Saturday, March 31, 2007

How To Write a Paper

Does anyone know how? I've forgotten. UC requires two substantial papers to be completed before graduation and my seminar last quarter provided an opportunity to write one. The minimum 25-page paper is due April 30. The outline was due March 8th, but I still haven't done it. I'm sitting here staring at a stack of Lexis print outs and have no idea what to do with them (I just realized that the last time I printed anything off Lexis in the law school was for the 1L brief). The last research-type paper I wrote was my undergraduate thesis and it was turned in November of 2004. We have been given no guidelines other than the page minimum- do I need a table of contents? a works cited? Can I use large margins and size 14 font? If you use footnotes, is it standard to include a works cited at the end (that's actually a serious question)?

I've spent most of my time so far looking at apartments online (we're moving June 1) and researching child care arrangements for next year. I have written a few emails and organized my inbox. I have not read my Lexis printouts or figured out what precisely the topic of my paper is going to be. Would anyone like to research and write a paper for me as a baby gift? You'd get a lovely thank you note.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happily Distracted

I finally felt our baby kick and I have to say it was one of the coolest thing I've ever experienced. He's really in there, squirming around and exploring his little home. It happened last night for the first time and I thought "whoah, X kicked me!" and that's how we settled on his name. We were debating a few, but apparently I was already calling him one in my mind and didn't realize it until then. He has a name and felt presence- it's been a big two days!

Today in Public Land and Resource Law he kicked a few more times and I almost giggled out loud in glee. How can I concentrate on the Organic Administration Act when my son is saying hello? "Happily distracted" effectively sums up my mental state right now- I'm already behind in my reading and I have a massive paper due in a month (and a 3-page outline for that paper which is overdue by 4 weeks), but I don't care a whole heck of a lot. This is why I took all the big important classes this past fall and winter. Happy distraction and corporations law wouldn't have worked out very well.

I actually like my classes a lot this quarter- they're all different from the ones I took earlier this year. One is essentially a legal history class surveying how race has been treated in American law, another looks at the relationship b/w religion and the constitution, there's public land which is a form of property, the only 1L class I enjoyed, and lastly there's my criminal justice and cyber law seminar taught by a prosecutor that is both fantastic and fascinating. It's a lovely quarter, and not nearly as rigorous as prior ones, so I have plenty of time to sit and be happily distracted.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why Can't I Just Say "No"?

I'm 21 weeks pregnant and I've already been asked at least 20 times if I'm going to breastfeed. The fact that this is a standard pregnancy question is bizarre to me- that's a very personal decision that involves very personal factors and parts of my body. Why does anyone want to know or care about what my answer is? My unedited answer is "No, I don't want to breastfeed" but I've never actually said that. Usually I talk circles around the question- I mention my general desire not to, but then note all the pressure and propaganda that make me feel that I should, but then I counter that neither I, nor my siblings, nor JP, nor most kids born in the 80's, were breastfed and we all turned out quite well, but then... After 10 minutes of rambling I usually change the subject. Why do I do this? Most people asking are good friends who aren't going to judge me or a family member who will support my decision regardless of what it is. A Google search on "formula feeding newborn" will bring you to websites, articles, "studies", and chat rooms which equate your decision with child abuse. This infuriates me. Why is it that mothering is so open for public comment? There are women who can't breastfeed for physical or medical reasons. There are mothers who have to return to work right away because the government does not guarantee paid maternity leave, and those mothers are usually returning to jobs without a lactation room or private office where they can pump. There are babies who are adopted and premature babies who cannot suck properly and need the extra calories present in formula. This is a personal decision, one of many that a parent makes which has affects on their child.

I know there are a million studies concerning the superiority of breast milk, and I do believe that it has unique benefits, especially for the immune system. I'm not trying to debunk science, but I think the advantages are often overstated through the use of adjectives in articles that have no numbers. I think that any study which looks at kids 15 years later is flawed in too many ways to prove breastfed babies are intellectually or biologically superior. I found an interesting article that reads, "what's not so thoroughly reported is that some of the research has serious limitations. 'They're the type of studies that CNN loves to quote and doctors love to hate.' says Tom Jaksic, MD, a leading expert on neonatal nutrition at Harvard Medical School, referring to those linking breastfeeding and disease prevention. And like most research, while breastfeeding studies are significant, he explains, they're largely 'population-based,' meaning that babies who are nursed may have parents who are well nourished, well educated, and able to afford quality medical care. 'We try to correct for these things statistically, but we can't completely.' says Nancy Butte, Ph.D. of the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Butte has been studying the chemical components of breast milk and formula for more than 20 years. Both she and Dr. Jaksic believe that if they could eliminate statistical variables, they would find that breastfed babies, taken as a group, are only slightly more resistant to illness than formula fed ones. 'It's hard to distinguish between a well-cared-for bottle-fed infant and one who's breast fed.' says Butte." So, once again, I absolutely agree that "breast is best" but I disagree with those who equate formula with malnutrition and a terrible mother.

