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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

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

Let's start with the kids...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so things from my resolution list last year:

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

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

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

2.  I suck slightly less at the violin.

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

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

3.  I lost 10 pounds this year.

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

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

4.  I did not learn to sew.

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

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

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

6.  I started writing fiction... 

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

7.  I'm starting to remember some Spanish.

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

So, for 2014:

1.  Lose another 15 pounds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.  Get that article published.

For reals.

5.  Finish those works of fiction.


6.  Practice my Spanish.

Your beautiful language, I butcher it.

7.  Crotchet Violette's blanket.

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

8.  Read more for fun.

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

9.  Go to bed earlier.

I need more sleep.

Well, I think that covers it.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

MILP Roundup #328

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

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

Frenchie considers doing the same.

LL has new baby pics.

Izzie finds flexibility. 

AAL has homeschooling tips.

CM reflects on her past in Big Law.

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

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

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

SusieJD has the week off.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's what Weeping Angels look like:

Here's what my kids looked like:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

MILP Roundup #322

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.

Daisy is celebrating four happy years with the husband.
Butterflyfish has the one-year-itch with the job.

Magic Cookie shows the difference in priorities between men and women in shouting at strangers.
But I Do Have a Law Degree puts one in the middle.
LL puts on some boots.
AAL has a list.
Grace delivers some travel karma for complainy old biddies.

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Birthday reflection

So, according to the lies on my birth certificate, I turned 34 today.

In order to not feel completely awful about such things, I decided to review my accomplishments. 

Things I've accomplished:

1.  A BA, an MA, a JD, and a graduate certificate in public health management (pending);
2.  Admission to practice in KY and US District Court E.D.K.Y., beginning fifth year of practice;
3.  Married for over 7 years (nearly 12 years together), and we still like each other;
4.  Raising two pretty, clever little daughters who talk too much;
5.  Beginning my fourth year at UK;
6.  Also being an adjunct professor at the law school;
7.  Gave my first lecture at a national conference yesterday;
8.  Beginning my second year with the community orchestra;
9.  Have great friends, family and colleagues;
10. Have a magnificent shoe collection; and
11. Don't look a day over 29, bitches!

(Not pictured: My 5 inch black stilettos.  Hell yeah!)

Things I want to accomplish in the near future:

1.  Get published (first articles, then a book);
2.  Create a major public health research project;
3.  Travel more;
4.  Sleep more;
5.  Drink more;
6.  Eat less/exercise more;
7.  Pay off my credit card.

So, hopefully those things will happen by the next birthday.  Well, probably not the pay off the credit card, but I can dream.

In other news, I'm gearing up for Halloween.  I'm making the kids' costumes.  Vee is going to be a Dalek, and Cora is going to be a Weeping Angel.  I'm going as Victorian Clara Oswald.  I think husband is on board for going as the Eleventh Doctor, but we'll see.  He isn't nearly as excited as he ought to be about family Doctor Who cosplay, but whatev, he's lame.   I've got 3 more weeks to teach Vee to say "Exterminate!" instead of "Trick or Treat!"  Add it to the wish list of accomplishments.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kid stuff

On Kindergarten....

Kindergarten started last week.  We are not pleased about waking up at 6 am.  Cora even gets to wake up at 6:25 a.m.  She's not happy about that either.  I had this clever notion that Vee would stay asleep and I could spirit Cora over to the bus stop without dragging her out of the house as well, but Vee is really the only one who wakes up when the first alarm goes off (I have to set like four alarms... we are not morning people).  The bus arrives at 6:58 a.m.  This does not please me.  It does not please Cora either.  She usually whimpers in the morning, something to the effect of "Why do I have to go to school in the middle of the night?"  Totally sympathize, it's ridiculous.  

She got sent home from school on Tuesday with a fever, a present from her little sister.  It was just a 24 hour bug, and she was totally fine on Wednesday, but wasn't allowed to go back to school because they can't return for 24 hours after the fever breaks.  (WTF ever.)  She went back on Thursday, and didn't have a great day.  She got in trouble for talking instead of listening, which is probably going to be a life-long problem, not an isolated incident.  But oh well.  Other than that, things seem to be fine.  Cora's excited about school, and she likes learning Spanish.  


We've put martial arts on hold for awhile, might pick it back up over the summer.  We've decided that, with school, and all the craziness, she needs to stick to two extracurriculars: one physical activity and one musical instrument.

Cora is still playing violin, and things have been going fairly well lately.  She's been good with practices, willing to put in the work, and excited about her own progress.  Her note reading skills are improving, as is her intonation.  She's advancing to the older group class when it starts back next month.  She's also taking ballet again, and she'll be dancing in the ballet school's performance in November.  (They don't do recitals, they do actual performances, and find ways to incorporate the smaller kids into it.)  

We did, however, add an extra activity, though it isn't one that requires anything more than just the class itself.  She'll be taking a swim class starting next weekend.  We've really dropped the ball on swimming, kept missing getting her into swim classes (they fill up pretty much immediately).  Hoping she'll learn how to swim before next summer.  She's been really stressed out about it, every time we go to the pool.  One of her besties is only three months older than her, and is actually on a swim team.  But swimming's always been her thing, and not Cora's.  Cora's always been a bit nervous about water, and isn't enthusiastic about the pool in general.  I'm not really enthusiastic about the pool either, which doesn't help.  (I'd much rather lay beside it, in the shade, drink a margarita and read my book.)

Hobbies and interests

Cora's big obsession lately has been Greek mythology.  She's been interested in it for awhile, but I got a new book for her that she loves, and then I bought the Percy Jackson movie for her.  I swear, she's watched it like 5 times since we got it.  We finally went to see the new movie in the theatre this week, which she loved.  (As an aside, is it a contract requirement that whatever movie or TV show Nathan Fillion is in, he has to make a Firefly reference?  Just curious.)  

