My Real Life

August 22, 2009

Real Help

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:58 am

I’m a believer in kids doing chores.  Nothing that is above their developmental level, but we’re a family and we all help out.

As the oldest, Monkey Girl has the most chores, but she also has a chore chart where she gets stickers for doing her chores and then gets an allowance at the end of the week for whatever she did.  It’s not a flat $5 a week, as my feeling is, in real life, you only get paid for the work you do.  So, she has the opportunity to earn up to $8 a week if she does every chore, every day.  However, let’s be honest…some days, she forgets to make her bed, so no sticker, so no .25 for that chore.  Get it?

Anyway, my favorite chore of hers is emptying the dishwasher.  When the green light is on, showing that the dishes are clean and dry, she is responsible for emptying it all out.  However, although she’s quite tall for her age, she’s still too short to reach all the shelves in the cabinets.  So, the deal we have is that she’ll take the dishes out and organize them on the counter, and I’ll come along later to put them away.

Why is this my favorite chore of hers?  Well, because I never know exactly what I’m going to find in the kitchen after she’s unloaded the dishwasher, but I always know it’s going to make me laugh.  One day, the dishes were all arranged on the counter island into a big smiley face.

Yesterday afternoon, this is what I found:


Oh boy, do I love that girl.

August 21, 2009

Real Clunker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:05 am


So, tomorrow Real Man and I are heading to the car dealer to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program.  The minivan above has been my home away from home for the past 9 years.  We’ve been toying with the possibility of getting me a new car as we’ll be paying off Real Man’s truck in September and could pick up a car payment without much discomfort.  However, we aren’t good at spending money.  It’s difficult for us to part with money.  So, it’s been a tough decision.

I realize that from this particular view, this doesn’t look like much of a clunker.  But, let me bring you closer.


During the one week I worked at camp this summer, someone backed into my car and drove away sometime during the day.  Here is the first of the dents from that occurrence.   The big problem from this hit and run was that they must have hit the van hard because I was unable to open the passenger door.

So, here is where Real Man used some type of lever-thingy to pry the metal back so we could open the door.


Okay, looking at that picture, I realize it’s hard to see, but the paint chipped away with the crowbar.


Right about now, most people are thinking, ‘Why wouldn’t she have gotten that fixed?’  My answer is because it was cosmetic damage and it didn’t affect the running of the car.  Again, hate to spend money.

Another cosmetic problem that I deal with on this van is a factor of aging, not neglect or unfortunate happenings is the pretty strip on the side of the car.  Yeah, mine?  Not so pretty.  It flaps on and off when you open and close the door, and if you get going at a good clip on the highway, you can hear it slapping against the side of the car.


Another example of someone scraping me and running is here:


‘Hmmm…Amy is sure quick to blame other people for the damage to her car.  I think she probably is just a very bad driver.’

Yeah, I can hear you.  All of these were done by others.  However, I certainly can take the blame when the blame is warranted.  So, here’s the damage that happened in my accident on my way to take Baby Monkey to a birthday party last year:


Also, the license plate fell off in that accident and I’ve been driving around with it in the front window ever since, as evidenced by this shot:


So, here’s the concern.  It’s all cosmetic damage.  The van works just fine.  I get the oil changed regularly and I really don’t have any trouble with the driving of the van.

However, Real Man and I have terrible, TERRIBLE  luck.  We are the ultimate bad luck couple.  Someday I’ll write a Real Bad Luck post and fill you in on all the ridiculously unfortunately things that happen to Real Man and I, and it’s all just bad luck.  So, our concern is that if we don’t take advantage of this and trade in the van for the clunkers program, as soon as the program expires at 8:00 on Monday evening, the van will die.  The blue book value is less than $3500 on this van in fabulous condition, so you can imagine what we’d get for it in the condition it’s in.

Wish us luck.  With any luck and some good negotiating, I may be driving this by tomorrow night:


Anyone have any reviews of the Mitsubishi Outlander?  We’ve done our research, but I’d love to hear from anyone with some real life experience with this car.

For now, though, I’m real excited.