I suppose my biggest irritation is how offensively judgmental some people are about breastfeeding- even those who haven't had children yet! I am annoyed at my own feelings of defensiveness when I try to explain that I don't want to breastfeed (I haven't decided what I will actually do, but I don't want to). I think this relates to my general anger at how judged women are in relation to procreating- that people feel free to make comments about a woman's weight gain, about her sip of wine, about her diet coke, about wanting an epidural during labor, about planning to use child care, about returning to work in general, and about so many other aspects of mothering. There are so many choices JP and I will make for our baby that will affect his intelligence, immune system, and temperament- formula v. breastfeeding is just one of them, yet I feel it is one of the most debated, judged, and inquired about.

I haven’t gone into my reasons for not wanting to breastfeed. Some of them are admittedly selfish- after 9 months of existing solely for the benefit of my son, I want my body to be mine again, others are based on convenience- I’m returning to school and want the nanny and JP to be able to feed the baby without my having to pump, and the core reason is that my absolute gut reaction to breastfeeding is really really not wanting to do it. I’ve always felt that way- I know its supposed to be the most natural thing in the world, but I am fundamentally uncomfortable with the very idea. I haven’t actually made a decision yet, I am willing to try and will be talking with my midwife more about this at my next visit. Last night I told JP that I wished I was having a baby in 1982 so that I could formula feed without being judged or yelled at (through the internet or in person) or that I had a “valid” physical reason that made breastfeeding impossible. I then realized the absurdity of wishing a physical condition on myself just to avoid feeling judged and defensive. So I decided to blog about it. You can comment with why breastfeeding is best and should be done despite all obstacles or comment with what you chose to do and why. I’ll delete anything overly negative as I read quite enough of that on other websites today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chicago Weather is a Tease

It was in the mid-seventies for the past few glorious days- I've shopped, read outside, and walked all around my beautiful city. Today, I wore a skirt, sleeveless top, and flip flops to school and walked with a friend to the GSB for lunch. All the way there I was drinking in the warm weather and soft breeze. After a hour-long delicious business school meal (their cafeteria is by far the best on campus, ours is by far the worst) we stepped outside to temperatures TWENTY degrees lower than when we stepped in. The breeze had turned into freezing gusts of wind and my outfit was totally inadequate- goose bumps immediately covered my entire body and we practically ran back to the law school. I was hoping the return of cold weather was a fluke, but the ten day weather forecast says it'll be in the 40's until at least April 5th, so apparently the warm weather was the fluke.

In law school news, apparently my seminar professor home bakes treats for us each week! This quarter rocks.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Another Shiny New Quarter Begins

I love the first day of a new quarter- new classes, new books, new professors, and catching up with classmates you haven't seen in 10 whole days. I'm actually quite excited about this quarter- for the first time I've picked classes based on how interesting they sound rather than whether or not I've been told I should take them. Picking classes based on interest is a way better system. I enjoyed the reading due today and I enjoyed both of my classes- this is a rare thing. I didn't have class until 1:30, so I did important things around the apartment this morning like re-trying on all my new clothes and looking at birth announcements online (if anyone has some recommendations, I'd love to hear them). I got to school about 11, picked up my loan refund check (yay! more shopping!), had lunch with a friend outside in the beautiful weather, and then went to class. My first one, "American Law and the Rhetoric of Race" is cross-listed with the undergraduate college and the policy school. It sounds really interesting and is more of a legal history course than a law class. The second, "Religion and the Constitution" is a regular law class but the topic fascinates me and the final is only 1-hour long and multiple choice! I wore one of my new dresses today and got lots of compliments- it was nice to feel pretty and not pudgy. It was a very good day.

Sadly, I returned home to find the construction on the road out front burst a water main and the water is now turned off. They "hope" it will be back on tomorrow. I am not happy about this, but in trying to be positive- I will get to order out dinner guilt-free tonight and it will motivate me to go to the gym in the morning because that's the only way I can take a shower. Now I'm off to physical therapy for my headaches. I've had a few sessions and really love my therapist- I think her stretches and exercises have helped a lot. I felt a headache coming on yesterday and did some of the neck/head stretches and it faded and went away. It could have been a fluke, but I felt quite powerful in being able to scare away a headache without Tylenol.

