Friday, August 30, 2013

Steps Towards Ends

After my little, um...incident? the other day, I promptly got an appointment with my GP. So yay, yearly physical, blood work taken in order to make sure I'm not breaking down with the various and sundry conditions that are normal for my family. Also, a referral to a dermatologist to get rid of this ridiculous acne that I've had since I got pregnant.

I ran my little outbreak by her, and we talked about some things, and there is a plan and steps to be taken. A Thing happened at her office that made me truly realize this is not in my head: my doctor, my actual doctor, not the nurse, took my blood pressure. She was just chatting with me about normal things, and then went to take my blood pressure a second time. During the second time, she asked about the dentist/Lis thing, and my blood pressure went from low 120's to the high 140's in seconds. So, in case I had any doubt, that should clear it up. Bonus points to my Doctor for doing it deliberately and then telling me why she did it--so I would know it's an Actual Thing, not a thing in my head. Anyways, there's a plan to take care of it and I feel better already.

In other news on incremental steps forward in the decision making rubric, Seattle is to be the wedding place for my SIL and her fiancee! Am so exited. Have not been to Seattle since I was in high school, and I was there for a swim meet, not for touring. Can't wait! MUST PLAN ALL THE THINGS NOW.

I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at a conference on child welfare and related topics in Atlanta. I missed Lis and Vor terribly, but the conference was fantastic, I made great connections, and picked up great bits of knowledge and ideas.

Now? The major task of recovering my desk and my docket from a three day absence. Wish me luck, for you may never find me from underneath the files and case law through which I now must wade.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Travel Rhymes With Unravel

So! [Claps hands] Time for some good news.

My SIL--Vor's twin sister--is engaged! Yay! Weddings! And they want Lis to be a flower girl or another TBD role that has Lis involved. Yay! Cute toddler dresses!

A day after the engagement was announced, Vor and I sat outside after Lis went to bed. Vor hesitantly mentioned how crazy his sister's schedule is as a coach, as well as her fiance's schedule because her fiancee is also a coach, and as such, there were only two available dates.

Well, kids, I've been around this rodeo for awhile now, and I know his sister's schedule pretty well, so I had a good guess of what those dates might be. Vor's shoulders just about sagged in relief when I started laughing. "So what you're telling me," I asked between gasping for breath from laughing, "is that your twin sister wants to get married on August 16, which also happens to be our wedding anniversary? You're going to share a birthday and an anniversary with her?" I think he was too relieved that I didn't care to be annoyed. Truly, I don't get people who would be upset over stuff like that, but whatever.

The best part of this is that they are getting married either in mountains in Colorado, or in Seattle. YES TRAVEL!!!!! Vor and I already decided to make an anniversary vacation out of it, and we will go out the normal amount of time before the wedding, but stay a whole week after it, kicking around. I can't plan yet [which I am desperate to begin], so I don't know whether to start checking out Seattle and nearby fun things or do the same in the town in Colorado. They are deciding this weekend, as well as deciding what colors, etc, so that also means YES DRESS SHOPPING FOR LIS! I am way too excited about this whole thing.

In other travel news, we are still moving forward with out major vacation plans for the big trip that will happen in appx. 2 years. Here's where we are now:

Eliminated: Amsterdam, Italy, Scotland. Also eliminated: all cruises and Caribbean resorts, Puerto Rico.

Teetering on the edge of elimination but still a possibility: Paris, Ireland round 2.

Strong Contenders: London, Maui, Florida Keys, National Parks tour.

The pros and cons:

Paris: We can easily stay in the city once we are there and not need to do any extra travel. In my experience, it's actually fairly family friendly, if you know what you're doing. Vor's mom would love to go to Paris, and it would be easy to talk her into coming with us. Cons: While I am mostly proficient in French, Vor is not, and this would only be his second time out of the country, and first time with Lis. The idea makes him nervous. Lis would need a passport, and that's a hassle. Long flight. Expensive.

Ireland round 2: We can stay in one city, like Galway, but we are also comfortable traveling, since it is such a relaxed country. Mama Vor would probably go. We are familiar with the country, and we love it. Family friendly. English speaking. Tea, yo. Cons: Already been, long flight, passport.

