My Real Life

November 18, 2009

First Webcam Pic!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:32 am

Tee-hee!  How exciting!!!

November 17, 2009

New Laptop!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:37 pm
Tags: ,

So, you may have noticed that this week’s posts haven’t really had many monkey pictures.  That’s because Real man found a laptop on that was a FABULOUS deal, and I’ve been in need of a new laptop for quite some time.  My laptop works, but is, quite possibly, the slowest computer in the world.  You’ve seen the blog.  I can type a blog entry in five minutes or less.  The problem?  Copying it from Word and pasting it into WordPress and adding the pictures took about a half hour every morning.  In reality, it should just be another five minutes or less.  So, you can sense my frustration.

So, for the past few days, I have been cleaning up and cleaning out the old laptop.  I pulled all of my pictures off of the desktop and saved them to a flashdrive.  I deleted things that were no longer needed and just generally got it ready for its new owner: Monkey Girl.

As you can imagine, she is beside herself with excitement.  She has just started typing her weekly homework writing assignments, (Monday night she brainstorms, on Tuesday she writes the rough draft, on Wednesday revises and edits, and on Thursday writes the final copy…she loves typing it all, except the brainstorm, and turns off spell check so she can edit her own work…she’s becoming quite the little typist…can’t imagine where she gets that from) and while she liked to use Real Man’s desktop, the idea of having her own laptop to type on was extremely exciting.

Anyway, the new laptop came while I was at choir tonight!  I’m typing this entry on the new laptop, and will, hopefully, get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. 

Oh!  And the exciting news!  It has a webcam.  Perhaps I’ll give you some video entries every now and then!!!  Oh the possibilities!

So, for now, bear with me while I adjust to the new technology and perhaps make a few more entries about non-monkey related issues.  Trust me…I’m saving up.  There is still lots of monkey business going on around here! 🙂


November 16, 2009

In the wee small hours…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:24 am

I made a comment the other day, on Facebook, to a woman I work with who is much younger than I.  She mentioned that she woke up at 4:45 am each day and I said that she needed to sleep in because those of us who have kids that wake up at the crack of dawn need to sleep in vicariously through our friends that don’t.

She laughingly apologized and then said “Yeah, but we don’t have a kid to snuggle with at 6:30!”

She makes a point.

Around 4:30 am, every single morning, Monkey in the Middle wakes up.  He comes downstairs, very quietly so as not to wake the other monkeys.  He thinks I don’t hear him, but I hear him the minute his feet hit the floor in the bedroom above me.  I’m a master of the “Mom sleep.”  Dead to the world until one of my monkeys makes the slightest sound.

Monkey in the Middle stealthily climbs into our bed, and snuggles in between Real Man and I. 

It is my favorite time of day.

Monkey in the Middle is not necessarily built for snuggling.  He is all bones, elbows and sharp angles.  There isn’t an ounce of fat on that kid.  And yet, he’s the biggest snuggler I’ve ever seen.

I love when he snuggles in.  He nuzzles up against me and slowly falls back to sleep for another hour of dozing.  I love the feel of his little legs as they gently jerk as his mucles relax and his little head rubs against the pillow and up against my arm.

I don’t fall back to sleep again after he comes into our room.  At least not any meaningful type of sleep.  However, I can’t turn him away.  I realize that someday, probably soon, there will be no more snuggling.  And while I realize that is completely developmentally appropriate, I mourn that loss in advance.

So, for now, I’ll take my 4:30 snuggle sessions with Bony Magoo (another name for Monkey in the Middle).  Rachel was right…it’s way better than sleeping ’til 10.

November 15, 2009

National Diabetes Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:55 am
Tags: ,

So, November is National Diabetes Month.  It’s also the first November that I’ve dealt with diabetes.

I was diagnosed with diabetes last March, and since then, I’ve been walking the tightrope of trying to find a balance in my diet so that I can control this disease with diet and exercise, and not have to use insulin shots.

