Thursday, May 26, 2005

Here Comes the Bride(maid)...

We leave today for my sister's wedding! I LOVE weddings and am even more excited for this one because it's a family wedding. It helps that we all really like the guy my sister is marrying. She's making a good choice and they have all the ingredients for a long, happy marriage.

Did I ever mention that one of my sisters has Multiple Sclerosis? Sister #3 - Maureen - was diagnosed a couple of years ago. Maureen is the Maid of Honor for this wedding as she and Carrie are quite close. Well, about a week before Mr. Chick's graduation Maureen experienced an MS episode. Her first since getting her diagnosis. She was experiencing excruciating headaches, complete with nausea, and a lot of numbness all over her body. Most affected was her left foot. She described it as feeling like her foot had gone to sleep. So for a week she was in constant agony and limping. She's only 31 years old. They pumped her full of steroids and some serious pain meds. She's sad and the rest of us feel very helpless. She managed to come to graduation (God bless her!), but was very, very tired. All the drugs wear her out. She's feeling better now, not 100%, but better. However, the steroids tend to bloat you. Maureen isn't the smallest of women - she's a bit on the heavy side (see pic from the bachelorette weekend) - but to add steroid bloat is like adding insult to injury. She's worried that she'll no longer fit into her dress for the wedding, that she'll end up limping down the aisle, and that she won't be able to dance at the reception. It's breaking all of our hearts. There is simply no fairness to this illness. None at all. It's the only potential downer to the whole weekend. The silver lining is that she's there at all. Had this episode struck just a couple of weeks after when it did she might not have been able to make it at all.

I won't be blogging while we're away for the long weekend. I'll be getting my nails done, my make-up perfected, struggling to make my "soccer mom" hair look cute, and shimmying into my "body slimmer" (aka girdle) to complete my transformation. And oh yeah, stressing about walking in a normal way in my too-tall fuck-me pumps! I've been practicing a bit so I'm holding out hope for success in that department. I'm off to pack my entire family right after I apply a little self-tanner to my shockingly white legs. I just need to take the glare down a notch because I simply cannot afford to outfit every wedding guest with sunglasses. It's one or the other, people. So self-tanner, here I come!

Sidenote: Mr. Chick and I are doing better. My feelings are still hurt and I'm struggling to feel positive about my appearance going into this wedding, but we're slowly but surely regaining normalcy between us. He took a break from studying lat night (gotta love having to study like a fiend for the Bar AFTER graduation) so we could spend some quiet time together. It was nice. We didn't have to talk or say much, just be in each others presence and hold on. After a few whispered "I love you's" and some kissing, we're good to go. Now I'm not dreading this road trip anymore. At least not because of him. 12 hrs in the car with two kids is another reason altogether to dread this trip!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fat and Unworthy

Mr. Chick and I had a big fight last night. Actually, it was an extention of him thinking I was being super bitchy towards him from a couple of days ago. In a nutshell:

I feel like shit. Yeah, I guess I was making little digs about him a lot that day and he was hurt by that. Hence the cold-shoulder treatment I was getting for a day or so. He admitted he was having a hard time getting past it. But on my end, he's been making little digs about my weight for awhile now. I confess to being hyper-sensitive about my weight, so it's possible that a lot of what he's been saying wasn't intentioned as hints or anything, but I took it to be. He would say things like, "you USED to be so toned and foxy back in college", and "so - have you lost any weight yet for the wedding?", etc. Doesn't do a lot for my self-image. I brought this up to him during our fight last night and that's when he told me point-blank that I'm too fat. Period. That hurt me - deeply. I have gained about 15 pounds since getting married. But let's not forget that I've also had 2 kids (although I hate using pregnancy has a weight excuse). I'm no scrawny babe. I've never been little. But I'm not a hideous, fat/obese monstronsity, either. I wear between a size 10 and a size 12. I'd LIKE to be an 8, but I'm OK with being a 10. 12 feels too big for me personally. Apparently it's WAY too big for him. My belly is my biggest problem spot. It's just not the same since having 2 babies. I work out regularly 3 times a week. It's my diet that's slowly getting worse. My portions are getting bigger and bigger. I'm not drinking enough water. Plus, I haven't reacted well to being back on the pill. My system is totally out of whack. Blah blah blah. That's not the point. The point is is that is shouldn't matter what size I am as long as I'm healthy, active, and working on it. I feel very strong. I actually feel that I look decent. But now I'm questioning myself. He's making me doubt myself. I'm feeling very frumpy and unattractive. It sucks.

