Disclaimer

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Oh the weather outside is... weather.

We got like 2 or 3 inches of snow, maybe.  Which means the entire state has shut down.  Except UK.  Because it's UK, and we never close.  The zombie apocalypse will hit, and administration will send out an email that says "employees should use their best judgment in determining whether it is safe to travel."  (Except for hospital employees, you'd better grab a cricket bat and fight your way in, or you are totally fired.)  Anyway, obviously no school today, and likely no school tomorrow unless this shiz melts, which means they're now going to school in June. 

Husband worked last night, and I had a 9 am meeting this morning that I was 20 minutes late to, because even though I live less than 2 miles from campus, traffic was at a complete standstill.  Ugh.  Stayed until 11:30 to tie up some loose ends, then headed back home to do work/prevent the children from burning the house down.  I've got a telephonic Medicaid hearing tomorrow that I have to supervise my law students for (they'll be directing testimony), so, I won't be able to pick up the slack, like I do every other time the kids are home for snow days or sick days. 

So, currently, I'm laying in my bed (my bedroom is the warmest room in the house) with my laptop and a stack of papers staring at me and a to-do list a mile long, so, clearly, I needed a blogging break.  Vee is also chilling in my bed with her Innotab ("mah IPAD"), and she keeps trying to put her feet on me.  She also smells funny.  She apparently wore a lot of her breakfast this morning and smells like oatmeal.  Cora has my actual iPad, she's doing some educational app the school has an account for.  I figure she ought to use her brain instead of spending all day watching stuff on Netflix. 

They've also both been "playing piano" on this electronic keyboard I had when I was a kid (Yamaha apparently lasts forever... unless your pet rabbit chews through an adapter cable and shorts out the motherboard... but that's a different keyboard and an entirely different story).  Cora constantly begs for piano lessons, and I've said no way in hell, at least not any time soon.  Violin is such a huge time and energy suck that I cannot even fathom doing piano lessons too.  Not until she's completely self-sufficient and can manage her own practices, at least.  Which may be never with that kid, geez. 

Oh well.  In other news, I started Junior League stuff this weekend, and next week my new class starts (Measuring Health Outcomes... it's pretty much stats, ugh), and orchestra starts back.  Can't wait to see what sort of awful, carpel-tunnel inflaming piece we're playing this semester.  I'm developing a bad attitude about everything, it's probably all the snow.  Stupid snow.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Man, I just read last year's New Year's post, and realized, I didn't do half bad in 2013.

Let's start with the kids...

This has definitely been a year for transitions.  Cora's transition into Kindergarten was HARD.  She had a pretty rough go of it in the beginning, to the point we (mostly me) questioned whether she was in the right school.  Well, she's finally adjusted, and she is doing so much better.  She is learning so much, and her reading is coming along, slowly but surely.  She scored ridiculously high on the MAP assessments this winter (she had scored very high on the fall assessment too, but seriously, it's kind of ridiculous).  She's still a pretty lazy kid, and she can't be bothered to listen and follow instructions, like, ever, but hey, she comes by it honestly.

Violin hasn't gone great this semester, she's really not been putting in the work.  She realized that herself this week, and promised to play her latest piece twice a day until her lesson on Monday.  We're switching ballet to Saturdays (same teacher), in hopes that she won't be so exhausted.  She often falls asleep in the car driving from violin lesson to ballet class, and then she's whiny.  She's made some really big improvements in ballet, and she absolutely loves it.  Honestly, I'm not thrilled she likes ballet so much.  It's ridiculous how much it costs, both in ballet lessons and all the expenses, and even as young as 2nd grade, they're in class three days a week.  By the time they're teenagers, they practically live at the studio.  So, I'm hoping the enthusiasm will wane before that point.

Then there's swimming, which she's making slow progress on, but she's still very nervous in the water and doesn't trust her own abilities (this makes the third time she's repeated the beginner class).  She made pretty much zero progress in bike riding over the summer.  That is definitely my kid.  Not a risk-taker at all.  I think I was like 8 before I learned to swim, and the training wheels were on my bike until... I can't remember.  Are they still on my bike?  Maybe.  We haven't tried ice skating yet this year.  I spend a lot of time on my ass when there's ice skating involved, so there's that.  (Honestly, I'm surprised she's even good at ballet.)

As for Violette... She did one swim class this year, and hated it.  She loves being in the pool, she hates people telling her what to do (like paddle towards that ducky, etc.).  I don't really think she'll like ballet, but she would definitely like other dance forms.  She loves to dance, and she actually is pretty coordinated.  She has very advanced fine motor skills for her age, and she can write (some) letters, including her own.  She writes a "V" and then shouts, "VEE!"  She might end up changing the spelling of her name to be "V."  No last name either, just "V."  She's self-assured like that.