London: Easy city stay, family friendly, lots to do, Mam Vor and Vor would love it. I've been and have some familiarity. English speaking. Tea, again. Cons: Flight time (are we seeing a theme?), expensive, passport.

Maui: Gorgeous, relaxing, exotic enough to feel almost like a trip out of country, very family friendly, Mama Vor would go, sushi, pineapple, lots to do that Lis would love. Cons: Looooooooooooong flight, and the length of the flight might be what kills it. That is literally the only draw back. At what age could you expect a toddler to handle a flight like this? We would have to get to Texas or CA or west coast somewhere before the really long leg of the journey even began. Otherwise, this would probably be my number 1 pick.

Florida Keys: Easy to get there, gorgeous, relaxing, warm, can travel around if we want, or just stay put. I could probably talk Vor into getting a convertible to drive around in. I've never been, and would like to go. Cons: I really have an out of country itch, and this won't satisfy it. Probably no Mama Vor, so no downtime for us.

National parks tour: I loved loved loved Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and Grand Canyon as a kid. I still love the. I think it's a fantastic family vacation with lots to do for a family that loves being outdoors, like we do. Maybe we could even take the dog! No passport needed! Possibly very little plane time! Cons: Not out of country, probably no Mama Vor, potential to be traveling in car A LOT.

If I could ignore the problem of travel time, my ranking would be thus: (1) Maui; (2) London; (3) Paris; (4) National Parks; (5) Ireland; (6) Florida Keys.

In reality, since I have to take into account travel time, it's looking like this: (1) London (overnight flight maybe?); (2) National Parks; (3) Florida Keys; (4) Paris; (5) Ireland; (6) Maui.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Ever More So Now

My brother deployed two months ago, but had a month of training stateside first, so he has been in The Land of Sand And Camel Spiders for about a month now. My SIL and the three kids on their own (sort of, they live twenty minutes from her parents) in AZ. The kids are Blossom, 13, Brick, 11, and Petunia, 7.

About a day after my brother got to Sand Land, Petunia, my youngest niece, started having these weird "episodes" where she would announce that she felt weird, and her head would turn to the side, and her arm would curl inwards. It would be over in seconds. It happened once. Then again. Then again, ever increasing in frequency, until it was happening several times a day.

A few doctors, a 24 hour EEG or whatever it is observation, and several trips to the children's hospital later, there are no firm answers. There is a firm not: it's not just stress. There is a firm problem to explore: they found on abnormality on one of her brain lobes.

Petunia is sweet, and feisty. Although my brother and his family have moved around a lot, she has somehow wound up with a southern accent, and she knows how to play it up. She has blond curly hair, blue eyes, with a round face reminiscent of Lis, my dad, and his side of the family. She is petite. She has eyes that twinkle, and a smile that sparkles. She has a great sense of humor. She loves Lis and Telly, and can't wait to see them in October. When we first got Telly and took him to Buffalo for a visit when Petunia et al were also there, we woke up in the morning to find a pile of dog toys outside our bedroom door that Petunia had apparently insisted on having my brother and SIL buy for the dog. When we took Lis out to AZ last Thanksgiving, Petunia was like glue. Lis and Petunia went everywhere together.

I feel sick. This cannot be happening.

My brother is beside himself. It's a cliche. It's a phrase that doesn't actually mean anything other than really upset, until you see someone who is almost literally giving you a visual of what it would look like to be beside yourself with anger, fear, grief, and terror. He is thousands of miles away, and he can't help. He can't get home. He is not there. If it were possible, he would rip down every tangible and intangible barrier to be there.

My SIL is hanging on--she texted me that she was okay, but really sad right now.

You expect things to come up during a year long deployment. You expect, attitude problems, stress, water heaters breaking, some broken bones, bad grades. You don't expect that a day after you get there, something goes wrong with your daughter's brain. You don't expect to have a whole year looming large in front of you with that dangling out of reach.

I don't know what to do for them. My SIL and the kids are coming out in October--at least, that's still the plan. What they need are answers, and they don't have them yet. Without answers, there ar eno plans. Right now, there is only limbo.


This hit Vor hard. Of all my nieces and nephews, I know Petunia is his favorite. He would never say so, but she was just a baby when we started dating, and he would hold and cuddle her, and he taught her how to bang on pots and pans, much to my brother's and SIL's dismay. She is the only one who has only ever known him as Uncle Vor, and never as just Vor, Aunt Grace's boyfriend.

