Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate features things my kids say. I jot the quotes in my phone so I don’t forget. If I think what they said are still funny, I will copy the quotes here.

We moved into the cul-de-sac and our house has turned into a turnstile of kids. My ears are always on. Welcome to my world, kids.


I was holding our puppy, Stella. She started to lick my shirt.

Kate: You tryin’ to lick some milk out of those boobies? Not gunna happen. Not gunna happen. No, it’s not. No, it’s not.


Scott: You girls need to start to be more active and not so lazy!

Kate: Well the dog poops upstairs.


Kate: Why do they make days so quick?


Kate: Why is Greenland named Greenland when it’s all snowy?

Emma: Maybe the scientist said, ‘hey come to Greenland and visit me! It’s beautiful and green!’ Then they came and he laughed because he tricked all of them.


We got out of the car and started to walk up the driveway after school.

Kate: Can I go over C’s house?

Me: Oh. Well, it looks like she’s on her way here. She’s leaving her driveway on her bike now. Oh wait, she turned around.

Kate: Ha! She forgot to ask her mom.

We watch C go in garage then come back out and start towards our house again.

C: Hey! Sorry! I forgot to ask my mom.


Scott and I were arguing over something in the car.

Kate: Stop fighting! You sound like a commercial.


The coyote decided to show up in our backyard again, looking for Belle to eat. Scott went outside to stalk it. I told the girls daddy would take care of the coyote and I told them to go to bed.

I woke up Kate the next day for school. She sits up, drowsy. Her head was bobbing and she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

Kate: Did he shoot it.

Me: What? Are you dreaming?

Kate: No. Daddy. Did daddy shoot the coyote.


The girls and I were watching the Royals play on TV.

Me: Oh, look! Eric Hosmer is up next. I interviewed him for the magazine, girls.

Kate: You little snot.


We had some neighborhood kids over.

Kate: Guess what?

Kid: What?

Kate: I can burp like my mom. Listen. (let’s out the world’s longest burp)


Scott: If Randy Houser were your husband would you ask him to sing to you every night?

Me: Hmmmm…I think I would assume he would sing anyway. I wouldn’t have to ask for a serenade.

Scott: I would ask Randy Houser if he were my husband. His voice is amazing.

Me: (Get out my phone to type this)

Scott: Stop it. I know what you’re doing.


Emma and I passed a building that caught on fire several months ago. The building is still standing but completely ruined.

Me: Em, look at that building. I can’t believe they haven’t torn it down yet. What a massive fire.

Emma: Yeah, someone in that building probably didn’t make good choices in their life.


The girls and their friends made a “restaurant” in our basement.

Emma: Look mom, we printed menus! It’s called Stella and Belle’s Cafe.

Me: Oh, that’s so cute!

Kid: Yeah, we printed a food menu AND we printed a beer menu for all the parents!

Me: What.

Emma: And we DO have Summer Shandy, mom. Don’t worry.


I was unpacking boxes and could overhear Kate talking to her friends.

Kate: Oh, hold on. Let me put my contacts in.

I peeked in her room. The kids were watching her open a contact case.

Me: What are you doing? You don’t wear contacts!

Kate: (touches the white of her eye) Oh. Much better. I can see!

Me: Give me that thing.

I looked in the contact case and see liquid inside.

Me: Is this contact solution?

Kate: Sometimes I put in Emma’s contacts.

Me: WHAT. You better not! How do you know how to do that?

Kate: I touch my eyes all the time.

Emma: Mom. She pretends she has contacts. It’s water.

Kate: (blinks and smiles)


Me: Kate, did you put away the clothes I put on your bed?

Kate: Lemme think.

Me: I hope you did because you said you did earlier.

Kate: Lemme think.

Me: I’m going to go check.

Kate: AH! I’ll do it tomorrow! I’ll do it tomorrow!


Emma: What should I be when I grow up?

Me: Hmmmm…good question. Let me think.

Kate: I think you should be an artist so I can get your famous paintings for free.


