My Real Life

November 30, 2009

I Should Have Known Better

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:43 pm
Tags: ,

It’s Monday.  That alone should have made me know better.  Monday never ends up well.  It just doesn’t.

And yet…

Here I was…7:00 at night, feeling like it had been a pretty good day.  Maybe even a great day.

I got the stuff done I needed to get done at work.  The kids and I hit the library and not only did they get books and dvd’s they wanted, I was able to find the book that I wanted, as well.  I made a good dinner and no one complained, and they ate it happily.  Real Man worked from home today, so he wasn’t late coming home from work and we got to spend some time together.  Really…a darn good day.

Baby Monkey and I had our follow-up appointments at the doctor at 7:00.  Her office is 20 minutes away and we take Route 80 to get there.  Traffic was light and Baby Monkey and I sang together in the car.  While we waited on the couch in the waiting room, we read books and snuggled and had a great time.

Then, we go in.  Baby Monkey was delightful, but despite his fabulous little self, he’s still “musical” in his chest when he breathes, so now, in addition to his antibiotic, he’s on prednisone.  He’s been on prednisone once before.  Roid rage is not  myth.  This should be interesting.

Then, she checks me.  I just finished my second course of 14 days of antibiotics.  That’s right folks…I’ve been on antibiotics for 28 days now.  And yes…I still have a sinus infection.  I’m at the point where I don’t even remember what normal feels like.  The poor people in my choir must be wishing me to go on vacation because I can’t even hear myself sing because my ears are always popped, so I just sing and hope I’m hitting some of the right notes.  Unfortunately, they are all too polite to tell me if I’m sucking up the place.  I’m exhausted all the time and basically just want to drill a hole in my temple, insert a little faucet and let the snot drip out…much like the pioneers did to get sap from a tree.  Okay, maybe a little different…and a lot grosser…but you get the point.

So, she referred me to an ear, nose and throat doctor because she says I have a chronic sinus infection and it’s going to take a specialist to deal with it.  Fine.  I can do that.

Even after the doctor appointment, I was still feeling pretty good about the day.  I mean, I was surprised that Baby Monkey needed the steroids, but I knew I was still sick, so no huge surprise there.

Baby Monkey and I drove home and as we were on Route 80, singing away, I glanced at the spedometer.  Zero.  Actually, less than zero.  Like, the space below zero where the pointer rests when the car is turned off.  What?  Huh?  I’m obviously not stopped, and the car is obviously not turned off, but there it is.  Zero.

So, I freak a little, but then realize that the car is driving fine, the spedometer just isn’t working.  I pull into the right lane and slow down, because I generally have a bit of a lead foot, and that is when I can tell how fast I am going.  The thought of me driving without even having a clue as to my speed even made me a little nervous.

Baby Monkey and I continue on our way.  We get off at our exit and continue the drive home.

We get to a stop light where there are two lanes going each way.  We are in the left lane and there is a car to our right, in the right lane.  We stop.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, this SUV actually drives between my van and the car next to me, taking my sideview mirror with him.  No, there was no lane there.  He literally tried to squeeze his SUV between our two cars.


Let me tell you a little something about myself.

I have road rage.

Actually, I have Road Rage.  The depth of my Road Rage needs the capital letters.  I have put myself in some pretty dangerous situations before because of my Road Rage.  It is always a reaction to the bad driving of others, but it’s there. 

Since having the kids, I have tempered my rage to the extreme.  The kids would never know if someone cut me off, because I’ve learned to keep the rage bottled up inside when the kids are in the car.

So, here I am…Baby Monkey is in the car, but this guy didn’t just ruin my car, he put my baby in danger with his shenanigans.

I wasn’t having it.

So, I follow him.  And I start beeping. 

Perhaps beeping is not an accurate statement.

I just lay on the horn while following him. 

He keeps driving, but I notice that he’s not really going very fast, and I realize that he wasn’t really going very fast when he hit me either.

But, he won’t pull over and he won’t stop.

So, I continue to leave my forearm on the horn while following him.

Eventually, he slowly turns onto a side street.

I follow.

He continues to drive slowly until he finally just kinda peters to a stop.

I get out, phone in hand, and stand next to my car and wait.

After about a minute, he gets out.  Nicely dressed guy…probably my age or a little older.

I say, “Are you kidding me???”

He says, “Oh my God…I’m so sorry.  My brakes went out!  I couldn’t stop.  It was either try to go between you and the other car or hit you in the rear.”

So, immediately, I’m diffused a bit because I’m glad he tried to squeeze through rather than make a direct hit on the back of the van, which was exactly where Baby Monkey was sitting.

