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Land of the free.

Yellowstone National Park.

Raw America.

Untouched land, sitting just four miles over a volcanic hot spot. Geysers spew. The bigs roam freely – elk, bison, moose, wolves and the great grizzly bear. The only shots fired are with a click of a shutter speed. Winters are brutal. Summers don’t exist.

The family decided we would take a break from our family vacation in the Florida Keys. We would head north to a place we have never been. The land of the free. America. Old Faithful. Red, white and blue.

Red, white and blue flashing in my rearview mirror somewhere near hour 12 on our road trip to Yellowstone.

South Dakota Highway Patrol Officer: Ma’am, the reason I stopped you today is did you know you drove past me on the highway and didn’t move over? Did you even see me?

I glared at our friends’ car driving by, honking, with a camera phone out the window.

Me: Uhhhh…Yes. I saw you. I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t paying attention?

Officer: You do know if you see flashing lights on the side of the highway, you need to move over.

Me: Yeah, yeah I knew that. My mother-in-law got a ticket for that once.

I dug through my wallet for my driver’s license.

Officer: Do you have registration and insurance papers?

Me: Um, this is a rental. I don’t really know…

Scott handed me our rental paperwork.

Officer: That will do. Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to step out of your vehicle.

Me: Wait, what?

Officer: Can you follow me to my car? I want to explain the law in detail with you. It’s loud on this highway and I want to talk to you.

Me: Huh? You want me to get out of my car, walk along the side of the highway and sit in your car?

Officer: Yes, ma’am.

I glanced at Scott. He looked confused.

Me: Uh, ok.

I walked in front of the officer.

Officer: Just sit in the front seat there. That will be fine.

I looked over his car to make sure it was a highway patrol car. I looked back at Scott. I opened the passenger door and sat. The driver’s door slammed shut.

Officer: So where are you headed?

Me: Yellowstone.

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Officer: You have quite a drive from Kansas.

Me: It’s taking longer now.

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Officer: Let’s see Julie. Burton. Are you related to the Burton Snowboards?

Me: Nope.

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Officer: And who is that man up there? Your husband, I assume?

Me: Yeah, his name is Scott.

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Officer: And those are your kids?

Me: Yes, two little girls.

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Officer: I see. And what does your husband do?

Me: He’s a VP at a medical software company.

Officer: And what do you do, Julie?

Me: I’m a writer.

The officer stopped punching numbers in his computer.

Officer: Oh. Uh, so does this mean I’m going to end up in the papers or something?

Me: Yep.

Officer: So back to the law you broke. I want to explain to you that whenever you see flashing lights on the side of the road, you need to move over a lane. Especially on a highway. This is a four lane highway. You need to move to the next lane. If this was a two lane highway, you would slow down to twenty miles under the speed limit. The goal is not to injure anyone along the side of the road here.

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Me: I believe I was more concerned about my speed at the time.

Officer: I clocked you at 81 in an 80. Do you understand the law you broke, Julie?

Me: Yep. I understood it when you were at my window too.

Officer: So where are you staying at in Yellowstone?

Me: Montana. My in-laws rented a house.

Officer: Oh, no camping then?

Me: Not this time.

Officer: I took my wife and kids out there to camp. Watch out for the bison. They’re everywhere. And they’re dangerous too.

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Me: That’s what I heard.

Officer: It’s crazy how many animals you will see.

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Officer: And the bears. Oh man. I won’t camp there again. They get a little too close. You have to keep your food far from your tent. It’s not my thing.

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Officer: So what are you guys going to do if you’re not camping?

Me: Oh, I don’t know. I definitely want to white water raft. I love the thrill of danger and going REALLY fassst uhhhh… I’ve never done it before.

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Officer: Yeah, that’s pretty fun.

Me: Oh! And I really want to try fly fishing.

Officer: Really? Fly fish? Not many women do that. Man, I could never get my wife to fish.

Me: Yeah, fishing is our husband/wife thing, I guess. We just got back from the Bahamas last week. And we got an invite to fish in Costa Rica with some friends, probably in January. We went to Dominican Republic last year. I caught my first white marlin. So this fly fishing will be interesting.

Officer: REALLY?! Yeah, I want to fly fish. But I decided that will take up too much of my time. I’ll just wait for retirement.

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Me: Well, at least you have some pretty views here in South Dakota. Is that where I am at?

Officer: Yes. Ok, world traveler. I printed out your citation here.

Me: Damnit.

Officer: You can mail the fine to this address in South Dakota. It’s not due until mid-August. That should give you enough time to enjoy your vacation and get back to Kansas. If you would like to plead not-guilty, you must appear at this courthouse at this time.

Me: I’m not coming back to South Dakota.

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Officer: If you would sign here for me, saying you understand you broke the law.

I signed.

Officer: Here is your driver’s license back. And you’re free to go.

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I opened the door and slid a foot out.

Officer: Have fun in Yellowstone!

Me: Thank you.

I slammed the door. I opened my driver’s car door. Then slammed the door again.

Scott: What the hell took so long?

Me: I said thank you, Scott.

Scott: What?

Me: He gave me a ticket and I said thank you.

Scott: You got a ticket? How much? You were in there for 20 minutes! Did he do anything to you? I was about to get out and see what was going on!

Me: I don’t want to talk about it. He just talked my ear off. Thank you. Jesus. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you, Yellowstone.

Thank you, Yellowstone.

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Thank you.

Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Is it on the bucket list? And more importantly – have you ever been asked to sit in a cop car and not be arrested? Has a cop ever asked you to walk along the side of a highway, explain to you how dangerous this is, then give you a ticket for not moving over a lane? I can’t make these stories up.

Or these pictures. 

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

In the car.

Kate: I gotta fart but I’m going to wait until we get on the highway and you can’t roll down the windows.

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There was a car in front of me, stopped in the road. The flashers were not on. I waited for a little bit then decided to go around them. I started to pull forward.

Me: Ugh, come on people! You can’t just stop in the middle of the road!

I hear the window go down.

Me: Hey, what are you doing?

Kate: HAAA! That’s great, Emma!

I passed the car.

Me: What’d she do? What are you guys doing?

Kate: Emma gave that car a thumbs down. Then I stuck my tongue out at the people.

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Scott was driving the car. The girls were fighting in the back.

Scott: KATE. I saw you slap Emma.

Kate: It was an accident.

Scott: No. I saw it in the rearview mirror. Don’t you lie to me.

Kate: You saw an accident.

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We took the girls to a restaurant. We decided to sit on the rooftop bar. There was a man smoking next to us.

Kate: UGH. I HATE THAT SMELL.

Me: I don’t like it either but since we decided to eat outside on the rooftop, sometimes that happens. If you want, they can move us downstairs where there’s no smoking. Don’t be rude.

