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Thursday, August 29, 2013

I’ll just let a little out…

Today we have Ronda from Mrs. Doherty Unleashed. She and I met via Twitter and instantly fell in love. Seriously, she rocks.

Anyway, enjoy.

It was a beautiful spring day in 2003 and I still considered myself a newlywed. We finally owned our first home. A modest 2 bedroom 1 bath house in the New Jersey suburbs. Perfect for us. No kids yet.  Just spunky Norman, our yellow lab. We had lots of friends that would stop by and visit without warning and we encouraged that. We actually loved that. Friends have always been a big part of our life. We spent a lot of time in our basement back then. It was our hang out room. We used it to watch sporting events, shoot pool and throw darts. Occasionally, we would use the space to enjoy a frosty pint. We had a futon for a couch and we were ok with that. It was comfortable and oddly enough the arm rests were a perfect place to rest a pint. It was a man cave before man cave’s were hip. A portion of the basement was dedicated to the laundry room.  It was a separate area closed in with a wall and a door. It was functional and we could close to the door to hide our laundry room mess or muffle the sound of the washing machines while watching television.

We had so many good memories in that house but there is one memory that still makes me smile. I like to consider it a right of passage in a marriage. It was a Sunday afternoon and my husband "Ming" was watching the early football game. Unannounced to me, he invited a few of his buddies over. The Patriots were playing that night and I wanted to relax and enjoy the game with him so I took advantage of the afternoon to get some laundry done. The laundry room section was the one part of the basement that was a little dark and scary. A huge boiler took over half of the room . It was very old and had cob webs all over the backside of it. I knew they were there but I wasn’t walking behind it to clean them off. We probably should have replaced that old boiler but we were young and every penny counted. Along with the old boiler and cob webs, lighting was another issue. We had a small basement window in the laundry room that overlooked the driveway and allowed some light to come in but on cloudy days or at night the only option was a pull chain light. On this particular Sunday, I had tons of laundry to do. It got lonely in that drab laundry room so I was folding laundry with the door open. I could hear Ming clapping and carrying on about the football game. He entertained me. I was folding away and I had just started the third load in the washing machine and started drying the second load when it happened.

Oh no!!! Here we go again! I should not have had Mexican last night. This always happens. It’s a sort of delayed response and I know it will happen yet I keep eating it. I loooove it. Melted cheese and salsa….mmmmmm…how can you say no? I heard a gurgle and then felt a sharp pain. I think I may have even turned a little pale. I sat down on an old wooden bench and held my stomach for a minute and then I got restless and began pacing. I knew what I needed to do to feel better but I avoided things like that as a newlywed, especially when we were together in the same room. Where was he anyway? I peeked around the corner. There he is. I can see him now, completely engrossed in football. Multiple televisions blaring. He doesn’t even know I’m down here. Perfect! I sneak back into the laundry room and gently close the door…..sweating now. It’s loud in here. The washing machine is spinning and the dryer is humming. He won’t even hear it. I’ll just let a little out at a time. I relaxed my stomach muscles and let it go. It was supposed to be dainty, controlled and light…. but it had power. Lots of power. Like a fog horn or something? I don’t even know. It had a life of it’s own. It scared me. I actually got out of its way. I mean…I immediately felt embarrassed and I was the only one who heard it?????? [I think to myself] “Wow! That was crazy. A little louder than I imagined it would be…. that’s for sure! Mmm? Well? I definitely feel better but what was that thing?” [shaking my head in disbelief and disgust]

I grab a clean t-shirt and begin to fold it and then it gets quiet outside the laundry room. Ming is asking me something. The televisions are muted. Uh oh….panic sets in. [I think to myself] “Did he hear me? Noooooo? He couldn’t have heard. Could he? The door was closed, the TV was blaring and the laundry was going. There is no way! Oh god. He can’t come in here. It’s still fresh. He might smell it. He will have no respect for me. Quick! [heart racing] Answer him! Answer him now. I yell through the door “What honey?” Then I hear his question “Is Paul here?” Confused I answer “No honey!” [thinking: "Paul???] Then he scares the daylights out of me and swings the laundry door open. [thinking to myself] “Lie and deny, lie and deny.” He looks in my eyes and asks “What did you just say?” I smile and respond “Nothing. I don’t even know what you are talking about?” I check on the clothes in the dryer and ignore that he is still staring at me. He puts his arm on my shoulder. “I heard you. You said something. What did you say?” I answer in an irritated way, “I did not say a word! Go watch the game.” Now he is confused and we argue. Yes, you did! Is Paul here?”  “What are you talking about? No… Paul is NOT here!” He steps around me and looks out the laundry room window at the driveway to see for himself and prove me wrong. “mmm? I guess he’s not here.  But…I heard you say it?”  [I'm giggling now] “Say WHAT? Dude? Let it go!” Then he repeats what he swears he heard me say in his deepest baritone voice. ”You just said: Paaaaaaaaaauuuuuuullll! I heard you!”

An uncomfortable pause as I am at a loss for words. It all makes sense to me now. I start giggling and the more I think about what happened…the more I giggle. The giggles snowball into a full-fledged laugh and within seconds,  I’m laughing so hard that no sound is coming out. Ming is annoyed, confused and wondering if Paul came and left or if I know something that he doesn’t know about Paul. “What the hell is so funny?” he asks. I try to talk but I’m laughing too hard. He laughs too because he feels left out and I look like I’m having fun. What????” he says with a smirk. Then I tell him….I have to…I know he will never let me live it down but I tell him. “Well you see?… I didn’t actually say 'Paaaaaaauuuuuuuull' but…. I might have….accidentally… farted it, maybe?  Apparently…my ass speaks its own language? Who knew?” [My confession was followed by an uncomfortable, stuttered giggle as I await his response.]

