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!