He explains again and so now I feel badly for the guy and I ask if he’s okay.  He was…just shaken up.

He gives me his insurance information and takes my name and number.  Good news…we have the same insurance company.  I’ll call tomorrow.

Bad news…if my car didn’t make me look like white trash before, it certainly does now, as it is going to take some duct tape to keep the mirror together until it gets fixed.

Good news.  Everyone is fine, especially this poor guy who must have been scared to death.

I got back in the car and Baby Monkey said, “Did that guy hit your car?” 

I said, “Yep.  You okay?”

He said, “Yep.  You okay?”

I said, “Yep.”

And we headed to the pharmacy.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I also accidentally erased all of the songs off of my iPhone this evening while trying to download a new song?  Yeah.  I did.

Next Monday, someone please remind me to just stay in bed.

November 29, 2009

Trading Spaces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:13 pm
Tags: , ,

You ever see this show on TLC?  I used to be addicted to this show. 

Neighbors make over a room in each others homes and then there is a suprise reveal at the end. 

They have a $1,000 budget and they try to repurpose and reuse items, rather than buy new ones.

Well, we had a bit of a Trading Spaces weekend here.

Minus the celebrity host.

Minus the paint.

Minus the actual decorating.

But…we traded spaces. 🙂

So, let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, there was a couple who got married.

In 2001, they had a baby girl.  She was beautiful.

When she was two, she decided she was a big girl and climbed out of her crib and landed right on her head. 

No worries…she was fine.

However, her parents decided it was time to buy her a bed.

As fate would have it, the very next day, the mother’s principal called her into her office and said that she was redecorating her daughter’s bedroom and would she need a twin bed for a little girl?

Um, yes…yes she did!

So, the parents went and picked it up and the little girl loved her big girl bed.

In 2004, the parents had a baby boy.  Ooooohhhh…what a serious little guy he was.  Still…oh so cute!

So, they pulled out the crib and in he went.

2006 rolls around and SURPRISE!  The parents have, yet another, baby boy!  Can’t even talk about this one.  Too much of a character to be believed.

So, the parents borrowed a crib from a relative and both boys were in cribs.

Until the Monkey in the Middle decided he wanted out.

Around the same time, the parents decided they wanted out of their old bedroom set (which was the set that the Mom had used growing up) so the moved the Monkey in the Middle into the Monkey Girl’s old bed (and slapped a cars poster over the flowery design) and moved the Monkey Girl into their old double bed, and then bought a second-hand bedroom set for themselves.

Fast foward to a few weeks ago.

Baby Monkey is definitely ready to get out of the crib, and the parents were looking high and low, trying to decide what to do about a bed for him.

They considered bunk beds and keeping the monkey boys sharing a room, but the idea of those monkeys climbing that ladder, probably in the middle of the night, kept them awake at night.  However, the bedroom wasn’t really big enough for two beds and two dressers.  There was always the option of turning the playroom back into a bedroom (it had been the nursery for Baby Monkey once upon a time) but they still needed a bed.

And, wouldn’t you know it…that week, the mother’s principal (same principal, but now they both work at a different school together…long story…but a good one!) said that she was redoing another bedroom and would they be in need of a queen size bed?

Well, yes they would!  So, they drove up to her home, once again, and loaded the beautiful bed into their truck.

So, this past weekend, the moving began, and here is where everyone sleeps tonight.

Monkey Girl, in her room in her beautiful new (to us) queen sized bed.

(We’ll need to get her a queen sized comforter…her double doesn’t quite fit, as you can see.  However, for now, it works!)

Monkey in the Middle in Monkey Girl’s old (the mothers way old) double bed in his own room.

(If you could just pretend that you don’t notice the lavender walls and pink valences, I’d appreciate it.  It used to be his sisters room before yet another episode of our family Trading Spaces…a more boyish color is coming…eventually.)

…and Baby Monkey is all tucked into his sisters, then his brothers, and now his big boy bed, in his own room.

(Ignore the grump face…he loves the bed and having his own bedroom.  However, right before I took the picture, I had to explain why he couldn’t have ice cream for dinner…I’m a tyrant, I know.)

So, thanks to the continuing  generosity of a friend, my children are all snug in their own beds…safe and warm.


November 28, 2009

Scenes from Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 1:45 pm

I hope all of you got to spend your holiday with those you love most. 

I certainly did.

So, here are some scenes from my family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year.  Just a great day to be surrounded by family and remember what it is that is most important.











