It has been a week. As noted by a concerned commenter on the last post, that is unusual for me, but I have been doing more traveling (and leave on another trip tomorrow), so I've been spending my evenings either packing, away, or unpacking/recovering from being away. And of course Sunday is dedicated to whatever AMC is showing, which currently happens to be Mad Men (do you watch Mad Men? do you read the Tom and Lorenzo reviews and Mad Style posts? You should, they are some of the best things on the internet). Now we catsup!
First up, I had my 12 week check-up for BBIII the day before I left for Chicago. The heartbeat was strong and swishy and, as always, a joy to hear. My next one will be May 31 and the doctor said we'll do a sneak-peak ultrasound in the office to see if we can tell the sex, just for fun before my real ultrasound at 20 weeks when they do all the official measurements. I'm excited- (1) to see the baby again in all its babyness (I didn't do a first trimester genetic scan this time; it's not the norm with this doctor and JP and I are both young and low-risk enough that I'm okay with delaying it, though it's totally freaking JP out, so I didn't get the 12-week pictures of my bean with little arm and leg buds like last time); and (2) to start planning the nursery. I debated not finding out the sex with this bonus baby #3, but decided rather quickly that I couldn't do that. Again, two reason: (1) I hate being pregnant with a fiery passion and planning for the baby and decorating the nursery in thoughtful detail is one of the only aspects I enjoy; and (2) it is going to take us four months to figure out a name we like. We're picky and apparently I strongly dislike 99% of names in existence. With Claire we mostly just didn't dislike her name when we selected it, but by the time she was born and we'd been saying it for weeks to my belly, we loved it. That is what I need to happen again.
Second, I got my Land of Nod playroom orders! No changes to the house so far, but the kids are greatly enjoying the boxes and empty floor baskets. They sit in one on the front porch every evening, eating a pear, drinking water, and waiting for daddy to get home from coaching. At night, we move the box indoors for reading, coloring, and quiet time. This year I think Santa is going to bring everyone a box for Christmas and mommy will order her dining room furniture.
Third, I went to Chicago for my 5-year law school reunion! If I'd been blogging regularly you would have gotten a long post about that, but in summary: (we'll do letters this time): (a) I had a fantastic time reconnecting with lots of friends and classmates; (b) I really can't believe it's been 8 years since I started 1L year, but I no longer feel anxiety and dread when I approach the law school, so I suppose 8 years is about right; (c) It was really, really nice to be back on campus doing nerdy things like attending a lively debate between Judge Richard Posner and Prof. Richard Epstein on everything from patent law, privacy (J. Posner: "Privacy is another work for concealment which is just another form of fraud."), cynicism (J. Posner: "The starting point for viewing any person is cynicism."), and the work ethic of Supreme Court justices (J. Posner: "how do you know they work hard? They're swimming in law clerks."); and (d) after our pep talk from the Dean, I'm not sure I would get in to my law school today. The average GPA is now a 3.9 and the average LSAT is a 172, which is crazy, but the rank has moved up to 4th, so I suppose that means my law degree is maintaining its investment value which is nice while I continue to pay off my $100,000+ loan balance. I really did think the dean gave a great talk about the goals of the school and the new initiates they're pursuing. It almost made me want to go again. You know, if it were free and I could skip 1L year.
Apart from the nerdy school stuff, I was honored to attend a reception for Grant, our classmate who passed away 3 years ago, to introduce the first recipient of his memorial scholarship created by our class gifts and other donations. It was a tough event, his parents were there, and his father spoke in a quiet steady voice that faded in and out in volume and left me (and everyone else) sobbing, but I am so, so glad we had it. His death was so sudden, and the funeral was in Michigan, so many classmates (like me) were unable to attend. And while I'm sure it was very hard on his parents, every day must be hard, and I hope it helped to spend one of those hard days surrounded by people who loved him, remember him, and miss him so very much.
The weekend also included a fancy cocktail reception at the Museum of Art where I got to drink water and eat all the snacks, a fancy dinner where I got to drink fancy mocktails and not eat all the sushi, and a lot of walking and shopping and staying up late girl talking with my bff Jill who was my roommate for the weekend. (Her name isn't really Jill, but it's impossible to type "my bff" and not follow it with Jill.)
Every time I go to Chicago I wonder if maybe all my talk about it is just me playing up a time in my life that I miss or that is just different from the one I live now, but when I ride the L in from the airport and it gets close to the city and I start being able to read the street signs and I see Congress Ave. and State Street and the streets we used to live on I miss Chicago with such a fierce physical longing it takes me by surprise each time. I truly loved living there. True, it was home to one of the worst events and periods of my life, but the city itself is a place I love deeply. It poured rain on me while I walked around the city by myself on Friday afternoon, but I was smiling like an idiot the whole time I was out.
And speaking of walking, after limping my way through the city in my cheap absolutely support-less Steve Madden flats, I am now on the hunt for an acceptable pair of comfortable, supportive shoes that don't make me cringe at their aesthetics. I went to DSW today at lunch and spent a full 90 minutes searching for such a pair, but ultimately walked out empty handed- which was a victory because I very almost bought a gorgeous pair of nude patent strappy wedges that would really have been more of a failure than walking out with nothing. I did find a pair or two of genuinely cute flats, but nothing I could wear very long for travel, and the few Clark's and Merrell-types that I tried made me want to weep into their sturdy orthotic soles. I don't know how I've been working for 5 years, traveling the whole time, and still stare blankly at my closet when it's time to pick out my outfit for the plane and city exploring. I blame my large narrow feet that make the sturdier shoes look like giant barges and thus 10x uglier than they look on the display.
In the meantime, Landon and Claire have escalated their fort building to include an umbrella appropriated from my suitcase and another toy basket that I'm not sure will ever get to have toys in it. I am off to Houston tomorrow for 28 hours to attend a symposium I never would have found interesting a year ago and have dinner with my mom (dad is in Amsterdam, his jet setting is far more exotic than mine). Then I will be home for hopefully many weeks in a row, moving all the furniture around my house and continuing my search for the perfect walking shoe while lusting after the many, many imperfect ones.