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.

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.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Taming the Savage Beasts

I think, in general, people parent their children based on what's important to them.  For me, it's extremely important for my children to: 1. Sleep; and 2. Act properly in public.  If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's other people's children obnoxious children in public.  (I work in a pediatrics clinic.  Good lord.)

We've always brought our kids to places that aren't specifically child-friendly, because they're (generally) well-behaved in public, and part of that is nature, but a lot of it is nurture. I've been bringing Cora to adult events since she was very young.  When she was 3, we took her to see a UK undergraduate performance of Pirates of Penzance, in a very small venue on campus.  I could just feel the old ladies shooting daggers at me, expecting my kid to be a nightmare.  Cora's always had a remarkable attention span when watching movies, TV, or live performances.  Probably too much so (she's a total couch potato like me).  She'd been to movies, she would make it the entire time in church, and I figured that she would make it all the way through the opera.  She did.  All the old ladies around us marveled at how well-behaved she was and how well she paid attention.  I felt smugly vindicated (and immensely relieved).

We spend a considerable amount of time (and money) eating out.  It's the major source of entertainment here.  So, Cora and Vee have spent a lot of time in restaurants and, as a result of our efforts, learned to behave in them.  I can only remember a handful of times where I had to take Cora or Vee out of a restaurant for bad behavior (and I'm sure we'll have more to come with Vee).  It gets nipped in the bud very quickly, which is part of why it doesn't happen very often.  But my restaurant rules are:  1.  Keep your butt in your chair; 2. Do not disturb others in the restaurant with noise or any other activity; and 3. Do not touch me with your sticky fingers, particularly if I am dry clean only.  

Vee is a different sort of beast though.  I don't anticipate being able to take her to the opera when she's 3.  She doesn't have the attention span that Cora did at her age for TV.  Vee is much more active.  One of her favorite things is to "GO."  She will bring us her shoes to put on her, then she grabs her coat and walks to the baby gate at the top of the stairs, banging on it, yelling "GO!"  (This weekend has completely confused her as she didn't need her coat.) She will on occasion watch a little TV, but the only thing that ever holds her attention for more than a minute is the Elmo Ducks video on YouTube (Elmo has four ducks, quack quack, four birds of a feather, quack quack.  Kill me).  She likes to be read the exact same books 14,000 times, but beyond a few scenes of Little Einsteins, she's bored.  (She does, however, enjoy watching "Austin & Ally" so long as Austin Moon is singing.  She is an Austin Moon fangirl, and knows how to get to the "Austin & Ally" soundtrack in the iPod.) 

Anyway, although Vee is a big fan of eating food, she hasn't been a big fan of sitting her butt in the chair to do it.  She's been my problem child with trying to wander off with the food.  So, we've been working very hard on "butt stays in the chair" and "food does not leave the table," which are the two rules for home.  (I don't discourage feeding the dog from the table, although I should.  These days, though, Vee is less interested in feeding Bernie than she is shooing Bernie away in offense that she would consider eating her food.)  Easy enough when she's in a high chair in a restaurant, not so easy when she's eating at the girls' little table at home.

So, we've worked really hard on "food stays at the table" when she's having a snack.  This usually results in the world coming to an end, and wailing pitifully at the unfairness of it all, that she cannot spread her crumbs all over the house.  And, of course, our response is:


But, we had a breakthrough this past week.  She left the table with food still in her hand, to go get a book, and I shooed her back to the table telling her that food stays at the table.  She put the food back on the plate, went to get her book, returned to the table to finish her snack and read her book.  She's kept her butt in the chair and food on the plate ever since.  

And, very cutely, she puts her shoes back where they belong when she takes them off (something Cora still doesn't do).  I might just get the little beastie civilized yet. 

Mock trials and tight pants

On Saturday, I spent the whole day judging the high school state mock trial competition.  It was pretty fun.  The groups in the morning were, eh, all right.  They didn't have a good grasp on the rules of evidence, which is a pretty big deal in trial advocacy, and I didn't get the impression they really had any coaching or guidance.  The groups in the afternoon, though, did a stellar job.  I wouldn't be surprised if the one group took the state championship today.  From the other group, the team's only girl had a phenomenal command of the rules of evidence, and she and her opponent engaged in a lively argument on an objection to hearsay, and whether it was an exception.  Quite impressive stuff for high schoolers.  Better than a lot of law students I've seen, and even better than some attorneys I've seen in court. 

My high school didn't have a mock trial team, and still doesn't.  A classmate of mine from law school (and also high school) have talked about getting one started.  (She lives and practices there, I would have to make the 30 minute commute.) So, we'll see. 

Today, I took the girls to the mall and actually bought stuff for me instead of them.  (It's Clinique bonus time at Dillard's and I needed new make-up.)  We came across the Easter Bunny and Cora wanted to get her picture taken, so we did.  (Vee was all "hell no" and ran screaming from the sketchy bunny.)  I picked up a couple dresses on sale at Ann Taylor, as well as a new pair of dress pants and a blouse.  The pants are tight.  Sigh.  I've been losing and regaining the same two pounds over and over again.  I can't seem to keep motivation.  I need to get at least this 10 pounds back off that I gained since October.  It's disgusting.  I'm right at that cusp of needing to go up a size, and I am determined I will not do it.  That's why I bought the pants.  They're tight, but they work.  And when the waistband is cutting into my skin all day tomorrow, I'll remember to eat a salad for lunch instead of something really bad. 

Then, after putting the kids to bed, I was working more on tax stuff (going through the receipt box to enter all the deductions), sitting on my bed doing it, reached over to grab something off my desk, and fell out of the damn bed.  I think I bruised my ribs.  Ugh.  I'll blame it on Daylight Savings throwing off my internal clock.  Or something.