Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why I love the new Facebook timeline

I am loving the new facebook timeline. I know that a lot of people are going to hate it, but here's why I love it.

I get to look back at all the things I posted while Brendan was here. I get to read all the things that friends and family wrote about him. I get to remember specific events and read what I was feeling at the time. I get a constant reminder as I read that God brought me through the hardest time of my life. Reading about how I was feeling and the ups and downs reminds me that my God is with me and promises not to let me go.

It is hard reading some things, though.

I remember the day that Jeff and I realized (well, more me, Jeff kinda knew it all along) that Brendan was not made for this earth. It was the day after Thanksgiving. We had not been able to get a CT scan up until this point for various reasons. But this was the day that we got the results.

The doctor came to us and told us that the cysts that were showing up as dark spots on the ultrasound were not cysts at all, but were actually just empty parts of his brain. His brain was severely underdeveloped. She said that he only had 5% of his cerebellum. He would never be able to talk, walk, pee, sit up, or move on his own. His airway and lungs were very underdeveloped, too. He was having trouble breathing all the time. He would never have a normal life. And there was nothing that we could do about it.

Up to this point, my posts were optimistic, wondering if we were going to have him home for Halloween, then Thanksgiving then my birthday.

But after that day, my heart was broken. I knew that my baby was going to die. I knew that every moment I had with him was precious. I knew that he would take his last breath before I took mine.

I love reading about his life on facebook because, even though it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, watching my baby die, it is the place where I documented everything. Facebook is Brendan's baby book. The good, bad and the ugly. It is all there. And unlike any other baby book, Brendan's book has comments from friends, daily updates, and a place for me to vent my feelings. 

I am so thankful that I can look back. I look and see that I was in the depths of despair. I look and see that my heart was broken into tiny pieces. I look and see that I never thought I would ever get out. 

But looking back allows me to see the footsteps ahead more clearly. Because I can see that when I was at my worst, the Lord was there telling me that it was ok, I don't have to walk, He will carry me. I can take the steps ahead with confidence because I know that if God can take care of me through that, he will take care of me through everything. There isn't any step too slippery, too high, too low or too wide when I have God leading the way. All I have to do is follow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inner beauty

I am not 125 pounds (although I was in high school)

I am not thin (nor have I ever been)

I have stretch marks (thank you to my 2 boys)

I have baby weight (even a year later)

I have a flabby tummy (does that baby pouch ever go away?)

Yet my husband still finds me sexy.

Girls, make sure that you marry someone who loves you for who you are both inside and out, because chances are, your waist will also go from this:

To this:

Just saying....... Inner beauty is where it's at.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Brendan Shaun

I was thinking of clever and funny subjects to write about for Brendan's 2nd birthday. 

I thought about writing a timeline of the day he was born, but, to be honest, that was the longest day of my life and even 2 years later, it is still draining. I got to 9:00 am and was tired already. Reliving a day like that is exhausting emotionally. So, I have saved that post and will finish later.

Then I thought it would be interesting to write about how I went into labor (it happened just after 9 am when my water broke on the couch), and how I made Jeff take me to Panera Bread on my way to the hospital. 

I was going to write about how after Brendan was born, there was a moment when I was too naive to realize that something was wrong. That moment was amazing. I was a mother. 

I thought about writing about how even after two years I still remember his birthday like it was yesterday.

Instead, I have decided to reflect on the fact that 2 years later, I have another son. 

I have a marriage that has withstood something earth shattering, and because of that, our bond has become so strong, that nothing can break it. 

I have a one year old son that I appreciate more than I would have.

I have family that appreciates life more, and appreciates their grandchildren more.

I have a relationship with God that has grown stronger. I have had to rely on Him more than I ever thought I would have to. And I learned that it is true that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

I have faith. Not how you would think. Don't get me wrong, I pray and ask God for miracles all the time. Just like I prayed that Brendan would grow up to be a healthy little man. I prayed this for 97 days straight. It was my audacious prayer. I did not doubt that God could do it. I just had faith that if he decided not to answer my prayer the way I asked, He had a good reason for it. I have faith that God is God, and I am not. 

I know that Brendan's life and death has a purpose. A Godly purpose. 

I am flattered that God thought that I was strong enough for such a trial. In the beginning I thought that I would crumble and disintegrate from the sheer agony and pain that I felt that seeped from my heart to every part of my body. I thought for sure that I would not be able to wake up and face the day. 

But God brought me through it and has given me one amazing story to tell.

So instead of writing something funny, clever, or narrative about Brendan's birthday. I have chosen instead to write what was on my heart. How 97 days changed my life. And how God will use the death of my Brendan Shaun to change lives for years to come. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I have met many women who have had miscarriages.

I have met a couple women who have lost a baby.

I have had 3 miscarriages and lost a baby. I have no problem talking about it. It is who I am. I am a mother to 2 little boys. I have no idea why God decided to take Brendan to heaven early. But I do know that talking about it and being open has helped a few friends who are going through similar things.

