Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Today I instituted a new plan whereby I log my "billable study hours" - this helps me see what I'm spending my time on and helps avoid needless distractions (like spending time online). :-)
So far today, I've logged 7.5 billable hours, which isn't as good as I would have hoped. I will probably spend another 1 hour of pure studying, which will put me up to 8.5 total for the day. Barbri recommends 8 hours in addition to the 3 hours of class time- which would be 11 hours total-- so I guess that's a goal to work towards.
I was a little bummed because my scores on the multi-state practice were NOT good (55-65%), but after I re-read the torts outline, my torts score went up to 79%, which is pretty darn good, considering.
If this all sounds a little boring, it's because it is. But, that's my life right now. I was feeling sorry for myself up until Sunday- but then I sort of had a revelation that I just need to push through this time and enjoy the process of studying. So, Sunday, Monday and today I've felt much better about the whole thing. Of course, my outlook may change as the weeks progress, but I'm hoping to keep a positive attitude and just keep on with it.
I did get out to go to Mosaic on Sunday, which was great (possibly the reason for my better mood?), and I took Hauser for some nice long walks. Mr. Mustard has been really good about supporting me in the study-department today- which is really nice.
I'm still so tired all the time from being pregnant, and usually at about 2pm everyday I have a sort of narcoleptic collapse for an hour or two before I can regain consciousness and go back to studying. Jessica seems to be experiencing the same thing- and she's not pregnant, so maybe it's just the nature of studying for the Bar. All I know is that I am soooo tired and my ankles are the size of my neck (not a pretty picture).
Hope my future entries can be more upbeat-- things are good, they're just sort of repetitive and very intense with the studying and studying (all to maybe (?) - hopefully- pass the Bar).
Friday, May 26, 2006
The biggest news is that Ann delivered Cameron Erik McPherson on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 4:57 pm. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. She kept me updated while she was in the hospital and Len called right after the birth to give me the good news. Ann was very upbeat about the whole labor and said everything went perfectly! I am so happy for her, Len, and Benjamin!
Other than that, I've just been studying for the Bar. This week I tackled Evidence and Torts- I still have a long way to go to master the subjects (especially Evidence, which has always been a bit tricky for me)- but it's a good start. I guess I'm in the "ramp up" stage right now.
Jessica and I have been talking on the phone- sort of a "study buddy" thing. She's taking the Barbri class, so it's good to hear what she's up to and make sure that I'm keeping up with what I'm supposed to do. I'm sort of following the Barbri model, but also doing my own thing- tailoring it to my strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully that works out.
My goal is to study 13 hours a day between now and July 25th (Day One of the Bar Exam), taking only a few breaks here and there-- a day off for July 4th, and then there are a few other days I have commitments...but pretty much 13 hours/day, 7 days/week from here on out.
Today Mr. Mustard and I played hookey because I had scheduled to take Memorial Day "off", but he'll be working on the doc on that day, so today was our "Memorial Day" holiday. We woke up late, went to the zoo, then to La Salsa for a late lunch. We came home, took a nap (my feet were soooo sore from walking around the zoo, I just collapsed on the bed), and then we watched an Emmy Screener of "Dancing with the Stars" for an hour. He's just left to go back to the office to work on the doc- and I'm going to study for a few hours tonight.
The zoo was a lot of fun. I ran into someone I sort of knew from Indiana- a highschool acquaintance. That was pretty neat. The zoo was packed in the morning with kids on field trips- which was cute...but let's just say there were a lot of them. They cleared out after lunch, and then we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
There have been a lot of babies born lately at the zoo, so we got to see lots of baby animals, which is always neat. Mr. Mustard's favorites are the gerenuks, which are sort of like gazelles. I liked seeing the baby giraffe. I also liked seeing the Sumatran Rhino- because there are very few of them left in the world (less than 300)- they are breeding them at the zoo, which I think is great.
We had some good encounters, especially with the baby gerenuks and a few of the primates, who were being really social and were just sort of hanging out by us. I like visiting the animals that don't get much traffic because they come so much closer, and they sometimes seem to want to interact with you. I think it would be really cool to go on a trip to Kenya or somewhere like that and do a photo-safari. Probably not in the next three months (!), but maybe we can take the baby there once she is a little older.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
She got to the hospital yesterday around 3:30 and they gave her Cervadil, which helps get things ready. She didn't realize that it would take 12 hours to take effect before they could start the Pitocin, so she was kinda bored yesterday, I think- just sitting there, waiting, reading People Magazine.