I told him the news, and like newbies (seriously, you would think that we of all people would know better!) Googled the tentative problems and options, and of course, there are many, many bleak outcomes and treatment paths.

Vor did something I have never seen him do. He walked out of the room, and downstairs, filled up a small shot glass with Tequila, and took a shot. He came in and laid down on the bed, and stared at the ceiling, teary-eyed and silent.

I ache, because I know. I know he loves Petunia, and he is so scared for her. I know he hurts for my SIL because he knows how hard this kind of process can be. He feels desperation for my brother, who must be feeling so desperate that he would sell his soul to get back and fix everything. Not that it can be fixed. I know, because I feel it all too.

And, oh God, I don't even want to say it out loud, because this is about them and how scared I am for them, but I could see the shadow in Vor's eyes, thinking of Lis. I could see as he laid there trembling that tunnel vision look on his face, and suddenly I knew what my face looked like the other day. You can call me selfish, but this is bringing back terrible memories for us. I feel numb, perhaps because I've already had my little incident. But Vor? I don't think he's had an experience quite like that until now.


I'm waiting for answers. If there's at all a need for me or all of us to be out there, we will go. If I can send food or get them a cleaning service or figure out a grocery delivery or find friends out there on base that can help with car pooling, I will figure it out. As far as Vor and I and our memories go, it's amazing that both of us got such wake up calls within days of each other. I thinkw e both know we need to talk to someone who can give us some direction in how to cope with it better.

In the meantime, we wait for answers and we think of plans. I will keep sending copious amounts of Swedish Fish and jerky to my brother, and always, always, always take every phone call from him, from my SIL, and from Petunia.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Wolf At Your Heels

I had to go the dentist today. It resulted in tears, shaking, hyperventilating, and not because of the usual reasons trip to the dentist does.

I've had trouble with medical procedures done on Lis since Lis's surgery--even a routine one, like a shot. Not exactly shocking, to have your baby undergo cranial vault reconstruction, and then freak out when she sobs over shots or freaks out over a chest x-ray. In fact, I've chalked it up to pretty much expected.

I had a bunch of personal medical appointments, appointments for ME, since Lis's surgery. However, I seemed to find reasons why they needed to be "rescheduled" aka, cancelled and never rebooked. I was just busy, I would catch up, yada yada yada. It did not dawn on me that I was doing myself a disservice until I went on my campaign to improve my health earlier this year.

I certainly did not think I was avoiding it.

So, I went for the teeth first, figuring that I had probably done some damage there, and sure enough, a cavity. Ah well, dentist trips have never bothered me, I have never had a fear of dentists or cavity fillings, it will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine.

I began chanting that in my head when I walked into my dentist's office, a very family friendly, nonthreatening place. The roar in my ears when I sat down in the chair and the overhead light was switched on was deafening, drowning out my chanting. When they leaned me back, everything went numb and I felt faint.

I'm not afraid of pain. I've had Novocaine shots before, and it has always been no big deal. But suddenly I was wincing, gripping the arm rests, pressing backwards into the chair, gulping back whimpers. Tears began pouring down my face.

The door to the next room over opened, and I heard the dentist in there use the drill--that high pitched whine--it was all I heard. I couldn't hear my heart, I couldn't hear my breath, I couldn't hear anything anyone was saying, all I heard was that whine.

I was shaking, I was crying, my heart was racing, I was pale. The dentist was concerned, had raised my chair, was asking if I was okay, did I need water, did I need a break. I mumbled out that it really hurt and I needed a minute. I could see on her face that she knew it wasn't true--she knows me, she knows I have a great pain tolerance, but she gave me water and space.

