Thursday, March 28, 2013

Q1 Update on New Year's Resolutions

As a refresher, here are the New Year's Resolutions that I made in January.

I thought it would be a good time for a bit of a check in.

Losing weight is not going very well.  Sometimes, I feel like I have the eating under control, and sometimes I feel like I have the exercise under control.  Very rarely, do they both feel good.  And, if they do, then I get sick, or it's a Jewish holiday, or I have late night work meetings, so everything backslides.

Blog weekly.  I feel like this is going pretty well.  It's occasionally a bit less than weekly, and occasionally, it's a bit more than weekly. 

More time in the day.  This is surprisingly going well.  The co-op has created more time.  And, we're using our meal delivery person more to steam vegetables for Star's lunches. We also have 2 wonderful babysitters for Star.  We trust them both and they are fabulous. 

Judaism.  Sometimes I think this is a total fail, but sometimes it feels like it's going well.  We are currently having a quite meaningful Passover.  I read Passover books in Star's class and brought matzah for everyone to snack on.  We went to a seder at my parents' house on the first night and hosted a seder on the 2nd night.  So, maybe that's a sign of success?  I still think it needs way more work. 

KinderCycle transition.  Totally done.  Check.

Writing for publication.  I feel like this is going well.  I have a few pieces I'm working on.

SFSU.  Check it off this to do list.  I explored it fully and I was hired to teach there in April.  But, my class didn't get enough students signed up so the class is cancelled.  They may ask me to offer it again in November, but honestly I'm thinking I should prioritize other things than adding more work commitments to my life.

Commute less.  Another epic fail.  I have no idea how to do this.

2013 Craftsy BOM.  I dropped out.  I hated it.  But, I'm now working on a green and orange quilt of my own design for Scott and I.

Sew a skirt.  I'd like to lose weight first.

I haven't knit the hat for the Israeli soldier yet.

Sew for Star.  Haven't done this recently.

To sum up, these are the things I still want to work on in the months to come:
  • Lose weight
  • Be Jewish as a family
  • Commute less
  • Quilt for Scott and I
  • Sew a skirt for me.
  • Knit a hat for an Israeli soldier
  • Sew for Star.
That seems do-able.  I'll aim for another update on this next quarter. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Update on Metalsmithing

Back here, I wrote about the promise of a new craft and how I thought I was about to fall hard into a metalsmithing obsession.

Surprisingly, I've exercised great restraint which I am both proud of and frustrated by.  Here's what happened.  I was all ready to buy a whole new set of tools including a torch or two.  Then, I ran it by my husband who was concerned about us having "dangerous" tools in the house when I had taken no classes on how to use these tools.  I reluctantly admitted that he had a good point. 

We made a deal.  If I take a metalsmithing class and if I can use the tools safely and I like the craft, then I'll get to buy all the stuff and do it at home - if I keep all the gadgets somewhere where Star can't reach them.

I'm signed up to take an Introduction to Soldering class on April 7th.  So excited!  These are pictures pinned on my Pinterest board called Jewelry To Copy once I've learned how to solder safely. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Weekend Day

A comic is making the rounds on the web.  The woman pictured in the comic says: "Hooray, it's Friday!  Oh wait, I'm a mom."

Yes, I'm sure all working moms can all relate to that.  After leaving the office, my other, more important job, starts back up again.  And, honestly, even when I'm at the office, I'm doing my unpaid mommy job also.  I'm arranging babysitters, figuring out date nights (I've definitely been lagging here), and planning our daughter's birthday party. 

On the weekends, I get a break from the job that pays me money.  I will occassionally answer an email or take a call from a student, but I try to keep my weekends somewhat protected from my law librarian / adjunct professor job.

For me, there is no "typical" weekend day.  But, for posterity, I thought it would be fun to record one of my days.  Here's how Saturday looked for me. 

7:15am - we all woke up.  The good part about daylight savings time is that it lets us sleep in a bit.
I decided I didn't have time to exercise since we had a person scheduled to come at 8am to interview for the "finish getting her ready and walk Star to school" job.

8am - Interview #1 was scheduled.  At 8:15am, she still hadn't shown up, so I texted her.  She apologized but said that the power was out in her building so she slept in.  She rescheduled for 10:45am.  I was a bit angry that I missed my workout for this person who didn't show up.  I folded laundry.

9am - Interview #2 was OK.  On one hand, I was grateful that she showed up, but we didn't love her.

10am - Interview #3 went great.  She was on time and was wonderfully well spoken and great with Star.

10:45am - Interview person #1 showed up.  She was nice, but we all agreed that we liked #3 best.

11:30am - Star and I drive down to Sunnyvale for one of my College friend's twin daughter's first birthday party.  Star said that she wasn't going to fall asleep in the car, but she fell asleep in the car.

