Almost done

I took my last three law school final exams last week (well, one Monday and two the Friday before that).  Pretty sure I bombed one. In the weeks leading up to finals, my company announced massive layoffs and fired my boss.  The day before my first two finals, I got moved back into the legal department I fled last summer and just about had a nervous breakdown from the stress. Fortunately, for now at least, I get to keep the non-legal title, barely competent staff and higher salary.  I took 2 days vacation, took finals in semi-peace and returned to the fray last week a bit more rested and less teary.  Tip:  Looking up to your left really does stop tears from flowing.

Work-wise, my whole department could be fired and/or outsourced any day or month.  The stress level is through the roof.  The lack of information and the way they are laying people off is just brutal.  One example.  “Go talk to person x about your new hire.”  Person x: “I just got fired and my last day is tomorrow but, SURE, let me help you with your hiring issue….”  Um….


I started law school in mid-2007 part-time.  I stopped at the end of 2008, 34 credits in, while incredibly sick and recovering from a bad divorce.  I started up again in mid-2011 with a then-8-year-old and 9-month-old.  The fact that this incredibly long and bumpy road is almost over still has not sunk in.  Grades on my final core bar classes will be arriving in a few weeks.  If I passed 2 of 3 (or preferably all 3) and I pass the 3-month bar prep/review course they make us take plus my last elective (patent law), I will earn my JD by Memorial Day and, a few weeks later, get a “you have earned your JD” e-mail.  We will fly out to CA in August for my graduation ceremony and my family can watch it streaming live online.  I have put the bar off until February 2015 to give myself a little break and plenty of time to study.  However, I also question the benefit of even taking the bar if I have no intention of practicing.

Conflicted, particularly as, with base salary and recent manager bonus plan, I now make more than the 50-year-old T1-graduate former BigLaw litigator who sits in the office next to me.  My job is JD preferred, not required, and I could do this for life and always make more.  Also, my new boss thinks that the LLM we were going to hire to work under me should only make $33/hour because that’s reasonable (FYI – it’s actually less than my admin makes…).  People see JD on resumes and presume you are overqualified for the non-attorney job or will always be out looking to join legal (i.e., the non-legal job is just a way to get in-house and then move into legal).   Not sure what to do about that.

Home-wise, adding a third kid is such an incredible change… we were seriously unprepared for the little but fundamental extra dynamics that this extra child has added.  For example, if I have to work late, the toddler will scream his head off racing around the house while the baby is screaming his head off.  Pumpkinhead can help with toddler but baby won’t calm until mom and her boobs come home.  That drives Mr. V nuts.  Baby just wants to lay on me. And it stresses me out because I need to work but I also hate that the kids are being so hard on him when I am gone.  Another dynamic issue is when we are getting the kids out of the car and Baby J decides to run into traffic while we are getting the little baby and his carseat out.  Learned quickly to reverse the order on that one!  Going to the store with all three is a challenge because Baby J at 3 1/2 still really needs to be in the cart so he doesn’t cause mischief but the infant seat and the toddler aren’t compatible so now one is inside the basket and one is in the seat and there isn’t room for much else.  Poor Pumpkinhead often has to push a second cart.  But, hey, we asked for it.  Still, challenging….

Lots going on but less than there has been.  The finish line is close, finally!!!!

P.S. Should also update last post to tell you that, with help of doctor/others, doing better with drinking issues.  :)

Weekly MILP Roundup #327

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

While the Lag Liv family added to their brood, CP is heartbroken.

Tips for a Professional Woman” raised RG’s ire

Alice focuses on the positive.

But I Do Have a Law Degree sweats it out.

 CM juggled

Dakota’s long transition period finally comes to an end.

Grace rocked the playroom design!

Izzie’s a little lost but making her way

Daisy is horrified by excess

Kate tries to find the right direction

AAL’s Pea demonstrates her social graces

Hard Boiled Egg gets crafty

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.


