My Real Life

December 31, 2011

New Year’s Eve

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:41 am
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The blogs that I read are all doing very different things for the end of the year.

Some are linking to the posts that had the most hits on their blog in the past year.

I can’t seem to figure out how to get that info, but I can see which post had the most hits ever on the blog.

I find it funny that that post was the one with the most hits since the blog began.

340 people wanted to see Monkey in the Middle hula hoop.

Or wanted to read about how we spend snow days.

Two posts, one day.

Maybe that’s the key to high numbers…post more.

I hear you tremble…no worries…once a day is what I’ve got right now.


Other blogs are posting what their resolutions are for next year.

I’ll be getting to that tomorrow.


So, I decided I would simply share my favorite New Year’s related thing I’ve seen online this year.

I  love Zooey Deschanel, and I’ll pretty much watch anything she does, and when I saw this, I knew it was my New Year’s Eve post.

So, enjoy and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve.

Be safe.

December 30, 2011

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 11:29 am
1. What’s the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?
I still have a t-shirt from college.
It says “College of Wooster Intramural Sports.”
Never played an intramural sport.
Or a mural sport.
Hmmm…don’t think that’s the right term, but I’m guessing you know what I mean.
At least, not one that was sanctioned by the college.
I was on the women’s rugby team, but the college didn’t approve, so we were, like, a rogue team of women’s rugby players.
Good times.
Until we played the Columbus Women’s League and they almost broke my back in the middle of a scrum.
Those were not good times.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?
Haven’t met any in real life.
I also don’t get many random blog readers.
People aren’t really sharing my blog, and most of the readers I have are people I know.
I’m working to get more readers, though, so perhaps if you ask me again in a few months, I might have a different answer!

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don’t have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)
We let them TRY to stay up ’til midnight on New Year’s.
Monkey Girl and Baby Monkey can usually do it, but Monkey in the Middle rarely lasts past 10:00.
The kid plays hard and when it’s nighttime, he sleeps hard.
Until around 4:50 am.

4. What are the gas prices where you live?
Ummmm…not sure.
Haven’t filled up in awhile.  I don’t drive long distances, so I do pretty well with gas.
Over $3.00, but less than $4.00.
That’s the best guess I’ve got.
5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?
Interesting question.
I’ll try anything, and I don’t really think I’m doing anything, in my life, that needs to be changed but that I’d be afraid to try.
My resolutions, as always, will probably be health and financially related, because I think I’m doing okay in other areas.
Those who know me may have different opinions, and if so, I’d love to hear them, because I’m always open to change.
Yet, as for something I should be doing but am afraid to do?
I got nothing.

December 29, 2011

Spelling it Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:45 am

There is just something about the age at which kids learn to read.

We’re in the midst of it with Baby Monkey and I had forgotten how much fun it can be.

He’s a little behind in the whole “learning to read” thing, as his attitude is that school is all about playing with his friends and he don’t need no fancy learnin’.

However, despite his best efforts to the contrary, he’s learning.

And now, everything is about spelling.

I am no longer “Mom.”

I am “M-O-M” and RealMan is “D-A-D.”

He tries to spell everything.

When dinner is over, he proclaims himself “D-U-N, done!”

Of course, when dinner begins, he says things like “Tuna Noodle Casserole???  Come to papa!”

But, that’s a post for another day.

The magic of reading is the fact that it opens up the world for you and creates such a sense of independence.

When you can read, you become a little less reliant on those around you, and everything is a little less of a puzzle.

It makes you feel like a big kid.

And so, Baby Monkey learns to read and becomes a little less of a baby, and while I celebrate his latest achievement, my heart aches a bit as he takes one more step away from needing his M-o-m.

December 28, 2011

Hello, Dolly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , ,

My fear of dolls has been well-documented, I believe, here at the blog.

Clown dolls are a particular problem for me, but any doll can really be an issue for me, if I think about it long enough.

I know I’ve shared the stories of going on tour with our handbell group and needing to sleep in a small, twin bed with Kim, because the dolls in the room were looking at me.

Or, of housesitting, and sleeping on the couch in the family room instead of the guest room because the dolls in the guest room would be mad if I put them in the armoire and it would give them more reason to come alive while I slept and murder me.

Yes, dolls and I have had quite a history.

However, I am fully aware that many people love dolls.

They have large collections and they take great pride in their vast array of dolls.

