My Real Life

April 30, 2010

Baseball Fan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:28 am

Baby Monkey loves baseball.

We go to Monkey in the Middle’s games and he is just transfixed by the action.


April 28, 2010

Couldn’t If I Tried

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:09 pm

I came into the living room yesterday to find Monkey Boy on his ds.

Like this.

No, he didn’t fall.

He stayed like this for 1/2 hour.

I couldn’t caption this one, even if I tried.

April 27, 2010

You Win Some…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:40 pm

…well, you know the rest.

Today they announced the 50 semi-finalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

You may remember that I was a quarterfinalist.

I am not, however, a semi-finalist.

Am I disappointed?

You betcha.

Am I surprised?

Not really.

I read most of those excerpts and I’m shocked that most of them hadn’t already been published.

So, where do I go from here?

My immediate plan is to use tonight to wallow.

If I didn’t have choir tonight, (and if I wasn’t still sick), I’d pack the family in the car and head to Friendly’s for a 7-scoop Reese’s Peanut Butter Sundae.

However, my health and my schedule have other plans.

So, instead, I’ll go to choir, come home and snuggle up with Real Man to watch some television.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up, dust myself off, and get moving with the rest of my life.

First order of business (other than work) will be to join a writer’s group that a co-worker of Real Man’s (a published co-worker of Real Man) suggested I join.

Second order of business will be to update my query with my new information:

1.  I was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

2.  I have two, official reviews, as well as 15 customer reviews…all positive.

And then…


I’m just going to write.

April 25, 2010

Our Act

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:10 pm

This past weekend was the Talent Show at my school. 

Monkey Girl and I were going to perform, but, as you know, her allergies have been out of control lately.

They get worse as the night goes on, and she made the call, early in the week, to drop out.

It was a smart call, as by 8:30 on show night, she was red-eyed and sniffly and itchy.

However, she still really wanted to perform.

So, we decided to put on a show of our own in the basement and post it here.

Had we performed on Friday, here’s what the crowd would have seen (albeit, in nicer clothes and with brushed hair):

Playing Around

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 1:42 pm

So, we’re thinking of purchasing Macs for our school, and Apple sent me an executive loaner MacBook Pro to try out for a few weeks.

I’m absolutely LOVING it!

Today, it’s rainy and yucky outside, so the monkeys and I have been playing with the MacBook.

One of our favorite features is Photo Booth.

Here are some of our experiments:

We thought black and white deserved serious faces.

For this one, we pretended we were on Ghost Hunters and were witnessing paranormal phenomena on the infared camera.

Me and my girls. 🙂

This was supposed to be a roller coaster background, but it didn’t really work out too well.

So, we’re going to continue to play, and I may need to start saving my pennies to purchase a MacBook for my next computer purchase (which won’t be for a long time, because I just got my laptop in November).  It’s an awesome computer with some great applications for both work and home.

I’m curious, if you don’t mind sharing, how do you all do your computing?

Mac or PC?

Share in the comments below!

April 23, 2010

Strange Bedfellows

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 3:42 pm

Most kids snuggle with a favorite blanket.

Some kids snuggle with a favorite stuffed animal.

Monkey Girl snuggles with “Dolly.”

Monkey in the Middle snuggles with “Blue Elephant.”

(You can see that we are really creative with our names for toys around our house.)

What does Baby Monkey snuggle with at bedtime?

Well, it depends.

Last night, he snuggled with his drumsticks.

Two nights ago, he snuggled with a Hess truck.

Last week, I went up to give him a middle of the night kiss because I was missing him and I found him snuggling with a tambourine.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m snuggling with something at bedtime, I expect it to be…oh, I don’t know…snuggly.

Apparently, Baby Monkey doesn’t share this predilection.

That’s okay, I guess.

As long as he is happily sleeping through the night, he can snuggle with anything he wants.

Okay, maybe not anything, but just about anything.

Sometimes, I don’t get this kid.

But good lord, do I love him!

April 22, 2010

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:02 pm
Tags: , ,

So, I’ve already explained that Monkey Girl suffers from some pretty severe allergies.

Honestly, even saying it that way is an understatement.

