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Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty.

How was your trip?

How was my trip?

How was your trip?

Hold on, I lost my script. Oh, here it is – my trip was why isn’t my life filmed. 

There is a lesson to be learned after my vacation to the Florida Keys and Ft. Lauderdale and it’s this: you eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty.

Nutrition labels. Calories. Gluten. Sodium. Dairy. Fat. Carbohydrates. Screw ’em. Screw ’em all. You’re in vacation mode. Feed your body. Pour drinks down your throat.

It’s called vacation-you.

If you want key lime pie for breakfast, you eat key lime pie for breakfast.

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If you want blackened mahi fresh off the boat, grab a reel and start fighting.

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One fish won’t do. The mahi mahi doesn’t turn into counted calories on vacation. Eat a cooler full. Vacation-you can eat it all.

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Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of Screamin’ Reels IPA while the mahi cooks because vacation-you always looks like the cover of GQ magazine.

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Don’t like beer? Grab a Jamaican and ask him to slash open a coconut for you. Lick that sweet coconut milk off your lips and make sure you tell him thank you. Vacation-you should always be thankful to eat when you want to eat and drink when you want to drink.

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Don’t forget to rest the body of vacation-you. That’s just as important as eating and drinking. It’s as essential as water.

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It’s a vacation rule. You eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty. This simple life lesson is told for a good reason – an ambulance ride with a 10-year-old.

It was Sunday, a travel day. It was the day we left our home in Kansas City with plans to arrive at Hawk’s Cay Resort in the Florida Keys.

We arrived at Hawk’s Cay around dinner time. We had our condo keys in one hand and a complimentary vodka lemonade in another. The kids followed us onto the property, dragging their luggage and lemonade. We were starving. Dinner took priority over unpacking. We could smell french fries. We had a mission.

We walked along a sidewalk. Emma’s body hit me. Her head slammed a rock. She was quiet. I screamed for Scott to turn around. My body couldn’t move. I saw blood on Emma’s legs. Scott lifted Emma’s head up. Emma whined.

“Scott, she fainted. I think she fainted.”

Concerned guests stopped and asked questions.

“Did she faint? Has she been in the sun all day?”

“I’ll get the hotel staff.”

Emma’s face faded to grey. Her lips turned white.

“Hold…uh..head. Down. Feet. Up.”

A woman with some sort of European accent put Emma’s feet in my arms.

“Hold. Feet. Up. Ok? I medicine. Nurse.”

Scott asked Emma if she was ok.

“I can’t see anything. I can’t see. My head hurts. Dad, my head hurts.”

Paramedics showed up with a stretcher and took her vitals. Scott explained that we just checked in after traveling all day. Emma’s face was still grey. Her eyes were closed. The paramedics evaluated Emma.

“After assessing her, we’re not comfortable with letting her stay here. We think she’s dehydrated but we can’t take the chance with her head. She’s needs to be taken to the hospital.”

Emma was carried out on a stretcher. People stared. Parents held their kids out of the way. I walked behind the stretcher. I was in shock.

“Mommy, how did that girl get hurt? Is she hurt?”

“What happened? Oh, I hope that little girl is ok.”

Within twenty minutes of checking in the resort, I rode with Emma in an ambulance down one of the most beautiful highways in the world. Cars moved over. Sirens were blaring. Emma was still. Her eyes were shut the whole time but she was answering the paramedics’ questions. I held Emma’s hand. I prayed I wasn’t re-living the nightmare my niece had almost three years ago – bleeding on the brain. My niece survived after emergency surgery.

“She’s not bleeding on the brain, is she? That happened to my niece. This can’t happen to me again. I can’t do this.”

“Her vitals are still good, Mrs. Burton. All signs are pointing to dehydration. We just want to make sure. It’s a good sign she’s talking.”

Emma received an IV at the hospital. Her CAT scan didn’t show any bleeding on the brain. The resort sent Scott off to the hospital with turkey wraps, chips, applesauce, yogurt, and waters. They sent enough for the entire family. The manager asked Scott to keep the resort updated on Emma.

Emma was back to her normal self a few hours later. The IV turned her face pink again. She was awake, talking and laughing at Kate running around the hospital without shoes on. The doctors and nurses reminded us to keep her fluids up, especially in the sun. Keep food in her. Wear sunscreen. Relax.

You eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty. It’s a vacation rule. It’s how vacation-you survives.

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Emma was fine the rest of the vacation. We kept a close eye on her and made sure she had something to eat and drink. We soaked in salt water because everyone knows that always helps vacation-you.

You can’t get that in Kansas.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Vacation-us is back in the Sunflower state, far away from any hospitals in the Keys.

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Greetings from the Florida Keys! 

We landed on the shores of Duck Key, Florida for part 1 of our vacation. 

Not even two minutes after we checked in, I was high-tailing it with Emma in a screeching ambulance to Marathon Key’s hospital. Emma is ok. I’ll keep you in suspense on what happened until we get back. 

