it is to be home with Ray and Chay, I think E is exhausted after two full days alone with them. Ha!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Magic Umbrella

Dear Em,

I understand that you don't believe that I am Mary Poppins because I don't have a magic umbrella. But, my dear, Em, I do have one:

I found my umbrella in London, which is where Mary Poppins reigns supreme. It was a really late rainy night and E and I had just left the pubs. A strange figure approached me and gave me this special umbrella and told me that it held a special gift if I used it right. If you believe in magic, it will talk to you and help you fly. (It will at least keep you dry *wink*wink*)

So, my dear Em, do you still believe that I'm not Mary Poppins?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dancing the Employment Dance

I got the job! Its at a law firm, which I am pretty excited about, believe it or not. The sucky part is having to deal with billable hours, but hey, who am I to complain? I've got a job!

I will be working closely with an attorney who handles medical malpractice suits for law enforcement and correctional units. I think I may get some good blogging material out of this, assuming that I can tell the story without giving away any confidential and/or identifying information. The attorney at the interview yesterday already told me a few good ones and that was in just the first five minutes.

I start on Monday. They are extremely busy so I agreed to start right away. Go me!

Now, its time to find E a job. Keep thinking happy thoughts for us -- it seems to be working...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have a 2nd interview tomorrow! Yippee!

When Ms. HR called me yesterday, she told me a little about the attorney that I would be interviewing and potentially working with. She prefaced it with, "Are you sitting down?"

That's one way to make someone excited to work for you.

The attorney works in their Torts and Insurance practice and happens to deal primarily with law enforcement and the prison system. Ms. HR wanted to know if that would be OK?

Oh, hellz, yeah! May I remind you that I was a double major in college -- one of which was in Criminal Justice? I love that stuff!

Please think good thoughts for me. Pray, even, if you believe in that kind of thing. I want this job (assuming that I like the attorney and they like me, of course).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She Stuck It Up Her Nose

I'm sitting here applying for jobs and needed to post this because it is so unlike a Ray thing to do.

She's in the bedroom watching Backyardigans while we wait for Chay to wake up from his nap. She ran out and told E that she was picking her nose. Uhm. OK.

Then she came to the front room and told me that the key was in her nose.

Me: Huh? A key? In your nose?

Ray: Yeah. Its stuck up there, way up there. (Points to her nose). The white thing. Its in my nose.

Me: E, do you know what she's talking about? Ray, blow like you are blowing your nose.

Ray: I can't! It hurts.

Me: (Thinking, oh lordy, we have no health insurance and can't afford to go to the emergency room for a key that may, or may not, be in her nose.)

E: Blow hard (while holding her right nostril closed).

And low and behold, a shell flew out of Ray's nose.

A flipping shell! Why would she stick it up her nose? That's something I expect Chay to do, not my girl!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Nine people. One 2000 square foot house.

One Queen Mother. Two brothers. Two wives (regardless of legalities). Two teenagers. And, Ray and Chay.

Friday night upon arrival: Dinner and a movie. Relaxing enough.

Saturday: Three hours at the pool. Three dozen blue crabs. One trip to the beach for a sunset. A school (is that what they are called?) of stingrays. A meal at the beach bar with a couple of beers with live music under the stars. Priceless.

Sunday: Two bus rides to/from the parking lot. Two boat rides. One beach visited. Two manatees, a couple of dolphins, a few pelicans diving, and thousands of baby clams burrowing into the sand. Three movies watched upon arrival home, three fights among the teenage siblings, one timeout for Chay, and one very needed drive for me and Tracy. And, finally, one pot of E's famous chili.

Monday: 7:00 am. Goodbye Uncle Mark, Tracy, Lindsey and Shawn! We loved having you.

Tomorrow's post: An ode to Cousins

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let's Talk About Stress

Tomorrow, I have two interviews. Friday, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, the Girlfriend, and the Cousins are coming to our house for the first time. When am I supposed to clean?

Oh, never mind. I don't care. I need to focus on the interviews first and foremost.

These interviews couldn't be more opposite.

The first is for a single attorney with her own independent office. She does probates, wills, bankruptcies, etc. I've never worked with anyone in such a small atmosphere, and it could be to my advantage. She may be flexible with the kids, and she may be a really good mentor.

On the other hand, I'm a law firm snob. LET ME BE CLEAR: I find nothing wrong with that type of work. However. I worked in DC, I've assisted on federal briefs and attended oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court. I've met and had a (brief) discussion with Ruth Bader Ginsberg (yeah, ask her about me. I bet she'll remember me! Not.) I've been the lead paralegal on a large trial in the Ninth Circuit as well as an arbitration in London. I rock when it comes to experience.

But, during all that time, I never had a family. So, my priorities have shifted. Of course, my job is a number one priority. However, I just don't have the flexibility to work 70 hour weeks like I did pre-children.

That brings me to the bigger firm, which happens to be the second interview I have tomorrow. They will have work more in line with what I am used to, but will they be as flexible as I may need? Will I have to work 70 hour weeks?

Granted, I live in SW Florida now, not DC. Please, don't get me wrong. I am not scared to work long hours. I am just scared of leaving my two young children for such long hours. It's all about balance, right?

