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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011

At the start of 2011, I had just begun working part-time at the Clinic, was doing some contract work for a friend, and doing some solo work for myself. I had one kid. I was unknowingly pregnant. I'm reasonably sure it's my husband's, and not that of a mass-murdering angsty teenage rape ghost. But you never know.

Throughout 2011, however...

I wrote grant applications to fund my job that we didn't get.

I drafted a syllabus to pitch an externship we did get.

I lost a hearing and a friend went to jail. That friend lost to his addiction, and we lost him.

I grew a baby. It made me ill and uncomfortable, but thankful that everything was normal.

My car exploded. It tapped my savings to fix it.

A cousin got married. Another cousin had a baby. My husband's grandparents celebrated 60 years together.

We paid off most of my credit card debt.

My contract work dried up.

The world didn't end.

My kid plays the violin. I'm starting to remember how.

I applied for jobs and I didn't get interviews. I interviewed for jobs I didn't get.

In one month, I actually paid to practice law.

I had a baby.

I turned 29 again. My driver's license says 32. It's a fucking liar.

The Cult hurt my family once again. We had a roommate for 5 months. He learned to change diapers.

We refinanced our mortgage.

I had a baby baptised. I had another baby turn 4.

Husband is applying to graduate school for his doctorate. I'm waiting on a grant to see if I can work full time. So I can go back to school for my doctorate. We can't get enough of school.

Cora left her old school; her last day was today.

In 2011, I regained my confidence but lost my faith. I re-learned that I simply can't please some people no matter how hard I try. I learned that you make your own idea of success, and sometimes just rolling back the expectations helps. Keeping it simple helps. I had some wins and some losses. I think that's how it's always going to be. There were some people I really helped; there were others who just couldn't be saved. I try not to carry that with me, but it's impossible not to feel the weight of it anyway. I try to not let this profession engulf me, but it does. I struggle to not let it completely define me. But with two sleeping babies, a sleeping dog, and a husband off at work, it's what keeps me up at night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bi-weekly blogging

Not doing a very good job of blogging, but so much has been going on, I can't even keep up.

I now have a four-year-old little bunny. All kinds of sassy.


Sassy

Cora very much enjoyed her birthday. On her birthday, I made dinner. (Good Eats Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and macaroni and cheese. Not pictured.) Cora really enjoys setting the table and eating dinner at the dining room table, so we've been trying to do that a bit more. But we held off on her presents until Saturday at her party. I spent several weeks cleaning the house, going through stuff, putting stuff away, trying to get the house ready for the invasion of family.

We no longer have a house elf. He moved out the day after Cora's birthday, once his finals were done. Just in time for the family invasion. One sister and two nieces flew in that night, so MIL picked them up at the airport and drove them in from Louisville. Begin tornado effect.

Friday, poorly-timed, Cora and Vee had doctor's appointments, including shots. It was a very traumatic experience for Cora. She got four shots, in the legs, and howled horribly. Two of the shots are very painful, I'm told. Poor little bunny. Husband and I took turns carrying her back to the parking garage, and when we got home, they took a long nap. When she woke up, she was still snuffly, but Grandma was there to snuggle, so life was better.

The rest of the family got in on Saturday in time for the party. I had 10 children in my house, along with parents and Cora's grandparents. It was a rather insane idea for her birthday, but it worked out well. We had wine (which helped tremendously). We had nibbles (mostly cheese). We did crafts. I got a bunch of wooden picture frames from Michaels for a dollar each, and a bunch of craft stickers to decorate them. Also got a bunch of felt snowflakes to decorate, and gingerbread cookies. It was a big hit. They were all girls (other than my nephew, who didn't participate), the oldest being 10 and the youngest 2, but most were about 4 years old. Total, probably spent about $60 on the craft stuff. I also had beads to make necklaces, and I was going to print out coloring pages, but we never got to it. I expected the kids would get bored, but they were pretty excited about it. An hour and a half later, they were done, and it was time for cake and presents. I got gluten-free cupcakes from a local bakery for my nephew and MIL who have celiac. They were pretty good, considering [anything gluten-free usually tastes like ass]. And Cora had her Hello Kitty cake, which she had picked out. (Everything's Hello Kitty these days. It's invaded the daycare. All the kids are obsessed with it. I'm like WTF? Cora's even watching the cheesy Hello Kitty's Furrytale Theatre on Netflix, made back from the 80's. Weird shit.) I'm still waiting for the group photo from my FIL of the kids, and I'm going to get one printed for each kid so she can put it in her picture frame.

After the party, we all went to a local sushi restaurant, and got a room. Hyped up on sugar, it wasn't the most pleasant with the kids, and I'm sure the restaurant would have been pissed if it wasn't making a butt load off of us (with seven adults and five kids who can seriously do some damage on sushi, sake and Japanese beer). At least we were contained, so we (mostly) weren't bothering other patrons.

Then Sunday was the baptism. Vee was a very good girl. She wore the Christening gown that was made from her great-great-grandmother's wedding gown, and that all the kids for the past three generations have been baptized in. Husband's older sister is her godmother and his best friend is her godfather. She made no fuss when she got wet, nor when she was passed around for everyone to make the sign of the cross on her forehead. She's a chill baby. Then we came back to the house for more cheese (and other nibbles... but mostly cheese) and wine.


Catholic Baby

The family left on Monday, and whew, it was nice to have the house back to normal. We have yet to put up a Christmas tree (since it's so late in the season, we're just going to put up our artificial one, which I prefer, because I'm allergic to the damn things but Husband still insists on buying a real one every year).

Since then, I've been working on putting the house back into order, and also getting work done before the holidays. My co-worker at the Clinic has been on vacation and things have been NUTS. I also arranged for interviews for my friend/colleague, who has been needing a real secretary for awhile, but just keeps putting it off. She interviewed six people. Hopefully she'll finally pick one. Still no word on our grant money, but I don't expect we'll hear anything until January.

In the meantime, we've got more birthdays to celebrate, Christmas parties and New Years parties to attend. Last night we went back to the aforementioned sushi place to celebrate our friends' daughter's one-year birthday. We left our hellions at home with Grandma, that was nice. Grandma watched our kids, as well as Cora's BFF J and J's little sister S. Good to have a night out, child-free. A few other friends' kids were there, and I did feel bad for one of Cora's other friends (she was disappointed Cora and J weren't there), but it's nice to not have to monitor your children and actually enjoy your meal!

Anyway, we went to dinner, then went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It was nice, because we rarely go to the movies, unless there's something we really really want to see. Anyway, enjoyed it a lot, even if it is "kung-fu Sherlock." On the other hand, the BBC show Sherlock is coming back on in January for the second series. Super excited about that one, much more excited than I was about the new movie. Just re-watched the first series, and it's just so freakin awesome. (It's streamed on Netflix, if anyone hasn't seen it.) Of course, anything Stephen Moffat does is freakin' awesome, but the show is one of the rare modernizations of classic stories that really works (as opposed to really offending me), and speaks to how timeless the characters really are. (For example, the original Dr. Watson served and was wounded in Afghanistan in 1880 in the *second* Anglo-Afghan war. 130 years later, the Brits are back in Afghanistan thanks to us, where Moffat's Dr. Watson is wounded in battle. I guess some things don't change, and after numerous wars there, we haven't learned to stay the fuck out of Afghanistan yet.)

In other news, I'm getting ginormously fat. I rejoined Weight Watchers, and gained even more weight after that. I managed to gain 10 pounds since Violette was born. Fail. I crawled back on the wagon, and I've since dropped a few of those pounds, and now am only 5 pounds above post-pregnancy weight. Ugh. I have a friend willing to train me, for free, because he wants the experience. I'm going to take him up on that after the new year (and pay him some too).

Cora starts her new school in January. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it, but Cora seems excited about it, so that's good. Maybe she's less sentimental than me. She definitely doesn't have an issue making friends.

So, that's that. I think I covered everything. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Instead of working...

Basically, since Vee was born, I've been working "part-time." My contract work dried up over summer, and I don't have any plans of going back unless they really really need the help. My court appointments have also dried up, but that is totally okay by me. I got the experience, and the time is not worth the money. I should finish out my last two appointments next week.