We’re only here for a few days then we’ll head somewhere else – location to be determined because I don’t know yet. 

I’m being vague. I’ll stop. 

Here is the latest Oh Emma, Oh Kate – a series of funny things Emma, (age 10) and Kate (age 7) say.

(I had to type this from my phone. Please excuse any format issues. Wifi is hard to find in the Keys.)

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Me: Kate. Wiggle that tooth out!

Kate: NO!

Emma: Fine, Kate. Have little baby teeth white dots in your mouth when you’re an adult.

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Me: Kate, let daddy pull your tooth with a string.

Kate: I trust no one.

Scott: I can do it fast. You won’t feel it.

Kate: I don’t trust you. You. You. and You.

Me: You said “you” 4 times.

Kate: You, daddy, Emma and the string. I trust no one.

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 Me: DINNER TIME!

Kate: Ugh. Worst time.

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I was playing 40s radio/big swing music one morning.

Kate: What is this? Sounds like a ferris wheel in here.

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Me: Let’s put on sunscreen before we go to the pool!

Emma: Nah.

Me: Um, yes you will.

Kate: Don’t need it.

Me: Yes, you do. This is not for debate. You will wear sunscreen or no pool.

Kate: We really don’t care if we get burnt. I’m fine with being red and hurting all over.

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Kate: I need a new purse for Florida.

Me: No, you don’t.

Kate: They make me look pretty.

Me: You’re already pretty.

Kate: I think I need two now.

Me: Why?

Kate: Because we’re there for a week, honey! (snaps)

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Kate: I told my friend’s mom that my tooth is wiggly.

Me: Did she wiggle it?

Kate: No, why?

Me: No reason.

Kate: There has to be a reason for everything. Why did you ask that?

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I was outside, writing on our patio.

Me: Hey Kate, will you run inside and get me some headphones?

Kate: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

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Emma: Why are there school buses driving on the road when there’s no school?

Me: Oh, sometimes a church will use them. Or a camp. Anytime there’s a lot of kids, you can rent them.

Kate: So, like, if you had a 3rd kid?

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Kate wanted me to come to her “salon” to get a pedicure.

Me: Hello miss! Thank you for squeezing me in, I am so…

Kate: No speak English.

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Me: Shark week! YES! Let’s watch, girls.

Kate: I’m scared of sharks.

Me: Well, we live in Kansas so there’s nothing to be scared of.

Kate: Well, I’m a girl.

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Emma: Mom, you know this song?

Me: Uh, yeah! Dave Matthews. I listened to him back when I was cool in late 90s and when I was in college.

Emma: So he’s probably dead now.

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I went to a girls’ night with some of Scott’s co-workers. We were talking about Emma and Kate. I was in the middle of explaining that Kate is really shy around strangers and she’s only sassy around people she’s comfortable with.

Me: Oh, Kate is calling on FaceTime.

Women: Answer it! Let’s see what she says!

Me: Hello?

Kate: Daddy took us out for ice cream and we got you NONE. Nothing. No ice cream for you.

(Women giggle)

Me: What?! Now what are you doing?

Kate: Waiting for daddy to get out of his bubble bath.

(Women fall over laughing)

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Me: First day of summer! You know what that means? We start losing light! Ah!

Emma: Perfect. I get more time for night swimming.

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Kate names her farts “Bob.” She blew up a small balloon and wrote “Bob” on it.

Kate: Emma, do you want to play “don’t drop Bob on the floor?”

Me: Wait. Bob is a balloon now?

Kate: Bob is still my fart. He’s in the balloon now.

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Kate: I wish funner was a word.

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Kate: What do married people do if they don’t have kids? What do they do all day?

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Me: Let’s go to Hobby Lobby and find a craft to make daddy for Father’s Day.

Emma: Yeah!

Kate: Can’t we just order something already made from Hobby Lobby?

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Kate: Mom?

Me: Yes.

Kate: Back in your day, was there such thing as pets?

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Emma: Why do you have so many candles and tiki torches out here when you write?

Me: There are lots of bugs.

Emma: Do they not like fire or something?

Kate: No one likes fire, Emma.

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Kate: The moon looks like daddy’s toenail he picks off and flicks in the sky.

Me: Gross.

Emma: What are the stars, Kate?

Kate: His dead skin when it peels off.

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We passed a rainbow flag on a building.

Emma: That’s a pretty flag.

Me: I think it’s a gay club.

Kate: What’s gay?

Me: When a boy dates a boy or when a girl dates a girl.

Emma: Well, I’m not going in there.

Me: You don’t have to be gay to go in. I’ve been in a few. They’re just people having fun. Or wait. Actually, I think it’s a drag queen place.

Kate: What’s a drag queen?

Me: When a man dresses up like a woman. They’re called drag queens. They usually perform a show.

Kate: So they dress up like girls to try to get more girls in there? Like to trick them?

