Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sick of being sick

As I mentioned, I contracted the worst cold I've had in a long time back on the 12th, and I am still not 100%. I've continued to have a lingering cough; I was treated for an ear infection but still have a clogged feeling in that ear off & on; and since last night, my left tonsil has felt sore & itchy. (sigh) I sound like a big baby, but I'm just not used to not feeling right.
I am pretty proud of the amount of work I have gotten done in my office this week. If only I could be so productive at home! Our place is a pigsty at the moment. I feel like I am pretty on top of my caseload for the first time in months. What a good feeling.
I went to the eye doctor this morning and got a clean bill of eye health. LOL My prescription didn't even change, so I only had to pick up 2 more boxes of contact lenses. Lucky, lucky.
I'm getting a full leg wax this evening! My leg hair is obscenely long at the moment above mid-calf, so I thought this might be a good time to wax. And no, SL has not been having to see or deal with the long leg hair: it started growing while I was at my sister's and we have not been, ahem, intimate since then due to our both being ill. SL will be pleasantly surprised when he finally does see my legs again. LOL And it will be nice not to have to shave for a while.
It was raining pretty steadily here from about midnight until early afternoon today. A rare occurrence here! Our daytime high was only supposed to be 50 degrees, so it's been quite chilly as well. I could see my breath when I went out to lunch. Very unusual for southern Arizona!
SL's parents are due back this weekend. Once they return, he & I are probably going to buy a new couch! We need their truck to pick it up and avoid delivery charges. I saw a couch I like at the LaZBoy Furniture Gallery earlier this month when SL's mom bought his Xmas present (a LaZBoy recliner); the price was reasonable. My current couches are about 9 years old and are considerably the worse for wear. (It didn't help that they were in storage for 3 years, have been moved 5 times, and have endured 3 dogs and a cat.) I've been wanting a new couch for over a year, so I'm pretty excited to get one.
What a boring post! Ah well. Life's not all excitement.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

100 days

Today quietly, without fanfare or announcement to anyone, I decided to start improving my eating. I brought lunch (Lean Cuisine panini) and a healthy snack (nonfat yogurt). I'm on my 3rd liter of water.
I ate one Ferrero Rocher chocolate candy in addition to the food I'd brought from home. Big deal. I've eaten LOTS of candy over the past month. Just the mere fact that I didn't eat out, didn't get a flavored coffee, and didn't do any other snacking puts me way ahead of where I've been lately.
Our wedding is 100 days from today. I've pretty much accepted that I am going to be fat on my wedding day. But hell, I've been fat most of my life. Nonetheless, I am going to make an effort to get in at least a little better shape between now and then.
I'm not going to make any promises or write any more about this for today. It's enough that I've made a real effort, for the first time in way too long.
My office has been freezing all day today! It's often a bit chilly in here--my secretary & I joke that it's haunted by evil spirits--but today it's really cold. I have my little space heater blowing right on me. And I am not one of these people who is cold all the time. . . far from it.
SL & I have a counseling session tonight. We are supposed to be discussing what our respective expectations are for one another after marriage. I have thought some about this, but haven't really come up with two many concrete expectations. I expect him to support me in my endeavors, treat me with respect, not sleep with other women, share in parenting responsibilities when/if we become parents. Other than that. . . I'm not really sure I *have* expectations. Although I probably do have them; I'm just not able to articulate them. Hmmm. Wonder what he's going to come up with for me. Each time I've asked, he's joked that he expects me to "behave" and "obey" him. LOL He knows neither of those things is gonna happen.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fa la la la la la la la la

Work is really weird today. There was only about one-fourth of the usual amount of traffic on the way downtown. . . which was nice, but odd. Once I got to the office, probably half the staff & attorneys on my floor are out today. So it's been unusually quiet.
Our Xmas was pretty good. Poor SL has the nasty cold that I had Dec 12 through 18; he started feeling "not right" Friday evening and got worse from there. He still sounded & looked pretty icky this morning, poor lamb. We had a nice Xmas Eve dinner at The Melting Pot (though I'm sure he would've enjoyed it more had he not been sick). And we spent a nice day at our friend F's mother's yesterday.
SL got me a lovely gold diamond circle pendant for Xmas. I got him an iPod Nano. He was surprised; when he saw the wrapped box, he thought he was getting a watch. He had been wanting an iPod of his own ever since he bought me mine for my birthday, so he was psyched.
I got some other nice gifts, too. My sis got me a $100 AmEx gift card; she intended for me to use it to buy Adobe Photoshop, but I might use it toward a new trial suit (since I am too fat for most of mine and I have a trial on 1/9). SL's sis gave me a lovely pen/pencil set and a $50 gift card to Sam's. (I'll probably use that gift card toward Photoshop.) SL's parents gave me two bottles of my favorite wine, a really cool string of potpourri, and a hand-carved wooden jewelry holder. My dad & his wife gave me a $15 iTunes card, a sweater, a pedicure kit off our BB&B registry, and a new memory card for my digital camera. My mom's gifts have not yet arrived; I'm hopeful they'll be in today's mail. My dear friend D sent me a Vegas-themed memo board. . . though I had asked for no gift. :)
Now that Xmas is over, I need to knuckle down on some wedding planning stuff. Our wedding is less than 15 weeks away! I need to: start alterations on my dress (& maybe buy a crinoline); arrange transportation to & from our reception site, for us & for guests; start addressing our invitations. SL needs to get the ball rolling on their tuxedos.
More important than all those details. . . I need to lose some frickin' weight!! As soon as SL has recovered from his crud, we are going to return to lifting weights at the gym. After this week, when my dogsitting of Dickens is over, I'm going to start getting up before work at least 3 mornings to walk or use the elliptical trainer. I am either joining Jenny Craig, or devising my own combination Jenny/Weight Watchers plan. I've GOT to drop some weight before the wedding: at least 15-20 lbs.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thank God for my usual good health

I flew back from my sister's late on Saturday Dec. 9th after numerous airline delays. I barely had enough time on Sunday to greet the future in-laws and take my CASA child to the annual Christmas party before having to return to work on Monday.

Upon my return to the office, several people were sick. I rarely get colds, and when I'd flown cross-country twice in less than two weeks without contracting anything, I figured I was going to dodge another bullet. Not so.

By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I had that tired, scratchy-throat, achy-ear feeling that nearly always means a cold is coming on. I woke up Wednesday feeling lousy; despite all I had to do at the office, I called in sick in the hope that a day of complete rest would help me kick the cold quick. No such luck.

I ended up being home sick Thursday as well. . . though I dragged my a$$ in on Friday, I was quite a bit less than 100%. (However, since I work in government, giving less than 100% effort on a payday Friday can go pretty much unnoticed, especially close to the holidays. LOL) I was up the last two nights with a horrible cough. I've been having insomnia--a VERY rare occurrence for me--and when I can get to sleep, the coughing usually wakes me up, gasping for breath.

Ugh. I think I am over the worst of it now, though I still have a nasty lingering cough. I am one of the worst patients! I have no tolerance for feeling sick. . . . probably because it's such an unusual state of affairs for me. For which fact I am VERY grateful!

Despite feeling icky, I made it through SL's office Christmas party last night (very fun: I even won a $100 gift certificate to a local fancy restaurant as a door prize!) and through an hour-and-a-half at Chuck E. Cheese's today with M, my CASA child. I could go to sleep right now. . . but I am eschewing a nap in hopes that being REALLY tired when I go to bed tonight (at, say, 9:30 or so) will help me fall asleep.

It's hard to believe Christmas is only a week from tomorrow! All my shopping is done; I'm mailing off my last two gifts (gift certificates) tomorrow. I really didn't have too many folks to shop for, since most of my friends & I have long since agreed to exchange cards only.

SL & I are going to have a very low-key Christmas, just the two of us. We have actually not spent Christmas together before, so I'm looking forward to it. (We started dating in February 2005; we each spent last Christmas with our respective parents, in two different states.) At one time, we'd thought that we might take a weekend trip to Vegas over Christmas. . . with the excuse that it would be a "scouting trip" for our April wedding there. . . but ultimately decided we'd rather not spend the money on that trip. (Hotel & airfare only were nearly $600.)

Things should be relatively quiet at the office this week. Many of the judges will be taking vacation, as I'm sure will many of the attorneys. With fewer divisions of the court in session, I should be able to catch up from my recent illness. (I actually wasn't terribly behind due to my vacation; I did a pretty decent job of clearing things up ahead of time.)