Kate and Emma: (sit and glare at the man, smoking. Both have their shirts pulled up over their noses)

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We walked into Walmart.

Kate: I don’t really know why but I hate this store.

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Scott told Emma to run into apartment to get something as we waited in the car. She walked inside and shut the door.

Scott: And hurry up, numb nuts!

Me: SCOTT.

Scott: (glances back at Kate) Oh, sorry. She doesn’t know what that means.

Scott wondered why Emma was taking so long so he went inside the apartment too.

Kate: (whispers) Hurry up, numb nuts.

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Kate: I don’t like airplanes. It plugs my ears and it makes my voice quiet.

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The girls had a friend, Elle, over. I told the girls they could pop some poppers in the front.

Me: Here is my rule, girls – no throwing these at people, especially people’s faces.

I shut the door and watched from window. I went to get my computer.

Kate’s voice: AMERICA! (snap, snap) Yeah! GO AMERICA! (snap, snap, snap)

I heard a knock at the door.

Woman: Do you know your daughters are throwing these in front of cars?

Me: Oh. No. I told them to throw them on the ground. I’m sorry. Girls, tell her you’re sorry.

The woman left.

Me: KATE BURTON, YOU GET IN HERE.

Elle: Kate yelled “Go America” and threw the poppers in front of the cars so the cars would make a noise.

Kate: I like America.

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Kate walked in the apartment.

Kate: Hey, can I shoot my water gun at cars?

Me: Well, I don’t care but your dad said to stop doing it. So, no. Don’t do it or we’ll both get in trouble.

Kate: What about the really dirty ones?

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Emma got contacts fairly recently. I asked her to put her contacts in after she woke up.

Emma: Ugh, fine. How long do I have to keep putting contacts in my eyes to see?

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I woke up and saw Kate’s face in my face.

Kate: What’s your 5th favorite color?

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I was holding our new puppy, Stella, for the first time.

Kate: I think she wants some milk from your boobs.

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Me: Hey Emma, you shouldn’t sleep with necklaces on. You might choke.

Emma: I didn’t.

Me: Yes, you did. I see the necklace around your neck.

Emma: I didn’t choke.

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Kate laughed at Emma getting examined at the orthodontist.

Nurse: You’re next!

Kate stopped laughing.

Next thing we know, I’m getting braces put on. The girls watched. Emma started laughing.

Kate: You’re next.

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Me: Hey Scott, feel these things. I got a new laundry detergent, these pods. Feel them.

Scott: (feels them and laughs)

Emma: What? What do they feel like?

Me: Uh…um, silicone?

Emma: They feel like little boobs to me.

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I got the girls their own library cards. I explained they need to keep their card in a safe place.

Kate: When can I get a Barnes and Noble card?

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I have been teaching the girls the singers of classic rock songs. I quiz them in the car. “You Shook Me All Night Long” comes on the radio.

Me: Who sings this, girls? I’ll give you a hint. It’s letters.

Kate: ABCD!

Emma: AC/DC, Kate! Ha! ABCD.

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“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix started on the radio.

Me: Ok, I don’t think you know this one yet. This is Jimi Hendrix. We share a birthday! He is known as one of the best guitar players. He died at a young age because of a drug overdose. Don’t do drugs, kids.

Kate: What’s a drug overdose?

Me: He started taking a drug and couldn’t stop. It’s called an addiction. Sometimes people take too much when they’re addicted and they can die from it.

Kate: But why can’t they stop?

Emma: Come on, Kate. Can you stop drinking chocolate milk? No. You’re addicted.

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Me: Guess where Nina and Papa are going next weekend?

Emma: Where?

Me: The Rolling Stones concert!

Kate: Oh, like this (sticks her tongue out like the logo)

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Kate: I made this for you, Mommy. I told Emma what to write.

Kate: I made this for you, Mommy. I told Emma what to write.

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I had a Warhead (the sour candy) in my hand.

Me: Lick this.

Kate licks and make sour face.

Kate: Can I have that?

Me: Ha! Ok.

Kate: Hey Emma, put this mint in your mouth! It’s not hot at all.

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Kate: What’s that smell?

Me: It’s an alcohol wipe to wipe my glasses off. You’re smelling the alcohol.

Kate: Let me smell it.

Me: Here.

Kate: Mmmm..I love that smell.

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Scott walked in the room in his underwear.

Kate: I see that thing hanging down. It’s like a banana in a banana tree.

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Kate: Why did Jesus make fruit flies?

Emma: Well, can you imagine how overloaded with food we would be on earth?

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Kate went shopping with me. She wore a fedora. She walked over to a bunch of other hats on a rack. She took off her fedora and my red lipstick fell out from the top of her head.

Me: HEY!

Kate: Oh, I don’t know how that got there.

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Kate: I can text you on my iPod now.

Me: But you don’t know how to spell.

Emma: She knows how to spell “I love you”, “butt”, and “you stink.”

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Special edition: Oh Kids.

Me: Do you need to go to the bathroom?

My niece, Gabby: Yeah. I gotta pee on the pot.

Me: What?

Gabby: I gotta pee on the pot.

Me: Who taught you that?

Gabby: My dad.

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Kid: Why did you bring the lifejackets, mom? If we can’t reach in the hot tub?

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Kid: (shooting a dart gun) Girls have more protection than boys from darts. They have padding up here (points to his boobs)

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Kid: Mom, have you ever been to jail?

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We went to Yellowstone with some friends and their kids.

Tyler: (to his brother) You can’t take down Emma in wrestling.

Tanner: Yes, I can! I can take Emma down. But not Kate.

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.

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Stella.

Scott: The owner of the kennel called me back. There’s a litter of pups due in May.

Me: Are the parents good?

Scott: Yeah, really good. This guy breeds some of the best pups in the country. Her parents are black labs.

Me: Uh oh. Does that mean all black puppies?

Scott: With this line, yes. She’ll be black.

Me: What did you tell them? Are you ok with that? You said you could never own a black lab after Bailey died.

Scott: …….

Me: I know you wanted yellow.

Scott: I’ll be ok. It’s not my first choice but I can live with her.

We brought Stella Bailey Burton home on July 4th, 2015.

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We felt Bailey’s absence in our new family photo. But we didn’t feel sad. We were happy. Over the moon and chasing ducks happy.

Bailey never liked it when we were sad or angry. Bailey would hide. And when everything was better, she would come back out and sit at our feet because dogs just know.

Bailey would have never wanted us to be sad about her death. In fact, she would have welcomed another pooping buddy in our family.

Stella knows. Stella knows she has a family now. Her job will be to retrieve birds for Scott and be the eternal optimist of the family.