When I talked to her today, things had progressed a little but she's still not in active labor. It looks like it will be a long road for her- but she seemed happy. She has an epidural and said that she feels as good as if she were lying on a beach somewhere. I hope she's not in too much pain and that little Cameron arrives soon!
:-) :-) :-)
It's so neat to think that Cameron and our baby will be so close in age- less than three months apart. Although that seems like a lot right now (as I sit here huge and pregnant), it is really no time at all. They'll be practically twins- well, except for the fact they have different parents!
I can't wait to meet little Cameron!!!!
Things are good for me otherwise. It was so nice to hear the heartbeat at my last appointment- I don't get to feel a lot of movement, so it's reassuring. I have been spending a lot of time studying for the Bar, which is nice because I am not on my feet all the time. I feel SO much better when I rest my body rather than running around all the time. I hope that our little girl is comfy in there!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Mr. Mustard and I were supposed to go to Hawaii this past week- but that ended up not happening because we wanted to use our free flights from Southwest- and they now fly to Hawaii, BUT they won't let you use your free tickets for Hawaii. Bummer. So then we decided to go to the cabin in New Hampshire, and were all set on that- but it turns out that Mr. Mustard has to work some more on the RPS documentary...so, we didn't end up going to New Hampshire after all.
I was pretty bummed about it because I think it's the last real chance for a vacation for just the two of us before the baby is born. He has been working really hard on the documentary, and I finally saw a cut of it this past week. It really looks great! It's about the World Championship Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) tournament, and it's really funny. They're going to submit it to the Toronto Film Festival- and I guess they got the deadline moved up, because it was supposed to be submitted last Friday, but somehow they still have at least another week to work on it before it's due. After that he's either doing a show for ABC or doing an MTV show starting on 5/29, which will carry him all the way until September. I'm really proud of him- he works so hard, and is so talented. :-)
I'm still on the fence about whether or not to take the Bar in July. I've sort of started studying for it (just 20 minutes here and there). Graduating has been great, but it's also a let-down because for so long there has been this forward momentum in my life of overcoming the next obstacle...and now that's gone. I feel sort of lost- like, what am I supposed to do now? I was looking forward to starting my job, but I don't think that will happen because of the insanely long hours not being compatible with having a baby. I don't feel like I'm "giving up anything" by not taking the big firm job I've been offered- I just want to know what to do now so that I'm productive, and useful, and feel like I'm doing something with my life. I am really looking forward to the baby being here! I think things will be clearer then.
Taking the Bar will require a lot of work on my part- and in a way, it's just an extension of the goal-oriented forward momentum path I was talking about earlier. There is a lot of momentum behind me taking the Bar in July- since I already paid for it, did all the paperwork, applied for the testing accomodations, etc. There's a lot to be said for how much easier it is to just move forward now instead of taking breaks. I mean, law school for me became a lot harder after I got married and took a year off. I had to reapply to get back in, and then deal with travelling 600 miles for school, getting back into classes, and then finally the process of studying at a different school. It would have been so much easier in many ways to not take the year off- but the important thing is that I finished, and did it my way.
I guess that's how my life will end up being- my way. All of my friends are taking (or took) Barbri (the prep course for the Bar)- and most think I'm insane for not taking it. The class starts on Monday, and I've set myself on a study schedule similar to their study schedule. I won't have the in-class lectures or the essay grading support, etc., but I think what's important is that I trust that even though this path I'm taking may be in many ways harder, it's what's better for me. Being 7 months pregnant, I can't imagine driving across town for the Barbri classes every day. So, I'm going to study at my own pace and then decide if I want to take the exam in July. I'm not going to beat myself up if I end up waiting until February to take it. A lot of people are saying, "oh- but it'll be so much harder to take it in February after the baby is born." Whatever. Yes, it will be harder, but what in my life has been easy so far? The important thing is that I take it when I feel ready to take it. I have no doubt that I will do it in my own time, even if it's not the typical timeline everyone else follows. I realize that my path is not everyone else's path- and I'm comfortable with that.
I had the Glucose Tolerance Test this week and met with the doctor. I find out my results on Monday for whether or not I have Gestational Diabetes. I had to drink this very sugary beverage, wait an hour, and then they drew my blood to see how well my body processed the sugar. I talked to my doctor a little bit about the birth, and other concerns, and he was actually really great this time. I have confidence that he's going to be a good person to bring our little girl into the world.