As soon as I kick this dastardly virus, I'm getting back on the exercise wagon. My wedding dress has arrived, and my upper body is NOT looking very pretty! LOL

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am home from work sick today. . . second day in a row. I'm pretty sure it's just a bad cold, but I have no energy. . . in addition to headache, body aches, congestion, & sore throat. Ugh.

I have plenty of stuff I could be doing at work. . . but none of it is super urgent. I just hate taking two sick days when I've only been back from vacation for 2 days!

Must rest. . . .

Monday, December 04, 2006

Motivated at last?

I'm very proud of myself! I am still at my sister's, and I just got off the treadmill. I walked for 30 minutes at a "brisk" pace. . . brisk enough to keep my heart rate up and get me sweaty, anyway. . . though I never got much over 4 mph. I even jogged for a minute. . . and I would've jogged longer, but the jogging was freaking out my sister's dog. :)

I'm sure most people would say that a few weeks before Christmas is a less-than-ideal time to embark on any type of weight loss or fitness challenge. But these days I'll take my motivation where I can find it. Goodness knows, my moments of inspiration have been few and far between this year.

I'm hoping that having done a bit of exercise this morning will inspire me to eat healthier today, too. So far, all I've had is a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch with some 2% milk. I'm starting to get hungry, though. Maybe I will take advantage of the nearby Chik-Fil-A and get us some yummy salads for lunch. . .

You would think that my wedding--which is coming up in just a little over 4 months--would give me motivation to shape up & lose some weight. As we've seen, not so much. One thing that may motivate me, though, is the desire to be healthier for my future children.

Being with my sister & her newborn son has gotten me thinking a lot more about the fast-approaching day when I will (God willing) have my own baby. I would certainly hate to start out a pregnancy at my current weight & fitness level. In college, I was birthing coach for a dear friend of mine. (Her son is now 15, so that'll tell you how long ago THAT was.) I've always remembered something the midwife told us at the childbirth classes we attended: to your body, giving birth is similar to running a marathon in the amount of endurance it requires. Who would want to run a marathon at 230 lbs?? Certainly not me. I know I have to be healthier & exercising regularly in order to have a healthy pregnancy & a healthy baby. Plus, it'll just be a lot less taxing on me in the long run. Even with a normal weight gain, I could easily end up close to 270 by my ninth month if I started here. Aye, the stress that would put on my joints & heart!

Not to mention the fact that being as overweight as I currently am may actually interfere with my ability to conceive in the first place. I have been tracking my temperature daily since August, and I've learned that I do, in fact, ovulate (hooray!). But I need to be doing everything I can to ensure optimal fertility. I've already allowed the most fertile years of my life to pass without getting pregnant by waiting until age 36 to start trying. I shouldn't compound that potential problem by being a fat, lazy sack. I can't control my age, but I can certainly control what I eat and when/if I exercise.

I had a great time meeting my friend A in DC for a late lunch (instead of brunch) yesterday. So fun to chat with a young, single friend! I also hadn't been into the city for a few years. I'm always moved to see the Capital and the Washington Monument, even if only fleetingly and from a distance. I've always liked the "feel" of DC, too. Not sure if I'd be happy living there, but I've always loved visiting. I even took a little detour and drove through Georgetown on the way home. So many beautiful people hustling & bustling to get their holiday shopping done.

I've really enjoyed spending time with my sister and with my nephew. . . but on the whole, no one would describe this as a "fun" or relaxing "vacation." Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work, even for two people. And because he's so little, we've hardly gone anywhere. . . two trips to Target & one to Babies R Us have been the entirety of our outings. I don't mind a bit, though, because this is exactly what I anticipated my stay would be like.

I'm still planning to meet my friend/ex R for lunch on Friday. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen him since his wedding in November 2000.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

How many shopping days 'til Christmas?

I cannot believe it is already December 2nd! I hate to say this--because I think it makes me sound old--but I can't believe how fast this year has gone by.

I have not yet begun to shop for Christmas. I have a pretty good idea what I am going to get for over half the people on my (very short) list. The others. . . no clue.

I also don't know what SL & I are doing for Christmas this year. His parents will be visiting his sister in San Antonio; we don't want to go with them since we will be seeing them all winter. I just went to my dad's for Thanksgiving. My mom lives too far away. We had thought we'd like to take a little weekend scouting trip to Las Vegas. . . but it's looking like that's not really in our budget. Bummer. Well, we'll see. We've got about 3 weeks to figure it out. LOL

I've addressed nearly all my holiday cards while I've been here at my sister's. I've also read two novels and watched way more TV than usual. Reading, watching TV, and chatting are about the only things I've found I can do successfully while feeding or rocking the baby. Because my sister sometimes tries to nap when I'm with my nephew, chatting is not always an option.

I'm going into DC tomorrow morning to meet a friend for brunch in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. I haven't seen her for almost a year; I'm looking forward to it! It'll also be the first time I have left the house for any length of time since arriving at my sister's. (I've gone out twice alone to pick up food or run errands. . . but that really doesn't count.)

SL's parents are driving down from Alaska. They started out on Monday morning; as of last night, they were already in Montana and hoping to make it to Salt Lake City tonight. SL says he expects them at our home on Monday or Tuesday. They should be ensconced in their own apartment by the time I return home next week. Their departure date is never firm, but it is likely they will be in town through Valentine's Day at least.

I'd hoped to start eating better & exercising while at my sister's, but so far that has not happened. I still have hope, though; I'm here until the 9th. We straightened up the great room today so that using the treadmill would actually be a possibility tomorrow. And my eating hasn't been AWFUL. . . just not ideal.

I'm already contemplating whether I should bother making New Year's resolutions this year. My resolutions for 2006 were certainly not realized!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I'm writing this from my sister's living room as I watch my 3-week-old nephew sleeping in his cradle (bassinet?) a couple of feet away. I am here in northern Virginia visiting V & the new baby (& oh yeah, V's husband D) for a couple of weeks. I'm minding baby until he awakens for his next feeding in . . . oh, say 30 to 60 minutes.

I arrived yesterday evening without fanfare. V is understandably exhausted due to being a new mom. My drive home from the airport with D in rush hour traffic was almost twice as long as my layover in Dallas (which was barely long enough to make it from one gate to another in time to board my connecting flight). Good times.

My new little nephew is adorable! Being with a newborn for the past 24+ hours for the first time in a long time has been an interesting experience. . . to say the least. SL & I have talked a lot about our desire to have a baby of our own within 15-18 months after our wedding. You do the math: that would mean this time in 2 years, it'll be me suffering sleep deprivation and not my sis. I'll be the one with the cracked nipples, swollen breasts, achiness, mood swings, etc. Not to mention recovering--mentally and physically--from childbirth. The most notable thing to me is the baby's total dependence on the adults in his world to meet his needs.

Don't get me wrong: I am no stranger to the world of babies, so I'm not thinking about any of these things for the first time. I was a hospital RN for 7 years; I've worked in post-partum & cared for newborns as my patients. I also have close friends with children ranging in age from a few months to 15 years of age. I had extensive contact with at least 4 of those kids' friends during their first few months of life. I've fed, burped, & changed the diapers of many a newborn in my day. I guess I am thinking more about all these things this time for a couple of reasons.

One, because my nephew hits closer to home. My sis & I are only 2 years apart: I'm actually the older sister, though she's done most things first as adults--become a lawyer, married, become a mom--go figure. And two, because when I helped my friends with their babies. . . I knew that the day when I would have those same responsiblities for my own baby, 24/7, was FAR distant. Now. . . God willing, not so much.

So it has been a thought-provoking 24 hours.

It's great seeing V again. I hadn't seen her since before she got pregnant. It's a bitch living 3000 miles from your only sister. And I do love my nephew. He is adorable.

Nephew had a "weight check" today at the doctor's because he lost weight the 2 weeks following his birth. (A not-uncommon occurrence, but the doctor was a little concerned at V's milk production & so had her start supplementing with formula a week ago.) The little bugger gained 16 oz in a week! That puts him at 13 oz over birth weight, which means his average weight gain is right on target. He was deemed "perfectly normal" by his pediatrician (though V says this is an understatement & he is a "super" baby).

I've probably gained a pound in a week before. I doubt it'd be cause for celebration. Ah, how things change as we age. LOL

I had my first fleeting thought of work this evening. Bah! It's nice to be out of the office, but I always worry about things going wrong in my absence. I've been burned more than once in that regard. That aspect of my change is one of the few things that I miss about being a nurse: work was never waiting for me at the hospital when I returned from a vacation.

