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 28, 2012

2012 in Review

I have to just go ahead and put it out there to the universe: 2012 has left me largely dissatistified.

Everything's fine husband-and-kids wise, although I'm sure my ability to parent and be a good partner are affected by my dissatisfaction/being a sour puss.  Part of it's my career, part of it is myself.  I just feel out of sorts.  Some crappy stuff happened this year, and some good stuff too, but I'm just run-down.  Bleh.

I don't know where my career is going, or where I want it to go.  I just know at the moment I feel adrift.  It's like being on a boat without a working motor.  But it's a comfortable boat, with plenty to eat and sunshine and entertainment.  So, I feel bad complaining about it in the least bit, when there are people drowning all around me, who'd love to be on my boat.  And I could just get off my lazy ass and fix the motor and get things going again, but then I'd actually have to read the manual. 

Kind of a crappy metaphor?  Yeah.  But the point is, I have it within my power to get things moving again within my job and take on new projects and get past recent disappointments and stop just going through the motions.  So, I need to do it.  I just haven't found the energy yet.  I'm hoping that the New Year will bring renewed motivation and inspiration.  There's a lot to be done, I just need a better attitude.

Anyway, stuff I've accomplished this year:

1.  Got a full time job.  Yay.  Actually, I was already working full time, but now I work full time, in one place, and get proper pay.

2.  I joined the community orchestra.  Okay, so I still suck.  But I'm getting better.  I could use to practice more.

3.  I lost 15 pounds.  Then I gained 10 back.  Since October.  Sigh.

4.  I completed my cooking challenge, and the Husband owes me a double oven.

5.  I finally got my student loans into a repayment plan, and in 2023, once my loans are forgiven, I can quit practicing law and, I dunno, open an amigurumi store on Etsy or something, like, whatever.

Stuff I want to accomplish in 2013:

1.  Figure out what the hell to do with myself career-wise.  Stop being a sour puss.

2.  Suck less at playing violin.  The ultimate goal is to be able to eventually play the pieces in their entirety, instead of dumbing them down.  (Like, I pretty much had to play one out of every three notes the last time, there was just no way I could play triplets that fast.)

3.  Lose 40 pounds.  Seriously, I'm going to fucking drop dead if I don't stop eating so much cheese.

4.  Learn to sew.  Weirdly, I've caught the bug for it lately.  This has a back story.  Okay, I know how to sew, crudely.  My grandmother sewed, and tried to teach me, but she was self-taught and mostly eyeballed things and made her own patterns, so trying to learn from her was a bit of a failure.  Also, she made ugly grandmotherly stuff, and I wasn't into that. 

I want to be able to make costumes.  I know, that's so nerdy.  I actually did make my Amy Pond kissogram costume two Halloweens ago (from Doctor Who, for those of you who are less geeky).  But I'm not just talking cosplay.  Stuff for ballet performances and school plays and whatnot.  And hey, maybe to sell along with my amigurumi when I retire from law.  And I'd also like to be able to hem my own pants, because I really don't know how to do that in a way that doesn't look stupid and I'm cheap and don't want to pay a tailor.

So, I've purchased a low-end sewing machine.  I'm going to take a sewing class, probably over the summer when there's no orchestra to compete with. 

5.  Get an article published this year. 

6.  Start writing fiction again.  In case the whole amigurumi thing doesn't work well, I'll just write the great American novel.  There's a fiction-writing workshop being offered at our local bookstore this semester.  I'm considering it. 

7.  Relearn Spanish.  Cora starts kindergarten in August, and she'll be going to the Spanish immersion school.  I'd better brush up on some Spanish otherwise my kid will be badmouthing me in a language I don't understand. 

So, there it is.  Resolutions, regrets, et al.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Five years old!


This weekend was Cora's birthday.  On Friday, we took the birthday girl to breakfast before school, then dinner at home with birthday cake and presents.  She got a bicycle from her grandparents, a Barbie, an iPod shuffle, a (low-end) digital camera, and a Barbie-sized violin. 


 New birthday outfit






Princess Birthday Cake with Five Candles


Little Sisters -- the Gift that Keeps on Giving (You Trouble)

On Saturday, I took Cora and her BFF (also turning 5 next week) to get manicures at the salon and then out to lunch.  Cora's grandparents came in Saturday, so she got lots of fun.  

Then today was the Birthday Princess Tea Party.  (Yes, we had wine to get us through it.)  The party was at J's house (their house is bigger and has less junk everywhere).  There were ten little girls, and four babies, along with several of our friends that don't even have kids but were nice enough to come hang out and drink wine with us.  The girls, all dressed in their best princess attire, had "high tea" (punch and nibbles), did crafts, and had cake.  We asked their guests to bring toy and book donations for the children's hospital instead of gifts for the girls, but the girls still got a few presents anyway.  (Cora is currently sleeping in one of hers... a My Little Pony tent). 

Can't believe they're 5 years old!  


 Birthday Princesses at their Birthday Princess Tea Party



J and Cora, Christmas 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuffing and other turkeys

The past few weeks have been totally crappy.  My mom got really sick, ended up in the ICU for three days,  on the floor for another week, and in our house for another two.  She ran out of paid time off after three days, and has been off without pay since then.  Sucks.  Hopefully all the medical drama is over, and she's going back to work on Monday.  We then had medical drama with another visiting family member, and fortunately that is resolved, at least locally.  Work and classes and orchestra, tiredness. 

Thanksgiving was good though.  We had the grandparents, and the House Elf, and a couple other friends.  My one year of cooking for the double oven has been completed, much to the relief of the family.  Husband is tired of my uninspired cooking (although, I call it "low-fat"), and Cora much prefers to eat out.  Hey, the agreement was that I would cook, not that it would be tasty.  We plan to remodel the kitchen at some point in the future, but not in any hurry. 

Cora's birthday is in two weeks.  We're doing a joint birthday party with her BFF who is also turning 5.  It's going to be a princess tea party.  (Yes, it makes me want to vomit.  I will need much wine to get through it.)  We're going to get mani/pedis the day before, do hair and makeup before the party, and then have tea with some girlfriends.  Cora got her early birthday present today from the grandparents -- a bicycle.  From us, she is getting a (very cheap and waterproof) digital camera, an iPod shuffle (so Justin Bieber won't cock up my iPod), a pillow pet, and a violin for her Barbie.  On her Santa list, she's asked to complete her Tinkerbell fairy collection, and she wants this horrible My Little Pony castle with bride and groom ponies getting married that I just could not bring myself to purchase just yet.  Sigh.  The Baby is getting puzzles and books, she's too young to ask for obnoxious things just yet.  

We've also been trying to figure out ways to raise our kids to lead service-driven lives, rather than thinking that "normal" is being able to buy whatever we happen to see on a Disney Channel commercial.  We will be spending the next couple weeks cleaning out her room, purging some old toys before we add any new ones.  We're going to select her old toys to give to charity, (as well as transfer the "baby books" to Vee's room).  We're also going to ask that birthday party guests bring a donation for the children's hospital instead of birthday gifts for the girls.  We're going to do the God's Pantry "family sort" in January (they're full for December), where kids age 5 and older can help sort food into boxes. 

So, one week until Cora's Christmas recital, and the community orchestra performance.  I haven't had nearly enough time to practice, so as I do the rest of my life, I'll be muddling my way through.  Work has been busy, and we interviewed candidates for the part-time position open in our program, so hopefully we'll hire someone soon.  My law clerks are gone, working on finals, so it's all me.  Busy busy.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

MILP Roundup No. 277

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

Happy post-election!  Whether you're riding the high of liberal victories, stockpiling your ammo and canned goods because the world is ending, or couldn't give a crap less, at least the campaign ads are over, and we can concentrate on important things in the media, like underage Muppet orgies with CIA directors and Florida housewives. 