I’m not sure if he was embarrassed, relieved, grossed out or impressed but he started laughing too. Thank goodness! We laughed until our bellies hurt and tears were pouring out of our eyes. He hugged me in a sweet way because he knew I was mortified. I reassure him, “I am still a lady, ya know?” He raises his eyebrows like I’m not being honest and kept hugging me anyway. It was a right of passage. That magical day when you admit to your spouse that you are human and you do occasionally fart. Since that day in 2003, I can’t even look at a person named Paul without giggling. It doesn’t matter if it’s Paul the postman, Paul at the grocery store or Paul the catholic priest, they will all forever be [in a deep baritone voice] “Paaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuul” to the Doherty’s.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life as a Teen Mom

Today we have Ashlee from Momchalant. She is adorable. And wise well beyond her years. You'll love her.

Anyway, enjoy.

I had my son as a teenager. I was very dependent on my parents for just about everything in my life. I didn’t even know how to cook ramen noodles if that says anything.

My boyfriend and I moved in together to get a taste of adulthood before we entered parenthood. Thankfully, we didn’t rip each other’s heads off. But I’ll admit, two years later and we’re still trying to figure everything out. Being an adult is harder than it looks.

Being a teen mom has taught me a lot. I’ve seen the good and the bad sides of it.

So I present to you 5 good/bad things about being a teen mom.

5 Good Things About Being A Teen Mom
1. If my son tries to pull a fast one on me, I probably pulled that myself three years ago, so I’ll always be two steps ahead of him.
2. I can help other young women in my situation. And scare the ones that are too stupid to put a condom on by showing them a picture of my son pooping in the bath… I bet you they’ll be wearing condoms in no time.
3. My son gave me a purpose and helped me figure out what I want to do in life. I didn’t even have to attend college or change my major 3,000 times.
4. I believe being closer in age will give my son and I a different, stronger kind of relationship.
5. I bond with young women and older women. While I have being a teen mom in common with the younger women, I also simply have being a mom in common with the older women.

5 Bad Things About Being A Teen Mom
1. The judgmental comments. People never stop bitching about what they think is “wrong”.
2. I lost all but two of my friends. Well, I should say “friends” because the real friends dealt with my raging hormones and stayed inside with me for 10 months.
3. I don’t have my teenage body anymore. I used to be that girl that could eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner without gaining even half a pound. Now the cheeseburgers go straight to my love handles and muffin top.
4. Life is really expensive. I was only a kid myself so the financial struggle has been heavy.
5. Sometimes, I miss my youth. I miss being carefree, going to music festivals, and doing what I wanted when I wanted.

Even through the bad times, being a mom, no matter your age, is freakin' awesome. I may get some evil glares and rude remarks for being a teen mom thrown my way, but at the end of the day, I’m at home laughing and smiling with my son.

You can also find Ashlee on:

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life as a Stay at Home Prisoner

Today we have Christie from He Took My Last Name. She is awesomesauce. I have been following her for a while. You should too.

Anyway, enjoy:

Hi. My name is Christie, and I supposedly blog at He Took My Last Name. I say supposedly because since the birth of my son I just haven't been blogging much. Now I am attempting to get back into it and why not do a guest post for Julie. Right? Right.

A bit about me. I am a SAHP. That is "stay at home prisoner" for you uninitiated. Lots of parents stay at home with their children, and lots of parents are great at it. I enjoy being home with my son, don't get me wrong, but I am not a parent. I am a prisoner. I've been a stay at home prisoner for about 27 months now - my son is 18 months so that means I've been stuck in my third floor apartment for my entire pregnancy, birth and my son's whole life.

What I mean by prisoner is that we are a one car household. Which is okay, lots of families are one car households. I suppose the moms who only have one car probably drop their hubbies off at work or they use public transportation or whatever. That's good for them, but I don't care about them. This is about me and how I am constantly one step away from losing my damn mind.

Disclaimer: I really do enjoy being a stay at home mom, and most days I don't mind staying at home all the time. It's just those certain days that really drive me up the wall. I just really need a freakin' car.

Here is a glimpse of my special corner of hell and the freaks who inhabit it with me.

The Players

1. Husband Brian and I have been married for four wonderful years and he's a great provider and a huge geek. Win.
2. Spawn Drake is my 1.5-year-old son. Enough said.
3. Socially Awkward Penguin This is my dog, Max, who is a shelter rescue. He is jumpy, awkward and neurotic.
4. Lord of All Loki is my cat who was originally a shelter rescue that a friend gave to us. He is loud and bossy and likes me best.

Let The Games Begin (and may the odds be ever in your favor - they aren't, but let's be optimistic!)

The first three hours of the day start at 5 am. I like to call this Roulette because I am never quite sure what order things will happen in, but it's always some combination of the following:

1. Making oatmeal because my husband can't operate the microwave
2. Packing his lunch because I need to prove my self-worth
3. A temper tantrum (can be a child or either adult)
4. A urine soaked toddler
5. A cat singing the song of his people
6. A dog having a nervous episode
7. Bubbles
8. Not enough caffeine
9. Too much caffeine
10. Another temper tantrum, just to round it off to an even number
11. Toast flung as far as the eye can see

Then, my husband takes our only vehicle to work because he hates his co-workers and refuses to carpool, so I am stuck in the house until 3 pm. With a toddler. Who also gets cabin fever.

