Not finished with your Christmas shopping yet? Need some ideas for that impossible-to-buy-for person in your life? Thankfully, you have me to help you decide on a gift that will undoubtedly wind up being truly memorable. Ready?

Scrapbooking is so last year. We’re in an age now when we’re realizing our resources are precious and nothing, I mean NOTHING, should go to waste. Including cat hair. Have a friend who’s constantly taking out that lint brush to remove cat fur from their black clothing? Waste not, want not. Give them this book so they can get with the times.

cat hair

If you know someone with a young daughter, it’s imperative you give that girl this doll so she can learn early on how vile body hair truly is. How else will she ever attract a man? Or aspire to porn or stripper status? Give her a head start on knowing what’s important in life, because it’s certainly not education or being a humanitarian. I mean, please! Who is ever going to take you seriously with hairy legs? (This gift not appropriate for European babies.)


Has there ever been a time when you’re horny AND hungry at the same time? And you’re going back and forth in your mind like, “I could eat a sandwich first, and then have sex, but I’ll probably just want to nap instead, OR, I can have sex first, but I’ll need to hurry because my stomach is growling like an angry dog…” Yeah, tell me about it. It’s a real dilemma. But not anymore! This is perfect for the man or woman in your life as it cuts out a huge amount of wasted time thinking, when you could be, um, eating? (wink wink)

brief jerkyWhat if your partner has trouble getting in the mood in the first place? You need to combine sex with a positive association. Rub some of this baby on whatever, and he or she will come running. Probably along with the dog and cat, but still…(Not appropriate for vegetarians, although a hummus-scented lube may be in the production stage as we speak.)

bacon lube

Now, me personally, I don’t need this book. I could have written this book.  But everyone has that one smug friend who thinks their kid’s shit doesn’t stink. Give her this book so she can see all the ways she is, in fact, unknowingly traumatizing her child. Then watch her scramble to catch up to all the money you’ve already saved in the jar labeled, “My Kid’s Therapy Fund.”

kid book

This probably isn’t in the Kid Trauma book, but here’s a surefire way to traumatize a kid. Wear these socks in their presence. Around their friends. Extra points scored for wearing them out in public. Like to the mall or the movies. This is a perfect gift for the husband of the uptight wife you buy the Kid Trauma book for!


What if you’re completely broke this year? It’s cool, you don’t need to spend any money. People LOVE homemade gifts. Try this one and make sure to remind the recipient it’s the thought that counts.


Hope this helps!





It’s my most favorite time of the year–Halloween! I start planning for it November 1. And to celebrate, I thought I’d share some photos of animals and kids in costumes that are full of WIN. Are you ready?

This dog costume is one of my favorites this year because it literally transforms the cone of shame into something to be proud of–a martini. Because if you can drink more than, say, 3 martinis, that’s a feat to boast about. Of course, you may not remember what you do under the influence of 3 martinis, thus needing your own personal cone of shame the day after, but that’s for another post entitled “I wish I hadn’t gone home with ugly troll guy and other humiliating drunk stories”.

martini dog

How freaking adorable are these M&M pugs? Don’t you just want to take a bite out of them? Just the tail, or maybe the head. Mmmm, chocolate…no, wait, they’re dogs…or are they? Mmmm, chocolate…

Pug M&Ms

Any time you can actually put a costume onto a cat without getting your eyes scratched out , you’ve won. They look adorable in them, right? Of course there will be a price to pay for such cuteness. Never think for a moment cats won’t seek revenge by killing you in your sleep. You’ve been warned. Hey, and if you happen to only own a guinea pig, don’t despair. You can include him in the festivities, too. Just be careful if you own a guinea pig AND a cat. Or a guinea pig AND a snake (but that’s for another post entitled, “The time I left the lid off my boa constrictor’s cage by mistake and other mishaps by snake owners.”)

Sushi-Cat-Halloween-Costume2.jpg2_sushi guina pig

Okay, now this costume is a bit easier to manage with a cat because, well, it’s closer to their true nature so I’d like to think they’d secretly find it amusing, although they won’t show it. They may still kill you in your sleep, but that would only be because they’re secretly planning to take over the world. (You didn’t hear it from me.)

Oscar the Grouch

Need a costume for your baby in a pinch? Hungry for dinner? Solve both problems by getting takeout from Chipotle and wrapping the fruit of your loins in some gold wrapping paper. Make sure you take a picture of the cuteness immediately because my guess is that worm will squirm right outta that wrapping in the time it takes to say Boo.

baby burrito

For less than the cost of one of these drinks you can make this costume. In fact, I’ll bet having one of these ridiculously expensive drinks every day adds up to be more than the amount it costs to raise a child. Yes, I’m kicking myself for not buying Starbucks stock in the 90s, too.

