Sh*t My Kids Say: Fallon/Hilton 2020

Sometimes in the pool we play trivia and the girls (Avery 6 and Savvy 4) take turns “impressing” me with their knowledge while we float around…

Me: Who’s the President?


Avery: Donald Trump.

Me: And who was president before him?

Avery: Obama.

Savvy: OBAMA!

Me: And who was the other candidate besides Donald Trump? Remember? The woman candidate?

Avery: I don’t know…

Oh wait, yes I do! Celery! Celery Hilton!

Me: What state do we live in?


Avery: Kansas. Duh, Savvy America is where the President lives in the White House.

Me: I think you mean Washington DC.

Avery: Yeah. It’s super far away in Canada.

Me: Um, okay switching categories…What does Bonjour mean?

Savvy: YELLOW!

Avery: It means Hello.


Me: How do you say Hello in Spanish?

Avery (high-pitched): Yoo-hoo!

On the way out, Avery took a drink from the fountain and then helpfully notified the children and mother nearby that “This water fountain tastes like martini water.”

So I guess the take-away is that what Savvy lacks in knowledge, she makes up for in supreme confidence, enthusiasm, and volume. And I don’t know what to do about Avery, but I do know that my new alter-ego is a socialite named Celery Hilton who drinks martini water at the pool and calls out “Yoo-hoo!” to greet people Spanish.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Summer Seventeen so far:


KC Live: That Time I Played In A Baby Pool In A Parking Lot.

This segment has everything: an overzealous bubble machine, a grown woman trying to talk and play with baby toys on live tv, Dan Cortez…

It all started Thursday night. I got home from spending the week in Wichita and waited for Kuhlguy to come home from work so I could go to Target and purchase a baby pool to use for my segment Friday morning. While I was there, a Fourth of July swimsuit caught my eye and I thought, well, obviously I need that.

Along with the things I needed for the show, I also brought my giant float: KellyAnne Swanway (named so because “she ain’t got no legs”) and my kids’ bubble machine. As the segment began, the wind picked up and we found ourselves in a bubble storm, so the producer is frantically off to the side turning off my bubble machine, my products for the segment are getting blown all out of order in the baby pool, I’m wearing a microphone pinned to a swimsuit in a parking lot while I play with baby toys in front of two grown men in suits and the camera is rolling and I’m internally having one of those moments like *record scratch* *freeze frame* “I bet you’re wondering how I got here.”

But the show must go on, and so it did. Joel had the best line of the day which was, “Don’t bring a fish to a gun fight.”

The YookeeDoo Duck Race is my favorite; clearly it’s for babies, but I find it strangely mesmerizing. All of these are definitely going to get a lot of use at our house this summer:

Yookidoo Musical Duck Race at

HABA Squirter Fish Angler Set at

GeoSafari® Jr. Subscope™ at

STEM Sink or Float Activity Set at

Nerf AlphaFire available at Amazon, Target, Toys R Us

And now for some Behind-The Scenes:



Not a whole lot of room for a mic pack


My personal assistant for the day: Mr. KansasMommy



KellyAnne Swanway


I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend! If you need me I’ll be exactly like the above picture only on the water and without my pants.









