A little bit of everything…

It’s been a while since I posted, as I am recovering from the election and dealing with all that I let pile up during it’s demanding pull. So here is a hodge podge update on life here at Law and Motherhood.
Law: The practice building continues with more contacts made everyday. There are now several family law attorneys in my world who have accepted my information and promised referrals. I have also gotten my resume to the office of the child’s representative and am hoping I can be added to the state pay list early. (Sometimes it happens.) I have also been working on my Lizard case, two divorces, and a trusts and estates case.

I have learned many things, such as, never expect opposing counsel to actually listen to you and take your clients needs into account when writing up a stipulation. Expect to rewrite it to reflect what you discussed with them on the phone, not once, but twice. Expect to feel sorry for the other side when you realize your client is paying you in trade for massage, and they are likely paying hundreds (think 4 or so) of dollars an hour for an attorney who will be able to bill for a) the phone call where you told them what your client would accept, b) the time they spent creating the stipulation that reflects nothing in that phone call, and finally c) the time spent reviewing and editing the new stipulation created by me.

I hate attorneys who pad their billables, especially since I rarely charge for more than 75% of the time I spend on a case. It makes me crazy.

Motherhood: Otter has moved into a big boy bed in the room he shares with his sister. Today we put the bed in place and he is so very proud of himself. He hops on and off of it, lies down on his pillow, and generally beams at everyone.

A cheery big boy room... complete with sleeping boy.
A cheery big boy room... complete with sleeping boy.

Monkey is pleased to be sharing sleeping arrangements, but is struck down with a majorly awful cold, so she is not getting around much. She was home almost all last week, felt better Friday, adn then was struck down again this morning. Poor girl.

Otter has been communicating more clearly, though he has no intention of speaking anytime soon. He asks for milk by carrying the Boppy to me and tugging on my leg, he asks to go along somewhere by taking his shoes to the door and trying to put them on, he asks for food by holding his hand out and saying “num”. He is so incredibly cute with all his actions, but I don’t expect him to talk soon. His Daddy didn’t talk until he was four.

I have been making pumpkin pie and other comfort foods, and generally loving avoiding everything I have to do. However, it is time to get busy this week. I need to get a lot done for work, so there will be little time for pie, walks, bike rides, and housework.

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14 hours…

I became a political creature in my first presidential election, which was 1996, and was a Clinton year. When Bush was elected in 2000, I began to think the system may be broken, and I began to work with those who would fight to protect it. In 2004 I poll watched for FairVote, spending 14 hours in the cold insuring each challenged voter got to cast a provisional ballot, only to see no one count their votes. I assisted attorney’s in suing on behalf of disenfranchised voters in various states in the hopes that some one would be made accountable for the incomprehensible voter suppression and interference I saw around my country. (Such as people printing INS t-shirts and hanging around outside heavily latino polling places.)

Still, the system failed and l began to believe it might not ever work. How could anyone get the apathetic America to get off their couches and vote?

Then Hillary ran for office, and I thought, maybe, just maybe I could be excited about a campaign again. After all, Hill was a great candidate, and the first serious female contender for the presidential candidate. I was sad when she didn’t get the candidacy, though I supported Obama as soon as he did. (As only amnesia would have made me support a republican after the past eight years, that and my family being held hostage by vote influencing thugs.)

Yesterday I spent 14 hours in a polling place with other dems and pubs, insuring every voter who entered was allowed to cast a vote, or sent to the right place, or given a provisional ballot. There weren’t any voters challenged, no one tried to suppress the vote, and I saw some amazing things. They restored my faith in our political system. Though I still feared an inevitable letdown when voting machines would fail or lines would be too long to allow people to cast their votes.

I saw women, many of them, coming in with all their children in tow, preparing to brave long lines with multiple kids to cast their votes. (Luckily we didn’t have any lines and we have a volunteer who made hundreds of origami cranes to hand out to the kids.) I saw young voters, newly 18 with registration cards in hand, coming to make a choice for the first time. I saw grandmothers and grandfathers casting their vote for the first time, bringing their children and grandchildren, all recently registered, to cast a vote and make a statement. They all asked intelligent questions about the ballot initiatives, requested sample ballots, and spent 20 minutes to half an hour reading over each ballot choice before casting their vote.

I saw a pregnant woman deliver her mail in ballot on the way to delivering her baby.

I saw a voter who had failed to sign the pollbook in the morning on his way to work come all the way back from Fort Collins to put his signature down so his vote would be counted. (Luckily one of the election judges knew him and way able to call and tell him he had missed that crucial step.)

My election judges worked hard. They asked me and the republican poll watcher what our interpretations of the voting rules were, talked over disagreements, called for help when they needed it, and worked together to get our voters a ballot. They called the county clerk for over half of the voters whose registrations were missing from the poll books. The voters waited patiently for resolution, happy to sit for an hour while we sat on hold, just wanting to cast their vote.

When I came home, after a grueling but wonderful day, to discover that the system had actually worked, that there weren’t any suspicious reasons for a huge disparity in the exit polls and the elected candidate, I started to tear up. When I realized Obama won, I cried with disbelief and hope, and when I saw how much he won, how many people he inspired to vote, I cried with joy. Barack Obama has organized the American community and reminded us how it is supposed to work. We aren’t supposed to leave voting to the few, we are supposed to speak with millions of voices, from all areas of our nation’s demographics. We are a nation of the people, all the people.

He was not my first choice for president, but he is the best choice. This man can heal us, he can make us remember who we are, and he can bring out the beautiful in our America. I do not believe any other candidate could have done what he has done. I am proud to call him my president.

All Hallows Eve…

The night when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, when ghosts and ghouls, pumpkins and skeletons, Queens and Batmen, wander the earthly realm in search of offerings of sugar. This year all the members of our family were up for the evening candy-fest and we hit my parents neighborhood for good treats and their neighbors haunted tricks.

First we carved pumpkins:

pumpkin carving
pumpkin carving
Daddy and Monkey showoff thier handiwork
Daddy and Monkey showoff their handiwork

Then we ran the kids through the park in their All Hallow’s finery. (Nana made Monkey the most amazing cloak to go with her velvet gown. It was well received by her Majesty. Otter was supposed to be a pet dragon, but his costume didn’t fit [Darn my really tall baby!!] so we ran out and got a black suit over which we tossed Monkey’s Batman cape.):

Chasing the Dark Knight
Chasing the Dark Knight
You come back here!!
You come back here!!
Her majesty and the Dark Knight.
Her Majesty and the Dark Knight.
Halloween in flight.
Halloween in flight.

Then we hit the streets for candy and ghoulies. Roby and Heather had a bust reciting “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, and a twitching hanging spider victim in their front yard, along with talking skeletons, moving body parts, and cannibalistic pumpkins. It was a spooky sight!!

Outside the haunted house.
Outside the haunted house.

Otter had some fun learning the Halloween ropes. By the end of the night he was walking up to doors and gibbering away at people before running off. Of course, he rarely remembered to pick his candy, so his stash is much, much smaller than his sister’s.

Otter learns to trick or treat
Otter learns to trick or treat

Monkey had a blast running all over the town. We met up with some of her friends from her pre-school (completely by accident) and joined them for the candy hunt. They ran all over the place, flying up and down steps before we could even catch up to them. They were often three or four houses down, preparing to take off again before stern parental yelling drew them back to wait for the smaller members of our party.

Out seeking offerings!!
Out seeking offerings!!

All in all it was a wonderfull All Hallow’s. We all had a great time.