When Drake wakes up, we play Terrorize the House. It's a great little game. Have you played it? No? Well I will teach you. First, you pull up Netflix and put on a show that your kid loves and that you hate. Got one? Good. Mine's Pocoyo. It's like crack to my kid and I am so thankful Stephen Fry narrates it otherwise I would stab my own eardrums just for shits and giggles. Next, Mom lays on the couch and derps around on her iPhone. This lets the toddler go absolutely ape shit over the show, throwing his toast and milk and toys around and stamping them into the carpet. Hang on - this is the part that gets really exciting! - Mom dozes off. Just for a minute or five. This is when the real fun begins. Now that Mom is momentarily out of it, Toddler can do all sorts of fun things like: steal the PlayStation controller and turn off Netflix; feed the dog; feed the cat; play in the animals' water dishes; play in the toilet; chew on some cords. (Yum! We suggest Mom's iPhone charger for maximum hilarity); find Mom's happy pills and open the child-proof cap, dumping the contents everywhere and then throwing them in the air to make it rain "Not Give A Fucks". Mom's internal alarm goes off at this point and she wakes up with a start, screaming Toddler's name and gasps in horror as she watches him reach down his shitty diaper and smear his poop hands all over the dog as he laughs maniacally.

Then it's lunch time.

After lunch (which was a nutritious handful of floor-raisins and potato chips), this is about the time I seriously consider becoming a hobo and wandering the countryside like a vagabond and wondering how far I can get before I come to my senses. Usually it is by the time I get to the door.

Now if it's a really nice day outside, I will let my toddler out on the balcony and he and I will sit out there and do finger paints or play Don't Touch the Bikes. That's a fun little game too, and I usually lose! Because no matter how many times I say Don't Touch the Bikes, they get touched. A lot. Stop molesting the bikes. If I am really, really, really lucky, I get a phone call from my husband. This is great, because I love talking to adults. The problem is, he works in a factory and I can't hear shit because I've already poked out my eardrums over Pocoyo. DAMMIT.

I start counting down the hours until my hubby gets home and then when he gets home, I pounce faster than a cougar on a college boy. I AM READY TO LEAVE MY PRISON. Warden, do I get to do some community service? Can I get out on parole? We go to the mall and derp around there, while my son SCREAMS HIS FOOL HEAD OFF at god only knows what. Probably pissed off he didn't get to drive. Whatever. Shut it.

Then we go back home because my family is hungry. Again? Didn't I just feed you assholes earlier? Oh that was last night. You mean I have to do it again? Fuck.

Then I force my husband to watch my son while I go to Weight Watchers once a week and most nights I force him to watch him while I hide in my room, sob and fall asleep. The end. Oh wait, no it's not, because I get to get up and do it again! Starting at 3 am! Roulette, anyone?

About the Author:

Despite being driven insane from lack of contact with the outside world, Christie enjoys the finer things in life, like cheese fries and wearing pajamas all day, as well as the occasional slug of vodka straight from the bottle. You can follow her on Twitter for more fun.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Postpartum Depression

Someone anonymous and and very brave bared their soul for you guys. Send her virtual hugs and shit. She needs them.

Here it is:

My post-partum depression started when I was 2 cm dilated. To say that I had a traumatic birth experience would be to utter a great understatement. I will spare you the gory details of my “birth story”, but here are the finer points:

I was induced because of high blood pressure, turned out I had pre-eclampsia. My labour was 38 hours. 38. Thirty fucking eight. Started Thursday night, ended Saturday morning. The sun kept going down and coming up and I felt like “what the fuck is going on here, someone cut this god-damned baby out of me!!!!”.

I took an epidural, but it didn’t work. They cranked up my drugs to way past what they’d use for a C-section. No dice. They added extra painkillers to the epidural, painkillers so strong the nurses aren’t allowed to administer them, an anesthesiologist has to do it. Still no dice. The anesthesiologist was very sorry, but there was nothing more he could do.

My mood sank like a stone. I kept telling people I was feeling depressed. I told them it was a really bad thing for me to get depressed during the birth because I’m at very high risk of post-partum depression (for all sorts of super awesome reasons), and being depressed during the birth more or less turns that risk into a certainty.

I had this shit in my birth plan. My psychiatrist’s cell number and everything.

An o.b. told me the baby was fine, and I should just focus on the present and worry about post-partum when I was post-partum.

Easy for you to say, bitch! You’re not going to be there when I’m crying my fucking eyes out on the bathroom floor ruing the day I thought that hey, maybe I should give having a kid a shot!

A kind and helpful nurse came to have a talk with me. She said she was going to let me in on something no one else would tell me. “There’s no motherhood without pain. And you have to learn to distinguish between pain and sensation.”

Thanks psycho hell creature! A) How is it some big secret that having a baby hurts? I was sort of in on that secret already. B) I was definitely having sensation. The sensation of being torn in two by my insides! But thanks for that…


I pushed for two hours. I was totally emotionally depleted. I had nothing left to give to this labour. I begged them to help me get the baby out. But of course they couldn’t. When he finally came out, all I remember is noticing that his ears were hairy. I thought that was funny and cute. But then the feeling of him lying across my neck with his back to me while they delivered the placenta (ouch), massaged my uterus (double ouch) and stitched me up (my god how can it still hurt???). I kept squeezing my son out of pain, not realizing what I was doing.