When I describe it as a tightrope walk, please know that I am not exaggerating.  Too little carbs and I become a blathering idiot with no energy or brain power.  Too many carbs and my blood sugar shoots through the roof.  Then there is the issue of good carbs versus bad carbs and how do you know which is which?

I’ve spent more hours researching this disease than I did researching for both of my masters degrees.  As is always the case in this information age, there is way too much information for me to even make sense of most days.  Also, the information is always contradictory.  One website says apples are an important source of fiber while another says they are too high in sugar for a diabetic.

What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what I do.  I persevere.  I’ve got three small children with a lot of life left in them and I plan on being there for every single step along the way.  Those who know me well would agree that I’m a total control freak, and dealing with this disease is no exception.  I will not let it get control of my life.  Instead, I work hard to control it.

I think I’m doing a pretty good job, thus far.  It doesn’t affect my daily life in any major way.  I quietly check my blood sugar throughout the day and make adjustments accordingly.  I do my best to eat right and to help my family eat right as well so that my children do not follow the same path.  The truth is, I know it doesn’t matter how I help them…they may inherit it genetically, just as I have.  So, if I teach them young, they may be able to keep it in check, as I do, with diet and exercise.

This is the first holiday season that I am facing with diabetes.  This is going to prove to be a big challenge for me.  After the diagnosis, it wan’t candy and sugar that I was missing. 

It’s been the big carbs.  I love potatoes and pasta and bread and all things lethal to a diabetic diet.  So, here comes Thanksgiving with all of it’s carby goodness.  I’ll make good choices…I will.  Yet, it won’t be easy.

Going into the New Year, I know the biggest change I need to make is exercise.  It’s not a vanity thing.  I look just fine.  However, the more exercise I get, the better my pancreas can process all that it needs to process to keep the diabetes in check, and yet, that is the area where I need the most work.  I need to learn to carve out that time for myself without feeling guilty.  The truth is, exercise is more than “me time” in my case.  It’s important in terms of keeping me healthy and functional with my family.

So, even if you don’t struggle with diabetes, as we move through November, I encourage everyone to really look at their eating and exercise habits and see if there isn’t something that they could do better.  I think, as Americans, we can all stand to be a little healthier.

Next year, I plan to walk in the Diabetes Walk in the beginning of November.  I hope to do so in better shape and health than I am in today.


November 14, 2009

Flash Forward

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:42 am

Today, I thought I’d share a new tv show that I’ve been watching lately.

Flash Forward

The premise is that on October 26, the entire world blacked out for 30 something seconds.  In the time that everyone was blacked out, they all had visions of what they would be doing at a certain time on a certain date in April, six months in the future.

A creative premise, to say the least.  However, it’s a show that is really making me think about a lot of things. 

Many people had happy visions of their futures.  Others had terrible visions of their futures.  Some had no vision, indicating that they were dead by April.

The people who had happy visions are convinced that the visions are true and that this is where they are headed.  The people who had bad visions are trying, desperately, to do things to change their future so whatever they saw does not come to pass.  As you can imagine, the people who saw nothing are walking around, hopeless.

So, it’s really the whole argument of “Do you decide your own future, or is it already set in stone, decided by fate?”

I’ve always wanted to go see a psychic.  I’ve just always thought it would be a neat experience.

However, I also truly believe that when a psychic tells people something about their future, whether consciously or unconsciously, they begin to act in a way to fulfill the prophecy. 

For example: Imagine a woman goes to a psychic who tells her that she will die in a horrible car accident.  One would think that she would stay away from cars in order to prevent that future.  Yet, what many people do is begin to engage in the behavior even more frequently.  She not only drives more often but begins to talk on her cell while driving or not wearing a seat belt 100% of the time.  Again, perhaps not a conscious choice, but there it is.