I have a few paying clients still, nearly all family law, and haven't been looking for any more lately. I've been hoping that we get the grant money we were sort-of promised, which will make me full time at the Clinic, I can then get employee benefits at the University and go back to school for free, and get my Ph.D. in something that will actually get me a job. Pipe dreams. I've been putting off doing anything else until then, so I'm in limbo. Moreso than that, I've been working in the direction of closing up shop. Closing out cases, wrapping things up. Getting things done I've been putting off. It's nice to not have anything pending.


It's different being a solo, and especially working from home. When I worked for my former boss, I could leave it at the office. I didn't do work on the weekends, or even most evenings. Rarely did I bring work home. I'd usually stay until 7 or 8 on the nights I didn't have Cora, but that was more out of a feeling like 40 hours isn't enough for an associate to work. But now, working for myself, I just don't stop working. If there's something to do, I feel like I need to be working on it, instead of reading a book or heaven forbid writing something for fun, like blogging, or trying to craft something academic and get published. So, even in the evenings and weekends, I'm not getting anything else done. I realized that it was really stressing me the fuck out. To the point that it was crippling me from getting anything done or enjoying myself at all. Anyway, I'm working on it. I'm hoping to blog more. I'm hoping to write more. I want to read more. I want to enjoy my time working part-time, before I either start working full time for the Clinic, or I have to devote all of my time to practice building.

But, days spent with Vee are so nice. She's an even better baby than Cora was, and Cora was a really good baby. Vee only cries for a reason. Cora would occasionally have bouts of inconsolable crying for no reason, but Vee never has. That's a huge stresser for me, the crying for no reason, and the times it happened with Cora, generally had me a total mess. I think I'd have a nervous breakdown if I had a colicky baby, so Vee must be the universe cutting me a break for once. Vee's a cuddle whore, but she is (mostly) sleeping through the night, and we've finally gotten the hang of nursing. I still have to supplement with formula, though not as much. We're probably up to about 70/30. Part of it is that I never got back up to production after the horrific mastitis episode, but it's also because she just eats a lot. Probably because she also yacks a lot, in a terrifying, Exorcist sort of way. It doesn't bother her though, and she's definitely growing a lot. I anticipated calling her "Flower" (Violette, get it?), as I still call Cora "Bunny," but something so nice-smelling and delicate is not fitting for this baby. Most of the time I refer to her as Honey Badger. (She's really nasty, and oh! it's eating again! She does not, however, run in slow motion.)



Honey Badger don't give a shit


Cora, not surprising, is sassy as ever, and is constantly giving me attitude. She also punched some boy who pissed her off at school (ugh), and then, being my Mini Me, was horribly upset because she got in trouble for it. I try very hard to help her cope with her emotions, but I fear constantly that I end up treating her just like my mother treated me, which did not help, and at least in part, created most of my childhood emotional issues. Suck. And I see that most dealing with the violin. She has made remarkable gains with the violin lately though, and we've been fighting a lot less, thankfully. She had a little Christmas group class last weekend, which was cute (although she missed half of her song because she was dawdling in the bathroom, but oh well). She does so love an audience. She asked me the other day what "shy" meant. I told her "The complete opposite of you, my little ham."


The kid turns four on Wednesday. Holy shitballs, FOUR! Sassy and girly as can be.




Yes, that's an almost four-year-old in lipstick. And a "horsey dress," one of her favorites. (If you play some Where's Waldo, you'll see me too.)


Other than kid stuff, I've been trying to branch out and do some stuff out of the ordinary. For instance, leaving the house other than to go to court. My college roommate writes poetry, and she was the featured poet at this poetry... reading? I guess, I dunno. Poets, poetry, poems, read out loud, etc. So, I dragged Husband out to listen to some poetry. It was actually pretty fun. Although I'm big into other areas of literature, poetry is totally not my bag, other than some erotica and the occasional Haiku, but I really enjoyed it. And of course, my friend was awesome. I discovered she has a blog too. She's much more entertaining than I am. She's getting stuff published soon, so I will shamelessly plug it when it's made available for purchase.


Another thing I did recently was go attend a play, starring this (I try really hard not to call him a little boy, but he's closer in age to my daughter than me... I'm so fucking old, Jesus!) young man who is a classmate of Steven's at the community college. He's adorable, and he apparently wants to be a lawyer, so he obviously suffers from poor judgment. Anyway, the play was interesting, this one. Well done, at least for a community college performance with freshmen talent. It ain't Broadway, folks, but oh well.


Anyway, this weekend is going to be insane. Family coming in for Vee's baptism Sunday, and we're doing Cora's birthday on Saturday. Steven's moving out on Thursday into his own apartment, then we've got to reorganize and clean since one sister and her kids are staying with us, as well as (I think) Husband's parents.


I also cooked twice this week so far, and didn't take pictures either time. First time, it was because the presentation was an epic fail, the second time (tonight), I just forgot. Oh well. Tomorrow is my Crock Pot experiment with a big chunk of dead cow. Then Wednesday, I'm doing a birthday dinner for Cora (meat loaf... Alton Brown's recipe, which is awesome). Thursday will be boring ol' chicken.

Monday, December 5, 2011

MILP Roundup #232

Is here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Progression

I'm still in the running for the double oven. Nearly the end of Week 2. Two down, 50 to go!

I promise this won't turn into a "food for the kitchen-handicapped" blog, but I need to document it somehow, and I figure blogging is good evidence to back up my performance of the aforementioned contract. (Not that the husband reads the blog anyway, although he makes claims to the contrary.)

So, I got a little bored for meal 3, didn't want to go to the store, and decided to do "breakfast as dinner." Voila! Spinach omelet and french toast for dinner:



It looked ugly, but it was tasty.


I got a little more creative for meal #4 that first week. This one was baked pork chops, using a rather expensive package breadcrumb mixture. There was a berry mixture green smoothie as well. For sides, I made mashed potatoes using only milk, not butter, which was more heart healthy but just not very tasty (cholesterol = yum). However, not pictured here, because I ate them before I remembered to take a picture, were extremely tasty mushrooms. I sauteed (ooh, cooking term!) sliced baby bellas in The World's Most Awesome Salad Dressing a/k/a the salad dressing from Nagaski Inn (our local Japanese restaurant). They just recently started selling the stuff in bottles. It's not exactly like it is in the restaurant, it's a bit thicker in the bottles. But damnation, it's tasty. When we go to Nagasaki, I will seriously drink the salad dressing. Anyway. Used on mushrooms = win.



Mushrooms are in my belly.


Not pictured is Thanksgiving dinner, which I'm totally counting, because per our agreement, if at any time I intend to cook, but he kicks my ass out of the kitchen, I get to count it. This occurred on Thanksgiving. So, instead, I poured wine for his parents, cleaned the house and set the table.

The first day of Week 2, I stepped out from my comfort zone and used an ingredient I've never cooked with before, and that's squash. I made Giada's Butternut Squash Risotto to take to friends' house for dinner.



Risotto love

The next night was a bit of a hodge-podge of things. I made chicken, using a Hawaiian marinade sauce and threw pineapple slices in for fun. The smoothie also had pineapple in it. I also made broccoli with cheese sauce (not heart healthy), and we had left-over risotto, left-over carrots and salad.


Cholesterol makes it yummy


The third meal is very simple: cheese quesadillas. Oops! Not heart healthy. It had sauteed onions and tomatoes. There's also refried beans from a can, with melted cheese on top, and Mexican rice from a box. Three ingredient minimum on the quesadillas makes it count.




And sour cream ftw!

The fourth meal of the week is not pictured, because apparently I totally forgot to take one. However, it was not terribly tasty. I cooked some steak on the stove in olive oil and thyme. The flavor was good, but the steak was kind of rubbery in texture. Didn't like it. Dead cooked cow fail. I also made broccoli and cheese again, but this time it was from a bag of frozen broccoli, and there's a definite taste difference. The House Elf assisted by making baked potatoes, but those took quite a long time, so we didn't make it for dinner, it became second dinner (not a foreign concept in this house).

The fifth meal was tonight, and is apparently on drugs. It was chicken fajitas. I sauteed green peppers and onions, then cooked chicken, used a package of seasoning, and voila, fajitas. Husband helped by chopping tomatoes and lettuce. At the same time, I was set to have dinner tonight with my law school friends, and made another batch of the butternut squash risotto to go with my friend's lasagna. So, technically, I cooked twice. Hell yeah, I rule!



