Kate quit soccer.

14 Apr

Can I ask you some advice?

Of course, I can. This is the internet. Everyone has an opinion behind the safety of a keyboard.

Do you force your child to take extracurriculars? 

Are you an enforcer or a quitter?

Are you the parent that doesn’t let your child tell you no? She told me she didn’t want to but I’m going to make her go to summer camp anyway. It’s a part of being a kid.

Or are you the parent that allows your child to make their own decisions? Fine, call your dad and tell him you quit soccer. It’s ringing. — Hello? — I quitted.

Kate quit soccer.

Me: Kate, get off my leg and go run on the field with your new friends. They’re yelling your name. Go, girlfriend! Go play soccer!

Kate: No. I hate soccer.

Me: You didn’t even try it. Go kick a ball back with that little girl. Isn’t she in your class?

Kate: It’s too cold.

Me: It will warm up when you run around.

Kate: I’m not as good as Emma.

Me: But your team is with girls your age. You don’t have to play like Emma.

Kate: I don’t want you to watch me.

Me: Ok, I’ll turn around and watch Emma on the playground. Go play!

I turned around and felt Kate release my leg. I checked to see where Emma was at on the playground and then turned back around to sneak a glance at Kate.

She was gone.

I scanned heads again. Kate was not with her teammates on the field.

Then a pink coat caught my eye. She was a soccer field away.

Me: KATE!!

Kate turned around.


Kate sprinted towards my car.


We made a solid choice when we enrolled Emma in soccer. We put her in. She didn’t complain. And the child blossomed. Athletically, maybe a little bit. But it’s her confidence that blossomed. She’s changed. She’s happy. It might have to do with switching schools and milking the “new kid” status. Or it might be the sense of unity that comes with a sport like soccer. Whatever we did, we scored a goal with Emma. The stands went wild. Parenting high fives all around.

We took Kate back to the second practice.

Damn. And here come the boos.

A soccer ball was thrown at my head. I cried on the sidelines. Kate kicked the car tires in a meltdown. Scott threatened to drop kick Kate back on the field. And Emma stormed off to the parking lot and screamed, “SOCCER PLAYERS DON’T QUIT, KATE!”

Kate quit soccer again.

The enforcer parents told me to keep trying soccer with Kate. Or try dance. Or gymnastics. Kate has said no to everything. I’m not an expert parent but my gut is telling me the school switch, the move and enrolling her in soccer was too much change. 

Come on, we are talking about a 5 year-old’s free time. Fighting with her sister after school is a childhood requirement. She’ll never quit that. 

 Do I know what’s good for her? Maybe.

Is she a kid just being a kid? Well, she’s Kate being Kate.

We told Kate she could quit soccer. I feel like we just scored another goal.

Do your kids do extracurricular activities? Do you make your child stay in after-school activities if they don’t want to? Have you let your child quit anything? Do you think parents put too much time into extracurricular activities? Tell me. It’s just you and your keyboard.


Love in Ten Lines.

9 Apr

I’m not the best at reading blogs. I don’t have the time.

The easiest way to get me to read your blog is commenting on my post. I’ll most likely comment back then click to see what you’re up to.

Last night I clicked – The Brickhouse Chick. I have never met her in real life. She rarely posts pictures of herself. But I would know her if I ran into her on the street. I picture her being loud, intertwining the languages of spanish and english. And a great laugh. I have no doubt Mrs. Brickhouse has a great laugh.

She posted a writing challenge: Love in Ten Lines. (click her link to see her version.) I volunteered to participate. A writing challenge that gave me a way to explain to Scott let’s just skip the lingerie and get naked.

After all, my time is valuable.

The rules:

•Write about love using only 10 lines.

•Use the word love in every line.

•Each line can only be four words long.

•Nominate others who are up for the challenge.

•Let them know about the challenge.

•Title the post: Love in Ten Lines

•Include a quote about love (this can be your own).

•You may write in any language.


Love in Ten Lines by Julie Burton

 Love is not ribbons

 and love isn’t lace.

 That love seems pretty.

 That love comes off.

 I don’t understand love;

 love that’s easily removed.

 Admit love is bare.

Unveiled. Bald. Love exposed.

 Love is not hidden.

 Love is stark, undressed.

Quote: “One love, one heart.” — Bob Marley. Because sunshine, saltwater, and rum cocktails.

