Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Flight

Just a quick post to say we've made it to Ohio!  After a harrowing day of travel, Judah survived his first plane ride without much pain.  Actually, we missed our original flight because we went to the wrong airport!  How stupid did we feel?!

But the silver-lining there was that we got on a red-eye flight and Judah was so exhausted he basically slept the whole way.  So much for all the airplane toys I had prepared for him!

Michael and I, sadly, were not so fortunate.  The red eye was painful for us with a capital "P".  I got a total of zero minutes of sleep.

Here's a pic of Judah enjoy his first snow experience with his beloved auntie. Much more to come!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Good Tidings

He has filled the hungry with good things 
and the rich he has sent away empty.

The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." 
And let the one who hears say, "Come." 
And let the one who is thirsty come; 
Let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Friday, December 23, 2011

TCB (Taking Care of Business)

There won't be many posts here for a while during the hectic frenzy of the holidays.

Wish us luck as we attempt to take Judah on his first plane ride, over the hills and through the woods, all the way to grandma's house in Ohio!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Another Toddler in the Park

I remember last year I often asked myself--I wonder what it will be like when Judah can actually play on the park equipment instead of just looking at it?

These pics really underscore for me how quickly babies grow.

Gone is the helpless baby of yesteryear. Here is the toddler of today.

And soon will be a fully functional man-child! So much happens in a year of the life of an early human.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Sometimes I get weird text pics of Judah while I'm at work. Fortunately, this series of photos had some text narration:  Hey Mom--So...I think I'm in love!

Just met her at the park, and we blew some bubbles together. 

We're going to Cabo next weekend.

She might just be the "One"!  --Judah

Sigh.  Kids these days!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meal Deal: A Thanksgiving Miracle

Like all parents of toddlers, we often had trouble getting Judah to try new foods. For a long time he refused to eat any meat whatsoever (and barely tolerated other forms of protein except for his beloved cheese).

So, needless to say, we were really worried, but also didn't want meals to turn into high-pressure situations that would create negative associations for Judah. What to do, what to do (other than blend everything together into a disgusting meat smoothie)?

Well, it turns out, Judah likes a good deal, like the son of a corporate deal lawyer should.

Michael discovered by accident one day (it happened to be Thanksgiving) that Judah understands very immediate trade-offs. Michael was trying to get Judah to eat a piece of turkey (for the 26th time), but Judah kept shouting for his "cheerios." He says "Oh! Oh!" to ask for his Trader Joe's O's.

So out of exasperation, Michael held out an "O" and said, "If you eat this turkey, I'll give you this "O." He didn't expect Judah to be able to process this information, but repeated the deal a couple times and then held out the turkey to Judah--who opened his mouth and accepted it! Unbelievable! It never ceases to amaze me how babies understand so much more than we think they're capable of.

Then Michael gave him the "O" and once again negotiated with Judah over turkey. This went on for a few more rounds until Judah realized, hey, turkey is delicious!

Pretty soon he was just eating the turkey without any trade-offs. We've since used other trade-offs (cheese, grapes, strawberries) to get Judah to try chicken, ham, beef, and other foods he used to flat-out reject.  (Here I'm offering him some Kale in exchange for a pomegranate seed--ah this brings back not-so-fond memories of law school in which contracts were made using a peppercorn for "consideration").

Anyway, the "Meal Deal Method" works about 90% of the time and Judah now has a much broader range of foods to eat. Maybe we should patent this amazing toddler feeding trick?! Well, too late, I already spilled the beans here.  And yes, Judah now eats beans too!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Splendor in the Grass

There is no better place for my active guy who loves to play with balls, than a huge grassy field.

Here Judah can run with abandon in all directions as far as his little legs can take him.

And I don't have to constantly hover over him and shout "No touch! Be careful! Watch that step! Don't run into the street!"

And bonus, he's exhausted in the end and happily sits back in his carseat for the ride home...and eventually sleeps "like a baby" (which all parents know is a stupid simile since babies are horrible sleepers).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Check it!

What's that I'm sportin' on my back you ask?

Why, it's my pikachu backpack, of course!

I'm fobby and ready for pre-school!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Judah's turning out to be quite the hugger.

He still gets upset when I hold his cousin, but he nevertheless likes to give Manfred impromptu hugs without being asked!

Other self-initiated hugging events include hugging our next door neighbor's 1 year old girl and hugging me after he slaps my face around, as if to say "Sorry mom!"  Sigh, we're still working on his "gentle" touch.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Hold my hand and walk...