Fajitas on crack

So, two weeks down. I rather enjoyed it, and (most) of it was tasty. I did, however, manage to burn myself twice. Once on the tea kettle while making Husband a cuppa. Second was tonight while making the risotto. I have yet to cut myself (knock on wood).


Also, I should totally get to count this, because it was quite an ordeal (even though it came from a kit):



Gingerbread construction.


My entire house is now covered in dried powdered sugar. But Cora had a great time and loved the finished product.


Stay tuned for more Idiots in the Kitchen next week, with three-ingredients or more (but not much more) meals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MILP Roundup #231

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday. Except when I do it, because I totally fail.


PT-Lawmom's Pumpkinhead is making grown-up decisions.


Butterflyfish dropped the Thanksgiving bomb.


But I Do Have a Law Degree had the Thanksgiving plague.


EH and RG is thankful for the tough things in life, the unexpected blessings that result.


SuzieJD is still thankful, post-layoff, (and will have to let me know how to get teenage daughters to still like me.)


LEO has a happy family and a happy life. As does LL.


Momttorney also has much to be thankful for.


Izzie and Kate are experiencing the true meaning of Thanksgiving for a law student: the end of semester crunch!


Dinei has trouble on her hands with B and the older ladies.


CM has mobility.


Googiebaba has historic Thanksgiving.


CP has an upcoming trial!


Cowgirl in the City weighs in on the protests.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Deals with the Devil

I've been bitching about our antique oven for the six years we've had our house. I'm reasonably certain it isn't just made to "look" 60 years old, I'm pretty sure it actually is 60 years old.



Exhibit A


Adorable, right? Yeah, except when you set it for a certain temperature, it likes to randomly get between 25 - 50 degrees hotter than it's supposed to. Problematic. (Also, I like modern, not country antique. I rather hate those cabinets too.)


I've been advocating for a new oven for awhile now, and even better, I want a double oven. Husband scoffs at the double oven idea, even though he's the one who cooks more often. He claims the only time we'll ever use both ovens is Thanksgiving. I told him we'd use it every time we entertain, which should be more often. Anyway, like most things technology-related, Husband scoffs at it until he finally breaks down and gets it and then he's all, oh my god, how did we ever live without this?! i.e. digital camera, his Passat (which is now overdue for a trade-in), laptops, phones with text-messaging, phones with the interwebs, the DVR, etc.

So, I made a deal with the devil. (The devil being the Husband, of course.) The deal is that I will cook 5 days out of the week, for 52 weeks. If I manage that before next Christmas, he will suck it up and remodel the kitchen to put in a double oven. We are even executing a written contract to this effect, including exclusions, exceptions and stipulations. I told him he can have his attorney look it over before he signs. (Heh.)


The only problem? I don't cook.


Okay, so I *can* cook, but I just don't like to. I can do basic stuff. It's just that if it requires more than a few minutes of prep time or has more than 3 ingredients, I lose interest. Seriously. Most of the things I make have very few ingredients and take about 15 minutes to make. I could start a cooking show. "Three ingredient meals for the undomesticated professional." I imagine it would be something like Bitchin' Kitchen, but I'm an Italian-American with a slight southern twang not an Italian-Canadian with a... what exactly is that accent anyway? And there would be more setting things on fire than actual cooking. And my shoes are much hawter.


Anyway, since Husband works three nights a week, dinner also has to be packed up to take with him.


So, here we are so far:




Steak with mushrooms, green beans and mashed potatoes

Green smoothie


The steak (and I couldn't begin to tell you what sort of cut of meat this was, I'm just reasonably certain it's dead cooked cow and it was on sale) was pan fried in a little bit of olive oil, along with salt and pepper for seasoning. In a separate pan, the mushrooms were fried in some olive oil and a package of mushroom gravy mix and water was added after the mushrooms were cooked. A bag of green beans was microwaved and I made the potatoes by scratch (peeling and boiling them). I only added milk to the mashed potatoes, no butter, which made them less cholesterol-hiking but much more bland. The steak was fantastic, the green beans were green beans, and the potatoes would have been really good with butter. Next time I'll suck it up and use butter.


The green smoothie consisted of bananas, pineapple, prune juice and spinach. It was quite tasty. The green smoothies are blended and are a tasty way of getting in more leafy greens.




Spaghetti alla mia, and green smoothie


This spaghetti is my heart-healthy version of Husband's spaghetti. First, I use higher-fiber spaghetti that tastes quite good. It's Ronzoni Smart Taste, and it has 7g of fiber per serving. I chop (I guess it's chop, I dunno. Could be mince for all the hell I know.) green pepper, onion and garlic (garlic is probably minced, I guess). I saute (ooh, there's a proper cooking term) it in olive oil, and add some oregano and some other spice out of the cabinet that might sound good (this time it was tarragon). Then I set it aside and cook some ground turkey breast. Drain it, then put it back together with the veggies, a jar of Ragu (whatever is on sale, this time it was Mushroom and Green Pepper), and add a can of black olives. Once the black olives are softened, throw it all together with the spaghetti.

The green smoothie was pears, peaches, prune juice and romaine lettuce.


Cora, Vee and I had dinner plans at a friend's house, however, so only Husband and our House Elf enjoyed the spaghetti. I tried a few bites and was pleased with the result. And it had like five ingredients, so I felt pretty adventurous on this one. Although the meal at our friends' house was much more tasty. And they'd made empanadas, which were fabulous. (From a Paula Deen recipe.)


So, two meals down, three more to go this week. I think pork chops with broccoli and brown rice are on the menu for tonight. Then maybe tacos tomorrow. We're going to very quickly run out of things that I can make without a recipe, and then I'll have to start going through and finding recipes. The other thing is too, that I need to make heart-healthy recipes. So, like, Alton Brown's meatloaf and Paula Deen's quiche are probably not going to cut it, which is unfortunate, since those are two of my favorite recipes. I also need to slowly wean myself from using meat as the centerpiece of the meal, and get more adventurous with seafood and my old standby of tofu (which I stopped cooking with because Husband wasn't a big fan).


Anyway, suggestions of heart-healthy, 3-ingredient meals are welcome. I'm also going to try using a crock pot for the first time. Definitely adventurous. But it will take a lot of planning since, three nights a week, dinner has to be ready and packed up before 6:30. And it's harder to cook with Vee, considering she also wants her dinner between 5 and 6, and I usually pick up Cora from daycare at 5:30. Not to mention, our favorite pasttime is eating out, so we won't be eliminating that all together. So, if I prepare a meal for breakfast or lunch that day, it will also count.


I figure I will continue to document what I make, when I make it, and how it turned out, so that I can slowly improve, and maybe actually learn to like it. Doubt it. But I like a challenge, and I definitely like making Husband buy me things, and we need to start controlling what we eat to lower our cholesterol (not to mention my weight is creeping up again now that I'm not pregnant), so it's a win-win. Except for the whole me having to cook thing. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MILP Roundup #227

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

Happy Halloween from the MILPs!

LC, Izzie, CP, Momttorney, LL, and SuzieJD have costumes.

Dinei battles monsters (in law), and But I Do Have a Law Degree battles monsters (in law office), and PT-Lawmom just puts up with shit.

Dakota went Disney.

No treats for CM, just oatmeal.

Googiebaba has pumpkins.

Jenny looks to a future without law school.

Butterflyfish is in a winter wonderland.

Kate does the math.

Cristy bites back.

For EH, it was just another Monday.

LEO keeps it in the suburbs.

RG runs.

GAL has troubles (and needs some positive thoughts sent her way.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tiger momming

Cora's been taking violin for about two months now. She's still very enthusiastic about it, but damnation, some days it is just plain hard. It's really our biggest struggle as parent and child, and she is just as damn stubborn as I am. She's pulling the passive resistance bullshit, and it is about all I can do to not throttle the child some days. While being Mini Me has its advantages, because I know exactly her motivation, it also has its disadvantages, because I know exactly her motivation. Ugh. Only *I'm* allowed to be this infuriating, dammit.