November 26, 2009

Real Baking

Ahhh…the day before Thanksgiving is always full of baking around here.  We are usually assigned to bring desserts to the family Thanksgiving celebration, so to work we go. 

Our first step was that we needed to decide what to make.  We had a package of Sugar Cookie mix in the pantry, so we decided that was a no brainer.  Usually, we bake from scratch, but since we’d be doing a bit of baking, we figured one mix wouldn’t hurt. 🙂

So, Sugar cookies from a mix, chocolate chip cookies from scratch, and then the kids decided we needed to have marble cake for Thanksgiving.  You know…remniscent of the marble cake with vanilla frosting that Squanto made for the Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving of yore.

Once those decisions were made, it was time to wash our hands and get to work.

The end result?  Chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and the traditional marble cake with vanilla frosting.

We’re also bringing dinner rolls and garlic mushrooms, but those aren’t half as fun to make. 🙂

Here’s hoping that you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are surrounded by those you love most in the world.

November 24, 2009

Anatomy of a Breakdown

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, perhaps this isn’t the correct title, because by the time we got to the point I’m going to write about here, the breakdown had occurred hours before.

I needed to pick Baby Monkey and Monkey Girl up early today, because the three of us had eye doctor appointments.  Monkey Girl and I just needed our checkups and to see if our prescriptions needed to be updated after 6 months (surprise…they do) and Baby Monkey was getting checked because of the “episodes” from earlier this year.

So, this was no skin off of Monkey Girls back, but it meant no nap for Baby Monkey. 

Let me say that again.


Now, Baby Monkey is always adamant that he doesn’t need a nap, but trust me, he does.

So, we go.

It should come as no surprise to the regular “My Real Life” reader that the first words out of Baby Monkey’s mouth were “The eye doctor is boring.”  No surprise at all.

From there, it deteriorated quickly.  He didn’t want to get checked, squeezed his eyes shut tight, refused to follow the light and just forget about setting his chin in the strap to have the poor doctor look into his eyes.

It was not good.

However, after that, Monkey Girl and I had to go to the optician, as we were both in need of new prescriptions and my glasses broke on Saturday and I’ve been managing by not making any sudden movements with my head for a few days.

So, we go.

At the optician, he takes my glasses so he can fix them.  However, I’m legally blind without my glasses on, so I can no longer see exactly what Baby Monkey is doing.  I can hear things that sound quite breakable moving around, and can see a blob of movement kind of rolling on the floor, but I can’t quite identify what is happening.

I stumble over to him and try to scoop him up only to find that he has a few pairs of glasses in his hands.  I try to put them back, but I can’t see a darn thing and have no idea where they go.  We wound up being there for a half hour.  Longest half hour of my life.

We came home and my Dad was here with Monkey in the Middle.  They were playing a heated game of Scrabble Junior.  I started dinner and tried to manage Baby Monkey.  By this point, the tears and whining were just non-stop.  I knew he was tired, I knew he didn’t feel well, but I have never heard anything like the fuss this kid was making.

“When is dinner ready?” 
“In an hour.”

“I want my dinner hot and cold.”

“I don’t  know what that means.”

“It means I want it hot and cold and not in an hour, but now!”

“Well, it’s not going to be ready for an hour.”

“I want dinner now.”

And so on and so on and so on.

My Dad finished his game with Monkey in the Middle and beat a hasty retreat, after declining my offer for him to take Baby Monkey home with him.  I really can’t imagine why he declined!

So, no one had homework so the big kids decided to see if there were any new episodes of Phineas and Ferb on the DVR.  We have it set to record any new, first run episode.  There were two and the kids were thrilled.  They LOVE that show.  So do I.  I think it could be one of the most creative kids shows on television.

But, I digress.

So, I bring my laptop downstairs and sit with them on my bed while they watch.  Baby Monkey sits on my lap and decides that he wants to sit on my arms so I cannot type, as I try to do some work for school.

I try to explain why that won’t work and he’s not buying it.

I remind myself, “he’s tired, he doesn’t feel good.”

So, I put away the laptop and offer to just hold and snuggle him.

Nope…not good enough.

He’s back to wanting dinner immediately.  It’s only 4:30.  Dinner won’t be ready until 5:11.  Yes, that’s right.  5:11. 

I manage to get through the next 41 minutes, barely managing to keep myself in check as I deal with one ridiculous outburst after another.  If he wasn’t upset about one thing, it was another.  There was absolutely no making this kid smile.



We’re happy.



Apparently, dinner wasn’t “hot and cold” as he had wanted it to be, and the tears, which never really stopped, started all over again.