The show focuses on these FBI agents who are trying to figure out the cause of the blackout.  Most of them had some pretty bleak visions of the future.  They ranged from killing people, to being attacked, to having affairs.  One man on the team envisioned a phone call where he was told that a woman had died, and that it was his fault.

He carries around this guilt and tries to find this woman.  However, in the end, he jumps off a building in order to completely prevent this woman from dying because of him.  Before jumping, he gives his FBI friends a big speech about taking charge of the future…that it isn’t set in stone…that they can change the future by taking matters into their own hands.  Then, he jumps.  He becomes the Jesus figure in the story…dying to give others hope.

I just recommend the show because it’s a great show to make you think.  There are so many different angles, and it is so interesting to watch little things, outside of the control of the characters, add up to make their vision a greater possibility.  One woman has a vision of herself in a house with another man that she calls “Sweetie” or “Honey.”  She had never met the man at the time of the vision.  Well, she has met him now.  And although she never told her husband what she was wearing in her vision, in the last episode, he buys her the lingerie that she was wearing in the vision, as a gift.  She throws it away in order to make the vision impossible.  Will it come back?  Who knows?  But, it’s got me thinking.

So, if you have some extra time at 8:00 on a Thursday night, you might want to tune in to Flash Forward.  I really am enjoying this show and think that most of you might, as well.

November 13, 2009

Back to the Home Depot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:54 am

We had another trip to the Home Depot last night.

It was much less eventful, and yet, much more dramatic.

I don’t have much to say except that the monkeys kept the entire staff, as well as the customers, entertained.


HD 003

HD 002

HD 001

November 12, 2009

Real Pressure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

So, as I said, we stayed with Real Man’s aunt and uncle in Maryland on our DC trip.

The kids love Beth and Warren.  I’ve already explained how Monkey Girl talked Beth’s ear off at the museum, and Monkey in the Middle keeps asking “When can we see Aunt Beth and Uncle Warren again?”

We’ve decided to call Warren “The Toddler Whisperer” due to the effect he had on Baby Monkey. 

Baby Monkey was just worn out by the end of each day, and that’s about the time that he got to be with Warren.  Poor Warren must have thought that he was the whiniest kid around.  However, Warren worked his magic and got Baby Monkey to do things that we just couldn’t.

Baby Monkey didn’t want to eat his dinner.  Warren somehow convinced him to eat his dinner.

Baby Monkey wanted to leave the table when he was done.  Warren convinced him to stay until everyone was done.

Baby Monkey was terrified of the dog and would let out these loud screams every time the dog (friendliest dog in the world) would come near, but Warren not only got him to come close to the dog but to not make a sound as the dog went past him.

Now, let me give you a visual.  Warren is easily 6’5”.  Baby Monkey is maybe 2’6”to 3’ tall.  It was hysterical to watch Baby Monkey traipsing after Warren through the house.  If Warren wasn’t in the room, the question was “Where’s Uncle Warren?”

The real star of our visit, however, was Gunnar.

DC 037DC 039

The sweetest dog in the world.  Seriously. 

Monkey Girl was smitten.  Monkey in the Middle was fascinated.  Baby Monkey was terrified, but intrigued.

So, now the pressure is on.  Monkey in the Middle told Real Man that he is asking Santa for a puppy for Christmas.  Monkey Girl has been coming up with possible dog names. 

Baby Monkey doesn’t want a dog. 

Unless it’s little.

Unless it comes with Uncle Warren.

So, we’re doing our best to talk about the responsibilities attached to owning a dog, and how much work they are, etc, etc, etc. 

However, my talk is halfhearted.  I want a dog, too.

So, we’ll see how that all play out.

Oh, there was one more star of the visit.

DC 038

The sombrero.

Aye-yay-yay.  El es un muchacho hermoso.  Amo a ese bebe mas que el sabra nunca.

November 11, 2009

Real Wet

DC 040

Okay, technically we didn’t actually get wet at the aquarium, but you get the title, I know you do.

On the last day of our DC trip, we went to the Baltimore Aquarium.