Our fight has me feeling that I'm unworthy and he's perfect. He's a saint that always keeps me top of mind and he always considers how everything he does might impact me, yadda yadda. I, on the other hand, disrespect him. I cut him off or interrupt him when he's speaking, I take too long or drag my feet doing something he's asked me to do, and I don't do enough of the little things that would make him feel loved (for example, just picking up his foot to rub it when we're sitting on the couch together). He might have a point there because he does give me a lot of backrubs and such. So see? Unworthy. He does more for me than I do for him is the message I got. Nice feeling, huh?

I brought up the fact that, although it was no 1 carat diamond, I DID get him a beautiful leather coat for graduation. It wasn't cheap, and I don't earn any money. I had to save whatever money does come my way, budget and plan to get him that coat, and he barely looked at it. I got very little reaction from him. To me, it's a big fucking deal. If you hate it, fine, but fake it for me and give show some appreciation for the thought and effort that went into getting it. Be a little gracious. I'm making a big deal about the gifts you gave me, partially to make you feel good as the giver. Throw me a bone and do the same for me. TELL someone that I got you a cool coat. Fuss over it. Inspect it and do all the ooh's and ahhh's that lets a person know you appreciate the gift they gave you. Damn! But all I got was a very tepid reaction and now it's hanging in the closet, still in the bag, like it was nothing. Granted, the sleeves are too long so he'll need to get a different one, but then DO THAT, or at least say you want to. It hurts my feelings. Just one more thing that hurt my feelings last night. I tell you, I was feeling mighty low. When I brought all this up he tells me that he's always been funny about receiving gifts (duh- I know this by now and I've said something to you about it before), and that getting clothes in particular bugs him. He said he used to hate it when his mom would give him clothes. Gee, thanks a lot for comparing me to your psycho, fucked-up mother.

So anyway, I had my few minutes of private time to sob my eyes out and purge myself of all the hurt. We never yelled or screamed at each other - just talked - but words can hurt. I hurt him with my bitchy digs/criticisms, he hurt me with his words about my weight. Ok, we're even. We were able to tell each other that we love each other and kiss and make up, but my heart is still heavy today. I'm not over it. The fight is over, but I'm still reeling in the aftermath. It's all left me feeling unworthy and less-than. It's the only word that seems to come close to accurately describing my state of being right now.

Gee, aren't I excited to now have to drive in a car with this man for 12 hours tomorrow on our way to my sisters wedding?? I don't feel like talking to him much, so this trip could be disasterous. I fucking hate this. I feel like crying all over again just rehashing it all here. I think maybe I will.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why Today Sucks

This is my day so far:

And people? It's only 1pm. What more could this day throw at me?? Am I bad for wanting to drug my kids so they'll nap and I can disappear into the hottub again? Because THAT was the best part of my day.

Pictures Say It Best...

We're just back from our first long weekend getaway to Sunriver - more on that in another post - and I had a few pictures from Mr. Chick's graduation waiting for me in my email. I thought I'd share them. Can you tell how happy we ALL are that he's finally graduated?? Except for the crap his mom pulled it was a lovely day and a really fun party we hosted afterwards (no pictures from THAT yet.... probably for the best, trust me....)

The Chick Family at graduation

Mr. Chick and Lauren

Nicholas - future law grad?? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hassles, Drama, & More Bling!

Whew! Graduation is finally over! It's so nice, however a tad bittersweet, to have that chapter behind us. Yeah yeah, the Bar still looms, but I'm not worried. He'll pass. We had a kick-ass graduation party for family and friends and ended up hosting over 60 people at a reception last night. Fun Fun Fun!! My fil footed the bill, I did the party planning. It was a nice way to put a period at the end of law school. But during all these festivities there were a few notables to mention:

The spontaneous decision to buy the mack-daddy of hottubs has given us (me) a few headaches. First, we make the snap decision to buy the beautiful montrosity the day Mr. Chick leaves for an overnight business trip, which means *I* have to make all the transportation arrangements on my own. We bought the thing from Costco, which means we have to move the damn thing ourselves. So I have to put the call out to Mr. Chick's law school buddies and sweet-talk them into helping me move this from point A to point B. Then I have to arrange for a truck big enough to accommodate a 7 ft 3 inch square spa. U-Haul tells me their biggest truck (26 feet!) has an opening large enough to just handle the hottub. Great - I reserve it and coordinate times and places for all our muscle-bound friends to be. I arrange for my neighbor to watch the kids and everything. All this within 24 hrs of buying the spa, and without Mr. Chick. So I meet the guys at the U-Haul place and we get the gigantic beast of a truck and drive it across town to Costco. The Costco dudes put the hottub on the forklift and go to raise it to the base of the truck, at which point we all stand around completely dumbfounded: the spa won't fit in the truck. U-Haul was WRONG. The door was not big enough, off by only an inch or so. DAMN!! I have all these guys here, graciously willing to give of their time and brawn, and the fucking hottub won't fit in the fucking truck. There was nothing to do but ask the Costco dudes to store the beast for another day and thank our friends for coming for nothing. I was pissed. Thankfully U-Haul didn't charge me anything for the truck rental or mileage.