Starbucks drink

What could be cuter than baby AND pet together in costumes? Besides the fact that baby looks like he can’t move his arms, which will royally piss him off in about 3.5 seconds, and dog looks like he’s planning to pee on your favorite shoes as soon as you turn your back on him, I’d say this is a raging success and will yield a buttload of trick or treating candy.

baby and dog fast food

I’m sensing an overall theme in this post, which alerts me to the fact that I must be hungry and thirsty. How about you? Have you ever dressed your kid and/or pet up for Halloween?



photo by thebittenword.com

For some reason everyone I know always asks me to watch their kids. My mother thinks I’m so fabulous with children that I should open up a day-care center…to which I respond, “Why don’t you just commit me to an institution now instead of later?” Because that is surely where I’d wind up if I had to make hotdogs for 15 screaming kids every day.

I love kids—but only in small doses. A little kid goes a long way in my book. But I do make sure to always respect them, never ever talk down to them, and I try to answer their questions as truthfully as possible.

For a commitmentphobe like me, having a kid is numero uno in terms of a huge commitment. It took me somewhere around the 4-5 year mark before I was able to look at my son as my own, and not simply some child I was babysitting. The fact that I was a mother never felt real to me; my son would call me Mom and I’d still turn around expecting to see my own mother.

I continue to have panic attacks over the diva Chihuahua. I still look at her after almost 4 years and think, What the fuck am I doing with a dog? That’s a huge commitment! This dog will be snoring next to me in bed for the next 22 years. Gah!

In terms of mothers, I’m like the fun aunt. You know, the one who never had kids because of one too many ectopic pregnancies and 2 failed marriages to alcoholics—so when she gets to spend time with kids she goes all out. Like the Disneyland Dad, who overcompensates because he doesn’t want to seem like the bad guy by having to discipline or follow any kind of routine.

My self-centeredness works in my favor when entertaining kids. For example: a good friend of mine has 2 boys who she keeps extremely busy with sports and extracurricular activities so they have less time to play video games. But when I watch them, they get to play like 6 straight hours of video games while I’m on the computer. I’m also not crazy about cooking, so one night I took them to Del Taco for dinner. They went back and told their mom I took them to Del Taco and it was THE GREATEST THING EVER.

“They’d never eaten Del Taco?” I said. “How is that possible?”

“We don’t eat fast food. But they think you’re God for taking them there.”

At first I was kind of embarrassed. Who wants to be known as the God of fast food? It’s not like we eat the crap all the time…okay fine, we do Del Taco once a week. Then I thought well, it’s a win-win situation for me. Why fight it?

I have this neighbor who’s twenty-something with 2 kids—2 different baby daddies. Lives with Mom. Mom watches the kids during the week. My neighbor frequently manages to pawn off both her kids on the weekends so she can go to strip clubs or Vegas, and do all the things a twenty-something that doesn’t have kids does.

She called me Sunday evening to say she was stuck in traffic on the way home from Vegas, her mom had to leave for work, and would I watch one of her girls until she got home? I’m smart enough to know she was full of it and had not even left Vegas, that it would be 4 hours before she got home, and I wouldn’t get a damn thing done if I watched her very cute, but chatty Cathy 4 year old daughter. So I said no, because one, I’ve already watched her kids a hundred times before and two, in my book if you get the privilege of being kid-less for an entire weekend (something I haven’t experienced since…um, before I had a kid), then your ass needs to make it back in time to fulfill your maternal obligations. Not my problem.

Except it became my problem at 10:30 that night while I was walking the diva and I saw chatty Cathy pounding on the door to her house wondering why her mother wasn’t home yet. She noticed me, flew into my arms, and screamed, “I wanna go home with you!”

“What the heck is going on?” I asked the teenage boy with her (another neighbor). “Is your mother watching chatty Cathy?”

“She was, but then we all had to go to the hospital because my mom was in a lot of pain.” (His mother has uterine cancer and is in the process of getting chemo and radiation.)

I sighed. Of course I wasn’t going to have his poor pain-riddled mother continue to watch the little hellcat while her irresponsible mom partied with a carload of hussies. I tossed chatty Cathy into her house through an open window and told her to get her footie pajamas on. Then I hauled her over to my house, popped in The Proposal on DVD (because a girl is never too young to see Ryan Reynolds without a shirt on), and answered her twenty million questions about life and the universe until her mother finally arrived at midnight.



My son turned 10 on Friday. I threw him an Angry Birds theme pool party. If I never see another one of those little fuckers again, that’d be all right with me. An angry bird, that is. The kids were fine—unruly and demanding, in that way kids can get when they’re jacked-up on lots of sugar and the pizza delivery guy arrives an hour later than he’s supposed to.

Being that I couldn’t afford to have a petting zoo at the party, and jumpers are no fun when it’s almost a hundred degrees outside (I kept envisioning a turkey roasting inside one of those cooking bags), I thought it’d be kinda fun to organize games where the kids could win prizes. I might not be crafty like Martha Stewart, but I may be able to give Julie McCoy, Cruise Director if she were on Valium, a run for her money.