Anyway, back to reality, here's where the MILPs are election week:

First, congratulations to LEO, who declined her contraceptive coverage.  Baby #3!  Not so good, RG unfortunately needed some health care for different reasons.

LL spent election week in the nation's capitol, while EH has a platform.

Googiebaba is not raising Democrats, but Frenchie is pro-blue.

CM is anti-clinging, anti-whining and LC is anti-Facebook.

Momttorney is progressive, while Butterflyfish supports certain cuts.

But I Do Have a Law Degree is pro-honest resignation letters and Izzie must be so over the election, she isn't even coming back this winter! 

Dakota, following the popular vote in her state for marriage equality, closes the final chapter in her union.

And Dinei... well, she may just want to spray her client with Lysol at the next meeting, I got nothin'.


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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More Years!

Today I cast my third and final vote for Barack Obama.  The first vote was in a primary that actually mattered (Kentucky has never mattered before, our primary is too late) and then in two elections where it didn't (thanks, electoral college and my obnoxiously "red" state).  There are many things with which I disagree with President Obama, and many things in which I have been disappointed in his performance, but I continue to support our President. 

I am grateful for the President's support for equality... as a female professional and as the mother of two daughters, I am grateful for his support of our rights to equal pay for equal work and the ability to make our own choices concerning our lives, our family, our bodies and who we love and marry. 

I appreciate the President's efforts to reform our health care system, particularly his support for preventative medicine in lowering costs and improving outcomes (which certainly helped us in getting our grant and getting me employed full time), but I hope he realizes that it is in no way enough, and the work on that front is just beginning. 

I appreciate his concern for our security and his efforts to keep Americans safe, but I want him to realize that pursuing security at the sacrifice of our personal freedoms and the violation of human rights is simply wrong and does nothing to keep us safe. 

I appreciate the efforts of Congress and the President to pursue reforms following the financial crisis, but I want them to understand that it wasn't nearly enough to protect us all from the greed of those who caused the mess and are still managing to profit from it, in large part due to taxpayer support, and inequality continues to grow as a result. 

There is a lot of work to be done, work that was promised four years ago, and that we, as a nation, have just given the President the opportunity to fulfill over the next four years. 

Also, when next there's a vacancy, I am totally available for appointment to SCOTUS, my qualifications being a JD and the fact that I do not think corporations should be people (which should be the new litmus test for appointees... holy shitsnacks, how stupid is all that Citizens United noise.)  

Condolences to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  While I disagree with them quite strongly, I believe they are both good men with good intentions (simply misguided in their economic and social philosophies).  I hope they both use their considerable support and influence to do great things for our country, despite not leading it. 

Finally, as an aside... Paul Ryan is still sexy.  Now there's a Republican I'd invite to control my vagina.  Rawr.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist, I have an unnatural attraction to Paul Ryan.)

Signing off, and sending happy thoughts to Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota for their support of marriage equality.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Baby

The baby, nearly 14 months, is a lot of fun, although she's also rotten as hell. 

1.  The baby loves to walk... just not by herself.  She will hold your hand, push her scooter, rearrange furniture, but she will not walk on her own.  She doesn't even try.  The second you let go, she falls to her butt.  I think she's doing it just to screw with the ladies at daycare.  We're all like, whatev.  The daycare ladies, however, are trying to do baby marathon training or something.  Honey badger though?  Don't give a shit.

Scootin'

2.  The baby is very fond of pots, lids, and stirring.  She's always been enamored with Cora's play kitchens and miscellaneous play cookware, however, she has since moved on to actual cookware.


Mixin'

3.  Eating is still a favorite activity.  In fact, her first real word is "snack."  (Her little face lights up when you ask if she wants a snack.)  Her favorite book at the moment is "BooBoo."  BooBoo is a little blue gossling that eats a lot.  (Very cutely, she points to the blue duck and says "BooBoo.") I bought it because it reminded me of Vee.  The baby eats a ton.  We went out to breakfast the other day, and I ordered the children each a waffle.  The waitress tried to talk me out of ordering Vee one, because she said it was really big, the size of a dinner plate.  I ordered it anyway, explaining that the baby eats a lot.  And, in fact, she ate most of it, even more than Cora did.  The baby eats a lot.


                                                                           Like, a lot

4.  The baby loves shoes.  Not socks, she believes socks are abominations to be immediately removed from the feet, unless coupled with shoes.  She likes to try on all of her pairs of shoes.  She shoves a shoe at me and grunts until I put it on her.  She also loves my shoes.  Her favorite is a retro pair of polka dotted Maddens she enjoys trying on herself. 

Shoe bandit

5.  The baby loves to color.  Probably because crayons are tasty.  She colors at the big girl table.  Which she likes to climb up on.




Surly face


6.  She's lots of fun, well, most of the time.  She's often quite surly.  And she's much more co-dependent than Cora ever was, even though she's mostly unimpressed with me.  Total Daddy's girl.  Whatever.  I'm more fun.

Vee

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Workin' it

My sisters in the law (see Magic Cookie) have been struggling with the work-life balance issue, due to their demanding jobs.  I get a lot of questions about this, from anonymous ladies of the interwebz, from my law clerks, and from law/diplomacy students.  I don't have any golden words of wisdom here (uh, have you read this blog before?); if you're looking for guidance, you're probably in the wrong place.  I'm not smart enough, or hard-working enough, that I could ever hack it in some big important corporate job, even if I wanted to, so trying to balance a high-demanding job and, well, anything else, isn't a likelihood for me.  (I have an image of myself sitting in some swanky office in a New York City skyscraper, in an outfit that costs more than I currently make in a year, having to Google "what is secured transactions" or "basics of corporate law" to try to figure out how to do my job.  Ha!  It's totally true, it would be such a disaster, ugh.)

So, yeah, obviously I knew I wasn't going to hack it in Big Law (or be invited to join the party, since I had mediocre grades at a mediocre law school), or be CEO of a Fortune 500 company or anything.  I did, on a lark, once submit a resume to Skadden, and so very rudely, they never called me for an interview.  Heh.  Regardless, I sort of assumed my career would be spent in a mid-sized firm, as it was pre-law school, a bullet I have fortunately dodged.  I spent years working in mid-sized firms and, particularly since the recession and crash of the legal job market, it's not much better than the big firms, just the pay is shittier.  My mid-size law firm friends work crazy hours just to barely meet their minimum billing requirements (it's really crappy to only get credit for what hours the clients pay, not what hours you actually bill, when insurance clients cut down the hours, and other types of clients fail to pay at all but you still can't withdraw).  I guess there are firms out there that are exceptions though.  This one firm I interviewed with when I first came back home had a 1600 hour per year billing requirement, and it was casual dress.  (Insurance defense, I mean, you never actually see your clients, why the hell should you rack up a huge dry cleaning bill?)  I was very sad to not get that job; I was pretty certain I was getting the job, except that they ended up hiring nobody at all.  Sadness.

Anyway, oddly enough, I never really thought public interest law was an option for me.  I have a shitload of student loans.  But I just sort of fell into it.  I mean, I was immediately interested in the program when I heard about it, because it hit home for me -- doing legal work for families with sick kids.  But I still didn't imagine that would be my career.  I wanted a legal career.  Practicing law.  Trial lawyer.  Now practicing law is only a small part of what I do.  Advocacy, coalition building, outreach, education/training, research, and a great deal of advice-giving and simply listening.  I still struggle with the lack of practice, and I don't think I will ever completely exit the profession.  There was a recently a job posting for what would have been a great position (and bump in pay) as director of a healthcare non-profit.  I probably should have applied for it because I would have been at least considered for it, and one of my co-workers even asked me if I had applied, saying I should have, but it's not a legal job at all, it's all advocacy and coalition-building.  I don't think I can stomach that much schmoozing.  I get a headache if I smile that much.  And there's that grumpy part of me that likes to sue people/threaten to sue people/send forceful demand letters.  (Oh, and I'm currently writing a doozy of a demand letter, it's going to be epic.)  That and it would have been a lot of travel, and the office is 30 minutes away.  That was a big part of it, just dealing with a commute and a more demanding job, and considering my personal responsibilities.  It would have left very little time for both family stuff and just me.

