You Were a Weird Child of the 80's When...

Spoiler Alert: I'm the weird child

Me at my brother's Bar Mitzvah

Me at my brother's Bar Mitzvah

You considered Pee-wee Herman a teen heartthrob. 

You sent ALF fan mail.

You thought everyone else had a foil ball collection just like Pee-wee Herman...and you.

Your game of house got really heated when you found out your best friend's pretend dad worked for Crest and yours worked for Colgate.

Your game of house got really heated when you found out your best friend's pretend boyfriend was Pee-wee Herman, when he was already your pretend husband.

The outfit you wore for our brother's bar mitzvah was Pee-wee chique.

You wrote a list about being a weird child of the 80s and most of it was about Pee-wee Herman.


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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.

Obit for Our Fish

Fishy America Dooky Doo Doo III (July 2015 - Sometime During Vacation)

Fishy America Dooky Doo Doo III, Dooky Doo Doo for short, died unexpectedly and most probably unpeacefully out of his home on the cold tile bathroom floor.

He was brought into our home as a gift by an Uncle for Oscar's 6th birthday. Dooky Doo Doo was quickly named after the fish that came before him who was previously named after the fish who came before him who was lucky enough to at least make it out of the Petco as the fish that came before him met his demise after being dropped inside the store.

Perhaps Dooky Doo's fate was sealed the day he was named and his tank was placed on the bathroom counter ominously close to the toilet. We'd like to think he died an over-achieving confident fish that thought to himself as he jumped out of his tank, "I CAN fly!"

Dooky Doo Doo is survived by his fish mate, Princess the First (age 3), his boy, Oscar, and his caretaker, Amanda, who obviously did a really crappy job of taking care of him and doesn't know how to break it to Oscar that his fourth f'ing fish has crossed the rainbow bridge to nowhere. 

Graveside was at the toilet last night, while the kids were distracted by the iPad. We will be sitting shiva all week, but expecting the guilt to last a lifetime.  

Oscar's twin sister has disrespectfully requested that if you visit for shiva to please bring a platter of lox.

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.

Curly Q's: Frequently Asked Questions about My Jewfro

I was born with an unruly personality and hair that matched. As if Samson, I've always been convinced the two are intertwined.  Take away my curls and you take away my power. But, honey, these luscious locks aren't going anywhere. Believe me. I tried.

In college, I had the Level 3 chemical straightener applied to my hair. It still took three hours to flat iron and then minutes later, my curls would revolt. Back to Jewfro I'd go.  I've learned to love my crazy curls. Now my motto is: The Bigger the Better.

But no matter how I've worn my hair, I've always been the field rep for Jewfros.  So I've compiled the top five questions I've been getting since the beginning of my time. Feel free to submit your inquiries via my contact page. In the mean time, please check this list of... 

Frequently Asked Curly Q's

  • Question 1: Is that your real hair?

I was at De La Soul concert and overheard two gentlemen discussing my hair and questioning whether or not a 'white girl' could have hair like mine.  And, yes! Yes we can.  So I turned around and said, "yes! My hair is real!"  It's neither weave nor perm.  This wasn't the first time I've been asked this and it's usually coupled with "is your hair that black or do you dye it?"  I was asked that when I was 12 and the answer was I don't dye.  Ask me again and you will.

  • Question 2: Can I pull it?

Someone once said to me, "I just want to pull your hair. I wanna pull it!"  And it wasn't an old boyfriend.  In fact, it was a female stranger.  Mostly I assume this is a rhetorical question. So I only answer with a dirty look.

  • Question 3: Can I touch it?

I answer this question with a question: Are you my hair stylist?

  • Question 4: What ethnicity are you?

I think what people really want to ask me is: Are you Jewish? Is that why you have that hair? But I like to confuse them and say I'm Eastern European, I'm Turkish and from Alabama.  All true. And together.... all very confusing.

  • Question 5: Do you have a pen?

I know what you're thinking... "Does she have a pen?"  I know this seemingly has nothing to do with hair. But if you ever need anything chances are I can either find it hidden in my purse.... or in my Jewfro.


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!

A Layabouts Guide to Workouts



I'm huge into simplification, procrastination and justifications. Which is why when I found the recent report in Science Daily about the consumption of red wine being equivalent to exercise extremely exciting news.  I'm a layabout when it comes to the workout. In fact so much so that when I was pregnant with my twins, I opted for a C-section just so I wouldn't have to push. 

Based on this new evidence, I've come up with exercises we can all enjoy -- sip by sip.  Here is a simple guide to an easier more delicious workout.

Mall of Amanda's Workout to Drink Up Conversion Chart...


Mason Jarring

Like most women in their mid-30's, I enjoy the Real Housewives (of any location), polishing of a bottle of wine and Pinterest. I've got all the important boards covered: the one on kale, home decor projects I'll never do and an entire board dedicated to "Things in Mason Jars" -- detailing everything from edible to adorable.  But here's my Pinterest secret, my big lie: The only reason I created a mason jars board is because it would be popular. Why? Women love shit in mason jars. We've been led to believe these pint size glass houses make everything look more delicious, delectable and desirable. But does it? So to answer this question, I've started a challenge... a challenge of one...where I've put shit in mason jars to see if it's more marvelous or just meh.  

This is the true story of five items picked to live in a mason jar to have themselves Pinned to find out what happens when Pinners stop being polite and start getting real... The Real Shit in Mason Jars.


1) A Mason Jar in a Mason Jar

This is like the next generation's Russian Nesting Dolls


2) Dog Food in a Mason Jar

My dog seemed way disappointed in my craftiness with his food. So I decided to put a candle in it.  But that didn't look right either. I added a bow.

3) My Retainer in a Mason Jar

Let's be honest. My retainer hasn't seen the inside of my mouth since the early 90s. I'm not quite sure why I've kept it this long, but perhaps that's related to my hoarding issues -- a story for another blog. But I do know that a mason jar is a much better way of retaining my retainer than the bottom of my Caboodle. 

4) The Marks' Family Duo of Lice Combs in a Mason Jar

Ah -- Club Head: The family vacation you never wanted to take. I was thinking of bronzing our lice combs as a keepsake for the kids, but perhaps just sticking them in a mason jar would be more cost efficient.

5) Expired Prescription Drugs in a Mason Jar

Okay. I know what you're thinking and please don't judge. I KNOW I'm long overdue to have a party with our old medicine, but let's get real. My bedtime is 8:30pm and there's only so much fun you can have with 800 mg of Ibuprofen. I've been meaning to throw these out, but isn't that bad for the environment? Instead I may just start putting old drugs in old mason jars and burying them in the backyard along with the dog's rawhide collection.


With my challenge complete, I think I've curated a wonderful array of unique ways of using our favorite little glass house. Whether you think marvelous or meh, only Pinterest can judge if I'm a winner. Will these gems make their way on someone's Mason Jar board? Check back in to find out. But please repin something of mine on Pinterest first. You'll make me feel good about myself.