October 13th, 2008 by kelly

OK, so among the changes I mentioned below is that now I work for a large law firm.

I had thought that I’d already been working at a large firm for the past four years.  (A firm with about 140 attorneys is among the top five or six largest law firms in a town like good old Milwaukee).

But the firm I work for now (although I’m based mostly our of the tiny Milwaukee satellite office), is huge.

Over 660 attorneys nationwide huge, and a member of “Am Law 100” (I’m not even sure what that really is).  Also, according to a new report (that I read about on the firm’s Intranet) it is now  the 98th highest grossing law firm in the world. 

Some of their marketing materials I read also boasted that they are “among the country’s 70 largest firms.”  I thought that was pretty funny. Most people don’t go around bragging about being one of the top 70th of anything….

But anyway, it’s new and interesting to be exposed to a company of this size.

I get intra-firm e-mails all day from all around the country.  And they’re from my co-workers, but they might as well be from strangers, almost.  Of course the people I work most closely with are ‘real’ people, and very nice.

But I’m still getting used to the phrase “time-zone appropriate food will served,” which keeps popping up in the description of the lunch that can be expected for various firm-wide teleconferences and satellite video meetings.

I traveled to and from the Chicago office today, and my exploration of mega-firm continues.  My route from the Chicago train station to the Chicago office can be described as walk to the Sears Tower, turn left, walk six blocks.  Pretty simple.

Maybe in a couple of years, I’ll have at least have met 5% of my coworkers… 


October 11th, 2008 by kelly

So Sarah’s over the ear infection that I last blogged about.  But who knew – the antibiotics caused her to have a ‘yeast rash’ on her bottom!  I’d never seen that before, but Sarah broke out in the worst-imaginable-looking red, almost blistery, diaper rash, and I figured out, thanks to some Googling, what the problem was.  A lot of lotramin and a Dr. visit later, and she’s fine again.

But that seems like a minor happening in light of all the other things that have been going on around here.

It’s going to be a Christmas letter for the record books.  Almost everything about our lives has changed since the last holiday season.

New house, new daycare, new bi-weekly housecleaner, new tenants in the old house, new status as long-distance-landlords with respect to the old house, new baby, new degree (Paul graduated from law school), and now, new job for Kelly(!) and, as of today, new (well, used) minivan for Kelly, too.

That’s right, I said new job for Kelly.  Life is full of surprises, and this was a good opportunity. 

So now I’m a newly initiated member of a subculture of Milwaukee people (when I show up at the station in the early morning, I tend to think of us as ‘the bedraggled masses’) who travel on the 6:15 a.m. Hiawatha Service Amtrack train to Chicago (I come back on the 3:15 p.m.) occasionally for work.  (My new firm has a large office in Chicago that need to visit sometimes).  It’s a new situation for us, but a good one.

All the changes are good, even if they all require some adjustments.

I think I’ll be fine if we don’t have too many other changes this year, though.  We may just be up to our quota for the year!!

It’s Applesauce All Over Again!

September 16th, 2008 by kelly

(I can only hope that Yogi Berra would be proud of the title).

What I mean by it is that history is repeating itself – and that the Applesauce is, literally, getting all over the place again. 

The Pink Stuff

Once again, we have a little, four month old girl with an ear infection.  (Well, maybe Emma was five months).  And once again, the attempt at getting the Amoxicillan down via the drugstore-provide syringe was a total bust.  So I’ve got to sneak it into some applesauce and spoon feed it, as best I can to a girl who’s still figuring out how spoon feeding works.


Better Together

I’m willing to do anything, though, to get the little gal feeling better.  She’s had a cold, but was getting over it, and then, suddenly, got extra cranky, and her fever spiked up to 103.1.  It was a little slow on the uptake, but finally connected all the dots this morning when I saw her tugging at her ear.  (All this, is textbook ear infection by the way).  So we went to the Dr., and got that ear diagnosed.  Infected, indeed.  (Not, incidentally, on the side she tugged at this morning, but the Dr. says it’s common that babies pull on the non-infected side – I don’t know why).

A spoonful of sugar

We also got some pain drops to put into her ear to keep her more comfortable until the antibiotic kicks in.

But I’m having flashbacks to January of 2006 (which is when I took the pictures in this post – no current ones yet), when we went through this with then small Emma.

Except that I feel much calmer, and generally much less worried than the first time around.  I now know that this just happens with babies, and that all will be well…  The first time around, I was never 100% sure on that last part.

Pink Applesauce Mouth

Two Rights Don’t Make it Right!

September 12th, 2008 by kelly

Two Right Feet!

Paul had been eagerly awating a replacement pair of shoes in the mail (the eariler pair had been defective).  But when he opened the box, he discovered that he had been sent two RIGHT shoes!!!  So now he’ll be waiting a little longer.

