Friday, February 22, 2013

Baby Love

I recently read a very nice post by another blogger who was announcing she was pregnant, complete with all the lovely the details about how they found out themselves and how she and her husband broke the good news to their families with much fanfare and excitement.  As someone whose pregnancies fell on the accidental end of the spectrum under less than ideal circumstances, I've always wondered what it would be like to announce that you're pregnant and have everyone immediately think it's the greatest news ever.

When I got pregnant with Violet, I was 18 and Mr. Chick was 19.  We were both in college and both lived at home with our respective parents (well, our mothers really - kids of divorce unite!). When we broke the news to my mom, she cried and left the room.  When we broke the news to Mr. Chick's mom, I think she might have called us stupid.  So, yeah - not really the Hallmark moments everyone pictures.  But really, I didn't expect anything else considering the fact that I cried when I found out I was pregnant.

The one thing we had going for us at the time was that we both worked full time jobs, so while we were broke, it could have been worse.  We managed to save enough money to get all of the necessities for Violet's impending arrival and move in to our very own apartment exactly two weeks before she was born.  (Let me tell you - you haven't lived until you move out from living with your parents and move in with your boyfriend, at the ripe old age of 19, while you are 9 months pregnant.  Let's just say that I wanted my mommy.) Of course, both of our mothers quickly came around to the idea of having a grandchild, especially after we found out the baby was a girl.  When Violet arrived, they both loved her to pieces right away.

Fast forward a few years later and Violet has just turned two.  Mr. Chick and I are mere weeks away from the wedding we'd been planning for about a year when I discover that I am pregnant again. (Yes, I know what causes pregnancy, in case you were wondering.)  Now this time, circumstances were a little different obviously, but we weren't as 'established' as one might like to be before having any kids, let alone their second one.  We had good jobs, but didn't yet own a home, have substantial savings, etc.  These were things we were working toward, yes, but progress was slow.  Still, I knew what I was getting into this time and while the timing wasn't the greatest, we were excited just the same.

But, the news that Lily was on the way was met with sighs of 'I'm not mad, but you're just getting your heads above water' and 'I'm not upset, but you're just getting yourselves established.'  When I was in the hospital for eight days and on bedrest for 5 months because of pre-term labor, it was pointed out that this was exactly why people our age and in our financial position shouldn't be having kids.  (We'll just conveniently gloss over the fact that I actually had disability insurance which covered my FMLA time off.)  But again, when Lily was born, she was every bit as loved by everyone as Violet had been.

Fast forward a few years after that and I'm pregnant again.  This time, we're even more established than before and are in the process of building our first home.  Even so, for the third time, our big announcement is met with little excitement...more of a 'you know, three kids is a lot to handle' type observation.  Now, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you've noticed that I only have two kids.  So, it turned out that the third time was not the charm for us and as quickly as I was pregnant, I was not pregnant anymore.  After that, I decided that I was not very good at being pregnant (see:  previous pre-term labor/bed rest and subsequent pregnancy that ended with no baby) and we were done, done, done with having kids.

That is, until about two years ago when I decided that maybe, perhaps, possibly another baby wouldn't be such a bad thing.  Because I was totally on the fence about said decision, I told almost no one. This time, we were established, we hade money, we had a home, we had savings accounts, we were the age when people are 'supposed' to have babies. But still, even the thought of another baby for us was met with a less than thrilled reaction from some.  More of a 'Why would you want to start over?' and a 'You do what you want, but I don't think it's a good idea.'  That was quickly followed up with an 'Of course, I'll love another baby if you have one.'  Gee, thanks - I think.

We ultimately decided that another baby is just not in the cards for us for a multitude of reasons (which I say, knowing that I'm due to have my IUD replaced and not being able to bring myself to actually go get it done because in my head, THEN it's final).  But still, when I read stories like the one earlier this week about breaking the baby news and everyone getting really excited for them, it just makes me wonder what it would feel like to share what is really such amazing news, and actually have people be happy about it, because I don't think I'll ever know.
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Business As Usual

Valentine's Day 2013 in the Chick household:

- Mr. Chick:  Got to sleep in this morning while I took Violet and then Lily to school.  Got the shaft on any other holiday festivities because I refused to get him a little something and then get the shaft on even so much as a greeting card for the fifth year in a row.