August 20, 2009

New Page

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 12:28 pm

I’ve added a new page to this blog.  We have this main page, My Real Life, and we have the Real Food Page.  Today I am adding Things That REAL-ly Move Me.  There are some things in life that just make me very happy, and I figured I’d share those with you.

So, when you come to check this blog (every day, I’m sure) make sure you check out the things that really move me.  There will be many!

August 19, 2009

Real Tired

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 1:13 pm

So, you know how sometimes you are so tired, but you become instantly annoyed if someone tells you that you should probably go to sleep or take a nap? 

My boys are like this.  They are sure that they are never in need of  a nap. 

Me: “Patrick, I think you are a little tired and that’s why you are so grumpy.”

Patrick: “I’m not a baby!  I don’t need a nap!”



Me: “Matty, you look really tired, honey.  You keep rubbing your eyes!”

Matthew:  “I’m not a baby!  I don’t need a nap!”


Me: “Matty…I think you are going to fall asleep right there.  Why don’t you let me put you in your crib for a bit?”

Matthew:  “No!  I AM NOT TIRED!”


I really feel bad for these kids that they have a mother who doesn’t know them at all.

August 18, 2009

Real Fun

We try to get together every few months, which isn’t often easy as Kim travels a lot with her business, Erin works on the weekends, Michaela is working hard on her business, and Erin and I need to make sure our husbands will be around to watch our kids.  However, every now and then, the stars align and we get to hang out.

So, this past weekend, Erin drove up to her parents house, here in town, and I picked her up early Saturday morning and we caught the train into the city.  Once there, we headed to Bloomingdale’s.  As I told you in my last post, Erin works at Bloomie’s on the weekends, and this particular weekend was Employee Weekend, where she would get a bigger, better discount than usual.  So, she figured that the NYC Lexington Avenue Bloomingdale’s may have a better selection than the one in her town.  Off we went.  While she was trying on jeans, I sat in a chair next to the register and let me tell you…there is absolutely no evidence of a recession at Bloomingdale’s.  Women were piling up $100 jeans on the counter and paying in cash.  I saw people buy 5 pairs of $300 shoes.  Men were following their women carrying multiple shopping bags.  The amount of money that was spent in Bloomingdale’s, just while I was sitting, waiting for Erin to try on jeans was staggering.

After Erin found the perfect jeans, we met up with Kim and Michaela for a little lunch.  Then, we headed to the Wintergarden Theater to see Mamma Mia.  Fabulous show.  It was SO entertaining.  I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a musical to see.  Musicals are always a little tricky for me.  See, I’m supposed to be a Broadway star.  It just hasn’t worked out yet.  Could be that I’ve never actually tried out.  However, I go to a musical and I sob.  Happy tears and regretful tears.  Happy tears because music moves me like nothing else.  When I hear beautiful voices, raised together in song, I get weepy.  Can’t help it.  With Broadway, when someone sings one of those power notes, (you know the ones), I lose it.  Big time.  It’s the most amazing gift you could offer your ears.  Then, I cry because I think, “I should be up there.  I should have tried.”  Ah, the road not traveled.

After the show, Erin and I walked to the Magnolia Bakery to get some cupcakes for our families.  The Magnolia Bakery is the world’s best bakery.  They are famous for their cupcakes.  They became so famous by being featured on Sex and the City.  The girls introduced me to Magnolia two city trips ago, and since then, I’m totally hooked.  They just opened a new store next to Radio City Music Hall, so we were nice and close.

You walk into the bakery and are overcome by the smell.  I think if I took out my glucometer at the bakery, just the sugar in the air would make the reading go off the charts.  I bought 6 cupcakes, 3 for each kid, and then one for myself for right then, because I couldn’t wait.

In this picture, I am saying “Diabetes, schmiametes.”


After cupcakes, we went to “dinner” at this bar called ‘disiac.  We had chips and salsa and hummus and tahini.  Okay, let me clarify.  I had chips and salsa.  The girls had hummus and tahini.  I’m not really a tryer when it comes to food.  When the waiter came to take our drink orders, Kim ordered a Rose Kennedy.