I was painting my nails. Kate walks in the room.

Kate: I thought I smelled nail polish!

I look up at her.

Kate: (Sticks her butt at me and farts. Walks out of the room)


Kate: Would you rather stand in front of boys naked or go to the bathroom in front of boys?

Me: I’m not answering that.

Kate: I would rather go to the bathroom because the boys can’t really see anything when you’re sitting down.


Scott: I told Kate she was nuttier than a squirrel’s turd and she damn near started crying.


It was the last day in the apartment. We had no silverware because it was packed. The girls had a container of ice cream outside.

Me: Oh, you guys getting a snack?

Kate: Yep!

Me: Wait, how are you eating it without spoons?

Emma and Kate: (hold up their hands)


Me: Ok, girls. Let’s go meet daddy at the soccer field. Head Coach Scott’s first soccer practice! Yay!

Kate: Good thing he’s good at yelling.


I took the girls shopping.

Emma: Whew! I’m tired! We sure are getting some shopping done today!

Kate: Uh oh. Let’s not tell daddy.


Kate: This popsicle is so good, I could eat this upside down.


Me: Look girls! There’s daddy’s old high school!

Kate: Where he pooped his pants on accident.

Emma: No, Kate. That was college.


I brought the girls home from school.

Emma: Can I play outside?

Me: No. You’re grounded, remember? Your dad said no playing after school.

Emma: Mo-om!

Me: No, Emma.

Emma: I won’t tell him if you won’t.


Kid: Is my sister here?

Me: Yep, she’s right here.

Sister walks up to the door.

Kid: Oh my gosh! I thought you left on your own, were kidnapped, and left for dead!


A kid fell and skinned her knee. She started crying.

Me: Oh no! Do you need a band-aid?

Kid: (stops crying) Yeah. Oh good, my mom won’t be mad because there’s real blood this time.


Kids: Can Emma and Kate come outside to play?

Me: Give us, like, 30 minutes. We’re eating dinner now.

Kids: (flip off their shoes) Oh, can we watch then?


I was watching my niece, Gabby.

Gabby: Who’s car is that?

Me: Uncle Scott.

Gabby: What about that one?

Me: That’s mine, silly.

Gabby: Oh. And where’s Kate’s?


Gabby: I wish Scott was here.

Me: You do? Why?

Gabby: So he can be our butler.


I was watching my other niece, Evelyn.

Me: You want to get dressed before your mom comes and picks you up?

Evelyn: I want braces.


Kate: Change the radio station.

Me: This is Taylor Swift! You love her.

Emma: It is?

Me: It’s one of her earlier songs. She was much younger.

Kate: Ha! Like 1?

Me: No, teenager maybe?

Kate: I just want Taylor Swift to sing a song called “Oh Emma, Oh Kate.”


Drake White.

Anyone that knows me got a laugh last Thursday night.

“Oh, just hanging out with this guy before his concert. #itfeelsgood @DrakeWhiteStomp #hcnkc”

It’s my selfie with Drake White before he opened for Jerrod Niemann at Kansas City’s Power and Light District. Scott and I accidentally-on-purpose ran into Drake before the concert. If you know us, accidentally-on-purpose makes complete sense.

The humor is that I held my beer in between my legs and waited for my correctly hash tagged picture to pop up on the big screen so I could take a picture of my picture.

But I wasn’t taking a picture of my picture for social media.

I was taking it to text my brother-in-law, Mark.

“Mark! We look good, dude. Kansas City loves you!”

Drake and me.




The next country music artist to go big-time looks exactly like my brother-in-law.

The first time Scott and I saw Drake White sing was in Nashville for the National Wild Turkey Federation convention. Drake walked into the Banded Nation’s booth. He brought one guitar and one microphone. That’s it. Drake fell into his own world of whistling and foot stomping for the small, gathering crowd.  His confidence, the lyrics – it radiated happy. The kind of happy that makes you want to sing and dance. Where’s my beer?