Violet:  Declared that she was 'too busy' to look at the Valentine's day goodies from her parents and then proclaimed that 'Valentine's Day sucks' when I dropped her off at school and she saw people milling around out front with balloons and teddy bears.

Lily:  Skipped breakfast to dig through her Valentine's day haul and went to school munching on conversation hearts.

- Mother Chick:  Received a nice surprise of some lovely cards (Mr. Chick always gets me a funny card and a mushy card on holidays, it's his thing) and chocolate covered marshmallow hearts from Mr. Chick.  And oops on not getting him anything.  We really can't get it together on this Valentine's day thing, I swear.

Yep, business as usual around here.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Different Kind of Hard

After I dropped Violet off at school yesterday morning, I happened upon a boy and girl in the school parking lot who were hand in hand, walking quickly away from the school, even though school was just getting ready to start for the day.  Judging by the fact that they were holding hands, I think it's safe to say that this boy and girl were a couple.  And judging by the speed with which they were walking and the furtive glances the girl kept throwing back at the school, it was pretty obvious to me that they were making a break for it and skipping school.

I suppose there is a possibility that they were headed home to study for SATs or to a soup kitchen to volunteer, but I seriously doubt it.  Also, it takes one to know one, I guess - my mother will still tell anyone that will listen that I quite enjoyed giving myself free days off from school whenever I felt the need.  (At the time, I felt that if I could skip school and still pull straight A's, wasn't I entitled to as much free time as I wanted?  I was kind of dumb back then.)  As I watched the lovebirds hightail it across the street, my immediate thought was that the parents of those kids had no idea that a day of clandestine debauchery was probably about to go down.

That is one of the things I've been struggling with as my kids have gotten older.  At some point they are going to do things, potentially bad things, that I have absolutely zero control over.  They could get in cars with people who have been drinking, they could text and drive, they could do drugs and/or drink alcohol, they could skip school with their boyfriends, and there isn't really anything I can do about it.  We've established previously that I made some bad decisions in my teenage days, and I'm fully aware now as an adult that those decisions could have had some disastrous consequences.  You just don't think anything bad will ever happen as a teenager, though.  Luckily, I survived to tell the tales but the fact remains that things could have turned out differently.   And back then, my mom was as helpless to stop me from doing bad things as I will be when the time comes for my kids to make their own mistakes.

I know that the best we can do is raise them to be good people, to have good morals and values and to make good decisions and I feel like we are doing that:  we closely monitor their friendships, we keep them involved in sports and extracurricular activities, we have open and honest conversations about peer pressure and why drugs and alcohol are a bad idea, we stay on top of their online activity, etc.  I also know that my mom did the same with me and it didn't matter - I still made some bad decisions.  Everyone does.  As a parent, it's hard to know that doing your absolute best probably won't be enough - your kids are going to make some poor decisions along the way and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  The control freak in me really hates that.

In my experience, when your kids are younger, you always feel like parenting is hard and you're waiting for the next milestone for it to get 'easier.'   Like, 'It will get easier when they sleep through the night.' or 'It will get easier when they can dress themselves.'  The thing is, it never really gets 'easier.'  It just gets to be a different kind of hard.
Friday, February 8, 2013

Mother Chick Chat - 48 Things You Never Knew About Me

Due to my lack of writing inspiration this week, I've decided to phone it in and just do a random question meme.  Sometimes you gotta do something to get the juices flowing again, so here we go:

1) Were you named after anyone?  To the best of my knowledge, I was named after Lindsay Wagner.  Well, I guess not really after her, just that my mom liked her name.  There you go, now you know my first name.

2) When was the last time you cried?  I'm not really an overly emotional person when it comes to things in my personal life, but yet, I cry at random commercials, Youtube videos, etc.  So, I cried watching that Budweiser Clydesdale commercial earlier this week and also some random video I saw on Facebook last night.

