My Real Life

October 28, 2011

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 11:24 am

Do you prefer cotton, silk, or flannel sheets?

Flannel.  I like to be warm and snuggly when I’m sleeping.  Even in the summer, I like being covered up and snuggling in.

We keep our bedroom window cracked in the winter so the air is cold and we can bundle up, and in the summer, we like the air on or a ceiling fan going so we can bundle up.

I think I’d do well in a cabin out in the woods with lots of flannel and a wood stove for warmth.  Sounds divine!

What time zone are you in?


Kind of a boring question.


Eastern Standard.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

The excitement of kids.

It is absolutely contagious and it is just so magical.

Makes you believe again, just a little.

What is your favorite “wintry” drink? (It doesn’t have to be an “alcoholic” drink!)

Dunkin Donuts is completely rockin’ my socks with the hot apple cider.

Although, I’m completely down with a cup of hot cocoa with a bunch of whipped cream on top.

Both of these send my blood sugar through the roof, but I gotta say…I think it’s worth it.

In your opinion, what is the worst job in the world?

A job is a job is a job and anyone is lucky to have a job, so it’s hard to say any job would be the worst.

So, from a personal standpoint, I would think that an awful job for me would be working in a slaughterhouse.

I just couldn’t stomach it.  I would cry every day, vomit every day, and be miserable.

I consider myself lucky that I have other options.

October 27, 2011

That Age

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:25 am

I was in ShopRite on Sunday with Tiny Monkey and a woman stopped me and said, “Oh!  You are so lucky!  I just love that age!  Don’t you?  They aren’t running around and are just sitting, happily in the cart.  It’s my favorite age!”

I smiled and said, “It’s a good age!”

Because, it is a good age.

Everything she said is right.

Later that afternoon, we had been out shopping with all the monkeys who took to being dragged all over creation for boring things that didn’t interest them quite well.

We decided to take them to McDonald’s for dinner as a special treat, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t feel like cooking dinner that night.


Anyway, as Real Man and Tiny and I sat at one table and the other three monkeys sat at another table, and I thought to myself, “You know, this is a good age, too.  Independent enough to want to sit alone, but not so independent that they want to be out of our line of vision.  A good age, indeed.”

Because I happen to be so prolific in the creation of monkeys, I hear a lot of comments from people about the ages and stages they are in.

I get comments, like the one in ShopRite, on a fairly regular basis about all of the monkeys.

Most people seem to have a favorite age.

Or a least favorite age.

And, I get it.  I do.  I can see where certain aspects of an age might be exhausting or frustrating, but there are always balancing aspects that are exhilarating and phenomenal.

Right now I’ve got someone who is growing teeth and trying to crawl and getting frustrated by the things he is trying to communicate, but that same little guy is also so sweet and snuggly when I’m feeding him and lights up with a smile when we walk into a room and it is magical to watch him discover all the new things that life has to offer.  8 months is my favorite age.

I’ve got someone who is learning how to “do” school and is figuring out peer relationships and is dying to be just like his brother in so many ways, and yet he is making leaps and bounds with his independence and amazes me every day with the new things he has learned, because, in my mind, he is still just a baby.  5.  My favorite age.

I have a boy who is anxious about almost anything that comes his way and can wring the last ounce of patience out of me on a regular basis as he fails to see that the little brother who is always wanting to do what he does isn’t trying to be annoying, but is participating in little brother/big brother hero worship, however, when that same boy sneaks into my room in the middle of the night and snuggles in and whispers, “I love you, Mommy” there is nothing…nothing that soothes my soul more.  7 is definitely my favorite age.

And, there’s the girl.  The girl who is becoming a pre-teen and is full of more drama than you’ll see on Broadway or in Hollywood combined.  Everything is fair game for becoming the next reason for foot stomping and tears, and yet, as I watch her develop into this lovely young woman who is bright and funny and articulate and sweet, I couldn’t be prouder of who she is becoming.  10 is SO my favorite age.

And people tell me, “Oh, you are so naive…wait until they become teenagers.”

