Actual Things: Embarrassed Car Singer

Yesterday I was invited to a networking event at a fun little restaurant where I met a group of women (and few men) to talk about projects and upcoming fundraisers in KC. It was quite an anomaly to be somewhere on a school night meeting cool new people and talking about actual work projects. As I was driving home around 7:30, I was really feeling like a cool grownup writer and blogger, instead of a frumpy mom who’s been basically a shut in for the better part of two years. Like any cool grownup would do, I stopped right before my street (so my husband and kids wouldn’t know I was home yet) and played my cool grownup music (Ben Folds Five) while I just kind of bobbed my head, passionately singing along and mindlessly looking at my phone, coolly. Next thing I know, this lady comes out of her house and is (rightly) like, “What are you doing?!” and “Can you not?!” and “I just got my baby to bed!” First of all, do you realize HOW LOUD AND FOR HOW LONG I had to have been blaring Ben Folds to elicit this poor young mom to come out of her house in the dark and confront me? Needless to say, I’m mortified. My first instinct was to just move to a different neighborhood, but this morning I opted to drop off an apology note and a couple Starbucks gift cards. Honestly though, if some dummy woke up my new baby with unnecessarily loud acoustic music on a random Wednesday, I don’t know if there would be enough Starbucks in the world to make up for it. In my note, I assured them that I would be doing my car singing outside my own house from now on, and I almost added that I’m still available for birthday parties, but I didn’t know how well that would go over. So in conclusion, I absolve Ben Folds (and the other 4) from any blame associated with my behavior. I, alone, was Rockin’ The Suburbs. I was doing it of my own accord and I hereby formally apologize to any other families who may have been affected by my actions last night.

Sincerely,

Embarrassed Car Singer

#ActualThings

Spare me, Liar. (Alternate title: I Whistle A Happy Tune.)

When one of my daughters was 9, as I was tucking her into bed she asked me, “How come you’re not afraid of anything?

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Like, how come you’re not afraid of spiders?”

I told her that I’m not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with the fact that as a child my best friend (and step-aunt – yes we have a weird family tree -) Marisa was really afraid of spiders and she was littler than me so I pretended not to be afraid, just to make her feel better when she had bad dreams. So I concluded that maybe I just tricked myself into not being afraid? Whether the fact that I’m not afraid of spiders is a result of that or just a coincidence, I guess I’ll never really be sure.

Coming full circle, this technique totally backfired when I tried not to pass along my lifelong phobia of snakes to my young daughters by going out of my way to say how “cute” and “fascinating” reptiles are when they were toddlers. This led to them shoving library books in my face and innocently exclaiming things like, “Look, Mommy! A picture of a snake! Your favorite!” Cut to me breaking out in the full meat sweats covered in hives. Just a simple picture in a children’s book would send me reeling, literally feeling the saliva drain from my mouth and the blood drain from my face as my entire back wet through my shirt and I started doing some weird panic version of heavy lamaze breathing. (Is lamaze breathing redundant? Would you still get the point if I had just said lamaze? Also remind me to someday publish my 600 page book of essays entitled, “Why I Can’t Go Back To That Library.” Spoiler alert: there’s more than one library.)

When the girls were older, we once got invited to a friend’s uncle’s farm in the country and it was like that horror scene from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movie where I looked over and saw my children playing with a F*CKING BUCKET of baby black snakes. You know…black snakes…the “harmless ones.” Harmless, that is, if you don’t have an automatic vomit trigger from fear and anxiety. I was too paralyzed to scream before I felt my knees start to waiver and my innards upheave, but I’m here to tell you ladies and gentleman, that I did not yell, puke, or faint, BECAUSE I’d been training for so long in case such a moment should arise. Poise-wise, it was my Jackie Kennedy at the funeral procession moment. Methinks I shall never summon a more courageous portrayal of “normal person doing fine” again; it was truly the performance (and bowel retention) of a lifetime.

That whole “fake it til you make it” thing is really misleading because it implies that if you fake it long enough you’ll eventually make it. In my experience this hasn’t always been the case. Marisa is still afraid of spiders, and yet I’m not, but I’m still afraid of snakes. (If you’re wondering how much appreciation she has for my sacrifices on her behalf, a couple of years ago she bought my kids souvenir cups at the Sedgwick Zoo in the shape of Boa Constrictors. She “swears” she thought they were “elephants.” OKAY, MARISA.)