Music-wise, she still loves Taylor Swift the most, but she's showing an interest in musicals and opera.  Her album of choice at the moment is the 25th anniversary Phantom recording with Sierra Boggess.  I'm planning to take her to Les Miz in October.  (I would've actually tried to get her in for an audition as Cosette, but found out about it too late.  They'd never have cast her, nor should they, but I thought an audition would be a really neat experience for her.) 

The other thing that Cora is suddenly interested in are Legos.  We bought a Lego set for her friend's birthday (she's an awesome kid and loves Batman, so we got her a Batman lego set), and her cousin has a ton of Lego sets, so she keeps saying she wants them for her birthday.  Ugh.  Okay, Legos are great in theory, but I just envision them everywhere in my house, and finding all of them with my bare feet.  I've tried to talk her into waiting, that she might want them next birthday instead.  But she's persistent.  I told her, if we do this Lego thing, they will have to be worked on downstairs, because otherwise, it's going to be real hard to build whatever kit she's building when an annoying little sister has stolen some of the pieces.  And, of course, the kits she wants?  Hobbitses!  She totally expects Hobbit Legos to do this

Little sisters

So, that's what's up with Cora.  Vee turns 2 this week.  She is still a total beast.  A new development is she thinks it's hilarious to run off whenever I tell her to do something (let's change your diaper, let's get our shoes on, let's brush our teeth, let's not run into traffic).  She isn't at all phased when she gets swatted on the butt for it either, but she does get angry when you grab her and then take her to that thing she was running from in the first place.  She is not a "pleaser" like Cora, and does not give a shit about your opinion or your consequences.  

Overall, she is usually happy and compliant, but she is also often angry.  She does not like to be left at daycare in the morning, she gets very mad.  Unless there's food, then she's fine with it.  On the bright side, she has been biting fewer of her classmates, and now uses her words to tell them off.  She apparently had a fight with her boyfriend the other day, and ignored him.  He kept trying to get her attention, and she was having none of it.  She is not impressed with your peacock antics, males of the species.  Go 'way!  

She loves the ABC's, and knows all her letters.  She has this foam ABC set that punch out the letters and put them back in.  Miraculously, we've yet to lose any.  She loves her shapes.  She has this iPhone app that is toddler shapes.  As a result, she's probably the only kid under 2 who can distinguish a hexagon from an octagon from a parallelogram.  She loves Elmo and, as a result, Destiny's Child.  She watches "Best of Elmo" on my iPad, and backs it up herself to watch Elmo and Destiny's Child over and over again.  (I have yet to buy her any Destiny's Child or Beyonce albums, but I'm sure it's coming.)  She still loves Austin Moon and won't go to sleep at night without the Austin & Ally soundtrack playing.  She sings along until she falls asleep.  She also likes Little Einsteins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and is only interested in watching Austin Moon if he's singing.  

The rest of TV is uninteresting, including Sesame Street if it's not either Elmo or Abby (preferably Elmo).  She will, however, pipe in and contribute to the sister's shows.  For instance, when Percy Jackson cuts off the heads of the hydra, and the hydra flops around headless until it grows back twice as many heads, Vee watches long enough to say "Oh no" when the hydra falls down and "Yay, hydra!" when the hydra gets back up with extra heads.  Thanks to Daddy, she is also now the proud owner of a talking Dalek doll that she snuggles, and giggles when it says "Exterminate!"  One of our triple board residents told me that all toddlers are sociopaths.  Yep. 

Vee's favorite possessions are her "Passy," her "Taggies," her "Blanky," and her "Cup."  She loves the slide and the swing.  She loves shoes and phones, particularly iPhones.  (She has several apps of her own.)  She loves music and loves to sing.  She will snarf down pretty much all forms of food, but she best loves gummy fruit snacks, blueberries, and mac 'n cheese.  She hates the dog.  Seriously.  Whenever the dog is near her, she complains, loudly, and shoos her away.  Don't even get me started if the dog tries to climb in bed with her, she gets very angry.  Cora has always loved that dog, and Vee can barely tolerate being in the same room with her.  And yet, she always tells her hi and bye-bye and good-night, and she has taken over Cora's chore of feeding the dog, despite her disdain.  I don't get it.  But she loves those awful little Shih Tzu creatures her grandmother has.  I really don't get that.  

Since Cora is taking a swim class, we decided that Vee should take one too, and maybe we won't screw up the swimming thing with Vee like we did Cora.  So, hopefully that will go smoothly.  I've thought about Baby Ballet for Vee, but she's not exactly a delicate flower like Cora was.  I think gymnastics might be the way to go.  Or Baby Rugby.  But we'll see.  She's there at the ballet school hanging out while Cora's in class, so she might show an interest.  Or she'll completely ignore everything that's going on, because there's a play area and, her favorite, baby dolls.

So, that's pretty much it with the kids.  I'd go into my stuff, particularly work stuff, but geez, it exhausts me just thinking about it.  Work, busing kids around, orchestra, and school.  I just can't even.  But I'm going to Dragon Con at the end of the week, so I'll get some much-needed geeky grown-up time. 

Friday, July 19, 2013


I've been spending too much time inside my head lately.  You'd think I'd be too busy for that, but apparently not.  Here I am, unusually pensive tonight. 

Do you have a place where, just being there, it brings back a flood of memories, regardless of how many times since that particular event you've been there? 

There are a few places like that for me.  After nearly 3 years, I still have to take a deep calming breath before I swipe my badge and enter the floor of the children's hospital.  Weirdly, not the NICU or the PICU, but just the floor.  My law clerk joined my boss for rounds this week while she's on service.  I've never gone for rounds.  I don't have to, so I choose not to.  I don't want to be there unless I have to be, to help a particular patient.  Too emotional.

So, yeah, ghosts.  Remnants of people, of events, long past.  I've been on north campus a lot lately for meetings.  Memories of a chilly winter evening, walking the path from Singletary to the parking lot at the Coliseum, a cherished memory, the beginning of a friendship.  Memories tarnished by a spring evening, when I regrettably chose to end the friendship.  Both significant life moments.  I don't know how many times I've walked that path over the years.  Countless concerts at Singletary, performances at Guignol.  Classes, study sessions and business meetings at Fine Arts.  I was a student on that campus for a total of 11 years, and I've been an employee for nearly 3 years.  But it's this bittersweet memory from 15 1/2 years ago, from high school, that still comes to mind.  

