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!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finally have internet again

After I moved out of the hotel, I decided it was time to pick up a mobile internet usb and go from there. After 4 days, freaking down and crying in the vodafone store because I hadn't seen Z in 3 days, I am finally online using O2! Thanks god because I was beginning to freak out.

My apartment is a bit of a mess, but work has really nice facilities so I don't really mind hanging around here. I also want to be available for any last minute projects or foosball games that go on in the evenings. The best thing about Liam and Z being at home is I can spend crazy hours at the office and it has no adverse impact on my life. Grades from the last semester are coming in and I have to say it was one of my better semesters. I have actually done better this year than 1L. I don't know if that says anything about having a baby in law school, I suspect not, other than maybe don't be too afraid.

Other than that, I'm not really exploring the city. I want to wait until Liam and Z are here before we go to the Zoo, Botanical Gardens and the like. I wish I could do some traveling, but the prices of last minute flights and time involved just makes me want to take a nap. The biggest and most fun I had last week was choosing course for next semester. I have successfully managed to get them all on one day, which would be amazing. I would only have to be away from Z for 14 hours a week, although I might put her into daycare twice or three times a week because she seems to love it!

Liam sends me a few daily photos and a run down of their morning which I get when I come into work. The best part is when he describes her nearly launching herself out of the carseat and into the arms of the women who work in the infant room at daycare. He likes to call her little dance the crazy worm, she squirms, claps and smiles so much he can barely get her out. It makes me happy to no end to know how much she enjoys it there. Since she's such a responsive baby, smiling, cooing and laughing up a storm people love to interact with her and she LOVES it when people pay attention to her.

I miss her so much, but knowing that she's happy makes me happy. And thank goodness for skype again. She looks at me on the screen and immediately makes me smile, which makes me feel better. I keep having this irrational fear that she's going to forget me. Summer class reading and catching up on all of the gossip website are calling my name.