Honest question: how many of you have intentionally lied to your kids about something you intensely fear/dislike to spare them the bad feelings you had to overcome?

Maybe the “making it” part of the old adage is that even if we couldn’t truly overcome our inner fears, at least we tried and hopefully didn’t pass our burdens onto our children unnecessarily. Then again, what if I’m just teaching my kids to be liars and telling myself it’s a means to an end of not having them absorb my fears? Also, how bad will I feel if one of them gets bitten by a snake?

 

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KC Live: The COOLEST Bath Toys for Toddlers (And gerbils?)

“So there I was, alone in a Ritz Carlton, crying into my used/hotel-issued ‘luxury’ bathrobe”….is a way I could start more than one story. But for now,  I’ll stick to Monday night. It was my own fault, in that I drank a bunch of white wine and turned on Mamma Mia on Netflix. If you have a little girl and think you could watch Meryl Streep sing this song without drunk-crying, fight me. Continue reading

KC Live: Screen Free Entertainment

(Spoiler alert: I HAVE A CODING ROBOT AND HE’S ADORABLE AND HE SCARES MY DOG AND IT’S AWESOME.)

Join me today at 10am on KSHB 41 for my segment on KC Live. As always, I’ll post pictures after the segment, but I wanted you to have the links to the toys and gifts I’m showing and where to get them! Hoping my big brother will make a cameo as my on-camera assistant. Because really what kind of little sister would I be if I didn’t make inconvenient, last-minute demands. *Boss baby since 1984 (TM)

Tune in!

MM 2

Roostcrate.com Gorgeous custom and monthly gift boxes.

Botley™ the Coding Robot Amazon.com

Sculptapalooza Amazon.com

Doorway Puppet Theater HABAUSA.com

Highlights Write On Wipe Off Books Amazon.com

 

 

6 Easy Ways To Hide Your Inner Garbage Person

6 Ways To Look Put Together

Ditch the ponytail/messy bun for a side bun. Spray your side part with dry shampoo, then pull all your hair loosely to one side, secure the non-bun side with a single bobby pin to keep from having fly-aways, and do the usual messy bun on the other side, just below your ear. Add dangly earrings. Quick. Chic. Wear it on a date. Wear it to work. Wear it to church. Go crazy.

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Same amount of time and effort. Perfect for those of us in denial about our root situations.

 

 

Put self-tanner on your face, neck and chest. It’s fast, makes your skin look healthier, your teeth look whiter, and you can get dressed right away. My favorite.

 

Line your lips. This is a must for me, but I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends don’t bother with it. TRUST me. Lipliner is the new eyeliner. I buy the cheap ones in nude tones so I can keep one in my makeup drawer and one in my purse and they will work with any color lipstick or gloss (think Rimmel, Wet’n’Wild, etc.) Resist the temptation to buy the ones that don’t need sharpening. They’re convenient, but they don’t last nearly as long as the ones you have to sharpen.

 

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That’s a scab in my nose from having to blow it so much due to allergies. But I love you so I’m keeping it real and posting what appears to be a picture of me with an enormous booger. Could I go back and crop it out? Yes. Do I have the time or energy for that? Nope.

 

 

Don’t rely on your workout clothes as a go-to if you’re not actually working out. It’s so tempting to put on yoga pants and a zip up when we’re feeling blah, but that’s actually when you should toss on your favorite jeans, a button down, and some booties. I own exactly two button downs. One is from Old Navy and one is from Forever 21,  both are older than my 2nd daughter.

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Add a scarf. It makes you look instantly put together. Stella and Dot scarves are THEE best scarves ever. You can wear them tons of ways, including as a dress or pool cover up. True story, once I was wearing a beautiful silk white shirt with a scarf and I spilled red wine all over my white shirt so I just took it off in the bathroom and wrapped my scarf around me like a top. (This also allowed me to rinse the shirt before the stain set. Bonus.) Shop my favorites HERE and HERE. Wear them all year round. (Don’t forget you can always shop with me through http://www.StellaDot.com/emilykuhlman – DM me if you’d like my two cents!)

