My Real Life

January 17, 2010

Sunday Random Musings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 3:38 pm

I’ve spent the majority of the day in the kitchen baking and cooking.

I’ve made meatballs to freeze for another time, meatloaf for dinner tonight, chocolate chip cookies for whenever, and a specialty bread that I got for free and thought would be utterly appropriate…

So, as I mixed and mushed and shaped and baked, I had a few random musings that I thought I’d share with you.

1.  At what age do humans lose the ability to see a sofa as a fort, or in today’s case, a warehouse?

Seriously…when does the mind shift from couch as adventure to couch as a place to veg and park our patooties?

Too early…that’s when.

2.) Why is it that playing inside on a rainy day must include moving every toy from every room in the house to the living room?

Today they were playing “carnival,” so there had to be carnival games, as well as prizes.

3.)  Why do I not seem to care about the mess when I see this:

…or this…

…or this…

So…what are you thinking about today?

January 16, 2010

A Night Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 2:56 pm
Tags: , ,

Last night, we got to go out.

That’s big news!

We haven’t been out to dinner, sans kids, since our anniversary in October.

Last night was my father-in-law’s 76th birthday, and so, as we do each year, his four children and their spouses took him out to dinner.  Grandkids stay home, and we get to enjoy each other, as adults, for awhile.  It’s always a nice night.

So, after work, play practice and piano lessons, I took another shower and got ready to go.

I figured, since it was a special night, I’d blow dry my hair.

To most of you, this does not sound blog-worthy.

However, I don’t blow dry my hair.  I do “no maintenance” hair.

In the morning, I get out of the shower and twist my wet hair up and pop it in a big clip, or I brush it out and hook some of it in a small clip.

The routine, however, never involves blow drying.

So, I figured I’d commemorate the fact that I brought out the blow dryer with a picture.

…and that was as long as I was allowed to be alone.

Monkey in the Middle suddenly appeared at my side and tried to get on the action.

It was at this time, also, that I realized perhaps I should look at the camera…not at myself.

(…and it is at this time that I am noticing how filthy the mirror is…perhaps you could ignore it.)

Then, he wanted another shot, with him winking.

Next, Monkey in the Middle thought it would be cool to show where his teeth fell out in the picture.

That shot inspired us to see what Monkey in the Middle might look like with long hair.

Pretty boy.

Finally, it was time to go.

We went and had a great time.

I ordered the ziti bolognese.

The picture doesn’t do the portion size justice.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I ate the whole thing. 

Plus three pieces of bread.


Plus three mozzarella sticks.

What about it?

As I looked around the table, we were all talking, laughing, and having a great time together.

I also noticed that we are a pretty good lookin’ crew.

Some of my in-laws are a bit “blog-shy” but here are some shots of Real Man and I, and his oldest brother and his lovely wife.

It was a lovely evening with lovely folks.

I think about moving far away, sometimes.  Somewhere out west.  Somewhere where life is a bit slower.

However, I think I’d miss these people.

January 14, 2010

Real Bummer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:29 pm
Tags: , ,

Remember my new laptop?

Bought it in November?

Love it, love it love it?


Not the whole laptop, but the screen appears to be broken.

Last night, I finished doing my surfing and I shut down the laptop, closed the lid, and went to sleep.

I woke up this morning, picked up the laptop, put it carefully in my laptop briefcase, went to work.

I was in meetings for most of the day, but around 1:30, I pulled it out, and when I turned it on, the screen was all white, except for the lower right-hand corner where it looks like someone shot the plasma behind the screen with a bullet.

The screen isn’t cracked, but there is some very obvious damage.

Real Man said it looked like I had closed the lid on something, but I know that I didn’t.

So, I’m pretty bummed.

However, let’s find some good news here:

1.) It is still under warranty.

2.) There are two licensed repair places relatively near me.

3.) My Mom offered to lend me her laptop until mine is fixed.

4.) Even without my Mom’s laptops, we do have other computers I can use.

5.) Maybe without a computer, I can finally finish reading Under the Dome by Stephen King!

So, even though I’m bummed, it’s all good.