...where I lead. But in this household, it's Judah saying that to us. There's no point in trying to lead him anywhere. He sticks out his hand and commands us where he wants us to go.

But it's still awfully sweet to hold his little hand anyway.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Everyone together now, one-two, one-two...

Judah loves the 1lb weights at Sports Authority!

Too Sexy For My Onesie

Hey there little lady, shhhh, I know just what you're thinking... can a 16 month-old look this greasy!?  Apparently, all it takes is an unbuttoned shirt and low-rise jeans!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Judah has recently discovered the joy of flowers and dandelions in particular. We once spent a whole afternoon picking them and blowing them (which Judah didn't understand because he kept trying to eat them. Gross).

That same day we read a nature book and he saw a picture of a dandelion in it. I said "Dandy!" and he pointed to the front door gesturing wildly to say that he wanted to go out and pick a dandelion.

I'll tell you, there's nothing sweeter than seeing your little baby holding a flower.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ready For Take-off

Judah gets to dress up as a space-baby at his activity center. He also loves being in 'mission control' because he hasn't yet met a button he didn't desperately want to push (both figuratively and literally).

Speaking of pushing buttons, we are going through yet another miserable round of sleep-training. It seems Judah is no longer content to fall asleep in our arms and then quietly transferred to his crib.

Now, he is so alert and sensitive, that any attempt to lower him into his crib causes him to startle, wake up, and wail like a banshee--as if to say, how dare you put me down!!!! So now we are doing what all the books say we should've been doing since the beginning--putting him down in his crib with his little eyes open.

Judah absolutely hates this and will cry like his body is being set on fire for a good 20-30 minutes.  It absolutely kills me because he says "Maaaa-maaaa!" as he cries.

It's also caused him to be very apprehensive anytime I take him into his room. The books call this "crib fear" as he now associates his crib with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Oh the misery of sleep-training.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Comfy Cozy

The days have been getting colder and my baby has been getting older!

Since when did my baby wear house slippers and sit in his favorite chair to peruse a book by himself?! Everyday brings him one step closer to being a little man.  Before you know it, he'll be wearing an old man robe and flipping through the newspaper!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


From looking at this blog, most people get the idea that Judah is a generally happy guy--and he is for the most part.

But because I'm all about shattering illusions and presenting a somewhat more balanced view of reality--here are pics of Judah crying HARD.

He usually does this right after he wakes up from a nap (if I'm not there to nurse him). Michael took these pics, hoping that the novelty of the camera would distract Judah from his crying jag. Obviously that didn't work!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet Our New Laundry Lady

Who says 1 year olds can't help around the house?  This one likes to mimic everything we do...including the laundry.  Check it out:

Doing Laundry from El Bebo on Vimeo.

Ironically, by the time he's 12, he'll probably lose all ability to lift a finger when it comes to laundry and other chores...and then miraculously find that ability again when we incentivize him with an allowance.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sports Guy

When it's cold and rainy outside and I don't feel like going to Target for the 102nd time in a week, I take Judah to our local Sports Authority. It's usually completely empty and Judah is quite the sports guy.  Got to hydrate before the big workout.

There's actually quite a lot for him to do there, not least of which is to try out his best impression of Stevie Wonder.

I was really happy to see Judah tiring himself out lugging this heavy bball around. This is probably the equivalent of a 25lb medicine ball for adults!

Here Judah works on sculpting his triceps.  Gotta lose that baby fat by bathing suit season!

Unfortunately I didn't snap a pic of the best thing in the store--a little put-put station where Judah is obsessed with swinging a golf club around. He literally stands there for 30 minutes with a death-grip on the club. Prying it out of his hands results in a code-red defcon 10 tantrum.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Boy

Here is my little guy looking like a big guy. I'm amazed how these pics make Judah look like a 3 year old. Maybe it's the haircut...or the body-hugging shirt and "grown-up" clothes.

Incidentally, these pics show Judah doing his newest favorite activity--sitting! It's ironic that after struggling to stand for so long and finally mastering it after a lot of blood and tears, Judah has now turned his attention to something he knew how to do long ago.

It's funny watching him back up slowly like an old man and tentatively hover over the stoop before finally lowering his butt down.  I guess it takes a lot of courage and confidence to lower one's butt.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wanted: Mothers

Everyone should have a Mom.  Pity the fools who don't.

