My Real Life

December 20, 2012

Video Blog – Contest Winner!

Filed under: Posts with Video,Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

December 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Filed under: Uncategorized,Wordless Wednesday — Amy @ 6:00 am




Don’t forget to enter our last contest of 2012!  Rules and how to enter here!

December 18, 2012

Take Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am


It’s that time of year when Baby Monkey’s thoughts turn to snowflakes.

Despite the fact that we aren’t experiencing any outside, Baby hears “winter” and he’s in a snowflake state of mind.

However, when he came to me to ask how to fold the paper, I had to go back into my archives to find the link to the tutorial we used last year to create the perfect snowflake.

Or, in our case, 3,879,421 perfect snowflakes.

So, I figured that if you have little ones, you, too, might be needing a snowflake tutorial.

So, feel free to revisit this post from last year, and have the vacuum ready for all the little pieces!

Don’t forget to enter our last contest of the year!  Contest ends tomorrow night and we only have 3 participants so far!!!   Rules and how to enter here!

December 17, 2012

What If…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

Real Man and I were watching the 121212 Concert for Hurricane Sandy relief on Wednesday night.

It was a phenomenal show.

At one point, Eric Clapton took the stage, sat on a stool and started to play and sing.

All I could think was how very easy he made it look.

He sat on the stool like it was made for him, lifted that guitar and just started strumming…almost without even thinking, and played some of my favorite tunes.

So easy.

I turned to Real Man and said, “What if he never got discovered?  What if he wound up being a guy who works in an office and plays the guitar and sings to his family and friends, but never for the public?  Think of what the rock world would have missed out on.”

Real Man responded with, “Forget discovered…what if he never picked up a guitar?”

And I started to just think about how many people there are, like that, in the world.

People who have some incredible, hidden talent that they never realize because they are never exposed to the medium wherein their talent lies.

Picassos who never pick up a paintbrush.

Shakespeares who never write a word.

Athletes who never take the field.

Parents who never bear a child.

Teachers who never set foot in a school.

There must be millions, across the world, and I just find it such a shame.

I think this may be why I’m such an evangelist of getting equal education opportunities for children across the world.

Classrooms open so many doors to people, and expose everyone to things they might never come across in their daily lives.


Don’t forget to enter our last contest of 2012!  Details can be found here!

December 16, 2012

Last Contest of 2012!

Filed under: Contest,Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I thought maybe we could end 2012 with a bit of a retrospective, but I wanted to do a bit of a giveback, as well, so I’ve decided to make it a contest.

How to enter:

Simply select your favorite post from My Real Life since the very first post was published.

Then, share a link to that post, explain why it was your favorite and ask your friends and family to come and check it out.

In the comments below, tell me which post you shared, why you picked that post and tell us how you shared it (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.)

If you share on Facebook, that’s one entry.  Share on Twitter as well, you get two!  (My Twitter hashtag is @AmyBozza ) Share through email or some other method and you are up to three entries!  So, if you are a Techy-Techerson, you have the possibility of three entries in the contest.  Don’t fret, if you aren’t, because you only need one entry to win.  Winners will be chosen by a random drawing, which we will video tape and post.

It’s fine with me if you tell your friends you are sharing the link in order to win a contest, as long as you do the rest, as well.

This contest does a few things for me.

1.  Increases my publicity.  Not only will your friends and family, hopefully, come check out the blog, maybe they’ll stay awhile and decide to enter their own favorite post!

2.  Tells me which types of posts my readers enjoy the most.  If everyone’s favorite posts are within the same category, perhaps I’ll beef up that category in the new year.

3.  Allows me to give you, yet another, prize.

The winner of this contest will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.

In order to make sure the winner can possibly re-gift the gift card for Christmas (because let’s be real…you know it’s what you were thinking) the contest will end at midnight on Wednesday, December 19th and the winner will be announced on Thursday December 20th.

So, go take some time and browse through the archives…find your favorite post, and share away!

Thanks for playing!

December 15, 2012

Broken Hearts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I had the next few days posts ready and scheduled to post automatically, however, in the wake of yesterday’s tragedy, it felt wrong to post today’s post today.

I also don’t really know what to say about the shooting in Newtown, CT.

On Thursday, there were 20 minutes of my afternoon when I didn’t know where Monkey Girl was.

I mean, I seriously had no idea where she was, as there was a bit of a miscommunication between my mother and I about who was picking her up and when.

20 minutes and I absolutely lost my mind.