Drake made eye contact with me during one of his happy songs in Nashville.

My mouth dropped open.

Me: Scott.

Scott: Shhhh.

Me: No, Scott.

Scott: What?

Me: Doesn’t he look like Mark?

Scott blinked hard.

Me: It’s like, the more you look at him, the more he morphs into Mark.

Scott: I’m so confused.

Me: Is this like a cousin or something?

Scott and I squinted at Drake. Drake made eye contact with me again.

Me: Scott, I dunno, should I wave?

Scott: Wave?

Me: The real Mark would know he’s caught.

Scott: Don’t wave. Well..it’s uncanny.

Me: Right?! I’m going to wave. I just want to walk up to him because I feel like I know him.

Scott took pictures of Drake and started texting his family.

Me: Ask your mom if she had twins and had to give one up.

Scott: What?

Me: How does this guy look like Mark so much?

Scott: I don’t know but this guy sounds amazing.

Me: You think the real Mark can sing like him? Video this. Maybe it is Mark. Maybe he never told us about his side job. I can see him being sneaky like that.

Scott: Shhhh.

Me: I can’t.

Scott: I’m going to ask this guy to perform for our company at a trade show.

Scott never stopped listening to Drake White. Drake has two songs on iTunes right now. But you can also listen to more songs by streaming his YouTube music from your phone to your car’s speakers. This is what Scott does. He knows all the words to every song.

I just sit here and compare pictures of Drake and Mark.











Uncle Mark.






I could do this all day. But I won’t bore you.

I will post Drake White’s single for you because he’s the next big country star. If you want a selfie with Drake, you better double check – you might just be asking Mark.


Have you ever met two people that look exactly alike? Do you know anyone that looks so much like a celebrity, they could be mistaken for them? I can’t wait for Drake to get huge and giggle in the corner when fans ask Mark for autographs. 


Why men go bald.

Why do men lose their hair?

Some will say the wife and kids did it. Some say male baldness comes from the mother’s side of the family. Or maybe testosterone plays a role in hair loss.

I don’t know the real answer to this age-long question. But I do know that Scott’s maternal grandfather went to the pearly gates with a full head of hair. Testosterone. Well, Scott’s testosterone is enough to balance out a household of estrogen. And as far as the wife and kids making him go bald – well, that’s just ridiculous.


Come on.

Damnit, Scott. I won this one. You needed a doctor. I consulted our favorite go-to nurse.



I love Benton. She’s the kind of nurse that tells it like it is.

But. It’s too late.

Scott and Belle won an entry to the owner/pet look-a-like contest sponsored by Cesar’s dog food.



Scott was building a fence on the farm he leases with our friend, Brett. Here, Brett will show you exactly what Scott was doing when he got his head injury.

We’re past the maximum wait time of 24 hours. Scott is bald. He will always be bald in the little spot the fence post gashed him in the head.

Going bald, that’s fine. The real medical concern is keeping the wound from infection. We did our best. Our friend, Casey, brought his first aid kit in from his truck. It smelled like 1912.

FullSizeRender-4I’m kidding. It’s not from 1912.

But it is from World War 2. 1942 to be exact. I googled it while Casey shaved Scott’s head and smeared a faded yellow iodine swab on his head. The first aid kit Casey busted into is also worth about $100 on Etsy.

“I found it in a shed on the farm.”

Scott will probably never grow hair there again. A simple visit to a doctor was replaced by an iodine swab meant for an injured soldier 73 years ago. I’m going to go ahead and assume that 90-year-old veteran most likely doesn’t have hair on his head either.

And there you have it. Big tools, big boys and a refusal to see a doctor. That’s how a man goes bald.

Do you know any man – or woman – that refuses to see a doctor after an injury? Do you know anyone that refuses to see a doctor at all? How good are your nagging skills? Scott is lucky the gash hasn’t gotten infected. The first aid kit is still going strong, even if it is 73 years later.


Wile E. Coyote.

