Monday, July 31, 2006

It's Official

It's official: I'm now a full-fledged Soccer Mom. It's true. I knew it would happen someday. It was inevitable. I married into a crazy-about-soccer family, so it went without saying that my kids WILL play soccer, and they'll love it, dammit, or else!

We signed Nicholas up for league soccer this fall. Real teams, real practices, real games. Ridiculous at age 5, but fun for them anyway. At his level they play 3v3 with no goalie. Ball-bunchers, essentially. There are 6 kids per team. Clearly we're not the only nutty people who are pushing their kids into organized sports at a tender age because there are 26 kindergarten teams. TWENTY SIX! I guess when each team only has 6 kids it makes sense that there would be many teams formed, but still - !

So we were recently contacted by his coach. Coach Piazza. Mr. Chick (a certified soccer coach himself - he coached U11 - U-12 classic soccer for 6+ yrs, pre-kids) is happy that Nicholas is getting an Italian coach, since Italy won the World Cup and all. Start him out on the right foot and all that. Uh-huh, sure. Whatever. Anyway, practices start TODAY and will be every week for 1 hr. until the first game in early September, breaking for Labor Day.

Nicholas is SO EXCITED he's beside himself. He gets a real uniform. That's more exciting that playing soccer - the uniform. He's been counting down the days until today, his first soccer practice. I think he's forgetting that he's played soccer before - Tiny Tots - but maybe that doesn't count because it wasn't a TEAM with UNIFORMS and a COACH who will play GAMES for real, just like Daddy does.

But here's where I'm starting to scare myself: I volunteered to be the Team Parent. Like I said, I'm officially a Soccer Mom now. I get to be the one to pick up and distribute the uniforms (UNIFORMS!), administer the fundraiser (cookie dough, anyone??), draw up the schedule for snacks at games, and organize the end-of-season celebration. Lucky me. But it's a small team, and the coach is also one of the parents, so coordinating just 4 other people shouldn't be too bad. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

This is the first step in a long line of parent-supported kid activities/athletics in the next 12+ yrs. Let the games begin! Only, if I start sporting "soccer mom" jeans and driving a minivan, somebody arrange for an intervention, ok?

Nearly 4 Weeks

Today marks the beginning of the 4th week since the miscarriage, and I'm STILL bleeding. Sometimes lightly, sometimes more. But it's a constant and I'm getting quite sick of it, frankly. I don't remember bleeding for this long with my other m/c's. Shoot, I barely bled this long after either of my kids were born! (graphic warning - read at your own risk - TMI ahead:) yesterday, I completely soaked through a tampon in 4 hours. I don't even do that on my normal period! Normally, if I wanted, I could wear a tampon all day and not soak it. But nearly 4 weeks after m/c'ing, I'm soaking through. Do you think I should be concerned?

I had my follow-up appointment 2 weeks ago and they confirmed that I lost the pregnancy. They told me I had a "little bit of blood left in there - just a tiny amount", but otherwise everything looked good and normal (based on yet another oh-so-enjoyable internal u/s aka The Wand, or Big Daddy, as I like to call it) I call bullshit. This is a "little bit"? Methinks you need to redefine your terms, or consider the possibility that I'm hemorraging more than I should. Open wound in my uterus? Now that's a lovely thought.

And so I must continue to go through my stash of feminine supplies at a much faster rate than normal, and be grateful that I never did throw away my "nasty panties" for nighttime use (you know you have some, too!) They are soooo sexy - Mr. Chick loves them! At this rate I might still be OTR when Mr. Chick goes in for The Big Snip in a month. One can only hope.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Greetings, devoted readers. Sorry to have abandoned you for nearly a week. It's just that it's summer and it was too hot there for awhile to even think about sitting down at my computer, which is located in the hottest room in our house. We mostly left it off for the majority of the heat wave.

Now I'll bring you up to speed on the latest "happenings". Nothing much, sad to say, but in the grand scheme of life, that's really a good thing.

First, we survived the heat. It sucked, plain and simple. But thanks to the generosity of kind neighbors who brought over a small window a/c unit for us to borrow during the worst of it, I had a limited space in my kitchen where I could get a breather from the heat. The a/c unit was much too small to make much of a difference, but for the 4-5 feet around it, it was heavenly. (most of our windows are crank-style that open out and you can't put a window a/c unit in those windows. There are only a few windows in our house that are single or double-hung that could accommodate the a/c unit. One of those was the windows in the kitchen, which is where we put it. But the kitchen is larger than average with vaulted ceilings, and opens directly into a long room for casual dining and then family room. Too much space for a tiny unit to adequately cool. oh well, it helped a bit.) Mr. Chick and I ended up sleeping for 4 nights on the hide-a-bed in the family room, and we put the kids downstairs in the basement. After 3-4 days of 104+ heat even our basement didn't feel so cool anymore. And the nights didn't cool off much, either. At one point, it was at least 85 degrees AT MIDNIGHT, so opening up the house wouldn't help to cool it down. That was as cool as it was going to get. And yes, my thermostat hit 86 degrees AT NIGHT for a couple of nights. It was rough, but that's what summer is about: figuring out how to sleep in the heat, and finding ways to keep cool during the day. Mostly activities involving hoses.

