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.