Glenn is my dad. Today, in honor of father’s day, I’m going to share some of my favorite things from the man who is responsible for so very much of who I am. I keep a log of funny things he says, then later denies. For example, last Summer I was making Moscow Mules and as he walked past the kitchen he casually-but-angrily mentioned that the “price of limes has sky-rocketed because of the f*cking cartels.” He then proceeded to the deck with no further comment. Then on Turkey Day he walked into my house holding a Pecan Pie and greeted everyone by announcing, “Well, another god damned Thanksgiving!”
Here’s a young, grinning Glenn in his more frivolous years:
What you’re about to read is an abridged version of an email he sent me in 2007. In my opinion it contains some of the greatest lines ever written.
Date: Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: hello hello hello hello hello
We are disconsolate about the demise of the Dominick’s in North Riverside.  It’s gradually shutting down, and should be completely closed by the end of April.  Right now, though, you can buy all of the lumsy, mold-infested vegetables you’d ever want to eat.  The meat, too, is deeply suspicious.  Everything’s expiration date was for 2005.  The pharmacy has completely shut down.  Homeless people are sleeping in the aisles.  There’s no tequila.  Actual fact.  Yet still we go there.  Until yesterday–a breakthrough.  We went to the Jewell Osco on Harlem just south of Ogden.  A spur-of-the-moment decision.  So convenient!  And they carry tequila.  Mom bought gin, too.  So, besides providing fresh meat and vegetables, it’s a great enabler for alcoholics.
Your mother has had a bone-shaking cough for over a week, and each cough aggravates her aching dislocated-or-whatever back.  It’s very inconvenient for me.  Sometimes I can’t even hear the Bulls play-by-play man on TV because of the constant hacka-hacka-hacka.  You’d think she’d have the decency to put a pillow over her head.  But I’ve gotten nearly half way through the week without catching her cold, so I’m not all that worried about her any more.
I’m glad to hear you’re eating cereal for dinner. This will prepare you for your sixties.  
I made the best pork burrito filling ever for the Pulliams last week.  They raved about it.  Mom coughed in appreciation.  Burrito-wise, it’s a long downhill slide from here.
What about Dilbert this week?  I love Wally as a motivational speaker.  I’m grateful that, in my lifetime, someone has been able to accurately chronicle the reality of the wacky world o’ the white-collar workplace.  Boy, if you could alliterate like that, you’d be making twice as much money.  Although I guess I should have said “the weality.”
What else.  We’re going to the Bulls game with the Pulliams next Tuesday night.  Tonight, we’re going to the CYC gala.  Mom explained that she’s letting me be visible in public because they need a “place-holder.”  That is, they didn’t sell all their tickets, but they don’t want the suckers who did buy them to know they’re a bunch of bozos. I’m going to make an extra effort to be charming. I wonder if they’ll have free drinks or a cash bar?
Remember how Mom and I spent a lot of time helping the kids at a local CYC facility make a video as part of a proposal for a Create a Legacy grant?  They didn’t get funded.  Their main goal for requesting grant money was to install bullet-proof glass for the windows, because a five-year-old child had been showered with shards of glass when a stray bullet from a gang member blew out a window.  And they didn’t get any money.  Can you imagine how bad our video must have been?  Now I know how you must feel about being unable to elect right-wing Republicans in Missouri.
I’d write more, but what’s the point since you’re blowing off my birthday?  What present did you allegedly buy for me, anyway?  I’m hoping it’s spot cleaner for that fancy black shirt.
Don’t work Friday night.  Live big.  Watch TV, and get Kevin to make you toast.  As a chef, he needs to stretch.
See you in KC on April 19.  We’ll have a catch.  I’ve got to write a paper for that conference this week. 
I love you.
. . . but still, somewhere deep inside, Daddy
There are a lot of other stories; I could probably fill a book…maybe I will. But for now I will simply say, whether Father’s Day is a happy day for you or a sad day, I wish you all lots of funny memories of your own weird, wonderful dads.
Alternate Titles For This Post:
“Another god damned Father’s Day.”
“The meat, too, is deeply suspicious.”
“Burrito-wise, it’s a long downhill slide from here.”
“F*cking Cartels.”

To The Most Underrated Person In My Child’s Life…

A letter to my second First Teacher (a starring role with little fanfare.)

Last Day Of School

Dear Mrs. P,

Avery is my first child, yet I didn’t cry on her first day of kindergarten. Now it’s her last, and I have all of the feels.

There are many things you did for my daughter (other than miraculously teach her math and reading) that are completely underrated. Where do I even begin…

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KC Live: Modern Mommy Essentials (Pills, Boobs, Booze + More)

The greatest thing happened to me today. Right before we went live, I was asked to “say something” for the mic check and I got to utter the epic words, “The arsonist has oddly shaped feet…what is your name, Lanolin?” in a real life TV studio.