I am a very open person. It used to drive my mother crazy. I would announce when I had to pee, I would tell everyone my most embarrassing moment (there are several but one noteworthy one was on my first day of high school I was walking past my brother's group of senior - and way cooler than me - friends and I tripped on the stairs and ate it in front of all of them). I would tell everyone when I had a crush on a boy. I did this even when I met my husband. We were on a church retreat and I told all the girls that were in my cabin that I totally had a thing for Jeff, the worship leader. By the end of the weekend everyone knew. Our pastor even knew about it and was rooting me on.

This is why I am so open:

1. I have nothing to hide. I don't care if you know what size jeans I wear (12) or that I gained 35 pounds in both pregnancies. 

2. It weeds out the friends that like me for shallow reasons. If you don't like all of me, then don't waste my time.

3. It brings people together. I am more open than most people. There are things that I share that most people would not dare. When someone has a secret, something that hurts them to share, it helps to know someone who has gone through the same thing that is willing to share.

God has given me the gift of being a loudmouth. By being open, loud and generally annoying, it has allowed God to use me to share His faithfulness and mercy, His goodness and His love.

You see, I am open about many things, the fact that I am 5'10" and weigh 185. The fact that I love reality TV shows and I love double stuf oreos. The fact that I had 3 miscarriages and then finally got pregnant with a little boy. The fact that I went into labor thinking that this little boy was happy and healthy. The fact that he was born very sick and my heart was crushed. The fact that I lost this little man when he was only 97 days old. I am open about how my Father in Heaven took Brendan, and in the process he took my heart. I am open about how after 97 days on this earth, Brendan Shaun took his last breath while resting in my arms. I am open about how I trust that God has a plan, and while I may not know all the details of this plan, I know that the plan is for my own good. I am open about how despite having my heart ripped out of my chest by the death of my son, my Heavenly Father was able to put it back together and bless me with another son. 

I am open because I know that this voice is something that God gave me for a reason. I will continue to be loud and tell everyone I know that I still believe in an unchanging God. Even when everything changes around me. If only one person hears and is changed because I am open enough to share, then I know that this is one good thing that came out of Brendan's life and death. And because of this, I will never be quiet.

For my friends that have had miscarriages:


To the little ones that are up in heaven:

My little angel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Take it from me: Things you should never do

1. Eat an entire family sized bag of creamed corn. It was bad. Really, really bad. I pooped nothing but creamed corn for 4 days.

2. Wash your car in February in Tennessee. Halfway through the adventure, the soap had frozen on the car and I could no longer feel my fingers.

3.  Stop by Panera Bread on your way to the hospital to deliver your first born. Yes, I was having contractions at the table. And yes, people were staring.

4. Spell your husband's name incorrectly. Yes, I am admitting it. I wrote a poem for Jeff. I used the letters of his name to spell out all the wonderful things about him. J....E....E....F.... Then I gave him the poem. I was so focused on the it that I spelled his name wrong. The worst part is that I remember working so hard to figure out something to use for the second E. The absolute worst part is that we had been married for a year.

5. Piss off the NICU nurses while your first born is under their care. But seriously? If you call me a cow I am going to yell at you. And no, I make no apologies.

6. Take ambien if you are sensitive to drugs. I fell asleep on the toilet and Jeff had to take me back to bed. I have no recollection of this, or of me and Jeff having an argument about my dream that night involving a carousel and multi colored horses.

7. Mistake chili powder for Cajun seasoning. Seriously, it was the spiciest thing I have ever eaten. Food hasn't had a true flavor ever since.

8. Try to catch the stream of pee (or in rare cases, runny poop) coming out of your baby. It will always end badly. Trust me. 

9. Make dinner the day you get home from the hospital after delivering your second child. In my defense, the chicken was going to go bad.

10. Mistake corn oil for corn syrup. Who knew that corn syrup and corn oil weren't the same thing? I was a new wife, learning how to make fudge for my new husband. I couldn't find corn syrup, so I used the next best thing! Poor Jeff. His stomach has not been the same since.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure that I will be able to think of more. In fact, I am pretty sure that by tomorrow I will have actually done at least 1 or 2 noteworthy stupid things. Stay tuned. This is Carrie In Real Life and it never gets boring.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Scale of Disgustingness

This is the scale of disgusting things that I have experienced in my one year of motherhood. The list goes from bad to worse, enjoy:

1.  Spit up

2. Getting spit up on

3. Pee

4. Getting peed on

5. Throw up

6. Getting thrown up on

7. Poop

8. Getting pooped on

9. Diarrhea

10. I think you can guess. And yes, I have been pooped on by both Brendan and Dylan. 

Brendan pooped on me while he was at home with us. I took off his diaper and didn't have the clean one ready. This little man who was on painkillers, anti-seizure medicine, and was generally weak, projectile pooped all over me, the couch and my pants. The first thought I had was not, "Oh No! The couch" or "Poor Brendan, is he sick?". It was, "Thank you Lord that I am wearing Jeff's pants."

To my friends that are pregnant, or have just had their babies, congrats, I wish you many smiles, and few of the things listed above. :)

My poopy little angel :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carrie's "cry it out" method

Those of you that know me know that I am not a fan of the cry it out method. It is just too hard for me. Call me weak, call me whatever you like, but I just can't do it.

