Friday, October 25, 2013

Real in Red Heels

I am so excited to introduce a new special feature on my blog! My friend Kara has agreed to begin contributing to a (hopefully) weekly column we are going to call "REAL IN RED HEELS." Here is installment number 1. Stay tuned for hopefully more of a real chic woman who become a mom and now, has no idea where her red heels are!

Yes! That's me and my husband taken during pregnancy #1.

Hello webby friends! I’m Kara and I’m half the woman that our dear Wendi is. I am half of her height and have half as many children. Surprisingly, I am just as worn out, and she says that my two might be more exhausting than her four!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret ... I used to have it together. By “together,” I mean that my house was always clean according to my OCD standards, our dinners were homemade and fancy and my outfits usually matched and were actually a little bit stylish. Don’t get me wrong, my 5’0" self never modeled for Vogue and InStyle never called me for interviews, but I embraced fashion and used it as a way of expressing myself. I used to be a jet-setter and have traveled to many countries around the world. It’s a story for another day, but I even studied abroad in Africa, alone, at 21 years old. I did an internship in a second language and survived a military coup and malaria, simultaneously. I thought I was pretty tough, smart and independent. In many ways, I did possess those traits, but I was incredibly na├»ve when it came to love, marriage and babies in a baby carriage.

Then one cold, gray February day, I bore a son and became a mom. Other than a few awful HOURS of him crowning without any painkillers, it was a perfect day. 

(You read that right, sweet virtual sisters, he crowned for 2.5 hours but wouldn’t come out.)  

The second day, he started to cry and he wouldn’t sleep. He screamed all night long until I was physically shaking from exhaustion. My husband wasn’t in the hospital room that second night, because he was home sleeping after being at the hospital for 48 hours. He was a resident physician (with Wendi’s stellar hubby), and he was busy delivering another woman’s child when I arrived at the hospital. 

(I should have known then that this parenting journey was going to be the adventure of all adventures!)

My son cried for weeks and weeks and didn’t sleep through the night until 11 months old. It turned out that he had reflux and was an early teether, but in the moment, I was confused and so. very. tired. I took four showers a day, because we were both covered often in spit-up. I was clean, but a rumpled mess. I lived in t-shirts and yoga pants.  

Okay, I lied.

I saved the yoga pants for my dressing up days when people were coming over and wore t-shirts, giant hoodies and pajama pants most of the time. My chic wardrobe turned into cottons only and my most frequent accessory was spit-up. My hair was most frequently fashioned into a bun, but not a beautiful ballerina bun, more like a sloppy knot on top of my head away from the death-grip of sticky baby hands.

I looked awful for an entire year and this is from the girl who wore high heels to the L&D and left the hospital in a dress, leggings and high heels with my baby in a Moby Wrap.


I did that.

We even stopped at the store so we could pick up fresh groceries on the way home. I literally wandered the aisles of the commissary with an ice pad under a dress in high heels with a baby strapped to me.
You are actually laughing out loud, aren’t you?
It cracks me up now.
I started to get my groove back by the time my son turned two years old. I had caught up on my sleep again, reorganized my house and started doing creative things like baking cakes with fondant, taking pictures and wearing socially-acceptable outfits.
It was great.
Then, I got pregnant again.
Back to baggy clothes and leggings and practical shoes like ballet flats (or slippers.) I live in a cold, northern climate and I did the thing that I swore I would never do and bought Uggs.
Okay, I lied again.
They aren’t real Ugg’s, because those babies are expensive. I wore knock-off Ugg’s -- Fugg’s.
Here I am with a 3.5 year old wild child of a son and a sassy, spunky 6 month old. I spent three hours getting them to sleep tonight, and my husband is gone again. He’s a good man, but the military trumps our marriage so I’ve been a single-parent for the past month. During which, my lovely baby has started teething fast and furiously and has stopped sleeping through the night.
Who needs sleep?
In all honesty, I looked at the clock this afternoon expecting it to say 6:30pm and it said 3:30pm. Ahhh. Have you ever had one of those days? The kind when you think the power must have gone out and messed up your clocks, because there is NO WAY that it could ONLY be 3 o’clock in the afternoon?
I am at that crazy place again.
It’s the tired, frumpy, try-not-to-be-grumpy mom stage. My hair is back in a bun, my pants have babyfood on them, and I have only worn make-up three times this month. I should be legally required to wear mascara and concealer under my eyes, but I haven’t, because I don’t want to waste the time or product on a preschooler and a baby. I have a joke that the other parents at my son’s preschool must think we are homeless. If you think I am joking, these are the cartoons that have been sent to me by my friends and neighbors THIS WEEK!

I hope they made you smile. If you have little kids at home, I hope you feel encouraged. I want to normaliz mama’s!
In line with me "keepin' it real", here is my maternity photo from pregnancy #2. A far cry from pregnancy #1, don't you think?


Nancy, Jeremy, Jack, and Julianne said...

This is great Kara! Welcome to the blogging world.

Brittny said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!! Because I remember watching you through pregnancy #1 and wondered, "Is she ever going to look like the rest of us?" Hahahaha!!! And I didn't know you wore heels to AND from the hospital!?! I love you for this, and many other wonderful reasons. :)

Anonymous said...

This was hilarious!!Thanks for sharing!...I am a grandma but with 5 grandkids (of my daughters) and 2 from my son, I can recall similar experiences in their lives!Parenting is certainly not for the faint of heart! You have a gift Kara, just like Wendi, to write colorfully and make us smile! I enjoyed it totally! :) Nancy

leina williams said...

Love it! Great post :)

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Melissa Joy said...

I seriously love this: my mama-of-3-littles OCD self. :)