When that whole Tiger Mom book came out with that ivy league law professor who stood over her children with a cattle prod to make them practice piano and do their homework and make sure they never have a single moment of fun ever, I remember thinking, shit, is it that important the kid never slacks off, ever? Is being The Best at the detriment of everything else in childhood necessary? I mean, it's important to push your kids to challenge themselves and to do their best, but I don't want to be as tough on my kids as my mom was on me. And it's weird. My mom never really "pushed" me, and took very little interest in my actual work, but it was more just general disapproval. Just like Cora, I'm a people-pleaser. I want approval. I never got it. I got "Only an A? How come you didn't get an A+?" And of course, "Next year is going to be a lot harder than this year was. You won't get good grades next year." I never got money with a good report card, or bragging phone calls to grandparents. "Just, huh, an A minus in math. You should have tried harder." Blah. Fortunately, I was motivated by a desire to get the fuck out of dodge and make something of myself. Not that either actually happened, since I'm still in dodge (or 10 miles north of it), and I don't think "underemployed lawyer" is much of anything. Double blah.

But I'm trying to balance the whole "Tiger mom" thing out. While I want Cora to work hard at the violin, I also don't want her to be miserable. I want her to continue enjoying it and being excited about it. Even if she doesn't make a career of it, even if she never plays in an orchestra or in front of an audience, I want her to enjoy her instrument. I want her to experience the beauty of creating music, of challenging herself to play a more difficult piece of music and the satisfaction of mastering it.

So on nights like last night, where she refuses to even get into play position, I just don't know what to do. We have the rule that if she isn't finished with practicing by 8:30, she can't watch the episode of Dora. And if during the lesson, she starts goofing off and won't do it, if I tell her, okay, but we can't watch Dora, it just makes things worse and she starts pouting and crying. I even try to mix it up and make it a little different each time, but it doesn't help. But, I dunno, then sometimes it just clicks. Last night, after having a massive fight about stepping into play position (spreading her legs out), something very simple and she knows exactly how to do, she buckled down and breezed through the practice and mastered something new (this "monkey" song that is essentially playing a scale). I don't understand it, but hey, it works. And she was so proud of herself and I was so proud of her, and I gave her a cookie afterward and we watched Dora, and all was right in the world. Ten minutes after spending fifteen minutes staring at me blankly and refusing to move her feet, and crying every time I told her she'd run out of time to watch Dora if she didn't do it.

Oh well. This is why we're paying a professional instead of me trying to teach her. It's hard enough getting her to practice some days.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Decisions and Sentiment

So, I broke the news to Cora's preschool today that she would be leaving (sometime) at the end of the year. As to when, we're still hashing that one out. I tend to get all emotional and shit when I talk about it. It makes me sad. It's kind of ridiculous, considering I am not the touchy-feely one in this household. But I'm sad that Cora will be leaving her friends. And I'm sad that Violette won't be going there at all. I'm sure the new school will be fine, but that's all it will be is "fine." I like the place she's going now, and I think they do a great job with her. Of course, if she were starting kindergarten next year, then I could convince Husband she should stay, but she won't start until 2013. Sucks.

I feel bad she's leaving her friends. She is quite the social butterfly apparently. Hopefully that means she'll adapt well, and make new friends, being the new kid in school. I've never had to do that, so I don't know how that is. I went to school with all of the same people, from kindergarten to graduation, I was never "the new kid." Most of the people I went to high school with stayed in the area and went to the University. Even in grad school, I already knew people (two of which I went to high school with), and in law school, several of my grad school classmates were there and even one from undergrad. Husband, on the other hand, was an Army brat, so he was always the new kid. After high school, he moved two hours away and came here, instead of going to the university closer to his home. So, it's really not a big deal to him for her to change schools.

I've been talking to her about it, but I'm not sure she understands, even though we took a tour of the school. I tell her she'll be going to a new school, and her friends won't be there. She'll need to make new friends. She'll have a new teacher. I think she fully understands though. She told me that she'll be going to a new school because she's big and Violette will be going to her old school because she's small. So, she sort of gets it (even though Vee will be going to her new school eventually).

Oh well. And of course over the next year we have to figure out where she'll be going to elementary school. If we don't win the lottery for the Spanish immersion program in the public school, which is our first choice, then we have to decide if we want to send her to Catholic school. Our parish has a really awesome school K-8, and it's cheaper than we'll be paying for preschool even at the new place. But I'm not sure about sending her off to be indoctrinated. We're Catholic, but we're not *that* Catholic. Depending on who you ask, we aren't even Catholic at all, being all pro-gay and pro-choice and whatnot. So, I don't want my precious little snowflake coming back and being all "gay sex makes the baby Jesus cry" and asking why Mommy likes killing babies or whatthefuckever nonsense that gravely offends me. I want to make sure "Catholic education" doesn't equate "Catholic indoctrination of conservative politics."

And of course, the annoying thing about the Spanish immersion program is that they don't take sibling priority, so if Cora gets in, Vee might not, or vice versa. I guess it won't be terrible for the girls not to be in the same school system, but it's kind of weird. And a bit inconvenient. Even with one in middle school and the other in elementary school, it's usually still the same school system, same school board, etc. Oh well. The other option is to stay in the district we're in and send them to the elementary school across the street from the house. Which wouldn't be that bad, although the elementary school is okay, not one of the best in the city, but not terrible. Certainly would be convenient! And the middle school and high school are much better than the elementary school we're districted in, too, two of the best in the city. So we could always send them to Catholic elementary and put them in public school later on.

This education stuff is hard. I guess we're just lucky to have too many choices. Considering I'm driving out to BFE on Monday to sit in on a meeting with a principal, some teachers and the parent of a kid who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and whose school has failed to make accommodations for her and won't let her attend when the school nurse isn't there to give the insulin shots. (That's a big no-no.) And that's why small town living ain't for me -- lack of opportunity, lack of resources.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Small Accomplishments



Pumpkins!


When Cora was born, I was right in the middle of 2L fall finals, husband had finals for his first year of his MSN. We'd planned on getting everything "baby ready" a week later. But since she was a month early, we had absolutely nothing ready. We hadn't even finished painting her room. It wasn't until I lost my job and moved back to Lex, that I even cleared all of the crap out of Cora's closet (that was mostly my stuff) and her room truly became her own. And then earlier in the summer, when Husband and Cora went to Chicago without me, I took the opportunity to thoroughly clean the room and get things organized.













Since then, it's gotten a lot messier, and we've acquired more princess and Dora crap (including artwork that's been added to the walls), but Cora likes her room a lot


Fortunately for Violette, I only procrastinated a little while, and her room is completely hers. It isn't quite done yet, however. Husband has a couple tasks to complete for me (he needs to hang the curtain rod and a put up a few butterflies on the wall), then I need to finish clearing off a bookshelf that's downstairs that will go up in her room. Hopefully we'll get that done by next week. Overall, though, it's functional. We left the queen size bed in there because we don't have anywhere else to put it (I had bought it for the apartment in Ashland), and also, the crib will only stay in there about a year or two, and after that, she can have the queen size bed.



So, small victories. I also cleaned out my closet, got my entire wardrobe drycleaned and mended, and my maternity stuff is packed away. I just need to clean my desk again, because it's gotten piled up. (No surprise there.) And then we have to get the downstairs cleaned before December, because we have family coming in, including two of our nieces staying with us, who will run through the house like a tornado, so stuff really needs to be put away so things don't get scattered/lost/destroyed.


Other things I accomplished on maternity leave:



I finished all of the Sookie Stackhouse books. They're not nearly as good as the show, but it doesn't have nekked photos of Eric, so what can you do. Motivated by actually reading non-law stuff, we've been back doing book club (read The Help last month), and I'm re-reading my favorite crime noir, The Thin Man, and will be reading the rest of the Hammett collection as well.



I'm working on sewing part of my Halloween costume (ha, less complex than it sounds), and I'm crocheting a twin size blanket for Cora's bed, and will then work on one for Violette. I'm also spending a significant amount of time helping Cora practice violin, and trying to practice myself so I suck less. (So far, still sucking.)



