Today is going to be a list day:
(1) Loo is a huge TV addict. Yes, it's shocking that I expose my child to TV. But I've been long a slave to pop culture and as far as I'm concerned, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Loo wants to be a singer/actress/director/producer/president of Pixar. Surprisingly, Kali doesn't seem to really care that much about TV. Partly it's because she only gets to watch what her sister wants to watch, which is on some level too sophisticated for her. But she also gets bored with TV more easily than her sister, so she'll watch for like 10 minutes, then wander away to play on her own.
The one movie that she loves is Lilo and Stitch. She'll sit through that one, straight through, time after time. I think she feels some sort of connection to Lilo, though what a 2 year old living in a big city with her intact nuclear family has in common with a 7 year old orphaned Hawaiian girl living with an alien is kinda beyond me.
There is a scene (in the original Lilo and Stitch... Kali loves the sequel too) where, after Lilo blows the interview between her sister and the social worker overseeing Lilo's case (Mr. Cobra Bubbles - LOL), Nani (Lilo's sister) is chastizing Lilo for her behavior.
(Nani has grabbed Lilo's hand to keep her from running off. Lilo struggles to get away from Nani.)
Nani: Lilo! Why didn't you wait at the school? You were supposed
to wait there!
Nani: Do you not understand? Do you want to be taken away?
Nani: Answer me!
Nani: No, you don't understand?
Nani: No, what?
(Lilo, hand still held by Nani, face plants dramatically on the floor)
Nani: You're such a pain!
Anyways, J and I think that Kali has taken this scene to heart and anytime she gets really angry at us (just grownups, not her sister), she runs away and face plants on the floor. What a drama queen.
(2) God, work is slow. Like watching rice cook slow. And it's not just me.
This is one of those really bad parts about being a lawyer at a biglaw firm. When things are slow like this, the only work out there is probably pretty crap work. I've done my requisite reaching out to partners to make sure they know I'm available for work, but I've not been doing everything I can possibly do to get work, like talking to the unpopular partners, for example.
Because I'm definitely in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.
If I don't get work, I'm (a) bored outa my friggin' mind, (b) seen as unmotivated, (c) feel lots of self-inflicted guilt, and (d) won't make my required hours to get the year end bonus. But I know that if I get an assignment, and it will likely be of the craptastic variety, it will mean weird afterhour hours (nights and weekends) which I'm currently enjoying spending with my family.
And this is absolutely true, because the one assignment I've had in the last 3 weeks was a call at 5:30, with an emergency research assignment where the partner wanted a memo by 11am the next day. I was here until 3am to do that. Thankfully, it was only a one off.
(3) J and I are (sorta) trying to be more understanding? sympathetic? to each other's plight, but I will only give J 2 stars for his success rate. J doesn't know/realize/believe it, but he is seriously passive-aggressive. He hates my inability to control my time at the firm, and I understand his frustration, I really do, but he cannot accept that I have almost no ability to rectify the situation. Whenever I call at 5:30 or 6 to tell him that, once again, I have to stay late at work, the chill that he sends down the line worth of comparison to the deep freeze in "The Day After Tomorrow".
Truth is, right now, J has more absolute childcare hours than I do. He spends an extra two hours with them in the evening, pretty much every evening, because my commute into the city and my late quitting hour cuts into our family time (yup, I'm in one of those firms that demands "face time" so I can't leave before the secretaries, even when I have no work). However, we've extended our nanny's hours, so that he's rarely alone with the kids - our nanny is around, lending a hand and, more importantly, starting dinner. Compare that to the weekends where J has to go off on one of his conference or other academic jaunts. I never ask the nanny to help those days and it's me and the girls, all by ourselves.
J thinks somehow, that equal means equal hours spent with the girls, and he give me no credit for the time I spend washing dishes, doing laundry, running the errands that keep the girls in diapers, clothing and miscellaneous. He also gives me no credit for taking the girls alone, when compared with his time with them with the nanny nearby as back-up.
I'm so tired of the attitude, I don't know what to do.
(4) I know I biotch about J alot in this blog, but, not to mislead anyone, we're not actually in trouble. And I know that there are probably those out there that wonder WTF I stay in this relationship. I know it'll sound seriously geeky, but it's because being married to J is like being in school perpetually, which I love.
I know that some may find this hard to believe, but I was a serious fuck-up my first two years in college. I was such a fuck-up, that I got a "D" in both semesters of a year-long intro Economics course and had to drop out of the gut "Rocks for Jocks" course because I was failing and I didn't want a failing grade. There was also a smattering of "C"s in there for good measure.
J basically rescued me from that. (Yes, we have been together for a very, very long time - almost 20 years.) As a prerequisite to dating him, he made me go to the library for hours every evening to study, he made me do my readings, start my papers in advance. And he would get really angry at me when I got bad test scores. And I kept getting better and better at school just so I could "please" my man (ewww... I think I just threw up in my mouth a little). I was 19/20 at the time, give me a break.
I know - how nuts is that?
He was also an econ major, and got me turned on to econ ten years after the fact. Everything I know and blog about the economy, finance, etc... now is due to my tutelage under J. (It certainly ain't from the friggin' 2 econ classes I had 20 years ago.)
I owe him pretty much all my smarts, and to some extent, my law career. Had I kept on the road I started in college, I would have had a GPA that was utterly unacceptable for any law school. As it was, I managed to eek out a reasonable GPA that got me, by the skin of my teeth, into my Tier 2 school.
(5) Citymama has a wonderful entry about buying organic/local. I admit, I don't do enough in this area, though I keep promising myself that I will, once I climb out of the biglaw hole. I was great at doing the organic/local thing when I was in law school, but it has taken a back seat to my job. I'm lucky in this respect, J is quite the skinflint but, especially now that we have children, he is strongly aboard the whole organic/local/good food/slow food band wagon. He's willing to work with me to cut out other things in order to have the money to buy organic and buy local.
For us, it's really about the time crunch. Our schedule is so unstable and erratic that we have a hard time planning our meals, which means that if we were to depend on a farmer's market, it would probably mean a lot of wasted food. We also depend on our nanny a lot for shopping and cooking, so we give her a lot of free reign on the kind of groceries that make it into our home. Luckily, she's quite a good cook, and she doesn't use much processed fauxfoodstuff. She shops almost daily (for her, its a fun excursion with the kids) but is only comfortable at the local Stop & Shop.
But we have a few musts: organic milk and yogurt, organic fruits and vegetables when they are available at the Stop & Shop.
Now that I've been tracking my spending to the penny, I would say that for our family of four, we spend about $1000/month on groceries.