Kimye is Having a Baby!!!

Have you heard the news yet? I am absolutely BRIMMING with excitement for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and their new little "Kash Kow" (thanks to some random Kanye Twitter follower for that bit of brilliance). That's right! Kimye is going to have a Bay-Bay. Imagine my delight when I awoke this morning and the first piece of news I heard was that Kim was going to get a gut to match her ass.

Hello, my name is Kash Kow.
Where do I even begin with this hallowed event? First, let me congratulate Kim on landing a baby daddy that can at least afford to keep her baby in fur onesies and solid gold binkies and all before she's even legally divorced from her husband, Kris Humphries! (BTW am I the only one who thinks Kris looks like the dumbest guy on the planet? His mouth is always hanging open and he always looks like he's going to say, "Hey, babe . . . oh, never mind, I forgot.") Anyway, Kim's mother, Kris Jenner, must be so proud of her not yet divorced daughter getting knocked up by a wealthy rap star who hasn't made any indication he has plans to marry her.

Oh wait, of course she is. This is a girl whose whole family's claim to fame is that she made a sex tape that was caught up in some sort of brouhaha when it was leaked (probably by a family member) and then she had to go to court where she was awarded $5 million.

Of course Kris Jenner is thrilled. She is Kim's pimp. She probably brokered the deal with Kanye herself. She probably told him she can get E! to televise the birth (sponsored by Shape Ups, of course) and they can split the money and now he can be part of the official Kardashian holiday card.

It was time to branch out the Kardashian line. Literally, this morning on the news, one of the reporters said something like, "I"m not sure what they have planned, but this is a great branding and marketing opportunity." The possibilities are endless. After whipping up some revolting - I mean chic - maternity clothes, they can sell ad space on the baby bump to the highest bidder. Then after televising the birth of the baby, there's always the chance for a spinoff reality show where we can watch Kim take the baby to Mommy & Me classes in 6 inch stilettos and interview nannies all while she hawks some weight loss company. Plus, the products! Imagine! Kardashian Kribs, hair extensions for babies (how embarrassing to have a bald newborn) or inserts for diapers so babies can have the Kardashian booty.

I'm sure Mama Kris is already way ahead of me planning a baby line. Sure she's got other grandchildren she could have exploited, but those are Kourtney's kids. Ugh. Kourtney doesn't have the "kache" that Kim has. Kanye and Kim make "Kimye." There isn't a cute nickname you can make up for Kourtney and her deadbeat baby daddy, Scott Disick. There aren't any "branding" or "marketing" opportunities for someone who looks like a whiny, spoiled Eurotrash douchebag!

I would just like to congratulate Kimye on successfully consummating their relationship and I would like to send a little message to their baby. (My guess is Kimye, Jr. will have an official Kardashian-endorsed Twitter account by noon where I can message him/her.) Dear Kimye, Jr., declare emancipation now or put yourself up for adoption. Do it now before your parents name you something stupid like Kornell.

2012 Year in Review

Goodbye 2012! What a year it has been! One year ago this was a little blog that was read by 70 people. A great day for me was 300 pageviews. I got a taste of Elfie Magic and the rest is history. I've written a lot this year and some of my posts were well-received and some were flat out duds. Let's not focus on the duds though, shall we? I've had some opportunities to write for other publications and I've won a couple of awards. Most importantly, I've had a blast this year! 2012 was a great year for me and I can't wait for 2013!

Weekly Wrap Up 12.29.12

The final Weekly Wrap Up of 2012! This week I spent a lot of time with my kids and the Hubs. We watched DVDs, played games and did some shopping. I didn't get much writing done, but it didn't seem like people missed me too much, the number of comments I received this week was positively depressing.

Top Read Posts This Week:

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf (Versions 1 and 2) - Surely you've read this one by now?

2012 Resolution Recap - How Did I Do? - I went through my 2012 list of resolutions. Read this and see how I did.

An Ornament Exchange with My Family - My grandmother put my precious children's homemade ornaments in a slush pile. I'm still reeling from the horror.

Elva the Elf - We got a second Elf and we gave her a family name.

People Who Get Me and My Family Sick - This was a repost from last year, but will all of the sickness floating around this week, it seemed appropriate.

Thanks, Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess.
Book Update:

The Christmas holidays are over, but the book is still here. Don't forget what a nice gift this would make for just about any holiday. How about Arbor Day or Secretaries Day? Nothing says "I love trees" and/or "Get me some coffee" like a copy of Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat.

My Favorite Comments (and My Replies if Necessary):

I usually try to make one, very simple resolution (like 'drink more water' or 'hang up my coat instead of throwing it on the couch') but this year I decided to run 20-12mile runs in 2012. And I did it!! For 2013 I think I will go back to the 'drink more water' kind of resolutions. on 2012 Resolution Recap - How Did I Do?

Wow. Good for you. I'm totally stealing "drink more water" as one of mine for 2013. I only run if someone is chasing me. With a knife.

I totally would have taken the ornaments back for my own tree, seeing as your kids made them, but I did like the way you handled this with your grandmother and your aunt. Loved the guilt trip and too funny how Uncle Filbert got thrown right under that bus without anyone even blinking an eye, lol!! on An Ornament Exchange with My Family

Lucky for us, my cousin has decided she would like them. She is just as sentimental as my kids so I know she will take good care of them and give them a place of honor (like they deserve).

Don't punch me in the throat, but if she doesn't want them... I mean think about how old she is. She has like 80 years (or whatever) of keepsakes. That's a lot of pressure if she's expected to love and cherish every one. on An Ornament Exchange with My Family

I agree. However, she can trash the other great-grandkids' keepsakes, not the ones my little sweet peas made with their own little hands.  

A few years ago, I took my older kids artwork and handmade ornaments out of their keepsake boxes and culled through it.I framed the stuff I really loved(using thrift store frames) and pitched the rest.Their handmade ornaments look great as art-I put them out at Christmas as part of my decorations. The best part is I really enjoy the ornaments/art now instead of it sitting in a drawer. on An Ornament Exchange with My Family

Maybe I'll make one of these for my grandma for next year. I think she would really enjoy giving it away.