Not sure what is going on with my family lately.

Pumpkinhead has been very clingy/reverting to baby-like status and simultaneously agrressive.  This morning he kicked our dog!  I was furious and told him we NEVER express anger with physical violence.  Then Baby J kicked the dog tonight (he didn’t see Pumpkinhead so not sure where he got that idea).  Pumpkinhead responded by hitting his brother.  :sad:

The new baby is being induced next Friday, Oct. 25.  Came home last night after working until 9:30 p.m. to a counter full of dishes and Mr. V asking me “what do I do when Baby J poops in his underwear?  I wasn’t sure so I put it in a baggie and left it on top of the washer.” :evil:

Came home tonight and what do I see?  1) Bag of poopy underwear still on top of washer, 2) shorts and poopy underwear on floor in front of washer, 3) ONLY two items of Mr. V’s clothing washed in washer, 4) overflowing basket of dirty laundry in my bedroom (plus FOUR baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded in my spare time), 5) a sink/counter full of even more dishes, takeout containers and a dishwasher full of clean dishes, 6) two half-full sippy cups and a spilled jar of artichoke hearts in my fridge.

Baby J has decided tantrums are the way to go (again, wondering if this is pre-baby nerves).  He melts down at every transition and I have a horrible time getting him ready in the morning as he throws himself on the floor while I try to get him dressed with my enormous belly in the way.

Did I mention enormous baby?  While I had worse health issues in prior pregancies, this one is just incredibly uncomfortable.  Doctors said he was 6lbs at 32 weeks.  My inner thigh nerves are on fire from the pressure, my legs are swollen and now he is kicking my belly and making me vomit?  Plus side?  Have gained TWO POUNDS!  Lost a ton from vomiting and higher metabolism due to baby-growing.  Maybe I should go on the HCG diet when I am done.  :smile:

I. Am. Done.  37 weeks pregnant this Sunday, Baby J’s birthday party this Saturday (and no cake ordered yet), a TON of homework to be done including one 5-page paper due tomorrow and another assignment due Friday, a temporary staff member to train, a permanent staff member who keeps over-promising and under-delivering (and lying to me!), an intern who keeps forgetting she works for me, several policy documents to write and publish, a new system to launch and train 15 people to use, two baskets of infant clothes to fold and put away, a hospital bag to pack, etc., etc., etc.  LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekly MILP Roundup #321

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

Proto Attorney has killer perspective on another year in the books

LL rocks her pumpkin belly and makes me want to take a road trip to Dallas (an incredible thing… ew Dallas!)

While RG is undecided on baby #3′s name, her two existing boys are reminding her how cute and cool brothers can be

CP rocks out with naked dance party!

Izzie is finally outta there!

Kate reaches a milestone

CM is awed and inspired

Alice’s second baby is breaking barriers and reaching milestones

LC is the coolest parent ever

Shannon provides an important reminder for our kids’ safety

Frenchie had a hell of a day on top of dealing with sick toddler

AAL has the best conversations with her child!

Daisy’s Gracie girl is the sweetest thing

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

October Looms

It’s Saturday after a long week.  Last night Baby J climbed into bed with me when he got home.  Pumpkinhead and Mr. V soon joined us for cuddle/chat time (one of my favorite things).  Just when I thought my heart couldn’t get any fuller, it overflowed.  Baby J put his hand on my belly, looked around at his brother and Daddy and exclaimed “My family!”  :mrgreen:

We are headed into the home stretch on this third and final pregnancy.  I will be 34 weeks pregnant this Sunday and the doctor tells me he is currently measuring large at six pounds as of Thursday’s ultrasound.  They always tell me my children are going to be huge and none have been much over 7lbs so, yeah… we’ll see.  We (okay, Mr. V) were hoping for a Halloween baby but that is four days past my 38-week mark and my OB is concerned.  I have to be off the Lovenox (blood thinner) for 48 hours before induction but no more than 48 hours or I run risk of all sorts of other issues, such as a pulmonary embolism.  Lovely.  And if I go into labor spontaneously? NO EPIDURAL.  :shock:  Um, no freaking way.  Apparently things like excessive bleeding and brain bleeds can occur if they give epidural without 48 hours off the blood thinners, dang it.  So we may be looking at the 28th or 29th instead, sigh…  Maybe Mr. V will be happy with the compromise of having Baby J’s birthday mid-October (he’s 10/22) and keeping this one’s at Halloween/Halloween-themed), even if his actual day falls a few days before.

