Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reclaiming my self

Many moons ago, Maxine Waters yielded her time to a congressman and didn't like what he was saying so she began to forcefully state "reclaiming my time". I'd love to locate a youtube clip.  I thought it was exciting the way she said it. Transcript of the hearing.

While I am reenergized I still intend to reduce my load.  I cannot do it all and I am not going to kill myself trying.  I will prioritize and let go of the things that do not fit.

Today my kids went swimming. I am very pleased at their comfort in the water.  It's nice to know they can get in, play and swim confidently and get themselves around in water.                  

We are no longer members at the private club. I do miss it and the kids continue to ask if we can go to the club.  The pool we go to is nice, but it isn't plush like the club.

My hope is that we'll be able to join a country club.  We live near one that has golf, tennis and swimming.  That is my vision for recreation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Wind

I got new energy and I feel enthused to go on.  I'm glad I took my day or two to wallow in being overwhelmed.

I've been able to put $400 into the new savings account so I feel like its a start.  If I save overtime money comes in, I will feel like I have a purpose for work. Working to keep working is just a drain.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Blaze

I'm burnt out.  Burnt out.

Still I toil on.  My to do list has grown.  The more money we make the more we need and the more we spend. It is exhausting.  My work is very mentally draining and there is so much I cannot get done because my mind is taxed.  I look at the many things that need to be done to maintain family and add that to the mentally draining work and I have to give my self pep talks to accomplish things.

I think business owners have to choose family or the business. How can a business be built if I am focused on the laundry that needs to be washed, folded and put away or what to plan for dinner?  How can a family be maintained if I am focused on the many files that need to be reviewed, laws researched  and briefs that need to be written.  I don't have it to give anymore.

In the first four months of the year I earned and received more than some families earn per year and its all gone.  That is exhausting. I can't be on that wheel.  Things were much cheaper in L.A. Here I feel like no matter how much I make I won't be able to stop working.

I just opened a new savings account and I put money in.  Starting this blog post was hard but it made me feel empowered. I feel a little more in control. I realized I am sitting here feeling bad about  something I can control. Writing things down is so powerful.

 I am good about transferring money into the kids accounts because I want them to have cash to start out. I also pay them for work they do for the business and I deposit direct to their accounts. We tithe, so 10% goes off the top. Tithing and savings are 2 of the few things I feel is not a misuse of money.

It is discouraging to watch large amounts of money vanish. Our housing expenses are close to $5k a month.  Karate is $206 and going up. Gymnastics is $370 or so a month. Speech was nearly $500 a month and art is $150/mth. We own our cars and don't have car notes, I don't get manicures, pedicures,  I don't get my own hair done very often. Food is pricey because I prefer to eat dairy, produce and meats without hormones and pesticides. Gas for our cars is pricey because we selected kid activities that are 10 miles away.

I spend too much on the kids clothing 2-3 times a year but still under $1k a year.  Shoes are costly, so  more money goes for that.  I haven't had the stomach to calculate but our expenses might be $7k a month.  I won a case recently and I realize that even if the check is $50k, it won't be enough to take a break.  I remember getting a $10k check in L.A. I took 2-3 months off.  Here $10k barely makes a dent.  That is ridiculous.

I've told Mr. A I plan to stop working. I will phase out and phase into a new business.  I am going to spend my retirement days cleaning and organizing my house, grocery shop, cook, do laundry and take my kids on outings.  I am not willing to work just to pay bills.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Twists- and Kiddie Length Check

TR has been wearing twists since April or May.  I like them. They save time, are low maintenance and she can style them.  I don't know why I waited to have her hair styled with them.

Her hair is growing lots with the twists so I plan to leave her hair in twists/braids until it's time to go to the Deb Ball in November.

I started my attempt to monitor progress and have a consistent routine in May 2014.
May 2014

Dec 4, 2014 
TR got a hair cut and a blow dry with curls in January 2014.  I decided to have it straightened for the father-daughter ball.
January 2014
TR is an athlete and loves to work out, so hair is not on her mind. She likes quick and easy styles.

She wore braids on and off for much of March and April and in May she got twists, which she enjoys because it gives her the ability to style her own hair.

Tonight I made a length check t-shirt and this is where we are July 2014.

July 2015

July 2015

  I plan to take the kids to the debutante ball in November and I plan to have her hair twisted until then.   I'l have her hair straightened for that event.  TR says she wants hair to her knees. I think mid back or a little longer is long enough, but we will see where we get.

  I've also been using Simplicity Hair Oil on TR's hair. It works great, and works wonders on those edges!


Monday, July 20, 2015

The Dream Life v. Reality

Struggle wrapped in strength.

I've seen this saying going around social media and I like it.

Some people like to think I have it all together or even easy, but I am certainly a struggle wrapped in strength.  I think I've found a legal career less stressful than some others, but it can still be a struggle for me.  I hate having to leave my family to go to hearing.  When I win, it's worth it because I can get fees for all of the work but I prefer to take way less money and avoid the hearing and travel that may be involved.