I’ll be back tomorrow as my usual witty, irresistible self.

For tonight, though, I’m going to wallow in popcorn, hot chocolate, Bones, 30 Rock, and Fringe.

January 13, 2010

My Work Nemesis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , ,

For those of you who work outside of the home, or who have ever worked outside of my home, you know exactly what I mean when I say, “My Work Nemesis.”

We all have them.

It’s that one being who just completely rubs you the wrong way. 

Their very existence at your place of work makes your day a little less…sunny? joyful? positive?

They taunt you…maybe not out loud, but certainly behind your back, and you know it.

Their very presence can, sometimes, cause you to do things that are completely out of character for you, and that you know aren’t good for you on so many levels.

And yet…they are there to stay.

In some places, your work nemesis has been there far longer than you have.

In other cases, your work nemesis showed up after you were hired, and while others raved about the new placement, you knew, immediately, that it was T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

You don’t want to complain, because you know that everyone doesn’t feel the same as you.  The last thing you need is people who you do like turning against you.

So, you suffer in silence, and you wind up getting sucked in again and again to those bad behaviors as you try to thwart your nemesis.

(Let me just say, right now, that I only know of one person who I work with who reads this blog…I’m wondering if she has already scrolled to the bottom to see if I reveal the name of my work nemesis…it makes me giggle a little.)

Anyway, today I have struggled a lot with my nemesis. 

A lot.

Luckily, her room isn’t anywhere near my office, so I don’t have to see her or hear her on a regular basis, unless I have to pass her room on my route elsewhere.

But, I know she’s there. 

Who is my nemesis?

That’s right.

The freaking vending machine.

Around 1:00 pm, every day, I get hit with a sweet tooth.

Never mind that I actually can’t eat ANYTHING in the machine without some diabetic consequences, she still calls me…every day.

“Amy…” she calls.

“Push it.  Push D1…you know you want a Snickers…just $0.75, Amy…surely you can spare $0.75?”



Vending machine.

January 12, 2010

Sibling Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:49 pm

There are some sounds that warm the heart of a mother, like nothing else.

Giggling, happy children.

Hearing, “I’d love to share with you!”

The sound of a brand new baby making those unbelievably cute brand new baby noises while they sleep.

Hearing, “We’d love to have him/her over any time…He/she is so polite!”

A quiet, whispered, “I love you, Mommy,” as you snuggle close.

There are also some sights that warm the heart of a mother, like nothing else.

Like this:

I had prepared their waffles for them, and everyone was sitting in their seats, on opposite sides of the table, when I went to get dressed.  Plenty of space for everyone to spread out.

I got dressed, came back to the kitchen, and this is what I found.

Like magnets, they are drawn to each other.

They just want to be together.

When they watch a movie together, not only are they all touching, but they are usually smushed onto one cushion on the couch, limbs entwined, or laying on my bed, Monkey Girl on her stomach, and the boys laying across her back.

These kids love each other.

Life, seriously, does not get any better than this.

January 11, 2010

Real Extreme

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:49 pm
Tags: ,

Professionally, I am a woman who carefully studies an issue, does her research and makes intelligent, informed decisions.

As a mother, I do the same.

As a woman…


Not always so much with the carefully considered decisions.

I tend to be a bit of an extremist when it comes to myself.

The reason I share this bit of information with you is because I came across a picture of myself last night that I thought I would share.

However, I felt it needed a bit of an explanation as for the extremity of the picture.

Monkey Girl was born in February of 2001.

She was delightful.

I had very, very long hair when she was born,  The prenatal vitamins kicked into overdrive during  my pregnancy, and by the time she came, Crystal Gayle, eat your heart out.  (For those youngsters in the crowd…she was a 70’s singer with ridiculously long hair…Can’t believe I’m old enough to have to explain pop culture references from the 70’s.)

I digress…

One of Monkey Girls favorite things to do was to bunch up my hair in her fists and pull.  She was a few months old, so I knew she wasn’t trying to hurt me, just exploring.

Still, it hurt.

A lot.