On another note, I finally broke down and took Lauren to a hair salon to get her hair cut. Not trimmed, cut. I'd had it with her not letting me comb it and it constantly looking ratty and in her face. There is nothing that bugs me more than a child with stringy hair hanging in their faces. Oohhhh...!!! And since she fought me so hard and refused any clips, barrettes or pigtails of any kind, off to the salon we went. I had them cut it in a short A-line bob: it's shorter in the back and sort of stacked and angles along her jaw line in the front. It's just longer than her earlobe in the front, and about at her hairline in the back. And you know what?? IT'S ADORABLE!! It cups just right all over and hangs so nicely. It's no longer in her face. I can go days and days without having to comb it, and it still looks decent. She can get it wet and it dries perfectly. It's amazing and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It seems to be a trend, too, because I noticed Perfect Neighbor next door (the one with 7 kids that homeschools and keeps an immaculate home) also cut her two 3 year old daughters hair the same way (that's right, TWO 3 yr olds. One biological and one adopted from China. The girls are about 5 months apart). And another friend I know recently gave her daughter the same cut. It works. If I had a camera that worked I'd take a pic and show you.

Day camp for Nicholas worked out so beautifully that I've signed him up for another week starting next week. The theme: Yummy In My Tummy. He's going to learn how to make all sorts of snacks and stuff. He's pumped, and I'm scared about what he's going to try to re-create at home.

And lastly, if anyone can tell me where the damn remote control is for our TV I'm offering a hefty reward. We've looked everywhere and can't find it. And it's just so annoying to have to change channels and turn the television on and off manually. Our TV makes it difficult to do. So please, if you know where I can find the remote, tell me and I'll make it worth your time.

Ok, really lastly, is anyone else watching RockStar: SuperNova?? I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit to being hooked on this show. A little edgier than American Idol. Plus, there is a rocker chick from Portland (Storm Large - really, that's her name. Ridiculous, I know) so I can't help but watch the local girl compete. As bizarre as Dilana is (what is WITH all those freaky piercings all over her face??!), she's head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors. She's compelling to watch and I like her voice. She's far and away the leader, in my opinion, than anyone else. Most consistent and talented. Bobble-head Phil needs to go, as does Dana. I like Patrice, but she's somehow not rough enough or something. The Aussie is cute, but no. Same with the Ice Man Magni. Ryan Star is too soft. The freak boy with all the eyeliner is just that: too freaky. And the local chick, Storm, has her some insane-looking eyes that sort of weird me out. The petite girl Jill is cool, but looks more like a pop star than a rock star and is trying too hard to be tough. I agreed with Gilby last night that she came across as cheap when she was grinding up against him. Ewww. I'm not sure about the chick with the bangs and the shiny blue unitard, but the outfit alone is enough to make me want to see her go. Just no. Regardless, though, I'm addicted to this stupid show and look forward it each week. Anyone else have opinions to share?? Would love to hear what others are thinking about this crop of wanna-be's.

Off to vacuum - my floors are a wreck!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


What is love? Love is opening the refridgerator this morning to discover that your husband has stocked it full of Caffeine Free Diet Coke so you'd have plenty of your favorite soda cold and refreshing during the coming heat wave.

He knows how to make me happy. THAT is love.

Heat Wave

It's been the top story of the local news for a few days now: Heat Wave '06. It's coming! Be prepared! Starting today the weather is about to get hot. Lava hot. Hellishly hot. Too hot for me, in other words. Mid-to-high 90's today and tomorrow, and 102+ Saturday and Sunday. People, hotter than 85 and I get bitchy. I don't do heat. And now we're getting record-setting temps yet again.

Feel for me. I'm going to have to ride out this heat wave with NO a/c, a few ceiling fans, 1 occillating fan circa 1982, and very few window coverings to shade us from the onslaught of sunlight. We just have shades in the bedrooms and no where else. Yet. This is a problem. I've managed to open up the house (now that we have new windows with screens) and cool it down to 67 degrees, but I fear I'll see my thermostat hit 87 at night before the weekend is through.

I predict a few nights sleeping in the (daylight) basement and a few afternoons sitting squarely under a sprinkler. I might just survive. Barely.
Maybe I'll lose a few pounds from sheer sweat alone. A silver lining!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


After months of frustration, Nicholas is having a good week. I've been watching him closely this week and I'm noticing a few key areas of improvement that make my heart sing. Maybe it's the fact that he just turned 5 and therefore turned some sort of corner, but whatever it is I want to keep it going.

Nicholas has never been a kid with a lot of "stick-to-it-tive-ness". He's usually a quitter when something is deemed "too hard". He gives up. He's not generally influenced by seeing other kids succeed at the task, either. "That kid can do it? Well, I can't so I quit!" seems to be his mantra. You simply cannot push him if he's not ready and willing. He digs his heels in and launches a full-scale meltdown not to be trifled with. He does not take instruction well and seems to regard attempts at helping his improve as criticism, not encouragement, no matter what you say/do, and he simply shuts down. Thoughts of our recent swimming lessons come to mind. Painfully.