Anyway.  Rambling here.  But at this point in my life, I just don't want a job that's going to consume all of my energy, not to mention time.  I have a lot of flexibility in my current job, even though we're busy, and currently understaffed.  For instance, I go into work an hour later on Thursdays because Cora and I have our violin lessons and then we go to the bakery across the street from her daycare and get a donut.  I never asked permission for that, it just is.  I don't normally wear suits unless I have to go to court or have some important meeting.  Most of the time I'm wearing business casual, coupled with a pair of Chucks.  I figure if the rest of the staff are wearing drawstring pants, I don't need to wear out my designer heels running around the hospital (although I love wearing them when I have to dress up).  Because my office is a screamfest (seriously, I listen to children screaming all day, I'm in a pediatrics clinic), when I need to do research or write something substantive, I go over to the library (benefits of being on campus, I'm a block away from the law library and across the street from the medical library) or down to the clinic Starbucks (which is not good for my budget or waistline).  On the flip side, I normally work through lunch, unless I have a "date."  I usually try to pick something up on my way into the office from the cafeteria in the morning (we have a fridge), and eat it at my desk.

The cool thing about my job, though, is that I feel like the stuff I do actually matters.  I didn't feel like that when I was doing a summer-long document review of construction records of moldy houses.  Or fighting someone's personal injury whiplash claim.  Definitely not during the three hour long settlement conference I once had where we bickered over crappy living room furniture in a divorce case.  But, for instance, this week I got an emergency custody order for a dad (who already had physical custody) so the kids could get their vaccines.  I consulted with a mom who is drowning in problems, from sick kid to lack of resources to help them, and we're getting them started on the SSI appeal.  I'm fighting with our local public school system to allow an epileptic kid to use her doctor-prescribed rescue medication, even though it's off-label use of the med.  And I'm still trying to get a school to give a kid her insulin injections in school even though there's no nurse to give them, and I've had to go up against the nursing board in the process. 

But the best thing about my job is that, most days, I don't come home in a bad mood (and practicing on my own, I was pretty much always in a bad mood).  I'm not totally exhausted, or overly-stressed, or pissed off.  There are no asshole bosses.  In fact, I sort of never see my boss, and I'm not really even sure who's actually in charge of me.  I mean, I guess our medical director is sort of my boss.  I see her twice a month, sometimes more if we've got stuff to do.  Her office is now two buildings over.  It's an odd arrangement.  There are, of course, always assholes, crazies, and just difficult people.  I have one client in particular whose very presence raises my blood pressure.  And I really want to strangle someone at random in the IT department with a printer cable just to serve as example to others.  But the rest of the time, things are cool. 

I go to work usually between 8:30 and 9.  I pick up the kids from daycare somewhere between 5 and 6.  I go home, usually cooking dinner (continuing the quest for the double-oven, by cooking 5 days a week).  We practice violin after dinner, and then there's maybe watching of something on TV and/or maybe dessert, then baths, then playing with toys, then doing chores, then stories and songs and bed.  I watch (a lot of) TV, read books, try to keep some semblance of order of the housework.  We have dinner with friends once a week.  I have orchestra rehearsal Tuesday nights, and "law ladies" dinner with a group of local lady lawyers/judges once a month.  I have a book club that I run (sort of) once a month.  This Saturday, I'm headed to eastern KY for a diabetes walk, in honor of my little client.  Next Saturday, we're having our annual Halloween party.

I can't say it hasn't taken me awhile to get to this place though.  I had this vision of what my career would be, and the reality is that, after 2008, it just wasn't going to happen.  I was lucky to have the experience I had out in eastern Kentucky, with a boss who was a great mentor, and who didn't expect me to work 70 hours a week (I never worked much more than 40), and taught me to actually practice law.  Now that the legal market is rebounding (at least in my city), it's entirely likely I could get a lateral move back into the private sector.  Work for a mid-size insurance defense firm, slave away for the billable hour.  Trade being a cog in one machine, for a cog in a smaller machine.  And while part of me wants to be back in court regularly, arguing before the judge, the rest of me doesn't want the rest of the stuff that comes with it.  The late nights, the long dockets, the demanding bosses, the asshole clients, the office politics, the sexism, and the dreaded billable hour.  Yeah, it'd be more money, but actually not much more initially (now, by the time I'm 5-7 years out, there will be a much bigger gap in average the income), and I would just have to pay more on my student loans from Income Based Repayment, and I wouldn't get the 10-year forgiveness.  Non-profit certainly has its benefits. 

Most importantly, though, I'm starting to really love what I do, instead of just feeling good about it or even being simply resigned to it because hell, I'm lucky I have a job at all.  I think it makes a difference now that it's full time.  In being part-time, I never felt 100% invested in it.  I felt pulled in multiple directions, working for my own clients, and the MLP clients, and (as an attorney with which I once interviewed told me) "scrapping for work."  Trying to balance all of it sucked.  Doing work at midnight sucks.  And especially not getting paid sucks.  I just think back a year ago, to when I'd just had Vee, and not really getting a maternity leave, because clients never really go away when you're a solo.  There's no partner or associate to hand it off to.  Solo practice sucks like that.  Having awesome fellow solos helps a lot, but there's only so much you can pass off on someone doing you a favor.  It was just not for me.  There are people who excel at it.  Not me. 

So, I don't have any great advice, other than you have to find what works for you.  I remember a woman from our graduate program talking about not getting trapped by the "sexy job," the job that sounds much cooler than it is.  (i.e. Being an FBI agent isn't going to be chasing down aliens and government conspiracies, it's more chasing down the large purchases of fertilizer.)  Maybe that was law in general.  It sounds more sexy than it is.  (It is decidedly not sexy.)  Even so, your dream job/the job you might actually love to do, may not be something you can sustain if you also want to have other things, whether that's kids, or a spouse, or travel, or athletics, or music, or whatever.  You can't do everything, there's not enough time.  So you have to prioritize.  There will always be sacrifices.  Maybe I'll look back on my career and regret never climbing the corporate ladder or making partner in a law firm.  Or maybe I'll end up running the hospital someday.  (Doubtful.)  Who knows.  I'm not really worried about it.  First world problems.  I have enough money to pay my bills, I bought a new car, I do work that I can feel proud of, and I have my health and my family.  (And, yes, if anyone's wondering, I'm better off today than I was 4 years ago.) 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Work and stuff

Work has been crazy.  We expanded services to a new clinic, and when I say "we" I really mean "me."  I'm the only one.  My coworker left to be the director of our local bar association, and her boss is out on long-term medical leave (she's been very sick).  So, I'm it.  Our legal nonprofit partner (I'm the hospital employee) was kind enough to pay my two summer law clerks to stay on until a new attorney is hired.  Fall is always a crazy busy time anyway, since there are more patients in the clinic with well-child visits and school physicals.  With the expansion, I'm crazy busy.

I'm learning a lot about politics and advocacy work.  Maybe that's where I'll go next, I don't know.  Not running for office, of course.  There's too many scandalous photos of me out there throughout the interwebz to do that.  (But maybe I'll do it when I'm like 60.  When I'm 60, I'm gonna be like, "Shit yeah, those're my bewbs!  My bewbs were HAWT back in the day.  Are my opponent's bewbs that hawt?  He doesn't even have bewbs!  Vote fer me!"  Yeah... it won't happen even when I'm 60.)  Anyway, silliness aside, I'm really enjoying what I do, and glad to be doing it.  Granted, I'll be more glad when I have benefits, but whatev.