But for now, she’s a puppy. She’s working on learning her name, potty training, sleeping through the night and not to chew on everything she sees. She’ll be a big dog soon and her whole perspective will change.

So far Stella hates my ideas and she hates my blog.

But how many times in your life can you carry a black lab in your jacket?

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How many times can a black lab ride shotgun on your lap in the car?

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How many times can you let a black lab get behind the wheel?

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How many times can a black lab insist the perfect spot is snuggling inside the cup holder?

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How many times do you see a black lab sitting inside her food bowl to eat?

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How many times does a black lab gnaw on your toe bone like a damn chicken wing?

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How many times can you hold a black lab with one hand?

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How many times can you stuff a black lab in a backpack?

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How many times can you hide a black lab in the nightstand?

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How many times can a black lab fit inside a cowboy boot?

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How many times can you wear a black lab as a top knot?

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How many times can you put a black lab in a pot?

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How many times can a black lab fit inside a….hey, come back here!

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How many times can you sweep up a black lab?

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How many times can a 6-year-old pick up a black lab?

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How many times can a black lab and a 3 month old baby in the same room break the Internet?

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How many times did we think we would never see a black lab wear this collar again?

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We miss her too, Stella. You have a big collar to fill.

Keep resting, Bailey. Watch over our Stella.

Keep resting, Bailey. Watch over our Stella.

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Sea level.

I’m starting to realize our fishing is not normal. IMG_5655My vacations in general are not normal. 

When Boost Oxygen asked me to write about my experience with their product, I told them I would. They saved my life in Colorado and I would love to share my story.*

* I am not being paid. I don’t want to be paid. I write about my life on my blog. It’s that simple.

Ok, back to my impending death – fine, I probably wouldn’t have died in Colorado from the flu and altitude sickness. But on the last day of “vacation,” the oxygen tank and nose plug were pulled from my lifeless body. You can read about the adventure here. 

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We eventually had to start the 10,000 feet decline back home to Kansas. A walk from the hotel to the truck caused my lungs to deflate. I couldn’t get my lungs full. Scott pulled out a can of Boost Oxygen from his bag. He found it in one of the mountain shops and thought it might help. And then I could breathe again. I clung to the can until we touched ground in the thick Kansas City air.

Boost Oxygen worked.

Last weekend, I went to sea level. I went fishing in the Bahamas. And when I say I went fishing in the Bahamas, I went fishing in the Bahamas.

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There are no charter boats. No hotel reservations. The beach and cocktails are for tourists. The sun is our enemy and the moon is our friend.

Yellowfin tuna.

Yellowfin tuna.

These fish were not caught with a throw of a line, cracking open a beer and prayers. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. These fish were caught running on 4 hours of sleep, 10 containers of sunscreen, 7 pairs of sea legs, two professional anglers, a can or two of Boost Oxygen and a hell of a lot of cussing at sharks.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner consisted of a bag of chips and a red bull. But if you’re eating, that means you’re not catching fish. Don’t bother mentioning the words, “Taco Bell sounds good right now.” You might as well just walk the plank and swim back because that’s called bitching. The boys won’t turn around for bitching.

A yellowfin tuna bite takes the strongest, most experienced angler on the boat at least 20 minutes to reel. The guys wouldn’t let me attempt to reel in a yellowfin because they thought I would lose it. And they’re right – I probably would have.

The next day, I peed over their heads while I hung on a rope attached to the boat.

The guys went diving to spear fish in 25 feet of pee water. Once someone had a fish on the end of their spear, an 8 foot shark would come straight after them. It’s just a hunch but I’m guessing the sharks were female. It is shark week, folks.

Mass chaos in the middle of the ocean is the only kind of fishing I’ve ever known. After all, this is fishing with outdoor maniac and Salt Armour ProStaff, Brett Cannon and his crew. To end our trip, Brett didn’t disappoint – we got a midnight chase from the United States Customs Service. If that doesn’t cause you to drop your phone and hyperventilate in a bag, hauling 300 pounds of fish on the dock just might.

I’m back in Kansas with a freezer full of fish. I’m sleep-deprived but at least I wake up with a Bahamian glow. And full lungs. I wouldn’t survive another vacation without a boost of oxygen.

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My trip was exhaustion at sea level.

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What is your ideal vacation? Skiing in the mountains? Or fishing in the Bahamas? Do you crave adventure such as skiing or fishing while on vacation? Or do you like having cocktails on the beach or perhaps a beer in a mountain lodge? Hangovers are exhausting too. Next time you need to catch your breath – try Boost Oxygen! It will help. 

braces

Say cheese.

It was a last second decision, really.

Or maybe it was a decision I made in my head years ago.

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I took Emma in for an orthodontic consultation and I walked out with bottom braces for the next ten months.

I don’t know what happened. I was sitting there, talking to the orthodontist about Emma’s smile. I said I wish I wore my retainer. One x-ray and a quick quote later – BOOM.

I picked a seat in between two middle schoolers and started to decline. Right there, a 33-year-old public service announcement: wear your retainers, kids. And worse, my own kids took video on my phone. I had a laughing audience.

I sent a picture text to Scott when I was done. My phone rang.

Me: Hello?

Scott: Please tell me this text is photoshopped. What the hell did you do?! I thought you were taking Emma in!

Me: Well….it’s all because of one tooth, really.

Scott: This is real? You have braces on right now? You look like you’re 15!

Me: Oh, do I? Thank you. Hey, do I have a lisp?

Scott: I didn’t know you were getting braces! How much did those cost?

Me: It’s way cheaper than you think. I got a discount for being a returning customer. And it’s considered a “fix.”

Scott: Fix what?

Me: My one tooth.

Scott: What tooth?

Me: Ugh, Scott. The one tooth that never kept its act together. It went all sideways. It looks like I’m missing a tooth sometimes when I smile or talk.

Scott: I’ve never noticed it. Show me a picture.

Me: No. I know how to hide it. I delete pictures if I see the missing tooth. I’ve been hiding it for years.

Scott: I had no idea you were so self conscious about this. I guess apparently enough for braces? BRACES? BRACES. Metal ones.

Me: Oh, and a retainer for my top teeth. Just at night. She could tell my one top tooth is starting to protrude. We made a retainer today. She saved me from snaggletooth, Scott.

Scott: Your dumbass would buy a snow cone in the arctic.

Me: It was included in the price! Now I feel vain.

Scott: Hey, if it makes you happy…whatever.

Me: Am I vain?

Scott: No, you’re not vain. Look at you. You hit puberty all over again. You have braces on.

Me: Hey, Emma and I will be in braces at the same time!

Scott: Goodbye, brace face.

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To answer your questions – yes, they hurt. But no pain, no Hollywood smile.

