Friday, June 9, 2017

Ants Marching

I'm sitting here on the couch sipping my follow-on skinny margarita after my celebratory prickly pear swirled frozen margarita at my new fave local taco joint.

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Annnnnnnd that's all I wrote last night. I didn't even put a period on the end of that sentence, but I just went back and added one now because I couldn't handle a word just left dangling in the wind like that. Clearly I abandoned my grammatical principles to tequila and exhaustion.

I know yesterday was only Wednesday, but it was already a WEEK.

I generally control the pace of my investigations- we're pre-litigation, so while I always have many things to do, I rarely have a tight deadline under which to do them. This changes when I have testimony. Particularly when I somehow end up with 4 days of testimony involving 4 different witnesses over 4 weeks in 2 cases. Not only does this require a lot of preparation- reviewing docs, picking exhibits, crafting an outline, thinking about what information I need to answer the questions still open in my investigation... but then you're in testimony, all day, shut in a conference room, not checking emails, not responding to messages, not doing the other forward moving things you need to be doing in your other 6 cases. Testimony is intense and fun and in many ways, one of the best parts of my job, but it can be exhausting. Once a week for a month, particularly so.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I worked until midnight at my kitchen table on Monday and Tuesday nights, just me, my laptop, a very large stack of documents, sticky notes, a beverage, and Landon's ant farm. James would occasionally call out "I miss you" from the TV room until he went to bed and then it was just me and the ants.

I know I've had some thought tornadoes lately, but nothing drove home the fact that I no longer like working at night like having to work at night for a few days. And it was just TWO DAMN DAYS. It sucked and I hated it. I didn't get to watch Better Call Saul at the precise moment it aired and I had to skip yoga and I was tired and I missed my hours of nightly couch osmosis bonding cuddle time with James and I left for work super early so, as Cora was quick to yell accusingly at me across the kitchen when she saw me Tuesday night, "MOMMY! I DID NOT SEE YOUR FACE THIS MORNING!"

I did not see her face either.

Our week in general was a little scattered and crazy. It's the first week of summer- which means the return of our summer camp "where are the kids this week?" excel spreadsheet. This year it's made both easier and more complicated by the fact that James isn't teaching any midday lessons, so the big kids can mostly stay home with him and then Tara will come over at 3, just like she does during the school year. We've got a few camps for the kids, James really does have a ton of work to do during those daytime hours, but mostly they're stay-at-home kids this summer and that's new for all of us.

(Also crazy, but mostly crazy awesome- taking our daily living room performances up a level with the microphone karaoke stand James and I gave Claire for her birthday - her birthday post is still coming! - because if your kid is going to sing the Trolls sound track all day, don't you want her to be able to do it LOUDER?! Yes, yes you do.)

But then this week Tara had to step in as James's deck manager so we didn't really even have her, so all the kids went to the pool all afternoon. And also James decided to coach a stroke clinic for 3 mornings this week (and only this week), so the big kids are doing that, but it makes for a lot of pool time and unique logistics of getting everyone where they need to be while I'm working 15 hour days and unusually inflexible and unreliable about helping with any of it.

I did manage to teach barre on Monday in my new stripey pants. I love them. And I love the new lunge set I made up and the fact that teaching forced me to take the time out to do them.

On Tuesday night the ants and I were grooving to the smooth stylings of the Dave Matthews Live at Red Rocks album (a 2-disc album, if you remember the days when music was limited by storage size). At a few minutes after midnight I felt my outline was mostly complete and I was ready to let my sleepy subconscious commit my exhibits to memory so I wouldn't be bound by the outline I'd just created (I like to skip around depending on where the witness takes me, but you can't do that unless you're sufficiently fluent in your documents).

On Wednesday, I was at work at 7 a.m., shiny new binder, pen, and notepad and boxes of docs ready to go. Plus a Venti lightly sweet chai tea latte, of course. I swore in the witness at 9 and a little over six hours of accounting questioning later, we were done with day 1! Just in time for me to answer a bunch of emails for other cases and then head home to dig out an old training suit to go swim.

