Kansas City Live: Autism Awareness Month

Approximately 24 hours before I was supposed to go on live television for a segment, I woke up with a horrendous sinus infection and no voice…not even a sultry  Scarlett Johansson voice, just little raspy squeaks between hacking coughs. But the show must go on (as we “in the biz” say) so I pumped myself full of a dangerous amount of cold medicine, drank a vat of tea, and painted up my face like a french streetwalker. Because I’m a professional, dangit.

Joel

Kansas City Live host Joel Nichols

I was in the large news studio today rather than the morning show set so there was no live audience.  I had an overwhelming urge to sit at the anchor desk and say things like, “How now brown cow. Unique New York. What is your name, Lanolin?” I resisted.

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Dress Up Day with KC Designer Whitney Manney

I’ve been a fan of clothing designer Whitney Manney  since I saw her runway show at a Fashion For A Cause event several years ago. Her models walked to the song “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Aretha Franklin, which is one of my favorite songs of all time. (I have a grand romantic fantasy that someday I will get a surprise party and when I walk in there will be a gospel choir singing this song for me.) I immediately felt like a kindred spirit. The second thing I loved about her show is that the models wore trucker hats with crowns and the combo was completely over the top and right up my alley; her whole vibe just made me happy. I started following her on social media and we exchanged comments here and there. Recently I went to meet her in her eclectic Studio in Westport. For as bold as her designs are, her mannerisms are reserved. In her presence, it was painfully obvious to me that I’m much more of a babbling, 30-something JoCo mommy than an aloof fashion industry insider, but she has a quiet confidence that I respect and I left an even bigger fan of her creativity.

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KC Live: Money Basics for Kids

KC Live Money Segment

Today I had the privilege of being a guest on Kansas City Live talking about some great toys to help parents teach kids about the basics of dollars and cents. Here are the products I featured on air and where to get them. You can also go to LearningResources.com where all the Money themed toys are 20% off!

Pretend & Play Calculator and Cash Register available at Target

Pretend and Play Cash Register

Learning Resources Smart Market available at Amazon

The Smart Market

Pretend and Play ATM Machine available at Amazon

Pretend and Play ATM

Learning Resources Money Activity Set available at Amazon

Learning Resources Money Activity Set

Pretend and Play Play Money available at Amazon

Pretend and Play Money

A big thank you to Learning Resources for the fantastic toys!

 

Under The Sea Exhibit at Crown Center

We were recently invited to the grand opening of the new FREE exhibit for kids at Crown Center. This season’s theme is “Under The Sea” so the whole area has been painted like an interactive ocean floor for kids to explore and will be open until May 7th. Unfortunately we couldn’t attend the grand opening, so I took the girls on a windy day and we started with a visit to Kuhlguy’s office. The exhibit is completely enclosed so once I took a lap through it, I felt totally comfortable sitting at the front and letting them run free. When we left we walked across the hall to the fabulous candy store to pick out one treat. Avery (5) said it was the “best day ever” and Savvy (3) is already asking when we can go back. Check out our fun day at Crown Center:

About the exhibit: Plunge into a fun, creative environment in this free exhibit that will delight kids who love to explore the deep blue sea. Little ones will discover buried treasure in a sunken pirate ship, ride a dolphin and seahorses, paddle their way to the mermaid’s house, climb inside the mouth of a whale, explore in the submarine and more in this aquatic adventure. 
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Also cash me on Kansas City Live on KSHB tomorrow morning to see some fun toys to help teach kids about managing money.
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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

“GEORGE WASHINGTON DIED IN HIS OWN BED!”

I spend most hours of my life with my kids. And they like to run their mouths gab. Whenever they say something worth remembering, I use Facebook as a lazy-ass modern alternative to a traditional baby book so I can capture the moment, well, in the moment.

Emily Kuhlman and Daughters

Here are some actual conversations I’ve captured with my children Avery (5) and Savvy (3) lately:

*Picking up the girls from school*
Me:”How was Teddy Bear day at preschool?”
Savvy: “Good. I saw a wiener.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Savvy: “I just kidding!”
Me: “Why would you even tell Mommy that?!”
Savvy: “Wieners are so funny!”
*a beat of silence as I debate whether or not to admit I agree*
Avery *flinging the car door open whilst shouting like a doomsday prophet on a street corner): “GEORGE WASHINGTON DIED IN HIS OWN BED!”

Naturally the members of my family now enjoy shouting this out at random.