I sobbed and slobbered and shook and took a few minutes. I pulled myself together and got my cavity filled. I actively had to sing Mary Poppins songs or "A Few of my Favorite Things" from Sound of Music in my head throughout the procedure. Thoughts of Lis hearing the whine of the drill I was hearing keep leaking through, much like the tears rolling down my face. I thought about during the hour long procedure, and I thought about it all day, and here is where I am at:

First, I have been subconsciously, deliberately avoiding my own medical appointments and issues, not because I am busy, but because I am freaked out. Second, this is new since Lis's surgery. Third, this is not normal behavior for me. I called my sister after, to run what happened by her, and she pointed out that I really don't "lose [my] shit like that. Ever." Fourth, I was completely unable to separate Lis's ordeal out from a simple, normal procedure of my own, and I was unable to block it, shut it down, divert it, or any other coping tactic. Fifth, I have noticed increasing anxiety at Lis's medical appointments, even for minor things. I have also noticed increasing anxiety when Lis injures herself (DAILY) in some minor way. Just now, Lis (in bed, asleep) gasped and I was up the stairs in thirty seconds or less, convinced she was wrapped in blankets, choking and dying. Not so, Grace. She's a sleep, probably having a funny dream, where she gasps at the hilarity of it all.

It doesn't appear to be an all the time thing. I don't feel depressed--most of the time, I'm in a really freaking good mood. Lis is delightful, Vor and I have a great marriage, I love my family, I love my job. For sure, my anxiety is higher than it used to be, but I was a stress ball before Lis anyway. It appears to be specifically triggered by injury or routine medical appointments. Well, okay, that doesn't quite explain my still racing heart reacting to Lis's little gasp a few minutes ago. Maybe tack on unusual medical related behavior.

I don't know what this is yet. All I know is that this is not normal behavior for me. It seems like I may have had some kind of panic attack, which is not something I have ever had before. I have felt it building recently, but was always able to divert it before this time.

Do I wait? Do I see if it happens again? Do make calls now and get help? I don't know. I don't know. I've felt, since Lis was diagnosed, like there was this shadow behind me, dogging my every step, chasing me, gaining, fading, then reappearing right at my heels. I wonder if this little event was it's way of taking shape, so that I can see it, name it, embrace it, banish it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stay Or Go

So many of my fellow MILPs seem to be moving on, making major changes in their jobs, having another baby, etc. While the baby issue is tabled indefinitely for Vor and I, the job issue is never really tabled. Watching everyone switch jobs around has gotten me wondering—what would it take for me to leave where I am? For what would I be looking? What about Vor—what would make him want a change?

It’s impossible to imagine leaving my job. I love this company. We have a great team, and we all get along really well. We work well together and complement each other. Do you know how hard that is to find? Nigh onto impossible. The flexibility I have is unreal—when Lis is sick, I go and grab her and work from home. When Lis’s daycare was closed for “summer break” last week, I just adjusted my hours to work around my MIL’s schedule and the sitter’s schedule, and I worked a little at night. I come in later on Tuesday and Thursday, because I go to gym those mornings. I work at home every Friday afternoon—I come into the office in the morning, then I am home in time for MIL to drop Lis off (MIL usually wants Lis to spend Thursday night with her—she is a fantastic grandma). Lis eats, plays happily for an hour, then goes to bed for a nap, and lo! By the time she wakes up, I’ve had another 2-3 hours of work time. I can easily put in 7 hours on Fridays.

Of course, part of the reason the company is so flexible is because the pay is dirt low, so the CEO wants us to make it up in other “benefits”, one of those being flexibility. So, I get more time with Lis, and I get to knock off an extra day of daycare cost, cutting less into my salary.

The area of law is interesting—while the litigation end of my work is uniquely focused on one area of law, my research/writing/presentation/policy responsibilities cover all of family law, CHINS (children in need of services) law, and juvenile law, with an extra dose of ethics, trial practice, and evidentiary issues as they relate to my main subject areas.

My commute is nonexistent—my office is 12 minutes from my house, 10 minutes from my gym, and 11 minutes from Lis’s daycare. The courthouse is a bit further, clocking in at 25 minutes from my office, 30 from my house. You really can’t beat that.

Why would I want to leave?

It would have been something really specific to tempt me away, and surprisingly, that thing is not money. Sure, it would be awesome to make what law firm type lawyers make and pay off my student loans much faster, but with that salary comes billable hours, less flexibility, and practicing law from a perspective that I don’t like at all (ie, having a parent as a client instead of the child).