Memories haunt.  A hard lesson learned, the raison d'ĂȘtre of some relationships, I suppose.  I'm better now at recognizing what is poison and what is simply bitter wine.  Bitter wines can often be salvaged, you don't have to throw out the batch.  I didn't know that then.  The regret still aches when I walk that path.  I have to remember to breathe through it and keep walking. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I've been feeling a little melancholy lately.  Combination of a few things.  

Stress is one.  I've been spoiled by the 40 hour work week, and not used to being so busy and actually having to work beyond my set hours.  I worked until midnight last Friday, and that's only because the coffee shop shut down. 

We're short-staffed (don't even get me started) at exactly the time of year when my work load picks up.  In addition to my increased case load, and my summer law clerk's last day is Friday, I, ridiculously, have added an extra project to the mix, to assist in creating a new pro bono program, and have a meeting on Friday, at which I need to have at least a solid outline drafted for education materials.  I have a presentation next Friday that I haven't finished yet.  We're applying to present at a workshop.  We're working on a policy statement for a pediatrics organization.  I'm working on a CLE (fortunately that has no date yet).  I've been spending a considerable amount of time schmoozing to get things moving on next year's huge fundraiser.  I also think I made plans for two nights next week, and I don't even know what they are or on what nights. 

I'm teaching the externship in the fall for the first time (it's been spring only the past two years), which will require some adjustments in the curriculum (I won't have Advocacy Day at the capitol to include, and again, being short-staffed).  I have a new law clerk starting for work study.  I've added med students to the mix, a new one every Friday during this term.  And I need to start discussing adding a social work internship, which requires finding a social worker in the clinic to partner with.  The insurance exchange begins in October, and I have no clue what that even means yet.  I'm taking two graduate level public health management classes this fall.  I'm coaching (I think) a mock trial team at my old high school.  We're doing Beethoven's Fourth in community orchestra, and I'll be lucky if I can play one note per measure and not poke myself in the eye with my bow.

And my kid starts kindergarten in less than a month.  I will have to start my day at 6:00 a.m.  I don't even like being forced to start my day before noon.  I'm going to die.

Yesterday, I had a bad day and my cheese slid off my cracker.  Bad day at work, came home, children fighting/screaming, burnt dinner, decided I give up, turned off burnt/undercooked dinner, went to bed.  Husband finished the dinner, managing to salvage it, before going to work.  (Did I mention, he's working 13 shifts in a row?  Because, greed.  The hospital is too cheap to hire enough people to cover when someone goes on vacation.)  Oh, and the new fish died too, so that was drama.  Then violin was drama.  Then even ice cream was drama.  Draaaaaaaamaaaaaaa. 

MILP Roundup #312

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. 

Unless I'm on deck, and then I probably forgot to post it at all, because I fail at life.

But, what's up, MILP groupies?  Unless you're reading this from Iceland, it's hotter 'n hades and you're sweatin' like a whore in church.

So, how are the MILPs staying cool in the heat wave?

Izzie is stateside, enjoying some family fun.

Butterflyfish is enjoying reduced hours.

Daisy and Attorney at Large on being topless.

Magic Cookie swims in Big Law.

SuzieJD is just returning from (blog) vacation.

RG is baking.

LL has a pool party!

But I Do Have a Law Degree lathers on the sunscreen.

Grace is dodging any more punches from July.

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

Friday, June 28, 2013

Back to school

I'm starting classes next month, to get a graduate certificate in public health management.  I've decided doing a doctorate at this point would be sheer insanity, and I don't really want to spend 5 years working on another professional doctorate anyway.  Maybe someday, if I'm still working for the university and it's free, I'll do a PhD in something incredibly useless, just 'cuz.  Write a dissertation on the influence of naturalism in corporeal mime.  (No offense to anyone out there who wrote that dissertation.  But that ain't gonna get you a job, son.)  Anyway.  The certificate program only requires 5 classes, so I could be done by next fall. 

Other than that, just the usual.  It's hot.  We went to the pool.  We start swim lessons for both kids next month.  Vee is a water baby.  Cora is less than impressed, but has a good time if she doesn't have to get her head under water. 

I majorly fell off the diet wagon, but I've finally climbed back on this week.  I'm at least food diary-ing again.  I had a bad day yesterday, which included getting trapped in the vestibule of the pharmacy school due to a freak air compressor event (it vacuum-sealed the exterior doors).  I had a martini for dinner.  I put it into my food diary.  I'm going to get judged.  (What?  I stopped at one.  But only because I had to drive home.)

That's about it.  Spent last week in the 'Ville for the bar convention.  Had a great time with friends.  Hoping to have a nice relaxing summer (with some work to do next month for class!)  But I'm excited about it.  I feel more focused when I'm in school.  Except for the past 4 years, I've always gone to school while working full time.  It was a really weird thing to not have school at the end of the work day.  But this is a distance learning class anyway, so it'll be fine.

Friday, June 7, 2013


We spent a week in Orlando, did 4 days at Disney World (2 Magic Kingdom, 1 EPCOT, 1 Hollywood Studios).  I could use about 2 weeks' of vacation to recover from that.

Vee did not go to Disney.  She went to Chicago with her grandparents, and had a delightful time with "GAMMAW" and "GAMPAW BONK."  She greatly enjoys her cousins, and Grandma's little doggies (my mother-in-law has this herd of Shih-Tzus, lord have mercy).  She apparently became quite the Grandpa's girl during that trip, still talks about him (and learned a new word "bonk"... the game is to "bonk" Grandpa on the head... no wonder Violent Violette likes him so much). 