I haven't been feeling too many kicks, but the ones I do feel are so huge! This is what my pregnancy website says about the baby at 27 weeks:
- Your baby weighs about 2.5 lbs (1.1kg) and is about 10 inches (25cm) from crown to rump and 15 inches (38 cm) long from head to toe.
- At this time, the baby has tastebuds which allow it to distinguish between sweet, sour and bitter tastes.
- Brain tissue and brain development increases at this time as your baby grows the folds and grooves needed for a developed brain.
- Eyebrows and eyelashes are probably present and the hair on your baby's head is growing longer.
- Your baby's body is filling out, getting a bit fatter as fat deposition continues, but it is still somewhat red and wrinkled.
- Your baby is big enough for his presentation to be determined. That is, your caregiver can probably tell how your baby is oriented in your uterus. He may be breech (bottom down) or head first. If your baby is in a breech position now, there is no need to worry as there is still plenty of room and time for your baby to change positions.
- Your baby can feel pain and respond to it in the same way as a full term baby.
I talked to Ann on Friday- and she's being induced on Tuesday (2 days before her due date). I'm so excited!!! She's naming him Cameron Erik and he will most likely be born on Wednesday, May 24th. :-) It's wild to think that in about 12 weeks, I'll be giving birth, too!
I took Hauser to the Laurel Canyon Dog Park this morning. I love going there with him. He usually is all over the other dogs, but today he just wanted to lie in the shade next to me and watch all the other dogs play. I threw the ball with him, so he did get pretty worn out. I've been thinking about going there in the mornings with him, bringing a blanket, and studying. It gets crazy in the afternoon because of all of the Doggy Daycare people bringing their dogs in droves- but the morning might be better. It's funny that the weekends at the dog park are less crowded than the weekdays (because of the Doggy Daycare people not going on the weekends).
Mr. Mustard is at a LAN party today (LAN stands for "local area network). It's basically a big group of guys who bring their computers to one central location, network them, and play video games. Sometimes the LAN parties last for multiple days, but this one is just today- he left this morning and will probably get back really late (4 a.m.?). It's good for him to hang out with those guys- they play eachother online, but it's different to get together in the same space and set up teams. He's really good at it- of course!- which I think makes it more fun. Anyway, I hope he's having a good time. :-)
We saw The DaVinci Code" last night- it was pretty good. Mr. Mustard wasn't crazy about it, but I'm more forgiving. It's hard to adapt a book into a movie. It was our 4th Anniversary of the day we got engaged (May 19, 2002). So, we celebrated by going out and just remembering that. It doesn't seem like that long ago!
Well- I should start my afternoon of studying now. I'm tackling Contracts today. I hope the baby is getting some vicarious learning in utero!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Since I got back to LA, it's been a lot of organizing, cleaning, running errands and other stuff like that. Tonight is the finale of The Amazing Race 9, which I'm really excited to see. I have my favorites- but of course, someone won't tell me anything about the show, so I have to watch and wait to see who wins. It does make it more exciting, I imagine, than knowing everything beforehand. But, I still want to know. :-)
This is a picture of me and Mr. Mustard after the graduation. You can see the awesome Leis that Jacey and Mr. Mustard gave me!
Here is a photo of me and Mr. Mustard at The Habit in Santa Barbara, which is my all-time favorite hamburger joint.
I think my Dad liked the food, too. Here's a picture of us:
My dad went with Mr. Mustard and me to the beach in Santa Barbara afterwards to let Hauser run around. Here is a picture of me with my dad:
Monday, May 15, 2006
Just got back from Graduation- it was a wonderful weekend! My dad, Mr. Mustard, and I went to SB to pick up Mr. Mustard's mom on Thursday. We stayed there until Friday, and then headed up as a group to Berkeley. Friday night Mike met up with us for dinner, which was great. We went to Chevy's, which is right on the water in Emeryville. We saw an amazing sunset over dinner.
Saturday, I had to be at school by 8:30 to get my cap and gown and get in line. The ceremony started at 10am- and it was hot and long. Jacey and Dan drove up all the way from LA to see the graduation- and Jacey surprised me with a gorgeous lei, right before I was walking in to the stadium (leis are a University of California graduation tradition). When I got inside I saw that Mr. Mustard had also bought me a lei- so I ended up with two! It was really really sweet of them both.