But this week he has surprised me. Pleasantly. I took the kids to the playground yesterday (the playground at his new school, which was exciting stuff right there). Nicholas has always had a love-hate relationship with the monkey bars. They tend to be the bane of his existance. He really wants to be able to do the monkey bars, but usually can only manage a few before he drops off. But yesterday? Yesterday he realized the playground at school had a set of monkey bars that were low enough for him to reach them himself. He could grasp a bar while he feet were still on the ground. This inspired confidence. I LOVE when my kids have confidence to try something new. Well, he could not allow his feet to touch, not ever, or he'd have to start from the beginning all over again, but he was trying the monkey bars. By himself. He counted: there were 10 monkey bars and he was going to do them all! And I even dared to show him how to do the monkey bars such that only one hand was on each bar at a time, vs. putting both hands on each one as he went. HE ACCEPTED THIS INSTRUCTION AND TRIED IT WITHOUT A FIT! I was dumb-founded. But he must have seen the wisdom of my words and simply gave it a try. And it worked! He did it. He was able to go all the way across the monkey bars - all 10 of them. I made a BIG deal of his accomplishment, praising him for not giving up. And he kept going back for more. He tried and tried those monkey bars, starting over each time his foot scraped the ground. He wanted to do all 10 monkey bars 10 times, but managed 4. I counted 5, but he felt that just because he touched the last bar, not grabbed it, it didn't count. HE IMPRESSED ME BY NOT GIVING UP, EVEN WHEN IT WAS HARD AND HE "FAILED" SOMETIMES. I think this is progress. He did the same thing with the fireman pole. It was a good day.

Also? He's enrolled in a day camp this week. For 4 hours every afternoon this week he's at the YMCA for a "Water Week" camp. It's for kids K-5th. Monday was the first day, and I was fearful of a repeat of the awful swimming lessons. I was hopeful he'd love it like he did preschool, but the swimming lesson experience loomed in my head. We got there and he was anxious. There were a lot of kids, each and every one of them bigger and rowdier than him. He looked so little and vulnerable! I truly believe he's the smallest kid in the group. Not a lot of K's signed up, apparently. But he's been increasingly clingy to me in recent months, and we BOTH needed some time apart. So I was hoping camp would be a good experience for us both. I signed him in and promised I'd stay with him until he felt OK about staying. I made sure he knew who the "teachers" were. Everyone got called into a circle, and he insisted I stand right behind him in the circle. I was the only remaining parent. But he looked so fragile and scared, I HAD to stay. How could I leave?? And when it was time for him to say his name, he froze. Completely struck dumb. I had to pipe in with "this is Nicholas!" and let the next kid introduce themselves. This did not bode well. He started freaking out. "Sign me out, Mama! Sign me out! I want to go home!" with fat tears threatening to spill out of his deer-in-headlight eyes. I reassured him I would continue to stay and that camp would be fun! Fun! Then he told me he needed to pee - right now - but was scared to leave the group. I told him I stay with him and take him to the bathroom and then bring him back to the group. He reluctantly agreed. Had I not been there I'm sure he would have peed his pants rather than speak up. He was still too scared. The kids were all being sheparded into a sport court area of the Y for games and races. All the kids were assigned a team for scooter races. Nicholas has never seen this type of scooter, and started freaking out. Crying, demanding I take him home, the works. I told him he didn't have to do the scooter race, but just watch it. Just sit here and watch the other kids, that's all. He reluctantly agreed to stay and watch, clinging to my hand. Eventually he let me move over to a bench on the sideline. Baby steps. Then a teacher came over to see if he wanted to try. Oh no, I thought. Here we go. Cue tears. But? No tears! He agreed to sit on the scooter and try it! Of course, with the first push of his feet (these are square little platform scooters with 4 swivel wheels. You generally sit on them and propel yourself backwards) he tipped the damn scooter over and fell on his back. No injury, other than to his pride. He burst into tears and came running to me, burying his head into my lap. I gave serious thought to withdrawing him and taking him home, believing he might not be ready for this after all. But then the teacher tempted him with being her helper for the next game. And this tactic worked. He was lured over to her side by sponge-like oversized hockey sticks and big red balls. And just like that he was ok. He started smiling and gave me the thumbs-up sign. I told him it was time for me to go, grasping at this narrow window of opportunity, and he just nodded his head and smiled at me. I blew him a kiss and a wave and he did the same, and I left. Just like that, I left. And he was FINE. It only took nearly an hour of mother-henning him, but it paid off. He LOVED camp for the rest of the afternoon. When I went back to pick him up - earlier than the stated time of 5pm - he was happily chasing bubbles on the lawn. He thanked me over and over for signing him up for day camp. What a change! And yesterday, day 2, was smooth as silk. I just dropped him off, signed him in, waited until they rounded everyone up into a circle - which he skipped off to join merrily - and left. THIS IS MAJOR PROGRESS, PEOPLE! Finally, Nicholas is gaining some confidence and independence. You have no idea how happy and proud this makes me.

Progress, gotta love it.

Now, if I could just convince Lauren that she's NOT a boy and not 5 years old, we'd be in business.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Back Physically, Not Mentally **EDITED**

We're back from our long weekend rafting the Rogue River. What a great time we had! The weather totally cooperated this year and was hot and sunny - just as you want it to be if you're spending all day, every day, out on the water or at a campsite. Everyone put their SPF to the test - some more successfully than others - and it was probably my favorite rafting trip yet.