Now, for those of you saying, “Seriously?  They named a drink after Rose Kennedy?” let me explain.  Kim’s drink of choice is Kettle One Vodka, club soda and the tiniest splash of cranberry juice for color.  There is no name for this drink, so one night when she was out with Michaela and Michaela’s husband, Michael, she ordered this and Michael said, “You should call it the ‘Rose Kennedy.”  So, now when she is out, she says to the waiter or bartender, “I’d like the Rose Kennedy,” as if he should know what it is.  Then, when they ask, she tells them, and continues to order it by name for the rest of the night.  She does this at every restaurant and every bar that she goes to.  She is hoping that it will catch on and that eventually, she’ll walk into a bar and it will be on the drink menu.  Her ultimate goal, however, is that when Sex and the City II comes out, Carrie will be drinking a Rose Kennedy.  Then, she will know she has made it.

During dinner, Kim was talking about the fact that she was playing house with her boyfriend for the next 10 days as he is in town and staying with her.  So, she was hoping that we could share some dinner recipes with her so they didn’t have to order out every night.  So, we spent the next thirty minutes discussing meals and crock pots.  As I eased out of the conversation, I was suddenly struck by the surreal nature of sitting with these women, talking about recipes.  These are the girls with whom I experiemented with makeup, sang into our hairbrushes at the top of our lungs, fell in love with Jon Bon Jovi…and here we were discussing slow cooker recipes.  When did this happen?

As dinner concluded, Kim and Michaela got secret smiles and said “We have a surprise for you two.”  Erin and I were intrigued.  We caught a cab, Kim gave directions and off we went.  They took us to Koreatown, to a Karaoke bar.  There was a regular karaoke bar downstairs, but upstairs were private karaoke rooms.  The four of us had a room that was soundproof, with a big screen television and a fat book of songs.  We danced and sang and lost our minds for two hours.  I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun and just let loose.  I had no voice by the end of the night, but it was SO well worth it.

This is me, getting my Karaoke game face on:


I can’t even describe the whole experience, but here are some pictures that may help tell  the story.  However, before the pictures, you may remember that in my description of the drive to North Carolina, I explained that I had held some misconceptions regarding the lyrics of certain songs.  Let me say that there is nothing like karaoke to help clear up those misconceptions.  Manic Monday by the Bangles is a completely different song than I thought it was. 

 Anyway, from Aretha Franklin to 50 Cent, here are some of the highlights of our evening.




I think I may have monopolized the microphone.  This is not a surprise.

August 17, 2009

Real Family

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 4:26 pm

I have a few people that are the absolute loves of my life.  Real Man and the monkeys are obvious, however, there are three other people who have been continual loves of my life.

Kim, Erin, Michaela and I have been friends for 30 years.  I am the only child of two only children and therefore, my friends became my family.  These three women have been the most consistent presence in my life since I was 8 years old.

When I was 8, my Dad left the church he had been preaching at to a new church in a different town.  We moved in January, days after my 8th birthday.  So, not only was I the new kid, but I was the new kid, mid-year. 

On the first day I went to my second grade class in my new school, I turned around to the girl sitting behind me and said, in my toughest, badass 8-year old voice, “Where’s the scissors?”  Erin pointed to the scissors and quickly became my best friend. 

This is Erin:



She is absolutely beautiful, inside and out.  She’s brilliant and funny and I’m sad that she lives a few hours away.  She is currently staying at home with her two sweet little girls and working at Bloomingdale’s on the weekends.  Prior to raising her family, she was a bigwig accountant for a variety of different companies, including Ernst and Young.  She’s awesome.

Not in my second grade class, but in my Brownie troop, was another girl.  Man, could this girl network.  Even in second grade, she could work the crowd, networking her way around the elementary school.  Everyone knew who she was and I, too, soon fell under her spell.  As we got older, Kim also became a best friend.

This is Kim and Erin and I:


No surprise, my networking friend is now the National Account Director for Yahoo! and lives in the city.  Kim is strong, independent and just fabulous.  She always makes me laugh, and I’m not the only one.  A few years ago, she won 10 stand-up comedy lessons at a Yahoo! benefit auction.  The class ended with the students doing stand-up at a comedy club in the city.  If you’ll pardon my language for a moment, Kim’s routine kicked ass.   She seriously needs to do more of this. 