After the birth, I was sick. I was very sick. On and off for a month. I had three surgeries and was in and out of the hospital four times. Five if you count that time we went to the emergency room but didn’t stay the night… I was discharged for the last time on Mother’s Day (thanks a fucking lot universe). I saw my son very, very little during his first month, and when I did see him, I was in pain.

My recovery from all the surgery took a few weeks, during which time I could not hold my son. I was happy to have a reason to let other people deal with him. I hated being around him. I hated his needs and his crying and his very presence in my life. I would look at planes flying overhead and think “PLEASE!!! TAKE ME THE FUCK WITH YOU!!!” I thought a lot about putting him up for adoption. My husband and I joked about selling him on the internet. E-baby, we called it.

Predictably, I got super fucking depressed. I was constantly overwhelmed by regret. I resented him for taking my attention and energy and health. It was hell. I was completely spent, mentally and physically, and badly needed to focus on myself. But there was this baby there always needing so fucking much.

The long and the short of it is that I’ve never really bonded with my son, not in any big-surge-of-love-you’re-the-best-thing-that-I’ve-ever-done-I-would-go-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-for-you type way. I like him more and resent him less. I want good things for him and for him to be taken care of and loved and have all that unicorns and rainbows and puppy dogs shit.

Now he’s in daycare (I love daycare). I’ve gone back to work (I’ve never worked so hard). I love having things that give me lots and lots of time away from him, particularly time where I know he is happy and taken care of, which is pretty much all the time.

And the thing is, I’m much happier when he’s not around. I wish that it weren’t true, but it is. I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t think he were in a good place, but as long as he’s ok, I’m happiest when he’s ok with someone else.

Now the depression is back. I feel guilty all the time because I still haven’t bonded with my son. I keep waiting for it to happen, while watching my husband become a wonderful and loving father. I am so glad for my son that he has a father who loves and cares for him. I am so sad for him that he has a mother who doesn’t.

I know that if my own mother, who’s been dead for 15 years and whom I miss every fucking day, had felt about me the way I feel about him, I would be devastated. I want more than anything to feel like a normal mother, a mother who loves her child fiercely and unconditionally.

But I just don’t know how to become that mom. I am scared that I never will and that my son will grow up feeling unloved. I am so keenly aware of how much a mother’s love matters. I want to give it to my son. But I just don’t feel it. It really fucking sucks.

I want to find some nice way to end this post, something life affirming or hopeful or some shit like that. But I think the honest way is to just cut it off. It’s awkward, and that’s how I feel: awkward and cut off.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Body By Baby

Many of us feel embarrassed of our post baby bodies. Some of us are surprised that we didn't snap right back to our pre-baby bodies. The truth is, no matter how fast you bounce back to your pre-pregnancy state, you will never be the same. Be it from stretch marks, wider hips, sagging breasts, or just a new state of mind about your body, you are now forever changed by the miracle that is childbirth.

So, because Gisele and all her friends make it seem like stretchmarks don't happen, I started Body by Baby. Stretchmarks do happen. So does saggy skin. And saggy boobs. And that is ok. Because we are real women. Our bodies aren't perfect. But they didn't get this way on their own. They got this way because we are fucking awesome and CREATED A HUMAN IN THEM. What's a stretchmark or a muffin top when we actually made life?

This is what a real woman's belly looks like. This is what having beautiful babies does to a girl. And it is awesome:

This is Pippa from Story of Mum. She is the mom of a 5-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl.

Here is her story:

What words come into your head when you think about your body? Are you proud, happy, grounded? Or do you think first about the "problem areas", the bits that should be different? Thinner, curvier, tighter, more flexible, just all-over better somehow?

My body is… fat, flabby, drooping. Pulled by unrelenting gravity slowly downhill. Sadly, these are the words that come to me first. I’m shocked. Since my second child turned one, I’ve been focusing on getting healthy again  - not dieting, that just makes me eat more - making room for exercise in my life, making opportunities to reconnect with my body again. But still these words come.

My whole life I’ve been plump. And it has always bothered me, sometimes more, sometimes less. But before children, the fat sat in the right places. It was disguisable. Not any more. My round belly is now a flopping sag-bag.

Ironically, one of pregnancy’s greatest gifts was a new confidence in my body. I finally understood its purpose. The miracles it could perform. To grow a person, and then to nourish them in the world.  Pregnancy and birth gave me a connection to my body I had never felt before.

But now, as I go about my daily busy-ness, saggy bits flapping in the wind, how can I retain that sense that came with pregnancy - of beautiful function, pride and awe?

For starters, I’m carving out some precious time to get healthy... I walk a lot (I’m terrified of driving) but the pace is slow with two stumpy-legged littluns. Zumba makes me go bright red, and stay that way for a loooooong time. Much of the redness is from laughing, a lot, when I catch my reflection in the mirror (in my head: svelte, slinking, moves like Beyonce - in the mirror: wobbling middle-aged bingo caller). My favorite healthy pursuit, yoga, gives me moments of peace. It moves me inside my body, away from my rushing mind, stretching and strengthening.

Yet that negative voice still returns.

From an early age, we’re constantly reminded of that need to achieve an impossible, youthful, constraining ideal: the perfect body. And as a mother, I now worry more for my daughter than I do for myself. To see her growing up in a world of Bratz dolls, celebrity bikini shamings and airbrushed fantasies.

I want to stop that voice that still heckles me from entering my daughter’s head. I want her to enjoy exercise. I want her to enjoy food. I want her to enjoy being herself. Most of all, I want her to enjoy her life, and her ability to give life.

