January 25, 2013

Forget everything I said before.

About quitting smoking, I mean.

From January 14-today, the 25th, I have considered quitting smoking to be easy. A cinch. No problem. This is because I was using an electronic cigarette to curb my nicotine cravings and keep me from smoking. In other words, I quit cigarettes, not nicotine.

I told anyone that would listen that the electronic cigarette I had now was the last one I would buy. That I only hit it a few times a day anyway, and that I wasn't worried about when the thing would finally quit on me. I welcomed it, even. Can't wait for it to die so I can really get healthy, I said.

Today, when I went to take my first puff off the e-cig around 12:30PM (after bragging that I had waited so late in the day), my mouth nearly drooling at the prospect, something awful happened.
Something terrible, awful, and heart-wrenching happened.
The little light at the tip of my pseudo-cigarette started blinking...the amount of vapor suddenly diminished...and the thing died on me. Without even letting me give it one last little puff, a friendly "Good bye" drag, nothing. Okay, I wanted to quit smoking, so I did. And then I started using these things, which isn't as bad, but it's still not great. I get that. I just feel like it was so sudden. I feel like nicotine has just decided to never call me after the wonderful time we spent together, or worse, like it's breaking up with me over text or IM. Is this karma? Nicotine, don't you love me anymore?

I love to make connections, so this is the analogy I have for quitting nicotine and cigarettes:
Quitting smoking is like childbirth.
You know you have to do it, but really dread it.
You embarrass yourself by acting crazy, cursing more than usual and saying "Give me drugs!" a lot.
Your husband doesn't want to be in the same room when it's happening, but will because, well, he has to.
Video cameras are strictly prohibited when it's happening, because I don't look good in hospital gowns or addict-mode (Maybe I'll just drive to market and get a pack. NO. I can't! Oh my God, should I just go and get it over with. Why aren't you stopping me!? I almost made a huge mistake! Do you want to ride with me though? Because I think I need just one).

So, I realize that now the true test begins. Now I will see if I (and my marriage, lol) have the determination to stand up to real, live nicotine withdrawls. Let the headaches, cleaning frenzies, and attitudes begin! Raise your hand if you're glad you don't live with me. Guard your face and genitals if you do.


January 23, 2013

Liberty or DIE!!!!!!!!!:

Check out the new Liberty or DIE! blog. More will be added soon, and his interesting mind will amaze and astound you...

Right now, however, there is just a picture that makes me laugh and laugh. :)

January 22, 2013

Breaking up with cigarettes. To the left, to the left

    When you're a stay at home mom who just quit smoking, you have to replace those blessed 7-minute breaks you used to take every 2 hours with something enjoyable. Or else you'll have a stroke. A lot of people might be surprised to find out that I used to be a smoker, and that's because I never liked announcing it. Some people can be judgmental, and when you already wake up coughing and hoarse, judgment is the last thing you need. Am I right? Anyway, the point is, my husband and I decided to quit smoking so we could be better examples for our daughter, improve our health, smell better, and not die. I ranked those in order of importance, by the way. This is the 3rd attempt I've made to quit smoking. First, when I was 18 and wanted to stop before I got "in too deep." Second, when I got pregnant. And this time, when I realized that paying $2000 a year to shorten my life span was optional (so I'm choosing not to).

    The point of telling you this wasn't to shame current smokers or hurt feelings. I'm a firm believer in the phrase "To each his own." I'm telling you this because I wanted to share the great methods I've been using to curb my cigarette cravings and get healthier.
First, I bought a disposable electronic cigarette (E-cig) in menthol flavor and started cutting back on cigarettes. I set my quit date for January 13, 2013, and I held on for dear life as that date approached. I wasn't just addicted to the nicotine, but also to the hand-to-mouth motion of smoking, those wonderful breaks conveniently placed throughout my day, the stress relief, and being able to go outside often. I can still do those things with the E-cig, minus the carbon monoxide and tar. Electronic cigarettes are available in different nicotine levels, so you can slowly taper off instead of quitting cold turkey (read: Mama's not going crazy). The vapor that they produce is not toxic or harmful and tastes much better than smoke.

These are what the electronic cigarettes look like:

   Aside from the electronic cigarettes, you know what helped the most while trying to quit, starting a new semester of college, raising a 2 year old, and writing for 4 newspapers? Coffee and tea. I can't sing their praises enough. Sure, maybe I'm just transferring my addiction from nicotine to caffeine, but caffeine is cheaper. Plus, I strongly feel it makes me a nicer person. I decided to treat myself and buy expensive coffee because of all the money we're saving. And expensive coffee tastes so much better than cheap coffee. A friend of my husband's gave us a Bodum Assam Teapot with some awesome loose-leaf teas, which I've also been using the crap out of. 