First, we walked along the waterfront, where the kids were spellbound by the large ships and small paddle boats.

Monkey Girl loved everything about the aquarium, even the cylinders with no sea life, but just bubbles.

DC 041

The jellyfish were absolutely beautiful.

DC 042

DC 043

DC 044

Monkey in the Middle usually spends a great deal of time each summer vacation at the beach with his cousin, Alexa, (see Real Small Town Fun for a reminder on these two…double trouble), collecting Jellyfish.  He was so excited to see the jellyfish this way, as by the time he and Alexa get to them, they are just see-through lumps.

At the top of the Baltimore Aquarium is a rainforest.  I think it’s the neatest thing there.  Real monkeys climbing around, mist, insects, animals.  All of it right there for you to walk through.  The kids thought it was pretty neat, as well.

DCa 004\DCa 005

DCa 006

The sharks were awesome, but the highlight of the day was the dolphin show.

You have to remember, this is the end of three days of walking, touring, and sight-seeing for these little monkeys.  It was tiring for Real Man and I as adults.  It was exhausting for the monkey.  So, by the time we got to the dophin show, they were shot.

However, the excitement of the dolphins brought the smiles back.

DC 046

DC 047

It was a beautiful show.

DC 049

DC 051

DC 052

On the way out, Monkey Girl insisted that she have her picture taken inside the mouth of a great white.

DC 059

Love that kid.

We left and went over to the Barnes and Noble which is an old power plant and is the coolest Barnes and Noble I’ve ever been in, however, Baby Monkey was completely done with anything other than getting back to Beth and Warren’s house, by that time, so Real Man took the big monkeys in and I sat outside with Baby Monkey, watching the ships.

Baltimore is an amazing city.  I think you could do a whole vacation right there and never be bored.  I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of taking a short trip.

We left from the aquarium and drove directly home to NJ.  I think we weren’t even out of Baltimore when I turned around and found this in the back seat.

DCa 002

Baby Monkey was soon to follow, and although she tried, like her Mom, Monkey Girl is not a napper.  But, she lounged and relaxed as we drove.

Real Man and I talked about what we had done and seen and decided that we need to do more of this.  Sometimes, it’s just easier to say, “Eh…it’s only a few days, we can’t do anything.  Might as well stay home.”  But, the truth is, just by taking this short trip, we’ve been able to create memories for the kids that they’ll always carry with them.  Maybe Baby Monkey won’t remember (although, he can read the blog later in life) but the big monkeys will.  So, hopefully you’ll be reading more of these type of entries as we endeavor to do more and help our kids broaden their life experiences.

November 10, 2009

Real Old Things

On Day 2 of our trip to DC, we hit the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Real Man’s aunt and uncle live in Maryland, just outside of DC, so we took the Metro.

DC 024

The monkeys are big fan of anything train related, so you can imagine the excitement at taking the metro.

DCa 001

Monkey Girl and Monkey in the Middle both wanted to sit with Aunt Beth.  In fact, they probably would have been perfectly happy if Real Man and I weren’t even there.  They loved being with Aunt Beth.  In fact, by the end of the day, I’m surprised that Beth’s eardrums weren’t bursting from the constant chatter in her ears all day at the museum.  It was very cute.

DC 035

When we came out of the metro station, we were in the mall and the kids thought it was one of the best things they had ever seen.  All of the buildings lined up on either side, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building on the two ends.  I have to agree…it’s a sight.

We decided to have a nice, family shot in front of the Capitol Building.  However, in our true family style, we accidentally stood right in front of it.  Still, not a bad shot.

DC 026

The monkeys were thrilled by the prospect of the museums.  They are big fans of Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum II.  Both of the museums were were going to see that day were in the second movie, and they loved the idea of seeing the things they had seen in the film.

Air and Space was our first visit.  Our first stop?

The cafeteria.

