Friday, December 30, 2011

Whew Finally Taking A Breather

The Good:
  • Z is over her ear infection, running around and making herself dizzy by spinning in circles.  She got so many toys for Christmas (glad Liam and I didn't buy her anything) that we've had to buy my suitcases a month early, so we have a place to put all of this stuff.  
  • Liam is here!!!! We have had a great week together, an uneventful Christmas that didn't really feel like it was real because it was so warm and even got to go to the movies.  We're working on another movie and date night soon.
  • I finished with 3 of my 5 papers!  I have a week before my next draft is due and 2.5 weeks until the other final paper is due.  Thankfully my paper due in 2.5 weeks is built off of a project I completed for a client, so I only have about 1000 more words to complete on that one.
  • This little bot of real co-parenting has brought me back from the brink and even happier than before when it comes to adding another one to the mix.  
  • Less than 50 days until we are HOME!!!
The bad:
  • (We're both fine) A short trip to the hospital for me in a Boo related scare, made me realize just how scared I was the first time around with Z, especially toward the end when her movements were less and less consistent.  So, a 3 hour trip to the maternity triage began holding back tears and ended with us watching Modern Family on Hulu+ on my iPhone and wanting to get out of there.  No placental abruption, woohooo.
  • Paper writing is not conducive to actually relaxing this holiday.  I'm definitely kicking myself for waiting until now to get it all done, but nothing can be done other than head town and write.  My 1000/day quota has worked out so far with me ahead of schedule.
  • We have so much to bring back.  Z and I will be traveling with 4 large suitcases, 2 wheely carryons, one backpack, and one stroller.  We managed to use our miles to upgrade our flight home,  which means the airline will be a lot nicer and accommodating toward us with all of our stuff.  We knew it was going to be a loaded flight back for us because we filled Liam's two completely empty bags in the first 4 days here.  The after Christmas sales we just too good to pass up.  We have clothes for Z up until 2T, I just hope she doesn't outgrow everything before she's 1.5.  
  • Classes start again in less than 2 weeks.  
A quick update on where I disappears to for a while.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Slow Crawl

The slow crawl to finishing the semester.  This semester won't actually be over for me until Jan 30th, about 4 weeks unto my 6 week spring semester.  I have papers due pretty much every 2 weeks until then. I've started working on all of them, so I just need to sit down and bang out a few pages per day.  It is doable, but won't be pretty with all of the family time we'll be having.

While the paper situation doesn't bode well for a stress-free holiday season, it will keep me from going freaking insane.  I've bought most of my Christmas presents through Amazon about 5 min ago and look forward to wrapping them/throwing them in a bag.  Both Liam and I have gotten about 2 gifts for one another and we've only bought Z one present.  She's gotten about 10 already from aunts, uncles, godparents, etc, so I don't really think she'll mind at all.  I'm mainly buying serious amounts of supplies for the BIG MOVE!!!  It's hard to even express how much I'm looking forward to being an actual together family for as long as we can put up with one another.  Once we move back we'll only be apart for a total of 13 days over the next year (barring any kind of work travel)!!!  I can't wait, but knowing I won't be coming back to the US has made me into a crazy must buy supplies freak.  Baking supplies: vanilla extract, dry active yeast, baked goodie packaging supplies; home stuff: baby clothes hangers, solar outdoor lights, baby toothbrushes and toothpaste, things like that that we can't get there, but you kind of need.  Now I'm just trying to rack my brain to remember everything I can physically fit in the suitcase and must have to be able to keep the happy smiles coming once I'm there.

We're looking forward to daily walks in a huge grassy park with fake bird noises, strolling through Dean and Deluca and not buying a single thing and making our back living room area into an awesome tumbling play area for Z complete with wedge mats and anything else we can get our hands on.  It's things like this that keep me going when I just want to get on a plane and go NOW!!! 9 more weeks until my time law school is completely over.  Ohhh I thought this time would never ever come.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Could it get any worse?

While I know that it could, this has just been a sucky 24 hours.  My 1st exam is in the next few hours.  I have had less than 4 hours of sleep, due to a fussy as hell baby!  She wouldn't go to sleep (took over an hour) when usually it's 20 min tops.  So of course I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 11pm.  Realizing that I needed formula and didn't know if my mom had picked it up for me because she wasn't responding to my texts and phone calls, I put on my coat to leave.  My grandmom then informed me that there was a full container on the table, sigh ok.  Then I needed to wash all of her bottles, pack her lunch and snack for school the next day, pack her diaper bag with all of the needed things school requested, get my clothes out and pack MY bag for school.

I was up at 4:45 to get to the train by 5:20 and I seriously could have just fallen asleep in the car at the station and called it a day.  Z was up at 3am for some reason, kicking, crying and flailing her arms.  I couldn't get her back to sleep for some reason she was working against me.  At this point my only goal for exams is not to fall asleep while it's going on...wish me luck!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Closed Notes Exam

I will be having my first one ever in law school...and I'm afraid.  The material isn't that difficult, but it is a lot of material and I'm a bit afraid I'm going to forget a boatload of it.  I have a week to make it happen, so I really really really hope that's enough time to get it done and ingrain it in my brain even more and not screw it up.  There are two exams going on that day and I'm not really all that worried about the second exam because it's open notes, I'm familiar with the subject (the Interwebs) and I've got a good 6 hours between exams.  My 1st paper is 90% finished.  I just need to proof it and clean it up in some places, which can wait until some downtime this weekend or after my exams.  I'm so glad it's almost finished!

One the pregnancy front, I'm feeling a lot more movement from the little one and that's fun.  That was something that I really really missed once Z was born.  It was amazing how something I thought would be so freaky ended up being so much fun and exciting.  Other than fighting with my doctor's office about insurance payments (I never see a lab report, they request non-routine test and send them to an out of network lab) and say that hey it's my responsibility.  I would think if you're in-network you would know what my insurance does and doesn't cover, which labs to send my stuff to and not try to screw me out of thousands of dollars.  This will be a great meeting tomorrow with the bill department.  Oh joy, just what I want to be doing right now.  

Christmas is just around the corner and I'm just not even in the mood, which is sad because I LOVE Christmas!!! I love this time of year so much, but the stress of everything is killing it all and means that I can't really enjoy the best parts of the holiday, i.e. shopping, baking, hot cocoa, watching Christmas movies.  In 8 days that will be all over and I'll have time to leisurely write at a good thousand or so words a day, so hopefully the season won't be ruined by this pesky school thing!

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm the grown up?

It still amazes me that I'm the grown up.  Even after getting married, having a baby and another one on the way, I forget that sometimes, until a smack in the face reminds me.  I just got an awesomely huge bill from my OB that included some crazy non-standard genetic testing done from my initial bloodwork.  I specifically told them I didn't want any genetic testing done because we didn't want false positives and wouldn't do anything about the results anyway.  Flash to a couple of days ago when I open my explanation of benefits invoice and in addition to huge DENIEDs written all over it there is also a boat load of testing that isn't standard and I definitely didn't sign off on.  The grown up realization hit me when I realized I have to sort this out.  I'll have to make the calls, sit on hold, have all of my statements handy and fight to not get royally screwed over.  Sometimes being a grown up sucks, I wish I could just have my lollipop, sit in a chair swinging my feet back and forth and let the adults sort this stuff out.  Does this feeling go away? Will I always be shocked that I'm a grown up?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Bit Derailed

That's what a call from nursery, yesterday, saying that Z has diarrhea will do to my writing progress.  They said she was a little clingy, but eating well.  I still hurried over there and found a totally smiling happy toddler who was very happy to see me.  She hasn't had it again and sometimes I think they might just say it to have me pick her up early!   It could be some new food, but really she hasn't had anything new.

Instead of writing I've been researching because at least that doesn't require my 100% attention and scanning allows me to play dollies and find articles and books to cite.  I still have almost 2 weeks, so I'm not too worried, Monday should be enough to get it done.  Did I tell you how excited I am for this semester to be over?

On the pregnancy front, heartburn check, but something that hasn't happened yet is my turtle syndrome and I'm so happy.  Last time around I was unable to roll over from my side onto my back and over to the other side.  If I wanted to switch while laying down I had to roll onto my belly, onto all fours and then back on the other side.  It wasn't fun at all, but so far I have been fine and my hips aren't seriously hurting...yet.  I'm coming up on 18 weeks and seriously can't believe I'm almost halfway there.

My hormones were satiated this afternoon at an outlet mall by some water ice, a cookie, a slice of pizza and sharing a half of a small fry that Z didn't finish.  Man being pregnant has certainly given me some leeway in what the hell I'm eating.  I'm not usually that bad, but it was all calling to me and usually I am pretty good...coooookkiiiies.  Z and I went with my mother and grandmother who had tons of fun shopping.  I absolutely hate shopping, I'm a walk in, pick up a few things and walk out.  Trying things on is not an option.  This is why I do actually like shopping for Z.  I pick up cute things, always on sale, buy them and we're out.  The mission was accomplished and we made it out unscathed and way under the Liam provided budget.  I think the budget is more to get me to shop at all than not overspend, if he didn't say spend X I wouldn't spend anything at all because I don't like to if I don't have to.  A few more weeks until he's here and we can't wait!!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Actually Making Progress

I've gotten an extension on another one of my papers (2 were granted automatically to the whole class by the profs), so now I have 1 paper, 1 projects and 2 exams to get done in 2 weeks.  I'm halfway finished with my paper, will be about 1000 words closer by the end of the day.  This means I'll have about 2000 more words to complete over the weekend and I know I can do it.  