I'm hoping to see a few friends while I'm here in the DC area, too. Figure my sis & bro-in-law will probably appreciate a break from me in the evenings after I've been here a few days. LOL

Monday, November 27, 2006

STOLEN from another blogger

Copy, bold the things you’ve done, and post.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula (but I've seen one up close)
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said “I love you” and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne (mixed w/tequila! ugh!)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (close, 38)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving (always wanted to, & will someday)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married (not yet, but I will in April!)
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (LOL! Yeah, right)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo (never would)
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
99. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
100. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
101. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking

102. Had plastic surgery (never would)
103. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
104. Wrote articles for a large publication
105. Lost over 100 pounds (someday. . . )
106. Held someone while they were having a flashback
107. Piloted an airplane
108. Touched a stingray
109. Broken someone’s heart
110. Helped an animal give birth (I watched, but didn't help)
111. Won money on a T.V. game show
112. Broken a bone
113. Gone on an African photo safari
114. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears (never would)
115. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
116. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
117. Ridden a horse
118. Had major surgery
119. Had a snake as a pet
120. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (I will someday)
121. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
122. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
123. Visited all 7 continents
124. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
125. Eaten kangaroo meat
126. Eaten sushi
127. Had your picture in the newspaper
128. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
129. Gone back to school
130. Parasailed
131. Touched a cockroach
132. Eaten fried green tomatoes
133. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (I tried to read the Iliad once)
134. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (Jane Austen, among others)
135. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
136. Skipped all your school reunions
137. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
138. Been elected to public office
139. Written your own computer language (LOL!)
140. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
141. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
142. Built your own PC from parts
143. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
144. Had a booth at a street fair
145. Dyed your hair
146. Been a DJ
147. Shaved your head
148. Caused a car accident (fender bender only)
149. Saved someone’s life

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving thanks

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided I would make this post about some of the things, people, etc., in my life for which I am thankful. In no particular order:

  • My dog Sebastian. He puts a smile on my face every day.
  • SL. I am blessed to have found someone to love who loves me and is a true partner in every sense of the word.
  • My good health. Despite my struggles with my weight, I have been so fortunate. Not only have I never suffered from a major or chronic illness. . . I rarely even get a cold or stomach bug. Lucky, lucky.
  • I'm thankful my parents are still living. Sadly, I have many friends who can no longer say the same.
  • My new nephew Rowan. So adorable!
  • My sister & our relationship. Amazing that she is now a mom. I'm grateful we still talk all the time, even though we live 3000 miles apart.
  • My friends. I am proud to claim a large group! From my "oldest" friends C & D, to friends at work, to my law school friends, and the rest. . . I've been changed for the better in some small way by each of them. I'm so lucky to have so many people who love me.
  • Having a job I enjoy that makes a difference. I love the intellectual challenge of the law. And being able to work in goverment and help protect the community gives my work the meaning I need.
  • Mobile phone. Don't know how I got along without it! I can call friends and family almost any time. . . and I feel safer knowing help is only a phone call away.
  • Down comforter. Comfy & cozy at night.
  • My reliable, gas-saving Prius. It's so nice to have a car you know won't leave you stranded. It's even nicer when you only have to gas up once a month.
  • The internet. How do I find the answers to my questions before google?
  • My digital camera. I have so enjoyed capturing the beauty of nature and special times with friends and family. And not using film means I shoot more pictures: no more guilt about "wasting" film!
  • My upcoming visit to my sister's. I can't wait to see her & the baby. . . and it'll be nice to have some time off from work, too.
  • Having enough money to pay my bills and live relatively comfortably.
  • My freedom & my good fortune in being born in the best country in the world. I have, as my birthright, what many would literally give their lives to have.
  • Our Dyson vacuum cleaner. Don't wanna sound like a commercial. . . but wow.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Blog neglect

I'm finally an aunt! My sister had her baby (a little boy named Rowan) on November 8th. For a while, the poor little guy was having to get daily heelsticks to check his bilirubin levels due to newborn jaundice, but he is improving now and not having to get stuck. My mom is staying with my sister to help her out; she says they are both doing well--though my sister is feeling understandably overwhelmed and emotional.
I am going out to visit my sister & Rowan on November 28th. I can't wait!
I have been so busy at work lately. I haven't even been in trial since the last one I posted about. . . just trying to get caught up on case review, trial prep, and other various office stuff. I had two more sex cases set for trial in December; for a variety of different reasons, I've had to get supervisor approval to dismiss each case. As it stands right now, it looks like I won't be in trial again until January. But I have every week of that month booked, so things should pick up then. . . even if all the trials don't go forward as scheduled, a few are bound to.
That's if I'm even at my current job in January. I interviewed two weeks ago at the Attorney General's Office. The job is basically the same job I have now; still a criminal prosecutor, just working for a different agency and perhaps prosecuting slightly different types of crimes. I felt good about the interview, and I got the impression that the panel was impressed with me. I got a call late last week that I am in their "top 3"--though he didn't say whether I was 1st, 2nd, or 3rd--so I am cautiously optimistic. I should hear by the end of the month one way or the other.
If I get this job offer at the AG, I will probably take it. It would only be a little bit more money, but I think their philosophy of prosecution is likely more in sync with my own. Plus, they take a lot fewer cases to trial. Many might think that this is a negative. . . and in some ways I'd agree; trial work is fun. But spending 12-15 weeks a year in trial--the stated expectation at my current job--is not something I see myself doing once SL & I have children. We will be trying to conceive by this time next year, so it's smart for me to think ahead a little. It'll be worth it to me to be a little bored for a year or so to have a less stressful job once I'm a mom.
SL started his new job at G&O on November 6th. So far he really likes it. I'm glad. He hasn't even gotten his first paycheck yet, so he must actually like the work. LOL
Off to the movies with friends. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A trial to remember

This post is devoted entirely to the child molestation case I took to trial this past week (my first). Please see my post below for details on the non-work areas of my life. :)

Before I tell about the trial itself, allow me to provide some background information. The defendant in the case is a former-Satanist-turned-evangelical-preacher whom the parents of the victim brought to Arizona from El Salvador. They allowed him to live with them in their home for about two months so that he could preach to their congregation. The victim is a very sweet 11-year-old girl (10 at the time of the molest), the second to youngest of several children. I inherited the case from another prosecutor in our office, and I had a difficult time meeting with the victim and her family in the weeks leading up to the trial because the victim's mother had been in Mexico due to a sister's serious illness. (We did ultimately meet face-to-face last week, days before trial.)

The case had been set for trial once before, on August 8th of this year. On that date, the defendant's attorney--a gentleman in private practice whom I know well because his sister is a justice of the peace to whose courtroom I was assigned for 6 months while in misdemeanors (I'll call him "RG")--was in a serious car accident. Trial was scheduled to begin at 1:30; over the lunch hour, RG was driving somewhere, became distracted, and drove in front of a semi truck. He was fortunate to escape with only a concussion and several stitches. RG told me that officers at the scene told him that he had driven out a foot more, he likely would have been killed. As it was, RG was hospitalized for a couple of days, and the trial was rescheduled.

This trial began on Tuesday afternoon. We spent the afternoon selecting a jury. (A very capable legal assistant from the special victims unit helped me, thank goodness.) I quickly discovered that choosing 12 people who can sit and hear a child molestation case without bias is a heck of a lot more challenging than picking the same 12 people to hear about a car theft or a home burglary. People have so many emotional responses to charges of this kind: a couple of grown men even cried.

Wednesday morning, we had the jury picked and were ready to begin. The defendant required a Spanish language interpreter. Two interpreters were in the courtroom so that they could switch from time to time; additionally, the victims' parents needed an interpreter as well. As one of the interpreters was setting up her equipment and providing the defendant with his headset, she was stung by a scorpion in the courtroom! Now scorpions *are* quite common in the Sonoran desert, and I have heard of people finding them indoors. I have never heard of anyone even seeing one in the courthouse before, though.

A replacement interpreter arrived, and we got started. I called my first witness, the father of the victim. At the start of the trial, the judge had ruled--for reasons that are likely obvious--that no witness could mention the fact that the defendant used to be a Satanist. (Side note: if it's not obvious why, his rationale was that this would unfairly prejudice the jury against the defendant.) I had instructed the father, through the intepreter, immediately before he took the stand, that he could not mention this fact. In response to my fifth or sixth question--which didn't even call for information about the defendant specfically, but was a more general question--the father volunteered that ". . . he used to be a Satanist." My Spanish is not the greatest, but I caught what was said before it was interpreted into English; so did RG (who is a native Spanish speaker) and the judge. The words "Satanist" (English) and "Satanista" (Spanish) are not really that different, so I'm sure a majority of the jurors caught it, too. . . and three of the jurors actually spoke Spanish.