My commercial transactions grade just got posted and its quite respectable- totally compensates for the bloody aftermath of secured transactions fall quarter.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shopping Sprees

I have done a Lot of shopping in the last few days. I tried to put it all in perspective for JP by explaining how much he would have to buy if suddenly nothing in his wardrobe fit. He was pretty sure he wouldn't need much, and he didn't think that explained why I bought 3 new pairs of shoes, but he trusts in my fiscal responsibility and doesn't really care when I come home with an unusually large number of shopping bags. And I have found some great stuff! I got a really cute khaki colored suit, several "work shirts", a pair of jean capris, a pair of khaki pants, a jean skirt, a couple cute casual tops, and two dresses. I had great success at Gap Maternity- I'm so glad I live by Michigan Avenue where I can shop in the store rather than online. The big Marshall Field's on State Street (I refuse to call it Macy's) also has a large Mimi and Motherhood Maternity section- Mimi was having a great sale and I found some shirts that didn't look "cheap" at Motherhood (but were cheap). I'm quite pleased with my purchases- I feel much more cute and much less squishy/lumpy. I shudder to look at my online credit card statement, but I know that I never have time to shop during the quarter. JP and I start the long drive down to Texas immediately after my last final, so there isn't time for me to buy anything before work begins. It's hard to believe I'll be in Austin two months from today! I have enough items to get me started and then I can pick up a few more in Texas.

In an additional effort to take charge of my increasingly unfamiliar body, I've been going to the gym. I walk on the treadmill with a steep incline and do some arm and leg weights. It feels really good to be doing something proactive- since I can't control my middle, I've decided to make sure my legs and arms look good for summer!

In other baby news, I still haven't felt the little guy kick. I don't know if I'm particularly not in tune with my body or if he's just really lazy, but I haven't been able to detect any movement. Everything looked great in the ultrasound last week, so I'm not worried about it- I just really want to feel his presence. I need constant proof of things, and those ultrasound pictures are only going to hold me over for so long.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Being a Pregnant Classmate

I've written about being a pregnant law student and summer associate, but those posts focused on the reactions of professors and employers as well as how pregnancy has affected my law school academic experience. In a comment on my previous post "Amanda" asked about other students' reactions, so I thought I should address that as well.

I was initially nervous about being pregnant in law school because I knew I'd probably be the only one. UC's average student age is fairly young and many come straight from undergrad (like me), so most just aren't in that place in their lives yet. They're also pretty driven and seem to enjoy making law school as hard as possible (law review, moot court, yes please!), so their 2L/3L years aren't as "easy" as mine (relatively speaking). I thought I would feel awkward being huge and pregnant while my classmates are normal sized and going to bar review, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Because I'm the first of my friends to get pregnant, as well as the first cousin/grandchild, I think of everyone as being like me- inexperienced and slightly uncomfortable with this whole growing a baby process. I forgot that my classmates have lives outside the law school (crazy!) and in those lives their friends, spouses, and siblings have experienced pregnancy and babies. Throughout the last quarter people came up and congratulated me and asked how I was feeling, how classes were going, and to let them know if I ever needed any help. They were uniformly wonderful. Even people I didn't know very well, and guys I wouldn't have expected to be so understanding or talkative on the subject, would ask me how I was doing and give anecdotes of their sister, friend's wife, etc. I've decided the vast majority of people in my class know a lot more than I do about this whole process and they've all been so positive about it. I'm sure there are people who think I'm nuts or that this was an accident, but that's always going to be true, and no one has expressed those thoughts to me. Most seem to agree that this is a good time to start a family and are quite excited about a law school baby- I even have a long list of volunteers to baby sit (and I've written down every one of them :)

In all my planning and researching I think I lost sight of the fact that this is just a baby- its not an impediment to my career or something to be dealt with (not that I saw him that way, but I assumed others would) and most people are just genuinely happy for you. I have usually been the one to bring up timing or how great my firm took the news- most people just wanted to know details and share their own baby stories. This is also what happened when I told The Firm- I expected questions about school and how it was going to work out- instead there was lots of congratulatory emails and advice on baby registering, feeding, etc. Most people have or want children- including my classmates and future firm colleagues- and I'm not seen as blazing a crazy new trail by getting pregnant with career plans.

This is just my experience, I can't speak for other schools, but UC is (quite rightly) known for being "rigorous" and driven, so if they can be all warm and cuddly about a baby, I'd imagine most other schools' students would be similar. I'd love to hear other people's experiences- I've noticed that almost all the google searches leading new people to this blog are for "pregnant in law school" or something of the sort, so I'm sure they'd enjoy them too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

We're Having a Boy!