Reading this gave me flashbacks of the Christmas that my father in law gave no less that 8 of us Norovirus because my MIL was so fkn selfish about the holiday. on People Who Get Me and My Family Sick

I used to teach preschool and we had a little boy walk in the door and vomit one morning. His mother said, "Oh my goodness, let me go grab him another shirt!" We thought she meant from her car but she came back several minutes later with a new shirt which she got from HOME and sang out, "OK, see you later!" She was shocked, SHOCKED, when we told her, no ma'am, he can't stay here now. At this same school, I got the same pissy remarks from my boss as you did when I stayed home with strep. Because it makes total sense that I should come in and infect my entire class and fellow teachers. on People Who Get Me and My Family Sick

My mother in law is named Elva. She is Australian. Before her I had never heard the name before. 7!!! on Elva the Elf

Looks like we only found 7 "Elvas." OK, Hipsters, it's time for a reboot of this old lady name. 

So glad the Punch clan is enjoying Elva! Now the pressure is on times two to move them around. And you'll be happy to know that one of my kids received Doggy Doo this year. on Elva the Elf

Thank you again for sending us Elva. I even restrained myself from posing her and Choppy Elfie in "inappropriate" positions. Mostly because I was worried I'd forget and leave them doggy style. Whoops.

2012 Resolution Recap - How Did I Do?

Another year gone just like that. Can you believe it? And of course the Mayans totally got it wrong. I was fairly certain they were wrong, but just in case I read a ton of dystopian novels to prepare myself for the end of the world. I was ready for vampires, zombies, viruses and nuclear attacks. I neglected compiling a homesteading Pinterest board though, so I'm not sure how I thought I'd feed my family or make us clothes.

Last year I wrote a list of resolutions and I thought I'd check in and see how I did keeping them:

1. Lose weight. I'm happy to say that since I started working with my trainer, Kris at Starting Line Fitness I am down several pounds and several inches.

2. Be kinder to the Hubs. I'm sure he would argue with me, but I think I've been fairly agreeable this year.

3. Clean the house for 5 minutes every day. I quickly realized that 5 minutes doesn't do shit and so I stopped.

4. Make enough money to have a cleaning lady come every week. I've got her coming twice a month. I'm halfway there!

5. Be a better mother. I did Yes Day, I took my kids to Disney and a water park where we all learned what "jorts" were, and I had two elves this Christmas to move around! I would say I aced this one this year. I am freaking Mother of the Year.

6. Write a book. Done and already working on the next one.

7. Fold laundry as soon as it's done drying. Yeah, that never happened.

8. Call my friends. I really tried harder this year, but I need to keep working on it.

9. Don't do drugs - recreational or pharmaceutical. I'm still unmedicated, although I'm sure there are many around me who wish I was.

10. Learn something new. This was the easy one I threw in at the last minute so I could say I at least kept one of my resolutions! I learned all sorts of new things this year, but the funniest one was how to shoot a gun and I found my apocalypse buddy.

How about you? How did you do? Did you keep your 2012 resolutions?

Elva the Elf

Last year I told you about how we received our Elf on the Shelf from our friends when Gomer was a baby. Over the summer, I received another elf. This time from a reader. When I got him I decided that I'd put him in the cupboard with Choppy Elfie, but that by Christmas he would become a she.

You might remember from my rant that I was experiencing a great deal of pressure to make sure that both of my children would someday have their own elf to take with them into their new home with their spouse and use to torment their own children. Since Choppy was given to us before Adolpha was born, I just sort of assumed that Choppy would be Gomer's and we'd need another for Adolpha. When I got the second elf I knew he'd be Adolpha's elf, but I also knew that Adolpha would not stand for a boy elf when girl elves are so readily available. Lucky for me, skirts are readily available too (and as far as I can tell, the skirt is all the stands between a boy elf and a girl elf).

In early November, I forked over seven bucks for a festive holiday skirt for the second elf. (You're welcome, Elf on the Shelf empire.) Now Adolpha's elf transformation was complete.

I brought the new elf out on Thanksgiving night too when I brought out Choppy. I sat them together on our designated "Elf Shelf" and waited for the kids to notice.

Our new addition was immediately welcomed into the family and then we began the arduous process of finding the right name for her. Choppy Elfie's name had been a compromise between Gomer's suggestion of  "Choppy" and Adolpha's "Elfie." This time no common ground could be found.  Gomer was pushing hard for "Slasher" since that name goes along with Choppy and Adolpha really liked "Abby."  Abby Slasher?  Slasher Abby? I was holding out for a better name. It was one thing to name Choppy Elfie such a stupid name when they were preschoolers. They didn't know any better, but this year there is no excuse. Suddenly, Adolpha came up with the perfect name: "Elva the Elf!"

For those of you who know me and my family in real life, you'll know what a special name Elva is to our family. You see, Elva is an old family name, but we think it might be exclusive to our family. We've yet to meet an Elva outside of the Punch clan and we're not surprised. It's not like Elva is an old lady name ripe for revival like Stella or Ruby. It's not weird enough for Hollywood moms nor can it be butchered into Ellvah or Ehlva for the Dolce Mom set. No one (outside of our family) ever looks at their precious baby and says, "Hello, Elva." But an elf? Yes, Elva is a perfect name for an elf.

We formally introduced Choppy Elfie to Elva Abby Slasher and to be honest he wasn't thrilled to share his shelf with this newcomer. Ever since his lucky break last year, he's become a bit of a diva and he's been making a lot of demands. He's always been a bit lazy, but this year he spent so much time checking his Google Alerts he would only move between the laptop and the shelf. The other day I caught him signing a stack of my books.  He hasn't been very welcoming to Elva. There have been a few times I've found Elva on the floor because apparently there wasn't enough room for her on the shelf.

It's a good thing they go back in their boxes tonight, because look what I found this morning.

Weekly Wrap Up 12.23.12

Only two more days of shopping and I'm thrilled to say I AM DONE! Lucky for me Gomer and Adolpha wanted more expensive gifts this year, so that meant less shopping. I also (knock on wood) haven't lost any gifts this year like I usually do. I came up with this amazing plan where I'd put them ALL in the same place instead of just shoving them willy-nilly into any crevice, hole and closet I could find. I even baked a little bit this year (whaaa?). It's strange. I really feel like I have a handle on the whole Christmas thing this year, so I'm sure I'll wake up at dawn on Christmas morning and realize that I've forgotten to buy my dad a gift or something stupid like that. Just to be sure, I'll go to the bank this morning and get some cash - everyone always likes to receive cash, right?