The judge asked the father whether I had instructed him not to say this on the stand; he said I had (whew). The judge then asked him why he said this anyway; he responded "because I believe in telling the truth, the whole truth." Oy vey.

All this led to the judge bringing in the father, mother, and victim, and admonishing them on the record to refrain from mentioning the defendant's past as a Satanist. The judge declared a mistrial and dismissed that carefully chosen jury.

As luck would have it, there were other jurors available for that afternoon (unusual for a Wednesday in our county), so we reconvened at 1:15 and started jury selection all over again. This time things went slightly more smoothly, and by 4:45 we had selected a second jury and recessed for the evening.

During that afternoon, RG, who is a devout Catholic, mentioned to me during a break "my guy kinda creeps me out." He said "you're gonna laugh at me, but I have a bottle of holy water with me." It was obvious from his demeanor that he wasn't joking. RG also made reference to the fact that he had nearly been killed in an accident the last time he was set to try this case and also to the interpreter's scorpion sting that morning.

As an aside: I woke up Wednesday morning with a migraine. Had I not been in the middle of a trial, I would've called in sick. As it was, I took alternating doses of Advil & Imitrex all day long; I got through the day, but generally felt sub-par all day.

Thursday morning when I arrived in the office, I had a phone message that one of my witnesses had been a car accident that morning while taking his son to school. Another witness could not testify that afternoon because he had a doctor's appointment to have a skin cancer removed. A third witness had a scheduling conflict; she was required to be in another county on the same day I needed her to testify. All this led to a lot of schedule juggling before I even headed over to the courthouse.

I arrived at the courthouse and found out that the victim & her family had a flat on the way to the courthouse and will be delayed. The judge was not happy, and the jury had to wait around for about 20 minutes for them to arrive. When they got to court, the victim's mother told me that one of their older sons (who no longer lives at home) was in a car accident this morning and was injured.

Once the trial resumed, I got the father on and off the stand without incident. He came across as angry and belligerent with the defense attorney; I believe--and others watching in the courtroom agreed--that this damaged his credibility. My second witness was the victim herself. She was only able to get through a few questions; when I asked her if she saw the man who touched her in the courtroom, she started crying uncontrollably and was unable to continue. (Poor thing.) So the judge instructed me to excuse her for the time being and to call my next witness.

My third witness was the victim's mother. My primary purpose in calling her was to elicit testimony about the victim's demeanor when she reported the crime each time (yes, the poor girl had to tell the mom twice before she was believed) and the behavioral changes she had noticed in her daughter since the incident. I was nearly finished questioning her when she gratuitously said that she had seen the defendant touch the victim and the victim's brother (her son) on another occasion.

You may be thinking "so what? All the better, right?" Well, not so much. The law requires that if the State intends to introduce evidence of other acts of the defendant that show a propensity to commit deviant sexual acts, we must file an appropriate allegation with the court. The judge must then hold a hearing, complete with expert testimony, to determine whether the proposed testimony is relevant and will be admitted at trial. None of this had been done. Why not? Because the mom had never told anyone this before!

Now I had another defense motion for a mistrial on the table. The judge excused the jury and questioned the mother more about what she had seen. Mom then said that not only did the defendant touch the victim, he also fondled her other three children who were living in the home during his stay. She said that she first noticed his inappropriate behavior days after the defendant arrived in her home. Yet he stayed with them for an additional 7-8 weeks. And she claimed that she had told the previous prosecutor and the investigating detective all this.

I was 99.8% sure this was not true--there was not a scrap of paper in the file that supports her statements; she never revealed any of this in her defense interview, though she was specifically asked about it; and two of the other three children were interviewed by law enforcement and denied that the defendant ever touched them--but I was in a difficult situation. I could not avow to the court that this never happened because how could I know for sure what the previous attorney or the detective discussed with the mother? The judge took the motion for mistrial under advisement and ordered me to confer with the previous prosecutor over the lunch hour.

After talking to both the prior assigned attorney and the detective, I learned that what mom was saying was just not true: she had never mentioned this to anyone involved in the case before today. Looking back, my only thought is that she recalled these other incidents well after the fact and somehow thought it would help the case to bring them up in court. After lunch, rather than declare a mistrial, the judge had to give the jury a curative instruction telling them to disregard this portion of the mother's testimony and that she never previously revealed this to anyone. There went mom's credibility as a witness.

Once mom's testimony was concluded, I recalled the victim to the stand. Her testimony was the one part of the trial that went smoothly. She cried a little bit this second time when telling the jury what the defendant had done, but was able to tell what happened and did a good job on the stand.

After hearing from the victim and the officer who took the initial police report, we had to recess for the day--at 3:15--because I had no more witnesses. I found out, though, that my expert would indeed be testifying in another county at the same time I needed her to testify in my case. I asked the judge for leave to call her out of order, but it was denied.

Friday morning: I arrived at court, and my first witness of the day--my detective--was delayed. He finally arrived (schedule miscommunication), and his testimony went off without a hitch. Then the defendant took the stand. He came across calm, rational, and--I hate to admit it--credible. He categorically denied ever touching the victim and reiterated his belief that the victim's parents had a grudge against him and had forced their daughter to lie.

I asked the judge once again to allow me to call my expert witness out of order--she would be available at 1:00--and once again the judge denied my request. So right after lunch, we went ahead with closing arguments.

The jury deliberated a little over an hour, then came back with verdicts of not guilty on both counts. In talking with some of the jurors after the trial, they said that they had doubts about the defendant's guilt because they thought both parents were not being truthful on the stand. As one of them put it "we believed something happened to the little girl; we just weren't sure that the defendant was the one who did it."

I knew from the get-go that this kind of case would be tough--no physical evidence, so a real "he said, she said" type of situation--but I really think that if 1) the parents had presented better on the stand, and 2) I could've used my expert (who would have testified, in general terms, about children's memory, truthfulness, and situations in which one might expect false accusations), I might have had a better chance at a conviction.

RG said he was just glad we both "survived" the trial. . . and I think he was relieved that he would have no further contact with his client. (He had mentioned to me that he didn't like even touching him because it made him uncomfortable. . . and RG is a touchy-feely guy, a real glad-hander.)

I was disappointed. . . mostly because I 100% believed my victim; I know that the defendant really molested her, despite what the defense argued & the jury concluded. But I learned a lot, and I, too, am glad this trial is over.

I love bullet points

Where to begin? I have been so busy & stressed this past week that it seems as though months have gone by without an entry. I will do my best to bring this up to date. Perhaps the bullet points approach. . . .
  • WEIGHT--I have not been on the scale once in about 2 weeks, and I've been eating pretty much what I want. Luckily, because I have been stressed, there have been a fair number of days when I have skipped meals or only been able to stomach something light. I still want to get back to exercising and eating more healthfully, and I am hoping the relative calm of the coming week will allow me to put these plans into action. A coworker suggested going back to Weight Watchers meetings; I might give that a go. SL wants to get back to going to the gym in the evenings, too, and would like me to go along to help motivate him.
  • FAMILY--All is (mostly) well. My mom is doing well. My dad has had a bad cold, but no other major health concerns, thank God. My sister is 38 weeks pregnant today, and was told at her latest OB appointment this past Thursday that the doctor will likely induce her this coming week because her blood pressure has started going up again the past 2 weeks. (It was 140-something/100 last Thursday.) Her doctor thinks that, as the modified bedrest he has prescribed no longer seems to be having the desired effect, and the baby is "large for dates," there should be no harm in delivering him about 10 days early. So I am going to be aunt within the week!
  • SL & HIS FAMILY--SL was a man of leisure after Tuesday this past week: he finished up at his old job and is starting the new one on Monday. He and I had a big argument last week. . . . about things I'd rather not get into. . . but I think it may turn out to be a good thing because it has motivated him to finally agree to going to actual couples counseling with me. (He has said before he'd do it, but then fudged and backed out.) Our relationship is about 95% good, but there are one or two issues (or potential issues) that I would like for us to work through before we get married. My perspective is: I haven't waited until this age to get married just to get myself into a situation that's not going to work. Know what I mean? SL's mom slipped on some ice on Thursday and hit her head! She is OK, but she was knocked out for a few minutes. Hearing about crap like that makes me glad I live in Arizona and not in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • WEDDING PLANS--Not much new to report. I am way ahead on everything, actually. Our wedding invitations arrived this week, and they look great. I am still mulling over cake and flower choices, but don't have to let the vendors know my final decisions until about a month before the wedding. Gotta love a Vegas wedding!
  • FRIENDS--So far as I know, all my friends are doing OK. K had an emotional visit from her ex-boyfriend--who she still loves--so I know that was tough on her. I am having lunch with my friend L on Wednesday and going to a movie (Marie Antoinette) with my friend A tomorrow.
  • WORK--Ahhhh. Now we come to the area that seems to have consumed my life over the last week. As I wrote above, I took my first child molestation case to trial this week. The trial was eventful & unusual in so many ways; that's why I wrote a separate entry about it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Not guilty

