Thursday, December 31, 2015


Working at Municipal Court is definitely interesting. Every day is an adventure.

Our court rooms are set on a 7 week rotation.  We move court rooms when we are set to cover mandatory arraignments or Duties Court.  Court Room 3 is Felony Arraignments.  Most of the larger scale criminal charges start out at "Muni" for their initial arraignment and are then could be bound over to the Grand Jury in Common Pleas Court.

This is my favorite place.

Big things start out here. All the major news making events come through this court room.  The Public Defender that is always assigned in Court Room 3 is a gruff, no-bullshit, rather offensive, kind of guy who is always cursing.  He's harmless and has a heart of gold.  And he may be my favorite person in this whole building.

Court Room 4 is Misdemeanor Arraignments.  There is a plethora of cases that come through Court Room 4, but mainly I would explain it as the Domestic Violence Arraignment Court Room.  There are Temporary Protection Orders issued during the morning arraignment docket. Court Room 4 also has an afternoon docket - TRAFFIC COURT.  Everyone kind of despises traffic court. Everyone.  Its boring and long and its usually hot in there. Working in traffic court has solidified my thinking that there are about 7 people total in this city that actually have, and care to have a valid driver's license - and valid insurance for that matter. Working in Traffic Court has made me a better driver. Mainly because I am terrified to get into an accident with, really, anyone else in this city.

My regular criminal/traffic dockets and Duties Court are held in my "home court" - Court Room #11.  My other happy place. The place that is organized and cleaned regularly (by me...). AND is close to my snacks and my chair is always in its proper spot.

There are always a variety of smells at Muni.  Usually, the elevators smell like a mixture of marijuana smoke and urine. We have the occasional bug bombing near the Housing Court/FED's Court Room on the 3rd Floor. Once, I even had a man come to court completely covered from head to toe in peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter.  I still to this day have no idea why he was lathered up in it.

Then there is good ol' Johnny. Johnny B. Good  is a "regular". He comes to visit every so often when its cold out or he is hungry. The County Prosecutor's office on the second floor near Court Room #3 always has hot coffee in the morning and the occasional extra doughnut for him. He usually comes and finds a court room that is running and sits in until its done, coffee in hand.

I am a Law Clerk. We are at-will employees of our Judges. Hand-picked by the Judges to be responsible for our court rooms and dockets. What was once only considered a short-term position for aspiring law students (to get prepared for the big-bad world ahead), is now open to all legal professionals as a full-time position. I was one of the first to be hired in this capacity. When my Boss was elected, he accepted resumes from many different applicants at many different levels in their careers. Alas, I was the last woman standing. And I am forever grateful and appreciative everyday.

I love this place. All of its quirks, and its smells, and its people. Its old and outdated and kind of germy.  At least one of the elevators is broken or stuck. 

I didn't know if I would ever get to be in a place where I would have a job that I truly loved. But, I did.  Muni is my home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

5 Years.

It's true what people say.

Marriage is not easy.

It takes time and effort and hard work. Every day.

Lately, mine has been struggling (not every blog post is going to about roses and happiness).  My blog is real. Its about real life. So if you're looking for roses and fake expressions of grandeur you've come to the wrong place.

Today, is my fifth wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been together for over 10 years total.  We have two amazing little monsters that I am so proud to be their Mommy.  But, its a lot of work. I'm feeling the strain of doing a majority of the workload with the house and the kids. My husband works long hours and isn't home much of the busiest times of day.

I pack our next day the night before. I get up early to fold laundry and turn the dishwasher on and shower. I do all the pickups and drop offs and running. Dinner. Bathtime/bedtime routine.  I grocery shop and clean (obnoxiously - Thanks, Mom).  My home is never dusty or messy.  My bed is always made and our clothes are always put away. I work full-time. 

This little blog will be my momentary happy place to clear my thoughts and then get right back to my life.

Its exhausting.

We promised "til death do us part." And I try not to complain too much. I keep my head down and keep moving. If I stay busy, I don't think too much. I just do. I am a do-er. I will never step over a toy and not pick it up. Or fail to put my cup (at least) in the sink before I head off to bed.

Recently, my husband has been trying to be more cognizant of how hard I work. He's been trying to be more helpful. I'm not going to say it didn't take a major awakening to get it started. But, I am attempting to take these small steps as battles won. The war is not yet over. We have a long road ahead.

Here's to 5 more.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Our Breastfeeding Journey

I began preparing myself to nurse my daughter well before she was born. At the time, I was nervous about even trying it. Even though I knew it was the best thing for my daughter, I had psyched myself out thinking that it would be too hard. Or she wouldn't latch. Or she wouldn't bond with me. Or. Or. Or.

Once she was born we tried right away. She took right to me. But, after several days she still had not had a bowel movement and the hospital wanted to monitor her closely for signs of illness.  They asked us to feed her formula to try to move things along as a supplement to breastfeeding.  I nursed her for nearly five months but my supply dwindled to the point where she would only nurse at night when she woke up. 