I've also been doing lots of public speaking, which I used to hate, a lot, but now, I kinda dig it.  I can thank my master's degree for that trial by fire.  Speaking of which, I'm trying to be more involved there, and promote alumni support for the school.  

Other stuff... the Baby is still surly and a total Daddy's girl.  She's tried taking a few steps, but lands on her butt.  She babbles and sometimes will repeat words we say, but they still have no meaning.  Vee also adores her big sister and loves being all up in her business.  She is probably a future engineer, because she is fascinated by how things fit together.  She's always dismantling something, and trying to put it back together.  She has an infectious laugh, and screams angrily for at least 5 minutes whenever I put her in her crib.  She has the appetite of a football player.  She behaves, for the most part, very well in restaurants but does not have lovely table manners. 

Cora and soccer is epic fail.  She's having fun, I guess, but mentioned she wants to start dance class again.  I hate soccer.  I think it's boring, there's all this kicking of the ball, but there's hardly ever scoring.  And peewee soccer isn't much better, even though there's this kid on our team that is a 4-year-old superstar, so we score lots.  Cora runs about 10 feet behind the other kids, and sidesteps when the ball comes anywhere near her.  Definitely my kid.

Violin is going well, although there are definitely lessons where Cora performs better.  Sigh.  I just don't have enough time/energy to practice as much as I need to.  And the orchestra music is haaaaaaard.  Well, it's not that it's hard, it's just that it's really fast, and I cannot play that fast.  So I'm dumbing down the music, like I can only play the first note in each triplet.  Ugh.  Maybe someday I'll be able to play the entire piece as written.  I'm having fun though

So, that's it.  Work, kids, violin.  Husband's working on his doctorate and is cranky.  I just avoid him if possible.  Two weddings in September too.  One friend from law school, and one who is a long-time friend, who Husband went to undergrad with.  I went to the latter's bachelorette party on Saturday, whew, too old to party that late.  But it was fun to go out, actually put on make-up, etc., and meet some new people.  The wedding is this weekend.  Then my birthday (29th again) is the following weekend.  I've asked for an iPhone 5.  Yay!  Can't wait for the Precious!  Almost makes turning 29 again bearable.

MILP Roundup #270

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

Googiebaba has legal commentary on criminal justice.

Dinei reminds us why you want to make sure there's privilege in client communications.

Grace is two months' out from surgery, and baby looks fabulous!

But I Do Have a Law Degree is moving beyond babies.

RG has two weeks under her belt. 

LC has been doing the mom thing for 14 years now.

LL knows that food makes it all better.

Butterflyfish has opportunity on the horizon.

EH goes fruity.

CM craves more balance.

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cons and Kids and Cars

I was invited to tag along with a few law school friends this year to Dragon*Con in Atlanta.  I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the time and money, until John Barrowman confirmed attending.  (Causing much squeeing, as I'm a big Doctor Who/Torchwood fan.  Yay, Captain Jack!)  So, I committed to going, purchased my badge ($100), paid my share of the hotel ($300), and parking for my car ($120!! freakin' big cities, geez). 

I was definitely glad I decided to go, because right before the convention, Gillian Anderson was booked, and a dream I've had for over half my life was fulfilled.  (Okay, we didn't go have hot lesbian sex, so it wasn't exactly the fulfillment of the dream, but still, I got to meet her and get my picture taken with her, and she's totally awesome.)  John Barrowman is just fantastic, and I also met Joe Manganiello (from True Blood), who felt fantastic.  (Seriously, I didn't know abs could feel like that, holy shit.)  I also met Adam Baldwin, in order to get his autograph for my mother-in-law, who is a huge Firefly/Joss Whedon fan.  There were lots of other celebrities too.  My companions were creeping on Felicia Day most of the weekend, and I just barely even know who she is. (I didn't even know what The Guild was exactly, and I didn't like Buffy so I never watched enough to see her in it.  The only thing I've really seen her in that I've liked was Dr. Horrible, and she's way outshined by the awesomeness of Nathan Fillion and NPH.  Anyway.)  So, really cool!

In addition to meeting celebrities, and watching them speak on panels, we attended two parties (zombie prom and the mechanical masquerade) and went to the aquarium.  I also attended a few panels on writing/with writers since, someday, I'd like to work on that, beyond academic writing.  It was pretty interesting. 

Anyway, fabulous weekend of awesome fun with friends.  The kids went to Chicago with Grandma and Grandpa, so I left early on Monday so I could meet them in Louisville and pick up the kids.  Except I never made it to Louisville.  I only made it as far as 7 miles over the Kentucky state line before my piece of shit car died.  Yes, again, Money Pit stranded me in effing nowhere, on the side of the road, with a dead motor.  Had it towed back to my mechanic (107 miles), who paid me a small amount to take it off my hands (about my first month's car payment).  I then bought a new car, yay!  A 2012 Prius.  I love it.  It's pretty, and smart, and fun.  And bossy, according to the husband.  (He dislikes all the beeping it does for things like, not having your seatbelt fastened, and having the car in reverse.)  Anyway... 50 mpg!  Yay!  Of course, car payment... boo.  But oh well.

In other news, Vee is now a year old.  And she is busy and important.  Her favorite things involve making a mess and eating a lot.  She's not walking yet, but she's cruising, so it will be very soon.  Ever since she had a sick day home with the daddy about a month ago, she has been a total daddy's girl.  She also loves the big sister and follows her everywhere. 

Cora started soccer last week.  It didn't go so well.  She was doing really well until she got hurt and then she was totally not into it, and spent more time watching the ball as it went by than chasing it.  Definitely my kid.  She's not made for aggressive sports.  But oh well.  We can go back to ballet in January.  I just hope she doesn't manage to injure an arm/wrist/hand/finger.  Would not be good for violin playing.

Speaking of which, tomorrow's my first orchestra rehearsal.  The first piece is 20 pages long.  I've never played any piece of music that long before.  Nor have I played in a real orchestra before.  It's a little scary.  Hopefully I won't suck too badly.  I'm just going to sit in the back and try very hard not to suck too badly. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

MILP Roundup #264

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

Alice is a Debbie Downer.

Daisy is home.

But I Do Have a Law Degree finds it's a small world.

Butterflyfish with remodeling.

Momttorney with diagnostics.

Grace with post-surgery cuteness.

LL ponders 3, while Dinei ponders 2.

LEO on feast or famine.

CP with cuddles.

Izzie with travels.

Attorney-at-Large has a guide for those of you about to embark on the (mis)adventures of law school.

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lady vices

I've been pretty silent lately because I don't really have much interesting to say. 

I went shopping today for the first time in, like, forever.  Took the kiddies to the mall, and spent almost as much on Cora as myself.  My mom watched them tonight so I could meet the girls out for dinner and to see Magic Mike (there was an awful lot of dialog, I don't understand why there needed to be an attempt at so much plot... there could have been more hawtness).  Then I came home and watched True Blood, during which Joe Manganiello was stripping again.  Yum.  (So, I'm totally geeking out and going to Dragon Con this year with a few law school friends, so I'll actually get to see him.  I will probably make a complete idiot of myself, like drooling and everything.)

Anyway, three new dresses from Ann Taylor, and a pair of ballet flats.  It was fortunate I'd bought them, because leaving the mall, it was pouring rain and I got completely soaked getting the kids into the car.  Of course, we haven't had rain in forever, we've had that terrible drought and heatwave, the Bluegrass is now the Browngrass, but when we finally get rain, it's when I'm not wearing waterproof mascara.  Had streaks running down my face.  Fail.  Oh well.  I changed clothes at the restaurant, fixed my make-up, all was well. 

I figured I'd take a picture, since it isn't often these days I'm dressed up.  (Fabulous new shoes not pictured).  Do excuse the messy room!