“I don’t like this dinner.  I won’t eat this.  Baked Macaroni and Cheese is boring!”

All of this with him throwing himself on the table, on the floor, across his chair. 

Oh the drama. 

However, he ate.  Eventually.

The big monkeys wanted apple pie for dessert.  Baby Monkey wanted grapes.

I’m totally down with that.

So, grapes it was.

Until I look over and see that he is peeling each grape and dropping the little, tiny peels on the floor around his chair.  He looked like he was sitting in a rose garden  with lovely rose petals surrounding him. 

Except they weren’t rose petals.

They were tiny pieces of grape peel.

They were smushy and gross.

Now, time to take the medicine.

Normally, Baby Monkey is a good little medicine taker.  Actually, all of the monkey s are pretty good with the meds.

We were at the doctor this morning and she said he must be taking Benadryl before bed, as he is really, really stuffy.

So, Benadryl it was.

Two guesses if he wanted to take it.

First one doesn’t count.

At that point, I decided to take out the camera.

I realized that no one would believe the drama surrounding this afternoon/early evening without some photographic evidence.

So, now I share with you how the medicine taking progressed.  This entire photo series took about 13 minutes.

And then, it happened.

Then the sun began to shine.

Of course, it’s an hour later now and he’s crying about something else, but I guess when you are three and you’ve missed your nap, really anything is something to cry about.

 I forget, sometimes, what it must be like to not have words for everything you are feeling.  I’m the word/emotion master.  I feel an emotion for everything and have all the words I need to describe them.  In detail.  To anyone who is willing to listen.

Baby Monkey?  Not quite as many words.  Oh, he’s a talker, but still, when the chips are down, he doesn’t always have the right words, and that’s got to be frustrating as heck.

So, the lesson for me today?

The kid needs a nap.

What?  You thought it would be deeper?

November 23, 2009

Pilgrim’s Progress

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:55 pm

So, on Sunday, I decided to take it easy.  I did some laundry and some light housework, but for the most part, am still working on building up my strength again.

The monkey boys were downstairs watching football on the big screen with Real Man and Monkey Girl was in her room, completely engrossed in a Harry Potter book.

I went to my room and picked up a book I’ve been wanting to get to, Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult.  I pulled out the comfy Giants blanket and started to read.

Before I knew it, I was out, and when I woke and turned over, it was to Baby Monkey, looking at me, with this face.

“Mommy!”  he exclaimed.  “I’m a pilgrim!”

Ah…what a way to wake up!

November 22, 2009

Sunday Someday Ramblings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 3:07 pm


I want to live in this cottage…

…and I want to take long walks on this path…

…and I want to own this bookstore…

Not today…but someday.

(all photos from

November 21, 2009

Real Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:45 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a busy one, for sure.

First of all,   New Moon was great.  So much better than Twilight, and I really enjoyed it.  Still hate Bella, but loved that movie.  I’m ready to see it again, already.

What was not great was that we had to stand in line, outside the theater, approximately 3/4 of the way around the building (okay, maybe 1/2way, but it felt longer) in the rain waiting to get in.  We had our tickets, but had to wait until they let everyone in.  Then, once inside, there was no rhyme or reason and so we just ran from room to room, trying to find seats together.  In the end, Tara and I sat in one theater, in the top row, but at least together.  Matt and Ashley sat in a different theater, in the second row, not even together.  So, the theater management was not impressive.  However, I was able to forget that as the movie began (after the 10 previews). 

The parking lot was a mess, so we got home around 3:30.  Monkey Girl had heard thunder and so was in my spot in bed when I got home, and as I lifted her to take her back upstairs, the thunder boomed again, so the three of us it was.  That meant I didn’t actually fall asleep until 4:30, and that alarm went off at 5:45.

My own fault.  I’m 37, not 13.  Keep forgetting that.

I had a workshop all day at work, and then went to teach three piano lessons. 

I got a call from daycare during one of the lessons that Baby Monkey had a 101 fever and had to be picked up, so I called my Mom and she got him.  My Dad was already at the house, having met Monkey in the Middle off the school bus.  Got home around 5, then at 5:30, the other directors of the spring musical came over to do our casting list. 

We held auditions this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday night was casting night.  We had a great time and got the show cast.  This year we are doing “Back to the 80’s”, which is a total cheesefest and lovefest for the music of the 80’s and I CAN’T WAIT!  After we finished casting, the girls stayed for awhile and we chatted.  They left around 11:00. 