Today was the day of the big ultrasound and we're going to have a son. I'm already reveling in saying "his" and "him"- infinitely better than "it". JP threw up his hands in victory at the penis sighting- he was certain it was a boy all along (although, he's certain that all our unborn children are boys). I realized last night that I was kind of hoping for a boy too. I would have been thrilled with a girl, but for the first time I realized I had a slight preference. Our next one has to be a girl though- there can only be so much testosterone running around.

The ultrasound was lots of fun- our baby is very coy and refused to let the ultrasound tech get a good look at his face. She had to keep adjusting the bed and getting me to stand up and walk around. He finally cooperated and then decided to play peek-a-boo and made his hands cover his face. I love thinking he already has a personality- so cute!
It's amazing to be able to see so much- we saw every major bone, a detailed view of the heart, the brain, his face, and all his little fingers and toes. Everything looks perfect!
And to top off an already awesome day I got an email from my securities prof that I got an A on our final. That was a very hard class and very hard final, but it was also my favorite class and favorite professor. I cared about doing well not only because I'm type A and want to go into corporate law, but because you could tell the prof put a lot of effort into teaching the class and really cared that we learned it. Last quarter was tough- I took hard classes and spent the majority of it in a pregnancy induced sleep-like state. I'm happy I did well in something- it will help cushion the blow when admin comes back...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't You Love Being Pregnant?

Ummm, no. I've been asked this a couple times recently (interestingly, all by women who haven't been pregnant yet) and I've decided that so far, I'm really not a big fan. It's not that its been terrible- I was very lucky with morning sickness and everything has gone smoothly for these 20 weeks, but I've read and heard women say they felt their best while pregnant- that pregnancy taught them how to love and appreciate their bodies and roles as women. My body just feels squishy and completely unfamiliar, and I already can't wait to get the old one back. I know that this is a grand miracle and my body is doing a beautiful thing, but that doesn't mean I feel beautiful in the process. JP is very complimentary and I really think he means it when he says I've never looked better, but I don't agree. Maybe its that I'm still at the in-between stage where I look pregnant in some clothes and just lumpy and larger in others. And maybe I'm just not fully comfortable with my pregnant state. It makes me uncomfortable that total strangers know such an intimate detail about my life just by looking at me- it actually makes me blush when people comment on my baby bump. This is very strange because I think other pregnant women look great and normally I'm quite open about sex and other personal things. I'm not ashamed of my new shape, I just don't feel like a beautiful earth mother while trying on maternity clothes. I also don't like that I don't know my body anymore- I don't know what makes my stomach hurt, what triggers a headache, and what extreme end of the mood spectrum I'll be on 10 minutes from now. I hate having to watch everything I do, eat, and drink for fear that I'm hurting our baby and knowing that any harm done is completely my fault. I hate that other people feel that my personal appearance (weight!) and actions are open for public comment.

I wouldn't say I hate being pregnant- I'm thrilled about becoming a mother and I can't wait to meet our baby, but I definitely can't say I love it. Its more of a state that I tolerate because I'm the only one of us who can grow a baby. If JP could do it, I would definitely hand it off to him next time. I wanted to write about my thoughts because I almost feel guilty for having them- every website and baby magazine tells me I should be glowing and reveling in my bump (I should also be wearing gauzy shirts with bows over leggings, but that's not happening either). How did any of you feel while pregnant?

Monday, March 19, 2007

If You're Going to San Francisco...

We got back from San Francisco last night- it was a wonderful, fun, and relaxing vacation! We walked for miles and miles around the city and did all the touristy stuff you're supposed to do- Chinatown, Union Square, the Ferry Building, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. On Saturday we met up with a friend of mine from elementary school and she took us across the Bridge to Sausalito and Muir Woods- its amazing that such a beautiful, tranquil place can be found so close to the city. Alcatraz was one of the coolest things we did. We lucked out with amazing 70-degree weather and the boat ride out to the island gave us great views of the city and bridges. The audio tour of the prison was fascinating- they interviewed real guards and inmates and some of the stories gave you chills. We ate lots of great food and even more gelato (Chicago really needs some gelato shops). It is a beautiful city and it was weird to think that we could live there in a year and a half if JP gets into Stanford. I would still rather avoid the California Bar, especially since I know we want to move back to Texas afterward, but it would be fun to live in a new city again.