Moms are always there to encourage you.  They celebrate every little thing you do, even if it's no big deal and everyone else can do it and you're actually a little slow in figuring out how to do it.  In fact, each time you even attempt to do that thing--whatever it is that you can't do and everyone else can--they cheer you on and say "You can do it!  Good try!"

And when you fail, Moms are always there to catch you, pick you up, scrape you off, hug the sting away.  Set you up so you can try again.  And fail again.  And try yet again.  Only to fail again.  And then suggest we try something else!

Moms give you a roomful of toys and books and take you on outings to give you new experiences and broaden your perspective.  If you show an interest in animals, they point them out wherever you go.  If you like cars, they get you car books and puzzles and stickers and t-shirts.  They delight in whatever you delight in and encourage you in the direction of your natural interests.

And when you're tired and hungry--as we all get from time to time--you can always turn to Mom to rock you to sleep, sing you a lullabye, get you a snack, fix you a meal, any time, every day.  Nevermind that Mom is hungry and tired too.  You'd never know it from the way she meets your every basic need--unless you are particularly observant while she scarfs down the bits of food you left on your tray.

And the kisses.  The never ending pecks and smooches.  The snuzzles and cuddles and hugs.  They are like breathing and walking--so constant and ubiquitous you'd never notice until they were gone.

Sadly, some moms are not Moms.  It's one thing to have a child.  It's another thing entirely to be a Mom.

Would that everyone had at least one person
who always wanted to hear about your day,
who always dropped what they were doing when you need them most, and
who was immeasurably proud of you
for no good reason--which is the best reason of all.

Judah and Ry Ry

Judah and his twinsie Ryan (just 3 days apart) are two peas in a pod. Here they are with their onesies still "unsnapped" because they hate lying on the floor for diaper changes. MUST. STAY. ACTIVE!  Also, they've traded sippy cups because, as the saying goes, the water is always yummier in someone else's sippy cup.

They both love buttons, especially the ones on clock radios like the one in Ryan's room here.  Incidentally, I hate how Judah always turns on the alarm function on his clock radio (without us knowing) and it goes off at midnight and wakes him up.  Argh.

And they both get jealous of their mommies. This pic was taken seconds before Ryan got upset and tried to pry Judah off his mommy.  We had just finished commenting on how Ryan was so good at sharing his toys.  Toys, yes, mommy, no!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Morning Doraemon

I love this fobby pj set Judah's grandpa got him from Korea. When we first received it 6 months ago, I thought it looked ridiculously big and he wouldn't fit in it until he was at least 3.

Ummm...Judah's barely 1 and already it's too tight.  He barely wore this for 2 weeks before we had to retire it!  At least we have a pic to memorialize it forever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Judah's Newest Obssession

Judah's new favorite activity is coloring. The first thing he wants to do when he gets downstairs is color.

He loves it so much, he once had a meltdown because I showed him a picture of a baby coloring in his board book but I wouldn't let him go downstairs to get his own crayons. It was right before bedtime and Judah would not stop wailing until I finally acquiesced and brought up a green crayon for him.

I make sure I never read that book to him right before bedtime anymore!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Judah is a very busy, pro-active, take-charge kind of guy. Hmmm...I wonder who he gets that from?

He knows what he wants (which is everything) and goes for it with abandon. So naturally we have a lot of pictures of him in his favorite pose. Usually this pose is accompanied by him shouting "Dat!" (translation: That!)

The only thing better than charging forward on the ground? Why, charging forward on the shoulders of a beast of burden!

As Judah's Korean great-grandma says of him--He's going to be general someday! (And judging from his hat, probably a marxist general).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Want to know what I REALLY do at work?

I morbidly joked on FB that my job is like an abusive boyfriend--beating me up all the time but then giving me just enough compensation to make me reluctantly stay in this awful relationship.

I've been through some horrible projects, but this most recent one, the wounds fresh in my mind, has got to be up there in the top 3 horrible projects of all time.

This monstrosity began innocently enough, 6 months ago, as one giant 200 page contract that yours truly had to meticulously draft.  Think about that.  In and of itself, that's already pretty sad and onerous.  Have you ever read the fine print on your credit card statement?  Neither have I.  But I read reams and reams of that same dry legalese everyday--200 pages worth for this particular beast.

But, that's not even the tip of the TIP of the iceberg of pain.

So after weeks of pain and a final push that involved 15 hour days, tons of weekend work, missing my little guy for a couple days--Contract #1 was signed and sealed.