I can’t stop all the unrealistic visions of perfection she will encounter as she grows up, but I can counter them, a little. By facing my own fears, my own unrealistic expectations of myself, I can try my very best to serve up an alternative version of beauty.

I want her to see that bodies of all shapes and sizes are gorgeous. That we love our bodies for all the amazing things they can do. We care for and respect them, we don't break them down into defective bits. We don't feel ashamed. We know that we are beautiful because of how we live, and how we love, not what we look like.

My children lived there. I live there. It is not a problem area. It is me.

My body is amazing, extraordinary, beautiful. It is marked by the miracles of my life. It is a mother’s body. And I am doing my very best to love it for that. Love your Mum-Body. Join me to share your mummy body at at the Love Mum Body project.

Thanks, Pippa. You are the shit for sharing with us what we all hide from each other.

Body by Baby all started here, but you glorious bitches have kept it going. Feeling frisky? Send me your own Body by Baby portrait and I will share it with all six of my readers the world. Anonymously or not. Your choice. Email them to me at ilikebeerandbabies @ gmail . com (remove spaces).

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Potty Training is the Shits

Today we have Shayla from Parenting by the Seat of my Pants. She blogs in a bipolar fashion, much like myself. I love that. One day she will talk about funny stuff, the next day anxiety and depression, and the next day making a closet Pinterest-worthy. Love that about her.

Anyway. Enjoy.

I used to love the idea of having three kids so close together. You know, because I would get the hard stuff done all at once. Like getting through the diapering stage and potty training. I got pregnant for the second time nine months after my first was born. Just as I wanted – have them 18 months apart. But nature intervened and I miscarried that pregnancy as well as two others. So my first two kids are just over two years apart. And then because nature thinks it is wicked funny, my third daughter (surprise!), was born 13 months later. But I knew how much I rocked as a mom for brilliantly having all of my kids in a cluster like that. There was no way you could convince me otherwise.

There is a tremendous cacophony coming from the bathroom. It sounds like the toilet is getting beat up by the trainer potty while an enraged toddler growls with her teeth clamped tight. I should check it out. But I’m not going to. Because my 27-month-old has been potty training herself since she was 18 months. And why the hell would I interfere when she does a better job of it than I do?

The screaming is getting louder as a bare butt cheek whizzes by me on the couch. She’s intently pushing a chair across the kitchen now, repeatedly hollering and pointing at a toy up on the counter. Finally! She has her gadget. Sometimes you just need a toy to settle in and go, I guess. An inexplicable naked jog around the room and she dashes back to the bathroom. And then. A sound I have been waiting months for. You see, her potty sings a little ditty when it gets wet. And while she has mastered the art of stripping down, wiping and washing her hands, she has yet to actually GO potty. I can barely hear the music over all of her high-pitched, baby-voiced exclamations.
She did it. She finally did it. And thank God. Because let’s be honest, it wasn’t like I had much to offer in this department.

It’s not even lunch yet and I am seriously regretting this slip in parental judgment. Allowing a child such independence? Insanity. I didn’t know a kid could get anymore naked. Or that doody could have such range. Does anyone have tips on how to unpotty train?

She loves to tell me she has to go poop. Don’t clap yet. She does this while whipping off her crap-filled Pull-Up and hucking it across the room. And then she runs to squat on the potty, further spreading the doo-doo love. So much for our recent success. I thought we were done with this shit. Literally.

You would think I had learned a thing or two with my first born. Nope. The other day my oldest scooted off the toilet leaving a poo smear. And I swear turds have legs because it looked like it danced around the lid, ran down the side of the toilet, then around the base of the sink and high-fived the rim for good measure. Her new favorite is leaning way back on the potty with legs in the air and yelling at me to come see her pee “really HIGH!”

You guys, it is so bad that sometimes I just want to sit in the corner of the room, giant yellow gloves on, rocking and hugging my bottle of bleach wipes.

So today when I see my 15-month-old was tugging on her pants and sitting on the trainer toilet, I’m like Hell. Freaking. No. Your cheeky little bum is going to be swaddled in diapers until you are 10. I will happily clean poop off of your school-aged butt between classes if it means not having to wipe any more urine and fecal matter from walls and floors now.

I take that back about having kids so close together. I prefer the plan that requires waiting 100 years between children.

Be sure to check out Shayla here:

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to School Shopping Hell

Today we have Denise from StlMotherhood. She's from The Lou, like me. She has kids, like me. She seems really sweet and genuine, like...wait, nevermind.

Anyway, enjoy:

It’s back to school time.

Actually the signs in the store have been screaming “it’s back to school time!” since July, but I wasn’t paying any attention then. Hell no. July is the middle of summer vacation--no way was I going to crush my kid’s spirits with thoughts of school and schedules and early morning bus rides. We had camps to conquer, trails to bike and beaches to storm. Back to school? No way!

I also let the “tax-free weekend” sale whiz right by me in early August. By this point the whole advertising universe was in a tizzy about getting the kids ready for school.

“You need this cool backpack or your kid will be a loser!”

“You need stylin’ new jeans that your kid will outgrow by October!”

“You need a new these snazzy LOL Cat folders, who cares if the teacher asked for boring purple!”

Still, I didn’t go shopping. There was no way I was going to play cart derby with all the hill folk who flood Walmart in my part of South County just because there’s an 11 percent sale going on. No thank you, Bobbie Sue, I’ll sit this one out.