The Mayans

Oh shit, the world is still here??!

Sure, I went to bed last night seeing all those memes about it being December 21 in Australia and Asia already, blah, blah, blah, but we all know the Mayans were totally talking about the world ending in Central Time, which is the time zone I live in.  Silly world.  You need to get the time zone right.  The Mayans are precise.

So, last night I kissed my kids goodnight and tucked them in.  I climbed into bed and ignored the repeated phone calls from my mortgage company, American Express, Visa, Discover and Target begging me to pay the debt I'd run up in the last year.  (I had to live large during our last year on this planet - you can't take it with you, might as well spend it.)  I kissed the Hubs good bye and I finished the last good book I'd ever read.

Imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to a bright morning (the light was from the sun, not asteroids like I had originally presumed) and birds were singing (not squawking by the millions outside my house as they dropped from the sky in death spirals) and the power was still on (I did continue to pay that bill this year, because those guys mean business!) and my kids were standing there demanding breakfast.

What happened? I wondered as I fed my children breakfast - mostly pumpkin pie and Oreos (don't judge, I thought if we survived the night we'd eat the neighbors) and started paying bills again.  I thought the world was going to end.

There have been lots of crackpots over the years who have predicted the end of days, but this one was on the news and stuff.  This was like Y2K.  This one was supposed to be the real deal.  I feel a bit duped.

Oh wait, I just found another news story that says it wasn't midnight the Mayans predicted, it was 11:11 am.  I've got two hours!  Just enough time to gorge myself on chocolate until the earthquakes start and swallow me whole.

PIWTPITT's Holiday Gift Guide

This is the time of year when you can't avoid a "must have" list of holiday gifts to buy for that special certain someone in your life.  There are always lists for "Her" with unique and amazing ideas like a tassel key chain or $500 lingerie (I don't think all of my lingerie COMBINED is worth $500).  Don't forget "Him" either!  How about a $300 iPad cover or an apothecary jar matchstick holder?  (For all those times you say, "I just wish I had a beautiful apothecary jar to hold these unsightly matchsticks!")

The thing that I notice about these lists is there is never anything on them that I would actually want.  I would be pissed if the Hubs came home with a hand-forged iron paperweight in the shape of a lotus for my desk and he'd divorce me if I bought him the Polaroid Digital Instant camera.

So, for anyone looking for a little something special this holiday for someone like me or the Hubs, I put together a list of "must haves" and I think you'll find them unique and adorable.  

1.  Jenni Supersoft Poncho.  So, this thing is amazeballs.  Sure it resembles a muumuu with a hood, but you guys, put this thing on and you will.  Not.  Care.  My grandma bought this for me for Christmas this year.  I picked it out.  Every year my cousins and I go shopping with my grandma to pick out our presents from her.  My cousins are young, single, hip girls.  They bought jewelry and handbags with their Christmas money.  Not me.  I bought this wonderful invention and new slippers.  My cousins died a little inside and vowed to never age past 30.  But little do they know - forty is when you can get away with wearing a fleece caftan and no one even bats an eye.  I'm warm and cozy (because unlike that POS Snuggie this sucker covers your back and has a hood), plus it comes in cool, fun, hip designs.  Mine is black (because black is slimming, even in a fleece one size fits all blanket with arm holes) with adorable polka dots!

2.  Kindle Fire HD.  We are a book loving family.  Well, the Hubs isn't.  I think he might be illiterate actually.  Gomer and I are book lovers.  We can read for hours and I really want a Kindle Fire HD to read on (and play Angry Birds Stars Wars on too).  The Hubs tells me it can do all sorts of other cool stuff really fast, blah, blah, blah, but I just know that it's cute and I can carry it in my purse and watch "Downton Abbey" on the pick up line at school.  Genius!

3.  Light Keeper Pro.  Don't waste anymore time or money cursing your burned out strands of lights.  Zap them into submission and show them who's boss!

4.  Bic Lady Pens.  On a tight budget?  Then, these are the perfect stocking stuffers for every female in your life.  Sure they're a bit pricier than the masculine version, but so worth it!  I started using one a few months back and you won't believe the smart ideas I come up with now.  And my spelling has improved drastically when I write my grocery lists!  Do yourself a favor and invest in your daughter's future today - get her a Bic Lady Pen.

5.  A Goat from Outreach International.  Do you have someone on your list who has everything already?  Do you have someone that you never know what to buy?  Why don't you buy them a goat?  OK, the recipient doesn't actually get the goat, but you buy the goat in their name and then it's donated to a person in need where it provides food, income, and fertilizer.  Goats aren't your style?  How about chickens?  Or toothbrushes?  Adolpha wants to buy a latrine this year.  My extended family donates every year to a project to build a farm.  We do it in honor of my grandfather who passed away a few years ago.

6.  Books.  Did you think I'd make a wish list without my book on it?  Surely, you know me better than that by now!  My book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat would be the best gift for just about anyone on your list.  Your best friend, neighbor, kids' teachers, hair stylist, mailman, garbage man, your sister in law, your mother in law, the nanny.  Maybe you already have my book and you need some other ideas?  No problem.  How about Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves or you could pre-order Moms Who Drink and Swear:  True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind.

7.  Little Bag of Crap.  When you go to the grocery store or the library or the PTO meeting, you need a bag that says "What Are You Looking At?" and a Little Bag of Crap can do that for you.  This bag is an instant ice breaker and conversation starter at any playgroup, soccer game or ballet class.  It's also the perfect gift for any child in your house who has hoarding tendencies.  The superior construction of this bag ensures that they can really fill it full of crap and hide it in the back of the closet or under their bed for years to come!