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We were at the doctor’s office for Emma. The doctor was talking to Emma. Kate was on my lap.

Kate: What’s that? (Pushes my face)

Me: Shhhhh. A zit. Quiet. Doctor is talking.

Kate: How did you pop it?

Me: My fingers. Stop it.

Kate: I want to pop a zit with my fingers.

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Me: Let’s go to Quick Trip. I love their hot dogs.

Emma: I love their taquitos! (Spanish accent)

Kate: And I love their Doritos! (Spanish accent)

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Emma: Ugh, you stink, Kate.

Kate: I wish I could smell it.

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Me: What are you watching on Netflix?

Kate: Mako Mermaids.

Me: Huh? Mako Mermaid?

Kate: sssssss.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please continue to follow our adventure in Florida!

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State of emergency.

Florida is having a shit show of a year.

I have another Florida story for you. It doesn’t involve deaths.

Although, it may involve deaths. You never know if our plane will crash into the ocean off the coast of Florida. You never know if we’ll get shot in Miami by a man holding a gun and a Cuban cigar. For the record – and you can totally call into Anderson Cooper and tell him this – my last words were, “Scott, is that Pitbull?”

My Florida story starts back in March. Emma and Kate decided to have a few words with us after our trip with friends to Colorado. They told us our vacations without them need to stop because it’s not fair.

I told them they better start lifting weights to fight a sailfish in Costa Rica. Scott told them they better get their alcohol tolerance up for Nashville, Tennessee. I told them they better start learning how to breathe out of a straw as I push them down a mountain in Breckenridge, Colorado.

If only the kids could see we’re trying to become expert level empty nesters.

Fine. They’re right. We weren’t being fair. They don’t need carseats anymore. They aren’t in diapers. They’re old enough to remember a vacation. They don’t require anything but an iPod on the plane. They are easy ages to travel with.

We booked a vacation to Captiva Island on the west coast of Florida. The land of beaches, seashells, manatees and maybe booking a small fishing charter for the kids. Scott and I can’t sit and look at the ocean. We crave adventure. If we’re bringing the kids this close to salt water, we’ll teach them our ways. The best way to see a beach is from the water.

Then Florida’s shit show shined its light up on us, the little family in Kansas.

We don’t know where we will be waking up in four days.

Cyanobacteria – toxic algae blooms are sitting along the Florida coasts. The algae spilled in the ocean from Lake Okeechobee. This algae is not safe to swim in. It’s not even safe to breathe. Lee County, Florida is in a state of emergency.

“Hi, my name is Julie Burton and I live in Kansas. And we’re not bringing our kids to that shit show there. Thank you for your understanding.”

Scott and I crave adventure. Florida is giving us one. We’re leaving in four days because we couldn’t tell the kids vacation is cancelled this year. They’d murder us. Did we ever figure out if Lizzie Borden murdered her parents because she couldn’t go on a summer vacation?

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Four days. No hotel reservation. No car reservation. No plans. My itinerary plans – deleted. The girls’  half day manatee camp – cancelled. I memorized the resort’s layout – I don’t know if I’ll ever see it but in my mind.

We will be walking out of Fort Lauderdale’s airport with two kids, 1,500 miles away from home. We have friends in South Florida. We’ll be showing up on their doorstep.

Emma and Kate told us our vacations without them needed to stop because it’s not fair.

Our planned family vacation is cancelled. And it’s not fair. The only adventure we can give them is spontaneity.

And maybe we’ll run into Pitbull in Miami.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Please follow our adventure. I don’t know what will happen.

 

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Things that piss me off more than they should.

Summer is a good time to let the demons out.

It’s hot. It’s sticky. Clothes fall off. Father Time shows his marks every summer. The once perky boobs now hang low. Lines show up on the face. Even the beer dehydrates the body faster in the summer. Tolerances are at an all-time low. Show me one more empty Pop Ice wrapper and I’ll slit you with a pair of sticky, dull scissors. 

It’s ok to judge. I don’t mind. I’m here to vent steam. It keeps me cool. It keeps me from exploding.

It started while scrolling Pinterest late one night, hours after my demon summer spawns went to bed. This pin showed up in my feed.

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My mind filled with more images, like a highlight reel. These are things that wouldn’t piss off normal human beings. I can’t even tell you why these things piss me off. They just do. And I’ve had it.

Gas stations not thanking me. Gas stations not displaying a “thank you” on the screen when I’m done pumping. I have choices where to get gas and I choose your gas station, never mind I came rolling in hot on fumes. I would like a simple “thank you.” Please.

Scott responding to any argument with “relax.” He just pushed the “crazy” button and now I’m holding the sticky, dull scissors.

Shopping at Hobby Lobby and hearing Scott’s “relax” voice in my head. Did you just call me a beach too? Now I’m mad at Scott and he isn’t even here.

