On this episode of Mom Cam in the Minivan, I'm a little freaked out by our first guest...
There are few times in life that we're able to do something first. As the last born in my family, these moments are few and far between and usually consisted of moments like being the first to get farted on.
But one of my oldest friends from high school sent me an invite to this beta for this app with these strangers on it. And these these amazing, creative, thought-provoking, insightful strangers changed the way I write, think and interact all in a quick 25 weeks time. Above all, it has given us the chance to truly be a part of global village. And now it's live for the public. Welcome to The List App.
Here are some of things we find ourselves saying now that we've been a part of it. What will you say? Follow me on The List App @mallofamanda.
Not everyone is looking forward to the kids being back to school in this latest episode of The Walking Dads.
My husband tries to get in the Zone 1 boarding line at the airport, when our tickets clearly indicate we're Zone 4. This is what embarrasses me: breaking rules. But there are other things that don't embarrass me that, perhaps, should. Like what I'm about to tell you.
I'm an internet troll.
But instead of interrupting usual conversations, I troll my Facebook Messenger's "Other" Folder. Do you spot it down below to the right of the Inbox? Most people don't know about the "Other" Folder (or ignore it).
It's where messages go from people you're not Facebook Friends with. It's where Spam goes to die. It's also where I go to learn about banks in foreign countries that want to give me money, how cheap I can get Viagra and that I am, perhaps, too good at taking selfies for my Facebook Profile Pics. The fodder I find is not in the one-way messages of strangers, but rather in the conversations that ensue when I actually respond. I don't respond to all messages, but when I do it goes something like this:
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?
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]
Save money on tissues
No need to prepare appetizers
A great way to introduce French with terms like faux pas and amuse-bouche
Keeps finger tips warm (cold weather only)
Keeps children from pointing at physical differences of strangers
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. ;)
So you totally missed it. I live streamed an impromptu baking session using the new Meerkat App. Though I'm no longer a Live Stream virgin, I am still a novice so please be gentle with me as I work through the kinks.
What I learned: Content is always king. No one cared about watching me drive to the dog park or singing in the car. Though I prefer to improvise, it's important to at least have a little bit of a plan in place before live streaming content. And of course most importantly a solid wifi connection.
For my first (what I deem successful) Meerkat Live Stream, I chose baking a cake. And yes there was clothing underneath my cupcake apron. It wasn't that type of live stream. That will be next week. Check it out below:
Side note: As Meerkat doesn't save your content to the cloud if you want to keep it you'll need to save to your camera roll and then upload to Vimeo or YouTube.
First it was the passing of our beloved Beta Fish, Dooky-doo, and now our grill has died. Though my five year old is still sitting shiva for his pet by eating lox non-stop, the family quickly got over the death of our Weber. We had it for almost 13 years. It was a wedding present from my siblings who generously gave it to their youngest poor sibling (me) after I said "I'd like this grill." I figured after years of my older brother and sister using me as their production assistant, intern and peon I felt it was ok to demand a very nice grill as back-pay.
My father-in-law would say the lack of cleaning caused the death of our grill. But I think our grill went down in flames after an incident with a duck. It was a fowl event. I'm grateful that my training as a cold-zone volunteer fire fighter with the Decatur FD could finally come in handy. Plus it's given me the excuse to use this awesome pic of myself on the Mall of Amanda Blog.
Me. Hot flames. Hot pants. --------------------->
But this brings us to the now. To the present. My first "How To" blog. My husband got a great deal on a new Weber Genesis via Amazon. I brag that I'm great at putting together anything from Ikea, so I'm like "yeah, I got this." However, after 38 minutes I've finally completed just step 1 of 34 in the assembly of this wonderful "Genesis Weber." I'm starting to think it means the genesis of hell. Maybe you've come to me for how to help and now you're feeling just as helpless as I do. But my tips are simply one step and easy to follow. You'll feel much better after my guidance.
How to Assemble Weber's Genesis Gas Grill
Step 1. Don't.
As talking and TV are two of my true loves, it seems natural to pursue a career as a talk show host. But no one seems to be casting a 30 something Jewish girl from Alabama who is obsessed with the Beastie Boys, kale chips and red lipstick. Accordingly, I've taken matters into my own hands in exploring what I want to be when I grow up and created my own web-series -- The Walking Dads. Check out episodes 57 and 58 to learn some fantastic parenting and marital tips on surviving your family during the zombie apocalypse. Because, ya know, it could happen.
My friend told me I'd never survive a zombie apocalypse because I use an app to remind me to drink water. But on the other hand, I have so much crap in my purse that I'm prepared for anything... especially motherhood. Join me on a tour of my purse and you decide what should stay or what should go. Either way, I'm keeping everything.