I’ve given it a lot of thought, and here’s what I’ve come up with: (1) job in state or local government relating to my current area of law. There was an opening in the beginning of 2013 that looked sweet—it had to do with family/CHINS/juvenile law, service referral coordination with the courts, appellate briefs, and some other legal aspects. The salary was about 15K more than I make now, with state benefits. But? I highly doubt I would have the flexibility I have now. (2) A job as a commission or magistrate (in this state, that’s basically an associate or lower level judge, not the actual sitting, elected judge). Hell no do I want to be an elected, sitting judge. Tort law? GAG ME. I would want to be a commission or magistrate in a family law court, preferably in probate court (guardianships/adoptions) or in paternity court (strictly custody/child support, no dealing with property division). There was an opening earlier this month and I choked on my drink when I saw the salary. That is a HUGE pay increase, triple what I am making now, and benefits! I had commissioners encouraging me to apply for it, which was a really nice compliment (I do not have the required number of years yet). But with that salary comes major drawbacks. I have no idea what the schedule and flexibility is like. I know they get something like 4 or 5 weeks of vacation/sick time, but I could easily blow through that with The Lady Lis. Then… there’s the crazy. I got a small taste of it when I sat judge pro tem in July, and OMG. Some of the people and issues and cases and situations they deal with are unreal, crazy, scary, sad, even more so than my docket, if that’s possible. Then there’s the fact that they are the decision makers, so everything that “happens” is their “fault”, if someone is looking for someone to blame.

So, those are really the options for which I would consider leaving my current job. I feel like I need more years to make either of those possible, so I am just going on like always. Everything I am doing right now is really setting me up to be qualified for either one of those positions, so I guess my game plan is  to do my job as best as I can, increase my skills, proficiency, and knowledge, along with other skills like speaking, etc., and then puts me in a great position if I ever want to switch to one of my preferred options.

As far as Vor goes, I think what could tempt him away is either: (1) better pay with the same hours, or (2) the same pay with better hours. Considering the rest of the country’s market rate for his practice area, he is really underpaid and overworked. The third possibility is an ALJ position, but we would probably need to move, so that’s not likely. The fourth option is maybe going in-house someday but Vor really dislikes corporation insider politics and there is a strong chance that in house would require a move.

So there I am. It makes me antsy, watching IRL friends and my fellow MILPs moving on to other things, but when I take stock and evaluate where I am and where it looks like I am going, I wouldn’t change a thing right now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Next Big Thing

We got married five years ago. We started dating eight and a few months change years ago.

We started dating five months before Vor left for law school—we had been friends for about a year before that. Right when we should have been “getting serious” etc., we turned into a long distance relationship during tumultuous years—my last year of college, applying to law school, which was also his first year of law school, and the following year, my own first year of law school, in a different state than where Vor was at school.

We were long distance for three years.

We’ve been through three years of long distance, two different 1L years, family members dying, a beloved dog dying, two bar exams, epic family fights and deep hurt that almost resulted in no contact between me and my family, a heart attack scare, a hard pregnancy, the murder of a close friend, Lis’s surgery, and months and months of no sleep.

There’s times where I think, if we are fighting over this, how can we make it through a big thing? Then I realize—we’ve been through the big thing. We’ve been through a few big things. Sometimes we did poorly, and sometimes, we did well. No matter how we did in it, we came through it okay, and sometimes learned valuable lessons about each other and ourselves. Those lessons have always helped for the next big thing.

We squabble, we apologize; we hurt each other, and then give back and heal. We learn, and we grow; we disagree, then unite. We take it all for granted, but then we hold on tight to remind each other of their steadiness of our bond.

It’s been a good five years/eight+ years. No—not good. It’s been great, and humbling, and hard, and fun, and everything. It’s been everything to me, and I know for the next years, it still will be.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Travel Bug Bites Again!

Okay. I know. We've been planning these trips, and they're not happening, but hey. That's life with a kid and two lawyers.

However, little trips do next to nothing to satisfy that travel virus running deep in my veins. Blame on whatever you want (lots of travel as a kid; being an Army brat; being the baby sister of a USAFA grad; general love of independence; etc), but I get a major itch every year/year and a half to just GO somewhere that is FAR FAR AWAY.

Last time was Ireland 2011, and of course, we've been grounded with our Little Irish Souvenir ever since.

So! I think we would like to start planning our next major trip, which will be probably another two years out to let Lis get older and our finances recover from having a baby, MAJOR medical bills [can you say million dollar skull?], normal life, etc.