I’ve lost about 5 pounds in two days because of the “braces diet.” I forgot how much food I can’t shovel into my mouth. I’m surviving with protein shakes, soup and sucking on an occasional barbecue chip.

I spend at least 30 minutes brushing and flossing my teeth, twice a day. The biggest difference between 13-year-old me and 33-year-old me is screw you, coffee and red wine. Adult teeth staining is a real thing.

I’ve already broke a bracket by ripping off a tag with my teeth. I bought a new bikini. I’m  fishing in the Bahamas this week. And they say barracudas are attracted to metal. I can’t wait to explain this one to my orthodontist.

Scott, I’m bringing pliers so you can cut the barracuda off your 15-year-old wife’s lip.

Have you ever gotten adult braces? Would you? Are you self conscious about something you’ve never told anyone about? Do you still wear your retainer? I’m already impressed if you do. 

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

We took the girls out to Scott’s land he leases. We were driving around in our 4-wheeler. Scott walked off to check his corn and the girls and I waited.

Kate: Uh, I gotta pee.

Me: Ok, come here. I’ll hold you up against the 4 wheeler.

Emma jumped off to get out of the way. She stood in front of Kate, about 3 feet away. I positioned Kate to pee.

Me: Ok. Go. And try not to pee on my boots.

Kate: Watch this. (giggles)

She forced the pee out as hard as she could. The pee flies up like a rainbow and lands all over Emma.

Emma: (screams)

Me: (screams)

Kate: (laughs)

Me: KATE AUDREY! YOU STOP IT! DO YOU HAVE A PENIS?!?!

Kate: (stops forcing pee) No.

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The girls and I were in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office.

Me: Kate! Stop kicking Emma’s stomach! Kate! You can’t punch stomachs either!

Kate: Doesn’t matter. We’re at the doctor’s.

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Me: Kate, will you take this container and water my strawberry plant outside?

Kate: Sure.

Me: Ok, it’s heavy. Got it? Just tip the spout on top of the plant.

Kate: Can you open the door for me?

Me: Yeah. (open door)

Kate: (stands at the door, chucks the water bucket at the side on the plant and takes a step back inside)

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I watched the debut of Tyler Farr’s new music video for “Withdrawals.” Emma and Kate walked in the room and started watching with me.

Kate: What are you watching?

Emma: Tyler Farr. Mom and dad went fishing with him, remember?

Kate: Did you guys sing together too?

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Scott and I took the girls out to eat at a restaurant.

Kate: RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU LIKE DICKS!

Scott: Sporting Goods?

Kate: Yes.

Scott: Oh ok. (raises his hand)

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I was driving the girls in the car.

Kate: Shit.

Me: Kate?

Kate: Yeah?

Me: Hmmm…nevermind.

Later that evening. Scott drove us to the Royals game.

Kate: Ah, I dropped my iPod! Shit!

Scott: What did you say?

Kate: Nothing.

Scott: Did you say the “s” word?

Kate: I don’t remember.

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We parked at Kauffman Stadium. We started walking across the parking lot.

Me: Hey, remember D17. Kate, remember D as in Daddy. Emma, remember 17. It’s the day we got married.

Kate: Ha! 17th. Why?

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Me: Are these new PJ shorts too short?

Scott: No.

Me: What about when we go on vacation with your parents? Can I wear these around?

Scott: Wait, let me look again.

Emma: They look ok to me.

Kate: They look ok to me too. Ha! Look at that butt cheek hangin’ out!

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I pulled up to our new house.

Me: Girls, I’m going to snap a few pictures. I’ll be right back. I’ll leave the car on since it’s hot out. Stay here.

I walked back out to the car. The girls were in the driver’s seat. Kate was slouched down. The car was revving up.

Me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?

Emma: Mom, Kate tried to drive your car. I tried to stop her.

Me: KATE! NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!

Kate: I want to go fast. That pedal you showed me isn’t working.

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The girls climbed in bed with me one morning.

Emma: Pew, Kate your breath stinks.

Me: Kate, go brush your teeth, please.

Kate: But it’s morning.

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I went to the eye doctor and brought the girls with me.

Eye doctor: Can you read the smallest line?

Me: E, G, T, Y, L and maybe G?

Emma: Ha!

Kate: WRONG.

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My sister, Jenna, watched the girls while I got a bikini wax.

Kate: Do you know where my mom is?

Jenna: What? Uh, where?

Kate: She’s at CVS getting a wax.

Jenna: Do you know what a wax is?

Kate: I dunno.

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Kate: Look at my swimsuit! It shows my belly!

Scott: And do you like that?

Kate: Yes.

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I got the girls into their swimsuits in the women’s locker room at the gym.

Kate: Why do they separate the boys and the girls?

Me: Why do you think?

Kate: Because they laugh at each other.

Me: Would you laugh at a naked boy?

Kate: No. I see daddy all the time.

Me: But you laugh.

Kate: That’s only because he does this. (She squeezes her legs together and puts her hands over her crotch and walks around.)

____________

Kate: Girls rule, boys drool. Daddy, start drooling.

____________

Emma: Man, it’s getting hot!

Kate: Ugh. Global warming.

____________

Me: Ok Kate, while Emma is at soccer camp, we’re going to run a few errands.

Kate: Pick up birth control?

Me: What?

Kate: What’s birth control?

____________

Kate: Mommy, what’s your favorite thing to do? You know, besides typing on a keyboard?

____________

I was getting dressed.

Kate: See your Patinos. (Pa-teen-nos)

Me: What are patinos?

Kate: Butt cheeks. Patinis means more than one butt cheeks. Like two people’s butt cheeks.

____________

Emma: Mom, can I have a cinnamon roll?

Kate: Sure can, babe!

Me: What?

Kate: I’m the mom today.

____________

Emma: Where’s Kate?

Me: I don’t know? I thought she was with you?

Emma: I can’t find her.

Me: WHAT? (I get up and run around, looking for Kate. I find her under my bed sheets)

Me: What are you doing?

Kate: I’m mad at the world.

____________

I took the girls out to lunch.

Kate: I need to go to the bathroom. Be right back.

Me: How do you know which door to go in if you can’t read?

Kate: On the sign, the girls have dresses on and the boys are naked.

____________

Kate was eating french onion soup.

Kate: Will you take off the cheese?

Me: That’s the best part! You’re so strange.

Kate: (eats soup)

Me: You want to get ice cream after this?

Kate: Ok, let me eat the rest of these onions first.

____________

I left the Target cashier.

Kate: Can I hold the wrapping paper?

Me: Yes.

I walked out the door. I felt a whack to my butt. I turned around.

Kate: (eyes get big, wrapping paper behind her back)

____________

I take the girls to a spot in town with thousands of flags on display for Memorial Day weekend.