Lag Liv mentions that she is oddly enjoying her third pregnancy.  I wouldn’t say that for me but I have been better able to be positive and keep it in perspective, likely because I know this is my last and because, although I am still experiencing some medical issues with this one, both my last ones had much more pervasive/painful issues.  It’s been a bit easier with two under my belt to look at the issues in a more objective light.  Calling that a win but still looking at possibly reducing my in-office hours starting next week because I’m exhausted and my legs are swelling for the first time in a pregnancy, making driving home at 7p no fun.

The month of October will likely fly.  Mr. V’s birthday is Monday. My mother is hosting an afternoon tea shower for me at a posh hotel on October 6.  Our wedding anniversary is October 10. Baby J has his third birthday party on October 19.  Sometime in the midst of this I have to write several papers for admin law (and classes, classes), get our bedroom ready to accept an infant until we can get our addition done, wash all the baby clothes and, oh yeah, kick off several huge initiatives for new job.
New job is going well.  Looks like I never mentioned but I did get the job!  Six weeks in now, Baby J in different school, etc.  Oh, yeah, and 23% raise – making more in a non-legal job than they pay the first-year lawyers in our legal department.  Crazy!  Boss seems to like me and appreciate what I am doing.  My admin is being a pain in the ass, undermining me.  Fortunately the attorney who was a potential (and then actual) mean girl/thorn in side quit and is off to better things (didn’t report to her but my new position is closely entwined with legal).  My admin seemed to think she reported to mean girl.  Fortunately, I could keep mean girl’s comments (to others, never to me directly) in perspective, remember that the common denominator in this behavior is her and realize that whatever her deal is has much more to do with her own issues than mine.  I can choose how to respond.  Or, as Ana points out, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  So I heard what she said about me and laughed.  :smile:




Ana reminds me that your perspective is what you make of it.  Right now my perspective is pretty damn shitty.

Cluster headaches have been back since last Sunday with the corresponding nausea, crankiness and general out-of-it nature.  I cannot do this again.  Last time it was the entire. third. trimester.  Praying hard for relief.  The doctor nixed my natural remedy because the wintergreen and thyme it contain have methyl salicylate in them and can cause some duct to close.  Bummed because that stuff worked!  But I don’t need to catastrophize.  This does not mean they will last forever.  I am going to take control and explore other options.  First, I’m going to try a mix of the rest of the oils in the blend I was using that takes those two out and see if that helps.  Then I’m going to make an appointment with my neurologist and see about a lidocaine spray up my nose along with prednisone, each of which are apparently safe options during pregnancy.  Last time we tried oxygen, drugs, massage and electrical stimulation on my neck with no success.  Hoping we can find new options with better results this time.

Work continues to be ridiculous.  Two of my colleagues refuse to talk to any of us and one is downright combative.  We had a group meeting with HR on Friday where nothing HR-related was discussed (weird…) but when asked two questions my colleague’s response was “It’s been discussed. There is nothing more to say.”  Super rude and even the HR lady raised her eyebrows.  It’s such a toxic environment.  Boss announced that he will be restructuring us in a month and putting junior people as first-line reviewers with no client contact while senior people get to go out and negotiate our redlines.  Yeah, cause THAT will be productive!  Let’s hand off our contracts/thought patterns to someone who has to figure out what we were thinking…. (we typically work off the customer’s paper so we are constantly redlining conceptually rather than lazily slapping in our language).