Of course, I'm back on the weight loss bandwagon.  Everyone around me is losing weight it seems, and I've been gaining weight, so I'm going to remedy that.  I was complaining to my doctor about how I'd recently tried to lose weight and I wasn't making any progress, and maybe I need to see a nutritionist or something.  He basically told me to get my fat ass back to Weight Watchers and to the gym.  Balls.  I hate the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus.  Hate.  It.  It does not work for me.  And I'm not just being whiny, or stupid about it.  I lost 20 pounds on the old method, I do know how to count!  I guess the difference is it doesn't count calories, it calculates points based on carbs, proteins, fat and fiber.  And you get unlimited of certain foods.  Well, I think they underestimate how much fruit I can eat.  It's not working for me.  So, I started back on the old method.  Calories, fat and fiber.  And lo and behold, down 3 pounds in the first week.  Yay for old Weight Watchers!

As I said, I lost 20 pounds the last time, but I gained 10 back by the time I got pregnant with Vee and then gained 3 more after she was born (because my husband is my food enabler, and without him around I am perfectly happy eating a bowl of cereal for dinner, also I never drink alone).  The breaking point was when I could once again wear this lovely Calvin Klein dress I had shrunk out of when I'd lost the weight.  I hung onto it because it was expensive and came from Saks (we don't have a Saks, so shopping at one is a real treat for me... it was a post-bar gift for myself when I went to NY), and had intended to have it taken in, but never got around to it.  But now it fits again.  So, that's super depressing.  (Came in handy when I went to a bill signing a couple weeks back though.)  But the dresses I bought today will still fit even if I lose 10 pounds, because they're snug.  Also, I pretty much stay the same size, because it takes a lot of weight loss to effect the size of my bust, to take me down a dress size.  Pants will go down almost immediately though.  I haven't been able to wear hardly any of my pants since I was a few months pregnant, I've been getting by mostly with skirts and dresses, and alternating a few pairs that were larger sizes.  Sucks.  Tired of it. 

In addition to Weight Watchers (old points), I'm also trying to work out some.  Since I can't go to the gym in the mornings before work when Husband works the night before, I've been trying to use the elliptical before the kids wake up.  When I have to start going to work at 8am again this fall, I'll probably leave work a little early and go to the gym before picking up the kids.  I've also been to Zumba a few times at the Y.  It's fun.  That and Cora and I have been playing one of those dance games for the Wii. 

So, that's that.  A month until school starts and everyone's miserable.  I have to wake up earlier, Husband's taking a full course load (because he's going back for his doctorate) and I'm trying to figure out if the university is going to make me a real employee or not so I can get my tuition benefit and take classes myself.  (The grant we got pays for my benefits, yet because of the layoff drama, they've been dragging their feet on making me bonafide.) I might go back for a doctorate, I don't know.  I figure I need something else to do, feh.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MILP Roundup #257

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

PT-Lawmom hates on the Yo Gabba Gabba.  (And in support, this remains one of the creepiest things I've ever seen.)

-R- has preconceived notions.

CP unblogs.

Izzie starts some bootcamp.

Frenchie and Momttorney discuss the celebration of Father's Day.

LC and the girls had great Father's Day gift ideas.

But I Do Have a Law Degree had a child-free get-a-way.

RG has birthday awesomeness.

Googiebaba is all worked up.

LL is off balance.

Dinei has gripes, but still has perspective.

Butterflyfish has lessons from her father.

EH finds that authors are even bigger babies than lawyers and clients!


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

Monday, June 4, 2012

The upcoming busy

Work has been pretty busy.  I'm full-time now, and we are just trotting along with lots of initiatives, as well as with many ongoing cases, getting new referrals every day.  Word is getting around about us, and people like us.  Hopefully that will be enough to keep the hospital from cutting us, since there have been massive budget cuts.  Ugh.  I'm rather allergic to lay-offs, they give me hives.  Also, I don't know if I'd even qualify for unemployment, considering I'm still a "temp" employee (with all the budget crap and the hiring freezes and whatnot, I haven't even been made a real employee, even though the grant we received had money written into it to pay my benefits, money that is currently being wasted since it isn't being used... so making me a real employee costs them absolutely nothing).  So, I really hate not knowing if my head's on the chopping block or not.  They fired nurses today.  Nurses!  Holy hell.

So, other than the lingering possibility of job doom, things are going very well.  We have two law student interns this summer who are fabulous.  Our externship in the spring semester went pretty well, although it was considerably more work than I had initially anticipated.  But now that we've set the groundwork, I think we'll be set from here on out.  We're working on lots of advocacy efforts, and I'm drafting some surveys to be used in research, for which we're applying for some grant money, and the research will be used to write papers.  Our first paper didn't get published, which sucks, but oh well.  But I'd really like to get properly published.  Like, notes in law journal's fun and all, but I want my name on some real academic research.  In a damn medical journal.  How cool would that be?  I'm also working on some stuff that I would like to get published in a law journal, but I haven't been terribly motivated to get it done.  I've had terrible writer's block lately, as evidenced by my lack of blogging. 

Anyway, overall, I feel really good about my job, and about the direction my career is taking.  I'm still often sad to not be in court, but most days I'm kinda grateful I'm not there.  For instance, I don't dress up for work.  I usually wear khakis and Chucks.  I wore a suit today, because I was supposed to have a meeting with the financial higher ups about working on these medicaid cases, and I was totally bitter when they canceled the meeting, because I'd worn a suit for no reason.  (At least I'd worn flip-flops and just brought my heels with me.)  And I seem to be having more public speaking time than I would as a trial lawyer anyway, with presentations and panels and administrative hearings, so I'm not really missing out on it that much.  Also, we had a client we referred to a volunteer attorney today who has a hearing in front of a judge who was previously not very nice to me, so I definitely was glad to not be going to court on that.  (I'm very sensitive.  Really.  I totally left the courtroom in tears the last time I was before that judge, the hearing was that horrible.) 

I guess the only thing I worry about is that I'm missing out on years of litigation experience that my colleagues are getting, and that returning to a law firm will be incredibly difficult if I ever have to, or want to, do so.  While I'm not sure I ever want to (I was just explaining the evils of the Billable Hour to my law clerk today), I hate to think I'm closing the door on it. 

So those are my daily highs and lows.  I think we're doing really great work, and I'm glad to be doing it.  I'm glad to go to work at 8:30/9:00 and leave at 5.  I even go in a little late on Thursdays, because Cora and I are taking violin lessons.  I have to pay for parking, a half mile away, and that kinda sucks.  But it's good exercise.  I don't have a direct boss constantly lording over me, I'm sort of on my own, which is nice.  I like the people in the clinic.  I wish there weren't children screaming bloody murder most of the day outside of my office, but what can you do when you work in a pediatrics clinic. 

Beyond work though, there's the home life.  The kids are awesome.  Cora is sassy as ever, and she has highs and lows herself in achievement.  For instance, this week, she has done stellar with violin.  She has kept good form, been on task in practicing and she's polishing two different pieces.  So proud of her.  She's getting so tall too.  She's over 40 inches, and she's just at the cusp of needing a 1/8 size violin, so I've ordered one now (she'll probably upgrade by Christmas to the larger size).  The low, however, is for the past week, she keeps getting out of bed at like 6 or 6:30 (sometimes earlier) and crawling into bed with me, and she is NOT a good bed companion.  Vee is a snuggly little bug in bed, although I can't even remember the last time Vee woke up in the middle of the night and ended up in my bed.  Cora, however, is a thrashing, brawling, feral demon creature who had better resign herself to never sharing a bed with anyone if she keeps that up in adulthood.  I'm not exaggerating.  I'm surprised I don't have a black eye; I have several bruises.  I may have to start locking my bedroom door.  Other than that, she's a great kid.  Still talks too much.  Never met a stranger, although she keeps talking about these ellusive "strangers" as one talks about unicorns.  She has no concept of personal space.  Strangers (or "new instant friends") probably aren't big fans of that.  Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland, her favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty, her favorite TV show is Dora, and she wants to be "an archer" when she grows up.  She's still working on swimming on her own (more classes to come), and she likes to cook, and loves ballet.  She likes having her nails done, and likes pretty shoes.  She prefers pretty skirts and dresses to pants and shorts.  She thinks every outfit should include a tiara as an accessory.  She's the ultimate girly-girl.  She's growing up too fast.  In August, I have to submit the lottery application for the Spanish immersion program, because she'll start kindergarten next fall.