It was also a pain to do the ponytail thing every day, and I was feeling schlubby and decided to get a trim.

So, me, Extreme Girl, got in my car and drove to the salon…very spontaneously.

I sat in the chair and said, “Take it off.  Take it all off.”

The hairdresser looked at me and said, “All?”

I said, “Yes!  All!”

She said, “Have you thought about this?”

I said, “I think too much.  I want it off.”

When I get a haircut, I have to take off my glasses, and that means I can’t see what my hair looks like until it’s all done.

When I put my glasses on, I nodded and squeaked out a “Great! Thanks,” grabbed my purse, paid and raced to the car where I promptly burst into tears.

When I got home, Real Man said, “It looks great!  You’re beautiful!  You just need time to get used to it!”

I cried harder.

He ran me a bath and told me to go relax with a book and calm down.

I got in the tub and curled up and sobbed and sobbed.

I now see that picture and can say, “You know, it was kind of cute!”  I also remember how easy it was to take care of.  Overall, it was not a bad cut.

But back then…

It was a huge learning experience for me.  I never realized how much security I get from my hair, or how completely vulnerable I would feel without it all. 

I was suddenly Samson, having lost all of my strength by getting my hair all chopped off.

When I look back at it now, I’m really surprised at my reaction.  It’s just hair.  It will grow back.  It DID grow back.

Yet, my reaction was so strong, that it surprises me still, as I’ve never been a big one for caring how other people view me.  It was really about how I viewed myself.

Anyway, I’ve never gone that short again. 

I’ve never even gone remotely NEAR that short again. 

I am also totally in awe of people who can rock a short ‘do.

However, I’m starting to think about getting the chop again and donating the hair to Locks of Love or some other, similar organization.  My decision was just that.  A decision.  Whether I liked it or not, I chose to chop. 

What about those people who don’t get to decide?  Those for whom chemo or radiation takes the decision out of their hands?

And I made such a fuss over a haircut I didn’t like?

Shame on me.

Suddenly a bad hair day doesn’t seem all that bad, and the idea of using the lesson I learned to help someone else is seeming better and better.

January 10, 2010

Real Inspiration, for Real

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:56 pm

If you don’t have 6 minutes right now, then please bookmark this link and go back and see this when you do have 6 minutes. 

I have rarely seen such an inspiring story. 

Hard to know who is the bigger inspiration.

As a human, I’m inspired by the boy. 

As a parent, I’m inspired by the dad.

I’m speechless.

5 Things I Love Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:48 am

One of the blogs I frequently visit, A Beautiful Mess, has a regular feature called, “10 Things I Love Sunday.”  

I enjoy her list, and am frequently inspired by some of the things she posts.

So, I figured that I would try it this week, and see how it goes.

1.  Elsie, at  A Beautiful Mess, posted a link to this Etsy shop which sells vintage fifties dresses.  I love vintage 1950’s dresses.  Here are a few of my favorites.

If I had the money and a place to wear them, they would totally be mine!

2.  Creative wedding photos.

Yes, I agree that it appears that no one is enjoying this wedding, but these people will have an album unlike any other.  Thinking outside the box appeals to me.

3.  Grand pianos.


4.  Shoes.

I love them. 

I’m arch-challenged, so flats are not for me.  I love heels.  Love them!

When I was single, there wasn’t a pair of shoes that I didn’t buy.

To be honest, even when I got married, I continued to buy shoes. 

However, with each respective monkey that arrived, I bought less and less, until I got to today when I can’t even remember the last pair of shoes I bought.  Has to have been at least two years ago.

But I still browse and try on and look and drool.

5.  Puppies.

Need I say more?

(All photos, except for the first Etsy photo from

January 9, 2010

Real Inspiration

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:25 pm
Tags: , ,

For those of you who are reading this because of the title and are thinking this is a story of courage and triumph, let me stop you right here.

It’s not.

I need to exercise.  I really need to exercise.

I’m not overweight, I’m not out of shape, however, I need to exercise on a regular basis to keep my blood sugar in check and to keep my asthma at bay.  It really is a question of my health, not of vanity.