Your turn! Who’s good at poetry? This came easier to me that I thought it would. Thank you, Maria, for the inspiration for some creative writing today. Go get naked, chica.


A bug’s life.

7 Apr

I want you to meet someone.

This is June Elaine.


They call her June Bug after, well, ahem – her aunt Julie Bug. Hey, maybe she’ll start Baby Bug Bytes one day. June shares her middle name, Elaine, with her aunt Jessica.

And there’s Evelyn. She’s a big sister at two years old.

While June stole the show on April 2nd, visitors still snuck a glance at Evelyn. She was easy to spot. Her blonde head of curls could be found hiding in the closet or inside the bathroom, pulling the emergency cord for a nurse.

Becoming a big sister brings its own attention. But Evelyn’s attention is a little different. Although unspoken, her milestones are magnified since her accident. Evelyn is watched with a silent awe.

Friends and family prayed for Evelyn to live a year and a half ago after she suffered an injury causing bleeding on the brain. (You can read about it here.) You would never know she has a scar stretching across the top of her head. A conversation with her shows no signs of brain injury. In fact, she will remember you said you would paint her nails with blue nail polish. And she will tell her mom, “I tell Julie Bug thank you for blue nail polish.”

June Elaine will never know a life without Evelyn watching over her. She will always be the little sister, the second born. She’ll be the one stealing Evelyn’s clothes, shadowing Evelyn and her friends and she will have an edge in the curfew department with her parents. Oh, will she have an edge – 4 am curfew when I had to be home by 10 pm. Jesus.

June and Evelyn’s lives are forever connected.

And we get to watch them live it. Welcome to the world, sweet June Bug.


Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

30 Mar

Kate: How do you spell I’m fed up with this place? 


Kate: I drew Bailey. (Our dog that passed away last fall)

Me: Aw, that’s cute. Draw her chasing a duck in the sky.

Kate: Ok, I need green and yellow. I got red too. Guess what the red is for?

Me: Duck feet? Duck tongue? I don’t know.

Kate: No. It’s the blood because Bailey killed the duck.


Scott traveled to Las Vegas for work. He stayed at the Paris hotel and casino.

Kate: Emma, guess where daddy is right now?

Emma: Where?

Kate: The fake Paris.


Me: Do you want some corn with your noodles?

Kate: No. I don’t like corn.

Me: What? You love corn!

Kate: Yeah, well I don’t like looking at it in my poop.


Me: You smell like outside.

Kate: You smell like dog lick.


Scott: Kate, do you want to go turkey hunting with Emma and me?

Kate: Let me check my schedule when I get home.


Kate: Can someone be the age 45?


Emma: Where is the hole that babies come out?

Me: Uhhhh…the vagina.

Emma and Kate: (laughs)

Me:  Sometimes, in an emergency, a doctor will cut the lower stomach open and pull the baby out. That’s called a C-section.

Kate: Do doctors pull the baby out of the vagina?

Emma: Kate. The baby pushes the vagina open with its hands, of course!


Me: Girls, put your pajamas on.

Emma: Are you taking us to see Aunt Jenna’s baby?

Me: She’s not born yet.

Kate: Be patient, Emma! Jesus is still making her.


Kate: How do you spell UpTown Funk?

Me: U-P-

Kate: (laughs) You just said YOU PEE!!


Kate: Where are your earrings?

Me: I took them out. I’ll put another pair back in later.

Kate: You better hurry before your ears suck back in.


Me: Kate, go to bed.

Kate: Lay with me.

Me: Ok, but just for a little bit. Ok. Close your eyes.

Kate: I don’t want to go to sleep yet. Can I scratch your back for you?

Me: ……… fine. Stay awake for a little bit.


Me: Kate, did you have a good first day at your new school?

Kate: No. It was bad.

Me: What? Your teacher said it was good. You made a lot of friends. She emailed me.

Kate: She’s lying.

Me: You’re lying.

Kate: It was terrifying.

Me: Where did you hear the word terrifying?

Kate: Emma.

Me: When did she say that?

Kate: Last month.


The girls visited San Francisco to see family with their Nana. Scott and I stayed at home.

Kate: Mommy, are you mad that we’re going to the Golden Gate Bridge?

Emma: Of course she’s not mad! She’s mad we might see Uncle Jesse!


Kate: Can I touch your boobs?

Me: NO! Get out of here!


We were looking at houses. We pass some apartments.

Kate: What about those?

Me: That’s an apartment. Those are for people that want to rent.

