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.