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Big spoons in silverware sets. You heard me. The big spoons. Not the big forks. Not the knives. I can’t even look at this picture. They need to go to Goodwill. But then I’ll be left with more big spoons because they come in a set when I buy more little spoons to replace them.

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Dogs slurping their crotch at 4 am. It’s like they don’t even feel the pillow thrown at their head.

Walking into my other half’s closet and looking at these hangers. Did you just tell me to relax?

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Game of Thrones. I mean, I get it. It’s a good show. It’s so good that Scott ignores me and my saggy boobs. He breaks into a sweat after every episode only to watch one more, just one more.

Scott taking off his belt. The man has to change clothes. He can’t watch Game of Thrones all the time. He takes off his belt after a long day at work, pretending he has a sword attached, and says, “yes, M’lord.” Hey watch – I’m the mother of dragons. Tell me to relax and watch what happens.

People telling me they love my blog in person. But I didn’t even know you read my blog. I realize this sounds teenager-ish but I don’t have any way of knowing if you – yes, you – read my blog unless you interact with me online. I need encouragement on a consistent basis because I’m really just a teenager.

Grey streaks of hair. Teenager on the inside.

Leftovers. It’s a big pile of cold mush. I’m sorry, starving kids in Africa. I can’t do it. Would you like a to-go box sent to Africa?

Realizing maybe cats really are assholes. Penny invites herself to the dinner table. She insists on meat. I can tell her no, like a dog, but she won’t listen to me because she’s an asshole cat.

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Do you have a Target RedCard? No. Do you have a grocery store card? No. Your gas station doesn’t tell me thank you. Do you have a library card? Wait, yes, I do have that. Stop the cards. Just give us a discount for not writing a check.

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That felt good.

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Tell me your vents. Let off some of that heat. It’s summer.

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How to find the Holy Grail of Neighbors.

You may have read it.

10 Signs You Have Found the Holy Grail of Neighbors.

I didn’t write it but I agree with the writer, Lauren Lodder, on every point. Good neighbors are your in-case-of-emergency people, therapists, babysitters, and they make vacations possible because they’re willing to kick the ass out of the wet bandits and take selfies to prove it.

Well, at least my neighbors would be willing.

When you find the Holy Grail of Neighbors, you’ll know. The roots you dig will find a way down into the earth and intertwine with your neighbor’s roots. The roots will strangle you and hold you captive so you will never move again. That’s when you know you found your people.

The article didn’t explain how to find the Holy Grail of Neighbors. I got this, you guys. Follow me. Let’s fly!

 

I say Beetlejuice three times and he shows up on my blog. I don’t know. I live next to the guy.

Define your Holy Grail of Neighbors. Do you even want neighbors? Maybe your Holy Grail of Neighbors is a couple of birds. I know several people that don’t like living close to others. They like privacy and freedom to walk around naked. If this is you, take everything I say and do the opposite. There’s no privacy where I live but I like it like that way. My front door is a turnstile of kids and the eye in the sky is always watching neighborhood parties. If you want to walk around naked, this is not the place to do it because I’ll throw you out on my blog.

The real estate city search. To the beach! I would love nothing more than to live by the beach but I don’t. I live in Kansas. Suburbia, actually – a place where we need to get creative on the weekends to cure boredom.

Sure, white picket fences and kids chasing an ice cream truck paints the ideal place to call home. But here, in Suburbia, the Holy Grail of Neighbors are trying not to spill their margarita while chasing a street taco truck. Kansas can be a beautiful place. All it needs is a little tequila, salt, and lime.

We are not alcoholics. We just like margaritas and tacos at our front door step.

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Location, location, location.  Cul-de-sacs are prime real estate if you have kids. Cul-de-sacs allow kids to run freely. There’s no need to worry about a car hitting a child straight into the next news story. The Internet doesn’t need to scream at parents on the cul-de-sac for being neglectful. We’re not neglectful.

Calm down, it was a photo opp.

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Look for children on the neighborhood search. I have no clue where my kids are right now. Good. That’s called responsible cul-de-sac parenting. It takes a village. Just don’t hit our village with your car.

Don’t expect perfection in any neighborhood. Street taco truck and margaritas aside, perfect neighborhoods don’t exist. Perfect people don’t exist. I mean even Jesus left mouth germs on the Holy Grail. Probably. Our neighborhood pool got pegged as weak by teenagers. They destroy property. They are loud. They don’t listen to us when they’re asked to leave. I’m guessing there will be an increase of video submissions to MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. 

I’m also guessing one of those teenagers has a police chief dad that won’t listen to our complaints either. Time to get out my dad’s gorilla suit and call in the fake SWAT team because my kids swim in that conception water, dammit.

The Holy Grail of Neighbors will always show you signs they’re there. I’m talking about out-of-the-ordinary signs. Our sign was a sign from above, if you will. It was a beer sign hanging from someone’s back deck. A large, canvas, beer sign with the week’s bar specials. It was there for weeks. I later found out that was the football pot loser’s sign.

