Mama Carrie Makes

Monday Birthday

When I returned to California for the business trip, I made sure to stop by the home I grew up in to go through photos from my childhood and save the ones I wanted. That house is on the market, hopefully in the final stages of closing so my Dad can move on.

Time Warp Again

What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I had started a project. To collect the images from my youth and try to bring them together in a meaningful way. To take them out of books that live on the shelf and get them into my life, on the wall, into books that live on the coffee table and bring back happy memories.

Time Warp

As I look at myself 10, 20 and 30 years ago, what I’m struck with mostly is a great sadness. The memories are not very happy, and I am filled with grief for what could have been. That way lies madness, I know, but I feel the need to process this sadness and go through it now so I can be free of it.

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Friday Craft, Honeydo

Here at House Makes we are leveling up.

It’s time for KidMakes to become BigKidMakes, and she’s fighting it with every tear in her little body.

This year, we are focused on teaching KidMakes to put away her own clothes and empty the clean dishwasher. Right now, she would rather be in her room all day, hysterically crying, than complete the first of these tasks.

Dishes are not so big a deal.

As of this writing she has cried for 3 hours, had a snack, and then finished her chore in 45 minutes.

My solution to this situation, is craft based. Wait, hear me out…

When she gets scared at bedtime (or pretends to be scared to delay bedtime by 5 more precious minutes, we have a script. “What would Cyborg do if he were scared? What would Starfire do if she were scared?” It’s worked pretty well, so I am calling on the Teen Titans again for help.

These were created using images from Fanpop and PicMonkey, with which I am now officially in love. They will be going up in KidMakes’ room as soon as I get frames. I think I’ll dole them out wrapped up like gifts, one per weekend. Maybe she’ll associate her weekend chores with fun if she’s got her superhero friends to look at.

Pray for us.


Truthy Tuesday, Death Panels for All

Humans need to address the fact that they will not live forever, the earlier in life the better.  We need to experience death as a concept before we experience it as a reality. Ditto with grief. If we teach our children that death is a part of the life cycle for humans, and that we do not know how much time we have, perhaps our children would value every moment they’ve got.

Hospice. Words to RememberPhysicians need to be reimbursed for the time spent discussing this reality with their patients. So much of our healthcare budget is spent on treatments that might prolong a patient’s life beyond what they truly want, giving them quantity without quality. So many patients wish to die at home, but don’t know what a viable option that really is. So many do not want heroic measures used to save their lives, but because they’ve never discussed it with their loved ones (or even realized that the discussion needs to happen) they will be hospitalized and ventilated and fed through a tube well beyond what they would have wished.

Families need to have marching orders from their loved ones before their loved ones are unable to speak. Remember Terri Schiavo, anyone? Advance Directive planning is a blessing to the patient, family and provider. If you wish for heroic measures to be taken, that’s all well and good, but if not your family needs to know, and they need to know now. Your preferences will change with time and with your own health. This is an ongoing consideration for us all.

I will talk frankly with my child (in age-appropriate ways) about death and the fact that none of us get out of this aliveMinimizing fear through calm discussion and openess to her questions, willingness to go with her to the hard places.

How Doctors Die – The Health Care Blog

“It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.”

2012 Year in Review

Blogging has been a wonderful addition to my life. I can look back over the year that was and remember what happened, what I was interested in, what my reactions were.

Hospice. Words to RememberThis year did not get off to a stellar start. In January, it became really clear that our neighbors were noisy and inconsiderate. Our property manager was unhelpful at best. We tried for two months to work within the system to resolve our nightly noise problem, but by March we had moved again. Which I’m really grateful for, because we found a sweet little house that’s perfect for our little family. And quiet!

In April, I started blogging regularly, with a framework of serial posts.   Truthy Tuesdays, Tangle Tuesdays, Friday Craft, and eventually Wordless Wednesday. Developing these series has allowed me to find a blogging groove, and has also doubled my  traffic, from a little bit to a little bit more.  🙂  My goal for 2013 is to participate in more linky parties and double my traffic again.

In June, our family decided to break up with football.  After the Penn State revelations and Junior Seau’s suicide, and the reservations we already held about the culture of football and the long term implications for players and the people around them.  It was just too much evidence that football is dangerous to players and their families and creates an environment where the game is more important than human beings.  Honestly, I haven’t missed it at all.

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Friday Craft, Postponed

As I sat to write today’s post, I learned of another shooting, this time in Connecticut at an elementary school. Many are dead, including children.

There are just no words.  What could possibly compel someone to enter a school full of 5 – 10 year old children and start shooting them?!?

Just last night I was at my own kiddo’s school for the Winter Music Program, marveling at the super-human patience of the music teacher and the other teachers present to help get the show off the ground. The room was filled with the children’s energy, excitement, voices united in song.

Now, I have to push away the fear I feel that she is sitting in school right now, vulnerable.

This year has been difficult enough, and mustering the required good cheer has been challenging enough. I’m sorry to be such a downer today, but I am really struggling with this latest tragedy.  Hug your loved ones tight today, and love yourself. Perhaps if we could all learn that skill, the ability to love ourselves, we wouldn’t have as many of these acts of extreme violence.

I wish I had the magic…

Photo Collage. Life is Good


Truthy Tuesday, Unpretty

Pretty did not feel available to me. As a kid especially. I knew that I did not fit the mold.

Now, I feel safe because I am unpretty.  Invisible to predators. Unwanted by unsavory characters.

I want to teach my daughter that she is valuable and worthy of love whether she is conventionally pretty or not. That make up is not a required facet of femininity, but a choice. That pretty can mean something different to every person in the world. That she can choose what it means to be pretty.

I believe in the radical notion that every being on the planet deserves to love themselves as they are in this moment in time, fat or thin or tall or short or frumpy or fabulous or ‘perfect’ or ‘imperfect.’ Perhaps if we taught our children to love and take care of their bodies instead of chasing a certain body type they would love and take care of each other as well.

RESPECT. KINDNESS. COMPASSION. Needed now more than ever.

This truth has more baggage than I can deal with right now. To be continued…