This second time around I am determined to work harder to keep my supply up for my son. So far, so good. Mason took to nursing like a champ.  He was pretty hungry as soon as he was born!  When they brought him to me after my C-section surgery, I nuzzled him face to face and he tried to suck on my nose! :)  I couldn't hold him because of the meds I was on (and even if I could have, I was shaking so uncontrollably that I probably would have dropped him).  We are four months in and he is a healthy 14.8 pounds! I am pumping at work twice a day.

I saved up quite a supply over my maternity leave.  I was pumping so much that I had oversupply and was up nearly every hour to pump. It took me some time to get it under control. But now I have a pretty regular schedule. Mason is nursed on demand when I am home with him and at night.  During the week while we are at work, he is bottle fed with the breast milk I have pumped and saved.  My awesome babysitter has helped me to regulate when he is fed so that we wont have a lot of wasted milk (it takes a lot of time and energy to create). I have to eat (what feels like) 5000 calories a day and drink a ton of water.

My schedule at work can be very busy.  Sometimes I am in court all day long and it is difficult to step away from a busy docket.  My courtroom staff is really the best. We have an awesome system and we really help each other out. They have my back when I have to step away, often times for nearly 20 minutes.  The court administrators office has been great and even set aside a spare room just for nursing moms at the courthouse.  When I say how much I love my job, I truly mean it. I LOVE MY JOB.

Now with all this being said, breastfeeding is NOT fun. Or easy. It is time consuming. And hard. And generally makes you feel like the life is being sucked from your body on a regular basis. If that weren't enough, you could get Mastitis which is a condition that can be super painful. I haven't had that, but I have on several occasions this time around, had blocked milk ducts. It is the worst! And the only way to really get through it is to nurse through the pain. I'm not even going to explain what it feels like because frankly, I don't want to re-live it.  I am exhausted all the time.  Sometimes people tell me to mix rice cereal in a bottle with formula or breast milk and that it will help him sleep longer periods at night. He sleeps good stretches and never cries or gets fussy at night. Mainly, I just hear him rustling around because I am a light sleeper. I pull him over and nurse him and he goes right back to sleep. No problem. Really, its not him that is the issue, Its me. I cant go back to sleep on a whim. Once I am up. I'm up. Its starting to take a toll on me. I don't want to give in and feed him cereal because its easy. Maybe I want to prove what a badass Mom I am. "Look at me! I can do it all!"  ----- Its not working. My husband works insane hours some weeks and I'm by myself with a toddler and an infant. Throw in a full-time job, pick ups and drop offs. Teeth brushing temper tantrums.  Nursing. Dinner. Laundry. Bath time.

Utter exhaustion.

I don't want to give up. I don't want to start on formula. Its so expensive and if I can keep this up, until he is six months old I will have reached a goal that to me, is really important. At six months we start solid foods.  So, stay tuned. Hopefully, I have a success story!

Friday, October 9, 2015


Just about a year ago, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. It was, frankly, a bit of a surprise. We weren't trying. And I was about 3 1/2 months into studying for the LSAT (an entry exam for law school). 

I am not going to sit here and type all these giant exclamations about how excited we were and how blessed I felt. Because honestly, I didn't feel that way. I was overwhelmed. I had made my mind up that I was going to try to go to Law School and work on that part of my future. Emerson had been my whole life for the last year and a half. She was (is) everything to me. I really didn't know how she would understand having a sibling that would take all the attention away. Even if only for a little while. I wasn't sure if I was ready to be everything to another person, let alone another little person.

I was sick as a dog, again, for about 15 weeks. It was a different kind of sick this time.  Instead of having my head in the toilet for the majority of the day (Every. Single. Day.), I mainly just felt like I was severely hung over for like 4 months straight. Being hung over for 4 months will basically change your opinion of ever wanting to be hung over again...

I started to get into the idea of Emerson having a little sister. I thought about how much my sister means to me (we are only 14 months apart in age).  She is my best friend. She is my rock. She is a  comedian. A rock star of a Mom. And everything I hope to be as a Mom going forward. I guess I must have made myself believe that I was having another girl. I was certain of it.  Then at 22 weeks, we had our "big" ultrasound and sure enough, we were having a Boy.

After going through child birth one time already and the whole sha-bang of "the first baby" I wasn't sad or mad. I actually welcomed the thought of having one of each. A little brother for Emerson. It still sounds sweet when I say it. We couldn't decide on a name. My husband did not like anything I liked and only had one name that he felt was kind of acceptable, Hunter. Now, ok. Hunter is a real cute name. But I just wasn't feeling it. We did agree that James would be his middle name. My husband is a III. So, having a IV was out of the question. My son is not going to be the King of Toledo, Ohio. He, in my opinion, needed his own identity.  My Brother and my Father are also named James, so this I felt, was a small homage to the Men in our lives who share that name. We eventually agreed on Mason. Which is funny, mainly because I have probably called him that all of 4 times since he's been born. Somehow, we all started referring to him at "Buddy" and it just stuck.  