Me: Isn’t it pretty, girls? It’s to remember the people that died fighting for our country.

Kate: How many people died?

Me: Oh, um. In every war total? A lot. Hundreds of thousands. Probably more than that.

Kate: But did we win the war?

____________

Kate: Did you know seahorses burp?

____________

Emma: Would you rather jump off a cliff and die or eat pasta with poop meatballs?

Me: Gross, Emma! Eat pasta.

Kate: I would vote jump off a cliff but I whip out my parachute.

____________

My sister, Jessica, taught the girls that if we were royalty, Emma would be the heir and Kate would be the “spare.” Now the girls speak with British accents.

Emma: I am the heir and Kate is the spare.

Kate: And my mum is cray with blueberries on her boobays.

____________

Special Edition: Oh Nieces.

Summer time is here. That means extra time around Aunt Jules!

Gabby (3 years old): Hey, Emma and Kate, let’s pick Julie’s butt.

____________

Gabby: Do you have a sister?

Me: Yes, your mom.

Gabby: But she’s a big kid!

Me: She’s my little sister.

Gabby: No way. Who’s your mom?

____________

Gabby: You have nice barbies.

Me: What’s barbies?

Kate: Boobs.

____________

The family attended the baptism of my niece, June. I had my niece, Evelyn, on my lap.

Evelyn (2 years old): (whispering) Hey lets go up those stairs.

Me: Shhhh. No, that’s the alter. June’s up there with your parents right now.

Evelyn: Let’s go up the stairs, turn around, and say cheese. Lets see what happens.

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.

congratulations

Congratulations.

“Congratulations!”

The word makes me uncomfortable. I have not done anything in my life worthy of a congratulations.

I have never climbed Mt. Everest. I have never written a Nobel Prize book. And I haven’t found a cure for cancer.

I understand the concept – congratulations is a “well wish.” People want the best for you.

“Congratulations on your Bachelors degree from K-State! We’re so proud of you!”

Thank you. But all I did was stay sober enough for 4 nights out of the week. And actually I’m still drunk from the night before because of this thing called Thursday night 99 cent jack and cokes. Did I just slur that?

“Congratulations on your wedding!”

Thanks! We found love and signed a paper. My parents paid for your free meal and booze..my dress, the flowers, the DJ…I tripped up the aisle after I said “I do.” You’re welcome for the laughs.

“Your newborn daughter is beautiful! Congratulations, mom and dad!”

Um, thank you. We had unprotected sex. I survived childbirth. And he still just had sex.

“Congratulations on your new house!”

Oh, you don’t need to congratulate, just come over anytime.

Ah, the house is tricky. Congratulations on the biggest investment you will ever make. Some people can’t afford a house. Some people live in one house their entire adult life. Scott and I are going from a nice house to a nicer house. The thought of congratulations makes me uncomfortable. It’s a social status congratulations.

Our house is under construction. We’re living in an two-bedroom apartment.

Apartment life. People do it all the time, look at New York. The lawn care is taken care of. There’s a handyman on-call. It’s cheaper than owning. Four months of living in an apartment with kids cannot be that bad.

I am google searching congratulations balloons to be delivered to us in July. And one of those giant welcome home signs across the garage. I might throw my own block party with a DJ instead of unpacking.

I don’t know what happened. It all went downhill.

Day 1.

Me: This is nice, Scott. A lot of space and the kids love sharing a room. I feel like we’re on a vacation with all these restaurants and good places to shop. I could live here. We don’t need some huge house. We’d save so much money. We could travel the world.

Scott: Yeah, once we get out of here, this will probably feel like home.

Day 3.

Scott: Some cat peed in the back of my truck, all over my hunting blinds.

Me: Speaking of cat pee, why does the girls’ room smell like cat pee? Maybe the previous owner had a cat and they didn’t get the smell out? Or maybe the cat that peed in your truck, peed by the window outside?

Scott: It does stink like something.

Me: Or you think the people above us has a litter box? Can that smell down here?

Day 4.

Me: Scott, I think the guy above us beats his kid.

Scott: What?

Me: I hate it when you’re out of town. I almost called the cops. The little boy sounded school-age. Screaming and his dad was yelling at him. Emma heard it too and got scared for the boy. Screaming like he was being murdered, Scott.

Scott: I’ll tell the apartment when I get in tomorrow.

Day 5.

Scott: The apartment said the dead beat dad is moving out in a week. That settles that.

Me: But the kid!

Scott: Fine. If it happens again, I’ll go up there.

Day 10.

Me: I’ve been awake since 6 am because the dude above us decided to take a pee.

Scott: What?

Me: I can hear dead beat dad’s loud pee stream.

Scott: That’s disgusting. Just a couple more months.

Day 20.

Me: THAT’S IT.

Scott: What now?

Me: Well, when I brought our trash to the dumpster, I could see through someone else’s trash.

Scott: What was it?!

Me: SMIRNOFF ICE.

Scott: No way!

Me: Who drinks a case of that? What kind of adults are we living with? I haven’t had one of those since…since…beginning of college? Maybe?

Day 23.

Scott: Damnit, call the apartment people tomorrow. The girls flooded the bathroom with the toilet. Damn toilet just leaks water constantly. We don’t have enough towels, I had to use bedsheets.

Me: WHAT?! I can’t call them out tomorrow. We have Belle and we didn’t pay the $500 pet deposit. Remember? She’s in stealth mode. I’d have to find a pet sitter.

Scott: I’ll fix it. Fine.

Day 30.

Me: Who just knocked on the door? Huh? I think I just saw some school-age boys run off?

Scott: Let me answer the door if they do it again.

Me: Shhhh…here they come. Here comes the knock…

Scott: (opens door) ROARRRRRR!

Me: (laughing) I think they know the girls live here.

Scott: Yeah, that’ll teach ’em.

Day 44.

Me: Do you know how lucky you are to travel so much? You don’t have to live in cat pee.

Scott: Few more months.

Day 46.

Scott: I’ve been up since 7 am because the people next to us like to have morning sex.

Me: What? She was just reading her daughter a book last night.

Scott: Yeah, well, she likes to get freaky in the morning. Banging her head on the wall.

Me: I didn’t hear it.

Scott: Moaning too.

Day 50.

Me: Why haven’t you answered your phone?

Scott: I’m entertaining my clients on Bourbon Street. What happened?

Me: I found the cat pee smell. I just sent you a picture of it.

Scott: I haven’t got it yet. What is it?

Me: MOLD. There’s BLACK MOLD on Kate’s side of the room. It’s all along the trim and going up the wall. It’s under her mattress. The carpet is saturated.

Scott: Are you kidding me? That’s a bunch of bullshit.

Me: This explains Emma’s increase in asthma attacks and my daily headaches. I never get headaches! I thought it was from stress but now I realize it’s from MOLD.

