Monday, June 30, 2008  

Holiday Weekend - Just in Time!

Supposedly the whole "tired all the time" thing is supposed to let up as you move into the second trimester. For me, though, it's been pretty much constant - never so tired that I can't function, but I always seem to feel like I got about half as much sleep as I should have! It definitely makes the later part of the afternoon "interesting" at work, to say the least! Luckily, I've been doing a decent job of getting in earlier, working my @$$ off and getting in as much work as possible before my brain just completely shuts off. I've been posting decent (although not spectacular) billables and have gotten some kudos on my efforts - so hopefully I'm moving in the right direction. I'm really hoping I've found somewhat of a routine that will carry me through the next few months. I figure I have a maximum of 21 weeks left, including this week, before I head off to maternity leave... obviously, given my track record, they may be asking me to head out the door sooner!

This past weekend was loverly - we ran our normal weekend errands on Saturday (farmer's market, grocery store, etc...), took Abby to the chiropractor-vet for a much-needed adjustment, and got to spend a lovely afternoon celebrating my mom's birthday. Abby is SO cute with her vet - she has the "good" vet - the one who gives her a massage and makes her feel so much better, and the "bad" vet - the one who gave her shots and vaccines and blood tests! She gives the "good" vet kisses and wiggles like crazy when she sees her... the "bad" vet? Not so much. We don't know what is going to happen when she has to get a shot at the "good" vet - we've only been going there a year, and the only shot she's had has been a heartworm test - and the "bad" vet had to do it because we couldn't get to the other vet soon enough! I'm guessing Abby will be VERY upset when her lovely snuggle-friend gives her an owie!

Since the heat seemed to sap my energy even more than usual on Saturday, we had rather a relaxing day on Sunday. I made an amazing turkey sausage-lentil soup to reheat for dinners this week, did some laundry, watched some soccer (go Spain!), and generally recovered from the previous week. I felt quite strongly, however, that the weekend was ENTIRELY too short - and am desperately counting down the days until the 3 day weekend coming up!

I also knocked out a knitting project - my mom had asked for a replacement "dusting mitt" - kind of like a thumbless mitten with a bunch of yarn ends hanging off to pick up dust around the house. I asked her to show me the one she has now - made by my Great-Aunt Irene who sadly is no longer up to making another (she's in her late 90s and struggling with her health). My mom had patched that poor thing so much that I think there were more patches than original yarn. So I dove into the stash and used the leftovers from the last baby kimono - superwash wool and a wool-acrylic blend - to cobble something together. I think it'll be great - now I just need to take a picture, wrap it up, and send it off!

I hope that everyone is having a good start to the week - let's all think "good thoughts" together and get the weekend to come faster!


Saturday, June 21, 2008  

Living for the Weekends

I've survived my first week of "oh my god I've got to step it up enough to avoid getting fired" at work, and I think it went ok. Not spectacular, but given the physical demands my body is facing from the little one, I'm just not capable of spectacular right now (and perhaps would never have been regardless!) But I think I'm doing enough to extend my employment until October (to make it a full year), or even Thanksgiving (when I was planning to start my maternity leave). We'll see how the next weeks shape up. Right now, I'm already counting down the days until next weekend.

Speaking of weekends, a few weekends ago, it was really hot here in DC. Really REALLY hot - heat index about 110 hot - so hot that neither fuzzle would spend more than a few minutes outside. Coincidentally, both discovered the box fan we've set up in front of one of the air conditioning vents.

Luckily, the last few weekends have been much more mild, resulting in lots of outside time for both Abby and Cricket. This has been especially key as I very much need their combined squirrel-repelling skills. In past years, my attempts to grow tomatoes have been repeatedly foiled by squirrels who make it a point to munch on each and every little green tomato I grow. This year, thanks to the vigilance of the fuzzles, everything seems to be going well...

Another reason to look forward to the weekends is our trip to the local farmer's market - it has turned into a lovely tradition. A sampling of my haul from last Saturday -

MMMMMMMMMMMM. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to look out on the back porch and see this for breakfast:

Oh yeah - I suppose there has been some knitting. In an effort to kick-start my knitting mojo (which has been sadly lacking these last few months), I let myself cast on for a pretty, shiny, new project... Dad's 2008 fair isle vest. Yummy. I predict I'll chug right along on this one, despite my questionable decision to knit a shetland wool vest during the very hot, very sticky summer months. But right now, fair isle is exactly what I needed!

I also needed some time this weekend to relax with the family - we took a short field trip to a local park and gave Abby a chance to pee on completely new and different trees. Happy doggy!

Since it was a little bit hot, Abby had to employ her "carrying assistant" to give her a ride back to the car (well, almost back to the car - she saw a squirrel and miraculously was able to run after it).

Hopefully this week will somehow fly by, and it'll be Friday evening before I know it!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008  

Happy Happy Happy!

Thanks so much for all of the birthday wishes and the wishes for a good resolution to the whole "this job isn't for me but I can't quit yet" situation. One important piece of the puzzle, however, has been missing... the main reason that I can't really consider leaving to find another job right now....

Due around Christmas. I am SO excited, and know it will be worth it to work through these next 3-6 months in order to buy myself the freedom to take a little time off and then return to the workforce in a job that is right for me.

And yes, those are the baby's little legs and feet in the second picture - it was doing somersaults in protest at all the jiggling!



Friday, June 13, 2008  

Friday the 13th

Talk about an inauspicious day that lived up to its reputation. The day started with power outages and disastrous commutes here in the DC area... luckily, none affecting me personally... but it gave a rather apocalyptic tinge to the morning.