Michaela and I met when we were little, but didn’t become best friends until middle school.   She sat behind me in Algebra and instead of taking notes, we’d make up stories and draw pictures and pass notes.  We were inseparable for quite some time.

This is Michaela and Erin:


Times are never dull with Michaela.  She had a wandering spirit as a kid and she still has it today.  She’s the most creative person I’ve ever known.  She’s an artist, photographer, and creative genius.  As an adult, she’s started her own company, Briefcase to Backpack, as well as a website that sells her art, Wanderlust Productions

These three women and I have been through everything together.  Pigtails and Brownie troops to youth group and church choir.  First cars, first accidents.  First boyfriends, first broken hearts.  We’ve hugged each other, we’ve slapped each other.  But always, we come back to each other.  We’ve traveled together with our handbell choir, visiting Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Canada, Bermuda and a variety of other places together.  In our senior yearbook, students had the option to buy a senior page that they could fill with pictures and memories.  The four of us had to buy two pages and still had to leave hundreds of memories out.  We’ve been through marriages, parental divorces, childbirth, and every other experience you can imagine together.

Real Man often comments how rare it is to have one friend who you’ve known for 30 years and still remained this close with.  Make it 3 friends and you realize that your luck is overflowing.  These women are more than family to me, because I’m not stuck with them.  You can never escape your family.  They are a part of you through blood.  These women are my family by choice, and to me, that is ever so much more special.

August 16, 2009

Real Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:07 pm

Our lawnmower broke today.  Our grass is pretty long, due to our being out of town and then the rain and then Real Man having to work all week.  So, he went to mow today and found that the lawnmower won’t work.  So, in desperation, he “mowed” the lawn with the weed wacker.  We do not have a small yard.

This did not make him happy.  In fact, I think you can safely say that Real Man was pretty angry about the whole lawn situation today.

And still…

When I went out to see how he was doing, this is what I found in the backyard:


I think…I think…he loves me. 🙂

August 15, 2009

Day Two – North Carolina

Turns out, vacation is not that different from home.  I was awakened by a five-year old monkey staring at me.  There I was, sleeping (not necessarily peacefully, as vacation beds are NEVER comfortable, but I was asleep, nonetheless) when I came to a certain consciousness.  I could feel the eyes before I saw them.  Then, I opened my eyes and looked at the most beautiful pair of big, brown eyes that exist. 

“Oh good!  You’re awake!  Can we have breakfast?”

I mumbled something like “Shmurf hurf, five more minutes, mumph,” and Monkey in the Middle smiled and ran out of the room yelling, “Mom’s up!  She’s gonna get our breakfast!”

I got up, poured the cereal and thought about going back to bed, but once I’m up, I’m up.  So, I poured my own bowl and listened to the monkeys chatter about what they were going to do at the beach today.  Looking out the window at the gray sky, I thought to myself ‘not likely’ but didn’t say anything.  I don’t like being the crusher of dreams.  At least not at 6:30 in the morning.

The good news is that although it did rain a bit in the morning, it cleared up by 11, so we put on our bathing suits and all headed out to the beach.  We plopped down our chairs, put up the umbrella and Real Man walked down to the water with the Baby Monkey, who loves the water, but only if he’s firmly attached to the hand of an adult.  The two big kids splashed around in the surf, and I pulled out trashy paperback #1 and started reading.   We were at the beach for about four hours, alternating being the hand-holder and looking for shells with the kids. 




It was windy.  I don’t mean windy as in “Ah…what a nice refreshing breeze coming off of the water.”  When I say it was windy, I mean it in the “better put down the umbrella” way.  I’d say that the wind was coming in at about 10 mph for the first two hours.  Somewhere in the third hour, it ramped up to about 20 mph, and at the end of the 4th hour, I think it’s safe to say we were between 25-30 mph.  We were the last people on the beach, doggedly determined to squeeze every minute of beach out of this vacation.  But, when the Baby Monkey was actually blown over from a standing position, we figured it was time to go.  Also, by this time, so much sand had blown onto us, we resembled a box of 5 powdered donuts.

