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.

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.

MILP Roundup #243

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.

It is March. And there is Madness. And I'm still bitter that we didn't win the SEC tournament, but I guess Vandy gets to win one every 50 years or so, and we've won the past two years, and 27 total. And we got our wake-up call for the NCAA tournament, which we probably needed after an undefeated season. Plus, Duke lost, and that always helps my morale. But still, it was not a happy day here in the Bluegrass.

Anyway, let's do this:

Speaking of the SEC, Lag Liv now works for them. Well, the other SEC.

But I Do Have a Law Degree has a little boy with a new 'do just in time for Spring.

Butterflyfish and the Irish Twins.

CP has impending baby invasion.

LEO has a hungry baby.

CM on choosing our career directions, instead of all or nothing.

Googiebaba on the origins of bullying.

Kate Sherwood serves the justice.

LC is on a much-needed Spring Break.

EH had a happy birthday and her thoughtful husband bought her exactly what she wanted.

-R- has a photo challenge.

RG has returned from Rio! (Back to NOLA, where I wanted to be. Sigh.)

Ruby Falls is vacationing and putting out some tough love.

Dinei is out of time.

Frenchie Flip has a cease fire.

Izzie is at home.


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, March 6, 2012

Fatness

Holy heart disease, Batman! My ass is getting fat!

If I get any fatter, I'm going to look like one of those ladies on People of Wal-Mart, who clearly doesn't understand she's morbidly obese and should not be wearing that thong, spandex pants and halter top.

I weighed myself (I'd been avoiding the scale, since I knew I'd been eating everything that wasn't nailed down), and I've gained another 5 pounds. Ugh.

So, yeah, back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon.

Especially since we're discussing a possible girls' weekend in Florida this summer. I'd like to go to the beach wearing a modest one-piece (bikinis will never happen again without some nip/tuck... thanks, children). Not wearing a muu-muu. I do not want to be mistaken for a whale. I do not want to have a heart attack riding a bicycle. I am reasonably certain I look like this naked:


Sunning myself

Yeah. Epic depression and self-loathing.

So, I'm back to actually using the WW's app, since I've been paying for the service for the past four months and not actually using it.

I also need to actually work out. My trainer friend must think I'm a moron, because I am the most uncoordinated person ever. I'm a mess.

But I'm determined to get this weight off. 45 pounds overweight, ugh. I want at least 15 pounds gone by summer, and I want to be back to the physical point I was two years ago, when I first moved back to Lex. Then I started feeling sorry for myself and eating everything I came into contact with, then got pregnant again.

So, no more excuses. I want to go back to the doctor by summer, and have a cholesterol test that shows I am not a heart attack waiting to happen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Still Here, Not in Oz

As I'm sure you've seen on the news, my state has been ripped open by freaky winter tornados this past week, during 70 degree weather. Then two days later, it snowed. Which is always awesome for people trying to dig the remnants of their lives out of rubble.

Lexington didn't get hit, really. We got weird hail. There was apparently funnel cloudage in south Lexington/North Jessamine County, but nothing substantial. (Was where my mom used to live before they developed the land into a new shopping center, so good thing she lives further into town now.) Not like West Liberty or Salyersville, which totally effing sucks. West Liberty was a lovely town, tucked away in Appalachia. Now it's in ruins, with the people trying to clear the mess so they can rebuild their lives. A couple guys I went to law school with have detailed the West Liberty damage on their blog.

What's really baffling is that the whole state was pretty much on lockdown leading up to this storm system. Even the University shut down early (and pretty much the zombie apocalypse has to occur before that happens). So, whatever it is that weather predictor people do, they sure got it right this time. Which is really upsetting that people were still hurt/killed in the storms. We should really be emphasizing more storm preparedness, with safer places for people to wait out the weather. What's fine in normal storms, just doesn't cut it in these bad ones. I think we get pretty lax, because those kinds of storms just really don't happen here, like they do in the west, or in Alabama. The kind that wipe out entire towns, like West Liberty. We get the storms that rip off a few roofs, yank out some trees, cause a nuisance. One year, Lexington got hit, and one of the neighborhoods in the west end of the county had a bunch of damage. Our friend's house got hit and she had to search the neighborhood afterwards for her unmentionables. Sucks, but it happens. Don't get me wrong, it's some scary shit when you get hit by a tornado (and I've been in two of them, one of which ripped open my high school my freshman year, with us in it). And when you're in a safe place, you don't even realize how crazy it is until you survey the damage, and realize that could have been you crushed like a coke can. That's pretty sobering. But still, I don't really get all freaked out and rush into the basement throwing a mattress over me, the kids and the dog every time the tornado siren goes off. Maybe it's because when there's a tornado actually approaching, you can feel it. There's something in the air that is just... eerie. The air feels wrong, the sky looks wrong. There's only been one time since Cora was born that I headed down to the basement, because I knew a tornado was close by, and it hit about 5 miles west of us. Nothing like this week though. This week was just brutal.

So, yeah, if you have some money to give, the Red Cross would be good, or you can select one of the other agencies/NPO's working the relief effort, listed here.