Despite getting bumped out of the raft and having to go through some fast rapids with nothing but my life vest and a paddle (I didn't drop the paddle!). Scary at first, super-fun in hindsight.

We rafted for 3 days and had 2 fun nights camping. Mr. Chick and I checked out early the first night - just after dinner - and slept for probably close to 11 hrs. 11 HRS! It was just supposed to be a quick nap between dinner and evening fun, but clearly we were tired and kept right on sleeping. We woke at one point, having gone to sleep when it was very light out, to a gorgeous starry night. To say we were a little turned around would be an understatement. So we just rolled over and went right back to sleep. Ah, THAT'S a vacation right there: sleep and lots of it.

We took out of the river yesterday around 2pm. We were on the road home by 3pm. We got home by 9:15pm. The kids were still up and happy to see us. The nanny, Mr. Chick's cousin, was ready to go since she had a long drive still ahead of her that night. It's at this point of the story that I start feeling conflicted. You see, I busted my ass cleaning up this house in preparation for her arrival. I scrubbed bathrooms, I vacuumed, I mopped, I changed sheets, and everything was in its proper place. I did this for two reasons: 1) so she would be comfortable staying here, and 2) she'd get an idea of my standards. Well, I guess 1 out of 2 ain't bad. Because this house? was totally dirty when we got home.

There was dog hair EVERYWHERE. The kitchen had dirty dishes piled up in the sink AND on the stove. Cups and containers were collected next to the sink vs. put in the recycling bins. The kitchen table had gunk dried on it. Nicholas apparently burped-barfed and she wiped the chair - sort of - and then just put it out on the deck for me to deal with. The was a pile of wet clothes on the floor in the kitchen from having taken the kids to the water park. Now, I appreciate that she kept them busy and entertained (and safe! and alive!) but leaving wet clothes on the floor?? Unacceptable. She left our bed unmade. She sure as shit didn't find it that way. Lauren somehow managed to sling wet mousepad-like game pieces all over the hardwood floor in the eating area and they left marks on the floor. The nanny panicked, called around for ideas on how to fix the floor, and was told to use Pledge. Pledge! On my hardwood floor! It's a greasy mess now, and is making the proliferation of doghair stick to it. I appreciate that she tried to fix it, but it's gross and filthy.

Is it me? Was I just raised differently? When I babysat I left the house as clean or cleaner than when I got there. Toys were picked up, the kitchen was cleaned, and things were where they should be. I just knew that I was expected to.

I am not a clean freak, but I do have certain standards. Especially when I'm in someone else's home.

Also, and maybe this is petty (in fact, I know it's petty, but whatever) we gave the nanny $60 to have on hand for this weekend so she could buy and do things with the kids and not have to have it come out of her pocket. OF COURSE we left her some money. And she did take the kids places (they ate/played at Burger King one day, they went to Taco Bell, and they had pizza for dinner one night), but none of that money - the change, if you will - was offered back to us. We're just chalking it up to helping her cover the cost of gas for her to drive all the way to us and back, but still - ! Had it been me, I would have left whatever cash was leftover, for the people to decide what to do with it. I probably would have told her to keep it, but it would have been nice to have been given the option of letting her keep it or not. I guess it's a tip, because we paid her well for staying with the kids. I myself would hardly ever blow through $60 in 3 days entertaining the kids, especially if we're talking about mostly fast food runs, so I have to imagine there was some money left over. Oh well, whatever. It was cool that she could watch the kids at all. And she did do a really good job on that front.

So today I've been trying to put the house back in order. It took me quite some time to clean the kitchen and pick up. I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry, but that's a job for tomorrow. The kids were tired all day and in rare form, crying and whining and carrying on, that it made me wish I was still on the river and not home again. But I'm sure that will pass soon, too.

A woman's work is never done.

I just received a very nice email from the nanny. It seems she WAS raised well (as I'd suspected - she's family, after all). She emailed to apologize for the state of the house when we got home. She KNEW it was dirty/messy and felt bad about it. She was overwhelmed, I think, by the demands of the kids and didn't know how "alone" she could leave them to catch up on dishes, etc. Don't I relate to that! So I completely appreciate her acknowledging the less-than-desirable state of cleanliness and told her so. Because ultimately, we hired and paid her (probably not enough, in hindsight, for all she did do with the kids) to be with the kids and make sure they were taken care of versus being our housekeeper. It would have been GREAT to come home to a clean house, but it's more important to come home to happy, healthy kids. So on that front, she excelled and I need to relax a bit about the house. I got it pulled together yesterday and we're back in our groove. I think I must have been really cranky when I wrote my post about it because I ended up crashing at 9:30pm and feel much more chill about it all today, having gotten caught up on sleep last night. So alls well that ends well.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Big Water

The Chick Family (ok, really just the Chick Couple - Baby Chicks not included) are headed out of town for a long weekend of white water rafting on the gorgeous Rogue River. It's an annual trip with a bunch of friends from law school - about 20 people. Fun, fun group. Except for the parents of one of the people going (who will be our guides), Mr. Chick and I are the oldest ones of the group. We're not the only married people, but we're the only ones with kids. We were sort of the exception to the norm in law school in that regard.