On our 100 step walk back to the house, night descended on the island and we no sooner stepped inside when the thunder and rain started.  There are great French doors in the living room, and so we watched the storm for awhile, then gave the kids baths and took our showers.  It was evident that there would be no more beach today, so we pulled out our board games and decks of cards and got to having some indoor fun.  My Monkey Girl asked for help as she laid out her pattern for the new quilt she’s making, so she and I holed up in my bedroom for awhile, getting that pinned together. 

We decided to go out to dinner, as we didn’t want to pull out the charcoal grill and grill the London Broil we had planned on in the rain.  The owners of the house left a notebook with all of the menus from local restaurants in it.  We chose a restaurant just over the bridge, on the mainland, called Batson’s Galley

A few other interesting details about the restaurant:

1) The bumper sticker on the front door of the restaurant that said something like “I love Jesus Christ.”

2) The enormous, carved wooden sign of the 10 Commandments on the wall behind the register.

3) The other sign behind the register, advertising the hours of the local “Church by the Sea.” 

Nothing wrong with any of that.  You just don’t get that a lot in New Jersey.

I keep forgetting that we are in the south, until we go somewhere where there are natives.  I can’t imagine what it must be like in the deep south, as I’m already bowled over by the accents here.  Baby Monkey continues to be fascinated by the southern accents.  I’m fascinated by the amount of fried food.  The only thing on the menu that wasn’t fried was the spaghetti, so that’s what I got.  (The food was all delicious and the place had a super friendly atmosphere.  Anyone heading to Surf City, NC…I’d recommend this place…we wound up eating there twice.)

While we were looking at the menu, the waitress (who was delightful) brought out a basket of fried spheres.  We said ‘thank you’ and then looked at each other, wondering what the heck these things were.  Real Man is brave, so he took one, took a bite and said ‘Not bad.’  There was some type of bread inside.    Monkey Girl will try anything, so she tried one as well.  She liked it, which was not a surprise.  When the waitress returned, Monkey Girl said,

“Excuse me, what are these?”

“Hushpuppies,” the waitress replied with a smile and walked away.

We all looked at each other again, wondering what the heck these things were.  Our final guess is that it was fried cornbread balls.  We enjoyed looking at all of the food and seeing how different it was from what would be served in New Jersey.  Not bad, just different.  The “roll” that came with Julia’s spaghetti was a hamburger bun.  The “garlic bread” that came with my spaghetti was a piece of toast that had been buttered and sprinkled with garlic powder.  The “hushpuppies”… well, I don’t really have an equivalent for that.

I keep falling further and further in love with North Carolina.

August 12, 2009

NJ to NC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:09 pm

So, this year, we got a great deal on beach house in North Carolina.  Our vacations have always been limited to the Jersey Shore, so when we saw how reasonable the price was, we knew we had to go for it.

Our original plan was to put the kids to bed, pack the car, and sleep until 3 am.  Then, we were going to wake up, carefully carry the kids from their beds to the car, sure not to wake them, and start driving. 

By the time Friday night rolled around, however, we realized that we were definitely not going to be up for driving ten hours after sleeping for a few, so we modified our plan.  Now, we decided, we would put the kids to bed, but we would stay up, then at midnight, we’d carefully carry the kids from their beds to the car, sure not to wake them, and start driving.  Better plan.  However, as always happens, life had another plan.

We put the kids to bed at 9:00.  (On the weekends, they all have sleepovers in Monkey Girl’s room.  They can stay up until 9:00, watch movies in the basement, and have popcorn.)  Real Man and I packed the car, and sat down to watch some television.  Then the visits began.

9:10 – Monkey Girl comes down to say she can’t sleep because she is so excited.  We tell her to go back to bed because she’s going to keep her brothers up.

9:20 – Baby Monkey comes down to say he can’t sleep because he is so excited.  We tell him to go back to bed because he’s going to keep his brother and sister up.

9:30 – Monkey in the Middle comes down to say he can’t sleep because he is so excited.  We tell him to go back to bed because he’s going to keep his brother and sister up.