Soon welcome letters from teachers and principals were piling up in my inbox. PTOs from two schools were sniffing around for volunteers and my son’s marching band started fund raising because, hey, those sequins are not cheap people.

I could no longer avoid the reality of back-to-school shopping.

I downloaded the kids’ back-to-school supply lists. Well, I downloaded my first grader’s list, because apparently high school has a much lower standard for supplies. We have no clue what he’ll need other than a vague “binder and pencils” suggestion from a letter buried inside a 30-page welcome packet mailed to the house.

The first grader, on the other hand, is expected to bring his haul in the week before school.

There are 18 items on Mitch’s list. Or 75 items if you count that he needs 2 boxes of tissues, 5 folders in very particular colors, 4 erasers, 12 dry erase markers, 15 glues sticks and 24 pencils--sharpened, of course.

Naturally, none of these items are to be labeled because they’ll go into the community supply closet. Heaven forbid we teach six-year-olds personal responsibility by having them care for their own crayons and glue. Or worse, suffer crushed egos because Trevor has the 128-pack of crayons and Shiloh got sparkly princess pencils.

Mitch and I trudged off to Walmart to do his shopping. Since we waited an entire TWO WEEKS before schools started, the shelves were picked clean. Gone were the cheap glue sticks and the only yellow folders left had exploding zombies on the front.

We scrapped up what we could and moved on to Target.

Target had the folders we needed: a purple plastic folder WITH prongs and yellow, blue, red and green plastic folders WITHOUT prongs. There’s no room for individuality in first grade, so we have to get exactly what’s on the list or be marked as a free thinker. Or cheap. I’m not sure what’s worse.

Target also had $20 BPA-free water bottles and super cute Bento-styled lunch kits that wouldn’t fit in Mitch’s brand new Iron Man 3 lunch box.

What they didn’t have was three packages of four count dry erase markers with fine tips. Oh, they had thick markers and color markers and dry erase crayons, but black dry erase markers with fine tips? Nope.

The fun of back-to-school shopping had worn off for Mitch about an hour previous, so he kindly suggested that I could maybe drop him off at home to play Minecraft with his brother while I continued the search for markers. Ha, dream on kid. I’m not doing this alone.

Office Max was just down the street. I prayed that they had fine tip markers before I had to extend the shopping trip to another county.

Yes! They had plenty of dry erase markers in every size and color of the rainbow. Including fine tip black markers.

For $6 a package.

$18 dollars for all 12 markers on his list.

Uh, no. I might drive to three stores to get supplies. I’ll happily schlep 15 bags to open house so my kid doesn’t have to bring a butt load of supplies on the bus. I’ll even buy the good crayons that my kid will never see. But I draw the line at $18 worth of dry erase markers.

We’ll just wait for Walmart to restock. In the mean time, I have pencils to sharpen. 24 plain wooden #2 pencils, that is.

~Denise Bertacchi

You can also find Denise on  Twitter and Facebook

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Missing woman, have you seen me?

Today we have a guest post from Cat V. She is awesomesauce. When I asked for guest posters, she sent me not one but FOUR posts. An overachiever in the best possible way!

Anyway, enjoy:

Last time I saw me I was about 15 pounds thinner, I stood up straighter and my shirt was ironed. My make-up was creamy and flawless, my nails were painted and glossy and my hair was pristinely styled. I was jetting in or out of some business meeting and my cellphone was buzzing with people who urgently needed my input on whatever was the hot topic of the moment. My girlfriends were giddy with gossip about last weekend’s wedding or an upcoming getaway with their new husbands and I had warm, fuzzy feelings while sipping wine. The biggest challenge of my day (aside from work) was which sushi restaurant to order dinner from.

Last time I saw me I was fairly newly married to a man I had known for over five years. I had just purchased a lot (read: pile of dirt) from a builder and was anxiously awaiting that builder to break ground and build my dream home. I would stay up late worrying about the *perfect* stain for the hardwood floors and the pulls and knobs for my custom-painted kitchen cabinets. Stainless steel or pewter faucets were another source of debate.

I thought I saw me in the mirror this morning briefly. Aside from the obvious physical changes, there was something very different about the woman I saw in the mirror. She looked older, but not in physical years. She looked wiser, but not from books. This woman looked familiar and comfortable, but I’m telling you, something was just “different”. This woman didn’t seem to mind that she looked slightly disheveled, and it wasn’t a big deal that there was a mystery stain on her shirt and the bag over her shoulder was not a Louis Vuitton but a Dora the Explorer backpack. The woman that I saw in the mirror didn’t really seem to mind, at all, that the grout in her designer bathroom was looking a bit dingier than she would ordinarily tolerate and she most certainly couldn’t have cared less that last night’s dinner plates were still on the dining room table (don’t tell her mother though, she would care).

As a giggle and scream of joy sounded throughout the house I realized that the woman in the mirror was in fact me – I had found myself. The new me. The mother me. The wife me. The caregiver me. The selfless me. The me that I was meant to be. Trading in Gucci for MEC, Louboutin for StrideRite, Pinot Noir for homo milk and organic oatmeal for Cheerios wasn’t the old me, the “missing woman’s” plan but little did the old me know that there would be nothing in the world that I would trade for one minute of tickle time with G. The new me balances my career with my baby. The new me prioritizes cleaning and playing. The new me does her best to be a supportive friend, wife, daughter and sister.