Reframing work?  Trying to think positive that I will have a new job soon.  The interviewer updated and said he will come back with an answer early next week.  Word from a reliable source in his team is that I will be getting an offer.  Not trusting anything, I also interviewed Friday with an international E&P company.  They are offering a JD-preferred position with a salary range of 104-125, a guaranteed 15% annual bonus (not merit-based) and 4-12% in a 401k vested 1/3 each year over three years.  Um, yeah, no lack of good options out there!  :o  But clearly the internal position is better for a variety of reasons  – 26-week belly bump, knowledge of internal politics/players, maternity leave and continued tenure.  However, I feel good that there are nontraditional legal positions out there that want someone with my experience, will allow me to use my legal knowledge and are competitive in salary.  I have had three external company interviews in the past two weeks and have received inquiries from others.  Certainty will make me feel better.

Reframing children?  Baby J is in his cranky toddler phase where every evening is a screaming throwdown as he refuses to leave daycare and wants to be carried while I juggle laptop bag, purse, sippy cup, etc.  Reminding myself that this phase passes and looking at all the cute things he does.  Also preparing myself with apple slices, pretzels, toys, stickers and other bribes to get him out to the car, walking and calm.  Heh.  Pumpkinhead is stinky, rude and every 5th word is “penis” or “balls”. :roll:  He is being a real challenge, in part because he is off one of his meds for the summer while he visits his father on and off.  Fortunately his father is stepping up and taking him on a real vacation this year.  They are going to New York for a few days and Chapin is even picking up Pumpkinhead’s cousin in  Baltimore on the way so that he will have an English-speaking buddy.  I’m pleased about that and hope they have a blast.  I will enjoy the break, particularly next weekend as I prepare for the MPRE the following weekend.

Speaking of school, I am now managing to keep up, thank God. Have done two practice California performance tests and am feeling a bit more confident although, dang, they take a lot longer than the three hours we are given!  If I do well, though, it will apparently erase a bad showing on two of the CA bar essays.  Thank God for this book.  I attended the author’s bar prep seminar when I returned to law school before my first set of 2L finals so that I could reacquaint myself with IRAC.  She uses an under-here-therefore scheme and provides some helpful memorization tips.  Her bar prep book is really practical but the MPT book takes the cake.  Now to just stay on track.  MPRE August 17 and another class (virtual law practice) starting in September.

For now, it is off to my mother-in-law’s house for lunch and drama.  She is having a full hip replacement in a few weeks and is, of course, fighting it kicking and screaming.  Now she’s panicked about division of her assets and wants us to come help catalog her jewelry and decide who gets what.  I told her that her daughter should get everything but she’s not having it so this afternoon with my diva SIL and MIL should be a bag of fun.  Reframing?  My MIL is an awesome cook and has likely made us a lovely lunch.  I will enjoy spending time with her and looking at the beautiful antique pieces she has been fortunate enough to accumulate over the years. And then I will come home and NAP! :mrgreen:


Sometime in the next two-three weeks my life is either going to change immensely with a new job or I’m going to resign myself to staying in my personal hell of a work situation, dedicate myself to succeeding in spite of the crap and work hard on school and baby-growing. The potential new job will mean double the commute (40 miles each way), a new daycare for Baby J and a lot of work but it will also mean a great new challenge, a significant raise (20-25%) and positioning myself well for career growth in a non-legal, JD-preferred area.  I am currently doing the exact same work as the JDs in the offices next to me (and some even come to me for advice…nuts!) but am seeing far too many JDs who simply cannot find work.  We have had some major overhauls in our senior management so my previous verbal offer of in-house counsel after bar passage is quite likely a pipe dream.  And if, like others, we go through layoffs?  Well, hell, we have a 20-year former BigLaw attorney and two former GCs who have worked contract for us over the past year and can’t get full-time work.  With the potential salary increase of the new job and the opportunity to move into a field that has (and will likely always have) a lot of job openings, I don’t think I can pass it up.  Now just hoping they don’t see the belly and pass ME up as all interviewing to-date has taken place via phone or e-mail and the in-person portion will take place this week or next.