But, you know something, I became a middle school teacher because, quite frankly, I love that age, too.

And when they go on to high school and come back to visit with big hugs and stories of their almost adult lives, I realize that, wow, I love THAT age!

You gotta take the bad with the good, because while it may not be all good, let’s face it folks, it definitely ain’t all bad, either.

October 22, 2011

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:03 am

Last night was a rough one.

Tiny seemed to have quite a bit of trouble sleeping, and then when he finally was logging in a few hours, around 3 am, Baby Monkey started talking in his sleep, which woke up Monkey in the Middle and Monkey Girl, which resulted in loud voices and crying from Monkey Girl’s room, where they were all sleeping.

So, I went in and pulled Baby Monkey out and brought him into our bed, where he continued to do little whimpery cries until he finally fell back to sleep, around 4 am, at which point Tiny woke up again.

I brought him into our bed to feed him, and when he fell back to sleep, I tried to creep back to his room to put him in his crib, but my foot hit a laundry basket on the floor which made a loud sound and startled him awake.

So, I took him into his room and just rocked with him in the glider until he started to fall asleep.

Yet, right before he fell into a true sleep, he decided to poop.

So, as he lay in my arms with his eyes closed, he started the pushing noises that only a baby can make so unashamedly.

Then, happy with his full diaper, he opened his eyes and smiled.

At this point, I realized it was time throw in the towel, so I went back to my room and got my glasses.

Once my glasses are on, I’m up for the day, so I don’t put my glasses on until I am absolutely sure I’m not going to be able to go back to sleep.

Glasses on, I took him into his room, turned on the light, changed his diaper and brought him downstairs.

It was 5 am.

I got a blanket, turned on the tv to catch up on some dvr’ed shows, and started to feed him.

At which point he fell fast asleep.

So, now it is 6:55 am and everyone else in my house is fast asleep and I’m wide awake on a Saturday morning.

It’s quiet and the sun is just starting to rise.

There’s nothing like New Jersey in the fall (except for New England in the fall, so I hear) and the way the sun is hitting the orange leaves as it slowly lights the sky gives the neighborhood a bit of magic.

So, I think I’ll just hang here on the couch, under the blanket, with a book and just take in the morning, as it’s rare to be able to actually experience a morning without running around and noise.

Later there’s time for tennis lessons, football, grocery shopping, laundry, and dishes.

For now, it’s just me.

October 21, 2011

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 11:08 pm

1. Where do you escape to when you’ve had enough?

This is actually the last question that I am answering today.

I started this Five Question Friday this morning, but I was stumped by this question, and so I skipped it and moved to the others.

I’ve been thinking about this question all day.

I don’t really know how to answer it.

I don’t really “escape” to anywhere.

I like to curl up in my “reading room” with a good book while the baby naps, but to be honest, I don’t think I’d call it an “escape” because I feel guilty the whole time that I should be doing laundry or doing dishes or one of the hundreds of other things that don’t go away without getting done.

Also, I’m not sure I ever really feel the need to “escape.”

Do I like to experience moments of peace?  Where no one is asking for something or telling on someone?


Do I consider it an “escape?”

I’m not so sure.

So, I’ll answer with this…

I really enjoy going to get my hair done.

I sit in the chair and someone says “What can I do for you today?”

I say “Just a trim and even out my roots.”

I sit in that chair for about 30 minutes while she wraps my roots in foil.

I close my eyes and I don’t speak.

(I go to the same woman every time and she knows I’m not a chatter.  We’ve discussed it and she said it’s actually liberating not to have to make small talk.  It works for us.)

Then, she moves me to the dryer and I pull out my book.

I read while the dryer warms my neck and drowns out any sounds.

I am completely in my own world, lost in my book, completely and utterly relaxed.

30 minutes later, she brings me back to the chair where she unwraps the foils and leans back my chair.

She washes my hair and massages my scalp.

She conditions my hair and rinses it with steaming hot water.

I sit up and after she dries it with a towel, she starts to blow dry my hair.