By 6:30 last night, the whites of her right eyeball had become blistered and had swollen up to start to cover and overlap the beautiful blue of her eye.

It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen.

However, I kept my Mommy-Cool and said “Real Man…dinner is ready.  You and the boys enjoy, I’m taking la chica to the ER.”

I’m not a fan of going to the ER.

There are some seriously injured people in the world, and I’d rather save the doctors and nurses and resources for them.

However, when you are looking at your 9 year old daughters eye and it appears as though it is actually about to pop…

…you take her to the ER.

It was packed in the ER.


So, we didn’t get seen until around 8:30.

They confirmed that it was due to allergies, gave us a prescription for Patanol and sent us home.

On the way, we stopped at a 24-hour CVS to get the prescription filled.

Here, I must digress.

I don’t shop at CVS.

CVS is very much like Target to me.

There is almost nothing that CVS carries that I can’t rationalize putting in my basket and buying.

So, along with the prescription, we left CVS with 2 paperbacks, a 75% off solid chocolate bunny (which is just waiting for me to dip it in peanut butter), a box of tissues, and a “Yikes” magazine for Monkey Girl.

I think we showed remarkable restraint.

Anyway, we got home around 9:00 and Real Man had heated up dinner for us, so we sat at the kitchen island and chatted with Real Man while we ate.

Apparently, I was chatting too much and not chewing too well, and swallowed a too-large piece of roast beef.

Let’s rephrase…

I tried to swallow a too-large piece of roast beef.

Instead, I choked on it.

So, I could barely breathe, but couldn’t swallow at all.

My throat was making this awful gurgling sound, and as I tried to drink water, to flush it down, the water came right back out.

I tried looking up at the ceiling and swallowing.

I tried looking at the floor and swallowing.

I tried to make myself vomit to get it out of my freaking throat.

None of it worked.

For about 5 minutes, I tried to get that out, but couldn’t, and my breathing became more and more difficult.

Real Man did some type of modified heimlich maneuver, and that didn’t work, either.

So, he called 911.

They said they were sending the squad, and kept him on the line while I continued to try to dislodge the roast beef.

About three minutes after he called, it must have mushed enough that it finally slid down.

I said, “It’s down, it’s down! Tell them the squad doesn’t have to come.”

However, that’s not a bell you can unring.

They were on their way.

So, we sat in the living room and waited for them.

We saw the police lights before they reached our house, and then watched them drive right by.

We saw the ambulance lights before they reached our house, and then watched them drive right by.

Took them awhile to figure out we weren’t up the street, and Real Man and I were grateful that I wasn’t still choking, but, eventually, they made it to the house.

They came in, asked some questions, made me sign a waiver that I didn’t want to go to the hospital, and were on their way.

As we walked them out, Baby Monkey’s teacher from last year, who lives around the corner was walking up the driveway to see if we needed her to stay with the kids or to see if everyone was okay.

That was VERY sweet of her.

My greatest fear was that they would realize that we had just come from the ER with Monkey Girl and think that we were some crazy people who had both Munchausen and Munchausen by Proxy.

Luckily, they didn’t.

Strangely, there are probably people way weirder than us out there.

So, that was our Wednesday night.


…you just can’t make this stuff up.

April 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:05 pm

I’ve been pretty sad the past few days, as I received an e-mail from the current owner of our old dog, Bennie.

I think I’ve mentioned Bennie before.

He was something else.

We had Ben from 1998-2004, and since then, Ben has been living with a couple named Gail and Scott, first in Delaware, now in Virginia.

We were so happy to have Bennie go to a home where he had acres on which to run, and people who loved him for the difficult, goofy dog he was.

Awhile back, I received an e-mail from Gail that Ben had cancer.  He had fast growing tumors and they were battling the best they could.

(Gail has been wonderful about keeping us informed about Bennie over the years.)

For some time now, Bennie has been fighting the good fight.

Then, on Saturday, I received this e-mail:

Hi Amy,

I just wanted to let you know that Bennie is deteriorating. The cancer has really taken hold and his entire neck is wrapped in tumors that are almost doubling in size daily. They had been growing but Ben was taking it in stride and adapting. He was still taking his daily walks in the woods but seemed to shorten them a little each day. He was going out every morning and evening for feeding time of the farm animals and would find a place to lay where he could keep an eye on us.