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Rethink baseball caps. I have tons of them. You will most likely find me in my KC Royals cap. When I got it my bestie had blinged out the logo with crystals, but they fell off over the years so now it’s just my plain, perfectly-broken-in, goes-with-anything, covers-my-greasy-roots, makes-me-look-like-I-care-about-the-sports cap. *I prefer hair-down to ponytails. Efficient on windy days, and doesn’t require ANY hairstyling.

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I urge you to resist the workout clothes and messy top-knots and tell me if it improves your day! There’s no need to feel frumpy just because you haven’t washed your hair in five days or gone shopping in five years. It might even boost your mood or score a compliment. Just know that no matter what you wear, you’ll always be the same beautiful garbage person in my eyes.

(You can find me on IG @MrsKansasMommy)

Lessons In Broken Toys: Just Go With It.

Today we came home from school to discover that Savannah’s (weird, trashy, but favorite) My Little Pony “Barbie” had been severely mauled by Mr. Biffles. Savannah was understandably horrified. (Bif lacked any signs of remorse.)

Hearing Savvy’s cries of shock and grief, Avery and I made quick work of a rescue mission. Avery got the silver duct tape while I performed CPR. I patched up the arms and leg while Avery applied the defibrillator (a Shopkin), as Savvy hesitantly looked on. Soon the doll was stabilized and the wailing subsided. Avery declared the doll “still beautiful.” I offered that her name could be “Ilene,” as she was now missing one foot. Savvy was unpersuaded. Continue reading

KC Live: The Show Goes On

So you know when you have that feeling like there’s something looming in the back of your brain you keep meaning to follow up on but you don’t? And it turns out to be that you’re supposed to be on live television in less than 24 hours? That was my Tuesday afternoon.

For one thing, I had no segment prepared. For another thing, not to get into details, but  I’d spent the past 48 hours depression-eating chinese food and chocolate ice cream and I wasn’t in the ol’ razzle-dazzle frame of mind. To say I was disheveled and bloated is a given, but it was so bad that after I put on my Spanx in the morning, my 4 year old poked my stomach and said “Why do you have a baby in your tummy?” And I sweetly told her it was just an IUD in a bunch of Hyvee Chinese and Haagen-Dazs, then I stuffed her Elsa lunchbox full of loose kale and black jelly beans and sent her off to Preschool.

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Take No Preschoolers

Savvy 1 month

This morning my four-year-old Savannah (pictured above when she was blisfully unable to make biting, hurtful remarks) asked me if she could have a “healthy breffast, with no sugar.” I happily agreed to make her some eggs. About two minutes into me cooking, she took one look at the eggs and said, “NOT LIKE THAT! OH MY GOSH I WANTED THE KIND THAT ARE ROUND AND YOU CRACK THEM!”

“I don’t have any hard-boiled eggs cooked though.”

“NO, YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND ME! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO COOK THEM YOU GET THEM OUT OF THE ‘FRIGERATOR!”

“I do understand you, but I’m telling you that I have to cook those kind of eggs FIRST before you can get them out of the refrigerator.”

She then let out some sort of primal scream of frustration and flung herself onto the staircase crying, “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME IN THIS HOUSE! YOU DON’T EVEN LOVE ME!”

From his chair where he was enjoying his hot coffee and reading the news, my husband muttered, “Jesus, what is she, on her period?”

In this moment, I realized two things. 1. My husband is 100 percent going to infuriate my daughters when they are teenagers and I’m going to sit smugly in the corner with my hot coffee and watch him try to figure out what he said/did wrong. 2. My four year old is just a small version of me when I’m PMSing, hangry, drunk, or some combination therein.

We recently watched the Judd Apatow stand up special on Netflix and in talking about his wife and two daughters he hilariously said something to the effect of, “I don’t just live with three women. I live with three ages of the same woman.” So if that’s true, my husband is in for hell on heels.

Since Savannah’s been having these outbursts, I’ve been looking up a lot of parenting resources on discipline and how to curb anxiety in your children before it gets out of control. But probably the most useful article I came across is not a parenting article at all, but it should be. It’s called, Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want. It includes this chart and points out that the reason most people aren’t great negotiators is that they skip the first three steps and move straight to Influence, when the step that actually weakens someone’s defense the most, is actively listening while they talk.

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Via

So the moral of the story is Savannah ate Lucky Charms and I’m turning to the FBI for parenting tips.

Happy Friday, Y’all.