An Affirmation of Previously Held Beliefs

My darling maid of honor and the man I married have a lot in common. They’re incredibly friendly, curious, and athletic. They were probably both puppies in a former life. They are also both blond, which is pretty much irrelevant.

However, they also share a profound love of a game they like to call, “Let’s Convince Her to Go Camping.” The “her” is me, an individual who was recently caught up in that game and is consequently covered in bug bites…but still somehow very much in love with both of these scoundrels.

The Culprits

Now, in their collective defense, I was a willing (if temporarily insane) participant in this latest excursion. Both M and A.Bo’s boyfriend were having birthdays soon, and we hadn’t been to the Cape yet (despite living here for three years…law school, you are just embarrassing everyone). Somehow those two facts merged into a plan to surprise the men with camping at the Cape for a weekend. A. Bo says this was my idea. If so, it was only because I was distracted by the boatload of brownie points that were to be mine once M was made aware that I had voluntarily gone camping in his honor. You guys, I can’t even count that high.

Despite the fact that it involved flesh-eating bugs and sleeping on the ground, (totally understand why people do this for fun) the trip actually gave us a chance to be with several of our favorite people (Andrew came too!) and meet some new faces. This group shot of our Troop Beverly Hills is brought to you by Mike, a dude at a fire pit half-way down the beach whom A. Bo somehow convinced to come play iPhone photographer. Be careful around her, the people-wrangling skills are not to be underestimated.

I will have you know that, actually, camping is not all bad. Since we were at the Cape, there was a lot of time to do this:

You know, play beach volleyball. Or sit on a towel and watch beach volleyball. However you personally happen to roll. There was also time to sit around a campfire and drink whisky and make s’mores. I may not like dirt, but I am firmly in favor of Johnny Walker and chocolate. (Side note: what is it about s’mores? One obviously great ingredient + two elements that in real life would merit a resounding “eh” = oh my everloving melted sugar high. That’s the kind of math to which I could’ve applied myself in high school.)

Chocolate and lounging aside, the best part was realizing how lucky I am to have these two in my life. A. Bo knocked herself out to plan this trip. She coordinated everything while I was in finals, brought us extra tents, shopped for all the food…this kid, I swear. And M really was so flattered that I had faced mosquitos for him that, by the end of the weekend, I was getting “survivor of a personal tragedy” level compliments. “I am just so proud of you…this experience is making me see you in a whole new light…thank you for tapping into these reserves of strength just for me!” (To refresh, we were just…camping. Like, not in Bosnia.)

So despite their love of the (previously aforementioned) game, I seriously count these two tow-heads among my blessings.

You know, when I get tired of counting the mosquito bites.

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We Can Never Forget His Birthday

The last time I showed up at a hospital because of an impending birth, I was back home within the hour, tucking into some macaroni and cheese and laughing at Mej doing the grandparent voices in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was mildly aware of the gravity of the occasion (my brother was being born, after all), but I was only seven, and not fully cognizant of what was transpiring in the delivery room. I just knew I had tossed every lucky penny in every fountain, and blown out every birthday candle, with the same wish (“I want a little guy to play with!”) and soon that wish would be granted.

Recently, I was lucky enough to see that same wish granted for our good friends…only this time, there was no delicious cheesy pasta to temper the immensity of the experience.

Arriving at the hospital...the first time!

Arriving at the hospital…the first time!

A few weeks before Dane was born, Ron and Trina asked if I would film his birth. I was totally honored that they felt we were close enough to share that seminal a moment, and of course I said yes…and then wondered if I should watch a few on YouTube so that my first reaction to a human being entering the world didn’t result in fainting. (“Um, no, I didn’t get any footage of your firstborn…and I broke your camera when I passed out cold. Sorry!”)

We were “on call” starting on Monday morning. I woke up to a text from Ron saying that Trina was laboring at home, and they would let us know when to head to the hospital. Around 10:30 that night (aka FOREVER if you are waiting for a fun baby to be born, and are instead stuck studying for the bar) we headed to the hospital. Of course, because we wanted to fit in some pregnancy cliches, we first ran to a few different convenience stores to find the right brand of crackers for Trina. (“We can’t take her regular Wheat Thins! She is in labor! Where are the reduced fat ones? What do you mean you don’t carry them??”) It was so fun to be on this side of the experience first. Honestly, it make me much more comfortable (prospectively) about asking people to help me when I’m pregnant/in labor. We were so incredibly excited to meet the baby and witness this actually happening in real life…forget crackers, I would have stood on my head.