There are, however a few times when it is totally okay to let your child scream. Please allow me to explain:

1. When you are in the car. Listen little man, I know that you are fed, changed and generally taken care of. So this crying thing is because you are bored. If I cried every time I was bored, my biology teacher in high school would have hated me even more than he did.

2. When you buckle your child into a car seat. I worked really hard to get you here to this earth safe and sound (9 months feeling fat and bloated, swollen ankles, you get the idea) and I am not about to throw away all that work just because you have all of a sudden decided that you are too cool for a seat belt. I have to wear one, and I think that I am pretty cool. Although I do own a station wagon, and I own 4 pairs of sweatpants that I wear often, and I.....wait, don't think you can distract me. This is about you buddy! You are going to be strapped into that seat if for no other reason than if you aren't, I know that you will climb into the front seat and jump all over me and stick your fingers in my nose and ears and you will pull down my shirt and just generally annoy me. Listen, I love you dearly, but in the car it is mommy time. I am allowed to ignore your cries in the car, because I am not about to pull over on the side of the road on the I-40 and get run over or approached from some crazy old man who asks me if I need help. Trust me Dylan, I am doing this for your own good, too.

3. When you change a diaper. We all have kids that hate getting their diaper changed, we also have a kid that every once in a while will scream bloody murder while you are trying to get poop out of every crack and crevice of their chubby little bodies. I am not going to let you sit in a pile of your own stink. I know that you don't care, but I do. You wreak. You can scream as much as you want, the neighbors already think that I am a terrible mom because I drive a station wagon and wear sweatpants. So who cares if they hear you scream, it won't be the last time. At least not until you are potty trained and can clean your own fat little tushy.

4. When it is business time. Yes, I went there. If Dylan wants a little brother or sister to torment in a couple years, then he is going to have to sit in his crib if he wakes up early from his nap and cry. I love you, darling, but trust me, one day you will understand. Since this *ahem* business transaction doesn't occur often in our house, I can guarantee little man, that it won't last long. You won't be crying for long. Just wait for a couple minutes. Trust me, it makes mommy and daddy a whole lot happier.

5. When you are in the shower. There is nothing worse than having a crying child while you are shampooing your hair. Listen kiddo, I haven't showered in like 2 days because you like being at my side 24/7. I wreak. I have smell lines coming off of me. All I want is a shower. I want to wash my hair, shave my disgustingly hairy legs and come out looking and smelling like my pre-baby self. When you cry while I have shampoo in my hair and soap all over, you are going to be left for a minute to cry. I would rather you sit and cry for a minute than have CPS called on me for dropping a baby on a hard floor. Trying to comfort you while covered in soap with shampoo dripping in my eyes is only going to hinder my abilities as a mom. Trust me little man, it is best for both of us if I leave you to cry. Just don't wipe your snot on me after I get out. Because as we both know, it will be at least 2 days before I can wash it off.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Carrie In Real Life - The lowdown on my new website

Let's face it. I will talk about anything. You want to talk about childbirth? I will give you the gory details about how sometimes poop comes out when you push, and how afterwards, you may not be able to poop for days.

You want to talk about babies? They poop, too. A lot.

You want to talk about marriage? Husbands poop, too you know. More than your baby.

You want to talk about being sick? I have been so sick before, that.....wait. There are just somethings a lady doesn't talk about. Thankfully I am not so lady like. It drives my mom and my mother in law crazy. I overshare.

My website "Carrie In Real Life" (which is still in the development stage) will address the many aspects of my life. One of the biggest, apparently, is poop. Hey, you try living with a husband and a young little boy, your life will be filled with crap, too!

My point is that life is just too short not to share with friends. So, if you have had an embarrassing thing happen to you at work, allow me to sympathize with you. You can rest assured that if it is embarrassing, obnoxious, or if it involves poop, it  has happened to me, and I was stupid enough to blog about it for everyone to see. You may laugh at me. Because, frankly, I am still laughing at myself.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Dylan's first birthday was Friday. He wore his brother's 3 month birthday hat. Below is a side by side of both of them wearing the hat. I think that you can tell that they are brother's, what do you think?

Dear Brendan, Thanks for sharing the hat with your brother, he hated wearing it. You didn't seem to mind. But he tried everything to get it off of his head. Seeing him in the hat made me think of your 3 month birthday. That was a fun night and I am glad that we celebrated. We had the party on Tuesday and on the following Saturday you were in heaven. I am so very very glad that we took the time to celebrate the small things. I wish that we had more time with you, but I am so glad that you are no longer in pain and that you are in heaven with Jesus. We should all be so lucky!

Being your mommy taught me to appreciate the small things. Whenever Dylan wakes up in the middle of the night, I try to imagine how I would feel if I knew that I only got to hold him one more time. I try to imagine how I would act if I knew that he only had weeks to live on this earth. I try to cherish every minute with him just as we tried to with you. I am so thankful that your brother is healthy and happy. I thank God for this gift everyday. I thank him for you, as well. I love you Brendan.

Love, mommy

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things I know a lot about

1. Oreos. Mainly the Double Stuf variety.

2. Child birth. I have done it twice. Once with an good epidural, and once with an epidural that wore of after 20 minutes. You want to know about what happens before, during, and after? You come to me. Not only have I done it twice, but I am not afraid to talk about the gross stuff. Sorry mom, I know that I am not very lady like when it comes to that stuff, but they say that well behaved women rarely make history!