Once I arrived at work, I got to eagerly await the arrival of my mid-year review. I knew it was going to be rough because I have really REALLY struggled with this job. As I've already discussed,the big-law career path is not for me, and I've known this since the first month. So while I'm not surprised that I'm not being nominated for "associate of the year," I was a little shocked to hear just how far below expectations I've been performing. I have until Monday or Tuesday to come to a decision as to how I want to proceed... I think I'm going to have to take the "suck it up" option. Basically, I've been given a chance to prove myself over the next 3 months, at which point I'll have a second review, and things will go from there. Given that I was hoping to be able to quit after Thanksgiving, this hopefully will mean that I'll make it at least through September. I had a long discussion with the HR manager about all of the options, and she said that I would most likely get 3 months of severance pay if they did ask me to leave in September, and that they would work with me to allow me to "resign" instead of being fired, so that's something I guess!

Now my challenge is to honestly ask myself how I plan to make it through 3-5 more months at a job that I dislike and where I have a track record of disappointing the powers-that-be. I really hope that I can come up with a plan that will allow me to leave this job more on my own terms.

Tomorrow I turn 29 - somehow I didn't think I'd be celebrating my birthday with the news that I'm a failure at work. But before I send out the invites for my own personal pity-party, let me just say that there are some really amazing things going on in my life right now for which I am extremely grateful. Even with this job, I am so lucky to be in a place where they are even willing to give me another 3 months to try and improve, and where severance pay is on the table even when it is my own performance that is the problem.

And, even if I'm miserable for each day of it, I'm only looking at 23 more weeks of work (assuming they let me stick around that long!)

So ready for the weekend...


Monday, June 02, 2008  

A Long-Overdue Update

Wow.... I think I only managed three posts in May. Hopefully things will get back on track soon - the main problem, as usual these last 8 months, is my job. The hours have eased up, but I still just fundamentally don't like it, and I've found that my negative attitude is infecting other parts of my life. I'm fighting this as much as possible, but sometimes it's tough to shake off the bad mood that starts when I get out of bed on a weekday. This past weekend, I headed off to the beach in Florida for what should have been a wonderful summer associate retreat... and it was lovely, but it was really hard to overcome my "anti-work" feelings enough to relax and have a good time. I couldn't help but think to myself that, by the time these summer associates start in Fall, 2009, I will be long gone from big law. In fact, my current goal is to be on my way out starting December 1, 2008. So far, things are right on track to make that realistic. So only six more months to go!

Of course, it's not just my attitude that interferes with posting. Sometimes, certain members of the family decide that there are more important things to do instead of sitting in front of the computer. For example, perhaps a snuggle or two are in order?

I just wish Cricket weren't so subtle about getting my attention!

We made it camping a few weeks ago, and Abby proved that, if you look cute enough, S will pick you up and carry you. S apparently calls this a "puppy walk." I tried to point out that he seems to be a little confused about the "walk" part, but apparently Abby always gets what she wants!

I took advantage of the slightly-slower doggy walking pace to snap a few pictures of spring finally arriving in the Shenandoah mountains:

Abby enjoyed the beautiful weather with a nice nap in the sunny spot in front of the tent. I just wish I could have this view out of my front door all the time!

Once we got home, however, Abby proved why she was decidedly NOT underweight after being on her own with a broken leg AND with puppies to feed. She's killed two more possums, and this morning she chased a bird across the street, leaped over a bush, and killed it too. She's definitely able to feed herself just fine should we somehow forget her extra-fancy gourmet doggy food!

Oh, and there's KNITTING! I know, shocking. But really - I've been plugging away....

First up - an almost finished baby kimono! I just bought the ribbons for the closures last night, so it's not completely done - but the baby shower isn't until Saturday, so I should be ok.

And another pair of plain socks - socks that rock in pink granite, for me. I'm about 4 rows away from finishing, so I haven't bothered to take it with me on various metro trips etc... because I know I'll finish in about 10 minutes. Consequently, these have sat around for about a month waiting for me to spend those last 10 minutes finishing them. SIGH.

I dug out Wild Apple again for my metro knitting - I decided to just bite the bullet and plow through the stockinette sections so I can perhaps finish this in the next five years! I've done the back, a sleeve, and am almost done with the second sleeve. I haven't decided about whether to put in ribbing or a hem, so I've left all the bottom edges on waste yarn to decide later. I'm predicting that this will sit in a bag with the Union Square Market Pullover waiting for me to get a wild "seaming urge," which will probably never happen. Maybe I'll force myself to finish these up after the job bites the dust!

And lest you think I'm neglecting the Sheepie Blanket (which I have been, but no matter!), here's the fifth square I've completed -

12 ends.

I may also have started swatching for my dad's 2008 vest. I'm really digging the muted colors, but next year's might have to be a riot of reds and golds.

So I should have no problem refraining from buying yarn in the next few months - here's a list of projects either in progress (and not just waiting for finishing!) or on deck, and for which I have yarn:
  1. new dust mitt for mom
  2. dad's 2008 vest
  3. sheepie blanket
  4. wild apple
  5. S' socks
  6. pink granite socks
  7. alpine lace
That's quite a list of projects to get through in a fairly short amount of time - dad's vest, S' socks, and the sheepie blanket have Christmas deadlines, and are all pretty extensive projects.

Whew! Maybe if I were to update more often, the entries wouldn't be such novels! One can always dream, I guess...

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