8.  Crocs.  I know many of you scoff at my love of Crocs, but out of all of my Three C's of Fashion (Crocs, Cargo pants and Coach (outlet) bags) you can never go wrong with a pair of Crocs!  No matter what the occasion, there is a perfect pair of rubbery flats, wedges, flip flops or fuzzy slip ons!  Plus, I gotta love any shoe company that lists Duck Boots in their "Dress" section!  Those are my people right there.

9.  Meggings.  This is for the hip and trendy man on your list this year.  I realize the Hubs doesn't fall even remotely near that category, but he has the knobby knees and twiggy, bony legs this fashion statement requires - nay, demands.  For once the Hubs could be on the cutting edge of style and fashion.  He could pour himself into this skin tight abomination and make the men of our neighborhood jealous and the women swoon.  He could proudly strut his spindly stuff and know that for the next week or so he is rocking a style that very few men can pull off.

10.  Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.  I haven't given up my envy of you minivan driving moms.  My little taste of minivan heaven I got this summer wasn't enough to deter me from my wanton desires for slidey doors, a ridiculous amount of cupholders, a split screen television and wireless headphones.  I wish I could have one just so I could put my bad ass minivan bumper sticker on it along with my 0.0 miles sticker.

Weekly Wrap Up 12.16.12

I don't really remember what happened this week before Friday.  Ever since I heard the news about Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday I have been a mess.  It was all I could do not to drive up to the school and grab my kids.  I knew this was an irrational fear.  I knew that their school would be on high alert after hearing the news and I trusted that their staff would do everything they could to keep my children safe, but still . . . I wanted them in my arms.  I think every parent in America felt that way on Friday when we heard the news.  

Humble Brag Letter Winners!

Last week I asked you to send me your best Humble Brag Christmas letters.  I said they could be your own that you like to send out or one that you've received or it could be one that you made up.  

I didn't realize there were so many types of holiday updates out there.  Some people do it in a newsletter ("The Cooper's Christmas Express Newsletter, Volume 10"), some people do it by the numbers ("3 - the age Celeste turned this year, 8 - the number of times we saw deer in the backyard"), but most just give you the cold, hard facts ("Bill is still in middle management and Vera is enjoying her Bunco group").

Overachieving Moms are Ruining My Christmas

Last week I was interviewed on air by Christi Paul of Headline News.  We had a nice chat about why I just don't think every single day needs to be magical and over the top.  Headline News asked me to write an Op Ed piece, so I wrote "Overachieving Moms are Ruining My Christmas."

Photo: HLN

I don't know what it is about the Christmas holidays that bring out the over achieving moms.

As soon as “Silver Bells” starts playing on the radio that bar (made from a homemade candy cane recipe they found on Pinterest, I'm sure) starts rising and I am done trying to get over it. I'm quite happy languishing down here sipping my instant hot cocoa and eating my store bought cookies while buying presents online so I don't have to fight the crowds of holiday shoppers mainlining Christmas Blend coffee and jacked up on freaking holiday cheer.

Weekly Wrap Up 12.9.12

Top Read Posts This Week:

Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies (The Original) - Well, today is the one year anniversary of the publishing of my rant Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies so I'm very excited that it's the number one read post again this week (really, for the whole month).  One year ago tonight a friend sent me the link to Blossom's 101 ideas and got me riled up.  I sat down at my computer and fired off my tirade.  When it was done, I pushed it out on my personal Facebook page (in those days I didn't have a blog FB page or a Twitter account) and my faithful 70 readers took a glance at it.  I'm not sure who the first person was to share it, but someone did and within a week I was going viral around the internet.

Free Workout, Anyone?

Tuesday was work out day, but I wasn't with Kris that day.  I was sitting in bed drinking my Theraflu and writing this.

Yup, the Hubs shared his creepy crud with me.  The good news is I was early in the cycle of the illness and Theraflu is the elixir of the gods so I was back on my feet in less than 24 hours.

I didn't have a fever, so I wasn't delirious enough to go so far as to say I missed my work out.  The thought of lifting anything heavier than my head off my of pillow sounded pretty bad.  Kris had me do the Dirty 30 again the week before so I was just starting to get feeling back in my lower extremities on Tuesday and I didn't mind having a day off.  My thighs thanked me for that little respite.

My sick day on Tuesday ensured that I got a good solid ass kicking on Thursday though.  Ugh.  Taking a day off was not the right thing to do.  Today my thighs are cursing my name and begging for death.  That's OK, though, since I'm down over 11 inches, my thighs can bitch all they want, because I'm not listening.

At my workout on Thursday, Kris shared some great news for anyone who lives in the KANSAS CITY area.  Kris and Starting Line Fitness have started a new program just for you!!

She is looking to train people FOR FREE!  Yeah.  FREE.  Not just anybody, but special clients that she picks.  These will be clients that she can transform much like she's transforming me.

  • Are you at least 50 lbs over your healthy weight?
  • Are you motivated to lose inches and get stronger and have more energy?
  • Are you ready to work hard with Kris and let her transform you at a pace just for you?

What do you think?  Does this sound like you?  Does this sound like just what you need?

Then tell her all about yourself.  Write Kris an email and let her know why she should pick you.  Tell her your story and let her know who you are and maybe you'll be her next success story.

For me, this is the only way.  I need Kris to motivate me every week and tell me exactly what to do and to encourage me and inspire me and make me laugh the whole time I'm working out - yeah, she's funny.

Maybe this isn't for you, but you know someone who could benefit from Kris' help.  Please share the link!

One more thing.  Today is the very last day to vote for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Book Author Moms.  You'll never hear about this contest again . . . until next year.  If you have 2 seconds and you like me even a little bit, please go vote for me.  I'm resigned to second place, but if I get third I might kill myself.

Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies Revisited

This post was originally published December 9, 2011.  If you want to see the original click here.

By now we have all heard of the adorable little Elf on the Shelf.  Almost everyone I know has one.  Some people even have two!  (Now I'm having guilt for not having two, because apparently I need two because when my kids are adults they'll each want one from their childhood.  Ugh.  Not looking forward to that conversation with the Hubs when I tell him why we need another Elf.)

The Elf is a handy little thing to have.  The little bastard keeps my children in check this time of year.  When there is even a HINT of rebellion all I have to do is say, "Elf" and they snap back in line.

