Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time Keeps on Slippin'

I had been doing so well blogging at least once a week. Then it was time for school to start. I got my summer work finished and had nary a break before Fall classes started. So far I only like 1 of my classes. I'm not crazy about Arbitration or Business Organizations, possibly because I have so little interest in the topics. Arbitration freaks me out because it requires small assignments all through the semester and I am used to be able to slack off all semester and then cram for an exam.

Normally I am grateful for small assignments because it means your grade is based on multiple opportunities to excel, but I know I am going to get a B no matter how hard I try so I would prefer to be lazy and just take an exam. At least we are encouraged to work with a friend on arbitration assignments, because my friends are crazy good at (and interested in) drafting arbitration agreements.

I think my gender/sexuality/law class is going to be really interesting, but I find myself getting pretty ticked off at the readings. Today we discussed the documents published by the Catholic and Mormon churches about homosexuality. I felt a surge of anger reading the steps these churches ask you to take if you are gay. Still, perhaps through these studies I can develop better tools for discussions with those who do not believe in gay rights, without resorting to screaming matches.

I have not started my clinic at the public defender office yet, but I am concerned about how busy it is going to keep me. We have to do 12 trials  on our own! The odds of that even happening seem so slim as it is, and I of course wouldn't feel ethical encouraging clients to go to trial just to meet my course requirements! I wonder (somewhat naively) if previous students have done such a thing?

Things on the weight loss track have been terrible. I have actually gained a couple of pounds. I got a Fitbit and started using it, but I don't think that it is helping much. Having a set goal for steps per day assumes that you are able to work out every single day. Otherwise, you look down at the device on your hip and see that barring a full-blown workout you are a failure for the day. I ordered the workout which is just one level below P90X, so I am going to give that a try. It arrives today, hopefully it will sufficiently kick my butt.

All in all, I am definitely not into the swing of things yet. Hopefully in another week or so I will be used to school (and not taking a nap every day).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Slippery Summer

Summer is one slippery sucker, ever slipping away while I'm not looking. I have less than ten hours left on my internship at the public defender office and one ten page paper left to write. I have procrastinated so much on the paper it's ridiculous. It will only take a little while to do, but it's just so B-O-R-I-N-G. I am not interested in the topic at all. It's even ON POINT with my chosen field and I still can't bring myself to give a crap. Why, you ask? Because MURDER TRIAL. I am going all Dooce with the all caps today, aren't I? The murder trial is ramping up and I am having fun working on it, but the pressure is starting to build. I may get to go out there soon to do some intensive trial prep, but for now it's all stressful last minute discovery.

Before I know it, school will be starting up. It's crazy. Do you realize what fall of 3L means? BAR APPLICATION. Holy mother of crap, I have to start that mess. It's easier said than done, given my multiple name changes and dozens of jobs in the last ten years. Frankly the thought is stressful to me, even more-so than the actual bar exam. That will change soon I'm sure.

I had this whole plan in my head (and on paper, and on the Internet) that included getting in shape before school started. I pictured walking into class after the summer all fit and sexy and everyone would be super jealous. With only 2 weeks to go, that is not going to happen. Some dear friends from law school got married over the summer in Wisconsin, so they are doing a big reception in September. It will be dinner and dancing and a great time, so I'm going to shoot for that date to wow my friends. Tonight at 10pm I actually got on the treadmill and ran/walked for 20 minutes and then did my physical therapy. My PT is kicking my ass, almost like a personal trainer. Hopefully I can keep it up so that I can lose some weight, but at this point I am starting to wonder if my hormonal issues contributing to infertility might also be affecting my weight loss. I'm considering seeing a specialist and getting a full hormone panel done. Who knows, maybe the weight loss will correct that too, but maybe the hormone fix will correct the weight issue? It's a vicious circle.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

/Head Explodes

This week it became apparent that my end of summer is not going to be as relaxed as I imagined. Unless I work 24/7 from this point on. School starts on August 21. I have 20 hours of my clinic remaining, 2 bench trials, a 10 page paper, and a murder trial which I had previously been only slightly involved in and am now suddenly waist deep in it.