Scott: Get Emma out of that apartment. I don’t want you breathing that. Go to your mom and dad’s tonight then I’ll be home in the morning. Save all those pictures. I’m not paying a dime until they clean this shit up.

Day 64.

The mold has been removed. There is a chunk of soggy drywall cut out. The carpet has been ripped up. There is a dehumidifier running in the room. The source of the leak has been discovered but not fixed.

The girls have been sleeping in our room for two weeks like a damn frat house. We won’t let the girls sleep in that room until the leak is fixed. Emma’s asthma has gotten better since the mold removal. My headaches are gone.

The new people upstairs like to vacuum at 1 am. The people next to us still like morning sex. And I’m on the lookout for what kind of human drinks Smirnoff.

50 more days. Congratulations to us.

Emma9

Halfway there.

They say after you have a baby, you blink, and then that baby is headed off to college.

I call bullshit.

A kid doesn’t just wake up one day and become an 18 year old. It’s a process. Time slows down after the age of 9.

And do you know why years 9 through 18 are slowed down? I’ll tell you why – it’s so Scott and I can be slowly reminded we’re going to be grandparents one day. THAT’S WHY.

The hormones that will make my grandchildren have showed up with their pretty, little eye-rolls.

Emma turned 9 this weekend. I usually write a sweet post about Emma’s birthday. Emma’s birth made me a mom. She made Scott a dad. Her grandparents became grandparents and her aunts and uncles became, well, aunts and uncles.

And when you’re a newbie at raising a baby, you will get unsolicited advice. Maybe it’s not so much advice but a warning. Like a hurricane. It’s coming straight for us and all we can do is board up the house and hide.

“You’re doing good, mom. Believe it or not, you’ll miss these days when she’s a teenager!”  – an older mom at Target, watching me wrestle a screaming, arched-back baby Emma in my arms.

“Oh, this is nothin’. Just wait until junior high!” – my dad, during a five-year-old Emma meltdown.

“Well, she’s 9 years old now. She’s not a kid anymore. 4th grade is the year. You’ll start to see a few girls…with body changes.” – the pediatrician, at Emma’s wellness check.

If there is one thing my kid overachieves at, it’s exploding estrogen. The teenager showed up last year. It was subtle at first.

You’re the meanest mom ever! I tell all my friends you’re mean!

That’s cool. A big kid meltdown. When she’s mad at me, she runs to Scott. And when she’s mad at Scott, she runs to me. We have this all under control. She has no clue we’re on the same team.

Then it unraveled within the year.

I don’t like my hair in a ponytail because my face looks fat.

I just walked around the playground by myself because no one would play with me. I want to change schools now.

That girl said she’s not going to be my friend anymore. Everyone hates me because I’m ugly. And Kate is the pretty one.

Watching a child change into a woman is painful. Heartbreaking, even.

I could write advice about middle school and the awkward years. But she wouldn’t relate to it because she hasn’t been through it. And I know the first rule of age 9 through 18 because I invented the rule – don’t listen to your mother. 

She’ll figure it all out.

She’ll figure out those mean kids don’t hate her. Those mean kids will just turn into asshole adults. The world is full of them. They probably don’t even know they’re assholes. She’ll learn to brush them off.

She’ll figure out she is not ugly. It won’t take a family member to tell her she’s not. Or even a girlfriend. Or a stranger. The only person that will get her to believe she is pretty is a boy.

And as far as a dislike for her hair up, well, I don’t like my hair up either. Not because of the word “fat” but because I feel like I look like a boy. If she doesn’t like her hair up, then good. She cares. Wear your hair down, Emma. Be your own woman.

She’ll figure out that raising a child never gets easier. Worry is a cloud that hangs over parenthood. Worrying about her baby taking its first breath is just as scary as worrying about her toddler falling down the stairs. And that worry is just as scary as that “child” driving off to college, freshman-stye.

She’ll figure out one day that she’ll be a woman that blinked. And she’ll call bullshit too.

Because she is my child.

ohemmaohkate

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

I was getting dressed when Kate walked in.

Kate: Boobies!

Me: Stop.

Kate: I want boobies.

Me: You’ll get some when you’re older.

Kate: Then can I wear a string up my butt like you do too?

_________

Me: Your face gets so red when you’re hot.

Kate: I’m just mad.

_________

Kate: Will you make me oatmeal?

Me: Yeah, ok. I’ll get up.

Kate: Finally! I’ve been waiting for, like, 1,000 miles!

_________

Kate: What if you had boobs on your eyes?

_________

Emma: How much is 12 pounds?

_________

Me: I gotta go pee. Be right back.

Kate: Well, don’t just sit there on Pinterest.

_________

I rented the movie, Big (with Tom Hanks) for the girls to watch.

Emma: Do you wish you were a kid again?

Me: Hmmmm. No. Well, maybe. I would like to re-do some things.

Emma: I don’t wish to be a grown up. I don’t have a wallet.

Me: Ha! You mean, like, money?

Emma: No, like a real wallet to put my money.

_________

I also rented the movie, Now and Then (with Christina Ricci) for the girls to watch. Mistake. Why isn’t that movie rated R?

Emma: Kate, truth or dare?

Kate: Truth.

Me: STOP. Where did you hear about this game?

Emma: I made it up.

Me: No, don’t lie. Where?

Emma: That movie you let us watch. Now and Then.

_________

Kate: (runs in the room with Q-tips in her ears) I’m an elf.

Me: Wait! Let me get a picture of you!

Kate: (runs off) Can’t hear you!

_________

Kate: Would you rather…eat REAL dirt and worms. Like REAL ONES. Or jump in a volcano?

_________

Kate: How do you spell “bow and arrows straight ahead.”

_________

I was shopping with the girls.

Kate: Do you have a ponytail holder?

Me: No. I have one in the car though.

Kate: I’ll just take that clip from your hair then.

_________

Me: GIRLS! Why is my bra in the middle of the living room?

Emma: Kate was wearing it under her shirt after school.

_________

Me: Happy Cinco de Mayo, girls! Let’s make margaritas and tacos for our Mexican heritage!

Emma: Ok! Can we have margaritas?

Me: Well, I bought a mix that you can drink. So yeah.

I dipped their glass rim in salt, added ice, margarita mix and a lime wedge. I made myself the same but I added a few shots of tequila.

Kate: This is yummy! Hey, what’s that?

Me: It’s the stuff you can’t have in a normal margarita. It’s called tequila.

Kate: Can I smell it?

Me: Ok. I’m sure you won’t like the smell though.

Emma: (smells, makes a face)

Kate: (smells) Mmmmm…smells so good.