Vee is crawling all over the place, which is fun, and troublesome.  She's trying to pull herself up, at all costs.  She took a wooden kid's chair in the face yesterday when she tipped it over trying to pull up.  This made her rather unhappy.  She thinks the dog's water bowl is her personal wading pool.  She loves to have a binky (Cora never had anything to do with them) but she's not obsessed with it, so I think it'll be okay to remove it when it's time.  For now it's cute.  She has four teeth and is working on more.  She laughs with great enthusiasm, but is often surly and serious.  She looks like her daddy.  She's surly like her daddy, too.  The dog is now her favorite parent, which is troublesome.  She barks back at our friends' wiener dog, which is entertaining, but kind of disturbing.  She chomps down on solid foods pretty well.  She loves the pool and doesn't seem to mind her face or head being wet, a big difference from Cora.  Another big difference is she never fusses when I trim her nails, instead just watches me carefully (Cora always howled like she was being murdered, until the first time I painted her nails, then she was like, ohhhhhh).  She loves music, and she pays very close attention when Cora or I are playing violin, just sits still and watches.  I suspect I'll be buying a 1/32 size violin for her in about a year.  She has massive baby thighs.  She eats a lot, and she's addicted to those baby puffs.  She enjoys wearing a hat, I suspect it makes her feel pretty.  If she's wearing it in her car seat, she pulls it over her face to nap.

Husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary yesterday.  We went to a local winery/bistro, that is fabulous.  He starts his summer stats class this week, and his doctorate coursework in the fall.  He's going to be an undergraduate clinical instructor for the nursing school as well.  That'll pay a portion of his tuition, so that's nice.  He'll have student loans for the first time.  I have a gazillion dollars in student loans, so join the club.  We're trying to figure out what to do with our money, with our house, etc.

So, that's that.  Not glamorous, not exciting, it's just ordinary stuff.  Some aspects could be better, but most of it is within my power to change, and I just need to get motivated to make the necessary changes.  Like going to the gym in the morning before work.  Ugh.  Maybe next week after the bar convention.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog? What blog?

Yeah, I know.  Worst blogger ever. 

I'm not sure what the deal is with me.  I actually have more free time these days, but I seem to not have the inspiration to blog.  Or write anything creative whatsoever.  Which is frustrating, but oh well.

Anyway, stuff going on... Working full time.  Winding down private practice and farming out clients.  Stressing out considerably less.  Being on vacation!

Worshipping the Mouse, eating a lot of sugar, and staying up waaaaay past bedtime. 

Going all Katniss.  Oh wait.  Actually, now it's Merida, the new Disney princess (the anti-romance Scottish archer... I approve!  This isn't her, obviously.  That's just some dude in a kilt.) 

Cora in the Princess Procession with Sleeping Beauty (her favorite princess), at the Princess Storybook lunch at Epcot (in Norway).
 
Cora showing off her Rapunzel necklace to Rapunzel 

Cora and Tiana

With Stitch at the Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian resort

With great reluctance (mine), we left Vee at home with Grandma for the week.  I wanted to take her, and we fully planned to take her, but I was convinced a few days before the trip that taking her would be a nightmare, mostly because I was spending two days at Disney alone with Cora, while Husband was at his nursing conference.  Strollers only get you to certain points at Disney.  They have to be folded up on the buses, and you have to park them before you even get in line for the rides.  Waiting for 30 minutes in line, holding a wiggling 9-month-old in 90 degree heat, did not appeal to me.  It sucked, but it was for the best.  And because Cora is such a trooper, we were able to go way late.  We were at Sea World from 7pm until 11:30pm on Wednesday (special park opening just for the nursing conference), Magic Kingdom was open til midnight on Thursday, and Cora was up for it all.

I think we convinced Husband that Disney is fun, and we'll take subsequent trips.  On Thursday, we met up with our friends who were also in Orlando at the same time, and whose daughter is Cora's good friend (they're the same age).  So, it was fun having both girls there.  Also fun to have them watch Cora while we went to dinner at the California Grill, and we watched their daughter while they had a later dinner.  Ha.  Escaping children is fun!

So is returning to children.  Vee was kind enough to save crawling for our return home.  We got back late Friday, and she became mobile on Monday.  The world is no longer safe, the baby is on the loose.  The baby also enjoys the pool.

Water badger

So, that's pretty much it.  I had a field trip this week to the Sixth Circuit to watch oral arguments in a case we have interest in.  The state bar convention is next week, so that's a big deal for us, and I have to go to Louisville for it.  I'm crashing with a law school classmate who just bought a ridiculously awesome house.  And Sunday is our six-year wedding anniversary.  That also means it's been six years since I went to law school.  Ugh.

Anyway, I have my first violin lesson in the morning, so I should get to bed.  I'll update again soon, in like a couple months or whatever.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

MILP Roundup #251

Is over at Today and Tomorrow

Monday, April 30, 2012

MILP Roundup #250

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

First, congrats to our newest MILP baby... Izzie has a Boo!

Apparently, several of us share a mom with CM and we had no idea!

Dinei's guy is small but fierce!

But I Do Have a Law Degree discusses what would have been.

LEO deals with the Terrible Threes (which I found to be significantly worse than the Twos).

CP is adjusting to two.

Butterflyfish is adjusting to three.

EH gives practice advice for dealing with the insanity of, well, your clients.

Kate Sherwood looks to transfer.

LL at the zoo.

Googiebaba, on the many occupations of Jesus.

Momttorney marches.

LC vs. the School District is great success.

-R- battles with sick kids and hipsters.

RG has a 4 year old, and makes him wear pants.

Frenchie had other stuff to say in this post, but I'll be honest, I fell madly in love with the Beergarita, and nothing else in the world suddenly matters...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A few moments


Beautifying before her violin recital



Vee and her stuffed doggy



Sleepy Vee

MILP #248

Is at Butterflyfish. Will be at PT-Lawmom next time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter weekend

We're coming off of a nice break from Cora's extracurriculars (with public schools' spring break, we were off of ballet and violin for the week), and I'm feeling much more rested. I think it's more exhausting for me, coordinating all these activities. We start back this week, and this is my first week of full time work at the clinic (it was supposed to happen two weeks ago, but didn't thanks to my illness and then Vee's illness). Cora also has her spring violin recital next Sunday, so we've got rehearsal on Saturday.

Violin is going well. She has learned all of the Twinkle variations, and she can play regular ol' Twinkle too. So, she's ready to move on in the Suzuki book. We still battle from time to time about practicing (she pretty much refused to practice tonight, she was pretty tired), but she's getting better about doing it. I think I've hit a wall musically speaking, and this is probably about the point that I need to start taking lessons again myself if I want to improve enough to join the community orchestra, which is still my goal for fall.