My hair only meets the hair dryer at the hairdressers, as it’s a luxury I don’t have time for in the mornings.

When she’s done, she hands me my glasses, spins me around in the chair and shows me what she’s done.

I’m rarely disappointed, as I have the same thing done every time, and I leave feeling relaxed which is good for my emotional self and I feel good about my physical self and I go home after an hour and a half and am thrilled to see my babies who act like I’ve been gone for eons.

It’s pretty darn good stuff.

2. What shows are you watching this fall?

Oh Lord.

A shorter response would be to the question “What shows are you  NOT watching this fall?”

I’m watching Modern Family, The Middle, House, Gossip Girl, Criminal Minds,  Vampire Diaries, The Mentalist, Revenge, Whitney, Suburgatory, Up All Night, Castle, Prime Suspect, Unforgettable and am ridiculously excited for Once Upon a Time to start on Sunday night.

I’ve been wonderfully surprised by Whitney and horribly disappointed by Glee this season.

I DVR everything and then watch at random times while I fold laundry or do other chores that are made bearable with a good show in the background.

Just realized that’s about 12 and a half hours of tv a week.


I gotta quit doing chores.

3. What was the longest road trip you’ve ever taken and where did you go?

The longest road trip I’ve ever taken was the summer after my senior year of high school.

My church handbell choir drove out to Michigan for our summer tour.

We had a blast.

Van broke down and the guy fixing it had a heart attack while under the hood.

He died.

However, dead mechanics aside, it was fantastic.

4. Do you plan on taking your kids to Disney World?

I do.

I really, really do.


I don’t know.

I’m aiming for next October, but we’ll see.

Braces and a basement are a bit draining at the moment.

Trips to Disney should be free.

Like, a right of every American.

Oh well…guess I’ll just have to live with free speech and all that.

5. What is something people would surprised to know about you?

After two years of writing this blog, I’m not entirely sure there is anything that people don’t already know about me.

I think that many of my colleagues would be surprised at what an utter goofball and mush I really am, and many of my closest friends would be surprised at how professional and business-like I can be.


October 17, 2011

How it’s Going

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:44 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, I think a great example for how it’s been going around here lately would be the fact that, this morning, as I dropped Tiny Monkey off at his babysitter’s house, I realized that I forgot to put on my shoes before leaving the house and was still wearing my slippers.

I was already running late because it was a Monday, and thus, I taught all day long in my slippers.

You see where I’m going with this?

I can barely keep a coherent thought in my head, lately, so putting together a blog post that is meaningful or entertaining is a bit beyond my purview.

However, I feel like I’m missing something when I’m not updating the blog, so although I don’t like to use the blog to complain, here’s the way it’s been going around here the past week or so.

I got hit with the stomach bug last week.

I got hit hard.

I actually had to leave work early on Wednesday and then was out sick on Thursday.

I muddled through on Friday, but I didn’t actually start to feel better until Friday night.

Saturday morning, Real Man and Monkey Girl woke up not feeling well.  By Sunday, the two of them sounded like they had been hit by a truck.  I checked out both of their throats with a flashlight and my unprofessional opinion was possibly strep.

Without a professional diagnosis, however, and based on the fact that they both felt well enough to go to school and work today, they did.

In the midst of this, on Thursday, Monkey Girl got braces, and while she is absolutely adorable with those things, the bill caused my heart to skip more than a beat or two.

Man oh man…have you seen how expensive those things are???

Tiny Monkey started coughing and sneezing on Friday.

The coughing is adorable, and at first I thought he was imitating everyone else, but turns out, he wasn’t.

The cough is all his own.

When he sneezes?

All the colors of the rainbow emerge from that tiny nose.

And, by Sunday morning, my throat was hurting again, as well.

So, we all did a lot of resting this weekend and laying low and watching ridiculous things on television.

(I watched the Justin Bieber movie and cried a little.)

We also waited for our new dishwasher to be delivered on Saturday.

Didn’t come.

Called them up, turns out they had to change the delivery date, but didn’t bother to tell us.

