My Real Life

June 22, 2010

Why I Love Teaching – A Must See Video

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:25 pm

I went into education because I love kids.

All kids.

The brightest of the brightest and the kids who struggle daily and the kids who fall right, smack in the middle.

The kids of the millionaires and the kids who come to us from the homeless shelter and the kids who define the middle class.

The “jocks”, the “nerds”, the “proud crowd,” the “burnouts.”

Why do I love them all?

Because, the truth is, you can’t categorize a kid.

No child fits into any one category.

You can’t look at a kid and automatically make a decision about how he or she will behave or achieve.

It’s the beauty of youth.

Last night, the seniors in the high school in the district where I teach graduated.

I knew them all four years ago when they were middle schoolers, and taught most of them.  Those who I didn’t teach, I knew in another capacity, from the play, Student Council, or from the DC trip.

I loved them all.

I think last night’s valedictorian speech is the absolute best demostration I’ve seen in a long time about how you cannot classify a kid based on one criteria.

Think you know how a valedictorian is going to give a graduation speech?

Think again.

Watch this video and I think you’ll understand why I love kids.

Waking Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:05 am

Baby Monkey wound up in our bed around 3 a.m. this morning.

He had been having a sleepover with his brother and sister in Monkey Girl’s room, but seemed to be having a bad dream.

So, I went and got him and brought him downstairs so he wouldn’t wake them up.

He never really completely woke up, but instead snuggled up in between Real Man and I.

Yes, when the monkeys show up in our bed, it means that my REM sleep is done for the night.

The best I can hope for is fitful dozing.

However, there are two reasons why I don’t really mind.

1.  Someday, sooner than I like to imagine, I’m sure, they won’t be interested in snuggling.

2.  If they are sleeping in my bed, I get to watch them wake up.

Have you ever watched a child wake up in the morning?

The sleepy face.

The stretches accompanied by the adorable stretching noises.

The slow smile.

The first “I love you, Mama” of the day.

It truly is my favorite time of the day.

So, I’ll take the lack of sleep every day of the week and twice on Sunday if it means I can be there for the waking up of any of monkeys.

June 21, 2010

What are They Doing???

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:39 pm

So, on Friday, we went out to dinner at Friendly’s.

Monkey in the Middle came home with a fantastic report card on his last day of school, and so we decided to take him out to dinner to celebrate.

It was absolutely, 100%, completely not because I didn’t want to cook.


It wasn’t.


…when we go out to eat, we usually play telephone around the table.

You know the game.

Someone whispers something in one person’s ear, then they pass it on until you get to the last person and see if they get the same message as the one that was started.

So, on Friday night, we played.

Well, four of us played.

Monkey Girl had spent her afternoon creating a notebook of schoolwork to do over the summer.

Yes, you read that right. 

Friday was her second to last day of school, and she spent the afternoon creating a notebook of schoolwork to do.

Don’t get me wrong…

…She’ll spend her summer at the pool, at the beach, at the park, collecting fireflies, playing in the stream…

…but, she’ll also do that workbook. 


I have no idea why, but somehow, she really loves schoolwork.

Fine by me, as long as she realizes that no one expects her to do it.

Anyway, so, we’re playing telephone, as always, and I start wondering what people must think as they are watching us.

Because, people are always watching us.

First of all, there are 5 of us. 

Secondly, we’re not quiet.

I tried to be a quiet family for awhile, and then I realized that it just wasn’t who we are.

We live large.  We live loud.

I’m a huge people watcher and am always trying to figure out the dynamic between people.

So, what do people think we’re doing?

Telling secrets?

Quietly chastising the children?

Trying to quietly figure out the tip?

Who knows?

Maybe one day I’ll ask one of the starers “Whatcha lookin’ at?”

For now, I’ll just whisper sweet nothing in Baby Monkey’s ear and listen to him repeat it out loud.

Completely wrong.

June 20, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day for Boys!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 2:56 pm

…or Father’s Day,as those of us who aren’t Monkey in the Middle call it.

May all the Dads, Dads-to-Be, Grandpas, and Father Figures have a wonderful day, and may you find three little monkeys of your own to detail your car.

June 19, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:27 pm

…I have a secret.

I just took a shower.

Okay, the shower itself is not a secret.

I bathe.


I do.

However, after getting off the treadmill, I took a 30 minute shower.

Yeah, yeah, water conservation, etc.

I’m a mother of three.

And I got a 30 minute shower.

I left the door unlocked so I wouldn’t have to step out to unlock it, as I do with every other shower.

But, no one came in.

I didn’t have to referee a single fight from the shower.

Nor did I have to remind someone to wipe the seat or compliment their poop wiping abilities from my hot water haven.

No one came in to ask me where anything was.

No one came to ask if they could have a snack.

No one came to sit on the other side of the shower curtain to do shadow puppets.

No one came in to sit and chat, “just cuz.”

I bathed, I shaved, I deep conditioned my hair!

I even sang a little, albeit quietly so I wouldn’t be discovered.

I’m keeping this precious 30 minute experience a secret from the monkeys because I think they honestly believe I’m lonely when I’m in the shower, and that their presence in the bathroom while I bathe is a good deed.

“Poor, lonely Mommy,” they think.  “She must miss us so much while she’s in that bathroom alone.  We best keep her company.”

So, to preserve their tender little psyches, I won’t tell them about my 30 minutes alone.

But, I might see if, next time, I can stretch it to 35.


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:47 am
Tags: ,

I’m a purger by nature.

Purger of clutter, no need to worry for my health.