I was not entirely motivated this time around. We had some issues with our roof and had to have it replaced before we could even begin to renovate the baby's room.  Which made it even harder to get motivated.  Eventually, we got the roof done and began to rip out the bedroom and replace the drywall. It took about a month to finish but now its an amazing space that we couldn't be prouder of. My husband really did a great job on his first ever drywall experience. I painted and decorated. Baby Mason got a beautiful baseball room. We even moved Emerson into a Toddler Bed at the beginning of June and she took to it like a champ. I have since updated her room to more of a "big girl room."  My bff Cakes decided that Em needed a teepee for her room.  Which Em adores. I made the space a little reading nook.

Our due date was June 25th, and we were set to be induced that morning.  The night before, the baby was kicking and punching and doing flips like crazy. So badly, that I was up most of the night pacing laps around the living room because I couldn't sleep (I still swear he was trying to tell me that he needed out of there). I was induced and they began to monitor us all day. It turned into another really long day (just like the last time). Later that evening, they noticed that every time I had a contraction, the baby's heart rate dropped. Once the contraction was done, his heart rate went back up to a normal speed.  The doctor eventually decided that he needed to come out and we were rushed into surgery. It was so scary. But, I will say that the way the Labor and Delivery Staff treated that emergency surgery was absolutely brilliant. It wasn't chaotic or unorganized. They ran that operating room like a well-oiled machine and for that we are eternally grateful.

The cord was wrapped around Mason's neck and he couldn't breathe. Once he was out, he was a completely perfect, happy, hungry, little guy. I can say now that I am so blessed. I am so proud to be his Momma. Emerson loves him. She loves to help us with him. She will bring me diapers or the baby powder. She likes to help pick out his PJ's after bath time. She carries around her "baby" and pats her on the back to burp her, imitating me.

Our life is forever hectic. We are always running late and I am pretty much always tired. But, I am happy and we are healthy and enjoying the chaos. I am realizing that being Emerson and Mason's Momma is my first priority. Law School will always be there. But these years with the kids being young is only for a short period of time. I want to enjoy all the firsts and be present and available for them, always.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Best Is Yet To Come.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine sent me a link for an open position within The Municipal Court for a recently elected Judge.

The Judge, was someone I had met previously while interning with the Ohio Attorney Generals office in College and even played softball with on occasion for The Legal Community Softball League in summers past.

It truly goes without saying that being involved with the community in your field of work can take you places. 

I am experienced, dedicated (most of the time), and smart and yet I was not overly sure of myself with regard to this interview. For crying out loud, I kinda knew the guy! But, still, as any interview is nerve-racking, this particular one was only 15 mins long and with a JUDGE for Pete's sake! 

A good girlfriend of mine who works in a similar position in County Court went way far out of her way (and so did several attorney friends) to help me in this endeavor and for that, there are not enough thank-you's in the world I could give.

 Interview Day in my new Blue Suit!

I went in for my interview and while waiting, was sitting surrounded by 2nd and 3rd year law students (this position was originally set up for them).  I took the advice of my BFF Cakes who told me to "just go in there and talk to him like you're having a beer after work. Be yourself. Be confident. You deserve this job. This is YOUR job."  

So, that's what I did. 

Today, I am happy to say that I have been offered the position. Nothing can ruin this day for me. Today is MY day! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snowed In

Over the last 4 days my fine City of Toledo has been  in a deep freeze. It was literally a windchill of -38 on Tuesday. That is insane. It was so cold outside, that it hurt just to open the door. We have about 2 feet of snow on the ground right now, with a little more on the way for today. (Only about an inch but COME ON!) There is so much snow that there is no where for our little driveways to put it all, so getting in and out of my street is miserable. My little car just gets stuck everywhere. I cant remember a time in all my living here that its been this bad. Usually, the roads are cleared up and people are back at work the very next day - no problem. But we have been under some kind of a Snow/Ice Emergency for nearly 4 days.  And the roads today are still no better. Its an ice rink out there. Scary stuff and I have been driving in the snow for a LONG time. 

For the first time in my life I think I experienced what cabin fever feels like.  Do you know how many 80's and 90's movies one can watch while laying around doing nothing for days? I do.  I gave up and just cleaned my house like 3 times. Its spotless. I even washed the curtains... AND re-organized my closet...

Lucas County has said that this storm will raise utility costs by about 13% and cost the county 10's of millions of dollars in lost revenue. I have no idea if my boss will pay me for the full 3 days I had to be off work. 

Silver lining - it was really cool to see every little kid on my street out building snowmen and snow forts and making snow angels and enjoying what a snow like this brings. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


NYE! One of my most favorite nights of the year. Its all about new beginnings. Starting over fresh.
There have been some instances in that I have had a few too many drinks on my birthday (the night before) and so I did not enjoy NYE as much.  But, now, my life has changed for the better. Its not about going out and partying anymore. It's about enjoying some time catching up with friends then getting home in time to watch the ball drop snuggled up in a blanket with a cheap bottle of champagne and enjoying the extra day off with Duchess. 

This area is supposed to get a good sized snow storm tomorrow so it will be a good day to lay around, watch the Rose Parade & Rose Bowl and put together her new bouncer. 

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2014 is prosperous and joyous for us all. 
(And the Tigers can go ahead and win the World Series... that'd be cool too.)