Problem was, when it came time to give the winners their prizes, they’d already all been scoured over by the losers. And when it came time for the treasure hunt where each kid was supposed to have a turn, all bets were off if you couldn’t find the angry bird eraser fast enough. I cajoled, I pleaded, I threatened—

It went from:

(In my best Julie Andrews voice from The Sound of Music) “Now, now, Children, everyone must get a turn, it’s only fair. You want to be good boys and girls, don’t you?” to:

“Please, if you don’t settle down quickly, I’ll have to double my dosage of meds tonight.” And, finally:

“If you don’t knock it off, all you little demons are going to Hell!” (Imagine this being screamed using the voice of the crazy bus driver in the South Park cartoons)

It didn’t matter what I said to these kids. It was “to each his own,” “live or let die,” “the weakest will have his body eaten if we’re stranded on a deserted island for weeks after a plane crash.” A friend said to me after, “I definitely can’t see you as a school teacher responsible for 30 children,” which goes to show you how well my hunt turned out.

At the end of the day, my feet hurt, I hadn’t eaten, I was sunburned, and I didn’t even get to have a piece of cake. Two days later, I still feel like I’m hung over from the preparation, execution, and clean-up of it all. Now I know why parents spend $500 bucks to have John’s Incredible Pizza host their party.

I think the sheer joy and excitement seen in my son’s eyes was worth it, although it’s debatable. I got him everything he wanted for his birthday—a habit of mine that I seriously questioned this year. I thought about giving him one present only— a soccer ball, and a used one at that. Considered the fact that I was probably creating a spoiled, self-centered kid; that he should learn sooner rather than later what disappointment truly means, since life is full of it. But I couldn’t do it. As a mother, I’m admittedly too soft.

Before we went to sleep that night, I realized for the first time in 9 years, my son’s father didn’t call for his birthday. Didn’t send a card, or gift. I’m not sure whether or not my son noticed. If he had, he didn’t mention it. He thanked me again for throwing him his party, and for getting him the best presents ever.

“I know you worked really hard, Mom, so I’m going to give you a massage,” he told me. As he worked his little magic for 15 seconds, with his “two-finger massage” on my shoulders, I knew it wasn’t up to me to teach him what disappointment was. That honor has already been bestowed upon his father.


Drinks by the beach

Some days I don’t feel like being a mother. Some days I don’t even feel like being a person, especially when I find a stinky dead opossum with four dead babies rotting away underneath my shed.

My life consists of laundry and dirty dishes and cooking and yard work and cleaning the new spots of dog piss on what remaining carpet we have left, and trying to explain to my son why it’s not okay to leave poop-stained underwear lying around the house.

Sometimes it’s 10:30 a.m. and I wonder if it’s too early to start drinking. Who said Happy Hour needed to start at 5 in the evening anyway? The things I used to do to relax are no longer possible. Sleeping in; drawing the curtains and watching movies all day; NOT cooking or cleaning. It’s been almost ten years since I’ve done any of that.

Well-meaning folks always tell me, “Enjoy every minute. Kids grow up so fast.”

And sometimes they don’t grow up fast enough, is what I want to tell them.

Or they say, “Just you wait, soon they won’t want anything to do with you” and “They’ll be out of the house before you know it.”

I think, Ahhh, then I’ll get to sleep in, or sleep naked, or sleep with another adult. God, I can’t wait.

I dream of the days when I might finally be able to write without a gazillion interruptions. I’ll certainly never be at a loss for story ideas. The other day, a newspaper story read:

Jilted dentist gets revenge by pulling all of her ex’s teeth—The bar for break-up revenge stories has just been raised. Anna Mackowiak, 34, a dentist in Wroclaw, Poland, is facing jail time after pulling out all of her ex-boyfriend’s teeth in a calculated fit of rage. While this is obviously unacceptable behavior, 45-year-old Marek Olszewski’s head is clearly missing more than just teeth, if he thought he could walk into his ex’s office without hesitation only days after dumping her for another woman and ask her to work on a toothache. Mr. Olszewski will have many lonely nights to ponder his actions. His new girlfriend was not cool with the toothless look and has left him.”

I couldn’t make that stuff up even if I tried. Seems like someone took “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” a little too seriously. I’m sorry, but did the man not realize after his sixth tooth was pulled that something was amiss?

How about this headline? “Meth lab explodes in man’s pants during scuffle with cops.” Apparently, he was cooking meth and driving at the same time.

It’s a good thing there’s no shortage of idiots in this world, just like there will always be celebrities who cry over their loss of privacy and then get caught for soliciting man-boys in the bathroom of LA Fitness.

There are days when I’m up for the “Mother of the Second” award, and other times when it’s all I can do just to get through twenty-four hours without sticking a fork in my eye.