My 76 year-old father-in-law just joined a gym because he hates that he’s had to stop walking because of the cold.  This guy walks for miles and miles.  I’ve been driving my car, miles from home and the monkeys will yell, “HEY! There’s Grandpa!”

If he can do it, I can certainly do it. 

Just to clarify…he’s not my inspiration.  I mean, yes, he is, but not for the purposes of this post.


For awhile, I used my complete collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer dvd’s to keep me going on the treadmill.  I’d pop one into the portable dvd player and BAM…45 – 50 minutes of treadmill walking in which I was completely entertained.  However, I finished the whole series.  So, then I went through the Angel series.  I’d walk and then during the fight scenes, I’d ramp it up and run through them.

For awhile, I was reading while on the treadmill, but that didn’t work out too well, as my eyesight is poor enough without adding me running while trying to read.

And so…over time, I just stopped running on the treadmill.

It was easy to let it slide.  I’ve been hit with more sinus infections than I can even count, and the jogging didn’t help the constant head pain.  It’s cold outside and the room where the treadmill is used to be a garage, and it gets chilly in there and my asthma is cold induced asthma.

See, I can rationalize my way out of anything.

Then, my birthday rolled around and my Daddy gave me this:

Yeah baby!  Glee…Season One, Volume I: The Road to Sectionals.

I’ve been re-inspired.

There are no fight scenes, but there is plenty of running to be done during the song/dance numbers.

We had baked ziti tonight.  A no-no for me on so very many levels, health-wise.

So, when dinner was over and the monkeys were happily playing, Glee and I hit the treadmill.  Burned 300 calories and ran/walked for 47 minutes.

Is it corny to say that I am positively gleeful about this new routine?

January 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 3:46 pm

I had a CT scan this morning for my sinuses.

This gave me some time to be perfectly still and alone with my thoughts.

Always dangerous.

My first thoughts were about not moving.

What if I need to swallow?  Can I move my eyes behind my eyelids?  Will that mess it all up?

Then, I was gripped with the overwhelming urge to move my tongue around in my mouth and roll my eyes behind my eyelids.  I restrained myself because I realized if I was on a camera they would probably think I was having a seizure.

My thoughts, though, kept rolling.

I started thinking about how far technology has come.  I mean, this machine was taking pictures of the inside of my head!!!

My doctor can look at these pictures and can figure out what the heck is going on with my sinuses by looking at these pictures.  Amazing.

They have machines that can take 3-D pictures of babies in utero.  IN UTERO!!!  Are you kidding  me?

I’m typing this, right now, on a laptop that isn’t plugged in to anything.  While this window is open, another window is hiding that has the internet, which somehow is wirelessly transmitting all sorts of stuff.

If I open Skype, I could talk to someone by looking at my computer.  What?

I digress.

From there, my thoughts started to go back in time.

Perhaps they didn’t need CT scans in the “olden days.”  I mean, did anyone in Walnut Grove get sinus infections?  Did anyone buy peanuts from Olson’s General Store and need an epi-pen from a nut allergy?

Why is it, that as we progress in so many ways, as a civilization, are we regressing with regards to certain aspects of our health?

Then I started thinking what my life would have been if I was born during Revolutionary times. 

Ben Franklin could have given me some glasses, but would they be strong enough to really help me?  Would I have been the sickly sister, relegated to staying in bed most of the time because of my asthma?  What would have happened with my diabetes?  Would we have said I had a “weak constitution?” 

Alternatively, I started going down another road with my thoughts and started wondering what George Washington would think if he was suddenly resurrected and took a walk through my town.  He stayed here for a winter.  He was pretty darn familiar with it.  So, what would he think?  Would he think it was an improvement or would he think we had ruined it?

What would Henry VIII think of the current monarchy?  What would his opinion of Prince Charles be?

Finally, the radiology tech came in and told me that I was all done.

Phewf…it’s not a good thing to leave me alone with my thoughts for too long.

FYI…the CT scan? 

Yeah, it was only 3 minutes long.

Told ya that being alone with my thoughts was a bad idea.

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