Saturday, January 31, 2009

We're in trouble now

The princess is mobile...


The good news - I picked up my car this afternoon. It was nice and shiny and clean - practically looked like new at first glance.

The bad news - I don't know what they heck they did to my car! Upon further inspection, there are literally places that are missing screws. And I don't know why but it appears they replaced the front passenger side window. That door wasn't even damaged! And there's a noticeably air flow getting into the car from that door when I'm driving. What a mess. I'll be skipping class on Monday to deal with this crap.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cry Me a River

Today I had a flashback to about 6.5 years ago when I was studying for the California bar. I remembered that I was so stressed that I would just start crying for no reason. It happened a lot, probably every other day or so. Well, it happened to me today. I was sitting outside in the warm Dallas sun waiting for a phone call and boom - I started crying. There were no crocodile tears, but enough that I wished I'd had a tissue. Then my phone rang and I had to put my tears on hold.

After hanging up my cell, I started thinking about how overwhelming it was when I studied for the California exam. I had one responsibility and one responsibility only - to pass that awful test. I devoted two whole months to nothing but studying. And even then, it felt like I'd never pass, that I'd never have enough time to learn all of the material, etc.

Fast forward to today - we're going over answers to a six-hour, 200 question multiple choice test we took yesterday in bar review class. I scored 106 out of 200. That's right. Barely over 50%. Believe it or not, that's not AWFUL by bar standards, but I've got my work cut out for me.

I started thinking about some of my classmates who were scoring in the 120s, 130s and 140s. I wondered if my score would've been higher if life wasn't overwhelming me right now - if I didn't have a son on the verge of being diagnosed with autism, if I hadn't crunched my car last week, if Ryan had a job, if Bryn was a little bit older so I wasn't missing out on her milestornes, if the kids hadn't gotten sick a few weeks ago, if I didn't have to work every week, etc. Unfortunately, the bar isn't concerned with my life, so for the next 3.5 weeks, I have to pretend as if I don't have one so that I can pass this test. That thought alone is enough to make anyone cry.

So I did what any girl would do in this situation - I went shopping and got a massage. Woo!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yeah, it's bad

I took my car to the collision repair center today and I knew it was going to be bad when the assessor took a look at my car and said "wow." I realized right away that we'd need to go ahead and file an insurance claim when he started talking about replacing the door and the step. Right now, looks like the damages is in teh $3,000-$4,000 range (closer to $4,000). I'll have a better answer by Monday. But the good news is that the car is in the shop and will hopefully only take about a week to fix. Thank goodness for insurance!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When pillars attack...

I had a photo shoot this afternoon for Comerica Bank in a building two blocks away from my bar review course. It was perfect - my call time wasn't until 2, so I even had time after class to run and errand and get to the location with plenty of time to spare.

I was trying to navigate the ridiculous tight underground parking garage when a really bad thing happened. On a turn, I was so concerned with not hitting the wall in front of me that I neglected to clear the concrete pillar and it did a number on the side of my car. Check it out...

I'm pretty bummed. You have to understand - I am so careful with my car. I'm that person that parks further away so other people won't ding the doors. But I'm just disgusted with myself. I know it's just a car, but it looks like this damage will require some good body work which means $$$$$. Not to mention the hassle of getting it fixed while juggling everything else I have going on these days.

Never a dull moment...

Yes we can, and we did!

I was at the gym yesterday jogging on the treadmill watching President Barack Obama's motorcade slowly make it's way down Pennsylvania Avenue. Wow - that was a sight to see. But then the motorcade stopped, and the President and his wife got out and walked down the street with such confidence and I dare say - SWAGGER! I literally had to stop running for a second because I found myself getting emotional. What an incredible day for America. It's one I will always remember.

But today might be a little bit more special for the Neufelds - it appears Bryn's first tooth has finally poked through!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Answered prayers

Ryan and I have recently started agonizing about what to do with Will. While he's made some improvements, he's still so far behind where he needs to be for a kiddo his age. We are sure that the 3 hours of instruction he's getting per day now is not intensive enough to really make a difference. Couple that with all the insurance hassles over his speech therapy and it's become a real source of stress.

We've been looking into putting him in private school that might better deal with his issues, but at a cost of anywhere between $15,000-40,000 per year, that's a lot to deal with, especially since our bank account is quickly decreasing and both Ryan and I are currently unemployed with no real job prospects on the horizon.