If he's so good, Jen, then why did you call him a bastard? you ask.  I called him a bastard, because even though my children think he's magic, I'm the one doing all the "magic" and I totally suck at it.  I forget to move him all the time and when I forget I have to spin even MORE lies than usual.  ("No, Santa can't give you the $400 Lego Death Star.  Even though he says he makes everything, he can't make Legos and he has to actually go and buy them and he can't spend that much money on you." or "Well, I don't know why he gave it to your friend last year for Christmas.  I'm sure his mommy and daddy paid Santa to do that and we don't pay Santa."  Thanks a lot, asshole parents who gave their kid the Death Star from Santa!  As parents, let's all make a pact that any gift over $200 comes from grandma and grandpa rather than Santa, OK?  It would make my life a lot easier.)

But back to our Elf.  Our Elf has been a lazy SOB this year.  He usually makes his first appearance Thanksgiving night (I get him out when I'm on my way out at 3 AM for Black Friday).  This year we left town and I forgot.  He waited until we came back and then he was ready join our family.  Since then he's only gone away 4 maybe 5 times.  We are always forgetting to move him.  And it should not be difficult.  I am literally moving him from the top shelf in my kitchen to the bottom shelf and back again.  I'm such a loser that I can't even do that right.

I heard some over achieving moms talking one day about how they like to make their Elf do "naughty" things. What exactly does that mean? I asked.  "Oh, you know, he bakes cookies in the night and leaves a huge mess for me to clean up in the morning."  WTF???  "Yes, or one time last year, he took all the ornaments off our tree!  Teeheeehee."

Teeheehee?!!  Why in the world would I make my Elf do something like that?  I'm the one who has to clean up his mess and redecorate my tree!  All so my kid could ooh and ahh over the magic of the Elf for about 3 minutes until the next shiny object caught their eye?  I decided these women were insane.

But then I started listening closer and realized they are not alone.  There are entire blogs out there right now dedicated to naughty/fun Elf behavior.  People like Danielle over at Blossom Bunkhouse.  I read her blog and I got really pissed off.  I should have known she'd irritate me when I read her perky-mom-who-loves-to-make-amazing-homemade-memories-with-her-kids-when-she's-not-secretly-downing-Valium-and-Vodka-so-she-can-be-so-damn-perky-and-fun title for her blog.  (In case you haven't guessed, I'm proudly un-medicated and I have the mood swings to prove it.)

Blossom has 101 Fun Ideas to do with your Elf.  ONE HUNDRED AND ONE.  As a friend pointed out, there are only 25 days until Christmas - why 101?!!

I wanted to punch her as soon as I read her top 2:

1.  Have a marshmallow fight (marshmallows everywhere).
2.  Have a pillow fight (feathers everywhere).

OK, seriously?  Does she have a clue how much a feather pillow costs?  The hell I'm going to destroy it just so I can sweep it up again in the morning!

Or like I have time, desire or resources to make this red carpet entrance for a doll.  I can barely get him out of the box and prop him up on the shelf.  We haven't even read the book yet this year and she wants me to literally roll out a red carpet for him.  When does she do laundry?  When does she work?  And most importantly, when does she sleep?

20.  Make faces on school pictures with a marker.

I lecture my children constantly on appropriate materials to write on with markers.  A photograph is not one of those things.  It would take years to undo that damage if I did that.  I'd have mustaches on every photograph in my home.  "The Elf did it!"

24.  Read a book.

Yeah, I tried that one on my own the other day (didn't even need Blossom's help to come up with that one). The Hubs didn't see him on the couch reading and he sat on him.  Kids couldn't find him because he wasn't on his usual shelf.  So much for trying to think outside the box...shelf.

32.  Switch clothes from one closet to another.

And I do this when?  4 AM when everyone is asleep and I'm hauling dresses and jeans from one room to another?  And we're assuming my children would even NOTICE I did this.

42.  Take picture of child sleeping.

This is one I would do just to scare the snot out of them.  I'd like to perch the Elf right on their sleeping heads and take a picture of that.  I could probably whip that picture out in the summer when they're being bad and it would scare them enough to knock it off.  I'll bookmark that one.

44.  Knit a scarf or hat.

When I'm not trashing my house with feathers, flour or drawing on the walls I'll whip up a handmade hat, Psycho.

64.  Learn multiplication facts.

Huh?  Just set him on the table with flashcards?  I guess I could do that, but it sounds as boring as my shelf.

80.  Elf packs school lunches but mixes up everyone's lunches.  (Each child receives sibling's lunch - great conversation piece at dinner.)

Or source of meltdown at school - you pick.

93.  Sit on toilet OUTSIDE on front lawn - if you happen to have an extra toilet being stored.

WTF?  Who has an "extra" toilet they can put in the yard?  Either she's grasping at straws to get to 101 or she's white trash.

He's called The Elf on the Shelf, not the Elf who Skydives, Takes Bubble Baths and Shaves the Dog!  Leave him on the shelf so the rest of us slackers don't look so bad.  I think I'm just going to lay my Elf on his shelf, tape wires and hoses to him and tell my kids he's in a coma and hopefully he'll recover before Christmas.  That should give me some flexibility.

This post has been read over 4 million times since it was first published in December 2011.  Thank you to everyone who has ever read it, shared it, laughed at it, peed their pants, cried over it, told me I validated them and I even thank those who called me an asshole and an unfit mother.  I am grateful to each and every one of you!  

This essay is an excerpt from my book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat.  If you liked this post, then you'll LOVE my book (click the link to buy now)!  

Follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Goodreads - I write good stuff all year round.  You won't be disappointed.  Check out my latest post here.

Weekly Wrap Up 12.1.12

Well, let me start this week's wrap up by welcoming all of my new readers.  Welcome, welcome.  This is the Weekly Wrap Up.  Here is where you find good info about what's going on.  You can catch up on the most popular posts of the week (based on pageviews) and see my favorite comments with my occasional response.

I'm glad you found me.  There are only a few rules around here:  you must be able to laugh and NO sticks up your ass allowed.  I will make fun of you, your brand of coffee, your mom, your neighbor, myself, my kid, my mom, my husband, your husband, your kid and your town and so much more, so just buckle up and get ready.  I hope you're still here in a year.  Since you're new, the best place to start is Who Is Jen? and then pour a drink and read my archives.