I heard you laugh just then, you know. Two years, you say? Grace, are you seriously planning a trip two years in advance? WHY YES I AM. Look, we started selecting destinations about a year and a half out last time, and we settled on Ireland in May 2010, just shy of a year before we went. I then spent almost a year planning it. That's just how I roll people. I have lists and categories, and I have researched everything--where to stay, where to eat, what to do, tricks, tips, etc.  I research, and I plot, and I plan, and then I hand over Options A-E to Vor, who either selects the option he likes most, or narrows down to two and I choose. Then we tweak.

I think starting even further in advance this time is a good idea, because (1) Lis takes up most of my free time now; (2) I have less free time now with my new position; (3) I have to figure in a toddler for this next trip.

So, with no further introduction:

Here are the insane options that will require much coordination and preferably the addition of a grandparent to come along:
1. Ireland, round two
2. London
3. Amsterdam
4. Paris
5. Scotland
6. Maui
7. Italy (am reluctant to do this with young kid)

Less insane options:
1. Disney cruise (blerg)
2. Other cruise (BLERG)
3. Alaskan Cruise (okay, I think I could handle this kind of cruise)
3. Caribbean resort of some kind (But Vor really hates the "I'm a tourist in a third world country and I am staying at a respiort while you are all dying of poverty and violence" thing)
4. Puerto Rico (has the same problem as above) (Seriosuly, spell check? You don't recognize this? GO HOME BLOGGER SPELL CHECK YOU'RE DRUNK)
5. Florida Keys resort
6. One of the national parks--Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, etc., or maybe a combination of the national parks out west. Maybe a combo of camping/nicer accommodations.

Things to consider: Flight time. Kid friendly. Whether we could talk Mama Vor into accompanying us. Those we be the things I need answered first, then I can narrow down.

Suggestions? Things that should be added? Things that should be immediately stricken?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

18 Months Post-Partum

This post can be summed up thusly: AAAARG baby weight, GTFO.

I’ve been at my new gym for a month, and I’ve seen the most consistent progress so far that I have seen since Lis was born. Namely, I am six pounds down, an inch off my waist, and two and a half freaking inches off my chest (ahh, boobs. That’s where I really like to store my extra weight, so that they can SMOTHER ME IN MY SLEEP). So, that’s some decent progress. I can tell me face looks thinner. My shin splints are fading, though my knee and my ankle hurt like a…well, honestly, I was going to use the time old honored word here, but I don’t see how a bitch can hurt, or even what that MEANS other than “a lot”, but why does it even mean that?

[Note: The Urban Dictionary tells me probably stems from the term “bitchn’, but seriously? How did bitchin’ come to mean what it means? Where is the ORIGIN?]

ANYWAYS, I’m not sure that phrase is even adequate, because I was sitting cross legged on the floor, and Lis sat down on my lap, like always does, but she leaned a little heavily on my ankle and I started screaming, and when she got off, I was whimpering, laying on the floor.

I might want to get that checked out.

Also noticed: sleeping better, no funny tingling in my hands, shoulders, or arms at night, more energy, less hungry (WTF?), random muscles showing up, some of my flexibility has returned, and my clothes are loose (as in, Lis pulled on my jeans and they fell off. In the kitchen. In front of Vor. Who died laughing) So, yay, new gym!

But I have such a long way to go. It’s so frustrating. I know there’s a variety of reasons this happened—bad post-partum period, surgery, not sleeping for more than hour for almost a year, work, lack of time, my own inherent dislike of gyms, my evil metabolism that thinks there is a famine out there and that I need to retain every single pound in order to survive, etc. But It’s eighteen (18!) months later, and I’m just now getting a handle on this? Ugh. This is EXACTLY what I was afraid of when it came to pregnancy and weight. I just KNEW I would be in this position. KNOW THYSELF.
It’s also frustrating, because I’m on Twitter and I follow other people, like one does on Twitter, and some of them had babies five months ago and are in their pre-pregnancy clothes, and there’s one who had a kid like a month and a half ago and is in pre-pregnancy clothes, and bemoaning the fact that she has still has ten pounds to take off, and just UGH. I know everyone has their own body and their own issues, but… am I not normal here? Should I have taken this off by the time Lis hit a year, other problems or no other problems?