I finished this week's trial yesterday; it was my first loss since misdemeanors. In retrospect, it was such a weak case factually that I probably should've sought a deviation from my supervisor and dismissed it. Ah well. Live and learn. It was my first felony acquittal; I am now 6-1 in felonies.
It's really not about winning and losing, though. It's about justice being done. And I believe that justice WAS done in this case. Not because I think the defendants were innocent--I don't--but because we couldn't prove that they were guilty. In our system. . . a system in which I firmly believe. . . any "draw" goes to the defendants. That's why I say the jury reached the right conclusion, even though it meant a loss for me.
On to the next one. I'm nervous about next week's trial because the charge is child molestation. This will be the most serious offense I've ever tried, and I care a lot about getting a good outcome for the victim and her family. Keep your fingers crossed for me. . . and pray if you do that.
Eating-wise, I've been doing better, but still not great. We have been eating more veggies, which was the main thing we wanted to focus on first. I still ate too much extraneous crap this week, though: happy hour one evening, potluck at work, and lunch out with a friend. And no, I didn't make good choices in the face of temptation in any of those three situations. ;)
I'm proud to say that SL and I have eaten dinner at home (home cooked) every evening this week. That's an improvement!
Not much else to tell. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Starting over again. . .

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I blogged! Not sure why I've neglected to write for so long.

I spent 4 days of last week over 200 miles from home at a (very useful) training for work. I missed SL & Sebastian, but otherwise enjoyed myself. The weather was much cooler there, and I have to say it was nice to get back to daytime highs in the 80's! :)

I went grocery shopping today and bought healthy food for the week. Yes, folks, I am once again attempting to do something about my weight problem. My weight has been holding steady at around 225 for a couple of months now. (How disturbing that I find this OK!) Even by the most conservative & generous estimates, I am 75-80 lbs overweight. And I am out of shape: at the course I attended, we stayed at a lovely historic hotel with a very old-fashioned elevator that could only be operated by employees. So I often had to make the 2-flight trek up to my room, and I was ashamed to find that it left me winded. How sad!!

I have a stressful next two weeks, so I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. . . baby steps. I have healthful snacks for my desk, and I have all the food I need to pack healthy lunches and cook at home. I'll start with that and see how it goes.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hooray for Columbus

My friend KKL left early this morning after visiting for the weekend. And I do mean early: we had to wake up shortly after 5 am to get her to the airport on time.

It was fun hanging out with her. We went with friends to the REO Speedwagon concert last night, after going for a hike yesterday morning and hanging out at the mall.

I have the day off from work. I rarely think of Christopher Columbus, but I'm sure glad he "discovered" the "new world": otherwise I'd be at the office today. :)

I overate most of the weekend. KKL is a lifetime member of WW who weighs 135, so it certainly wasn't because of "bad influence;" just my usual penchant for turning every social occasion into an excuse to make a pig of myself. Pasta with cream sauce both nights, plus more-than-my-share of bread, cookie & pretzel at the mall after lunch yesterday, few veggies & no fruit.

I actually ate a healthy breakfast this morning: Kashi Heart-to-heart cereal and 1% milk. I'm going to make an effort to eat more healthfully this week.

It's been raining here intermittently since yesterday evening. Odd time of year for us to be getting rain.

I'm off to enjoy my extra day off!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Be careful what you ask for. . .

I finished this week's trial today; the jury went out to deliberate around 2:20 this afternoon. We were called back to court a little before 4:00 because the jurors wanted to watch the DVD of the defendant's statement again. They are coming back to resume deliberations at 8:45 in the morning, so I should have a verdict some time tomorrow.

My boss (the chief criminal deputy) had his secretary email me to set up a 15-minute meeting with him on Friday. He didn't tell her why he wants to see me, and I really hate that. I don't think he realizes the effect this kind of summons has on his employees. I anticipate that the reason he wants to meet with me is to tell me that he has made a decision about the open S.V.U. position, but I'm not sure. . . so I will probably be stewing about it on a subconscious level until Friday morning. Just what I need, more stress at work.

To be completely honest, at this point, I hope he does *not* decide to place me in the position. Ever since I expressed my interest, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the possible change, as well as talking to a lot of my friends--in and out of the office--about it. I've come to the realization that, while professionally this is something that I really have a passion for and want to do, I don't think this is the right time in my life to undertake this challenge.

I am getting married in just a little over 6 months, and SL & I would like to have a child shortly after our first wedding anniversary, if possible. I have wanted to be a mom for a very long time, and I feel sure that when/if it finally happens, I am not going to want to have an all-consuming job. Were I to prosecute sex crimes and child abuse cases, I know I would not be able to leave my work at the office. . . hell, I can't even do that now, and I only prosecute property crimes! Continuing to work full time after having a baby will be hard enough without having such a stressful, emotionally charged job.

Well, it's out of my hands. We'll see what happens. My instinct is that I am not going to get the position anyway--he thinks I don't have enough felony trial experience--and I'm OK with that. In fact, I want to not get it at this point.

I've even been thinking about changing jobs. I am not unhappy at work, and I do like doing trials. But doing "12-15" trials a year (the stated expectation of my boss) does not sound like it would be appealing once I am the mother of a small child. In the city where we live, there are not very many other prosecutorial agencies for which I can work, and the few that there are do not often have open positions. But I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open and apply for anything that seems like it would be a good fit.

SL had his 4th (& final) interview for the job at G&O. He met with the managing partner yesterday afternoon. He said he had a good feeling about the interview. He was told that he would be called next week with their decision. I hope he gets it!

I want to get back to eating healthier & exercising, but I'm so preoccupied with work at the moment. I feel like I am treading water; it's all I can do just to stay afloat.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October has 31 days; 2 down

I woke up at 6:15 this morning, feeling mostly refreshed and ready to greet the day. I intended to go for my 2-mile walk with Sebastian, but instead I lay around in bed. Despite having risen an hour earlier than usual, I ended up at work only about 15 minutes earlier than I normally do.
I had a busy & stressful day at work. I planned to spend my afternoon preparing for my trial (I was in court all morning), and I did spend some time doing that. . . but more time was spent "putting out fires" and answering questions for my staff. (sigh)
It's only 9:15, and I'm already so tired. I will probably go to bed as soon as I finish this post. It's gonna be a long week.
My food choices today were OK. I had no breakfast, salad for lunch, and hot dogs & crackers for dinner, followed by a bowl of lowfat granola cereal for a snack. Drank lots of water as usual. Had no caffeine today and was surprised that I didn't really miss it.
Tomorrow afternoon is SL's interview with the managing partner of G&O. I hope he gets the job!
Had a nice chat with a couple of my law school friends after work, as well as a nice talk with my friend H on the way to work this morning. (H's newer baby girl is 1 month old today!) I also talked to my sis, and she is doing fine; fighting off a cold, but her pregnancy is going OK and she is surviving her bedrest (starting week #3).
Buenas noches!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Welcome to my nervous breakdown

