Saturday, September 17, 2011


Anyone who knows me really well, knows that I have suffered from depression for most of my life.  Has my life been horrible?  No.  That is not what depression is about.  I vacillate between wanting to talk about it, and not.  I don't think I should be ashamed of depression.  It is not something to be ashamed of, but I also don't want to be perceived as a whiny victim.  The reality is, that it is a part of me, and if you don't know about my issues you may find me rude at times, which is not my intention.

After big L was born I had post-partum depression really bad.  I mean if I got dressed it was a good day.  My child was well cared for, but I was absolutely not cared for.  This go around I have been trying not to let it get bad, and help myself before it reaches the bottom.  According to my doctor my efforts may be in vain.

This is not to say that she can't help, she can, but the drug I likely need is not as safe for the baby as the one I am on.  She states that most post-partum depression is a serotonin issue.  Well.....

Since my depression could be the double whammy of genetics and post-partum, we are treating one issue and not the other.  I am going to try to make it until the end of my breast feeding before getting help with the serotonin issue, but if it doesn't work, we will be back to taking a medication the effects of which are unknown on little L.  That fact alone is enough to depress me and make me feel inadequate.

I am very stubborn, so I think I can take another six months or more.  We will see.  In the meantime, if you know someone who recently had a baby, call her up and make sure she is okay.  Sometimes, feeling loved by family and friends can make a little difference, and that is all you can ask for.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Being A Lawyer

For those of you who know me well you know I am a lawyer.  You may or may not know that I don't particularly like being a lawyer and if I had it all to do again I am not sure I would make the same choice. However, saddled with student loans I should never have taken out, here I am.  A lawyer.

I don't tell people I am a lawyer unless I am asked what I do.  I have a few reasons for this:
1.  Everyone has a problem, either a legal problem, or a problem they had in the past with a....(wait for it) lawyer.
2.  I don't want to give free legal advice all the time or in the doctor's waiting room. Seriously, I was at the allergist with big L and a woman next to me was proofing her petition or response and the lady next to her asked if she was a teacher.  She said she was a lawyer and for the next thirty minutes we, and the whole waiting room heard of all of her custody issues regarding her niece and nephew.
3.  Most people don't like lawyers, sometimes it is just a blanket prejudice; with some they think we are the root of all evil (see number one).
4.  I hate conflict.

Goodness you might say, what were you thinking when you went to law school?  Seriously, I was looking for a challenge, and wanted my dad to get off my back about going to graduate school.  He wanted me to do something with my life.  In reality, my BA in Religious Studies, with minors in Philosophy and Women's Studies, was not paying the bills.

I told myself that I would take the LSAT and since I would likely fail, I wouldn't have to go to law school and everything would be great.  HAH!  For the first time in my life I did extremely well on a standardized test (okay not the first time, but I BOMBED the SAT's).  Then I applied and got accepted both places I applied.  Not only that but my alma matter gave me a full tuition scholarship for all three years.  Needless to say, I went to law school.

I lived through the experience, though it was not always pleasant.  It was a challenge.  After years of easily being one of the top students in my favored classes, I was suddenly average.  Average.  I didn't quite know how to deal with this fact, or the fact that I actually had to study.  Like, for real, pull out the book and study for a test.  I had a few failures in law school, and my health was not good but I made it through.

It took me three times to pass the bar.  This is not because I am dumb, this was that issue I have with standardized tests.  Plus I could not afford to take Bar/Bri until the third time.  Once they told me how to pass the test, I passed (content was not the issue).

In reality, some days I love being a lawyer.  I get to help people.  Other days, I HATE it.  Some people think their life is horrible and that the sky is falling, and to them that is true, but they tend to fail to be greatful for what they do have, and that makes it hard for me to feel for them.  Don't get me wrong, I understand how stressful it is to be in a situation where you need a lawyer, I have been in that situation.

So, my blog, which if searched is unfindable, will lead you to many different blogs on the law if you type in momof2ls for your search.  Anyone who has been in law school knows that a 2L is a second year law student.  I can only hope that neither of my children will be inclined to follow in my footsteps.  In the meantime I am happy to help people with estate planning and bankruptcy.  Just remember to be greatful that, unlike the majority of Americans, you can actually afford to see an attorney when you need it.  Most people can't even afford an attorney to help them protect basic rights.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What don't we get about food?

I don't think I am overly well read on nutrition.  Good nutritional information is available EVERYWHERE.  Super Size Me, did a great job of showing us what the junk we eat does to our body.  My daughter's school has nutritional guidelines in their handbook.  I am personally a fan of Rory and Kim at  Skinny Bitch.  Mostly because they are irreverent and crack me up while also making me want to whip myself into shape.

SO WHY ARE WE FUNDRAISING WITH PASTA THAT HAS MSG IN IT!?  I decided to educate myself, because what do I really know about MSG?  Not a whole lot.  Turns out it is a sodium salt of glutamic acid.  Okay....what the heck is that?  According to wikipedia (see this link MSG), it is a non-essential amino acid.  Apparently all the hubbub when we were kids (or at least when I was), was just that.  Also, apparently a LOT of our food contains MSG, they just call it natural flavoring.  The percentage of the population with an actual reaction to MSG is around 1%.  This is the same percentage of people Wikipedia's article claims have peanut allergies.

