Friday, June 25, 2010

An Incredible Little Fish

While I was at trial, Sammie B had her first swim lesson! Many people (including our PT) had recommended acquatic therapy for Sam, because being in the water helps with body awareness and movement, but we weren't able to find any "aquatic therapists" in our area. We did, however, find a swim teacher that has worked with several kiddos with CP and MD, so we knew she'd have good ideas about how to use swimming to help with movement. We've heard some pretty cool stories about how kids learn to move themselves in the water long before they can do so on land. Sam loves the water, so we were eager to see how swimming lessons might help her! Moving in the water (without feeling like she's fighting gravity the way low-tone kids do) will both allow her to get the idea of what movement feels like AND help her build strength in her arms and legs from kicking/paddling.

And this week, I was there for Sam's third swim lesson, and I watched with tears in my eyes. For a little girl that seems so unmotivated to move on land, she moved herself around the pool like a little fishy. Paddling with her arms, kicking and just grinning from ear to ear (mostly making sure Papa was watching!) . . . it was truly incredible, and she seemed so very very proud of herself. This is going to be super fun for all of us, and I'm sure it won't be the last time I cry during a swim lesson. Our sweet Bean is a fish!

The [Belated] Father's Day Post

To the original Sam, my dad, Sammie B's PawPaw. The man that taught me to stand up for myself, to not take sh*& from anyone, and who can make me laugh or smile in an instant. Making HIM proud has been one of the main drivers behind every success I've had in life, and I can only hope I can keep on keepin' on making him proud. And, without a doubt, the "new" Sam in our family will make him even prouder. Like us, she's a hard little worker with a fighting spirit, already making us proud. I love you dad.

And to B, who from the moment I met him, has encouraged me to dream bigger than I ever knew possible, and who makes ME a better me. Since the little Bean entered our lives, his support and unwavering confidence in me has given ME the confidence to attempt to "do it all" even on days I thought I'd fall apart. He's my best friend, my most avid supporter, and the love of my life. I love YOU B!

And to the other "dad" in my life, B's dad, Sammie B's Papa, the only person on earth that worries more than me. Worry that comes from the deepest love possible from one of the biggest hearts ever. Sammie B is infatuated with her papa, and for good reason. This Papa IS love.

While Mom Was Away, Sammie Did Play

While I was away, Sammie B had tons of fun . . . her Gigi visited to help out, and thankfully, our nanny took tons of great pictures so Mama could see the fun for herself!!!

They went to see Sesame Street Live, and Sammie B had a blast (I'm told she sat completely mesmerized through the entire show!).

They went to the Beach for a bonfire dinner with our nanny and her fabulous friends:

And they went to a really cool kids' museum (that I can't wait to go to myself!):

They relaxed AND "worked":

But best of all, Sammie B and dada took turns sending mama kisses!

Return of the Trial Mama

I'm BACK!!! Trial ended (by settlement the morning of closing arguments, after the team had pulled an all-nighter to finish closing :o)) last week, and I came home (exhausted) to a super super happy little girl. After three full days of sleep, I finally came out of my post-trial coma, and have enjoyed a fabulous week home with my little family.

Trial marked a huge change in perspective about work and my career. For the months leading up to trial, I was PETRIFIED about having to be away from Sam for that long. I dreaded it, and didn't know how I'd possibly do it. I thought about switching firms -- trying to find a smaller firm, with more local clients, just to avoid this prolonged time away. When that didn't pan out (I interviewed, but nothing really "clicked" - I got call back interviews, and even an offer, but turned them all down), B said to me exactly what I needed to hear: yes, it would suck, but we'd suck it up and get through it. So that was the attitude I went into trial with . . . I'd suck it up, and we'd all make it through it. And a friend told me, "if you have to be away from your family, make it count, bill those hours, and kick ass!" THAT became my mantra.

And as probably is typical, the actual experience wasn't nearly as bad as I'd built it up to be in my head. Yes, I was homesick. Yes, I missed my family. We skyped daily, and I usually disconnected from the call with tears in my eyes (and I cried even more when B told me everytime he sat with her at the computer, she started saying "mamamama".) But, I also felt (for the first time since Sam was born) fully and completely committed to my work. With a "let's win this" attitude. For so long now, I've started to see work as something I HAVE to do, and I lost sight of how much I actually LOVE being a litigator. How much I love the pressure, the excitement, the challenge, all of it. One of my favorite moments as a lawyer is always when I realize I know a certain area of the case better than anyone on the team, and getting to use my expertise to push our case forward. Our trial team was an amazing group of people, and working at BigLaw allows me to work on exciting, challenging, big cases, and to learn from some of the best litigators in the country. That's an opportunity I worked very very hard for, and I'm not ready to give that up. I also worked very very hard to build up the credibility with them that allows for my flexible schedule and working from home when I need to for Sam's appointments. So, all told, I think I have it pretty good, and I'm feeling pretty darn lucky.

So, while doing it all certainly won't EVER be easy, I hope my renewed positive attitude and excitement makes it, at a minimum, easier. I also billed enough hours to deserve a few weeks off, and I'm taking 'em! I've been home with Sam all week, and we are having a great time together. I find it hard to just stay home and sit still, so we've been running tons of errands in between therapy sessions :o) but just enjoying each other.

Reflecting on trial, I still am sad that trials take me away from my Bean and my B -- but I just hope that I (we) can make it all work, somehow, someway, and that I set a good example for my sweet Bean. Because no matter how much I love my career, or how much I love winning (which the settlement was indeedy a "win" for us) . . . I'm determined that my sweet girl will NEVER be shortchanged because of it.

So there it is . . . I'm back! And with a new attitude that so far, suits me well!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


So, I'm in Texas for trial . . . day 2 (of the pre-trial phase still!) and it is intense, as expected. I've billed almost 40 hours in TWO days, which is out of control (but damn it, if I have to be away from my little family, I'm making it count and RACKING up the billables so I can take some time off when I get home!) I go back and forth between feeling passionate about the case, and just being HOMESICK and wanting to go home. B is sending frequent pictures, of my sweet Bean smiling, and they make my heart ache and smile all at the same time. Most of all, I hope that one day, Sammie B thinks I've set a good example of her as being a career mama, and that these little times away will just seem like blips in our story. I can't wait to go home . . . to this face (and her dada's face too!).

Oh Sammie B, kisses right back at ya!!! Mama kisses!!!!