He had been getting a bit wobbly on his back legs a week ago, but still got around OK. We did block off the stairs so he couldn’t go up because we didn’t want to chance him falling. His appetite has been good though, but he eats mashed or pureed canned dog food now. I have a bucket in the kitchen for his water to bring it up to a height he can manage to drink from.

Today was the first day he didn’t want to go for a walk and we didn’t get any tail wags from him. The neck tumors broke through the skin a couple of days ago and I’ve been changing his bandages twice a day. His head has swelling that is increasing and the vet said that is from peripheral circulation going bad. I did talk to the vet today and I have pain medicine for him(an injection).  He had his first shot this evening and is resting comfortably. If he gets agitated or in increased pain, we will have our local vet come to the house to euthanize him.

I get tears in my eyes when I am in the kitchen and start to put something up out of Ben’s reach. There’s no need for that now and it breaks my heart. We have had seven wonderful years with Ben and though he had many quirks we had to work with, he is our Bennie and I can’t imagine not having him as part of our family.

He has a good life and lots of love, and that will continue until he can no longer be here with us. Thank you for letting us have Ben in our lives.

Gail & Scott     

So, I’m sad.

I find myself crying over little things that shouldn’t make me cry, and I just wish I could be there with him.

He was a crazy dog…no doubt about it…but he was a big, mushy love, and I loved him so very much.

If you have a pet, go give him or her a big hug.  Whisper in their ears that you love them, and give them extra kisses.

As for me, I just need a little time, and I’ll be back to my old self.

April 17, 2010

Opening Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:53 pm

It was a cold, dreary day in northern New Jersey.

The skies couldn’t decide if they were going drop the rain or just sit there, looming over the ballfields.

A decision had to be made.

Finally, the voice cried out…

“Play Ball!”

Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit overdramatic, but it was opening day for Little League in our town, and was Monkey in the Middle’s first game of T-ball. 

Up until now, it has just been practice, but today, he started playing real games, as he calls them.

As with every other sport, he’s taken to baseball like a fish to water and is just thrilled to pieces to be playing.

Once he put uniform on, he felt like a pro.

And was super cute.

April 15, 2010

Never Alone…Example #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

You may remember, awhile ago, I posted this post, about how I am never truly alone.

Don’t get me wrong…I love it.

I wouldn’t have become a mother if I wanted privacy.

Sometimes, though, the way in which  my ever present companionship manifests itself is more than humorous.

Today was a perfect example.

I tell my piano students to videotape themselves playing, because they never seem to believe me when I tell them how much they are slouching, or how their form is slacking.

Not to worry…I’m not a piano teacher who whacks knuckles with rulers or pushes up wrists with pointed pencils.

However, your form does make you a better player.

It’s a fact, Jack.

Today, I decided to take my own advice, and tape myself.

So, I picked a song I hadn’t played in awhile, set up the Flip cam, and started to play.

The boys were playing outside when I started thinking about playing, but then came in and said they were going to watch.

What happened next makes me giggle.

Don’t pay attention to me…

…watch the boys who start to play church in the background.

Or, at least, their version of church.

Apparently, in the Catholic church, the service consists of one, continual procession of boys…

…carrying brooms and mops and Swiffer sweepers.

Although, it seems a little bit, toward the end, like Monkey in the Middle is the only one processing, and Baby Monkey is cleaning up behind him.

Like the pooper-scooper in the parade.

Also, please excuse my voice. 

It hasn’t quite returned after the sinus surgery.

I still continue to be amazed how everything in the body is connected and fooling around with one area can affect so many others.

Also, let’s be honest, this seems like a self-promoting post.  Hey…look at me play the piano!

Truthfully, while I’m certainly comfortable in front of a crowd or with public performance, sometimes I still would prefer to hide. 

So, when today’s “church” game occurred, I hesitated before posting it, and then figured, “I played that…good or bad, it’s how I play, so why  not put it out there?”

Take it for what it’s worth.

But don’t miss the monkeys. 🙂

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