Other possible signs: A drone flying, golf carts for the sole purpose of neighborhood driving, college kids sitting on roofs, houses with indoor lights that change colors according to their mood, and hot air balloons landing on rooftops.

The fun people will always let you know where they are. It’s just their nature. They like a good show.

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I realize how this sounds. Before you write us off as rich snobs, we live in Kansas. Home of cheap real estate. Join us!

Stalk before you buy. You don’t buy a car without test driving it. You don’t marry a virgin. And you don’t buy a house without stalking first. I’m the expert, trust me. Slow-drive the street behind the street in question – search for fire pits. Slow-drive past their house during a nice day. The Holy Grail of Neighbors will always have adults on the front porch. Stop and say hello. Ask to use their bathroom. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the Holy Grail itself – the neighborhood’s Best Costume award.

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Next year, the trophy will be in my house. Come use my bathroom. Snoop around. My roots run deep, grounded into the earth.

Well, at least until the next drone ride.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

juliejohndeere

Ticks and Johnny Boy.

Scott: What are you doing?

Me: Taking a selfie with a lady bug.

Scott: Why?

Me: I don’t know.

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I was trying to take my mind off the blood-sucking ticks crawling up my back. I was also trying to take my mind off the boob sweat running down my shirt.

Or maybe it was a line of marching ticks.

As Scott’s wife, being an outdoorswoman is a requirement. Even if I didn’t tag along on Scott’s Polaris Ranger adventures through the woods, I would still wake up in bed with a tick stuck on me because Scott brings the outdoors home in his beard.

And I don’t mean he brings home roses.

Well, maybe rose thorns poking my ass.

Scott: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Me: LICKING A SALT LICK, SCOTT.

Scott: WHAT!

Me: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!

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I’m not a hateful person. I don’t hate the outdoors. But I do hate ticks. Those little blood-sucking mother fuc –

Scott: What are you doing?

Me: Take a picture of me.

Scott: Put your feet down. No one drives like that.

Me: But this is how I drive ole’ Johnny Boy.

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What am I really doing? I’m escaping the news. I’m spending time with my husband in the great outdoors while I play host to the bugs of summer. 

There is no such thing as driving ‘ole Johnny Boy in the middle of nowhere. Our communication with the world is too good. It’s a blessing but also a curse.

Within minutes, thousands – maybe even millions – know the moment tragedy strikes. And at that moment, it’s always too late. Siblings are ripped apart. Friends are never seen again. Parents bury their children. Only a memory remains when it’s too late. All we can offer is a prayer, a wish, or maybe a glance up at the stars for peace.

Who’s to blame for tragedy? I don’t know. I’m not here to argue. I don’t have time to argue. My world is much too small for that.

Enjoy your life with your loved ones.

Even if you’re crawling with ticks.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

william

The boy.

A video sat in the corner of a room, recording two little girls eating dinner. The video was recording for an important reason. They were going to hear big news:

“You’re going to have a baby brother.”

Hell no I didn’t say that.

My sister did.

I have two sisters and one brother. I have two daughters, Emma and Kate. Jessica has two daughters, Gabby and Savannah. Jenna has two daughters, Evelyn and June. And Jon has a female dog. Hi Claire!

I do have a nephew and another niece, Ben and Lucy. They are on Scott’s side of the family.

Until recently, I had 5 nieces and 1 nephew. Are you keeping track?

I started to get theories in my head. Three sisters with six daughters in a ten year time frame. What are the chances? Do our eggs have an anti-boy sperm block? Maybe the more “manly” the dad is, the more likely he is to produce a daughter. Or maybe my mom got into voodoo in the 80s and cursed/blessed her hair-pulling, screaming daughter drama with daughters of their own.

Science doesn’t back me up on any of this. I googled it. The chances of having a baby girl is slightly under 50%. Pass the tampon.

Jessica’s announcement sent a shock through the family. A brother. A son. A nephew. A grandson. A boy cousin with cooties. We haven’t heard “it’s a boy” since my brother’s birth circa 1985.

I’ve never seen a baby penis. I take that back – I’ve seen a few briefly. There was a boy at the playground that dropped his pants and peed a foot away from my daughter. I also have a nephew but he lives in San Francisco so I do not see him or his penis. But when I do see Ben, I get nervous I’m squishing his balls when I hold him on my hip. He’s going to have memories visiting Kansas where the ball-squishing aunt lives.

I don’t know what to do with a penis.

Well, ok. I know what to do with a penis. A man’s penis. But not my nephew’s man penis. This whole blog post is backfiring.

You see? I’m all flustered with a boy.

I had so many questions before his birth. He would be my own because my sisters’ kids are my own. Am I allowed to speak to him high-pitched? Am I allowed to call him precious? Painting his toenails is out of the question. Maybe bring some hair gel to the hospital? Throw a baseball his way? CATCH! I don’t know. I don’t have anything to teach him. Wait – I did grow up with a brother and I can teach him how to spit out bananas on Mario Go Kart’s Rainbow Road.