Mr. Mustard got a great video of the whole graduation, which he has promised to digitize for me. In addition to Jacey, Dan, my dad, Mr. Mustard's mom, Mr. Mustard, and Mike- Deborah, Lindsey, and Siobhan also came to graduation. It was so great to see them- especially since I won't be travelling much this summer, it was great catching up with them and hearing about what is going on in their exciting lives. I got a great photo of the group of us girls:
After the ceremony, we had a wonderful lunch at Adagia, which is a restaurant that I love, which is located across the street from the law school. My dad took a big group of us out, and it was so great getting to spend time with everyone...and the food was yummy, as I remembered it.
Here is a picture of us at Adagia:
After lunch, my dad, Mr. Mustard's mom, Mr. Mustard and I headed over to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. We had a great view of Alcatraz from Pier 39 and got to see all of the sea lions sunning themselves. Here is a picture of me and my dad with Alcatraz in the background:
Later that night, Mr. Mustard and I got together with a group of my law school friends- then went back to the hotel, got some sleep, and headed back to Santa Barbara the next morning, after dropping my dad off at the airport in Oakland.
Sunday was my first Mother's Day- even though our baby isn't born, I figure it still counts as Mother's Day since I've been carrying her around for the past 6 and a half months. Mr. Mustard got me a really nice card, which was sweet.
We just got back to LA this afternoon, because we had to pick Hauser up at the doggy daycare in SB, and they weren't open on Sunday. It was wonderful picking up our doggie this morning- I missed him so much. It's good to be back in LA- I have lots of little stuff to do this week to make up for everything I've neglected studying for finals, and with graduation. I guess now it's back to reality time...oh well. I've graduated!!!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Dad and I came home and he suggested we make salmon and broccoli for dinner- so we went to the grocery store (braving life and limb in rush hour traffic) and picked up that and a bottle of wine (not for me, of course!). We came home and dad made a spectacular dinner- salmon with cajun spices, broccoli with garlic, and then I made a salad. It was soooo good and really special that my dad made it for us. After that we just hung out and watched Mr. Mustard's episode of The Amazing Race and then Lost. My dad was so tired that he fell asleep during Lost because he had been up since about midnight the night before with no sleep.
I'm so glad my dad is visiting! It is a special time having him here- and I'm so glad and feel so fortunate that he could come out for a visit. I'm looking forward to tomorrow- we are going to take Hauser on a hike, which will be a first for all of us. :-) I am very happy right now!
Monday, May 8, 2006
So, I am now 25 weeks and 2 days pregnant. My online tracker says this:
Your baby weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. Your baby measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.
He is growing fast and gaining weight now. His skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.
Your baby's heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits.
Until now, your baby's eyes have been sealed shut, but he reopens them this week. The eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when your baby is born. Your baby's eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of you and your partner since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.
Your baby is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Your baby's skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.
Your baby has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.
Luckily, I was able to get a good night's sleep last night. The baby was moving around a lot and kicking, but I still managed to get a good 6 or 7 hours in, thankfully! I'm going to take a nap now in celebration of being done! I think both the baby and I need it!!!
Thursday, May 4, 2006
Well- yesterday's break from studying turned into today's break from studying. Mr. Mustard took the afternoon off work (he's making up for it tonight) to go to the beach with me and Hauser. It was GREAT! We stopped at Rubio's for lunch in Huntington Beach and ate outside so Hauser could sit with us. We then all went to the dog beach and enjoyed a beautiful day. Hauser had a great time playing with the other dogs- but especially a big male Great Dane, who I think wanted to be more than just friends with Hauser! But, Hauser had a great time playing with him anyway and is now very very tired. Now I really must get back to studying...
I spent the weekend studying with the intention of falling asleep early on Monday night to prepare for my Tuesday Labor Law exam, which started at 9am. I was feeling really stressed on Monday- and tried to go to sleep at about 10:30, but just laid in bed looking at the ceiling, not able to sleep for hours and hours and hours. Also, someone kept kicking and lying on my bladder, so I had to get up to go to the bathroom every half hour to 45 minutes (seriously). Finally at about 2:30 I fell asleep for about 15 minutes. I know it was just 15 minutes because at 2:45 I woke up to go to the bathroom again! Anyway, that 15 minutes brought me the most terrible nightmare, but I was glad for the rest.