Now that I have more time for my papers and they are all due about 2 weeks apart from each other I'm feeling so much better.  I'm at least halfway finished with my project and my exams, well I'll have a good amount of time to really get studying on those without distractions.  Talking to Liam has made me a bit of a crab, but I think he knows that how I am as I start to feel stressed.  If I hear him say how tired he is one more time I might just scream.  I know that of course everyone gets tired, but when I'm doing research while we're having our daily video chat, after being woken up 2 or 3 times during the night by Z, getting up at 7am, getting her dressed and off to school and I'm trying to scarf down some breakfast before I start writing, all while gestating a baby! that's not what I want to hear.

Heartburn is back with a vengeance!  I seems like it's hitting earlier this time than it did last time, but I might just not have been paying attention to when it came up before.  It's not at bad as it was at the end of the pregnancy with Z, where I was literally sleeping sitting up propped up by pillows, but it's not so great.  It's kind of all of the time, which is a bummer, but I guess I'll need to buy Tums in bulk.  

Z is still such a little cutie and I do love it so much when she comes home after school.  The whole family (most of my brothers and sisters, grandparents, perhaps my uncle's family, plus one or two other cousins) is usually here eating dinner/just finished eating dinner and she just gets to play with everyone.  She'll usually eat some dinner, some of grandmom's great cooking, and then bedtime.  It really is a nice routine and I'll definitely miss it when we leave.  It will just be me and Liam...not the busy busy house she's used to here.  I really think having everyone around has made her a really independent, physical kid.  She wants to run around like the big kids, she's free to explore and no one person really has to keep a sharp eye out for her because there are 10 other people in the house.  She can crawl upstairs, leaving me downstairs because she knows grandpop is upstairs, head on over to the kitchen because grandmom is there and down into the rec room because all of the kids are down there.   I know I'll miss having everyone around and I'm sure she will too, I guess that just means we're going to have to look into some playgroups in addition to school once we move.

Break over, back to the writing...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Crush is Upon Me

This is when things start to get crazy.  I don't want to have to get an extension on one of my papers, but I'm afraid I might have to.  There is so much that I haven't been able to get done, even spending most of the time Z is in school.  Oy, I'm not freaking out yet, but I'm probably going to get there.

That said, Thanksgiving was so much fun!  We had it at my uncle's and his wife's parents were cooking about half the meal and my grandmother the other half.  I threw in a couple of pies and everyone was pretty much wishing for death after stuffing themselves.  It was amazingly delicious, everyone had a great time.  It was filled with good family stories, lots of Kinect Dance Central 2, tons of food and kids playing outside.  A major freakout was avoided on my part while I was downstairs taking my Kinect turn and Z was upstairs with about half the adults and all of the other kids. The kids outside opened the screen door that Z was leaning against and she got a face plant into a pile of leaves and mud.  It wasn't serious enough for anyone to call me, so I heard about it about 10 minutes later after the grandmothers had cleaned her off.  She didn't have any cuts or scrapes and when I saw her again, she was sliding across the hardwood floods and chasing her non-walking older cousin.  She didn't seem at all upset, so I just rolled with it.  This kid has a noggin made of steel.  She bumps her head about 5 time everyday and just keeps on going. I take my cues from her and if she doesn't cry, I don't make a fuss!  So far, so good.

So back to school, the end is near and the ominous tone is starting to play in the back of my head.  At least Z's incisors have broken through on both sides, so I think she's over the worst of her 3 hours of sleep per night.  Next week, she's in school 4 days per week, there isn't a crazy amazing holiday involving more food that any human should consume at once and I can really get down to business...or sleep.  I'll try to balance both urges.  2 exams, 1 project and 2 papers (possibly 1) to go.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talk about productive

I have a phone call with my externship "boss" and have completed almost 30 hours of work on my project in the past week.  I'm only required to do another 25, but I think I'll end up spending a bit more.  It's a really open ended 50 state survey assignment, so it's just jumping from state to state trying to gather all of the info, nothing too terrible.  I'll be glad when it's over because then I can really hunker down for my papers.  40 pages in 20 days (not including weekends).  That's totally doable, if I keep up all of this work.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I'm so excited.  This will be my first non-improvised Thanksgiving in about 5 years.  All of the ingredients I need will be here, I can just go out to buy something last minute and not have to remember to try and bring it with me months before so I can have it on the day.  We're having it at my uncle's after I promised his wife there would be help with the clean up.  They have the best set up, most room, and her mom is a caterer!  I'm going to bake two pies, probably pumpkin and apple.  I think I'll go to their house early and bake it there, we'll see.  I was kind of hoping to make my own pie crust like I usually do, but given the decreased amount of counter space/oven space I'll probably just end up buying pre-made dough and baking ahead of time...or buying the pies!  Have I said how excited I am!!! It's going to be so delicious, everyone will be there, we'll have a great time eating until we're stuffed, laughing, maybe playing a little Dance Central and then my mom and I will be gearing up to go shopping.  I don't plan on going crazy, but I do like the fun of Black Friday shopping.  I'll pickck up a couple of things I've seen and then back home to pass out/eat more leftovers.  Oh the leftovers, talk about the best part.  Can't wait.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Any Double Stroller Suggestions?!

Since we're going to have 2 under 2 we're going to need a double stroller.  I've been trying to do some research and some of these things are just ridiculous! We are not going to pay $450 for a stroller.  Something that works for an infant as well as a toddler would be ideal.  I keep scoping out the ones I see in the mall that look really cool, but I think they are probably the $450+ models.  It needs to be something that we can actually travel with since we'll be flying every so often.  Any suggestions? Or should I just go with an umbrella stroller and the Graco we have now and never take the two of them out on my own.

A Better Day

Thanks for all of the pep talks after my last post.  I'm doing a lot better now.  The countdown to Liam coming back has begun, Z is going to be in school for 4 days, I have a good schedule for getting my papers done, they have started playing Christmas music already (would normally annoy me, but I needed a pick me up) and the Hunger Games trailer just came out.

If you haven't read the Hunger Games series, do it!  I know it's supposed to be a young adult book, but I found the subject matter pretty grown up and have gotten about half of my family to read it.  I can't wait for the movie! And they better not screw it up.

I didn't realize how much I'm looking forward to next semester until I started to realize just how uninterested I am in some of my classes this semester.  I am not going to be a regulator, it doesn't float my boat and requiring what seems like 5 credit hours of work for a 2 credit class isn't cool.  International mergers, negotiations, things like that are fun to me!  Next semester is all of that stuff.  Yay!

I'm taking off one day in Nov, so I only have 1 more day of class to go.  Things are starting to get a bit hairy and people are starting to freak out, but I'm just trying to be very calm about it and not freak myself out.  It helps that I'm not around all of these people all of the time.  The study timeline is 4 days/wk of 8 hours of intense studying/writing/researching.  I'll also try to squeeze in some studying on the days Z is home with me, but I usually try to reserve nap time for nap time for me, doing/folding laundry, washing/making bottles, cleaning up our room and the rec room or just taking a little time to veg on the couch.

She's 11.5 months today and turning into such a little person.  She's running, great at saying "bye bye" and "thank you".  She's getting better at family names and does now seem to say "mama" to me specifically and usually when she wants something.  I'm trying to keep her from associating fake crying with I get what I want, so I try to let her figure things out so that she'll do it herself.  Her new favorite fake cry moment is when she puts something into her crib like a marker/plastic hanger and tries to pull it our horizontally and not vertically.  She figures it out pretty quickly, but still likes to give a little "you gonna help me" cry.  It's amazing how quickly I was able to discern the "I just fell and hit my mouth and might be seriously injured" cry from the "I fell off of one step onto my butt and I'm a little scared" cry.  I love that Z is an independent kid, she'll just sit and play on her own even with a house filled with people and then all the sudden just run into the room and start playing peek-a-boo.

Her level of comfort with people really makes me happy.  She isn't afraid to just walk up to a person, check them out, maybe ask for a pick up and then get down and run off to do something else.  I like that she isn't afraid of people and under my watchful eye I have no problems letting her wander around,  interact with people and do her own thing.  I think kids are actually really good at trusting their own instincts until we practically beat it out of them with stranger danger and things like that.  If she can learn now to start following her instincts when it comes to people, I'll feel a lot better in the long run.  So far her favorite strangers of choice are: women with kids, pretty ladies in general, men with kids and other little kids.  It's really funny to see her interact with other people and their reactions to her.  While I'm usually only about 5 feet away I think a lot of people are a bit surprised I let her interact with them, especially the men.  It kind of makes me feel bad because men, especially dad's have to feel so afraid when they go out with their kids that other people may be wary of them just because they are men, but that's a talk for anther day.  Wow, this post is a lot longer than I intended, but I guess that's what happens when you're sitting in a class that doesn't even make sense!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Bad Day

I've been away for a big because Liam was here!  He was here and now he's gone.  It's really difficult for me to not cry while writing this.  I think part of it is hormones, but the majority of it is that he's gone.  Having him here was so great.  I didn't realize just how tired I was until I had someone else that I could fully share parenting responsibilities with for a bit.  Now that Z is running around like a mad woman the reprieve of having him here has just made it harder for him to be away.  I really don't know how military families do it and we certainly reflected on that on Veteran's Day.

