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.

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


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.


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.