You can ask anyone I interacted with in those 20 minutes.

I was a complete and utter madwoman.

She was fine.  She was with my mother.  And if I had rationally thought it through, I would have been able to figure that out.

I tell this story not to shift attention to myself.

I tell this story to illustrate the fact that I cannot, in my wildest dreams imagine what the parents of those poor, sweet, innocent little children are feeling.

I had 20 minutes of uncertainty about where one of my children was and I was out of my mind with fear.

These parents had those moments of fear and uncertainty when they heard about the shooting and then their worst fears were confirmed.

I don’t know how they go on.

I honestly don’t.

How they face down the coming holidays.

Hell, how they face down the next few minutes.

And the next few.

And the next few.

I am absolutely heart-broken for the families of all of the victims.

Hold your own a little tighter and don’t sweat the small stuff like the spilled milk or messy rooms.

They are amazingly good problems to have.


December 14, 2012

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 9:46 am

1. If you bake during the holidays, what is your favorite thing to make?

I don’t bake any more during the holidays than I do the rest of the year, which is not much.

My friend, Allison, actually gave me a recipe that I was absolutely going to try to make this year.

Haven’t quite gotten to it.

In years past, I have baked chocolate chip and sugar cookies for the secretaries and custodians at our school, because, as any teacher or administrator can tell you, it is the secretaries and custodians who run the school…not the administrators.

I may do that over the weekend, but I think that will be the top of my holiday baking this year.

2. Present giving: Gift bag vs wrapped box?

Depends on the gift.

Gift card…always a bag.

Hostess gift…gift bag.

Presents for the kids?

Wrapping paper.

I got a great deal on some paper after Christmas a few years ago and so I’m stocked in wrapping paper for a few years, so it’s not really something I stress about.

3. What do you keep your thermostat on during the winter/summer in your house?

In the winter, we’ve been known to hover between 58 and 63.

The kids have all adapted and we dress warmly, however, I’ve been having some circulation issues with my diabetes, and I may wind up needing the heat a bit higher this winter, as my hands and feet are just icy, these days, when everyone else is just fine.

In the summer, I think we do 72, but to be honest, I don’t really remember.

Some days, anything is better than outside, so as long as it’s a little cooler indoors than out, we’re good.

4. When thinking of your “Christmas to-do list” what percentage “done” are you?


I haven’t had a second to go shopping, and the things that we want to get are things you need to go check out in a store and really can’t get online.

I’ve had a few things delivered, but that’s really it.

So, 2% sounds pretty accurate.

5. Do you do the “Elf on a Shelf”? If so, is your Elf naughty and what shenanigans has he gotten into?


I really have some issues with the Elf.

I hold nothing against anyone else who does it, but it’s just not for us.

The whole naughty Elf thing gets me, too.

Isn’t the whole idea of the Elf that he’s there, reporting to Santa whether your kids are behaving?

So, why on Earth would he be misbehaving?  Shouldn’t he lead by example?

I don’t know…creepy.

December 13, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

1.  This was my Facebook status on Monday night.

A friend suggested I post it here.

Apparently, my children have taken a vote and they would like me to never make roast beef again because it’s “the grossest thing ever.” In unrelated news, roast beef has suddenly become my favorite meal and I think we’ll be having it, at least, twice a week.

Roast beef has long been a nemesis of the monkeys.

However, it’s crock-pottable, I use the leftovers to make sandwiches for my lunches during the following week, and Real Man and I like it.

So, they usually grumble, but eat their small portions (because I’m not a short order cook and what’s for dinner is what’s for dinner, whether you like it or not) and are on their way.

When they assembled and actually took a vote about it, however, while secretly pleased that they were working together on something, the steam came out of my ears, and all of those phrases you swear you’ll never say to your own kids started coming out of my mouth.

“When you start cooking dinners around here, you can make whatever you want!”

“Do you know how many children around the world would LOVE a meal like this?”

You can imagine the rest.

Needless to say, my Facebook status stands, and if anyone local sees a great two roasts for the price of one sale, gimme a holla.

2.  The missing iPod continues to be missing.

At this point, I think it’s a loss.

I’m 99.9% convinced it is no longer in the house, and if that is the case, then it’s gone.

I feel badly for her because I know how much she loved that thing.

I’m angry with her because it was irresponsible.

But, you know what?  It’s life.

We’ve all lost something we shouldn’t have lost when we were kids.

Retainers, glasses, favorite toys, etc.