Of course, now is the time that I realize -- hey! You need to be offered the job before you worry about all this nonsense, OK? When that happens, I'll be back to keep you up to date...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Too Excited to Sleep

So, we may be gone for a couple of days. I may or may not be able to blog while we're gone. We may or may not be having too much fun with the Princesses and pirates and maybe even a couple of mice too. Just maybe.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Get Off Your A** and Parent!

After being home with my two children for about, oh, say... a day, I sent an email to my BFF, Jeanmarie (aka, G-Mawie):

What in the hell am I supposed to do with them all day? The daycare is reserving our spots for two weeks free of charge while we figure out what we're doing. But, until then, my dear children will be home with me ALL. DAY. I had Chay with me for a year and a half, but he was just a squishy baby that didn't require entertainment. So, as a pro stay at home mom, can you please provide tips for free and educational entertainment for my sanity?

So, yeah. Feel free to feel sorry for me. (Insert sarcasm here.)

But I've found my way. Nana and I went to the teacher store:

That standing art easel -- THE BEST PURCHASE EVER. Yes. It deserves all three -- CAPS, italics, and underlines. It has a chalkboard that they never stop playing with. I have attached a felt board, which they constantly play with. The painting can be a pain in the a**, because Ray needs help keeping Chay away (he wants to paint the furniture, which I can't allow). But the entire board provides all day entertainment, and I cannot recommend it enough.

I have also found that the local park fountains are good, and free, entertainment:

My Baby's Handprints (those are Chay's but Ray disagrees...)

Obviously, we are working hard to keep our children's lives normal. I don't honestly think that they notice a difference between us leaving for work or a normal weekend day.

I do know that they notice our stress.

And I am not sure how to deal with that. Any advice would be appreciated...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Keep the Tourists at Bay

Papa and E played golf on Saturday. E, of course, hurt his elbow. Shocker. He manages to hurt himself just clipping his toenails, so it’s not a golf game without a few injuries. He did get a birdie, which we have not stopped hearing about.* While they played golf, the women (i.e., Nana and Mitch) hit the beach with the mini-mes.

The beach is a semi-private beach which can only be accessed by boat however, it is shared with a rather large four-star hotel, which shall remain nameless. The local members own the first boat allowed to land on the island, so at approximately 9:55 am we were in our lounge chairs (and by “in our lounge chairs” I mean throwing our stuff at the chairs while chasing Ray and Chay into the water).

The hotel’s boat usually arrives about a half hour later, so at roughly 10:30 am the tourists arrived. It really is such a peaceful half hour at the beach between 10 and 10:30.

The family that took up the space next to us was a mirror image of the Ray and Chay family – a thirty-some curly haired mom (slightly overweight, but with red, instead of brown, hair) and an older (slightly skinnier) dad.* The children were a little older. The girl was around 4 ½, and a little timid in the water. The boy was 2 ½ and NOT scared of anything. The kicker? Mom pulled out a bottle of wine (at 10:30 am, mind you) and poured herself a plastic glass full. Now, that’s my kind of girl.

If you can’t drink at 10:30 am at the beach while on vacation, when can you?

*I say this in the most lovingly way.

The Princess Awaits Her Snack of Grapes

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July (Albeit, a Day Late)

Happy Birthday, USA! In celebration, Nana and Papa came over for a short bbq of burgers, fries, corn on the cob with a few temper tantrums thrown in. Then we headed to "downtown" for some fireworks.

Chay bleeds blue (popsicle)

I just need to throw in that I used to live outside of Washington DC. So, I am pretty biased when it comes to fireworks and Fourth of July celebrations. With all of the problems our current residence provides, I have to admit that they do throw a really grand 4th presentation.

But you would think they'd cut the grass first.

Here is the view during sunset...

The fireworks went off over the water

Oh, and it rained. But that is pretty consistent with every Fourth of July here in Southwest Florida. We get our outdoor activity out of the way in the morning, yesterday, it was the pool, then in the afternoon it rains. Lately, the rain has been starting around 3 pm and ending around 7 pm. Yesterday, was pretty typical, so while we drove downtown, it poured and we played in it while we waited. Who doesn't like to play in the rain?

Hey, dude? When's the fireworks gonna start?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Am Sad.

I have never lost a job before. I have never been fired. I have never been asked to voluntarily leave. In fact, all of my previous bosses have tried to find ways to convince me to stay. So to say that my recent lay off is hitting me hard is an understatement. It is devastating.

Sorry, I'm not feeling funny nor am I feeling uplifting. However, Ray has been full of wit and sarcasm:

When I pointed out that her recent bathroom break resulted in some wet underwear from some misdirected pee, she said, "Mommy, that wouldn't have happened if you wiped my bottom correctly."

While E was eating his homemade egg sandwhich this morning, Ray decided she was still hungry. E: "Ray, are you going to eat my whole sandwhich?" Ray: "No, daddy. I am going to save a little for you."

While Ray was taking a nap, a phone rang on the tv. All of a sudden we heard from her room, "Mooommy, I hear a phone ringing. You better answer it!"

While putting her to bed tonight, she said, "Mommy, I am sorry I yelled at you." This is the first time she's ever apologized for her sassy mouth. It done my heart good (yes, I know that wasn't good English. It was on purpose.)

That's all I've got for tonight. Thank you, and goodnight.