Anyone Who Spends $7 on a Cup of Coffee

This one sort of goes along with anyone who would pay to have eyelash extensions.  Y'know, people who just spend money on crazy shit.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me explain.  Starbucks has come out with some stupid, super rare coffee that they're selling for $7 a cup.  They are hoping that we're all either too stupid to care about the price and we'll line up like lemmings to drink their magic elixir or so fucking elitist and competitive that we'll HAVE TO have it.

Toys for Todds

A couple of weeks ago the kids' school did a toy drive for Toys for Tots.  We sent a couple of toys with the kids.

Ever since then we've seen dozens of Toys for Tots bins and boxes all over town.  The other day Adolpha and I went shopping and Toys for Tots was there with a list of items for older kids.  I always buy toys for little kids, but so many times I forget the big kids.

Last year I volunteered for an organization that lets low income families come in and shop before Christmas.  Everyone gets to pick a personal gift for themselves that isn't a hat or a coat or food.  There were tons of toys for little kids, but the tweens and teens kind of got the shaft.  Their wants are just so much more expensive than the little ones.  When the Toys for Tots volunteer handed me the list I saw that they'd come up with lots of reasonably priced items for tweens and teens (AXE Bodyspray, make up, sketch pads, curling irons, books, DVDs, etc.).  I told Adolpha that we'd buy a few of these items.

As we perused the make up aisle, Adolpha said, "Are you sure he's going to want make up??"

I was busy trying to decide if electric blue eye shadow is back in style again (I think it MIGHT be) and I didn't really listen to her question.  "Hmmm?" I asked as I put back the Electric Eel eye shadow and chose Aquadisiac instead.

I'm pretty sure I wore this color in 1984 and it didn't look good on me then either.

"Are you sure this boy is going to want make up?" Adolpha asked again.

"Who are you talking about, Adolpha?" I asked.

"Todds.  The boy who gets all of these toys.  Y'know, it's called Toys for Todds.  That Todds kid is getting a lot of toys."

Weekly Wrap Up 11.25.12

Did you guys have a Happy Thanksgiving?  We had a good holiday over here.  We ended up with 21 people at my house on Thursday.  Not too bad.  Lucky for me my family all pitched in and we ended up having a pretty relaxing day.  Of course, our Elf on the Shelf came out on Thursday night and I've already forgotten to move them.  Yup - I said, "them."  This year we have another Elf - a girl Elf now.  We received her as a gift, because I didn't have enough elves to move.  This morning I was perusing Facebook before the kids woke up and I saw the word "bastard" in someone's status update and it reminded me to go move that little bastard and his girlfriend!  It's going to be a long Christmas season if this is any indication.

Black Friday Weekend Book Sale!!!


Happy Black Friday!  I know it's not a real holiday for anyone, but for me and my mother it is.  This year I died a little inside because when I looked at all the flyers yesterday after my pie coma set in I realized there wasn't a darn thing out there that would force me to roll out of bed at 3 AM and sharpen my elbows.  I feel good and well rested this morning.  I've never felt this good on Black Friday!

In honor of my love of Black Friday I have lowered the e-book edition of my book SPENDING THE HOLIDAYS WITH PEOPLE I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE THROAT to 99 CENTS!

Want to know where to get it?  Here you go:



APPLE PEOPLE - Buy it at SMASHWORDS for your iPad and iPhone and iTouch.



If you have an iPad or iPhone, you can download the Kindle app and get it from Amazon CLICK HERE.

If you don't have an e-reader you can download a PDF HERE and read it on your computer.

If you still want a copy of the paperback, that is available at Amazon and if you want to have a signed paperback copy, that can be ordered as well.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.


I'm not the only author dropping prices today, my friend Denise Grover Swank who writes a lot of fantastic YA and mystery is also dropping the prices on some of her books today.  Check out Denise's blog for a list of other sale books!

If you or someone you know LOVES a GREAT deal and great BOOKs, please share this post.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you're having a great day celebrating just the way you want to.  I've got 21 people at my house today.  Not to worry, I won't be punching anyone today - I don't think.  Lucky for me, my family pitches in and everyone brings food to share and no one drinks any thing stronger than Diet Coke so I don't have a drunk uncle telling me that Obama is sending us down the shitter.  We watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (starring that pesky Elf this year), Disney movies, play board games, eat pie and more pie, get the damn Elf out and start Christmas.  Really.  You can't make this stuff up.

Wrap Up 11.17.12

Today is a pretty good day.  I'm sitting here writing my wrap up listening to Air Supply while my kids clean the house.  We have 20 people coming for dinner on Thursday and I've literally called the donation truck to come on Wednesday because I have so much shit I need to get rid of before people arrive.

This week I've been nominated for Circle of Moms Top 25 Book Author Moms.  If you nominated me, thank you.  Circle of Moms is a great place to get my name out and help me sell some books.  You might recall that a few months ago many of you helped me win Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms contest.  I'd love to win this one too.  Would you mind voting for me?  You can vote every day until December 7th.  Don't worry, I'll keep reminding you.  Thanks!!

Want My Book for Free? How About a Kindle Fire?

The holiday season is fast upon us.  Do you realize Thanksgiving is next week??  I will have twenty or so of my closest family members descending upon my house in one week's time and I have done nothing yet to even prepare.  Does sliced turkey from the deli and instant potatoes from a box count as a Thanksgiving dinner?

Weekly Update 11.10.12

Top Read Posts This Week:

Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies - And so it begins.  This post has been lighting up Pinterest this week and has easily claimed the number one spot for the week.  I doubt it will have as big a run as it had last year (over 1.2 million reads), but wouldn't that be cool if it did??

Happy Birthday to Gomer and Adolpha

On this day in 2004 we welcomed Gomer into our family.  He arrived a month early and freaked me out when he ended up in the NICU.  After a rocky start he ended up being the easiest, happiest baby.

Happy Birthday Gomer AND Adolpha!
On November 9, 2006 we put Gomer to bed and he had just learned how to say "Happy Birthday!"  He was practicing for the next day and I felt the first pangs of labor.  I knew that the next day wouldn't just be his birthday.