I was a sophomore in college when I thought I'd never fall in love. Correction: I was a sophomore in college when I thought no one would ever fall in love with me. Though confident that I was adorable and a catch, I convinced myself guys would never see me in the way I saw myself. I would forever fall into the friend category. I became obsessed with love: what it was, where it was, where was mine. And all I did was journal about love. For you kids out there, that's what you may refer to as blogging, except no one saw it.
But as a the good hoarder I am, I found my journal and something for my friends. Literally, this is what I titled it, "something for my friends." It summed up all I felt and hoped others did too. I wrote it and felt the world was not as lonely. Here it is for you -- a #tbt blog before blogs.
"Something for my friends" (September 1996)
I want to write something for my friends. Something about boys. Something that summarizes all that we feel written into a nice little package with a beginning, a middle and revelatory ending. Something that makes us feel good about what's lacking in our lives: the love of our lives (or something similar and close to that). Because I think about it all the time and write about it frequently. I thought it was alone in my thoughts until someone admitted that their journal entries were also about the same subject. It makes me feel better to write about it, to get it out of my head onto paper. Maybe the words will magically leap up and find this person for me. It feels better though to talk about it, to describe what I want.
I like playing the "what will my husband be like" game.
And the "let's take turns saying what qualities you want" game.
And "if you had to name three traits and only three what would they be" game.
It's like a stress release just to say them out loud and maybe he's listening and maybe he'll say, "Hey that's me you're describing."
I've been boy-crazy ever since I knew what a boy was. I used to chase them and kiss them and ask them to "go" with me. Ironically, the way I acted when I was six hasn't changed much.
But now it's different.
I don't want the attention.
I want the purest sense of adoration.
We all do.
We want guys to see what our friends see in us. We want them to do what we do… Walk past places where we might be just to see us. Stay an extra five minutes just to be with us.
I always try to keep myself from analyzing everything a guy I'm interested in does, but just like you eventually have to blink in a staring contest analysis occurs.
Like the fact he knew what I was doing last night and I didn't tell him.
Like the fact I caught him looking at me.
And he always makes sure he says goodbye.
I think these things mean something.
Sometimes I act stupid. I stare at his shoes, because I don't want him to catch me staring at his face. I play games. I act quiet, because maybe he'll ask what's the matter. I walk behind or ahead of the group to see if he will wait or catch up. And if you're having a conversation and he asks you questions that's always a good sign.
I want to be chased. Chase after. And for things to happen naturally.
I want to fall in love. Be in love. Be loved.
I don't need it now. I don't necessarily want it now. I just want to know it will be there someday.
I want to see the future. I listen intently when my friends surmise about my love life-- what they think may occur, the reasons they haven't. But I really do want it to be a surprise. Almost literally – "Surprise, I love you!"
I saw my friends as pretty before they were my friends. Now as I know them, they are even more beautiful. Now their souls shine through their exteriors. There's a visible difference on how you look at someone, how you see your friends when they go from being acquaintances to people you can trust. It's like putting new batteries in a flashlight.
I want a boy to see me this way.
For after each talk we have for me to become more beautiful, because he sees all of me. Because he sees something about me. Something I don't see or know of.
I tell myself it's not my fault I don't have this now. And it's not. It's no ones. Time is the reason. Because how amazingly coincidental does it have to be for two people to meet at the right time of place in space in life when they are ready for the same exact things. For me not to have this isn't unusual. It's unusual to have this.
At least that's what I tell myself.
I also tell myself my personality is intimidating.
I'm out going and hyper and I know what I want.
I'm outspoken and confident and kind of unusual.
Maybe boys aren't ready for me yet.
They need to be 24 so I'll have to wait three more years.
At least that's what I tell myself.
Other times I tell myself:
If I'm wearing lipstick, he'll think I'm sexy.
If I look innocent, he'll think I'm cute.
If I make him laugh, he'll want me.
Then other times, most the times I think it shouldn't matter. He, meaning the Ultimate, will like me no matter what. I'll be sexy and beautiful and cute and funny and adorable even when I don't feel like it, because he'll see me as dynamic and special and unique. I don't know if I think about what I want to much.
I guess I do.
Sometimes I feel like I'm looking for something, for someone that doesn't exist. At least he doesn't exist for me.
Sometimes I think I'll never find that or be in love because I'm not meant to be. What if I'm here to teach the world not to miss out on things and the moral of the story is someone misses out on me.
It's not so important that I fall in love now or that it happens fast. Just that it happens, eventually, in a decent amount of time. And that it's good.
I don't really have a tidy precise package of thoughts here. I can't foresee what's to happen and I don't want to. I have faith that everything will work out-- love in particular-- because the rest of my life has and I haven't even tried. I know my thoughts aren't alone. I know my friends think about this. But what would make me feel better is to know that guys think about love too. That they wonder if the girl sitting next to them might be their future wife, even if they don't want to get married until age 27. I just want to know that they think of it, that they want love, are scared of love, and are scared of not finding love. And you never know, maybe I'm in one of their hypothetical situations. Maybe I'm someone's Ultimate.