Anyway, so we get to the hospital, take blurry excited pictures in the entryway, hand over the crackers, and…wait. Several episodes of Community later, Ron came out looking semi-exhausted and told us to go home. Apparently “labor” was not interested in the fact that we wanted to meet Dane immediately, and had decided to return again another day.

So, back to the waiting game…until a certain day which was already fantastic for other reasons. Mostly because this guy…

…happened to be born on it, twenty-seven years prior. Correct: Dane was born on M’s birthday. At the exact same time. If that’s not a clue that this new human being is destined for greatness, I don’t know what is. (Maybe the fact that both his parents are great themselves. Whatever. You see the point I’m going for here).

Round two at the hospital happened so fast, there wasn’t really time to absorb things as they were happening. Ron called as we were finishing breakfast, with the instruction “Come now! But not so fast that you hurt yourself.” We figured a cab was a good compromise. I left M in the waiting room, and Ron swiped me in through the giant double doors of the delivery wing.

Being present at a birth was overwhelming. I rounded the corner into Trina’s room, Ron pressed the video camera into my hands and turned back around to her, and suddenly I was a fly on the wall, overlooking the most intimate experience possible. Granted, there were also two nurses and a midwife in the room, but the amount of tension and emotion encircling these two people who were about to be parents made it feel like they were steering a ship into port themselves, and we were all just around to pull on some ropes if called.

At one point, Ron had to leave the room to call their parents, and asked me to step in and hold Trina’s hand as she pushed through a contraction. I guess I thought she would be more shy, that my stepping in for him would throw her off balance. Not in the slightest. She just grabbed me and squeezed (so strong for so small a person!) and it was just so clear that she was in charge of what was happening, and not the other way around. It was thrilling to watch. People might talk about “mama grizzlies,” but this was the true manifestation of that core instinct– a woman tapping into her deepest physical being to do what is needed to help her child.

The rest of labor was over so quickly. Trina asked for a mirror so she could see the baby’s head crowning, and when they wheeled it up, she could reach down and touch it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone squeal with glee under an oxygen mask before. That was it; if she could touch him, she wanted to hold him, and within five minutes there was a head…and then a shoulder…and then astonishingly fast, the whole rest of a whole baby. The wave of emotion that accompanied his entry into the world knocked me right in the face. I’ll be very surprised and grateful if their birth video is not set to the tune of my muffled crying.

And then there was so much to do right afterwards. There was afterbirth, and placenta, and weighing and blankets and learning how to breastfeed immediately. Even as only a witness, I was internally echoing Trina as she was continually turning to Ron, saying, “I can’t really hear them…will they tell me all this again later?”

I’m not sure he was hearing them either, because he was following Dane around the room, affirming every part of his seconds-old existence. The nurses were dictating his weight, (“8.4! What a great weight!”) assuring that his little head would immediately round out (“And even if it didn’t, that would be ok!”), and the new father just couldn’t verbalize enough of his love and support.

And…can you blame him?

I think we can all agree that is one perfect little baby.

And that this picture is just not. even. fair.

Welcome to the world, Dane Davis. We sure do like you already.

Snippets from Home

Now that everything is finished (except bar studying, but we are not going to talk about that), we can do normal things like attend baby birthday parties. The littlest Fish turned one while we were home, and we drove down to Escondido to pay him our respects. And to watch his big brother do “bobs” in the pool. For the uninitiated, a “bob” involves ducking underwater for a second, surfacing, and squealing “I DO A BOB!” all while laughing hysterically.

Almost as funny as him jousting with the pinata, running full-tilt at it with an outstretched flyswatter and forgetting every time that it would rebound on him with a cardboard-to-the-face smackdown. These Fisher kids, I’m telling you. They are a serious good time. Their parents are also fantastic…especially since Hope promised to give me the recipe for her Tres Leches cake! It’s pretty great being friends with Martha Stewart.

Smash showed up in the LBC post-fiesta, and we tricked Open Sesame into serving us dinner at eleven o’clock at night  (“Our kitchen closes in four minutes…” “I AM READY TO ORDER!”). I like having friends who will drive excessive distances to spend about four waking hours with you. Thanks, lovebug.

I also love visiting the holy grail of breakfast foods:

…and coming to terms with the fact that a certain person’s intuition should just basically always be followed. Are you using avocado on your breakfast burritos? Turns out there is only one correct answer to this.

And then it was time to go home and do this for two days:

and this…

I think the above picture might literally be my favorite sight in the entire world. Obviously you’d have to factor out sights like loved ones’ faces and…yeah, that’s about it.

Weekend Update

M gets home late tonight from yet another jet-setting adventure…this time a conference in Miami. I asked him to (a) say hi to Dexter, and (b) bring me home a Cuban and a mojito. We’ll see in a few hours whether he remembered to fulfill either of those impossible/slightly unsanitary requests.