The next day Mr. Chick is back and I'm quick to turn over the coordinating reins to him. We learn that Home Depot rents flatbed trucks (who knew?) that are big/wide enough for our beast to fit. So we fly into action. We decide that it's a wise idea to expand the cement pad to the proper dimensions before getting the spa (we are so brilliant!) so Mr. Chick runs around buying fat cement blocks and the right kind of gravel and we get to work getting everything level and prepped for the hottub. That was some kind of hard labor I'm in no hurry to do again, thankyouverymuch. Then we have to wrangle more friends for round two and Mr. Chick goes to get the spa for the 2nd time. This time it's easy and he's back in two shakes. We have 8 burly dudes willing to lend their brawn and the spa is so heavy that it's almost not enough. These guys were straining and practically killing themselves to get the hottub off the truck, roll it (yes, roll it) across my neighbors lawn and through the fence, and finally landing it on the newly-enlarged pad. We are NOT moving that thing again - we will sell it with the house in a few months.

Now we find out that the electrical we were so thrilled was already in place is wrong. The previous owners hottub only required 110 and our hottub requires 220. So now I'm calling around to get bids from electricians on upgrading the stupid outlet. I swear, it's just one more thing that's making me re-think our spontaneous decision. But the rewards will be sweet when I can soak in my hottub all summer long, right?

My MIL is psycho. In a nutshell, she's wacked. Plain and simple. I don't think there is enough space provided on this free blog of mine to tell you the myriad of scenes, episodes, and strange behavior she's exhibited over the years. This "visit" for graduation was no different, of course, and has left Mr. Chick and I just shaking our heads. Each and every time we see her something happens and she does weird stuff that leave using asking "WTF?!" This trip? Well, first off she bailed on the party. With her parents waiting for her to give them a ride from the hotel to the party. And let me just say that her parents, Mr. Chick's grandparents, are wonderful, wonderful people. I love them - they're great. Their daughter, on the other hand, is psycho. They haven't travelled very far in years due to some health problems, but they flew from Michigan to be part of Mr. Chick's graduation. It's a big deal that they came. Mr. Chick, despite being an only child, has a huge family on his dad's side. His dad has 10 siblings so there are tons of aunts, uncles and cousins. But his mom's side is small. Really small. Just him, his mom, one aunt, and his grandparents. That's it. No cousins. So they are greatly outnumbered by the other side.

Graduation ceremonies started at 1pm. But the doors to the auditorium opened at 12:30. People started lining up to get him at noon. We got there early and saved something like 50 seats for this gigantic family. I had special seats reserved for MIL and the grandparents (GP for short to save my typing fingers). We had people in the lobby scouting family members as they arrived to show them where we were all sitting. But MIL and GP were MIA. No one could find them. I was getting pissed and worried. The ceremonies started and we still don't know where they are. I'm having all sorts of violent thoughts towards MIL for missing this, a very important event for her only son. At the end of graduation we find them. They had simply found their own seats. I was so relieved that they didn't miss it, but disappointed that they didn't sit with us. They were tired and wanted to rest between the graduation and the party, so they went back to the hotel. The party started 90 minutes later. We all go in our own directions and then go to our party. The party rocked - the food was good, the people were good, the drinks were good, and the music was good. It was all good. But they weren't there. They didn't show. We were wondering what happened. Did they get lost? Did they fall asleep? Then after the food was taken away (big buffet) the GP's arrived by taxi. WTF?? Where was mil? No one knew. She had the rental car. She went to the hotel with GP, but then she disappeared. They were waiting and waiting for her to show up and then go to the party, but she was gone. This is SO TYPICAL!! Here are her parents, who are in their 80's and have travelled across the country to attend these special events, and she stands them up. I'm able to get them plates of food to eat and find them a place to sit at a table. It works out. But MIL is still missing. She's missing the party celebrating her son's graduation from law school. She had to travel to get here. Her grandchildren are wanting to know where Granny is. No one does.