3. Miscarriages. I have had three. I believe that God gave me these trials for a reason. I have had several friends come to me after they have had miscarriages to talk. I am thankful that something good can come out of it.

4.Orange County. Yes, I grew up there. It was awesome. Be jealous, it is okay. I went to the beach every day and had the best tan. Okay that is a lie, I was totally butt white and went to the beach once in a while. Mainly I hung out at In N Out or Del Taco. Yummmmmmmm

5. Breastfeeding. Most is from personal experience. But some of it is just from reading. You can call me Mrs. Cow. And yes, for those of you wondering, I plan to breastfeed Dylan until he is 14 years old. He will also be rear facing in a 5 point harness car seat until 14 years old as well. 

6. Overprotective parenting. J/K.

7. The movie Cars. Ask me anything. I can literally quote the entire movie from beginning to end. So can Dylan. His first sentence will probably be "I'm happier than a tornader in a trailer park!"

8. Food. Well, mostly junk food. Although I do enjoy healthy eating. We try to eat organic and whole foods at our house. Double Stuf Oreos are not a whole food or organic, I know, but I can cram the whole oreo in my mouth! That has to count for something.

9. Friends. No, not friends, although I have several of those. I mean FRIENDS. Ask me anything about this 10 season long tv show. I have been watching it on DVD for years. I have a tv in Dylan's room to watch it while I nurse him at night. It is the only way that I can stay awake during those 3 am feedings. In the year since Dylan has been born I have watched every episode at lest 6 times.

10. Sleeping. I am a pro. Mainly about the lack of sleeping. See # 9. I am up so often that I know every episode inside and out. I am also a pro at covering dark circles, napping anytime, anywhere, and drinking caffeine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yes, I am an 80 year old woman

So apparently I write too much for the 425 word limit on facebook. So I decided to share it on here. Because we all know that I like to share info. And more info is good, and too much info is what I do best.

So, I went to the doctor today for my back. She told me to take it easy, not lift anything heavy, and have someone pick up Dylan for me so I can rest my back. She is new to the practice, can you tell?

Well, in her defense I was carrying Dylan in the sling when she walked in, but hold him is not the problem, it is lifting him. But whatever.

I am pretty sure that "not lifting Dylan" is not an option. Because the last time I checked, nanny services are not covered by insurance. Although I kinda wish they were because I could totally use a full night's sleep, and someone to clean the house, and someone to cook for me, and run errands.

But alas, I live in the real world. I cannot take a break from motherhood. I cannot simply not hold my child. I refuse to not carry him in the sling, I refuse to ignore him and not lift him and snuggle. I am a mommy and if back pain is part of the deal, then I will just suffer through it.

In the meantime I am totally annoyed with my doctor. How lame do you have to be? When I told her that I have to pick up my baby and take care of him she shrugged. She told me that I need to rest. I think that some doctors need to get their heads out of the books and adapt their diagnosis to real life! GAH!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How my life is like the Jersey Shore

1. All day everyday it is GTL: grumpiness, tantrums, and laundry.

2. I am also tan. Not by choice, but because I forget to put sunscreen on myself, I usually just worry about Dylan. Hey, at least he doesn't get burned.

3. Like Snooki, I also have big hair. Tennessee humidity + exhaustion + not being able to take a shower without a 10 month old crawling into the tub = big hair in a bun on a daily basis.

4. There is lots of crying in my house as well. Although to be fair, Dylan is more mature than those kids any day of the week.

5. Drama. My life has lots of drama. Hey MTV, make a show about my life and pay me $250,000 an episode. I guarantee people would watch. Besides, I am way hotter than Snooki! JWOW, maybe not, but Snooki? Come on!

6. We also have nicknames in my house: Dylan is Dyls, Dill pickle (thanks auntie Heather), and little man. Jeff and I call each other bubbers. It all started when we would call each other baby, then it evolved into bubbers, because apparently baby wasn't cute enough. What? you think The Situation has a better nickname? At least my nickname doesn't have a THE in the beginning. GAH!

7. And finally, here are some nicknames we are currently trying out in my house:

Jeff: Jeffy P
Dylan: Sticky Situation
Me: Mom-WOW (because I am mom and I can do anything!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things I never thought I would experience as a mom

1. Getting thrown up on. Not just on my shirt, but down my leg, down my shirt into my bra, and in my hair. It was so bad that it pooled in my flip flop. My flip flops are currently soaking in the sink.

2. Less than 2 hours of sleep. The last time that I got less than 2 hours was in high school at the church over nighter. The morning after was rough. My life is one big morning after.

3. Not leaving the house after 6 pm. My life revolves around my son getting a good night sleep.

4. Not going on dates with my husband. Because that would mean leaving the house past 6 pm. For further explanation see #3.

5. More laundry that God himself could possibly ever clean. I have said it once and I will say it again, how can one child exponentially increase my loads of laundry. He is ONE LITTLE MAN!