I realized on our vacation that I need more maternity clothes. I only have 2 maternity tops that aren't just oversized sweaters and those aren't going to cut it in warmer weather. I did buy a cute jean skirt at Kohl's and I have my pretty new Isabella Oliver clothes, but I need more casual short-sleeved stuff. I feel like I'm constantly buying things, but I guess you have to when you need an entirely new wardrobe all of a sudden. I've gotten to the point now where none of my old stuff fits- not because I've gotten that big, but because my tops are too short and show the stretchy band at the top of my pants. I love shopping, but its not as fun to buy things for a fatter version of yourself- I prefer the post-diet shopping spree.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I've been free for finals for almost 24 hours and it's been wonderful. I got 11 hours of badly needed, stress-free sleep last night. I nearly missed my eye appointment today and it was at 11:00! I always sleep horribly during finals- I don't even stay up that late studying, but I get in bed and just can't turn my brain off. Monday night I sat straight up, wide awake, at 3am because I remembered I hadn't written anything about presentment warranties in my commercial transactions exam- I guess I was dreaming about it. I was so flustered about it I had to wake JP up and tell him too- as long as I'm awake I like to have company. Needless to say, he's happy finals are over too. My securities exam was insane- it was multiple choice, which I actually think is a good format for that class, the thought of working through a 5-page essay question that tries to get you to use all of the securities laws was completely overwhelming. However, these multiple choice questions were quite challenging and long- I had to look through my outline, notes, slides, and statute book for each one and I realized after 90 min. that I hadn't shifted positions and my back was screaming at me. It was very intense, but I think I did okay- the only problem is that I would think everyone else did too. There's a right answer to each question and if you had a comprehensive outline and notes you could find it. The curve could actually hurt you. I still have to write a substantial paper over spring bring for my "higher education and the law" seminar. I've decided to write on family friendly tenure track policies- it's a topic I'm personally quite interested in. I'm not sure how legal I can make it, but its an adjunct professor so I don't think the scholarly bar is that high- he just wants it to be interesting and well written.

Last night I sat on the couch and watched crappy tv for about 3 hours completely guilt-free. Today I ran a million errands and shopped a little (or a lot...). I love all the clothing styles right now, they're great for a pregnant girl! I got some really cute stuff that is all non-maternity and looks great- lots of empire waist tops and fold-over waisted skirts and pants. I got the free clothes from Isabella Oliver the other day and Love them! We leave for San Francisco tomorrow for 4 days of fun 60-degree weather. It's a celebration of the baby and then end of the GMAT ANd finals (or at least a break from the GMAT and finals- JP may still retake it and I have 4 more rounds of finals until I graduate). I'm pretty sure JP would kill me if I get on my laptop on our vacation, so I'll post when we get back on Sunday. Our ultrasound is Wednesday, so we're looking forward to that too. The whole world just seems like a brighter, happier place without finals!

Monday, March 12, 2007

2 down, 1 to go

Comm Trans and Admin are done- not necessarily done well, but over with. My favorite part of every quarter is right after the final when I ceremoniously drop all my notes, outlines, etc. into the "recycle bin" on my desktop. Deleting the folder entitled "Admin" nearly made me giddy with happiness. I also enjoy dumping any printed materials in the real recycle bin in the hallway- such a freeing feeling.

Securities is in 15 hours. I'm almost done going through all my notes and slides, but have not yet read all the rules or my own, increasingly long and complicated, outline.

Have you ever been so tired it takes a concentrated effort to make your eyes focus on the words on the screen? That's where I am right now...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Exams... suck

I could put it much more eloquently- I could talk about my passionate hatred for the quarter system and how I truly think it a bad fit for law school. Cramming a semester long class into 10 weeks isn't good for anyone and it gives you 3x more finals stress by the time you graduate. I could write about how I really should have started studying earlier than 6 days ago or how I don't know how to "not care" about my grades even though they really don't matter much now. I could write about how unbelievably tired I am (all the time) and how my body (now under the baby's control) forces me to sleep whether I have time to or not. I could write about how I never feel like I'm doing the right things to prepare for finals- that what I spend my time doing isn't really helpful and that other people have a much more efficient method.