And I’m cool with that, and I’m cool with those people.

However, the other day, I stumbled upon an article about Demi Moore’s doll collection.

Didn’t know she had one.  Doesn’t seem like a collector of dolls to me.

Of young men, perhaps, but dolls?  No.

As much as I’m terrified of dolls, I’m still curious about them, and so I clicked on the link.


Big mistake.

There are doll collections, and then there are horrific doll collections.

So, sit down, brace yourself, click here, and check out a few of Demi’s dolls.

And tell me you don’t think they are some of the creepiest things you’ve ever seen.

I dare you.

December 27, 2011

Just Like That

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:49 am

The build-up to Christmas can be excruciating.

Particularly for children.

Five more days, four, three two…

Am I on the naughty list or the nice one?

Will Santa bring me what I want?

In the days before Christmas, children are like kernels of corn in a pot full of boiling oil.

Shivering, shaking, trembling, just about to pop.

And then it comes.

In our house, at least, Christmas Eve bedtime is one of the easiest ones of the year, and that’s saying a lot because we don’t have many bedtime woes in our house.

Yet, on Christmas Eve, it’s like they’ve given in to the inevitable.

Santa’s on his way and what will be will be.

They close their eyes and sugarplums dance and all is well with the world.

They wake in the morning and it’s Christmas and dreams are fulfilled and life is good.

But don’t blink, because just like that, Christmas is over.

It’s always been amazing to me that something for which we have so much anticipation just ends so very, very quickly.

I’ve always thought Christmas should last for a few days, so the event matches the build-up.

But it doesn’t.

So, now we spend our days playing with our toys and trying to unwind and rid ourselves of the remaining tension of the build-up.

Because even though Monkey in the Middle declared this “The Best Christmas Ever,” they are already talk about next Christmas.

And so it begins.

December 24, 2011

Small Surprises

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:46 am
Tags: ,

Wednesday was a tough day for me.

I had stayed home from school, sick, on Tuesday, and by Wednesday, I really wasn’t feeling any better, but I don’t stay out two days in a row unless I am vomiting or in the hospital.

So, back to school I went, feeling really crappy.

I love my students and I love play practice, but 7-4 makes for a long day when you aren’t feeling well.

After play rehearsal, I headed home and was thinking about everything that needed to be done before my piano lesson arrived at 4:45, when all I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch under a blanket.

I walked in the door and didn’t get two steps inside before the boys were shouting at me, with excitement, about their school parties that day.

Baby Monkey said, “Look what my teacher gave me!”

It was bendy sticks.

They are sticky and bendy and kids love them, but I always find them stuck to everything whenever we’ve had them in the house before.

And what Baby Monkey was showing me was actually an empty plastic backing for the bendy sticks, which meant they were already stuck to surfaces throughout the house.

I didn’t feel well, I was tired, and was imagining the worst.

I was about to start in with “I better not find those bendy sticks all over this house…it will take forever to find them all…” when Baby Monkey took me by the hand and dragged me into the kitchen, happily yelling (because everything is a yell) “Look what me and Patrick made for you!”

…and just like that, the day turned around.

Not sure when my 5, 7 year old and I reached the first name basis status, but still.

This is a good thing for us all to remember in this season of bigger and better, more and more, gluttony and excess…that it’s the little things and the small surprises that matter the most.

December 21, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:02 am
Tags: , ,

I love the internet.

I know things I never would have known if I didn’t have the ability to go online every day.

Some things are important.

I read as much of the news as I can online, and I wind up knowing more about what’s going on in the world than ever before.

And sometimes, that’s a good thing.

And sometimes it’s just strange.

Did you know there’s a butter crisis in Norway?

A butter crisis.

There are nations throughout the world where people don’t even have bread or water, and Norway is in the midst of a butter crisis.

People are being arrested for smuggling butter into Norway.


A butter crisis.

I’m not sure I can say those words enough.

Anyway, back to the internet.

Without the net, I probably wouldn’t have been made aware of this horrifying crisis.

And, since I zonk out pretty early each night, I would definitely not have seen Stephen Colbert’s response to Norway’s butter crisis.

Because, let’s face it…the news isn’t important if someone isn’t making fun of it.

So, now, through the magic of the internet, I share this funny bit with you.

Enjoy…and I’ll be taking up a collection for the poor, butterless Norwegians in my next post.