We first think she's lost, but after a few hours we know that can't be the case because this town is NOT big enough to be lost for that long. Truly. She eventually shows up and meekly sits down and orders a drink. No food, just booze. Again, typical. She's very vague about where she's been. She mumbles some bullshit about wanting to see the law school and driving over there only to get lost, horribly lost, and only managed to make it back to the hotel when someone agreed to show her the way, and then the hotel took her to the reception. Fishy, very fishy. She doesn't stay long. FIL, a very gracious man, was talking with her and being complimentary, blah blah blah, when suddenly MIL starts to tear up and cry, babbles something about realizing all she's missed, and take off. Her parents had long since gone back to the hotel. How do they continue to put up with this crap?? We finish up our fun at the party, dancing our asses off with friends (I had someone take the kids home and put them to bed), and then head home ourselves. I drive the sitter (a cousin) home and when I get back Mr. Chick is one the phone with mil. She called. She was drunk. She was going on and on about who-knows-what, totally pissing Mr. Chick off. He's pantomining throwing the phone across the room while he's listening to her. He's telling her over and over (and over and over) that he needs to go and get some sleep, that he'll talk to her in the morning, to go to bed, reassuring her he loves her, but she doesn't get off the phone. He's mad, he's frustrated, but he's stuck. He then realizes that he doesn't know for sure that she's back at the hotel. He's asking her where she is and she won't tell him. He was asking her where she was earlier when she missed most of the party, and she babbled something about meeting someone and having a good conversation with them - ? and then she was lost. She essentially admitted to wanting to chat with strangers more than be at the graduation party. Nice, huh? So when Mr. Chick got off the phone we didn't know where she was, only that she was drunk and completely unstable. He was angry and saying she's probably in jail or something. Again, she managed to ruin a visit, not only for him but for his GP, too. Saying something to her would do no good. GP are very sensitive to protecting her and do not discuss anything unpleasant. For a long time we've suspected she's mentally unstable and/or depressed. We think she may be bipolar but she refuses to seek treatment of any kind. She's a chain smoker. I have a hard time being around her. I used to think her intentions were good and her heart was in the right place, but she continually fucks up. She goes AWOL. She's bizarre.

The last time we saw her was over spring break in March when we flew to Michigan to visit GP and she came, too. She wanted to come with us to take the kids swimming, only she never made it out of the locker room. For an hour we swam wondering where the fuck she was. We had to go looking for her and never really did get any understanding about what upset her and made her take off instead of come swimming. Later that night when she was supposed to be babysitting the kids with her mom she instead snuck down to the basement and got drunk. Alone. Instead of spending time with her grandchildren. Thank GOD her mother was there to watch the kids. I absolutely don't trust her with the kids. That's the kind of shit she does. Every time.

To end this story on a high note, I have to share what a romantic man I married. At our graduation party he stood up to make a speech, thanking everyone for coming, etc. It was a perfectly lovely, heartfelt speech that left everyone feeling warm fuzzies. t the end of his remarks he called me up to stand with him. I had Lauren in my arms. He says some wonderful things about me, making me blush, and then pulls out a small box. Girls LOVE to get gifts that come in small boxes. Especially when they have the name of a jewelry store on them. Inside I was stunned speechless (a rarity!) to see a perfect, brilliant, loose diamond. He bought me a fat, big diamond! He wanted to upgrade my center stone in my engagement ring and chose this particular event to give it to me. I LOVE my engagement and wedding rings. I'm perfectly satisfied with the diamonds. My center stone is about a .6 carat round diamond, cut very complimentary and it looks bigger than it is in the setting we have. He gave me a 1.01 carat diamond. Nearly doubled the carat weight. He admitted he's had it for 4 years or so, purchased back when he was working for an Israeli-based company with connections to the Israel diamond exchange. He got a good deal, apparently, and has been saving it for just the right occasion. OMG!! I was thrilled with my new Coach purse and the hottub - to add some serious bling to the mix is too much.

Later that night when we were in bed (because you KNOW I was putting out and giving it to him but good for giving me such an incredible gift) he told me he had planned to essentially propose to me again, down on one knee and everything. Then he chickened out. So he pretty much did it privately, in bed. I said yes. :) And then he got some, and it was good!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Gifts Galore

I didn't attend one class, write one paper, or take one test, yet *I* am the recipient of sweet graduation gifts! This is a system I could really learn to love.

Earlier this week a package was delivered to the house. A small, non-descript box from It had Mr. Chick's name on it. He often gets stuff for school - random books and study aids - from so I didn't think much of it. But lo and behold - ! The contents were for ME! In the middle of a big party we were hosting on Tuesday he gives me the box. Like it's no big deal. I had just been chatting with some girlfriends about the glory that are Coach bags. I'm an admitted Coach snob. I LOVE Coach bags. I have two. A lovely black purse and a cute red backpack. The backpack was a gift to myself back when I was employed and pulled down a paycheck. It was the last purse I bought, and it was in 1999 or 2000, I think. I don't usually buy purses unless they are Coach, and once I have one it lasts forever. I go with quality and with classics. So you can imagine my utter joy when I opened the box and THIS was inside:

How cute is that??! It's the Coach mini-duffle. It's little and supremely non-mom (meaning: not a diaper bag). It rocks! It's very slim and very classy. It smells rriiiiccchhhh. Like the awesome smell of a new car, only this is the new Coach smell of soft leather. Of course I had to immediately put all my stuff into it. I holds my wallet, keys and lipstick (contained in a Coach lipstick case, of course), and nothing else. No snacks in ziplocks, no sippy cups, no wipes and no diapers. Just my essentials. I'm over the moon! And best of all? Mr. Chick earned it through a rewards program at school vs. having to pay for it. No cash exchanged hands. But it's even more precious to me because it represents a shitload of work on his part to accumulate those points enough to get this big-ticket item. And he redeemed his hard-earned points on something for ME.