But my commercial transactions final is in less than 3 hours and I feel woefully unprepared. Sadly, its the exam I'm the most prepared for. Admin is tomorrow and securities is Tuesday. All I can really say is, "ugh" and this will all be over Tuesday at 5pm.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Cheering Up is Hard to Do

So JP took the GMAT yesterday and did quite well; however, "quite well" is not "extremely well" and "extremely well" is what he was hoping to do. He should certainly still be able to get into business schools in the Top 20 and isn't out of the running for any in the Top 10, but "not out of the running" is not the same thing as "above their average accepted". Other over achievers will understand- it doesn't matter that it's still a good score, its not the score he thought he could get. So even though I want to smack him over the head with my securities book, I understand his disappointment, however undeserved. There's also the depressing thought of taking the test again- his score isn't quite high enough where that would truly be unnecessary, but its not low enough where he's certain he can do significantly better. A lot of standardized testing is luck of question drawn that day. The other thing is that he will still get into UT, a great school, and probably the best thing for all three of us (by then)- he just wants to know he got accepted to Harvard/Stanford. Superficial? Perhaps, but short of knocking him out with the above mentioned securities casebook, I don't think I can change his mind. There's also something to the fact that I got into those schools and then chose mine (the fact that I now semi-regret the choice doesn't matter). He wants to do the same; to say "I got into X, but chose Y", even if its only to himself. So basically, I have a lot of cheering up and ego boosting to do.

This is bad timing because I am feeling completely overwhelmed with my finals (that start in less than 48 hours). At least as a 2L I don't have to do all that well. I spent all of last night just hanging out with him, eating dinner, talking, etc. and only thought about how little I knew about admin a few times. Last year I would have been in the library- he would have talked to me on the phone and I wouldn't have been able to see how deeply upset he was or be able to help. I'm glad that I was home and able to be there for him the way he's been there for me, even if the first half-hour was spent with him glaring at his score sheet on the table and me really wanting to open it, but waiting for him to say something. The tight-rope walking dialogue of "you did great" combined with "I know you're disappointed" would not have worked out as well over the phone.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


JP takes the GMAT today at 1:45! I know we're both excited to have it over with. I'm sure he'll do great, but I think I'm more nervous than he is. Maybe because I know I'm the one who has to pick up the pieces and re-convince him of his brilliance if he doesn't do as well as hoped. He gets the scores back immediately (the advantage of taking it on a computer), so hopefully we'll be celebrating tonight!

(Well, he'll be celebrating, I'll still be drowning in admin confusion- or curled up in the fetal position waiting for it to just go away.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

We Didn't Win the Lottery, but...

I did win clothes! Baukjen, one of the founders of Isabella Oliver (the maternity clothes I'm in love with but can't afford on my poor student budget), posted a comment on my blog!!
hi, my name is baukjen and i'm one of the founders of . someone forwarded your blog entry and it put a smile on our faces that you wrote that you'd buy isabella oliver if you won the lottery! drop us an email at and ask for your email to be forwarded to me and let us know your size and address and we'll pop a few pieces from past photoshoots in the post for you. take care and congrats with your pregnancy!
You always read that lottery winners are no happier for all their millions (and often much more sad) and it may have put some strain on our marriage, but my not having to pay for clothes makes both of us happy!

So whoever forwarded my blog to Isabella Oliver, thank you so much- and IO, thanks for taking the time to make a random American blogger's week :)

Update: There's a post about me on their company blog!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Admin Study Cycle

Admin makes me:

  1. Confused
  2. Overwhelmed
  3. Miserable
  4. Long for alcohol in large quantities
  5. Depressed
  6. Apathetic
  7. Decide to screw it and go take a hot bubble bath
  8. Panic, post-bath, and sit down with renewed determination to conquer Chevron
  9. Confused
  10. Overwhelmed
  11. Miserable

If I Won 355 Million Dollars...

That's what the Illinois lottery is at today- JP's office is pooling to buy tickets (b/c investment bankers are in desperate need of such pocket change) and he's buying a few for us (I have imposed a limit of 5). JP is the gambler and financial optimist of our little family- I'm the realist/pessimist and would prefer our money to be in a box under our bed, or, I suppose, in a safe, interest bearing account of some kind. I have a deep mistrust of the stock market and hate that we have money there- maybe its because I only realized what the stock market was when the dot com bubble burst, but I regard it warily.

Anyway, this made me think- if we were to be the sole winners of that ridiculous amount of money, what would we do? Would I quit law school? Would JP quit his job? Would he still go to business school? I have friends who insist the only happiness in life is to be independently wealthy- no need for grad school, loans, jobs, etc. But I'm really not sure that much in our life would change. I'd still finish law school- maybe take a year off without the pressure of repaying my loans, but I'm not even sure I'd do that. I pretty much want it over with. I would be free to do any kind of legal work I want, but I think I'd still start at The Firm. I like the people and I could get an idea of what types of law are out there. I can't imagine what I'd do without a job- a purpose to my day. It could be part time ,volunteer legal work, but it has to be something. The biggest changes for me would be the little extras- a new (4-wheel drive) car, a bigger apartment, giving money to my family, a personal chef!, vacations without a strict budget, etc.