Well, I got a call yesterday from Will's teacher and she asked if I could come by Will's school. It's never good news is it when a teacher wants to speak with you in person? I just happened to be home and available yesterday because Ryan ended up getting sick with some sort of stomach bug (hence, no bar review which was about all the stress I could handle for one day). Will's teacher informed me that she thinks it would be a good idea for Will to transfer into Frisco ISD's TLC program, which is an intensive, full day (8a - 2pm) language-based program fro kiddos like Will. Without being able to call it such, it's the autism classroom. My heart sunk, because this is yet another confirmation for us that Will has got some serious issues (not that we're in denial - it just never helps to be reminded of them) and that he's not ready to be in a "normal" class.

The plan is to transition him into a new room before year's end - we'll see how quickly we can get that done. No doubt this will be an adjustment for us all, but we're excited about the possibilities this will provide for Will. I think he'll finally be receiving services similar to those he was receiving in Buffalo, and that makes us happy! Talking about answered prayers though - this alleviates the need to incur the expense of putting Will in private school, and will also affect the need to continue private speech therapy services once he's in the new program. So overall, good news!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Bite

What can I say - studying for the bar is just awful. I actually fell asleep during the Real Property lecture during bar review yesterday morning. Studying for this test is taking its toll. The good news is that I still get to escape every Tuesday into my happy place, and that's on the set of The Bite. I thought I'd share the blooper reel from our Christmas party to show just how much fun we have every week on the set.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Let's see - it's Wednesday, and I'm less than a week into bar review and I'm already dying! I forgot just how taxing preparing for this test is. Couple that with the fact that I'm still shooting The Bite, going on auditions, shooting a segment for Fine Living Network, etc., and life is even more hectic. And to top it all off, Bryn has RSV which is a respiratory virus - little mama has been ridiculously sick. So I spend a good portion of my study time thinking about how my baby girl is doing. It's just a lot on my plate right now and it's kicking my butt!

I realized though how awesome my husband is. Ryan is kicking butt as the resident Mr. Mom. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

Sorry for the ramble - I'm tired. It's late. And I need to go to bed. Just wanted to give a quick update!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What a difference a year makes

This time last year, we were stuck in ridiculously cold Buffalo for the winter. Today, Bryn and I took a stroll around our neighborhood here in Texas and I heard air conditioners running! That's right - it's in the low 80s here today and I love it! Makes the 100 degree summers well worth it to me. Of course, the weather here is a bit wacky - we'll be back in the 50s tomorrow. Perfect timing for cold weather since I'll be hunkered down in full bar study mode. I set up my study area today in our media room. It's upstairs away from the kiddos and noise proof - the perfect place for me to get in the zone. This is my spot for the next two months.

I have a feeling I'm not going to want to be in that media room for a while after February.


Will has become enamored with letters recently. Last night, he actually spelled his name all on his own. He said, "W-I-L-L, WILL." Ryan and I clapped and cheered. Will then said, "alright, good job buddy." Too cute.

I can't help but to think that some of the biomedical treatments we're using on Will are working. The cod liver oil, probiotics, etc. - something is helping things in that little head of his click! Let's hope he keeps it up!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm glad it's over!!!

Am I the only one who is glad that 2008 is finally over? Don't get me wrong. I experienced some incredible things last year - most notably the birth of my beautiful daughter and the election of Barack Obama as our next president. But overall, it wasn't a "great" year. Challenges and disappointments, painful goodbyes, financial uncertainty, and starting over made for a pretty rough year. When the ball dropped last night, I felt relieved that 2008 was over. Time for a fresh start, for renewed hope. Starting today, I have 12 months to make sure that 2009 is special and goes down in my history books as a more fulfilling and positive year.

This upcoming year will undoubtedly bring some incredible challenges. This weekend, I start studying for the Texas bar exam. The test isn't until the last week of February, but I'm taking a review course and will study every day, all day. It's hard to appreciate the stress that comes with preparing for this test unless you've done it before. And I have - in California - and I remember how daunting a task it is. Once I take the test, I'll get to wait to excruciating months for the results. Once the results come in (failing is not an option - I will pass), the next step will be finding a job and returning to work outside of the home full time. That will be a major transition in and of itself - I've been fortunate to be home with my babies while Ryan was playing football. I can imagine it will take a while to get used to being away from them.

As I've discussed before, Ryan will possibly be facing a major transition himself this year. We're once again faced with so many unknowns. All we can do is continue to have faith that everything will work out according to God's plan. It always does.

I do look forward to what my children will accomplish this year. Bryn will learn to crawl, walk, talk. And Will - I am so full of hope for him right now. All of a sudden he is interested in interacting with us. I'll ask him what a picture is, and he'll tell me. Today he identified the sun and a bear. And I heard him saying, "D, S, M." He was actually reading the letters on a brochure I had in my office. Now, if we can just get him to pee on the potty, all will be right with the world!

I pray that everyone has a joyful and fulfilling new year. In the midst of all the chaos that is my life, I have no doubt 2009 is going to be a GREAT year!!!