Know what he's getting for himself?? THIS!! The people from whom we bought this house had one (smaller and not nearly as pimpy) so we're all set up with the pad and electrical. We've talked and talked ad nauseum about getting one all these 3 years, but simply could not justify the purchase. Then last night we're at Costco and we see it. Beckoning to us. Taunting us. Mr. Chick went to check it out and I thought it would be like everything else: look, dream, then walk away. But not this time. THIS time he was feeling wild and free and he wants to go for it. Utter shock is all I can say. So now it falls to ME to go buy it. We got a hefty tax return this year and have been really good about not draining our savings during law school, so we decided we could afford it. At Costco you have to pay cash - they don't take Visa - so this is coming straight out of our checking accounts (gulp!). But here's the kicker: they only have one left, so I'm heading there this morning to buy it. Hopefully no one gets it before me. And - AND - I have to arrange for it to be transported to our house. Costco doesn't deliver. Mr. Chick left this morning to work and he'll be gone until tomorrow. So I have to figure out how to get this monstrosity trucked to our house. Costco told us they don't hold things for more than a day, so I'll be trying to take care of renting a truck or something, recruiting some big, beefy friends to help lift this thing, and also juggle the kids. Nice, huh? The things we won't do for a hottub! But how excited am I to have that in my backyard? You can't imagine. It has 60 jets, people! Pop-up speakers and CD player! OMG - I'm just going to have to be in there all the time. The kids can splash around in there by day, and Mr. Chick and I can "reconnect" by night. It's going to make studying for the Bar much, much more tolerable. Of course, our timing sucks because we're going to be moving in a few months, and now we'll have to figure out how to move this thing along with everything else. Oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I'm going to be sipping cocktails and soaking my cares away in my super-deluxe spa all summer long. I can't wait!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Birth of a Wife

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary to Mr. Chick! We're going out to dinner tonight to celebrate both our anniversary and Mother's Day. He already gave me a wonderful gift: finishing law school! He completed his very last paper last night and as of today is officially DONE with law school. All that's left is the graduation ceremony next weekend (5/15) and getting through the Bar Exam. I'm so proud of him!

I couldn't ask for a better husband and partner. The last 7 years have been very satisfying years. He makes me laugh and he makes me think. He makes me feel special, loved and treasured. He's my best friend. Our relationship continues to grow, deepen and mature. Sure we have our disagreements and rough patches like every couple together for this many years, but we're committed to staying together and working things out. Thankfully we've never even come close to breaking up since we got married. He promised me I'd have my married name for at least as long as I had my maiden name (28 yrs), so we have 21 more years to stay married before he can trade me in for a newer model (kidding!). I trust him down to my core. I must say I chose wisely when I chose him. So far it's been the best decision of my life.

I love you, Baby, and look forward to yet another year together. Here's to us!

MP and Mr. Chick on their wedding day 7 years ago... still happy, still in love. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Birth of a Mother

I became a mother in my own right the day my first child, son Nicholas, was born. That was nearly 4 years ago. I became a mother again when my 2nd child, daughter Lauren, was born. That was 18 months ago today. (TODAY! Wow...) My world forever shifted and changed with those two momentous events. I will never be the same. Nor would I want to me. I like how motherhood has changed me. I'm a better person because I'm a mother. So for that, I thank my husband for giving me such wonderful kids, and I thank my children for coming into my life. And I thank my own mother, for everything she did, does, and continues to do. She set an excellent example, and she set the bar high. I strive to emulate her mothering, because I think she did a damn fine job in raising me. Thanks, Mom.

Here is a quick photo retrospective of the days I was forever changed by motherhood:

1st time mom MP holding Nicholas, 1 hour old. Not bad after 26 hrs of labor, 3 hrs of pushing, and delivering a 9 lb, 1 oz child who was face-up and required the vacuum extractor. Cut me some slack, will ya?

2nd time mom MP holding Lauren, 30 min old. It's just as sweet the 2nd time around! Thankfully she arrived after only 6 hrs, but still face up, the little scamp. She tipped the scales at 8 lbs, 6 oz. Much easier all around. Still is.