Violent Violette is a beast.  She screamed bloody damned murder for 20 minutes tonight over some raisins.  Husband is taking her (and Cora) to see his sister in Albuquerque in August.  By himself.  Hahaha.  They're totally ending up on the no-fly list.  I, on the other hand, intend on enjoying my week to myself. 

I'm unfortunately still crazily busy.  Vacation put me behind, and things have picked up at work, and projects projects projects. 

I'm racking up credit card debt again, and need to stop spending so much money. 

I fell off the wagon with my diet.  I've lost a total of 5 pounds.  I'd hoped to lose 10 by the end of the 8 weeks, but it's not happening.  I need to regain motivation since returning from vacation.  I did not gain weight on vacation, surprisingly enough.  I had enough self-control to not eat everything in sight.  Husband, however, ate 5 plates of food at Boma (the African buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge).  I tried to make good choices, although admittedly, I did go back for seconds at Boma.  (So good!)

My favorite thing at Disney are all the strapping young foreign men they bring to work at EPCOT.  Norway and Germany are my favorite places.  In addition to the hot boys in Germany that poured me beer, I also met a hot boy named Thor.  I mean, seriously, Disney is the happiest place on earth. 

That's about it.  At some point I'll do a proper Disney post, for anyone who gives a crap about Disney vacation planning. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back to school

I'm going to pick up a class this fall, that will help me better do my job.  Something like biostats or epidemiology or research methods in public health.  I'm not really thrilled at the prospect of going back to school.  I like being out of school.  I spent 11 years on advanced education, I'm kinda tired of it, and I'd rather do other things in my free time.  But oh well. 

I've been trying to figure out "what's next."  I like what I'm doing now, but where do I want to go from here?  My boss has talked about wanting to pull all of the healthcare advocacy groups at the hospital under one umbrella, and our program being just one of those.  So maybe that's my path.  Or maybe it's into Risk Management or middle management.  I don't know.  I got a card in the mail when I got made a real employee that offered "career counseling" from the university, that's for employees.  Seemed interesting. 

Not that it's necessary right now, but eventually I'll need to figure out if I'm just going to take the classes I need post-bacc, or if I'm going to try for a DrPH.  (The PhD requires the second semester of calculus, and let's be honest, that is just never going to happen.  I was lucky I got credit for the first semester 15 years ago.)  I have to talk to the department to see if they'd take my Masters in IR.  They take one in Communications, and we had a global health concentration when I was there, and I focused on international organizations, including public health organizations.  So, I think they'd let me skip the Masters and just take the 5 core classes to get up to speed.  The question is whether I should do public health, or health care administration.  Regardless of what path I take, I still want to make use of my JD.  (By the gods, I spent enough time and money on it.)  So, even if I'm not practicing law, I still want law to be a part of what I do.  I'm interested in health care policy making (I'm about to write a policy statement to submit to a national healthcare organization).  I like the advocacy work, and discussing health in the legal context.  But I don't know.  Whatever will get me a job and will pay me good money to do work that is interesting but doesn't control my entire existence?  That's what I want to do. 

But, yeah, biostats.  Feh. 

In other news, we're leaving for vacation on Thursday.  We're taking Cora to Disney.  (Vee's going to Chicago to visit cousins with Grandma and Grandpa over Memorial Day weekend, and then staying home with her other Grandma, who's house-sitting for us.)  Vee does not like people in costume, waiting for anything, or being restrained, all of which would occur at Disney.  She does, however, greatly enjoy her cousins and their piano and her grandparents and their herd of Shih-Tzus (commonly referred to as the "ShihTs").  I would be all, "awww, I'm going to miss the baby," but she was an absolute nightmare this evening, so I'll reserve the "awwws" for when we're in Florida and away from the beastie. 

Next year, the family is talking about doing an Alaskan cruise, which I will skip and stay home with Vee.  I suppose she could go by then (she'd be almost 3 and will be potty-trained and might be less beastly), but I don't think she'd have a very good time, and frankly, neither would I.  I see pretty much zero appeal with cruising through Alaska.  I don't like wildlife.  I really don't care for nature that doesn't involve beaches/ocean.  I don't like cold weather (or extremely hot weather either, unless there's a pool).  Vacation for me involves:  culture (history, art, music, food) and/or beach/ocean.  So, horseback riding on a Moroccan beach, yes.  African safari, no.  Fall in Munich, yes.  Winter in St. Petersburg, oh hell no. 

Cora, however, has been talking about Hawaii constantly.  She really wants to go.  I've promised that, for her birthday one year, we will go.  (She was born on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.) I think, being an epic history nerd (and American military history having been my undergraduate focus), I can come up with an appropriate "curriculum" to justify it as an educational trip and get the kids out of school in early December for a week in Oahu.  And if they don't approve it, well, screw 'em, we're doin' it anyway.  Like it'd be my first trip to truancy court.  Pffft.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sweet Dreams of Dragons, Sirens and Austin Moon

I am not a morning person.  If the day didn't start til noon, I would be so much more productive.  And I hate morning people.  You ever roll into work in the morning, half-asleep, hair still wet because blow-drying it would have taken away an extra 10 minutes of sleep, sucking down caffeine in an attempt to feel human, and some obnoxious fool comes bounding in, loud, hyper, energetic, just so damn cheery, and you just want to rip their face off and then crawl back into bed?  That's me.  Don't talk to me before 10 a.m., seriously.

So, it's good for me that my children are also not morning people.  They wake up sometime in the 8 o'clock hour, and sometimes even the 9 o'clock hour if we let them (and we sure do on the weekends... they normally go to school at 8:30 for breakfast though).  The problem is, they also don't want to go to bed at night.  (Again, my problem as well.)