So, other stuff going on... the in-laws were in this weekend for Easter, so Cora was super-excited about that. We had sushi, and afterwards I headed out for drinks with my grad school chums, because one of the gals was home for Easter, from DC. We went to our old watering hole and got caught up. There was only about 6 of us, but it was still pretty awesome. We discussed the need for an alumni association, because while there is an annual alumni gathering in DC every December, we don't do much else, and a significant number of graduates still live in the area, or at least are more likely to return here than DC (family connections, etc.) if they're abroad. Also, not that I'm complaining about a lack of solicitation (considering the law school calls me all the freaking time to ask for donations, like that's going to happen before Hell freezes over), but our grad program itself never asks for money from its alumni. And we're a pretty loyal group of proud graduates, so I think those in a position to give would do so gladly, myself included. So, we're going to talk about organizing an alumni association, try to strengthen the ties of our alumni (considering networking is so very important to our program, and in our various careers), and also benefit the program financially. Also, I need to take a trip over there to speak with the director anyway, because Husband wants to work on strengthening existing interdepartmental collaborations and create new ones, and a collaboration between College of Nursing and Diplomacy would beneficial. When I started grad school, our fall conference was on global health. There are a significant number of nurses who go off to do work in foreign countries, whether it is with the military, an NGO that does relief work, or missionary work. So, preparing them for their cross-cultural experiences would be good. (Not to mention, at least in our city, you'll get quite the cross-cultural experience just working here.) So, very excited to get more involved!

After we parted ways, I walked the three downtown blocks to one of our gay bars to meet some friends. Our former House Elf has received his admission to nursing school for this fall, so we went out to celebrate. While there, I got to catch up with a friend from high school, who I haven't seen in over a decade, and just recently got back in touch with. She's going back to school for engineering, and befriended Steven through a student organization. He kept talking about his new friend, but never mentioned her by name. Finally, he'd said her name, and I was like, no freakin way, that's your friend?! (She has a pretty unusual name, that I've never heard before or since.) Same girl! So awesome to get reacquainted. Strangely enough, another girl I went to high school was there last night too (with her husband), she's going to be in the nursing program this fall as well. Small world. Anyway, we watched the drag show then went dancing, and I didn't get home until 3:30 in the morning, because I party like a rock star. Or at least I feel like I was partying like Ke$ha, because my whole body hurt today. Mostly my knees. Apparently this is what getting old feels like. I think dancing the night away in stupid shoes may be a chapter in my life that is coming to a close.

Today, everyone except Violette and me went to mass. (Just wasn't enough time for me to shower after breakfast, and after going out last night, I needed it. Also did some smoking too, which I'm regretting today as well.) Then Cora hunted for the eggs she colored last night. She greatly enjoyed her Easter basket, which I filled with mostly not candy. I got several little gardening items, a watering can, little shovel set, gloves, wildflower seeds and some plant stakes shaped like mushrooms and butterflies, since she's been really excited about gardening. We started some seeds inside last month, she helped plant, and she's been really excited about the plants sprouting up.

And, finally, we had a burial at sea for Dory, the transgendered betta. Dory has since been replaced with Dora, an actual female betta. Sad to lose Dory, but he/she had been around for almost two years, so it was about that time anyway.

That's what's going on here. Yep.


Easter Bunny and Badger

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coming down

The city was pretty calm yesterday, probably because everyone was exhausted from partying Monday night. I've been sick for the past damn week, and I'm at the tail end of it, but now it's all in my chest, which sucks. So, I was going to just work at home yesterday, take it easy. Then the daycare called, and Vee has hand, foot & mouth, so they sent her home. Grossness. So, I had to take her to the doctor (who confirmed the daycare's diagnosis). At least while she was napping, I ducked into my office and got a little bit of work done, before and after the appointment.

Poor Vee. She looks really awful. She has these welts all over her chin and her little nose is a faucet. But, being a honey badger, she doesn't give a shit. It doesn't keep her from eating a ton, being bouncy or grabby. She's supposed to be taking a nap right now, but she's in her crib carrying on a conversation with her glow-worm. Needless to say, I didn't get much done yesterday, and probably won't get much done today. Oh well. I guess I'll try to start working full time next week.

Anyway, almost time for Easter. The in-laws are coming in this weekend, Cora's excited about that. She's been promised egg-dyeing with Grandma.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

UK 2012 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!

Cats are bringing home our EIGHTH BANNER!! GO BIG BLUE!!



(If you'll excuse me, I have a couch to burn.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First week of school

Vee started daycare this week. I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off of my chest, seriously.

It's been getting really difficult to get work done at home during the day when Husband is working/sleeping, and I've been struggling to balance everything between two jobs, and kids. Too stressful. I've barely made it to the gym over the past month, just not enough time. Since I needed to start pushing my hours up to full time at the clinic, Vee needed to start daycare.

It's a good age. She's 7 months old, and she'll be crawling very soon. She doesn't nap for very long anymore, she's much too busy and important. She's as chatty as her sister (sigh), and grabby, and wiggly, and if she finds herself left alone in the room, she screams her bloody head off. She eats constantly. She has the chunkiest baby thighs, like, ever. She stopped fitting in the Bumbo over a month ago, her thighs are too big.

I'm a little sad to not spend our mornings together snuggling. Our routine on the days I'm home is generally wake up, drink a bottle, snuggle back down in my bed for a nap. (I'll also miss the naps.) But she already loves the daycare. I swear she looked disappointed to go home yesterday. They have a jumperoo. We don't (our baby entertainment center doesn't bounce). Vee could sit in a jumperoo all day, she loves it. She'll be packing on the muscle in those massive baby thighs in no time.

The complication is that we couldn't get Vee into Cora's daycare, we're waitlisted. So we had to take her back to Cora's old daycare, where she'll probably be staying for at least the next 4 or 5 months. Which they're thrilled with, because they get to see Cora. (Cora's teacher from the 2-year-old room, I swear, will petition the court to adopt her in case of our untimely demise.) It's much more expensive, but what can you do. Oh well.

In other expenses, I'm considering buying a reserved parking tag for campus, which is stupidly expensive, but the regular tag is nothing more than a hunting license. And there are plenty of times I have to leave campus and come back, get there later, etc., and I don't want to walk or take the bus from the ass end of the damn stadium because I can't find any parking. Summer is better, because faculty is gone, but during the academic year, it's a nightmare. Makes me stabby.

Anyway, I ran for the first time yesterday. It sucked. I wheezed like a 90-year-old with emphysema. I could only do a mile, and had to even walk several laps. I was pretty sure I had a stroke, a heart attack, and an aneurysm, all at the same time. So, yeah, there's a lot of work to do. Really depressing when I think nearly 2 years ago, I was very close to my fitness goal (from awesome government agency that investigates stuff). And now, I'm a big fat blob. Oh well.



Me, running

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekending

Lots went on this past week/weekend.

Working backwards... First, CATS ARE GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR! Haha, and for in-state rivalry, against Louisville, against our former coach. (Suck it, Pitino!) Friends of mine are going to New Orleans for the game. So unfair. I'll be stuck here. Boo. But if we win, I'll go downtown to set some cars on fire with everyone else. Just saw news footage from my old neighborhood in south campus where they set a couch on fire. Awesome. And not to be sexist and only give props to the men's team, our Lady Cats are headed to the Elite Eight.

Today, we went to a friend's house for an Easter egg hunt and brunch. Pretty little girls in pretty little dresses hunting for eggs. Too cute. Vee was able to chow down on some plastic eggs that her big sister very thoughtfully retrieved for her, so she had a good time as well. (If you're my Facebook friend, you'll see pics of Vee in her Easter dress on my wall.)

Saturday, I pretty much slept most of the day and did absolutely nothing, because I was incredibly lazy. A really exhausting week!

Mostly my own fault. I crazily went to one of the midnight showings of The Hunger Games on Thursday night, with two friends. All 16 screens were sold out at our closest theatre, and was totally packed. It was not nearly as many teenagers as I thought. Most were college kids (most working peoples aren't crazy enough to go to a midnight movie on a Thursday, except me), and there was a significant number of dudes there, like, not there with girlfriends, but with groups of dudes. Even included two of my male law school classmates, ha! (One's unemployed, and the other was calling in.) But it was well worth it. Even being totally exhausted Friday, having to not only work, but also give a presentation to law students on cultural considerations in client representation. It needs to be refined a bit, particularly my slides, but I think it went pretty well. One for the ol' CV. (My masters degree again more useful than my JD.)