(not weighing because I can't even be bothered)
Here I am, in my office on a Sunday, because I have so much f$%*in' work to do. I am in trial again starting Tuesday and lasting through Friday--and I have an evidentiary hearing tomorrow morning that will last at least until lunch--so I will have zero time in my office this week.
I am majorly stressed. I don't know how I am going to get through the next two months. Seriously. Just the work I have currently is more than I am going to be able to handle. . . and I know that other tasks will be coming my way because that's how it works in this office. I have three cases set for trial in November that I have only made a cursory review of; one of them is set for a date that I am out of the office for the birth of my nephew, so I'm going to have to try to beg someone else to take the trial for me. (Did I mention that an email has already gone out looking for someone to pick up an extra trial on that date for another attorney?) I have several other cases that have been recently acssigned to me that I have not reviewed, so I don't know if they are going to trial or not. And this applies only to my property & narcotics caseload; I also have my three new sex cases to factor in now. . . and they are all set for trial (one on 10/31, one on 12/12, and one on 12/19). It's going to take me a while just to get up to speed as to the law in those cases--an unfamiliar area for me--let alone the facts of the cases themselves.
AAAAARGGGHHHH!!!! I am going to lose my mind. I really do not see how I am going to handle all this.
My half-a$$ efforts at weight loss are really the furthest thing from my mind right now. I haven't exercised in over a month--my September challenge? HA! I never exercised AT ALL in September. . . not ONE minute, let alone 500 minutes.
Our home is in its usual state of chaos. . . and as usual, SL is little-to-no help in that department. I'll give the man credit: he can cook, he likes to cook, and he generally cleans up the kitchen after himself. But he is worse about leaving clutter around than I am. . . and that's saying something. And as far as deep cleaning goes, forget it: he has never swept or mopped the kitchen floor once in the nearly one year we've lived in that apartment. He's never dusted, and if he does laundry, it's his and none of mine (he claims I don't like the way he does my laundry. . . which is partially true, but wouldn't it be kinder to do it my way than to refuse to do it all??).
SL has promised me that the two overflowing baskets of his mail that have accumulated over the past several months (the man rarely ever opens his mail) will be cleared up before he goes to bed tonight. He rarely breaks his word, so I imagine he will actually get that done. . . probably not before *I* go to bed, but sometime before I get up tomorrow. He also has three overflowing baskets of CLEAN laundry (that *I* washed) to put away; he hasn't touched those in weeks either.
I let SL know that I won't wash any more of his clothes until/unless he puts away his clean laundry. Knowing him & his stubbornness, I anticipate I will be doing only *my* laundry when I return home this evening. . . . which just means that the bedroom hamper will still be full--of his clothes--even after I do laundry.
Well, as good as bitching about my situation feels, it's not getting anything done around here. So I'm gonna close and get back to work.
If you pray, pray for me. :)

Friday, September 29, 2006

How many trials can I do before the end of 2006?


I finished my trial at 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon (short trial). The jury deliberated for about 35 minutes and came back guilty. It was a relief to have that out of the way so that I could get back to preparing my bigger trial for next week (which also includes the same defendant plus an accomplice).

A while back I posted that I had expressed a desire to be assigned to the special victims unit in my office. Well, the chief criminal deputy (aka my supervisor's boss) decided to assign 3 cases each from this unit to me and to the other two interested attorneys. All of three of the cases reassigned to me are set for trial. So now in addition to my already brutal trial schedule, I have three more trials to do before the end of the year.

I really am not sure how I'm going to do all this. I don't know how I am going to keep up with all my desk work when I am in trial week after week after week. Plus, even if I didn't have other things to deal with besides my trial cases--and I *do* have other things to deal with--back-to-back trials barely leaves me time to prepare for the next trial(s).

Well, it looks like I am going to be spending a lot more time at work over the next couple of months. I told SL that I will be surprised if I don't have a nervous breakdown before Thanksgiving. I know he will be supportive.

At least I got the bulk of our wedding planning done already. I need to order the bridesmaid dresses soon and buy our invitations sometime next month; otherwise everything that needs to be done before the first of the year is taken care of. So I am free to focus wholly on work.

Aside from work stuff, not much is going on. I haven't been eating too much or too much "bad" stuff, but I haven't been planning meals or eating enough veggies. And I haven't been exercising. I need to at least start walking again; I think it'll really help my stress level, if nothing else.

Even though I'll be going in to my office Sunday afternoon to do more trial prep. . . I'm glad it's almost the weekend!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Two months from hell--coming up!

(haven't weighed in a few days)

I'm sleepy, but I wanted to do a quick blog entry because I know it will be days before I will have the time and the inclination again.

For the first time in a long time, I actually got nearly everything on my to-do list done today! (I didn't clean my bathroom, but it's not terrible, and it'll keep: no one but me ever uses it.) I was supposed to visit my CASA child M today, but something came up, and her foster dad called me about an hour before the visit to see if we could reschedule to next weekend. Though I was disappointed not to see her (I haven't seen her since before Labor Day), I was also relieved in a way because I had so frickin' much to do.

I have been out of town every weekend this month! All the trips were for fun stuff--Mom in town, Diamondbacks game, trip to New England for wedding, girl time with K--but it is tiring. And my upcoming trial schedule is likely to be hellacious.

I have a trial starting on Tuesday. (In the county where I practice, the Superior Court starts the majority of its trials on Tuesdays.) I have two trials the following Tuesday; thank goodness, I have enlisted help to cover the second trial. I have a trial scheduled the second week of October also. The third week of October, I will be at a 4-day training 250 miles from home. I have another trial the Tuesday after I return. I then have a one-week break for Halloween week (why, I don't know), then two trials each of the first two weeks of November. Whew!

I am "behind" on my yearly trial stats--it is the expectation of my boss that we will do 10-15 trials a year, and I've only done 4 so far--but I didn't really want to make up my entire deficit in a 2-month period! LOL It's going to be really stressful and busy being in trial back to back like this. I hope I survive it! :)

The one saving grace is that I have already done almost all the wedding stuff that has to be done until late January. The only two remaining things are ordering the bridesmaid dresses (which I *could* delegate to my maid of honor, if necessary) and ordering the invitations: SL & I have already selected them, we just need to order them--that could probably be delegated, too, to SL! :)

SL had a third interview with G&O last Friday. It went well. The lawyer with whom he interviewed used to work at the same office where I work (& where SL worked for about 2 years), so they knew one another slightly and had that shared experience to talk about. Also, she asked two of SL's former supervisors about him, and apparently they gave him glowing recommendations. She told him that she believes he has the job. . . but it's ultimately the managing partner's final decision. He is out of town a lot, but SL should be meeting with him in the next week or two. I will continue to keep my fingers crossed for him (us).

Gotta hit the hay.

P.S. I haven't given up on Dr. Phil's book; just haven't had time to read it the past few days. I will get back to it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I have been so tired today! I think my clock is still out of sync from being 3 time zones away for 5 days. I've had a cup of coffee now, though, and walked up 9 flights of stairs; hopefully that will perk me up.
Today is really my last day in my office until my next trial on Tuesday 9/26. Tomorrow I will be out of the office for training, and Monday I will be doing grand jury all day.
I think I have everything I need ready for trial--it should be simple & straightforward, a one-count indictment against a defendant who will not be present. There is always a bit of anxiety, though, not knowing what might come up last minute.
The scale is such a weird thing. As you can see above, I'm down 1.8 lbs since yesterday morning. Not for a moment do I really think I am 1.8 lbs lighter today than yesterday. :) Yet another reason not to allow the number on the scale to get me down: it's fickle.
I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that I've started reading The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution by Dr. Phil. I know lots of people don't like Dr. Phil, but his no-nonsense approach appeals to me. I am only about 40 pages into the book, so we'll see what effect, if any it has on my behavior. Clearly just trying to power through like I did back in 2003 has not been working for me. So I am open to trying another approach.
It's a sad thing when not even my upcoming wedding can motivate me to get off my duff & exercise and eat better. Ah well.
Not much else new here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My 100th post!

227.0 (whatever)
Long time no blog. SL & I just flew back yesterday from a 5-day trip to New England. We planned the trip so that we could attend the wedding of my friend (& former roommate) K in Newport, Rhode Island; we also stayed a couple of extra days so that SL could see Boston for the first time.
We had a very good time. The wedding was lovely, the weather was perfect for our entire stay--high 70s, sunny, slight breeze--and we got to see a lot in a short time. This was the first vacation I have taken since starting to work full time as a lawyer, and it was great.
Back at work today. Aside from being a little behind on reviewing new cases, things were OK at work in my absence. No disasters occurred during my absence. Hmmm. This may encourage to take another vacation some time. LOL
My sister has been placed on bedrest! Her doctor is concerned because her blood pressure is elevated and has ordered her to stop working and be on bedrest. She is only 31 weeks pregnant, so it could be a long 8-9 weeks if she goes full-term. . . or this could lead to an early delivery. I am worried about her and the baby. I hope the bedrest remedies the problem and that everything is OK. Needless to say, she is a bit freaked out about the whole thing, too. . . on several levels. She also hadn't planned to be on a 8-9-week medical leave prior to having the baby, so there are financial concerns as well. Poor thing.
As reflected above, my weight is the highest it's ever been. I'm sure the morning after a vacation is probably NOT the best time to decide to start weighing oneself again. Ah well. I figured I'd have to face the music eventually.
I did eat a lot of less-than-healthy things on the trip, so I may have, in fact, gained weight. We also did a lot of walking, though, so I probably got in quite a bit more activity than usual. I'm certain that I am dehydrated from flying, too: my engagement ring has been fitting really tight since yesterday (it's starting to return to normal now).
So far today, I've only had 10 pts: a protein shake for breakfast and a Lean Cuisine entree for lunch. I've also had 3 liters of water. I'm going to try to drink a total of 4 liters today to get my body back in a fluid balance. I've started having to pee every hour (at a minimum), so that's a good sign.
SL has a third interview at G&O on Friday. This interview is with the other attorney on whose trial team he will be working if he gets the job. My understanding is that he still has to interview with the managing partner who will then decide whether or not they will make him a job offer.
The interview process is taking quite a while! I'm actually encouraged by that; I can't help but think that they must be seriously considering SL to be expending all this time & energy on him. I think he is extremely qualified for the position and would be a good fit for their firm.
We are continuing to keep our fingers crossed. It will be HUGE for us if he gets this job. I don't want to get my hopes up, though, in case it falls through.
I have a short week this week: I'll only be in the office today & tomorrow, then out for an all-day training on Friday. I am going to spend the night with my best friend K on Friday night, and she & I are going to go get facials on Saturday morning. It'll be my first-ever facial, and I'm looking forward to it. (Of course, I am also looking forward to spending time with K.)
Better get back to it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Brrrrr . . .