And then he was born. I became an aunt for the 7th time.

William Frederick was placed in my arms on June 8, 2016.

And he is precious.

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He’s not different than the nieces handed to me by one of my sisters. He squeaks. He cries high-pitched. His lower lip trembles when he yawns. He has ten toes, ten fingers and a penis. He peed on the nurse during his bath. A comedian – a boy after his Aunt Jules’ heart.

Oh look! I taught him how to MAN-ROAR.

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I only wonder what William will teach me.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The adventures of William and Aunt Jules will continue.

ohemmaohkate

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 10 and Kate is 7. 

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I rented the movie Twister. There is a scene when the tornado picks up a cow and the cow “moos” in the air.

Kate: NO! THE COW! I don’t like this movie!

Me: It’s all acting and computers. It’s not real, Kate.

Emma: Kate, just pretend it’s a steak flying through the air.

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Waiter: What would you ladies like to drink this evening?

Emma: Sprite.

Kate: Shirley Temple.

Me: I’ll have a chardonnay.

Kate: Ha! Wino.

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Kate: Remember when I broke my leg?

Me: Yes.

Kate: I was a baby, how do you remember that?

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Me: Emma, I’m just going to drop you off at the door of your gymnastics since you’re late. Get out and go!

Emma: Hold on.

Me: No. GO! Now! We’re holding up a line now. Are you picking a scab?

Emma: Yeah, hold on.

Me: You are so gross. You are just like your dad. Hurry! Just go! And don’t flick the…

Emma: (flicked scab, opened door, and then left)

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In the car, after school.

Kate:  A girl gave the middle finger to two people today.

Emma: She did? Did she get in trouble?

Me: STOP. How do you know what the middle finger is?

Kate: People told me.

Me: What do you think it means?

Kate: A bunch of bad words put together.

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Kate: A KU player talked to our class in school.

Me: What’d you say?

Kate: Nothing.

Me: What’d you do?

Kate: (sighs) I gave him a thumbs down in the audience. We don’t like KU, right mom?

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Emma: Is the eye doctor going to dilate my eyes?

Me: I’m not sure. They did last time so maybe they won’t this time.

Kate: What does dilate mean?

Me: There’s a medicine, like eye drops, that doctors put in your eye to keep the pupil open when a light shines in. It’s so the doctor can see the back of the eye.

Emma: Ew, so you can see the back of my eye when they dilate them?

Me: Well, people can’t see just looking at your eye but I’m sure we could see using the correct instruments.

Kate: Like a piano?

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Kate and I waited for Emma in the waiting room at the eye doctor. The magazine I write for was next to us. I opened to one of the articles I wrote.

Me: Look.

Kate: What? Oh. By. Julie. Burton. Mommy, that’s you!

Me: Yeah, this is the magazine I write for.

Kate: WHAT?! Your name is in here!

Me: Yes, I write for them. I wrote this article.

Kate: YOU’RE FAMOUS!

Me: No, not famous. Just the writer. Writers get their name printed. It doesn’t mean they’re famous.

Kate: MY MOMMY IS FAMOUS!

Me: Shhhhh. People are looking. Stop it. Not famous. No one knows who I am.

(People stare at us)

Kate: (continued to flip through magazine) HERE IT IS AGAIN! BY JULIE BURTON. FAMOUS! TOLD YOU!

Me: Did you not realize after two years that I write for a magazine?

Kate: No, I didn’t know you write for a magazine. I didn’t know you’re famous. Can I take these home?

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Emma: Mom, can I have a sucker?

Me: (I grabbed a tissue with the sucker and made a “ghost” out of it) BOO!

Emma: (giggled and took the sucker)

Kate: Mom, look.

I looked at her. She held two tissue covered suckers at her chest, one in each hand.

Kate: BOOBIES!

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We built a bonfire with friends on Scott’s farm. Kate sat on my lap.

Kate: I have to go to the bathroom.

Me: Well, hold it. I’ve already squatted with you once.

Kate: Ok, I’ll hold my pee until it’s completely overflowing.

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Emma: So the vet said Penny weighs 9 pounds. How much does Belle weigh?

Me: Hm, I forgot. Go weigh yourself then weigh yourself again while you hold Belle.

Emma: Nah, I don’t need to know that bad. I don’t want to do the math.

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Me: Hey Scott, do you like my new bikini for vacation?

Scott: Yeah! Turn around. Yeah, that’s cute.

(I walked away)

Kate: DADDY JUST SAID YOUR BOOBS LOOK SMALL!

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Kate: How do you spell “head”?

Me: H-E-A-D.

Kate: Check your phone.

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Kate was emptying her backpack on the last day of school.

Me: Oh wait! Did you guys make Father’s Day gifts in school?

Kate: Yeah! I’ll go hide it.

Me: Oh, I love it when teachers do that! Father’s Day is overlooked.