By the way, check out that ‘Marquette Law’ t-shirt he’s wearing.  Our new J.D. in the house has been busy picking us various legal work over the summer under his own, virtual, ‘shingle,’ but is still looking to land the right firm position.

He had an interview today for a nice possible position.  Everyone’s good mental vibes are welcomed – we’d be thrilled if this one would work out.  (The call-back interview should take place a couple of weeks from now).  I’ll post any significant updates on the blog.

Darn Cats!!!!!!!

September 12th, 2008 by kelly

Darn Cat!!!!!!!

I was so sad to see this sight at the doorstep yesterday morning!  One of our cats killed this cute little chipmunk!!!

Hard to say which cat is was – both seem to have been on a late-summer killing rampage.  In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been receiving our first ‘presents’ of the summer – several mice and a bird.  :(   But killing a chipmunk seems to be taking it to the next, more cruel level, somehow… 

And I had only recently been so delighted to have the chance to watch a cute little chipmunk sit and chew on a nut on a rock in our garden.

Luckily, today (the day after I took this picture), I DID see a very much alive and apparently cheerful little chipmunk scampering about in our garden.  So it’s good to know that our cats haven’t decimated the local chimpmunk population altogether.

Still, I’m sorry that they even got this one…

My Pediatrician Says….

September 11th, 2008 by kelly

that parents can’t help themselves but to compare thier children to one another.  And yet, he tells me, and we are already learning, each child is unique, behaves in her own way, and develops according to her own timetable.

Still – we can’t help but compare the pictures of our two little tots, as Sarah keeps growing…

Here are a couple of our side-by-side comparison collages, with Emma on the left, and Sarah on the right:

Head Shot Comparison

Eating Comparison


September 3rd, 2008 by kelly

Emma just sat down and wrote her name all by herself this past weekend!

Let’s hear it for her teachers at pre-school!!!

We’re so proud of our little speller!

Emma writes her name!

Sarah and the Doppelgaenger!

September 3rd, 2008 by kelly

Sarah finds her Doppelgaenger

Fuzz, (semi-solid) Food, and Fun

September 3rd, 2008 by kelly

Our little cutie has had her first couple of tries at eating rice cereal now.  So far, most of it gets spit back out, but that won’t last for long.

Rice Cereal Meal # 1

She also seems to be growing in some more fuzzy baby hair!

And Big Sister LOVES to spend time playing with Baby on her play mat!  Recently, she joined Little Sister on the mat to share both a reading of ‘The Little Engine That Could’ (including the quote “Me pull the likes of YOU??!? Indeed NOT’), and some toy trumpet playing.  Baby seems to enjoy it.

Big sister reads 'The Little Engine That Could' Big sister plays the trumpet

“Yes, and they’re mine.”

August 14th, 2008 by kelly

I did a few daycare drop-offs/pick-ups during my maternity leave, but not many.  Paul took over that job, mostly, while I was home with the baby.

But when I went back to work a few weeks ago, I stepped up once again to take my place in our shared division of labor in the daycare drop-off and pick-up scheme for our girls.  (Now plural).

The first day that I was there, again, with Emma (who switched to a new ‘room’ for older kids while I was home on leave) I noticed that there were two brown rocks in her new ‘cubby.’  The next day, there was another rock, and I surmised that this might be an active collection.

“Did you bring in those rocks from the playground?”, I asked? 

“Yes, and they’re mine,” was the response.

 The next day, another rock appeared, and the next day another, and so on.  And a few days later, I saw that a flower bud had been added to the collection.

Just a few days after I first noticed this rock collecting activity, I received the usual monthly e-mail, which provides little articles on typical child (and parent) development stages for each of our girls. 

Wouldn’t you know.  This was the featured update:

Older preschoolers are as passionate about collecting things as adults. They may be trading in rocks instead of oil paintings, but the idea is the same. Developmentally, your preschooler is working hard to classify the world around him into groups and subgroups (mammals, cats, pet cats, white and yellow cats). Collecting suits this kind of mental function perfectly (big rocks, little rocks, white rocks, shiny rocks). Toy collections are fun, but a grown-up has to purchase them — your child can’t do it himself. That’s why so many starter collections tend to involve natural items (sticks, shells, feathers), because the child can be in control.

Give your child a special place to store her collection, such as a box or shelf. Encourage her to talk with you about it, which helps her articulate what she’s thinking. Ask, “Why did you pick that one?” and “Which are your favorites?”


So what do you know.  Our girl’s right on schedule on starting her first collection.


Emma's Rock Collection in her Preschool Cubby

(And she’s a WHIZ – the proud mama in me, plus some comments from the preschool teacher make me sure that she’s AHEAD of schedule on this – with puzzles.  In fact, she has told me several times that she is the “Boss of Puzzles.”)


Puzzle work