I think more would change for JP. He'd definitely leave his job- he has enjoyed it, but the long hours and often tedious work got old a while ago, and it would be nice for him to have time with the baby (and me!). I'm sure he'd still get his MBA, but I don't think he'd actually go into the business world to use it. He's dream in life is to own a cattle ranch (yes, I married a nice boy from upper crust Washington, D.C. and it turns out he's a Republican who voted for Bush and wants to live on a cattle ranch) and I guess now he could do that. The financial freedom would mean a lot more to him- there's so much he wants to do: invent things, start his own company, and ride horses. He loves the stock market and would have lots of fun researching and investing his own millions. I would still prefer it to be in a box under the bed.

I would enjoy being able to give lots of money to our favorite charities and I could buy all the maternity clothes I wanted from Isabella Oliver, but I think I'd still be a lawyer in some capacity. I suppose that means I've chosen the right field...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bullet Points for Lazy Writing

A few random bits of news for the day:
  • My midwife called with the results of the quad-screen and everything looks great! Our risk or Down's Syndrome is 1/6,500; Spina Bifida is 1/5,200; and there is no increased risk of trisomy 18. So yay- and our ultrasound is only 16 days away!
  • I'm exhausted. Pretty much all the time. I got less than 8 hours of sleep last night and found myself dozing off in class several times. I kept hearing that the 2nd trimester was so magical and you felt so great, but I am really just as tired as the 1st trimester. The tiredness isn't as sudden or imperative, but it is always there. I'm currently waiting for my stomach to feel less full from lunch so that I can go take a nap (and probably dream about all the work I should be doing).
  • A week from today I will be taking my second final, the dreaded administrative law one, and I haven't begun reading through my notes. This is not stopping me from taking my nap, but it is starting to worry me.
  • Our weather is finally pretty- still freezing and really windy, but the brilliant blue sky that I love is back.
  • Construction update: the people above us are now hammering things and there is a big work crew beneath our window working on a pot hole. I am literally surrounded by hammering, truck noises, and beeping. Really helps the reading of the UCC to have some jack hammering in the background.
  • Lilly has discovered the world beyond our apartment. JP used to leave the door open when he took the trash out to the garbage shoot b/c Lilly would never step foot outside our door- it seemed to freak her out. She eventually moved to rolling around on the doormat. Now she takes off sprinting down the corridor (well, maybe more like trotting, she's got a bit of a tummy). She's done this about 4 times and always ends up confused by the turns of the hallway- she'll find a doormat and lay down on it and one of us can scoop her up. I'm not sure how long it will remain easy to retrieve her. And now she stands by the door and meows to go out. Very annoying and of course, I blame JP.
  • I told my family about the blog. I have yet to decide if that was a good move or not- the worst thing would be if no one reads it, but I know they might so I have to edit what I write. I don't mind the editing if the writing its useful or entertaining to them, but if its neither, I'll probably wished I remained anonymous. So we'll see- I have a lot more to say about the difference the internet has made in a single generation, but I'll save that for another day I don't want to study.

Off to bed to hopefully awaken with a renewed feeling of purpose and productivity!

Update: Slept for 2.5 hours in spite of construction noise and the very bright sunlight. Feel refreshed but horrified so much of the day is gone. Taking a walk to the White Hen to get a diet coke and then Getting To Work.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Construction Noise & the Dixie Chicks

Construction noise follows me wherever I go. I have almost no motivation to study for finals (in 7 days!), but when I do put forth a good faith effort to do so, someone starts hammering or sawing something within 25 feet of me. There's constant construction at the law library, which is coupled with an inability to regulate the climate- its either freezing or muggy and hot. Prompted by semi-productive memories of fall finals, I made my way to the undergraduate library last week. Right when I got settled in, a loud hammering noise assaulted my eardrums. Yesterday it was cold, grey, and snowy, so I attempted studying from home. Right as I got settled in with my giant penguin tea mug, the people above us decided to remodel their kitchen (I'm guessing) and use a very loud saw to cut through something metal and squeaky. It was awful. Even the cat was totally freaked out. JP looked like he might kill someone. We decided to call it a day and go to Trader Joe's (a place I will miss sorely when we move back down south) and buy lots of delicious food.

