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The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

No matter how much we don’t want to admit it, we all want our children to be geniuses when they grow up. It’s only natural, the urge to want our children to be successful in all aspects of life only means we want to protect them. To have them be better able to protect themselves from a world that at moments can be…

How to Change a Home Air Filter

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Amanda's Blog (21)

In the Bathroom with Uncle Henry - A Mother's Day Surprise

It's Mother's Day again.

That glorious time of year when mothers around the country get to do absolutely nothing of their choosing and are forced to suffer quietly with their hands folded in their laps, like repentant children who've stuck their hand in the cookie jar one too many times, but instead of a moist, delicious cookie, have managed to pull out three of four screaming children instead.

The shock of childbirth has long since worn off, and as we arrange ourselves… Continue

Added by Amanda on May 11, 2008 at 2:12pm — No Comments


My son asked me last night, while I was tucking him into bed, "Mom? Are you ever going to clean the house again?"

I quickly refrained myself from the habitual bitch-slap and went for the much calmer, "I know, honey. It's been a little bit crazy around here lately."

"Yeah, 'cause it's pretty messy."

I'll get right on it, Sweetie. My passion in life is to clean up your shit. Could you leave a few extra stuffed animals on the couch tomorrow and maybe place a single… Continue

Added by Amanda on April 22, 2008 at 2:52pm — No Comments

Worst Mom Ever

Just when you think you're getting the hang of this "being a mom" thing, something comes along and knocks the wind out of you so bad, you think to yourself, should I really be allowed to do this parenting stuff at all? Shouldn't I have taken some sort of classes first? Some sort of pre-screening evaluations? Or at the very least some genetic-type blood testing to see if I was even eligible for such a big task? Receiving an "F" in a course like How to Console Your Child Properly may have played… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 25, 2008 at 7:42pm — 1 Comment

When Children Go Bad

We cultivate our kids like any good farmers. We sprinkle them with fertilizer, encourage them with daily doses of water, and take pride in their growth. We happily rejoice when their corn stalk reaches 5' and we dutifully mark it on a piece of kitchen molding, which is now hanging in the broom closet because we remodeled.

We work at it. We try hard. We even like it sometimes.

That way, in the event my 7-year-old daughter gets off the bus and complains of a sore throat, we… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 17, 2008 at 3:56pm — No Comments

Keno Weekend

We just returned home from another trip. Some may call us jet-setty. I call us dumb and tired as hell. This particular trip was a brief jaunt down into the heartland of America. It was my aunt's 60th birthday and 10 brave family members caravanned to Omaha, NE for a weekend of drinking, debauchery, and money loss so extreme it may take years to repair the damage.

My aunt and uncle have been living in Omaha now for 15 years. They moved there after landing a job on the mainland after… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 12, 2008 at 11:42am — No Comments


We just got back from a blissfully wonderful vacation down in beautiful Mexico. Now I'm just sitting here eating a sleeve of Thin Mints and contemplating my life. It's taken me about five full days to make sure the bills are paid up and the suitcases are stuffed back where they belong, which is deep under the eves in the attic where they will rest for another 358 days untouched. Then it took another five to get over being shot like an ice cube back into Real Life.

God, a love… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 5, 2008 at 10:49am — No Comments

Obama for President!

I went to my first ever Presidential Rally yesterday. What drove me there was a need to finally feel as though I had a part in deciding my future and subsequently making it better. You don't have to tell me, I know that it's all relative and that everyone in their own way is looking for the same thing, and that every point in this column has a counterpoint. I wasn't really born last week (even though my lush youthfulness gives you pause) but lucky for me this here is my little platform, with…


Added by Amanda on February 4, 2008 at 12:34pm — No Comments

American Idol to the Rescue

American Idol came in the very nick of time, if you ask me. Which nobody did, but whatever. With the writers strike ruining all my current television addictions the little sanity I had left was in tatters. In Minnesota the winters are long and dark and full of viscous cold snaps and cyclical mental instability. Nightly television viewing is one of the 7 food groups up here and without our daily dose we tend to get a little loopy. My body sugars were getting dangerously low and if I had to…


Added by Amanda on January 21, 2008 at 10:51pm — No Comments

Bye, Bye Globes!

My heart is heavy with sorrow. For an award show junkie like myself it's hard to even act like a normal person in the face of such tragedies. Angelina was nominated. Now I'm not going to get to see her in all her glory with Brad wrapped around her like a second skin. Or Johnny. Honey, I forgive you for Sweeney, really I do. Ellen Page got a nod and she's a hometown girl to boot, and we may never see her there again (but I'm hoping she will because she's so great and Juno was my favorite…


Added by Amanda on January 14, 2008 at 11:36pm — No Comments

Sweeney Todd

Or should I say dreary, awful, slaughter-house Todd? Then throw in some non-stop singing for a double finger rating. (You know, when you hate a movie so bad you whip out both middle fingers at the screen while the credits are still rolling.) We didn't actually do that in this movie, though, since people were clapping and animatedly talking about how wonderful it was in the seats right next to us, behind us and in front of us. The finger thing would've been over the top even for us, not to…


Added by Amanda on January 7, 2008 at 3:36pm — No Comments

New Year Resolutions, Take 38

Every year it's the same thing. Try to find something I won't suck at and make it my resolution for the coming year. Over the years it's gone something like this: I promise to lose weight, to fit into size 8 jeans again, give up chocolate, try not to drink so much Diet Coke, and make millions. And thus by continually putting myself in these positions I am always setting myself up for painful failure. The kind of failure that makes my teeth hurt.