(on a scale boycott)
My office is frickin' freezing this afternoon! It is usually a bit on the chilly side in here. . . but this is beyond the usual. Wow. It's weird to be cold in Arizona in September.
I am working my way through to-do list, slowly but surely. I am going to be out of the office Friday, Monday, & Tuesday, so I'm trying to get things squared away before I leave on Thursday.
As I type this, SL has his second interview with G&O. I know he was nervous because he called at about 2 and told me so. I pray all goes well, and he gets the job. He is unhappy at work, and we could really use the money. SL looked up his current salary relative to other lawyers in his field in our area; his salary is in the 7th percentile. Sad.
We are slated to go to the gym tonight and lift weights. If we follow through, that'll be first exercise since the week before last. Slacker.
Back to work. . .

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some people are such idiots

(not weighing by choice)

I just had to post about something that happened this morning. SL & I have a wedding website set up so that our guests all over the country can learn a little about us as a couple and about our wedding plans. One of the features of the website is a guestbook. It's been really fun reading the comments family & friends have left for us.

I have the website set up so that I must approve comments before they can be viewed by anyone besides me who visits the guestbook. The website automatically sends me an email to review the comment once it is submitted by the person who wrote it.

I got one of those emails this morning. When I went to our website to review the comment, it was rude, rude, rude. The writer identified him/herself as "lisaloeb" and made a comment to the effect that SL & I together had enough extra fat "to feed a whole Alaskan town."

I feel pretty confident that this comment was not left by anyone who knows either of us. What pathetic person has nothing better to do with his/her time than leave a hateful comment like that on someone's wedding website?!

Whatever. I deleted the comment, and I've changed the website settings so that from now on people will have to have a password to view the guestbook and certain other pages on the website with personal information. Because the site that hosts our website does not have a directory, it hadn't occurred to me that anyone to whom we had not given the url would be visiting the site. Naive of me, I guess.

SL & I had a fun weekend. We got to see our friends M & A and their new baby girl yesterday. SL held the baby: first time in his life he has ever held an infant! He felt a little uncomfortable, but he did great; she even fell asleep while he was holding her.

We also went to the baseball game. It was a good one; the D-backs won, Brandon Webb pitched all 9 innings and only allowed one hit. Very fun.

Back to work in the morning. I have a short week again this week because we are leaving early Friday morning to fly to New England for a wedding. I'm really looking forward to the trip.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lack of resolve

(have not weighed for a few days)

I had to laugh when I looked at the exercise goal that I posted for myself last time. I have not exercised once since my last blog entry. We didn't even go to the gym & lift weights this week, let alone did I do any aerobic exercise.

I think I have given up on the idea that I am going to lose any significant amount of weight any time soon. I went ahead and ordered my wedding dress Thursday in my current size. It is supposed to arrive the first week of January, so three full months before the wedding. That should give me plenty of time to get any needed alterations done.

I'm not really sure what my hang-up is re the whole weight loss thing. I'm just not "in the game" mentally. I can be dedicated for a few days or even a week. . . and then my resolve just dissolves and I revert to unhealthy habits.

I wish I could recapture that weight loss fervor I had back in 2003 and early 2004. From January to April 2003, I lost 35 lbs with really minimal effort. Really. I mean, I counted points and I exercised three times a week, but I didn't do much more than that. My main exercise was a brisk walk, and I rarely ate the 5 servings of fruits/veggies WW recommends, at least in the beginning. At the time, a friend said I was losing weight "like a snake shedding its skin" and that was pretty much true.

Post-Zoloft, however, my losses, if any, have come much, much more slowly. And I just don't seem to have the commitment to the whole exercise/weight loss regime that I had back then. Well.

I had a decent week at work. One very sad thing: my friend L, whom I have known since law school and who had been working at our office longer than me, has resigned. (Yesterday was her last day.) I really don't know what I'm going to do without her. She was one of those people whose office I could go to if I needed to vent or just get input about a sticky situation. Plus she is just way cool and fun; always able to put a smile on my face.

The saddest thing I've experienced at my current workplace is having so many of my friends leave. Of the group of lawyers I started with, five have now left (only me & two others are still there). I have to honestly say that I considered three of those five friends, and I really liked a fourth (the fifth person: I was glad he left, never liked). These numbers don't even include the staff members who have resigned or the people who worked on other trial teams who I only knew slightly but liked. It's depressing. I only have three people in the office now whom I consider trusted friends. That's not to say that I don't like my other colleagues; it's just that I wouldn't feel comfortable telling anyone else a secret or revealing uncertainty. Ah well. There are far more people left who I don't trust and cannot rely upon, and that's an unhappy circumstance.

SL got a call back for a 2nd interview from the firm that interviewed him last week. We are both really, really hoping he gets this job. He has been increasingly unhappy in his current position, so he needs a change. Also, this job will pay at least $30,000 a year more than he is making now. I can't even begin to describe what a difference that money would make to us as a couple. Within a year, he would be able to pay off all of his credit cards and buy a house. Not to mention we would no longer have to go into debt to finance the wedding. And we would actually be able to afford to have a child then. . . hell, I might even be able to work part-time for a while. . . a circumstance that's only a dream in our current financial situation. I pray they hire him!

We are off to Phoenix today to go watch the Diamondbacks play the St. Louis Cardinals. We are going to visit our friends M & A and their newborn daughter, too. Fun!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yahoo avatar

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Baby girls galore

222.2 (grrr. . . )

My eating this weekend was crappy. I started out on Saturday trying to make good choices. . . my friend K & I went to Chili's for lunch, and I chose a salad (drsg on the side), and we all had dinner at PF Chang's, where I again made a healthy choice. But by Sunday morning's breakfast at IHOP, those good intentions were down the crapper. Hence the gain on the scale this morning.

I'd like to say that I got right back on track today with healthy choices, but that would be a lie. I skipped breakfast because I had an early court hearing, and we had an office potluck for a friend who has resigned. I ate all kinds of unhealthy crap again today.

Well, in the immortal words of Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about it tomorrow. SL & I have a pretty healthy dinner planned; I do anticipate I will be back on track tomorrow.

SL & I are headed to the gym tonight to lift weights. I am still at zero minutes of aerobic exercise this month, and I won't be doing any today either. Well, there are still 25 days left in the month after today, right? Driving 11 hours (& over 800 miles) in one weekend doesn't really lend itself to getting a lot of exercise.

My friend H gave birth to her second daughter on Saturday--yea! She & I spoke briefly on Friday morning; the previous Tuesday had been her due date, but she seemed very serene despite the baby's arrival being late. I hope she and her family are doing well, and I hope for her sake that this new baby will be as good a baby as her first (who is now 21 mos old).

H's baby is the third baby girl born to a friend or family member of mine in the past thirty days. Our friends M & A (who moved away in April and who we will be visiting this coming weekend, yea) had their first child, a baby girl, on Aug 8th. My cousin B had her third child, a baby girl, on Aug 20th. And now H has brought another baby girl into the world. Fun, fun, fun! I love baby girls.

The ironic thing is, I still have several friends & family members who are expecting. . . but so far those who have found out the sex of their babies are all having boys. I guess August was the month for girl babies this year.

SL & I got into an argument over the stupidest thing yesterday when I got home: he opened up a Happy Meal toy that I got over the weekend & was saving for my CASA child. It really peeved me that he went ahead & unwrapped and assembled the toy! Stupid, I know, but WTF? It clearly wasn't for him, and half the fun of a new toy is opening it up!