The good news is the case is exciting, (if not ridiculous) and I may get to go out to its location to help with trial prep for a few days. I am super excited about it. I just hope I can get it all done and keep my sanity. The paper is something that should (as per school policy) take about 50 hours. Whoo. I think I will spend all day tomorrow on it and hopefully get it at least researched. If I can get it done, the 20 hours on the clinic won't be so bad because the paper won't be hanging over my head.

I wish I could talk more about the big trial, but obviously that's not allowed. I can say that I've processed about 8k pages of discovery and just got word the prosecutor's office just sent more over. So we have that to look forward to. Hopefully the new pages explain some of the big holes I see in their case, but one can only hope. (Or not, given that we are on the defense.)

Abby has been particularly keen on playing Barbies and princesses with Mommy lately, so it breaks my heart to have to say I'm sorry and then tromp downstairs to my office for hours at a time.

Yesterday and today I have been super hormonal and my sense of smell is suddenly impressive. I also nearly thrown up when walking by Subway (I hate the smell of their bread baking apparently) and then today when helping Abby use the bathroom. I'm not normally squeamish, so I'm wondering if this is a good sign that our efforts this month with Clomid have paid off. I'll have to wait another week to find out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New and Improved

This week I started working on myself a bit. Some little things, some pretty major. Here's a quick list:

My spinal specialist (I have L4 and L5 disc bulge) gave me a steroid injection in May and asked me to start physical therapy and get custom orthotics for my shoes. I didn't do either of those things because I had so much going on. I got the orthotics and I start physical therapy tomorrow.

I started exercising and have worked out almost every day this week. My back feels much better with the small bit I have done; we'll see how well we do with the physical therapy. I'm only a week into my (very very gradual) running program but I'm seeing huge improvements and weight loss.

I stopped drinking soda cold turkey. No alcohol (since we're trying to conceive) and only drinking water or milk. Mostly this is for the sake of my teeth, but the lack of caffeine dependency is nice as well.

I've been cooking meals and keeping the house clean, which has helped me with energy and motivation as well. I am much more likely to do healthy things like exercise and cook dinner if the house is clean.

I started taking regular vitamins (including prenatals).

I feel really good so far, although very tired. That may have something to do with the 1k or so pages of discovery I indexed today though.

We went to the zoo today, here is one of my favorite pictures:

We had a great time and since we have a membership now we'll be going back a lot. We caught the bird show and it was as fun as always. Abby got a kick out of the birds that could "talk." We went by the gift shop and while she could have gotten basically anything in the store (squishy stuffed animals, candy, science-type gadgets) my kid went with a helicopter. That's my girl!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sound Off! One two...

A little sound off for today's reading pleasure.

Brian and I had a wonderful weekend date, we went to the local amusement park where we went on our first date. I couldn't believe it had been six years since we last went! We discovered (to our horror) that we have become "Those People". You know Those People, they are the super lame whiney people popping Dramamine and complaining about the heat. I felt myself being super terrified of going on rides (many of them I had been on HUNDREDS of times in my youth). I got shaky and nauseated at the mere sight of the newest additions to the park. Still, I pressed on, determined to not be one of Those People. I picked the newest, most scary ride EVER and we went on it. First. Here's what I subjected myself to:


And this.

And this.

WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? I pretty much felt like I was going to hurl for about two hours after that. Brian wasn't doing so hot himself, so we went on the ferris wheel and several other safe rides hoping my stomach would calm down.

We discovered another new ride in the park which is basically little jet airplanes which SPIN AROUND over and over while flying. PUKE. I opted not to challenge myself on that point. Here it is:

Yeah, no.

I was pretty annoyed at my body that it can't handle rides anymore (even with motion sickness medicine). I used to LOVE it in my younger days. Oh well, the price of getting old I guess. We still managed to have a great time, but Brian wrenched his neck pretty hard on one of the rides. Queue the sounding off...

Brian has been off work for the last two days because of his neck. It was causing nausea and pain (I'm guessing whiplash? but it's better now so it's fine) and he didn't want to go to work. He was a trooper and still dropped Abby off and picked her up from daycare. I was working from home, and while he was minimally invasive just having him around totally threw off my groove. I kept wanting to do things and couldn't because he was around, and he assumed my attempts to concentrate on the 20,000 pages of discovery I'm trying to catalog was me being "mad at him." Maybe he was partly right, but mostly I was just trying to do the work I had committed myself to do for those two days. Plus, he wanted to play video games and I like to watch Netflix while I catalog.