Anyway, I went to see The Hunger Games again on Friday night, with Husband, his BFF, and one of my best law school chums. Then I ran into two other law school friends, who sat with us. Strangely enough, I had gotten there early to save seats for everyone, and turns out, we were sitting next to people our friend knew. (Apparently the demographic was actually more people over 25 than under 25.) One very strange thing though, I think some people who went to see the movie rather missed the point. (SPOILER!) At the point that Cato falls off the cornucopia, and is torn apart by the mutts, people in the audience started clapping! And this is after Cato delivers a desperate soliloquy about being what the Capitol has made him, etc. Like, um, you folks might be the ones actually enjoying watching a reality TV show where children fight to the death, because that's supposed to be a tragic moment, not a celebratory one, even if has been trying to kill the protagonist. As Haymitch says in Catching Fire, remember who the enemy is. Yikes.

Anyway, if you're a huge fan of the books, seeing it a second time is worth it, because then you get over the initial "ugh, they left that part out!" that you inevitably do when they make a movie out of a book you really love. Anyway, it was very well done, as good as it could possibly get. There is no way to make it perfect. The book is so much introspective narrative, which is supposed to be in contrast to the heroine's actions, it would be impossible to make the movie exactly like the book. And the movie is already 2 1/2 hours long, stuff had to be left out, unfortunately. Overall though, the movie is great, and (again, Kentucky pride), the two lead actors are Kentuckians, who completely nail their roles.

And in less awesome Kentucky goings on, I took a trip to West Liberty this week to pay a visit to the jail there. Pictures do not do it justice as to how bad it looks there. It looks like a war zone, like bombs went off inside of the buildings, it's terrible. There's still a curfew after dark, and cell service is crap, since towers went down. But there's a lot of folks there working, and the weather's been nice, so hopefully things will start looking up for all those people who've lost their homes and businesses.

As for this week, Vee starts daycare in the morning. She's going to Cora's old school. It's horribly expensive, but we're still waitlisted at the new place, and I need to start working full time sooner rather than later. So, here we go. It's a relief she's going, that way I can start getting stuff done. But I'm kind of sad at the same time. I'll miss our morning snuggles after Cora goes to school. Usually Vee wakes up, takes a bottle and on my days at home, then snuggles back to sleep with me and sleeps a couple more hours. That's nice. But she's just so active now. She wants constant attention and stuff to do, and that doesn't mesh well with working at home. She'll have much more fun at daycare though. The few times she's gone to the gym daycare, she thoroughly enjoys chewing on their stuff. She's trying so hard to crawl, but fortunately hasn't figured it out yet. Baby-proofing seems daunting, just not ready for it! But it will be happening sooner rather than later.

As for me, I need to start running again, which I haven't done in about 2 years. I'm training for a 5K in June. A ZOMBIE 5K and obstacle course. Hell yeah. We're gonna do the one in Indy. It shall be epic.

So, that's what's going on. More fun to come!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Moving Forward

Finally, finally, finally! I will be employed full time! ::insert wild applause::

We got our grant, which will expand our services, and will make me a full time employee, for a period of 5 years. I will have benefits as a full time employee of the University, including tuition benefits (helpful, since we can get a discount on Husband's tuition, and I will get a certain number of credits paid for per semester if I decide to go back and do a masters in public health or something similar). I will no longer have to waste spend my time in Family Court, dealing with people's crazy shit persuading the court to find for my clients. I will be able to make my student loan payments (approximately $700/month), before the unpaid interest drives my principal any higher. Although, I don't foresee ever *only* working 40 hours a week (I'm just not wired that way), I do have a great deal of control over my schedule. I can still take Cora to ballet. I can still take her to violin lessons. I can still have dinner with my family and spend time with them on the weekends.

The job is getting more interesting, with a possible federal suit. I'm finally bothering to get licensed in federal court. We're going to partner up with another attorney though, because, hellfire, I know just about enough about federal practice to be dangerous. We've been doing more advocacy too, and I've been doing some administrative law stuff. I know even less about admin law. Exactly what I learned for bar prep. And that in the admin hearings, hearsay is admissible. (Knowing is half the battle.) So that stuff takes the sting away of that missing litigation part of my career, along with concentrating on other stuff I enjoy, like teaching and academic research/writing.

Also, without the impending doom of having to build up my law practice, I will have the time and the energy to devote myself to other things I enjoy. I've been practicing my violin a lot more lately, and I'm considering taking violin lessons again myself this fall, once I'm back up to where I was when I stopped playing a decade ago. I'm getting better. I discussed with Cora's violin teacher about taking lessons, and also about joining the Community Orchestra. That had been the goal when I was taking lessons a decade ago (I'll never be good enough to join the University Orchestra while I'm a student). So, that's what I'm shooting for. I'm also going to work on learning some guitar. I've always wanted to learn to play, I think it'd be cool.

Other things on my plate: As I've mentioned, getting published. We're making that a priority with the program, since we are a research university, and we want to push the academic component of our program. Getting an MPH, or at the very least, ugh, going back and doing a few more stats classes, will help considerably. But also, I want to start writing non-academic stuff too. Some professional stuff, but also just some creative stuff. Maybe I'll write the next great American novel. Or not. That sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just start writing some vampire smut.

Reading books for fun though... I'm totally on it. I have stack I've been wanting to read. I can get through fluff pretty easily, but books of more depth, I've struggled with having the brain power to get through. I did, however, shut down my entire life to spend two days reading the Hunger Games trilogy. Ohmyfreakinglord, I couldn't put it down. It speaks deeply to my inner history/poly sci nerd, my love of post-apocalyptic fiction, and my appreciation for a bad-ass heroine. Of course, I wonder what it says about me that two of my favorite book series are young adult literature (also Harry Potter)? And I also love vampire smut, so there's that.

Random things: I'm crotcheting again. I bought yarn and a pattern. I'm going to try clothing. Nothing complex, but I wanted to challenge myself beyond blankets and scarves.

I'm losing weight. Well, starting to. I'm down 1.4 pounds in one week. Slow and steady! As opposed to gaining weight, which is just rapid. Being back on the Weight Watchers wagon makes me more mindful of what I eat. I still get to splurge on occasion though, that's nice.

I've decided I'm going to do this crazy Zombie 5K obstacle course thing, probably the Missouri one. So, I'm going to really concentrate on kicking ass. When I become a full time employee, and subsequent student, I'll be able to get a member to the super swank gym on campus for super cheap. (Like $50 a semester.) Which has racquetball courts and a climbing wall, and my favorite indoor running track. (The one at the Y sucks hardcore.)

So, all of these things I'm really excited about being employed full time.

On the downside, I will miss being in court. I'll still go on occasion, but most of what we do is legal advice and referrals to pro bono attorneys, not direct representation. I love litigating, just not regarding people's children and/or household furniture, so it's a bummer on that front. But I just need to get creative concerning keeping up my skills, in case I ever return to a law firm to litigate. I've considered approaching my old high school's principal and seeing if they'd be interested in starting a mock trial team. We didn't have one when I was there. And there still isn't one. I'd love to coach one.

Lots of stuff going on, and a possible trip to Orlando in May, which might make 2 trips to Florida for me this summer. (Husband has a conference he might go to, in which case, Cora and I would tag along and do Disney.) The financial aspect of getting this job is like a ton of bricks lifted off my chest. Doubling my income means paying on my loans. Being able to afford a new car, when Money Pit finally kicks it. And doing things like taking vacations again. (The last real vacation we took was right after graduation, 3 years ago.)

I just feel like, finally, my career, and "myself," are moving forward again.