At that point I started having really strong contractions and thought I might be going into labor. So, I waited- and they kept getting stronger. I thought, "here we go- it's my fault that my stress level is inducing pre-term labor" and thought about waking Mr. Mustard up. After about 45 minutes, the contractions finally stopped. So, I laid in bed (getting up to go to the bathroom again several times) until 4:30- at which point I fell asleep for another 15 minutes and had another really vivid nightmare. Then I laid in bed, and got up with the alarm at 6:30.
The Labor Law exam was tough- I was really tired, and felt like throwing up before, during, and after the exam. There were two questions total on the exam and I had 3 hours to complete them. I did pretty well on the first question, but the second question I didn't do so great on mostly because I was tired, and my mind was racing. After the exam was finished, Mr. Mustard picked me up from school and I came home and took a 1/2 hour nap before starting to study for Remedies- today's test.
I studied most of yesterday afternoon, but by about 9:30pm, I was delirioius from lack of sleep. I laid down to go to sleep, but again, could not sleep. At about 1:30 am I got up out of bed, was really on the verge of tears from exhaustion, and sat with Hauser on the couch for awhile. I finally got to sleep around 3am- and then got up at 6:30 to go take the Remedies test. Mr. Mustard drove me to school, which was great because with that level of sleep I didn't think I should be operating a car. I got to school and my computer wouldn't work! We take our exams on laptop, so if your computer isn't working, it's a really big deal. I was so exhausted I about started crying, but eventually got the computer working.
The test was 3.5 hours, with 1/3 of the questions multiple choice, 1/3 essay, and 1/3 short answer. I'm not sure how I did- I feel like I was in a total fog for the exam and plugged my way through it. Multiple choice as a rule for me is hard because I tend to overthink things, and it takes forever for me to eliminate certain choices.
I'm not sure when we get our grades- but I do have to have better than a C for the grades to transfer- which is actually harder than it sounds, since all of law school grades are on a curve. So, only a small fraction of people can get an A or B. I think I have been stressing so much about the grades because if I don't get good grades this semester, then I will have to redo a whole semester next year- and Berkeley won't likely let me do it at UCLA again. It's really a lot of pressure for me to think about right now, which is why I'm so stressed out about it. It's a catch-22: I can't sleep because I'm stressed, but I can't perform well because I can't sleep.
This whole exam period has me re-thinking taking the Bar at 37 1/2 weeks because I really don't think the stress involved is very healthy. I am considering asking my doctor if he will prescribe me Ambien or something like that so I can sleep before the Bar if I do take it. One of my friends (Ann) said that her doctor offered to prescribe her Ambien when she couldn't sleep when she was pregnant with Benjamin. I've been really reluctant to take anything while pregnant, though- even Tylenol. So, I would like to avoid doing that.
I may just postpone taking the Bar until February. I don't mind putting myself through stress, but it's different with a growing baby. I really scared myself the other night with the contractions- because even though they were the false labor kind (Braxton-Hicks), they started to get a lot stronger and closer together in a pattern- which is NOT a good sign. I think stress has a powerful impact on the body and it's just too much to go through at 6 months pregnant like I am now- let alone going through it at 9 months when I'm taking the Bar.
So, I have one more exam to take. This last exam I can "schedule"- meaning I can take it anytime between now and the end of next week. Originally I was planning on taking it this Friday, but I need a few days to recuperate from my first two exams. Everyone has been scaring me telling me how difficult this last test is going to be- how horrible the professor's tests are and how hard of a grader he is. I don't really think that's helpful information. I'm going to do that best that I can do- like I always do. I am going to postpone taking the test until Monday so that I can have a chance to recover because I can't even think about studying or taking another test at the moment. So, Monday evening I will (hopefully- assuming I pass all classes) be finished with law school!
Next Tuesday Mr. Mustard and I are getting together with Mr. Mustard's mom to go to the Pasadena Show Home Tour- which will be a lot of fun. Then, next Wednesday, my dad is coming to visit. We'll be going up to Berkeley next Saturday for my graduation! I am very excited to graduate- but again, I won't really believe I've graduated until I get a diploma mailed to me in August. I've always thought that they should wait to have graduation until all the grades are in and the registrar has cleared you to graduate- but I guess it's easier to do it while everyone is still in town.
My next doctor's appointment is on May 15th (the day after Mother's Day). I think he's just doing a gestational diabetes (glucose tolerance) test that day, where I have to drink a sugary beverage and then they test my blood sugar. I know that pretty soon I will start having more frequent appointments- but I don't think that happens until the third trimester, which is still about two weeks away.