Basically I am not only one of Those People, but I'm totally ungrateful for my amazing husband who probably just wanted a couple lazy days at home to recover and my working from home threw off HIS groove.

*sigh* I feel like such a jerk sometimes.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Having a Baby in Law School (Again)

Lately I have been struggling with what to do about our little family. We would love to have another baby, but we've been trying for about a year and a half (with intermittent Clomid) with no success. It looks like we had an early loss this month, so at least we know it's possible but with the way the calendar is looking we are running out of time. If I am due during the bar it will bring impossible stress, so we want to avoid being due in July at all costs. Even June is iffy, given how much studying I will need to do (and sitting in a classroom during Barbri). Having Mommy Brain and a compressed bladder does not sound like a good plan for bar prep.

So what to do? We've decided to try the Clomid for a few more months and then stop, and then to be honest I just don't see us having more after the bar. I want to get in shape and start focusing on my career and having a baby (and trying to conceive) just takes so much out of me. At some point I would love for me and Brian to just focus on us as a couple again, and we all know that the more kids you have the longer it takes to get to Empty Nest. Not to mention I am not a spring chicken and I hate the idea of the risks going up so much due to my age, I'd rather just stick with our one amazing kid than risk anything going wrong.

Things at work are great. I've been practicing for a month or so now in a couple different jurisdictions, and I've really enjoyed it. Public defense is certainly different than private, I really had no idea how much so. I will get to do a couple trials in August, so I have that to look forward to. I'm also working on a big case out of state (working from home) which is super exciting (and I'm getting PAID!) and which keeps me busy but not too much so. Frankly, a lot of the work can be done while hanging out on my couch and I think that is swell. It's not stressful at all and I know that when I'm done I will have a nice check to apply to my debt or pay for our vacation next summer after graduation. Pretty soon I will finish up the hours for my clinic, which means I will be done at the public defender office. That will free up some time to enjoy my summer a bit more. Maybe we will head south and visit Brian's sister and do a bit of swimming, that would be super fun.

I'm sort of rambling here, but I've been out of the habit of blogging for so long now that I figure anything helps me get back into the swing of things. Hope everyone's summer is going well!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Time is Not on my Side

Oh boy, things have been nuts! I have finalized my schedule for the last year of law school (mostly). I've been working at the public defenders this summer for school credit, and have been practicing under the Third Year Practice rule, which has been completely awesome. I've drafted multiple motions and gotten some dismissals. I like everyone I work with and have been learning so much! I took a one week boot camp-style class in June and am waiting for my grade to come through. On top of all that, there is a (small) chance I may be pregnant. I have issues in that area and when I started having symptoms I got a blood test, which was negative but the level was 1, not 0. So I'm not sure if it's a miscarriage or what, but we're waiting another week to test again. Last time I was pregnant I had symptoms almost immediately upon conception, but didn't have a blood test then. It is possible I am just having symptoms so early that I'm ahead of the hcg test. I also know that I have low progesterone levels (hence trouble with conception) and so when the egg is fertilized I get a surge of progesterone and am more sensitive to it than other people. It's a mystery, and completely frustrating.

I'm absolutely exhausted, worried that this may be a pregnancy loss, but really happy with work and school. As soon as we know, I will either begin a new fitness challenge or a new parenting one! We'll see!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Summer Plans

I am trying to finalize my summer plans while trying to finish this year up. It's frustrating that we have to make decisions so early. I didn't get the public defender job I was hoping for, but I'm optimistic I can get something else lined up. I am thinking I will take classes and do a clinic, which should give me a nice summer experience while giving me plenty of time to be home with Abigail. I want to go to the park and play as much as I want to work, so this should be a good balance.

I decided not to take "no" lying down and called up a local public defender that does not belong to the county-funded association. Small cities contract out their public defense work so I contacted one that has an excellent reputation. If I can do an unpaid internship for them, I can get school credit. I even got a faculty member to agree to do a directed study for me to satisfy the academic portion of the clinic. So that's one option I have to lean on. I am meeting with the firm tomorrow to see if it's a good fit. It's too bad it's a bit of a drive, but if it's only 2 days a week or so I'm not too worried about it.