Mr. Chick's cousin will be coming to stay with the kids while we're gone. She's nannied for us before on vacations, so I'm confident she'll do fine with them for 3 days. She's 21 and will be a senior at UofO this fall. She's never been to our new house before, so I'm suddenly consummed with an urgent need to get the place super-clean since she'll be living here for a few days. I also need to hit the grocery store to get the cupboards stocked full for the weekend. I need to hit the bank to take out some cash to leave her. I need to change the sheets on our bed. I need to get her a guest pass at the YMCA so she can go there with the kids if she chooses. The list goes on and on, and I only really have today to do it all since I was forced to take it easy for a day or two following the miscarriage. I didn't even know if I'd be able to go on this trip or not, given the circumstances. But judging by how good I feel and how dramatically reduced my flow is (gah! I hate that word. There is just no good word to use when referring to your period. They all suck), I'm up for the trip. Really up for it. It's my only getaway all summer. It won't be fun dealing with my, um, feminine needs, while on the river, but I'll manage. Plus, now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I can kick back with the occassional beer on the water and enjoy some yummy Yucca or Sangria at camp at night. There is an annual dance-off** around the campfire, and I'll need to have had a few cocktails if I'm to participate this year.

So enjoy your weekend, whatever your plans. I will be. This weekend will be just the thing to renew myself after the recent hellish few weeks. The water will wipe everything clean.

** The campfire dance-off is no ordinary dance-off. People are expected to create a new dance move and perform it around the campfire. Our trip organizer, a big former offensive lineman turned attorney, pulls moves like "The Shopping Cart" or "The Drunken Paddler". Creativity and originality are key. For complete lack of either last year I think I did something lame like the PeeWee Herman move and called it a day. I need to redeem myself this year to compensate for being so lame last time. I'm thinking of perfecting something like the "The Nasty Diaper", since kids is something I have over everyone else. You know, rock out while pantomiming removing a foul diaper, shake your head while pinching your nose to the beat or something, then bust a move showing throwing the diaper over your shoulder or something. All the while rocking out around the fire. In front of other drunk buffoons. Hey, we're not pros, but it IS fun, dorky as it sounds. I think I need to think some more on this, clearly.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


It's over. Done. Finished. Behind me. Last night I miscarried. Don't worry - it wasn't too bad. Nothing 3-4 Vicodan over the course of the night couldn't make all better. It was a little messy and required me getting up from my bed every 2 hrs all.night.long. to hit the bathroom, but this morning I seem to be down to a slow trickle and know that I passed everything last night. It was kinda hard to miss.

What's surprising me this morning is how good I feel, physically. The morning sickness? Gone. I'm a bit tired from getting up so frequently during the night, but I can tell it's that kind of tiredness this morning and not the bone-crushing 1st trimester fatigue I'd been having. I even feel less bloated/poochy. And that's a very good thing.

So it was a teeny-tiny bit sad for me when the miscarriage was actually happening.
Even though this wasn't something I wanted - yet - as a mother I know what could have been. I'm sure I would have come around eventually to the thought of another baby to love. I mean, I do make adorable babies, after all [grin]. But in the end, this was the best thing for everyone. And now I can focus on the 2 cherished children I do have, because they are both characters and deserve my undivided attention. Of which they haven't gotten enough lately with all of this drama going on. But now, that's behind me and we can move on. I'm more than ready to move on.

My next move? To figure out which method of birth control to employ to get us through to the Big V snip and beyond until we get the "all clear" signal from the urologist. Because I've learned my lesson - the hard way - that condoms and/or withdrawal is NOT fool-proof, even if you're "accident" free. Like, duh! I'm flirting with getting a shot of Depo, which would see me through the next 3 months, and by then Mr. Chick should be shootin' blanks. But I'm leery of Depo's side-effects, like weight gain and irregular periods. I don't know - I have another 2 weeks before my follow-up appointment and will think on it some more before making my decision. Any recommendations out there?

I'm off to eat breakfast nausea-free! I actually have an appetite this morning! Oh, and full-strength coffee! Oh how I've missed it. Things are looking all shiny and bright today. And now I can even look forward to the big white water rafting trip we're going on this weekend! It's an annual thing with a big group of law school friends, and I wasn't looking forward to it AT ALL if I was feeling as crappy as I had been. Queasy tummy and rapids do not mix well. But now? Bring on the white water and fun evenings at the campsite. I'm ready. (I just hope my bleeding simmers down enough in the next 3 days to be no big deal out in the wilderness. Because that could potentially really suck.)

This was the way things were meant to work out. Don't feel bad for me. I'm doing quite well.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

I had my dr. appt. today. Peed in the cup, had my blood drawn, checked my blood pressure. All the usual. Then came the time when the dr. wanted to do an ultrasound to get an exact date on the pregnancy. The oh-so-fun vaginal wand variety ultrasound.


There was a lot of "hmmm's" and "ummmm's" happening. Then I was asked to go empty my bladder again because that can interfere with the ultrasound. Um, ok. I hit the bathroom, pee, and return to assume the position yet again. I get Round 2 of the wand and am watching the screen with renewed interest. After more checking and more hemming and hawing, the dr. tells me that yes, I am pregnant but she's having trouble finding the fetus. She sees a rather large gestational sac, but no yolk sac and no fetus. I see what she's looking at. A big black empty space. Finally, after tweaking the wand severely to one side (ouch!) she thinks she sees something. Something. She measures it, and if it's fetal, it's smaller than it should be. She tells me, "maybe, just maybe, this pregnancy wasn't meant to be". Well, no shit. I could have told you that.