6. Being touched, grabbed, poked, prodded, sucked on, snuggled, tugged at and groped every waking moment of the day, and no, not by my husband. That would be a welcome change. But by the end of the day I am too tired. For further explanation see #2

7. Poop, poop and more poop. Up his back, in his hair, down his leg. My child can poop. If there were an Olympic event on pooping, my child would win hands down. Because he could poop circles around any baby that dared go against him.

8. Insanity. Yes I am going crazy. Because in the middle of the night, I hear imaginary crying. I think I hear Dylan, I go into his room, and he is still and quiet. There are times that I know I have gone totally bonkers because I will hear Dylan while I am napping, I will sit up, listen again, and then realize that Jeff took Dylan to the store so I could rest. But I swear to you that I hear my baby's cries. Wow, I really am crazy.

9. A lightning fast baby who can crawl up the stairs in 3.4 seconds. I timed him. Okay that's a lie, but he is fast. Turn your head for a second and he is already out of the room and headed for the stairs. This is also why I lose weight so quickly. I chase this little climber all over the house.

10. Breastfeeding in public. Yes, I know, those of you that know me, know that I will totally feed him in the middle of a busy mall no problem. But I used to be way more terrified to show any part of my boob, side, top, anything. But, because Dylan literally refuses to be covered, I had to deal with it if I ever wanted to leave the house. Now, I would breastfeed in the middle of Times Square on New Years Eve. Because in my opinion, it is the most natural thing ever.

11. Eating anything I want and not gaining weight. This has not happened since high school. I used to be able to eat everything in sight and then fit into a size 4 jean. Okay fine I was a 6, but still. Today, because I have the little eating machine attached to my boob (in the middle of Times Square) at all times, I can eat anything. Tonight before dinner, I ate 6 handfuls of chocolate chips. Then for dinner I had a piece of pizza. Then I topped it off with a bowl of ice cream. And I am still not done eating for the night. I may have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or double stuf oreos, or brownies, or mashed potatoes, or garlic bread, or I could have chips and salsa. Wait, what was I talking about? I forgot. I am going to go raid the kitchen.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When I am stressed I.....

1. Talk, a lot. So much in fact that the people around me get annoyed. And not just normal annoyed, tune me out and want to hurt me annoyed. You think I talk a lot on a normal basis? Just wait...

2. Drink caffeine. Because I feel like I need more energy to deal with my a) screaming child b) my fussy child, and c) my overly tired child. This of course does not help with #1. Because as you can imagine, with more caffeine, I am likely to talk for hours on end without breathing. It has been known to happen.

3. Clean. Yes, I am Monica Geller. I clean obsessively when I am stressed. This is good because a) I am burning calories and b) the house gets super clean. Yep, heath inspector clean.

4. Want so badly to step into a hot bath with bubbles and tune out the world, but the little man that refuses to sleep, eat, or do anything remotely relaxing won't let me relax. Therefore, I turn to #'s 1-3

5. Mostly, though, when I am stressed, I eat. And let's be honest. This girl can eat. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, brownies, ice cream, string cheese (I know that this is not terribly exciting, but I don't pull it apart, I just shove the whole thing in my mouth. It is not attractive), oreos - double stuf, of course, chocolate chips (because they are the only chocolate in the house and better than nothing), crackers, chips and salsa. You name it, I will eat it when I am stressed.

The reason that I tell you this is because my child is currently fussing it out in his crib. He has been cranky all day long. He is overly tired. He is so tired in fact that he refuses to nurse, rest, sleep, or be calm. I have already had 2 brownies. These brownies were made less than an hour ago. They are supposed to be saved for tomorrow night bible study. Oops. This is why I do not have sweets in the house. Because they last all of 20 minutes before the shear temptation and smell over takes me and I give in and eat them. When I am stressed, the smell and temptation take over in less than 5 minutes. It is really quite a thing to behold.

The other reason I tell you this is because my house is perfectly clean. There is nothing to clean. Therefore I had to resort to eating. I blame my fat butt on the clean house. Stupid house.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Things I miss since becoming a mom

1. Sleeping in. This will always be on the top of every list. I love to sleep. Love it.

2. Martinis. I have not had a martini (a really good pomegranate one) for 2 years. We bought a Costco bottle of vodka right before we got pregnant. Note to those of you trying to get pregnant: buy a huge bottle of liquor. I think I found out I was pregnant with Brendan 2 weeks after we bought it. I only had one glorious martini. Sigh.

3. My cute body. Let's be honest. I am still a hot momma (and a very modest one) but the flimsiness and flabbiness I am told will never truly be gone. I have made my peace.

4. Taking naps. Alone.

5. Going to the bathroom. Alone.

6. Taking a shower. Alone.

7. Having unscheduled intimate moments with Jeff. How sad is it when you have to put sex on your calendar? 

8. Going out past 6 in the evening. Bed time is 7:30 for Dylan. The only exception is Wednesday night bible study. And that is only because we love our bible study group.

9. Only doing 3 loads of laundry a week. I hate laundry. Jeff and I used do a load of towels, a load of whites and a load of darks a week. That's it. Now I do at least 1 load a day of clothes and a load of diapers.

10. Eating a hot meal. Or getting to eat at all. Miraculously I have not lost a ton of weight with this method. I must eat in my sleep.

11. Watching tv without worrying that I am corrupting my child's innocence. I am so sick of Cars and Elmo. I just want to watch Sex and the City and not worry that Samantha is going to say (or do) something totally inappropriate.