We had made our own lunches and so we headed into the cafeteria and found a table and ate.  Baby Monkey was very upset that Real Man had cut his sandwich in half, and was refusing to eat it until Beth suggested that Real Man and I take the big monkeys to the museum and she’d wait with Baby Monkey.  You’ve never seen a sandwich disappear so fast.  He loves his Aunt Beth, but he wasn’t letting us leave.

The monkeys really wanted to see the Wright Brothers exhibit, so in we went.

Baby Monkey took a turn steering an airplane that was hanging from the ceiling.

DC 028

If I thought it would have held me, I would have climbed right in after him.  Have I mentioned how badly I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid?  It was my big dream.  However, my Mom looked into it for me, and it turned out that even as a kid, my eyesight was too bad.  They told her that no one would ever let me fly.  Dream #1, crushed.

But, I digress…

Monkey Girl and Monkey in the Middle really enjoyed this exhibit.  They loved the Wright house and wanted their picture taken with the Wright Brothers.

DC 029

Listening to Monkey in the Middle trying to remember Orville and Wilbur’s name was a hoot.

Along with my love of flying in general, I, too have always been fascinated by the Wright brothers.  When Real Man and I were dating, we took a trip down to Kitty Hawk for a long weekend.  I’m just in amazement at people who don’t just think the impossible, but make it happen. 

Seriously, think about airplanes.  These things are massive and so heavy!  And yet, they fly through the air with the greatest of ease…okay, they aren’t trapeze artists, but you know what I mean.  It’s just an incredible thing, and these two guys thought they could do it.  Impressive, to say the least.

We walked around the rest of Air and Space, and then decided to run over to Natural History.

My favorite museum in DC is the National Gallery.  However, I didn’t think the kids would love it at thi age, so rather than subject them to the art this time around, Real Man ran them over to the fountain next to the Gallery and gave them a snack, while I ran into the gift shop to buy some stationery.  I am a stationery girl, though and through.  Yes, I still write handwritten letters and use my stationery on a regular basis.  I also love the journals that they sell there.  They are absolutely gorgeous.

DC 030

Natural History was AWESOME.

Monkey in the Middle was enamored with the dinosaurs.

DC 031

I was angered by the leash kids.  I’ve got a real problem with kids on leashes.  A real problem.  I’ve got three…I can keep track of them.  Yes, I have to work a little harder, but I do it.

DC 034

These are children, not dogs.  Trying to “cute it up” with the monkey backpack doesn’t work, either.  I’d love to see someone put a leash on these parents and see how they liked being jerked around by a string.  Not too much, I imagine.

After the first floor of Natural History, Baby Monkey had had enough.

DC 032

DC 033

So, I found a bench in a quiet corner and sat with him while Beth and Real Man took the big monkeys to the second floor to the reptile and insect exhibit.  More reptiles.  Darn.  So sorry I missed them.

After that, we headed back to the metro and headed back to Beth’s.

It was another wonderful day, full of things for the monkeys to learn and do.  DC is really a fantastic place to bring kids.  There is just so much!

Tomorrow…the National Aquarium!




November 9, 2009

…and the winner is…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:09 pm

Comment #5, which was my friend, Sharon!  Congrats, Sharon! (check out Sharon’s blog…  She’s the math teaching Mommy of twin boys so cute you’ll want to gobble them right up!)

I have to say, I’m intrigued by all of the entries.  The only two books that were mentioned that I’ve read are Gone with the Wind and The Prince of Tides, and I’d agree that they are both phenomenal books. 

I was blown away by Amy’s description of Things Fall Apart.  Amy is a former piano student of mine who is currently a senior in high school.  Amy has always been impressive, and I have to say that this entry continues to impress.  Great description, Amy, of both the plot and your reaction to it.

So, thanks to everyone who participated…I have added all of these titles to my must read list, and I hope that some of you have added them as well.

I’ll have to come up with something equally as mind-stretching for my next contest!  I love to learn new things!

« Previous PageNext Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at