29 September 2011

This Time Next Year

By this time next year, I hope Matt has a job clerking for a judge in SE/Central Michigan. I hope we are renting a house and saving every penny we can to pay down the law school debt and save for a down payment on a house. I hope we are still making do with one car, I hope we have a dog, and I hope we are going camping every chance we get.

Abigail will be 16 months old, and I hope she is happy and thriving. I hope she is walking and talking and her heart is still doing great. I hope she is delighted by books. I hope she feels loved.

I hope Matt is finally finding time to start reading and playing computer games again. I hope he feels satisfied being a provider for his family. I hope he feels needed.

I hope I am comfortable with my body. I hope I don't have to work anymore, and I hope I am writing my novel. I hope we are contemplating having another baby.

By this time next year, we won't be in law school anymore. The bar will be over and done. By this time next year, I hope we are out of limbo land!

27 September 2011

Welcome to 3L Year

Saturday night was sheer bliss. For the first time since Abigail was born, I got a night off.
I even kind of had the morning "off" (it involved grocery shopping and running errands without the baby). But Saturday night, I had three hours all to myself. I put Abigail to bed, locked the door to the master "suite" (we have our own bathroom), and did whatever I wanted all by myself. No baby, no husband, no kitties. No cleaning, no dishes, no work. I feel soooooooo much happier with life. I also think the worst of the settling is behind us. Abigail's room is finally all done (we got the rocking chair today and I assembled her mini-dresser), a majority of the appointments are done, and we even have no doctor's appointments for two entire months! This is the longest we'll ever have gone without visiting the doctor.

My agenda includes hosting the next book club meeting and ladies night, starting back up as volunteer editor of that non-profit Catholic magazine, working for pay part time, and remembering how to cook. Along with, of course, taking care of a baby and law student. I am also looking in to see if my insurance will cover counseling to get rid of this postpartum depression for good. I actually found a group-style support group for new moms at my church, but I don't know how I feel about attending just yet.

So yes, Matt is studying, Abigail is growing, and I'm playing housewife/freelance designer. Welcome to 3L year.

21 September 2011

Probation

I have something fun to talk about today: what happens if your law school loses its accreditation while your husband is a student?

So, basically, Ave Maria School of Law has a cloud of controversy wherever it goes. If you want the full history, just Google the school name and the word "controversy." We took that into consideration when we chose the school, and in the end, we felt such a strong calling to the school, that Matt decided to attend anyway. As students, we have watched the Law School's oftentimes poor handling of sensitive situations, both public situations and private ones. It has gotten to the point now that when Ave does something stupid, we just roll our eyes.

But the latest controversy has my heart dropping: the state's worst bar passage rates. Make whatever excuses you want, but my innate desire for my husband to find work after he graduates is overwhelmingly jeopardized by fear that dropping the name of his soon-to-be alma mater during a job interview could hurt his chances of getting said job. In all honesty, it probably won't lose its accreditation while Matt is still a student, if it does happen it will probably follow after a long delay of bureaucratic paper pushing on the part of the ABA and a probation period. Hopefully by then he'll have a job secured a some time to prove himself in the legal field, rendering the name on the top of his diploma less crucial.

This fear is just another occurrence in the long line of events of law school that really show me exactly how little control I have over my own life. We are very, very dependent on God to provide for us right now. Sometimes I am thankful to have my religion if for no other reason than the relief I get from knowing that I can depend on someone else for a change.

19 September 2011

Complainer

I have intentionally been avoiding this blog lately because I have nothing to post about but complaints and I don't want to be a complainer. When I do think of something positive, I've made a point to post about it. Very briefly, the boxes we mailed to ourselves still aren't here. Everything is in those boxes. I have enough stuff to live for one week. It is going on three. All those programs are taking longer and proving far more difficult to enroll than is necessary. Matt is gone ALL the time and I feel like a single mother all over again. I keep thinking that everything will be better next week, but something else always pops up to wreak havoc. And whenever I think I finally have control over my emotions, my postpartum depression comes roaring back to crush me with feelings of hopelessness.

So that's what has been going on. I guess 3L year really will be different. I have no perspective on the situation because I am to overwhelmed in the happenings of right now. At first I really wanted to get some counseling or something, but Matt said he thinks I can handle it myself.

So there was just a knock on the door and 13 more boxes were on the other side! The rest of my boxes came! Maybe God reads my blog...?

Apologies

The blog post from last week, "Welcome to Holland...Again" was supposed to be posted with visibility level "private." For some reason, Wordpress changed it to public without my knowing. I never intended for anyone else to read it, otherwise I would have kept people's names private.  This is not a blog about the hardships of having a special needs daughter. I apologize and ask that if you did read it, you refrain from discussing it with anyone. Thank you.

12 September 2011

Neh!