12. Jeff turning to me and saying "Hey, let's go get a shake." or "Hey, you want to go (fill in the blank)?" and us actually being able to leave. The furthest we have gone without Dylan is to the mailbox, or to the backyard. Yeah I know, all you couples without kids, you are jealous of our crazy lives.

I may not get to pee alone, but, since becoming a mom, I have laughed so hard that I have almost peed my pants.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reasons why I could never be the next Bachelorette

Ok, so besides the obvious that I am happily married, here are a few more reasons:

1. I will never look that good in a bikini. Ever.

2. I am not a tramp. I have kissed a few guys. I have had boyfriends. But I am not a fan of kissing more than one guy in a week. Or a day. Or in an hour.

3. I can't pin on a boutonniere. I would either stab myself or the guy. Chris would have to hand out band-aids behind me.

4. I am a people pleaser. I hate making people sad. Which means that each rose ceremony would be awful. I would probably tear roses in half just to have enough for everyone.

5. I would giggle uncontrollably when Chris offered us the "fantasy suite". Even if I didn't have my morals, I would still not take the key because my mother would be watching the show. I am not about to let her see me act like a hussy.

6. I wear jeans and flip flops all the time. I am not about to walk around Hong Kong in high heels. 

7. I would love having all the cameras around, because you know I love the attention. But I would also not be able to stop asking if I looked fat. The camera adds 10 pounds, you know.

8. I love having attention (see #7) and would very much enjoy having 20 guys vying for my attention. But I would have a problem sending them home. Unless one of them was Bentley. He has got to go.

9. I don't stand over bridges and contemplate life quietly with cameras around. I get things done. I don't get all weepy thinking about my past loves.

10. I talk too much. ABC doesn't have enough available air time to run all the important stuff I have to say.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I dodged a bullet

Tonight I was listening to KLOVE radio on the way home from church. A man called up to ask for prayer. He said that his wife was pregnant and they lost the baby at 34 weeks. His wife developed HELLP syndrome and in addition to losing their baby, his wife is in critical condition.

I had HELLP syndrome with Dylan. I knew that it could be serious, but I didn't realize it could be life threatening. 

After I heard this husband on the radio talk about his situation, they played a song that says "Forever you are faithful, forever you are strong, forever you are with us, Forever." 

God is always with us. He may not give us the outcome we want. We may lose a loved one. 

He may put his healing hand over us and give us a healthy baby and keep us safe despite the doctors thinking otherwise.

But no matter what, God is with us.

I know that there are some of you that are going through the loss of a loved one. I have friends that have husbands overseas. I have a dear friend who's husband is going to be going overseas soon. Some of you are dealing with sickness. We all have something. But God is always there. Even when it seems hopeless. 

When Brendan was on this earth and sick and having surgery upon surgery, there were days that things seemed hopeless. But then God would give me a simple reminder of his faithfulness. No matter what, it is all apart of his plan. 

Call upon the Lord and he will give you peace.

The man on the radio is named Tim and his wife's name is Nancy. Please pray for them today.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My life in tv....

1. My So Called Wife- Poor Jeff, I am but a chubby, flabby version of my former self.

2. So You Think You Can Crawl?- Dylan has started crawling. He is into everything. He is fast, too. Don't turn your back, otherwise he will eat your cell phone. It is funny because he always leaves one leg dragging behind. He is a little gimpy. :)

3. Real Housewives of Knoxville- Lunch at Chick Fil A, play dates in the park, and shopping trips to Wal-Mart. Life is glamorous. The real high class days, I go to Target.

4. The Biggest Pooper- This one speaks for itself. (Dylan, not me.....)

5. Ugly Mommy- Dark circles, messy hair, and spit up on every outfit I own.

6. Extreme Makeover Home Edition- Every day is a home makeover. By the end of the day, the house has gone from messy, toys everywhere, spit up all over the carpet, to toys cleaned up, carpet salvaged, and spic and span!

7. 29 and Chubby- Yep, that's me. You have 2 kids in 2 years and tell me what your stomach looks like after the whole ordeal.

8. Law and Order Special Discipline Unit- Dylan don't touch that! Oh no not mommy's purse! Every day little man is exploring and learning. I just laugh and then realize that I should have baby proofed the house before now.

9. The Secret Life of an American Mother- some days I don't get out of my pjs. I will not wash my hair for a couple days, throw a flower in it and call it a day. Sometimes I will not take a shower. I will just throw on more deodorant and pray for the best.

10. The Late Late Show with Carrie Plemons- Yep, that show has been on for 9 months now, and I am guessing it will continue to air for another 18 years....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why I love staying at my in laws house

1. The food. Last night for dinner we had steak. Not just any steak, farm raised beef from their farm. I had filet mignon. It was amazing. This morning I am going to make eggs. Eggs that were laid from their chickens last night. Yummy!

2. Babysitters 24/7. Hey Carrie, want a nap? Want to pee alone? Want to take a shower without a child banging on the shower doors? Go for it!