Things I know about the last 7 days.  1) I probably didn't make the percentages I needed for the MPRE 2) Z can do about 2 hours in the car before she starts to get pissed off 3) Z is not adjusting to the time change well and has been voicing her opinion very loudly during the night 4) I'm so behind in school work 5) I need to start napping more while Z is away because I'm dragging pretty much 24/7.

I've put Z into daycare for 4 days a week until Christmas.  I'm hoping this extra day will help me get more done, nap more and hopefully just give me more of a break.  Being pregnant again while in school certainly isn't bringing out the overachiever in me!  I'm praying we have a good night and she'll sleep, take a bottle and go right back to sleep and not have a fussy crazy night like the night's before.

The semester is winding down and I'm so ready for the beginning of the end.  I'm very excited for classes next semester.  I was able to merge my schedule requirements with ones that would actually interest me.  This semester was so much more of a crapshoot.  Now that the end is nearer we're really starting to think about our future, things we'll be able to do together and what our life may look like once we're all back together.  We get 3 months together as a family of 3 before we'll add another little one.  It's still so crazy to think back to where things were only 4 years ago.  Liam and I hadn't even met.  The first time we met was 3 days from now at a party thrown by a friend.  While it was our first meeting it wasn't the first time we probably walked by one another and didn't even notice.  We later found out, after we'd been dating a while that we were at another party about a month earlier (appearing in the backgrounds of each others photos), but didn't even see each other.  Trip down memory lane sponsored by raging hormones and separation anxiety.


Tomorrow begins crunch time until Christmas.  I'll make the best of it, stick my nose to the grindstone and make it work.  I sure do wish I could have a nice margarita though!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween!

So we had a successful evening.  I...I mean Z got tons of great candy.  We strolled around the neighborhood for about an hour, saw tons of kids in fun costumes and endured a slightly chilly evening.  Z's hands were freezing cold when we got into the house (gloves on the list of winter must buys), but she didn't seem to mind and kept running around the house with her candy filled pumpkin.

(Costume pic as promised...limited time only)

She was super quick to sleep tonight and I'll be following suit.  My day was actually very productive, trip to Target to get a fancy top for our date night on Saturday, found my license plates at the post office (just a day before they were meant to be returned to the dealer), and listened to most of my MPRE lecture and did some practice questions.  Sweet day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gone a little batty!

I've decided to make Z's Halloween costume.  I'm semi-scrapping my original idea for a costume and moving toward something a bit easier to recognize.  So far, after about 3 hours of work, 1 of which was figuring out how to work the sewing machine I'm about 40% finished.  It actually isn't as bad as I thought it would be and I'm going to post pics once it's complete.  I don't want to give it away just yet, but it's super cute in my opinion.  I did the bulk of the work after Z had gone to sleep, while watching my Wednesday night shows and it was really kind of fun.  My mom made my two most memorable Halloween costumes for me, one year I was a jack in the box and another a giant sandwich complete with giant frilly tooth pick.  While she won't remember this, it's actually getting me to make something, start trying to figure out sewing and have a little fun.

I'm also making progress on my classes.  Still up to date with all reading in all but one class, started researching my papers and I'll start writing tomorrow.  I think I can finish the entire costume tonight after bedtime and I'll be super excited if I can.  My favorite part of the "fitting" was when Z woke up, so I picked her up before giving her her bottle and just put the costume down and wrapped it around her while she drank away to make sure it wasn't too big.  It wasn't, so YAY and I'm feeling really proud of my haven't sewed since 8th grade skills.

I have my paper topics chosen for all of my classes now.  Two are due in Jan and two are due in Dec.  I would like to finish all by Christmas, but it is a big weight off of my shoulders to know that I have some time and trust me, I won't be waiting until the last minute!  Tomorrow, I have my brother and sister's "character parade" to go to because apparently "Halloween" is a naughty word.  After that, I'm picking up my cousin and one of my other sisters 20 mins early from school to go see In Time with JT.  Woot Woot. Z will be in school, so I'm taking this chance to go to the movies and actually watch the entire movie before I head over to pick Z up from school.

Oh I also have the MPRE next week!  Yikes.  I'm not looking forward to it, especially since Liam is arriving the day before.  I'll get in some studying tomorrow, Monday and Wednesday.  An intensive 20 hours should be more than enough, I hope.  Oh and HALLOWEEN!!!! I'm so freaking excited.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The New 3L

This week has been amazing.  Since I started classes I was working and now there is no work!  I've had so much more time to play with Z when she isn't in school.  We've gone for walks, gone to the store, played in the house and taken naps.  It has been so nice.  

On the days she is in school I've been getting work done.  Not as much as I hoped because there is so much to do around the house.  I finally made the entrance into our room and non-fire hazard.  Gave us a bit more room to breathe, folded all of our clothes and actually put them away in drawers, and made it to the fabric store to get a few yards for Z's costume.  I haven't been getting as much done as I wanted, but that's also because I've been in the house.  I need to leave the house, I will leave the house next week and go to the local library.  This way I won't be tempted to goof off/eat/watch tv.  Liam is so close to getting here and we're looking forward to having this visit here because that means we're 1/3 of the way through this year!  Sooooo close.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sleep Deprived

Being pregnant, having a 10 month old and passing the halfway point in a semester where I need to write 90 pages isn't really going that well.  I am so tired, I can't tell which part of it is pregnancy and what part of it is the fact that Z refuses to sleep through the night. I build the stupid crib and she'll sleep in it for her first sleep of the night from about 7:30-11:30 and then she's miss fussy.  If I just try to go over and rub her back and give her a bottle, she is fine until I lay down.  Once I do she pipes up again.  It's difficult since we're in the same room, maybe I should think about sleeping on one of the sofas in the rec room.  The other issue with letting her cry it out is that there are other people in the house.  She can't go sleeping bloody murder and keep everyone upstairs awake.

Now that work is over, at least I can sleep while she is at school.  I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Wednesday morning after drop off.  I also bought one of those Jillian Michaels workout dvds.  I've been so remiss in not working out since Z was born.  When I was pregnant with Z, I was working out 4 or 5 days a week and that kept me to a 15 lb weight gain throughout my whole pregnancy.  I miss working on the machines and really feeling physically challenged.  Post baby, I have gained about 25 lbs.  No excuse.  I will begin working out again.  Not crazy intense, but I definitely need to work on ab strength because I can already feel my back spazing out.  I'm determined to not gain much again, trust me, the baby has plenty to live off of if I don't pack on the pounds.  I will get back on the couch potato to 5k program and hopefully be able to get some energy back and have a sound nap after the  morning workouts.  I really wish one of these were taking place near me because this would definitely be motivation to get me moving!  Now this is my kind of run, one where you actually fear for your life!!

Once we're back home in Feb, Liam has arranged for us to take private kettle bell lessons.  She works specifically with pregnant women, so I'm really looking forward to the challenge.  I'm so excited to have this time to myself to finally get work done, exercise and SLEEP!!!!

Z's loving school, as usual, and the activities they are doing with them really makes me happy she's there.  It costs an arm and a leg, so I guess it better be good, but they are doing tons of painting, reading, imaginative play and getting her to eat a lot more than she does with me.  She also gets the play with the big kids for an hour or so each day because she's the only one walking in her current class.  She likes to help the teachers by bringing toys to the little babies and also chase around the kids that are still crawling.  They are also finally getting her to wear her shoes!

(Not these, but aren't they adorable? I can't wait until we take these outside with a snow suit!!)

Paper topics are coming fast and furiously now.  I have three of them, I just need to meet with my profs to discuss how I will go about the research and writing of the papers.  I'm finally starting to get into the semester...halfway in.  My two exams will take place in mid-Dec and I don't think they will be too much to worry about.  Paper topics, begin researching an outlining this week and start writing next week!  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One more day of work!

Wooohoooo, I'm so happy to have one more day left.  Z goes to school, I can get in my hours, take a nap and get ready for all that next week has in store for me.  I'm kicking into high gear.  While most of my papers have been pushed to Jan, I really want to finish in Dec.  I only have 2 exams, but 4 papers and one practicum assignment.  I haven't really started on any of this, but starting Oct. 18th, it's on!

Classes are going...

One class is moving at a snails pace, we're still on week one's readings.  The rest of my classes are fine, nothing special, nothing particularly interesting for my career plan, but all definitely getting me toward that graduation goal.  18 weeks until I'm finished with classes,   30 weeks of pregnancy and something like 41 weeks until the bar exam.  As it gets closer and closer to finishing I'm looking back and starting to think, "How the hell did we do this?"