Kate: What’s rent?

Me: Instead of buying a house, they rent. It’s just cheaper.

Kate: Well, then why don’t they just go to the bank to get more money?


Kate: You think babies know it’s a full moon? You can’t really ask them because they don’t talk, right?


Me: Girlfriend, you just spilled spaghetti sauce all over your white shirt.

Kate: At least it wasn’t permanent marker.


Kate: Turn on the fireplace. It’s cold in here.

Emma: It’s spring, Kate. No one uses a fireplace in the spring.


I found a tick crawling in Scott’s truck.

Me: SICK. They’re back! A tick!

Kate: Why do ticks stick on you?

Me: They suck your blood for food.

Kate: Don’t they know they have their own blood?


Kate brought me a drawing she made.

Kate: This is papa in a dress. And this is daddy in a dress.


Me: Emma, do you like these pants?

Emma: Uhhh..not really.

Me: Yeah, they look like a trash bag. Lets give them to Goodwill.

Kate: I like them. They look like a rockstar.

Me: (stare at her)

Kate: A boy rockstar.


Kate: Do you feel asi asi today?

Me: Asi asi?

Kate: You know. Not good, not bad. It’s spanish.


Kate: Is it past 11:11?


Kate: Look at that short line at Taco Bell. I can smell those tacos.


Kate took a Coke from the pantry.

Scott: She has a Coke. Do you want her having Coke?

Me: I don’t think she knows how to open a can.

Kate: (stares at us from the corner and opens the Coke. Drinks it. Walks off.)


I was eating fried jalapeños.

Kate: Oh, you eatin’ the butt burners?

Me: Stop talking to your dad.


Me: Try this new recipe I made. It’s just like Pei Wei noodles.

Kate: No.

Me: I would try it if I were you.

Kate: And I wouldn’t if I were you.


I was eating candy in the car.

Emma: Mom. I’ve been watching you. Do you know that’s your 6th handful of candy?



Special Edition: Oh Kids.


Kid: Mommy, I got boobies.

Mom: No honey, those are called nipples.



Kids were playing with glitter and glue.

Dad: You are getting that shit all over.

Kid: What shit?


Kid: Whenever I yawn, eye juice come out of my eyes.


A mom and her daughter were walking out of a pizza place.

Kid: Mommy?

Mom: Yes?

Kid: You forgot something!

Mom: Oh no! What did I forget?

Kid: To hold my hand.



Is your kid hilarious? Of course they are!

If you have any kid sayings that you would like to see here, please email me at: jbugbytes@gmail.com

Your child’s name will be kept anonymous.

The soccer mom.

24 Mar

Me: Hi, my name is Julie. I’m Emma’s mom.

Soccer mom: Oh! Emma? In the green?

Me: Yeah, that’s her running with the ball there.

Soccer mom: Oh, are you the new ones? Oh, ok. Yeah, I saw you guys at the last game this weekend! Nice to finally meet you!

Me: Well, I’m glad you didn’t say you remembered us from the first game. Emma was the one that cried because we lost! We’re high drama. And which one is yours?

Soccer mom: Right there. Goalie.

Me: Aw, cute. Yeah, we’re new. We’re in the process of moving over to this side of town. The kids started school here today. I wanted to help Emma make friends so we put her in soccer. I’m so glad I did that. She has a few girls in her class.

Soccer mom: Yeah, this team is great. We played soccer here last fall. Sweet girls. And who is this little one?

Kate: ……

Me: Her name is Kate. She’s in kindergarten. She will be playing soccer too. They haven’t started yet.

Soccer mom: My little boy is in 1st grade, running over there. He just started too.

Scott sat down next to us. We watched the girls practice soccer drills.

Kate: Can I sit on your lap?

Me: Yeah but be careful. I did a leg workout yesterday. I’m sore.

Kate jumped on my legs.

Me: Ahhhhh! MY LEGS!

Kate: Sorry! (laughs)

Me: Watch Emma.

Kate looked up at my face.


Me: Shhh!

Kate put her finger up my nose. I smacked it down and shot fire out of my eyes.


Me: Don’t know. Shhhh.


Me: Probably. Everyone has nose hair.


Me: No. Why do you talk so loud? Watch.

I smiled and rolled my eyes at soccer mom.


I rubbed my nose.

Me: Look up. Oh! Nose hairs too! Now stop it. You’re embarrassing me.