Unless it's rimmed with salt and has tequila in it, I don't do cold. I am not built to withstand the humidity and heat of the South, either. Rather than be outside in Atlanta's July, I'd prefer to stand behind the exhaust pipe of a MARTA bus. Give me HVAC or give me death. And that's the only reason I survive any weather extreme -- because of man-made temperature control.
Today it's 13 degrees out. Like most parents in Georgia, I too am suffering from PTSD from last year. Schools closed right after we got back from Holiday Break because though no snow or ice was present, it was just too damn cold. Then February of 2014 the Snowocalypse hit. School closed again right after another week long break. This time there was a ridiculous amount of snow... for Georgia.
I love my kids, but maybe there's such a thing as too much quality time and we quickly ran out of activities. The Momma-made Scrabble game only lasted for 10 minutes and no one wanted to do yoga with my five-year-old girl. Winter in my house was starting to feel like Orange is the New Black. To make matters worse, our craftsman style prison was being repeatedly taunted by the Robocall Lady. Every hour, it seemed, we'd get calls to remind us that school would be closed again. I began to despise Robocall Lady. But who is she? Does she have a family? Is this her full-time job? Does Robocall Lady know Siri?
I know myself. I’ve been the same person since I was 5, except now I can buy my own candy, I’ve got boobs and I’m a much better driver. So every year my New Year’s resolution is the same: Don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Because whatever I could resolve to do that’s different than my usual, I know I will cease doing within a few weeks. It’s not because I’m lazy (which I am). It’s not because I’m not motivated (which I’m not). It’s because I am (like most) a creature of habit. I watch too much TV. I take pride in the fact that I don’t run. And I’m very judgmental and wary of people who do not like the Beastie Boys.
Around the New Year we reminisce, reassess and resolve. And this year, I'm thinking maybe I can resolve to live differently or at least, maybe I should think about it. So I looked towards the Beastie Boys as my influence for a 2015 of resolutions I can perhaps achieve. Here are some lyrics that I have found hidden meaning from to inspire a Beastie Resolution in my life.
The Lyric: Coolin' on the corner on a hot summer day; Just me, my posse and M.C.A. (Album: License to Ill; Song: The New Style)
The Hidden Meaning: Spend more time with my friends and family. Make them listen to the Beastie Boys. Also maybe create an Atlanta MCA Day.
The Lyric: With bottle in hand at the microphone stand (Album: License to Ill; Song: Slow Ride)
The Hidden Meaning: I seriously need to do more karaoke....while drinking.
The Lyric: I got trees on my mirror so my car won't smell (Album: License to Ill; Song: Slow Ride)
The Hidden Meaning: I've got a bouillabaisse of kids' snacks available at any given moment on our minivan's floor board. I need to do a better job of keeping our swagger wagon clean.
The Lyric: What's up with your bad breath onion rings (Album: Paul's Boutique; Song: Shake Your Rump)
The Hidden Meaning: Stop telling my husband his breath smells. It hurts his feelings. But also stop making him onion rings.
The Lyric: It's finger lickin', finger lickin' good, y'all (Album: Check Your Head; Song: Finger Lickin' Good)
The Hidden Meaning: I had been a vegetarian for 19 years but kept on having reoccurring dreams about Publix's fried chicken. So I ate it. I've been questioning this choice, but now I realize it was a good one. I'm going to eat more fried chicken in 2015. It's finger lickin' good y'all. And frankly, tofu doesn't cut it.
- The Lyric: 'Cause life ain't nothing but a good groove; A good mix tape to put you in the right mood (Album: Check Your Head; Song: Professor Booty)
The Hidden Meaning: Things don't make people happy in the long run. But music does. In 2015, I vow to stop purchasing toys for my kids for their birthdays and Hanukkah and instead find my old double deck boom box and make a solid mix tape for them instead. They'll totally appreciate the thought.
- The Lyric: If you want a doodoo rhyme then come see me (Album: Ill Communication; Song: Sure Shot)
The Hidden Meaning: My kids are afraid of the toilet, which is why they always need my company. In 2015, I'm going to get more creative about getting them to be independent poopers by penning my own rap about the potty. Something like "These trips to the potty are making me a bit petulant. Wipe your own tush or you're out of the Will and Testament."
All in all these are resolutions I can stick to. Whether or not I keep them after a month is another scenario. Even if life is status quo come February,my motto about life is: I get it, I got it, I know it's good. Happy 2015, y'all!
Are there any Beastie Boys rhymes that inspire you? Share below.