MM 1MM 2MM 4MM 5MM 6MM 8

Here’s my girl-talk with the amazing Michelle Davidson. Everytime I see her I love her more and today was no exception:


Here are the innovative modern mommy essentials from the segment and where to find them:

The Innovation award-nominated mifold is more than 10x smaller than a regular booster seat but just as safe. It’s literally small enough to fit in your purse and therefore perfect for travel and ideal for times when you need to fit three booster seats across!

mi fold Booster Seat

Order the mifold Booster Seat HERE

Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle. Launching in the US now and also up for an Innovation Award, this is the first bottle specifically designed to protect breastmilk nutrients and allow the baby to start self-feeding at an earlier age. This bottle cools breastmilk 7x faster than standard bottles, preserving more nutrients. It also warms 2-3 times faster so you can quickly feed your crying baby without destroying any of the good stuff you worked so hard to pump!

nano bebe breastmilk bottle

Order the Nanobebe HERE

Vitasome’s Curcumin-C & Glutasome have energy-boosting turmeric which is a natural anti-inflammatory and promote healthy skin, diminishing the signs of aging (YES!) What’s so different about these supplements is the patented liposomal delivery system. Liposomes surround the nutrients until they penetrate your cells where they’ll have the most benefit so the nutrients are never mistaken for waste.



Order Vitasome HERE

The Nugeni Steva + is an all in one, easily interchangeable handheld vacuum (cordless and upright), steam mop and a mobile steam cleaner. You can even use it to steam clothes! The steam kills 99% of bacteria so you don’t need to use any harsh chemicals.

Nugeni Steva Accessories

Order the Nugeni Steva + HERE


Let’s Be Alone Together.

Overall, it’s been a good week. But I detected the fumes of Mommy burnout yesterday.  I’m tired.  I’m tired of riding the waves of feeling suffocated and having the craziest biggest love wash over me when I see my girls’ little teeth as they giggle at something I say. Avery has already lost so many of her baby teeth and each one feels like a kick in the gut. Like all those nights we spent together walking around the living room in the glow of the TV because she was teething and only wanted to be rocked have come full circle. I felt so desperate and alone just doing whatever I could to coax her to sleep.

The first week we brought her home from the hospital I laid awake in terror picturing this giant digital clock counting down the 18 years until she leaves us. I still find myself exasperated with each little sign of my kids growing up. All of a sudden their legs are so long. Their oh-so-kissable cheek meat is disappearing. I’m so grateful that I get to watch them grow, but I have this gnawing feeling that it’s all going too fast. Like I’m one of those Russian nesting dolls and the smallest one is constantly in the middle of a crazy desperate meltdown, but the dolls in between us are chill and keep the little panic-stricken one mostly medicated, er,  insulated so my outer self can function.

Sometimes little voices calling “Mom!” sound like nails on a chalkboard. Sometimes I get tired of carrying around all of the dandelions they pick for me. And I feel so guilty. I know that time is flying by and I will long to hear their tiny voices, have them fall asleep on top of me, and I’ll look at dandelions and wish someone cared enough about me to pick them for me. A friend recently sent me an article that said “we’re not meant to parent for this many hours a day,” and some days it feels so true. It’s so much pressure being the person they love and hate the most. The one they treat the best and the worst.

Years ago I attended a Junior League luncheon where Hoda Kotbe told a story about when she had just been diagnosed with cancer and didn’t want anyone to know, and someone said to her, “Don’t hog your journey. It’s not just for you.” It resonated. We all have different challenges in parenting and different degrees of tragedy we have to endure, but each of our journeys are valuable to one-another and should be shared, considered and appreciated.

Now it’s Friday night. I bathed my kids, picked up toys and dog poop in the playroom, sprayed some cleaner on the carpet, then sprayed some self tanner on my ghostly white skin. Here I sit in bed, typing around the sleeping child draped across me. The glow of Octonauts on TV and the computer screen are the only light in the room. Avery is off in her dreams and I am off in my thoughts, but we are alone together.

Avery and Mommy

Product Review: Not Your Mother’s (Not for me.)

Last time I was at Ulta, they were having a buy one get one half off sale on Not Your Mother’s hair care products. The packaging was cute and since I was out of my trusty Suave Dry shampoo I decided to try their line called Clean Freak. I’ve only had it for a few weeks and I’m only slightly sad to say it has already run out.