Even though our fight started over something so dumb, other issues were brought up and tempers flared. Anyway, we chatted this afternoon, and I think we have resolved our tiff. (sigh)
Glad it's a short week!
P.S. Ooops! Forgot to say: it was good to see both my parents, however briefly. I wish they lived closer so I could see them more often. :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

New goal for September

218.2 (better)

I have been really happy with my eating efforts this week! I have not accomplished 100% of my goal--for instance, I didn't quite get in my 5 servings of fruits/veggies 2 days--but on the whole, I've done well. Tracking points, journaling, avoiding temptation to overeat (even when hungry), staying within points (if you include using flex & APs), drinking lots of water. SL & I have lifted weights twice this week and have an appointment to do a third session after work this evening.

The one thing I have been slacking on. . . for no apparent reason. . . is my aerobic exercise. As I'd posted before, I had been walking 2 miles at least 3-4 mornings a week. This week I haven't gone walking once.

Enter. . . the exercise ticker & my goal for September. I am committing, today, to do 500 minutes of aerobic exercise this month. The exercise can be in the form of walking, elliptical trainer, stairmaster, bike. . . so long as I do a little over 30 minutes 4 times a week, I should have no problem achieving my goal.

My one rule for this personal challenge to myself is that time spent lifting weights does NOT count toward the 500 minutes. I really enjoy lifting, and having SL go with me to the gym has provided lots of additional support (& getting ready to order my dress has supplied the motivation to tone up). But I think I will lose weight/inches more quickly & steadily if I add back the aerobic exercise.

My mom flies in tomorrow! She is only staying one night, but it'll be good to see her: I've only seen her once face-to-face since my law school graduation in May 2004, and that was about 18 months ago for about an hour. Her visit is going to lead to 11 hours of driving for me over the course of the weekend, but it'll be OK. I'll also get to see my dad very briefly, and that'll be nice, too.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mount Washmore

(forgot to weigh)

As I mentioned in my last post, I have found a wedding dress. After taking the weekend to think about it and gathering input from my "inner circle," I have decided to buy the dress. I am able to get it for over $100 less than the bridal salon is charging by ordering from . . which is great, because I'm now coming in slightly under budget for the cost of the dress.

I am going to order the dress the first week of October, so I have 5 weeks to try to lose as much weight as I can before I order. Despite my stepped-up exercise efforts, my eating has not been 100% on program, and as a result, I have not lost any weight or inches.

I am redoubling my efforts to lose before I order! As I type this, I am starving (& have been for the past 45 minutes), but I am determined to give an all-out effort before I order the dress.

I had an OK weekend. We went out to dinner with friends F & T Friday night. Saturday I had lunch with my friend A, and we went and visited my dress at the bridal salon (I'd hoped to try it on for her, but there were too many other customers ahead of us). SL & I went to the gym & lifted weights in the late afternoon. Sunday M came over and went swimming (she had a new bikini that she wanted to debut, lol).

As usual, I accomplished very little. Except that I am up to page 260-something in I Know This Much Is True. :)

Tonight SL & I are headed to the gym after work to lift weights. Our plan is to go Mon, Wed, Fri this week. We'll see if it comes to fruition. . . .

I really need to do some laundry tonight. Almost out of work clothes!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I may have found The Dress

I tried on this dress yesterday, and it was the first one I've really liked. I'd have to get the train bustled, though.

Here's the link:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Life in cyberspace


My mood was improved today. I'm wondering if yesterday was PMS. . . ? Having never had PMS before, I can't be sure. But today is day 14 of my 28-day cycle--ovulation day--so I'm sure there have been some hormonal changes going on in my body in the past 24 or so hours. Hmmm. I'm going to have to keep an eye on that now that I'm off the pill.

I had a decent day at work. Didn't get quite as much done as I'd hope, but got a few things accomplished. There was an article in this month's Oprah magazine about how to accomplish more at work. I'm thinking I'm going to re-read it and perhaps put some of its suggestions to use. Goodness knows I could always improve on my efficiency.

Didn't get to the gym tonight as planned because we both got home late from work. I don't like to work out too late in the evening; it keeps me from having a restful night's sleep. I have my monthly book club dinner tomorrow night, so it looks like I'll only be getting in two weight-lifting sessions this week. Ah well. It's an improvement over what I was doing a month ago: not lifting weights at all!

SL claims he will go to the gym without me tomorrow night. We'll see. :)
I'm going wedding dress shopping with my friend A on Saturday. I am not going with the expectation that I will find anything I like; I'm looking on it more as a scouting mission. I called two bridal shops here that say they stock up to size 26. I'm just hoping to try on a few dresses with a similar silhouette and neckline to the dresses I've seen online that I like. I fully expect that the majority of the dresses I will see will be way too ornate and/or frou-frou for my taste. And I hope the salespeople aren't pushy.
I am bound and determined not to pay more than $350 for my wedding dress. Ideally, I'd like to stay under $300. Not including alterations, of course, which are also going to add up, no matter where/what I buy. Jeesh.

I'm debating buying a dress off the internet, either from eBay or from Of course, if I do either, I'll be buying a dress that I've never tried on. Not sure how I feel about that. . . especially given the fact that I am not a very good judge of what flatters me. I know what I like, but I don't necessarily know what looks good on me. That's what I have my girlfriends for!!

So glad the week's more than half over!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Ring

Wrong side of the bed

220.2 (whatever)
For some reason, I have not been in a good mood today. If I start looking around for reasons to feel low, I can certainly come up with some. . . but to be honest, I am not entirely sure what has brought this on.

One thing I am definitely bummed about: my weight. I have been back on WW for a little over 2 months. I have been following the plan at least 75-80% of the time. I've been exercising A LOT. Yet my weight is basically at a standstill: I go down a few pounds, then back up a few pounds.

I am back at the point where I am just about ready to say "f$%* it." I am going to keep on with the exercise, though, because it makes me feel better, physically & mentally. Seriously, I think regular exercise helps my mood more than Zoloft did. . . and without the nasty side effects. But I don't see what the point is of limiting my food intake and avoiding foods I like just so that my weight can stay the same.

SL & I went to the gym and lifted weights last night. I was proud of us! (Of course, aside from our outing to the gym, I did nothing all evening & the house is still a total disaster. . . but whatever, that's another topic.) I also got up this morning and walked/jogged my 2 miles with Sebastian. I actually walked most of the route, but I did jog for 5-6 minutes total.

I had my annual physical yesterday. I like my new doctor. It is more than a little frustrating, though, how little any doctor can do to help with obesity. All my labwork came back normal (with the exception of borderline high cholesterol). So I don't have any kind of metabolic disorder causing my inability to lose weight; my thyroid function is also normal. When I told my doctor that I already exercise 4-5 days a week and don't eat poorly, she didn't look like she believed me, first of all. Then she suggested I might join Jenny Craig; I informed her that I already follow the WW plan and see no reason to pay lots of money to eat more processed food. At which point she basically shrugged and had nothing else to suggest.

Well, as I've mentioned before: another 20-30 lbs and I will be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. I do sometimes wonder lately if this weight issue is going to get to that point. Limiting my food intake & exercising is clearly not accomplishing much of anything. All it's doing is frustrating me.

Another annoyance: I did a little advance research last night and called the bridal shops that Alfred Angelo's website claims stocks their dresses. (The four dresses I am most strongly considering buying are all Alfred Angelo.) Turns out there is not a store within 100 miles of where I live with all 4 styles in stock. I found one store that stocks my 4th choice style. . . but it's not in a color I want, and it's in a size 14 (which means it'd probably fit someone who normally wears a 10).

I don't know what the f*%^ I'm going to do about a wedding dress. I don't want to spend over $350 for my dress: we are not having a very formal wedding, and I'm only going to wear the thing once. Options seem to be quite limited in styles that I like that also come in my size.

I asked SL again yesterday if we could just ditch the wedding we have planned and get married at the courthouse, but he refused. I honestly don't want to be bothered with all this: the pressure of having everyone staring at my fat body in yards of white/ivory satin is really something I can do without. Plus, the expense: we are going into debt to pay for this wedding that I don't even really want! I know it's not girly of me to say this. . . but I've never wanted a traditional wedding, and I am even less inclined to have a big to-do now that I am 35 years old.

Anyway. . . I certainly hope my mood improves. Maybe I can force my lazy ass to do some cleaning when I get home today. Seeing my home clean & neat usually puts me in a better mood.