She knows all the words to all the songs in Teen Beach Movie, starring her teenage crush.  Speaking of which, she has an autographed 8X10 photo of him framed in her room, and his likeness on a pillow case.  She also has a singing doll of him from that movie.  She steals my iPad and watches the "dance instructional" on how to do the choreography from the dance routines, and she's not half bad.  She's 2.  It's all a little weird.

She will probably never be potty-trained, because she thinks the toilet is the object you pee directly in front of.  Ain't nobody got time for all that.

As for Husband, well, I haven't killed him yet.  I've seriously considered it on multiple occasions, but ultimately decided it would involve too much effort, and I'm lazy.  Seriously, his doctorate is a huge drag and I am OVER IT.  There's still like 2 years left too.  Ugh, OVER IT.

And me?  Well, I made it to December 31, alive, too.

Okay, so things from my resolution list last year:

1.  I stopped being a sourpuss and figured out the recipe for career lemonade.

This year, after some personnel upheaval, we've gotten things back on track at work.  We made a big advocacy achievement, and I finally have a topic for which to publish (and a first draft has been written).  I went back to school this semester, for a public health graduate certificate, and finished with two A's.  Hahaha... A's.  Like, I showed up and did the work, and I got A's.  I really missed those days.  (Instead of, worked my ass off all semester, ate a lot of antacids, did my absolute very best on the exam, and several other smarty-pants assholes did better, so I got a B minus.  One of many reasons law school sucks.)  I even got my grades just a few days after finals week, too.  Imagine that!

Even so, I still flirt with the idea of returning to private practice, as friends of mine become partners at their respective law firms, one who's even a managing partner.  But I haven't run my course here yet.

2.  I suck slightly less at the violin.

Okay, so I've made some good improvements, but I'm still a long way from being able to play the pieces as they're written.  I need to practice more.  A lot more.  That starts with buying a new shoulder rest, because mine pops right off in the middle of my playing, which started happening right around our end-of-the-semester concert.  Is not conducive to good practice, when your violin leaves your shoulder.

I am, however, glad I stuck it out this semester in orchestra.  It was a rough semester, and I thought seriously about dropping out.  And I could have easily just dropped out of orchestra and been glad there was one less thing to do.  But that's a pretty terrible lesson for my kid.  Instead, she was in the audience for the performance.  That's a better lesson, I think.

3.  I lost 10 pounds this year.

I might have gained like 50 over the holidays, though.  I'm not really sure, because my scale needs a new battery or is broken or something.  I can still button my pants, though, so there's something.

I doubt my cholesterol is any lower.  I survive mainly on cheese-related products, and I do not exercise if I can at all help it.

4.  I did not learn to sew.

I did some sewing this year, including costume-making, but I did not take any proper classes.  Maybe this summer or next.  It was just one more thing I didn't need to spend money on.  Cora's expressed an interest in learning, but she's still a little too young.  Maybe when she's ready, we'll do it together.

5.  I did not get an article published this year.

However, I did beef up the ol' CV quite a bit, with several CLE's/presentations.  And I have a first draft of an article written.

6.  I started writing fiction... 

Of course, like most things, it didn't get finished.  I could publish an entire book of unfinished works with just five chapters.

7.  I'm starting to remember some Spanish.

At least I know as much as my kid at this point.

So, for 2014:

1.  Lose another 15 pounds.

I won't set myself up for failure by saying I want to be bikini-ready by summer or anything crazy.  (After two kids, that ship sailed.)

I'm considering going back to the student gym, which is really awesome.  We used to play racquetball there when I was in grad school (the first time).  We did have a family YMCA membership, which we'll probably pick up again in time for swimming this summer, but I hate working out at the Y.  It's clogged up with old people and children without supervision.  Crappy equipment, not enough equipment, and a too-small running track (full of old people power-walking... which depresses me because they can power-walk faster than I can run).  The student gym, however, is full of strapping young men glistening with sweat brand new equipment, a great running track, a racquetball court, and a climbing wall.

2.  Stop spending so much money, and get some debt paid off.

I may have gone a little crazy over the past few months.  I think I've been depressed and been fine-dining my way through the semester, because a lot of it is food.  I should probably start packing my lunch and cooking at home.

3.  Learn to play guitar (and continue improving on violin). 

I bought new strings for the guitar and haven't really touched it since.  I'd like to learn just some basics.  When we get the YMCA membership back, maybe I'll take a class over the summer.  My time with violin lessons will be coming to an end next summer, when Violette starts lessons.  (She is a big fan of the violin.  She insists on "practicing" whenever Cora is practicing.  Cora is not a fan of this.)