I have a dream life and a reality life and I try to bring my dreams to reality.  Last week I made an early morning trip to the Farmer's Market. In my dream, I would have worked out prior to the trip, came home and made a wonderful breakfast.  I made the breakfast but it wasn't the one of my dreams.

My dream life and my real life plan is to organize my life because I know I can live the dream that exists in my vision.

So my plan is to organize my life and my business, document it and see what happens.

My first step is to get back to my to-do list and set a time each day to work.  I think 9 am to 12 p.m. is good.  I hate missing my kids stuff but work is necessary and when I procrastinate I end up missing big things and not the routine things.

Today I will do a to-do list and work on a few letters and return files to past clients.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


My desire is to provide my kids a life of privilege.

I grew up surrounded by extended and immediate family and friends.  I had grandparents who were nearby and who welcomed me at all times.  My mother- an only child- had many first cousins, aunts and uncles who I could visit whenever I wanted.  My grandmother had friends from her childhood and those friends had grandchildren  my age, who would visit.

My father is one of 9 and his mother was one of 10 and live in a city with descendants of our slave ancestor, so I had an never ending supply of cousins and aunts, great aunts and cousins of varying degree 40 miles away.

I cannot offer my kids the privilege of family that Mr A and I both grew up with.  It is actually quite crushing.  Wooosahhhh.  We moved from L.A. with the misguided perception that we would have family support and connection.

My mother declines most every time I ask her to watch the kids. Sometimes the kids ask to visit her and she lists all of the tasks/work she has to complete prior to saying no.  They spend a few hours with her after church each week but that is pretty much it.  My grandmother was nineteen when my mother was born. My mother was 30 when she had me and I was 30 something when I had my first child, so I get she is a lot older than both of my grandmothers were. My maternal grandmother was retired and married.  My mother works and is divorced.  I have a slight suspicion that part of her rejection is her consideration of my sister's feelings.

On Mother's day 2014 I invited my mother to dinner and she declined.  She said she didn't want my sister to be alone on that day.  Prior to that I had suspected we were not welcome in her house because my little nuclear family bothers my sister.  My mother always got highly offended when people asked my sister about when she would get married and have kids.  I think I am the reminder of such questions and excluded to avoid the reminder.

I also think  because my mother was divorced she doesn't understand that a married couple needs time alone.  She thinks a married couple has each other and does not need help.  My single childless sister has a group home and my mother told me she cooks for the group home kids once a week because its hard to have to do that. The single person is viewed as the one in need.  When I was a kid my grandmother regularly made dinner for us so my mother wouldn't have to.  My mother though doesn't think about offer my family a similar nicety.

Anyway it is frustrating.   In L.A. we had a baby sitter, a nanny and consistent playmates.  Of course we also had the kids other grandmother who began driving by and telling our neighbors tales.  We had to go.

Anyway it's hurtful and sometimes I want to move so I can pretend to myself that distance is the reason my kids can't visit their grandmother as freely as I visited my own.  Sometimes I want to move because its silly to live near someone who rejects me and my kids.  We could live anywhere.

 I cannot give my kids the privilege I wish and that I know they would enjoy.  We try to give them other things, thing that cost money and that we have the ability to provide.

I am not mad about the situation we exist in.  I realize that I have to accept people as they are, not as I would prefer them to be.  I am sure there are many people would prefer I be different to suit their needs.  I feel sad for my kiddies but they probably don't care, since this is their norm and they have nothing to compare their norm to.

Anyway,  I think a natural response to feeling unloved is to try to do things you think will make the person love you. I'm letting go of that approach.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Speak to Me

Last year the kids' pediatrician told us that QT needed speech therapy.  I asked our school district to assess and they didn't.  The law requires the education agency to respond within 15 days of a parent request.  It was 6 months before the school assessed and offered him speech.

While we waited on a school district response, we funded a private speech teacher, but it makes me sad to realize how much QT would have suffered had we not been able to afford it.

QT went back to his doctor today and he was chatting away.  She was so happy to see him and told me that getting those speech impediments worked out gives kids a boost of confidence.

Mr A and I often discuss how QT bloomed since October and we have discussed  how confident and communicative he became.  Being able to be understood means a lot and if we had to wait for the school district to help, QT would have suffered.  That saddens me.

I am an education lawyer and that experience with my school district gave me first hand experience of how parents feel when their kids are not getting what the law has required school districts to provide.

I often have wealthy parents contact me and those parents will fund their child's placement or pay for service and ask me to seek reimbursement.  Everyone cannot do that and the time delays matter a great deal in resolving an issue. The earlier a kid can get a service, the more productive the child will become.

I am glad I do what I do. I am grateful we can help kids and families. I am grateful that our desire to help families allows us to fund and meet our own kids needs.

Everyone is not able to pay out of pocket and school districts should really do better by the children, because the kids are our future. As cliche as that statement is, it is true.  Why do adults who enter into the field of education want to deny our kids the services that can help them become better and more capable adults?

I look forward to opening our resource center and being able to help more families. I am excited about the growth of our business and one day soon, I look forward to hosting a conference and training at a hotel and seeing my kiddies run laughing through the hotel as their parents get business done.