3) Do you like your handwriting?  Eh, I guess it's okay.  It's neat and you can read it, so it gets the job done.  Someone analyzed my handwriting one time and said that how I write across a page with no lines means my energy levels ebb and flow and I'm kind of up and down emotionally.  That was strangely accurate.

4)  What is your favorite lunch meat?  Holy random question.  Hmm, I guess turkey.  My favorite way to eat it is in a wrap with guacamole.

5) Do you have kids?  Yes, we've established that I have two.  We went back and forth for years on whether to have more kids and it's just not in the cards.

6) If you were another person, would you be friends with you?  I'd like to think so.

7) Do you use sarcasm a lot?  Um, yes.

8) Do you still have your tonsils?  Yes, even though I got tonsillitis all the time when I was a kid.  At that time, the doctor told my mom that they discovered that it was more beneficial to keep your tonsils than to take them out.  That must have changed because we had to have Violet's tonsils removed when she was eight.  Go figure.

9) Would you bungee jump?  No, no, no.  I used to think I was afraid of heights and then I discovered that I'm really afraid of falling.  I have dreams that I'm falling at least once a week and if I get stuck in traffic on an incline on a bridge, I kind of freak out a little.

10) What is your favorite cereal?  Oatmeal Crisp with Almond.  Just the right amount of crunchy nutty goodness.

11) Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?  No, seems like a waste of time.

12) Do you think you are strong?  Most of the time.

13) What is your favorite ice cream?  I really don't eat ice cream that much, but sometimes I get a craving for an M&M Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  That's the only kind of Blizzard I've ever liked and what's weird is that I don't really like plain M&Ms.

14) What is the first thing you notice about people?  Hmm, their hair color I guess?  

15) Red or pink?  Pink.

16) What is your least favorite thing about yourself?  I think I'm somewhat judgmental of others and I'm really working on changing that.

17) Who do you miss the most?  I don't really have anyone I'm missing.

18) What do you need to work on the most?  See # 16 - not being so judgmental of others.

19) What color shoes are you wearing?  I'm not wearing shoes at the moment.

20) What was the last thing you ate?  A peanut butter granola bar.

21) What are you listening to right now?  Pandora...let me check the song that playing:  It's called 'Life (No 13 in Musical Humors) by Tobias Hume.  It's from my classical channel.  The song before that was from Lady Antebellum and not it just switched to Bob Marley.  I have eclectic musical tastes and I shuffle on Pandora rather than sticking with one station at a time.  Although, I listened to my 60s station for three straight days this week without switching to anything else.

22) If you were a crayon, what color would you be?  I would be a limited edition color made to match OPI Pompeii Purple nail polish.  Best color ever.

23) Favorite smells?  Coconut suntan lotion and salt water.  The beach is my happy place.

24) How important are your political views to you?  Not very.

25) Mountain hideaway or beach house?  Beach house.  That said, we're doing the mountain hideaway vacation this summer.  We rented a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains and with the hot tub, game room for the kids, and sunbathing deck, I'm looking forward to that kind of 'roughing it' in the mountains.

26) Favorite sport to watch?  I can really watch any sport and enjoy it, but I don't specifically seek sports out to watch.

27) Hair color?  Blonde

28)  Eye color?  Blue

29) Do you wear contacts?  Nope, and I don't wear glasses either.

30) Favorite food?  Oven roasted asparagus.  So good.

31) Scary movies or happy endings?  Happy endings.  I feel personally affronted when a movie doesn't end how I think it should.  Same goes for books.

32) Last movie you watched?  I haven't watched a movie in a while so I don't remember but I have a bunch of movies saved on the DVR that I haven't gotten around to yet.

33) What color shirt are you wearing?  Pink

34) Summer or winter?  Well, I live in a place where the weather is typically some version of summer, so I'll say that.  Although I like our winter weather, because it's spring/summer like also, so really, both.

35) Favorite dessert?  Toss up between Publix chocolate cake with buttercream frosting (so good) and cherry cheesecake.

36) Strength training or cardio?  Cardio.