She told me she can't be completely certain, but chances are good that I'll miscarry in the next week or so. I'm supposed to return for a follow-up in 2 weeks to see where we are, and to call sooner if I start bleeding and need something for pain.

If I'm being completely honest, my reaction to this news was one of relief. Just relief.
Not sadness, not worry that something might be wrong with the baby. Just relief that it's probably over. It wasn't meant to be. I KNEW that in my heart, and to have it confirmed physically just sort of validates how I was feeling. I confess to secretly wishing for this. I don't have to continue to feel crappy about this unwanted/unplanned pregnancy. About feeling completely ambivalent about our 3rd child. There ISN'T a 3rd child. It wasn't meant to be. The guilt - all the tremendous, overwhelming guilt - about wishing this had never happened in the first place has evaporated. I feel a million times lighter. Sweet relief that I don't have to deal with this, because, let's face it, I wasn't dealing well. I was completely floundering. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT looking forward to the physical process of miscarrying, but the emotional relief I'm already experiencing from the news completely offsets the physical discomfort.

It wasn't meant to be - not emotionally, not physically. It simply wasn't meant to be.

Music to my ears. Heartless as that sounds, it's music to my ears. I practically skipped out of the office and couldn't wait to tell Mr. Chick. Never in my life has the news of impending miscarriage been good news, but in this case, it's great news. It solves all our problems about this pregnancy. He was relieved as well. He hugged me, asked if I was ok, and started breathing again. He's already made the appointment for his vasectomy next month, and we've read all the material they mailed to us.

It wasn't meant to be. Now life can return to normal. Think of me what you will for my unorthodox reaction, but I feel like a wrong has been righted and everything is back to where it should be. Now I can just put this whole horrible ordeal behind me and get on with the business of living my life, the way I've always envisioned it.

It wasn't meant to be.

Maintaining The Deception

This weekend tested me. Oh yes, I was tested. I'm pretty sure I was able to pull it off and not reveal - or even give hint - that something is different about me, but it was not easy.

It was a busy social weekend for us and all the events seemed to involve cocktails. Obviously, cocktails and pregnancy do not mix, but yet, this pregnancy is not one we're ready to share with the world yet. Even if we were happy about it, it's too early to tell people. So it goes with attempting to maintain the facade of normalcy in the face of life-changing events that are anything BUT normal, I guess.

On Friday I spent the day with my parents and my nephews/niece. My parents were babysitting them and since their house in on the market they didn't want to have the kids running all over it. So they came to my neck of the woods and we went to the water park, out to lunch (crappy Burger King, thanks Mom), and then back to my house. My mother is the uber-suspicious type, and she didn't give me any indication that she suspected anything amiss. She gave me one, "you seem tired" comment, but that was it. Then that evening Mr. Chick and I had been invited to dinner at the home of his managing partner. My first introduction to this woman was at a wine tasting event, so she KNOWS I enjoy a good wine, as does she. Dinner was lovely and there were about 5 different wines open for people to try. I nursed one glass all night, my usual gusto for wine having left me completely. It tasted foul to me and my queasy tummy.

Oh yes, I've felt like shit all weekend, and NOT from hangovers, sadly. Morning sickness is here in full force and I'm not a happy camper. Dry heaving, all-day nausea, and fatigue. The hallmarks of the first trimester. I'm not handling it well. It's hard to disguise how crappy you feel when you're around people you don't want to tell all weekend.

Saturday we had our new windows installed in the front of the house. Big, huge improvement - they look fantastic! Our contractor happens to be the husband of my good friend, E, so she came over with her two young kids to spend the day with me and mine while our spouses installed the windows. Again, I'm not ready to share this news with anyone yet, so I had to put on a happy face for my friend. She doesn't have a clue. No one would expect this of us, so why would she suspect anything? She doesn't. But keeping up the act of going to the park and cheerily packing lunches and slathering the kids with sunscreen was a toll when all I really wanted to do was lie prone on the couch. It didn't help that it was 95 degrees that day. Hotter than hell. Very unpleasant when you don't feel well.

Saturday evening Mr. Chick and I had to get all dressed up and attend the wedding reception of another attorney in his office. We really don't know her, but the whole office was invited and Mr. Chick felt it important that we go. So we did. And you know how weddings are: lots of cocktails. Mr. Chick knows how I'm feeling and covered for me when I opted for a Sprite instead of a cocktail. Just the thought of alcohol right now turns my stomach even more than it already is. I felt nasty all evening. My tummy is really poochy right now and is simply uncomfortable. At 7 weeks I can't suck it in anymore. That fact alone makes me want to cry. I had to put on my body slimmer (aka girdle), and it was the most uncomfortable garment I've worn in awhile. That kind of pressure on my delicate tummy was not a good idea, but if I wanted to minimize my pooch in my dress, it was a necessity. Beauty is pain, right? Normally I love weddings. I enjoy the food, the drink, the conversation, the people-watching, and the dancing. That night, I enjoyed the people-watching and that's about it. I was not up for dancing, not with my tummy in turmoil. The food was probably very good, but right now food sounds supremely unappealing and only serves to temporarily quiet my stomach. So I endured the evening and enjoyed the night out with Mr. Chick, but only wished I'd felt better and had been a more enjoyable companion for him.