It took me 18 months, countless crying fits in front of the mirror, night after night of soul-searching and too many conversations with friends to count to let the old me get lost and find the new me. As parents it can be extremely difficult to find the balance between our old lives and our new future. Our jobs are no longer the be-all and end-all of our day, our partners are no longer the centers of our universe and our priorities drastically shift (perhaps more so than we can ever imagine). We go from somewhat immature, self-indulgent, spontaneous people to adults who are responsible for keeping humans alive within seconds and there is no book, class, seminar or parenting forum that can prepare us. We need to take the time to re-discover ourselves. Meet the new “me”. The new version of ourselves will have different favorite foods, she will enjoy different music, different things will make her laugh and new things will bring her joy.

Here are some things that helped me let the old me go and welcome the new me into my life:

1. Naps are sacred. Whether it’s a 20 minute nap or a three hour nap, that is YOUR time. Do whatever you want. Eat crappy snacks, do your hair, sleep, cook, read, watch tv – do whatever you want because you own those minutes.

2. Read books that matter. I’m not suggesting that you read War and Peace, but read something that will help you escape to a fantasy land for a few minutes a day. Reading will keep your mind sharp and will get your creative juices flowing.

3. Be your own best friend. Your relationships with your pre-baby friends are going to change whether you like it or not. You will make new friends who have babies as well, but you need to be able to spend time alone with your thoughts. It’s easy to let your anxieties, insecurities and fears get the better of you, so take the time to learn what makes you happy so that you can focus on that when you are alone. A warm mug of coffee, a trashy magazine, a manicure – whatever you love, learn to love it solo.

4. Re-introduce yourself to your partner. Whether you have been with this person for 10 minutes or 10 years, the person who you are co-parenting with will look, feel, smell and be totally different to you. Instead of letting yourselves become co-habitants of the same house, channel your energies together to become closer than ever. Kids can rip a couple apart (hello money stress, sleepless nights, different bodies and new priorities) – head the troubles off at the pass and communicate any and all issues and concerns clearly and respectfully. Also, tell your partner that you love him or her. It’s nice to hear.

5. Friends. Respect them, love them, be engaged with them and support them. They need you just as much as you need them. Whether you need parenting advice or a good laugh, your friends will be your greatest ally. They will keep you sane when all you can see in front of you are dancing monkeys and headless clowns. Trust.

6. Family. Your mom, dad, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, whoever, will love you no matter what. Confide in them. Seek support from them. Trust them and ask them for help when you need it. You don’t need to suffer alone or feel lost, because their unconditional love and incredible ability to know you better than you know yourself will help guide you down the right path.
I am so happy to say goodbye to the old me, I wouldn’t recognize her if I saw her. The new me is the best me and it’s the me I want to be. I also rhyme really well now.

Thanks, Cat. We all need reminders like these!

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Caption This

Here is how Caption This works:
You send me your funny photos. I caption them and share them with your fellow Boozehounds. Got a funny picture you want to see featured here? Send it to me at ilikebeerandbabies @ (remove spaces) and I will work some comedy magic. Or not. It might not be magical at all. It might be crap. Whatever. Send me your pics anyway.

Want to see your kids on Caption This? Send your funny photos to ilikebeerandbabies @ (remove spaces).

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

When shit gets real - a dad's point of view

Today we have a post from one of my personal friends. He and I share an affinity for anti-jokes and snarky humor.

Anyway, enjoy:

Howdy folks! My name is Jenkins and I am pretending to like beer and babies today while the boss works on other neat stuff!

I... am not so into beer, actually. This should immediately disqualify me from contributing, but I didn't see it specified in my contract, so here I am for this guest post on I Like Whiskey and Toddlers-Old-Enough-To-Rough-House-With.

Who am I? I am a parent of a toddler - a 15 month old ball of energy, fiery temper and junk food (thanks grandpa!) that I refer to as The Tiny Dragon (TTD). I'm a lot of other things too, but at the moment that seems to be the most important.

Now that we know each other, I'd like to talk about "the moment shit gets real" - at least from this dad's point of view.

The moment shit gets real is officially defined as the moment shortly after birth where the brand new parent (often times the dad for this particular emotion) realizes the scope and magnitude of what they've done, followed by a brief but significant moment of panic.

Fifteen months ago (almost to the day), we were at the hospital where my wife was in labor waiting for TTD to make her grand appearance. We both knew what we were getting into - hey, let's have a kid, right? - and so everything up until this point had gone relatively as planned. We are adults, we chose to do this, we know what happens next: we go to the hospital and come home with a crying pooping bundle of joy.

After a day of waiting for labor-inducing drugs to work their magic, it's finally time, and my wife gives birth to our daughter LIKE A FUCKING BOSS. The baby is born and yet before the cord is even cut, here we are: The moment shit gets real.

Enter The Tiny Dragon

Oh my god. Look at how little she is.

Oh my god. Look at all that hair.

Oh my god, listen to her - she's already crying.

Oh my god, the cord is wrapped around her neck like three times!

Oh my god, the doctor is...spinning her around upside down to unravel the cord???

"Mr Jenkins, would you like to hold her?"

Oh shit. I have spent years specifically not holding other people's babies because I don't want to mess them up. So for a second I hesitate - holy crap, no! I don't want to break her already!

...wait, wait, don't mess this up. This isn't someone else's baby that you're about to politely decline holding. Hold your newborn kid, moron.

I take her. She's crying. The panic sets in.


And just like that, shit got real.  

The moment of panic passed quickly and was replaced with emotions and experiences more fantastic than I can explain in this post. But for a minute there, I freaked way the fuck out.

