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Wednesday, July 31, 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 @ gmail.com (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.



So reminded me of this.





Want to see your kids on Caption This? Send your funny photos to 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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Make It Rain

The Cool Cucumber likes to make it rain. No, he doesn't shower strippers with crisp $20 bills. What he does is even dirtier. He takes whatever you have given him to eat or play with and throws it up in the air. This is super annoying.

It usually looks a lot like this:


Need proof?:

Notice how he is acting like it is all his sister's and Fatty's fault?

Here is another example:

Dude, there are none left in the box. Asshole.

It doesn't matter what you give him, grapes, Cheerios, Legos, a box full of cats, he will take it and throw it up in to the air, all while laughing. Then he toddles off like the tiny Godzilla he is, leaving you to clean up his mess while he destroys another village. He is lucky he is cute.

Anyone else have kids that do this?


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, July 25, 2013

The Call Part Six


If you are just tuning in, catch up here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

After a while, I pulled myself together, called into work for the week and packed my bag for my parent's house. I would be going there alone for now. The joy of my children would be too much for all of us to bear. Plus, my children had been through so much change in the preceding days and I didn't want to pull them away from the developing sense of normalcy they were just starting to form. Like a scab over the wound of the move. The uprooting of all that they had known before Friday. And here it was only Tuesday and I was being uprooted from all that I had known. Damn. Life is tricky like that.

I vividly remember packing my bag. I had no idea how long I would be there. I remember trying to think of what I would need while I was there, like I usually do when I pack for a trip. I knew I needed a dress for the funeral. My brother's funeral. Who, less than 20 minutes before, my knowledge consisted only of my living brother. But now he was my dead brother. And my dead murdered brother at that. So which one of my black dresses is appropriate for my dead murdered brother's funeral? Which one of these dresses am I OK with forever associating with such a horrible event. Like the dress I used to love but now only remember as the dress that I wore to my mother-in-laws funeral. Because a woman doesn't forget those details.

After I had packed my bag, it was time to say goodbye to my created family to be with my birth family. I hugged my daughter goodbye. A hug that felt like the last hug I would ever have with her. Because as of that morning, I knew that it could have been. That any second of any day could be the last time I would see someone. Anyone.

It was incredibly hard saying goodbye to my daughter, but nothing like it was saying goodbye to my son. Because my mother had just lost hers.

When I looked into his sweet cherub face all I could think and feel was that my mother used to look at my brother that way. That she had raised him from a baby, just like I was doing for my son now. That she had no idea back then that one day his life would be ripped from all of us. That she and my father would lose a child, not to disease, not to drugs, not to a car accident, but to another person. That one day another woman's baby would take the life of her own.

I just saw and felt that so intensely in my bones when I looked at him. I did for months after. Every time I was near him. I think my mother still does. And forever will.

I still remember getting in the car to drive to my parents house that morning. Still in my work clothes. I was leaving my family behind. To be with my family. I looked in my rear view mirror and there was the beautiful new house that was supposed to be the embodiment of all that was to come. Now it would forever be the tomb of where I found out about my brother's murder.

That is all I have in me for now. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Call Part Five


If you are just tuning in, catch up here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Finally, when it was clear that there was no right way or place to change his wife's life forever, my husband put his hands on my shoulders and said, "Julie, your brother John got in a fight last night."

The first thing and only thing I said for a long time was, "Is he still alive?"

And all my husband replied was, "No."

Because that was all there was to say at that moment.

I stood, rooted to the spot for what seemed like hours. I didn't know what to do. How to move my arms or legs. How to open my mouth to speak. I had basically been put on pause. I didn't know what was expected of me in that moment. What was I supposed to say or feel? What was I supposed to do with this information? What did it even mean?

Reactions to unexpected and tragic loss don't usually happen like they do in the movies. People usually don't get the horrible news and start screaming, "NO!" or crying hysterically. When something like this comes into your life and sideswipes you like a freight train, you are left stunned. Your body puts up emotional walls to protect you from shutting down completely. It is part of the fight or flight response. A detour to denial, if you will.

I don't remember when I finally stopped staring blankly into space and sat down, but when I did, I found that I had moved to the side of our bed and was facing the doorway to the hall. I then I started crying. Not profound sobs. Those wouldn't come for months. Just slow falling tears.