Liam gets here in a little over 3 weeks and it's so close I don't even want to think about it...oh and the MPRE!  Haha, still have that coming up.  The first weekend he's here things are going to be a bit crazy.  MPRE, Z's 1st Mock Birthday party (since Liam won't be here for the actual birthday), dinner and a concert with Liam and then a trip to Sesame Place with my family (maybe).  We also have to squeeze in a trip to the city and then up to Connecticut to see Liam's side of the family.  It's going to be a lot, a lot, a lot, which is why I want so much completed before he arrives.

Z has now started to try and run (sometimes successful and other times not), she's also carrying things while walking, like cans of soda...talk about a splash zone.  We haven't had any mishaps yet, but I'm looking for it.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Officially Quitting

So I'm officially quitting my job this week.  I liked the people, but it is just too much work.  As I'm getting further into the semester and realizing that just reading for classes isn't going to cut it, something had to give and since Z is pretty much a must keep, along with sleep and eating, this one had to go.  I feel so much more at ease now.  I can finally start thinking about what presentation to do for my negotiations class.  It can be on anything in life, no requirement that is be educational, or on any topic in particular, just no boring.  It seems that for the class this is a lot more challenging than the professor thought it would be.

On the kid front, it's like Z is trying to skin herself pretty much everyday.  She is a constant scratcher.  If you take the clothes off of her, it's usually about .05 secs before she's trying to scratch the sking off of her back.  Take off the diaper and her butt gets it.  I've tried tons of lotions, no lotions, and cutting her nails as low as I feel comfortable, pretty much anything I can think of, but she's still scratching away and looking like she was in a fight with a cat.  Any ideas? I don't want her school thinking I'm staging underground baby vs. kitten cage matches.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Already getting ready for Halloween

So this will be my first Halloween as a mom!  I'm super excited that I get to be excited, go trick or treating and eat lots of candy and it's totally sanctioned.  I don't have to pretend I'm just chaperoning my siblings and am surprised when offered a piece of candy.  I'm going to have Z out there working it and of course I have to eat all of her candy because she's too little to eat it.  I'm a bit confused about costumes.  Z is walking, but all of the costumes in her size at the stores are made for non-walking babies.  I might just have to buy a few pieces and make her own costume.  I'm thinking Boo from Monsters, Inc.

I absolutely love this time of year in the US.  It is seriously my favorite.  I love it when it starts getting colder, everyone decorating their homes and the food.  Ohhhhh the food.  The countdown to Liam getting here is getting closer and closer!  I'm excited to see him and he'll get to come to my next OB visit.  I can't wait for him to come because we're actually going to have a proper date night.  We're going to go out to a nice fancy restaurant.  I'll get my hair done, dress up, wear make up (gasp!) and we'll head into the city for  our meal and a concert.  Amos Lee is a great singer and we listened to some of his music our first real date.  Liam thought I said Aimlessly, not Amos Lee.  We still have those types of communication errors to this day.

Going out on that date is going to be really nice, while there won't be any drinking (Boo), I'll have a nice Shirley Temple and enjoy the time away from Z with my hubby.  Things are just so hectic now and I think I'm just piling things on for the sake of piling them on.  My part time job is going to go bye bye in the next week or so.  I pretty much make enough to put Z in daycare, but can't get anything else done in the meantime.  I'll keep her in school because she seriously freaking loves it. It will give me a chance to get my school work done, take much needed naps and help my grandmother around the house more often.  I took out a little extra in loans above tuition, which I don't usually do to help with the car and other basic needs. That extra money coupled with my "allowance" from Liam will mean that we'll be fine over here.  I mean I'll have to stop putting caviar on my cereal in the morning, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.  The light at the end of this ridiculous law school tunnel is getting closer and closer and I can taste it at this point.  And at the end of that is another tunnel and at the end of that one there is a baby!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ta Da!

So in addition to all of the previously mentioned craziness I've also got another little delightful bit making things hectic.  This is Boo.  I think BFF is has also named her peanut Boo, so I might have to change that for confusions sake.  That little bubble at the top is the yolk sac which is getting smaller.  Under next to that is the head and those 4 little dots are arms and legs.  I'm due in May with Baby No. 2.  I'll miss graduation, but I'm not all that sad about that.  And I'm certainly glad I had to foresight to finish the semester early.  This will give me time to study for the bar from Feb-May intensively while Z is in school and then just keep up and refresh my memory after the baby is born.  So that's my big news!




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Craziness

Things have been absolutely crazy for the past couple of weeks.  Between finally getting my car, trying to sort out health insurance for Z, going to classes, actually reading for class and squeezing in 20 hours of work I have only really had about 1hr of time to myself and that is generally at about 10pm.  Now that I have the car it will make things a whole lot easier, so things should quiet down a little.

Z is absolutely loving school.  She's walking all over the place (at 10 months) which no one ever believes.  They said she was just doing laps around the room today.  She has an little buddy, Mia, who is too small to even roll over, but laughs hysterically whenever Z looks in her direction.  It really is hilarious to see this little girl so completely and totally giddy to see/play with Z.  When I leave her she's off running and playing without even a backward glance.  I'm so glad she loves it and is having fun.

As for school, I only have a few more days of classes left this semester, but still a boat load of work to do.  Beginning this weekend I can finally start writing and make some real progress.  I still can't believe there are only 5 more months left until this crazy journey is over.  The countdown to Liam getting here is going strong.  It's less than a month until he's here and I really can't wait.  I'm sad he'll miss Z's first Halloween, but I plan on making up for it by buying a bunch of clearance Halloween costumes and we can all go for a family photo session.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When you know you're a 3L

Realizing that I've been saving posts instead of publishing them! D'oh new blogger format.  Here is one from the saver period.

How can I tell I'm a 3L? I can answer a question in class without being called on and then when the professor says, "Nooo, not really." I don't immediately slink down into my seat and not answer again.  I actually answered two of those questions today.  Personally I think the prof was kind of wrong on both, but oh well.  The day is flying by fairly quickly and I'm thankful for that.  I only have about 4 more hours of class, then 3 hours of travel and I don't have to do it again for another 6 days!!! I'm so pumped about that.  So excited in fact.  Now that the light is at the end of the tunnel and my crazy, crazy, 3 day journey.

As I'm on campus more and more I'm finding out that there are fewer and fewer people that I recognize.  I'm also realizing how many people didn't even know I had a baby, even though I left at 36 weeks!  I guess that my belly was a whole lot smaller than I thought or people just thought I was getting fat.  I'm glad that I only have 4 months of class and 5 months of being in the US before graduation.  The thought that the end of law school is so close almost makes me want to jump up and down in class.  Almost...

I'm also happy that my mommy guilt can finally come to an end.  A text stating that Z was crying after being dropped off at my godmother's mom was enough to make me want to turn around.  This was especially hard after how much fun everyone said she was having yesterday.  The pictures are priceless and make me feel not so bad about being away.  Now I know, we'll get to spend the next 6 days together.  




Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall Cold

I am sick.  I'm sick and will have driven over 300 miles and 5 hours today and 900 miles in the next three.  Z is at home with my entire family, who are keeping her occupied, but they keep saying that she's asking for me and looking around for me.  I feel so bad, especially because we had to leave Liam just a few weeks ago and I don't want her to feel like I'm abandoning her!  Talk about freaking guilt.  And did I mention that I'm sick with a cold.  I have totally forgone even using tissues and have been slowly making my way through an entire roll of toilet paper during class.  I'm looking forward to Tuesday when I can just lay in the bed and play with Ziggy and enjoy the day.  I'll worry about classwork on Wednesday.  Tired doesn't begin to explain it.  I can't wait until these weekends are over and I can look back and say that there weren't that bad, I'm glad I did them and I am 2 credits closer to graduating.

Priorities for the next three days (1) don't get sicker (2) actually see Z while she is awake (3) try to get some sleep (4) try to get some school work done.  Hopefully I'll catch you all on the flip side of this cold, which I hope will be less than a day.  Fat chance, but a girl can hope!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Still Haven't Started School Yet

I still haven't begun my classes yet and it feels weird. I've done all my reading...for the first two classes for each class. This means I'm ahead by two weeks. I was going to try and write my papers ahead of time, but I would much rather have a couple of classes first and then get a good topic. I'm pretty much hanging out around the house, helping my grandmother clean things, throw away random newspapers, and heading out to the stores to buy supplies for the house. My grandparents are refusing any kind of rent, so I've been paying our way by buying groceries, house things, and I think I'm just going to start giving her WalMart or Target gift cards at the beginning of the month as a get around on the rent thing.

We could have gotten an apartment for the 6 months we were here and used all of the furniture I had in my apartment from 1L, but being in this house is seriously helpful. There is almost always someone around for better or for worse, but generally it's for the better. Z has tons of people to play with, they'll even take her to the store or church so I can get some reading done. She loves the constant attention and I get a little break to do laundry, make some food, clean her bottles, etc. I'm also happy for the younger kids to get some hands on baby time. They are good at feeding her baby food, getting her to take a bottle, getting her to nap and even changing a diaper. I usually have to draw straws for who gets to participate in bath time because the bathroom is way too small for 4 kids, plus me and Z. It's nice to have helpers and I guess this is a little glimpse of what it would be like to have other older kids when a new baby is in the mix.