There is a song by Internet-famous geeky song writer Jonathan Coulton titled, "You Ruined Everything". It's a sweet sounding lullaby with a twist of sick-sense-of-humor. The first time I heard it, I immediately made the connection. It didn't matter what he actually wrote it about, because it was now about my own short moment of panic standing in a delivery room holding a screaming baby:

"I was fine / I pulled myself together
Just in time / To throw myself away
Once my perfect world was gone I knew
You ruined everything / in the nicest way"

Thanks, Jenkins. Great to have a daddy's point of view.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's hard enough to keep my kids from eating dog food

Today I have the lovely Mack N. Cheese from Is there Cheese in it? She likes bad words, books and booze. Therefore, I love her. I also love her for guest posting for me while I try to manage the shitstorm that is this blog right now (secret project alert!).

Anyway. Enjoy:

My friend posted a link on Facebook today. You'll probably want to read it yourself but I'll give you the Cliff's Notes: If you're anything like me, there is a very high chance you are feeding your kids carcinogens on a daily basis. I am very thankful she posted it. Like learning about what's really on the inside of Capri Suns, baby nose bulbs and public swimming pools, I feel that this is the "need to know" brand of information. But part of me is like, goddammitalready!

Well, I guess I'll just have to tell our personal chef to be extra vigilant when shopping for the locally grown, organic, all natural, free range ingredients for the painstakingly prepared, nutritionally balanced, healthful, brimming-with-vitamins-and-antioxidants and yet oh so delicious meals we need three six nine times a day (because every time they ask for something specific and it is presented to them they want something that is not that at all and that we do not have a single ingredient for). Oh. Wait. I am the chef. And I don't have the freaking time for this shit.

Don't get me wrong. I want to feed my family well and I want to eat well myself but aside from the obvious problem that THEY PREFER DOG KIBBLE TO MY COOKING, there are the other pesky problems of not having limitless funds and time. Even Rachael Freaking Ray's alleged 30-minute meals take more than thirty minutes because I do not have all of the things that I need and even when I do they are not perfectly arranged and washed and chopped into one-inch squares in my fridge. And, p.s., Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee, the supposed time-and-money-saving Food Network gurus, use lots of things from boxes and cans, like we all do, because they save money and time! Also, I would like to point out, they are not cooking in the midst of a civil uprising of rabid baby koala bears. So there's that. Actually, I am not into cooking shows or much "reality television" in general (actually I'm lying, I love Cake Boss and Project Runway) but I think I just came up with the premise of the next big Food Network/reality TV hit - Top Toddler Chef. All meals to be prepared between 5 and 7 pm, a.k.a. "The Witching Hour(s)." Each elimination round you throw another hangry toddler in the kitchen and the winner is the last one standing who hasn't accidentally grilled a baby or (intentionally) killed themselves.

But alright. Say I go spend twice as much for fresh, locally grown, organic, golden fertilizer produce and magical pastured eggs and $20 a gallon raw milk from Whole Foods or Organic R Us or whatever. First of all, obviously, that's less money in my pocket. Second of all, it's less time, because that means I still have to go to another "real" store for cleaning products that actually clean and paper products that are more effective than wet Kleenex at cleaning up spills, and are sold in more than a two-pack because sorry, "Mudder Erf," but my son thinks he has to use a new napkin every.single.time. he spills and he spills A LOT. We are attempting to disabuse him of this notion but it is taking some time. We have worked up to three wipes per napkin. It's a process. And don't even get me started on diapers (what about cloth diapers you ask? sorry. i highly admire you. but no.) and wet wipes and toilet paper needs with multiple toddlers in tow. Hey! Maybe we should just grow our own food? We have a pretty big backyard. I could probably fit a garden and a milking cow. I have always wanted a wait. That was a pony. I wanted a pony.

Okay. So, the ingredients alone are costing me more money and more time. But even if Whole Foods had Costco prices and home delivery, someone has to cook this crap! And I suck at cooking. I made homemade baby food for the kids and was always surprised to receive (undeserved) kudos because let me tell you, it is not that hard, especially if you have an awesome and highly overpriced baby-food-preparing thingy (e.g., Beaba). It is 27 times harder to cook actual human person meals that are nutritious and that both small children and adults will enjoy eating. And DO NOT tell me to origami that shit into interesting shapes and/or elaborate dioramas or I will freaking cut you. Seriously. I believe you (sort of) that it inspires your children to actually eat their food but please see sections I. and II., supra, about not having time for that shit. See also, section III re: rabid koalas, above. And anyway. I do serve shapes. Hey. Look at this peanut butter and jelly sandwich! It's a square! Your orange is a circle, whee, fun! And grapes! Um - little circles! Alright! Farfelle = butterflies! Oh and bunnies and goldfish too - no assembly required! With a free side of carcinogens! Argh!

Sometimes I think to myself, really? I mean, is it really that bad? Most of my generation was raised on Froot Loops and that godawful Mac &"Cheese" and we all turned totally fine...right??? Actually, not really, because something like 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer at some point in their lifetime. WTF?! I mean, who knows if it's smog or cell phones or laptops or Fruit Loops or Monsanto or our collectively sinful souls or bad karma or some combination of the above, but if there's a chance of decreasing our risk, I guess we have to take it? Or, like everything else in life, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." (There she goes again with the quotes. That one's Theodore Roosevelt.) And sometimes all I have are chicken nuggets and toaster waffles. Don't judge.
Also - the FDA could maybe make it illegal to put cancer-causing shit in food sold for human consumption? Just a thought.

Bravo, Mack. I couldn't have said it better myself!

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.
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