Because, oh yes, adding to the general feeling of stress and craziness of the week, I'm signed up for my first swim meet in SEVENTEEN YEARS on Saturday. Seventeen years. Half of my life. I've swum a few laps here and there- right after Claire was born... swimming across the lake in Wisconsin last summer. But diving? Racing? Flip turns? Swimming in front of people? No.

But I'd told James and the kids I would do summer league once Cora was old enough to do it, and though she's a tiny three-year-old, she is mighty (and the daughter of a swim school owner) and she's taking the 6-and-under age group to a whole new level. It's going to be amazing.

And James, who forgets many things, somehow remembered my promise and signed me up for the team and the first meet. My name and age appear on Saturday's heat sheet under 18+ 100 IM, 100 Free, and 50 Free. Gulp.

So I thought Wednesday afternoon after no sleep and an exhausting day would be the perfect time to dig out that ancient TYR swimsuit, steal Claire's cap and James's goggles, and dive in. I had a secret hope that the water would feel amazing and my new barre and yogi strength would propel me to new swimming heights. That... did not happen. But I had a much bigger secret fear that it would all feel terrible and clunky and awful and that wasn't true either. It felt equally good and different. Good because water just always feels good, and different because I'm just different. I weigh 30 lbs. less than I did when I was a swimmer, so I'm leaner, but I think I'm stronger too. At least everywhere that isn't my shoulders.

To celebrate my ability to swim each of my new events without dying (even if I do now apparently only swim at one speed- I kept thinking in my head, "kick faster! go faster!" and my body was just like no, this feels nice, we're no longer a multi-speed model), and finishing my day of testimony, I took the kids to get tacos and margaritas.

Tacos for them, margarita for me, queso for all.

(I found this picture on my phone later, I'm assuming Landon took it. Love Claire's isntant posing.)

A very nice man at the restaurant gave all the kids koozies and Cora thought they were accessories for her arms and the big kids were like "OH! Mom! Cora figured out what these are for!" because I guess James and I never drink anything out of koozies (or cans, really) and they were so relieved Cora had cracked the case so they could use their new toys.

Also, Landon told me that he did an 8 minute plank in James's swim clinic and won the contest and he wasn't even tired but James made him stop because the other kids were bored and it was time to do something else. Today he did one for 11 minutes. Maybe we can rent him out for parties.

Today I spent much of my morning riveted by the Comey testimony. Luckily, I suppose, it's not every day your country's former FBI director who was fired for investigating your President testifies that your President is a liar and your Attorney General and former National Security Advisor are being investigated for lying about their meetings with and ties to Russia. Making America great again indeed.

And then James came by with the big kids to delivery beautiful flowers and 16 of my favorite fresh-baked Tiff's Treats cookies because the are awesome and I guess they missed my face too.

And now I have more work to do tomorrow and then my parents come to town to watch all five of us compete at our first swim meet of the season. We have to be in Granbury, nearly an hour away, by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and I haven't gotten more than 5 hours of sleep since Sunday and it's 12:30 a.m. now so I should probably wrap this stream of nonsense up. Hopefully the next time I write I'll have victorious and non-humiliating things to write about my first time to get wet at a swim meet since early 2001. I'm sure I'll have something to say about that.


  1. Oh my gosh, good luck! I know you'll have fun when the adrenaline kicks in. Also, once again I'm exhausted just reading this post.

  2. Landon's arms!!!! OMGosh. That's insane definition for a 9 year-old! (or is he 10 now? I know he's a few months older than my daughter). I start shaking at about the :15 mark, so 11:00 is kind of Guiness World Record material to me....

  3. Good luck! And dear lord, the musculature of your children's arms is humbling and awe-inspiring. I need a conciliatory donut and moment in the work bathroom to do some affirmations and remind myself not to be jealous of children who are genetically pre-disposed to have better upper body strength than the general population.