Mama MP and her babies a year ago. Only the kids have aged, I swear!

Mothers Day wouldn't be complete without a nod to my own mother, shown here holding Nicholas on his birth day. I developed a new level of appreciation of my mom that day... Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Married IM'ing

Mr. Chick and I tend to do some of our best "talking" via Instant Message. We had to lose our cell phones to the student budget constraints (although Mr. Chick isn't really a "phone" person, unlike me...), and IM'ing is one of the only ways for me to reach him while he's at school. Sometimes he's chattier on IM than in person. It's how I told him I was pregnant with Lauren! So the other day he took Nicholas to his barber for a much-needed haircut. For the both of them. I've taken Nicholas to get his hair cut, but apparently the places I've taken him aren't the "real deal" kind of barber. This barber is old-school. A man's place that's been around for an eternity. Complete with the old codger barber and the Playboy on the magazine rack. So for some reason taking Nicholas there with him was a big, momentous deal. This is our IM about it. I thought it was quite telling (and a little funny).

Mr. Chick says:
can I tell you that I felt like such a proud dad taking him into the shop.

Mama_MP says:
and ran mostly all the way to the car, too. that's why he's sleeping. Of course, Lauren hasn't exactly been idle all day and she's still on a rampage.

Mr. Chick says:
I feel like I'm still glowing.

Mama_MP says:
oh yeah - you're one proud papa!

Mama_MP says:
now you sound like a girl

Mama_MP says:
"glowing" - ha!

Mr. Chick says:
ya ya. I found it fun

Mr. Chick says:
and it is still putting a smile on my face

Mama_MP says:
that's because it IS fun to see your kid do such grown-up stuff. I like it, too.

Mr. Chick says:
btw... they were repulsed by the fact that he gets his hair cut at places like super cuts

Mr. Chick says:
I think I'll take him in there from now on.

Mama_MP says:
duh - did you expect them to support the idea of patronizing the competition??

Mr. Chick says:
with me.

Mama_MP says:
I love that idea. You take over the hair scene.

Mr. Chick says:
whatever... they are great guys.

Mama_MP says:
btw - what did they charge for Nick?

Mr. Chick says:
I like getting my hair cut there.

Mr. Chick says:
I don't know. I just gave them 26 for the both of us

Mr. Chick says:
it is usually 12 each

Mr. Chick says:
he seemed happy

I thought the part where Mr. Chick didn't even know what they charged him was especially interesting to me because this is a guy who makes a big deal about what things cost, usually. I try to watch every dollar spent, mostly because he does. That's not to say he's cheap, but he's careful about money. So when the whole experience of taking his son to the barber overwhelmed his usual tendency to be knowing what things cost, I just had to shake my head. Men. And of course I had to give him a bad time about all the "glowing" he was doing. Maybe he really IS Mr. Chick after all!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Miraculous Morning

I was starting to have my doubts. I admit it. I was starting to believe that it might never happen. But it did, with no warning. I didn't see it coming. What, you may ask, am I even talking about?? Nicholas wore regular underwear to bed last night for the first time ever and woke up dry. DRY! Like I said, it's a miracle.

Let me backup a bit: yesterday we had a preview of summer weather-wise. Hot & sunny. A picture-perfect day (especially brilliant with all the ick and grime washed off all my windows!). The kids even tried to run through a sprinkler in the afternoon, which is how they ended up naked. Nicholas enjoys being naked and decided to stay naked for the rest of the day. He even put HIMSELF down for a nap and decided to sleep.... naked. He must have liked how that felt (and why not? Mr. Chick and I sleep naked every night. It's the only way to snooze). So when bedtime rolled around I asked him to go get his jammies, just like I do every night. That usually includes a Pull-Up (what we refer to a "nighttime underwear") But last night Nicholas put on regular daytime underwear instead. He must have decided he liked the "natural" feel of things vs. wearing the diapery, bulky Pull-Up. He acted a little funny about it. Like he was trying to do something he shouldn't. I asked him, repeatedly, if he really wanted to wear his big boy underpants to bed. I told him over and over that it meant he had to keep the pee-pee in his body ALL NIGHT. He was all, "yep, I know Mama. I won't let the pee-pee come out on my sheets". Since he was the one initiating this and wanting to do it, I went ahead and agreed to try it, giving him all sorts of props for being a big boy, blah blah blah. He was nervous and excited. He peed before bed and then stayed awake for over an hour more, just lying in his bed. I think he was consummed with thoughts of not peeing. He got up to pee, not having slept yet, mind you, at 10:40pm. I praised him (again) for listening to his body and took him back to bed. Finally, he fell asleep.