So all in all the living situation is good for now. A few things need to be fixed up and when my grandmom goes away on vacation in a week, I'm going to be doing some serious purging. I don't think she needs the Better Homes and Gardens magazine from 1999 in the bathroom. They will all just disappear. I can't wait!

I'm also trying to decide if I'll be putting Z into daycare here. All of the kids have gone back to school today, so there isn't the same bustle in the house as there usually is. I want her to go because she loved her other school and I'm sure I'm going to need a break once classes actually start. I'm getting in at 12am Monday nights and playing all day on Tuesday would probably make me cry. The things giving me pause are the cost, about the same as at home, but there is was pretty much 1 to 1 attention and a great facility. I think for something comparable it would be a whole lot more expensive here. Hmm, so my part time job may end up just paying for daycare and a little bit of food...choices must be made.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Of course I was in the bathroom

when Ziggy had her first steps. At 9 months and 1 day, the first non-supported steps were made by the little one. My entire family was upstairs and playing with while I went to get the formula from the shopping bag and go to the bathroom. Through the door I hear everyone freaking screaming that she just took her first steps. Needless to say, there was screaming on my end as well, mainly "No she's not taking her first steps while I'm in the bathroom."

At least this way Liam and I both missed the first steps in person. I, then used my cell to video her next set of steps to my sister. Apparently, my sister is the only person that elicits enough excitement to get her to move those little legs. I also have to make people listen to the video with the sound off because my squealing is out of control!

I still can't believe that it's already happening, but I'm looking forward to real sustained walking because it will be so much easier to keep her from getting cranky when traveling. I know that this also means I'll have a baby that wants to take off and make a break for it. I guess I need to start buying shoes.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our final seperation

Next week Z and I head back to the US for our final stint. I'm looking forward to these 6 months going by quickly. I have amazingly scheduled all of my courses to end in mid-Feb, which means that I'll have a nice 3 month window before graduation to relax and chill while leisurely studying for the bar. Why leisurely? Because I'll have 6 months to prepare for the BAR!!!! I still can't even believe that it all worked out and hopefully it will be pulled off without a hitch.

We'll see Liam 3 times during that 6 months and only be apart for a maximum of 6 weeks, but as little as 3 weeks at times. All of my classes are on one day this semester from 9am-9pm. It isn't actually so bad because there are at least a few weeks I already know of where one or more of the classes will be cancelled, only a portion has to go or rescheduled for a later date (which I'm not then required to attend.) So this provides good study time during the day. The other big deal is trying to figure out how to get to and from school. By train it can take about 3.5 hours if the stars align and the trains work out. If I drive it is 3 hours and I can leave whenever. I'm leaning toward driving although I would be able to do work on the train, but it all depends on my dad figuring out the car situation.

The budget does not have room for a car in it. Also, I managed to score a job for while I'm in school. It's with a tech company, so not really in my area, but it certainly could be. I can work between 20-40 hours, work whenever I want w/ the exception of a few hours per week that need to be done during an 8 hr window, the pay is pretty good and I get to stay home with Z. Definitely a cool job with the possibility of something more if I wanted and not too crazy taxing. This is perfect for the Fall. 3 papers (65-70 pgs) and 2 exams isn't even that bad. I mean it could be really bad, but I'm just glad it will be over soon.

I still haven't heard back from the FIRM, but I don't generally think they were working under the assumption that anything was urgently required, so I wouldn't be surprised if it took a while. I'll keep checking in and letting them know I'm alive. We still can't believe we have made it this far. We've been doing this for 2 years, 19 months with a baby/pregnant and there's only 6 months left. It will be so nice to just be together with maybe the exception of a few days here, a week there and that's it. We've already started planning the first non-just visiting each other vacation. This is if course if I actually have a job and we're not being crushed by my loan payments. Debating 3 weeks in Ireland and the UK in Aug (a friend is getting married+hen night and stag) or cutting that shorter and saving days for a 2 weeker to Thailand or South Africa. I can't freaking wait.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baby Wars

Ok, so now I know what the whole competitive side of having kids feels like. Z has a cousin 10 days older than her, Phoebe, and she's a cutie. Z has been quicker with the motor skills, crawled and pulled herself up, while Phoebe has had teeth for months now. We haven't really thought about what it will be like for them to grow up so close together. Liam would know more about that because he has a twin. I never realized how much more impactful the comparisons you make between children are when they are the same age. It's a lot different to say, "So and So walked at 10 months while it took blah blah until they were 14 months" when the kids are 5 years apart. But when they are right there next to each other it can seem more like "Ohhh so and so is so much more advanced than blah blah, look at how far ahead s/he is." That said, you start to realize just how much parents can hear/see what they want to hear/see.

This brings me to the first baby showdown in my family. My grandmother informed me 2 days ago that Phoebe said thunder. Phoebe is 9 months has maybe said dada, I don't think mama is there yet. THUNDER! Seriously?! According to my grandmom, her mom, my aunt by marriage, Sally, walked into the room and said "Oh listen to all the thunder" and then Phoebe said it back.......

I'm all for thinking your baby is the smartest cookie in the box, but come on. Sure Z says things all the time that sound like words, but it's usually just babbling that our brain is trying to make sense of, it isn't her reciting the Gettysburg address. Now, maybe Phoebe did say thunder and I'm just being a little crazy, but that just seems unlikely. Sure we have pics of Z standing on her own at 3 months. But that was one of us standing her up while the other snapped a few pics before she toppled over onto the pillows.

What I worry about now is how that can create problems for the two as they grow up. My side of the family is crazy close, as in I see all of my uncles, aunts and first cousins pretty much daily. My uncle has a set of twins, David and Jake, that are 2.5. David is super outgoing, knows all of his letters, numbers, and colors. Jake is kind of a sulky kid who doesn't really like to interact. They took Jake to a specialist and they said that he was on the tail end of the autism spectrum, but it was really done, so he could work with a specialist and it would be covered by insurance. Now he's totally blossoming and becoming more vocal and active and wants to participate. Part of it is what a few of us suspected all along. Jake was so shy and withdrawn because David took over. They almost never had time apart, so David would do the things people asked Jake to do, answer the questions directed at Jake, etc, so Jake kind of just gave up. The more praise David got, the more Jake just didn't feel like trying. Now the girls, of course live in different houses, have different parents etc, so it wouldn't be as bad as with the twins, but it's still something I worry about. Because they are around each other so much the comparisons will just keep coming. I guess it's a part of life and I'm just going into protection mode, but I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for it and making sure that they both feel like they are their own person outside of their comparisons to each other.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Schedule Craziness

And here I thought that choosing my classes was the most difficult part. Now my general concerns about about ensuring I'm not completely screwing myself over when it comes to requirements. I had a professor who mentioned an in depth paper would be required for the class. In order to graduate, a 25-30 page research paper is required. I completed that course and might be taking 2 this semester. Yikes I know. So I emailed the prof to ask about the paper requirement and the reply was somewhere along the lines of 20 pages would be fine if you're really great. This isn't even for a writing requirement class! That doesn't even make sense!! Needless to say, that class will be dropped and I'll be finding a better alternative.

My class on one day/wk method is still working out fine, but now getting to and from school is the issue. My dad, who promised me a car to use for 6 months, has said that he doesn't have any cars right now. He buys used cars, takes them to his friend that owns a garage and then sells them. They split the profits. He almost seemed surprised by the fact that I needed a car, although we had throughly discussed it back in May. So it looks like I'll need to get by without a car for a couple of weeks or figure something out on my own. Our budget covered car insurance, but not really a rental car + buying a used car. I might be able to swing cabs for a few trips back and forth to the train. Train tickets aren't really in the budget, but I don't have the time to take the bus.

That said, I'm looking forward to living with the grandparents, helping my grandmother out and just generally getting the house in order. Any ideas for a kitchen renovation on a crazy small budget?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The amazing drowning girl

It appears that Z is sick and tired of us and is continually trying to drown herself any which way she can. She refuses to take water out of a bottle, but she LOVES it out of a cup. Sometimes she'll let us hold it for her, but usually she wants to hold it for herself. This inevitably leads to her tilting a cup that is barely 10% full up to the point that the water covers her mouth and nose. Even when we are watching her intently and trying to make sure she doesn't, she still manages to do it. Coughing and sputtering and she's trying to do it again.

Her new trick is to try and drink the bath water. This is bath water that isn't even halfway up her thighs in the little baby bath, we haven't moved to the big tub yet. When she does that, she's bending with her head at least touching her feet and manages to also put her nose in the water. More coughing and sputtering. She just does this all so quickly and doesn't seem to learn. Same goes for falling off of the sofa. We have a pretty low one and put pillows on top of the carpet, but she will perch her little butt right on the edge and play and seems really surprised when she falls over. I'm torn between saving her and letting her fall to teach her that she will fall off. She falls about half a foot onto the pillows, sometimes she cries from shock, but sometimes she just starts laughing. She's not hurt, but I'm a little afraid that we will go somewhere else, she will think she's at home and decide she wants to launch herself off of their sofa.