What does it all mean?  I guess the pasta the school is selling is healthy, if you have no allergies.  Those of us with food allergies are the minority.  Most people are not bothered by these issues, and while it would be nice for my daughter's school to offer something for her, I don't see it happening.  Ever.  Even when the school has claimed they would offer something for her that was safe they don't.

Still, I don't understand why every reward or "special fun item" at school has to be sugar and dairy filled.  So that gets me back to my point.  What are we teaching our children if every month or so they have sugar filled treats for reaching goals?  What am I teaching my child when I have to tell her to sell egg filled pasta (which she can't eat), so she can win an ice cream party for her class (to which she will have to bring her own frozen treat)?  Childhood obesity is supposedly on the rise.  Perhaps we should stop viewing food as a treat and explain to our children that food fuels their bodies and what they put in effects what they can do.  Perhaps we should allow healthy options only at this age, with occasional (2-3 times a year) treats.  

Another example in her life is cookies.  It is extremely hard when cookie sales for Girl Scouts come around.  She can't eat those either.  However, her troop did not come up with a sugary, non-allergy friendly prize if the goals were met.  They decided to go to the movies together.  As a mom and girl scout leader, I try to help my child and all of my girl scouts make healthy food choices.  I try to explain that they will receive more nutrition by eating natural and whole foods.  But let's be real they are little kids, and I am swimming against the majority in this case.  Maybe it is time that we all look more closely at what we eat, and teach instead by example.  Give children only healthy options, and try to include them all, even those with sensitivities.

Because big L can't eat and participate in these rewards she feels left out, and when she is a top seller I don't see that as fair.  Like my mom says, "I never said life was fair."  Perhaps someday when she asks, "Can I eat that, mom?", I will be able to answer yes.  For now, I try to educate her on what is safe for her to eat.  The Girl Scout reward is something I thankfully control in some ways, and that part of her life will be fair (I still feel guilty selling something that I myself don't think is healthy to eat).  As for the pasta, I think we are just going to forego the sale of pasta this year; our silent allergy protest.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why am I fat? (or how I don't make time for me)

This is a humorous topic to me, mostly because I have to laugh not to cry about it.

The truth is that junk food (read almost all food found in the middle of the grocery) is addicting.  I can't seem to get enough.  In reality though I don't eat junk food frequently, but when I do eat it, I eat large amounts.  Case in point:  Pizza, not really healthy unless you make it yourself.  Do I need more than two pieces?  No.  But inevitably I end up eating four.  Why? Because it is there.

My true problem is that I eat the way I did when I was a teenager.  At that time I was growing a lot, and my metabolism was amazing.  I was also active from dawn to dusk.  Even in college I was active, hiking,biking, and working out.  Now that I am a grown up (see earlier post), I don't have this metabolism.  I have been working at office jobs for years, and my chosen profession is very sedentary.  Still, this is not an excuse.

I am fat because I don't make time to exercise.  Somehow between taking care of two kids, a husband, a home, and working part time I don't make the time for myself.  Honestly, exercise is time for myself, just like reading books is time for me.

So the goal for the week:  MAKE TIME FOR ME!  Exercise, swim and just do it and quit whining about it.

Oh yeah, the goal has to postponed for that epidural shot in my back on Thursday, but after that!!!  :-) (It's always something.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby Food

I purchased a baby food making kit a month or so ago.  (Time has little meaning for me since little l came along).  I read through the book (kind of) and started making food.  This weekend I took the time to read the book a little more it said that the jars in the store could be older than my child!  I recoiled in horror, thinking, then realized my child is only six months old and I have jars of apple butter older than her.  Still it did give me pause to think.

I have been making little l's baby food from the start.  Except for that box of rice cereal.  She has had pears, peas, sweet potatoes, acorn squash and butternut squash, so far.  She had a small rash after the butternut squash, so I have held off on giving that to her again, but so far my youngest appears to be food allergy free.

I wish that with big L I had made her food too.  My excuse at the time was that I had no time.  This time I researched and purchased this: So easy Baby Food.  It is easy.  I spent maybe twenty minutes this weekend between the sweet potatoes and pears.  In reality, I cooked the food while I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.  The smooshing took very little time, as did the spooning into the freezer tray (fancy ice cube tray with cover).  She loves everything I have given her so far.

This go around I feel more informed and smarter about what I feed my child.  Big L had mostly organic food, just like little l, but in reality, I did not do the food introductions the same way.  Also, I could not give L food as early as I can l.  L's allergies showed long before her first cereal.  When they got worse we stopped completely until she was a year old.

Little l is receiving one new food a week.  I try to mix it up now that she has choices.  Mostly, I feel good about what I am feeding both my children at this point in my life.  We try to eat mostly organic, but don't when it isn't available, and I try to make fresh food.  We still have pasta night weekly, and L has a hot dog every so often, but this to me is not as tragic as it once was because everything else she eats is so good for her.

The point of this meandering is that you can easily make baby food for your baby, and healthy fresh food for your big people.  If I had known how easy it was I would have been doing it all along.  Happy eating everyone!