I decided not to tag along on his South Beach adventure because I still have an epic amount of work to do, but this weekend was actually full of fantastic friend-sightings.

Friday was the opening night for the ballet show, so I went to get my dancers some treats. I am seriously the meanest choreographer ever; it’s never intentional, but I always somehow create these pieces that are one long sequence of getting up and down off the floor. You’re welcome for the free Zumba class? Well anyway, they obviously needed life-threatening amounts of sugar to handle that biz.

I am such a sucker for adorable packaging and interiors, it is not even amusing. I genuinely frequent this establishment solely because it is cute. Their cupcakes are fine (and actually, so was the the guy working there. What a genius addition to a girly cupcake shop, and why don’t more places follow suit?) but I get an aesthetic rush just from being around adorableness. Whatever, there are worse vices.

So then I hid backstage and watched this happen:

Becky’s face in this one just kills me… “Well, hello lover!” And the perfectly pointed toes…yeah, she’s pretty easy to have in a cast. I just loved how sexy and fun and funny the whole piece turned out to be. Love it when things actually go as planned!

Law school “prom” was on Saturday, and after some really interesting cab adventures,(which included hailing one on the street in 4-inch heels after the original guy…I don’t know, forgot where Beacon Hill is?) I got to hang out with this amazing lady:

Alas, a somewhat grainy iPhone capturing of one of the people who has made law school bearable for me. I always feel like we’re “vibing” on the same wavelength… a push to achieve, modulated by a deep-seated desire to just drink wine and watch the Bachelor. Despite being tremendously successful, she just overwhelmingly gets how to live life like a human…I pretty much dig her.

And Sunday was spent at Marliave (oysterssss) celebrating Becky’s birthday…and meeting her ridiculously cute niece. Very seriously, she was the most well-behaved eighteen month old I’ve ever seen. She just chilled in her chair and nodded along vigorously to Alycia’s description of the DSM IV…an extremely normal interest for a toddler, certainly. She was also all about “yellow,” though, so she’s still actin’ her age.

Anyway, maybe didn’t get as much work done as was planned (perhaps the actual story of my life? No need to keep this blog any longer?) but having Blind Pigs and unlabeled awkward white wine with my favorite people is always totally worth it.

 

 

Californiaaaaaa…..

Oh, Christmas break. You are the cat’s pajamas (if the cat is wearing Christmas-themed pajamas, preferably with penguins).

Pup saved the tree decorating til we got home (which was a day late, courtesy of an awkward 12-hour visit to Philly), but I think we did it justice.

We took M’s mom out to dinner at P.F. Chang’s for her birthday, and then saw this lovely human and his hotness girlfriend. (I need to remember to take pictures of everyone. Actually, I tried, but my phone died. I need to remember to charge my phone. So many resolutions. My First World problems overwhelm me.)

Cookies!! Lord knows why I was so obsessed with the idea of making Christmas cookies this year, but I talked about it SO MANY TIMES during finals. (“We’ll make them from scratch! I’ll blog about it!”). Hence M asking about seventy bajillion (ok, three) times during the process whether I took pictures of it, and my mom giving him an odd look. Not that she should be dishing those out…see that amazing gingerbread man with a VEST? Yeah, that’s all Pup. Looks like someone has some ‘splaining to do about how they got so good at cookie decoration…

The little guy gives thumbs up to his Christmas presents, especially the portable recording device we got him which he opened and immediately was obsessed with all day. I was SO stoked. There’s seriously no feeling akin to giving a present that a loved one actually wants, is surprised by, and is all pumped about. Also, please observe…

…that my little baby brother now looks exactly like my father. Not my father today, obviously, but go look at some old 70’s pictures of Senior Jew Fro and then tell me there’s not some creepy-creeps resemblance going on here. I mean, not creepy, obviously, since there’s nothing sinister about sons looking like their fathers, but MY BABY! Rah!

Anyway, we also threw A.Bo a surprise birthday party over the break, but strangely the only picture I have of this event is of Smash lurking in the alley next to the restaurant.

Cutest lurk ever, clearly. The party was fun too! The restaurant (Lares, in Santa Monica) looked like it was an outpost of Sketchville at first, but turned out to be adorable on the inside, with dressed-up waitresses and a ceiling full of birthday streamers. The birthday girl was totally surprised, and DOUBLE surprised once she saw her sneaky boyfriend who had flown in from Boston to surprise her (we hid him in a corner, as we do with all men until they are needed).

In sum = glad I originated in the sun, and counting the days til the permanent return.