37) Computer or television?  Computer.  I really use the tv for background noise.

38) What book are you reading?  I just finished a book so I'm not reading anything right now.  I'm in to 'women's Southern fiction' right now, AKA 'grit lit' and my favorite author in that genre is Karen White.  My favorite author overall is Elin Hilderbrand and all of her books are set on Nantucket, but she only writes one book a year.  I tend to read as a form of escape and to relax, so I don't ready anything too heavy.  I do like memoirs though and sometimes those are heavier reading - The Glass Castle comes to mind as a good one and one of my all time favorite memoirs was Angela's Ashes.

39) What is on your mouse pad?  I have an optical mouse so I don't have a mouse pad.

40) Favorite sound?  Probably thunderstorms and rain but I'm pretty partial to my white noise machine that I use every night also.  I also like the sound of waves rolling in to shore at the beach.  

41) Favorite genre of music?  Don't really have one, like all kinds.

42) What is the farthest you have been from home?  Not that far, actually.  I guess Honduras?

43) Do you have a special talent?  I mentioned this in my last post after my botched eyebrow waxing job but I can raise my left eyebrow on it's own without the right one.  I get that little quirk from my dad and I'm the only one of his kids that inherited that ability.  I can't do it with the right one, just the left.

44) Where were you born?  Ohio.  In my opinion, the most boring state ever unless you count Cedar Point.  Nothing compares to Cedar Point in terms of amusement parks.

45)  Where are you living now?  Somewhere that is close to the beach and warm most of the time.  And we are really good at growing oranges here.

46) What color is your house?  A really light green with white trim.  In the last year and a half we have completely changed everything about our house and it was 100% DIY.  It was really hard and painting the exterior of a house, especially a stucco house, is not that fun.  It was nice though, when one of my neighbors walked by after we were all done with everything and said our house looks so inviting and like something out of a storybook.

47) What color is your car?  Grey.  I really want a new one but the plan when I bought my current car was to drive it until Violet starts driving and then give it to her, so I'm really trying to stick with that plan because it's the fiscally responsible thing to do.

48) What are you doing this weekend?  (The original question was boring, so I made this one up.)  Mr. Chick and Violet are headed out of town in one direction for a soccer tournament and Lily and I are headed in another direction for a soccer tournament for her.  Such is the life of a soccer family.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Things Overheard In My House Recently

1) "Work sucked today, I got punched in the face." - said by Mr. Chick, and I think it's self explanatory. He's a cop, so I suppose it's an occupational hazard, but I'm sure it's not fun.  The guy got away too, but they caught him eventually.  Word to the wise:  Don't punch a cop in the face unless you want MANY cops to be hunting you like it's the first day of deer season.

2) "Normal is boring." - said by Lily. This should be her life mantra.  Girlfriend does not give a hoot what anyone thinks of her and marches to not just the beat of her own drum, because even that would be too normal, but to the beat of her own three piece band.  I do not mind this about her because she's already a pretty awesome kid, and she's definitely going to be a pretty awesome adult.  I can't wait to watch.

3) "But I want to put my hands in meat." - said by Lily, after I explained to Violet that yes, she could help with dinner but meatloaf was on the menu and she would have to stick her hands in raw ground meat, which can be kind of gross.  (Again, reference #2 above from Lily - i.e. Normal is boring.  Yes, yes it is.)

4)  "I look perpetually skeptical and my eyelids are going to be all scabby." - said by me, after a botched eyebrow wax at the salon.  Scabby eyelids are not the look I was going for.  Also, not sure how 'Just clean up the strays' turned in to 'Make me look like one eyebrow is raised at all times."  I actually can raise said eyebrow (my left one) independent of my right eyebrow, and it's how I look at people when I think they're lying to me, or being an idiot.  Now it looks like I think EVERYONE is either lying to me or being an idiot, at all times.  Lovely.

5)  "I didn't think it was a big deal." - said by Violet, after she dumped nail polish remover on our wooden bar stool and proceeded to let it eat off the lacquer finish AND stain, down to the bare wood.  She soon found out that it was a very big deal.