My 2-year-old daughter, who has always been immensely in-tune with other people's emotions, then came up to me. She tilted her head and looked confused. She then looked me right in the eyes, put both of her little hands on my cheeks and said, "It's OK, Mommy. Don't be sad."

And then my heart broke forever.

Read on:
Part Six


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Call Part Four


If you are just tuning in, catch up here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Tuesday morning started out like any other. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. Add to our usual chaos the stress of not knowing where half of our things were unpacked to/still packed at and needless to say it was a hectic morning. Oh yeah, and there was a 2-year-old and 4-month-old running about at our feet during it all.

While rushing to get ourselves showered and dressed, the kids dressed and fed, and everyone out the door, my husband noticed that he had missed a call from my brother Jim. It was only 6:45 in the morning so my husband commented that it must have been a pocket dial. He didn't think much of it but decided he should call him back just in case. He dialed my brother from our new master bedroom while I tried to find something to wear in our closet and the kids ran amok.

My brother answered the phone. My husband said hello and that he saw that my brother had called. Then he didn't really say much. He just listened. In between the silent pauses, my husband muttered a series of "OKs" and "Yeahs" and "Uh huhs". I then heard my husband say, "So John did that to the other guy?" And then just more general responses.

I knew something was wrong. I just had no idea how much so.

After what seems like an eternity but was most likely only a few seconds, my husband got off the phone. He looked shaky. Moreover, he looked shaken. Like he didn't know what to do.

He looked around the room as our daughter flashed in and out between her bedroom doorway and ours. He didn't know where we should have the conversation we were about to have. Because wherever it took place was a place I would never forget. And he was right.

It happened in the middle of our brand new master bedroom. Me facing our closet with the door open and the light on. Our bed stood to the left of me, made and ready for the day. A tiny dresser that didn't belong in the space but hadn't found its home in the few days since we had moved in stood to my right. Our bathroom door was open and the light was on. The ugly ceiling fan that hangs in the middle of the room was on and the lights to it were on. I hated those lights. There were a few pieces of clothing strewn about the floor at our feet. The hall door was open but the hallway light was off. Our daughter was in the doorway. Our son was still asleep in his room next door. My husband stood facing me.

Finally, when it was clear that there was no right way or place to change his wife's life forever, my husband put his hands on my shoulders and said, "Julie, your brother John got in a fight last night."

Read on:
Part Five
Part Six


Monday, July 22, 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 Brittany. She is the mom of a  6-month-old boy named Zealand.

Here is her story:
Before I got pregnant I was overweight (according to myself). I have always struggled with weight (mentally) and wasn't at my "best" when I got pregnant. A couple years ago I had gotten to a place where I thought I was "huge". I did lose enough weight to reduce that adjective before I got pregnant, but pregnancy brought it back. This was earth shattering in a positive way because yes, I was huge, but for a wonderfully glorious reason! All my preconceived notions about my body had to be altered. Huge was not gross or fat, it is simply an adjective use to compare oneself. Before being pregnant I WAS comparing myself (to whom? nobody that matters!). Being pregnant you compare yourself to your non-pregnant self. Which will ALWAYS be huge. After being pregnant? There is nothing to compare to! You have never had a baby before you have one so there is NOTHING to compare to! I am now a new me physically and emotionally and there is nothing to do but snuggle my little one and move forward.
 
I have lost ALL of my baby weight, yet I think I still look like I haven't lost any. And I am OK with that. In fact, I have never LOVED my body more than I do now! Even with stretch marks (that appeared during the last two weeks) and the pillow boobs (my delightfully perky 34Ds are now soft and droopy 38DDs) which don't fit into any of my shirts, not to mention the muffin top that will not fit into any of my pants. I already had stretch marks on random (read: all) body parts, but I had seen them as punishments for eating too much or not exercising enough. I have learned since that they are not filled with emotion, they do not come out on purpose to punish you, they are a physical response. During pregnancy my body HAD to stretch to fit the healthy beautiful baby boy and his food storage inside of me. I created a human AND his food. This is amazing. I am in awe of my body and will NEVER hate it or belittle it again. I WILL try to be as healthy as possible in order to house another human being one day and it doesn't really matter what size that house is.

Thanks, Brittany. 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, July 18, 2013

The Call Part Three


If you are just tuning in, catch up here:
Part One
Part Two

On Saturday, we all woke up in the new house for the first time. The reality of it all was starting to set in. And with that reality, came the Disney-esque surrealness that is a visit from Grandma and PoPo. My mom and dad came to help my husband build us a table and to help us both put together the pieces of our new life.