    So, that's how I got through those harrowing first three days. I pretended I hadn't quit smoking and used the electronic cigarette in its place. But those things get incredibly expensive, so I couldn't keep using them for long. As I write this, I am on my last e-cig and I only use it about 3 times a day. I haven't hurt anyone, gone through terrible withdrawls, or had a mental breakdown. Yet. Wish me luck!

Email: interruptedmom@gmail.com
Website: www.motherinterrupted.com

"Living in the future": January 20-26

Mother, Interrupted
by Debra Carpenter

2013. It sounds awfully futuristic, doesn’t it? And yet, here we are, still driving gas-powered vehicles, dealing with natural disasters, and spoiling our children. Where is my hovercraft? Why isn’t there a “Fold” button on my dryer yet? Things have changed a lot in the 21 years that I’ve been alive, but they haven’t really changed all that much. Let me demonstrate.

This is a hovercraft the guys on Mythbusters built.
It doesn't look futuristic or classy. I love it.

Children haven’t changed. It may be more common for six year olds to wear mini skirts and lipgloss these days, but I won’t get into that. Children still love to learn, be creative, and make messes. Only God knows the extent of those messes they love to make, because some are well hidden from Mom. Oh, hello, crusty, moldy oatmeal inside a backpack behind the bed. I wondered where you got off to!

Spankings haven’t changed. They’re still there (sorry, kids). Although, I must say, the spankings that were around when I was a child seemed a little scarier and more effective than the spankings I occasionally dole out today--but only when I have to, and my husband isn’t home. Just give me a badge that says “Good Cop.” 
Side note—once, when my mom was going to spank me in the grocery store, I started yelling out “Please don’t beat me! Please don’t beat me, Mama!” I can still remember the stone-cold Mom-stare those words earned me, and that was scarier than any spanking.

Reminder: Good cop= Me. Bad cop= Dad.
For short, good= mom, bad= dad.

Marriage hasn’t changed, as far as I’m aware. It’s still the only way you can move in with your significant other without your mom offering her extreme disapproval. Marriage is also still the best way to stalk and find out every single detail about another person, with the only catch being that you have to find out every single detail about that person, complete with their bathroom habits and strange sleep-talk. Marriage is actually the reason the phrase “TMI” (too much information) was assembled, most likely.

The phrases we use to threaten our children are relatively the same today as 50 years ago.
You better watch it! You’re skating on thin ice! Wait until your father gets home! I’m giving you until the count of 3! You’ve got 2 seconds to get your butt over here! You’re cruising for a bruising! If you are lying to me, I WILL find out!
Funny, those phrases sound so much scarier when they are being yelled out an angry mom’s mouth.

Scary. For the record, I've gotten some pretty wicked spankings with a wooden spoon.

I find comfort in identifying ways that our fast-paced society still hints of the simpler times. My mother came from a family of 12 (you read that right!) and has some wonderful stories about her childhood and life. Most of them involve some of the elements I listed in this column. As I raise my daughter with my husband, I try to stay grounded in those beliefs and instill the same values and morals in her that were taught to me. Well, all the good ones, at least.

Love, Mom

Debra is a young housewife and mother transitioning from wild to mild and braving the waters of PTO meetings and play dates. This is harder than it sounds.
You can email her at interruptedmom@gmail.com or visit the website at www.motherinterrupted.com

January 16, 2013

Home Video Epiphany: Mother, Interrupted Jan 13-19

By Debra Carpenter

On Christmas Eve, when my husband, daughter and I celebrated Christmas at my mom’s house, we were sent home with triple the stuff we arrived with. The best items? Home videos from my childhood. My mom encouraged me to take some of them home, saying that I had my own family now and should keep them around to show my daughter (or for my husband to use as serious blackmail). I had to dig out the VHS player and sit in my daughter’s room to watch them, but the things I found, and realized, made it worth it.

            As I sat in my daughter’s tiny bedroom (on a Disney princess pillow, no less) and watched our family vacations, my spontaneous performances, recitals and talent shows, and times when my parents just filmed me while I slept or colored at the table, I couldn’t help but  tear up and wonder what happened to the little girl on screen. Did she have any inkling that she would end up to be so lucky, with a handsome husband who truly loved her and a beautiful daughter that thought she hung the moon? I had to pull it together because the sound quality on those old VHS tapes isn’t the greatest, and I had to be totally silent to hear anything. Plus, it would be so embarrassing if my husband saw me sobbing at a video of me in a poodle skirt, singing a doo-wop song at my 2nd grade talent show.

