Book Giveaway: "Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures"


It seems a little silly for me to introduce you all to Amber Dusick. I'm pretty positive, if you are a parent with a computer, you are already well aware of her. But, just in case you are living in the back of my coat closet in the storage bin that houses all the ski clothes I haven't worn since 1992, I will explain.

Amber Dusick writes an extremely popular blog called Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures in which she writes parenting stories illustrated with crappy pictures. If that doesn't sound like the funniest thing you have ever heard than you are not using your imagination. Check out "Going Viral, The Puking Kind" and "Public Toilets Vs Newly Potty Trained Girls and Boys" to fully understand the genius behind a badly drawn baby.

Amber came out with her first book this week (Congratulations, Amber!) called "Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures" (obviously) and I could not be more excited to read it— my copy is currently en route.

To help promote Amber's book, I've got two things going on today.

1) I'm giving away a copy! For a chance to win, leave a comment under this post.

2) Amber did me the supreme honor of illustrating Crappy Pictures for one of my old posts.

I must say, I'm feeling a little weird being all— Amber is so hilarious! Now, read something of mine! But a mom blogger must take thrills where she can get them and seeing myself and Mazzy illustrated in crappy pictures might be my biggest brush with greatness since Christain Slater autographed a playbill for me in the early 90's. (No, I was not wearing my ski clothes at the time.)

Amber chose the post herself (it's from just before Mazzy turned two) and I'm hoping that for many of you, it is your first time reading it. 

Please notice Amber's attention to detail. Crappy Mazzy has a Crappy Bow in her hair.  


Written by Me, Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick

I loved amusement parks as a kid (the scarier the ride, the better) so I was super excited to take Mazzy to her first kiddie park. I figured she was too small to go on most of the rides but at least she'd go on the carousel and kick some ass at Wack-A-Mole.

Then the ticket booth lady said Mazzy could go on ALL BUT TWO of the rides.

REALLY? Are you sure you are not mistaking my kid for the fourteen-year-old with the neck tattoo behind me?

Yes, she was sure.

We started easy with a train that went around in a circle at .00000002 miles per hour. I rode next to Mazzy with my arm laid over her lap just in case she tried to wriggle free from the seatbelt, jump out action-movie-style and scream “Thomas!” before running headfirst into the front car.

Miraculously, Mazzy sat still, tightly grasping the steering wheel for the entirety of the ride.

Next we moved on to a boat ride where Mazzy continued to surprise by not diving head first into one foot of water.

With two successes under our belt, we got more adventurous and tried the plane ride, the big slide and the mini roller coaster. Mazzy emerged smiling after each one and suddenly I had visions of future mother-daughter upside-down roller coaster rides, alpine slide races and sharing a tube in the Tunnel of Terror at Splish Splash.

I thought about how much different I was going to be from my own mother, who’d sit on the sidelines waving and snapping pictures no matter how much I begged her to come along.

“Go with your dad," she'd always say. "I belong on the ground."

At the end of the day, we had one more ride ticket left. After scanning the park, I decided to take Mazzy on a harmless looking apparatus with a cheerful sounding name. 


We sat side-by-side as the "Happy Swing" started slow and steady. I yelled “whee!” on each downward motion, just in case Mazzy was unaware we were having fun.

Then the swing picked up speed. 


Faster, higher, back and forth.

Hmmm. This seems a bit more dangerous than it did from the ground.

Faster, higher, back and forth.

I found myself gripping Mazzy’s leg to make sure she stayed put.

Faster, higher, back and forth.

Suddenly, I felt my stomach drop as if someone had just pushed me off the side of a cliff. 

Faster, higher, back and forth.

My brain rattled inside my head as my fingers practically bore holes into Mazzy’s thigh.

Faster, higher, back and forth.

We were going to be thrown from the swing. I was sure of it.

Faster, higher, back and forth.


I tried not to puke as I angled my head to make sure my baby wasn't crying. Then I offered her the only reassurance I could.


Mazzy looked like she was in a state of shock— staring straight ahead, eyes wide as her hair whipped wildly above her. I was positive that if she survived the ride, this would be our first and last trip to the amusement park. She would forever be the little girl scarred by a crazy mother’s overzealous decision to take her on the most nausea-inducing ride in the park.

Finally, the swing began to slow and my hand loosened it’s grip on Mazzy’s leg. My stomach tried and failed to settle back into place as the ride screeched to it's upchuck-worthy end.

I looked at my poor 21-month-old daughter, prepared to plead forgiveness and assure her that this was the last time Mommy would ever place her in harm's way.


Mazzy was expressionless, still staring straight ahead. I touched her leg gently.

“Mazzy, it’s over, I promise.”



Oh my god. I'd killed her.

Then suddenly, her eyes sprang back to life and her arms flew over her head.


In that moment, I became my mother.

Go with your dad. I belong on the ground.



To win a copy of Amber Dusick's Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, just leave a comment below. Winner will be announced next Friday. If you can't wait that long, you can purchase a copy by clicking the Amazon link below. 

Big thanks to Amber for drawing me in slimming black with lots of hair!