The letter U.

I’ve been waiting for the letter U.

I wanted to write a post on this but never found the inspiration. It’s a personal subject matter. It’s one of those subjects that creeps up at the age of 35 and it makes me wonder if I’m doing it right.

The only way I know if I’m doing it right is if I pull your pants down.

The letter U.

Underwear.

What kind of underwear do you wear?

I mean, obviously, if you’re a guy you will have a completely different answer than what I’m wearing. Scott wears boxer briefs. He always looks good in them. He has the perfect bubble butt and you should really check him out sometime. He could be an underwear model.

I’m 35 and still wearing a string up my butt.

Ladies, are we still wearing thongs?

I started wearing thongs in high school because my best friend, Patti, wore thongs. It felt weird for a few weeks but then it didn’t feel like anything anymore. The stringier, the better.

High school Julie, college Julie, just married Julie: Thongs were acceptable and encouraged.

Pregnant Julie and postpartum Julie: I was still in my early 20s. I didn’t know any better. In fact, a string up my pregnant butt made me feel like I could still fit into something. I left the hospital in a big ‘ole pair of granny panties with an ice pack stuffed down them. I thought my thong days were destroyed with the rest of my body.

Nope. I bounced back to my old ways.

Pregnant Julie again: The string up my pregnant butt was stretched even more. To threads.

And now, age 35 Julie: All I have are thongs. I have thongs from high school. I don’t even know how they survived 18 years. Holy shit. 18 years? I’m too old for thongs. Am I too old for thongs?

I tried “normal” bikini cut underwear. I can’t do it. It’s too much fabric. I feel like I’m wearing two pairs of pants and who needs pants anyway. At what age do women stop wearing thongs? I’m sure I’ll hang on to my drawer ‘o thongs from 1999 and roll those right into the nursing home in 40 years.

But really – what kind of underwear do you wear? I’m curious. I can’t exactly pull your pants down. But I sorta pulled my own down and that’s why I never wrote about this until the letter U showed up.

Oh but before I leave, it’s not called panties. It’s called underwear.

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The letter I.

ICE CREAM.

It’s ice cream.

The letter I. 

My favorite food in the entire world is ice cream. Ice cream sounds good on a full stomach. Ice cream sounds better on an empty stomach. My death row final meal – ice cream. My pat-on-the-back treat every night for not killing anyone? Ice cream. Who screams for ice cream? That would be me if one of my piglet family members eats the last of my ice cream in the freezer.

I once chased an ice cream truck for two blocks in my old neighborhood. This probably sounds slightly psychotic for a grown woman to chase an ice cream truck but to top it off, I also carried a 2-year-old on my hip and I was 9 months pregnant with Kate. I damn near went into labor. Baby Kate enjoyed her chocolate Sundae Crunch Bar that day. She didn’t arrive until a week later when she was finally ready to meet the mother that built her bones via a solid stream of ice cream.

She later broke her tibia bone at age one but that’s besides the point.

It was just this January, almost eight years later, when Kate gave me a lesson in motherhood. It’s a lesson I won’t forget, mainly because it involves ice cream.

This particular January night’s excuse for ice cream was because the night fell on one of the coldest nights of the season. That means the ice cream won’t melt.

Kate: Can we get some ice cream?

Scott: I’m not taking you. Ask your mother.

Me: Yes! Let’s try that new Freezing Moo place. They roll the ice cream from liquid in front of you. I heard it’s good. Go put some pants on over your leotard.

Kate: Why do I need pants?

Me: Because I’ll look like a terrible mother if I brought you inside an ice cream store with no pants on. It’s 13 degrees out.

Kate: But you ARE a terrible mother.

Me: WHAT?!

Kate: Your reason should be because I’ll get cold, not what others think of you.

And that’s how Kate became a better mom than me over a shared cup of ice cream.

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Happy tears.

An update on my niece, Evelyn: There was an accident last Sunday. Evelyn suffered a blow to the head which caused her to bleed on her brain. The leaks were stopped after 4 hours of surgery. The neurosurgeon said the blood stayed in between her skull and first membrane. Evelyn did not suffer any permanent brain damage and she should develop normally. Evelyn was transferred to the PICU for several days to recover. And then she was transferred to a regular hospital room. The neurosurgeon called her a miracle baby.

I was the luckiest person in the world when my sister placed my niece in my arms to rock her to sleep. I couldn’t stop smiling at Evelyn’s blue eyes slowly closing down. It’s what the crazy aunts do. 

Sweet baby Evelyn is going home today. 

The thoughts, prayers and love from friends, family, and complete strangers were powerful. And I thank you for that. Evelyn and her parents are the strongest people I know. They thank you too.

______________________

I have another update in the family. In the midst of Evelyn’s recovery, I became a 3rd time aunt to a little boy, born in Texas, named Ben.

I played a game with Ben several days before his birth. Ben played back.