3. Jeff's mom keeps a cookie jar. All the time. She is the best grandma ever! Dylan is going to love coming here once mommy lets him eat cookies. For now, I love coming here....although my weigh in at Weight Watchers is going to be tough this week, but whatever, I only had three. :)

4. They have cable. I finally get to catch up on my reality tv shows. The ones that aren't on Hulu like all the Bravo shows. Love it.

5. They have chickens. We get to feed the chickens. Dylan loves to feed the chickens. Well, he loves to watch mimi feed them.

6. Right next to the chickens are the cows. The cows that I am going to enjoy next fall. I have already selected my filet....

7. They have a Costco here. I am going to stock up. On what I do not know. But I am sure they are selling something that I just have to have. :)

8. They have a huge house. It is gorgeous. It is relaxing and the back porch looks out onto a pasture. The front porch looks out onto a field and the neighbors pasture and his 100 cows. If you squint, you can almost forget what century you are in.

9. Today I am getting a pedicure. This is kinda the same thing as #2, because Jeff and his mom are going to watch Dylan while I sit and get a foot rub and zone out.... Ahhhh

10. They have a scale. I have not owned a scale since I married Jeff. I left mine at my mom's house. So, it is nice to come here and make sure that the oreos have not completely taken over my body. And it is fun to see how much weight I lose breastfeeding. So far about 50 pounds from the final weight right before Dylan was born. I know, I know, I was a cow. Just go ahead and throw me out on the pasture.... :)

11a. It is like a mini vacation every time we come. I love it.

11b. I forgot one thing. They have Charmin toilet paper here. It is like wiping your tushy with a cloud. I love it. Not only do I get a mini vacation, but my tush does, too. :)

Well I have to go now and get ready for my pedicure. :) It's okay, you can be jealous.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How my time is spent as a mommy

There are 24 hours in a day. This is how I spend mine.

30 minutes changing diapers

1 hour doing laundry

1 hour cooking dinner and cleaning up

1 and a half hours breastfeeding

1 hour a day cleaning up after little man

30 minutes feeding little man new and yummy things (he likes peas!)

30 minutes (or less) watching tv

4 to 5 hours playing with little man

2 hours carrying little man in the sling and walking (the mall counts as exercise, right?) - side note- why can I never spell exercise correctly? Thank the lord for spell check.

1 hour putting Dylan to bed - sometimes more

2 hours shopping for groceries, baby items and baby proofing supplies

30 minutes total putting Dylan in the car seat, and taking him out, putting back in, then taking him out, etc, etc.

30 minutes eating my own food. I try to eat slowly and enjoy my food, but there is sometimes no way to do this. Also, most of the time I have forgotten to eat the last meal and once I sit down to eat, I am starving.

2 hours hanging out alone with Jeff. This is golden time. Jeff and I get to sit and enjoy each other's company and not have Dylan around to distract us.

15 minutes getting ready. This includes shower, makeup, hair, and picking out and putting clothes on.

15 minutes getting Dylan ready. This includes picking out clothes and attempting to put them on him. Squirmy little stinker!

1 hour rocking Dylan and calming him after waking up in the middle of the night crying.

1 hour sitting in bed wishing I could fall back to sleep.

and Finally....

3.5 hours of actual sleep

Welcome to my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I have been blessed. I thank the Lord for every minute I have as a mommy, because I know how quickly it can be taken from you.

Now I have to go because I am about to enjoy my 2 hours of alone time with Jeff. Adios!

Things I hate

1. Women who take a gorgeous "after giving birth" picture. Here is mine:

Not cute. Not even close.

2. I hate women who criticize your parenting approach that don't have kids. You don't even know. I used to think that moms that let their kids yell in a restaurant are bad moms. Then I became a mom. Nothing you do will make them quiet. And in the process of taking them out of the high chair to calm them down, there are moms giving you the "I feel your pain look", and non- moms giving you the "shut your kid up" look. If you aren't a mom, don't give judge me.

3. I hate it when people feel like they have to put you down to make themselves look better. Listen, I am not hurt by your words, I am sad for you. What sad pathetic little life must you lead in order to make me feel bad about myself? I know my personal failures, and having you point those out to me only makes you look like a tool.

4. I hate it when people judge me for breastfeeding. These boobies were made for this purpose. They were not made for my husband to use as fun bags, although that is a perk. If you did the research about breastfeeding and it's benefits, you would keep quiet.

5. I hate it when people judge moms that use formula. Some moms have no choice. Some moms have a choice and choose it because of one reason or another. But unless you are in their shoes, zip it.

6. I hate it when not so skinny ladies wear tube tops. I do not need to see your chub, I have my own, thank you.

7. When someone sees that your hands are full, you have a baby on one arm, groceries in the other, and with the magic that only happens when you are a mommy, you are pushing a stroller with the third hand, and they let the door slam in your face. Listen, I promise that nothing bad will happen if you hold the door. You will not die, you will still make it home in time for dinner, and I promise that if you do in fact hold the door, you will not get a nasty look from me. It is Tennessee, a southern state, a state that is know for polite people. Please don't make me regret moving here. Hold the darn door.

8. Skinny girls. Period.

9. Ironing. I hate it. I have put off ironing Jeff's work clothes for 2 weeks. I would rather fold an entire basket of clothes than iron one shirt.