FullSizeRender_11.The “refreshing” smell they are going for is, in my opinion, not unlike the scent of SPF 50.

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My TV Debut: Behind the Scenes

I recently went on Kansas City Live to do a segment on National Children’s Dental Health Month and since it was my first time being on live tv, I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes.

First of all, how to decide what to wear, right? Luckily I have a go-to sorority sister for that. Like, one time I sent her this “cool” outfit I wore to preschool pick-up, which turned out was not cool:

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It’s personal.

This is the room where I write. All of my writing is personal, but this post is without a doubt the most personal thing I’ve ever shared.


My writing space is filled with special things, including a print of a Keane painting my grandmother bought for my great-grandmother (Mema) when she went to New York in the 1960s. In her 99 years, Mema outlived all her brothers, sisters, husband, and both of her children. She once told me she thought God forgot about her. On March 19th, 2004, what would have been her 100th birthday, I wrote this poem for her:

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March Madness, Sprots, and Badass Babes

Sprots: The proper term for athletic events, for people who hate athletic events.
I may be the only person in history who has never filled out a March Madness bracket and this year is no exception. But if you eh-like-ah-da sports, you should definitely check out the blog and podcasts over at Last month I was honored to be featured as one of their “Badass Babes” for Galentine’s Day. I love the laid back spirit of this group of female writers. Might even make me want to follow the sports…
Here is my Badass Babe Interview by Staff Writer Emily Kristen of
Emily Kuhlman may be the funniest woman I’ve ever met. Our paths crossed at a blogging conference a few years ago, and she’s been on my “Must Follow” list ever since.

She’s the brains behind Mrs. Kansas Mommy, a blog where she candidly and poignantly describes raising two little Badass Babes of her own. It’s an honest look at parenting and it often makes me literally laugh out loud.

Check her out on Instagram and Twitter 


Kristen: What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

Kuhlman: Watching This Is Us and eating candy that I steal from my kids’ Halloween buckets while they’re at school.

Kristen: What qualifies someone as a “badass” and do you think of yourself as one?

Kuhlman: Yesterday my five year old daughter drew a picture depicting me as a pregnant unicorn. I’d say that means I’m pretty badass in her eyes, especially considering I’m not even pregnant. Or a unicorn. Additional Badassery:

  • Doing things that scare you because they might make your life bigger, like entering a pageant as a grown woman, or going after a job you’re not quite qualified for and working your ass off to be great at it, or birthing a child. In that order. I know because I’ve done all of those things, some twice.
  • Admitting when you f*cked up and moving forward to correct it. I don’t understand people who have a hard time apologizing. I view it as a way to reclaim your dignity and show that you’re the kind of person who deserves respect too.
  • Wearing orange because it’s your favorite color, even after your best friend tells you it looks bad on you.Jessica.

Emily Kuhlman 5


Kristen: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kuhlman: A pregnant unicorn. Also a singer, actress, travel agent, and marine biologist (I was very into the movie Free Willy).

In a way, I became all of these things if you count the Sea-Monkey kit my kids got for Christmas as marine biology. Which I do.

Emily Kuhlman 6

Kristen: Who has inspired you most?

Kuhlman: My celebrity heroes are mostly First Ladies and Comedians: Jackie, Michelle, Louie, Tina, Amy. It may seem like an odd pairing of jobs but if you think about it, these have to be some of the most emotionally-brave people on the planet to do what they do.

In terms of inspiring my life choices and actions, my women friends are the people who bring out the most energy, humor and compassion in me.

Emily Kuhlman 4

Kristen: What are your goals for this year?

Kuhlman: Sadly I don’t have an answer for that, so I will create some now:

  1. Stop swiping my card when there’s a chip reader. It’s a waste of my time and yours.
  2. Beat level three on Mario Run.
  3. Make it to at least one athletic event of each of my nieces and nephews who play the sportsballs.
  4. Get published.
  5. Be a better person than I was last year. My husband and I will vote in December and then no matter the consensus, my parents will decide.
You can check out more Badass Babes here.