Their bedtime is 9pm, but it isn't unusual to push it later because we have stuff to get done, baths and violin and chores.  Last night, Vee was placed in her crib at 9:15 after her post-bath pedicure (she wanted red toes), two books, and performing her new chore (feeding the dog... this only has to be done once every few days because she massively overflows the bowl, and the dog doesn't like dog food enough to over-eat).  Cora then wanted a story out of the Greek mythology book.  We read the one about Athena's gift of the olive tree to Athens, and then she wanted to talk about whirlpools, because "they're called something funny, right?  carrobs?"(Charybdis, and I don't even know how she knew that, since we hadn't gotten to the Odyssey yet), so then we ended up talking about the Iliad, because the Odyssey doesn't really make sense outside of the context of the Trojan War, and somehow it's 10pm before she went to sleep, to happily dream of sea monsters. 

Meanwhile, Vee is not sleeping.  Vee is talking, she is playing, she is not sleeping.  Finally, by about 10:30, her insomnia begins to upset her, and she starts crying.  It's not unusual for her to still be awake at 10, but very unusual for her to cry about it.  So, I go snuggle her, and she's so obviously very tired.  I ask her if she's ready to go back in her crib.  "NOOOO!"  Then the bribery:  "If you lay down in your crib, you can listen to Austin Moon."  Big smiles.

So, she laid down in her crib, I laid down in the bed in her room, turned on "Austin Moon" on my iPhone, and read on my Kindle app while it played.  She gives a muffled "yay" after each song, until finally she falls asleep.  I stay up until 12:30 reading Clash of Kings, and wonder why I was tired this morning.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Concerts and such

For Cora's birthday back in December, I got us tickets to see Taylor Swift.  Six months is a pretty long time for a five-year-old to wait, but she was very excited the date of the concert finally arrived this past weekend.  The kid loves Taylor Swift.  (Not really my doing, exactly.  She loves the song from the Hunger Games soundtrack, wanted to hear more of her songs, and we now own all of her albums.)  Anyway, she very carefully chose her outfit, and then chose mine very specifically ("that black dress that we bought at the mall for your orchestra concert" and "that necklace you made with the octopus") and insisted I needed a head band to match hers.  Seriously, if this kid doesn't grow up to be a designer/stylist, I'll be surprised, she's obsessed with fashion.  

 Concert selfie

Cora had a great time.  We didn't have really awesome seats, mostly because no matter how close we got, the munchkin still wouldn't have been able to see with people in front of her.  So, we sacrificed distance from the stage, for being in the front row of a section.  But Rupp isn't a huge venue anyway, holding about 18K for concerts.  Also, it turned out pretty perfect, because half-way through the concert Taylor changed stages to the small one in the back, that we were directly in front of.  Fun.  I think the only way Cora could've been more excited is if "Austin Moon" showed up to do a duet, her little head might have exploded.  (Vee would have loved that as well.  Geez.  Two things the baby is obsessed with:  Elmo's Ducks and Austin Moon.  And she knows how to get to both on my iPhone/iPad.  Yay.)

Cora was pretty tuckered out by the end.  Because I'm too cheap to ever pay event parking prices, and I was afraid it would start pouring down rain by the time we got out (thus, I didn't want to park on campus and walk), Husband had dropped us off, and it didn't end until nearly 11.  We ended up walking anyway in the cool drizzle from downtown to north campus to meet up with him (because traffic was so backed up).  He'd had to get the baby out of bed to come get us, and she was awake and ready to party, so we got the kids some ice cream.  Hahaha, insanity.  Cora passed out as soon as we got home, but Vee was still ready to party, and continued to do so until about 1:30 in the morning, and was pretty grumpy the next day.  (She's also teething, so she's especially pissy this week.  Yay.)

We also got school pictures back, and I don't know what dark sorcery the photographer used, but geez, she got that beastly baby to smile in the photographs, instead of screaming/scowling, which is normally what she does (other than candid moments I might catch with the iPhone).  

She's smiling because after the photo she's going back to her classroom to bite more children.

Vee is beastly, but she's usually fun.  She loves music (Austin Moon) and loves to dance.  She hates Justin Timberlake's new album (fair enough, I have criticisms to make of it myself).  Whenever a song ends, she has about a five-second delay and then says "Yay."  (That was great during the violin recital, as she'd wait until after the applause was over to do it.  Like, shhh.)  She's using a lot more words now.  Her favorite word is still "GO!"  In particular, "Go 'way!"  Her second favorite is "mine now," as she confiscates items and assumes ownership.  She has, and rightfully so, taken Cora's old violin.  She thinks she is a baby virtuoso, and she will spend 30 minutes just bowing on open strings.  She screams when it's time to put it away.

"Mine now!"

I think I'm going to buy her a 1/32 size violin (the 1/16, which was Cora's first, is too big for her).  Cora, on the other hand, is probably going to need a 1/4 size soon, she's getting so big.  She's been doing great with violin lately.  She's working on an arrangement of Sleeping Beauty's Waltz her teacher did for her in D major, and she is so excited about it.  (Sleeping Beauty is her favorite princess.) 

And that's pretty much it.  Kids.  Music.  Work is, well, work.  We won't go there. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Galas, steampunkery, and books

Saturday night, (with the kids spending the night with Grandma) Husband and I went to a fundraiser for the Lexington Public Library, themed from the book the Night Circus.  They brought in the author Erin Morgenstern, along with G.D. Falksen.  So, it was a costumed gala: steampunk, Victorian, or the red/white/black from Night Circus.  It was a lot of fun, I'm glad we went.  I read Night Circus for our book club last year (I didn't go meet the author to get the book signed though, because I have it on Kindle... the downside to ebooks, I suppose).  There were nibbles, and a cash bar, although the drinks were pretty reasonable ($6 for a bourbon is pretty decent).  There were performers playing with fire, and a magician, as well as vendors selling jewelry and art.  They also had free cotton candy, which is totally awesome.  It seemed to be a pretty big success, and was packed.  We had to wait in line for 30 minutes just to get inside.  The costumes were awesome though.  (Best costume?  The Fourth Doctor.  I mean, how awesome is that?)