I came to bed and as soon as I lay down, the coughing and sneezing began upstairs.  By midnight, the second floor of my house sounded like a cholera ward or a nineteenth century orphanage in the heart of NYC.  I was surprised people didn’t show up with Hazmat suits.

So, I got up and medicated and rubbed backs and sang and eventually the monkeys fell back to sleep, but the coughing really did continue all night.

However, despite their lack of sleep, they were all up at the crack of dawn.  🙂

So, I got up and went and taught five more piano lessons, then came home for awhile, tossed in some laundry, and then had to head out to get my haircut.

I’m in the chair and having a nice conversation with the stylist (I usually don’t talk when getting my haircut…it’s one time I can just be silent, but this girl was pretty interesting) and we were talking about the fact that she dyed her hair blonde, but it ruined her hair and that I was lucky I didn’t have to dye my hair, just freshen it up with some highlights because my base is still pretty light.  Then, she steps back from my head and says,

“You know, you are really lucky!  You don’t have ANY gray hairs yet!”

WHAT?!?!??!?  Excuse me?!??!?  Gray hairs?

I wanted to say “What exactly would make you think I am of an age that I would need to be worrying about gray hairs?”

What I said was, “Yeah.”

Gray hairs.  Ugh.  Please.  I can’t even start down that road.

So…finished up with the haircut and came home.  The monkeys were watching The Smurfs, which we got through Netflix, so I sat down with them and enjoyed that immensely.

Then, we headed to my parents for dinner.  My Mom makes a mean spaghetti with meat sauce.  It was scrumptious! 

While there, I gave my Dad a haircut, as he’s preaching the Thanksgiving service at church tomorrow.

The monkeys played with my Dad’s 1950’s legos, which are actually called “Block City” and were my FAVORITE toy at my Grandma’s house when I was growing up.  There is something immensely satisfying about seeing your kids enjoy something that you enjoyed as a kid.

Around 7, my parents started getting a nervous look on their face as the coughing and hacking started to take on stellar proportions.  I think they probably wanted us to get the heck outta there so they could decontaminate the place, but were reluctant to say goodbye to the monkeys…cuz they’re awesome monkeys. 🙂

Around 8, we left and came home.

We live five minutes away.

Baby Monkey was completely knocked out by the time we pulled in the driveway.  I got him out of the car and into jammies before he woke up.

Then, we lined the monkeys up in the kitchen and gave them Benadryl and Robitussin.  They came and snuggled on our bed for 15 minutes and finished watching “Smurfette’s Dancing Shoes” (LOVE that episode) and then up they went.

Right now, it is quiet and peaceful in the invalid ward.  I haven’t heard a cough or sneeze or sniffle in 15 minutes.  I think it’s a record for the weekend.

And, I’m on my way out.

A friend from high school plays in a band and they don’t hit our area very often.  They are in town tonight, so I’m going to go for awhile.  Not late, considering I haven’t actually slept in days and I have to be at chuch by 8 am tomorrow to ring and sing.

I just keep looking forward to Wednesday at 12:45.  After that, it’s smooth sailing, maxing and relaxing, and chilin’ like a villain.

I also plan on arming myself with the camera, so be ready.


November 19, 2009

Thought You Might Like to See

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:45 pm
Tags: ,

So, as I strive to stay awake for the midnight show, I came across a link to my handbell choir performing last year.  So, if I mention choir on Tuesday nights in the blog, this is my first stop.  First handbells, then Chancel Choir, then my Chamber Singing group.  I have no video of the vocal groups, but here is a little something for you to watch, if you have the time.

You can find me in the last row with the little bells, second from the end with the blonde hair.


Yep…I’m a Teenager

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

I am trying desperately to stay awake tonight, because I have plans with 3 of my friends to go see New Moon tonight.

I loved the Twilight series of books, and loved the first movie.  I absolutely cannot wait to see this one tonight.

Now, many girls are what they call, “Team Edward.”  In fact, most Twilight fans are “Team Edward.”  This means that they want the main female protagonist, Bella, to end up with the vampire named Edward.

I, always looking to buck the norm, am totally “Team Jacob.”  Jacob is the werewolf friend of Bella’s.  New Moon is Jacob’s book.  Edward leaves Bella, granted for her own safety, and Jacob is there to pick up the pieces.  Oh, be still my heart!

So, I’ll let you know how it went, and now that my new laptop is all up and running and Monkey Girl is happily using my old laptop, I will be back to Monkey stories by the weekend.

Oh, and I want to throw out a hearty congratulations to my high school friend, Jen, who had a beautiful 6 pound baby boy, Rocco, today.  Big, BIG congratulations to Jen and her family!!!

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