After a day filled with more unpacking, decorating, table making and grandparent spoiling, we all had dinner and put the kids to bed. Then my husband and I stayed up with my parents talking. My dad talked more than I have ever seen him talk before. He was finally comfortable in our home. What once was always a strained and awkward feeling when my parents came to visit was now a resounding feeling of calm. We had a place for my parents. A place where they felt comfortable and wanted. A place where they were part of the family and didn't feel in the way.

Sunday was more of the same. Slowly putting pieces of our old lives away in new places. Unpacking what once was and putting it into what would be. Enjoying the new sense of peace the house brought to us all and exploring the new relationship with my parents that it created.

And children sleeping through the night--a glory in its own right.

Sunday was also the marker of our son's fourth month in the world.


Monday brought back the reality of life. My parents packed up and left and we went back to our 9 to 5s. But after work, instead of all cramming ourselves into a loft we had long ago outgrown, we came home to our new house for the first time.

It was like putting on a pair of shoes that fit after years of squeezing your feet into shoes that were too small. This house was "just right". It was amazing.

It was also our first time with just the four of us in the house. No friends. No family members. Just our little family alone under our new roof. It was the first night we had to enjoy our newly found freedom. Little did we know, it would also be our last.

Read on:
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Call Part Two



If you are just tuning in, catch up here:

Part One

When we finally woke for good on Friday, we got the kids dressed and ready for school. I headed out to drop them off and start working again at the new house. My husband stayed at the loft to wait for the movers to come to pick up all of the pieces of our past life and move them into our present. My brother- and father-in-law met me at the new house. My father-in-law busied himself putting together my daughter's first "big girl bed" while my brother-in-law painted. I hung pictures and put away things in the kids room trying to get things settled before they came home to their new house for good.

Little by little, as the furniture and boxes came in and the pictures went up on the walls, the kids' rooms took shape. By the time we were ready to pick them up from school, their rooms were as close as they were going to get to complete. Now was the big test. I drove to pick them up, nervous with anticipation of their reactions to their new home. Would they love it or would they cry and want to go back "home"? It was a crapshoot. Life always is when gauging the reactions for children.

Though my son was only three months old and content with pretty much anything, my daughter was two and very emotional. I was so worried that she would not do well with the change, though I knew it would be the best thing for her in the long run.

On the way back to the house from school I talked to her about how hard we were working on her new room and how PopPop had built her a brand new big girl bed. We had decided that rather than transferring her to the new house in a crib, we would rip the band aid off and try a big girl bed for her first night. A big risk, admittedly.

When we got to the house, I took her right into her new room. She was beyond excited. She hopped right up on her new bed and lit up like a Christmas tree. It was magical. And emotional. She was a big girl now. No more pretending she was still a baby.

But the big question still hung heavily in the air: would the kids sleep in the new house?

Answer: an astounding yes.

Worries that given her new freedom from her crib chains, our daughter wouldn't stay in her bed, were quickly put to rest. She went to sleep right away and slept gloriously through the night. As did her brother. The first time they had both slept all night since baby boy had come to be. And though my mind still wouldn't let me rest with all of the newness dancing in it and worries of a baby calling for me in their sleep and me not hearing it with the addition of walls and doors between us, I was at peace.

Read on:
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Call Part One


 I feel like I am finally ready to tell a bit more of my brother's story. Right now I am just talking about when I found out. If I am ever ready to talk about more, I will.

Since it is a lot to take in and too much for one post, it will come in parts. Much like I do now that he is gone. Take it for what you will.

In the long run, it all started Thursday, April 19, 2012. My husband and I were closing on our first real house. We were moving out of our two-bedroom loft that we had long since outgrown and moving into a house that we would most likely spend the rest of our lives in. We were beyond excited.

We dropped the kids off at school in the morning and headed to the bank to sign the papers. Our lives were about to change. Everything we had ever dreamed of was about to come true with the flick of a pen.

Once the deal was sealed, we headed to our dream home to paint and get some things settled before the kids were due to get out of school. It was glorious. We drank it all in. This new beginning. This opportunity to provide a real home for our children. A place for them to learn and play and grow and feel loved.

We spent the day focusing on the kids' rooms so that they would be done when all of our worldly possessions were moved into our new house the next day. We wanted the kids to feel settled immediately. We wanted them to come into the new house with a sense of peace and familiarity. We wanted them to feel like they were home.