12:45pm - We got to the park in Sunnyvale where the party was.  I woke her up from her nap and we quickly made our way to the potty where we both went pee pee.  The party was fun.  There was a yummy catered Indian buffet lunch and lots of people to catch up with.  There was also a playground which Star loved.  She said that she wanted to come back to play more at this playground.

2:45pm - Got back in the car for an hour ride home.  Star did not nap this time.  We got home at about 3:45pm.

4pm - A girlfriend of mine who moved to Boston came over for a visit.

6:00pm - My friend left to go to dinner with other people, and I finally got an exercise in.  Scott and Star stayed home.

6:30pm - I left messages for Person #3's references.

6:45pm - We had dinner.

7:15pm - Star and I took a bath.  She had her nighttime soy milk and was asleep by 8pm.
Scott went out for a night with friends.  I watched some reality TV and was asleep by 9:30pm.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What to Offer at a Preschool Auction?

My daughter has been at her current preschool since January.  They have an annual auction, and we've never participated in one before.  The committee is somewhat (ahem) aggressive about soliciting donations from parents.

Initially, I had no idea what to donate.  And, I thought that other people might be similarly situated and need help generating ideas. 

So, I turned to Facebook (my current favorite place for crowd-sourcing), the internet and my own imagination and here's what I came up with.  I'm assuming that the auction organizers are trying to get donations directly from businesses, so this is a list of what I might want to do on my own (without donations from businesses). 

Offer Your Service
  • Offer whatever you do for a living (a free color consultation?  Tax preparation?  A will/trust?)  
  • Teach someone to knit
  • Offer a night of babysitting
Offer Someone Else's Service
  • Spa services
  • A gift certificate to a restaurant
Buy Something and Repackage It
  • Wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Soaps
Make Something
  • Handmade jewelry
  • A knit hat
  • A quilt
  • A tin filled with cookies
Give Away A Piece of Something You Have
  • A weekend at your condo
  • A few hours at your country club
  • Tickets to a Cal game
  • Tickets for one night of a lecture series or performance of some sort
  • A basket of your kid's best hand-me-downs.  Not the stained stuff, but the stuff that your kid never wore or grew out of before they had a chance to wear it
Here's what we decided to do.  My husband and I both decided to donate our own services.  He's going to offer a will/trust package.  And, I'm going to offer to teach 2 people how to knit.  We are also contributing to our daughter's class gift which is a package of camping stuff.  For that, I'm sewing some napkins.  I think I'll make 6 napkins with the same pattern on the front and then each with different solid colors on the back so each person can use the same napkin throughout the whole camping trip.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I Should Have Said

Star was born almost 3 years ago.  I still regretfully replay a specific moment in my mind.

To get you up to speed, here's Star's birth story.

I spent from 1am until 10am in the triage cubicle before having an emergency c-section.  The private labor rooms were all filled up, and I guess they decided that since I wasn't going to labor, I didn't need my own room.  I just needed to wait out some time until the c-section would happen.

For me, hospitals are overwhelming places.  Triage is even more so.  Doctors and nurses kept coming in and out to see me or to see other women.  Other women would come in to be admitted.  They would eventually get transferred to actual rooms.  Random machines and phones kept beeping.  Visitors streamed in and out.

I remember passing the time by talking to my husband and my doula and my parents when they got there at about 6am.  I remember feeling mad. 

At one point, one of the doctors came in to my partitioned area.  I can't remember if he was an anesthesiologist or an obgyn who was going to perform the c-section.  He, quickly, got frustrated with me because I didn't focus on what he was saying.

Very crossly, he said, "I am the most important person in this room.  You need to listen to me."

Unfortunately, I did what he said and listened.  I've replayed this scene in my head countless time since that night.  I'm a strong woman who usually has some snappy comeback for insensitive remarks like these.  But, that night, I had none.

I wish I had said.  "You are not the most important person in the room.  My baby is the most important. I'm the next most important, and you are somewhere far down the list.  Now, please leave my cubicle and I will deal with a different anesthesiologist/obgyn.  Thank you."

By the time my c-section came around, that doctor was no longer on duty, so I never saw him again.   

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stop the Glamorization of Busy

A full time lawyer who is super pregnant with #2 threw a birthday party for her 3 year old at her house  and baked a super impressive pink cake.  A student of mine sent a coherent email at 2am.  A co-worker came to work to finish a project even though he is sick.  Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took a speedy 2 week maternity leave before jumping back into her full time work. 

I am impressed.

But, those anecdotes don't tell the story.   What did they give up to accomplish those feats?  What super-human powers do that have which I don't? 

With this blog post, I hereby aim to stop glamorizing busy.

I want to feel success based on how well I play with my daughter and by how patient I am with her.  By how well I love and respect my husband through the years. By how I prioritize time to keep my body healthy.  And, by the quality of my friendships.