So those are the ways Z is trying to off herself while within an arms reach of her parents. Motor skills are moving along. She's standing, can feed herself bits of food, crawling like a maniac. Of those, my SIL doesn't believe she can stand. Ah SIL, I have two, but SIL1 is quite a piece of work. She's nice enough, but at the 4th child, 1st girl she believes that she runs the show. She's actually taken a plate of food out of my hands that I was still eating because she "needed" to get the dishes cleaned. Anyway, SIL1 has decided that it is impossible for Z, at the tender age of 8 mo can be standing and furniture cruising and preparing to walk....

She has no kids, I don't even think she has babysat a kid, but she knows how kids progress developmentally. Liam just rolled his eyes and said, well she can believe that it isn't possible all she wants. I walked at the end of my 9th month and could say 3 word sentences by my 1st birthday. There is a range of development. So that is that on the baby front.

Employment and school-wise, my classes are chosen, I don't know if I'll keep my current schedule or move some classes around, but either way I have everything set and that feels good. I had a quasi-interview with THE FIRM. They seemed super pumped about meeting me and excited about the things that interested me because it is what they are working on. I may or may not be going back to talk to a partner in the next week or so, or perhaps later in the year. Either way it was definitely a great boost for me and not feeling like finding something would be impossible.

I have also gotten 3 callbacks for non-law during school jobs that I can do remotely! I'm really looking forward to being able to help my grandparents out with fixing things up around the house, perhaps being able to take the train to classes once in a while instead of driving, and not needing to take out loans for the spring. That would be amazing. I'll keep working on applying to jobs, interviews, and perhaps working on some school related things before this summer comes to a close. It really really did fly by.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Well now I have no excuses

They have finally put a gym in our compound. A few weeks ago they came around and asked what machines people would want, so apparently they have arrived. I know there is an elliptical and treadmill, which I would really like to use for the C25K program. I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to be able to keep up a good jog without feeling like my chest is about to explode.

Ok, I just bought the app, so there is no turning back now. I'm bound and determined to finish it ahead of schedule and actually keep it up when I get back to the US. This place has the ridiculous ability to make people gain weight with nobodies business. I will not let it get me down any longer. The gym is about 50 feet from the house, there isn't really an excuse now.

Next week is the big non-interview interview with my firm. I'm looking forward to it, just to give me an idea about where I stand job-wise. I have at least a few leads for in school jobs to help with expenses and possibly enough for tuition in the spring. That would be amazing, but we'll see if anything pans out. So many things going on on the job front, I just need one yes to make me feel better. It's like during the law school application process, I applied to over 30, but once I got into 1 I knew I was going to be ok. Even for a job just in school will help with the stress of finding one after school. Some of the ones I have applied for might actually work out for after I graduate. Fingers crossed for the first yes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And that's me done

with 2L, completely or maybe just starting 3L, not sure about that one. My exam is finished and I am so glad I am done. It was brutal and I'm sure that the results will not be pretty, but there isn't much that can be done about that now.

So far this summer after SA has been chill. We have our long weekend coming up in 2 weeks!! It won't be all fun because I'll be going in for an "interview" with my firms office in the area. It's not really an interview, but a meeting with the HR manager. I'll be treating it like an interview. It would be amazing to get a job, well any job at this point, but at least one on the same continent as my husband would be a plus. After a couple of hours at the firm, I'll be meeting Liam and Z at the hotel for a quiet night. We pretty much plan on just hanging out by the pool, going to the water park and eating good meals. While we could do all of this at home things are always more fun when you are away.

My life for the past few weeks has consisted of baking, cooking, studying and family time. Since most of our guy friends here are all on their own (families have fled for the summer), we have been hosting a lot of dinners for our guy friends. So far my chocolate lava cakes are the most popular dessert and our garlic bread still needs a little work. I think the fact that we may have been using bulbs and not cloves of garlic and forgetting to roast them has made it a need-a-mint meal addition.

Z is getting bigger and bigger everyday and her new trick is falling off of the couch. The edge of the sofa means nothing to her. She will perch her little butt right on the edge and play away until she promptly falls off. Sometimes there is crying with no tears and other times she just looks up at us with a big smile. I guess it is good that we have such a low couch and put pillows on the floor when she decides to have couch time.

Standing, cruising and growling are her new favorite things. I am really amazed at the sounds she can make. At first I was worried she was coming down with a cold until I realized she was putting on her, I have something in my throat, voice whenever she wanted. Usually when she was talking to one of her toys. Man I wish I knew what she was saying.

Now my thoughts for the fall are to my grandparents house and just how the hell I am going to baby proof it. With over 20 grandkids, kids coming in and out every day or so you can imagine how much stuff there is everywhere. I'm back 2 weeks before my first class, so I'll be spending that time helping my grandmom de-clutter the house. I just don't want Z to find a GI Joe from 1985 and start chowing down.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A childhood filled with kids

I was reading Proto Attorney's To breed or not to breed and I couldn't help thinking about what my plans had been for having kids. I am the oldest of 5, 7 if you include my dad's two other kids and the oldest of like 20 grandchildren. I never really had the chance to decide if I did or didn't like kids because it just didn't seem like them not being around was a possibility. There were always children everywhere. I was the oldest therefore it was my job to help babysit (on my own!scary!) every once in a while. My mom worked nights, so it was my job to make sure everyone got into their pjs, got into bed, woke up in the morning, and left for school. There were even times I had to push one of my sisters in her stroller to my high school, while the other one complained because she had to walk, so I didn't miss a weekend play rehearsal. Bags were packed with snacks, toys, and other little kid entertainment needs. But that wasn't weird for me then that was just the way things were.

It wasn't until I went to college that I think I knew what total silence sounded like. I didn't have to worry about anyone but me. I could come and go as I pleased, wake up as late as I liked and just sit and read a book without having a tiny person want to sit on my lap or just otherwise be around me. After that, I really thought, I wouldn't have kid for a long long time. I figured once I was finished with college, law school, got a job for a few years, then actually had time to date, I would be well into my 30s before I had kids. And I was ok with that, the thought of not having kids never even entered my mind. I mean I know that there are people who don't have kids due to choice or other reasons, but there aren't any in my family. Even family members who have had difficulties conceiving, have used whatever methods at their disposal to have kids. A part of me wonders if it was just conditioning from the way that I grew up that sort of forced my maternal side to come out. You don't really have a choice when you're trying to get your 4yo sister to puke into a bucket and not all over you for the 3rd time.

My husband didn't think he would have kids of his own. He is older than I am and figured at his age he would most likely end up with a women around his age, possibly older, possibly divorced or with children and it wouldn't be easy to have his own kids. Then I showed up and there was a greater possibility of having kids. And I met him and thought, oh wow, maybe I won't be waiting another 10 years to have kids. It was almost like a forgone conclusion that we would have kids, he started talking about having kids before he even proposed! Yeah, I but the kibosh on that one. But we're here now, have the cutest little munchkin ever, except during the Adoption Hour, as Liam calls it. This is usually between 4 and 5am. We generally bring Z into our bed then because Liam and Z leave the house at 5:30. She is bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to go, like I usually am at maybe 6:30 and just wants to play. She won't stay in her crib to play, so we become her personal prison and jungle gym, complete with hair pulling, head butting, and trying to scale the headboard. It isn't always the most fun, but when you let of a scream of agony because a tiny little gremlin has just head butted your mouth and you open your eyes and see that little gremlin give you a big smile, you can't help but smile back.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Child Birth Pain All In Your Mind?

Oh hell no! Now that I have actually had a child I feel that I'm not totally talking out of my ass on this one. I was reading this article here, about child birth and the notion that it is all on our minds because of the way tv and movies portray it. I wonder if they ever thought to stop and ask whether or not movies portray child birth as bring crazy painful because it is crazy painful! I was only in labor for 12 hours and had an epidural for about 7 of that, so even I can't really speak to the people who have done "natural" childbirth.

I say more power to those people, and if you did it on purpose you have massive steel balls. My mom and grandmother, both nurses (NICU and maternity) didn't even bat an eyelash at me wanting an epidural. My great grandmother was a mid-wife, having mom and grandmom as nurses, I think they would have stared at me like I had two heads if I said I wanted to do it without an epidural. My mom has had 5 kids, 2 without epis and 3 with and she was so happy when she was finally able to get one and obviously didn't feel it compromised her birthing experience, which I have had the displeasure of hearing in detail.

After spending about 4 hours, laying on my side, shakes wracking my entire body and doing my relaxing breathing, it know I would have made it through, but I certainly wouldn't have been able to have a nap when the contractions got really bad. I wouldn't have been able to hold my daughter and feed her right after because I was already passing out from exhaustion just a few hours in. Child birth is painful, this isn't a construction that our post-modern world has created to force women to not enjoy the pleasant, smell the roses, this is fun, ride that is child birth. You wander into a hut somewhere where a woman is having a baby and I don't think she'll be knitting a baby blanket for her baby as she very nicely pushes.

So whatever you choose, don't try and make it seem like the other side just doesn't understand how they are missing out on something. Maybe some moms don't want a 3 hour nap while they are in labor and maybe I don't want to hear about how euphoric your non-medicated child birth was. We'll all just have to agree to disagree. Rant over!

