Mom Cam in the Minivan

There was once a time when I live-streamed a series called Mom Cam in the Minivan. In its glory day, I had 5 viewers simultaneously. Okay, maybe it was more like 4. And one was my husband, who watched only because he feared for my life. Everything turned out okay. I kept my hands on '10' and '2' and most importantly ensured the light reflecting from the sun visor was flattering.

As the live stream episodes are feathers to the wind, I decided to start recording them. Welcome to Season 2 of Mom Cam in the Minivan. This time it has some permanence to it, because ya know... YouTube. Enjoy Episode 14, just don't ask about the other thirteen.

How to Get Him to Say "I Love You" First

I have been boy crazy since I knew what a boy was.

I chased them around classrooms. I attempted unwanted kisses. I asked them to go with me. I told them I liked them. Sometimes boys liked me back. But it seemed most didn't.

In high school and college, all my close friends had boyfriends that were mutually in love with them. Sophomore year, my siblings both got married to their significant others. It seemed everyone had someone except me.

I became obsessed with love and with the idea that it was all about timing -- being able to meet the right person at the right moment in space, in life at the moment you're both there and ready was an impossibility. 

I spent too much time overthinking where I was at the moment and tiny decisions I was making. Like, what if I got on the first car on the T and the guy I'm supposed to be with is on the 3rd car.

I also spent too much time thinking no one would ever fall in love with me. Not because I didn't deserve love, but maybe that was just my lot in life: To be alone and to never know what it felt like to be loved back.

Right after college graduation, I met him. The one. Everything was mutual. Everything was perfectly timed. (The story of how we met is epic and our fates were sealed in the 1930s. Literally, a story for another time.)

I knew when I met him that eventually we'd fall in love. I also knew that I was not going to say it first. I deserved, after years of chasing, to be chased, and for me to hear it first. He needed to take the risk. But I didn't want saying "I love you" to be risky for him. I wanted him to feel safe in that if he said it first that he'd know I'd say it back.

So I began saying to him everything that meant "I love you" except I love you itself. Things like: You're important to me. I love being with you. I'd be happy staring at a blank wall, as long as I was with you.

We'd fall asleep holding hands.

One morning, we woke up and my head was on his chest. I could feel and hear his heart beating like a metronome gone awry. So I asked, "Why is your heart beating so fast?"

"I love you," he said.

"I love you," I said back.

Together for 16 years, married for almost 14, two guinea pigs, one dog, five Betta fish and three kids later, I'm still happy staring at a blank wall as long as I'm with him.

How Being a Parent is Like Being in Prison

Due to mass consumption of specific genres of television, I'm an expert in several fields.

I'd make an excellent attorney. Thank you Law & Order.

I can solve what ails you. Thank you House.

And I can soothe you to sleep with a very relaxing and monotone voice. Thank you The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

Even though I've never been in prison, I'm pretty sure I know what it's like to be a prisoner because of bulk watching Orange is the New Black. And given that I have three children, I'm convinced my household is a prequel to an actual real life experience of being behind bars. If you encounter these elements of parenting, you may also know the feeling of how sometimes parenting is like being in prison. 

The Riots

They break loose at any given moment and usually involve makeshift weapons.

The Meals

I find myself protecting my plate during dinner time. If not, little hands grab what they can until I have nothing left to eat.

The Privacy

It feels like I'm constantly being watched... while I shower, when I pee, and I've definitely woken up with someone staring at me at the edge of the bed.

The Threats

From subtle to obvious, I've heard everything from "I'm going to kill you," "I'll lick you while you sleep," to the most threatening of all, "when you're dead, I get your money and jewelry."

But hey y'all, you've got to look at the bright side of parenting. It's also like having Stockholm Syndrome. No matter what, we love our little captors, even when we get shanked by a Lego.

Master Debaters

It's hard to believe we're on episode 66 of The Walking Dads and I'm still alive. At the least, I thought Michael would have been killed off by zombies (or his wife). This was a really fun episode to shoot, but mainly because I kept making the guys break character with the ridiculous sexual innuendos I've been writing since 7th grade.  Enjoy our latest election themed episode!