December 20, 2011

Rock Star Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:08 am

So, I’ve always wanted to be a rock star.

I’ve also always known it was never going to happen.

However, I’ve recently rekindled my rock star dreams.

Not for the money.

Not for the fame.

Simply so that I can record a rock and roll Christmas song.

Cuz, when you’re a rock star, you can record any Christmas song you want.

And it will get lots and lots of play.

Because, when stations go “All Christmas, All The Time,” let’s face it…

…there are only so many songs to play.

So, if you’ve got a name, you’ve got the go-ahead to make a Christmas recording.

This post was sparked by listening to Stevie Nicks wretching out Silent Night.

I listen to it and I imagine some 80 year old woman, teetering around on too-high heels, wearing too much makeup, microphone in one hand, vodka on the rocks in the other, winking at strange men as she makes her rounds of the cocktail lounge.

It’s that good.

But, Stevie doesn’t have the corner on horrifying Christmas songs.


I have always been one of her biggest fans.

Yet, even a 15 year-old me knew that she was way, way out of her league with “Santa Baby.”

Her version was actually a little creepy.

Then we have Wham! and “Last Christmas.”


The lyrics, the totally ‘80’s melody.

Bad news.

Band-Aid with “Do They Know it’s Christmas Time?”

I have never been able to take that one seriously.

It’s just too self-righteous and selfish for my taste.

Not really like, “let’s help these people,” but more like, “these people have some serious problems…they don’t even know it’s Christmas, but phewf…at least it’s not us!”

The show Glee took the song to it’s lowest point, last week, when the kids from the McKinley High Glee club stood in the soup kitchen, singing the song to the poor people eating their soup kitchen Christmas dinner, and actually had the nerve to sing the words “Well, tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you.”

Band-Aid, I think those “clanging chimes of doom” are ringing for you.

Then, there are just the plain, old bad Christmas songs.

I know some people love them, but there are some songs that just make me twitch.

“Christmas Shoes” is the worst offender.

It is clearly a song written to make people cry.

Why?  Why would you do that to people?

“Father Christmas” by the Kinks.

I can’t get on board with that one.

“Father Christmas, give me some money.”


A group of jerky kids mugging Santa?

And two classics that I cannot tolerate…

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”


“Dominic the Donkey.”

Sorry, but I just can’t do it.

Those two make my ears bleed.

So, yes, when I become a rock star, I’m going to write a Christmas song.

But, I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to go for greatness, or if I’ll try to write the most spectacularly bad Christmas song of all time.

I think the latter would be a lot more fun.




December 19, 2011

Pay It Forward

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:17 am
Tags: ,

I came across this article, yesterday, and am completely struck by it.

It has definitely inspired me, and I’ve decided to share it with you, in the hopes that it might inspire more people, as well.

I’d love if we could all catch the spirit of the gestures in the article and pay it forward in our own ways.

We don’t have to go big, as we all know that small gestures are often just as, if not more, meaningful than big ones.

So, please read the article and I challenge you to find a way to be inspired and help spread the kindness this holiday season.

December 18, 2011

10 Things I Heart Today

Can’t resist ’em.

Sweet and salty, crunchy texture.

Totally addicted to these.

It’s dark, it’s twisted (much like the chocolate covered pretzels) and I’m completely hooked.

This week is the season finale and I’m going to be so sad to have to wait for next season!

If you like shows that make you go “Huh?” you’ve definitely got to watch!

This was the Christmas album of my youth.

It’s not the season, for me, until I hear some 1959 Christmas tunes.

So rich and soulful and beautiful…I am always loving this album.

And, along the lines of the season, is my love for the movie “White Christmas.”

I’ve already touched on this in a Five Question Friday post, so I’ll leave it at the fact that, this movie…I dig.

To go along with the movie, “White Christmas” is the fact that I completely dig an actual white Christmas, although is telling me a different story for this year.

Alas, it seems as though I’ll only have a white Christmas in my dreams, but thoughts of a white Christmas is something I am loving today.

Cuz really…who doesn’t love puppies?

Especially sleeping ones.

I love this quote.

I teach middle school, and find this quote to be useful every single day.

There’s just something about that building.

All those books, all that quiet.

The monkeys, the tree.

All of it, good stuff.

Sleeping, smushy baby faces.

Lord, help me.

(All photos, except the ones of my monkeys from and

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