Who is The HUBS??

I guess I learn something everyday.  Here are some odd things about The HUBS.  Guest post today.

If you are reading this list, that means you have come here to learn some unknown and obscure facts about me.  Some of these facts are so obscure even my wife does not know.

I will tag some other bloggers and hope they will post some sort of list that will reveal some interesting, random, or obscure facts about themselves.  This is a great way to know someone a little bit better.

Week 7 of My Transformation - The Dirty 30

Yesterday was the start of week 7 of my transformation. Believe it or not, I woke up yesterday morning and thought, "What do I have to do today?" When I remembered it was a day to work out with Kris I actually thought, "Good."

Yup. "Good." Can you imagine me thinking that 7 weeks ago?? Not "Ugh" like I usually do or "Sigh. OK. Let's get it over with." I was pretty happy with myself for being so positive.

I arrived at Starting Line Fitness in a good mood and ready to work. All I can say is it's a good thing I was in a good mood, because Kris had an (evil) twinkle in her eye when she said, "Today we're going to do the Dirty 30."

The First Time Gomer Pitched a Fit

If you've read my Who is Jen page, then you'll know that both my kids, Gomer and Adolpha (no, not their real names - I cannot stress to new readers enough to read the About Jen page), share a birthday but two years apart.

This Saturday will be Gomer's 8th birthday and Adolpha's 6th birthday.

Although they share a birthday and are best friends, they have such different personalities.  Adolpha was high maintenance in the womb and Gomer has always been the most easy going and loving kid you could meet.  In fact, Gomer never threw a fit until he was two years old.

We'd had a pretty good run until the day I took him to Old Navy.

Weekly Wrap Up 11.3.12

This week has been a lot to handle with Sandy.  I'm in sunny, dry, warmish Kansas, but I have many friends on the east coast who are still suffering almost a week later.  Hang in there!  

Top Read Posts This Week:

When I Realized I Wasn't Tough Enough for NYC - Part 1 - This was the first part of my two part story about my worst day ever.  There was a lot of talk of me punching the guy in his nuts.  I didn't want to touch his dirty penis and the guy was crazy enough to stick his bare penis in my face on a public train - I was not about to get into a fight with that guy.  He'd probably kill me.

Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Marathon

Despite the devastation that Sandy has brought on New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has decided to go ahead and hold the New York City Marathon this Sunday.

I feel my spirits lifting already.  Not.

Halloween is Over

Well, it's 8:30 PM on Halloween night and my kids are already back from trick or treating, they've washed the makeup off their faces, they've brushed their teeth and they're in bed.  I would bet Adolpha is already asleep.

Trick or treating tires them out. We hit one side of the main drag of the neighborhood and Adolpha was ready to call it quits.  At each house she would weigh the pros and cons of carrying her heavy bucket full of candy up to another door.  "What do you think they're giving out?" she'd ask me before she'd sigh heavily and plod up to the door, curiosity getting the better of her.

When I Realized I Wasn't Tough Enough for NYC - Pt. 2

I started this story yesterday.  You might want to catch up so you can follow along.

All I wanted was a grilled cheese sandwich.
I came out of the subway station and found that the downpour was still going on.  I fought the rushing water to get back up the stairs and headed for the disgusting grocery store.

When I Realized I Wasn't Tough Enough for NYC - Pt. 1

I'm watching the Sandy aftermath on television this morning and I am thinking about when I lived in New York City.  New Yorkers are some of the toughest people I know and this Sandy thing isn't going to be a problem for many of them.  They'll come through just fine, you know why?  Because every day life in New York City is tough.

Weekly Wrap Up 10.27.12

Top Read Posts This Week:

Friends Are Hard to Find - Part 2 - My friend Sandy tried to arrange a playdate for her daughter Olive with a classmate, Drusilla.  This one got some fiery comments.  Let me explain a few things:  this happened face to face, so there was no way for Sandy to "hang up" the phone on her.  Sandy didn't walk away from her, because she was trying to find Olive a friend and this woman was being uncooperative.  Sandy is THE nicest person I know (she actually barely reads this blog, because she thinks I'm a "little mean" on here - no offense, Jen) and she was trying to HELP Drusilla's mom come up with a solution.  It wasn't until later when she replayed the conversation in her head she realized the woman was being such a twat.

It Might Be a Tumor

I just completed another week of my work out.  I've worked hard and been faithful every week.  How does my body repay me?  By rebelling.  I have a pain in my leg that has been bothering me since before I started this workout and now it just throbs all day long.  It was really bothering me Monday night and so I did what any normal person with pain would do.  I Googled it.

So, I came up with two possible diagnoses:

1.  Sciatica.  I heard horror stories about this debilitating condition while I was pregnant.  Every woman I came into contact with with regale me with her story of pregnancy-induced sciatica.  She would explain in detail how much it hurt and where and when and why.  Finally, she would tell me, the only relief was to deliver her 12 pound bundle of joy.  Since I am not pregnant - really, I'm not.  I know it seems like I'm giving a lot of weird symptoms and hints to doctors appointments that could imply I am pregnant, but I swear I am not - since I am not pregnant, I don't have a chance at relief if I can't deliver a 10+ pound baby!

How NOT to Make a New Friend

After yesterday's post I got to thinking.  How do you go about inviting another mom out for coffee or a playdate at the park?  I have no idea.  But I do know what you SHOULDN'T say.

Weekly Wrap Up 10.21.12

I just got back from spending the weekend in Omaha celebrating my grandfather's 90th birthday.  Our trip was . . . interesting.  Let's just say stay tuned for a post about that!

Top Read Posts This Week:

At Least Get to Know Me Before You Stick Me With That Thing - When I wrote this, I didn't even think for a moment that people might suspect I was pregnant until all the questions started coming in.  Let me put everyone's mind to rest (especially the Hubs'):  I.  Am. Not.  Pregnant.  I had a new Mirena inserted and the doctor wasn't confident it was in the right place and so that's why he ordered an ultrasound and no one told me it would be one that they shove up my hooha.  The tech found the Mirena right away and confirmed it was in the correct place, but she couldn't find my left ovary and that's when the fun really began as she explored my wonderland.  She never did find it.