I just want to do some good work and make a difference this summer, because next summer will be the bar and I want to learn as much as possible before then.

What are your summer plans?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Power Up!

Yesterday in between errands I got a little me-time. I bought a couple new suits and got my hair cut and styled. I had recently had a horrible haircut and needed to get the damage repaired before my interview. I went to the Paul Mitchell School and they did a fantastic job! I felt amazing when I left; so empowered! I walked into my interview at the public defender feeling good about myself and left the interview feeling the same way. It was a very quick (ten minute) interview, but I thought the interviewer was responding well to the things I had to say. I know of a couple of my classmates who were interviewing and they are really great, I hope I get it but I also wish them luck. I am hoping the department will take a couple of clerks. One of  my friends already works there and it would be really fun to work with her.

When I bought the suits the clerk at Macy's (where I never, ever shop) talked me into a store credit card, which I immediately regretted. I then promptly changed my mind. They have a great selection of suits and other things and it will be fun to broaden my shopping horizons a bit.

All in all, I felt like a lawyer today. It's silly I know, and I have worn suits and had haircuts before but today it just felt RIGHT.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Whoa. Dude.

October? That was my last post? What has happened to me!?!

Okay, so 2L happened. What a weird year this has been so far. Last semester I did the least amount of work ever and got higher grades than before. I read for class exactly one time (for one class) and it just happened to be the day the prof canceled class halfway through. Still, I pulled very very good grades (for me). Maybe I am hitting my stride with exams or time-management? Who knows, but I am having a good year. Things are very busy though. I wasn't supposed to keep my job through the school year; it was only intended to be a summer thing. When my bosses' paralegal left suddenly I couldn't just leave them in the lurch, so I stayed on. It was super stressful because I was doing the Innocence Clinic and it required 10+ hours per week. So 10 at work, 10 at clinic, 15+ in class, plus study time, plus 5 at my on-campus job. There just weren't enough hours to get it all done. So studying took a backseat, because I would much rather spend time with my daughter than study.

Speaking of Abby, she turns 3 this month. Holy crap. I cannot believe that is happening. She talks in mile-long paragraphs now and has started inventing stories. Sometimes unfortunate ones such as the other day when I was doing dishes. She wandered into the kitchen and said to herself "No mommy, don't hit me!"

Uh, what the hell?

So I said, "What, Abby?"

She replied, "You threw that at me in my bedroom and you broke it and it hurt."

Uh, what the hell?

I finally realized she was playing pretend, but I was kind of freaked out. Was this something she overheard? Was this a pretend that she was TELLING PEOPLE?!?! OMG.

I am terrified (from work, which has addled my brain) that she will say something like that to the wrong person and I will find DCFS at my door. YIKES.

In other news, I decided to quit my job. The idea of staying was to help them out and make a bit of cash, but I want to use my summer continuing to learn about defense and even represent some clients (we have a 3rd year practice rule in my state) so I asked my bosses if they thought they would have something for me to do.

They said they didn't think so and I began hunting for something else. Trial Ad is ramping up soon and I won't have time to train my replacement if they don't hire someone quickly, so I told them to get on that. I got an interview with a public defender's office which will happen on Tuesday. I am super excited!! I have always pictured myself in a public interest role, albeit originally I thought it would be prosecution, and getting a clerkship with this office would be so awesome. I hope the interview goes well.

That's pretty much it. I am plugging along and really enjoying my classes this semester. I am taking a health law class which is outside my track but seemed interesting. At first I was horrified by how philosophical it is, but now I am REALLY enjoying it. See? I used all-caps. That means a lot.

Trial Ad is super fun but a little scary. We meet at night once a week in small groups and do things like cross-examine each other. It's a little nerve-racking but we always laugh a lot at our mistakes and learn something. The best part is that the small-section professors are adjuncts who are actually practitioners. Mine is a defense attorney I have long admired and it's awesome to get to learn from her. Especially because her firm is prestigious and I wouldn't have a prayer of getting a job there.

Hopefully I can be more dedicated to blogging, but I am not super optimistic!