There are more things I hate, but right now I have 4 pants and 6 shirts to iron. Crap.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


From left: Erin, Kelly, Katie,  Jessica, Sarah, me

These are my awesome friends. They were my bridesmaids. This picture was taken on November 18, 2004, 2 days before I got married.

So much has changed since this picture was taken.

First of all, Erin's hair was much more red back then. Although she still has 6 cats, and still has Sean. :)

Kelly is married and has a little girl the same age as Dylan. Her hair hasn't changed much. ;)

Katie is married, with 2 kids. She didn't know her hubby when this picture was taken. I am sure that he was off somewhere watching baseball. :)

Jessica is married as well now. She also didn't know her husband back then. Her hair is blonde now. And longer. 

Sarah has 2 boys, and a man in her life. When this picture was taken, she was dating someone else. With no kids. In fact, she told me she didn't want kids. HA! She is one of the best moms I know.

Me, well you all know the story. I met a Tennessee boy, fell in love, got married, and 6 years later had a baby boy.  Then 1 year later (11 months to be exact) had a second little boy. 

If you would have told this skinny, naive Carrie everything that would happen in the next 7 years of her life. I am not sure that she would have believed you.

But that's the beauty in life, the element of surprise.

Some things never change, though.

Erin is still one of my best friends. Even though we live 2,000 miles apart, we talk about once a week and try to catch up. She still has one of the biggest hearts, and would give you the shirt off her back. She went with me to pick out wedding dresses and helped me pick "the one". She has a beautiful voice. She sang at out wedding. It was wonderful. I think that I cried.

Kelly and I didn't talk much after I moved to Tennessee, but now we stay connected on Facebook. We exchange mommy advice and it seems like we go through the same milestones with our kids together. Right now it is teething. And we both just wish those darn teeth would just show up so we can get some peace and our kids would be less cranky!

Katie is still a good friend. She and I don't talk on the phone often because she is a busy working momma. But when we do talk, it is like no time has passed. We made our kids - Brendan and Carly - meet, once Brendan was out of the hospital, and all but forced them to like each other. It didn't go over well. Brendan made her cry. Katie is such an easy going person. Being around her makes me feel mellow. I long to be that calm some day, and not so high strung like I am now. Katie is my inspiration.

Jessica is the funniest friend I have. She can take the worst situation and make you laugh. Anything at all. Grandmother just died? She will make you laugh. I am not sure how she does it, but she has a light in her that makes others light up as well. We have known each other for a long, long, time. We would make Del Tacos runs in the middle of the night and listen to random music in my dad's 4- Runner. Jessica is the kind of friend that would do anything for you. She is always thinking about what she can do to make someone's day. Just thinking about her makes me smile because of the random things we have done together and the fun times that we have had.

Sarah was the first person I told when I broke up with my controlling ex boyfriend. He didn't want us to hang out, and so I didn't see her for a while. When I told her I broke it off, she didn't hold a grudge and even took me out drinking to celebrate my 21st birthday 6 months after the fact. Her second son was born the day that Brendan died. A week after she gave birth, she was at Brendan's memorial. A week. She has always been there for me as well. She is a wonderful mommy and a great friend.

I am a blessed woman. I have wonderful friends. 

So much has happened in the past 6 and a half years. But I wouldn't change a thing.

God gave me these trials for a reason. I am a stronger woman, wife and mother because of the things that have happened.

I wouldn't change a thing. Except perhaps to go back and tell myself to avoid the lure of Double Stuf Oreos.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My favorite moments with Brendan

1. Driving to Tustin in the middle of a tornado warning. I was supposed to meet a friend at Target. I didn't know if I should go home or keep driving. Brendan and I got to Target in one piece. He of course was oblivious. He fell asleep in the car and had no idea that anything was going on. My friend Stacey and her twins met us. It was her first time meeting Brendan. Her little ones were crying and Brendan just sat in my arms nice and happy. That was Brendan. He was always happy. 

2. Our first outing with Brendan. It was Saturday morning. Jeff and I brought Brendan home Friday. It was such a long day; getting used to the equipment, feeding him, getting him settled into his new routine, getting used to the idea that we were parents and we had to take care of a sick baby. We were exhausted. Friday night we each got like 20 minutes of sleep. We had very little food in the house. I think that we had cheese and pickles. So Saturday evening we decided, after eating all the cheese and pickles we could handle, that we needed food. We walked to Carl's Jr. We put Brendan in the stroller and headed on over. It was great. For a few minutes, we were a normal family. We had a guy at Carl's take a picture. We couldn't get Brendan in the picture. He was sleeping in the stroller and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't do it. So this is the picture:

3. The day we had Brendan baptized. Our friend and pastor Justin did it for us. He is the one that married Jeff and me. So we thought that it was only appropriate for him to baptize our first born. We didn't want people there, we just wanted it to be us and Justin. We did it at the pool in our apartment complex. It was the closest place that we knew of that had water. It was a beautiful day in January. We prayed together and then Justin held Brendan and poured the water over his head and baptized him. It was wonderful.

There are many moments that I loved with Brendan, but writing about them is making me sad. So I am going to stop here. I will write more soon.

Thanks for listening and for letting me keep Brendan's memory alive through my blog.