Somewhere in Africa, a lion named Cecil fell dead and the Internet exploded.

Somewhere in Kansas, Scott and I were sneaking trophy deer and fish mounts into our new house because the Internet shamed the sport of hunting.

Ok, the shame fell more towards poaching. I hope. As it should be.

But still, we’re trying to make friends in this neighborhood and a lion’s death 8,835 miles away didn’t help.

Our trophy mounts are on the walls so the animals can watch us drink beer out of our frosty mugs. Jalapeño venison stick?

To be honest, we’re not concerned about a lion showing up in our backyard because this is America. 

And in America, more specifically at the Burton household – Wile. E. Coyote will be toast. His head will be raised up next. He will have the prime spot to watch the clinks of the whole neighborhood with their frosty mugs.


Belle, our yorkie poo, was attacked by a coyote on Saturday night.


Scott was outside on our patio. He was laying down on the patio couch, watching TV. From the angle the coyote came in, Scott was hidden. The dogs barked. Scott popped up in time to see a coyote pick up Belle and take off in a field.

Scott’s hunter instincts kicked in and he took off on foot. He headed at a full sprint towards the coyote. Belle was dangling in its mouth. The desperate screams that came from Scott scared the coyote enough to drop Belle in the field.

“Julie. Julie.”

“Yeah? I’m in here, trying to help the girls with the shower.”

“Belle was attacked by a coyote.”

Scott appeared with Belle in his arms. I couldn’t comprehend what he said. All I saw was a blood drenched shirt, Belle, and the horror in Scott’s eyes.

My stomach dropped. Bailey. I coudn’t handle telling Emma and Kate about another family member’s death. And a violent one, at that.

The ER vet called her one of the luckiest dogs he’s ever seen.

Surviving a coyote attack is rare. The coyote didn’t press down hard enough to puncture her lungs. She is severely injured but her organs are intact. Scott’s hunter instinct saved her. There’s no doubt in my mind Bailey was right there, flying over Scott’s shoulder.

Belle is healing. She’s slowly getting back to her normal self. She’s well enough to stop her pain meds. She’s still on antibiotics. Her rabies is up-to-date. Her regular vet said she is healing beautifully.


She will survive. The rest of her family developed the hunters instinct overnight. The neighborhood is on watch. We have family members we need to protect.

I have contacted the city and discovered there is a coyote problem. The city sounded grateful Belle survived and we have ER vet documentation of the attack. Most people cannot come up with documentation simply because the animal does not survive. There may be a chance of the city setting up traps. We’ll do everything we can to push it. And if a coyote ever comes onto our property, well, you know. Cheers.

In this story, the hunter always wins.

Explode away, Internet.

Do you have a coyote attack story? I have heard at least three a day since Belle’s attack. Are you concerned about your dogs or cats when they go outside? What would you do if your pet was attacked by a coyote in front of you? 


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.


Officer: You have quite a drive from Kansas.

Me: It’s taking longer now.


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

Me: Nope.


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

Me: Yeah, his name is Scott.


Officer: And those are your kids?

Me: Yes, two little girls.



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.


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.


Me: That’s what I heard.

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


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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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


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)


We walked into Walmart.

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


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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?


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?


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

Kate: What’s your 5th favorite color?


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


“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.


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)


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.


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.


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.


Scott walked in the room in his underwear.

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


Kate: Why did Jesus make fruit flies?

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


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.


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.”


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.


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


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


Kid: Mom, have you ever been to jail?


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.



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.


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?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


How many times can you sweep up a black lab?


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


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


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


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.


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. 


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.


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.


My trip was exhaustion at sea level.


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. 


Say cheese.

It was a last second decision, really.

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


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.


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. 


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)


Kate: (stops forcing pee) No.


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.


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)


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?


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


Scott: Sporting Goods?

Kate: Yes.

Scott: Oh ok. (raises his hand)


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.


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?


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!


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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

Scott: And do you like that?

Kate: Yes.


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.