Baby Monkey and Monkey in the Middle seemed to be untouched by all of this and went about their merry way, “raking” the leaves in the yard, playing football inside and outside the house, basketball on the deck, doing puzzles, board games, etc.

Tonight, Monkey Girl, Tiny Monkey and I all are headed to the doctor to get checked out.  At this point, it’s probably moot, but I think it’s important we get checked anyway.

So, it’s not been great around here, lately, and I haven’t felt like blogging about the blah.

But, you know me…there’s gotta be a bright side, so here it is.

I hit the church bazaar on Saturday and got 29 books, 4 jigsaw puzzles, 1 board game, 1 electronic game, 3 coloring books, 10 comic books all for $13.00.  Played with a bunch right away and have some saved for Christmas.  Excellent deals.

My blood sugar numbers have been really good lately.  Now, that could be because I haven’t really eaten much of anything for five days, but I choose to believe that my diabetes is finally getting under some type of control.

Monkey Girl is being super-responsible with her braces.  She brushes and flosses and does everything she is supposed to without anyone having to remind her.  That’s good to see.

We hit the library on Saturday, also, and brought home a truckload of Halloween books that the boys have been having me read over and over as we all snuggled up this weekend.  We also found our own Berenstain Bears collection that got stashed when we moved them up from the basement and we recently uncovered.  So, we’ve been wading our way through all of those, as well and loving every minute of it.

I downloaded the new Rick Riordan book “The Son of Neptune” to the Nook for Monkey Girl and she read it in a day and I’m in the middle of it now and absolutely love it.  This guy is a freaking genius, I tell you.  Makes me embarrassed to say that I’ve written a novel, because my mind and my writing is nowhere near what this guy has in his brain.  So creative and interesting.  Talk about character development and back story and…well, needless to say, I’m enjoying it immensely.

So, forgive the doom and gloom and I promise to get back to the usual lovefest sometime soon.

In the mean time, cover yourself if you see us coming and we’ll try our best not to infect you.

October 14, 2011

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 6:38 am

Hi all…

It’s been a long week, full of doctors and viruses and no sleep, and I’ll try to update you on all of that tomorrow.

However, for today…


So, enjoy!

Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or in a cone?

A good, old-fashioned sugar cone.  I love texture in my food, so a sugar cone it is!

What three things do you love the smell of?

A freshly cleaned baby.

Apple cider brewing on a stove.

A kitchen on Thanksgiving.

Giftcards or no? (In regards to gift giving…)


There’s nothing worse than getting a gift you don’t really want.  So, when gift-giving, I love to give a gift card so people can get exactly what they want.

What sports did you play in high school if any and do you still play them?


Clearly, you’ve never seen me on the playing field.

Any playing field.

I played rugby in college for a season.

Almost died.

Not literally, but it sure felt like it after playing the Columbus Women’s League.

Sports + Amy = Mayhem

Were you in band in high school? What instrument did you play?

Yes, I was and I loved it.


I played flute through junior high, and then was asked to switch to French Horn because there weren’t enough French Horn players.

Erin and I switched to French Horn and had an absolute blast.

Our band folder reeked of Reeses Peanut Butter cup wrappers and I think we laughed through most of our music.

Erin was really good.  I was okay.

It was fun.

October 7, 2011

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 12:22 pm
1. What is your go to comfort food or sweet?
Hershey Bar that I break up and slather with peanut butter.
I love it more than a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and I go to it every time.
If we aren’t talking sweets, then I’ll have to go with baked macaroni and cheese or a Stouffer’s chicken pot pie.
God, I love that stuff.

2. What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been to?
I’ve never really been anywhere where the location itself would be labeled”romantic.”
Even our honeymoon was at DisneyWorld.

However, Real Man manages to bring the romance to anyplace we go so that DisneyWorld or Salem or Ohio can become a romantic destination.

He loves me and I love him and we love being together, so taking a walk on Patriot’s Path, behind the kids who are skipping ahead can be romantic and sweet.

Maybe one day we’ll smooch on a gondola in Venice, but for now, we make the most of what we have.