And then the real pain began.  Our lovely clients decided they wanted to do Contract #2, which would be the mirror-image of Contract #1.  Like some corporate version of musical chairs, the parties switched roles and each assumed the other's position from the previous contract...but not quite.  Some things were different.  Actually, many things were different.  So many, that the negotiations devolved into bickering that sounded exactly like this:

"But that's not how we did it in Contract #1."
"I know, but that's because Contract #1 is not exactly analogous to Contract #2"
"We want everything to be symmetrical!"
"But not everything should be.  It's a slightly different deal."

Back and forth it went.  I drafted another monster 200-page contract.  And then I revised it.  And then I revised it again.  And again.  And again.  Until I think I've memorized every word on that horrible 200-page beast.  Oh, but it was a joy to revise (note the sarcasm) because every time I revised it I had to check it against Contract #1 to make sure it was analogous where it was supposed to be, and not analogous where it wasn't supposed to be.  I know even reading about my travails in a nutshell is boring and meticulous--but, wait, there's more goodies!

Enter--Contract #3!  This one was supposed to be exactly like Contract #1, except with a different counter-party.  And everything was supposed to be the same, except it was slightly different.  Oh, those slight differences bring all the life to the party--oh those multitude of slight nuances that just make me want to stick a fork in my eye.  Lovely.

So now, are you keeping track?  There are 2 thorny and very confusingly similar deals going on--Contract #2 and Contract #3.  How can this get any better you ask?

Why, the clients want to amend Contract #1!  Joy oh joy!  That horrible beast that started it all gets a second life.  This deal was turning out to be like the many headed hydra of Hercules.  You think you've killed it, but it rises again!  So all the sweat, tears and pain was for nothing.  We had to undertake to completely overhaul Contract in effect, it's like Contract #4.

Mind you, this is not done in a calm, friendly, office environment.  This is all done under extreme time pressure.  This is the kind of messages my boss sends me (subliminally and sometimes not so subliminally):

"Hurry, hurry, hurry!!!!!!  But don't you dare have any mistakes in this draft!  No missing commas, periods, mispelled words!  Every section reference must be correct (there are literally more than 500 in each doc and they constantly shift around)!  Every footer, header, pagination, index, appendix, exhibit must be perfect!  Don't you dare misinterpret my very vague instructions about drafting this complex concept that I haven't had the time to explain to you!  And every utterance of the client must be reflected in the draft--go back through your 47 client email chains over the span of 2 weeks and make sure everything gets correctly reflected in the draft!"

Of course I slack off where I can.  Spending an extra hour with my sweet baby is so much more important to me than proofreading the document a 3rd time before it goes out.  So I frequently get lovely emails from my boss that say things like: You missed this, you missed that, you didn't draft this correctly.  This is weak.  And the subject line to the emails are wonderful too.  One of them simply said "Frustration" and the body said, "I'm getting really frustrated at you!"

You know things have gotten really bad when the boss regularly just assumes what you did was wrong, even though it's actually right.  I've corrected her many times.  But it just goes to show that she's lost all confidence in my work.  My 200 page contracts are indeed riddled with wrong section references and mispelled words.  These, by the way, are like cockroaches.  For every one you see, there are probably 15 that you don't.  My boss routinely catches about 3 in each of my drafts.  And she assumes there are at least 20 that she doesn't know about.

Frankly, I find it annoying that I have to deal with stupid typographical nits when I'm also responsible for the heavy-duty substance of the draft.  EXCUSE ME for not finding that missing comma.  I was busy making sure the indemnity clause covers any clinical trials we do with x and y active pharmaceutical ingredients, instead of just x and z, but only during the period before we get marketing approval from the FDA and EMA for drug w and only with respect to losses arising from manufacturing defects in x.  In other words, I have bigger fish to fry than worrying about your stupid commas!!!

Now, all the time pressure, aggravation, and headache would be fine and dandy if it occurred Monday through Friday during the hours of 9am to 5pm.  I don't even mind the fact that I haven't eaten a proper lunch in 6 months.  I will happily eat stupid balance bars at my desk every day for the rest of my life, if only I could keep the work contained between the hours of 9 to 5.

But of course not.  It goes on 24-7.  I'm frequently not allowed to go to sleep unless my boss gives me permission.  9 out of 10 days I put the baby to sleep at 8:26pm and by 8:30 I am logged in and drafting up some odious provision about regulatory meetings.  I turn off the computer at 10:30pm and try to sleep immediately, but of course, I can't.  Baby wakes me up at 6:30am.  I go to work.  Rinse and repeat.