When he woke up this morning at a few minutes past 7am, he was wearing a big smile and immediately came to stand next to my side of the bed to tell me "I only went a little bit of pee-pee in my underwear, Mama!" and told me to "check it out." The front of his pajamas were dry! His underwear was a little damp, but not enough to make the pj's wet, or better yet, make the sheets wet. HALLELUIA! He was so proud of himself this morning I thought his face would split wide open from his smile. So wonderful to see! And it was all him the whole time - the one who felt he was ready and the one who wanted to dare to try - just like that. I'm so proud of my big boy! And I'm SO GLAD that I might be done buying Pull-Ups FOREVER! (of course, I just purchased a new box from Costco which I haven't even opened yet. Wouldn't it be great if I could just save them for Lauren??) I really hope this marks a turning point for Nicholas and we can cross-off this milestone from the development list for good. Atta Boy!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

And he does windows, too

I think I must be hallucinating. I came home from dropping off Nicholas at preschool and going for a quick swim to find Lauren dressed and fed and Mr. Chick washing the windows! Hello - is this MY house?! He washed all the bedroom windows (the insides). He told me he was going to do the exterior later when he took off the storm windows. "ummm... ok. Great!" I was too stunned to give a truly coherent reply. And last night he gave me a drool-inducing foot, leg and butt massage - FOR AN HOUR! God, I LOVE that finals have ended and we're at the end of law school. I get my husband back! And he does windows.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Bar Method

I've just finished my 2nd workout using The Bar Method - Fat Free. Holy Mother of God, it totally kicked my ass! Like seriously kicked my ass. No joke. I had heard of this workout and tried to check it out from the library the other day. I'm at 26 days and counting until my sisters wedding - time to get serious. The library's copy was checked out for the forseeable future. Oh well, right? I mentioned this in passing to a friend of mine, and it turns out she happens to own her own copy of the DVD and loaned it to me. I did it for the first time yesterday and again just now. OH.MY.GOD. I'm totally sweating, yet I barely moved at all. I feel it, big time, in my legs and butt. It's very controlled, very non-impact, and very much isometric. It sculpts you (or so they promise, but from the way I feel I believe it). I've never been one to get much into workout tapes/DVD's. I get bored with them waayyy easily. And maybe I will with this one, too - it's too early to say for sure. But I have NEVER felt like this after a workout. My muscles were shaking from the effort. Shaking, people! I was dripping sweat. Dripping! All this from the tiniest of movements. No big arm waving, high kicking, or mock-punching going on. No funky dance steps or choreography to follow. Just simple, deep muscle, isolated movements that leave you breathless. Truly - I my heartrate was definitely elevated. Which is weird for me because I wasn't doing anything I would call aerobic. I guess I would say it's sort of a cross between Pilates and yoga. I've never been able to embrace yoga. And Pilates hasn't done it for me either in home-versions. I've been told it kicks ass when done in a Pilates studio, but who can afford that? This, my friends, works. It takes 45 minutes to do the whole workout, but it's over in the blink of an eye. At least so far. I've only done it twice. But (get this) I was looking forward to doing it again today. So, I'm going to be incorporating this workout on my non-swimming days. It says that if you do it regularly (3 times a week) you will start to see a noticeable difference in your body after just 10 workouts. Longer, leaner legs, a higher-sitting butt, and flatter abs. God, I sound like a paid spokesperson doing a bad infomercial! Gag! But really, I was just so astounded by this workout that I had to share. Go see if you can check out a copy at your local library and do it yourself and see if I'm bullshitting you.

I AM GOING TO WEAR THE SIZE 10 BRIDESMAID DRESS, DAMMIT! And not just that, I'm going to wear the HELL out of it! :)

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Musical Beds

So last night sucked. It capped several nights of crappy sleep, actually. Last night was all about Lauren and her refusal (?) to sleep. My little diva has really put me on notice in the sleep department lately, and it's pissing me off, frankly. Naps are at the forefront of my dilemma. She's not much of a napper anymore. I've been hoping this is only a phase, and a short-lived one at that, but it's been going on for a few weeks now and I'm getting concerned. Concerned for ME. If she falls asleep in the car on the way TO someplace, I'm screwed. She's done napping for the day, surviving on the 10 minutes she got in the car. That's it. If she falls asleep in the car on our way home, I can usually transfer her into her crib and she'll sleep for about 1.5 hrs in total. Those are good days. I live for those days. I'm starting to plan my outings around this strategy. If we're home when naptime rolls around, it's hit or miss. She'll usually go down, but not without a fight. It can take 30-45 min of fussing, crying, and general misery to get her to go to sleep for 90 minutes. It hardly seems worth it. But if she doesn't sleep she morphs into a crabby baby that makes me want to tear my hair out by late afternoon. And you see, I could maybe, just maybe, contemplate dropping the nap altogether if she would make up for it at night. But she won't. She won't go more than 10-11 hrs at night, and that's just not enough in a 24 hr period. Period. And worse, on the days she does sleep for more than an hour she's wanting to push back her bedtime. Until 9pm or later. I'd actually be ok with this if she slept later in the mornings, but she doesn't. And lately she's going to bed later and getting up earlier. In the 6 am hour. And that's just ungodly for me. I can do 7 o'clock, but I don't do 6. Or 5. HELL no to 5am! Which brings me to last night.