Sunday I cleaned the house, including a bunch of windows. I needed to keep moving or I never would have gotten up again. That afternoon we went to a bbq some friends were hosting in honor of another friend who moved to Australia a year ago and was back for a visit. So, you guessed it, plenty of alcohol was part of the party. These are close friends and it was hard to not reach for a beer and settle into the fun of the bbq, but instead I had water and kept moving around to make sure the kids didn't destroy anything, hoping not to hurl. The hostess has a 5 mos old baby girl, and all the other women (none of whom have kids yet) were ooh'ing and ahhh'ing over the baby. Me? I had no desire to hold her. She's very cute and all, but I simply didn't want to get close to her at all. I saw the room full of baby gear (which my kids were loving playing with, for some reason), and wanted to cry.

Clearly, I'm not at peace with what's happening yet.

I know of others who handle a 3rd with ease and grace. I'm just not one of them
. I wish I was, but I'm not. I don't think I'm a natural mother. I love my kids and would lay down my life for them, but motherhood is not easy for me. I wanted my children and I'm glad I have them. I would never trade my life, and I don't regret my choices. But it's work. It's effort. I'm good at it, but there are days when I don't love it. When I long for something different. It's not "the more the merrier" for me. I love that I come from a larger-than-average family (4 kids), but I know myself well enough to know that I'm simply not the mother of a larger family. I'm just not. I think that I devote so much of myself to being Mom to my kids, that there are times when I think I'm losing myself to the role. And I so want to - NEED to - define myself as more. There is more to me than being a mom, and I sometimes feel swallowed up by it. So the notion of a 3rd child equates to even more of me being consummed by children and leaves less of me that lives outside of that. Most of the time the two sides live in harmony, and being Mom is intrinsic to being Me, but often I feel that I'm sacrificing parts of Me to being a good Mom. Does anyone understand that?

So this pregnancy isn't sitting easy with us yet. Maybe I'll start to feel differently after my dr. appt. today if I'm able to see the heartbeat. Because right now this still feels like a terrible mistake. A cruel joke. And I'd like to feel differently about it - I really would. But right now I just don't. Not yet.

Right now I wish it would all just go away.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


First: I got impatient and just cut some bangs myself. Good call - much better. Should have done so months ago! Much more flattering and I like my hair again. Anything to make me feel better these days.

Second: Dr. appt scheduled for Monday the 10th. Will be about 7 wks then. I'm scared as hell - how silly am I? It makes it all official, somehow.

Third: Mr. Chick made the appointment to get his "wings clipped" (his phrasing). Aka: vasectomy. Too little, too late, but better late than never. Aug. 25th = The Big Snip. This Will Never Happen Again!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

Happy Birthday, America! Land of the FREE! No greater nation exists, and I'm proud to be an American. To celebrate, we're mostly hanging at home. Exciting, huh? Mr. Chick is out playing a quick 9-holes of golf with his buddy right now, and plans to watch the World Cup game at noon. Then we'll likely go take the kids to the park and kick the soccer ball with them since we'll be all fired up about soccer and all. I'm predicting a stop at a fireworks stand (if you can call it that - most all fireworks are banned in our state. I think they still let you have sparklers. And smoke bombs. Nothing that shoots up in the air. Whooppee.) and fire up the grill for some burgers. Then, if we're feeling really frisky, we might head somewhere to watch the big fireworks. Ft. Vancouver, perhaps.

To get my mind on happier topics, I'm wanting to share some funny kid updates. They are such characters, those two! As you may remember, Nicholas got a fish for his birthday. A goldfish he named Fishie. Well, long story short, Fishie got the ceremonial flush. He lasted just over a
week. We had a heat wave and the water temp in his bowl changed too much, too quickly (no a/c in our house, damnit!) and he got Ick (a fish disease). We tried treating the Ick but it was too much for fragile Fishie and he went belly-up. Surprisingly, Nicholas took Fishie's demise in stride. He was a little sad, but very realistic for a 5 yr old kid. He knew Fishie was sick and had a few tears in his eyes when we told him that Fishie had died, but quickly rebounded and started asking when he could get another fish. We visited the pet store for the 3rd time in 10 days and came home with Betta, a heartier fish than the useless goldfish. Nicholas is thrilled with Betta (his name AND breed - Nicholas has no creative leanings when it comes to things like names), but has trouble remembering his name. He slips and refers to Betta as Fishie. Then he catches himself, looks at me with panic in his eyes, and whispers, "what's his name again, Mama?". Nicholas checks on Betta all the time. He's happy just watching his fish swim around the bowl. He must ask me 10 times a day when he can feed his fish (at dinnertime, when you feed Abby (our dog) ). He reports back to me all the fish happenings. "Mama! Fishie - I mean Betta - looked at me! I think he likes his new home." He's very proud of taking good care of his fish. It makes him feel very responsible and older. He's cautious about making sure not to over-feed the fish, and asks when we'll clean the bowl (I think he just wants to use the net to catch the fish more than anything). It's really fun to watch him with his first very own pet.