I'm also in the middle of writing some music to be used in a colleague's project (long story... whenever it's finished, I'll promote it).  Music gives me that warm, squishy feeling, I need more of it in my life.

4.  Get that article published.

For reals.

5.  Finish those works of fiction.

Ditto.

6.  Practice my Spanish.

Your beautiful language, I butcher it.

7.  Crotchet Violette's blanket.

I made Cora a twin size blanket for her bed a couple years' ago, and Vee has a queen size bed.  I have giant balls of yarn sitting there, waiting to become a blanket.  For two years now.

8.  Read more for fun.

I am dreadfully behind on reading for fun.  I have a couple friends who've given me manuscripts that I've not had a moment to even open the documents this past semester.  Ridiculous.  I need to make time for it, at night, before bed, even if it's just one chapter.

9.  Go to bed earlier.

I need more sleep.

Well, I think that covers it.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

MILP Roundup #328

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

Congrats to But I Do Have a Law Degree, and k de roll, who both add new bundles to this season's MILP baby collection.  (Disclaimer: Writing MILP blogs increase fertility.  It is known.)

Frenchie considers doing the same.

LL has new baby pics.

Izzie finds flexibility. 

AAL has homeschooling tips.

CM reflects on her past in Big Law.

Daisy just had one of those weeks where nothing turns out right.

Grace reflects on the before and after of Lis's surgery. 

LC is New Orleans bound! (Jealousy) RG, like me, has wanderlust. 

SusieJD has the week off.

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween, Day of the Dead, and all the performing arts

The past couple weeks have been insane.  I can't even think about work right now, or I'll need a brown paper bag to breathe into.  So here's the insanity of personal stuff:

1.  Halloween.  So, being a huge nerd, and having huge nerds for kids, we did a Doctor Who costume theme.  I talked Husband into going as Eleven (he is so over the Doctor Who themed costumes, he swears this is the last time).  I decided to go as Victorian-era-evil-snowmen Clara Oswald, and then the kids would be monsters (Cora a Weeping Angel and Vee a Dalek). 

Husband ordered his costume, it looked fine.  I pieced mine together from a Victorian costume purchased at Halloween Express, and that was a terrible idea, it completely fell apart before our party.  Ridiculous.  I should have known better, but oh well.  So, I pieced it together some items from some of my steampunk stuff, and looked nothing like Clara Oswald, but oh well. 

The party itself was fun, but there was very low attendance this year, due to a massive outbreak of plague, and another awful plague called pregnancy.  Ick on both accounts.  Honestly, I also felt like crap, and if it hadn't been my party, I wouldn't have been there either.  Needless to say, we had a lot of booze left, where we normally have empty bottles.  I also think old age seems to be playing a role in dwindling attendance/drunken antics.  Disappointing.

Then there was the clusterfuck of Halloween proper.  The city of Lexington CANCELED Halloween.  Okay, so they postponed trick or treat until November 1, because the weather forecast was ooh, scary rain and winds.  Pfff.  Guess what it didn't do until well after trick or treat?  Yeah.  I hear the weather was lovely for trick or treat on November 1, but we wouldn't know, because we had the ballet performance instead.  (Story to follow.)

Since we wouldn't get to trick or treat, and holy crap, I spent a lot of time on these kids' costumes, they're going to wear them, dammit!, we went to the indoor trick-or-treat at the Horse Park.  Free admission and free parking.  Kudos to them for doing that.  It was insane, they had a gazillion more people than they probably expected, and apparently half-way through, they'd already gone through $7K worth of candy.  We didn't get a lot of candy, but we got to show off the costumes, get some bourbon, and watch some horsies. 

The kids' costumes looked pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  For Vee's costume, I stuck with something simple, because she was just NOT going to tolerate a real costume.  So, I took an old dress of Cora's, added some brown tulle to make it darker and poofier, and then added Dalek balls (Styrofoam balls cut in half, spray painted with gold paint, and hot-glued to some stiff blue ribbon).  For Cora's costume, I took a traditional angel costume, made it silver, and then made her silver.

For those of you not familiar with the awesomeness of Doctor Who, here's what an actual Dalek looks like:






Here's what Weeping Angels look like:


Here's what my kids looked like:






Cora was very pleased with her costume, and got lots of compliments.  She was also happy to torment her sister with her "scary angel face."  Vee was not amused.  (She grumbled at her and said "No!" and walked away in a huff.)  Vee seemed to at least not be offended by being a Dalek, but she did refuse to carry around the egg beater and plunger.  She carried around a Dalek and a sucker instead.  She does, however, oblige me in answering the question, "What does the Dalek say?" with an enthusiastic "Exterminate!"  I'm so proud.