Lauren napped yesterday so it was all sunshine and light over here for most of the day. She was in a good mood all afternoon and all evening. Until bedtime. She was getting tired and rubbing her eyes - all the classic signs that it's time to put her down to sleep. But she had other plans. Oh yes, she had her own agenda. At 8:15 I put her down, rather unceremoniously, and she was one pissed off girl. Crying and screaming at the unjustice of having to go to bed, especially when Nicholas was still awake. (the kids share a room). This went on for 45 minutes with varying degrees of rage. This is becoming the norm, and I hate it. She was alseep by 9pm and Nicholas went to bed at this time. All was well until just after 12am. Then hell broke loose. Lauren woke up crying. I went and got her and in my foggy, sleepy state simply brought her into bed with us. I'm not opposed to having kids sleep in my bed from time to time, but I don't like it to be the norm. It's not for me. I know it works for other families, but not ours. I need my space. Thankfully, Lauren fell right back to sleep, only to wake again at 4am. She must have thought it would be fun to wake me up as well by kicking me in the face. Oh how I LOVE to wake up that way. Resisting my initial urge to kick back, I mumbled nonsense to her, all the while she's still wriggling and kicking and being a total pain the ass. Eventually she did fall back to sleep, but now I'm totally awake. And pissed about it. I take her back to her crib because even in her sleep she's slinging legs and feet in my direction, making it impossible for me to have any peace. Moving her was a big mistake because she started screaming the milisecond her body touched the crib mattress. Full volume screaming. I go back to bed anyway, thinking to myself that this is total bullshit and just go to sleep already! I get mean and nasty when I'm tired. Mr. Chick and I lay there, listening to her, for oh, I don't know, 10 minutes? It felt like an eternity. He went in to try to comfort her, which only made everything worse. He gave up and came back to bed. All the ruckus finally woke Nicholas up (of course), and he staggered into our room to tell us that Lauren was crying.

"Mama, Lauren's crying."
"I know, Nicholas."
"I'm going to sleep with you because she's too loud." And he proceeds to climb on to the bed, over me, and snuggle in between Mr. Chick and I.

So now he's in bed with us. First her, then him. I give up - it's 4:30am for the love of all that is holy - and I can't take it anymore. No one is sleeping, no one is happy. Me most of all. So I go into the kids bedroom and take Lauren out of the crib. She immediately stops screaming and crying. It's gratifying and frustrating all at the same time. I lay down in Nicholas's twin bed with her. We're laying there and I'm so uncomfortable I could start crying myself, and she's calming down but her wee body is still shuddering and hiccupping in that post-sobbing way which just breaks your heart. I'm having all sorts of conflicting thoughts and emotions. I want to simultaneously comfort her and wrap her up and love on her and let all her sweetness fill my heart, but at the same time I'm feeling really angry. Like I want to just throw her into her crib, shut the door, and walk away. More like run away. I don't ask for much, but why don't *I* ever get a break? I feel like I want to run away from my life. Which in turn makes me feel guilty. So I'm riding a delicate see-saw of emotions in the pre-dawn hours: anger, frustration, guilt, compassion, and love. I both want to blame her for how I'm feeling, and yet I know she's blameless. She wants the comfort and security of her mother - ME - and I want the sanity that distance brings. I just need a break from her from time to time, and when she doesn't nap (or barely does) and then must have me at night, too, I don't get what I need. What I crave. What I must have. I'm a damn good mother, but what makes me a good mother is that I'm a complete person. I'm MORE than a mother. But I feel like she's preventing me from ever having the opportunity to feed the rest of me. Which then drains me and makes me feel resentful. Towards her. And she's just a baby, almost 18 mos old. How crazy is that?! To have such negative thoughts towards someone so young and innocent. In my rational moments I know she's not being manipulative, but in the darker moments, like the ones I had this morning, I really start to question that.

And so the complicated mother-daughter relationship starts. The eternal push/pull struggle that will plague us our whole lives. The need to be together vs. the desire to be separate. Only right now the roles are reversed. I'm hoping for some distance and she's the one pulling us together. Soon, that will be opposite and I'll be the one longing for her to stay young and close to me and she'll be pushing me away, creating some distance for herself so she can build her own identity. It's ironic. And all this from one sleepless night of musical beds.

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