Even when I was young and understood…


Added by Amanda on December 31, 2007 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Fat Christmas, My house, 2007

Damn the holidays. My yo-yo weight is cycling downward once again, but it's not happening nearly fast enough. I can only get my cute velvet party pants up to my knees, which spells Christmas trouble with a capital T. Christmas is not the same without my party pants. Last week I was finally reduced to purchasing a fluffy black turtleneck from the Gap to hide my gigantic ass. My self-esteem is spiraling downward at a rapid clip which sounds much like BB gun fired right at my eye.



Added by Amanda on December 17, 2007 at 2:04pm — No Comments

No Hassle Tree

This is the first time I can remember in 100 years when we went to get a Christmas tree and it was easy. We hadn't really picked a time to go get one this year. We usually do it around the first week of December, "around" being a loose term for "when mommy and daddy feel up to it." There have been some years when the snow has been 17 feet high and we can barely make out the tree branches, which are usually stuck together in a circular mess, needles frozen to heaven and other years where it…


Added by Amanda on December 10, 2007 at 5:46pm — No Comments

Ice Rink, My backyard, 2007

It's that time of the year again. The time of year when my husband spends 99.9% of his free time outside. The time of year when I can press my naked breasts up against the kitchen windows without getting so much as a second glance. My husband, who will occasionally smile and give me a gratuitous wave when he takes the time to notice me, will continue to skate for seven more hours without heed. Why does he do this you may ask? It's because he has all he needs for fueling his pleasures right…


Added by Amanda on December 3, 2007 at 11:12am — 1 Comment

Black Friday Sales, A crowded Parking lot, 200

Black Friday Sales, A crowded parking lot, 2007

Okay, I did it again. I said I wouldn't do it and I did it. The lure of saving big money runs through my veins like a cheetah after a gazelle, the blood of the hunt too enticing to quit. I didn't do it crazy, though. I did it medium. I got up at 8:00 a.m. with a plan to pick up a pal at 9:00. It was light out, though, so I didn't feel as creepy as last year, like I was doing something illegal and hard-up. I was ready in 15 minutes and…


Added by Amanda on November 28, 2007 at 10:55am — No Comments

American Music Awards, In front of my TV, 2007

We got home last night a little after seven from picking up the kids, only to turn on the TV and find full-on naked mannequin nipples in my face. Right as I registered what I was looking at I heard shrill screams coming from my bedroom where I had just sent the kids upstairs to gather up their laundry, where they naturally turned on the TV only to find the very same nipples.

All I could really hear beyond their screams were the years of carefully placed parental shielding being…


Added by Amanda on November 19, 2007 at 11:27am — No Comments

Flu Shot Party

Flu Shot Party, My house, 2007

My arm hurts so bad I can hardly lift it. I keep telling myself that suffering the dull ache of my throbbing arm is way better than waking up with the cold sweats, teeth chattering, body on fire, scalp aching, can't leave your bed for 5 days, influenza. That and compared to my ass, my arm is a dream. The huge tetanus shot which was leveled in my nether regions the day before my flu shot hurts so much worse that I can't really complain about a slight arm…


Added by Amanda on November 11, 2007 at 11:59pm — No Comments

Halloween Outlet & Plug style

My kids have resorted to making their own costumes for the last couple of years, mostly due to the fact that I won't spend any major dollars on costumes anymore. When they were small it was a totally different story, "Oh, that super cute unicorn costume with the quilty legs and hood is only $37.99! That's so cheap! She'll look so cute in it!" I even ordered a foam strawberry costume out of a catalog one year in August, back in the days when pre-planning was achievable. Now that my kids are…


Added by Amanda on November 4, 2007 at 11:58pm — No Comments

Dan in Real Life movie rant

We saw Dan in Real Life this weekend and it totally rocked. I mean every cliché in the universe was used in this movie, including but not limited to: Gratuitous family bonding, staged parent/child conflict, uncomfortable run-ins laced with sexual tension, but you know what? It totally worked for me. It's hard not to laugh at Steve Carell, and I did laugh hysterically throughout. He totally pulled off a… Continue

Added by Amanda on October 29, 2007 at 12:52am — No Comments

Putting Summer To Bed

At 9:00 pm tonight we officially put summer to bed. It was a huge task which kept yelling at us and refusing to submit even when threatened within an inch of its life. My children are all lying in their beds right this minute staring at the ceiling, humming, picking their noses, turning on contraband flashlights, and just plain thrashing about.

School starts tomorrow and despite the constant threats about changing our late summer sleep hours all week, so we could "ease" into the…


Added by Amanda on October 22, 2007 at 12:20am — No Comments

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