Settled out a case. I pushed the other side to a better settlement after throwing a temper tantrum with opposing counsel about his bullshit counteroffer and how he sooo did not want to deal with me if I had to draft a complaint during my last week of maternity leave because he was dicking me around. Result was a good settlement for the client. Not the best we'd hoped for, but better than expected. Now we're bickering about the language in the release. Heh.

Although I still feel rather meh about my career at the moment, I did have a really good day in court on Friday. I was filling in for a friend who was on vacation, and I did some damn good lawyering for her client if I do say so myself. Opposing counsel is a guy who recently pissed me off (he wouldn't return my calls about working out a forcible detainer case, so I hauled my 8-month-pregnant fat ass to court at 8am in the middle of a thunderstorm, just to find out he was dismissing the case, which he'd known since the week before... asshole). So it was that much sweeter.


But overall, paid work has been drying up. No more contract work, and apparently the judge in the county in which I do dependency/neglect/abuse cases is only giving appointments to the local attorneys and is only appointing this one attorney as GAL in every case, which is total crap. Not that it was a significant amount of money or anything, but it was good experience. And I'll never get on the list in my county because there are too many damn lawyers in this town. So, I need to figure out something else to do with myself, and I'm really not motivated to figure it out right now. Too busy being a bum. I made one work phone call today, and sent one email. The rest of the day I snuggled on the couch with the baby and watched several hours of the Moonlight marathon on Syfy. Yeah, working sucks. Staying home with a baby is awesome.



Vee

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MILP Roundup #223

The Weekly MILP (Moms in the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

Dinei encounters assholes with mental illness (also known as "clients.")

The GAL encounters other assholes with mental illness (also known as "colleagues.")

Kate encounters trees with cozies (also known as "art").

Googiebaba gets better.

LL owns some litigation.


CP's husband ran into her knife... he ran into her knife 10 times.





Butterflyfish has a busy angelfish of nine months.

SuzieJD's kid has a magic bookshelf.


Grace has wedding photos.


Momttorney has birthday photos.


RG has pumpkins instead of troubles.


EH has improvement.

Shan has priorities.


-R- has a life.


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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is it possible to have postpartum depression after giving birth to a law degree? If so, I swear, I have it.

I look at sweet, snuggly little Violette snoozing beside me in the bassinette, and I think, hey, I did something right. Then I look at the stack of client files I need to work on, and it makes me want to go get a book of matches and some lighter fluid. (A few of the actual clients, and opposing counsel, give me that same warm, squishy feeling as well.) Seriously, I need a change. I miss working at an actual firm, on cases with actual substance. Yet I don't seem to be motivated to put myself out there. I don't want to work a gazillion hours for crap money. (I don't really want to work a gazillion hours for great money either.) I don't want to work for douchebags.

I guess I can't complain too much. I'll have a lot more time at home with Vee than I would if I were working full time and only had a few weeks off for maternity leave. I'll have some long working days (I've got one coming up in November that I'm worried about -- literally all damn day in court, in another county, so I have to figure out what I'm going to do about my bewbs), but I'll have plenty of days where I'm home all day, napping off and on, and that's nice. Or at least I will once I get these last few cases taken care of. Then I'm not taking on anything new for awhile. Going to wait to see what happens with the grant money for the MLP, and if it comes through, I'll be able to shut down my private practice and will be working full time for them in March, which will give me the opportunity to go back to school for free and get a degree that's actually useful this time. In the meantime, I'm hoping to catch up on some reading and hopefully start writing some more. Those are things I'm excited about. Dealing with clients that want to squabble about every damn thing... ugh. Fucking family law.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blurry

As we near Week 3 of Violette, it's been kind of a blur. It's not like I ever stopped working, and although I had hoped all of that work would take place at home, it hasn't completely. Two days after getting out of the hospital, I was at the law library doing research. I was at the clinic the next week (although, in my defense, Vee had a doctor's appointment, so it wasn't out of the way). I had a meeting at the clinic this week. Next week I have another meeting. The week after that, I will probably be back working my hours at the clinic. October starts back court appearances. Fun times.

I'm just pretty much unmotivated to do much of anything at this point. Other than sleep and read Sookie Stackhouse books. So, not excited about being any busier. But those student loans won't pay themselves off, will they. If only I were still hawt like I was a decade ago, I'd change professions like this gal. But no one will pay to see my stretchmarks, that's for sure. Lame.

Oh well. Trying to figure what to be for Halloween. I know, it's a little early, but we get really into Halloween. Since we host the party and all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Breastfeeding sucks (part 2)

Most awesomely, I managed to end up with mastitis thanks to a baby that has mutilated my nipple in her feeding frenzies, and after a horrible night Friday night, by myself, with a high fever that Tylenol wasn't touching, chills, feeling like I had the flu, and a boob that was absolutely on fire, I finally managed by late afternoon to get out of bed and drive myself to the UTC before they closed. Blubbered at the nurse about having not really slept in over 24 hours because my boob is on fire, in general being a total hot mess. I'm surprised they didn't try to give me any antipsychotic meds. Got an antibiotic and the script for Percocet filled that my OB had written me. Discovered I can't join the rest of the residents of my state in becoming a pill head, because I seem to have a mild allergy to oxycodone. (I start itching.) Oh well, the Benadryl helped me sleep last night, at least. I'm sure it helped Vee sleep too (although she was up at her regularly scheduled times for feeding).

And of course, part of the recommendation to treat mastitis is to pump more! Yeah... this sucks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"You should call her 'Mummy' not 'Big Milk Thing.'"

So, week 2 of Violette...

Vee eats, sleeps, and poops. A lot. If she's awake, she's probably eating. If she's asleep, she's probably still pooping. It's a vicious cycle. We're single-handedly killing the environment. (Which is no big deal if you ask Galileo, er, I mean Rick Perry).

Breastfeeding sucks (no pun intended). Anyone who thinks breastfeeding is this magical, beautiful thing is effing crazy. Bonding between mother and child? Bullshit. I like Vee a lot better when she is not trying to rip off my nipples with her jaw of steel. There are feedings that I just have to pump, because I can't stand the pain. Generally, we nurse during the day, and then she takes a bottle (and I pump) at night, because she also takes for-frickin-ever to nurse, but she'll drink down a bottle in under ten minutes and go back to sleep. She likes the bottle better anyway. Quicker access to the ridiculous amounts of milk she drinks. I know Cora is a bad comparison, since she really couldn't breathe well enough to eat for awhile there, but Vee drinks twice as much as Cora did at this age. She also gained an entire pound between Thursday of last week and Tuesday of this week. She eats a lot. But, she's a really good baby. She's snuggly and not fussy. She sleeps well in her crib. She travels well in the car. She just doesn't care. She's mellow.

Overall, I'm still pretty tired though. Trying to get work done has been difficult. It will get better the more we get into a routine, but I'm just pooped most of the time, and it's much harder this time around since Husband had to go back to work after 1 week. I've been rather short-tempered with Cora too. Things that don't usually bother me or annoy me (as they do Husband), have really irritated me lately. I feel bad yelling at her, when I usually don't. I need to be better. The adjustment to having a baby sister is hard enough for her without me being pissy. She's a real trooper though. She's thrilled to be a big sister, and always wants to help with feeding or holding the baby. Even with changing the baby.

Working from home for the month of September, but will probably start back some hours at the clinic here soon once I run out of things to do from home. Shouldn't be too soon though. The article we submitted to be published in this journal has to be rewritten, because they want us to change it for general submission (it was supposed to be for a special issue, but that issue got canceled). So, there's that, there's a couple grant applications to work on, and there are two family law cases I'm handling that will be worked on as well.

In other news, I am actually below my pre-pregnancy weight, only one week postpartum. My cankles are completely gone! My fingers are still a little puffy, but I can wear my wedding rings again. The bad news is, we got our blood test results from our life insurance application (that we did last month). We both have ridiculously high cholesterol. So, apparently cholesterol levels rise during pregnancy, but I kinda doubt they rise this much. It's probably more that I've spent the last 9 months eating whatever the hell I've wanted, because I don't have much of an appetite during pregnancy and I barely gain any weight. Husband thinks the answer is for him to get on medication, because both his parents take cholesterol medication. I think he needs to stop eating so much damn cheese and eat some oatmeal instead. So, I'm seizing control of the household diet. Which is difficult, since our house elf keeps bringing in junk food. For instance, I go to the store yesterday and buy a crapload of fruits and veggies. He buys Pop Tarts. Yes, I would much rather eat Pop Tarts. But I don't want to stroke out in my early thirties. Instead, I'm giving the green smoothie thing a try. (My college roommate is currently doing it and she swears by it.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

MILP Roundup #219

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.