            Sitting in the living room of my childhood home, my mom is recording a conversation between my dad and I. I’m 4 years old and (evidently) obsessed with belly buttons. As I repeatedly lift up my shirt to show my belly button to the camera, my dad tries to get my attention. I say, “Not right now, Daddy. I’m on Candid Camera!” He says, “Debra, someday, maybe in 20 or 30 years, you will look back at this video. Why don’t you talk to me so you can have something nice to remember?” When I watched that part, chills ran down my spine. Here I was, 20 years later, doing exactly what he had predicted. And while I did wish that I had been a little more conversational and less “Girls Gone Wild,” the video still had an incredible impact.

            It only took me 2 days to get through all the videos. When I finished them, I put them into a box and placed in on the bookshelf. It all seemed very symbolic to me. My childhood was fun, it was warm and happy, and it molded me into the woman, wife, and mother that I am today. But I can’t put my focus on the past. After all, I’m busy making memories for my daughter and recording home videos for her to watch in 20 years. Maybe she will be sitting in her daughter’s room (on a Disney princess pillow, no less) when she puts in the movie, sees how much love and attention we gave her, and tries to cry quietly so her husband won’t hear. Maybe she will wisely put those videos on her bookshelf when she’s done so she can get back to what’s most important—the present. And maybe she will have a clearer understanding of how much her father and I love her, and know that we love her enough to record even the silliest and most mundane moments, because those are the moments that really make up your childhood.


Debra is a young housewife and mother transitioning from wild to mild and braving the waters of PTO meetings and play dates. This is harder than it sounds.
You can email her at interruptedmom@gmail.com or visit the website at www.motherinterrupted.com

Introduction, Mother, Interrupted: Jan 6-12

“How huge is my belly going to get?”
            I’m sure that we’ve all asked ourselves this question at least once. After Christmas dinner, when we step on the scale, or in my case, when I found out I was expecting my first child. Sure, I was also thinking about other, more serious things, like our financial stability and what color I would paint the nursery, but the belly definitely crossed my mind. That moment, when you first learn that you will become someone’s mother, is filled with emotions. Happiness, fear, hopefulness, confusion, impatience—they’re all running through your mind at once, and it’s hard to think of much else for the remaining 9 months. In fact, those emotions, coupled with the growing belly, make it hard to sleep most nights. It’s like waiting for a Christmas gift that you would give anything to have a peek at.
            Some days, I loved being pregnant. This was usually when some kind soul would give up their seat in a crowded waiting room so I could sit down. Or when I was able to cry my eyes out during Titanic without (much) shame, using my rampant hormones as an excuse. Those hormones really come in handy. No, I can’t go to the grocery store today—I’m an emotional wreck. Can’t make dinner, either. Or wake up before 11:00 AM. I can’t lie to you, though—sometimes being pregnant was no picnic. Instances that come to mind include knocking expensive things over with my protruding stomach, throwing up the most delicious pickles and ice cream I’d ever eaten (those hormones!), and sobbing over a Huggies diaper commercial. We tend to forget these not-so-rosy times after the baby is born, which results in child number 2 or 5.
            How rude of me! I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Debra. I grew up in Lebanon, TN and I think I’m a better person because of it. Going through life not knowing what David’s Pizza tastes like, wading in the tiny pool at Don Fox Park, or spending the night in the Emergency Room at UMC wouldn’t be much of a life at all. I’m a 21 year old wife and mother who hula hoops and sings loudly. I am a junior in college and I love to write and cook, just not at the same time. I’ve been called unpredictable and occasionally absent-minded. What was I talking about again?
            My daughter happens to be the most spirited and hilarious child this side of the Mississippi. She is the reason I started writing this column—to chronicle the weirdness of my life in a form that could be appreciated by fellow moms and human beings. I am the Mother, Interrupted. Why? Because every task, idea, thought process, or shower I’ve taken since I became a mom has been cut short, or interrupted. Before you blame my daughter, know that sometimes, the interruption comes from my husband. He occasionally needs help locating an object 3 inches from his face or not burning dinner. Mother, Interrupted was born of good intentions and a smidgen of wit. It’s no coincidence that “Good Intentions and A Smidgen of Wit” would make an excellent band name.
smid·gen (noun): a small amount
            I’m inviting you to join me in taking a non-traditional look at parenting. I’ll try to keep bragging to a minimum, even though my daughter is a genius (okay, that’s the last time, I promise) and I can now successfully make about 15 meals with my eyes closed. Not that I’ve actually tried. Maybe you can add “reading Debra’s column” as one of the many important reasons you choose to read the Lebanon Democrat, and if not, I’ll just pretend you are.


Debra is a young housewife and mother transitioning from wild to mild and braving the waters of PTO meetings and play dates. This is harder than it sounds.
You can email her at interruptedmom@gmail.com or visit the website at www.motherinterrupted.com

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