We microwaved ourselves a delicious TJ's meal of mandarin orange chicken, vegetable fried rice, and chicken shu mai and watched "Shut Up & Sing", the documentary on the Dixie Chicks, and then "Hollywoodland". SU&S was excellent and Hollywoodland was mildly entertaining (but definitely better than studying for finals). I highly recommend the Dixie Chicks movie- even if you're not a country music fan. If you're hard-core-Bill-O'Reilly-conservative, you may not like it, but its about so much more than politics.

I was embarassed on behalf of the South while watching it- I remember the whole public outcry after Natalie Maines said, jokingly, at a London concert in 2003, "... and we're ashamed President Bush is from Texas" and thought it was all ridiculous. Every country radio station below the Mason-Dixon line banned their music- they went from having the #1 single ("Traveling Soldier") to not even being on the top 200. One guy interviewed said he supported freedom of speech, "but they don't have to do it in public!" They got death threats, people protested at their tour stops, radio stations organized burning barrels for people to burn their CDs- all this in AMERICA. It was remniscient of a dictatorship- voice dissent and your life is ruined. Ugh. I got re-frustrated watching the movie, but I still really enjoyed it. Its fun to look inside their lives, see them tour, be with their families, struggle and triumph over infertility, etc. I also happen to love their music so it was fun seeing them go through the steps of writing and recording a song. I wish the movie had an epilogue telling viewers the Chicks went on to win FIVE grammy's even though the majority of country stations still refuse to play their songs. It was also interesting seeing the headlines and Bush's approval ratings back in '03. The Chick's manager was telling them "the war couldn't going better" and "Bush's approval ratings are sky high." So much has happened in 4 years. We're still there, its going horribly, and Bush's approval ratings are the lowest in presidential history. Anyway... this started out about construction and turned into a post about politics- and I really have to go study. Or do something that looks more like studying than blog posting.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Going Public?

I'm trying to decide whether or not I should tell my family about this blog. It's the best place to get updates on me, JP, and the baby. Right now I send emails every month or so with a quick update on things- sometimes I wonder if that's too often or if people really want to know. A blog is passive and they could check when and if they wanted news and pictures. I'm very close to my family- I grew up 45 min. away from my aunts and uncles and 3 hours from my grandparents. We're all used to knowing what everyone else is doing (and looks like!), so being 1000 miles away during this huge event in my life is very strange. The downside to letting them know is I won't be able to complain about them ;) I'm not too worried about that b/c I rarely have anything to complain about.

I'm also trying to decide my policy on pictures- so far the ones I've posted either don't have people in them or I'm too far away and covered up by my coat to really see me. I think I'm okay with posting them- my real concern is being "searchable", I would never want my first name, last name, firm name, etc. to be anywhere on the blog. Anyone who would recognize the picture already knows who I am- there are plenty of identifying remarks, not the least of which is my status as the only pregnant UC law student this year.

Anyway- have any of you let your families know about your blog? What is your policy on pictures?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Not the Best Day

This morning my car got stuck in the ice halfway into a parallel parking spot behind the law school. I realized too late the spot was not quite big enough for my car (so close!) and when I tried to move forward out of the spot, my wheels spun, and there I was- touching the bumper of the car behind me, practically touching the car in front of me, and poking out into the street. I thought maybe it was a bad dream and I'd wake up and get to try again, but no. Luckily, a South Side Good Samaritan saw my struggle from his apartment window and came to move his car further up (his was the car right in front of me). Unfortunately I was still stuck, but at least I could hope the morning rain would get rid of enough ice that I could get out of the spot after class. I endured the 1 hour and 40 min. of admin and went to free my car and it worked! I was now off to my internal medicine appointment for my headaches and stomach problems.

At that office I met with the doctor who asked lots of questions and seemed to type more answers than I was saying- I found this quite funny. I'd give a yes or no answer and she'd type for like 3 min. I ended up having a bunch more blood work done (my arms are like little pin cushions) and I have to give a stool sample (ewwwww) and transport it back to the lab (EWWWW). So that'll be fun. The headaches are definitely severe tension headaches- we're trying physical therapy since I can't take the really powerful headache meds while pregnant. Apparently my back pack, laptop bag, and the way I sit at my computer are all contributing factors. I'm a big believer in non-drug treatments (although I never mind a few helpful drugs to go along with the alternative therapy), so I'm looking forward to the PT- I just wish our finals weren't in TEN days. I really don't have time for this. The stomach problems are a whole nother bag of worms and basically we're just testing for things to rule them out. I'm going to have to make an appt with a gastroenterologist next.

And the weather was just crappy- super foggy, grey, rainy, and thunderstormy. And I'm behind in securities again. And I have three finals that I haven't started preparing for. Grades really don't matter after 1L if you have a job and you don't want to clerk, right?