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*Overheard*
Avery: “Savvy, if you don’t behave we’re going to sell you to the market for pork.”

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Avery: “Do bunnies smell good?”
Me: “I don’t know, I’ve never smelled a bunny.”
Avery: “No. Like, do they have a good sense of smell? Why would you smell a bunny?”
Me: “I don’t know. I thought it was a strange question.”

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*Savvy and I at McDonald’s, both wearing Ugg boots.*
Old lady with white hair (talking to Savvy): “What happened to your forehead??”

Savvy: “It’s a birthmark.”

Old lady with white hair (to Savvy): “I knew a little boy with one of those and they had to cut it off his face! Well you’re a pretty little girl anyway. I like your boots!” *looks at me* “Those Ugg boots only look good on children. And they are way too expensive.”

Savvy: “I had a grandma with white hair but she’s dead.”

Normally I call her out on all of her egregious lies, but I let this one slide.

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*Our pomeranian Mr. Biffles nips Avery on the ankle.*
Avery (*shouting down at the puppy and gesticulating wildly): “I DON’T WANT TO BE COVERED IN BLOOD FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!”
Me: “He’s six pounds and his teeth are smaller than grains of rice. Settle down.”
Avery (completely calm): “I know. I was just warning him to make a point.”

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Savvy: “Guess what my skin is made out of…”
Me: “What?”
Savvy: “Glorious meat.”

This has prompted me to start proclaiming things like, “THE GLORIOUS MEAT HAS RISEN. THE GLORIOUS MEAT DEMANDS WAFFLES.” My new goal in life is to write her wedding announcement for the newspaper with the line, “…and the bride wore glorious meat.”

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Me: “Where’s your little sister?”
Avery *casually*: “Oh, you know.”
Me: “No. I don’t know.”
Avery: “She’s in the family room relaxing in a giant turtle shell I made out of toys and trash.”

I took one fifteen minute shower, people

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My parents’ dog Annie died last year and since they live on a ranch in the country, they buried her in a corner of the yard and planted some lovely flowers. My mom walked the girls over to show them that they could come visit Annie’s grave whenever they missed her.

Avery: “So Annie’s actually in there?”

Mom (*delicately tiptoeing around discussion of the afterlife): “Well, yes, but her spirit isn’t there, it’s only her body.”

Avery: “Just her body?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Avery: “No head?”

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And last but not least, probably one of the darkest days in dog-shaming history:

Dog Shaming

 

 

Hashtag Game! @ThePumpAndDump Comedy Show

KC moms it’s time for another #MKMReal hashtag game and this time I’m giving away two tickets to the Pump and Dump Comedy show at the Improv KC on Wednesday, April 5! I will be there too 🙂

What is it?

THE PUMP AND DUMP SHOW AMERICA’S ORIGINAL MOMS’ NIGHT OUT VALIDATING “BAD MOMS” EVERYWHERE BY GATHERING EVERY KIND OF MOM IN ONE ROOM FOR ONE HELLUVA NIGHT!

 

The Pump and Dump Show is a one-of-a-kind, interactive, live production designed as the ultimate respite for parents everywhere. Original music includes songs like “Parental Lovin’,” “If Daddies Made Milk,” and “Eat Your F—ing Food.” Audience members (affectionately referred to as BREEDERS) play games like “Cervix Says” and “The Most F-ed Up Thing My Kid Has Done” to win bottles of wine and other fantastic prizes from local and national sponsors. The Pump and Dump Show’s 2017 Band of Mothers Tour continues its mission to spread mom karma, give high fives and uplift and encourage moms coast to coast.

 

To enter to win two tickets just post a picture of your real mom life and use the hashtag #MKMReal and tag @ThePumpAndDump

Example: Me waiting for my child to get out of the tub. #mkmreal @ThePumpAndDump

Emily Kuhlman 5

See you there!

The Pump and Dump Theme song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzD4xzbHckU

Lies we tell ourselves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyfd6thf4_E

Eat Your F-ing Food

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMW97mHq9I4

Actual Things: Sprouts

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Today I was offered a shoulder rub by a vagrant loitering outside of Sprouts.

I seriously considered it. I even thought what if it’s a trick and he does something sneaky like grabs my boob real quick; then I decided it would still be totally worth the risk for a good shoulder rub. Then I looked at his long scraggly beard and thought how a microscopic bug could easily jump out of it and onto my head and I’d get a free massage but also lice. As I assessed the risk I noticed it was time to pick up Avery from school, so my dilemma solved itself.

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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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