So, yeah, costumes.  Husband spent quite a bit of money putting together his costume, including this annoying as crap steampunk gun that makes gawdawful noises when it "fires."  I, however, decided to make portions of my costume, because I'm crazy like that.  I had bought the material to make a bustle last year before Dragon*Con, and then ran out of time (I was going to have to hand sew it because I didn't have a sewing machine, and just didn't have time for it.)  I, of course, bought the sewing machine this winter.  The bustle was my first project, which was kind of a disaster, because I was sewing delicate lace onto delicate material, and the result was an epic fail ball of bobbin.  But I finally got the lace trim all attached, but then got tired of the project and put it aside.  Until Friday night.  I decided I was not going to deal with the sewing machine, which I scarcely know how to use, so I hand-sewed the bustle together, and attached the ribbon.  This was the result:

(Excuse the grossness of my bathroom mirror)

I also spent half the day on my hair.  My hair has gotten long, and there is also a ridiculous amount of it.  I put it up in curlers earlier in the day, and then did a loose updo around the "hat" I accessorized.  

It turned out pretty okay.  I had to borrow the hat from Cora.  It was part of a Halloween costume a few years back, and I gave it to her for dress-up.  She graciously allowed me to use it for the gala, in exchange for taking ownership of the bustle after the gala.  Fair enough.  I found a bird pin (peacock, I think) which I coupled with some feathers and pinned it to the hat.

I bought a costume on sale that was supposed to be some sort of slutty magician's outfit, so I could use the jacket and shirt.  (I decided I'm too fat for the corset at this point.  I wanted to be comfortable, and the shoes would be bad enough.)  Also, as an aside, the magician's outfit was the shirt and jacket paired with a pair of boyshorts, with garters for stockings.  Yes, this came in a size 12/14.  I'm sorry, ladies, but no one who is a size 12/14 needs to be walking around in public wearing only boyshorts.  Yuck.  I opted to wear a long black velvet skirt instead.  I won't be wearing a string bikini at the pool this summer either.  You're welcome, fellow citizens. 

(Hey, just because I cover my ass, doesn't mean I keep my bewbs covered.)

I also bought some materials to make a necklace and bracelet.  The necklace is a rope wrapped in a black chain, meant to resemble octopus tentacles.  It has an octopus pendant, and some gears and clock charms.  My bracelet is a chain with three clocks, tied with a ribbon.  Here's the bustle and the necklace:

(Wine goes with everything.)

Pair it with some dark make-up and uncomfortable shoes, and voila!  Steampunked!

(Close-up of the necklace.)

Overall, not including stuff I already had, I probably spent about $50 on the costume, which I'll likely use again since I'm going to Dragon*Con again, and we'll go to the mechanical ball again.  

Husband, however, spent a lot more money.  He bought our drinks, and then bought me something pretty, a strand of pearls from one of the jewelers.  (He has excellent taste in jewelry.)

After the gala, we went to our friends' house and continued to drink a lot of bourbon.  We got home at 2am, watched the new episode of Doctor Who, went to bed at 3am and then I woke up at 5am this morning to pray to the porcelain goddess.  Husband slept pretty much all day, hung over.  Ah, just like the old days. 

I had my book club scheduled at noon today though, at my house, so I woke up at 10 to get stuff ready.  I was going to do a Paula Deen give-ya-the-diabeetus casserole, but being around eggs seemed like a terrible idea, so I just went and got bagels and cream cheese, croissants, chicken salad and pimiento cheese spread.  I also realized that I didn't have any sparkling wine for the mimosas, so I had to improvise.  (Lexington has finally fought the blue laws and we can buy booze on Sundays now, but not until 1pm.)  So, I used a bottle of dry white wine, and bought a bottle of sparkling grape juice to add some bubbles to it.  It actually turned out really good, and made it a little bit sweeter, which I liked. 

And there you have it, my weekend of nerdy fun!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Adventures in Travels


5:30 a.m.  Wake up and leave for airport to catch 6:55 a.m. flight to Charlotte, where I will catch a connection to Reagan airport in DC.  Have to drive myself to airport, with plans to have Husband pick up the car later, so I didn't have to get the whole family up that early.

6:00 a.m.  Arrive at airport, go through security to get microwaved and groped.

6:15 a.m.  Sit in the terminal.

6:45 a.m.  Told that the flight has been delayed until 8:30.  Stand in line to rebook connection to later flight.

7:00 a.m.  While still in line, US Airways calls to tell me that the flight has been delayed until 8:30.  (Yeah, thanks.)

7:05 a.m.  Still in line, US Airways calls again to tell me that the flight has been delayed until 7:45 instead.  I can still make my connection, so I leave the line.

7:40 a.m.  Told that the flight has been delayed until 8:30 again.  Get back into line.

8:00 a.m.  Seat held on the 11:30 connection from Charlotte to D.C., in case I miss my 10:00 connection.

8:30 a.m.  Still not boarding.

8:50 a.m.  Finally boarding.  The 9:15 flight to Charlotte also lines up to board.  Both flights are half full.

9:00 a.m.  Told plane needs to power down and be "rebooted."  One lady asks if she can get on the 9:15 flight instead, because if she misses her Charlotte connection, she will not be able to get to the Caymans until the next day.  The flight attendant tells her this flight will get her there sooner, and not to worry.

9:15 a.m.  Other flight to Charlotte takes off.  We're still on the ground.

10:00 a.m.  Told to get off the plane.

10:05 a.m.  Call US Airways to figure out how the hell they're going to get me to DC since apparently this flight isn't happening ever. 

10:30 a.m.  Told by US Airways they can get me to Charlotte later in the afternoon and I'd be in DC in the evening.  However, if there were any other delays, I would not get there today.  (I was supposed to be in DC about 11, the entire purpose of flying there was to get a half day in DC to myself.)  I check the flight status online, and it now says my flight is scheduled to depart at 4pm.  Cancel my flight all together and get a refund.  Curse US Airways and decide when I am Queen of the World, they shall all be my slaves and/or line the walls of Queens Landing with their heads.  (Also had been intermittently reading Game of Thrones on my iPhone.)  