Monday, July 18, 2011

And I'm Back

Wrapping things up took a bit longer than I thought. The last week of work was crazy including a few dinners that went well past midnight and I was freaking leaving early! They certainly know how to rip it up. We had our little going away party for me, the sweet treats were quite yummy. The office was really good to me. As much as I hated being away from the family, working at the Firm was really good for me. I was so nervous last summer that I feel like I didn't make the best impression. This time around I was more comfortable, had tasks that were my own and worked on things where people actually seemed to need my help. The recommendation I got was also killer. It will come in handy when I'm having my meetings later this summer. Locking this down now is something that would make 3L a lot more bearable.

After leaving work, it was back to the apartment building of puke (oh weekend fun), broken beer bottles, and general rundown-ness. Moving out took a bit of eye lash batting at the on duty supervisor to give me my deposit back out of his own pocket because the safe was closed on the weekend. So I gave him the receipt and we checked out my place to make sure I hadn't smeared poo on the walls or something and was on my merry way. Just walking back into that airport started to make the bile in my stomach churn. At least it wasn't like my last trip there. It was a completely uncomplicated, easy trip. Hung out in the lounge (thank you frequent flier card), ate some food, got on the long flight back home.

I was out of the airport and into a cab in record time. It was like the travel gods knew that I really needed to get home. My bags were in a cab and I was on my way in less than 30 min! I got in and apparently Zig was having a fussy night, so Liam was just putting her to sleep on the recliner. I have to admit, it might make me a bad mom, but I totally picked her up, started squeezing her and kissing her, definitely waking her up, but I couldn't resist. At first she looked at my like I was a crazy person, until a big smile was plastered on her face. Can't say I wasn't at least a little worried at being recognized.

Now a routine has sort of started. She's still in daycare, until our month runs out this week. Then she'll stay in 3 days/wk. I still have a class to finish/final to take and I would like to get a little work done on some research projects before I get slammed in the fall. She's got her little daycare friends and I almost feel guilty taking her out for 2 days a week. I mean she is literally trying to jump out of her car seat and onto the play mats with all of her little buddies. She is one of the more mobile ones, so she uses her mad skillz to go get toys for all of the other kids. Such a little sweetie!

While she is at school, I will be working around the house on academic and non-academic endeavors. Laundry, straightening stuff up, dishes, cooking, maybe even a little working out will be in order. And I'll also be taking every opportunity I can to relax. I got my classes for the fall. Thanks to my amazing planning, I only have class for 1 day a week. It will be brutal from 9am-10pm. What adds to that brutality is that I will be driving to school every week. It is the only plan that makes sense. Because I have to be there so early and leave so late trains are almost totally out, unless I wanted to miss the last 15 min of class every week. Buses are also out because of my schedule. This means driving. It will be at least 3 hours each way...not accounting for traffic. I'm hoping that since I'll be coming and going so early/late that it won't be too bad. So I'll be leaving Monday mornings at 5amish and returning home at about 1am. 20 hours of awake time, damn I wish coffee did anything to keep me awake. And I also wish my school books were audio books and maybe I could make a real dent in my studies.

So I'm looking forward to a few weeks where a few days a week I can chill/nap/read at my leisure during the day because this fall is going to be a KILLER!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Developmental Update

I have been seriously remiss in updating about Z in a more specific manner. She has gone from finally learning to roll over from her back to her belly about 2 weeks ago, to crawling 1.5 weeks ago to being able to pull herself up on unsteady surfaces today! She could pull herself up for a while, especially on the coffee table, which she loved to gnaw on on the way up to the standing position. We are really amazed at how quickly she is figuring things out. It is amazing to see her bouncing on all fours on minute and then all of the sudden she is crawling. We just looked at each other when that happened like, "did she just learn to crawl right then?"

I predict walking by the end of the summer. I crawled by the time I was 9 months, so it wouldn't be completely crazy. She cruises along the furniture super quickly and has an amazing fascination with wires and cords. She even knows if they are trick wires we have left around for her to play with or connected to something vital. She doesn't want the dummy wires, she wants the real deal. I am so relieve that Liam mounted the TV to the wall months ago. That huge thing sitting on a tv stand would have meant disaster.

With all of that development there has still been no movement on the tooth front. Liam swears that she is growing them from the back to the front. She gnaws on everything and even tries to bite on Liam's does. EWWWW. She's battling a seriously runny nose right now and maybe that is linked to the teeth, who knows, but I can't wait to see them in person next week. We're so close now!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I want to bake.

I miss having a kitchen and making my own food. I already have menus planned out for all of the cooking and baking I will be doing. I am so looking forward to actually feeling like I live somewhere for a while, not like I'm some transient squatting in a room hoping that the real owner doesn't come back before I have to leave.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some things are just different

This is the first time I have been away for the 4th and not been around Americans or anyone that even cared it was the 4th of July, guess what it blows. I really like the holiday because it isn't about presents or anything ridiculous, except maybe driving to every local town and finding out where the fireworks are by spotting them through the trees.

Liam had a grand time with Z, he dresser her up, made brownies, etc. I think he likes the 4th more than some Americans just as a screw you to the Brits! Even though I am one of those too! Oh well, Z will certainly have a confusingly awesome time trying to tell people just how she identifies herself.

We'll just have to find out own way to celebrate something this summer, perhaps incorporating Liam's bday. I have totally dropped the ball on that one, I have no clue what to get him. It feels a bit crazy to buy anything since it's like he's buying his own present, I don't have the time or supplies to make anything in advance and it's too late to order something. I'll figure it out, but it is a little depressing.

Summer is winding down and there isn't much time left. I am trying to make it as productive as possible. I am turning in projects quickly, except for one that has been on my desk for a week because no one attached to it has been in the office. Glad to know vacations are not taboo at the firm, well at least in this office. I have also set up my meetings with managing directors at other offices where I want to work. Yay, networking. Two networking lunches this week and one for next week so far. This summer will be productive and helpful and I'll look back on it and forget how much it sucked to be away from the family.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Only 2 weeks to go

I am counting down the hours, only 336 more to go. I am taking advantage of the time off though, studying for my class, although it's really tough since my internet WILL NOT WORK!!! I can't listen to the classes, but I can at least finish the reading. It just really sucks that I can't totally veg out with good tv and things like that because the internet is really making me crazy. I don't know how anyone can function on 65k. It's like using dial up. Remember dial up, the thought of it makes me want to scream. I hope that it will all be worked out in the next 2 days, but if it isn't then I am going to have to wait until I get back to listen to all of my classes. To listen at work I would have to download a plug in and I don't really want to do that on the company machine.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Classes

Have I mentioned I'm taking a summer class. It's a tax course, which is actually enjoyable. Unfortunately it is done online and with the time difference I miss pretty much every single class. I set up my computer, get all ready and then pass out at midnight without fail. At least there are recordings or I would be royally screwed. I'll have a little catching up to do once I go back home to prepare for finals, but it is totally worth it.

I'm planning on taking 5 classes in the fall for 16 credits. This means that in the Spring, if my course selection turns out the way I want it, I can finish the semester a little early. This would mean that My little family would only have to spend 21 more weeks apart until I finish my degree instead of 36 weeks. I still can't believe that this is all almost over. One full hardcore semester and then the bulk of it is all over. The fact that this is all within reach almost seems unimaginable. I still can't believe all that has happened since I left to school. I have taken over 30 flights, got preggers, had a baby, moved 3 times, had 2 summer placements, amassed quite a bit of student loan debt now in the high 5 figures and celebrated two wedding anniversaries. That's a whole lot of changes and momentous events.

I can only imagine what the next few years will hold, but I am certainly looking forward to it! Yay optimism!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to work

After a couple of health set backs I have finally made it back to work 2 days late. Everyone in the office, almost seemed horrified I was coming back so soon, but I knew if I held off I might not come back. I'm still having some stomach issues, but nothing projectile, so I have put myself in the "I can work" column. My travels back to work included 2 flights, one creepy dude who kept watching my while I slept at the gate waiting area and another staring at me on the flight. I guess I should be flattered?

I came to the office straight from the airport, grabbed some lunch (soup), took a shower and headed up to the my office. I didn't really have much today and I'll probably head to the apartment early, i.e. 6pm. It's only 2.5 weeks is what I keep telling myself. It's little things that take only hours off of my stay that make me so happy. I checked on my travel into and found that I am getting in at 10:30pm instead of 2am! Score!!! Who would have thought 4 hours could brighten my day.

At a little less than 7 months old Z is already cruising along the furniture. Liam finds that no matter where he puts her down she is pulled to the wires of our entertainment system like a freaking tractor beam. Glad that Liam already had the foresight to mount the tv to the wall, but now a wire solution is in the works in his mind. When it comes to DIY I stand back and maybe hand him a screwdriver every once in a while. With the exception of the installation of more and more shelves all over the kitchen, I have given him wide home improvement berth. I can only imagine what child-focused improvements we'll need to make that haven't even dawned on us yet!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another hospital trip; Only Liam is left,

Because now Z and I have both been to the hospital this summer! I have never, never, never felt as bad as I did beginning at 1am Friday morning. This includes childbirth where you at least get a reprieve between contractions and know that a beautiful little baby waits at the end. Liam, Z and I went to dinner on Thurs evening. We ate the same food. Later after Z went to bed, we both had a couple of drinks in the hotel. I had 2 rum and cokes and he had a couple of beers. Our night ended at about 10pm. Nothing too crazy, just a quiet night in. At about 1 am I woke up feeling blah, nauseous blah. Near 2am Liam suggested a nice little sip of seltzer water and the fireworks began. And the best part of all of this was that we had a flight to catch at 12pm on Friday.