In honor of Labor Day, EH shares a personal history and a song from the western part of my state.

LC considers the adult she has become.

Momttorney is at 30 weeks.

-R- has a night owl.

CP has the same old rants.

But I Do Have a Law Degree dishes on maternity leaves, and LEO takes one. (What's a maternity leave, exactly?)

Dinei has the best parenting suggestion ever.

Dakota has misadventures in real estate. (Hope she's keeping the earnest money.)

Butterflyfish
has the scoop on the kids and the blackout.

CM is finished with summer.

LL is a soccer mom (hopefully she will be flipping you off from her mini-van, otherwise there's just no point).

RG is grounded by Lee.

Izzie misses the first steps, but sees the second steps after she gets out of the bathroom.

Googiebaba waits for the Zoloft to do its work.

SuzieJD salvages her vacation.

PT-Lawmom has cause for celebration.


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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Birthin'

(I think it goes without saying, there will be discussion of lady parts in this blog post.)

The big difference in this pregnancy and my last pregnancy was definitely in prenatal care. Now, obviously, Cora required a lot more prenatal care thanks to a congenital lung defect, sophisticated prenatal surgery, and whatnot. Thankfully, none of that craziness went on this time. I was, in fact, surprised by how not-invasive prenatal care is when you aren't high risk. Like, I only have to go to the doctor once a month? I don't have to pee in a cup each time? No weekly ultrasounds, no weekly non-stress tests? But also I got to go to a private OB/GYN practice, and delivered at the private hospital. No three-hour average waits to be seen, no sitting in the waiting room with the lady prisoners, the crack-moms, and women so rough I'm pretty sure they could kill a bear with their hands. Just waiting about 10 minutes or so with some old ladies and some unremarkable preggos.

But there were definitely differences in delivery. Now, I'm sure if I hadn't been the problem child last pregnancy, they would have sent me home when I went in the night before my insurance final, believing my water was leaking. In fact, if the attending hadn't been there, they would have, but she said she wanted to keep me since they expected I would go early (something they'd failed to mention to me). So, I wasn't real concerned Sunday when I started having irregular, although painful contractions. Not pleased about it (or pleased that the Husband was passed out on the couch instead of paying attention to the fact that I was in pain) but I knew if I went to the hospital, I'd just be wasting my time. Then I started having more intense, regular contractions. I waited until they were 4 minutes apart, 1 minute in length, for an hour, like my instructions said, and we went to the hospital at 1 a.m. (Fortunately, we have a live-in manny, so we didn't have to get anyone out of bed to come stay with Cora, or drag her out of bed to take her with us.)

They took me in and hooked me up in the recovery room, which had three beds separated by curtains, because they were full that night. Although the contractions were now coming 2-3 minutes apartment, I was not dilated any more than I was at the appointment on Friday (when I was told I wouldn't be birthin' any time soon). So, at first they wanted me to go "walk around" and come back later. I'm like, WTF? I'm doubled over in pain from frequent contractions... you want me to do what? I want a damn epidural, is what I want. Then they made the call to hook me up to an IV because they thought I might be dehydrated (I wasn't) because the baby's heart rate was high and dehydration can bring on contractions. Two hours of drug-free contractions later, the baby's heart rate is back down but I'm still contracting at the same rate. They finally give me some drugs, which made me itch. Then they gave me some benadryl, which made me unconscious. Which was good, because they brought in Hillbilly Brigade into one of the beds, waiting for a c-section, and I was getting tired of listening to them. It was like being in labor in family court, holy hell. (I guess it was still better than being at University of Cincinnati, where I thought the screams down the hall was from ladies being in labor, but it turns out they were actually from pregnant women going through heroin withdrawals. Awesome.)

As an aside, the fun thing about being in "the city" is that for certain events, the hillbillies flock in. One of those events is for birthin'. There were several run-ins with the hillbilly kinfolk that day. At one point, Husband watched with amusement as two old biddies tried to figure out the door to maternity. (You have to push the button to have them buzz you in, then you pull on the door.) They buzzed in, but missed the "window" of getting the door open before it locked again, and couldn't figure it out. Finally, after watching one push on the door for awhile in confusement, Husband reached around her to swipe his security badge which unlocked the door. The old biddy apparently missed that and at that moment realized she needed to pull on the door, and pulled really hard at the now unlocked door... and hilarity ensues as said old biddy goes flying backwards with the door. The old biddies were grumbling about the defective doors, still having no clue what just happened.

Finally at 11:00 a.m., they got me into a room of my own. My OB came around about 1pm, and examined me. My contractions had pretty much stopped, but finally, I was dilated to 6cm. She said she didn't want to send me home just to have my contractions start again, so she made the call that it was time, broke my water and ordered Pitocin. I wasn't too concerned they hadn't gotten my epidural in yet, because the last time I had Pitocin it took forever to kick in. Yeah, not this time. It totally sucked. I had horrifically painful contractions for what seemed like an eternity and "slow deep breaths" don't do shit. So, I had plenty of "natural child birth" experience this time, and seriously, fuck that noise. Finally I got my epidural, and was able to get some sleep because I wasn't waking myself up with my own screams.

At about 6pm, the nurse woke me up and asked me if I was feeling that "pressure" that I should push. I was a little bit, but she checked me and I was 8cm. So, she left, and right around shift change, I'm definitely feeling it. Like, I'm clenching, trying to hold stuff in, because I felt like if I didn't, I'd be pushing the catheter out (I kept thinking about this awful med mal case we had where the doc left the catheter in during delivery, and the damn thing came shooting out still inflated, ripping up this lady's urethra... yeah... no way.) And totally awesome, the epidural was starting to wear off, so that was fun. Anyway, finally the nurse comes in and calls for the nurse midwife on call, and they're like, hey, the show's starting. The midwife asked me if I wanted to reach down and feel the head. I'm like, fuck no, I'm going to my happy place now, get this thing the fuck out. With only pushing through three contractions, I popped the baby out. (Fortunately she has a small head.) Then I was like, seriously, get me some damn food and caffeine. A bagel and a Dr. Pepper later, I felt human again.

So, that was my birthin' experience. Definitely a significant amount more pain this time, not pleased about that. These folks were not on the ball with drugging me up. As soon as I got admitted the last time, I got my epidural, and until the Pitocin really kicked in, I never felt a single contraction, and pushing wasn't a big deal either. I was much more exhausted afterwards (probably due to all of the emotional turmoil) and passed out for awhile after they scooted me off and we found out that Cora was pink and not blue. This time, there was a lot of pain. But I think there was more adrenaline this time, from excitement and happiness instead of fear, and I felt great after it was over. Like, hell yeah, the baby's out! Also, there was significantly less damage to my girl parts this time. Cora had to be popped out with forceps there at the end because her heartrate started dropping. At least this time around I don't pee myself whenever I sneeze.

Anyway, we had to wait around to get into a room and they took Violette to the nursery to check her out and suction goop out of her and all that good stuff. The staff were all very nice and friendly, but there were certainly a lot more interruptions this time. Last time, I had a NICU baby, so I guess that might be the difference. But, geez, this time, I swear, there was someone in my room every 20 minutes doing something. Usually a teaching hospital is more intrusive. They're sending in med students, nursing students, residents, fellows, proctors, who knows who else. When Cora was born, there was a whole room full of people, I didn't even know who most of them were. Maybe they were there because of the anticipated medical complications. But when Violette was born, it was me, Husband, the nurse midwife and the nurse. A few other people came in after she was out to do the whole baby warming thing, while the nurse midwife finished me up and did the whole placenta thing. But then postpartem, everybody and their brother is up in my room for something.

Other differences between the university hospital and the private hospital: Food sucks at the private hospital. We have a kick-ass catering company at the university hospital. Like, we have even have sushi in the clinic cafe. The stuff they serve in the patient rooms isn't 5 star or anything, but it's on par with like Applebee's or O'Charley's, and that's significantly better than what the private hospital is serving up. The private hospital calls their department "nutrition." Yeah, it's not. It's pretty gross.