Shirts Happen

I was taught at a young age that if I could schlep it, then I could bring it. Instead of seeing this as a need to simplify, I saw this a challenge to carry as much crap as humanely possible.  So prior to a recent trip to Israel for my nephews' Bar Mitzvahs, I began to think: If ants can carry 5,000 times their body weight, why can't this aunt?  

I managed to pack 75% of my closet allowing myself three clothing options a day plus alternates pending on what my fleeting fashion feelings might be.  Day to day, my attire ranged from sensible to nonsensical.  I was happy knowing that if the mood struck, I had an extra miniskirt at the ready.  

However, it was the day we were at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo, when I realized I was the visiting attraction.  A local approached me saying, "You must be here on holiday. You dress too funny for an Israeli."  My response: "I dress too funny for an American."   I know this already. My style is what I call don't fret-a-porter. I'm okay with that and the 'looks' I often get.

But as I continued our trip, I began to notice something even more ridiculous than my outfits and it wasn't the massive numbers of souvenir shops. It was the t-shirts in those stores. Half of which I briefly owned as a teenager until my mother "mistakenly" washed all of them with a red shirt before I started my high school senior year.  What a blessing.  

I have mental pictures in my head of what that last year in high school would have been like, if the Washing Machine Incident of 1994 never happened. And fortunately, for you I have actual pictures of these shirts of Teen Tour Past.  Here are some of the best of's for your viewing pleasure. Which one is your favorite? Did you own any of these gems?

It's about Time

Living life without regrets is often my motivation. Because of this I've taken actions that may be deemed unthinkable to most: Telling college crushes I liked them, starting a new career as a comedian and eating questionable grocery store sushi.  Not all these situations have boded well, but I'm happy that at least I know the outcome and that none have resulted in downing Pepto.  

However there are times I want to go back in time: To hold my kids again as babies, visit with relatives who've since passed and perhaps buy stock in Facebook.  Though time travel is an impossibility, I like to prepare my readers for the unforeseeable [like putting together a Weber Grill solamente], so I've created a Time Machine Guide.  It's more CraigsList Classifieds than Kelly Blue Book, as they may be defective or likely to kill you. Either way, there's no time like the present to pick your mode of time travel!

Mall of Amanda's Time Machine Guide

The Phone Booth (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures)

Pros: This time machine may come with Keanu Reeves.
Cons: This time machine may come with Keanu Reeves.








The Hot Tub (The Hot Tub Time Machine)

Pros: It's a hot tub... a hot tub TIME MACHINE, y'all!
Cons: Not safe for time travel if you're pregnant





The DeLorean (Back to the Future -- all parts)

Pros: The Mr. Fusion model runs on garbage so you can impress neighbors with your eco-friendly car choice. It's like the Tesla of time travel.

Cons: Does not come with its own Uber Driver. 




The Time Machine Modulus (Napoleon Dynamite)

Pros: Comes fully-loaded with tots, Gosh!
Cons: Doesn't freakin' work.

Chef Boyardon't: A Recipe for Disaster

I'm a little less Nigella Lawson and a little more Nigella Lawless in the kitchen..  It's not that I don't know how to cook, it's just that I like to do things my way. If a recipe asks me to peel a tomato or requires reading for more than a page, then it's not for me. I like to keep things simple and by simple I mean I totally use boxed cake mixes. But even if I'm following a simple recipe somethings gonna happen. So I've compiled a list of 'somethings that happened' so they don't have to happen to you.  Consider this blog your list of Chef Boyardon'ts. 