I just feel like I can’t be the only person who never lost a single pound of baby weight after birth, and yet, it seems like I am (seriously. Not a thing. Oh, sure, after she was born, for like two days, I was down 8 pounds, but it reappeared within THREE DAYS. I wasn’t eating that much. I have no idea why or where or how).

Also, I realize that five pounds in one month is reasonable and probably very sustainable, but seriously? Five pounds in a month? It’s going to take me forever to take the baby weight off at this rate.

I think part of my problem is impatience combined with excitement. I’m excited that I am seeing results, so I am impatient to see more. I am excited about the idea of fitting into my old clothes and maybe obtaining a few new items, so I am impatient to do so. This is making me sound like a kid around Christmas presents. Real mature, Grace. Real mature.

Truly though, the point is, I’ve found something that works and I am working at it, and that’s all I can do right now.

Friday, August 9, 2013


In my dining room, until 10:30 am today, sat a medium colored drop leaf wood table, rectangle variety, with simple woodwork on the legs. Next to it was the matching hutch. The hutch is still here. The table is not.

That table (and hutch) came from my grandmother's and grandfather's house. It was something they bought together when they were first married, and it was still in pristine condition when I inherited it.

I remember many things about that table--sitting at it, refusing to eat green eggs and ham (yes, my grandpa read me the book, then made me the food, and I promptly refused to eat it); my grandpa making "octopus hotdogs" and eggs that covered my plate in a single layer, like an omelet, but with a ketchup smiley face on them; having tea with my grandma; cutting up greeting cards and making them into puzzles; eating our Dec. 24 pancakes and sausage Christmas-Eve-Morning traditional family breakfast; the fruitcake my grandmother would make; the depression glass, sorted into three colors (blue, green, amber) on three different window sills; the tablecloths over the table and how I could hide under it; the tiny green rubber frog that would sit on the corner of the table when I was being toilet trained--if I "did my job" then there would be an M&M waiting under the frog for me.

Long after my grandparents died, when my dad brought the table down to us in Indiana, something shifted in the truck, and it broke a leg of the table, and not just the leg--it broke the upper infrastructure that connected all the legs.

Vor and I took the table in anyways, and set it up with the leaves down, and used it as a sort of buffet in our dining room. Vor made several attempts, but nothing but a complete redo of the table was going to help it, and I balked at the idea and the cost, and the fact that it wasn't the same after that.

It's been sitting in our dining room since 2009, and recently, was subjected to the indignity of being colored upon by a wayward toddler. We just weren't sure how to save it.

Then, Vor's mom sold her house, and in the process of moving and building a new house, she got rid of a bunch of furniture. We decided to load up some of our old stuff with hers to declutter, and Vor hesitantly mentioned the table. Could it go to the auction, too?

Oh, my heart.

Of course, the answer is yes. We can't repair it, and we don't use it. I still have the hutch. At 10:30 this morning, the table left for a new home, and hopefully, many more memories of breakfasts and toddlers and M&Ms.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Skirting The Issue

I have A Thing I'd Really Like To Talk About But Can't Because Of Work. Yes, that is all legit capitalization. Let's just say adoption law is complex and family law cases are often sad. There. That covers it (no, not really).

This week is going to be a doozy: Vor has to go out to DC for patent related things, Lis's daycare is closed this week for "summer break" (I love them but seriously?), I patched together daycare with people who are very trust worthy and reliable EXCEPT for when it comes to telling time, I have a major filing I need to do this week, and BONUS! My coworker had her baby (so small and smooshy). Let's not talk about when I'm supposed to get to the gym or clean a single thing this week.

I actually spent a good chunk of this weekend (during nap time of course) writing my new social media paper that is going to be published, so I need to buckle down and finish that puppy as well.

In my spare time I'd like to think of a way that I could talk about the adoption thing in theoretical or hypothetical format, because I think it might generate a good conversation, potentially another paper. My brain is all geared for adoption law right now because yours truly is presenting at a national CLE on adoption law. Whoa. I still feel like a baby lawyer--hell, I still AM a baby lawyer, yet here I am, telling people how to do stuff. It certainly is a benefit of diving in to the deep end at the beginning of your career.