I was a little weirded out by the morning and evening prayers over the intercom. Definitely not used to that. And we were pretty surprised when the lady from billing came in to ask if we wanted to "take care of our bill" that day (and dropped that we'd get a 10% discount if we did). I can't even get our billing lady to return my phone calls at the university hospital when I'm trying to help them get paid.

So, there you go. Overall, I'm happy with the care that I got, and if we decide to go for a third kid, I'd definitely go with the same group and happy with the care in the hospital. However, if I were high-risk, I'd want to go back to the university, I have more confidence in their abilities to manage complex cases, even though it is a horrible inconvenience. We still take Cora to the pediatrician at the clinic (not my department, but the internal medicine/pediatrics department), and we took Violette there today. I don't go to them because they're impossible to get an appointment when you're sick and would like to be seen that day or the next day, not the next week, but for the kids, we have an after-hours pediatrics clinic (which is where my office is) which is like urgent treatment for kids, but with a regular doctor visit copay. So, I'm not too worried about not getting in for a scheduled appointment. Our docs staff that clinic in rotation, so same folks.

Baby out. Birthin' done.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Violette


Violette



Sisters


(Stories of false labor, hillbillies, and the utter bullshit of pitocin-induced contractions without painkillers, soon to come.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

DIY Labor Inducement

Apparently, sitting around feeling sorry for oneself works wonders. I'm in the hospital, finally in a private room and away from the redneck brigade I spent hours laboring in the same room as, and will eventually be getting induced because the contractions stopped. Fun times. But within 24 hours, this creature will be out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Depression

Had a doctor's appointment this morning, and was told I would not be popping any time soon. The baby is so far up, it clearly thinks its exit strategy is through my throat. I was so depressed, and my body hurt so bad (between the horrific back pain I've been having, the hip pain and now the vag pain after the doc got up close and personal with my lady parts), I just went home and went back to bed. Sigh.

Oh well. The doc could read my dismay and said it was normal to feel like you've gone far beyond full term when you go early the last pregnancy. While you logically know, hey, it's certainly a good thing this one isn't premature, you psychologically gauge your pregnancy as full term based on the length of the last one. My last one was only barely premature, at 36 weeks, so I'm just now feeling that "overdue" feeling, but she said it's really tough on the moms that went very early and never experienced that long third trimester stretch before, and all the fun that comes with it. (Like, oh, for instance, checking one's cervix for dilation. That shit hurts, WTF.) Makes sense. And of course the last pregnancy I spent so much time worrying that I would go very prematurely, and each week the baby stayed in was an accomplishment, not to mention worry about what the health would be like when the baby actually popped out, that I never got to the ohmygodgetitthefuckout stage of pregnancy.

But 37 weeks is plenty. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go google "DIY labor inducement."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Randomness

So much to do, and zero motivation to do it. You'd think I'd be in a rush to hurry up and get stuff done, considering I will be popping within a month's time. But no. No motivation.

I have a "to do" list for my cases, and just need to sit down and get that stuff done. That will probably be Monday's project. Go to the law library, knock everything out at once. Then get all my files organized and put away since they should be (mostly) dormant during the month of September.

This weekend I need to finish up baby laundry and get the nursery organized. There's crap everywhere. All the important stuff is there, though, so I'm not too worried. I also need to finish writing thank-you cards and mail them. The house needs to be cleaned: the floors cleaned and the bathroom cleaned. I can't wait to put away all of my maternity stuff and bring back out my real clothes. Domesticity -- I fail at it.

The Husband has promised me a day at the spa. I need things trimmed, waxed, colored, etc. I'm a hot mess. I think I'm going to start with a pedicure tomorrow afternoon and plan for a hair day on Saturday. There certainly seems to be a problem with my hair color. There is a considerable amount of it currently without pigmentation! I don't understand. Obviously, this problem needs to be corrected.

Not much else going on. Husband is taking Cora to the circus on Saturday. He's also taking her to her next violin lesson tomorrow morning, since I'll be out of town for a training in the morning, the last thing on my calendar for the month. Hopefully she'll do well without me there. Speaking of the circus, I seem to be the lion-taming parent. She will focus better for me than for Husband. When I was out for True Blood night Monday, he had to help her practice for violin. It apparently didn't go so well. He gets frustrated with her because she won't focus, and then she really won't focus, and it all goes down hill from there. The violin teacher said consistency is important for them, so hopefully me not being at the lesson won't be a problem.

Husband seems convinced to go ahead and rejoin the Y a few months after the baby is born, which I'll be happy about if for no other reason than I could pop over, put the baby in the daycare for two hours and go take a nap by the pool. I guess I could work out too. I need to start running again. I think I'll have to start from scratch due to my epic slothdom this pregnancy. Hopefully my hips go back to normal pretty quickly.

Not much else going on. Just organizing things at the clinic today, and waiting for our law student volunteer to come in so he can tell me what my voicemail says. Sigh. I really need to work on my Spanish.

Oh, there is one thing going on... big fat eye roll... my house pet is a glutton for punishment and had to go reconnect with "our ex-boyfriend." When we broke up a decade ago, they were roommates. Then they were no longer roommates when the Ex's parents demanded he move back in with them, because the Ex got busted for a DUI coming back from a bachelor party, and that was somehow his roommate's fault according to his parents (I'm sure it would have been my fault if we'd still been dating at the time... his parents hated me). (And don't even get me started about how he roped me into driving to bumfuck Ohio with him in the middle of the night to bail the idiot out of jail, so he could drive his vehicle back.) Anyway, after the Ex told him "they needed some space," they later rekindled their friendship, but the Ex eventually "broke up" with him, because he said they were too close and he wasn't able to be intimate with women as a result, and that he could never have contact with him again. (Because the Ex is a homo, that's why, and he can't come to terms with it. Seriously, who breaks up with their platonic friends because they're too close? WTF?) Anyway, when we had our party on July 4th, a friend mentioned that the Ex's dad had passed away last year. And that's sad and all, but yeah, we aren't friends. We haven't spoken in almost a decade. I don't think it'd be appropriate to send a Hallmark a year later even if his dad had actually been kind to me, (rather than thinking I was poor trash that wasn't good enough for his son.) But of course, Steven couldn't just leave it alone. He went and texted him and tried calling him, because he can't stand the idea of that wounded puppy out there. I'm like, don't go opening that can of worms, he'll just suck you back in to his emotional turmoil. And with his school schedule, he really doesn't need the drama. Fortunately, the Ex never responded... Until this week. And his response was something like, sorry I took so long to respond, I just needed more time to process before I could contact you. Again, WTF? (See why we refer to him as "our ex-boyfriend"?) So, of course, he's getting together with him. I'm like, do whatever you want to do, you clearly aren't going to take my advice and stay the hell away, but do not bring that crazy bipolar drama to my house. Ugh. I deal with enough crazy people at work, I don't want them at my house too.

So, that's pretty much it. Organization and avoiding other people's drama. Getting my hair did. Waiting to expel a human.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winning

My day so far:

1. Got pretty much no sleep last night, thanks to multiple bathroom trips and the difficulties of rolling over in my sleep (during which hip and back pain would wake me up).

2. Realize when getting dressed that I have reached the point where real shoes simply do not fit. Not anywhere close. Chose flip-flops over sneakers. Have not had pedicure in so long, I can't even describe the fail. Hawt!

3. About to leave the house and can't find my keys. Spend 5 minutes frantically looking for keys only to realize the keys are in my purse, the first place I had looked.

4. Actually get to the courthouse on time, and still manage to miss my case being called. (Wasn't listening for it because I didn't realize we had a substitute judge and would actually be running on time). Awesome.

5. Since Mom in that case didn't make it to court on time either, Judge had issued a show cause summons. Recalled the case when Mom shows up 15 minutes later and withdrew the summons, but her attorney hasn't had a chance to talk to her, I haven't had a chance to talk to her, so we pass it again.

6. Waddle out of courtroom a total hot mess; it's horribly hot in the courtroom, even though it's reasonably cool outside. Cannot wear my suit jacket lest I pass out, which combined with the flip-flops makes me even more of a hot mess. Bailiff about has a stroke when he sees me groan and hold my stomach in discomfort while waddling out, because he thinks I'm in labor and he'll have to catch a baby.