Emma: Let me see it first, Kate. Hey mom, can we edit her spelling and sentence structure? This is all wrong.

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Me: Ok, daddy said he would bring us back dessert from the restaurant he’s at with his co-workers. What about sopapillas? It’s served with ice cream and coffee.

Kate: I’ll just take the coffee. You guys can have the rest.

Me: WHAT?!

Kate: Gotta deal with it. Just gotta. (snaps)

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We took the girls out to a restaurant. Scott mentioned to me that Trent Green (former KC Chiefs quarterback) was at the table behind Kate and me. I went to the bathroom and came back.

Me: Did you hear daddy say who is sitting behind us?

Kate: No, who?

Me: Trent Green. He used to play for the Chiefs. Quarterback. I think he was quarterback when Aunt Jessica was a cheerleader for them.

Kate: Oh. But does he know who we are?

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Kate made a “mom coupon” book for Mother’s Day.

Me: Hey, Kate will you help me put the dishes away?

Kate: Sure.

After Kate was in bed, I found my coupon book in the kitchen drawer with “help with dishes” ripped out and crumpled next to it. The next night…

Me: Hey, I forgot to ask you. Did you rip out one of my mom coupons last night?

Kate: Yes. You used it.

Me: (laughed) Fine. Go put your PJs on, please.

Kate: No! Good thing you don’t have a coupon for that one! Ba BAM! (snaps)

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Emma: It looks like the new neighbors moved in.

Kate: I saw them. They’re boys. Our age.

Me: I heard there were boys moving in. We should go say hi.

Kate: Boys on bikes with no shirts on. No shirt on at all. Just riding their bikes up and down the street with no shirts on.

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Kate: You know that metal in a pencil?

Me: Yeah.

Kate: Can you go on an airplane with that? I don’t want them to beep me.

Me: (laughed) Yes, you can go on with a pencil.

Emma: It’s like hard metal, Kate.

Kate: Like a sword?

Emma: More like a gun.

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I took the girls to Scott’s work. We were talking to our friend, Brittany, also one of Scott’s employees.

Brittany: Your dad is one of the smartest men I know. This stuff is so hard to learn.

Kate: Oh. Well, who’s your principal here? Maybe you can ask him?

__________

Emma: Can we use my telescope tonight to look at stars?

Me: Uhhhh, it looks like it’s too cloudy right now.

Emma: What about the front yard?

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Me: Girls, go pick up the Slip N Slide from the backyard. It will ruin the grass.

The girls pulled the Slip N Slide to the patio.

Kate: MOM! Look! There’s a worm! Ha! He’s doing the worm down the Slip N Slide.

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In the car.

Emma: So you have to be in the right lane to turn right? And the left lane to turn left? Is that how it goes?

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Special Edition: Oh Neighborhood Kids.

It’s summer. My front door is a turnstile of kids. I hear everything.

Kid: Miss Julie, do you mind if I pour my limeade back in your pitcher?

Me: What? Why?

Kid: It’s kinda gross and it taste like a lemon cookie or something. You don’t mind if I pour it back?

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Kid: Hey, can you text my mom something?

Me: Sure, what do you need?

Kid: Will you text her and ask if you can take us to the pool?

Me: Oh. I didn’t know I was going to the pool?

Kid: Well, I want you to ask my mom if you can go because I know they won’t take me.

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Kid: Those things are so loud. I touched the button once.

Me: Oh. The carbon monoxide button? It’s a tester button. But yeah, they’re loud because they have to be able to wake you if you’re sleeping and carbon monoxide is in your house.

Kid: And my dog will protect me.

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I lit a candle with a lighter.

Kid: Those make fire and it’s very dangerous.

Me: That’s true. That’s why I’m the only one lighting the candle.

Kid: Can we go light it in your car? I’ve always wanted to do that.

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Are your kids 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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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

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The mask.

Boo! Gorilla.

Just kidding.

I’m not writing about the gorilla shot and killed by zoo personal because a child climbed into the gorilla’s space while the parents weren’t looking.

I not here to tell you who’s to blame for the sad story. I don’t like sad stories.

But I do like a good cry – a laugh cry. Thank you, Candace Payne. I know some of you may be thinking the opposite. Shame. No, no shame. It’s all love. It’s all love.

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If you’ve never seen the Chewbacca lady then click here.

If you’ve never seen Star Wars then welcome to my village because who is Chewbacca?

I’m don’t have an infectious laugh. It’s high-pitched and girly with the occasional snort. I pee my pants sometimes and my abs will hurt the next morning from laughing.

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And I’m shy. I would never speak to a video camera in my car in the Kohls parking lot. Oh, here. Let me move out of the way so you can see the deer better. They have zoo masks. Scott is going to kill me.

Whoa, whoa. I don’t mean, like, gorilla-kill-me.

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But Scott did kill the deer.

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I, for one, did not kill the white marlin. It’s called catch and release. The fish is made out of fiberglass from a mold of the same size.