So I'm shaking, crying and laying on the bathroom floor hoping that getting whatever it is out of my system will make me feel better. It didn't. We didn't have travel insurance, so I knew if we didn't get on the flight today, we would be out a couple of grand, Liam and Z would have to head home anyway and it just wouldn't be good. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to hold myself together for most of the flight, only puking twice in line while checking in. I slept through most of the flights and I have to say Liam was a GODSEND. I mean, I know that he has been doing all of this stuff on his own, but he was up with me during the night and so tired, but he took not only baby duty, but luggage duty and making sure I didn't walk into a wall duty.

We finally got home at 2am, had a friend come over and we went straight to the hospital. I got 3 IV bags of who knows what, went to sleep, woke up feeling much better and headed home. Here is my issue. I am supposed to fly back to work tonight, less than 24 hours after leaving the hospital. If I don't fly tonight, barring Turkish Airlines being amazing and letting me change the flight we are out over $900 for the new flight. So what do I do? I told work I would be in for Monday. As of today I have 3 weeks left at work. I just really can't see myself getting on a plane tonight. I also don't want to have to spend $800 on another flight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enjoying Hotel Living

Liam and Z are here, hence my MIA status. They have been here for almost a week and have been enjoying as much as we can. The weather has been HORRIBLE. Torrential rain almost everyday. We got in a few great hours at the zoo on the weekend. Speaking of the zoo, you get to freaking feed the animals. They give you bags of fruit and veg for a donation of whatever you feel is appropriate. We gave a couple of euros and my only regret isn't that we didn't buy more bags. Feeding the elephants has to be one of the most fun things I have ever done at a zoo.

The elephants are so dexterous with their trunks and it was amazing to see them grab a piece of fruit or veg off out of your hand, swing it up to their mouth and chow down. I don't know how this is healthy for the animals or you keep people from giving them bad stuff, but we weren't second guessing and fed away. Liam and I actually got so excited I hate to say it, but we kind of forgot about Z sleeping in the stroller right next to us. I'm sure she won't feel bad about being left out of our goofy face, look-at-me-I'm-feeding-an-elephant-face pictures.

Work has been good, I'm missing out on a work fun day tomorrow because the fam is here, but I'll swing by the bar have a drink or two and say hi. I was also able to chat at a few lawyers who have worked in the office I want to work in and they are setting up meetings for me! I'm definitely trying to make the most of my time here. That said, I can't wait until we're all home together even if it's only for a few weeks.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trip to the Hospital

I'll preface this with, Z is fine.

I would have to say that the only thing worse than calling Liam when we normally talk and not getting an answer is calling when we normally talk, have him answer the phone, hear Z screaming bloody murder, hear hospital sounds going on, and not get any response when I scream hello over and over. After a call from the daycare that she was acting a bit weird, had a fever and diarrhea Liam had to take a trip to the Pediatric Emergency Clinic in town. He answered my call in the middle of her blood draw because in his mind not answering would make me worry. I have since conveyed that if there is the possibility of me being sad I can't talk to them at our usual time and wondering what they might be doing at the grocery store and me LOSING MY SHIT over an answered call where I can hear her screaming and no one is responding to me over the phone, I'll take the unanswered phone call.

The visit was quite simple according to Liam. She was seen by a doctor within 5 minutes, no paperwork to fill out because thankfully there is an integrated national medical database where you just give them your phone number and it pulls up all of the info no matter what hospital or doctor's office you have been to. So her entire history was there for them to look over. There were blood and urine samples taken and tests run after about 30 min. Everything came back fine, but she might have the beginnings of an ear infection, the very beginning, so they gave Liam some drugs and he was on his way. During all of this time, I was pretty much freaking out because I had no idea what was going on. I called his phone back about 10 times before he finally picked up and told me what was going on.

I think it's teething and I'm praying it's teething. All of those sunshiney feelings from my earlier post about Z bonding with her dad and giving him time to be the primary parent pretty much go out of the window when there is a real problem. I want both of us to be there. And I'm looking up flights as we speak just in case they can come visit me at the end of this week because I'm not going anymore time than I have to without seeing them!

My Husband aka Mr. Incredible

This was a nickname given to Liam by my little brother and sister after meeting him for the first time. They thought he looked like Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, which is one of my favorite movies ever. Back then I knew the title was true, but now I know it even more. Liam has been taking care of Z for the past 3 weeks, almost a month now. I know a lot of the time we talk about how we want our husbands to be true partners and take an active role and all of that, but the women are generally still the primary caregivers, we're the ones that get deferred to and checked with on a lot of issues when it comes to kids.

To say the past 3 weeks have been weird would be an understatement. I never realized how much it would affect me, how much being the person to check with was important to me. It's hard to bite my lounge when we're on skype and I see him doing things differently than I might do them. I have to keep reminding myself, he's not doing it wrong, he's just doing it differently. While this time away has been so hard for me, I am very happy at how confident Liam has become in his parenting. Before whenever I was there and she would start crying, he would give it a try for a while and then hand her over. He was really afraid she wouldn't drink her bottles or let him put her to sleep, but now, he can get her to pass out in about 5 minutes, change diapers in a flash and pick out the cutest outfits for her. I often ask him about what it's like to be a single dad. His one constant reply is tiring. If it does nothing else other than show him how tough it can be to wrangle an infant, then this summer job was totally worth it.

And to say that people are amazed at what he is doing would be an understatement. In addition to the fact that many fathers in that part of the world don't really take an active role in the lives of their children, particularly their female children, means he's a rarity. All of the women ohh and ahh over his abilities to hold her in one hand and pack up the car or calm her while grocery shopping. I can only imagine what they think of me, but they think he is just the bees knees and the best husband ever. I, of course, already knew he was the best husband, but this has certainly proved it. He will be approaching the final frontier of solo parenting, a plane trip, when they come to visit ME!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Work week over

I'm finished with my work conference and need to explore this new city. I found an awesome apartment through airbnb, which is so great. I love that they have verified photos of the apartments, so you know they are legit. Everyone has given me about 15 places I NEED to see, but what I really want to do is go to the English language movie theater and watch a triple feature. The luxury of watching a movie without sprinting out of the theater at the slightest peep from Z or standing in the side hallway out of eye sight, but able to see part of the screen. I will go see some of the sights, but I really want to sit in the theater and relax. I also think they serve booze there. SCORE!!

The work conference was nice, lunches were delicious and the dinner was so great. I only wish they hadn't had me order first, so I would have know everyone was ordering appetizers! Their shrimp all looked like they would melt in your mouth. I was happy that I managed to keep it to no more than 5 glasses of wine and left when I started to fall asleep at the table. Midnight is way way way past my bedtime. Well, it's more like my second possible bedtime if Z is a little cranky. I get to see my husband and baby in less than a week and the thought of it is making me a bit crazy! I need to put it out of my mind, so I don't get too excited.

Getting through the summer and wishing I was with the fam, but this is best from a work perspective. I must make sure it's worth it and I will!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Graduation Presents and other future plans

Now that completing law school is a mere 9 months away, Liam has begun to ask about graduation presents. I've been trying to get him to go on a cruise forever. At first he thought that they were confining, overly structured ships filled with old people, but I have been able to convince him that they are awesome! I went on my last cruise when I was 9 and it was to Hawaii. Even back then I remember it being amazing, especially for a kid. I barely saw my mom and grandmom (1) because they spent most of the time in the infirmary because they are both appartently incredibly prone to sea sickness (2) all the kids activities meant that our little kid gang had free reign over the ship and took total advantage.

Anyway, back to the graduation treat, we're thinking of going on a cruise. I really really want to go on one of the Royal Caribbean mega ships because I've heard they are amazing and there is tons to do. Of course all of this would generally depend on my job situation. If I have sometime lined up then it's no prob. If not then things get a little trickier. That said, I really hope we can go on one because we haven't been on a non-visiting family/visiting each other vacation since July 2009. We might be able to sneak in a weekend trip to Oman or something, but again that would be more for a visa run (leaving the country and coming back in to get another 30 day visitors visa) than an actual vacation.

I really can't wait until we can just be a normal family. My the time Z is one she will have been across the Atlantic 10 times, flown 14 times and been to 6 countries. While I'm all for raising a globally conscious child, she won't remember any of it and it is exhausting! I relish the opportunity to be in one place for more than 2 months and not getting on a plane once, of not living out of a suitcase/plastic bins/backpacks, spending more on flights than I spend in 2 months, and being able to be parents to our daughter at the same time in the same time zone in the same house. At this point the job thing is practically secondary to us being together. I'm sure that tune will change once my loans come due. Things are not looking pretty and this is only taking out loans for 2 years of tuition. I don't know how people can handle all of it in loans, tuition and living expenses for 3 years!