7. While waiting to talk to Mom from the first case, another case of mine is called and, again, I don't hear it! (Is deafness a pregnancy symptom? Or maybe it's just pregnancy has made me stupid.) Embarrassed when bailiff has to shout at me to come to the courtroom. Waddle back into courtroom with everyone already up front. Ugh!

8. Manage to get through those two cases despite all of the fail. Have to ask for 60 day reviews instead of 30 day reviews on account of popping in the month of September. County attorney says he wouldn't dream of objecting to my request. Heh. (He doesn't want to catch a baby either.)

9. Bailiffs take pity on me and sit me in front of the fan they've brought in. I open a file and a paper not tacked down goes flying across the courtroom.

10. Realize my client for the 10:15 hasn't shown up yet and it's now 10:30. I call her and she thought it was set for 11:30. She hauls ass to court.

11. Apparently no one on the 10:15 docket managed to show up on time (that's probably because by 10:15, we're usually running at least an hour behind), and there's no one in the waiting room. We take a 15 minute break, and of course, my case with my missing client is the first one called.

12. Client comes rushing in just as we get before the Judge. Whew! She apologizes profusely. At this point, the Judge makes a comment that we clearly must run on a different time zone in this county, so at least my client isn't getting nailed for the screw-up. Our cabinet worker tried to set the 60 day review for September, causing the Judge to comment that we're also apparently on a different calendar there too. (I wasn't the only one having a fail day. There were even two other attorneys who didn't show up at all today. Ugh.)

13. Finish up the case and get the hell out of there before anything else goes wrong.

I mean, seriously, what a crappy morning. Fortunately, that was my last court appearance before birthin'. My next time in court, I hope to be wearing normal clothes and actual shoes. (And not failing so hard.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sprinkles

Two of my law school classmates were kind enough to throw me a baby shower yesterday. I told them I didn't really need anything, but was happy to get some of the girls together and celebrate. So, a few of my law school gal pals were there, as well as a grad school pal, and another friend who hangs out with us regularly on our True Blood nights (who was smart enough to not go to law school).

I got lots of diapers in 1's and 2's, and some other baby necessities, like butt cream and baby shampoo. And some cute toys and clothes for the baby too. Also got a few items for Cora. A "big sister" t-shirt and a stuffed bunny that was wearing princess bling. (As well as a giant bunch of balloons.)

Of course, it's not a contest, but I can't think of a more winning baby gift than this:


Baby geek attire

Also, my friend is the hostess with the mostest. Can you believe she actually made this cake? I wouldn't know what to do with fondant if my life depended on it.


Except eat it.

So, totally awesome that my law school gal pals were kind enough to throw me a party. Lots of awesome food too. Which I'll be eating more of tonight, since it's True Blood night. Woot!

Also, speaking of vampires, we saw 'Fright Night,' last night, and it is awesome. (And not just because David Tennant is half-naked and wearing leather.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

MILP Roundup #217

EH has it. You want it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fall semester

Fall semester has started on campus. Our semi-permanent house pet started his classes this week. Having him here is definitely nice, because (shhh! don't tell the Parking Nazis!) he's dropping me off at the Clinic in the mornings and then using my employee tag to park the car over where his classes are. Win! Although he's probably going to kill us both at some point by wrecking the car while trying to oogle some strapping young man jogging shirtless on campus. (I have to admit; is my favorite time of year on campus. Especially nice driving by the frat houses and seeing dozens of strapping young man washing their cars, shirtless. Oh, to be young and single again, ordering off the menu instead of watching that dinner tray pass on by...)

Anyway, speaking of being old, married and knocked up, my body is definitely not a fan of the walking around on campus these days. I don't really even have that far to walk. I park in a garage that is about half a block behind the pharmacy building, which I can go into and then take the pedway across to the clinic where my office is. It takes about 10 minutes of waddling. But the hips -- they do not like the exercise. By the time I get home in the evening, I just curl up with my giant vibrator back massager on my hips/ass and try not to cry. The disturbing pelvic popping is still occurring too. All kinds of wrong. And the other day, I totally had thankles. The swelling has since gone down, and I'm back to merely having cankles.

I'm either 36 weeks now, or 37. I was exactly 36 weeks when Cora was born (and other than the birthing during finals, that was perfect timing). I had a helluva week this week, but made it through. Ended the week with a good morning in court (you know you have a good case when, while you're explaining to the Judge the shit Respondant has done, that you hear gasps and murmurs from the peanut gallery that's in awe of such douchbaggery). Motion granted. Judge apparently didn't notice I was ginormously pregnant and tried to set the hearing for next month. Good to know I'm not quite as wide as the podium yet! Then had a business lunch that involved crepes and gelato, which was awesome. We're trying to woo one of the new docs to take over as medical director for our program, so our current director can phase herself out (as she's moving up the food chain and doesn't have much time anymore). She's a native Spanish-speaker too, so we really want her involved. (I told her she could help me not fail at Spanish and sound like a 3rd grader is practicing law.) We also landed a top of the class law student to volunteer for us. He also speaks Spanish, although he is not a native Speaker and is a bit rusty. But certainly he's got to be doing better than me!

Ended the day with a surprise visit from a client who proceeded to tell me I look like I am having triplets, and then ended the conversation complaining about how broke he is and pretty soon the damn foreigners will outnumber "the rest of us." (Yeah, not winning sympathy from me, buddy.) I pointed out that the "foreigners" already do, myself included. My grandparents came off the boat from Italy. My great-grandparents never learned English. My mother never learned Italian. I took enough Italian in college to make an ass of myself in Italy as a stupid American, and sing a handful of lullabies and the occasional aria. America -- it's the goddamn melting pot, and always has been since we stole it from the natives and killed most of them off. We've been bitching about the foreigners since we stole this land. If it isn't the Irish, or Italians, or Japanese, or Mexicans, it'll be somebody else. Maybe someday it'll be real aliens. "Damn outer space aliens, stealing all our jobs!" "Let's ship them damn space aliens back where they come from!" Driving While Green will become cause for a traffic stop. We're just not happy until we're blaming our problems on someone else. Anyway... you can't cure stupid.

In addition to a long week of practicing law and campus coming back to life, Cora started her fall semester of activities. She's back in ballet and she started violin lessons this week. Cora loves her ballet teacher, and has been really excited about ballet. I think it's making a difference in her physical fitness too.





She has been very enthusiastic about violin. Although she was pretty shy and quiet for her teacher, she followed all of her instructions. It's only been one day since her lesson and she's already gotten down all that she was supposed to practice this week, and she's very focused when she's doing it. She's very pleased with herself, and I'm pretty amazed. They really are like little sponges. I hope she continues to be enthusiastic about it and will enjoy it as I did. I really loved playing, and wish I could have continued to play. I'd never have been Itzhak Perlman or anything, but playing with the community orchestra would have been a lot of fun I think. I played for two years in elementary school and then when I started middle school, I eventually quit. The problem was, not surprisingly, The Cult. The violin lessons were acceptable because, in theory, I could go play the [boring ass] music [poorly] composed for The Cult up at Cult Headquarters someday. Oooh. Ahhhh. But then joining the orchestra in middle school required a lot of, gasp!, time with those "worldly" people outside of school. The parents had a cow. You mean, I would be required to go to an orchestra social event?! Yeah, that went over well. So, rather than deal with the conflict, I just quit and sold my violin a couple years later.

As an adult, I purchased another violin and started taking lessons again. I got pretty far. Again, not going to be Itzhak Perlman, but might could audition for the community orchestra someday. Then I quit again. I let life get in the way. Not to mention, the amount of typing I was doing for my job combined with practicing was causing me radiating pain up the tops of my hands into my arms.

I started playing again when I was in Eastern Kentucky, and actually looked for a violin teacher for awhile but didn't find one. That's what got Cora interested in playing. I'd let her play with mine, and last year for her birthday she asked for a "baby violin." So, that's what she got. I'm hoping her enthusiasm will rub off on me and I'll start practicing again myself. Should I ever have the extra cash, I'd love to take lessons again myself. Maybe someday!