_________

I took the girls to the pool. We were walking out the door. I had on a tank top over my bikini.

Kate: That’s a cute bikini.

Me: Thanks.

Kate: What’s those holes on the sides?

Me: Oh. It’s just decoration on the bottom sides.

Kate: Good thing that decoration isn’t over your vagina!

Me: (Glare at her)

Kate: (Eyes get big)

_________

Me: Kate! It’s your last day of being 5! You’ll be 6 tomorrow! Can you believe it?!

Kate: Can you believe you were REALLY, SUPER FAT 6 years ago? Your big belly probably went way out to here!

_________

Kate: Do I have school today?

Me: No.

Kate: YAY! Dark lipstick day!

_________

Kate climbed into bed with me. (Scott was out of town)

Kate: I had a dream I cut daddy’s ear off and I got scared. So I just laid there with my eyes shut, hoping it wasn’t real.

_________

Emma: Can I have a brownie?

Me: No. You’ve been fighting all morning with your sister.

Emma: (leaves then comes back with a picture) Do you like this picture I drew?

Me: AW! Yeah! Lightening bugs in a mason jar! That’s SO CUTE, Em!

Emma: You can have it for a brownie.

_________

Kate: AND I DON’T LIKE THE ROYALS!

Me: What? Why?

Kate: Because I’m mad at you.

_________

Emma: Can I have some more Pez for my dispenser?

Me: Yeah, I’ll have to look at the store. They might be hard to find.

Kate: Target. At check out. To the left. The left side, mom. Like this side.

_________

Kate: No, I don’t want sushi tonight for dinner.

Me: Why? I thought you love that place!

Kate: I do. But I eat too much of it because it’s so good then my tummy hurts. So I’m never eating there again.

_________

Kate: Why do dogs have black lips?

Emma: Because it would look weird if dogs had pink lips, Kate.

_________

Kate: Why are you wearing a Killin’ It shirt?

Emma: Yeah, mom! You don’t hunt with daddy and me!

Me: I’m wore it at the gym because I’m ‘killin it’ at the gym. You know, like, getting it done. Working out.

Kate: Oh. I thought you were going to say you killed someone at the gym.

_________

I was on my computer and Kate was in the room, looking out the window, talking to herself.

Kate: Ugh. Boys. Get off my street.

_________

Me: Did your teacher like your braided pigtails?

Kate: They’re called piglets.

_________

Me: Girls, I might interview Eric Hosmer for the magazine!

Kate: Who’s that?

Me: Royals player. Here’s his picture.

Kate: Why don’t you interview daddy?

Emma: Kate. Daddy needs to become WAY more famous for mommy to interview daddy.

_________

Me: KATE. You’re in so much trouble. Go to your room NOW!

Kate: Good thing I was walking there anyway.

_________

Me: Ok, Kate! You can come out of your room now!

Kate: NO! NEVER!

_________

Emma: Are Medusa and Bloody Mary sisters?

_________

Me: Girls, please be quiet. I’m trying to take a nap. I didn’t sleep well last night.

Kate: Mom, I have to talk out loud when I’m writing my book. Been working on it for years.

_________

Scott: You girls don’t know who Popeye is? He eats spinach and his muscles blow up big! (flexed his bicep)

Kate: You think spinach blows out his butt too?

_________

It was the Royals home opener day. The girls were in school when the game started. The school must have been talking about the game.

Me: Hi girls! Hurry up, get in the car.

Emma and Kate: ROYALS!! TURN ON THE GAME, MOM!! RADIO! ROYALS GAME!

_________

Kate: Knock it off, you little J SNAP. (snapped twice at me, in a J formation)

_________

Me: Ugh. That turkey fan stinks so bad. Brett (our friend) needs to get that thing out of our garage.

Kate: Yeah! I’m going to tell Brett to take it back to Florida when he leaves.

Emma: Uh, you know, mommy will deliver it and just stay in Florida.

_________

Scott: You girls are going to start doing chores to help your mom out. We will pay you if you do a few things around the house. Today, you can put away all your clothes.

(the girls put away their clothes)

Emma: I will keep a list of how much money you owe me.

Kate: (walked up to me with her hand out) CASH.

_________

Me: Go put away your clothes. I’ll have money for you.

Kate: I have too much money from putting away my clothes too many times.

_________

Kate: When will I get some boobs?

Me: I don’t know…like 12 or 13?

Kate: (held out fingers) 6…7…8…9…10…11….12. Yay!! Just 7 more years!

_________

Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Kid: Can anyone break wire?

Mom: Well….

Kid: God can break through wire

Mom: Yep! God can do anything.

Kid: I know someone who is stronger than God.

Mom: Who:

Kid: God’s mom.

_________

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.

epidural

Men get epidurals too.

May 7, 2009.

I gave birth to a blonde-haired baby girl named Kate.

May 7, 2015.

Scott claimed he went to a place where only women have gone. It’s a place where the human body tortures and rips itself open in the highest severity of pain. It’s the 10 out of 10.

You guys, Scott experienced the pains of childbirth. 

scottfield

“My back hurts. It’s time.”

_______

Me: I NEED HELP! I NEED A STRETCHER FOR MY HUSBAND IN THE CAR.

Doctor: Ma’am. Is your husband injured?

Me: Yes. Yes, hurry. He can’t move.

Nurse: (pushing an empty wheelchair out the Emergency Department’s doors) Ma’am, how did you get him in the car if he can’t move?

Me: I had help. It took hours. And he won’t want that wheelchair. He needs to lay down.

Nurse: Ma’am this is all we have. He’ll have to use the wheelchair.

Scott: I can’t….I can’t…I need to lay down.

Nurse: Sir, what happened?

Scott: My back went out. I can’t move.

Nurse: We’ll make it work. I’ll call for back up. Ma’am, when we get him loaded, you can park your car over there.

_______

Nurse: Scott, what is your pain level right now?

Scott: It’s……hold…on. It’s high. 9. 10. 9-10. It’s when I move. The pain makes it…unbearable.

Nurse: Ok. what time did this happen?

Scott: About 9 am.

Nurse: You’ve been in this kind of pain for 7 hours?

Scott: Yes.

Nurse: (looks at me) You poor thing.

Scott: I thought…it…would get better.

Me: (mouth) Thank you.

Nurse: Ok, Scott. The doctor is coming in now.

Doctor: Hey, Scott. I see you were working at the farm when this happened?

Me: Ha!

Doctor: (looks at me) And your relation is….

Me: Oh. I’m his wife.

Doctor: And do you two live on a farm?

Me: (giggle) No. He was planting corn on the farm he leases. It’s to feed deer. He’s a pretend farmer. He hunts deer.

Doctor: Ok. So tell me, pretend farmer, what exactly happened when you got your injury?