And now, Lauren. Oh, Lauren. She's a trip. I don't think there exists a bigger tomboy than Lauren right now. She refuses to wear anything that didn't come from her brother. There are only a few pairs of sho
rts she'll agree to wear, and those are all hand-me-downs from Nicholas. I have plenty of darling sundresses and tank tops, but she refuses all of them. Refuses. And since she can take her clothes off, she does. And then puts on whatever she likes. Usually the dirty shirt from the day before. She prefers to run around barefoot. She won't let me get near her hair, which really frustrates me. She used to not care if I put a clip in it, or put it up in cute pigtails, but now? Now if she sees me with a comb in my hand she immediately puts her hands on her head, rubbing them, and finds the first soft place (bed, chair, my thighs) and buries her head there, screaming "no pretty! No! No Mama! No pretty!" (I used to tell her she had pretty hair when I would comb it and now associates being pretty with having your hair combed.) There is nothing I hate worse than stringy hair hanging in a childs' face, but that's the look Lauren has just about all the time these days. It bugs. She still follows Nicholas around like a puppy, wanting to do everything he does. Since he's so protective of his fish, and spends a lot of time looking at the fish, Lauren does, too, by default. I've told her a million times to not touch the fish - to look with her eyes only. So now she'll tell me, "eyes, Mama. Look with my eyes, alright?" to get me to agree to let her check out the fish when her brother isn't around. It's cute. She's learning how to work it.

The other thing she's learning? How to finally make the "ck" sound! Her speech is slowly but surely improving. It's still quite garbled in many places, but she's getting better. The "ck" sound is emerging, and "f" as well (although she cannot say "fireworks" - it comes out "bireworts"). Her improving speech makes me feel more relieved and less concerned that she'll need intervention. We'll see where she is at 3 and then decide if therapy is appropriate.

What else? oh yeah - I'm pretty certain I'm going to return to the land of bangs. I've let my bangs grow out, and I've just never been confident that it's a good look for me. It makes me look more tired unless I wear make-up on my eyes. My face looks narrower. I find that I'm pretty much wearing it up in a ponytail most days because to wear it down and then tuck both sides behind my ears is just about the worst look in the world for me. Better to be up altogether. And so, at my next appointment, I'm having her cut some bangs. Bangs are back, anyway, so I'll be hip! I need a new look. And since I've finally got a handle on my color, a new cut should be just the ticket.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Slow Going

Many of you asked about Mr. Chick's reaction to the news. Well, since it was delivered between sobs and tears, his reaction was one of stunned silence. He didn't see this coming. Neither of us did. We're still trying to wrap our brains around this, and it's not easy.

He held me and let me cry. He told me he loved me. He brought me a pretty bouquet of flowers yesterday. He's letting me talk all I need to. And I need to a lot. I cry a lot, too. Everyday. He's being very supportive. We both feel stupid for allowing this to happen, even unintentionally. There is a heaviness to the air around us - we're both walking around in a depressed fog.

He doesn't want this any more than I do. This wasn't in our plan. It's hard to comes to terms with this. It doesn't feel like good news just yet.

I'm starting to feel the first signs of morning sickness. Or maybe it's side-effects from all the shock and stress this has created in me. Regardless, I'm tired. A lot. And my tummy is feeling nauseated. No food sounds appealing, yet food is what I need to temporarily quell the nausea. Gah - I hate the 1st trimester!

I received an insurance statement from my annual exam I had done recently, and it made me remember that I was just about to start my period when I had that appointment for my Pap. I must have started a few days later. The date was May 17th, so my period probably started around the 20th or so. That puts me at 5 weeks, according to the pregnancy calendars. Just about the time I started feeling like crap with my other pregnancies. It puts my due date at the end of Feb, early March.

I want to pretend this isn't happening. So far, nothing about this has been good. I know I need to find an OB/GYN and make my first appointment, but I'm dragging my feet. My family doc did my annual and I don't have a new OB since the move (different insurance and location makes me want to find a new one from the one I had when I delivered Nicholas. Lauren was born in Eugene, so that isn't an option this time around.)

I went to the YMCA yesterday with the kids so I could workout. And just as you notice a ton of the car you like on the roads when you're in the market for a new one, I'm suddenly seeing pregnant women everywhere. Before, when I wanted to be pregnant, I felt an immediate kinship with these women. If it was early in the pregnancy and no one could tell yet, I wanted to tap them on the shoulders and announce, "me too!". I noticed all the darling babies and couldn't wait to hold my own in my arms and be like those women. Now? Now it's completely the opposite. Now I see a mom with two young kids about the ages of mine, AND carrying an infant carrier. In other words, me in another 8-9 months. She didn't look happy. She looked tired and haggard. She looked hassled. She looked like she was taking it day by day and just getting by. Survival mode. Just like I will look.

Forgive me for feeling so negative. Right now, this whole thing feels very negative. It feels wrong. We have yet to find a way to see things in a more positive light. Mr. Chick and I are on the same page and our immediate reactions were the same: shock and horror. Not giggles and happiness and feelings of being "blessed". If this makes me a bad person in your eyes, so be it. I'm just being truthful as I sort out this new life-altering event.

Thanks for all your kind words and your continued understanding as we get through this. It's just a hard, hard time for us emotionally.

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