From the desk of…

Dear world,

I am Otter. I hold the exalted position of “The Baby” in the Law and Motherhood household. It is a position laden with heavy responsibilities, such as smiling at people, being coy, and getting into everything my limited reach will allow. I am busily trying to figure out my world, and encounter new aspects of it every day.

A few days ago I encountered “pot roast”. In it’s pureed form, it is by far the best baby food I have ever tasted. I really enjoyed the mixture of carrots, potatoes, roast beef, celery, and broth. It seems to have helped me sleep a little more at night, I think it keeps my tummy fuller, longer. (My tummy is rarely ever completely full, as it is a demanding tummy.)

I am working really hard on crawling, but I still refuse to endure the indignities of “tummy time”. I was told by various sources that I needed that dreaded time to strengthen my back muscles and learn to crawl. Well, I have replaced the back strengthening with some crazy arm antics, and have decided to make the crawling move from a seated position. It is a little tricky, but so far I can get both hands on the floor, and up onto one knee. I usually fall over before I can get the other knee into place, but I am confident I will soon master this technique. When I do, it will prove once and for all that tummy time torture is not something I need to endure. Maybe one of you could tell my mom?

I have a lot more work to do today, I plan on eating the phone when my mom isn’t looking, in addition to jumping in my jumper, mastering that foot transition, and playing the “drop it, pick it up” game with mom, so I should probably go. Please remember to tell mom I don’t need tummy time, as soon as I get that foot thing figured out. I keep trying to convince her, but every time I do, she just looks at me and says “shush shush, it’s okay” or “Ungee? Agoo?”. I am beginning to think she has very limited language skills.

In GITMO with Elmo (The sleep deprived contest)

I am heading into the middle of my second year as a stay at home parent, and I am getting comfortable with my role as universal kleenex, vomit target, and bodily function disposal device. I enjoy having the chance to play with my kids and help them develop their own unique personalities. I believe I am getting good at helping them understand the world. Most of my days are good, or even great.

However, the sleep deprivation coupled with the increased need for patience and cheerfulness is wrecking havoc on my system. I am so tired by the time the afternoon comes around that I am desperate for sleep and quiet. Instead, my afternoons usually consist of playtime with singing, chatting, questing, and crying children. I have to come up with creative ways to entertain said children, assist them with their homework, and begin to prepare for dinner. It is loud and interactive, it requires great patience, and it in no way resembles sleep.

I told my father last night, I am in GITMO, with Elmo. I am being subjected to repeated and intense sleep deprivation, much like I might experience if I were being questioned in violation of the Geneva Convention. However, I am required, in this sleep deprived state, to be cheerful, and inventive, and energetic, much like Elmo.

Now I agree that actually being in GITMO with Elmo would be much worse than what I experience. In fact, it would likely be much worse than anything I am ever likely to experience.

Regardless, it is a challenge to grasp and cling to my creativity and patience when I am woken at all hours of the night, every night, for months, with no pattern or schedule in sight. It is the biggest challenge of my life to stay cheery, and restrain myself from snapping at my kids, when I am more tired than I have ever been.

So, in honor of the sleeplessness experienced by all new parents, I propose a new contest! The winner will receive a $50 SpaFinder gift certificate, good at over 4000 spas. Go get a massage, or a facial, and try to regain your sense of peace!

How do you enter? Simply leave a comment (with a contact email) sharing your own sleepless story below this post! Any story of sleeplessness will do. You need not have children, your children can be grown, you can have thirty children, any story will enter you for the prize.

I will place all the contact emails in a hat on the 14th of December, and will pluck out one lucky winner! (Okay, Monkey will pluck out one lucky winner, she loves having the power to award a prize.)

Good luck and I look forward to hearing your stories!

Look what I am a part of:

I realize that my blog, while titled Law and Motherhood, is more often than not about motherhood. That is due to the fact that practicing law while being a practicing mommy is frickin’ hard. Fitting in a law practice around diapers, swim lessons, nursing, and active involved parenting is like trying to cram square pegs into round holes.

However, I did finally manage to complete my first complaint, and file it (with some help from local counsel.) Today I got the following email:

Help us take back the Endangered Species Act.
Donate today.

Dear Misty,

The Center filed six lawsuits this month challenging Fish & Wildlife Service decisions on endangered species – decisions that were tainted by corrupt political appointees of George W. Bush.

Our suits follow a September notice of intent to sue over 55 species that were subject to high-level political interference by Bush bureaucrats ignoring science to serve industry interests. We filed notice, we’re filing suit — and this is just the beginning. The suits are the first phase of a national campaign aimed at reversing illegal decisions to remove protection for more than 50 endangered species and 8.7 million acres of land.

Help us keep up the pressure as we fight to take back the Endangered Species Act from politicians and their industry cronies!

Our goal is to raise $250,000 from members like you by December 31st. Once we do that the money will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a special challenge grant. Click here to make a gift now and help us move these cases forward. Together we can secure crucial protections for the imperiled wildlife the Bush administration wants to sacrifice.

As the Center’s Michael Senatore put it, “These are some of the most endangered species in the United States. It’s outrageous that federal scientists were blocked from protecting them by political appointees in Washington, DC.”

We need your help now to mount a legal challenge to the inactions and abuse of our endangered species laws by the Bush administration.

Please make a donation today. Your gift will go twice as far, because it will be matched dollar-for-dollar. And that’s great news for animals and plants on the brink of extinction.

Thanks in advance.


Michael Finkelstein
Executive Director

Guess what? I am a part of one of those six lawsuits! Yes indeedy! I have a dash of law mingled into that motherhood!