Scott: I…bent. over. I bent over. To pick up something. It felt like….like, a lightening strike in my back. I fell. I can’t move when my…back spasms. When it stops spasming….I’m ok when I’m laying down.

Doctor: Ok, I’m going to touch in a couple spots. Can you feel me here?

Scott: Yes.

Doctor: This might hurt. Can you feel this?

Scott: OW OW! YES.

Doctor: What medicines have you taken so far?

Scott: (points at me) Well, she gave me some leftover oxicodone that expired in 2011. I took one about two hours ago. It didn’t help.

Me: (mouth drop)

Doctor: SHE did? Ok, I’m going to make you more comfortable with medicine and order a CT scan. We’ll see how you are after that.

_______

Me: SCOTT! I didn’t give you oxicodone! I gave you leftover acetaminophen with codine from 2011!

Scott: Did I say oxicodone?

Me: YES! Huge difference!

Scott: Oh, sorry.

Me: We should have called an ambulance. You’re lucky your concerned sister-in-law didn’t do it for you.

Scott: Jessica was going to call an ambulance?!

Me: Uh. Yeah.

Scott: I would have sent the bill to her.

Me: How’s your back now?

Scott: It’s like a 2. I’m ok once the spasming stops. When I’m flat on a bed.

Me: Christine says they’ll probably give you some really good drugs.

Scott: You already texted Christine?

Me: She’s a nurse, dude. Oh, she said if you’re in this much pain, she wants to see tears. Here. Will you pose with tears?

_______

Nurse: Ok. The doctor ordered 4 drugs for you. One is a muscle relaxer. And three are for pain. I’m going to give them to you by IV. Hold your arm out while I start the IV. These will cause you not to be able to operate a vehicle or sign any important documents.

Scott: Ok.

Nurse: Here we go. They might make you feel kinda funny at first. It’ll hit you then hopefully start working.

Scott: I’m really ok now that I’m on my back. I don’t feel any…. oh wow. You just rocked my world.

_______

Scott: You’re so beautiful.

Me: (giggle) HA! Nice drugs, there.

Scott: You are. You’re so pretty.

Me: Can I film you?

Scott: I really hope these food plots get us some monster deer.

Me: Tell me I’m pretty again.

Scott: I mean, all I did was bend over! It could have happened anywhere! I wasn’t lifting or anything. I’m so lucky this didn’t happen while driving my truck. I went paralyzed. I would have died.

Me: Well, you’re ok now. These drugs will help and the doctor will figure out what happened. Ugh, I hate this. I want to tell the doctors you have a high pain tolerance. And that your 6 is every man’s 9.

Scott: I’m telling you, when my back spasms like that…I’ve never felt any pain greater.

Me: I thought you said your surgery knee pain was a 10.

Scott: This is more than that. This is more than childbirth.

I dropped my phone in my lap.

Me: I’m sorry, what.

Scott: Childbirth. My whole body goes numb in pain. But this time, there’s no relief. It just keeps going until I lay down on my back. My body can’t relax. It’s, like, constant pain, unbearable. My whole body goes numb.

Me: ……..

Scott: Don’t look at me like that.

Me: Childbirth.

Scott: I’m telling you. It’s worse.

Me: How do you feel now?

Scott: I’m ok when I’m on my back. My body can relax.

Me: ………

Scott: I know I have a herniated disk. It’s nerve pain. Worst pain you can imagine.

Me: RING. OF. FIRE.

Scott: What?

Me: Nothing.

_______

Doctor: Well Scott, after looking at your CT scan, your spine is showing laxity. It’s basically loose ligaments. An MRI will tell us more. You can get a consult with an Ortho as an outpatient. We’ll send you home with some drugs. It looks like you are tolerating the pain better.

_______

Nurse: Ok, Scott. Can you move out of your bed and stand, slowly?

Scott tried to get up. He collapsed back into the bed. His back was spasming.

Scott: I…can’t. I can’t move….It’s spasming again. Feel how…tight my abs are.

Nurse: Ok, I can’t let you leave if you can’t move out of bed.

Scott: I. Can’t move.

Nurse: What’s the pain level?

Scott: 10….it’s 9-10. Worst pain. Unbearable.

Nurse: I’m going to give you one more dose of a pain meds. Let me get the doctor.

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Doctor: Hey, Scott. You’re staying with me tonight.

Me: WHAT?! He’s being admitted?

Doctor: Yep. We’ll get a room for him upstairs. I can’t let him go if he can’t walk out of the hospital.

Me: Oh no! Our daughter’s birthday is tomorrow!

Doctor: How old is she?

Me: She’ll be 6.

Doctor: Cool. Birthday cake at the hospital. We’re going to schedule an MRI for tonight. We’ll have results by morning.

Scott: Call my mom.

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Me: How did you sleep last night? Did they read the MRI yet? Kate had me bring you one of her stuffed animals with its back ripped open.

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Scott: What?

Me: She’s so funny.

Scott: The MRI was ok. The nurse thinks I have a herinated disk.

Me: Really? Did they say if you need surg – OH MY GOD, SCOTT. WHAT ARE YOU ON?

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Scott: It’s not even helping. I’m waiting on the doctor to make rounds.

Me: Hey. I was in pain, at a hospital, at this exact moment 6 years ago. My pain ended in an epidural.

Scott: Your pain ended with a beautiful baby girl. Your pain was natural. I just want to walk.

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Doctor: Scott, you are a candidate for an epidural.

Me: WHAT.

Doctor: You have a herniated disk. You will need to get a consult from Ortho. For now, our objective is to get you walking. Since you are not getting relief from these meds, I’m going to have the nurses wheel you down to the pain center. It’s inside the hospital.

Scott: An epidural? Like what SHE had?

Doctor: It’s not quite the same as a woman in labor. It’s a little different. You will be getting a steroid nerve block. But yes, same type of procedure in the back.

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Scott: I don’t know what all you women complain about with an epidural. That was nothing. I even got to watch a video of the needle going in. Kinda cool.

Me: No mother has complained about an epidural. The epidural is the relief. It’s the pain leading up to the epidural. And some moms don’t even get an epidural. You want to die but you want your child to live. But I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that 6 years ago because women can’t speak with that level of pain. I’m sure your pain is your 10. But it’s not that 10.

And you’re forgetting who I delivered. KATE.

Happy 6th birthday, Kate.

Happy birthday, Kate Audrey. You’re the best 6 year old to share cheesecake with in the hospital.

Scott’s epidural helped him through his level 10 pain. His pain has moved to about a 4 and tolerable. He will continue physical therapy until he is completely healed. He was released from the hospital with a greater appreciation for Mother’s Day.

I want to know – have any mothers experienced a pain greater than childbirth? Can anyone back Scott up?