Next time, I’m pretty sure she will be more responsible.

3.  I’m tired.

I have a feeling all of you are tired, too.

And, because I’m so tired, I did a bad thing today.

I cancelled a doctor appointment for myself because I just couldn’t bear another night of running from 7 am until 7 pm.

Again, I know I’m not the only one with this kind of schedule, and maybe the rest of you are handling it worlds better than I am, but something’s gotta give.

After I hung up the phone, I realized that I had made a mistake.

I’m so busy running around for everyone else that I am now neglecting to take care of myself.

Granted, it was a dermatologist appointment and not for anything more important than cosmetic issues, but it was still something that would allow me to take care of me and I cancelled it.

So, I don’t really know how, but in the new year, I need to make some changes.

I’m not quitting my job or anything ridiculous like that.

I love working and I love my career.

However, changes are needed, and I think I might make it a feature on the blog, like Simple Saturdays or Slow Down Sundays or something.

Keeps me accountable, keeps me on track, and I think it’s a pretty good plan.

4.  Baby Monkey has begun a campaign to have a later bedtime.

However, he doesn’t see it as a campaign.

He sees it as a restoration of his rights and a restoration to the way things “used to be.”

Except, his version of what used to be and our version of what used to be are nothing alike.

See, Baby Monkey has convinced himself that in September and October, we let him stay up until 9 pm on school nights.

This is absolutely, unequivocally not true.

Yet, he is convinced.

And, I know this kid, and he’s not just trying to manipulate us.

He somehow actually remembers bedtime being at 9 pm on school nights in September and October.

I’m thinking that maybe it was a common theme in his nightly sleepwalking strolls and that it became reality, but he never complained about his 7:30 bedtime in September and October, and he can tell time, so he has me befuddled.

When we start reading books at 7, he starts up with “This is SO unfair!  You used to let us stay up until 9 on school nights!  Now you make me go to bed at 7:30.  Why am I getting in trouble and having to go to bed so early?  Not fair!”

And when we try to remind him that this has always been bedtime, he starts in with the whole 9 pm rant.

It’s weird.

Definitely weird.

5.  Speaking of bedtime, Tiny has decided to be our first child with bedtime issues.

We’ve been spoiled.  Definitely spoiled.

All four of our children started sleeping through the night very young (Monkey Girl was 6 weeks) and have been power sleepers.

Baby Monkey had a month or so when he decided he wasn’t going to sleep.

He must have been about 6 months old.

The only way we could get that baby to sleep was by bouncing our bodies in an inverted V pattern.

Not an actual V, mind you.

An inverted V.

He knew if the pattern changed and started crying immediately.

We would be tired of standing still in the bouncing inverted V and would start walking around in a weird bouncing march of inverted V and when one of our thighs would start to give out, we’d pass him off to the other.


Monkey Girl was the only one who stopped napping early, but the boys have all been champion nappers.

Recently, (okay, it’s only been two nights, but it is hellish), we take Tiny in, go through our normal bedtime routine, and as soon as we shut the door behind us he starts screaming.

Not crying.

Not calling.


Then, after a few minutes, the screaming turns into screaming and crying and I swear to God, it sounds like he is being murdered.

We give him about 20 minutes, then go in.

He’s standing in his crib, face covered in snot and tears.

So, I rub his back and clean his face (not turning the lights on, not speaking), and rub his back and kiss his head and face while he’s standing.

Eventually, his legs give out and he lays down and I rub his back and cover him and rub his back.

When his breathing has regulated and he’s warm and cozy and hasn’t made a sound in about 10 minutes, I head for the door and the screaming starts again.

So, we let him go for awhile, and after about 20 more minutes, Real Man heads in.

Same story.

Last night it took three hours to get him to sleep.

Tonight, we are now at an hour and a half with no end in sight.

It’s heartbreaking…truly, it is.

He doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything…just doesn’t want to sleep.

He’s exhausted…yawning and rubbing his eyes and saying “Night Night,” but not able to pull the trigger and actually allow himself to sleep.

I know it will work itself out.

In the meantime, we’ll just continue the shift work like we used to do with Baby, because that’s what partners do.

December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

December 11, 2012

After School

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

So…I never quite know what I’m going to find when I come home from school.

Some days it is utter chaos.

But some days…some days…

I walk in from the garage and find this mellow guy strumming away…


…and find these two engaged in a battle to the death with their Grandpa and Mario Kart.


And I breathe a sigh of relief.

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