Text message to my brother-in-law and very pregnant sister-in-law: Hey, I’m going to send you a picture text every day. I want to see which picture Ben chooses to see in person. This will be hilarious.

Hey Ben, come out and look at this! Aunt Jules' doggie, Belle, is sticking her tongue out at you!

Hey Ben, come out and look at this! Aunt Jules’ doggie, Belle, is sticking her tongue out at you!

Hey Ben! Look at your uncle! He thinks he can handle the hottest salsa because he married a Mexican. Ha!

Hey Ben! Look at your uncle! He thinks he can handle the hottest salsa because he married a Mexican. HA!

Hey Ben! Come out and  look at your cousin, Kate! I told her to smile for you. Look at her face!

Hey Ben! Come out and look at your cousin, Kate! I told her to smile for you. Look at her face!

Hey Ben! Come out and look at this! Aunt Jules' doggie, Bailey, is dressed for Halloween! Snakes and puppy dog tails! Get it? HA!

Hey Ben! Come out and look at this! Aunt Jules’ doggie, Bailey, is dressed for Halloween! Snakes and puppy dog tails! Get it? HA!

Hey Ben! Come out and look at Emma. She's practicing her zombie walk for Halloween.

Hey Ben! Come out and look at your cousin, Emma. She’s practicing her zombie walk for Halloween.

Hey Ben! Throwback Thursday! It's Aunt Jules and Uncle Scott at the Kenny Chesney/Eric Church concert! Rock on out of womb and look at us!

Hey Ben! Throwback Thursday! It’s Aunt Jules and Uncle Scott at the Kenny Chesney/Eric Church concert! Rock on out of that womb and look at us!

Hey Ben! Come out and join the Aunt Jules club! She has a spot for you on her shoulders! You can hang on, like a Superman cape!

Hey Ben! Come out and join the Aunt Jules Club! She has a spot for you on her shoulders! You can hang on like a Superman cape! Wait – it’s Superman with the cape, right? Maybe Batman. Whatever.

Hey Ben! Come look at your President the year you will be born! He wears pink skirts. HA!

Hey Ben! Come out and look at your President the year you are born! He wears pink skirts. HA!

Ben. Please pray. Please.

Ben. Please pray. Please.

Thank you for not coming out on the day Evelyn almost left us, Ben. Aunt Jules couldn't have handled that.

Thank you for not coming out on the day Evelyn almost left us. Aunt Jules couldn’t have handled that. You can come out now. Evelyn is recovering in the PICU. Make Aunt Jules stop crying.

And then . . . he came out. Those babies just know when it’s time. He couldn’t have picked a more perfect birthday.

Welcome to the Aunt Jules Club, Ben.

Happy Birthday, Ben! Born October 8, 2013.

He's official.

He’s official.

To The Great Bambino.

To my unborn niece – The Great Bambino.

Baby girl. I have called you the Great Bambino since the day I found out about your existence. You must be wondering, “but why does Aunt Jules call me Bambino?” I’ll tell you why, little one. I mean, I have nothing else to do. I’m just killin’ time before you are placed in my arms.

There was a baseball player named George Herman Ruth, Jr.. He played baseball a long, long time ago. George was born 118 years ago – whoa! But George is not known as what his mommy and daddy named him. He was given a lot of nicknames: Sultan of Swat, The Great Bambino and most famously, Babe Ruth.

Babe Ruth is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. If there is one thing he was good at, it was hitting a baseball out of the park. That is not an easy thing to do. Aunt Jules can barely hit the ball two freakin’ feet in front of her. He helped the New York Yankees win the World Series 4 times. It took years and years for anyone to break his records. Babe Ruth was one of the first in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s big time. You can impress your boyfriends with all of this information Aunt Jules just googled.

Ah, Babe Ruth. Did you know your mom’s middle name is Ruth? She is named after your great-grandma. Your Aunt Jules, the oldest, will always see your mom as the baby of the family. Your mom got all of Aunt Jules’ and Aunt JJ’s hand-me-down clothes. She had to share a room with Aunt JJ. She had to play with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Uncle Jon. Now, don’t be feelin’ too bad for your mom – she doesn’t know what a curfew is either. This actually may work out in your favor 16 years from now, Bambino.

So when your mom and dad told Aunt Jules that you were on your way into her arms, Aunt Jules could only think one thing: Baby Ruth. Babe Ruth. The Great Bambino. Surely, it’s a boy.

No. Babe Ruth is a girl. She’s the Great Bambino.

Now tell me! Give me a hint in my dreams or something – when will you be here?! What is your real name? Are you bald? Will you be a lefty, like Babe Ruth? Without a doubt, you are very pretty. Aunt Jules is getting impatient. We’re past the 7th inning stretch, here. Aunt Jules needs to hold you, pretty little Bambino. Wrap you up like a ballpark hot dog, maybe in this new blanket Aunt Jules ordered:

Aunt Jules thinks of the best ideas in the shower.

Aunt Jules thinks of the best ideas in the shower.