10:35 a.m.  Drive back home, pick up my hairspray, shampoo, conditioner and some other airplane contraband and drive to Maryland instead. 

11:00 a.m.  Get on interstate.

11:15 a.m.  US Airways calls to tell me my flight has been delayed again.  (Idiots.)

5:00 p.m.  Find outlet mall.  Buy things at outlet mall.

7:00 p.m.  Leave outlet mall much poorer but with pretty new things to wear.

8:00 p.m.  Arrive at hotel in Bethesda, have dinner at fabulous little Italian restaurant and drink half a bottle of wine.  Think it would go really well with the gelato I planned to have in DC and didn't get.


9:00 a.m.  Conference

7:00 p.m. Met friends for dinner in Bethesda at awesome little sushi place.  They were an hour and a half ahead of me on the road on Wednesday, in the process of moving to Baltimore.  (She's a vet, and joining a practice there.  She's been working out of the country for a nonprofit vet program, so we'll probably see them a lot more now than we have been.)

9:00 p.m.  Hang out at Starbucks to use their wireless and put some finishing touches on my presentation.


9:00 a.m.  Conference

1:45 p.m.  Skip a session of the conference to meet one of my co-presenters and set up for our presentation which is supposed to start at 2:15. 

2:15 p.m.  No one is there yet, including the other presenters.  Realize that the conference did not give any time between the last session and our session.

2:35 p.m.  People finally show up.  We give presentation.  We obviously go over, since we started 20 minutes late, and people have to leave because they have flights to catch.

4:00 p.m.  Change clothes, get explanation of how to use the Metro from the hotel staff.

4:30 p.m.  Take Red Line in, and then catch Blue Line to Federal Triangle.  Lurk outside of FBI building like a fangirl, and imagine the awesomeness of getting to work there.  Walk around for a while to get to the Yellow line to meet friends from grad school in Old Town Alexandria. 

7:00 p.m.  After pre-gaming at friend's apartment, have dinner at most amazing Tapas restaurant, along with several pitchers of Sangria.  Go to another place for drinks.

No idea what time.  Go back to friend's apartment.  More bourbon.  Have lovely time with old friends I rarely get to see anymore.  (One I hadn't seen since 2006.)


2:00 a.m.  Drunk-navigate Metro back to my hotel.  (Thankful for the kindness of strangers.)  Pass out.

7:30 a.m.  Groan about how much I drank. 

8:45 a.m.  Pack, lumber about, finally make it out of the hotel.

5:00 p.m.  Arrive home.  (Feeling a bit rough, I decided to take it easy on the drive home, adding on an extra hour to the trip.)

5:15 p.m.  Nap.

6:30 p.m.  Wake up, eat dinner.

11:00 p.m.  Bed

So, there it was.  It was still a fun trip, even though I didn't get my day in DC.  I had big plans.  Immigration rally, gelato, lurking outside of the FBI, and the pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the Smithsonian.  One out of four, oh well. 

It was awesome to catch up with old friends though.  I loved my time in graduate school, and it's nice to see my classmates again.  I have to admit I get a little jealous though; they took the chances and went to DC.  I stayed in KY.  They have awesome tapas bars and exciting, glamorous jobs.  They use an app and a car comes to pick them up.  Oh well.

But here in the Bluegrass, it's warm and sunny today.  Cora has her violin recital this afternoon and an ice cream party afterwards.  I'll try not to be bitter that it isn't gelato.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

MILP Roundup #298

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. 

In honor of warmer weather finally arriving, (and the impending death of a wretched groundhog called Phil), here's the Spring edition of the Roundup:

Izzie walks into a hot mess.

But I Do Have a Law Degree explains why law is not hot.

Daisy enjoys a second month with Gracie this Spring season. 

Butterflyfish is feeling lukewarm.

Attorney at Large writes on a hot topic.

LC is busy with spring sports and unfortunate sobriety. 

RG has Easter pics.

LL is baking.

CM took a trip down memory lane.

Portia puts out a call for donations for Shriners.

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

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kindergarten anxiety and other non sequiturs

(The kid's, not mine.)

I'm totally excited about Cora going to kindergarten (although I am NOT excited about the 7:45 a.m. start time and having to get both kids ready and drive them to school every morning because Husband will still be at work... but I also think that the day should start at noon).  The Spanish immersion seems awesome, and I'm so excited that my kids will learn Spanish at such a young age.  I had to wait until my freshman year of high school to start Spanish classes, and by then it's just too late to ever speak like a native speaker.  My kids will be bilingual, hopefully multilingual (French is eventually required in the curriculum as well), and I think that's just awesome. 

Cora's not so thrilled about kindergarten.  She has it in her head that she will have to do "homework," and that it's something she doesn't want to do.  (I suspect this is coming from Grandma, who can't be positive about anything, ever.  She is the very definition of Debbie Downer.)  I told her she already does "homework."  Her violin practices are homework.  Her music theory book is homework.  Homework is just practice for something she learned in a lesson from her teacher.  She was whining again last night about how violin was hard.  (She wasn't even working on something hard.  She'd played a note too sharp, because her finger was in the wrong spot, and she started crying because I told her to fix it.  Things melted down from there.)  Finally, to convince her that hard work and practice pays off in the end, we first watched some old videos of her playing about a year ago, and then I video taped her playing the same song, which obviously was much much better.  Then we watched some YouTube videos of Lindsey Stirling.  I'm not sure I approve of the dancing around while playing violin, but Cora seems to like it quite a bit.  Then she decided incorporating shaolin into violin was better, and proceeded to play Allegro while doing kicks.  Strangely enough she was more in tune and loosened her death grip on the violin's neck (which is part of the problem with her going sharp).  I'd give it a try myself, but I'd probably break a hip.