Once we had done all that we could do, we begrudgingly removed ourselves from our new home, picked the kids up from school and headed back to what no longer felt like our home for one last night. Though it was the place that we had brought both of our babies home to, it was no longer our home. It was just a house. Our new home was sitting alone and lonely, hopefully as giddy to be filled with new life as we were to fill it.

And then we tried to sleep. The lack of walls that a loft provides keeping everyone constantly just at the edge of sleep and just at the edge of waking. My son and daughter waking constantly at the wrestling of the other.  Dreams of soon-to-be-fulfilled dreams kept my husband and me from every truly achieving sleep. We were buzzing with the possibilities our new house held.

Read on:
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Monday, July 15, 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 Caitlin. She is the mom of a 25-week-old little girl.

Here is her story:
This is my belly at 25 weeks...first thing in the morning (the smallest of all the belly sizes in a day). There are lines and bumps and very mushy parts to it, although it managed to maintain some of it's dignity and not completely fall to pieces. My belly button looks to me like it's winking, the eye of Sauron, less of a button and more of a pit. It's surrounded by stretch marks that reach out from it like sun beams...except less lovely. I still have that line that magically appeared during my pregnancy which does not give the illusion of a six pack like I was hoping it might. I don't have those feelings of amazement about my body some claim to have, nor to I completely hate the way it looks now. I try not to spend too much time thinking about it either way...I'm just thankful for a healthy, happy little girl and for having the common sense not to name her something crazy.

Thanks, Caitlin. 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, July 11, 2013

Never forget where you came from

I have been in a really good place lately. Between therapy and anti-depressants, I have found a path that has made walking through everyday life easier. But I don't take this new-found steadiness for granted. Being in this place has just reminded me how far I have come.

Where I have come from is being a shell of my former (and now recovered) self. The wildfire of depression had burned through me until there wasn't even a flicker of life left in my eyes. But I smothered its flames with a blanket of anti-depressants, therapy and good friends. So I could light my own flame again.

I may be standing on top of life's mountain waving my freak flag right now, but it is only because I can remember what it was like to live with this mountain on top of me. Crushing my very will to live with its weight. The feeling that I couldn't even lift my middle finger to tell the world around me to fuck off, let alone raise my hand to ask for help has not left me. It is just packed away for now. I bring it out every now and then just to remember what it was like to feel that helpless. A photo album of sorts. A reminder of the past. So I can live in the present. And have a future.

I was a complete wreck. And I still am sometimes, but those days are fewer and farther between. The normalcy of it all is sometimes suffocating. But it is better than drowning in my own nothingness. I always know that that part of me can flood back in at any time if I don't take care of the cracks and fissures in the dam of my depression. It is a battle. Every day. But a battle worth fighting.

"Never look back" is bullshit advice. Always look back. Always know where you have been so you can remember where you are going.


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, July 10, 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 @ gmail.com (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 @ 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.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bucket Blackmail

 

My daughter has been reading a book at school that is full of awesome. It teaches her about feelings and shit and how her actions can affect other people.

The book's premise is that everyone on earth has an imaginary bucket. You can add to a person's bucket by saying or doing nice things. But if you say or do mean things, you take from someone's bucket. You, my meanie friend, are a "Bucket Dipper".

The book is called:

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

But it should be called:

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Blackmail for Kids

At first, the book made life in our house all puppy dogs and rainbows. The Quiet Contemplator was really sweet and would do and say nice things all the time for no reason. If you did something nice for her, she would say, "That makes me so happy. You fill up my bucket."

Now, however, The Contemplator has figured out how to use her bucket for blackmail. The other night she asked me if she could have another cookie and I said "no". She looked at me like I had kicked her puppy and said, "Mommy, that makes me sad. You aren't filling up my bucket!"

Then the other morning, when she wanted to watch a movie before school but knew I needed the TV to do The Shred, she said, "Mommy, it would really fill up my bucket if you let me watch Shrek right now."

Bucket blackmail is for the birds. The overall good the bucket theory provides is amazeballs, but having a kid smart enough to turn the concept around on us so we have to do her bidding is a bitch.



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, July 1, 2013

I'm Off Like a Prom Dress

I am off with the fam this week. I will be on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow me there to see what I am up to this week or come back here on the 9th for new posts! Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

Me jumping off a cliff at a float trip in 2009.


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