Top 3 Reasons Why I Can't Go to the Gym

This is week three of my transformation.  Catch up here and here.

Yesterday was my day to go to Starting-Line Fitness and see my trainer, Kris.

I did not want to go.

Weekly Wrap Up 10.13.12

Another week over and all I have to show for it is one trashed house.  Seriously.  I know I complain a lot about how messy my house can get, but this week is ridiculous.  I had 200 books delivered to my house in 5 boxes (so those are still sitting in the hallway), I had 100 bubble wrap mailers delivered - another box and our weather has been anything from 80 degrees to 50 degrees this week so I have an assortment of jackets, coats, hats, flip flops, rain boots and tennis shoes strewn through out the house.

I've ignored all of this so I could focus on what's important:  perfecting my signature so I can sign some books!  Needless to say, it's still not perfected.  I apologize to those of you who will receive a book that looks like my signature says "Mary."  I got a little carried away and decided my "M"s are so much better looking than my "J"s.

If you ordered a signed copy through PayPal, then start checking your mail.  I finished them all and I will be dropping them off at the post office today.  

A Little Update

Hey everybody, I wanted to give you an update on my book!  Nook is STILL not ready yet.  I've been in touch with B&N daily and they keep telling there is a technical glitch of some kind on their end and they're "working on it."  Once Nook is up and running I will let you know.

Book sales are going well.  I'm really excited that so many of you have already purchased the book.  Thank you, thank you!  World domination is in my sights.  I can now say I am an "Amazon Best Seller."  The beauty of Amazon is they have about a bazillion different categories where you can classify your books and so you can always feel like you're rocking at least one category.  As of right this moment I am in the Top 10 of TWO humor categories.  Look out Parenting & Family Humor, I aim to be number one in your category!  Boom.

Weekly Wrap Up 10.6.12

Top Read Posts This Week:

Adolpha at Cheerleading Practice - I signed Adolpha up for a cheerleading clinic at my alma mater.  Tonight she was supposed to perform at the halftime show at the game.  I paid $35 for the clinic and $6 to get into the game and she gave up before the end of the first quarter because she was "too cold."  Looks like she's over cheerleading.  Now she's looking for an indoor sport she can try.

My Book Cover is Done! - I had so many kick ass entries, but in the end the awesome Jake Clark won me over.  There were a lot of choice comments for my old professor.  He actually died last year so I won't be able to give him a copy.

My Book is Ready for Purchase!!

The book is available!!  I thought the book cover announcement was exciting, but I'm going to go ahead and say this is more exciting.

OK, so it's a bit confusing and I'll do my best to explain it to you.  Please try and follow my ramblings because I have no idea how to make a flow chart.

Let's start with the easiest one:

NOOK - Sorry, it's not available yet for Nook.  The Nookers are taking their sweet time getting it set up on their site and I have no idea when they'll be ready.  I'll keep you posted once I know more.

KINDLE - If you'd like to download it RIGHT NOW then just go ahead and click this link and I'll see you when you're done reading.

PAPERBACK BOOK DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR - You don't have a Kindle or a Nook or any other device you'd like to read on?  Are you a book sniffer who loves the smell of a new book?  Then this is the option for you.  You can order a copy here and it will be sent to you in a few days.

Week 2 of My Transformation

Well, I'm gearing up this morning for my second work out this week with my new personal trainer, Kris, at Starting Line Fitness.

I just hope she reads this and takes it easy on me today, because she really kicked my ass on Tuesday - I'm still hobbling along because muscles I never even knew existed are sore.  I arrived on Tuesday in a bad mood and I think she tried get me to a happy place with exercise and that runner's high/endorphin shit doesn't work with me.  Instead, as the hour progressed the black cloud over my head just kept getting darker and darker.  I'm not sure how many times I muttered, "Son.  Of.  A.  Bitch." but I'm pretty sure it was a lot.  I'm positive I yelled it when she showed me this contraption:

It's a set of ropes suspended from the ceiling.  (No, it's not a sex swing, you pervs.)  It's for reverse push ups or some such nonsense.  I don't know what they're called, but they're my own personal hell. You basically hang on to the loops and lean waaaaaayyy back so you're reclined and then you pull yourself up.  Just when you get high enough for it not to hurt anymore you go back down to more pain.  I think I did these three separate times on Tuesday.  I'm such a Pillsbury Dough Girl that I actually got blisters on this stupid thing.  I doubt I will ever like this one.

My Book Cover is Done!

It's happening!  I am sitting here tonight looking at the brand new cover design for my BOOK!!!  I can not even begin to tell you guys how excited I am.  Isn't it perfect?  I had so many awesome submissions it was hard to choose.  In the end I chose this one, because every time I look at those carolers' heads on the floor, it makes me laugh.

Do You Like YA Books? Then Enter This Giveaway

I don't usually do giveaways unless it's Bic lady pens that I've bought with my own money, but I recently had the chance to meet K.D. McEntire, the author of the awesome Lightbringer series.  She reads the blog and once she saw my various book threads on here she just knew that I had to read her books.  She was right.  When I told her how much I enjoyed them, she offered to give away some copies of her books to you guys.  How could I deny you that opportunity?

I know that a lot of you are very similar to me when it comes to our taste in books.  If that's the case, then you will love Lightbringer and the second installment Reaper.

These books are YA paranormal stories that suck you in and are different than anything I've ever read before (and I've read a lot of YA paranormal).  K.D. has imagined a world that coexists with ours, where some people can go back and forth between the two.  Her heroine, Wendy, is one of those people.  Wendy is a human that can send lost souls into the light.  Without her help, the Lost are doomed to roam the Never.  Because Wendy is human, every time she sends a soul into the light, it takes a toll on her.  Not to mention that she has to battle against darker forces who feed on the Lost.  In the meantime, Wendy meets a guardian of the Lost - Piotr and starts to fall for him, even though she might have to send him into the light eventually.  (Relationships are never easy in these types of books, are they?)

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

By now we have all heard of the adorable little Elf on the Shelf . Almost everyone I know has one.  Some people even have two!  (Now I'...

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