Abigail's favorite thing to do is shout, "Neh!" in her high-pitched baby voice. She shouted "Neh!" into the abyss that was our echo-y apartment before we got everything moved in. She shouts it to me from the bedroom when she wakes up from a nap. She shouts it from her swing when I wash her bottles. She shouts it to me when I am holding her when she is full and no longer sleepy. I think "Neh!" is Bitso's way of saying, "I am right here, everyone! Notice me!" "Neh!" in her cute baby voice.

We are all moved in and waiting for the boxes we shipped to ourselves from Michigan. They should arrive tomorrow. I also have to buy a dresser and rocking chair for Abigail's room. But, other than that, we are all in and unpacked. I am sooooooo thankful to have my own space back. So, in case you're wondering, "Neh!" everyone; we're finally home.

I am trying to get everything organized between establishing care with a whole host of specialists for Abigail, let everyone know about our new address, buy dish soap and paper towels, and balance the checking account (okay, I am missing a dozen or so receipts and it is making my life complicated). As it turns out, this week is particularly bad for Matt, as he has a ton of extra meetings and assignments to complete by this weekend, rendering him of little help to me in my struggle against the boxes and the cockroaches. (Seriously, they were not this bad at our last apartment, it must be our proximity to a wooded area). Hell should finally end after this weekend, though, and then life will return to normal. Or, a new normal I guess. My life hasn't been normal since I gave birth. Is it possible that Matt, Abigail, and I can establish a routine of our own? I can't imagine life with a family that revolves around just tummy time and making dinner. I hope we can have that life, devoid of twice-weekly doctor's appointments. Neh!, life of monotony?

07 September 2011

3L Wife and Mother

I am writing this post on Tuesday, but it won't publish until Wednesday. So if you're reading this on Wednesday, right now I am moving in to my new apartment! Eak! Anyway, in my last post, I focused on how Matt's schedule has changed as a result of being a 3L, but now I'll talk about mine (and Abigail's).

I doubt mine will be affected any differently than it was 2L year. Matt will still be busy and studying, I'll get him during the evenings and sometimes we'll squeak a date night in on a random Saturday. We'll budget a lot and freakout about money. I still have Ladies' nights and book club to keep me social. I plan to work part time from home as a freelance designer to keep some money flowing. I also still have the magazine for which I am a volunteer editor. Our fourth edition will be getting some serious publicity and it needs to be stunning. Plus, of course I'll have Abigail. Not only will we have all the normal baby stuff to do, but I also need to get her enrolled into about four different FL programs, for which we qualify due to her health status or our income level, and I need to get the ball rolling on all of them. Then I'll still have the usual doctors' and therapy appointments, although hopefully not quite as frequently as I had them in Florida. I also need to get myself some business cards and work on my portfolio.

So, yeah, I anticipate keeping myself pretty busy, especially in the fall. Matt and I are also going to apply for a game show (yes, for real), called "Take the Money and Run." It is brand new on ABC and ever since it premiered (last month), we have been convinced that we could kick some serious behind. If you win, you get $100,000. I have my doubts, but we'll see if we make it.

Oh yes, on a side note, the hematologist said that there is nothing wrong with Abigail's blood. Her WBC has a tendency to be a bit low, but not low enough to be of concern, so she was released with a clean bill of health. I am excited to scratch her off our list of "Abigail's doctors."

06 September 2011

Our Return and 3L Changes

We are safely back in Florida after a very long two and a half day car ride. Two kitties, a baby, and an overpacked manual Focus with no cruise control. It was, as Matt likes to say, an adventure. Our apartment will be ready one day early, so we will be able to move in tomorrow! We are currently staying at a friend's house while her and her husband are out of town. They arrive the same day we leave. I am very excited to get my life back together! This Saturday is the first Law Partners get-together, and on Sunday we are going to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Matt's birthday (which was Labor Day Monday), but I am determined to get everything unpacked by this upcoming Monday. The only exceptions are only for the boxes being mailed down, (as who knows when they will arrive), and any furniture purchases we need to make for the new addition to our family (the Salvation Army down here is wonderful).

Throughout this entire process, Matt will not be missing a single class. He made it down to Florida on the Saturday before classes started. Then, he flew back up to Michigan last Friday (no Friday class). Monday was Labor Day, so no class, and tomorrow, move-in day, he only has one morning class, early enough to finish before our appointment with the movers.

Matt really did great meeting all of his summer goals. This third and final year is different from all the previous years because it incorporates job hunting and an externship in with his class schedule. He is taking three classes, is on Law Review, and has an externship with a federal judge in the city just to the north of us. He has been dedicating a fair amount of time to job hunting as well. Then, of course, he has his usual clubs and organizations of which he is a member.

Florida is greeting us in true form, with a thunderstorm and torrential downpour, all thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. I'm really glad Lee is getting it out of its system today and not tomorrow.