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This fish. It’s smiling. My kids are in art camp and missing out.

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The cat is not missing out and now she hates my blog.

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And the dog is not missing out. She hates my blog too.

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I just wish Candace Payne was here to save the internet from sad stories.

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I don’t like sad stories.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

comedian

How to write about your child comedian.

There’s nothing special about my kids.

My kids are not the smartest kids. They weren’t born with those type of genetics. They are not athletic because the lazy gene runs strong in my family. They also know how to awkward dance and they don’t play instruments. I’m really killing the gene pool.

They’re also not the prettiest kids. I mean, they’re the prettiest to me but probably not to you.

“There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it.”  Yeah, that’s it – the Chinese Proverb. That is why I don’t bombard you with pictures of my kids all over the Internet. I know my pretty kids are not your pretty kids. I don’t want to bore you.

I’m rambling. I’ll stop. I had a point here.

Ah, yes. The only thing special about my kids is that they’re funny.

Emma was two years old when I discovered the brilliantness spewing from her pretty mouth. Emma said something funny. I can’t remember what she said but I remember my response.

Me: Oh Emma, you’re such a comedian.

Emma: I don’t change colors, mommy!

I stared at her. I didn’t get it. I don’t change colors, mommy.

Emma stared back at me and laughed. She looked at her arm. She lifted her shirt and looked at her tummy.

Emma: I don’t change colors, mommy!

I got it. A chameleon! Emma thought I called her a chameleon – the reptile that changes colors. She didn’t know what a comedian was.

But I did. I gave birth to a comedian. She’s been spitting out solid gold for the past 8 years.

The difference between my funny kids and everyone else’s funny kids is nothing. My kids were not made from the loins of two stand-up comedians or even one stand-up comedian. I just happen to write about my kids on a public blog. The secret to writing about funny kids: it’s an art. 

It’s like photoshopping kids’ words.

I call it Oh Emma, Oh Kate. It’s a series of posts of the funny things my kids say. They can be a one-liner or a short conversation. I have over 75 Oh Emma, Oh Kate posts. I’m guessing approximately 20 quotes per post for a grand total of 1,500 quotes since 2010. You can read the most current Oh Emma, Oh Kate here and work your way back.

It’s not easy collecting them. It takes work and discipline. The result is worth it. I remembered the chameleon quote but I don’t remember anything else I wrote down when I go back and read old quotes I grabbed. I don’t even remember last week’s post. It’s like reading my kids’ quotes for the first time.

And that’s how I know they’re funny.

Your kids are funny too. I wrote a list to help parents start collecting quotes either for themselves or for publishing on social media. I’ve been publishing these for 6 years. My ears are always listening.

Your ears should be listening too.

Listen. Listen to your kids when they’re in the other room. Listen when they’re in the car. Always keep an ear out to what they’re saying. They say the best things when they don’t think you’re listening. It’s better if you hide and watch them slightly panic when they realize you’re gone. Don’t worry, they’ll always find you.

Talk. It’s ok to prompt them for a funny quote. Start a conversation about their opinion on, oh I don’t know, Trump vs. Clinton.

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Write it down. This might be the most important and most difficult to do. You will not remember what your kid said from the day. You won’t remember what they said ten minutes later. I realize I said my kids are not smart because of their genetics but I have a great memory. I promise you – you will forget. You will only remember that they said something funny but you won’t remember what. Trust me. I have to write it down as soon as I hear it. I write down quotes in the notes app in my phone. If I’m in the car or in a situation I can’t use my phone, I will repeat the few words in my head until I can write it down. You can also send them to me and I’ll screenshot them for later use.

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Always end quotes with the kid. This might apply more towards publishing humor. Any parent that publishes their kids’ quote to Facebook or Twitter is in publishing. The humor is the kids. Let the kids have the last word. Do not end the conversation with your comment or reaction. Let the reader feel your reaction for themselves.

4-year-olds are the best age. I wish I could send my kids back to age 4 for their quotes but then I remember I don’t like meltdowns either. My kids are 7 and 10. They still say funny things although it’s not as innocent as a 4-year-old. I still say funny things at 34 and I wish someone would write them down for me. Every age is a different era. School-age kids can be just as funny.

Use a two-laugh minimum. If I laughed out loud the first time, I write it down. When I read it later, after I forgot, and I laugh again – it’s probably good enough to publish and will make others laugh. I have deleted many things that felt like you-had-to-be-there.

Write how the kids talk. Tom Sawyer was a genius for writing Huck Finn in 1st person. It allowed him to write Huck’s distinctive, youthful voice. Your kids have a voice. They don’t speak perfect grammar and neither do you. Or me. Look at me. Writing all these half ass sentences. My English teachers are cringing.

 

Then again, maybe Scott and I are the only ones that laugh at our kids. All I know is how to save the humor like a photograph of a pretty kid.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I promise I won’t bore you with pictures of my kids.