And believe or not, those are the good days.

The bad days are when I am stuck in the office and only see my baby for 30 minutes.  I work until midnight and wake up at 5:30am for a conference call.

Right before a signing deadline, there are MANY bad days.  Mentally, it should be okay because you tell yourself--the darker the night, the nearer the dawn.  I will give it all I've got for this one final push and this horrible weight will be lifted from my shoulder once and for all.  It's just like giving birth to a baby--the worst pain of your life, but a great reward at the end.

But that was not to be with Contract #2 and amending Contract #1.

There was deadline #1--GREAT PUSH, HORRIBLE HOURS, WORK 15 HOUR DAYS FOR A WEEK--oh crap, 1 hour before the deadline we realize we're not going to be able to make the deadline.  Extend the deadline.

Deadline #2--GREAT PUSH, HORRIBLE HOURS, POOP ON MY WEEK AND ENTIRE WEEKEND--oh crap, 2 hours before the deadline we realize we're not going to be able to make it.  Extended.

Deadline #3--GREAT get the idea.  Extension!  Lovely!

Deadline #4--didn't make it either.  Oops.

Deadline #5!!!!  This is the real one guys!  Really?  Pardon me if I'm a leeeetle bit skeptical.

But no.  Deadline #5 was the real one.  After 6 months of awful awful awfulness these horrible suite of contracts have finally been put to bed.  The contracts are dated November 15, 2011 and signatures are being exchanged as I type this very sentence.

I'm am foggy brained and bleary eyed from waking up at 5:30am for a conference call.  But I had to write this all down so I never forget the epic grossness of this horrible horrible project.

By the way, in case you're wondering what profession to steer your children away from, I'm a corporate lawyer.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Judah frequently sees this dog named Charlie around our complex.

Charlie!  There you are!  I've been looking everywhere for you!
Charlie always runs away from Judah (smart dog) but recently has given up and let Judah pet him a little.

Oh my!  You're going to let me touch you for the first time ever?!

Don't they look like the best of friends? Aaawwwwww.
Today I've decided to pat you nicely instead of poking you in the eye, like usual.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hey, I'm Wearing Orange, What Do You Want From Me

You can always tell when my life has completely imploded by the lack of new blog entries here. The past 4 weeks have been an ever-building work disaster culminating in last week's hurricane of despair and fury.

Of course, when work gets crazy, my body also likes to get in on the fun and go crazy of course it chose exactly that moment to break down in a way that I haven't experienced in years--diarrhea!

Yes, sorry for bringing such a gross word to your attention, but that's the disgusting cherry that topped my sundae of work/life hell. (Okay, the imagery there was also very inconsiderate, again, sorry). But truly there's nothing better than working 15 hour days, stressed out of my mind, while being dehydrated and dizzy and painfully bloated.

And add to that mix the aching feeling of missing my little man--oh how I missed that guy while I slaved away.

Judah is at such a cute and fun stage now. He's aware of everything and soaking it all in like a sponge. He understands language completely and truly interacts with people now. I used to be quite happy to leave him while I went off to work when he was a 'know-nothing' baby. But now it makes me truly sad to miss out on time with him because it's so much more meaningful and relational.

Nevertheless, we did do at least one fun thing during my hell-week--trick or treating!

Trick-or-treat!  I know you're in there!

The gated complex we live in had quite a few little kids, including our lovely neighbors and their little ballerina so we all went around and knocked on a few doors.

Yes, I'm that poor kid whose parents didn't get him a real costume.

Judah is obsessed with Mackenzie's teapot and teacup, which makes an awesome water pouring noise when you tip it over. You can see his death-grip on it here.  And you can also see Mackenzie wondering--why is this kid so obsessed with my teapot?

Judah is a geisha in training.

Judah ended up with lots of candy, which of course we'll never give him to eat.  One day, when he does finally taste candy for the first time, at age 8, his mind will be blown.

Hello Mr. Jack-o-lantern, I don't believe we've met before.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall is Here

Time for pumpkins and other autumnal things. Judah was intrigued by these large gourds and alternately tried to pick them up and sit on them. Judah's obessessed with "sitting" these days--he likes to find a chair-like surface and back into it ever so gingerly and sit. Ready for the potty soon perhaps...?

Judah loves this display at Habitot (baby activity center).

I once tried to pry a baby rake out of his hands and he howled like a wolf in a full moon.

There's a lot of that recently--howling and wailing--ahhh, gotta love toddlerdom.