I toss or give away almost anything that isn’t tied down around here.

I guess you could say I’m a minimalist, which is sometimes a struggle due to the fact that I have 3 children, and children seem to have their own gravitational pull for clutter.

So, the end of the school year (for the monkeys) is extremely cathartic for me.

We open up backpacks and start purging.

If it doesn’t have a handprint or a picture on it, we toss it.

Well, at least we used to toss it.

Before Monkey Girl arrived on the scene.

Monkey Girl is a pack rat, like her father.

I realize that it may well be her coping mechanism for a mother who wants to throw everything away.

So, we compromise.

She goes through her pile of papers and “stuff” and decides what to toss and what to keep.

Once she’s done, we toss the toss pile.

Then, we go through the keep pile together and decide what to toss now.

It’s a good system.

We get rid of about 2/3 of her stuff that way, whereas, if it were left to her, we’d probably only toss 1/8.

Here’s the cute part, however.

As much as she does the whole “I ain’t tossin’ nothin’ and you can’t make me” routine, she’s got a lot of me in her, as well.

She loves to keep the unused pages in workbooks that have been sent home, so she created  binder with dividers for each subject, cut them out of the workbook, punched holes, and made herself a “summer workbook.”

She’s the only kid I know who, on the second to last day of school, is making a notebook of work to do so she doesn’t “forget how to do school work,” and can “be ahead of the game in September.”

It’s pretty cute.

To me.

Because it’s totally something I would have done.

Okay, it’s something I DID do, as a kid, but I honestly didn’t tell her about it.

She came to it on her own.

The boys do NOT share her prediliction for the summer work.

Monkey in the Middle basically dumped his entire backpack in the trash when he got home yesterday, as it WAS his last day.

“Monkey?” I said.

“Yes,” he said.

(I know, again, my masterful use of dialogue astounds the mind.  Why I’m not a published author yet is beyond me.)

“You sure you don’t want to keep any of that?”


So, I rescued things like his report card, photographs, and a letter from his teacher from the trash, and off he went.

Two different monkeys.

Two different approaches.

Yet, both completely like their mother.

Ah, genetics.

June 18, 2010

Laughed So Hard I Cried

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:47 pm

Someone posted a link to the blog Suburban Snapshots today.

I figured, what the heck?

I’ll check it out.

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off of my chair at her latest post, “Why Having a Toddler is Like Being at a Frat Party.”

Honestly, the funniest thing I’ve read in ages.

Don’t forget to read the comments…they are as funny as the original post!


Suburban Snapshots

June 16, 2010

It’s Been a Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:07 pm

It started out harmlessly enough.

I awoke to Monkey Girl singing Hannukah songs at the top of her lungs.

My good, little Catholic girl.

So, I posted on Facebook that it was just a typical June Thursday with Monkey Girl singing Hannukah songs.

Then, my friend, Michelle, reminded me that it was only Wednesday.

So, that depressed me a bit, and I thought “Hmmm…this doesn’t bode well.”

But, I moved on.

Driving the two and a half minutes to work, I sneezed as I turned a corner, hit the curb and popped, yes, popped my front right tire.

I was running a little late, so I had about 15 minutes to get to work.

I can change my own tire.

I’ve changed many a tire in my day (which makes me wonder about my driving) but today, I needed to be to work in 15.

So, I called Real Man who was, fortunately, working from home.

He couldn’t come until my Dad came to watch the kids.

I could have hoofed it, but that would have taken more than the 15 minutes.

So, I pull out my cell, start walking and start calling people I work with.

No one seemed to have their cells on, which makes sense since we’re teachers, but I didn’t see the logic as I kept getting voicemail.

Then, finally, my friend, Matt, called back and agreed to come get me.

Later, Real Man got to my car, and started to change the tire.

But, the van is so old that the jack kept punching through the rust on the bottom.

Once he found a stable area for the jack, the jack broke and the van slammed to the ground.

He got it changed, but needless to say, the van is now at the service station.

My diagnosis is bent axle.

But, what do I know?

So, what’s a girl to do?

Take your allergy medicine and be drowsy while driving, or don’t take the meds and risk sneezing and blowing out a tire.

Anyway, work went quite smoothly as we practiced graduation, and then after school, the kids and I chilled.

We decided to take the monkey heads to Wendy’s, and as we sat, eating, Baby Monkey came out with one of his pearls of wisdom.

“Mom?” he said.

“Yes?” I responded.

(Don’t you love my masterful use of dialogue?)

“Mom, a dog is not a musical instrument.”

The way that kid thinks is beyond me.

I don’t need to figure it out.

It just erased the bad stuff and made the day worthwhile.

June 14, 2010

Random Thought for the Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:27 pm

I think archaeologists have got it all wrong.

I don’t say that lightly, because I have always wanted to be an archaeologist.

I thought about looking for a college that had a program in archaeology, but went with music instead.

See the connection?

Anyway, I don’t think the T-Rex was the terror of the Jurassic Age at all.

In fact, I think T-Rex was the laughingstock of the era.

Even when watching Jurassic Park, I didn’t find the big T so threatening.

I think it might stem from their little arms.

I always imagine a little voice to go with those arms.

Like Elmo, but sillier.

So, there it is.

June 12, 2010

My Tough Guy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 12:12 pm

Monkey in the Middle is downstairs, playing a car racing game.

Because he’s a guy.

And guys like fast cars.

And danger.

They are hard and tough and strong.

Guys are macho.

And when they play car racing games, they wear masculine outfits like this.

What a man.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at