Since my costume fell apart, I opted to recycle the Amy Pond Kissogram costume from two years ago.  Here's our family photo:



We'll get some extra mileage out of the Weeping Angel costume (and the Kissogram costume) though, because Cora and I are totally dressing up to go see Day of the Doctor in theatres this month.  Because, yes, we're that nerdy.

2.  Day of the Dead.  We had what seemed like never-ending rehearsals leading up to Halloween for Dia de los Muertos, a ballet written and choreographed by the director of Cora's ballet school.  The neat thing about the ballet school is that they put on professional performances at the Opera House and use the students in them (to varying degrees).  So, lower-level students like Cora get these cute little parts, while the real talent is featured in starring roles.  There were six performances, and since there was only one cast of village children, we had to be at every one.  I wasn't crazy at first about Cora missing almost two full days of school for it, but honestly, it was such a great experience for her.  She absolutely loved it, and she was a real trooper.  It was a tough week for her.  We were at the studio for dress rehearsals Saturday and Sunday, at the Opera House for nearly 5 hours on Wednesday night for the final dress rehearsal, then there were two performances on Thursday, on Friday and on Saturday. 

We attended the Friday performance, and it really was just wonderful.  I was, of course, holding my breath, waiting for my kid to do something crazy.  Geez.  She certainly does like to try to steal the spotlight.  In the funeral scene, all the kids take flowers to Estelita's grave and are then supposed to return to their village family.  Well, Cora lingers at the grave to "pray" after all the other children have left, crossing herself, before returning to her position.  Yeah... that's my kid.  I was just waiting for her to knock over a proper ballerina and take center stage. 

Anyway, it was a crazy few days for me too, trying to work around pickup and drop off at the opera house.  Before Friday's performance, we had to go to a local brewery for a fundraising kickoff to try to win a challenge (we didn't win... but I ate an awesome gyro from the greek food truck, so I still won).  I chaperoned both Saturday performances (and impromptu chaperoned during the final dress rehearsal), which is total insanity, because not only did I have to keep 13 of the 5-6 year olds from destroying the opera house, I also had to dress them, and get their hairpieces properly secured, which took a shitload of bobby pins.  They were supposed to come wearing make-up and their hair secured in either a low bun or braids/pigtails and hairsprayed to plaster it to their heads, but some didn't, so I did make-up and hair too.  And making sure everybody goes potty before the show, because inevitably the curtain goes up and someone will have a potty emergency. 

Then after the show, had to get them all undressed, costumes put away, get them dressed and deliver them safely back to their parents.  We had children missing clothes, missing shoes, it was all kinds of crazy.  But we made it through.  I certainly learned a lot about ballet, about theatre, about costuming and stage make-up, and about herding feral cats, er, spirited ballerinas.  And there was probably only a half dozen times I wanted to throttle my kid.  The rest of the time, she did great.  And, let me tell you, bringing an iPad with a Tinkerbell movie on it works wonders for keeping ballerinas gathered in one place and quiet.

After the last performance on Saturday, we got ice cream through the drive-thru, went home and watched Nightmare Before Christmas in bed.  



3.  Violin recital.  Inconveniently scheduled the same weekend as the ballet insanity.  Cora had to go rehearse with the accompanist on Saturday morning, but fortunately didn't have a performance until 3pm (which we had to be there at 1:45 since I was chaperoning).  Her recital was at 3pm on Sunday, and with Daylight Savings, at least she was well-rested by then.  We made a run to Target that afternoon to buy new dresses for her and Vee (fortunately Vee approved of Cora's selections for her... she can be really picky about clothes).  She performed really well, she's been working hard on her staccato bowing, and it paid off. 



(Cuts off before the last note, because my stupid phone ran out of storage.) 



So, that's been our week.  Fortunately, we're just back to the normal state of insanity.  Orchestra rehearsal is canceled this week, and we have three rehearsals left to master Beethoven's Fourth.  Pfff. 

I have 5 more modules and the final exam to take by Thanksgiving weekend in one class.  In the middle of Insanity Week, I had to take a field trip to a public health department in the capitol, to take a tour, and do a presentation two days' later (tough to work on a presentation when you're at a 5-hour-long rehearsal, ugh).  I'll have a presentation to do in that class too in December. 

So, that's that.  I wanted to get all the pictures up and blog before I never ever did it.  Also, I worked tonight until about 11:30, and if I did anymore work tonight, I was going to lose my mind.  I might still lose my mind, but that is another problem entirely.