And so it goes until 10:30, when Real Man and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s go.”

So, we packed the kids in the car, snuggled tight in their pillows and blankets, and off we went.

We figured that, certainly, they’d all be asleep within the hour.  Oh no…they were up and up and up and up.  Baby Monkey was the last to fall asleep at 1:15 am. 

With the new quiet in the car, Real Man and I knew we had to do something to stay awake.  So, we started scanning the radio stations.  Friday night is 80’s night, pretty much everywhere, apparently, and so we had a great time singing along with some of our 80’s favorites.  Real Man almost ran off the road several times as I regaled him with my version of the lyrics to many of our favorite songs. 

Example:  Flashdance.  You know when she sings “Take your passion and make it happen?”  Yeah, I always thought it was “Take your pants down and make it happen.”  Growing up, I thought it was a dirty, dirty song.  Turns out, not so much.

When Irene Cara sings out “Being’s believing,” I thought it was “Beans believing.”  It didn’t make any sense.  Maybe there were some sentient beans out there in the welding world where Jennifer Beals was working and they were believing in her talent.  I don’t know.  Still, it worked for me. 

There were others, but I’d like to maintain my dignity awhile longer.

So, we kept driving.  We were really surprised by the amount of traffic on the road at 3 am.  I mean, where were these people going?  Who, in their right mind, would be driving through Maryland at 3 am???

There were some interesting street names we passed on our way.  My favorite was Backlick Road.  How does that not sound like a comeon when someone asks you where you live?  “Backlick Road, baby… come on by.”  Ick.

I started to fade and Real Man was anxiously trying to engage me in conversation, when Angel Eyes by the Jeff Healey Band came on.  LOVE that song.  So, that woke me right up, particularly when it was followed by the Hooters with And We Danced.  Those kids slept through Real Man and I singing some of these songs at the top of our lungs.  Or, maybe they were just pretending to sleep, embarassed that passing cars might think they were actually with us.

One of my new favorite songs I’m Your’s by Jason Mraz was played approximately 14 times on our 10 hour trip.  That made me happy.  By time number 4, I don’t think it was making anyone else happy.

Around 4 am, we decided to switch drivers, and I took over.  I love driving Real Man’s truck, but I’m always a little overwhelmed with it.  He drives a Ford Expedition, and next to that, my Dodge Caravan Minivan is like a Smart Car.  I’m queen of the road in that Expedition, but I can never quite tell if I’m driving in the lines.  I mean, my God, I’m fifty feet above the road in that thing.  Who can tell where they are?

At 4:52 am, I had a complete out of body experience.  At 4:52 am, we had 452 miles to go, according to Real Man’s GPS.  Trust me, at 4:52 am, that was the absolute coolest thing I had ever seen.

So, while Real Man had been driving, he had mentioned that some of the stuff in the back of the truck was positioned so that, in the dark, it looked like Yoda.  I looked back, from the passenger seat, and didn’t see it.  From the drivers seat, it was uncanny.  Our sheets and pillows were Yoda.  So, around 5:00 am, we started to entertain ourselves talking like Yoda.  “Getting close, we are,” and “Sustenance we need.”   Again, very funny at 5 am after driving all night.

At 5:11 am, we passed into North Carolina and at that point, the music moved to ballads of the 80’s.  We were rocking out to Missing You by Tom Waite and Making Love Out of Nothing At All by Air Supply.  There were many, many more, but again, to preserve our integrity, I don’t think I’ll go through the full list.

By 7:17 am, we needed gas…badly.  So, we stopped at a gas station, and as we opened the doors, we were greeted with some lovely Frank Sinatra-type music blasting from speakers.  We began our fill-up to The Wee Small Hours of the Morning and finished up with Three Coins in the Fountain.  It was the most melodic fill-up I’ve ever experienced.  At this point, the kids were up and were sure we were going to get in trouble for touching the gas pumps.  In NJ, there is no self-service.  It’s actually illegal, if I remember correctly.  So, this is something the kids have never seen before.  Not to worry, though…we pump a mean tank of gas.