A Recipe for Disaster

  • Preheat the over to 350 but forget to check that you were storing Tupperware in it
  • Use cake flour that expired in 2007
  • Realize you weren't supposed to use cake flour but self-rising flour
  • Think you're using a one-cup measuring cup, when it actually holds two
  • Mix all ingredients you do have and put in an ungreased loaf pan that is supposed to be greased 
  • Look in microwave and find the melted butter you were supposed to include
  • Wait until the end to read the recipe in its entirety only to realize you're out of baking powder
  • Put in the oven to Bake for 65 minutes and get an alert you have to be at the dentist in 15 minutes

Giving the Finger to Nose Picking

I relinquish to the fact that 100% of my children have, will or currently pick their nose.  Being that I'm a glass half-full type person  (or in this case a tissue box completely full),  I began to wonder: Are there benefits to this ill-mannered impulse? So I decided that instead of giving the finger to this inevitable childhood pastime that I'd rather extract the positives.


The Benefits of Nose-Picking 

[As Justified by an Underachieving Mother]

  1. Save money on tissues

  2. No need to prepare appetizers

  3. A great way to introduce French with terms like faux pas and amuse-bouche

  4. Keeps finger tips warm (cold weather only)

  5. Keeps children from pointing at physical differences of strangers

Beastie Boys' Sabotage and The Walking Dead Remix

The Beastie Boys' Adrock wants to be on The Walking Dead, so The Walking Dads thought it seemed fitting to remix some of the finest The Walking Dead scenes to the beat of Sabotage.  As the original Sabotage music pays tribute to 1970's TV Crime Dramas, we are giving a 'hat tip' via our variation.

Follow us on Twitter @realwalkingdads, and don't forget to subscribe The Walking Dads YouTube channel!

Keeping the Flames of Romance Alive

Your relationship doesn't have to die just because you're stuck in the zombie apocalypse. Check out our latest installment of The Walking Dads web series with guest "Sexpert" Gay Bob.  Warning: NSFW!  You can follow The Walking Dads on Twitter @realwalkingdads or visit our website at

Dishing Out Dishonesty

Yes. I lie to my kids. But don't worry, it's for a good cause.  It's called the 'Cause It's Easier. Making up a little white lie specifically about why my trio should eat healthier just seems more sensical than trying logic.  Consider this blog your Cliff Notes to food fibbing.




The Food: M&Ms

The Lie: My kids are always wondering why Mommy is popping pills.  I'm not a drug addict. I'm a chocoholic. But I've told them the 'M' on M&M stands for medicine.  Accordingly, my kiddos are avoiding Mommy's meds like they're Jenny McCarthy.





The Food: Ice Cream 

The Lie: Unfortunately the jig is up but at one point my twins believed that the ice cream truck was actually called 'the scary musical van.'




The Food: Green Beans

The Lie: Why is everything more adorable in miniature and more delicious when it's frozen?. Reason: It's science! Which is why I've told my kids that the frozen green beans are tiny Fla-Vor-Ice Pops. 





The Food: Broccoli

The Lie: Some little girls are obsessed with having Barbies. Mine is obsessed with having boobies. She's only 5, but is already covetous of my cleavage. So when she refused to eat her broccoli the other night, I whispered in her ear "they'll give you boobies when you're a teenager" and she quickly ate it up.  






The Food: Halloween Candy

The Lie: I totally overestimated how many Trick or Treaters we'd get and underestimated my love for buying in bulk. Five months post festivities, there is a ridiculous amount of residual Halloween candy in my home.  Every time I try to throw it away, my husband responds like I'm trying to take his wallet instead of protect his waistline. And the kids have turned into a Cirque de Soleil act to get to his 'secret" hiding spot on the pantry's top shelf.  So I sprang into action with the best lie ever -- the Tooth Fairy is my Facebook Friend and candy is her fiend. When I see them trying to get conniving with the corn syrup I just invoke the power of the Tooth Fairy's imaginary Facebook Page. Of course this is not the truth. After all, the Tooth Fairy is only on Instagram.

The Food: Pretty Much Any Meal

The Lie:  My littlest dude refuses to keep his rump in one place during dinner.  But don't worry: "There's an app for that!" Kind of. One night I was totally fed up with my frolicking five-year-old so pretended to download an app that could control his body.  He's so worried about it that he now sits still for supper time.  Problem solved!



Fine Print: The big lie -- only the broccoli one is true.  ;)