3. What is your favorite thing about fall/Halloween?
I love the cooler weather, so that, right off the bat, is a winner for me.
However, to pin it down, it’s the feeling of home and family that fall brings.
Kids playing in the leaves, the magic of Halloween, the togetherness of Thanksgiving.
There is so much about fall that is beautiful, both visually and emotionally.

4. How would you spend 24 hours alone?
I’d sleep as late as my body would allow (probably 8 am, I’m so trained to wake with the kids), then would have a cup of tea with some wheat toast and sugar free raspberry jam and a book.
Then, I’d go for a rigorous hike, with my iPod playing in my ears.
After the hike, I’d take a long, hot bath with a book and I’d stay in until the water started to turn cold.
I’d lay around with my book, maybe watch some tv, maybe shut my eyes.
I’d write in my journal and work on my novels and just do a lot of thinking.
Nothing thrilling or exciting, but it’s what I’d do with my 24 hours of solitude.

5. Does you husband bring you flowers? Are you the bring-me-flowers type of girl?
Because he loves me.
I am not a flowers girl.  I like treats and surprises, but flowers would not be the way to go.
They make my home smell like a funeral parlor and they are just one more thing for me to take care of.
They die.
Why give someone a gift that will die?
No thanks.

October 4, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:38 am

Hoping this will brighten your day, because it always brightens mine!

October 3, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:45 pm

In case you’ve forgotten…

…here’s our fairy tale.

October 2, 2011

Maternal Adrenaline

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:26 am

I recently read an article about a woman whose body was found in the rubble of the hurricane destruction (maybe it was an earthquake or tsunami or some other natural disaster, but I think it was hurricane).  When they uncovered her, they saw something moving and they found her baby, sleeping peacefully in her mothers arms.  The mother had used her body to shield the baby and while the mother had perished, the baby had survived.

I remember reading that and thinking “Wow, I hope I would do something like that.  I hope I would have the presence of mind to protect my monkeys, should we ever been in a situation like this.”

I have also read other stories about mother’s adrenaline kicking in during times of extreme danger for children and women lifting entire cars off of their children.  I’ve read these stories with a bit of skepticism, because, seriously?  A car?  But, I know how I feel about my babies and how I feel when they are in small amounts of danger.  Perhaps I, too, could lift a car off of them.

So, I was able to test myself a bit, this morning, without meaning to, on where exactly I’d fall on the chart of utilizing my mother’s adrenaline, quick thinking and motherly reflex.

I didn’t sleep well last night, and so was pretty tired when everyone started moving around this morning.  Tiny was calling, and so I got him, fed him, and then came downstairs to be with the rest of the monkeys.

Except I missed a few stairs on my way down and fell the rest of the way, hurtling toward the stone foyer floor, baby in my arms.

It all happened so quickly, I have no idea exactly what happened.  I do know that I wasn’t making any conscious decisions and that instinct just took over.

Somehow, I managed to avoid the stone floor by twisting my body as my ankle hit the stone.  I twisted toward the living room, smashing my elbow into the door frame of the living room.  My arms were up, around the baby, as we fell, and Tiny’s head was nestled in the crook of my elbow.

I’m not sure exactly what else happened or what part of my body hit what, but I landed, somehow, not on the stone tile floor, but instead on the wooden living room floor, right on top of Tiny Monkey.

I lay there, pretty sure my leg was broken, although I had no idea what I hit it on, and looked down at the baby in my arms.

He smiled.

Somehow, I had created a cage with my body and kept him safe inside.

He thought it was a great adventure.

The other monkeys had come running and I had Monkey Girl get Real Man who came down and extricated Tiny from my arms and checked him out.  Absolutely perfect.

Turns out nothing is broken, and I have a few bruises in places you can and can’t see, but I’m just so grateful that all that mother’s adrenaline I had read about was real and that instinct does, in fact, take over when you can’t possibly make decisions quickly enough.

Here’s the video. (Not sure why it’s sideways…can’t seem to fix that)

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