But I am starting to think I am freaking delusional for taking on something extra right now.  Not that it makes much of a difference – current day job  has ratcheted up to 12-hour days where I find myself working nights and weekends while trying to cram in school and kids.  Reading Magic Cookie’s post today reminds me of how driven and over-worked I was in my job a few years ago trying to convince myself it was all balancing out.  Ha!  I moved into my current role with the backing of a senior executive and my former boss both telling me to only work 40-45 hours/week and to be sure I am making time for school, which I have happily done.  The flexibility I have had over the past two years has been incredible and I keep pinching myself at the difference.  Now it’s back to insanity mode either way.  The new job won’t be any different (except for the extra commute) but my back is up against the wall and I don’t seem to have any choice in terms of finding a position that is more hours-friendly – seeking outside opportunities hasn’t worked and is less of an option as the pregnancy progresses.  I’ve been pursuing the intercompany promotion so far without telling my current boss.  Unfortunately the people who said they would be discrete until we determine if there is a fit are being very much less than.  I have had two calls from people telling me that a certain individual has told them I am applying.  Then on Friday a former coworker came into my office while I was on a conference call, hugged me and told me she had been asked about me earlier that day by the departmental director who is interviewing me.  Then she went to have lunch with my boss.  :???:  So, yeah, probably time to tell him something and pray I don’t lose the promotion opportunity as well as my current role.  Argh.

This final school year is KICKING MY ASS.  Instead of a 30-module, 11-month year with pacing every 11 days, we have a 30-module 8-month year with pacing every 7 days.  This means reading, assignments, etc., are all kicked into high gear and there is no room for slacking.  Pretty much every week involves a couple hundred pages of reading, some video lectures and 1-2 live classes in one of my five subjects.  The law school is also trying to help us prep for the bar in a way I haven’t seen before – we have to submit four graded sets of rule statements covering 20 topics for EACH class.  We also have to submit four three-hour practice MPTs at various times throughout the year.  I know this is ultimately aimed at success on the bar but, damn, it’s just more, more, more!  For admin law, I get to go participate in a local agency hearing and do a 5-7-page paper.  I’m looking forward to that but need to get my ass over to the USCIS ASAP rather than waiting until the last minute.  I also need to take the MPRE prep course already because it’s looming on August 17.

But… it’s Pumpkinhead’s birthday weekend.  My baby turned 10 years old yesterday.  :cry:  We had a great party that ate up all of my Saturday between prep, execution and recovery.  Followed it up with a sleepover for Pumpkinhead and my nephew who was flown down from DC as a surprise.  Tonight is the circus with Pumpkinhead, Baby J, nephew and my parents (driving me nuts as usual!).  I brought a shit-ton of work home that is not yet touched and am trying to get through schoolwork this afternoon.  My dreams of a nap will likely remain dreams.  Sigh…

Please send good vibes for whatever comes my way this week on the job front, for more time in every day to get all the work done and for my boss to stop being such a d-bag.  I feel like I am letting everyone down right now, most of all myself.

Weekly MILP Roundup #311

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

After a weekend packed with studying and a fried preggo brain, I will apologize in advance for my lack of creativity.

LC is battling with her daughters in an unexpected manner

CM is missing her baby

Alice has one of the cutest babies I have seen in a while.  Just want to squeeze his cheeks!!!

LL is nesting

Grace got up close and personal with some animals

AAL’s give-a-damn is busted

Izzy’s enjoying her travels while But I Do Have a Law Degree is becoming one with nature and CP took a hike

Daisy searches for the charm in it all

Kate goes the distance

Butterflyfish is drowning (and thriving) in produce

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.