We got back in the car, and were greeted with Drew Talks which is another favorite of mine.   At this point, Baby Monkey started in with “I’m staaaaaaaaaarving,” and so we decided to stop for breakfast.  We saw a sign for a Waffle House, and thought, ‘Waffle House…sounds like a good breakfast place.’

So, we pull in.  We should have known there would be a problem as soon as we approached the restaurant and saw the windows streaming with condensation, as if there had been a summer storm.  But, at this point, we’d been up for a little more than 24 hours, and we weren’t quite thinking straight. 

We went in.  It was 30 degrees in that restaurant.  We tried to find a booth that wasn’t directly under a vent, but when we looked up, we saw that just about every ceiling tile was a vent.  This gave Real Man and I a case of the No-Sleep-Giggles.  Then, we sat down.  There was no table or booth big enough to accommodate all 5 of us, so I smushed with the boys on my side and Real Man and Monkey Girl smushed on the other.  The waitress came over and took our order. 

When she asked, in her very pronounced southern accent, if we wanted bacon with our eggs, Baby Monkey said, in his loudest voice, “Mama, why’d she say baaaaycon?  Why’d she say baaaaaycon?”  I started to try to shush him, but I made the mistake of looking at Real Man who was shaking with laughter, and I started laughing as well, while shooting Baby Monkey the sternest look I could manage at that point.  The waitress was quite gracious, realizing, I think, that we were way out of our element.

It’s entirely possible that at this point, we looked like this:


It was at this point that Baby Monkey started in with his daily round of questions.  He began with asking if syrup was made out of orange juice, and finished up with asking something about toilet paper.  It’s a wonder Real Man and I were able to eat anything, as we couldn’t stop with the sleep-deprived laughter.  We must have looked like two insane people, and I’m surprised none of the other customers took the kids and refused to let us drive anywhere with them.

However, we got back in the car, drove away, and about an hour later, arrived at our destination.  It was a beautiful day, so we hit the beach as soon as we unpacked.  We were dragging, and when the kids went to bed, we went to bed, but it was a great trip. 🙂

August 11, 2009

Our Cast of Characters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:38 pm

I guess if you are going to be reading about us, you should be able to put a face with the names. 

Here is our first character…I affectionately call her Monkey Girl.


She is 8 and is honestly the sweetest, kindest, smartest, best girl I know.  If I were 8, you can be sure I’d be clamoring to be her best friend.  She’s kind to everyone, almost to a fault, and is a wonderful big sister.  She’s generally fearless, and is just an all-around great kid.  Love her!

Next, we have Monkey in the Middle.


This guy is the biggest snuggler I have ever known.  He’s not truly happy until he is completely snuggled up against me.  He’s 5 and he’s funny, he’s smart and he loves his mama.  Being the middle child definitely has some challenges, and he’s struggling with them, but he’s working through it and is going to come out just fine.  Love this guy!

Finally, we have Baby Monkey.


We are well aware, even at 3, that when he graduates from high school, this kid is going to be the Class Clown.  He’s just darn funny.  He talks constantly.  He questions constantly.  It’s either, “Mommy…look at this,” or “Mommy, is syrup made out of orange juice?” or “Mommy, I’m gonna take this over here because, because, because, because, because, because I like to walk over here.”  He’s a big lovey, and carries his sisters baby doll around the house, quietly singing to it and loving it.  I love this guy.

To protect the innocent, I won’t be using real names…at least not the real names of the family.  Because he wouldn’t like it, I also won’t be using pictures of my husband.  I’ll just call him, Real Man.  ‘Nuff said.

And, then there’s me…


Oh, I’m sorry…I get confused sometimes. 

Actually, I like to stay behind the camera, so there probably won’t be many shots of me.  However, I’m up at the top of the page, and may show up every now and then in a shot with the monkeys. 

Anyone else who appears here has given their permission.  I’m heading to a girls weekend with my oldest (not in age, but in length of friendship) and dearest friends, and am hoping that they’ll let me photograph and talk about them.  Pictures of my beautiful friends would definitely up my readership!

So, for now, that’s our cast of characters.  You’ve got some names and faces and you’ll get to know us well; probably better than you want to.

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