And yeah, I know, hard work actually sucks and I'd much rather be taking a nap myself.  I worked very hard this week on some music that our director gave us on Tuesday, saying that we were going to play them for a concert the first weekend in May.  He made us commit before showing us the music (never a good sign!).  (The music is harder than what we spent the past three months working on, ugh.)  But today he changed his mind.  We aren't working on that music.  We'll be working on different music, more "complex" music (double ugh) and we won't have another concert until the fall.  I guess that gives me more time to put work in over the summer.  The concert on Good Friday was great.  Apparently we're going to make the Dubois piece a regular event, if the choirs are cool with it.  Cora really liked the concert and has been asking to hear the "Jesus songs" (a temporary relief from Austin Moon and Taylor Swift). 

Tomorrow we're having a "fashion show" and having her besties over to participate.  She's quite the fashionista.  We watched some on YouTube the other night to prepare; she spent the time critiquing Chanel's fall line.  She also picked out a hot boy model for her godfather, saying "He's pretty, Uncle Steven will like him."  Yep.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Snotages and Outages

My day thus far: 

1.  Left my parking tag in Husband's car and had to pay for parking.

2.  Getting to work early for a meeting that my colleagues didn't show up for.  Ugh.

3.  Sitting in the conference room in (what is still technically the hospital) and having the lights go out for 15 minutes.  (I'm assuming the power didn't go off in the ICUs or anything, because there wasn't mass hysteria). Apparently the power outage effected all of south campus.
4.  Snotty, wheezing baby with a low-grade fever staying home from daycare (because if we sent her, they'd just say she had a much higher temp and send her home and then she couldn't go to school tomorrow).

5.  Office computer not working since the power outage.  Awesome.

6.  Go home to relieve Husband of snotty baby.  Snotty baby keeps coughing on me and rubbing snot on me.  Gross. 

7.  Snotty baby is going to be majorly pissed because she will be going down for an early nap in about 10 minutes, so she can attend my afternoon meeting with me.  That should be a hoot.

8.  I wish I could take a nap.  Sigh.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Voms and Violin

I have orchestra rehearsal on Tuesday nights, and Husband worked this past Tuesday, so my mom picked the kids up from school.  At which point Vee managed to go all Exorcist and projectile vomit before she left the school.  My mom was nice enough to deal with it so I could still make rehearsal (she got vom'd on a lot).  I couldn't miss any more rehearsals, and I don't deal well with bodily fluids, yuck.  It only lasted a couple hours at least.  But then Vee had to stay home from school on Wednesday even though she was totally fine.  She went back on Thursday and since she had two runny diapers, she got sent home again, and had to stay home again on Friday.  Apparently this thing is the death plague, because my mom got it last night, and Cora got it this evening.  (I made Husband look up the pediatric dose of phenergan... we gave her half the pediatric dose and that seems to have resolved the vomiting.  She's still awake watching My Little Pony on the iPad, and says her tummy still hurts, but she's otherwise fine.)  But at least it happened tonight and not this morning.  Her violin teacher's daughter woke up with it in the middle of the night, and they weren't sure she'd make it to the string festival to play (hopefully she did).

So, yeah, Cora's first string festival was today.  We had to be there ridiculously early.  They make the littles go first (if they tried to get high school students to show up at 7:30 on a Saturday, it'd never happen).  Cora is not used to waking up at 6:30.  I am not used to waking up at 6:30.  But we got there on time.  She was the very first musician to be judged.  She was a little nervous, but she did very well.  She played Song of the Wind and Go Tell Aunt Rhody, which were pieces she'd polished quite awhile ago (she'd played Song of the Wind for her last recital).  She had to say her little blurb to the judges to introduce herself, and then played her songs.  The first she played flawlessly.  The second... well, she sort of forgot to the play the second line, and had to be "reminded."  Oh well.  She still got her superior rating (they go easy on the littles).  They had very good things to say about her playing, and she really was perfectly in tune.  She, not surprisingly, was advised to keep her palm off her violin (we have constant problems with that... not that I can say much, I pretty much had that problem until I was an adult). 

We stayed to watch the rest of the pre-primaries (there weren't very many), and left to get Cora back home.  I had orchestra rehearsal at 9 this morning, our first time practicing with the choir (we're doing a Good Friday performance of The Seven Last Words of Christ by Dubois... it sounds awesome).  After that, we got brunch and then went to the toy store to buy a doll for Cora (her reward for working hard on polishing her pieces for string festival... I am not above bribery).  But beyond the doll, Cora really is very proud of herself, and of her certificate.  (She's also excited about the prospect of getting a trophy, although doesn't understand that she won't get one until at least her third year.) 

So, other than the vom (and the complete unraveling of UK basketball this season, ugh, which left big gaps in my March plans... at this point I would normally be living, breathing basketball, but now I'm like, whatever, I didn't even fill out a bracket), a pretty good week.  I've been working on my presentation for the national summit next month.  (On culture and health equity.)  Still working on the big fundraiser project for next year.  I'm working on a committee to make a pro bono family law mediation project happen.  My law clerk and I are working on a proposal to add us on to the annual pediatrics trip to Ecuador.  I'm trying to craft a research project to work on with colleagues on campus (that we might be able to get grant money to do).  And my newest thing -- I am starting a mock trial team at my old high school, although with a colleague (who was both a high school and law school classmate).  I'm excited about the stuff I'm doing, which is a big improvement on just a few months ago. 

Also, I'm supposed to be made a proper employee, with benefits and everything, by next month, which means I can start taking classes in the fall.  I just need to decide if I want another professional doctoral degree.  I'm thinking about public health, although I haven't found out yet if they'll take my master's.  (They take a master's in communications, I'm hoping they'd take one in IR.  We also did a focus on global health when I was there, so I think it should count!)  But if I want to eventually make the transition to academia full time, or land in an executive director position at a health care-related advocacy organization, I feel like some extra credentials are in order.  I just need to figure out if that's a doctorate, or if I could just do another master's, or maybe I just need to do research and get published and that will be enough.  Regardless, I have to admit, the prospect of going back to school, to go full circle on the topic here, makes me want to vom.  (Somewhere a violin will be weeping for me.)