Me: Get off my lap. NOW. Slow! Go slow. AHHHHH! DAMNIT! OW! MY LEGS!!!

I rubbed my nose again. The soccer mom slowly turned her back to us.


Scott: What. What happened?


Scott: What’d she say?


Has your child embarrassed you in front of someone you just met? Does your child say things to embarrass you on purpose? Are you an introvert raising an extroverted child? I need nose clippers before game day. What is nose hair for anyway?


We all have a couple loose screws.

17 Mar

“Oh, she looks like Scott.”

Scott’s family says it.

Scott’s co-workers say it.

A few of our friends say it.

She looks like Scott? She looks like Scott. Scott? What? In the nicest way possible – I think some people have a couple loose screws.

I’m just going to take a step back and remain silent while you scroll.




Ok sure, she’s not an exact replica of me. Scott came swooping in with bleached DNA and won the hair color battle on both children.


“Emma, you’re adopted.” — “Mommy, yeah right.”


And there I am looking studious in glasses and a Shirley Temple.




We all have a couple loose screws. I lost mine in junior high at Glamour Shots. Emma – I’m sorry.


Home Sweet Home.

9 Mar

There are 7 billion people on earth.

There are 319 million people living in the United States.

And there are 2 million people living in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

God, fate, karma, hell I don’t know – maybe even this blog itself has a mind of its own and made the world shrivel up to the size of a pea and next thing you know I’m living across the street from the brother of a guy I used to date.

We bought a house this weekend.

I say that sentence like it was a quick, drive-by decision. It was not.

Oh, I drove by. I drove by the house and cul-de-sac in question for months – night time, day time, weekends, middle of the week, 3 am. Stalking. Watching. Counting fire pits. Begging our realtor to stalk and send pictures while I was out of town. Drooling at the chicken parmesan one of the families made for the visiting in-laws.

I’m kidding, Scott. I have no idea if someone made chicken parmesan for the in-laws.

But I did chase down a woman walking her dog. I asked her opinion on the house and cul-de-sac in question.

Who lives on that street? How many kids? Perfect. Oh, really? The “fun” cul-de-sac? But define fun. People really wish they lived in that cul-de-sac? YOU wish you lived on that cul-de-sac? A Sporting KC player, huh. And tell me about that beer sign hanging from the deck of that one house, what’s that story? They lost a fantasy football bet with the cul-de-sac! Excellent! And how many K-Staters live on the cul-de-sac? Ok. Sold.

They say you can’t choose your neighbors. I sure tried. Without ever meeting them, I found my people. Scott found his dream home. Our kids found freedom to kick a soccer ball around with a professional soccer player. The weight was lifted. We found our happy.

We signed the papers. We are the new owners of the house on the cul-de-sac.

We admired the house we would soon be hauling our prized taxidermy into. I noticed the neighbors sitting outside. Of course my people would be outside, it was the first warm night of the year.

Me: Hi, my name is Julie! This is Emma and Kate. We just bought that house.

Man: Awww! NOOO! That was our party house!

Me: Ha! Party house, huh? …. Oh my God. Is your name Andy?

Man: Yeah.

Me: Oh my God, I dated your brother. I met you when you were in high school.  You probably don’t remember me. And actually, I met you too but you were Andy’s girlfriend at the time.

Andy: WHAT?!


Man: I don’t know what’s going on but things just got really interesting on our street.

Me: Do you remember Scott Burton?

Andy: YES!

Me: I married him after your brother introduced us! Oh, he’s walking up the street now!

Man: WHOA!


Scott: WHATTT! ANDY! What’s goin’ on, man?

Me: My stalking skills failed.

The group of men surrounded Scott. I chatted with the women. The kids jumped all over my kids. We said our goodbyes and told them we would be back soon. We took the kids out to eat in our new part of town.

Scott: What are you doing?

Me: Asking Lacey to be my Facebook friend.

Scott: Don’t be creepy.

Me: Well, you got Andy’s phone number. Am I being creepy?

Scott: Yes.

Me: Oh. Friend request accepted! Yay!

Scott: Are you serious? That fast?

Me: Yeah, she’s my person now.

Out of 7 billion people on earth, I found my people.

They have no idea the blog just arrived at their doorstep.

Do you ever get the “It’s a Small World” song stuck in your head? Do you have a story that proves how small the world really is? Do you like a social neighborhood? Or do you like privacy? How are your stalking skills? Lacey is probably reading this. Hi Lacey!




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